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Innovative Education

Initiative From growing business to lessening poverty, from infrastructural health to innovative education — four conversations that will Innovative Education be critical to the best possible 2013 for the greater Spokane Valley




Innovative Education

No more, “Whatever” How the West Valley Community Truancy Board is empowering kids to care about going to school PAGE 6



2 • january 2013

Olympia calling Fresh from election to his first full term in the Senate chamber, veteran lawmaker Mike Padden talks priorities


The Current

State Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, has local offices in the same complex that houses Spokane Valley City Hall: 11707 E. Sprague Ave., Suite 305.

By Craig Howard Current Contributor

When Mike Padden returned to Olympia as part of the Washington state Legislature last year, a few things had changed. To begin with, the former 4th District delegate to the House of Representatives was now on the Senate side, having defeated Jeff Baxter in a hard-fought election the previous November. Padden represented greater Spokane Valley and northeast Spokane County in the House from 1980 to 1995 before leaving to become a Spokane County District Court judge. Another difference had to do with the absence of Padden’s friend and fellow Republican legislator, Bob McCaslin, a fixture in the Senate for 30 years before stepping down due to poor health in January 2011. McCaslin endorsed Padden as his replacement, but Spokane County commissioners appointed Baxter in February of that year after local GOP precinct committee officers forwarded along three finalists that did not include Padden. McCaslin, who also served as a council member with the city of Spokane Valley, passed away in March of 2011 at the age of 84. Padden also encountered leaner surroundings in the state capital upon re-establishing office space. Gone were the chauffeured cars that delivered legislators to meetings. Also missing from the terrain was a Senate dining room, although the House cafeteria remained. The reduction in perks was not an issue for Padden, a longtime advocate of frugality and limited government who has pointed out on more than one occasion that

A Cup of Joe “lobbyists are not in Olympia to reduce spending.” He advocated for an increase in funding for education as a first-time senator and was part of a bipartisan effort to establish a balanced budget. The theme of reaching across the aisle will continue with the session that begins this month as the GOP established a majority coalition caucus in December that includes two partnering Democrats. The resulting landscape will mean half-a-dozen committees with Republican chairs, the same number with Democratic chairs and three committees headed by co-chairs. No committee will feature more than a one-vote margin between the two parties. The Current caught up with Padden before the start of the 2013 Legislative session to talk about the economy, transportation funding, free eyeglasses, oldtime baseball and other topics.


You occupy the same Senate seat that your friend and colleague, Bob McCaslin, held for three decades. In what ways are you similar to Bob in terms of priorities and just your general approach to being a legislator?


I think we’re similar to some extent. Bob had a tremendous sense of humor which I think carried him a long way. He was very cautious about new spend-

There are seven of us. There are 100,000 of you. Submit story ideas, pictures, rants or share Uncle Andy’s secret cinnamon roll recipe:

Current photo by Craig Howard

ing and expanding the role of government. He wasn’t necessarily interested in passing a lot of legislation as he was in making sure bad legislation didn’t get through. He also was very attentive to the district. He was pretty accessible and obviously very popular because he was in from 1981 until he retired in 2011. He was the senior member of the Senate when he resigned. Everyone has different personalities, but I think our voting records were fairly similar. Neither one of us was a proponent of taxes. Q: How is serving in the Senate different from serving in the House other than not having your own dining area? A: It’s more relationship based, a little less partisan and the senators are more independent. You have a little more staff, but the pay is the same, the district is the same, so that part’s similar. In general, the process is the same. The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate whereas you have the Speaker in the House and some of rules are a little bit dif-

ferent. Committee voting is quite a bit different in the Senate than the House, but you’re still dealing with issues and bills that still have to pass out of committee, then go to the rules committee and then on to the floor and be amended. I still like the committee voting in the House better. Q: How will this new Senate majority coalition caucus affect the process in Olympia? Does this mean we’re going to see more bipartisan cooperation like we did last year when 44 of 46 voting senators approved the same budget? A: It affects the whole structure of the Senate. Republicans now have joint governance. It will give us a lot more say. It means that for the most part we will jointly be running the Senate. The Senate definitely has more a history of working together than the House. Before I got there, the budget was somewhat of a bipartisan budget in 2010. I think it’s always important that people be civil toward each other. I try not to burn any bridges and try to get

along with everyone. Q: I know you’ve been named chair of the Law and Justice Committee, but what about issues surrounding transportation? A lot of folks are wondering if the North-South Freeway will ever be completed. A: I think the North-South Freeway is a very important thing. It’s a long-term project that they’ve estimated will be another eight years at least before it’s finalized, and while I’m supportive of that as far as transportation issues go, the top priority of the 4th District delegation is to try and get some funding for the Sullivan Bridge. It’s a $20 million project and they are requesting another $4 million. I hope sooner rather than later, the county will proceed with the Bigelow Gulch straightening out and then the connection will tie in with Sullivan eventually. The amount of money for the NorthSouth Freeway is huge, but hopefully it will continue to make progress.

See PADDEN, page 4

The Current

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The Current

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PADDEN Continued from page 2

Q: Keeping with the theme of transportation, what’s the latest on Bridging the Valley? This is an issue that received a lot of press in the early days after Spokane Valley incorporation, but you don’t hear much about it anymore. A: Well, that was talked about really quite a while ago, and it’s kind of been in abeyance, but as part of it we ended up with the Argonne Road underpass which has been a huge improvement and very necessary. Millwood still has some problems but they’re far less than what they were. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t be concerned about the traffic component. I’ve certainly discussed it with people, and there are different theories on which area should be next. Some people want Barker to be the one. Other people looking at traffic, like myself, look at Pines, and so I’m all for continuing to do that. Obviously railroads need to be able to participate in that, and they sort of take the position that they were there first. There has certainly been talk of it, but I would kind of be surprised if anything happened with that this session. Q: What are your thoughts on the state budget as you begin this session? It seems we’re not hearing quite the level of doom and gloom that we heard out of Olympia

last year, starting with the prediction that revenue will be up 9 percent. A: The House and the Senate will each have their ideas on the budget. I think the Legislature has got to fund education first. I think it’s important for state government to ferret out waste and other areas where there can be more efficiencies. I frankly believe there is a certain percentage that each agency could reduce without greatly impacting the public. We’re required to have a balanced budget. We’re still paying a lot of interest on our debt. We’ll get there and there will be additional revenue forecasts and we’ll see how things change. Q: Speaking of bipartisan legislation, you introduced a Senate bill last year that eventually was passed as House Bill 2216, allowing charities to provide eyeglasses and hearing aids to disadvantaged residents. I heard somewhere that you saw a story in the newspaper about the need and worked on behalf of nonprofits like the Union Gospel Mission. What can you tell us about where this issue is now? A: In June, the bill became effective. Union Gospel Mission is distributing eyeglasses to homeless men and women who couldn’t afford them. It was definitely a bipartisan effort. We wanted to make sure regulations weren’t so onerous. My main concern was getting the bill through. It grants immunity to Union Gospel Mission

for dispensing these. There were a lot of things to deal with. We have a lot of people who have eyeglasses and can see now. The Union Gospel Mission does a great job. They have a volunteer optometrist. They have all the equipment there that they’ve raised money for, and they have contacts within the community if they have to refer someone to an ophthalmologist. I’ve found that a lot of nonprofits can deliver services more effectively than government. Q: Not to dwell on the past, but how disappointing was it not to be among the three finalists to replace McCaslin back in the early part of 2011? And, along those same lines, why did you decide to run against Jeff Baxter that November? Why not just find a golf course or start knitting? A: The part that was a little more disappointing was that the precinct committee people didn’t include me on the list, but that’s their prerogative. As far as running against Jeff for the Senate, I have a little bit of a selective memory in recalling my time in the House before. You tend to remember more of the positive than the negative, but I felt I had that experience and I did know the rules and how things operate and could make a difference for the district. Sometimes the greatest reward is just helping someone work through the process. I just got elected to this term — we’ll see how it goes. I’m really looking forward to it. I do feel blessed to represent this district. Q: Your local 4th District office is now housed in the same building as Spokane Valley City Hall. How would you describe your working relationship with the city? A: I think I have a really good relationship with the city of Spokane Valley. Obviously, we’re here. I had a meeting today with the mayor and city manager, all three legislators did, talking about their priorities and ours. Some of the council people were there and some of their staff. I’ve been out to some Liberty Lake meetings. I want to try and do that more. I haven’t had the chance to meet as much with Millwood. In general, we are fortunate because we have three pretty well-run cities. The city of Spokane Valley has a very healthy reserve. There are things that we try to work with them on, and the county, too. A large portion of the district is unincorporated, so we have issues there, too. Q: Lastly, I have to ask you a little bit about life outside politics. I know you’re an avid baseball fan and your grandfather, Richard “Brains” Padden, played professional baseball in the late 19th, early 20th century for the Pittsburgh Pirates and several other teams. I know that you’ve also supported American Legion baseball over the years. What do you like about the game? A: I like the pace of the game. I like being able to go to a game and carry on a conversation. I think the more you know

About Mike A native of Portland whose family spent time in Chicago before settling in Seattle, 4th District state Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, leaned more toward law than government when considering his career path. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gonzaga University in 1971 before earning his law degree from GU in 1974. While on the Spokane campus, Padden was active in the political union and donated time to a handful of local campaigns as a volunteer. Padden has worn a number of hats over the years, serving in active duty stateside for the Army Reserve, working as the judicial liaison for the National Highway Traffic Administration and supporting local American Legion baseball as both president and commissioner. He also pitches in with Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels as a substitute driver, bringing warm lunches to some of his senior constituents. When Padden talks about the reasons he lives in and represents Spokane Valley, the spiel goes beyond campaign rhetoric. He and his wife, Laura — parents of five grown sons — have called the area home for 34 years. Padden appeared as the only candidate on the ballot for the 4th District senate seat last November, winning a four-year term. about the game, the more interesting it becomes with the strategy and everything. There are so many different aspects to it. It seems like the perfect game and there are so many great stories. What I really like to see is people in baseball who come back and make a difference in the community like Jeremy Affeldt and Mike Redmond. And then Roberto Clemente is probably my favorite baseball player of all time. I admire him as a person and a baseball player.

The Current

january 2013 • 5


In case you missed it Compiled by Josh Johnson Current Staff Writer

Bragging on business The city of Spokane Valley has invested a lot of time and marketing dollars into touting its streamlined permitting process, calling it the “friendliest permitting process in Washington.” The idea is to attract businesses to the community and remove barriers to economic development. Ads developed by MDI Marketing have played on the airwaves and been placed on billboards and in newspapers. The effort follows a special focus on economic development given to the city in 2012. The city previously formed an advisory committee made up of community leaders that met throughout the year before reporting to the Council in December with recommendations and focuses for the future.

Gothmann to be honored The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce announced last month that this year’s Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year is Bill Gothmann. Gothmann, a former member of the Spokane Valley City Council and Spokane Valley Planning Commission, will be honored at the Chamber’s annual Gem of the Valley Gala on Jan. 26. Gothmann is a forgothmann mer teacher who has a pair of master’s degrees. He has written four college textbooks.

Hansen achieves repeat in writing contest For the second consecutive year, West Valley High School junior and Current contributor Kyle Hansen was announced the winner of The Spokesman-Review’s annual

Outdoor Writing Contest. The Spokane newspaper announced in late December that Hansen’s article about salmon fishing at a toxic waste site was the best of the 214 entries it received. Hansen was also acknowledged as just the second two-time winner in the contest’s 27-year history. Hansen lives in Millwood. He writes a monthly column about local businesses called Critics on Bikes for The Current.

Lilac Festival’s “Fab 14” will compete for Royal Court Jan. 27 Fourteen area high school seniors advanced in the annual competition for a spot on the Spokane Lilac Festival Royal Court. The next phase of the selection process take place at the Bing Crosby Theater Jan. 27. Among the students who advanced from the original pool of 29 eligible high schools are Brett Rountree of Central Valley, Felicia Jackson of Freeman and Shelby Schafer of West Valley. Finalists selected to serve on the Royal Court earn scholarships and represent Spokane youth during the 75th Anniversary Armed Forces Torchlight Parade on May 18, among other commitments.

Expansion means Valley DOL no longer offering driver tests As of Jan. 1, the Department of Licensing ceased offering driver knowledge and skill tests at several licensing service offices throughout the state, including the Spokane Valley location, 12801 E. Sprague Ave. The move coincides with DOL’s expansion of a new program that allows driver training schools and school district driver training programs to conduct driver knowledge and skills testing for new driver license applicants. “This program continues to operate smoothly, so we are stopping testing in several more offices as of the first of the year,” said DOL Director Alan Haight. “There are

See MISSED, page 34

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6 • january 2013


The Current

West Valley High School seniors and former truants, from left, Kirsten Price and Taylor Sotin, visit with West Valley Community Truancy Board members on a recent Thursday morning in Millwood.

Tackling truancy With a 16-year track record, the West Valley Community Truancy Board continues to be a model of success By Jocelyn Stott Current Contributor

When Taylor Sotin and Kirsten Price were freshmen at West Valley High School, they would routinely stay home and watch movies when they were supposed to be at school. Today, they are seniors just a few months from graduation. Both plan to attend college. The pair described the path that led to multiple violations of district attendance rules as one fraught with challenging obstacles — coupled with a lack of tools to overcome them. So they gave up. “I was depressed,” Taylor said. “I had so much stress at home that doing homework was hard. I had no space of my own. I was tired. My grades got bad, and then I just wanted to hang out and sleep.” The bad grades and their impact on her relationship with her mom spiraled the depression further, Taylor said, and the decision to stop attending school made

Current photo by Jocelyn Stott

bad grades worse. “I was ticked at first,” Price recalled. “I “My mom would ground me for it, and mean, missing school for a meeting for I just said, ‘Whatever.’ She couldn’t en- missing school? That doesn’t make sense.” But the anger turned to understanding force it while at work,” Taylor said. as she saw Kirsten Larry Bush, pringet connected with cipal at WVSD’s the resources needSpokane Valley ed to catch up and High School, said get back on track. such a response is Next year, Kirsten common. plans to attend com“Kids underInnovative Education munity college and stand that as parstudy psychology. ents, you can’t really make them do “It’s important to understand that the anything,” Bush said. “(The students) do board is not punitive as much as it is have control. So ultimately, we have to problem solving,” WVCTB Coordinator show them that they can be empowered Marcia Stegman-Glenn said. “We’re tryto control their future with motivation to ing to help families resolve issues that succeed.” keep kids out of school.” Bush is the administrator of an estabStegman-Glenn is the person who is lished program aimed at doing just that, charged with contacting families after a program that has done just that for five unexcused absences per month or Taylor and Kirsten, as well as for many 10 in a year. She schedules the meetings other students in the past 15-plus years. with the WVCTB, students and their parIt’s called the West Valley Community ents to figure out what they need to be Truancy Board (WVCTB). successful. She also files a petition with

Solutions, not punishment

Kirsten’s mom, Dawn Price, was reluctantly grateful when the call came from West Valley High School summoning her to a mandatory meeting with the WVCTB to deal with her daughter’s attendance. A nurse’s aid working with end-of-life care for Hospice Care of Spokane, Price would have to miss work. Indeed, her work commitments often require varying hours, and her partner of 21 years, Alex, also has work commitments.

the state stating that the student is in violation with attendance laws. Going to court, faced with possible juvenile detention for skipping school is a serious issue — to avoid that, WVSD implemented the board to intervene. Board leaders say some families need substance abuse counseling, crisis resolution or health care. Some just need to talk to each other more effectively or learn to implement boundaries with one another. And they agree that once a student gets

A program worth replicating “The WVCTB was established by West Valley School District in 1996-97 to help truant students and their families by connecting them with school, community and court resources. Its goal is successful re-engagement and renewed progress toward school completion and increased graduation rates and funding for schools through maintaining FTEs. “Any school district wishing to improve its ability to identify barriers to school attendance, problem-solve solutions, connect truant youth and their families with community based services, and strengthen collaboration between schools, community members and juvenile courts should request and use the Community Truancy Board Toolkit.” — Excerpted from Spokane County Toolkit for Community Truancy Board Replication handbook. behind, an alternative or project-based school is likely the only way they’re going to get back on track. That’s what Taylor and Kirsten did when they transferred to Spokane Valley High School, an alternative option. They

See TRUANCY, page 7

The Current

january 2013 • 7


TRUANCY Continued from page 6

have since transferred back to WVHS in order to graduate from a traditional high school. “I have a lot of Taylors and Kirstens, and it doesn’t take much to knock down a few barriers and open a few doors to get them through,” said Martin Kolodrub, a truancy specialist for Spokane County Juvenile Court Services. “Some of these kids — the odds are really against them.” Kolodrub follows as many as 150 truants through the program each year. He has an office at four schools — including West Valley — where he regularly checks in with students. “Students are affected by so many things, from the economy, to parents with drug or alcohol problems or relationship issues,” he said. “It’s really about much more than school.”

Adults who care According to most research, the top cause of students dropping out of school is a lack of engagement or meaningful relationships, said Bush, the program administrator and high school principal. “It’s about community and relationships,” he said. “So many drop-outs say no adult in their life really cared if they dropped out, so they do.” Taylor admitted as much, saying that even when she was caught for skipping school and received consequences, she was comforted in knowing there were adults who cared. “Every time adults intervened, I appreciated it,” she said. Each member of the volunteer board is someone from the school system or community who has something that struggling students may need — from counseling options, health care, a place to study, a supportive community or alternative learning opportunities. The board volunteers sit down with families each week, listening to their

Members of the board Current West Valley Community Truancy Board members include members from Job Corps and Next Generation Zone, job placement services for teens, and: • Karen Bromps, principal, Centennial Middle School • Ramona Ramirez, Community Minded Enterprises • Dusty Andres, principal, West Valley City School, a project-based middle school • Tad Heinen, principal, Seth Woodard Elementary • Brandon Comella, youth director and manager of The Crossing Youth Center at Millwood Presbyterian Church • Lauren House, administrator of WVSD’s Contract Based Education school • Martin Kolodrub, truancy specialist for Spokane County Juvenile Court Services

stories and asking questions in a group problem-solving session at the Millwood Early Childhood Education Center, 8818 E. Grace Ave. Bush said the meeting is a way of connecting directly to the people who can facilitate the connection to services.

Recognized for results The WVCTB has been recognized by the state of Washington as a Model for Change, both for its effectiveness and its ease of replication by other districts. Bush said the East Valley, Spokane and Mead school districts are in the process of creating their own truancy boards, while truants from these districts currently travel to WVSD to take advantage of available services.

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The Becca Bill

punitive time in juvenile detention.

In 1995, a year before the West Valley Community Truancy Board was founded, the Washington state Legislature passed a mandatory school attendance law to ensure that students fulfill the education provided by the state. Under the law, school districts are required to take action to eliminate absences that ultimately lead to drop-outs. Should the student fail to meet attendance requirements, the state can require parents and students to appear in court before a judge and face

The law was named for Becca Heldman, a teenage runaway from Seattle who was found murdered in Spokane.

Across the state, schools have implemented their own versions. Nationwide, nearly 20 states have modeled the WVCTB in various school districts. In 1996, when the program was first implemented, nearly 68 percent of WVSD truancy cases ended up in juvenile court. By 2010, that number was closer to 6 percent — meaning nearly 94 percent of all truancy cases in the district were mediated through the WVCTB without the need for court intervention.

No longer a ‘pushover parent’ Dawn Price said her involvement with the WVCTB helped her be a better parent and guardian. She had five high schoolage kids living with her during the period when Kirsten was struggling — some her own kids, some family members and even a family friend avoiding an unpleasant home life. Three of the students became familiar with the board. “I didn’t know who was where, when, and I had to trust they were at school while I was at work,” Price said. “They’re all good kids. Three have graduated. They just didn’t think they needed to go to school.” And the educational process extended to the parent. “I realized through all of this that I needed some counseling, too,” Price said.

