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The Current pedals its way through a quartet of local bike shops to learn about gear, maintenance and cycling culture PAGE 24 FIRST-CLASS SALUTE: Honor

Flight program pays tribute to World War II veterans Page 16

Valley athletes strive to compete in 2012 Summer Paralympic Games PAGE 26


champions of character honored through local program Page 14


2 • June 2012

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Former Major League infielder Tim Hulett will be back for his sixth season as manager of the Spokane Indians when the team begins the Northwest League season on June 15 at Avista Stadium. Hulett played for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals in his MLB career, but also made minor league stops in places like Indianapolis and Glenn Falls, NY.

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When the Spokane Indians take the field against Vancouver in the Northwest League season opener at Avista Stadium on June 15, the team colors will be the same from last year — the roster will not. For a baseball player with Major League aspirations, the idea of permanence at the short-season, minor league level carries the same rewards as languishing at the starting line of a marathon or getting stuck in the back of an Economics 101 class as a college senior. The point is to move on — unless you happen to be Tim Hulett. The native of Springfield, Ill., will return as skipper of the Spokane club this summer, joining Otto the mascot, ballpark popcorn and BINGO Night as carryovers from previous seasons. Hired in 2007, Hulett now holds the distinction of being the most tenured manager in the team’s history. While his roster will have no plans to remain in Spokane, Hulett is comfortable here. He has already scaled the baseball ladder.

A Cup of Joe Hulett’s career as a professional baseball player began in Glenn Falls, N.Y., as a 20-year-old infielder in the AA Eastern League. After stops in Appleton, Wis., and Des Moines, Iowa, Hulett was called up to the Chicago White Sox in 1983. He would go on to spend parts of a dozen seasons with the White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals before retiring in 1995. While Hulett’s career numbers in the big leagues — .249 average, 529 hits, 220 runs batted in — may not earn him a bid to Cooperstown alongside former teammates like Cal Ripken Jr. and Tom Seaver, he was known for his reliable defense and competitive resolve as a utility infielder. Now, as he manages future major leaguers for nearly three months each summer, Hulett emphasizes the same traits with winning results. In five seasons, Hulett has compiled a sterling record of 199-180, including a NWL championship in 2008. The same season, he was named the league’s Manager of the Year. In the offseason, Hulett

See MANAGER, page 30

The Current

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The drive for safety on SR-27


The Current

Navigating awareness on a Valley corridor By Craig Howard Current Editor

Angie Ward may work in Olympia, but she is well aware of a unique thoroughfare known as State Route 27 some 270 miles away in Spokane County. As the program manager for the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, Ward helps facilitate corridor safety projects throughout the Evergreen State. The projects take root when certain arterials are identified as concerns and various strategies — from emphasis patrols to signage to engineering upgrades — are implemented to generate awareness among motorists. Beginning in May 2008, Ward’s agency was part of a campaign on a 20-mile stretch of SR-27 that ran until May 2010. From Trent Avenue through Spokane Valley and south to Rockford, a total of 482 collisions were reported on the roadway between February 2004 and January 2007. In September of 2007, Peggy Gilliland, who served as traffic safety coordinator for the Spokane County branch of the WSTSC, noted that “failing to yield, exceeding speeds, following too close and disregarding traffic signals” had been identified as the main collision factors on SR-27. Ward said statistics on the Spokane Valley roadway are not quite on par with state averages since the project concluded. Although injury collisions are down 9 percent, overall collisions are up 1 percent. Still, Ward remains optimistic. “The project may be over, but the emphasis on safety isn’t,” she said. Signs denoting the corridor safety project are still posted along the route, one of the few common traits of a diverse channel that includes the teeming commercial traffic of Pines Road through Spokane Valley as well as the pastoral scenes of southeast Spokane County where the roadway narrows to one lane in both directions. “That’s part of the challenge,” said Matthew Enders, a manager with WSTSC who coordinates the statewide corridor safety program from his office in Olympia. “You have that urban section transitioning into the rural piece. It’s important for motorists to recognize the differences in the road and slow down.” Heading north from Rockford into Spokane Valley, the speed limit transitions from

