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MARCH

2019

GREATER SPOKANE VALLEY

PRSRT STD ECRWSS U.S. Postage Paid Permit #010 ZIP CODE 99019

FREE

A VALLEY-WIDE COMMUNITY NEWSMAGAZINE

A Hundred Years of Hutton Valley landmark celebrates a century of supporting kids, page 10

REHKOW’S HEROIC JOURNEY PAGE 23

KIEV MARKETS DEAL IN DIVERSITY PAGE 27

WAGSTAFF SHEDS LIGHT ON CAREERS PAGE 31


NEWS

2 • MARCH 2019

The Park Bench

Finding Meaning – New Young Life leader enthused about Valley By Craig Howard Current Editor As a high school junior, Ernie Merino had a feeling there must be more to life than soccer and studying. “I had questions, like, ‘Why am I here, where am I going?’” Merino recalls. “I realized there must be some accountability to life. I began to think there is a beyond. You get into high school and a lot of kids are asking questions, like ‘What is this world all about?’” Merino had not grown up in a religious home but began attending church with a friend from school that year. Not long after, he found out about a program called Young Life from someone on his soccer team. Discovering Christianity opened doors to a different world, Merino remembers. “It was like learning your car needs a new battery,” he said. “Like you can’t go anywhere until you figure this out.” Merino’s parents had divorced when he was only 5 months old.

His mother remarried when he was 4. He grew up in a blended family, became a standout in soccer and also played tennis and football at Everett High School. To mix things up, he sang in the school choir. Merino’s introduction to spirituality helped him begin to answer some of his lingering questions. Even though I had no faith-based background, I had never given up on faith,” he said. Young Life, a Christian-centered program for youth, served as a catalyst for Merino’s developing faith. Later, in his mid-20s, he became a volunteer with Young Life and eventually was hired as area director over a region that included Whidbey Island all the way up to Oak Harbor. “I liked having a chance to have a positive impact with kids,” Merino said. “You’re giving someone a chance to go from the idea of faith to knowing who God is.” Last March, Merino moved with his wife Joanna and their two kids from Whidbey Island to the Inland Northwest after he accepted the job as Spokane Valley area director for Young Life. He oversees an area that includes Central Valley, West Valley, East Valley and Freeman school districts. The origins of Young Life in the Valley go back to the 1948-49 academic year at Central Valley High School, only seven years the program was founded in Texas. Today, Young Life is represented in over 100 countries. “Some of the first roots of Young Life were literally here in the Valley,” Merino said. Liberty Lake resident Cris Kaminskas is on the Spokane Valley Young Life steering committee and has a son, Kyle, in the program.

“I like how Young Life helps kids have good experiences with their peers in their growth and in their faith,” she said. Young Life currently has wellestablished chapters at two high schools – University and West Valley – with a new group at Freeman just forming last month. Merino said he hopes to expand across the Valley with a generous approach that puts people, community and the wellbeing of kids first. “We don’t want to be somewhere where people are not in favor of us,” he said. “I think generally there is an appreciation here for what Young Life brings. It’s about not having an agenda but going forward to serve.” Q: You grew up on the west side of the state and now make your home in Spokane Valley. What have been some of the main differences you’ve noticed living east of the Cascades? A: Well it snows more here. And it’s hotter. OK, beyond that, I have found people are a little more cautious. They want to know if something or someone is for real, that it’s worth time and effort. Not that it doesn’t happen over on the west side, but there is a sense of desire to be patient and see what is real and worth our efforts. Q: How would you describe your perspective on faith before you made the conversion to Christianity in high school? A: I felt it unnecessary, that I wasn’t interested in someone else telling me how to live my life. I was interested in being my own man. Faith wasn’t necessarily something I mocked, rather it was something I felt didn’t mean anything for me. My uncle was very involved in his faith yet was also very interested in me as a person. He became one of the only positive male role

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models on that side of my family. It made me interested in ideas of faith since it was “working” for him. Perhaps there was something for me but I wasn’t ready to give it all away for him. Q: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once described faith as “taking the first step even when you don’t see the entire staircase.” What have been some of the keys to the process of developing your faith? A: What Dr. King spoke of is so true. Often in my life I have not been able to see where I was going but knew it was the next step for us. Often times it would drive me crazy because I’m someone who likes to have a plan, to know where I’m going or be able to make the best decision but often times my process of faith has been stepping out into the unknown with a God who knows me and knows the best opportunities for me. Q: The Spokane Valley area, and in particular Central Valley High School, were early facilitators of the Young Life program. Do you think that history will be a benefit as you work to build this program up here? A: It was amazing to learn how Young Life’s roots and history in Spokane started at Central Valley High School. It means so many in our community who have deep roots in the Valley may be very aware of the great work Young Life does and the potential positive impact we can have on our community. While we may have been a little dormant in parts of our community in the recent past, the amazing impact we have had at West Valley High School and University High School communities can serve as a catalyst for great growth in our community as a whole.

See MEANING, Page 3

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The Current

MEANING

MARCH 2019 • 3

NEWS

serve the community. We did not have a presence in Freeman and realized that we could be if we chose to find a way to serve there. So we began a scholarship fund, to send kids from Freeman to Young Life summer camps for free. It was something small, but we saw the value in allowing our young friends a chance to get away in a safe environment with friends and a caring at all to process not only the grief but what life meant for them now. We had 18 friends go to our camps and had an amazing week. Some would say the best week of their life. After this we had volunteers who are dedicated to continuing to serve these kids as well as adults in the community who really felt it would be necessary to have a local Young Life presence. We are grateful for the chance to serve this community and the students.

Continued from page 2 Q: What were some of the primary ways Young Life helped you when you were younger? A: Great relationships with people who cared. In fact, my leader when I was a junior is still my dear friend and mentor at this stage of my life, 20 years later. We had Bible studies before school on Friday mornings. It grew me in my life with God. I was given chances to be a student leader in my Young Life group. It helped me realize the potential of leadership in my life. My leader then and I have been friends for a long time, working together, laughing together, mourning together. Without this grounding friendship in my life, pointing me towards God constantly, I would not be the person I was made to be. God has used those relationships I had to build me into a Christ-centered husband, father, friend, leader, mentor and more.

Q: Finally, what are your hopes for Young Life over the next five to 10 years?

Q: It seems the perceptions of Jesus Christ vary depending on who you talk to. What does He mean to you? A: Hope. The reality that God hasn’t given up on me or our world. The reality that I haven’t even reached my potential yet but God knew I was worth sending and sacrificing Jesus in order for me, my family, our world, the chance to live in harmony and relationship with Him. Q: What would you say to people who like the idea of Young Life providing support and encouragement for youth but have reservations about the religious aspects of the program? Does a kid need to be a believer to be part of Young Life? A: I have led in Young Life for 14 years. I have worked with a lot of kids. While there are some who have come to their own faith and pursued it with all their heart, a lot of them have not pursued their own faith yet I still have good relationships with them. I have built friendships with them and still aim to be a positive influence in their life. Young Life leaders aim to build authentic friendships with our high school and middle school friends. Friendships not built on our hope to convert them to a religion but on our genuine care for kids and their futures. Now we clearly believe that the best possible life is found in relationship with God but even if

Ernie Merino is the new area director for Young Life, a faith-based program for middle and high school students. Merino moved to Spokane Valley last March with his wife Joanna and their two kids. He coordinates efforts for Young Life in an area that includes Central Valley, East Valley, West Valley and Freeman school districts. Photo by Craig Howard

a student doesn’t choose to pursue faith we don’t stop our friendship with them. As caring and moral friends, we can still have a positive impact on our young friends and provide them with mentorship that enables them to know they are cared for by their community. Q: A 2018 study through Georgetown University found that a larger number of young Catholics are leaving the church than ever before. Why do you think so many youth opt for the secular over the spiritual? A: Our world has become more polarizing. I remember sitting with a student at a summer camp talking about life. He told me he didn’t like partying, drinking, using drugs but he felt like if he didn’t he would be excluded from his friend group and would be alone. If he wasn’t one of them, he would be apart from them. I’ve heard this

story many times. Unfortunately, whether deserved or underserved, the church and Christianity have become synonymous with rules, restrictions and sometimes hate. In our imperfection and striving to be holy, we have also done some pretty rough stuff along the way which has allowed people to point to us as a negative impact on society. So in our polarizing culture, we, the Christian community, have become one of many alternate realities of life instead of the ultimate reality of love, hope, community and life to the full. Kids feel life they have to choose, so why not choose what most everyone else, especially those in popular culture, are choosing. Q: Tell us about the introduction of Young Life in the Freeman School District. A: After the school shooting, we began to think of how we could

A: We have big dreams. The reality is there are 11,380-plus students in the communities we serve. There are a lot of great programs, churches and other avenues of involvement for kids in the Valley. However, we know there are a lot of kids who still feel unloved and do not have positive adults in their lives as well as a chance to consider the spiritual aspects of life and what life with God could look like. We currently serve four school districts – West Valley, East Valley, Freeman and Central Valley. We currently are only involved in four out of the more than 12 schools in our area for the age groups we serve. There is great work being done by our Young Lives team to serve teen mothers and their children led by Amber Kopp. We want to continue to provide that level of service and beyond to every teen parent in our communities. Our special needs community is underserved and we want to provide a program for these kids and their families as well, called Young Life Capernaum. It’s a wonderful program designed just for kids with disabilities by providing individual mentors, summer camp and weekly or monthly meetings. We want to be available for every high school, middle school and alternative school in the Valley communities. By the end of 2022, we aim to serve each of these schools, with over 100 volunteers and eight staff locally, impacting over 3,500 kids in our communities.


4 • MARCH 2019

SVFD levy passes with flying colors

By Keith Erickson Current Correspondent Spokane Valley Fire Chief Bryan Collins says his department is humbled by the overwhelming support last month of a $113 million levy that will fund salaries, equipment, fire engines and capital projects – including a new fire station. The Feb. 19 maintenance and operations levy passed by a resounding 74-pecent margin and will replace an expiring four-year levy that voters endorsed in 2015. “When you get three-quarters of the voters approving a large property tax I think it shows they’re trusting you with a great responsibility and it says they think you’re doing a good job,” Collins said. “I want to thank the community for their support. It validates the hard work of the entire department.” The chief said passage of the levy will allow the department to continue adding value back into the community by providing unsurpassed fire protection services. The levy will fund a new fire station – No. 11 – near the intersection of Barker Road and Euclid Avenue. Construction will occur in 2022 and the station will be staffed around the clock by 12 employees, whose salaries will be supported by the levy. Funded over four years, the levy will cost property owners about $1.91 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That’s about 11 cents per $1,000 more than the expiring M&O levy of $1.80/$1,000 that expires at the end of the year. Put into perspective, the new levy

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will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $100 more per year compared with the measure passed in 2015. The chief emphasized that the department is a “pay as you go” organization, which he believes is another reason the levy passed by such a wide margin. “That we don’t carry any debt service really resonates with folks in the Spokane Valley,” said Collins, who conducted more than 30 public presentations to educate patrons about the proposed levy. Besides the new fire station, the levy will fund remodel of the Sullivan Road Fire Station No. 5, built 25 years ago and in need of upgrades. It will also allow the department to nearly double the capacity of its maintenance facility, where critical upkeep is done on the department’s fleet, which consists of about 60 vehicles including engines, ladder trucks and staff vehicles. Under the SVFD’s master plan, aging vehicle are rotated out of use to assure dependable service. It’s a big-ticket expenditure, the chief said, with a new engine costing about $750,000 and a ladder truck coming in at around $1.25 million. Keeping up with growth in within the department’s boundaries has been challenging, Collins said. According to statistics release by the department, over the past five years, the Spokane Valley Fire Department has experienced a 34-percent increase in calls for service, fielding an impressive 18,000 calls per year. “Last year, SVFD responded to more than 1,800 fires and saved $16 million in property or 88 percent of the total values of the properties and contents involved,” Collins said. “Without renewal of the M&O levy, SVFD would have been unable to continue providing this excellent level of response.” The levy will also fund an alternate response unit (ARU) to provide

cost-effective service for non-lifethreatening emergencies as well as funds to remodel the Sullivan Road fire station to include the addition of an entryway to provide citizens with a 24/7 safe zone – a provision in all other SVFD stations and in line with the department’s commitment to public service. Collins said the department has a proven track record for following through on its commitment to wisely spend tax dollars on maintenance and operational needs as promised. In February 2015, the M&O levy passed by 72 percent and included funding for specific capital improvements like relocation of Liberty Lake Fire Station No. 3. That project was completed on time and under budget, Collins said. With a 75-square-mile service area that includes about 125,000 citizens, SVFD responds to about 15,000 emergency medical services calls each year, or about 41 calls

Please join youth leaders of Spokane Valley Youth Voice for this ‘welcome to all’ community engagement event with local teens sharing their ideas, information from local resources, and life experience conversations about making a difference in our community.

per day. The SVFD employs about 200 personnel, including 175 responders. Collins said the community has responded favorably before when it recognized the importance of a four-year funding measure to sustain and improve its top-notch emergency services. That reliable service has earned the SVFD a low insurance rating for fire agencies. It is the only department in Eastern Washington to have earned that distinction which means local homeowners and businesses are in the lowest cost pool available for fire insurance premiums, the chief said. “I’ve been in the firefighting business for 35 years and I’ve seen a lot of department models and here in the Spokane Valley, we really have something we can be proud of as far as the level of service to the community,” Collins said.