Chronic truancy is proven to be associated with academic decline, which can become a gateway into other issues, such as substance abuse, teen pregnancy, disengagement, violence and dropping out of school. The most common reasons for students skipping school are a desire to be with friends and a lack of home supervision.

“I saw from watching Martin and the school people that I could be a little more hard on the kids than I was comfortable with at first — I was a pushover parent. Now I know that it’s more loving in the long run to enforce some consequences.” Ultimately, seeing students overcome their own barriers is the part that is most rewarding to those involved with the WVCTB. “There’s nothing like seeing those kids you’ve been following for years walk across the stage at graduation — knowing what they’ve had to overcome,” Kolodrub said.

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The Current

8 • january 2013


Spokane Valley City Council Member Brenda Grassel announced her resignation from the governing board at the Dec. 11 council meeting, based on a move outside city limits. A local business owner who has served since January 2010, Grassel displaced former Mayor Diana Wilhite in the November 2009 election as part of the “Positive Change” ticket that scrapped the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. Applications from Spokane Valley residents interested in replacing Grassel on the Council must be received by Jan. 11.


The city of Spokane Valley will sponsor a community meeting to address the Sullivan Road Bridge Replacement Project from 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at CenterPlace. The discussion will include updates on bridge design as well as information on the retrofit of storm drains on the existing bridges. Also on the agenda will be a review of a project to resurface Sullivan from the Flora Pit Road to Trent Avenue.

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The Current

january 2013 • 9

January is campaign season in the East Valley School District, as the district’s school board approved a $65 million school bond to go before voters on Feb. 12. The bond calls for improvements to be made throughout the district, including at East Farms, Otis Orchards, Trentwood and Trent elementary schools, Continuous Curriculum School and East Valley High School. A new performing arts center would also be added at the high school.

Two more classrooms will come on line when second semester begins Jan. 28 at Central Valley High School, where a facility designed to house up to 1,600 students serves nearly 2,000. The classrooms are housed in a portable, the second at CVHS, that is being installed this month. In November, the district approved the purchase of the used portable at a total cost to the district of about $100,000.

The holidays were a bit brighter for 76 elementary and middle school students across the Central Valley School District thanks to the generosity of a Liberty Lake business. OpenEye, 23221 E. Knox Ave., which makes digital video security systems, brought the students to the business for a tour and field trip in December. During the visit, students were surprised to learn they would be building a bicycle with an OpenEye employee — a bicycle that they would get to keep. The students were selected by district officials based upon several criteria, including attendance, academic achievement, need and demonstration of PACE characteristics.

(The placement of news items on this artistic map do not necessarily denote the actual location of the item described.)

The city of Liberty Lake hosted a well-attended open house on Dec. 13 to discuss a proposed roundabout at the junction of Harvard Road, Mission Avenue and the Interstate 90 westbound offramp. The project, slated for the 2013 construction season, is expected to improve safety conditions and traffic flow at the busy intersection.

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The Current

10 • january 2013

3UP 3DOWN Three Up, Three Down features at-aglance news from the Spokane Valley area: — what’s coming up in January — what went down in December Six of these items are represented on the artistic rendering of the Valley by local artist Casey Lynch on the previous spread.

City of Spokane Valley Compiled by Craig Howard

The city will sponsor a community meeting to address the Sullivan Road Bridge Replacement Project Jan. 9. Also on the agenda: update on plans to resurface Sullivan from the Flora Pit Road to Trent Avenue. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 8-9. In preparation for the one-decade anniversary of Spokane Valley incorporation, the city will continue to recruit sponsors for various events and promotions scheduled for 2013. The list of activities covers nearly every month of the year and includes a birthday party in March and a “Spokane Valley Day” at the county fair in September. The city’s SnoInfo informational service provides regular updates on snow clearing schedules for municipal road crews throughout the winter months. The 24hour SnoInfo line can be reached by calling 720-5311, while residents can sign up for online updates by going to The Spokane Valley City Council confirmed Mayor Tom Towey’s appointment of Kevin E. Anderson, Christina Carlsen and Robert B. McCaslin to the city’s Planning Commission. Each will serve a three-year term from 2013 to 2015. Spokane Valley City Council Member Brenda Grassel announced her resignation from the governing board at the Dec. 11 council meeting, based on a move outside city limits. Applications to replace her are due Jan. 11. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 8-9. The City Council dispersed $510,500 in lodging tax revenue to half-a-dozen entities, including Valleyfest, the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, Spokane Regional Sports Commission, Visit Spokane, the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum and the HUB Sports Center. Visit Spokane received the largest portion at $184,800.

City of Liberty Lake Compiled by Craig Howard

More discussion is anticipated on potential amendments to the city’s de-

news velopment code after a workshop in December that included representatives from Garco Construction, Huntwood and Bernardo/Wills Architects. The city is considering amendments in areas such as signage, trail and path definitions, exterior lighting, parking and landscaping. The process of securing a replacement for longtime Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District General Manager Lee Mellish will continue in earnest. Mellish has announced he will be stepping down in March after 20 years with the utility district. Applications for the position were due Dec. 24, and commissioners plan to tackle the search as a top priority in January. Based on concern over secondhand smoke and approval by the City Council, tobacco-free zones will become part of the municipal park landscape in 2013. The city hosted a well-attended open house on Dec. 13 to discuss a proposed roundabout at the junction of Harvard Road, Mission Avenue and the Interstate 90 westbound off-ramp. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 8-9. The City Council voted against a 1 percent property tax increase for 2013 that would have generated $19,000 in funds for law enforcement capital purchases. The nominal levy lid lift was part of Mayor Steve Peterson’s proposed 2013 budget. As for taxes retained in the budget, which passed during the Dec. 18 meeting, the city’s much-debated 3 percent utility tax was green-lighted for another year, although some Council members promised to bring the subject back up for debate in January. The City Council approved purchase of a field from the Central Valley School District and allotted $500,000 in the 2013 budget for renovation. Advocates of the project say the space will provide Liberty Lake with a long-sought multi-sport venue. The field, adjacent to Liberty Lake Elementary School, can be purchased back by the school district when CV is ready to build the middle school it has targeted for the site.

City of Millwood Compiled by Valerie Putnam

A project that will install signal equipment upgrades at three intersections along Argonne Road was recently approved. As part of an effort to reduce rear-end, pedestrian and bicycle collisions along the corridor, the city of Millwood approved an $180,000 Joint Corridor Project with the City of Spokane Valley Funding for the program comes from a Washington State Department of Transportation grant. The project will provide corridor-wide signal coordination at peak travel times.

A sidewalk improvement project along Buckeye Avenue is now on tap for summer 2013 after grant funding came through. The city of Millwood received a $261,345 Transportation Improvement Board grant to fund 95 percent of the work. The city’s estimated portion of the project is $13,755. New sewer rates will begin appearing on the bills of non-residential customers in 2013. The City Council approved a resolution to create new, higher rates, based on winter-time water consumption. A non-residential customer will pay the residential base rate of $35.40 for 800 cubic feet of water, plus $1.44 for each additional 100 cubic feet of water. The Millwood City Council held a closed-record hearing to discuss the City’s Shoreline Management Program during its Dec. 18 meeting. Discussion focused on the Washington State Department of Ecology’s requirement that private property owners allow public access to the river. The Council decided to wait on approving the state-mandated update. The city has until December 2013 for adoption. The Millwood City Council adopted the 2013 budget during its December meeting. Three funds — water, sewer and general — that initially looked to run deficits improved significantly in the approved financial blueprint. Assistant Planner Ray Oligher ended his service to Millwood at the end of December. Oligher started with the city in March 2010 as an unpaid intern. He transitioned into a part-time staff position to work on the city’s Shoreline Management Program state-mandated update.

Town of Rockford Compiled by Heidi Scott

Rockford Town Council meetings will be held on Jan. 2 and 16. Planning will begin for a “newcomer’s dessert” event to welcome new residents of Rockford. The winners of the 2012’s Christmas lighting contest are expected to be announced. The planning for the 2013 Southeast Spokane County Fair launches in January. The Fair Board will kick off the series of planning meetings at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at Rockford Town Hall, 20 W. Emma St. The 2013 version of the fair, which has been held annually since 1945, will be in September. A meeting for the kids of Rockford is being offered to give a voice to the young residents of the town. It will be held at Rockford Town Hall at 6 p.m. Jan. 17. Pizza and pop will be provided, and kids will be given a chance to suggest activities they would like to see happen in Rockford in the coming year.

With multiple events happening all over town, Dec. 1 was an all-around successful day for Rockford. The Rockford Community United Methodist Church and Rockford Community Center did very well with their bazaar/craft fair fundraisers, and local businesses also enjoyed a successful shopping day to kick start the holiday season. Also on Dec. 1, an event held by the Rockford Lion’s Club connected many local children with the annual visit from Santa, as well as plenty of treats and festivities. Families gathered later in the day to carol and trim park trees, and organizers were pleased with the attendance of the annual event. Two special Christmas services were held on Christmas Eve at Rockford Community United Methodist Church, 217 S. 1st St., and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 138 S. River St.

Central Valley School District Compiled by Josh Johnson

A portable with two additional classrooms is being installed this month at Central Valley High School in time for second semester. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 8-9. The two premier winter rivalry match-ups between CVSD rival high schools University and Central Valley both fall in January this year. The schools will face off for the Stinky Sneaker on Jan. 15 at the Spokane Arena in the annual spirit battle and boys and girls basketball games. Then, at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at CVHS, the always competitive wrestling squads will face off in the annual Battle of the Bone. The call for nominations for the school district’s annual service awards that honor staff members, volunteers and teams across the district begins Jan. 22. Nominations can come from anyone, and forms will be available online and in CVSD schools. Nominations are due Feb. 12, and winners will be selected by the school board and announced March 25. 76 elementary and middle school students across the district received a bicycle thanks to Liberty Lake business OpenEye. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 8-9. The school board certified its 2013 levy rate in late November, pledging to collect $22.9 million for the program and operations levy during the coming year, a number $4.2 million less than the maximum amount authorized by voters. While the amount to be collected is the same as 2012, the estimated tax rate will increase nine cents to $3.64 per $1,000 in assessed valuation because the overall assessed

See 3 UP, 3 DOWN, page 35

The Current

january 2013 • 11

Liberty Lake


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the conference room, we have Liberty Lake Portal.” a break room, restroom and Rhett Barney, an incopy center within the executive dependent intellectual wing, and reserved exclusively property attorney, cannot for tenants of our 11 executive wait to move into his suite suites,” Daines pointed out. And which will be available in the shower is right next to the January. “I would move in executive wing, adding convetoday if I could,” Rhett remarked. After evaluating nience for those who jog to work various office space over or ride their bike. the last several months, Often small business operators he chose the executive prefer to work close to home, suites for three reasons, but not so close that the telethe price, the convenience, phone, the kids, the kitchen, and and the professionalism. the doorbell can cause distracHe likes the idea that tions. Rhett agrees that being he can rent a small office, five minutes from home appeals but have access to ameni- With construction moving rapidly, the Executive to him. “It’s just extremely ties that usually only exist Suites will be ready for occupancy in late Janu- convenient,” he said. Having reary or early February 2013. in a larger, more expencently worked in Coeur d’Alene, sive space. “That shared he considers the savings of time conference room is brilliant,” Rhett stated. “Most and fuel as a bonus. of my client interactions occur via Skype, phone, or Each suite is accessible to those who find stairs e-mail, but when I do have to meet with a client, I a challenge and three of the 11 suites are large will have a spacious, furnished, professional space enough to accommodate two individuals. If you to use.” are looking for the ideal space from which to grow Daines is confident that the numerous amenities your business, you might want to reserve one of will make it easier and more cost effective for exec- these suites before they’re all taken. utive suite tenants to do business. “In addition to

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The Current

12 • january 2013


Pearson brings academic pedigree to new role on SVFD board Replacing retiring fire chief will be among first priorities By Craig Howard Current Contributor

The list of applicants to occupy a vacancy on the Spokane Valley Fire Department board of commissioners in late November read like a who’s who of area movers and shakers. The lineup to replace longtime Commissioner Monte Nesbitt included a pair of former Spokane Valley mayors — Diana Wilhite and Mike DeVleming — as well as a city planning commissioner, John Carroll, and lifetime educator Mike Pearson. The roll call also featured former firefighters Cynthia Walters and Mark Normington along with current Spokane Airport firefighter Chris Wetherell. “It was a very impressive list,” said Spokane Valley Fire Chief Mike Thompson. “There were a lot of quality people. I know they had a tough decision because every candidate would have made a good com-

missioner.” When the final vote was announced, it was Pearson, the former Central Valley School District superintendent, who got the job, mostly because he did his homework, according to Fire Commissioner Joe Dawson. “Mike stood out in the interview process,” said Dawson, a retired educator himself who spent 35 years in the West Valley School District. “He’d really done his research.” Pearson began to delve into the district and the responsibilities of the board after seeing a listing for the commissioner’s position in the newspaper. Right away, he was impressed with SVFD’s priorities as outlined in its vision statement. “I appreciated that their goal is to be the best fire department in the state,” Pearson said. “They also place a lot of emphasis on accountability and transparency as well as treating everyone with dignity and respect.” Pearson said he had seen the last principle illustrated first-hand when the fire department responded to a call involving his 99-year-old mother. “She told me, ‘Those guys are great,’” Pearson said.

Nesbitt, who was acting chairman of the board, resigned in August after the firefighters union raised questions about his residency outside SVFD boundaries. Nesbitt was living in Cheney and had planned to move back to Spokane Valley, but his West Plains home never sold. “Monte was a great ambassador for the district,” Thompson said. “He took his job seriously and was very involved in the community. “ Dawson called Nesbitt “one of the best commissioners we’ve ever had.” “Monte was extremely dedicated,” Dawson said. “He always represented the district well.” Pearson will need to add his name to the November 2013 general election ballot in order to keep his seat. Commissioners serve six-year terms. “This is a seasoned board that’s been here for many years, and I have a lot of respect for them,” Pearson said. “I think this is going to be a wonderful place for me to be.” The board meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the SVFD administrative building, with each of the five commissioners earning $104 per meet-

Current photo by Craig Howard

Former Central Valley School District Superintendent Mike Pearson was selected to the Spokane Valley Fire Department board of commissioners Nov. 30, replacing longtime Commissioner Monte Nesbitt. Pearson spent 30 years at CVSD in various capacities, retiring in 2008.

Current photo by Craig Howard

The Spokane Valley Fire Department serves a 75-square-mile area.

Fast facts about the SVFD Year established: 1940 Governance: Board of five fire commissioners Personnel: 181 Area covered: 75 square miles Population served: 118,000 Department composition: 43,000 homes; 4,500 businesses Total stations: 10 ing “whether it’s one hour or 10 hours,” Dawson said. Those on the board are also reimbursed for mileage and other travel expenses. Maximum compensation per year is just over $9,000. A native of Newport, just northeast of Deer Park, Pearson was a self-described “average student” who played the trumpet and excelled in football and track in high school. He continued his football career at Northern Montana before transferring to Eastern Washington University, where he studied sociology before switching to a business education major. After student teaching at University High School, Pearson landed at the Rosalia School District where he worked as the high school’s only business instructor. It was in his early years as an educator that he began to immerse himself in the latest technology, starting with an electric typewriter. “It will date me, but I go back to the days of the manual typewriter,” Pearson said. “I remember a teacher telling me that electric typewriters were just a fad, then years later, someone else telling me that computers were just a fad.” Along with his grasp of high-tech gadgetry, Pearson was known as a well-prepared and thorough leader during his time at CVSD. Before serving as superintendent for five years, Pearson served as an assistant superintendent as well as a business/marketing teacher and assistant principal at Central Valley High School.

See SVFD, page 37

The Current

january 2013 • 13

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The Current

HUB branches out with after-school program Nonprofit spotlight: HUB 360 By Valerie Putnam Current Contributor

Twelve-year-old Grant Peterson started a recent Tuesday afternoon at the HUB Sports Center as goalie during a rousing game of handball. After the game, he built a bird house with the help of a representative from Home Depot. Later, he spread out books at the Liberty Lake athletic facility to focus on the day’s homework assignments. These events represent a typical day at the HUB 360 after-school pilot program for several students from Greenacres Middle School. “I love the sports,” Peterson said when asked about his favorite things about the program. “It’s a bunch of fun.” According to HUB Executive Director Phil Champlin, the program was launched to reach students who may not connect to more traditional after-school offerings but could benefit from the combination of academics, athletics and community investment. Peterson said he joined the program after a taunting experience at school began to sour his perspective on the academic environment. “I didn’t like being anywhere,” Peterson said. “This sounded like fun. I’ve tried a bunch of new things and would recommend it to anyone.” The vision of the program began when Champlin took over managing the HUB Sports Center in November 2009. Though the program was part of his vision at the time, his first three years were focused on keeping the financially unsettled HUB afloat by growing the facility’s business. As the Sports Center found its financial footing, Champlin considered ways to reach out to students. His goal was realized with the launch of the HUB 360 pilot program in October. “There is a need in the community for a program like this,” Champlin said. “It’s an opportunity to make a difference.” The after-school program offers sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. “Between the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. are the hours kids get in the most trouble, because it’s usually before mom and dad get home,” Champlin said. He designed the program with three daily components: physical activity, enrichment and study time. Champlin said he is currently working with Gonzaga students to help develop a physical activity curriculum that measure baselines for students competing against

Current photoS by Valerie Putnam

Greenacres Middle School students who attend the HUB 360 after-school program paint birdhouses during a December meeting. The event featured a volunteer with Home Depot who led the students through the activity. themselves. Students have participated in numerous team sports such as handball, basketball, volleyball, pickle ball and martial arts. As part of the enrichment, students have been exposed to community speakers and organizations such as Peak 7 Adventures, a nonprofit organization geared towards teens interested in outdoor activities; Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream; YMCA’s Youth in Government; Boarders for Christ and Warrior Camp. “We want to expose (students) to things they maybe haven’t thought about before,” Champlin said. “Having a job doesn’t mean that it has be to something they don’t like. We want them to find something they’re passionate about. … The best way I can put it is planting seeds. Don’t know if I’ll ever see those seeds grow, but it’s the right thing to do.” During the bird house session, representatives from Home Depot spent an hour teaching students how to assemble a prefabricated bird house. After assembly, they

See HUB, page 15

HUB Sports Center Executive Director Phil Champlin addresses students participating in the HUB 360 program during a December session.

