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JULY

2020

GREATER SPOKANE VALLEY

A VALLEY-WIDE COMMUNITY NEWSMAGAZINE

4th district race to the ballot is on Candidates vie for the top two spots in the upcoming primary election, page 10

BARRY BAKER ENCOURAGE COMMUNITY PAGE 2

PACE AWARDS GO DOOR TO DOOR PAGE 16

10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EXPANSION PAGE 23

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

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• JULY 2020

The Current

RIVER CROSSING

Built Strong – Baker adept at business, giving back By Craig Howard

Current Contributing Editor

Over four decades ago, Barry Baker began working for a construction outfit his parents started, eventually turning it into one of the most successful companies of its kind in the region. Prior to Baker joining the ranks with his brother Doug in 1977, the previous annual revenue peak for the family enterprise had been $700,000. These days, Baker Construction & Development Inc. does around $70 million in business a year.

go out and get jobs,” Baker recalls.

Baker remembers being an above average student in junior high and high school. He lettered in cross country and track and was active in student government. As a senior at Wenatchee High, he was voted class president. The family business, meanwhile, found a niche in constructing buildings for fruit storage and processing across Chelan County. When another door opened up in Spokane – one that would mean diversifying projects and clientele – Baker’s parents jumped at the chance.

“My dad had a friend, Paul Sceva, in Spokane, who had a steel building company and wanted to retire,” Baker says. “They bought the company from him and changed the name to Baker Steel Buildings.” With career aspirations of being a pilot, Baker graduated from high school in 1973 and enrolled at Central Washington University. Four years later, he had a degree in business. After collecting his diploma on a Saturday, he reported to work two days later and has been part of the family business ever since. Baker initially started out in

While inheriting a company has worked out well for Baker, he will tell you that the guiding principles he learned from his late mother and father are of greater value.

Baker makes it a point to adhere to the Golden Rule – treating others as you’d like to be treated – incorporating the theme into his personal and professional routines. “I just love people,” Baker said. “I see so many opportunities for us to work together in the community. Together, we can get great things done. I also want to be able to give back to the community that’s given us so much.”

Baker is the second oldest of four kids, all of whom learned a reliable work ethic from their folks. “As we grew up, we were told to

“My parents had run the show but it was a smooth transition,” Baker recalls. “I think they were proud of the direction we were going as far as expanding and diversifying the business.” Baker lived in the Spokane Valley area for years, even volunteering with the Millwood Fire Department at one point. His ties to the Valley have remained strong. Baker attends ONE Church on Sullivan Road and for the past 16 years, has served on the board of Modern Electric Water Co., a Valley-based utility whose history spans well over a century. He has also been a past chair and board member with the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. Structures by Baker’s company dot the greater Valley area, from the Comcast, F5 and Liberty Mutual buildings in Liberty Lake to the Canopy Credit Union branch in the Valley and Lakeside Dental in Greenacres. The business has also expanded extensively over the years and is now licensed in a dozen states.

“My parents taught me to have respect and compassion for all people, all the time,” Baker says.

Seizing opportunity – in spite of uphill challenges – runs in the Baker family. When he was 5, Baker’s parents left their native Saskatchewan, Canada and moved their family to Wenatchee to pursue an opportunity that ultimately became the construction business. Decades earlier, Baker’s grandfather on his dad’s side homesteaded in the Rockford/Freeman area before heading north to Canada.

sales, prospecting and selling the metal buildings that were the company’s trademark. By 1981, the business changed its name to Baker Construction & Development to reflect the increasing variety of its portfolio. In 1984, Baker was named president and CEO.

While he turned 65 recently, Baker says he has no plans to retire anytime soon. His hobbies include golf, boating and photography – but Baker is quick to emphasize that “family is first.” He and his wife Sheri have six kids and two grandkids in their blended family. Q: Looking back on your early years in Wenatchee, what did you enjoy most about growing up there?

Contributed photo Barry Baker has served as president and CEO of Baker Construction & Development Inc. since 1984. The Liberty Lake resident is also on the board of Spokane Valley-based Modern Electric Water Co. and is past chair of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.

A: Growing up in Wenatchee was great. It was a small town in a simpler time. Our doors were never locked and the keys were always left in the cars. Our moms would send us out to play and say be home from dark. If we misbehaved, by the time we got home, my mom had already heard about it from one of the other moms or we would have been taken See BAKER, Page 5


The Current

JULY 2020 • 3


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• JULY 2020

SVFD Report – June 2020 Current News sources

Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) crews responded to a total of 1,498 emergency calls from May 15 – June 15, 2020. • Emergency Medical Services 1182 • Fires 96 • Motor Vehicle Accidents 84 • Building Alarms 60 • Dispatched and cancelled enroute 35 • Service Calls 19 • Hazardous Materials 8 • Vehicle Fires 7 • Technical Rescue 4 • Auto vs Pedestrian 3 Highlights and the news include: Total calls for service increased from 1400 the month prior to 1498. Calls for EMS increased from 1094 to 1182. Motor Vehicle Accidents increased dramatically from 52 to 84. Additionally there were 3 Auto vs Pedestrian accidents. Fires saw a drop from 111 last month to 96 this month. Of Note: • We continue to have a large number of illegal burn calls. Make sure you know the facts before burning. https://www. dnr.wa.gov/WildfirePrevention; https://spokanecleanair.org/currentburning-conditions •

4th of July Safety!!!!

• Warmer weather is taking us all out to the water. Water safety is paramount this time of year. Wear a life jacket and make sure to put one on your children as well. Incidents: Service Call, May 17 - Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to a call of a man trapped inside of his garage. The wife alerted crews that he had been trying to get out for around two hours. Crews noticed that the door was worn down and old. When Ladder 8 crews attempted to pry the door up and open they found the wheels were off the track and the track was broken as well. L-8 pried the bottom panel loose and the man was able to crawl out in the space created. Structure Fire, May 23 - Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) firefighters responded at 1:25 a.m. this morning to a report of a fully involved

NEWS RV in a driveway next to a residence in the 11,000 block of E 25th Avenue in Spokane Valley. Several callers alerted 911 of seeing a structure on fire. Initial arriving units reported a fully involved RV in the driveway next to a residence. The detached shop was also fully involved and there was an active fire occurring to the main residence. Multiple SVFD fire crews were assigned to various duties including an Officer who was assigned to safety. He monitored the fire, reporting on the progression of the fire to the commanding Officer who continued to evaluate and implement a strategic plan for knocking back the intensity of the fire. The initial walk around the property by the Officer assigned to safety was blocked by flames. Based on all the evaluations of the property and the fire progression, a plan was developed on the best approach to put the fire out which included safely taking down the front of the shop and the remaining sheet metal on the roof. A section was marked off below the high tension power lines with red hazard tape in case the lines fell as well as the main power was shut off. Crews worked aggressively to put the fire out on all locations. Fire was in the attic as well as smoke and light heat in the basement. There was heat, fire and smoke in concealed spaces above the kitchen area, crews pulled the ceiling and extinguished the hot spots. All human occupants had evacuated and were not injured. The family dog did not make it out. One of the residence said he had been working in the shop earlier in the evening and stoked the wood stove in the shop prior to going to bed around 10 p.m. The resident awoke to the fully involved fire from the shop. Preliminary investigation believes the shop to be the origin of the fire. Further investigation is on-going for final determination. There were a total of three residents living at the residence with two of them being out of town. Red Cross was contacted to assist the residents as they are presently displaced from the home as it is unable to be occupied. The Spokane Valley Fire Department would like to remind residents to have a home evacuation plan. Practice it with all the occupants of your home. If you use a stove for heating, make sure the fire is out before going to bed.