An invitation to all Spokane Valley High School Students and Citizens for a

Community Conversation! Spokane Valley Youth Voice! A youth led community engagement event on * Mental Wellbeing* *Safety* *Substance Misuse* *Youth Jobs* * Living Without a Home* When: Monday, March 25, 2019

RSVP is not required but we would like to know you are coming! www.spokanevalley.org/youthvoice

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NEWS

Youth Voice tackles tough, timely issues By Nina Culver

Current Correspondent Spokane Valley City Council Member Linda Thompson has been working to give youth a voice in their own city for the last year. “It was something I promised in the election,” she said. Teens from the Spokane Valley school districts have been gathering monthly as the Spokane Valley Youth Voice group to discuss issues they see in their city and their schools. “It’s been great,” Thompson said. “We’ve had good crowds, we’ve had little crowds. They have come up with ideas that are affecting our city and out community.” Issues that have been discussed include safety, mental health awareness, substance abuse, living without a home and the lack of youth employment. In addition to rallying local youth to address concerns they are facing, another goal of the group is to raise awareness of the same issues with the general public and start a dialogue, according to Thompson. “The goal is to get the community listening to the youth and getting engaged in these problems,” Thompson said. “These are bright, innovative kids. These are the same things adults are talking about. They’ve been really open with their concerns.” Many of the issues students have brought up will have to be addressed with school administrators, not the city. Some students have reported that the doors of the bathroom stalls in their schools have been removed to stop students from vaping or using drugs in the stalls, Thompson said. Others have complained about the lack of parking lot lighting at schools and the lack of security cameras at some schools, she said. Voice members are also concerned about students who don’t have homes, Thompson said. “We know there’s 800-plus youth who are homeless in Spokane Valley and we’re talking couch surfing and move from place to place,” she said.

Last May several students attended a City Council meeting to present their concerns. In response, Spokane Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort (SCOPE) promised to do more patrolling near schools and the Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department said it was working to clean up parks, Thompson said. A recent meeting of the group was small, bringing together half a dozen teens from East Valley High School and Central Valley High School. Thompson asked the students which questions they would like to have answered at the community forum. The teens said they wanted information about where students can get mental health assistance and how they could help their fellow students with mental health issues. They also wanted to know how homeless teens could get help. They also noted that there’s a lot of speeding near local high schools and some streets lack sidewalks. Thompson said that those issues could be presented to the city. “You can absolutely come testify before the City Council,” she said. The students have already brainstormed some possible solutions to the issues they have identified, including creating a new student club dedicated to raising awareness about students without homes and working with community groups to help address the issue. Students also want to create a new drug prevention club and have assemblies focused on substance misuse that will include community groups such as Daybreak and Washington Drug Free Youth. The students have also suggested adding more school resource deputies to help with safety and drug use issues. Josh Rogers, a junior at Central Valley High School, attended the meeting after his teacher suggested it as a way to earn extra credit. Rogers said he thought the meeting would be just talking about topics and not doing anything about them. “It looks like we can do what we were talking about,” he said. Christine Dugger, a senior at East Valley High School, has been attending the Youth Voice meetings since the beginning. Her mother works for the Greater

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CALL OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE Spokane Substance Abuse Council, where Thompson is the executive director. “I like how other students put their input in,” she said. “Everyone is respectful and accepts your opinions.” One of the issues important to her is the living without a home she has known people homeless, Dugger said.

that is students because who are

“I’m hoping our schools come together and we are hopefully working on the same page,” she said.

She said she plans to continue coming to the Youth Voice meetings. “I just hope more people come,” she said. “Come and join. We’re having fun.” Want to find out more? The Regional Behavior Health Crisis Line (formerly First Call for Help) can be reached toll-free at 877-266-1818. For information on housing and other resources call 211. Spokane Valley Youth Voice will host a community engagement event on March 25 at 6 p.m. at CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place in Spokane Valley.


6 • MARCH 2019

NEWS

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According to KidsHealth.org, choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber and protein while low in added sugar is important. Kids who eat breakfast are more likely to get fiber, calcium and other important nutrients. They also tend to have lower blood cholesterol levels and fewer absences from school.

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“A healthy breakfast at the start of the day is one way to ensure students are getting the best education possible,” said Kaydee Harris, registered dietitian for West Valley School District.

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The National School Breakfast Week campaign theme, “Start Your Engines,” reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy and energizing start to the day for students. The West Valley School District is excited to announce free school breakfast March 4-8 to give all West !( Valley students the opportunity to start their day off right. In addition, there will be some new hot breakfast items offered during !( the week! Check out the menu at !( www.wvsd.org.

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Note: School breakfast serving times and items vary. Check with individual West Valley schools Spokane for details. Free breakfast for elementary and middle school students will be March 4-6 due to conferences.

The Current

2019 January Burglary IBR Offenses Hotspots

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The Current

MARCH 2019 • 7

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By Spokane Valley Police Chief Mark Werner The maps provided below depict where citizens have reported Vehicle Thefts, Thefts from a Vehicle (also known as vehicle prowling), Burglaries and Thefts. As you view the map each circle will contain a number indicating how many instances Spokane of a particular crime were reported at that location. Thefts from a vehicle is often under reported as people often feel nothing can be done or they only lost a small quantity of loose change. However, the Spokane Valley Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s office analyze this data to determine high crime areas and where to allocate resources. I encourage citizens who have been a victim of crime to call 911, if the crime is in progress, or Crime Check at 456-2233, if not in progress, to report a crime.

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One of the simplest steps citizens can take to help combat crime is getting to know your neighbors better. You don’t need to be best friends (unless you want to) but get acquainted with who lives on your street, on each side of you, and across the street. You are the eyes and ears for each other. Our deputies have apprehended burglars and package thieves because a neighbor saw something, and called us. Thefts from vehicles continues to be a problem in our community. To reduce your chances of becoming a victim of vehicle prowling, always remove items from your car when you get home and lock up. Even if you have nothing of value, take it out. If a criminal sees items in your car, they might break the window just to check it out. Save yourself the hassle of having to replace a window and remove all items.


8 • MARCH 2019

Spokane Valley City Council Report – March 2019 By Bill Gothmann Current Correspondent Waste Management asks for increased rate Waste Management (WM) has asked for a rate increase of $1.01 per month to cover the costs of recycling. They cite China’s action to decrease the permitted residue (the amount of non-recyclable material) to 0.5 percent, whereas the Spokane region has a rate of 10-15 percent of residue. WM also asked to implement a contamination service charge for those that contaminate recyclables. In addition, it wants to change the accepted recyclables list and make other changes to the contract. The city rejected the request, noting that rates were established through a competitive process and the fact that the contract is very new. It states that the hauler bears the risk of market changes. Staff was also concerned that there are no clearly identified local impacts because WM does not ship the city’s waste to China.

NEWS

Staff did acknowledge that WM is affected by the China decision as other recyclers will increase their charges. Due to the complexity of the issue, staff will continue to work with WM to obtain a satisfactory solution for both parties. Council to restrict use of City Hall by third parties Several entities within the city have asked to use the property around City Hall for commercial or political meetings. Staff was looking for guidance to draft a resolution providing rules for such use. In general, council asked to prohibit religious, commercial or political meetings on the property while protecting the free speech rights of the public. Staff was asked to investigate such issues as time, place, protection of the grass and special event requirements while giving the city manager selected power to enforce the resolution. CenterPlace Regional Event Center is already available for meetings and events and has the staff and parking to support these activities, so use

2019 State of the City

Building economic vitality and a thriving community Business is expanding in Spokane Valley, and the city is growing. Hear Mayor Rod Higgins and Deputy Mayor Pam Haley describe how the city is building a community of opportunity.

Greater Spokane Valley Chamber Business Lunch Friday, March 22, 11:30 a.m. CenterPlace Regional Event Center Tickets $35 each through March 20 (includes lunch) Reserve tickets at spokanevalleychamber.org or call 509-924-4994 Event Partners

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of City Hall is unnecessary. It was also pointed out that sections of undeveloped Balfour Park are good areas in which to conduct some events, such as car shows. Staff will draft a resolution for consideration by council. Alcohol use on city property The city is proposing to increase the number of sites permitting alcohol consumption, provided an event permit is obtained from the Parks and Recreation Department. Council previously approved resolutions in 2004 and 2005 which established limited areas in which alcohol could be consumed after obtaining an appropriate permit. Recently, the city identified a number of additional rooms at CenterPlace where alcohol consumption might be permitted. Additionally, because of recent renovations completed by the city, they include some outside sites around CenterPlace and portions of Mirabeau Springs at Mirabeau Point Park. Those portions of Balfour Park that are undeveloped could also be included. City Council recommended expanding alcohol use to all places within the CenterPlace building, providing an event permit is obtained. Staff will return this item to council for final action. University, Mission, Evergreen, Knox, Wilbur and Argonne transportation projects Staff updated Council on six transportation projects, listed below in order of expected construction date. Each will be brought back to Council for final approval. They are: Argonne from Broadway to Valleyway will have single lane closures during the day and double lane closure during the night from mid-April to mid-May to enable crews to do a 1.25-inch grind and overlay, minor full pavement removals and patches and minor stormwater improvements. Knox will be closed to through traffic from Sargent to Hutchinson from mid-May to mid-June. This will permit crews to widen the pavement and install a sidewalk and gutter on the south side of Knox. No detour route will be declared. Wilbur from Broadway to Boone will be closed to through traffic from mid-May to mid-June to enable installation of a new sidewalk, curb and gutter on the east side of Wilbur and to pave its shoulder. No detour route will be declared. During

June,

Evergreen

will

have single lane closures between Indiana and Mission and the Mission/Evergreen connector will be closed. There will also be 12hour night closures for restriping and pavement resurfacing. Crews will place a 1.5-inch inlay of asphalt, replace six sidewalk ramps and restripe for bike lanes. I-90 traffic will be diverted to Pines or Sullivan. University Road is to be closed from mid-June to mid-August while the road receives a 2-inch grind and 3-inch overlay, added bike lanes, ADA curb ramps and signal upgrades. Dishman-Mica, 32nd Avenue and 16th Avenue will be detours. Mission Avenue will be reduced to two lanes from Bowdish to east of Union for four weeks. Mission will be reduced to two lanes from University to east of Union for one week and closed from University to east of Union for four weeks between mid-August through October. This will enable crews to widen the pavement and install a sidewalk on the north side of Mission from Bowdish to east of Union. Construction is expected to start in mid-August and be completed in October. University, Broadway and Pines will be detours. Avista customers to see meter changes Avista customers will see significant metering changes for gas and electric subscribers starting March 4. Electric meters will be changed out with smart meters containing a two-way communication channel linking the meter with the company. These meters transmit data to neighborhood, pole mounted data collectors that, in turn, transmit to the company. This will enable Avista to read the meter from their home office, eliminating the necessity for them to be read by an employee moving through the neighborhood. It will also permit customers to view their own, up to date, energy use and permit Avista to know instantaneously when power is out to a customer or an area. Nationwide, approximately 76 million smart meters are currently deployed within the U.S., representing about 60 percent of U.S. households. By 2020, smart meter deployment is expected to reach 90 million in the U.S. and analog meters are no longer expected to be manufactured. For electric customers, this will mean a power interruption of a few minutes while the new meter is swapped for the old meter. Avista is mailing two advance

See COUNCIL, Page 9


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COUNCIL

NEWS

Continued from page 8

notices informing customers of the installation. The smart meter for gas customers requires no interruption of service. Customers need not be home during the installation.