The Current

january 2013 • 15


HUB Continued from page 14

painted and decorated their houses with colorful paints, glitter, mini presents and other options provided on tables. Champlin incorporates the local PACE character education initiative as part of the experience. In November, the students talked about citizenship, breaking into four groups to think about what it takes to be a good citizen and discussing each part of the American Flag. Following the discussion, the groups created their own flags. “They had a really good time with that,” Champlin said. “We have some really good artists.” Among other local businesses and organizations, Champlin has commitments from Avista, the Spokane Shock, Spokane Teachers Credit Union and Itron to share time with students in 2013. “We are getting good responses from the community,” Champlin said. “They can see the benefit from it. I like that the community is getting involved and getting engaged because with their help it could be so much more than what we could do by ourselves.” The program also dedicates 45 minutes for study time to work on homework, with staff and volunteers available to help. “I’ve actually got more done,” eighth grader Renee Maynaard said. “I got my grade up (in science). It was a D; now it’s a B.” The components are not structured the same way each session, varying depending on the speakers or events scheduled. Participants also get a snack at the beginning of the afternoon. “We’re looking at this as collaborated effort between us, the school district, business, service and sports communities,” Champlin said. “It’s bringing together the different entities that all can play a part in helping these kids become successful in the future.” Melanie Rose, Central Valley School District’s public information officer, noted that student engagement is one part of the district’s strategic plan. “We want to provide students as many activities as possible to keep them engaged in school,” Rose said. “We know students who find some interest beyond academics are more likely to stay in school.” Free for the students, the program’s financial support came from community organizations such as Sunrise Rotary, Rotary 21 and Spokane Teachers Credit Union. The support is applied to buying snacks, school supplies and sports equipment. Champlin estimates $10,000 to $14,000 a school year would allow for a maximum of 50 participating students. Currently, the pilot program enlists students strictly from Greenacres Middle School. Only two miles from the HUB, the school was chose due to its close proximity,

HUB 360 What is it? A program for middle school students who may benefit from additional academic, athletic and community investment during the after-school timeframe Where is it at? The HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Avenue, Liberty Lake Meetings The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Each day, the students participate in a physical activity, dedicated study time and enrichment. Enrichment involves community speakers or activities. Currently the program is enlisting Greenacres Middle School students. Fun fact The HUB Sports Center is 66,000 square feet and hosts athletic events and tournaments year-round. Cost Free to students. The program is financed by the HUB Sports Center and community donations. How you can help The HUB Sports Center accepts tax exempt donations and is always looking for volunteers. For more, contact Executive Director Phil Champlin at 927-0602, or visit

Highlights from your Chamber Awards of excellence to be revealed at Gem of the Valley The 10th annual Awards of Excellence will be presented during the Gem of the Valley Gala 6 p.m. on Jan. 26 at Mirabeau Park Hotel. The annual event celebrates excellence of businesses, individuals, and non-profit organizations in the Greater Spokane Valley area making a difference in our community. Presented by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, an awards committee made up of past recipients selects a list of finalists from nominations and then chooses the winners in each category. The Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year award winner for 2012 was recently announced. This award is given to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary service to the business community. Bill Gothmann was named this year’s recipient, and a plaque will be presented to him at the Gem of the Valley Gala. Also, a special award called the Lifetime Achievement Award has been created this year to honor Dick Behm for his contributions to the community during his lifetime. Entrepreneur of the Year and District Educator of the Year are two additional categories for

Chamber events in January

Rose said. The program averages 14 students each day. With current staff and resources, the maximum number of students the program can accommodate is 20. Champlin’s long-term plans are to open the program to other schools in the Central Valley and East Valley school districts. One obstacle standing in the way of expanding the program is volunteers. Currently, HUB 360 has one dedicated staff member, Program Supervisor Ty Pfundheller. Pfundheller oversees the program along with one staff person who helps work with the kids. All other help relies on volunteers. Eventually, Champlin hopes to see enough volunteers to have one adult to every five students. “We’re at critical mass point,” Champlin said. “I know to grow this to the next step we need to build our volunteer base.” Champlin hopes to see the program grow to 50 to 60 students on Tuesday and Thursday with an additional 50 to 60 students on Monday and Wednesday. “The program is a work in progress,” Champlin said. “But I like the fact the kids are taking ownership in it. They’re inviting their friends. To me, that is the highest compliment you can get.”

January 8, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Government Action committee meeting, Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission, Spokane Valley. Program: TBA. Cost: $20.00 (includes lunch). Register at January 18, Business Connections Breakfast, Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan, Spokane Valley. Coffee and networking begins at 6:30 a.m., program 7 to 8:30 a.m. Cost: $25 for members and guests, $35 for non-members. Register at January 16, 4 to 6 p.m., “Meet the Chamber” Member Reception, KPS Management, 524 N. Mullan Rd., Spokane Valley. Certificate presentations at 5 p.m. January 22, 4 to 7 p.m., Business After-Hours Networking hosted by Anderson, Peretti & Co., CPAs, P.S., 611 N. Argonne Rd., Spokane Valley. Ribbon Cuttings for associated businesses at 5 p.m. January 24, noon, Transportation Committee meeting, Longhorn BBQ, 2315 N. Argonne, Spokane Valley. Program: TBA. January 26, 6 p.m., Gem of the Valley Gala, Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan, Spokane

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the 10th annual awards of excellence. Winners of Tier 1 and Tier 2 Businesses of the Year, the Community Caring Award, the Human Services Award, and Chamber Member Volunteer of the Year will also be announced at the ceremony. Plan to attend this semi-formal affair and celebrate excellence in our Valley communities. The event includes a silent auction and cocktail hour with no-host bar, gourmet dinner and the awards ceremony. Cost is $55 per person or $600 per table with reserved VIP seating. For more information or to register, go to Valley. Silent auction and cocktail hour with nohost bar, gourmet dinner and awards ceremony. Cost: $55 per person or $600 per table with reserved VIP seating. Be sure to check our website at for more details and updates.

New members

Please join us in welcoming the following members who have recently joined the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce:

Artworks Spokane Auble, Jolicoeur & Gentry, Inc Barbara Floyd, Independent Sales Dir., Mary Kay B & C Weaver Enterprises, LLC Friends of Pavillion Park Jacob’s Upholstery & Patio Just Chillin’ Frozen Yogurt Liberty Lake Liquor, LLC Liquidation Auto Group, Inc Molina Healthcare of Washington PayChex Payroll & HR Benefits Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc Switch Up Web & Marketing The UPS Store #3037 URS Corporation Walmart #5883

1421 N. Meadowwood Lane • Liberty Lake, WA 99019 • Phone: 509 924-4994

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Sisters test high-tech toy By Jocelyn Stott Wave Contributor

Hannah Crooks, 9, and her younger sister, Megan Crooks, 6, know an awful lot about a toy that merges a stuffed animal with technology called MushABellies. That’s because the two Greenacres girls helped their cousin Mitch Williams develop the computer game modeled after the squishy toy and were also involved in an online commercial about it. The MushABelly toy is a round, soft plush toy that makes funny sounds like the animal it looks like. Options include Heckle Hedgehog, Finless Frog, Conan Cow, Racket Raccoon, Buzzie Bee and Mungo Monkey. “I like the hedgehog because it’s pink!”Megan said. The Liberty Lake company Gravity Jack, who Williams works for, was asked by toy company Jack@Play if they could make a computer game for the popular plush toy. Williams knew that if the girls liked it, other kids probably would too, so he asked Hannah and Megan if they would share their opinions as the company developed technology for the MushABellies.

The result merged Gravity Jack’s augmented reality technology with the toy. Now, if you scan any of the cards that come with the passport pack with a mobile device (such as an iPad or a camera phone) and the free, downloadable app, you can play a game with your MushABelly’s character on the device. When scanned, the cards and surrounding area became a game to play on screen. Megan and Hannah played most all of the MushABellies on phones and tablet devices by swiping their fingers on the character to bounce it to the target area, whether that be a trashcan or a hollow tree. Points are scored by hitting the target. “It’s easier than Angry Birds,”

Give fairness a fair shot In the month of January, the PACE trait area schools and businesses will be focusing on is fairness. When someone is fair to others, it means he or she tries to be as consistent and equal as possible with all people

Hannah said. Both girls said it was pretty easy to play, and they just knew what to do right after they scanned the marker cards. Williams said the game technology is “intuitive” for kids, meaning kids understand what to do with this toy in a way that many adults don’t naturally do. If kids can pick up the technology easily, then Williams said it’s probably going to be something that gets used in the future. Once the testing was complete, a family friend of Williams made a commercial for MushABellies, which Megan and Hannah were also a part of, so other kids and their parents could learn about the toy. MushABellies are available for around $20 online at or in local stores such as Walgreens, Target, Kmart, Justice and Fred Meyer. While both girls liked being a part of the game’s production, Megan is the most interested in pursuing game creation as a career choice. Hannah, on the other hand, is considering a career in fashion design and maybe teaching. But both shared opinions on

or ideas involved. Listed below are some areas in which you might observe fairness being practiced. At school: Most teachers use a fair eye when grading homework or deciding what responsibilities and privileges to give students. At school you also learn about times in history when people groups may not have been treated fairly and what changes were made to ensure they were given the same rights as other citizens.

Wave photo by Jocelyn Stott

Sisters Megan Crooks (left) and Hannah Crooks (right) pose with MushABellies. The girls shared their opinions about the toy with their cousin Mitch Williams (center) who helped develop a computer game for a toy company. what they’d like their cousin to work on to make the MushABellies product even better. Megan said she’d like to see a pink koala bear or something that


[fair-nis]: Treating people and ideas with justice and impartiality In jobs: There are some occupations, such as judges and those who uphold the law, where being impartial is especially important so that our community can function smoothly. Also, umpires and referees of athletic games do their best to be fair so

flies—like an eagle—added to the product line. “Flying would be nice, or polar bears and penguins swimming,” Hannah said.

that all players follow the rules. At home: While chores may not always be equal or your siblings may seem to get more privileges than you, most parents try to treat their children equally. Do your part by sharing with your siblings or respecting rules about time spent doing homework vs. playing video games. Talk with your parents if you feel something may not be fair — they probably have a good reason for their decisions.

The Current

january 2013 • 17


Try out this toy teaser

Did you know there is a museum dedicated just to toys? The National Toy Hall of Fame, located in Rochester, New York, showcases a large collection of dolls, toys, games and other items related to play. Each year toys are narrowed down from nominations submitted by kids and adults. Then teachers, historians and others make selections from classic toys that have been enjoyed by generations. So far,

51 toys have made it in the National Toy Hall of Fame. Star Wars action figures and dominoes were the two most recent inductees included this year. See how well you know some of the toys included in the Hall of Fame. Just fill in each blank with the correct answer from the list, using each toy once. Answers are found at the bottom of the page.

1) This toy features a rainbow-colored trail past many yummy features

2) There are 52 pieces of these for every person on the planet

3) When you turn this toy over, your masterpiece erases

4) Values double with this toy when players stretch their vocabularies

5) You can do things like “walk the dog” and “shoot the moon” with this toy

6) Originally a nickel a box, this toy was made out of wax in a variety of colors

7) College students invented this toy with pie plates

8) The first toy television commercial featured this silly-faced vegetable

9) Mastering this toy requires kids to develop strength, balance and creativity

10) According to their manufacturer, eight of these toys are sold every second

11) This toy has been used by astronauts to stick down tools in zero gravity

12) Invented by the Chinese in the 1600s, this toy is also used to ship items

13) Go Fish, Old Maid and Rummy are a few types of this toy

14) An English mapmaker created the first of these types of toys from wood

15) The earliest written account of this toy is from about 200 BC in China

Candy Land Cardboard box Crayola Crayons Duncan Yo-Yo Etch A Sketch Frisbee Hot Wheels Jigsaw puzzle Kite Legos Mr. Potato Head Playing cards Scrabble Silly putty Skateboard Source:

What can you do with Legos?

We’ve got convenient hours to fit your family’s schedule.

What play things are small, colorful and come in a variety of shapes and sizes? Legos! The name Lego comes from the Dutch words “leg” and “godt” meaning “play well.” Ole Kirk Kristiansen of Denmark founded the Lego group in 1932, and his pieces have become a popular toy to kids all around the world.

Evening, early morning, and Saturday appointments available.

Call to schedule an appointment today!

Lego Clubs, where kids can build and play with others who are interested in the building blocks, have sprouted up recently. A club meets at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library on Mondays at 4 p.m., and other schools sponsor robotics teams that use Lego pieces to build robots for competitions. But there are endless amount of play possibilities involving Legos.

• Make a movie or skit with your Lego minifigures and creations. Be sure to ask an adult before you borrow a video camera or phone to record your play. • Practicing making patterns, counting, sorting or measuring with a variety of sizes and shapes of Legos. It may not be homework, but it can help you keep fresh with your math skills.

509.891.7070 New patients welcome

Wave photo by Tammy Kimberley

Four elementary boys build onto their creations during the Monday afternoon Lego Club that meets at Liberty Lake Municipal Library. • Come up with a creative gift for a parent, teacher or friend. How about making a key holder, jewelry box, centerpiece or necklace? There are so many possibilities!

with your siblings or friends. Who can make the tallest tower? How about recreating a movie or holiday scene?

• Design an outline of a country or a flag. You just may just learn a bit about history or geography along the way.

Answers to Toy Teaser from above:

• Devise a friendly competition or game

1) Candy Land; 2) LEGO; 3) Etch A Sketch; 4) Scrabble; 5) Duncan Yo-Yo; 6) Crayola Crayons; 7) Frisbee; 8) Mr. Potato Head; 9) Skateboard; 10) Hot Wheels; 11) Silly putty; 12) Cardboard box; 13) Playing cards; 14) Jigsaw puzzle; 15) Kite

Listed below are some ideas of how you can get creative with your Lego collection. Grab a friend or a sibling and get building!

Going to the dentist can be fun and easy!

Check out our Facebook page for contests and events.

1327 N. Stanford Lane, Suite B Liberty Lake, WA

The Current

18 • january 2013

The Fountain

Brought to you by

About and for Valley seniors

Valley club transforms space into 1950s railroad scene to remove walls, paint and update the storefront and bathroom. Couches were At age 8, Jerry Quinn knew he was installed on platforms along the west wall to allow better viewing of the track. hooked. Following the remodel, the group built “My dad came home with $500 worth an intricate, three-line computerized of Lionel trains,” Quinn said. railroad system representing railroading Today, he is a founder and current in the 1950s. president of the Evergreen Railroad “We put as much railroad as we dared,” Modelers Club. Through the years, he has Quinn said of the 17- by 50-foot plyowned more than wood layout elevated 600 locomotives and on wood risers. “We 3,000 cars. big aisles to Evergreen Railroad made “That was my walk around.” high point; I’m now Modelers Club Classified as the down to half of that,” most popular scale Where: 18213 E. Appleway Ave., Quinn said, laughof railway, the club Spokane Valley; the club’s model railing. “They say moduses HO Scale modroad features more than 1,000 feet eling railroad is one el trains. The 3.5 mm of track on a 17- by 50-foot plywood of the top 10 addicHO scale represents tions in this counstructure built on wood risers. one real foot. The try.” rail height is meaFounding: The club opened its doors In that sense, the sured in thousandths Sept. 1, 2008, with 12 members. Evergreen Railroad of an inch. Quinn Currently there are 26 members. Modelers Club has said the track they Meetings: The group meets Tuesuse is referred to as carved out a place days from 1 to 6 p.m. and Thursdays “Code 83,” meaning in Spokane Valley from 1 to 9 p.m. General meetings the track rail is 0.083 the past four years inches high. as a place for fellow take place twice a year. model railroad adOperating on 14.4 Fun Fact: Club President Jerry dicts. volts, the miniature Quinn has never worked for a world is operated “Our goal is to railroad. He retired from owning the by a computer that have fun,” Quinn Quinn Group, a Spokane advertising controls the engines said. “There are no agency, in 2005. speed, direction and other parameters.” sound effects. Membership: Anyone is welcome Quinn was one to join. Thirty members are the maxi“You can ring the of 12 former Rivmum the facility will accommodate. bell, blow the horn,” er City Modelers Quinn said. “The Club members who Check it out: evergreenrr.blogspot. only thing missing is founded the club com or watch for one of the club’s the smoke.” in September 2008. occasional open houses Quinn belonged to The four-year, For more: Contact Quinn at 939River City, a Spothree-month project 5845. kane club, for more was a collaboration than 27 years. of members’ talents and gifts. BelievabiliQuinn and 11 other founding members each contributed ty was crucial in the project construction. $500 to launch the club. With $6,000 in One member created an elaborate electhe bank, the group rented a small loca- trical switching system in which a track tion in Greenacres. will go dead until the lines clear up if Before they could begin developing an engine is on course for a literal train the model track, members remodeled wreck. the building. They volunteered their time “There are so many talented people By Valerie Putnam

Current Contributor

Submitted photos

At its leased space at 18213 E. Appleway Ave., the 4-year-old Evergreen Railroad Modelers Club has constructed an impressive model railroad that winds through towns, across bridges and through tunnels on more than 1,000 feet of track.

in the club,” Quinn said. “One guy did bridges, another did buildings. I did the rocks.” Quinn designed the realism of the rocks by using latex rock molds, plaster and water based paint. “I’m more of a builder, modeler, artist,” Quinn said. “I’m creating things all the time.” At the base of the rocky slopes, Quinn created talus, an accumulation of loose rock found at the bottom of a steep hill, depicting miniature rock fragments peeling off the rock face.

Different-colored trees were developed to fill in the scene, depicting the four seasons along the train’s route. Quinn added a rust effect on the edges of the track to provide the illusion of realism. Another level of realism comes from special touches such as the sounds of wood being cut emanating from a lumber mill. “Just another level of creativity,” Quinn said of the sounds. “We would like to do more animation.”

See RAILROAD, page 20

The Current

january 2013 • 19


Milestones Duer turns 101 Longtime Spokane Valley resident Wilma Duer celebrated her 101st birthday Dec. 27 at a special celebration surrounded by family and community members. Duer was born in Eagle, Iowa, on Dec. 27, 1911, and grew up on a farm in Renwick, Iowa, where she focused on her schoolwork and spending time with her siblings. She married Willard Duer on Oct. 31, 1931. duer She is an exceptional singer and a self-taught seamstress, creating a wedding dress, costumes and more through the years. She is a skilled bridge player and enjoys oil painting, ceramics and crocheting. She goes on regular Sunday drives and is a social butterfly at her home in Sullivan Park Care Center, regularly surrounded by groups of friends and family

TRIVIA TEST 1. MOVIES: What was the name of the planet where Luke Skywalker (“Star Wars”) grew up? 2. LITERATURE: Who wrote the children’s book “The Wind in the Willows”? 3. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is a common name for the dog breed Borzoi? 4. MYTHOLOGY: What was the name of the sun god in Greek mythology? 5. GEOGRAPHY: Where is the island of Curacao located? 6. HISTORY: In what U.S. state did the Battle of Bunker Hill take place? 7. GEOMETRY: How many sides does a quadrilateral have? 8. PSYCHOLOGY: What type of fear is represented by hedonophobia? 9. TELEVISION: What was the name of the

who love her company. Duer moved to Spokane Valley in 1961, and with 51 years of residency she can now officially claim to have been a Valley resident for more than half her life. Duer’s party at the care center included cake, refreshments and live music.

Introducing The Fountain Debuting this month, The Current is excited to add The Fountain to its regular lineup of content geared toward the greater Spokane Valley and its residents. The Fountain will appear in each issue of The Current and will feature stories, news and puzzles geared toward the community’s retired and senior population. The new section is made possible for 2013 with the sponsorship of Evergreen Fountains. Be a part of shaping future content for The Fountain. Send milestones, events, story ideas or feature suggestions to editor@ or write to The Current, P.O. Box 363, Liberty Lake, WA 99019. lead character on “Miami Vice,” and who played the role? 10. MILITARY: What is the highest decoration awarded for heroism in the U.S. military? © 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Answers to Trivia Test 1. Tatooine; 2. Kenneth Grahame; 3. Russian Wolfhound; 4. Helios; 5. Caribbean; 6. Massachusetts; 7. Four; 8. Fear of pleasure; 9. Sonny Crockett (played by Don Johnson); 10. Medal of Honor

Where Wellness Is A Way Of Life

New Year's Move-IN specIals

• Independent Living • Light Assisted Living • Walking Trail • Cottage Homes • Wellness & Fitness Center • Gourmet Chef • Assisted Living • Swimming Pool & Spa • Bistro

Community tours available daily! Please call to RSVP. Locally Owned and Operated by the Arger Family

• 509-922-3100 • 1201 N Evergreen Road, Spokane Valley •

20 • january 2013


The Current

RAILROAD Continued from page 18

Demonstrating the club’s intricate railroad model, Quinn chooses a 1950s steam engine pulling several box cars. The engine leaves the railroad yard slowly, but after Quinn manually flips a train switch so it doesn’t derail, he increases speed. The train travels across more than 1,000 feet of track on what Quinn calls the blue line. Through a series of remote and manual switches, the miniature train maneuvers past cities, over bridges and through elaborate tunnels scaling mountainous terrain. The club entrance showcases a dramatic rock formation transitioning from granite to basalt along the tracks. A trestle bridge appears to have collapsed with a wrecked locomotive, designed by Quinn, at the bottom of the ravine. “I took a propane torch to it,” Quinn said about the abandoned engine. “I painted it like it was rusted out.” The club is working on its last phase of the project: a fishing wharf on the northwest side of the model. Quinn said the group eventually plans to add skirting around the base, additional animated effects and work on the signaling system.