Structure Fire, May 29 - Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) responded at 3:09 p.m. on the 12000 block of E Valleyway Avenue just off of Pines to a garage fire. A neighbor called in seeing black smoke coming out of the garage. Crews arrived to find a small single family dwelling with a detached garage where the fire was located. The fire was quickly upgraded to a working fire and more crews were called. All occupants had evacuated including one cat and two dogs. An offensive approach was taken, safety was established, and crews were assigned varying duties around the structure to fight the fire, including the removal of some of the siding. Crews found a basement under the garage where the fire was also present. The detached garage had wood floors with a small garage underneath. The garage was being used as a living space with a queen size bed located inside. Crews unplugged an extension cord that ran from the main building to the garage to shut the power source down as they fought the fire. When Station 8 crews were running low on their air supply they were replaced by crews from Station 9. This is standard procedure firefighters undergo. They utilize 20 minutes of their air and then a new crew is called in. This leaves crews with enough air, an additional 20 minutes’ worth, to exit the building. With the fire under control, many of the crews were returned to service and a remaining crew stayed behind to ensure all hot spots were addressed and a safe environment established before leaving. SVFD wants to remind citizens to follow fire safe practices in their homes. With winds and warmer temperatures it’s more important than ever to keep our community fire safe. Structure Fire, June 7 - Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) firefighters were dispatched at 4:14 a.m. for a report of a residential structure fire in the 6700 block of E 4th Lane. A 911 caller reported a fire that started in the fireplace and was extending out of it, and they were evacuating. Firefighters on Engine 6 arrived to find an exterior enclosed deck fire, originating from the area of an older brick-oven style fireplace. The firefighters from Engine 6 were able to quickly halt the progress of the fire using pre-connected fire hoses and fire foam; and, began cancelling the response of additional crews. A quick

The Current

search of the residence confirmed no residents, or pets, were still inside. Firefighters had the main fire knocked down roughly six minutes after arriving on scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation. A residential fire call to 911 initiates the response of three engines, a ladder, a rescue and three command staff officers. When smoke and flames is confirmed by the responding units, a signal (working fire) is sent asking for an additional two engines, a second ladder and two more officers. This morning a total of eight fire vehicles and five command vehicles responded, staffed by a total of 28 firefighters. This workforce is needed to quickly and efficiently contain the situation and provide the best scenario for a rescue attempt, if needed, for people trapped inside. There were no injuries noted to civilians or firefighters this morning, and everyone was able to escape under their own power. Damage was limited to the deck and outside of the house, and residents will be able to occupy the home while repairs are made. The Spokane Valley Fire Department would like to remind our citizens that three out of every five deaths in America resulted from homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%). This is especially significant during sleeping hours when residents should have an alarm in every bedroom, and on every floor. Early warning provides the best chance for survival for you, your children, and your furry kids too! Service Call, June 12 – Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to a call from a woman who had left her keys in the car and her puppy stepped on the door lock button and locked her out of the vehicle. Valley Engine 1 arrived and made contact with the woman and assessed the car. After a lockout waiver was signed VE1 gained entry into vehicle using conventional means and with no damage made to the vehicle. The golden retriever puppy was evaluated with numerous hugs and kisses and found to need no further medical assistance. About Spokane Valley Fire Department- SVFD serves a population of 125,000, including the cities of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood, as well as surrounding unincorporated areas within the 75-square miles of Spokane County Fire District 1. In 2019, SVFD firefighter crews, including its paramedics and EMTs, responded to more than 18,326 emergency calls.


The Current

BAKER

NEWS

Continued from page 2 care of by them. It had great outdoor activities – water skiing and lakes and water sports on Lake Chelan. Q: In the decades that you’ve lived in the greater Spokane area, what are some of the most significant changes you’ve seen? A: I’ve lived in Spokane almost 50 years. I equate the change to running a marathon. A step at a time, one foot in front of the other. If you keep moving and you don’t give up, you finish the race. Spokane has had amazing community leaders, selfless leaders working hard to make Spokane a better place. In my time I can remember Expo ‘74, Momentum and then strategically transforming into high tech, aerospace and two medical schools! Spokane is now a community that our kids want to stay in and raise their families. We have worked hard to create highquality jobs while maintaining our quality of life. Spokane is poised like never before to be what we dreamed it would be. Q: How about your industry? What’s different about the construction field from when you started in 1977? A: Construction has become much more regulated and much more competitive. Companies need to constantly embrace new technologies to become more efficient and do more work in less time. We’ve also seen the advent of the desktop computer, fax machine, scanning email and now Zoom! Q: Your company has grown consistently over the years and enjoyed a considerable degree of success. What are some of the keys to Baker experiencing this steady climb? A: The key to our success is credited to the amazing employees that we have had join and stay with our company. We now have many father-and-son teams working with us. The other key is the great customers that have allowed us to work with them. We’re proud that well over half our volume is with repeat customers. To be successful in Spokane you have had to have the ability to have a broad spectrum of product types. Through the years we’ve learned how to be diverse in product type and regionally diverse. Q: You expect a high quality of work from your staff but also emphasize the importance of

JULY 2020 • 5

employees having a life outside of business. How do you accomplish that balance? A: We demand much from our employees but we also encourage work life balance. We have Baby Boomers and Generation Z’ers. We say we have from “Leave it to Beaver” to Justin Bieber in our office. Our employees have a great work ethic and I’d put them up against anyone! Q: Civic involvement has always been a trademark of yours, whether it’s volunteering, serving on a board or donating to community causes. Why is this so important to you? A: Being involved in our community is extremely import to Baker Construction. One of my partners was recently the president of the Boys and Girls Club. Our COO was president of the park board and my daughter serves on the sports commission. I currently serve on the board of the Association of Washington Business, Fairmount Memorial, Modern Electric Water Company and the Boy Scouts. We believe in giving back to the community that you live in. Working together with other community leaders makes Spokane a better place and you develop many great friendships! People like to do business with friends so many times your business also prospers. Q: How would you characterize the current state of construction and development in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? A: Construction is one of the Industries that has been allowed to reopen in the midst of the COVID -19. We are blessed to be able to work. My heart goes out to so many businesses that are not operating or operating on a limited basis. I know how hard it is to make a dollar. These people have put their heart, soul and life savings into their dream to have their own business. We need to allow all businesses to re-open and practice safety protocols in place. Q: Finally, you talk about how the “Golden Rule” is a guiding principle in your life. How has this standard impacted who you are and what you stand for? A: We believe in duty to God, duty to country and duty to others before self. We absolutely love and respect all our employees, customers and friends. We also believe we need to do all that with a huge dose of humor!

Paid for by Friends of Mary Kuney PO Box 13103 Spokane valley, wa 99213


• JULY 2020

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2020 May Burglary IBR Offenses Hotspots

Prepared By: Spokane County IT in conjunction with Spokane County Sheriffs Office on 6/24/2020

RETURN YOUR BALLOT BY AUG 4TH lorifeagan.com

- Lori Feagan Paid for by Friends of Lori Feagan - PO Box 815, Spokane Valley, WA 99016


JULY 2020 • 7

The Current

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Prepared By: Spokane County IT in conjunction with Spokane County Sheriffs Office on 6/24/2020

SAFETY TIP OF THE MONTH With COVID-19 making its way through our community, we would like to remind you to please “Stay home and stay healthy.” If you do need to go out, please remember to;

2. Only buy what you need. The recent onslaught of over buying of items has caused shortages in the immediate food supply in our community. The only way for those to replenish is to give them time to transport and restock those items. Please only purchase what you need. 3. Wash you hands! Remember to wash your hand after each outing you may embark on.

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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 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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4. Keep surfaces clean. COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for extended periods of time. Wipe frequently used surfaces daily to contain contamination.


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• JULY 2020

Council considers CDBG Grant structure changes By Bill Gothmann Current Contributor

Block Grant Agreement Approved

Revised Summer Parks Program COVID-19 has impacted the City’s Parks and Recreation summer offerings. Staff will be deciding on a reduced swim program between four and eight weeks long. Features such as the Lazy River and the slide will be closed, swim lessons will be cancelled, and open swim session shortened. YWCA staff will assure sanitization. Summer day camps and teen camps will be changed to camp-in-a-box, outdoor movies will be changed to drive-in movies, and Arbor Day moved to the Fall. The summer meal program will be held Monday through Thursday, June 15-August 27. Check the City’s web site for the latest schedules. Council Considers Change in Public Testimony Times Council considered a number of changes to their Governance Manual, one of which was to go back to two times for public testimony during their regular format meetings. Total public testimony time will still be limited to 45 minutes, but the Mayor will be given discretion to increase the time as needed. Other issues such as providing for remote testimony were also considered. In addition, Council will examine the paragraphs on “core beliefs” and make their suggestions to staff. The final document is expected to come back to Council for action on June 30. Community