Carnahan property sold Carnahan had a jog in it as it crossed Eighth, resulting in many accidents. In order to realign Carnahan, the city purchased property at 707 and 729 S. Carnahan, or 78,000 square feet of property. It paid a total of $594,685 consisting of $477,000 for the property, $12,754 for closing costs, $1,165 for miscellaneous closing costs, $3,870 for moving costs and $99,896 for replacement housing and incidentals. The latter two expenses were required under the federal Uniform Relocation Act. The city kept 10,979 square feet for right-of-way, secured a border easement of 4,990 square feet and paid a right-of-way agent’s fee of $54,370. The remainder of the

to

The city is proposing to add a new road, Garland, from Barker to Flora, to accommodate the northeast industrial area. Since plans are already underway to upgrade Barker, staff has examined both projects and determined that the unfunded gap is about $7 million. Since there is expected to be $7.1 million transferred from the general fund to the capital reserve fund because spending was less than budgeted in 2017, this excess can be used for the unfunded gap.

Avista noted that the radiation from the smart meters is less than 0.002 percent of that radiated by a cell phone. Learn more about this program by visiting myavista.com/ smartmeters.

Staff explained the reason for keeping a reserve fund of 50 percent of current expenses. Property taxes are received from Spokane County twice a year, so the city must keep a reserve of 50 percent of annual taxes or $6,027,200 per year. Sales taxes and shared revenues from the state come in each month, so the city must keep a reserve of 1/12 of these taxes or $2,321,058. The city maintains a reserve of 25 percent or three months for operating expenses. This comes to $10,422,842. Grants for capital projects are received after the work is completed so, assuming expenditures are incurred evenly over a six-month construction season, the city must keep a reserve fund of 50 percent of annual capital project grants or $1,833,333. Adding all these up totals $20,604,434 or 49.42 percent of the $41,691,369 annual recurring expenses. The city rounds this off to 50 percent.

the north side of Wellesley Avenue and the city of Spokane Valley to obtain ROW from the properties on the south side of Wellesley Avenue. Barker reconstruction include Garland Avenue

Plans call for extreme northwest Spokane Valley to receive the new meters from March to June; the southwest portion of the city from June to November and the rest of the city from June to October of 2020.

Why keep a reserve fund of 50 percent?

MARCH 2019 • 9

Pines grant options

Patrol hours for the Spokane Valley Police Department increased from 62,576 hours in 2017 to 68,893 last year. Also in 2018, Investigative Unit detectives with SVPD arrested 354 persons charged with 1,627 felonies and 298 misdemeanors. Like many police departments throughout the country, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office is facing a challenge of securing qualified officers. As of early last month there were nine commissioned vacancies. Contributed image property was sold for $405,000 minus $31,602.26 for selling costs. Thus, net loss to the city was $275,657.16 for these transactions. Police challenges and results Police across the nation are having problems filling vacancies. As of Feb. 7, there were nine commissioned Spokane County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) vacancies. In addition, 19 positions were filled with deputies in various stages of training who cannot work autonomously, three were on military deployment and four were recovering from long term injuries. Thus, about 15 percent of SCSO officers were unavailable. In spite of these challenges, citizeninitiated calls for service in Spokane Valley without deputy response has decreased for the first time in years from 17,108 in 2017 to 16,759 in 2018. Spokane Valley patrol hours increased from 62,576 hours in 2017 to 68,893 in 2018. Furthermore, Spokane Valley Investigative Unit detectives arrested 354 persons charged with 1,627 felonies and 298 misdemeanors and wrote 115 search warrants. Planned Action Ordinance for northeast industrial area Staff presented council with a proposed Planned Action Ordinance (PAO) for Spokane Valley’s northeast industrial area, extending roughly from Flora Road on the west to the east city limits (Hodges Road) and from SR290 (Trent) on the north

to the Union Pacific Railroad on the south. Such an ordinance would pre-plan what facilities are needed to accommodate full development of this industrial area, easing the time and effort for each individual permit applicant from about six weeks to about two weeks. The analysis also provides a holistic approach to developing the area, rather than piece by piece. If a developer chose to take advantage of the PAO, the cost would be about $2,831 per p.m. peak trip generated by the firm. Since participation in purely voluntary, the developer could choose to pay to conduct its own environmental analysis. Council approved the first reading of the PAO. Sullivan-Wellesley Intersection project agreements reached The city is planning on upgrading the Sullivan-Wellesley intersection with either a roundabout or a signalized system funded in part by a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant from the state. In addition, the county is working on Phase 6 of the Bigelow Project which will significantly increase traffic at the intersection. Council approved an agreement with the county whereby the county will contribute $99,600 toward the intersection project for the city to purchase right of way (ROW). The agreement calls for the county to obtain the ROW from the East Valley School District properties on

Council decided not to apply for an INFRA (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) grant for Pines Road Grade Separation Project (GSP) because INFRA is designed for much larger projects. Meanwhile, the city will continue to develop the Pines GSP plans, placing itself in a better position to apply for upcoming grants next year. In addition, the city will develop a partnership with the county to jointly apply for future grants for the Bigelow Gulch and North Sullivan projects.

Council Briefs • Staff and council are working on a one-day pilot neighborhood clean-up program for the Edgecliff neighborhood whereby the city would provide waste receptacles • Staff is working to add Facebook to the city’s social media program • Council approved amendments to the 2019 Transportation Improvement Plan discussed in last month’s Current • Police Chief Mark Werner announced that the county has funded 14 deputy positions based upon expected attrition of the deputy staff. This will result in deputies being ready for duty when others retire • Mayor Rod Higgins appointed Lee Cameron and William Brokaw to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee


10 • MARCH 2019

COVER STORY

A Century of Caring – Hutton Settlement celebrates 100th anniversary

By Nina Culver

Current Correspondent The mission of the Hutton Settlement has not changed in the 100 years since Levi Hutton founded the unique facility – provide a safe, stable home for children in need. The stone buildings that rise from the ground on 319 acres under the Arbor Crest bluff just north of Millwood have provided a home for 1,500 children since the doors opened. Hutton, who made his fortune in the North Idaho silver mines, founded the organization for orphaned children. He was 6 when his parents died and he and his half-dozen siblings were separated and sent to live with different aunts and uncles.

time and married couples serve as house parents in each cottage. Each cottage has their own kitchen, living room, bedrooms and other family spaces. The house parents are responsible for everything from meals to driving the children to school activities. “It’s not shift work,” Laughery said. “Those house parents live with those kids.” The Hutton Settlement also provides dorm-style rooms on the second floor of the administration building for alumni residents age 18 to 24, who boost the number of residents to more than 50 at any one time. In the early decades here, the children coming to live at the Hutton Settlement were true orphans.

sibling groups. Keeping siblings together was one of Hutton’s goals and that mission continues today. Laughery said the settlement has quite a few siblings there, including a group of six brothers and sisters. “These kids have faced serious traumatic events,” she said of the six siblings. “Prior to being placed here they were in foster homes all across Spokane.” Children who arrive at the Hutton Settlement must stay for at least nine months. It takes at least that long to form attachments and begin to work through whatever they are dealing with, Laughery said. “It’s not always fun out here,” she said. “They’ve experienced a lot of trauma.” Many of the children end up staying for years, sometimes more than a decade. “The majority end up staying for their entire childhood,” Laughery said. The children all attend West Valley schools. The Hutton Settlement offers four different clubs for them to be involved in – sustainable farming, culinary arts, woodworking and outdoor education. Teenagers can find jobs in nearby Millwood. “There are campus jobs and kids can earn allowances,” Laughery said. The settlement has a greenhouse, a garden and chickens. There are plans to add ducks and goats this year. The children grow and sell Christmas trees as a fundraiser. West Valley High School sophomore Gavin McArthur has been living at Hutton Settlement with his older brother, Trevor, for nine years. They arrived when McArthur, now 16, was 7 years old.

Hutton Settlement just north of Millwood is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. One of many highlights over the last 100 years included a visit from baseball icon Babe Ruth, an orphan himself, who visited the facility during the heyday of the New York Yankees. Contributed photo

Hutton only attended school through the third grade, said Jessica Laughery, Hutton’s director of Community Relations and Communication. “He was forced to quit school and earn his keep on the farm,” she said.

Now many are what Laughery calls “social orphans.”

It was those early memories that drove Hutton to establish a home for orphaned children. He built four cottages, taking care to make each a little bit different so the settlement looked like a neighborhood, not an institution.

The parents might have drug problems, be in jail or be too ill to take care of their children. Laughery said they have just over 30 children at a time and half come from the foster care system and half are private placements.

The cottages house between six to eight children at any one

“Today, the situations are quite a bit different,” she said. “They may have parents living but for whatever reason they can’t care for them.”

Many of the children are part of

“Life before that was a little bit difficult for my brother and I,” he said. “It’s been a really good experience here. They’ve got really great programs.” McArthur’s mother was diagnosed with MS and had other issues that led to the brothers living with their father. They didn’t know he was mentally ill and a drug user until the police broke down their front door one day when McArthur was five. “At the time my brother and I had no idea what was going on,” he said. The two bounced among eight foster homes in a year and a half before they arrived at the Hutton Settlement. A good student, McArthur credits the settlement for helping him become successful and

The Current

overcoming anger issues he had when he was younger. “They helped me get through a lot of social anxiety and depression,” he said. “I don’t really know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for Hutton Settlement. I’ve grown up here. They’ve given me a place to call home, a place to call family.” McArthur likes the outdoor education program the settlement offers and sometimes finds himself using the 3 miles of hiking trails on the property. “Most of the time I don’t even use them,” he said of the trails. “I just like wandering through the woods. I’ve always liked nature. It’s kind of an escape for me.” He said he also likes the staff. “The adults are definitely caring, otherwise they wouldn’t have chosen to be here,” he said. “Hutton Settlement is the best home for children who are in need. They’re there for you.” One of the most unique aspects of the Hutton Settlement is that it doesn’t take any money from the government, not even for children who are in the foster care system. The children under its care don’t even receive free or reduced-price lunches. Levi and his wife May had no children, so he left his entire fortune to the Hutton Settlement. That included five commercial buildings. Two of those buildings, the Fernwell Building and Hutton Building in downtown Spokane, are still standing but the Hutton Settlement no longer owns them. “Today, we have a portfolio of 22 commercial properties,” Laughery said. The rental income from those properties provides just over 60 percent of the settlement’s $2 million annual budget. The rest comes from grants, community donations, investment income and the annual Christmas Tree sale. Only 10 percent of the annual budget is spent on administrative costs; the rest goes toward operations and programs. “We have a huge alumni base that donates,” Laughery said. “We’ve never had to do any fundraising. That is pretty rare for a nonprofit. We have never had to shift our mission. We are really able to focus on our mission of taking care of kids.” Much of the settlement is as it was 100 years ago. The buildings were designed by architect Harold

See HUTTON, Page 11


The Current

HUTTON

COVER STORY

MARCH 2019 • 11

Continued from page 10

Whitehouse, who also designed the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Spokane’s South Hill. The story is that when Whitehouse asked Hutton how much he wanted to spend, Hutton told him there was no limit. “Levi told him he wanted the buildings to last 250 years,” she said. “Everything here is original. The tile of the roof is Italian slate. It really was the best materials and really well done.” The Reception Room in the administration building is filled with furniture from Hutton’s living room. One of the bookshelves holds two binders that list the names of every child that has lived at Hutton Settlement since it was founded. Historical photos line the walls, including some featuring Levi Hutton himself. “The kids used to call him ‘Daddy Hutton,’” Laughery said. One photo is of baseball great Babe Ruth with several children. Ruth was an orphan and would travel to visit different facilities around the country, Laughery said. He visited the Hutton Settlement in the 1920’s, possibly 1926. “He had breakfast in one of the cottages and played baseball with the kids,” she said. The gymnasium has stained glass windows and a stage at one end. The enormous head of what is believed to be a caribou is mounted high on the wall above the stage,

Levi Hutton (above) established Hutton Settlement with a goal of providing a safe and nurturing home for orphaned kids. His parents died when he was 6 years old and he and his six siblings were sent to live with various aunts and uncles. Hutton was born in Iowa but headed west at the age of 18 and made his fortune in the North Idaho silver mines. Contributed photo but its origin has been lost in time. Hutton Settlement has housed 1,500 children over the decades and many have a lasting link to the facility. Part of that is due to the staff, which has very low turnover. The facility has only had five directors during its existence and the focus is on creating a stable, reliable home for the children. “Staff stays here forever,” Laughery said. “It’s easy to see why.”