Current photos by Craig Howard

A portion of State Route 27 includes the commercial stretch of Pines Road through the city of Spokane Valley. Congestion along the corridor is heaviest at the bustling intersections at Sprague (above), Mission and Broadway. Bucolic rural scenes are typical along the winding stretch of SR-27 that meanders through southeast Spokane County. 55 mph to 45 shortly before the intersection of 32nd Avenue. Just over a dozen blocks later, as the roadway goes uphill into a residential area, the speed drops to 35 mph. Bustling intersections at Sprague, Broadway and Mission follow. “What we’re trying to do is change the way motorists look at the road,” Enders said. “If they’re aware of the history of collisions, the hope is that they’ll be more careful.” The idea for corridor safety projects in Washington began in 1990 with support from the Federal Highway Administration. Representatives from Pennsylvania, a state that had already instigated a successful traffic safety program, visited Olympia and discussed aspects of the approach with WSTSC officials. Since 1990, WSTSC has coordinated 33 projects — including campaigns on Highway 94 in Cheney and SR-291 between Trent and Division in Spokane — with encouraging success. Total collisions in the designated areas have been reduced by 6 percent while fatal and serious injury collisions are down 30 percent. Alcoholrelated collisions along the corridors have decreased by 14 percent. “I believe they have made a difference,” said Karen Wigen, who took over for Gilliland as administrator of the Spokane County WSTSC branch in 2009. “Projects like the one on SR-27 bring out an awareness that we are talking about traffic safety.” One of the priorities of the project focused on talking with representatives of establishments near SR-27 that serve alcohol, emphasizing the dangers of drinking and

driving. “The businesses that took part in this safety project contributed to the prevention of impaired driving through their awareness of not overserving people,” said Linda Thompson, executive director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council. “It’s that front line of stopping impaired drivers before they become impaired.” A year before the start of the SR-27 campaign, a steering committee began meeting to discuss safety upgrades to the roadway. The group included representatives from law enforcement, the business community, school districts and jurisdictions like the city of Spokane Valley and Spokane County. Ward pointed out that one of the byproducts of a project is creating a local network that continues to work on behalf of community safety. “That collaboration is really important,” she said. “The stakeholders should be having these conversations.” One of the improvements that took place based on the discussions of the steering committee involved signage near schools in the Freeman School District just a short jaunt to the west of SR-27. Blinking signs now emphasize the decrease in speed limit from 55 mph to 45 near campus. Freeman Superintendent Randy Russell said the changes “have added up to improve safety.” “I do think people realize there is more traffic there,” Russell said. “I also see state patrol along 27 on a regular basis.” Sgt. Mike Zollars, traffic officer with the Spokane Valley Police Department, served on the SR-27 steering committee and said

during the campaign that “staying alert and being aware of distractions” would significantly benefit motorists along the route. Another one of the concerns, especially in rural areas, has to do with deer and other wildlife darting onto the roadway. Ward said in such cases, motorists should brake immediately. “Don’t overcorrect and don’t swerve,” she said. As Ward and other traffic safety officials root for the numbers to improve on SR-27, she said one of the keys will involve local residents staying aware and accountable when they travel the corridor. “It shouldn’t be about blaming ‘those Idahoans or those out-of-towners,’” she said. “We want people to think about what their responsibility is on this road.”

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The Current

6 • June 2012


A water rate increase appears to be on the way for city utility customers, who currently pay $17.35 a month. In 2011, the city raised the rate $2.65 per month, the first increase since 1995. Millwood City Clerk Tom Richardson said the next rate hike would help cover capital facilities costs and likely be in the range of 15 to 20 percent with implementation sometime this summer.


After completing due diligence, the Central Valley School District Board of Directors finalized the purchase of property for the Spokane Valley Tech site in May. The 5.89-acre site includes a 51,540-square-foot building near the corner of University and Sprague.

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The Current

June 2012 • 7

Discussion will continue on a plan to purchase $6.2 million in portable classrooms in the East Valley School District through nonvoted bond debt. The buildings would be in place at Trent, Trentwood, Otis Orchards and East Farms elementary schools. The official grand opening of Greenacres Park will take place June 2 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Festivities will include a walk around the park, ribbon cutting and address by Mayor Tom Towey. The latest Spokane Valley Park at 1311 N. Long Road includes the city’s first disc golf course.

Susan Schuler, part of the Liberty Lake City Council since 2008, announced in May that she would be leaving the governing board based on her family’s impending move to New Zealand. Schuler was known for her support of the local business community and law enforcement.

Three Up, Three Down features at-a-glance news of what’s coming UP in June or went DOWN in May. Check out these six on this rendering of the Valley by homegrown artist Casey Lynch, and then turn the page for a breakdown of items by jurisdiction. (The placement of news items on this artistic map do not necessarily denote the actual location of the item described.)

June 11, 2011 • 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Saturday, June 9 • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Liberty Lake An official event guide, published by the same team that brings you The Splash and The Current, will be available starting June 7 at locations throughout the greater Spokane Valley.