NEWS

Development

Council had asked staff to consult with the County about ways to increase funding, representation, and Spokane Valley’s visibility in the consortium of Spokane County cities that allocate Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds received from the Feds. In response, the County offered to increase Spokane Valley’s share from 20% to 39%, add one more City representative after the City has more than 100,000 inhabitants, and place the City’s logo on their correspondence. However, Mayor Ben Wick, Deputy Mayor Brandi Peetz, and Council Members Linda Thompson and Tim Hattenburg wanted to pursue becoming an entitlement city, thereby permitting the City to receive funds directly from HUD and dissolving the connection with the County. This would give visibility to Spokane Valley’s efforts to support low income residents and give the City local control over the funds. The discussion noted that the City is committed to using our next two years’ HUD grants for funding part of the sewering of homes east of Barker north of the River. Staff noted that becoming our own entitlement city would require an increase of very specialized staff by two or three employees, and the involvement of other City Departments such as Finance. It would also result in slightly less funds going to actual projects. Council member Arne Woodard, who sits on the

County’s Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee, emphasized the specialized skills of the County’s staff. Council Member Pam Haley observed that we are a contract city. Further, in dealing with Feds in her own business, we could be underestimating the effort required. However, those favoring entitlement thought the cost was worth the visibility and the control it offered. Council Member Rod Higgins pointed out that the middle of a pandemic when City revenues were very cloudy would not be a good time to take on such a task. Council asked for staff to look deeper into the cost and effects of entitlement and return with a report. At a subsequent meeting, City Council approved a contract that continues being with the County’s consortium of cities to receive CDBG funds. This grant is for social services and capital improvements in areas designated as low to moderate income areas. Staff pointed out that, in order to become its own entitlement, the City would have to produce and maintain its own consolidated 5-year plan, a process that takes the County a full year to develop. The process requires setting forth objectives and selection criteria for applicants, holding a number of public hearings, and having an environmental review. Additionally, the City would have to select an advisory committee, develop an annual action plan and review all applications for grants to assure they satisfy the Federal requirements. Of course, all this would require hiring an additional two staff members and, in addition,

The Current

use existing staff. If the City does all this, staff estimated the City would have $18,000 less available for grant applicants than it historically receives now, and have to pay about $109,000 more in administrative cost than the $130,000 in administrative fees funded by HUD. There had been some confusion about other funding run through the same county department. Home Investment Partnership (HOME) funds are for affordable housing and are funded by the federal government and passed along to the State and County for administration. The City is not eligible to be a direct recipient of HOME funds. The Homeless Housing and Assistance Act (HHAA) is a State program addressing homelessness that is funded through recording fees, mostly from the recording of mortgages with the County Auditor. Staff reported that the City may be eligible for these funds. There was some dissatisfaction expressed by the Council in how the City was being treated in devising homeless programs within the County. Note that these two programs are separate from the CDBG programs. Council approved the CDBG agreement by 6:1, with Mayor Wick dissenting, but Council wants to investigate further HOME and HHAA funding to determine under what conditions the City might be its own entitlement agency. The new contract increases from 20% to 39% the City’s “take” of CDBG funds based on current population estimates. The new agreement would become effective in 2022, since the City has committed to funding the Barker Road Sewer Connection Program using CDBG funds through 2021. Other changes include boosting the representation of the City when it reaches a population of 100,000, changes to the funding award process on City proposed programs, and increased publication of cities participating in the CDBG program. Spokane Presents Housing Proposal

Bridge

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward and Spokane County Commissioner Mary Kuney appeared before Council to give a progress report on efforts to establish bridge housing for the homeless within either Spokane Valley or the City of Spokane.


The Current

JULY 2020 • 9

NEWS

their food containers, half tins and lids they use to collect the food. The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce suggested the City could join them in developing a cash granting program for businesses adversely affected by the pandemic. The Central Valley School District proposed using funds for providing shields within each grade four to six classroom so they can conform with the social distancing program. This issue will return to Council on July 7th for further Council discussion. Graffiti Explained

4) HOME or HHAA allocated the City. March 26, 2019 the funding options that are This type of dollars housing fits to into the OnAct, (CARES). Among available for homelessness was presented to City Council, which included both theother HOME “Spokane City/County Continuum things, the CARES Act provided and the HHAA programs. It is important to recognize these are two separate programs, but of Careof 5-Year Strategic Plan to low because their close linkages to helping and billion moderatetoincome are often $150 Statesgroups to address Prevent byand End department. Homelessness,” meeting, managed the same Since the April 2020 City Council staff has their28,COVID-19 related expenses been able to confirmplan that the City does not the HOME program by speaking with a collaborative developed by qualify and,forof this amount, the State of Christina Yamamoto, and Planning Representative from HUD’s Seattle representatives ofSenior manyCommunity sectors of $2.95 billion. Regional Office. The HOME formula includes: Washington age of housing received units, substandard occupied the County. Whereas emergency Washington State Department of units, number of families below poverty rate, and population. Using this formula it was housing that takes careis not of eligible one-night, determined the City for HOMECommerce funds. notified the City that

immediate housing of the homeless,

Spokane Valley beenfunds awarded As presented at the March 26, 2019 City Council meeting, a portion has of HHAA could be bridgeallocated housing would referral $2,901,600 ofthethese funds. The directly to the City. In be order to access the HHAA fund, City would need to create for housing periods of 30, 60, or homeless aonly homeless housing task force and a five-year housing plan for itsagencies jurisdictional area City Council asked who consistent The presentation identified thataffected the City may have 90-days with thatstatewide includesguidelines. wrap-around might also be financially by the been eligibletofor prepare $550,000 insingle recording fees in 2019 if it ran its own program. The table below services adults Coronavirus present possible shows the projects within Spokane Valley that have used HOME to and HHAA funds. for independent living. Operations

1

Year Project would be funded through a 5-year 2006 Catherine Ct of Apts commitment ofJohnson the City Spokane, 2008 Appleway Court Apts Spokane County, and Avista, with 2009 kicking Rockwell in Apts$500,000 annually. each 2012 Appleway Court II Apts Officials are looking for Spokane 2012 Rockwell Apts Rehabwith capital Valley to participate 1 2019 Aspen Grove the Washington funding through 1 2019 Mirabeau Townhomes Homeless Housing Assistance Act 1 2019 Mirabeau Place (HHAA) funding. These funds Total document recording fees come from

ways for these funds to be spent. Amount Awarded

Abatement

Process

Although in the past, graffiti complaints were routed to SCOPE, the process was not efficient and may re-victimize the property owners. The new process uses the Juvenile Court Community Service Graffiti Abatement Program (JCGAB). Complaints of graffiti on either public or private property would be routed to Code Enforcement who would work with SCOPE or JCGAB to abate the nuisance. Private property owners would be asked to sign a waiver permitting SCOPE or JCGAB to abate the graffiti. Failing this, removal would be treated as any other nuisance violation and proceed with the enforcement called for in the City’s municipal code (SVMC 17.100).

Staff noted that the goals of the $700,000 program should be to leave no $500,000 funds Phase Two for Restaurants unspent, be careful to spend the $1,649,692 Council had asked staff whether money only on coronavirus actual $683,000 the City could add some flexibility expenses, and strictly conform $167,921 to the to the next phases of business CARE program requirements.$652,444 The reopening. A number of ideas were grant money must be spent by$600,000 Oct. suggested. Stores can work with 31, but there are efforts to extend $850,000 neighbors to share parking space that date. $5,803,057 Private property can be used for

2019 projects are recommendations by the HCDAC and have not been awarded

The Spokane Housing Authority collected by the County, primarily from recording of mortgages. The stated that there is a need for rental Page 6 ofassistance 7 because of people losing County also receives HOME funds from the federal government, a their jobs. In addition, assistance program designed to produce more was needed for food, businesses, affordable housing, that could be mortgages, and utilities. Spokane used. The Salvation Army has been Valley Partners not only listed selected to operate such a facility, but food assistance, but transportation the agreement has yet to be finalized, needs and modifications that have since a site has yet to be determined. to be made to their building to Spokane Valley, Spokane, Spokane prevent COVID spread. Spokane County, and the Salvation Army are County Meals on Wheels stated actively searching for a site for this that they already received CARES act funds and, therefore may not bridge housing facility. Spokane Valley to Receive be eligible for the same through $2.9 Million for COVID-19 the City. They did note a need for food delivery vehicles, especially Expenditures during the winter months. Feed In March of 2020 Congress Spokane, a charity that collects approved the $2 trillion Coronavirus and distributes excess food from Aid, Relief and Economic Security restaurants, suggested funding for

outdoor dining and queuing for customers. By permit, stores could request parking reduction to use for store space. Restaurants can promote retail sales of specialty foods. Businesses can apply for a maximum of two temporary signs which are limited to 32 sq. ft. Directional signage of no more than four sq. ft. does not require a permit. The permit center can provide links so agencies can stay up to date on COVID-19 requirements. A number of resources are available through the City’s Economic Development Division. They have been active in sending information to businesses. Aging and Long-Term Care Update Council