Mary Jo Lyonnais-Baun has worked at the Hutton Settlement for 40 years in various positions, including director for 15 years. She’d just earned her degree in social work when she started working as a counselor in 1979. “I remember that day like it was yesterday,” she said. “I think it was a calling, wanting to work with children from a young age. I just feel really blessed.” She said she enjoys staying in contact with former residents and seeing them start careers, get married and have children. That’s what makes her realize that everything worth it, she said. “It did make a difference and they’re making a difference,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting.” Lyonnais-Baun currently works as support staff for the house parents. She fills in for them when they have days off, which allows her to go into the cottages and spend time with the children. She said she much prefers that to doing administrative work. “Sometimes your favorite memories are from when you first started,” she said. “When I work here, it isn’t about your pay, it isn’t about your job titles. You just want to give back.”

Jessica Laughery, director of Community Relations and Communication for Hutton Settlement, is pictured above at a table and lamp that once stood in the home of Levi Hutton. The 319-acre campus includes a greenhouse, garden and chickens. Photo by Nina Culver

Many alumni keep in touch and come back for reunions. Though the settlement doesn’t offer any services to those above 24, there are always exceptions, Laughery said.

At the beginning of this year a 32-year-old former resident called in tears. He’d lost his job and his housing and had nowhere to go. “We said, come home,” Laughery said. He was given a dorm room and within three weeks he’d found another job and gotten back on his feet and was able to move out, she said. The Hutton Settlement is planning a series of events this year to celebrate its 100th anniversary. A Centennial Celebration is planned for April 25 and will include stories told by former residents. The settlement will sponsor at Looff Carousel Community Day on May 4 and allow people in the community to ride the Looff Carousel for free. There will be a L.W. Hutton Day dedication on July 19 that Laughery describes as a family reunion and a community open house. A bronze statue of Hutton will be unveiled and other activities are still being planned for the day, including an alumni baseball game. The Spokane Civic Theater will present a Hutton Settlement Play based on the life of Levi Hutton from Oct. 24-27 and Nov. 1-3. Lyonnais-Baun said she’s happy that her work and the work of the Hutton Settlement will continue. “Mr. and Mrs. Hutton’s dream is still alive,” she said. “You get to be privileged to be a part of that.”


COMMUNITY

12 • MARCH 2019

The Current

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS March 5 | The Spokane Compass Club will be holding the ladies luncheon at 11 a.m. at the Airport Ramada Inn. This month’s activity is Bingo. Cost is $25 per person and reservations are required by Feb. 28. Please email compassres@gmail.com to sign up. The Compass Club began in 1948 when seven women decided to form their own club to provide more opportunities to meet people and to get to know friends better through hobby groups. Each Friday – March 8-April 12 | Fish Fry, each Friday during Lent, Parish Hall at St. Mary’s Parish, 304 S. Adams Road, Spokane Valley. Serving 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Cost: $10 suggested donation per person at the door. Menu includes baked or fried fish, French fries or baked potato, clam chowder or “Soup of the Week,” bread bowls, cole slaw, rolls, garlic bread and more. March 9 | Auction at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond Road, Spokane Valley – doors open at 4 p.m. with the auction from 4 to 6:15 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. A loud auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. The theme of the event is “Experiences become Memories.” Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children 10 and under, no cost for kids 3 and under. March 21 | Bugs in Your Backyard – 10:30-11:30 a.m., West Valley Learning Center, 8508 E. Upriver Drive, Spokane Valley. Join the West Valley Outdoor Learning Center as you explore the amazing world of bugs. Participants will see a presentation about insects from a variety of local habitats throughout Washington and across the globe. The Outdoor Learning Center will also bring critters for kids to study up close. March 26 | Welcome Home Vietnam Vet Event – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. All veterans and their family members and friends welcome. Barbecue will begin at 11 a.m. For more information, call the Vet Center at 444-8387.

April 26-28 | Shrine Circus – New location across from the at Spokane Valley City Hall next to Balfour Park located in the Spokane Valley on the corner of East Sprague Avenue and Herald Road. The El Katif Shriners are excited to announce the return of the annual Shrine Circus. The circus is celebrating its 64th year. The festivities begin Friday, April 26 with shows at 3 and 7 p.m. and continue Saturday the 27th at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. The circus will conclude on the 28th with shows at 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the box office on site beginning at 9am each day of the show. General admission is $10 per person. Reserved seating is $15, VIP tickets are $20 and ringmaster seats are available for $25 per person. The Shriners are about helping children. The Shrine Circus provides operating funds for the El Katif Shriners, so they can continue to support the Shrine Hospitals. Spokane is fortunate to have one of the 22 Shrine Hospitals in the U.S.

RECURRING Free Last Sunday lunch | Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 North Raymond Road, Spokane Valley - 12:30 p.m. in the church’s Fellowship Hall, Room 115 ACT 2 senior classes | Affordable classes offered by Community Colleges of Spokane to those who are retired or planning to retire. A wide range of courses from geology and history to exercise and art are offered at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, as well as other locations throughout the area. “Focused Fitness on Dishman Mica,” a yoga class, is now part of the schedule. More at www.sccel. spokane.edu/ACT2 Baha’i Fireside Conversation | 7 to 8 p.m., third Thursday of the month. Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Discussion of Baha’i teachings, history, and perspectives on resolving the challenges facing humanity. All are welcome. More at 599-2411 or www.bahai.us. Inland Empire Blues Society monthly meeting | Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m., Bolo’s 116 S. Best Road Café Card Club | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays. On Sacred

Grounds, 12212 E. Palouse Hwy., Valleyford. Play pinochle, cribbage, or hearts. More at www. onsacredgrounds.com Catholic Singles Mingle | Meeting times and locations vary. This group, with no dues, is for single adults of all ages. More at www.meetup.com/CatholicSingles-Mingle. DivorceCare Recovery Support Group | Mondays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastpoint Church, 15303 E. Sprague Ave. Learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future. DivorceCare for Kids (ages 5-12) meets at the same time and location. Cost is $25 for workbook. More at 892-5255 or eastpointchurch.com. Military Sobriety Support Group | 10 to 11: 30 a.m., Spokane Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Call Steve at 893-4746 for more information Grange Meeting and Dessert | 6:30 p.m., third Wednesday of the month, Tri-Community Grange, 25025 Heather St., Newman Lake. The public is welcome for this community-based service organization. For more information call 226-2202 or see us on Facebook. Men’s Weekly Bible Study | 7 a.m. Tuesdays. Millwood Presbyterian Church, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood. The men’s weekly Bible Study meets in the Reception Hall with different members sharing in the leading of the study. All men are invited to join. More at www.milwoodpc.org. Rockford Crochet Class | 10 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. The Harvest Moon, 20 S. First St., Rockford. Free classes. We have crocheters, knitters, embroidery, quilting and needlepoint. Come and share with us what you are doing. Call 2913722. Rockford Historical Society | 11:30 a.m. second Friday of the month (Feb. to Nov.). Harvest Moon restaurant, 20 S. First St., Rockford. More at 291-3193. Spokane County Library District | Locations include Argonne, Fairfield, Otis Orchards, and Spokane Valley. Special events and weekly activities for all ages including book clubs, children’s

story times, classes, Lego club, teen anime club and writing clubs. More at www.scld.org Spokane Valley Eagles | 16801 E. Sprague Ave. Breakfast served Sundays 9 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch served Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by bingo from 1 to 3:30 p.m. More at www.foe3433. com. Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank | Weekly distribution takes place Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10814 E. Broadway by appointment. Appointments are available during the following days/times: Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Thursday (reserved for advanced-age seniors — age 60 and over — and/or physicallyhandicapped people with limited mobility): 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Address verification is required. To make an appointment, call 927.1153 ext. 10, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m Spokane Valley Quilt Guild | Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Valley Assembly of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Open to all interested in sharing ideas and skills of our quilting craft. Participants have can access a comprehensive library, can engage experienced teachers and participate in community service projects. More at www.svqgspokane.com

MUSIC & THE ARTS March 4 | Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra performs the “Beethoven Triple Concerto” – 7:30 p.m. at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. The concert features Denise Dillenbeck, violin soloist, Kevin Hekmatpanah, cello soloist, John Pickett, piano soloist and Nikolas Caoile, guest conductor. Schumann: “Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61” is also part of this concert. Tickets are $16 general admission, $13 seniors and students with ID and are available at www.spokanesymphony.org, or by calling the box office at 6241200. For more information, call the Gonzaga Music Department at 373-6733 or visit www.


The Current

COMMUNITY

gonzagasymphonyorchestra.com.

March 14 | Fox Presents: “Post-modern Jukebox – Welcome the Twenties, 7:30 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. To usher in the upcoming Twenty-Twenties, Fox Presents the famed time-twisting musical collaborative, Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ), who will circumnavigate the globe in 2019 on their Welcome to the Twenties 2.0 Tour. Tickets start at $43, and VIP packages are available. Tickets can be found at www.foxtheaterspokane.com, or at the box office at 624-1200. March 26-27 | Chamber Soiree – “Spring” – 7:30 p.m., the Historic Davenport Hotel’s Marie Antoinette Ballroom. Musical elegance awaits in this soirée evening at the Davenport Hotel. A mix of baroque, classical and contemporary music is introduced and performed by various ensembles of the Spokane Symphony. For tickets and more information, visit www. spokanesymphony.org.

RECURRING Pages of Harmony | 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays. Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road. If you enjoy singing, you will love the four-part, a cappella harmony of this men’s barbershop chorus. More at www.pagesofharmony.org. Spirit of Spokane Chorus | 6:45 p.m., Tuesdays. Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road. Make new friends by joining this women’s chorus, specializing in four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. More at 2184799. Spokane Novelists Group | Noon to 4 p.m., second and fourth Saturday of the month. Otis Orchards Community Church, 23304 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards. A support/critique group for writers. Open to anyone with an interest in writing fiction (no memoirs, nonfiction, poetry, etc., please). Participants should bring 5-10 pages to read aloud and 6-8 copies for others to read along and critique. More at 590-7316. Spokane Valley Camera Club | 7:15 p.m., third and fourth Monday of the month (September through April). Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District building, 22510 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake. All levels of ability—students through experienced photographers—are invited to learn. Social events include field trips and workshops.

More at 951-1446 or www.sv-cc. org

HEALTH & RECREATION Inland Northwest Soccer Association | Sign up now for men’s or women’s leagues. Season starts in April. Leagues include men and women’s open (over 18 old years), men’s over 30 and 40 and co-ed. Free agents (people who are not on a team already) can sign up via the free agent tap on the INWSA website. Visit www.inlandnorthwestsoccer. com for more information or email Inland Northwest Soccer Association directly at president@ inlandnorthwestsoccer.com or call 599-5769. GriefShare | New class begins Feb. 20 but attendees can join anytime during the 13-session program – 6:15-8 p.m., The ONE Church, east entrance, 15601 E. 24th Ave, Spokane Valley. This program is designed to help you cope with your loss; it doesn’t matter if your loss was recently or over 10 years ago, let’s see if we can help. Join us any time that’s right for you. Call Sue at 294-1664 or Jere at 710-3354 or The ONE Church 926-3254 or visit www. GriefShare.org. March 12 | Know Your Numbers: Risk Factor Screening, INHS Community Wellness Center, 501 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane. Do you have hidden risks to your health? Sign up to get immediate results for cholesterol, blood glucose, waist circumference, blood pressure and more. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info March 21 | Pre-diabetes screening, INHS Community Wellness Center, 501 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane. This simple blood test provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past three months. Immediate results are provided and can be discussed at the time of appointment with a registered dietitian and/or a certified diabetes educator. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs. info. April 4 | Quit for Good – Tobacco Cessation class. Have you tried

See CALENDAR, Page 14

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The Current

14 • MARCH 2019

CALENDAR

Continued from page 13

quitting smoking before without success? INHS and Providence Health Care are teaming up to provide a free four-week program designed to help you have longterm success in quitting tobacco. Tobacco cessation tools will be available to you as well as tobacco cessation experts. The class includes Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) while supplies last when NRT is not covered by participant’s health insurance. This is a live, interactive webinar. Log in information will be emailed with your registration confirmation. For more information, call 232-8145 or visit www.inhs.info.