8 • June 2012

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

LIBERTY LAKE Katy Allen will begin her tenure as the second city administrator in Liberty Lake’s history, starting June 4. A longtime Liberty Lake resident, Allen most previously worked as director of Public Works in Bremerton and was appointed from a field of finalists that included former Spokane Valley City Council Member and current Connell City Administrator Steve Taylor. The city-owned golf course, Trailhead at Liberty Lake, hits full stride this month. The venue began the season sporting several upgrades, including new sand, driving range improvements and a refurbished pro shop. Capital facilities will be on the City Council docket in June with discussions regarding several potential projects such as a roundabout at Harvard and Mission roads, improvements to a field owned by the Central Valley School District and landscaping renovations at the site of the Liberty Lake Farmers Market. Interim City Administrator Mike Cecka wrapped up his duties after joining the city last November. Mayor Steve Peterson and representatives of the City Council applauded Cecka for his even-keeled approach in coordinating a transitional phase at City Hall. Susan Schuler resigned from the City Council. See this entry on the artistic map, pages 6-7. The Liberty Lake Farmers Market celebrated opening day on May 19 with a crowd of approximately 2,000. The weekly venue launched in 2001 and now features some 50 vendors, music and special events like the Italian Festival and Art at the Market. MILLWOOD Millwood water rates are likely on their way up. See this entry on the artistic map, pages 6-7. The inventory of street projects may be light in Millwood this summer, but look for some resurfacing to take place on a section of Bridgeport Road in the near future.

news Bus traffic has contributed to wear and tear on the side street near Argonne. Most people know about West Valley Days and the festive community parade scheduled for June 2, but Millwood Park will also host a vintage car show at the green space a week later on June 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. The Spokane Area Classic Chevy Club will sponsor the event. The city’s Shoreline Citizen Advisory committee met on May 23, part of a continuing process to revise standards for shoreline management as mandated by the state Department of Ecology. To this point, the city has received little feedback, with comments coming from entities like Avista, Ecology and Inland Empire Paper Co. Work sessions and public hearings on proposed revisions will continue over the next several months. Turns out changing your City Council meeting schedule for the first time in 85 years does not have an impact on attendance. In May, city officials moved the gathering from the first Monday of each month to the second Tuesday, although more empty chairs than people were reported at City Hall. A playground structure was installed at the municipal park with the Spokane County Parks Foundation covering a majority of the $11,200 bill. SPOKANE COUNTY The Spokane County Fair and Expo Center will host the Washington State Grange Convention June 19-23. With a history of advocacy on behalf of farmers and rural residents, the Washington Grange was established in 1889, and promotes a mission of “improving the quality of life of Washington’s residents through the spirit of community service and legislative action.” The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) sponsors dog and cat adoption events at the Spokane Valley Petsmart on the first Saturday of each month, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at the same time on the second Saturday of each month at Spokane Valley Petco. Spokane County joins surrounding counties in observing the 10th anniversary of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign this month. The statewide program is credited with improving the rate of seatbelt compliance from 82 percent to nearly 98 percent since 2002. The main entrance to the Spokane County Courthouse, renovated to meet guidelines in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was reopened on May 21. The project benefited from a $60,000 grant through the Washington State Historic Courthouse Preservation program with corresponding funds approved by the Board of County Commissioners. According to the Spokane Regional

Health District, a total of 47 pertussis cases — including half-a-dozen hospitalizations — have been reported in Spokane County since the whooping cough onset of 2012. SRHD recommends immunizations to protect against pertussis. The Spokane County Engineering and Roads Department announced on May 23 that seasonal road restrictions had been lifted. The limits are put in place every year to counteract the impact of winter weather on area roads. CITY OF SPOKANE VALLEY The new Greenacres Park officially opens June 2. See this entry on the artistic map, pages 6-7. The Sprague Avenue reconstruction project began May 21 and will continue for around three months, narrowing traffic to one lane in either direction between Evergreen and Sullivan. A center turn lane will also be part of the configuration along Spokane Valley’s main thoroughfare. The Spokane Valley Partners food bank at 10814 E. Broadway will disperse food and personal care boxes to 800 families on June 21 beginning at 10:30 a.m. The event is made possible by a grant from Feed the Children, a nonprofit organization based in Oklahoma. Vouchers for June 21 will be handed out during the food bank’s weekly distribution times on Wednesday and Thursday. For more information, call 927-1153. At its May 15 meeting, the City Council discussed the list of proposed road projects connected to a $2.8 million budget for street preservation. The emphasis, according to Senior Capital Projects Engineer Steve Worley, would likely be on main arterials. Council Member Dean Grafos voiced his support for addressing Sprague Avenue from Argonne west to the municipal limits as opposed to a road like 32nd Avenue. Bicyclists benefited from repaving on Appleway. See this entry on the artistic map, pages 6-7. The city’s new economic development ad-hoc committee was formed of 11 representatives from various backgrounds, including the local business community, general citizenry, tourism industry and City Council. The group has begun meeting to discuss infrastructure improvements and methods to bolster the city’s economy with a final presentation anticipated before City Council in late August or early September. EAST VALLEY/WEST VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICTS The West Valley Community Appreciation Block Party will take place on June 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. at West Valley High School. The event, free to WV students, families and residents, will include dinner and family-friendly activities. Nonvoted bonds are being weighed to