received

an

update

from Aging and Long-Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW). This agency provides many services that enable seniors and those with disabilities to stay in their own homes. The COVID-19 crisis has caused a doubling of the number of meals served seniors and an increase for other services. ALTCEW has responded by expanding their outreach, including a reassurance program whereby they call seniors to see how they are doing. They have people on staff and volunteers that help older adults and their families identify needs, build a plan, access public benefits, and navigate the process. Last year they served 2500 people in Spokane Valley and 11,000 in their five-county region. Call 960-7281 for ALCEW. Council May Loosen Cable Franchise Regulations With the application of TDS Metrocom, a cable television provider that recently entered as a competitor to Comcast in Spokane, staff took a close look at the City’s Cable Code and recommended a number of changes. Under the proposal, they would remove specific programming requirements, and remove the City from regulating rates. They would add language relating to Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) channel requirements to identify that the City may provide notice to opt out of requiring PEG channels in the City, and similarly remove the persubscriber PEG fee from the monthly bill. That monthly fee is 35 cents per subscriber. Parental control requirements would be removed since TVs are now equipped to do this. Customer service requirements would also be removed since the City does not do this for any other business. Technical specifications would be removed since these are covered in federal law. Finally, requirements to submit a buildout plan would be removed. Council Briefs • Council agreed to apply for possible grants for expansion of the Appleway Trail to Balfour Park and for sidewalk improvements on Bowdish from 12th to 22nd. • At this time (June 2), staff projects a reduction of City revenues of $8.4 million, or 23% due to recent events. The largest reduction comes from a reduction of $5.9 million in sales taxes.


10

COVER STORY

• JULY 2020

Last minute changes shake up the primary our voters that they’ll take a deeper race in the fourth district dive into his voting record. It’s time By Nina Culver

Current contributor

The race for the two Washington State 4th District House of Representative seats up for election in November is turning out a little different than most people expected after position 1 incumbent Republican Matt Shea did not file for his seventh term. That made some candidates shift what position they were running for at the last minute while others found themselves running against a long list of candidates that weren’t expected to be in the race. After the Aug. 4 primary the top two vote getters in each race, regardless of their party affiliation, will advance to the general election in November. Bob McCaslin, the Republican incumbent in position 2, switched and ran for position 1 to replace Shea. McCaslin has served since 2014. He said the reason he switched to position 1 is that he believes the senior 4th District representative should hold that seat. McCaslin said he and his wife re-evaluate his position every two years to decide if he should run again. “There’s still a lot to do,” he said. “As long as I still have a voice, I’m encouraged for at least the next two years. I don’t have a specific agenda other than to listen to my constituents.” He said he’d like to continue working on early childhood education issues, including making it easier to run a daycare. He’s proud of the work he did on a water rights bill in response to the Hirst decision by the Washington State Supreme Court in 2016. The bill he worked on failed. “That’s unfortunate, but I did my best,” he said. “We don’t always get what we want.”

Rob Chase

David Whitehead, running as a republican for position 1, expected to be running against Shea in his first attempt at winning an elected office. “I was frustrated with Rep. Shea,” he said. “I was really frustrated with him making it about himself. He took away from everything he was doing.” Whitehead, who has been a teacher and coach in the Mead School District for 37 years, said he’s very pro-education, particularly career and technical education. “There are so many people who don’t want a four-year degree,” he said. He’s also concerned about the state’s COVID-19 response and said he didn’t understand why small shops were forced to close while large stores stayed open. “It just hard to watch,” he said. “We’re going to lose a lot of tax revenue.” In the end Whitehead said he just wants to make a difference, but isn’t sure how he’ll do in the crowded field. “I’m not a politician,” he said. “I’m going to do the best I can, but you never know.” Another position 1 candidate, Democrat Lori Feagan, said her main goal was to replace Shea with someone who would show up and listen. “I felt our current representative was becoming more and more extremist and less effective,” she said. “I also ran because I have the skills, the experience and the background to do a good job.” She’s ready to make the switch to running against McCaslin, who she said has voted against meal breaks for health care workers, against pediatric mental health and against affordable insulin. “I do have the same concerns with Bob as I did with Matt Shea,” she said. “He also supports 51st state. I have faith in

Nathan Sybrandy

to vote him out.” Feagan, a nurse practitioner who has lived in the area for 40 years, hasn’t run for public office before. She said she wants to focus on the state’s long-term economic recovery from COVID-19. “We know there’s going to be a lot of economic fallout from this,” she said. She said she’ll represent everyone in the 4th District equally without an agenda. “I’ve been advocating for patients and families in the district for 30 plus years,” she said. “I can be the person they depend on.” The fourth candidate for position 1, Republican Mike Conrad, did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. The race for position 2 has several familiar names, including former Spokane County treasurer Rob Chase. Chase said he planned to challenge U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for her 5th district seat, but in early May he got a call from Shea asking if he would be willing to pull out of the race and let Shea challenge McMorris Rodgers while Chase ran for Shea’s House seat. Chase agreed and filed for position 2 with the expectation that McCaslin would run for position 1. The plan was to file at 3:30 p.m. on May 15, just a half hour before the filing deadline. “No one knew,” he said. “We kind of kept it to ourselves.” Chase said he was as surprised as anyone when Shea called him shortly after 4 p.m. that day and said he didn’t file because “something came up.” It has since been announced that Shea will become the campus pastor at Covenant Christian Church. Though Chase is currently running as a republican, he’s run as a libertarian for public office before. He said he considers

Dave Whitehead

Lori Feagan

The Current

himself a conservative. “I’m against unnecessary spending,” he said. He said he’d like to see Washington create a plan to respond to future pandemics. “I think (Governor Jay) Inslee overreacted,” he said. “If people wanted to keep their stores open, they should have been allowed to.” Republican Leonard Christian announced last year that he would be running against Matt Shea. Early in the filing week he filed for position 1, Shea’s seat, even though Feagan had already announced her race against him. “We knew for years, in the 4th District a Democrat was not going to win,” he said. “It would need a Republican to take out a Republican.” He was appointed to the Washington House of Representatives to replace retiring Rep. Larry Crouse in 2014, but failed to advance in the primary and the seat was won by McCaslin. Christian said he suspected that Shea and McCaslin might switch seats, so he watched and waited during filing week. He’d also heard a rumor that Shea might file for the District 4 Senate seat currently held by Mike Padden and Padden would retire. He said he had no desire to repeat his run against McCaslin, who has even greater name recognition because he has the same name as his late father, who served in the senate for 30 years. “I’ve already been in that race,” he said. “It’s hard to run against his name recognition. Everyone still thinks they’re voting for his dad.” He said he and Conrad talked it over and agreed that Christian would switch his registration to position 2, even though that meant forfeiting his original filing fee, if McCaslin switched seats and Conrad would switch his campaign from position 2 to position 1. Christian said he staked out a spot

Lance Gurel


The Current

Mike Padden

JULY 2020 • 11

COVER STORY

John Roskelley

in the auditor’s office and watched a large screen that showed in real time who was filling out paperwork for which seat. He waited until the last possible moment to turn in his paperwork for position 2. “I handed in my paperwork with 30 seconds to spare,” he said. Now that he has new competitors for the seat, his focus has switched. “Things have obviously morphed quite a bit,” he said. “COVID-19 has put such a strain on the state budget, I think anything I want will be on the back burner. My whole goal at this moment is to look out for families and small businesses.” Democrat Lance Gurel, who ran unsuccessfully against Spokane Valley City Councilman Arne Woodard last year, said he’s shifted his focus to state issues like early childhood education and mental health services. “It just seemed like a natural step,” he said of his run for the legislature. “I think I just got more passionate about the issues that interest me.” He said he picked position 2 because he didn’t want to run against Feagan. “Lori is an excellent candidate,” he said. “I’d rather sit next to her in the legislature than run against her.” His goal is to make it out the primary, but said that will be difficult when traditional methods like knocking on the doors of voters won’t work. “I’d going to be a challenge to go out and get my name, my ideas, my values in front of voters,” he said. As an accountant, Gurel said he’s uniquely suited to help the state through the coming budget deficit. “I’m the person who can represent the true values of Eastern Washington,” he said. He said he’s running because he believes everyone deserves a place at the table. “No matter what you look like or who you love, you deserve representation,” he said.

Bob McCaslin Jr.