RECURRING Yoga in Rockford | 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Rockford Park, 20 W. Emma Street, Rockford. In case of inclement weather, classes will be held at Dave’s Autobody, 8 W. Emma Street. Each Friday | Vets Day – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hospitality House, 216 S. Washington, Newport. Veterans are invited to drop by

with questions about the V.A. and other issues. Complimentary snacks and coffee will be served. For questions, call Brad Hanson at 509-671-3585 or the Hospitality House at 509-447-3812 Wednesday mornings | Mindful Music & Movement class, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Specifically designed for those living with chronic health issues such as: Parkinson’s, dementia, COPD, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer. Supporting body, mind and soul. $10 donation suggested. Facilitated by board-certified Music Therapist, Carla Carnegie. Willow Song Music Therapy Center. 21101 E. Wellesley #102. Otis Orchards. For more information, visit www. willowsongmusictherapy.com or call 592 7875. Tuesday afternoons | Decreasing Anger Group, 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Vet Center, 13109 E. Mirabeau Parkway, Spokane Valley. Eligibility: Combat veteran from all eras, military sexual trauma survivors, Contact Steve at 893-4746 to make an intake appointment. HUB

Sports

Center

19619

E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Various activities and events occur throughout the week including: • Pickleball drop-in: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 10 a.m. to noon Tues. and Thurs. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wed. and Sun. $3/seniors ($5/non-seniors) • Classes including Kenpo Karate, Taekwondo and Zumba Aerobics. See website for cost and times

CIVIC & BUSINESS Mondays in March | Financial Literacy with Dycelia Weiss – 12:30 to 2 p.m., STCU Community Education Kitchen and Classroom at Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank and Family Services, 10814 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley. Call 927-1153 or visit www.svpart.org/ food-bank/ for more information.

RECURRING Spokane Valley City Council | Regular meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at Spokane Valley City

Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave., Ste. 101. Council study sessions are held the first, third and sometimes fifth Tuesdays at 6 p.m., also in Council Chambers. Millwood City Council | Regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Millwood City Hall, 9103 E. Frederick Ave. Spokane Flag Museum | Sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Fairmount Memorial Association, details the rich history of the American flag, Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley. For more information: 926-2753 or www.fairmountmemorial.com/ south-pines-cemetery Spokane Valley Kiwanis | 6:45 a.m. Tuesdays. Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission Ave. More at www. spokanevalleykiwanis.net. Greater Spokane Valley Rotary | Noon to 1 p.m., Wednesdays. Darcy’s, 10502 E. Sprague Ave. More at www.svrotary.org.


The Current

Documentary, art exhibit focus on poverty in our community By Erin Dodge Current Guest Contributor This month, you are invited to see “A Walk Through Poverty,” an art exhibit and documentary focusing on our community, our neighbors and the plight of those in poverty right here in the Inland Northwest. You can view “A Walk Through Poverty” documentary on Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. at the Spokane Valley Library. The documentary was funded by Hemmingson Philanthropy and filmed by Megan Kennedy of Rogue Heart Media. SNAP, Spokane County’s nonprofit community action agency was also a collaborator on the project. Other local nonprofits such as Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, West Central

Poetry slam brings community together for competitive arts By Dana Mannino

Spokane County Library District Feeling blah this March? Consider attending a poetry competition presented by Central Valley, Mica Peak and University high schools and the Spokane County Library District. The second annual Valley Slam takes place on Wednesday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the University High School Auditorium (12420 E. 32nd Ave., Spokane Valley). Each school will send five poets to compete for cash prizes provided by the Friends of the Library groups at Otis Orchards and Spokane Valley branches. The Valley Slam came about partly through the initiative of a University High student interning at The Studio at Spokane Valley Library. The second annual Northern Slam had just taken place and the library district had filmed it. While editing the footage, the

LIBRARY

Community Center and Big Table are also represented in the documentary.

The 30-minute film explores the plight and complexity of poverty, specifically here where we live. The art exhibit was created in conjunction with the documentary by artist Cameron Day, using charcoal as a medium and is on display at Spokane Valley Library starting March 8-22. Filmmaker Kennedy says, “Some of us already experience a strong sense of supportive community, made up of friends and family and others who want to see us succeed. Still, poverty touches all of us in one form or another, as a community and as individuals, even when it seems we are invincible.”

“Our hope is that this film invites conversation, curiosity and ultimately that it may inspire compassion.” Kennedy continues, “That we as viewers and citizens don’t just feel empathy but that we be compelled to do something with it… be it prayer, a shared smile, volunteering time, or making a donation to a worthy cause.” To learn more about the project and see a sneak peek of the film, visit the website at www.hemmingsonphilanthropy. com/projects/spokane-povertydocumentary/. Librarians have put together a book list about the effects of poverty on individuals and society that you can check out at www. scld.org/books-on-poverty.

Exploring her thoughts about privilege and poverty, Kennedy says, “With young children, I have a heightened awareness now of how simply having a trusted family member to help with childcare is a huge privilege. What if I had no one to call whom I trust for a favor? For some, support is absent. For others, trust is absent.”

You are encouraged to bring family and friends to continue the conversation. Schools, nonprofits, businesses and church groups are invited to the viewing for a unique look at local income inequality. If you have a large group, please call Spokane Valley Library at 8938400 ahead of time so that the library can accommodate you.

intern realized that students at University High would appreciate a similar event. She brought the idea to library staff and the Valley Slam was born!

The Student Leadership team at Central Valley High organizes their school’s qualifying slam. The design for T-shirts and posters for the slams is chosen through a competition among students enrolled in Eastern Washington University’s Visual Communication Design program. Slams are timed so that students can practice as they perform before competing in the teen slam at the Get Lit! Festival.

If you’ve never attended a high school poetry slam, let me tell you, it is electrifying. Last year, I judged University High School’s Titan Slam. I expected to meet a handful of die-hard poetry fans. Instead, I found myself in a packed auditorium listening to 23 students from every social circle imaginable. The audience enthusiastically expressed support with traditional finger snapping and hand rubbing. Boos were reserved for judges (like me) who gave out low scores. I’ve never felt so alive. Northern Slam founder Amber Williams shared her experiences at slams: “What I love about the culture of slam poetry is that it’s so supportive of the poets. Everyone is rooting for them to succeed. Although they are on stage in front of hundreds of people, talking about something that is often very personal, it’s actually a very safe space.” Slams also generate project learning opportunities for students. Here are just a few:

The poetry slams and these learning opportunities are great examples of how the library district accomplishes its mission to provide resources, experiences and places that empower people to learn, explore and succeed. This year we’re adding a new slam to the mix. The top poets from the Valley Slam are eligible to compete against students from the North Slam at the Valley vs. Northern Grand Slam on Wednesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. in Gonzaga’s Hemmingson Auditorium (702 E Desmet Ave., Spokane). So, if winter is getting you down, come join a crowd of students in displaying ESPN-level enthusiasm for their classmates’ original poetry. See you at the slam!

MARCH 2019 • 15

MORE

than books RANDOM FANDOM TRIVIA: MUSIC For adults & costumes welcome SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY Friday, March 15, 6:30–8:30pm

MINIATURE CLAY SCULPTURES WITH MIKE ALSPERGER Live art demonstration SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY Saturday, March 23, 2–3:30pm

FREE SHRED DAY Money Smart Week SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY Saturday, March 30, 11am–3pm

www.scld.org


16 • MARCH 2019

The Current


The Current

MARCH 2019 • 17

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The Current

18 • MARCH 2019

Current SVFD Report – March 2019

From Current News Sources

Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) crews responded to a total of 1,295 emergency calls from Jan. 16 – Feb. 12 Incidents included: • HAZMAT incident – Jan. 16 – Spokane Valley Fire Department units responded to a report of a fire alarm activation that turned into a hazardous materials incident at the 6100 block of East Sixth Avenue shortly before 1 p.m. with seven SVFD units, appropriately eight units from Spokane’s Regional Hazardous Materials Team, and five AMR units. Once on site, fire crews determined the unit of the fire alarm activation. They noticed a window to the unit that was open and decided to make entry through the window. Once back in the front yard, the firefighters became ill and three of them showed signs of the same symptoms. The incident commander determined the firefighters had been exposed to some unknown substance and needed to be transported to the hospital because of the exposure. The incident was upgraded to a hazardous materials incident at this point and the Spokane Regional Hazardous Material Team was dispatched. The surrounding units of the complex were evacuated for safety proposes. Once the HAZMAT team members entered the room, they were able to determine the source of the odor was coming from three-bed bug bombs that had been set off by the occupant of the unit. The devices were removed from the unit, and the complex was cleared. The three firefighters were released from the hospital around 3:30 p.m. after being treated for

minor chemical exposure. The firefighters are doing well and are expected to have no further issues. • Structure fire – Jan. 28 – The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to a kitchen fire in the 9600 block of East Maringo around 2:30 a.m. Family members were cooking when a fire started on the stovetop. Residents attempted to extinguish the fire but were unable to do so. The fire extended into the kitchen walls and attic but was quickly extinguished with an aggressive interior attack. Seven units from the Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to the incident. No injuries were reported. Damage was estimated to be over $20,000. • Structure fire – Feb. 7 – SVFD and Spokane Fire Department (SFD) units responded at 12:30 a.m. to a residential apartment structure fire on the 7000 block of East Second Avenue in Spokane Valley. Valley Engine 6 arrived first on the scene to a one-story residential apartment building that housed four separate apartments with smoke and flames protruding from the rear of a residence. Engine 6 immediately upgraded this incident to a working fire, which added additional resources to the incident. Two Firefighters on Engine 6 deployed a hose line to the rear of the apartment and quickly knocked down the fire that was visible, from the outside of the structure. A child inside of the apartment woke up to the sound of a smoke detector and immediately notified the remaining members of his family. Earlier in the evening the apartment complex lost power and the family elected to replace the battery on their smoke detector. This action ultimately saved their lives. A total of 12 fire department vehicles including command vehicles responded with over 31 fire department

personnel. A fire investigator also responded to verify the cause and origin of the fire and this remains under investigation. No injuries were sustained by occupants or firefighters. Contact SVFD at 9281700 for information about free smoke alarms and home fire safety inspections. • Motor vehicle accidents – Feb. 10 – Between 11:30 .am and 11:30 pm, the Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to over 20 motor vehicle accidents throughout the community. Five of the incidents had severe injuries and required patients to be transported to the hospital. The 15 other incidents included minor injuries and no one was transported to the hospital. SVFD reminds motorists to make sure to use caution and travel at lower speeds during snowy, icy weather. • EMS fall calls – From Jan. 17 through Feb. 11, the Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to over 200 slips, trips and falls throughout the community. Falls and fall-related injuries are among the most severe and frequent medical problems experienced in SVFD’s area. Some studies indicated that impaired vision and certain medications are associated with a higher risk of falls. The home environment can also present many hazards. The leading places for injurious falls in Spokane Valley are steps. Changes to the home environment can reduce risks. Changes could include minimizing clutter, eliminating throw rugs and installing non-slip decals to slippery surfaces. Stairs can be improved by providing handrails on both sides, improving lighting and adding color contrast between steps. Improvement in lighting and luminance levels can aid older adults in assessing and negotiating hazards.

By the numbers: • Emergency Medical Services 1010 • Fires*

48

• Motor Vehicle Accidents

88

• Building Alarms

59

• Dispatched and cancelled en route 49 • Hazardous Materials

23

• Service Calls

19

• Vehicle Fires

3

• Auto vs Pedestrian

3

• Technical Rescue

4

*Brush, Commercial, Residential, Rubbish, Vehicles and Unauthorized Burning About SVFD - Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane Valley and unincorporated areas of Spokane County including the communities of Otis Orchards, Pasadena Park, and the area surrounding Liberty Lake, with a combined population of 125,000 across approximately 75 square miles. SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 17,280 emergency calls in 2017. Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), one of only a handful in the state of Washington. SVFD operates 10 stations providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials response, special operations rescue, fire investigation, fire prevention, commercial property inspection, CPR and fire safety training. SVFD also provides free home fire safety inspections and installation of free smoke detectors. For more information call 928-1700 or visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com.