Submitted photo

Members meet every Tuesday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 1 to 9 p.m. Members pay $30 a month in dues for the general operating expenses of the club, such as rent and utilities. The club has grown to 26 members from around the country, including Texas, Montana and New Jersey.

“It’s very unusual to have members 1,000, 2,000 miles away,” Quinn said. “These guys want to belong to a train club so they are involved spiritually instead of physically.” Quinn communicates with the members weekly via a blog highlighting club activities.

Interested in having The Current delivered to your mailbox? The Current, a monthly publication for the Valley, offers the same visual storytelling, eye-catching ads and community coverage Splash readers have come to depend on. This free newspaper is available at more than 210 high-traffic locations around the Valley. Purchasing a subscription allows the convenience of having each copy mailed directly to your home. Subscriptions for U.S. postal addresses cost $12 for 12 issues (or $24 for 12 issues to addresses outside of Spokane or Kootenai counties).

Membership is open to anyone. Members have the option of the club’s two levels of membership: equity and regular. Equity members invest $500 into the club and pay monthly dues. The advantage to becoming an equity member is they have the right to vote on the club’s business. Non-voting regular members pay monthly dues. Both types of members receive a key giving 24-hour access to the club. New members undergo a 90-day probation period. Once the 90 days are over, equity members vote on the individual’s membership. Members can commit to whatever level of involvement works for them. Quinn spends an average of 20 hours a week in the club working on different projects. “To be involved in something greater than them, men want to build; they want to be creative,” Quinn said. “This gives them that.”

Stay connected with The Current.


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509-242-7752 | Submitted photo

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The Current

Chamber hosts holiday festivities

january 2013 • 21

Horsing around in the pool

On Dec. 18, Spokane Valley Firefighters responded to a call of a horse trapped in a swimming pool.

Submitted photo

The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a Holiday Social Dec. 6 at the Chamber office in Liberty Lake. Attendees enjoyed festive food and drink, music and gift items available for purchase.

Funky Christmas Festival benefits Haiti Submitted photos

Zeke Flowers visits with Santa during the Funky Christmas Festival last month. Kaleo Church in Otis Orchards hosted the fundraiser complete with holiday treats, homemade gifts and photos opportunities for the Christmas season. The event raised over $2,000 for Piti Piti, a nonprofit organization focused on education, land renewal and job creation in northern Haiti.

Strong winds had blown down a fence in the 17000 block of east Montgomery Ave., and the animal wandered in the back yard overnight and stepped into the pool. The owners kept the horse calm until rescuers could build some sturdy steps to lead her out of the pool. The horse suffered only minor injuries.

Season of giving STCU President Tom Johnson presented a $5,000 check to CVSD Superintendent Ben Small last month for use at Spokane Valley Tech Center. The new career and technical school, which serves the Central Valley, West Valley, East Valley and Freeman School Districts, opened earlier this year to high school students. STCU also gave checks to Kootenai Technical Education Campus and Riverpoint Academy. Submitted photo

New LDS leadership team

Submitted photos

Local Lens

Share your snapshots for The Current’s photo page. Email photos@ valleycurrent. com with scenes from around town, community events and group photos.

Ladies Nite Out Around 200 attendees were treated to beautifully festive room during Ladies Night Out hosted by Spokane Valley Partners in November at Mirabeau Park Hotel. Christmas trees and gift baskets were auctioned off to raise $27, 393 in support for SVP services.

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

The Newman Lake congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently underwent a leadership change. Michael Payne (center), a law enforcement officer and father of seven children, was asked to take over as bishop. Payne will be assisted in the volunteer position by two counselors, John Nowels (left) and Gabe Burns (right).

22 • january 2013


The Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the missionaries: Bridging cultures By Bill Zimmer and Jayne Singleton Spokane Valley Heritage Museum

Historically, all of the Spokane Valley was the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s ancestral homeland. With the influx of fur traders, settlers, miners and the Army, holding on to this homeland became more and more difficult. The prophecy of a great chief, Circling Raven, regarding the coming of great spiritual leaders wearing long black robes materialized with the arrival of Jesuit missionaries in the mid-19th century. Father De Smet was the first to meet the Coeur d’Alenes, causing Twisted Earth to rejoice that his father’s vision had come true. Chief Andrew Seltice, whose home was at Saltese Lake, pleaded for a “black robe” teacher for his tribe. Father De Smet sent Father Nicholas Point, who arrived in November 1842. Father Point sketched many drawings of the Mission of the Sacred Heart, which was eventually built between 1850 and 1853 in present-day Cataldo, Idaho. Several of his sketches from 1846 are held at Washington State University Library. The building still stands today as part of Old Mission State Park and is recognized as the oldest standing building in Idaho. During the 1850s and 1860s, the Jesuit priests concentrated on educating the tribal members and converting them to Christianity. The missionary priests, and Father De Smet in particular, became cultural bridges between the Indians and the Army. Father De Smet was successful in keeping the tribe mostly out of the Indian Wars of that time. Even still, the Coeur d’Alenes were involved in conflicts with the U.S. Army. In 1858, after the Battle of Spokane Plains, Col. George Wright was on the march to subdue the Indians. The route he took nearly parallels present-day Mission Avenue. On Sept. 9 of that year, after observing great clouds of dust from horses on the move, he gave the order to capture and shoot the horses. Stores of grain and hay were burned as well as barns and buildings. The horses were a sign of wealth and mobility, and Col. Wright’s actions devastated the tribe. The Indians could understand man-to-man fighting, but the slaughter of the horses was a grievous wound that still saddens the tribe today. A monument recalling the horse slaughter can be seen today along the Centennial Trail near the weigh station recently built near Liberty Lake. Peace talks took place at the Cataldo Mission. Peter Wildshoe spoke to Col. Wright, saying, “Our promise to our

Black Robe, before God, was that we will remain neutral.” The bleached bones of the horses could be seen for many years after. In fact, some tribal Chief members referred Joseph to the spot as a Seltice is “white lake” that pictured in could be seen from this 1946 the hills above Libphoto. The erty Lake. occasion In 1864, at a was the place about a mile unveiling of west of the state the horse line, Joe Herrin slaughter and Tim Lee built monument near a bridge. The venLiberty ture set them up Lake. as the only way to cross the river for the miners headed Father De Smet north to the Koowas the first of the “black robes” tenai mines, the to meet the missionaries, the Coeur d’Alene Army and othIndians. His long ers on their way to relationship Lake Pend Oreille. with tribal Coeur d’Alene tribleaders including al members were negotiating on often present at the their behalf in store at Spokane Washington, Bridge. In fact, one D.C. The Mission of the sub-chiefs, at De Smet was Quinimose, would viewed as a place trade with travelers for protection who were crossing and peace when the bridge. It has the tribe decided been said that he to move out also would cross of its ancestral the miners and homeland in the freighters on a raft Spokane Valley. or ferry for gold Photos courtesy of pieces. Quinimose the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum had many horses and raced others for money. He also raised crops and 1853, he found extensive fields of wheat had cattle. He lived in a log cabin along and oats. the river near what became the Town of With more miners and travelers Spokane Bridge. In 1894, a school named through the Spokane Valley, the Indians for him was built in the Saltese hills. The made the decision to seek the protection Quinimose School burned down in the 1940s. Today, there is a road going over of the Mission at De Smet to protect their the hills from Saltese to Liberty Lake families. Peter Wildshoe had rebuilt his log home after Col. Wright’s men had called Quinimose Road. burned his first home, and he was not Chief Seltice had built a long house at ready to leave it behind. So Wildshoe Liberty Lake and a barn. He also lived on told Chief Andrew Seltice that he was goSaltese Lake for a time. Peter Wildshoe ing to move his home the 50 miles to De and Tecomtee lived at Liberty Lake. They all had horses and stores of grain and Smet — and he made good on his word! By 1870, the Mission at De Smet was hay. Fur traders had introduced wheat into the Spokane Valley. When Governor built. Indian boys and girls were sent to Stevens came into the Spokane Valley in the boarding school. Their hair was cut

The Current

A Valley of opportunity A monthly series on the heritage of the greater Spokane Valley Jan. Missionaries and Indians Feb. Bridge Builders and Ferrymen March The Lake Men April The Real Estate Developers, Land and Power May Immigrants claim their Valley June Irrigation July Depots and Platforms Aug. Purveyors of Leisure Sept. Commerce Oct. Ladies of the Valley Nov. Veterans of the Valley Dec. Old Timers’ stories and their cultural ways were punitively discouraged. In November 1877, three nuns arrived from Vancouver, Washington Territory, to teach at the request of the tribe. The tribe, for the most part, accepted the “white man’s God.” The 1870 census reveals that there were 28 people living in the Spokane Valley. Some of these were Coeur d’Alenes, and the others were of various nationalities. With no church to have service in the Spokane Valley, the missionary priests traveled from the missions to meet the religious needs of the pioneers and tribal members. By the 1880s, baptisms, marriages and burials of Indians and white settlers were conducted at Spokane Bridge by fathers Joset, Jacquet, Ruellen, Diomedi and Folchi. The Jesuit missionaries played a significant role in the relations between the Coeur d’Alenes, the Army and the settlers. Father DeSmet made several trips to Washington, D.C., to secure the reservation and enforce treaties made with the tribe. He was instrumental in keeping the tribe from making war and convinced the Indians to remove to the reservation, the only place they would be safe from the changes taking place in the Spokane Valley, a Valley they had called home for a long time. Their ancestors are buried in the Spokane Valley in places only time remembers. Chief Seltice is buried at the Mission Cemetery in De Smet. He is remembered as an honorable man who led his tribe through a transition of great change. Bill Zimmer is a retired educator and former West Valley School District board member, and Jayne Singleton is director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. For more about the history of the Valley, visit the museum at 12114 E. Sprague Ave., call 922-4570 or visit

The Current

january 2013 • 23


Calendar of Events COMMUNITY Jan. 3 | T.W.I.N.E. 4 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. T.W.I.N.E. (Teen Writers of the Inland Empire) is a writing club for Spokane County students in grades 6 through 12. Participants write fiction and poetry and share work in an encouraging and positive environment. For more: Jan. 5 | Getting Started with eBooks

Jan. 26 | 20th Annual Chef’s Culinary Classic 6 p.m. The Davenport Hotel, 10 S.

Post Street, Spokane. This elegant black tie event will begin with a champagne and hors d’oeuvre social hour and silent auction to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Extraordinary chefs from the Inland Northwest will prepare a seven-course dinner and each course will be paired with an outstanding wine from around the world. For tickets and more: or 473-6370

2:30 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Adults are invited to learn how to search, check out and download eBooks from the library’s website to a device.

N. Argonne Rd. For more info: 535-7668 or

Jan. 5-6 | Spokane Gun Show & Flea Market Spokane County Fair and Expo

Feb. 1 to 9 | 58th Annual National Boat Show Spokane County Fair and Expo Center,

Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Admission: $7. For more: 208-746-5555, www.

Jan. 8 | Shape Up 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Kids are invited to come dance, race and play at the library. Jan. 9 | Getting Started with eBooks 6:30 p.m., Argonne Library, 4322 N. Argonne Rd. Adults are invited to learn how to search, check out and download eBooks from the library’s website to a device.

Jan. 10 | Shape Up 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Otis

Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley Ave. Kids are invited to come dance, race and play at the library.

Jan. 15 | Getting Started with eBooks

2:30 p.m., Otis Orchards Library, 22324 E. Wellesley Ave. Learn to search, check out, and download eBooks from the library’s website to your device. (adult class)

Jan. 16 | Shape Up 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Argonne Library, 4322 N. Argonne Rd. Kids are invited to come dance, race and play at the library.

Jan. 16 | Spokane Valley Library Adult Book Club 2 p.m., Spokane Valley Library,

12004 E. Main Ave. Discussion of “Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World,” by Michael Lewis. For more: 893-8400

Jan. 17 | Spokane Valley Library Anime Club 4 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E.

Main Ave. Monthly meeting for anime fans in grades 6-12. For more: asp

Jan. 26 | Gluten Intolerance Group of Spokane 1:30 p.m. Argonne Library, 4322

404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Ticket prices: $8 adults, $5 youth (ages 12 to 17), children under 12 free. For more info: 747-4604 or www.

Feb. 9 | 12th Annual Eastern Washington / North Idaho Regional Lakes Conference

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Spokane Community College Lair, Student Union Building, 1810 N. Greene Street, Spokane. RSVP by Jan. 31. For more: or 922-5443, ext .230

Recurring Rockford Crochet Class Saturdays, 10 a.m.

to noon, 229 South 1st St., Rockford. Come and join the other participants at the weekly Crochet class held in the Rockford Community Center. Other types of craft, sewing, needle work are also enjoyed. Stop in and stitch and visit with others. For more: 291-4716

Liberty Lake Library 23123 E. Mission Ave. Various clubs and weekly meetings: book clubs, LEGO club, RLM women’s group, Spokane Valley Writers group, beading club, computer drop-in class, knitting club. For more: www.

MUSIC & THE ARTS Jan. 12 | Silent Auction Fundraiser 7 p.m., Theater Arts for Children, 2114 N. Pines Rd., Suite 3S, Spokane Valley. The Star Tacs improv group will perform at this silent auction and buffet to raise money for the theater. Beverages included with buffet; wine and beer purchased separately. Cost: $30/person or $50/couple, and reservations are recommended. For more: 9956718 or

Jan. 20 | Inauguration Day


Jan. 21 | Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan. 9 | Sullivan Road Bridge Replacement Project meeting 4 to 7

Jan. 23 | Beyond Books: Fairchild Air Force Base History 7 p.m., Spokane Valley

Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Learn about the history of Fairchild Air Force Base from Lt. Col. James O’Connell from the 92d Air Refueling Wing. He will talk about why Fairchild has been a key part of our nation’s defense strategy.

Jan. 24-27 | 25th Annual Inland Northwest RV Show Spokane County Fair

and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Admission is $7 cash for adults (children 7 and under are free). For more: 466-4256 or

p.m., 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. This community meeting hosted by the city of Spokane Valley will provide updates on the bridge design, information on projects to retrofit storm drains and ask for support in requesting assistance from the state legislature for project funding. For more: 720-5001 or caldworth@

Jan. 17 | CenterPlace Regional Event Center open house 4 to 7 p.m., 2426 N.

Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. The public is invited to tour the facility, taste samples from the in-house caterer and visit with vendors. For

CHURCH DIRECTORY Greenacres Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

A traditional, family oriented church. Adult & Youth Sunday School 10:00 AM Sunday Worship Service 11:00 AM Gary Hann, Minister

18010 E. Mission - 926.2461 Established 1902 Member of CUIC

• Strong Academic and Moral Foundation • Preschool and Kindergarten Programs • Community and Service Focus • Before and After School Care

Preschool-Eighth Grade Scholarship Joining Values Over 50 years of academic excellence


Saturday Vigil - 5 p.m. Sunday - 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Weekday Masses - 8 a.m., except Wednesday which is 8:15 a.m. adoration Reconciliation

The last Wednesday of every month 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Pastor Fr. Joseph Bell Assoc. Pastor Fr. Charles Skok Deacon Kelly Stewart

The inTersecTion church 905 N. McDonald Rd. • Spokane Valley Sunday Service: Traditional 8:30 a.m. Contemporary 10:30 a.m. 924-3705

Saturday, 4-4:30 p.m. or by appointment

St. John Vianney Church 503 N. Walnut | Spokane Valley 99206 926-5428 |

Sunday School 9:30 a.m.

WorShip Service 10:45 a.m.

• Non-denominational • Bible-teaching • Activities for All Ages Sunday Service - 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Kids Program - 6:30 p.m. Thursday Youth Group - 7:00 p.m.

23304 E. Wellesley, Otis Orchards, WA


2303 South Bowdish Rd. Spokane Valley, WA 99206 509-924-4525


For as little as $7 a month, area churches can share service times, special programs or upcoming events in The Current. It’s simple. Call or email to learn more about the Church Directory: 242-7752 • more: 720-5405 or

Jan. 17 | Winter Salsa Night 5 to 8 p.m. Spokane Events & Catering, 10512 E. Sprague Avenue, Spokane Valley. Spokane and North Idaho Power Woman networking event featuring salsa lessons with Chris Anderson, Spokane and North Idaho Toastmasters and Nectar of Life fair trade coffee tasting. Network with 250-plus women and a few brave men. For more: Jan. 18 | Chamber Business Connections Breakfast 6:30 a.m., Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan, Spokane Valley. Coffee and networking begins at 6:30 a.m., program 7 to 8:30 a.m. Cost is $25 for members and guests and $35 for non-members. For more:

Jan. 26 | Gem of the Valley Gala 6

p.m. Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Rd., Spokane Valley. Hosted by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber, this semi-formal event includes dinner, silent auction and a celebration of two outstanding Businesses of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Chamber Member Volunteer, Ambassador of the Year, District Educators of the Year and the Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year. Tickets: $55 each or $600 for table of 8. For more: 534-9142 or

HEALTH & RECREATION Jan. 5-6 | Health*Beauty spa show 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Spokane Community College Lair, 1810 N. Greene St., Spokane. Show brings bite-sized sample therapies and treatments to consumers

See CALENDAR, page 34

24 • january 2013

The Current

At the Liberty Lake PORTAL

Venture Designs Go Underground

Paid Advertisement

When the Light Switch Works

Coal mining received quite a bit of attention Unless you have recently put your hand on an during the recent election, but you probably electric fence, observed a cloud to ground lightnever heard any candidate mention a group of ning strike, or had the power go out, you likely Liberty Lake engineers who are revolutionizing take for granted that the electricity around you is the coal mining workplace. brought safely from source to outlet. Frank Seiler From their of Inland Northwest Industrial upstairs office Training, educates those who “I really like the 24 hour cameras in the Portal, ensure the proper design and and the security personnel walking installation of the wiring and Jim Barrett, General Manelectrical features around us. the halls.” - Matt Judy, eCreditAdvisor ager of Venture “Essentially we provide trainDesign Services, ing for the electrical trade and and his team have created a wireless system industries associated with it,” Frank explained. In called MineTracer that enables tracking and comaddition, his firm provides consulting services for munication with underground miners. Minecompanies developing their own team of electriTracer not only increases mine productivity, but cians or in-house safety programs. As an instrucsignificantly increases the ability to assist mintor he enjoys making a difference in an individers should accidents occur in the underground ual’s ability to obtain meaningful work. “I have workplace. on several occasions had someone call up and In 2003, Jim and his team were hired by Venthank me for the training because they passed ture Corporation Ltd, a global electronics manufacturer based in Singapore. Working as a Rrsearch & development satellite, they discovered the opportunity to make a difference in the coal mining industry. Historically, when a miner headed underground, his whereabouts were simply unknown until he returned to the surface. With the Venture Design Mine Tracer system, wireless access points establish a network through a maze of tunnels in an area sometimes as large as the entire Spokane Valley. The miners wear tracking devices on their hard hats as they progress into the mine, often as far as 10 miles from their starting point. With MineTracer a dis- Jim Barrett displays Venture’s wireless underground repatcher can monitor AND communicate ceiver while Eric Pirttima points out the region where most with them via two-way text devices. of their systems are in use. And while the dispatchers monitor the miners, Jim and his team do so as well. “We their exam successfully,” Frank recalled. “That’s certainly have all the bandwidth and communicaalways nice to hear. “ tions that we need available here at the Portal,” Because most electricians learn visually, Northsaid Business Development Manager Eric Pirtwest Industrial Training tries to provide many tima. From Suite 230, Pirttima describes how the hands-on opportunities. And while he offers team figuratively looks over the shoulder of the courses through-out the state, working out of a dispatcher. “If a system component has failed or rented conference room in Yakima or Moses Lake been destroyed,” Pirttima explained, “we know is a bit more challenging than providing training where and what repairs need to take place withat his home office in the Portal. Of their training out having to send someone to West Virginia to room in the Portal, Frank noted, “It’s nice to have go underground in the mine.” a dedicated space where we can set up without With these wireless systems installed in several having to bring in all the equipment.” states throughout the country, Eric said “This reWith students coming from throughout the ally is an excellent tool for safety and efficiency.” region, Frank appreciates the accessibility of the

Portal, the ample parking, and quick access to a variety of food outlets. In addition he has found the building manger to be very attentive in making sure his needs as a tenant are quickly met.