Registered nurse Nathan Sybrandy is running as a republican for position 2. He said he’s disagreed with how the governor has handled the pandemic and believes the response hasn’t put enough weight on the economy. “There’s problems with economic metrics,” he said. “They’re always look-backs. My point is, even look-back metrics are better than nothing.” Economic sacrifice is required to address the pandemic but businesses can’t stay shut down forever, he said. “It should be significant, but not unlimited,” he said of the economic sacrifice. Sybrandy said he believes he can unite the Republican party, which has been increasingly fractured in recent years. “What we’ve seen in the 4th Legislative District over the last decade, you’ve seen the divide,” he said. “I bring the ability to unify the party around a young, fresh face.” He said the state’s budget increased 20 percent in the last biennium when compared to the previous biennium. The state now has to deal with a serious deficit, but Sybrandy said it can be dealt with. “Olympia does not have a revenue problem, they have a spending problem,” he said. “We can obviously balance this budget without raising taxes.” In the 4th District Senate race, incumbent Republican Mike Padden is being challenged by Democrat John Roskelley, best known as a mountain climber and a former Spokane County Commissioner, and Independent Anne Marie Danimus. Danimus said she originally planned to run against Matt Shea for his house seat, but heard the rumors that he would run against Padden and filed for the senate seat instead. While this is her first run for office, she said she’s wanted to run for office since she was a little girl. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part

Leonard Christian

of the problem,” she said. She said she knows there are difficulties identifying yourself as an independent in a political race, but said she thinks the Democrats and Republicans are too mired in conflict. “It’s a tug of war and the American people are hanging from the little flag in the middle being dragged through the mud,” she said. “I did not want to be beholden to party rhetoric.” If she had to pick a party Danimus said she leans more toward the Democrats, but said she considers herself a liberal libertarian. “The core of being a libertarian is about individual rights,” she said. “When you add liberal to that, it means everybody.” Danimus, a marketing and communications executive and small business development specialist, said she wants to work on the state’s tax system, which she said disproportionately impacts the poor. “Small businesses are being squashed in our B&O tax system,” she said. “All the problems that existed before COVID have gotten worse and there will be new ones.” Though she originally hoped to run against Shea, Danimus said she’s fine with running against Padden. “Senator Padden has been in bed with Rep. Shea for a very long time,” she said. “He has not stepped out against him.” Padden, who served eight terms in the House and is in his fourth election for his senate seat, said he heard the rumors about Shea running for his seat and him retiring but said that was never discussed. “That was never going to happen,” he said. “I filed the first day. That’s what I do.” Padden said he’s running again because he believes there’s more work to be done. “I believe I’ve been able to represent the folks of the 4th District and advocate for them and sponsor legislation. I thought I can still make a difference.”

Anne Danimus In the past he’s worked to sponsor legislation to benefit the parents of minor crime victims and helped get funding for several road projects on Interstate 90 between Barker and Harvard roads. Those projects have been put on hold, but Padden is hopeful they’ll still happen. Recently he’s been working with people to get their unemployment claims resolved, Padden said. “We’ve had some success in helping folks out in that,” he said. The surprise entry into the senate race was Roskelley. He said he frequently contacts his legislators with help with issues, including environmental and conservation issues, and has been unsatisfied. “I just realized the 4th District legislators were not representing me and many others,” he said. “I just decided that to beat them, you have to join them.” Like many other candidates, he planned to file against Shea. But he also heard the rumor about Shea going for Padden’s seat. “Even when he didn’t, it didn’t matter to me,” he said. “Senator Padden is pretty much on the same page as Shea.” He noted that Padden often votes against other republicans. “I will be going after Mike’s record,” he said. “None of the 4th District legislators have taken responsibility for their votes.” Roskelley said he’s a conservative democrat. “I’m a strong environmentalist,” he said. “I vote for social issues that are important to seniors and the disabled. I’m as tough on a budget as anybody, Democrat or Republican.” The 4th District has been reliably Republican for decades, but Roskelley points to the recent shift toward moderate members on the Spokane Valley City Council. “I’ve seen a change in the 4th District,” he said. “I see a change in the Valley. The pendulum has started to swing.”


12

• JULY 2020

The Current

brought to you by

Student of the Month

Athlete of the Month

Citizen of the Month

Whether she’s studying for AP classes, volunteering for her church or turning in a clutch play to win a softball game, Abby Boden consistently excels. The incoming senior at University High School maintains a 3.99 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. She will also serve as ASB sergeant at arms for the 2020-21 school year. Boden has played slowpitch and fastpitch softball at U-Hi since her freshman year. As a sophomore, she was part of an undefeated and league champion squad as a middle infielder. Last season, she was named defensive MVP and earned All Greater Spokane League honorable mention. In the 2019 fastpitch season, she was voted Most Improved for a Titans’ team that tied for the league crown. Boden also serves as a mentor to kids though Valley Real Life Church.

Going into this fall’s football campaign, the University Titans know they can rely on Bryce Tellinghusen. The incoming senior started at offensive guard last year and turned in a stellar season with strategy and techniques learned from wrestling. He was part of an upset win over Lewis and Clark and has also played inside linebacker and noseguard. In wrestling, Tellinghusen was named to the All Greater Spokane League second team as a junior. A team co-captain, he placed first in districts, second in regionals and advanced to state for the second straight year. He placed third in the Freeman Winter Classic and fourth in the Pacific Northwest Classic. Tellinghusen maintains a 3.89 grade point average, is part of National Honor Society and serves as a class officer. He was named to the All State Wrestling Academic Team as a junior.

As president of Widows Might, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting widows across the greater Spokane region, Wes Teterud has a heart for those in need. Teterud and his wife Adrienne founded Widows Might in the basement of Valley Fourth Memorial Church in 1998 based on principles outlined in Teterud’s Doctorate of Ministry dissertation “Caring for Widows” at Western Seminary in Oregon. The couple has lived in the Ponderosa area since 1994 and has six children and 20 grandchildren in their blended family. Teterud served as a pastor in Montana for 20 years. Last year, Widows Might helped around 500 widows with qualified financial needs, home repair, resources, social networking and more. The group holds quarterly luncheons at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley. Teterud also serves as a trustee with the Spokane County Library District.

Moving Forward with

LANCE GUREL

Come visit your Spokane Valley Neighborhood Financial Center located at

615 N Sullivan Road

800-233-2328

Thanks you for all you do in our community

Vote by August 4

for 4th District State Representative (D)

Lance Gurel is the Best Option Heʼs a CPA & MBA who can go to Olympia to ensure Eastern Washington receives its fair share. His children & grandchildren live here—You can trust that his decisions will be the best for all families in Eastern Washington.

Connect with Lance

509.599.2268 Lance@VoteLanceGurel.com VoteLanceGurel.com

He embraces the diversity of our community, and stands up to those who aim to divide us through hate & fear. Paid for by Lance Gurel for District 4 State Representative | PO Box 496 Spokane Valley WA 99037

Vote Aug by ust 4


JULY 2020 • 13

The Current

Celebra ng our Students!

Last month, with the help of our sponsors, Partners Advancing Character Educa on honored 52 students, one from each of the PACE schools in Spokane Valley, Freeman and Tekoa, for demonstra ng outstanding character throughout the school year. While we could not gather together this year as a group to celebrate these outstanding students, we are deeply grateful to our sponsors that helped make individual PACE Porch Presenta ons possible. Watch for PACE “A Student of Character Lives Here” yard signs in your neighborhood! Launched in 2010, PACE promotes good character through partnerships with schools, businesses, public agencies, faith-based organiza ons and community service groups. PACE has nearly 200 partners and 52 schools working together with families to promote good character across the greater Spokane Valley.