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The Current

MARCH 2019 • 19

brought to you by

Student of the Month

Athlete of the Month

Citizen of the Month

It made sense that Grant Conrad was nominated as a Spokane Scholar in math last month. The West Valley senior posted a perfect 800 in the math portion of the SAT as part of a 1510 overall score. Conrad maintains a 3.96 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS). As part of NHS, he has contributed to a variety of community service projects, including visiting local retirement centers and volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank. Last year, as part of the DECA program, Conrad qualified for the state competition with a fellow student for a sports marketing promotion plan. He was a captain on the Eagles’ football team this past season, playing wide receiver and cornerback. He has also participated in track all four years. Conrad would like to study business in college.

Jasmine Fryer soars as a standout athlete at West Valley High School. The senior has represented the Eagles at the Mat Classic state wrestling finals the past four years. She placed second as a junior and sixth this year after suffering an injury. She was ranked 15h nationally in her weight classification earlier in the season. Fryer has a goal of participating in the junior Olympic trials. She has also played volleyball at WV since her freshman year. In track and field, Fryer throws the shotput and discus. She has personal records of 99.9 feet in the discus and 33.11 feet in the shotput. In the classroom, Fryer maintains a 3.4 grade point average and is a Running Start student at Eastern Washington University. She would like to go into international business and become fluent in Chinese and Japanese.

After spending 40 years in social services, including 35 years at the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Tom Smith now delivers food and support as a volunteer with Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels. “Tom is a gift,” said Meals on Wheels Director Marta Harrington. “He’s there whenever we need him, asking ‘What can I help with?” Along with delivering meals, Smith provides assessments of MOW clients, checking in on health, finances, benefits and other issues as the agency’s lead assessor. “I’m trying to be a resource for help,” Smith said. The Air Force veteran earned his bachelor’s degree from Cal StateLong Beach in Public Health. He and his wife have called Spokane Valley home for 40 years. Smith is also proficient in sign language and has taught it to MOW staff and volunteers.

PACE Trait for March – Diligence By Tracie Husted

West Valley School District Diligence is defined as persistence, dedication and hard work. Some may say these qualities are deep-rooted within individuals while others say they are acquired. It is my experience that they are both. People throughout our lives influence the paths we choose through their actions. Very special people find our strengths and encourage us to better ourselves. Consider a young woman, suddenly left widowed with five children. She worked hard to provide for her family, investing nearly 40 years of her life to the fruit-tree industry. This line of work was hard – budding trees in 100-degree heat during the

summer and grading fruit trees during the winter in cold storage units. Through all of this difficulty, she still took great pride in her work. That pride was reflected in her personal life also. She had the most beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Moments with family and friends were spent in her yard, drinking coffee and admiring the fragrances and colors of her work. There wasn’t a flower or plant she couldn’t name.

taught her students that struggling was a natural part of growing. She offered them encouragement by engaging them in highly interesting and often challenging texts, books they would have never believed they could have read on their own.

This woman made a significant impact in my life in many meaningful ways. She was my grandmother. My grandmother exhibited true dedication and perseverance in how she lived her life; from the difficulties she overcame to the impact she had on others, she was a woman of true diligence.

Mrs. Derefield saw potential in children. She taught them to work hard from a very young age. She encouraged them to seek help during free time to achieve academic goals. Her belief in them taught that – with hard work and determination – they could do anything they set their mind to. She was right. Years later, I was one of those children that followed in her footsteps. I, too, became an educator and pursued a master’s degree in Educational Administration. I will never forget her impact that forever shaped my life.

Another influential woman, Mrs. Derefield, was an elementary school teacher in a small community. She

These highly influential people impacted others more than they will ever know. There are many

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more individuals in my life that exhibited true diligence; the list is long and of equal importance. However, if it wasn’t for special people like my grandmother and Mrs. Derefield, who knows where I’d be today. As an educator and colleague, I hope to motivate and inspire those around me to recognize their abilities, pursue their passions and overcome their fears, just as my grandmother and Mrs. Derefield did for me. Tracie Husted is an instructional coach and intervention specialist with West Valley School District. She has served as an educator the last 13 years both in private and public education. Tracie has her master’s degree in Educational Administration and currently serves an adjunct professor in the Whitworth University’s Principal Certification program. She is also a co-owner of Husted Leadership Consulting, offering coaching, education and training.


The Current

20 • MARCH 2019 Brought to you by

Evergreen

Grocery Outlet steps up to plate for Meals on Wheels

About and for Valley seniors

By Linda Ball Current Correspondent Every weekday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., approximately 100 volunteers with Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels (MOW) head out on 45 different routes to cover all 1,781 square miles of Spokane County. Their mission? To deliver hot meals to seniors who are homebound or unable to take care of themselves. It’s a gargantuan task, one that is vital to many of the recipients as it may be their only hot meal of the day. Additionally, sometimes it is the only human contact that a senior will have in a given day. Volunteers have saved lives by finding someone who has fallen or is experiencing some sort of distress and is unable to get help.

to peel, and he can get them at a cost of four for a dollar. They also donate pies during the holidays. Three hundred 12-inch pumpkin pies were included in deliveries this past Thanksgiving and Christmas. On March 1, Grocery Outlet will be a gold sponsor for March for Meals, one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers of the year. The entire month is devoted to raising awareness of the program nationwide, kicked off with a “Mall Crawl” walkathon held at the Spokane Valley and Northtown malls. Grocery Outlet/Bargain Markets are all independently owned and operated. The Suljas have a history with the company. Bekah’s father owned the Grocery Outlet in Roseburg, Oregon and Dan worked for him for seven years. Bekah said she is a third-generation grocer. When the couple moved to Spokane they ran the Grocery Outlet on Havana, which is now closed and

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bought the Sprague location, which is literally around the corner from the Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels office. “We lucked out with this location because they are in our backyard,” said Bekah. She added that both she and Dan have personally made meal deliveries so they have an understanding of how the program works. In July they will launch the “Independence from Hunger” drive in the store, collecting cash donations for groceries. She said the effort is company-wide but each store can choose what cause they donate the money to – they will donate to Meals on Wheels. Not only does Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels deliver hot meals, it also operates 12 senior congregate meal sites in area senior centers, churches and senior housing facilities. Laskowski said it’s a great way for seniors to socialize and have community.

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With the “Silver Cafes,” as they are known, and the deliveries, MOW is serving approximately 1,000 meals every day. For seniors who live in rural areas, they deliver seven frozen meals to them once a week. Laskowski said most of the clients eat the meal once it arrives. There is a suggested donation of $3.80 per meal but if a client can’t pay it’s not a problem. MOW also supplies Ensure liquid protein drinks to clients at cost. Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels works with state agencies and private care facilities that refer clients. Meals on Wheels America is based in Arlington, Virginia, and was established in 1954. The Spokane County MOW started in the basement of the Spokane Valley United Methodist Church 40 years ago. All of the meals are prepared fresh in its kitchen in downtown Spokane, with each meal providing a third of the nutrition and calories required daily.

To keep the meal hot, Meals on Wheels transports them in insulated bags, which are costly. The organization has been using the old bags for six to 10 years leaving them quite tattered. Enter Dan and Bekah Sulja, owners of the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market at Sprague and Pines, who paid for 100 new insulated bags to the tune of $40 each. This isn’t the only support the Suljas have given MOW. Every day with those meals, they donate fresh bananas, with 800 going out every single day. Not only are the bags a very generous donation, they are made by Correctional Industries Textiles – inmates at Airway Heights Correction Center. MOW’s Development and Volunteer Director Mark Laskowski said they would have cost three times as much if they had been bought commercially. It’s a winwin because the inmates are contributing their efforts to a good cause. MOW Spokane’s Executive Director Marta Harrington said the Suljas have been amazing support. Last year they donated 40,000 bananas. Dan Sulja said that bananas are easier for seniors

The Grocery Outlet on Sprague and Pines has dished up significant support for Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels, including a donation that purchased 100 new insulated carrying bags for food. The store’s proprietors, Dan and Bekah Sulja, have also stepped up with a regular contribution of bananas to the local nonprofit along with other contributions. Contributed photo


The Current

MARCH 2019 • 21

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22 • MARCH 2019

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Teamwork pays off for Valley Pop Warner squad By Craig Howard

Valley contingent fell for the first time all season.

Current Sports Editor Pop Warner would have been proud of the Spokane Valley G-Men. The late football coach at colleges like Georgia, Stanford and Iowa State – and the namesake of a national youth gridiron league – was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in December, the same month as a group of 10-12-yearold players from the Valley vaulted to the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Orlando. Hailing from middle schools like Horizon, North Pines, Evergreen and Greenacres, the G-Men went undefeated in the regular season, compiling an 8-0 record and winning the city championship against a team from Spokane’s South Hill. The victory propelled the team to a regional title game against a squad from Reno, Nevada. The G-Men, led by head coach Joe Owens, won that contest, erasing the sting of a loss to a California team in last year’s regional championship. The Pop Warner Super Bowl was next in December. The G-Men – representing a region that includes Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Northern California and Nevada – battled a talented team from Florida in their first game. After trailing only 7-0 at halftime, the

Prep Sports Notebook – March 2019

Current Sports Editor Save for a handful of teams and individuals, the winter sports season came to sudden halt for Spokane Valley. handful

of

wrestlers,

“They had a team meeting after that game,” he said. “Everyone knew we didn’t come here to not give every effort we have.” The G-Men battled back in the consolation round, summoning their trademark stellar defense to shut out a team from Illinois. A pair of safeties would represent the only points of the game. The 4-0 final meant the Valley roster would finish sixth nationally in their division.

led

Frank said this stage of the sport helps players “move to that next level of run and pass football.” The G-Men and their support crew had to transition to a new level of fundraising this year to foot the bill to Orlando. Frank said efforts to generate money for a potential trip to nationals began as early as June in anticipation of the team advancing to the Super Bowl. Car washes, a golf tournament and a clothing drive were just a few of the events that sent 16 of the 25 players to Florida.

Frank said the success of the G-Men in 2018 could be credited to a dedicated sense of teamwork. A total of 20 players on the 25-player roster scored at least one touchdown while the defense registered eight shutouts. The G-Men wound up 11-1 for the year. “The whole year was a team effort with all 25 players standing out and playing extremely well as a group,” Frank said. “Ultimately, it was their work ethic that carried them. We had a few players who stood out but, really, without every single player on this team, we would not have done as well or gone as far as we did.”

“The defense played phenomenally well as it had all season,” Frank said. Along with an elite level of success this year, the G-Men also practiced thorough safety. Frank said nearly every coach on the roster is trained in concussion protocol while each coach is required to complete a class through USA Football. “If we even suspect a concussion, a player is removed from the game and not allowed back at practice until cleared by a physician,” Frank said. “There are a lot of precautions.” This G-Men season began with practice on Aug. 1 with 10 hours of “non-pad acclimation.” Another 10 hours of pad acclimation followed

by Central Valley heavyweight state champion junior Braxton Mikesell, managed places during Mat Classic XXXI during the snow-delayed and expanded tournament in Tacoma

By Mike Vlahovich

A

G-Men assistant coach Dave Frank said the players “responded well” after the loss.

before competition with contact in scrimmage and games.

Central Valley and East Valley girls’ basketball were the teams left standing while the remainder of post-season basketball teams bid swift adieu during state qualifying events. Ladies uphold basketball Central Valley lost the rubber

The Spokane Valley G-Men, a Pop Warner youth football team, went undefeated during the regular season before winning the city and regional championships. The squad’s only loss came to a team from Florida in the Pop Warner Super Bowl. The G-Men battled back to defeat a club from Illinois to place sixth in the nation. Contributed photo

match in its rivalry with Lewis and Clark but still was seeded fourth in the state 4A standings. The cliché that it’s a team game held true for the Bears. CV reached the round of eight in the state tournament with a 59-44 win over Glacier Peak on Feb. 23. Led by Tomekia Whitman’s team high 14 points per game and Camryn Skaife’s 11, CV had three others average about 8 points. East Valley made another trip

to the 16-team 2A tournament but found itself in the loser out round of eight after losing 52-45 to Washougal. The Knights and district champion Clarkston represented the Great Northern League. Genesis Wilkinson scored 19 points a game and Faith Adams 12.1 during regular season Freeman improved to 18-5 with its 62-42 romp past Connell.