Restoring the American Dream

Matt Judy enjoys making it possible for his clients to realize their dreams. One day he had a man from the Philippines call his office, and say, “All I want is the American dream.” And whether those dreams include securing employment, qualifying for financing, recovering from identity theft, or lowering insurance premiums, a good credit score can be essential. “Good credit scores can lead to an overall better quality of life,” Matt explained. “By far the most rewarding experience is when you take somebody that is hopeless, that doesn’t think they can get a home loan, and make it possible.” As the only member of the eCreditAdvisor team in Liberty Lake, Matt offers Matt Judy operates a credit restoration service credit restoration services with support from the Portal. from the home office, in Las Vegas. Operating since 2004, they employ about 25 people and have over 30,000 clients. Matt pointed out that “most clients come to us from loan officers, builders, or realtors. Matt finds his work very rewarding. He shared a story of helping a single dad who needed to move his child from a set of negative circumstances in his school. “Long story short, we go them out of that neighborhood and district and into a new home.” Because Matt’s work involves dealing with sensitive client data, he values the security at his location in the Liberty Lake Portal. Recalling a break-in that occurred in a Las Vegas facility, Matt stated. “I don’t think that could happen here, and if it did, the cameras would catch them. There are cameras everywhere.” Even though Matt’s clients come from all over, he enjoys working so close to home. “The building is so centrally located, right next to where I live, and my gym is just across the street.” And of his client from the Philippines, Matt said, “The good news is that he got his American Dream.”


Start your story here at The Portal.

Contact Steven Daines at 509.343.0103 for information.


The Current

january 2013 • 25

Eye on the Valley: Argonne/Mullan/Dishman Mica corridor Recognize the photos, win a prize The following 12 photos were taken within 50 yards of the 5-mile long corridor that runs from where Argonne meets the


Spokane River in Millwood south toward the intersection of Dishman-Mica and Bowdish roads. Do you know what these photos are taken of? The reader who is first to submit the correct answers (or the

highest number of correct answers) by Jan. 17 wins a $20 gift card to a business of his or her choice that is located along this corridor. Submit your answers by Facebook message at







valleycurrent or email them to Dying to know the answers? Check out The Current’s Facebook page on Jan. 18.






Breakfast & LunCh aLL day Open 6 a.M. tO 3 p.M. 7 days a Week

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Best breakfast in Liberty Lake Happy New Year from your friends at Barlows! Corner of Meadowwood Lane & Mission in Liberty Lake 509-924-1446

Beer, Wine & Liquor served

The Current

26 • january 2013


Caruso’s building has long history feeding the Valley By Craig Swanson Spokane Valley Scoop

Open for more than a year now, Caruso's Sandwich Company has nestled in at a building the Valley has been dining at since 1965 — at a location I am familiar with for reasons both dietary and personal. Located at the corner of Argonne and Montgomery, it is in the heart of the Valley's most intense culinary beat. If I was told I had to pick a two-block area in the Spokane Valley where I would be forced to dine every night for the rest of my life, this would be the spot. Across the street to the north lies a Pizza Hut, Ambrosia Bistro, Subway and Panda Express. Just to the south soar the towering signs of the behemoths of fast food, including Jack, Wendy, BK and McDonald's. Given that Longhorn Barbecue and Timber Creek Buffet are also in the hood, I could easily spend all eat-ernity dining around this cornucopia of eateries. This also means this comparative newcomer in the old building must be able to thrive in the vast and competitive hospitality trade that is so well represented in the surrounding neighborhood. While most people love to play armchair restaurant owner and believe they know all the moves newer places should and should not make, I am agnostic which means I don’t know. It is a lack of false pride and know-it-allness based upon having owned and operated one for four years in sickness and in health. But

Current photo by Josh Johnson

A unique sandwich and cutlery sculpture adds a unique Caruso’s touch to the longtime dining destination at the corner of Argonne and Montgomery. I do know this property and its history very well. Maybe there are hints about the future in the past, maybe not. In 1965, one of the three Armstrong brothers who operated the first national burger franchise business in the Spokane

Valley, A&W, hired my dad to put in the foundation to the building. My dad and his partner, Don Barden, had been running their sub-contracting company, Custom Basements, for three years at the time. Dad has been retired for nearly 13 years now,

and Don Barden has passed away. I know A&W preceded McDonald’s in the Valley because Dad put in the foundation for the latter franchise’s first Valley location on Sprague across from U-City when I was in about fourth or fifth grade. At their peak, the Armstrongs had five A&Ws in the Valley from Greenacres to Dishman. The Argonne store prospered, and they called upon Custom Basements again in the summer of 1975 to install the foundation for the eating area they were adding on to the west side of the drive-in. Since it was a summer construction project, I worked on the job myself. To call my father frugal would be like calling Bill Gates wealthy. He still takes pride retelling the story of how he pulled off and reused the original footing form boards that had been buried in place for ten years to save the Armstrongs a few bucks. “They were a little soggy after all that time, but they worked fine,” Dad told me recently when I quizzed him about his history with the building. For one reason or another, the A&W at the corner of Argonne and Montgomery did not make it out of the ’80s, nor did the other A&Ws run by the Armstrongs. In 1989, a guy who I had gone to school with from third grade, Terry Mazzie, was hired by new owners to convert the A&W

See CARUSO’S, page 35

Jenny’s Café satisfies appetite and attitude at Jenny’s Café will give you the boost you need to pick up the slack. There are few comfort foods quite like those at Jenny’s Café. The eggs benedict By Kyle Hansen is topped with precisely seasoned hollanCritics on Bikes daise sauce, with a subtle lemon bite that adds just enough zest to the dish. The biscuits and sausage gravy are prepared with Now that holiday vacations have run perfection in a plentiful portion. The bisout, most of us have returned to our nor- cuits are fluffy with a slightly milky conmal daily lives greeted by a laundry list of sistency and taste. They are engulfed in long-neglected priorities. thick, creamy gravy, oozing Kids my age rush to turn in into every nook and cranny final essay exams in the two to create a savory mingling IF YOU GO days between winter break of flavors. Jenny’s Cafe and the end of the semesI finished the meal feeling ter. Others go back to their 9425 E. Sprague Ave. light and cozy rather than jobs to find their inboxes 928-8055 overstuffed and uncomfortoverflowing with urgently able as I usually do after Critics on Bikes rating: marked memos about all such a feast. I was still able to + 4/4 Tour de France the new deadlines for projpolish off my appetite with ects assigned to them days the unlimited hash browns ago, when life seemed to take care of itself. included with the biscuits and gravy. The Days like this need to be started off right. breakfasts at Jenny’s Café are appropriately A wholesome and replenishing breakfast filling and extremely satisfying.

Current photo by Josh Johnson

Jenny’s Café is located at 9425 E. Sprague Ave. The friendly setting at Jenny’s Café has made it a hot spot in Spokane for social outings. The restaurant is usually buzzing with fond conversation. The servers smile at regular customers, and they always seem to be in the mood for engaging chitchat. The café is family owned and family oriented. Relatives work as waiters and cooks. The most important meal should only be entrusted with the most qualified. Jenny’s

Café works hard to accommodate its customers with exceptional meals and unmatched family-friendly familiarity. Critics on Bikes is a monthly column written by Kyle Hansen, a lifelong Millwood resident and junior at West Valley High School. Local businesses are reviewed on a four-point rating system: ¼ (road rash), 2/4 (flat tire), ¾ (bike lane) and 4/4 (Tour de France).

The Current

january 2013 • 27



From Facebook What holiday drink will you miss when the season has passed?

Melissa Quaintance Caramel brulee. Yum! Arva Rowe-Lewis Pumpkin spice and caramel brulee. Jared Von Tobel Starbucks Christmas blend. Yeah, I know it’s just boring coffee, but man it’s good. Marilyn Alm Hawley Hot-buttered rums, and I make my own.

BarBershop under new ownership Brett’s Barbershop Your old-fashioned, classic barbershop $12 Men’s cuts, $10 Senior & Military Cuts, Boy’s cuts, ages 1-5: $5, ages 6-11: $1/year. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 15114 E. Sprague Ave. • 509-714-9851

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Painting Heinz Painting & Handyman BBB accredited, hardworking, honest, and on time. Free estimates! Add a splash of color to your walls. Call today! Dave Heinz, 509-953-8093. Licensed, bonded & insured, HeinzpH924Bw. Many satisfied Valley customers.

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Numerica Credit Union President and CEO Carla Altepeter, left, presents a check to Christ Clinic.

Numerica gives away $25K Numerica Credit Union President and CEO Carla Altepeter recently took a road trip around Spokane, making stops at five different nonprofit organizations, to give them each a $5,000 check. The donation was a surprise for the organizations, which included: Our Place Community Ministries, Safety Net, Christ Clinic, Christ Kitchen and Blessings Under the Bridge. “We were able to learn more about what they do, and it allowed them to share stories with us,� Altepeter said of the reason for the in-person visits. “We were inspired by the grace with which they do their work.�

United Way donations up Spokane County United Way announced in December that donations increased by 5 percent during its 2012 campaign, continuing a trend that despite challenging economic times, confirms the generosity of local donors. In all, more than 600 businesses and organizations ran campaigns that raised more than $4.2 million. “This is the highest amount raised through our United Way campaign since the new millennium,� said Jeff Philipps, this year’s United Way campaign chair

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Taxi service airport transportation

Clean, non-smoking van available. Spokane Valley area to (GEG) Spokane International Airport, $35 each way


tom’s taxi 270-3115


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and CEO of Rosauers Supermarkets. Among a long list of organizations specially recognized by Philipps for the increased support were East Valley School District, Itron, Numerica Credit Union, Rockwood Clinic and Spokane County Library District. Greg Seibly of Sterling Bank will be next year’s campaign chair.

Switch Up is owned by Jennifer Ferraro and Kirt Runolfson, who is also the president of Interlink. Ferraro has worked in website development since 2001 and is the former co-owner of Spokane Web Communications. In addition to websites, Switch Up designs and produces marketing materials. For more, visit

Switch Up Web & Marketing moves to Valley

Gift Card Shark opens new Sprague location

Switch Up Web & Marketing, a full-service website development company, and its IT partner Interlink have moved to 609 N. Argonne Road in Spokane Valley.

Newman Lake residents Pam and Chad Orebaugh have opened a Spokane Valley location for their business, Gift Card Shark, at 14109 E. Sprague Ave.

The Orebaughs also operate a Gift Card Shark kiosk in the Spokane Transit Authority downtown plaza and a third location at the Columbia Center Mall in the Tri-Cities. The business buys, sells and trades gift cards. The business is open Monday through Saturday. For more, visit www.giftcardshark. com. Did your business recently open, receive recognition or experience some other noteworthy milestone? What about a new hire or promotion? Submit the information to Biz Notes at

The Current

28 • january 2013

Thank you To all our adverTisers and readers who supporT and connecT our communiTy.

Happy New Year from The Splash and The Current! Absolutely Fabulous Lashes and More ACI Coatings Affordable Northwest Roofing, Siding & Windows Affordable Optics Aging & Long Term Care of E. WA Air Control Heating & Electric Inc. All Seasons Driving School Amaculate Housekeeping Ambrosia Bistro American Family Ins. - Brian Leyh AmericanWest Bank, Liberty Lake AmericanWest Bank, Sullivan Amy Biviano Andrean Accounting Anytime Fitness Appleway Florist & Greenhouse Avista Azteca Baker Construction & Development Barlows Restaurant Beauty Secrets Salon Berean Bible Church - Upward Sports Bestway Lawn & Tree Care Bike Hub, The Black Diamond, The Black Jack Limousine Blessings Under the Bridge Boresha Bounce Time Rental Boy Scout Troop 401 Brett’s Barbershop BrickHouse Massage & Coffee Bar, The Brighton Court Assisted Living Bruttles Candies Bug-a-boos Bulldog Contractors Inc. Bundle Bean Boutique Cabela’s Callahan & Associates Chtd. Careful Cleaners Caribbean Heat Tanning Salon Caruso’s Carver Farms Casey Family Dental Casey’s Place Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Congress Central Valley Citizens for Education Central Valley School District CenturyLink Chalpin Fitness Chamberlain, Dr. Dan Chan Bistro Chevron Liberty Lake Ching Hua Garden Chocolate & Champagne Gala Christmas on the Palouse Citizens for Jobs Now Citizens For Responsible Taxation City of Liberty Lake City of Spokane Valley Clark’s Tire & Automotive Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre Coeur d’Alene Wine Cellar Comfort Keepers

Committee to Elect Matt Shea Community Colleges of Spokane Concept :: Home Copper Basin Construction Cozy Coffee CPF Upward Crazy Beagle Coffee Co. Crown Media & Printing Cruiser’s Bar & Grill Cullings Family Dentistry Cuppa Joe’s Cafe Damon Orthodontics Darcy’s Restaurant and Spirits Donna’s School of Dance Dosha Salon & Spa Dr. Lesley Morical Edward Jones Liberty Lake Ellingsen Paxton Johnson Orthodontics Empire Digital Imaging European Diva Studio Evergreen Fountains Expect A Lot Eye Consultants Family Medicine Liberty Lake Fire Artisan Pizzeria Flex Ability Fitness, Tracy Carter Fresh Start Produce Friends of Pavillion Park George Gee Automotive George Gee Automotive - Curtis Heirston Giorgio’s Fitness Glen P. Volyn MD Golf Coach, Don Rasmussen Good Samaritan Society Spokane Valley Granite Transformations Great Harvest Bread Co. Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce Green Thumb Nursery Greenacres Christian Church Greenstone Homes & Neighborhoods Guardian Angel Homes Gunsaulis DDS, Molly GW Hunters Habitat Store, The Hair Zoo, The Hallmark Suzuki Hathaway MD Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics Healthy Living Liberty Lake Highlands Day Spa Holistic Festival HUB Sports Center Human Touch Massage Therapy Indoor Golf Inflatable Fun & Party Rentals Inland Empire Utility Coordinating Council Inland Imaging Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center, The Jacobs Upholstery Jema Lane Boutique Jenice Baker Photography Jimmy and Shauna’s Moving and More

John L. Scott - Liberty Lake office John L. Scott - Gary Hansen John L. Scott - Marilyn Dhaenens John L. Scott - Pam Fredrick John L. Scott - Ray Fisk Just Chillin’ Frozen Yogurt K Salon Karen Does My Hair Kathrine Olson DDS Katittude Couture in Riviera Tanning KiDDS Dental KidFit Spokane Kiwanis of Liberty Lake KROC Center Lakeside Church Lakeside Vision PLLC Landscape Pros Latah Creek Legacy Animal Medical Center Liberty Cross Ministries Liberty Lake Athletic Club Liberty Lake Auto Glass Liberty Lake Centennial Rotary Club Liberty Lake Children’s Academy Liberty Lake Church Liberty Lake Community Theatre Liberty Lake Community Yard Sales Liberty Lake EyeCare Center Liberty Lake Family & Sports Medicine Liberty Lake Family Dentistry Liberty Lake Farmers Market Liberty Lake Fireworks Fund Liberty Lake Golf Course Liberty Lake Kiwanis Foundation Liberty Lake Liquor & Wine Liberty Lake Merchants Association Liberty Lake Montessori Liberty Lake Municipal Library Liberty Lake Orthodontics Liberty Lake Pet Sitters & Pooper Scoopers Liberty Lake PORTAL Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District Liberty Lake Veterinary Center Liberty Lashes Liberty Lube Liberty Tax Service Life Care Center of Post Falls Life Flight Network Lilac Bloomsday Association Linda Sandberg Reflexology Little Corner Preschool Lund’s Carpet Cleaning Mat, The MAX at Mirabeau McDonalds Meadow Wood Children’s Center MeadowWood HOA Meals On Wheels Medicine Man Compounding Pharmacy Mega Wash Express Mercedes-Benz Mercer Flooring MetLife, Lisa Schaff

Michael Baumgartner for U.S. Senate Mike Padden For State Senate Millwood Liquor Store Mirabeau Park Hotel Mitch Johnson, CPA Mollie Thola, Golf Instructor Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute Music Together My Hair Girl National Color Graphics Nhance Wood Renewal NIC Foundation North Idaho Dermatology - Stephen Craig MD Northern Quest Resort & Casino Northwest Insurance Brokers Numerica Credit Union NWOS On Sacred Grounds Opportunity Medical Orchard Crest Retirement Community Oval Office, The Oxford Suites Oxi Fresh of the Inland Northwest Pacific Golf & Turf Palenque Mexican Restaurant Papa Murphy’s Paradise Pet Resort Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) Pawpular Companions Pet Supplies Peppertree Inns Pet Savers Peters Hardware Pig Out In The Park Pilgrim’s Market Planet Beach PlantLand Post Falls Family Dental Relay For Life of Liberty Lake R ’n R RV Robert C. Hahn III, Attorney Rockwood Health System Salon Capello Sayre and Sayre SCRAPS Scribbles Preschool SDS Realty Inc. Sealwize Select Shelly O’Quinn for County Commissioner Shrine Circus Spokane Simonds Dental Group Simply Northwest Sleep Better Northwest Sleep City Sole Solutions SpaZenaida Specialty Home Products Spencer’s Furniture Express Spice Traders Mercantile Spokane Chiefs Spokane County Interstate Fair Spokane County Library District Spokane Golf Show

Spokane Home & Garden Show Spokane Indians Spokane Milk Spokane OBGYN Spokane Symphony Spokane Transit Authority Spokane Valley Arts Council Spokane Valley Cosmetic Laser Center Spokane Valley Fire Dept. Spokane Valley Heritage Museum Spokane Valley Relay For Life Sport Clips Haircuts St. John Vianney School St. Joseph’s Catholic Church STCU Stepping Stone Christian School & Childcare Sterling Bank Stor-A-Way Self Storage SunSetter Products Sunshine Gardens Tack & Saddle Farm Auction Take Shape for Life Team Tristan Benefit Therapeutic Associates Therapeutic Moon Massage Tim Behrens - The McManus Comedies Tin Roof, The Tire Rama Toastmasters International Todd Mielke Campaign Tracy Jewelers Trailhead Golf Course Treasure Trove Tree Specialists True Legends Grill Twisp Cafe & Coffee House Uniforms-N-More Union Gospel Mission Thrift Store University High School Craft Fair UPS Store, The Valley Christian School K-12 Valley Hospital Valley Massage Clinic Valley Real Life Valley Young People’s Clinic Valleyfest Walls That Talk Washington Restaurant Association WELL Werschler Aesthetics White House Grill, The Wholesale Sports Outfitters Windermere - Thomas McLaughlin Windermere - Sandra Bartel Wittkopf Landscape Supplies Wolff & Hislop Women’s Expo Shopping Event Yes on 1240 Zephyr Lodge & Conference Grounds Zip’s Drive In

These advertisers supported The Splash, The Current or a special section publication in 2012.