2020 PACE Awards Thank You to Our Sponsors! Gold Sponsors R

2020

Silver Sponsors

PACE AWARDS Bringing Character to Light

Spokane Valley Rotary Club – Sunrise

Award Sponsor

In-Kind Media Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors Liberty Lake Lions Club

JOIN US! PACE schools and partners promote monthly character traits through mul -faceted communica on, mo va on and educa onal programs. Becoming a PACE partner is free and easy! We'll supply posters and a monthly e-newsle er full of ideas to recognize and celebrate good character in your own organiza on!

www.pacecommunity.org | 558-5530

facebook.com/PartnersAdvancingCharacterEduca on RESPECT RESPONSIBILITY CITIZENSHIP CARING FAIRNESS HONESTY DILIGENCE TRUSTWORTHINESS COURAGE INTEGRITY GENEROSITY GRATITUDE

Presentation Sponsors

PACE Advocates

Architects West BECU Horizon Credit Union Kiwanis Club of Liberty Lake Quality Hardwood Floors of Spokane, Inc Rockford Lions Club Simply Northwest Spokane Valley Ear, Nose, Throat and Facial Plastics Spokane Valley Kiwanis West Valley School District

GeoEngineers Scott Ralph, DDS

Be sure to check out our Facebook page for videos and photos of our PACE Porch Presentations


Brought to you by

FFind the 5 differences


JULY 2020 • 15

The Current

My name is Shane Brickner and I am the Mayor of Liberty Lake. I was Mayor Pro tem for 4 years and on the city council for 8 years before becoming Mayor. Before coming Mayor I had also been a volunteer police officer for the city for 13 years. I have lived in Liberty Lake for 16 years now and while living here I helped start a Griefshare program for people that have lost loved ones along with helping start up Little League Baseball in our community. I was asked to write about generosity which is the unselfish giving and sharing or resources, time, and talents to others. When I think about this statement it makes me think about the challenging time we have all faced over the past 4 months and despite all the challenging times I have seen people come together like no other to lend a hand to each other, utilizing skills they have to make a difference. Being a smaller city, having people willing to give help for no other reason then to just give back is what helps drive our community and make it so special. During these challenging times the city staff and I wanted to create a message of just that, generosity. Keeping this in mind we chose the term “Liberty Lake Together” because at the end of day we have seen so many people come together to help make a difference. With in the image we chose what looks like a circle of people standing in a circle, hand in hand. This image and statement of together is exactly what I have seen people do. I watched a group of people come together to bring free hand sanitizer in 5 oz bottles to those in need when COVID-19 first began. When asked why they wanted to do this, they said they wanted to help those in need. No plans on getting something in return except to give back. Once this started another citizen saw how badly

Second Harvest Foods needed help financially so they brought up the idea of including a gofundme online fundraiser for Second Harvest, which was accomplished. This help raise just over $700 for that organization. I would see people who knew how to make face masks and shields not only for citizens but for first responders and they did it, not to make a bunch of money, but only to help. I saw churches step up along with citizens that volunteered to help in any way that they could. I recall at the end of last year we were setting up for an event called Winter Glow and we had over 55 people step up and volunteer to help make the event a success. This event was a beautiful light show for all to enjoy which had people come from all over to see the celebration of the holidays and it never could have happened without all of the volunteers. One of the churches locally had 4 to 5 teens initially show up to help and before I knew it there were another 8-10 of them willing to help out wherever they could. We also have a group of people called the “snow angels” who volunteer their free time to help those in need of snow removal or yard work. This helps people in all kinds of situations who need a hand. Its is acts like these along with so many others I could list that show generosity. My hope is that through all of these challenging times we all learn and take the time to hold out a hand to help rather then point a finger of blame or frustration. My hope is that we all see the beauty in mankind, to see the beauty in what makes us different, while seeing how what we all seek is the same which is happiness and compassion. If we see a problem or challenge before us that we all come together to find a solution. After all, we are all in TOGETHER!

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16

• JULY 2020

The Current

Good Character - A Matter of the Heart By Tie Lemerond Current contributor

At a time when our world is faced with chaos and we are regularly bombarded with negativity in the news and on social media, it is uplifting when a story like this one comes along. Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) has recently awarded 70 students across Spokane Valley and the West Plains with PACE awards through “PACE Porch Presentations.” For approximately a decade, PACE has been honoring and celebrating K-12 students who have demonstrated character throughout the school year. PACE mission is to inspire and support exceptional character through education, community partnerships and recognition. Pace is grounded in a common list of monthly character traits and definitions that are promoted through their partners. “The elegance of PACE is its simplicity and repetition. Schools, families, and PACE partners are all free to integrate the PACE character traits into their classrooms, homes and organizations in a way that works for them while using the structure of the monthly traits as a framework. And, because PACE repeats the same 12 monthly traits, a student will learn about Respect every year in September for up to 13 years. This allows a deep understanding about good character to develop, be recognized and celebrated.” Melanie Rose, Avista – PACE President, Elect A PACE Award is given to one

student at every participating school and it is up to the school to decide which student will receive the award. The chosen student is notified and in previous years the student attended a banquet to receive his/her award. This year’s presentations were done differently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PACE Porch Presentation: 2020 PACE Awards were presented to each student via a “PACE Porch Presentation” during the first week of June. These presentations took place outside of the student’s home. “Each PACE Porch Presentation included a yard sign proclaiming a “Student of Character Lives Here” along with the actual award and certificate. Each student in the Valley also received a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant, a special PACE t-shirt and swag bag loaded with sponsor gifts. The presentations were given by a PACE Awards board member (typically a school district rep), the student’s teacher(s) and principal,” stated Rose.

PACE President 2019/2020, Verne Reed, states, “Since we were prevented from celebrating our fabulous students of exceptional character in person this year, we pivoted to the idea of PACE Porch Presentations. After all, good character begins in the home, so it seemed fitting to celebrate each student surrounded by their supportive family and friends. We could not have done this without the generous financial support of our sponsors as well as the hard work of our PACE Awards Committee

members.”

What Does Mean to you?

Good

Character

Each PACE Award recipient was asked the following question: What does good character mean to you? Samantha Huffman, 5th grader at Riverbend Elementary, stated, “Treat others like you want to be treated; if everyone had good character, the world would be a better place!” Samantha is an all-around amazing PACE student inside and out! She helps students learn to read, holds doors open, will sit next to the lonely student at lunch, and she leads with a positive mindset. Caitlyn Ewasko, 5th grader at Greenacres Elementary, stated, “Character results in respect from others & self-esteem. Living by the Golden Rule has shaped who I am.” Caitlyn has a positive attitude, always helps her teachers and her classmates, and always puts forth 110%. She would like to be a Kindergarten teacher when she grows up so she can teach kids to be kind, hard-working, and follow the Golden Rule. “I want to teach kids if everyone was a little bit kinder each day, then maybe this world would be a happy place for everyone,” states Caitlyn. Both of Caitlyn’s parents are in the Air Force and have always instilled kindness, compassion, integrity, hard work, and the Golden Rule into Caitlyn and her siblings. Caitlyn’s mom, Colleen Ewasko, advised that Caitlyn always stands up for people who are afraid or cannot stand up for themselves. Millie Dobyns, 5th grader at

Liberty Lake Elementary, stated, “Character means going above and beyond, being kind, and always including others when they are lonely or nervous.” Millie does the right thing even when no one is looking. She gives her all in everything she does and she always finds ways to spread kindness. She recently began volunteering at a local animal shelter. Millie would like to work with animals when she grows up. Millie’s mom, Galin Dobyns, says that Millie is always putting people’s thoughts and feelings at the forefront. Makayla Hickman, 8th grader at Selkirk Middle School, stated, “Good character makes you a well-rounded & positive person to be around, and prepares you for life lessons.” Makayla has a knack for making her peers feel comfortable and supported. She has a pleasant disposition and enjoys helping others without being asked to do so. The PACE Initiative Rose states, “The initiative has grown to become a 501.c.3. with more than 200 PACE Partners - partnering business organizations, eight K-12 school districts and two chapters – Spokane Valley and West Plains… PACE is organized and led by an allvolunteer Board of Directors. There are several committees, also mostly filled with Board members and a few additional community & business volunteers. With the exception of the part-time CVSD employee who supports PACE, we are all-volunteer with no paid staff members.” Visit www.pacecommunity.org for more information on PACE, PACE Partner and PACE Sponsorship.