See NOTEBOOK, Page 23


The Current

NOTEBOOK

Continued from page 22 Three players finished in double figures for a combined 32 points. Ellis Crowley had 12 and Jordyn Goldsmith 10 apiece. Freeman’s balanced 1A state team didn’t have a player average double figures during the regular season, but nine players scored in double digits in games at least twice. University missed out on a repeat state appearances even though Ellie Boni (16 points a game) and Kinsley Barrington (12.8) led the way. The team graduates just three players. West Valley’s Hailey Marlow averaged nearly 16 points a game and freshman Nevaeh Sherwood averaged 10. Boys out early Central Valley went the farthest among the Valley’s boys’ teams ending U-Hi’s season with its only victory over the Titans this winter.

SPORTS

Kyle Clay and Jace Simmons averaged more than 11 points per game each.

The one-point loss to CV ended the state aspirations for the high scoring Titans. Marcus Lenker averaged more than 18 points per game. A pair of Logans – Phillips and Dreher – each topped 11 points. Nick Drynan was the story at West Valley. He averaged 22 points per game. Bryan Andrews added 14 more. Tyrell Brown scored more than 10 points for East Valley. Dylan Oja and Kaleb Ohler produced for the Scotties, combining for 24 points per outing. Phoebe Trigsted completed an amazing career at Valley Christian School. She averaged 20 points per game over four years and outdid herself this season scoring 26.6 points per game which included seven games of 30 or more including a 36-point outing and twice reached 34 for the

class 1B school. Mikesell shows way Due to the February snows Mat Classic XXI expanded to 32-wrestler brackets and the extra matches further strained competitors during the two-day event. Mikesell dominated his bracket, pinning all five opponents. It took him all of a combined two minutes, 40 seconds to dispatch three. It was a little tougher in the semifinals and finals, both matches going into the third rounds, before he stuck them. East Valley’s Avery Sundheim was the other Valley finalist completing a 35-9 season by winning twice by pin, in the 126-pound 2A tournament. He had a total of two pins, a major victory and overtime sudden victory to reach the finals. University sophomore Drew Roberts, a transfer from Oregon but with deep Valley roots, finished third after losing 5-1 in the semifinals. He bounced back

Cam the Conqueror – Local student leaps over leukemia

significantly. On a night at the Rehkow home in Spokane Valley last month, the 13-year-old chowed down a plate of spaghetti with a generous side of French bread.

By Craig Howard

Cameron is officially in the maintenance stage of his condition, in remission and receiving treatment once every four weeks along with medications every night. The last treatment is scheduled for August.

Current Editor Cameron Rehkow likes to root for the underdog. In a family where sports are prominent, the seventh grader at Evergreen Middle School says he will “always take the unranked team over the ranked team – unless it’s Duke.” Cameron’s dad, Freddie, is better known as the former coach of the Central Valley girls’ basketball team that captured a state title and national championship last year. His brothers, Austin and Ryan, both earned college football scholarships as kickers and his mother, Kim, played college basketball. But it is Cameron who may be the most inspiring of all the Rehkows for his extraordinary efforts to battle and overcome leukemia. Diagnosed with T-Cell ALL in April of 2016, Cameron become his own underdog story, being diagnosed after the disease had advanced significantly. A mass had formed on his chest, limiting his breathing and causing severe fatigue. “The doctors told us that he was

only a day or two away from his airway completely closing,” said Kim. Cameron’s symptoms started simply enough as 10-year-old fourth grader – a cough on the way to the state basketball tournament in Tacoma that March, followed by nausea and lethargy. Before that, he had struggled to find the energy he was accustomed to while playing basketball.

MARCH 2019 • 23

with two pins. CV’s Zack Stratton also finished in third place at 170-pounds. Titan Jason Franklin won four of seven matches and finished eighth at 106 pounds. West Valley’s Gaje Caro took fifth after winning his way into the semifinals at 160 pounds. Jasmine Fryer was sixth in the girls’ tourney. Fryer was injured in the semis and couldn’t finish the tournament. Gymnastics champion University’s Alina Helbling brought home the gold medal winning the state 4A gymnastics championship with a 9.5 score on floor exercise. She also tied for second place on the balance beam with a 9.5 score, finished 19th all-around and added a tie for 22nd in vault. Teammate Stacy McNeely and Autumn Gallagher also represented the Titans at state and CV’s Victoria Axtell and Rebekkah Ross were state qualifiers.

Cameron said the rigorous journey has come with challenges and lessons. “In some ways, I feel like I’m stronger now,” he said. “In some ways I feel like I’m more willing to serve in ways that will help others.” Kim and Freddie both say their son has been an example of selflessness

See CAM, Page 29

“I’d run up and down the court once and feel tired,” he recalls. Cameron spent eight days at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital after the diagnosis. By the time 2016 ended, he would call the facility home for a total of 75 days. Doctors told Kim and Freddie that he would also need to be away from school for at least one year due to his weakened immune system. The disease and corresponding treatment would bring about various side effects, including blood clots, leg pain and nausea. He went four months accessing his food through an I.V. These days, Cameron’s appetite and menu options have improved

Cameron Rehkow (center with his dog “Luna”) was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2016. Now a seventh-grade student at Evergreen Middle School, Rehkow is in remission and scheduled for his last treatment in August. Cameron’s parents – Kim and Freddie – are also pictured. Photo by Craig Howard


24 • MARCH 2019

NEWS

NW Pet Expo Valley’s Myrna Park honors to benefit legacy of longtime educator animals, HOPE Foundation By Craig Howard Current Editor

By Keith Erickson

Current Correspondent If it barks, purrs, chirps, hisses or even glubs you’ll find it at the Northwest Pet Expo March 30 at the Spokane County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. The all-things-pets, entertaining one-day event is region’s largest and most interactive pet show with more than 150 exhibitors showcasing goods and services ranging from pet sitting, care and clothing to photography, rescues, dental care and even acupuncture. “It’s an amazing event that specifically targets pet owners and animal lovers with an incredible amount of educational and engaging activities focused on pets and their well-being,” said Suzie Dunn of KXLY radio group, sponsor of the event. Pet Expo is a community fundraiser for the SCRAPS (Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service) Hope Foundation. Last year, the family event attracted more than 4,300 attendees and made great strides in fulfilling he organization’s mission to minimize the homeless pet population by adopting out more than 50 animals to good homes.

Myrna Gothmann was known for her quiet dignity, calm demeanor and wise insight. It’s seems fitting then that a serene patch of land in the Saltese area would be set aside for a park in her name. Featuring a robust collection of cottonwood and pine trees as well as a bubbling creek, this tranquil setting – now known as Myrna Park – is where you might picture Henry David Thoreau or Ralph Waldo Emerson pondering the subtleties of life and nature in mid-1800s. Gothmann passed away last February after being diagnosed with leukemia in September 2017. She began her career in education as a teacher’s aide at Progress Elementary, then taught Kindergarten, first and second grades for 19 years at University Elementary, Ponderosa Elementary and Opportunity Elementary. Gothmann – who had bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Washington University in Education – was also known for her patience and proficiency as a reading

instructor. She helped students in public, private and home schools by diagnosing reading challenges and helping them to become lifelong readers. She was also a longtime volunteer and Sunday School teacher at Sunrise Church of Christ and was known for coordinating the Christmas program each year. “She served her community and her church and was a dedicated educator,” said Bill Gothmann, Myrna’s husband of 62 years. Bill met Myrna when the two were students at North Central High School. “I remember she was president of the home room class and read the bulletin,” Bill recalls. Myrna and Bill’s posterity includes three children, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. “I remember her being a cheerleader for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, including her attendance at many performances and recitals over the years,” said son Bud Gothmann. Bill, a former member of the Spokane Valley Planning Commission and City Council,

The nonprofit Hope Foundation relies on donations and grants to support SCRAPS’ efforts to provide progressive, critical care to thousands of animals each year.

“She was a great influence on me,” Bill says. Last autumn, Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins presided over a ribbon cutting at Myrna Park that officially welcomed the site into the city’s greenspace inventory. The Oct. 11 event was attended by a crowd of Myrna’s family and friends as well as city officials. Even though the acreage is located outside Spokane Valley limits, it is still considered a city parks. Bill noted that other cities such as Spokane and Denver have similar arrangements with property beyond their boundaries. “I want to thank (Spokane Valley City Attorney) Cary Driskell for all his help on this,” said Bill, who also credited Parks Director Mike Stone and City Manager Mark Calhoun for their help in the process. From his time with the city, Gothmann is well aware of the shortage of available land within Spokane Valley to develop new park property. The Gothmann family has an agreement with the city that the land will remain a park for at least 10 years.

When the family still owned the property there was some consideration to building a home there. While construction never took place, some of the infrastructure – like a water well, power line and septic tank – were installed. Bill said that the amenities would allow for the city to build its own structure at some point if it wished.

Programs supported by the Hope Foundation include animal transportation, people and animal training, marketing, medical services and much more that promote the adoption of healthy dogs and cats.

See EXPO, Page 30

remembers Myrna faithfully attending every meeting in support of his efforts. The two also worked extensively on the Spokane Valley Cycle Celebration, an event that Bill founded in 2013. One of the rest stations along the 25-mile route was on the property that would eventually become Myrna Park. Myrna was a fixture at the stop, handing out water and offering encouragement to cyclists.

“Where are you going to find a heavily wooded area like this in the city of Spokane Valley?” Bill said. “That played a big part in this. The city doesn’t have much land to work with.”

“The foundation does so much good and supports SCRAPS in such a meaningful way,” Dunn said. “It’s because of all the work that they do that SCRAPS can officially say they are a no-kill shelter.”

The Hope Foundation also supports other SCRAPS’ projects including a food bank for pets, humane education, free dog training courses, free dog houses

The Current

Bill and Myrna Gothmann spent their 62nd wedding anniversary touring British Columbia in late 2017. Myrna, an educator at local elementary schools for nearly 20 years, passed away last February from leukemia. A park in her honor was dedicated last autumn in the Saltese area. Contributed photo

A number of Myna’s kids and grandkids have already visited the park after it was dedicated. Bill said his late wife would appreciate the idea of a forested refuge in her name. “We both enjoyed the outdoors tremendously,” he said. “I think she would approve of this.”


The Current

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The Current

Kiev Markets thrive as multi-cultural grocery stores By Michelle Valkov Current Correspondent From traditional gourmet cakes and sweets, a salami type meat called “Kalbasi” and cheeses not found in any other regular grocery stores, to fresh baked bread Monday through Saturday, all three Kiev Markets in the Greater Spokane area – including one at 16004 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley – have bloomed. “Right now, business is good,” said Olga Filenko, co-owner of Kiev Markets with her husband Anatoliy. “We have paid off the buildings. Our profits used to be put into paying off the business

BUSINESS

MARCH 2019 • 27

but now things are better and we get to keep the earnings more for ourselves. The best part is seeing a lot of people in the store because there’s movement, which causes the business more success, which in turn gives back more to us.” Products at Kiev Markets come from places like Russia, Poland, Germany, Ethiopia, Yugoslavia and more. The first site opened in 2005 with help from the local nonprofit SNAP and its small business development program. Olga and Anatoliy came to the U.S. in 1992 from their native Ukraine. Olga works every day and said if she needs to take a few days off she can. One of her top vacation spots is Mexico. There are a total of 17 employees between the three sites and that goes up to 20 when Olga’s daughters help out. She mentioned that she feels like she commands more than she works, but she still works every day.

Fresh baked bread every weekday is one of the unique trademarks of Kiev Markets which feature three stores in the Greater Spokane area, including on East Sprague in Spokane Valley. The stores are owned by Anatoliy and Olga Filenko who came to the U.S. in 1992 from their native Ukraine. Photo by Michelle Valkov

All three Kiev Market locations are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Some people go to church, so we wanted to be flexible with our clients,” Olga said. Kiev Market’s Nevada street location in north Spokane is considered their central store. It is most visited by customers. They bake fresh bread and other baked goods every morning and Olga said that is what brings in a lot of people. The location is perfect as well because there aren’t any other similar stores close by. Kiev Market’s Spokane Valley location is growing little by little. Olga said that for example, if they used to make $20 per day, it would increase to $50, then it became $150 per day, so the store is on the rise. Customers have become regulars, and often you see the store employees conversing with the customers as if they had been friends for years. The service is always friendly here and Kiev welcomes anyone to shop around, even if Russian is not your native language, the great food sold there does most of the talking and makes up for it.