The Current


january 2013 • 29

2012 a memorable year in Valley prep sports Rehkow’s 67-yard field goal among highlights

Current events Reflections on stories I wrote for The Current in 2012.

By Mike Vlahovich Current Contributor

No one involved in Valley high school sports in 2012 had quite the Gulliver-like experience of Austin Rehkow. His Brobdingnagian year began last winter helping Central Valley to the finals of the Washington State 4A basketball tournament. This fall, Rehkow became a national sensation following a monstrous 67-yard field goal that led to interviews on national television, mention in the same breath in a Sports Illustrated story with four National Football League record setting kickers, and a trip to Los Angeles as a finalist for the Herbalife24 Chris Sailor Award for the nation’s top high school placekicker, where he finished second.. “As far as it goes for my high school career, this has been a dream year,” Rehkow said. “I’m extra blessed, I know that for sure. It was just an opportunity I’ve been given, and I can’t be happier to have had it.” Rehkow’s turns in the spotlight were the bookends during a year of accomplishment by Spokane Valley athletes. It began in the winter, when a bunch of football players who had reached the state quarterfinals earlier showed the will in basketball to place second in state. “Definitely finishing second was a great experience,” said Rehkow, who took his turn in games as the scoring leader and was named All-Greater Spokane League. “It hurt to lose — as most anyone would say — in the championship game. We were super close, always hanging out, always joking around and having fun. We didn’t care who scored as long as (the team) scored. That was our reason for success.” The effort was memorable at the same time when his dad Freddie was guiding the Bears girls on a neighboring court in the Tacoma Dome to the state finals and another second-place finish. His was a team with great guards, foremost the Greater Spokane League’s MVP, Brooke Gallaway. GSL boys MVP University’s Brett Bailey led the Titan boys, absent from state for 27 years, to third place in 3A basketball, which tied the best finish in school history. The Titan girls finished fifth. Valley Christian had a dream season as well, reaching the State 1B finals and taking second for the second time in school history, the last coming 14 years earlier. There were numerous individual state

• Jud Heathcote: My first story in The Current was about the basketball coach who got his start at West Valley before moving on to college, first at Washington State University, then Montana and Michigan State where he won a national championship with Magic Johnson. Since then a group of us ex-Eagles and Cougars have gathered twice with their old coach for food and jocularity at South Hill restaurants. Jud continues to entertain. • Hank Frame: The University High and WSU golfer was told by his Cougar coach that he had the talent to go as far in the sport as he wanted. His victory in the Lilac City Invitational becoming just the third amateur in 49 tournaments to do so was ample proof. Now a senior Cougar, Frame led into the fourth round, triple bogeyed to fall behind with seven holes remaining. He rallied from three strokes down to force a playoff, finishing a 14-under 274.

Submitted photo

Central Valley High School’s Austin Rehkow, shown here in the 2012 Stinky Sneaker matchup against rival University, enjoyed quite a ride in 2012. wrestling placers, among them seven Central Valley qualifiers who all placed among the top eight. In the spring, three Valley teams reached respective softball state tournaments, and West Valley had one of the best seasons in school history. Unbeaten during the Great Northern League season, the Eagles were upset 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2A tournament, but bounced back to win four straight games and finished third with a 27-2 overall record. CV’s boys soccer team reached the state semifinals, finishing fourth after losing to eventual champion Skyview. University’s Eddie Gonzales won the state track high jump and Tanisha Whitsett was second in the shot put, as was East Valley’s Darbi Dotson in 2A. Freeman’s boys finished fourth in 1A, Quinn Robinson winning the 400 and Cody Unfred the triple jump.

Valley Christian completed its standout year by winning State 1B boys track. Grant Marchant finished first twice and second once — to teammate Richard Nyambura — in three distance races. Between them they accounted for 51 of the team’s 85 points. Which led to the fall. Central Valley’s cross country team won the school’s first state team title, joining the girls who had done so 30 years earlier. University’s football team won not only an unprecedented one state playoff game, but another finishing among the top four 3A teams in state. And Rehkow’s travels ended with the kick heard round the country. Did you have to ask if it was special? “Oh yeah, definitely. It was awesome to do that and kind of have all the TV time and national exposure that came with it,” he said. “Last year was beyond every-

• U-Hi-CV softball: After I wrote in April about how the two district rivals have set a standard for softball in the Greater Spokane League, the Titans went on to compile a 17-1 record, winning the GSL. The Bears finished second, and both qualified for state. U-Hi won twice to reach the 3A semifinals, lost twice and finished a win away from a top-four trophy. CV lost its 4A tournament opener to Jefferson, then won three straight before losing to Jefferson again and finishing one win away from the trophy round. In slowpitch during the fall, the Titans were again champions at the Bears’ expense. • University football: The beat went on for the Titans after my story on Central Valley’s state cross-country championship and U-Hi’s surprising run in the State 3A playoffs was published. They won again to reach the semifinals and finished among the top four in state, by far its highest finish in school history. — Mike Vlahovich thing I could imagine. To make a run to state, I couldn’t have had a better group of guys to do it with. As far as the 67-yarder, I never imagined I’d do that in a million years.”

The Current

30 • january 2013


10 of the worst possible sports predictions for 2013

By Chad Kimberley Current Sports Column

If you are reading this, the Mayans were wrong. If this never got printed because the Mayans were right, I truly hope I enjoyed my last day on planet Earth watching a ballgame, eating Buffalo wings, spending time with the family and reading a chapter from a good book. Since I trust you are still reading this, unless of course the details of my last day on Earth bored you and in that case you are turning the page … Oh, you are back. Thanks. One of my favorite columns I write each year is taking a crack at predicting all the sports moments over the course of the next year. Typically, I am wrong. I believe I am averaging a solid 10 to 20 percent correct each year, and as an educator I am confident that getting 20 percent on a test may result in begging and pleading for a retake. This year we are taking a new approach. Assuming I am going to miss most of the predictions anyway, a new plan is needed: worst possible sports predictions for 2013. Winston Churchill famously said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” And that is my goal to repeat the doomed predictions of past years. Take Charlie Chaplin, who once said the cinema is simply a fad. I believe the billions of dollars generated from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and soon to be another billion from the Hobbit trilogy would prove Mr. Chaplin wrong. Irwin Edman, a professor from Columbia, said in 1932 that within 50 years the graduated income tax would abolish major differences in wealth. Occupy (insert city and location of your choice here) would disagree. The New York Times said in 1936 that rockets would never leave earth’s atmosphere. Obviously, Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck proved that wrong when they were drilling into that large meteorite in the fact-based movie, “Armageddon.” Way back in 1773, King George said the American colonies had little stomach for a revolution. Hey, George, how did that whole Yorktown siege end up working out for you? The musical director of the Ed Sulli-

Current file photo

Then: Last March, Current columnist Chad Kimberley was guiding Valley Christian to a second-place finish at state. Now: Kimberley predicts state championships for every school in the Valley. Hey, even a wild prediction that is partially correct would mean great news for local prep athletes — somewhere in the Valley. van Show said about the Beatles that the only thing he thought was different about them was their hair, and they would only last a year. I wonder what he thought about Elvis. Let me finish the walk down history lane with another thought from Winston Churchill, who said that atomic energy was as efficient as their modern-day explosives but would never produce anything that would be very dangerous. I am assuming Churchill appreciated that World War II came to an end. So in honor of misguided predictions of the past, here are my worst possible sports predictions for 2013:


The Seattle Seahawks meet the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl in what will be affectionately known in the Pacific Northwest as the Payback Bowl. The Steel Curtain defense gets ripped wide open by the combination of Lynch and Wilson as the Seahawks win, 31-13.


The Final Four features a midmajor uprising with Gonzaga, Creighton, Wichita State and UNLV facing off for the opportunity to cut down the nets. Gonzaga wins it all, and Spokane breaks out into a happy riot through Riverfront Park.


The Valley produces six WIAA state championship teams: Central Valley, University, West Valley, East Valley, Freeman and Valley Christian all bring home a team title and celebrate in the halls of their schools. The NBA season ends with the former Seattle Supersonics (aka Oklahoma City Thunder) winning the NBA title over the Miami Heat, while Seattle gets a new franchise as the Sacramento Kings move north to the Emerald City, with Nate McMillan returning as coach. The NHL season is saved at the last possible minute, and Liberty Lake’s Tyler Johnson gets called up to the big leagues with the Tampa Bay Lightning, helping lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals. In honor of the four major golf tournaments of the year — Tiger Woods will win two this year — I plan to golf four different courses in the greater Valley over the course of four days. To guarantee this is a worst possible prediction sure to fail miserably, I will also get my first ever hole-in-one while hitting the links. The NFL season kicks off with expansion plans for Los Angeles and London, networks attempting to add





Wednesday and Saturday night football to the already full slate of games. Fantasy football owners rejoice and football purists lament the good ole days. The MLB season features a World Series matchup between the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs, with the Cubs winning the Series in seven games. Actually, I forgot that according to Back to the Future II, the Cubs win the Series in 2015, so we should bookmark this prediction for two years from now. The U.S. men’s soccer team takes it down to the very final qualifying match in October and beats Panama 2-1, with Seattle Sounders forward Eddie Johnson scoring both goals to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Washington and Washington State play the 106th Apple Cup with the game going an NCAA record eight overtimes before Washington pulls out the win. Eastern Washington challenges the winner and beats them on the red turf in Cheney. I am confident I am going to go 0-10 on these picks, but at the same time if I get one, just one, then it is going to be a celebratory sports year for the Valley. Chad Kimberley is a teacher at Valley Christian School and a sports aficionado.




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Former Bowdish, U-Hi student scales challenges with championship outlook By Craig Howard Current Contributor

The final statistics after Team St. Luke’s victory in one of the first games of the 201213 wheelchair basketball season showed the squad’s point guard with an extraordinary line — 30 points, 15 assists and four steals. Yet a closer review of the contest revealed a set of even more remarkable numbers — one arm, no legs and a ton of heart. Josh Brewer has been overcoming foes on the court and doubters off of it for a while now. When the triple amputee competed in his first Hoopfest back in 2009, his team won their division with a relentless approach that emphasized teamwork, hustle and the sort of defense that makes opponents cringe. Nevermind that it was Brewer’s first attempt at competitive basketball; he was a winner and the talk of the tournament. “I wasn’t sure how well I would play,” Brewer said of his inaugural foray into Hoopfest. “It turned out better than I thought it would.” The same could be said for Brewer’s life since a horrific accident in his homeland of Ethiopia when he was 10 years old. In an attempt to leap aboard a passing train, he lost his right arm and both legs above the knee. Most people thought he would never survive. Despite circumstances that may have appeared beyond bleak to many, Brewer kept forging on with a determination that left those around him in awe. “It was tough, but I wasn’t all grumpy all the time,” he said. “I was just glad to see another day, the sun’s out and everything. I do have my down times, but for the most part I’m happy about life. So, I’m missing three limbs. I’m going to make the best of it. Whatever you’ve got, you make the best of it.” Brewer attended Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley from the sixth through the eighth grade and was a sophomore at University High School when his family moved to Battle Ground, a suburb of Vancouver, near the start of the latest academic year. He still gets back to Spokane on a regular basis to practice with Team St. Luke’s and has traveled with the squad to tournaments in Seattle, Portland and Phoenix already this season. “Everyone knew me, and I knew everyone here,” Josh said of the move away from Spokane Valley. “It was pretty tough to leave.” Mikala Salazar, a junior at West Valley High School and part of the Team St. Luke’s roster, said Brewer is acknowledged as the

club’s floor leader and catalyst. “When something goes wrong on the court, he’ll shake it off,” Salazar said. “Even if we lose, he still has a positive attitude.” It’s not often that Team St. Luke’s has to deal with a losing margin. The Tornadoes took home the title at the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Championships in Colorado Springs last March, defeating a team from Michigan 50-45 in the final. “It was awesome,” Brewer said of the NWBAC crown. “That last game, the team we were playing was as good as us. We worked like a team to win. It was like, ‘Whoa, I’m a national champion.’” Austin Pruitt, a Central Valley High School graduate who excelled in track for Team St. Luke’s, described Brewer as “someone with an amazing amount of dedication and drive.” “From the first day, I saw someone who always wanted to get better,” Pruitt said. “Now, he’s a force to be reckoned with.” Brewer’s ascent to success as an athlete was not without its struggles. First, there was the uphill battle of adjusting from his day wheelchair to one specially constructed for competition. Then came an education in the sport that he had heard of in Ethiopia but never played. “My first tournament in Portland, when I missed a shot or didn’t do what I was supposed to, I was furious with myself,” Brewer said. “I think I fouled out in three minutes in one game. Practice has paid off, I’ll just say that.” Teresa Skinner, program director for Team St. Luke’s from 1995 to 2012 and an assistant coach on the national championship squad, said Brewer’s outlook has been a unique example to others. “It just goes to prove you’re never lost,” she said. “With Josh, I saw the potential and not the disability, and he’s turned into a phenomenal basketball player. Most of us take what we have for granted, but Josh has taken what he has and made the absolute most of it.” Matt and Laura Brewer adopted Josh from foster care when he was 12 years old. Laura Brewer said the entire family has learned lasting life lessons from someone “who just keeps pushing forward.” “Josh has taught me to never give up,” she said. “Somehow, through all of this, he just keeps trying and succeeding.” Matt Brewer notes that Josh’s achievements go beyond the basketball court. Adjusting to a new high school, the sophomore is pulling above a B-average.

Current photo by Craig Howard

Josh Brewer is a standout point guard for the Team St. Luke’s wheelchair basketball squad, part of a Spokane-based adaptive sports program for residents with physical disabilities. Right: Brewer was part of the all-tournament team at the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Championships in Colorado Springs last March. Team St. Luke’s won the national title with a win over a club from Michigan. Photo courtesy of imaginetheworld

“Josh is probably one of the most charismatic people I’ve ever met,” Matt said. “I think most everyone has some emotional or physical pain, something that is holding them back and it doesn’t have to. Josh has inspired me to be better.” In addition to schooling defenders with drives to the hoop and downtown threepoint baskets, Brewer does his part to educate people about unfair stigmas surrounding those with disabilities. “When someone tries to open a door for me, I’m like, ‘Thanks, I’ll get this one,’” Brewer said. “Just because someone looks disabled doesn’t mean they are. I don’t want people to underestimate me.”

As for the future, Brewer’s coaches say he is a lock to play wheelchair basketball in college. He also has plans to work in the finance industry, most likely at a bank. Whatever his ambitions, this point guard appears ready to cash in with an attitude that is second to none. “When you’re struggling and you want to get better, it’s in your heart and your mind,” Brewer said. “Before, I didn’t think I could become anyone. Now that I’ve been here and seen all the opportunities I have, it makes you realize you can be a somebody. I have one arm, I can type on a computer. You have to find new strength every time. You have to find courage. You can push yourself to so many levels you don’t even know.”

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Unbeaten memories History-making 1993 CV team recalls state championship season By Dave Trimmer Current Contributor

Editor’s note: To parallel the roster of that perfect 1992-1993 team and provide the easiest recall for those who remember it, the maiden names of the athletes are used in the following story. The women’s full married names are included in the breakout box, “Where are they now?” located on page 33. “I was so proud,” said Aimee Turner, a junior reserve. “It was a neat team, a great group of ladies, a very grown-up group of gals that played together. I remember that the whole season was special.” A testament to the chemistry came from two starters who transferred to Central Valley the summer before the school year. “I didn’t feel like an outsider at all,” said Jacque Clark, a senior who moved from Cheney. “There wasn’t any conflict. All of us got along and enjoyed playing together. I enjoyed that.” Regan McCliment, a junior who transferred from Tonasket, was also impressed. “My personal memory, coming from a smaller school and being a player that had so much responsibility, is walking into a group of players that were so skilled,” she said. “It was unbelievable.” And it really was a special group. Starters Fralich, Clark, McCliment and Kristin Hepton all received Division I scholarships, as did Kirk. Two more got D-I soccer scholarships, Boots and Lindsey Donaldson. Lentz played at a small school in the Midwest. “How unique is that?”

As the years have flown by and memories have dimmed, one thing hasn’t changed for the members of the Central Valley High School girls basketball team that went undefeated 20 years ago. “I mostly just remember enjoying my teammates,” said Joey Asan, seeming to speak for the whole team on that point. A magical, 29-0 run included six wins over four other teams that finished in the top seven of the state tournament in Seattle. Two decades removed from accepting the championship hardware, the most lasting luster seems attached to the special camaraderie the Bears enjoyed. “What I remember most is that we had so much fun,” said Suzie Boots, who played the role of defensive stopper off the bench. “Though we were quite a mix of personalities, there was a lot of laughter and camaraderie. Everyone was humble, hard-working and often times hilarious, even the stars on the team.” Tanya Kirk was a junior reserve on an incredibly deep team. “That was one of the things that had the most impact in my life,” she recalled. “You don’t realize it when you’re a kid, but when you look back on it you realize it was special. It raised the bar, and you want to keep raising the bar.” “It was quite an experience,” concurred Lisa Lentz, the only sophomore on the team. “It’s something we tell our kids.” The kids — a full three dozen of them have since been born to members of that team — are presumably invited to a special ceremony Jan. 25, when the memorymaking team coached by Dale Poffenroth and Judy Walters is officially inducted into Central Valley High School’s Wall of Fame. Unfortunately, point guard and Greater Spokane League MVP Laura Fralich won’t be able to attend. Now a physician serving a sports medicine fellowship at the University of Massachusetts, she will definitely be there in spirit. “Our team was a machine,” Fralich said. “It was so much fun to play on that team. Every player just knew her role, did her job and we won every game because of it.” More than memories of specific games or plays, the ladies remembered their time together, just like Asan, a senior starter, said.

Wall of Fame ceremony scheduled for Jan. 25 Central Valley High School is having its second Wall of Fame ceremony of the school year, bringing its initial push to have what amounts to a Hall of Fame complete. A highlight reel of CV standouts through the years will be honored throughout the evening when CV’s basketball teams host Shadle Park High School on Jan. 25. Joining the 1993 state championship girls basketball team are two inductees closely connected to the team who are joining the Wall as individuals: Coach Dale Poffenroth and 1992 GSL MVP Courtney Hepton. McCliment said. “To have such great players to play with is not something everybody gets to experience.” Though Clark and Kirk tasted NCAA Tournament experience, Hepton had the most success. In addition to playing in the NCAAs, she was among national leaders in shooting during two of her collegiate seasons and recently was inducted into the University of Portland Hall of Fame. “I remember how good we were and how much fun we had,” said Hepton, who led the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game and would be the GSL MVP the following season. “We were more than teammates; we were all friends off the court.” Hepton recalled how that

The 1968 boys team that won state, coached by Ray Thacker, is joining the list, along with the top scorer from that team, Brad Lewis. Chic Sale, a 1945 graduate, is being recognized as a three-sport athlete. Sale played basketball collegiately at Eastern Washington and then became a highly decorated football official who once worked a Rose Bowl. Also going in is 1962 grad Bill Pierce, who has been the official scorer for the girls team for more than 30 years and the boys team for more than 25. He is also a meticulous record keeper for both CV and the Greater Spokane League. support extended through the entire CV community. “I loved how the school and parents completely embraced our success,” she said. “Even the boys team did, and they were good, too.” Indeed, the male Bears went 21-8 and finished seventh in the state’s largest classification. But it was the girls who stole the headlines. The year before, with senior Courtney Hepton, the GSL MVP, leading the way, CV went 25-4 and finished fourth at state.


Scanned image

“Dominate State” is how the 1993 Central Valley High School yearbook encapsulated that year’s girls basketball team.