The Current

JULY 2020 • 17


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• JULY 2020

The Current

Salute to Spring Sports – CV coaches honor athletes By Craig Howard

Current Contributing Editor

After hibernating through the winter, hundreds of Central Valley Bears were ready for the spring sports season. While practices began as usual in early March, the schedules for tennis, golf, fastpitch softball, track and field, baseball and boys’ soccer would all eventually be washed out. The culprit this year was not stormy or inclement weather but a pandemic that had the same effect on many day-to-day activities across the nation and world. In Washington state, the impact of COVID-19 shuttered all public and private schools on April 6. The word from Olympia also meant the 2020 campaigns for spring sports would be discontinued. This year’s 4A girls’ state golf championship had been slated for Meadowood Golf Course in Liberty Lake while the 4A boys’ tournament was set for the county venue next door. The 4A state fastpitch softball bracket would have played out at Dwight Merkel Stadium in north Spokane. Other familiar venues like Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma – longtime home of the big school state track meet – remained silent in late May.

break the school record and several others who were vastly improved. Throwers who were ready to explode with big marks after patiently putting in the work the last couple of years. Jumpers who had broken class records and many others just figuring it out. Sprinters and hurdlers ready to continue the tradition of putting our best together in time for championship season. And that is the kids we know! All I heard while away at state basketball was “Wait until you see this kid!” We were going to be good, maybe as good as we have ever been. But mostly, we had our seniors. Axtell, Bissell, Teah and Lizzie, the sisters Creeger, the last of the Fords, Haynie and Heskett, Johnson and Keller, McLelland and McManus, Mulligan, Becky, Sine and Singsavaddy. A group that is the perfect mix of state veterans, determined varsity competitors, kids out for fun and even a couple

of newcomers. When we first got word of cancellation there were more than a few tears but the kids quickly transitioned to grace and understanding, strength and resilience – all lessons learned earlier in competition and to be passed down to teammates, which will be the class of 2020’s enduring legacy. Any future successes we have will be because of how this group of seniors conducted themselves. They are more than ready for what the world has to offer. Boys’ tennis – By Jonathan Valencia Speculating on the tennis season that didn’t happen can be tough, but the CVHS boys’ tennis team would have had a fantastic year. This year would have led off with Robert Weaver, a sophomore at our number one spot, who worked tremendously hard to improve his game. Followed by our two, three and four positions who were all seniors. Jackson Scott a returning senior who last year won the Inland Empire No. 2 doubles. He also

followed that up with a fourth-place finish at regional. Sadly, missing state by one place. Next, Mat Haigh, a senior and solid tennis player who also worked on his tennis game in the off-season, would have easily filled the number three spot on our team. Landon Rehkow, a senior and our No. 4 singles player, would have been very strong at this position. Landon was the elected captain of the team and with his leadership skills it is easy to see why. He is also heading to the University of Idaho on scholarship to be their place kicker. This leads me to the Noakes brothers. Ethan a senior and Luke a sophomore were fantastic additions to our team from Lewiston, Idaho where they had already found success at higher levels of match play. My belief is they would have been highly successful at No. 1 doubles. Andrew Harter and Reagan Crosby both seniors would have been an incredible No. 3 doubles team. The tennis team at CVHS for the 2019-20 season would have been one to contend with in the Greater Spokane League (GSL). While

While CV athletes may not have collected medals and trophies this spring, their work and sacrifices on behalf of their respective sports have not gone unnoticed. In the June issue, coaches for boys’ soccer, fastpitch softball, girls’ golf, baseball and boys’ track and field saluted their teams. This time, girls’ tennis, boys’ golf, girls’ track and field and boys’ tennis are in the spotlight. Bear Nation honors you. Girls track and field – By Geoff Arte We had a distance crew ready to prove they belong with the best. A returning state vaulter ready to

Contributed photo The Central Valley boys' golf team took second place at the Pasco Invite before the 2020 season was canceled. From left to right: Garrett Packebush, Luke Sukut, Ben Hadley, Cooper Arnold, Tyler Jackson and Brayden Miles. Jackson was the medalist in Pasco with a low score of 68.


JULY 2020 • 19

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Jen Ballantyne Owner, Attorney making predictions on unplayed matches is a challenge, I believe this group of young men would have finished in the top of the GSL with a few moving on to regionals and yes, possibly state. To the CVHS tennis season that wasn’t. Girls tennis – By Clyde Woods The 2020 Central Valley Girls Tennis Team was looking forward to returning to the courts. Seniors Taryn Harvey (2019 All GSL first team) and Haley Heck (2019 All GSL second team) were names that people expected to lead this team. However, people associated with high school tennis in Spokane are also familiar with the names Mariele Stockman, Alexia Krogh and Sarah Kinsolving. All five of these ladies have previously demonstrated success in previous Inland Empire,

Final Point By Mike Vlahovich Current contributor

Speed runs in the Duke family. The sons and daughters have been integral parts in West Valley’s track (and football successes) over the years. Daughter Latrouchka (LaLa) finished second and third places in the sprints last year in Tacoma and will take the orange and black with her when she enrolls at Oregon State next year. But she, like oodles of senior athletes around from the Valley and around the state, was denied the opportunity bring home the gold in her final trip to Star Track in Tacoma as will six other spring sports athletes at various sites around Washington. It’s a shame that a virus could shut down a whole country, let alone Duke’s and those others denied a final shot at high school glory.

districts or possibly even the regional tournament by the time they were sophomores. The double teams of Katlyn Cooper and Jennifer Drinkwine as well as Elizabeth Pauley and Svetlana Susina both played on opposite sides of the GSL JV tournament semifinals in 2019. These two teams were chomping at the bit and more than ready for their GSL varsity debuts. The ladies rounding out the varsity roster all could be considered secret weapons for this team because nobody knew their names and they could all challenge and find themselves in a big match having success at any time. Brieanna Riddle, Katie Winter, Kaylee Mitchell and Annie Peterson complete the varsity roster. Of the 63 young ladies that turned out for tennis this season, CVGT had several The closest it came, confirmed by WV track coach Vic Wallace and former coach Jim McLachlan, was the 40 years ago, May of 1980, when Mt. St. Helens blew her top. Wallace was competing at Spokane Falls College at the time. “Not to the point where they cancelled the meet,” he said. “I just finished the NWAAC championships. It was the next day that it blew.” McLachlan said that the district meet was canceled because of the explosion, but the WIAA state meet went on via a seeding process that sent the Frontier League and the best around area leagues and throughout the state. Then, Old Man Covid Virus ruined things for spring sports athletes: Girls and boys track and field; baseball; softball; boys and girls tennis and golf. “When it originally hit, I’m an optimist and was determined to get workouts in,” Wallace told me.

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seniors. While all players cannot be named individually, it is an honor to name those remaining seniors from the program who have not been previously mentioned. Savannah Dayton, Skylar Robles, Mia Rogers, Drew Scott, Autymn Wilde and Emma Wilkerson, without your hard work and dedication these past years, CVGT cannot achieve our team success as a whole. Boys’ golf – By Brian Spencer Unlike most sports, CV boys’ golf got a taste of competition before everything was shut down. We had high hopes for a great season after finishing second out of 22 teams at the Pasco Invite. In an incredible story, sophomore Tyler Jackson was the medalist at the tournament with the low round of 68. Tyler was in a “Obviously we weren’t coming back to school, but I still felt everybody could still run.” But running, jumping or throwing in Tacoma wasn’t to be. They may not even be able to have summer workouts or weight training. Duke, who will attend Sacramento State in the fall to continue her sprint career, is one of the many Spokane area senior stars whose hearts were ripped out, their final shot at glory unceremoniously stolen by a pandemic. At least Wallace’s track team is young and will have other opportunities in the future. And, he says, it is better to err on the side of caution. “Their sorrow will be short-lived.” Tell that to the seniors. If there’s a bright side, even if their summer training is curtailed, which could be the case barring the unforeseen, there’s always next

horrific skiing accident in December and figured to miss the entire season. Not only did he come back months ahead of schedule but he played well enough to beat over 100 other golfers. Our lone senior, Luke Sukut, came out after being part of the CV basketball state runner-up team. He was playing great and it’s a shame that he wasn’t able to play golf during his senior season, which was sure to be a promising one. We had high hopes to contend for a GSL and state title and feel for the boys who were part of this team. We had some other amazing golfers including Brayden Miles, Garrett Packebush, Cooper Arnold and newcomer Ben Hadley. Other returning players with a chance to get in some varsity GSL matches included Braden Schmidt, Jack Rodgers and Ethan Wilson. year. I remember where I was when the ash started falling on us. I’d just washed my new car and now it was covered in soot. Forty years removed, I can laugh about it now. Wallace, a North Central graduate and sophomore at the community college, remembers, too. “Like it was yesterday, “Wallace said. “I was finished with SCC and visiting friends the next day,” Wallace said. He lived on the North side of Spokane. His friends lived in the Valley. The mountain blew and covered the area in ash. “It took me 45 minutes to get home and it was a 10-minute drive,” he said. Like he and McLachlan, things ultimately worked. This year’s senior athletic class will also have memories. Unfortunately, they’ll be more like nightmares.


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LIBRARY

• JULY 2020

Imagine Your Story

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Complete activity challenges.