Products at Kiev Markets come from a variety of countries, including Russia, Poland, Ethiopia, Germany, Yugoslavia and more. From gourmet cakes and cheeses to “Semachki,” Russian for sunflower seeds, a popular snack at Slavic gatherings, the store offers a sampling of cultural culinary diversity for every shopper. Photo by Michelle Valkov

Both Anatoliy and Olga decided that they won’t be expanding across the state or across the U.S. “I’m going to be 64 years old and we plan to retire in about five years, I’d like to keep what

we have now, and keep our stores the way they are,” Olga said. Conversations about selling Kiev Markets haven’t been mentioned that much within the family, but Olga said that if her daughters don’t want to continue on with the business, they would have to sell it. Right now they are just focusing on running the stores and making sure things flow. “You understand the worth, especially when you build something up with your own hands and strength and it’s working and making money, so naturally you want to give it to family and pass it on but we don’t know, for now we will just work,” Olga said. Emily Merk, 20, a Spokane Community College student residing in Spokane Valley, who is part Russian said, “What Slavic person around here doesn’t shop at Kiev?” At any Slavic gatherings, whether it’s for a party or just an invitation for tea, a popular snack includes “Semachki,” which is the Russian word for seeds. When that word is mentioned, any Slavic knows that means sunflower seeds, which is one of those cultural favorites when it comes to something to snack on. “The atmosphere feels like a little bit of culture I can’t get anywhere else,” Merk said. “I get excited because I know I’ll find things I can’t get anywhere else and I get to be a part of it while not many people know about it.”


28 • MARCH 2019

OPINION

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Continued from page 23

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Nina Culver, Bill Gothmann, Craig Howard, Linda Ball, Keith Erickson, Michelle Valkov Mike Vlahovich, Emily McCarty

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throughout the experience, starting with the way he noticed homeless people on trips into downtown Spokane for treatment. “He would see these people on the street corner and ask, ‘Mom, what can we do for them?’” Kim recalls. The question led to the compiling of care kits that included granola bars, Kleenex, gum, hand warmers, Gatorade and other items. Later, Cameron joined other family members in volunteering for the nonprofit Blessings Under the Bridge that serves dinner to those in need each Wednesday night.

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“It’s kind of what I always try to do is to help,” Cameron said.

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At the hospital, when Cameron realized the supply of kids’ BandAids with cartoon characters had run out, he decided to kickstart a drive that eventually raised around 11,000 Band-Aids with help from staff and students at Central Valley High School and McDonald Elementary.

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At Evergreen, Cameron helps as a teacher’s assistant in a class with students who have developmental challenges. He is fond of quoting the school’s mission – “Make something good happen for yourself but more importantly, make something good happen for someone else.” “I just so appreciate that he gets up and goes to school even though he never feels good,” Kim says. “He’s willing to move forward every day.” The Rehkows say they are still in awe of the support they have received since Cameron’s diagnosis. Kim relates a story of talking to a woman she had never met who said her family prayed for Cameron every night at the dinner table. “It really snowballed,” Freddie said of the reinforcement. “It was pretty cool. When someone is going through something like this, a lot of people run. It’s uncomfortable. What was amazing is we saw a lot of people who weren’t necessarily in our circle step up and now they will always be in our circle.” Along with a strong support system, the Rehkows leaned heavily on their faith through the experience. Freddie said seeing his son turn back leukemia has “changed his perspective on life.” “You lose a game, who cares? We have you,” he said. “I’m most proud of Cam’s perseverance, just dealing with all he has. He’s my hero.”

Kiwanis • Liberty Lake Family Dentistry

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Stateline Plaza • Spokane County Library District

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New homes in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Libe

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Index of advertisers

Following are the local advertisers in this issue of The Current.

Amaculate Housekeeping

28

Healthy Living Liberty Lake

13

Revive a Roof

18

Banner Fuel

17

Jim Custer Enterprises

13

Simonds Dental Group

32

BECU 4

Kiwanis of Liberty Lake

Central Valley Theatre

25

Liberty Lake Family Dentistry

5

Central Valley Craft Fair

2

Mint Condition Dental

2

City of Spokane Valley

8

Multi Care Valley Hospital

Cornerstone Pentecostal Church Evergreen Fountain

Spokane County Library District 15

17

Naomi 14 21

Greenstone 28

Spokane Model Train Show

17

Stateline Plaza

26

Vision Marketing

26

North Star Storage

26

Northern Quest

32

Service Directory

30

Of note: This thank you message was produced by The Current’s advertising team, which works its tail off on behalf of partner businesses, helping them share their messages through advertisements. This is an independent function from The Current’s editorial team, which has its own evaluation process to determine the community news stories and features it pursues. For more information about a win-win partnership that expertly markets your business to thousands of readers (while making this home-grown community newspaper possible), email advertise@valleycurrent.com. With story ideas, contact editor@valleycurrent.com.


The Current

30 • MARCH 2019

EXPO

said, is an appearance of Dr. Marty Becker, fondly known as “America’s Veterinarian.”

and enrichment services for pets at the organization’s shelter, located at 6815 E. Trent Ave. in Spokane Valley.

The nationally acclaimed vet, with local ties to North Idaho and Eastern Washington, has written 25 books that have sold eight million copies and is a regular on shows like Good Morning America and Dr. Oz. Becker has also been featured on CNN and in Reader’s Digest.

Continued from page 24

Each year, SCRAPS responds to tens of thousands of requests for service and cares for 9,000 to 11,000 domestic animals, according to organization leaders. “The foundation is so critical to SCRAPS because the county funds animal control efforts but not other important programs like picking up and caring for animals that have been hit by a car or supporting clinics for vaccinations,” Dunn said. The Pet Expo – which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – promises to be even bigger this year as organizers have expanded floor space by about 50 percent, Dunn said. A rescue room at the Expo will feature 25 area rescue and shelter organizations adopting out virtually every pet imaginable – from ferrets to rats to reptiles and even hedgehogs and tortoises and exotic fish. A big attraction this year, Dunn

Pet Expo visitors will also have an opportunity to meet Dr. Becker’s much-adored dog, “QT Pi” (cutie pie), a homeless dog before his rescue and rise to fame. This year’s Pet Expo will feature a large indoor arena that will host several engaging and enlightening activities like educational seminars, doggy fashion show, agility demonstrations and even a houndhowling contest.

This year’s event will feature a “telethon-style” setting that will display a tabulation of donations live as they come in. “If you are looking for a pet, have a love of animals or just want to have a warm puppy or kitty snuggle, you’ll want to check out the Northwest Pet Expo,” Dunn said. While the expo is something every pet lover can enjoy, organizers emphasize that visitors may not bring their own pets. Only approved service animals are allowed. For more information visit www. northwestpetexpo.com.

“It’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen,” Dunn said of the canine howlers. Not to be left out, the expo will also have plenty of space for cat lovers. Sir Speedy Kitty City is a large, interactive cat-only area where local cat experts and catbased retailers will share their knowledge and wears.

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Save the Date for Something

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Liberty Lake Kiwanis is inviting you for a Father Daughter Dance at the Chocolate Factory! On March 2nd, present your golden ticket at The Mirabeau Hotel for a dancing affair! Hotel/Dinner/Dance/Breakfast Available More information to come! To Purchase Tickets Visit: www.libertylakekiwanis.org

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$55 early bird, $65 after Feb 14, and $70 at the door. $20 for each additional daughter. Photographs by Stolen Images

Questions? Call: Dana 995-4043 or Linda 951-3573


The Current

ON THAT NOTE

Wagstaff, GSI shed light on career opportunities By Emily McCarty Current Correspondent Free pizza and T-shirts. Wade Larson laughed and said that is how he managed to get over 100 students and parents to attend Wagstaff’s after-school event for middle and high schoolers. Larson, director of human resources at Spokane Valley-based Wagstaff Inc., paired with Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) to host a program called Business After School, held in October of last year. Modeled after GSI’s Business After Hours program, a networking opportunity for adults, this event showcased engineering, machinery, welding and design opportunities for students.

simulator that looks and feels exactly like welding. There was an assembly race with a blueprint schematic, where students could actually assemble a product.” Women employed with Wagstaff also showed design and CAD programs. This was especially important as they try to bring in more girls to these events and, eventually, more women into the field. Cassidy Peterson, GSI’s Career Connected Learning Program manager, who helps lead the workshops, said they are trying to track the gender split at these events more closely. Although there were still more males this time, she noted that female attendees were also present.

Wagstaff deals in the manufacturing sector for aluminum producers and is one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the region. The company had joined forces with GSI in previous semesters but previous turnout was more modest, with 10-15 students a night.

Larson said the event definitely left a mark.

Larson said this event was handled differently. They wanted to see more engagement, more students, more parents.

The goal was to present possibilities for the students’ futures and not necessarily to portray an immediate job after high

“This year, if we’re going do it, we’re going do it right,” he said.

“By the time they got done, they had a swag bag and could take home actual things they had made,” Larson said. “The students absolutely loved it. They were talking about it for weeks after, still wearing the T-shirts.”

school. Larson said many of the jobs are skilled labor and require some college education. “We work closely with Spokane Community Colleges,” he said. “We hire directly out of North Idaho College.” Wagstaff also hopes to provide scholarships to the machinist program at Spokane Community College. They have also donated around $10,000 to middle schools in the region to provide supplies for engineering programs like robotics. “Our goal is to really help students understand the value of manufacturing and engineering,” Larson said. “So this was great for middle school and high schoolers.” Peterson said that GSI holds about 10 workshops for students per semester. They are always hosted by a GSI-member business but are open to all students in the Greater Spokane region. She said the program started with a manufacturing, engineering and science focus but they are starting to broaden their scope. This spring semester brings courses in urban planning and analytics. “The businesses showcase work in innovative ways,” Peterson said. For that specific Business After School event, she noted, “In every workshop, they were asking questions and engaged. In such a small setting, they were more apt

MARCH 2019 • 31

to learn how to get there one day for a career.” Wagstaff and GSI were joined by local partners such as the Boy Scouts of America and First Robotics Washington, as well as schools like Spokane Valley Tech, East Valley High School, Spokane Public Schools and Community Colleges of Spokane. Larson said the Boy Scouts’ Explorer program conducted a career inventory assessment, which looks at their interests and finds out what careers make sense. East Valley High School hosted the welding simulator. Spokane Valley Tech and East Valley High Schools, both of which offer CTE (Career Technical Education) courses and credits, provided real-time opportunities to middle schoolers as they choose their next steps in education. This summer, Wagstaff will take the next step and offer apprenticeships. Larson says 20 high school junior and seniors will be chosen to go through the entire manufacturing process, from design production to sales. “I’m working with some of the other manufacturing businesses here in town,” he said. “We’re going to do it here at Wagstaff. It extends from our Business After School. They can prep for college and see what they’re interested in. It’s all tied together.”

They marketed the event and pushed it out to schools. Initially, GSI planned to host about 30 students. Larson, with high hopes, hoped for 50. In the first week and a half, 50 students had already signed up. Larson upped the enrollment to 110, plus 20 more for adults and educators. He didn’t know how many of those would actually show up. The night finally came. Over 100 students, their parents and educators showed up to learn. Students were given tours of the facility and encouraged to visit 11 different stations, all showcasing different tasks related to manufacturing jobs. There were demonstrations in engineering, welding, assembly, programming and inspection, Q and A’s and, most importantly, they were given a chance to get their hands dirty. “The goal was to give them a hands-on experience,” Larson said. “For example, there was a welding

Spokane Valley based Wagstaff Inc. collaborated with Greater Spokane Inc. to host an installation of Business After School last fall. The mentoring event showcased engineering, machinery, welding and design and helped local middle school and high school students learn about career opportunities in those respective fields. Contributed photo


The Current

32 • MARCH 2019

SPRING BREAK FOR ALL. Escape to Northern Quest for all the fun you can handle and plenty of relaxation, as well. With our all-ages venues, including Kids Quest, Cyber Quest and M&D Movie and Dinner, and the grown-up ones, too – La Rive Spa, Riverbank Taphouse and our Vegas-style gaming, this will be a spring break everyone can agree on. Plan your getaway at northernquest.com

Profile for The Current

March 2019 Current  

A hundred years of Hutton; Valley landmark celebrates a century of supporting kids

March 2019 Current  

A hundred years of Hutton; Valley landmark celebrates a century of supporting kids

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