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Of covering the Bears then — and tracking them down now I began covering high school sports in general and the Greater Spokane League in particular in the fall of 1992, replacing the late legend Merle “Doc” Derrick. Through my five years on the copy desk, I was well aware of the quality of GSL girls basketball, with Shadle Park and Mead winning two titles apiece and Lewis and Clark, CV and University placing over the previous five years. It was evident from the beginning of the 1992-93 season that the Bears were special. They were special because of the collection of talent, not because they did anything special. They used mostly token pressure to eat up time in the shot clock, then dropped back into a basic zone, where their length made it difficult for anyone to get close to the basket. They won games by an average of 21 points as opponents shot 31 percent. Only four games were decided by less than dou-

ble figures. Three players scored in double figures, but the starters, the only players to appear in every game, averaged between 6.9 and 13.0. The Bears shot 43 percent, including 41 percent from 3-point range because Kristin Hepton made 63 percent and Laura Fralich made 42 percent. There are numerous memories of that team, though they are somewhat fuzzy with the passage of time. That’s why I jumped at a request to write about that team, just for the walk down memory lane. The plan was to contact a couple players and commence writing. Then curiosity got the best of me. Where are all the girls, and what are they doing now? First of all, they’re not girls. It has been 20 years, after all. Second, they proved to be a little shy and somewhat elusive. They had each other’s

back. They shared their information, then passed on requests for the others because they weren’t going to divulge anything on a teammate. Finally, it became obvious that although the reason was basketball, that was just a common denominator. Requests to get tales from the court to rekindle my memories didn’t draw much. Their memories were more about their relationships and the fun they had. A historical, 29-0 run only made it more fun. Fair enough, because that is the greatest, most overlooked and easily spoiled by coaches and parents aspect of what high school sports should be. Touching base with 12 ladies was a great reminder of a special team and a special time, but also what the real definition of special is — relationships. — Dave Trimmer, Spokane Valley


Catching up with the 12-person roster of the 1992-1993 state championship Central Valley High School girls basketball team, organized by jersey number:

No. 13, Lindsay Donaldson

Currently doing soft sales training for Loan Depot, Irvine, Calif. Played one year of soccer at Loyola Marymount University, one year at Community Colleges of Spokane.

No. 15, Lisa Lentz Heath

Mother of five children, Post Falls. Played basketball at a small Christian school in Michigan.

No. 21, Laura Fralich

Physician, sports medicine fellowship, University of Massachusetts, Wooster. Played one year of basketball at Saint Mary’s, Community Colleges of Spokane and The Masters College (Los Angeles).

No. 23, Aimee Turner Livingston Mother of two children, personal trainer, Liberty Lake

Continued from page 32

There were high expectations the next year, even without the older Hepton, the only Bear, male or female in school history to have two 40-point games. In fact, Courtney Hepton and Poffenroth are also joining the CV Wall of Fame as individuals Jan. 25. The Bears opened the season with four wins over Big Nine foes, including a sixpointer over perennial power Kamiakin, which had two D-I players of its own and would finish third at state. In 16 GSL games, the closest one was a 60-50 win over a Mead team that featured Regan Fruen and Crystal Pakootas, who would go to Stanford and UCLA, respectively. That team would finish fourth at state. “Most often, one of the four extremely talented (starters) was on fire,” Boots said, “but also there were times when someone else would step up with an amazing game just when we needed it.” Three more Big Nine wins followed at regionals. Eisenhower, which would finish seventh at state, was vanquished by nine in the semifinals. Then came the rematch with Kamiakin, a 58-55 win. The Braves boasted Deana Lansing, who would play with Hepton at Portland, and Ari Skorpik, who later played for Idaho. “It was such a close game,” Clark said. “I remember thinking we were going to get beat, but we pulled it off. I remember that one the most.” State started with a 58-25 laugher over Kent-Meridian, with some backlash coming when Poffenroth put his starters in late because the Royals were antagonizing the reserves with a full-court press. Next came a 61-49 win over Wilson, a game broken open

Where are they now?

No. 25, Alica Lyon Jacob

Mother of four children, director of assessment, evaluation and research, Yakima School District, Wapato, Wash.

No. 31, Emily Spear Christensen

Mother of three children, nurse, Spokane Valley

No. 33, Kristin Hepton Spear

Mother of three children, television advertising sales, Portland. All-West Coast Conference player at the University of Portland, inducted into the Pilots’ Hall of Fame.

No. 35, Suzie Boots Auld Submitted image

The 1992-1993 Central Valley High School girls basketball team will be inducted into the school’s Wall of Fame on Jan. 25. This plaque will honor the team who, at 29-0 and rarely challenged during a dominating season, is remembered 20 years later as one of the best’s girls basketball teams the area has ever seen. with possibly the best quarter of basketball the team played all year, a dominating thirdquarter sparked by Fralich and Hepton. Edmonds-Woodway fell 65-50 in the semifinals, and then came Snohomish, which was 24-2 and had a freshman guard who would end up at Stanford. The night started badly — Clark tripped over some television wires during introductions, causing a moment of panic for Bear backers. The game wasn’t pretty, but with Boots neutralizing the cat-quick Milena Flores, the Bears won 44-35, just the fourth game decided by less than double figures all season.

“I must have talked about it for 10 years after,” Kirk said. “It was one of the neatest experiences of my life.” Even the players who saw limited time savored the season. “I don’t have any personal highlights,” said Lentz, who ended up being a lone senior two years later. “I sat on the bench; the big girls did all the work. I was only along for the ride.” Emily Spear, a junior, had a similar experience. “I didn’t play much that season,” she said.


Four children, Kirkland, Wash. Played soccer at Stanford University.

No. 43, Regan McCliment Call

Mother of three children, television account manager, Post Falls. Played three years of basketball at Gonzaga.

No. 45, Tanya Kirk

Two children, CEO and founder, rpeople, San Jose, Calif. Played basketball at Northern Arizona, North Idaho and Cincinnati.

No. 51, Joey Asan Blood

Mother of six children, Post Falls

No. 53, Jacque Clark Barrington

Mother of four children, insurance agent, Spokane Valley. Played basketball at the University of Arizona.

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MISSED Continued from page 5

even more driver training schools that are ready to conduct drive tests, and we have definitely seen an improvement in the wait times for our customers that must come and visit us.” Previously scheduled drive tests will be honored, and DOL continues to offer tests in areas that don’t have driver training schools nearby that offer testing. To conduct driver tests, driver training schools must be licensed with the state or be part of a state-certified public school driver training program. They have to apply for the authority to administer driver testing, and are subject to audits and record checks. After passing the tests, customers still go to the licensing office to obtain their license and must pay the driver license application fee to DOL.

Burglar meets U.S. Marine When Spokane Valley Sheriff ’s Deputies were dispatched to a burglary in progress at the 12400 block of East Desmet Road in late December, they arrived to find a suspect already apprehended — by a United States Marine on leave from Afghanistan. 22-year-old Marine Infantryman Alex Pohle arrived home with his parents to find

the couple’s animals outside and a front screen door open. Pohle and his father entered the residence while the mother called 911. When deputies arrived, they found a 43-year-old suspect with 27 years of local criminal history on the floor of the bedroom, detained by Pohle and his father. The suspect had scattered jewelry around an interior bedroom but was not successful in the burglary attempt.

Strides made in Valley prowlings Spokane Valley Property Crimes Detectives and Spokane Valley Patrol Deputies began an emphasis in November to combat a marked rise in vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries in the eastern part of the city of Spokane Valley. Monthly statistics had shown an increase in vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries in these areas from August 2012 through October 2012. For example, the total garage burglaries in that area jumped from an average of 12.7 over the previous three months to 30 in the month of October 2012, and vehicle prowlings went from an average of 17.3 per month to a total of 65 in the month of August alone. More than 30 people were identified as being involved or associated with the crimes, and more than 20 of them were arrested in the first four weeks of the emphasis — on 22 felony charges, 22 misdemeanor

charges, 10 felony warrants and 17 misdemeanor warrants. The investigation continues, and more charges are expected, a Sheriff ’s Office news release stated.

Inflatable Santa assault leads to confrontation A man who allegedly slashed an inflatable Santa Claus with a knife at a Spokane Valley Christmas tree lot was later arrested by Liberty Lake police for obstructing law enforcement and resisting arrest. The 21-year-old Spokane man was part of a group of men who were originally reported to law enforcement for assaulting a Christmas tree lot employee at Barker and Mission before taking a knife to the Santa as they departed. That evening, the LLPD received a call regarding intoxicated men making a scene outside a Liberty Lake grocery store. Law enforcement arrived to sort out the incident, and as they made connections to the Christmas tree lot incident, two more vehicles arrived at the scene containing friends of the men being detained — leading to more law enforcement arriving. Several citations were given, and the aforementioned man was arrested for agitated behavior, including allegedly telling officers after being initially released from handcuffs that he could “take all of you.”

You are The Current Want to see your name in print (for all the right reasons, of course)? Or maybe you just want to help point out great ideas for content worth sharing with your neighbors? The Current is a community newspaper, so if you are part of the greater Valley community, we want to know what’s important to you. We like to say there are eight of us, and there are more than 100,000 of you. Maybe one of the questions below applies to you? If so, you can help us out.  Do you go on vacation? Maybe you’re heading somewhere fun (and warm) for spring break. If so, pack a copy of The Current and pull it out to snap your photo in front of your favorite destination or landmark. When you return to the Valley, drop us a line with the pic, and we’ll share it with readers. Call it “Current Travels.”  Are you part of a club or service organization? Well, what do you know? We were

planning to debut a list of recurring Valley events in the near future that will be well-suited for clubs and organizations that have regular meetings. Send us the info.  Do you celebrate? We want people to know about everything from your new baby, to your upcoming wedding or anniversary, to your incredible office or sporting achievement. Photos, announcements, honors — please send!  Did you capture a shot? Shutterbugs, unite! If you are capturing great Valley moments, whether while out and about or in your backyard, e-mail us your photo so we can share it around the neighborhood. Send along names of those pictures and complete caption information as much as possible.  Are you a local freelance journalist? The Current sets aside a budget and great assignments for people like you. Send some clips our way, and we’ll be in touch.

 Do you eat? We thought so. Perhaps you have a favorite order at a Valley eatery? Before you clean your plate, get your picture taken with your order and send it to us. Include the place, order, cost and why you love it. It’s just one more way we can point one another to all the best the Valley offers.

You are The Current. Email so we can share the things that are important to you.

“Informing , connecting and inspiring communities”


CALENDAR Continued from page 23 at the same $5 price point from all participating salons and spas. Admission is $7. For more: www.

Jan. 5 | Flat Track 5 Wheel Night 6 p.m.

(gates open at noon), Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. General admission is $5. For more: 995-5889 or

Jan. 6 | Frost Fest Volleyball Scrimmages 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. A round-robin tournament that provides opportunity for teams to scrimmage other teams from the area. For more:

Jan. 8 | “Why Detox?” 6:30 p.m., Healthy

Living Liberty Lake, 2207 N. Molter Rd., suite 203A, Liberty Lake. This free, informative seminar is open to the public. For more or to reserve a seat: 924-6199

Jan. 13 | WodWarrior CrossFit Competition 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., HUB Sports

Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. This competition for the Inland Northwest will host individual events for both novice and intermediate divisions. Cost is $45/$55 for competitors and $5 for spectators. For more:

Jan. 18 | Flip Fest Gymnastics 8 a.m. to 6

p.m., HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. For more:

All calendar listings were provided to or gathered by Current staff. If you would like your event considered for the community calendar, please submit information by the 15th of the month to

CHAMPIONSHIP Continued from page 33

“No bitterness or hard feelings — that’s just the way it was. … I had the best seat in the gym, though.” Age has increased the appreciation. “Being so young you don’t realize what a big accomplishment that is,” McCliment said. “I wouldn’t say I took it for granted, but I didn’t realize how big it was. … I just want to have my kids and the kids I coach to have that experience.” And there are a lot of kids. Fralich and Donaldson don’t have any; the rest combined have 36. If the kids want to play basketball, they can find plenty of good role models. “I enjoy watching and giving advice here and there,” Clark said. Hepton said, “I don’t officially coach, I’m more of ‘that parent’ now, although I’m trying really hard not to be. I try to give them pointers but they don’t want to listen. My daughter rolls her eyes at me — just like I did to my dad.” In this case, following mom’s advice is probably a pretty good idea.

The Current

3 UP, 3 DOWN Continued from page 10

valuation of the district is estimated to decrease by 2.44 percent in 2013. CV School Board Member Tom Dingus moved over from the vice president to the president’s seat following the rotation of the annual board positions for 2013. Board Member Amy Mason was selected to replace Dingus and serve as vice president. Board Member Debra Long moved out of the president’s chair, but not for the lack of leadership opportunity in the new year. Long was recently installed as the new president of the board of the directors of the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

East Valley School District Compiled by Jim Ryan

East Valley School District voters will consider a $65 million school bond on Feb. 12 that will make improvements to aging schools across the district. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 8-9. The first semester at East Valley High School wraps up with final exams on Jan. 24 and 25. After a break for the winter holidays, the Meals on Wheels program that meets at Otis Orchards Elementary School will resume at 11:40 a.m. Jan. 3. For more information, call 924-6976. Otis Orchards Elementary was named for the third time as a School of Distinction, and Continuous Curriculum School also received the honor. The

january 2013 • 35

news/business awards are based on improvement on standardized tests over the preceding five years. Those selected were in the top 5 percent of improvement across the state. This year East Valley School District employees donated a combined total of $8575, which is $2000 more than last year. Just a few of the charities that will benefit from these donations are: Valley Meals on Wheels, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, Spokane Alliance and Family Services of Spokane. The East Valley School District received a holiday season boost when staff and students from Carrington College donated a great deal of food for the district’s food bank. Carrington staff brought with them boxes of dry goods to benefit students and their families over the holidays. Darsi Bankey oversees the project during the school year for the district, and Lisa Heidi, a staff member at Carrington College, is also an East Valley community member who initiated the contact with the district.

Freeman School District Compiled by Jim Ryan

The deadline for the Reflections Art Program, a national cultural arts competition, is coming. This year’s theme is, “The Magic of a Moment.” The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for students to use creative talents to express themselves through original artwork. The deadline is Jan. 7. For more information, email Freeman PTSA Reflections Program Chair Kathleen Rokus at Freeman High School Principal Intern Brad Van Dyne is currently leading a staff book study on “Brain Rules” by John

Medina. The focus: “What are we doing to help our students grow?” Students are returning from the holiday break on Jan. 2. Stephen Hayter received a $20,000 grant to purchase biology equipment for his high school agriculture classes. Technology Director Todd Reed reported to the school board that a grant is bringing internet to rural schools and libraries. A company will build a tower on the old transportation building for internet access that is faster and costs less than what the district currently has. He will be working on a district technology plan this year. Transportation Supervisor Char Trejbal reported to the school district board of directors that staff is applying for a federal bus replacement grant. Last year, Freeman buses traveled a total of 196,784 miles.

West Valley School District Compiled by Jim Ryan

West Valley City School students in Matthew Phillipy’s science class are conducting a lab that investigates a building’s orientation and configuration in regards to solar gain, day lighting and heating and cooling. The lab will help students understand the challenges engineers face in designing a building. West Valley School District has announced that the West Valley School Board has been honored as a 2012 “Board of Distinction” by the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA), in recognition of responsible school governance as defined by the Washing-


Then, around 2002, another friend of mine, Del Stratton, was hired to convert the premises from its Wolffy’s trappings into Scotty’s Bar and Grill. I watched this transformation fairly close since I was in the business at the time, and Scotty was often at my business. He told me it cost $250,000 to give the place its third setting in 37 years. Though Scott Reckord left that business not long after he and Patty opened it and went on to start up Sullivan Scoreboard with his new partner Deanna, Scotty’s made it for approximately nine years before following Wolffy’s tracks. I don’t know who the Caruso people

Millwood ECEAP teacher Jill Kennedy applied for a First Book National Grant and was awarded $500 worth of free books for children in all early education programs at Millwood. Each classroom got to choose books for each child, and the children took the books home for winter break. West Valley Outdoor Learning Center Director Jami Ostby Marsh was instrumental in the work done by the 60-member Community Engagement Task Force comprised of students, staff, parents, community members and agency representatives. Their goal of collaborating with our community around environmental sustainability aligned with the work of the Outdoor Learning Center. Approximately 250 people attended the Thanksgiving Feast hosted by Spokane Valley High School. Many of the vegetables served were planted, grown, maintained, harvested and prepared by students in the food production class taught by Scott Carver. Eric Jurasin’s leadership students were responsible for decorations and the entire set up. This is an annual school-wide event meant to engage parents, community and build multi-agency relationships. they wash those hands and sit down for a good lunch.

Continued from page 26

into a Wolffy’s. His construction company gave the building its second major remodel, updating it to an older burger selling era, the one just before the one it had originally been built for. Through the ’90s Wolffy’s sold old-fashioned burgers and shakes the way they did in the ’50s.

ton School Board Standards. WSSDA’s Boards of Distinction awards program honors school boards that demonstrate effective use of the Washington School Board Standards. The standards, developed and adopted by WSSDA in 2009, promote researched-based governance practices that lead to high levels of student and district performance. Students are returning from the holiday break on Jan. 2.