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Curbside pickup of your library holds now available By Erin Dodge Spokane County Library District

Spokane County Library District is offering curbside pickup for your library holds at all libraries. This service is offered Monday–Saturday, 12–6pm, at Argonne Library, Spokane Valley Library, and The BookEnd at Spokane Valley Mall. For Otis Orchards Library, curbside pickup is offered Tuesday– Thursday and Saturday, 12–6pm. To use the curbside pickup service, you must first place a hold on library materials, such as books, DVDs, and CDs, in the library’s online catalog at www.scld.org. If you have limited internet service or need help placing a hold, you can also call your local library for help. The library will notify you by email, phone call, or postal mail when your holds are available for curbside pickup. Due to parking, staffing, and building configuration, curbside service will look a little different from library to library. So when you come to the library, look for the curbside pickup signs in the parking lot for instructions.

SUMMER 2020 June 1-August 31

You will need your library card to check out materials using curbside pickup. You can call the number on the signs in the parking lot once you arrive at the library. For library customers who don’t have a mobile phone, you can call ahead to arrange a time for pickup. The Library District asks that customers please follow directions on the signs. The library is doing everything they can to make the process as safe and seamless as possible. Staff are maintaining social distancing when they bring library materials to vehicles and to those without a vehicle. Curbside pickup of library holds is new to the library, and they are asking for understanding and patience as they

Beat the summer doldrums with (mostly) free activities

to get energy out, I move the flashlight around on the floor while my kids take turns trying to jump on it and “catch” the light. In another version, each person shines their flashlight on the ceiling. One person is “it” and tries to catch the others.

If you are looking for some fun (and mostly free) ways to entertain your kids this summer, here is a go-to list of creative ideas that don’t take too much preparation.

You can decorate eggs. Who says this activity is only for Easter? Make Fourth of July eggs or friendship eggs or today-is-Monday eggs. There are so many ways to decorate eggs—just break out the dye, crayons, rubber bands, and stickers.

By Rachel Edmondson Current Guest Correspondent

www.scld.org

The Current

Upcycle crafting is when you take old items that are ready to be recycled and create something new! These crafts are great because as long as you have the basics, like scissors and glue, you don’t have to buy art supplies. Simply gather old or recyclable items, like cereal boxes, paper towel tubes, even clothing that’s too small and let everyone create whatever they can imagine. For inspiration, check out Pinterest or YouTube for upcycle crafts. My house is definitely too small for a regular game of tag, but we’ve discovered flashlight tag! If we need

Building a fort is a classic for a reason! Not only is it a lot of fun, it also creates a whole new space to spend time. Get creative. Try building a grocery store, restaurant, or even a wolves’ den. Incorporating pretend play can help extend the fun. Forts are also a great way to make regular activities, like reading and watching movies, feel extra special. My family likes to use dance parties as a way to expend some energy and have fun. You’ll find great streaming music from hoopla, available online with your library card at www.scld. org/hoopla, to help you get in the

fine-tune this service. For additional details about this service, visit www. scld.org/curbside-pickup. You can return books and other library materials to the library’s book deposit slot. Please don’t hand them to curbside pickup staff. If you are returning library materials that are too large for the exterior book drop, please call the library and discuss alternatives for returning those materials. The pickup and return process are being kept separate to maintain safe borrowing of materials. The libraries remain closed for all other services and programs at this time. You can find the most up-to-date information about your local library at www.scld.org. groove. And if you really need to get away from the house, I’ve found it’s never too late to plan a staycation to explore nearby places. My family likes to plan lots of outings and then come home just in time to tumble into our own beds. Staycations are a great time to do those activities you always say you’re going to do but don’t. You can visit the places you drive past but never take the time to stop and see. Some ideas for free staycation activities are to take a hike, go for a bike ride, sleep in a tent in the backyard, or have a family sleepover in your living room. Some low-cost activities include trying a new ice cream place, visiting Green Bluff or a farmer’s market and then incorporating your veggie and fruit selections into a meal, and buying glow-in-the-dark bracelets at the dollar store to play new games in the dark. I hope these ideas help you fend off the “I’m bored” moments and find entertaining activities for the whole family this summer.


JULY 2020 • 21

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ON THAT NOTE

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JULY 2020 • 23

Ten years and a new chapter to Spokane Gymnastics By Nina Culver Current Contributor

The pandemic has significantly altered plans for everyone from students to businesses and Spokane Gymnastics is no different. Owner Nadine Burgess shut her doors for nearly four months, but along the way she took a leap of faith and opened a second Spokane Valley location. “What a different year we have had other than what we had planned,” she said. “This was not something on my list of things to do.” In February Burgess learned that the owners of Northwest Gymnastics, a staple for nearly 40 years, were considering transitioning their program, Burgess said. In April she began working on plans to take over the location at 11712 E. Montgomery Drive, which she now calls Spokane Gymnastics Pines. “I was in a position at that point to help,” she said. Her competitive gymnast program had outgrown her 30,000 square foot location at 2515 N. Locust Road, which is called Spokane Gymnastics Argonne Village. She also knew she’d need more space to accommodate new social distancing requirements when she was able to open again. Burgess said she didn’t buy Northwest Gymnastics, but she did buy their equipment and take over the lease on their building. She also hired the owners of Northwest Gymnastics, Mike and Nancy Armstrong, and two of their employees as coaches. “They’re excellent coaches and it’s wonderful to be able to provide continuity for all the students as we slowly are able to reopen,” Burgess said. Those who took classes in the Montgomery location will notice changes, including new carpet. “We have completely gutted it,” she said. “We went down to the studs.” The Montgomery location opened to small groups of teen girls on June 1. The main facility on Locust will open July 1. There will be classes, camps and birthday parties, but other programs like the open gym and parent’s night out have been cancelled for now. “A lot of the other programs we offered before we are unable to offer right now because of the need for

Contributed photo Nadine Burgess, owner of Spokane Gymnastics, expands her gym to the former Northwest Gymnastics location as she celebrates the ten year anniversary of Spokane Gymnastics. physical distancing,” she said. Parents can sign up for four, six or eight weeks of summer classes and attend any days they like between July 6 and Aug. 29 for children as young as preschool age. Costs vary from $80 to $246 depending on class length and number of weeks selected. Visit www. spokanegymnastics.com for a full schedule and more detail. There will be one coach for every five students during classes, but coaches will not be hands on like they were in the past, Burgess said. Every effort will be made to keep distance between students and between students and coaches. All employees will wear masks and the mats and equipment will be disinfected after each use, Burgess said. Employees will also have their temperatures checked each time they arrive for work. Students will also be expected to wash their hands when entering the school and frequently during practice. Drinking fountains have been removed and replaced with hand washing stations. Each gymnast will also have their own chalk bag. “There’s no sharing,” she said. Parents can still watch classes, but

families are being asked to limit the number of spectators, Burgess said. Parents will also be asked to observe social distancing in the viewing areas. “We’re going to be strict on using the space and viewing areas,” she said. Students will not be required to wear masks during class, but they will need to have one on hand in case they need it to interact with coaches, she said. Burgess said it’s important to keep her students safe and healthy. “We can’t let it slack in any way,” she said. “It’s harder than anything I’ve ever done, but it’s worth it.” The road Burgess took to owning gymnastics schools isn’t typical. “I wasn’t a gymnast,” she said. “I started coaching when I was 14 because someone thought I’d be good with kids.” In doing that, she found her passion. She likes teaching gymnastics skills, but she likes teaching other lessons even better, like how to persevere and keep trying when you fall down. “I really like the life lessons gymnastics teaches,” she said. “It’s been more about positively impacting the lives of kids through gymnastics.”

Along the way Burgess taught herself gymnastics skills. She said she can’t imagine doing anything else. “It’s my side gig that became more than what I thought it would be,” she said. “It’s my purpose. It’s my passion.” Burgess knows she’s taking a risk by opening a second location during a pandemic. Gymnastics schools in general have struggled in recent years, she said. “We’ve had a hard couple of years in the industry,” she said. “It was not in my business plan to be shut down for 3 ½ months. It’s going to take years for us to get back where we were on March 1.” But she’s committed to making both her locations prosper. “I’m all in,” she said. “I believe we can make it.” Finding students isn’t the issue right now, she said. In fact, she can’t accommodate everyone that’s interested. “I think kids need physical activity,” she said. “People want to come back. There’s more demand than I have space for because of the limitations. There’s new opportunities, but there’s also new challenges. It’s not going to be easy for us.”


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July 2020 Current  

4th District race to the ballot is on; Candidates vie for the top two spots in the upcoming primary election

July 2020 Current  

4th District race to the ballot is on; Candidates vie for the top two spots in the upcoming primary election