The building that today is home to Caruso’s originally began as an A&W in 1965. It has also been home to a Wolffy’s and, most recently, Scotty’s Bar and Grill. Current photo by Josh Johnson

hired last year to complete this most recent do-over, but I know enough to know that they did a good job and that it cost a fair to middlin’ amount. It reminds me of another location in the Valley that my Dad and his partner also put in the foundation for back in the ’60s. Having stewarded their profits wisely through the years, by 1968 they were able to buy the old Torrey’s Lockers property at the corner of Sprague and Moffit and build a building for Mr. Steak. For 20 years, that national franchise stayed and paid the rent, but then they left and were followed by a suc-

cession of forgotten ventures. By the time Mike Robb and his family tied up their Iron Horse there, the place had earned the reputation as a loser. That was about 12 years ago, and the Horse is at full gallop. So it seems to me that Caruso’s is telling a similar story. I know they have found a worthy building that has a rich history serving the hungry Valley well, built and rebuilt through the years by hard-working guys like my Dad and Terry and Del who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty and then go into places like A&W and Wolffy’s and Caruso’s where

Craig Swanson and his wife, Elaine, operate a blog and newsletter called Spokane Valley Scoop. A graduate of University High School, Craig is a lifetime resident of Spokane Valley. The Spokane Valley Scoop can be read online at

36 • january 2013


Let’s be fair: Redefining ‘college’ in the 21st Century By Rosalie Sigler Current Guest Column

My parents are proud to have four children who all graduated from four-year colleges with a bachelor’s degree, and two who obtained their master’s degree. Although every parent would be proud of this accomplishment, it’s especially meaningful to my mother, who only attended elementary school until the third grade, and my father, who attended high school until the ninth grade. They were both forced to drop out of school at an early age and began working full-time, traveling with their migrant families across the United States seeking seasonal agricultural work. Not having the opportunity themselves, it was never really a question of whether their children would attend college, only a matter of where. Now, as a first-time mom to an 18-month-old son, I have the same college dreams for him that I experienced myself. I want him to experience the unique opportunities offered by attending a four-year university, such as living in the dorms, playing intramural sports and the pride of cheering on your alma mater. With this in mind, I wonder how I might feel if my son were to say to me, “I was thinking about going to a vocational school.” Honestly, I would be torn between my instincts as a parent to support my son in whatever makes him happy and at the same time wish for him the same wonderful college experience I had. Working in education and specializing in helping prepare students for college, I know it isn’t fair to have a preconceived

About the Opinion Page The Current wants to hear what’s on your mind. Interact with the opinion page with a leer to the editor (350 words or fewer), guest column (700 words or fewer; please send a mug) or via Facebook or Twier: @valleycurrent As with all content, opinion page submissions may be edited for space, style or clarity. This is a community newspaper, so be relevant to the Valley for the best chance at publica…on. “In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory or an unjust interest. And endeavor to gain, rather than to expose, thy antagonist.” — William Penn

idea of what type of post-secondary school he should attend. But to be fair to myself as a new mom, I think I’m experiencing the same shift in defining what “college” should look like as is the rest of the country. As the GEAR UP coordinator for the West Valley School District, my job is to provide opportunities to students that will allow them to explore their post-secondary education options. Admittedly, over the past few years, I have planned more opportunities for students to visit two and four year colleges in comparison to vocation schools. This makes me reflect on whether I’m being fair to all students by sending the message that these schools are the “best” and “only” option. Although everyone agrees that a high school diploma is no longer sufficient, in recent years, discussions have increased amongst researchers and educators that we should be encouraging and providing more opportunities for high school students to attend career and technical or vocational schools. Not only is it a fair way to support students who want to pursue careers in fields not offered by colleges and universities, it supports the fact that a traditional college experience isn’t a good fit for every student. A report published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education states that only 56 percent of students enrolling in a four-year college graduate after six years and less than 30 percent graduate from a two-year college after three years. The same report, called the Pathways to Prosperity Project, claims that the United States has the highest college dropout rate of any industrialized country. In the West Valley School District, our mission statement is to graduate every student ready for college. Although it’s a mission likely held by many high schools across the nation, we’re working to prepare students for all types of post-secondary options and to individualize these goals to each student. This month will open the doors, both literally and figuratively, to offering new opportunities for students in the Spokane Valley. This January, the new Spokane Valley Tech skills center, located on the corner of Sprague and University, will offer programs including cosmetology, sports medicine and aerospace and advanced manufacturing. The center is a consortium of Central Valley, East Valley, Freeman, and West Valley school districts and will offer even more programs in the upcoming school years. We should all be proud that our community and school districts are offering opportunities that are fair for all students

See FAIR, page 37

The Current

Editorial Cartoon

Current Editorial


Poverty in the Valley

Here’s some good news: Initiative Hearts are on the move You’ve probably heard the old backand-forth about how media consumers are always asking for more good news amidst all the stories about death, war and the latest fiscal cliff. And the media responds: “If you would consume it, we would provide it.” Instead, readers and viewers are drawn to conflict. Therefore: “If it bleeds, it leads.” The truth, as is so often the case, is in the middle of this debate. Most media outlets, and even small community newspapers like The Current, offer stories of all types. Great journalism is that which reflects society. In real life, there is good news and there is bad news and there is a lot of news in the middle that people interpret toward their particular perspectives. The journalist’s job is not to represent an angle (that’s both too easy and too lazy), but to cover the fact that there are truckloads of angles. We do our best to provide timely information related to complex issues for our readers. There are few issues as complex as poverty, and it’s an issue we are committed to reporting more on in 2013 through our One Valley Initiative (see page 39). One thing that is striking about poverty is that many of us have “angles” we subscribe to on how to help those facing an upsidedown future, but too few of us roll up the sleeves and actually make progress. When poverty is a “talking” issue and not a “doing” issue, progress remains in the realm of the theoretical.

Poverty in the Valley But in Spokane Valley, there has been a lot of “doing” going on in recent months. Whether it’s the formation of the Valley Homeless Network we highlighted in the December Current or the day-in, dayout efforts of hundreds of volunteers and workers at our great local nonprofits, the heart of the Valley is strong. Here at The Current, we experienced this firsthand last month, as readers of this publication as well as The Liberty Lake Splash contributed enough funds to provide more than 200 weekends worth of Innovative Education meals (and counting at press time) for local students who may not otherwise have food. This “holiday focus” raised funds for a program coordinated by local volunteers and the Spokane Valley Partners food bank called Food for Thought. We recently learned the program is planning to expand into two more schools, allowing even more students the ability to rely on weekend food. It’s true that news of all flavors merits reporting, but we must admit: Good news is the most fun to share.



The Current

january 2013 • 37


SVFD Continued from page 12

“With Mike’s background in education and working with boards, I think he will do a good job as a commissioner,” Thompson said. “It’s important that the board maintain good communication and dialogue, and I think he understands that. For one thing, he’s already asked me what he needs to do in order to be successful.” Dawson said Pearson is already in tune with the important distinction between the board’s responsibilities and the duties of Thompson and his staff. While the commissioners deal with policy making and governance in areas like setting the budget and hiring the chief, the staff focuses on day-today procedures that drive the district. “I think what makes a good commissioner is understanding the difference between overall governance and the operational side of things,” Thompson said. For his part, Pearson said he plans to listen and learn. “I have some understanding about how the process works,” he said. “I’m not going to go out to a fire station and tell them how to run things.” The central task of the board in 2013 will be to find a suitable replacement for Thompson, who has announced he will be retiring after eight-years as fire chief. Thompson has mentioned stepping aside in March, but said he would remain on until the district feels secure about the transition of power. Interviews of applicants will likely begin later this month. “That will be our number one priority,” Pearson said. “Mike has done a wonderful job, and he’s going to be tough to replace.”

FAIR Continued from page 36

in pursuing a post-secondary education that is the best fit for them. Rather than focusing on the traditional idea of college, let us support and provide the education needed to succeed in all post-secondary avenues, whether that be a community college, university, vocational training or an apprenticeship. Rosalie Sigler is the special programs coordinator in the West Valley School District and coordinates the GEAR UP grant (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), which serves the class of 2017 at Centennial Middle School. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from Eastern Washington University. She and her husband met at EWU and are the parents of an 18-month old son. This column was written as part of a monthly series highlighting the PACE (Partners Advancing Character Education) trait of the month. The trait for January is “fairness.”

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The Current

38 • january 2013

Wondering where you can find The Current? Volume 2, Issue 1 Editor/publisher

Josh Johnson

General Manager

Tammy Kimberley Senior account Janet Pier executive

account Cindy Esch executive

graphics editor

Sarah Burk

Office manager

Kelli Dexter


Mike Wiykovics Contributors

Kyle Hansen Craig Howard Chad Kimberley Valerie Putnam Jim Ryan Heidi Scott

Jayne Singleton Jocelyn Stott Craig Swanson Dave Trimmer Mike Vlahovich Bill Zimmer

On the cover: Current photo by Josh Johnson


The Current 2310 N. Molter Road, Suite 305 Liberty Lake, WA 99019 P: 242-7752; F: 927-2190

The Current is published monthly. It is distributed by or before the first of each month to more than 185 drop-off locations in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Rockford, Otis Orchards, Newman Lake — just about anywhere that has historically been referred to as part of Spokane’s Valley.

Around 10,000 free copies of The Current are distributed near the end of each month at more than 210 locations from Newman Lake to Rockford, from Stateline to Havana. A list of drop-off locations along with corresponding Google maps is available at www. The Current can be found at the following locations (organized alphabetically by community and then by street proximity):

Liberty Lake Accra-Fab, Adhara Salon & Spa, Albertsons, Alliant building, Anytime Fitness, Barlows Restaurant, Camping World, Carl’s Jr., Chevron, City Hall, Curves, Ding How, Dominos, Edward Jones, Expect A Lot Visual Images, Great Clips, Great Harvest Bread Co., Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greenstone, John L. Scott, Just Chillin’ Frozen Yogurt, KiDDS Dental, Liberty Lake Athletic Club, Liberty Lake Golf Course, Liberty Lake Library, Mario & Son, McDonald’s, MeadowWood Golf Course, Palenque Mexican Restaurant, Papa Murphy’s, Pawpular Companions, Quiznos, Rockwood Liberty Lake Clinic, Rockwood Urgent Care Center, Safeway, San Francisco Sourdough, Seasons Cafe, Supercuts, Trailhead Golf Course, True Legends Grill, Twisp Cafe and Coffee House, Walgreens, Washington Trust Bank

The deadlines for submitting story ideas or placing advertising vary slightly with each issue. To be safe rather than sorry, consider the 15th of each month the cutoff point to be considered for inclusion in the following month’s Current.

Subscriptions Subscriptions for U.S. postal addresses cost $12 for 12 issues, or $24 for 12 issues to addresses outside of Spokane or Kootenai counties. Send a check and subscription address to P.O. Box 363, Liberty Lake, WA 99019 or call 242-7752 for more information.

Correction policy The Current strives for accuracy in all content. Errors should be reported immediately to 2427752 or by email to Confirmed factual errors will be corrected on this page in the issue following their discovery.

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Copyright © 2013 All rights reserved. All contents of The Current may not be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

Now celebrating its first anniversary, The Current isn’t sustained by magic. Free to readers, this exercise in community journalism is made possible by our partnering businesses. Do you like having a local newspaper? Please thank our advertisers and look to them when offering your patronage. Our sincere appreciation to the following businesses for their foundational partnerships with The Current and its partner publications:

Mica, Rockford and Valleyford Fairfield Library, Freeman School District office, FredNecks, Freeman Store, Hurd Mercantile Gift Mall, Harvest Moon, On Sacred Grounds, Rockford Mini Mart

Millwood Albertsons, Anytime Fitness, Argonne Library, City Hall, The Corner Door Fountain and Books, Dairy Queen, Great Clips, Rocket Bakery, Rockwood Urgent Care Center, Papa Murphy’s, Walgreens, West Valley School District

Newman Lake and Otis Orchards Exxon Gas Station, Jack and the Bean Shop, Kaleo, KH Grocery Market, Otis Grill, Otis Orchards Library, River City Pizza, Sweet Tooth Bakery & Espresso

Spokane Valley Off or near Barker Road Central Valley School District, Cozy Coffee, GTX Roadside Grill, Hico Village, HUB Sports Center, K Salon, King’s Restaurant, Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson, ScrumDiddilyUmptious Donuts, Ziggy’s

Off or near Sullivan and Evergreen Roads


It wasn’t the newspaper fairy.

Ace Hardware, Auto Licensing Plus LLC, The Brickhouse Massage and Coffee Bar, Carl’s Jr., Casey’s Place, Clark’s Tire & Automotive, Dairy Queen, Donna’s Diner, Fitness Center Valley, Forza Coffee Co., Froyo Earth, Great Clips (Broadway), Halletts Market & Cafe, Harvest Foods, Hastings, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s (Broadway), McDonald’s (N. Sullivan), Mirabeau Park Hotel, Mongolian BBQ, Oz Fitness, Rockwood Valley Clinic, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Round Table Pizza, Safeway, Schlotzsky’s, Sport Clips, Subway (Broadway), Swagat Indian Cuisine, Walgreens, Zelia’s, Zip’s

Spokane Valley Mall area Arby’s, Barnes and Noble, Bean Positive, Krispy Kreme, Outback Steakhouse, Oxford Suites, Perala’s Hair Design, River View Corporate Center, Spokane Valley Senior Center, Thomas Hammer Coffee, Twigs, YMCA

Avista Barlows Family Restaurant Cabela’s City of Liberty Lake Clark’s Tire and Automotive Inland Imaging John L. Scott Real Estate (Pam Fredrick) KiDDS Dental Liberty Lake Liberty Lake EyeCare Center Liberty Lake Portal Liberty Lake Orthodontics Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District Lithia Motors North Idaho Dermatology Simonds Dental Group Therapeutic Associates

Off or near Pines and University Roads Arby’s, Albertsons, Buck’s Pizza, Burger King, Careful Cleaners, Centerplace, Cuppa Joe’s Cafe, Dairy Queen, East Valley School District office, Fiesta Grande, Flamin’ Joe’s, Galaxy Grind, Giorgio’s Fitness Center, Halpin’s, HuHot Mongolian Grill, Jack in the Box, Little Euro, McDonald’s, Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists, O’Doherty’s Irish Pub and Grill, Peters Hardware, Qdoba, Quiznos, Ringo’s Casino, Ron’s, Salon Tonya, Senor Froggy’s, Spokane OB/ GYN building, Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, Spokane Valley Library, Spokane Valley Partners, Starbucks, Subway, Thrifty Scotsman, Uniforms-N-More, Valley Hospital ER, Valley Hospital Outpatient, Value Village, Walgreens, White Elephant

Off or near Argonne and Havana Roads Ben’s Yogurt and Deli, The Black Diamond, Broadway Diner, Caruso’s, Casa De Oro, Chan Bistro, Chester Store, Cottage Cafe, Curves, Global Fitness, Goodtymes Bar and Grill, Hico Village, Jack in the Box, Jenny’s Café, Longhorn BBQ, McDonald’s (Argonne), McDonald’s (Havana), Papa Murphy’s, Puerto Vallarta, Rite Aid, Safeway, Savageland Pizza, Skyway Cafe, Smacky’s on Broadway, Spokane Club, Subway, Terry’s Breakfast & Lunch, Valley Bowl, Yoke’s Fresh Market, Zip’s (Broadway), Zip’s (Trent)

We’re always on the lookout for business and community partners willing to be drop-off points! If you are interested in carrying this monthly publication in your place of business, please contact our circulation manager at

Index of advertisers Following are the local advertisers in this issue of The Current. Barlows Restaurant 25 Careful Cleaners 9 Clark’s Tire & Automotive 3 Evergreen Fountains 19 Giorgio’s Fitness 13 Good Samaritan Society Spokane Valley 13 Habitat Store, The 9 Hong Kong Buffet 7 Jacobs Upholstery Account 4

Jenice Baker Photography Kathrine Olson DDS KiDDS Dental Legacy Animal Medical Center Liberty Lake Orthodontics Liberty Lake PORTAL Liberty Lake PORTAL Robert C Hahn III Attorney Rockwood Health System

7 7 17 13 13 11 24 13 40

Simonds Dental Group 3 Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce 15 STCU 3 Sunshine Gardens 5 Toby K. Hallowitz, ND, MSOM, LAc 5 Uniforms N More 9 Valley Massage Clinic 3 Windermere - Thomas McLaughlin 3

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 With story ideas, contact

The Current


january 2013 • 39

New Year’s resolutions for the Valley One Valley Initiative meant to provide platform for community conversation Every time the Times Square ball drops and the wall calendar is swapped out for a glossier version, we the people tend to become a bit reflective. We ask ourselves questions. Where am I going? What can I improve on? What are my unrealized hopes? What are my unrepeatable regrets? Where would I like to be next year at this time? Then, like amateur scientists, we collect and sift through the data before developing some conclusions, which we refer to by their fancier moniker: resolutions. The concept is that we don’t intend to stay where we are. We intend to improve, to stretch, to grow. We intend to become something better, because yearning and progress are important components in the human DNA. The same thing is true of our communities as a whole. As the greater Spokane Valley, we should be sifting data, lining out ambitions and planning to arrive in 2014 in better condition than we entered 2013. Indeed, many leaders in our community are implementing strategies along these lines as I type these words. But much like losing weight or getting out of debt, this is no easy process. There isn’t a magic formula, and there certainly isn’t a shortcut. And as a community ef-

By Josh Johnson Current staff column

fort, there is a role for everyone. At The Current and our sister publication, The Liberty Lake Splash, our mission is to “inform, connect and inspire communities,” and it is in this spirit that we introduce the One Valley Initiative. I share this background in part because it’s important to understand what this initiative is not. It’s not a set of conclusions. It’s not my personal opinion as the editor and publisher. And it’s certainly not a rant about all that is wrong — but could be right — in our communities. Instead, we view our role here as a place where conversation can take place, a platform for information and discussion of topics that are important to our community. We plan to write a series of stories and invite a series of perspectives to be shared along the four main “threads” of our One Valley Initiative coverage (see, “The Four Threads” below for more on the topics). These four focuses were chosen through interaction with people who live here. They were discussed and dissected over way too many cups of coffee and more than a few dozen emails. In short, the One Valley Initiative was birthed through a collaborative

The Four Threads

in the coming year. The threads include:

The One Valley Initiative is simply focused coverage on four key issues. As the greater Spokane Valley community, the following four issues have a huge impact on our present — and on our future.

• Growing business

The Current and its sister publication, The Splash (a weekly newspaper serving Liberty Lake), will be focusing coverage on these four “threads” in 2013, and inviting the community to be a part of shaping the stories and sharing the perspectives that will lead to progress. The whole process is much like setting a New Year’s resolution to focus on a particular area and then working as a team to follow through. We are calling these four topics “threads” because we believe them to be important enough that we are weaving a major component of our story planning around them

The financial foundation of the Val ley is woven through the health of our business community and the strength of our economic development. This topic will focus on business and job recruiting, industry clustering opportunities and business education. It will also consider the ways that business standards and practices impact the overall health and livability of a community and what a balanced perspective means for our community.

• Poverty in the Valley With the formation of the new Valley Homeless Network and the increased demand for social services, The Current has invested a lot of ink in its formative year telling stories that show that poverty is a very real thing

process, and the fuel that will sustain the initiative is collaboration as well. This is where I invite you to play a role. There are several ways you can be part of this process, most directly by participating in the communication process yourself. As we plan stories in 2013, we will be looking to our neighbors to help kick the tires, so to speak. What are angles we are not thinking of? What are questions that need to be asked? Truly great community journalism is interactive and in-depth. It goes beyond parroting the “official-speak” lines and digs into the layers of issues that matter in our community. And issues that matter always have layers. I will be hosting some email groups for people interested in participating in this process. There is no commitment required other than to be signed up for an email list you can always unsubscribe to. Through these interactions, we will be sharing some coverage ideas before the ink meets the paper and asking for insights and perspectives. There are no specific story agendas. These are just important topics rife with stories waiting to be told, conversations waiting to be had and — more often than not — conclusions waiting to be put into action. If this sounds general, it is on purpose. Remember, we don’t want to feed the community answers from some ivory tower, but to be part of the process that gathers information and encourages conversa-

in the greater Valley. That said, it often looks different than one might expect. This “thread” is intended to bring further awareness and discussion to providing an infrastructure that meets the needs of community members facing and upsidedown future while exploring upstream solutions that provide a bridge to future self-sufficiency.

• Healthy Valley Health is a glue that binds many aspects of a community together. Financial, physical, environmental – there are many aspects of “health” that define a truly robust community. This thread will focus chiefly on physical health and wellness and its myriad impacts on quality of life. From our individual bodies to our community’s natural resources as a whole, true wellbeing requires attention and upkeep.

tion. We believe a community newspaper does its job when it is a conduit, a channel through which information can be shared and discussion can take place. Taking part is as easy as sending me an email — Put “One Valley” in the subject line and you will be on the list. Speaking of “One Valley,” that’s what this whole idea is about, regardless of the specific issue. It doesn’t matter the school district or municipal boundary you do or don’t live within (and the Valley is a web of jurisdictions), there are common issues we face in our greater community that we are better off engaging as a group as opposed to staring at from our individual islands. Our own neighborhood identities are important and should be celebrated, but issues like the four listed below are best addressed as a greater community. I’m looking forward to the stories we will tell in 2013, but in this case, I’m not referring to the ones that will be sent through a printing press. No, those stories are just the reflections of the real-life story we are writing together as a community. And the Valley is home to great storytellers, men and women with follow-through who want the best for their community. It’s because of all of you that I believe 2013 will be a banner year. Josh Johnson is editor and publisher of The Current. Write to him at josh@

• Innovative education The Valley is quite blessed by a number of pioneering educational programs, some new like the formation of Spokane Valley Tech, and some established as a model like West Valley’s truancy program featured elsewhere in this issue. Continued innovation is critical in any industry, and in few places moreso than the realm of education. Another component to innovation, however, is funding, and residents need look no further for the difficulty local districts have had in passing school bonds to know that the way voters and districts define success hasn’t always meshed. Innovative Education



40 • january 2013

The Current

The January 2013 Current  

The One Valley Initiative: From growing business to lessening poverty, from infrastructural health to innovative education — four conversati...

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