The Current

provide EVSD portable classrooms. See this entry on the artistic map, pages 6-7. A free Health and Safety Fair will be held at Orchard Center Elementary in the West Valley School District on June 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A pair of EVSD schools have been honored by the state for their improvements in standardized tests. Otis Orchards Elementary was named a School of Distinction and Continuous Curriculum School received the Washington Achievement Award. For the fifth year in a row, the East Valley High School chapter of Washington Drug Free Youth led the state in student participation. A contingent of 324 EVHS students comprise the program sponsored by the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council. A total of 55 West Valley seniors received the College Bound scholarship, a state grant that covers the cost of tuition for education beyond high school. Students must sign up by June 30 of their eighth grade year to qualify. Go to for more information. CENTRAL VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT The graduation ceremony for Central Valley High School will take place June 9 at 11 a.m. at the McCarthey Athletic Center on the campus of Gonzaga University. Graduating seniors from University will also receive their diplomas at McCarthey June 9 at 3 p.m. Barker High School will hold its graduation commencement on June 7 at 6 p.m. at One Church on Sullivan. CVSD seventh graders will learn about Washington state history and government during summer school classes this year. Topics including Native American history, civics and government will be addressed in this course, a graduation requirement for the class of 2017. Representatives of the University High School orchestra and band will be honored at spring awards banquets on June 4 and 5, respectively. The CVSD Board of Directors approved the hiring of Alan Robbins as the new principal of University High School and Rick Doehle as the new executive director of Human Resources. A group of seven CVSD students were awarded a total of $18,000 in scholarships through the Spokane Scholars Foundation. The honorees included David Ross and Erin Benson (English); Andrew Croneberger (fine arts); Andrew Schutts and Lauren Nemitz (social studies); Alexander White (math) and Natasha Saric (world languages). The purchase of Spokane Valley Tech was finalized. See this entry on the artistic map, pages 6-7.

The Current

June 2012 • 9


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Candidates file for office The list of contenders for this year’s election season is official. In Legislative District 4, State Sen. Mike Padden and Rep. Larry Crouse will not face challengers while Amy Biviano, a Democrat, will run against current state Rep. Matt Shea. The incumbents are all Republicans. The District 2 race for Spokane County commissioner will be slightly more competitive, with three hopefuls running for the spot to be vacated by Mark Richard. The list includes current Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase, Greater Spokane Inc.’s Shelly O’Quinn, both Republicans, and former TV weatherman Daryl Romeyn, a Democrat. In the District 1 race, former Commissioner John Roskelley, a Democrat, will challenge Republican incumbent Todd Mielke. In the 5th District, Rep. Cathy McMorrisRodgers, a Republican, will face a trio of contenders for Congress, namely Rich Cowan (Democrat), Randall Yearout (Republican) and Ian Moody (no party preference).

Relay For Life site change If you show up at East Valley High School for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life this month, you might be surprised to find an empty field. The site near Sullivan and Wellesley has hosted Spokane Valley’s rendition of the popular fundraiser since 1990, but organizers have moved the venue to University High School beginning this year. Relay teams will gather at the campus track at 12420 E. 32nd Ave. on June 22-23. In recent years, the EVHS venue has welcomed approximately 30 relay teams who have generated around $50,000 annually in the battle against cancer.

Bike to breakfast at CenterPlace Local cyclists celebrating Bike to Work Week pedaled their way to a pancake breakfast at the CenterPlace Regional Events Center last month, courtesy of the city of Spokane Valley. Patterned after an event in Riverfront Park made popular by the city of Spokane, the Valley version of the breakfast included appearances by Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey and Council Member Dean Grafos. An estimated 50 people stopped by for the free meal. “Cyclists were happy to see something like that out in the Valley,” said Mike Basinger of the city’s community development department.

New home for SVFD The Spokane Valley Fire Department has moved its administrative offices from Sprague Avenue to a new building at 2120 N. Wilbur Road. The offices are located on the same SVFD-owned property where the department constructed Station 8 in 2004.


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Rally for a champion East Valley W.A.A.T. principal inspires in cancer battle By Craig Howard Current Editor

Nearly every day, Barb Cruse puts cancer on hold to check in with her co-workers at the East Valley School District. Those who know Cruse will tell you that the phone calls are emblematic of a leader who puts others first — even when coping with the rigors of treatment for an ugly disease. As the principal of East Cruse Valley’s alternative school, the Washington Academy of Arts and Technology (W.A.A.T.), Cruse is known for motivating students to triumphantly complete a marathon when most think they could never get through a 5K.

Shirley Olson, a program assistant for W.A.A.T., said the scenario has been a challenge, if for no other reason than Cruse has always been the coach, mentor and motivator but now has been relegated to recovery at home. The principal was diagnosed with cancer back in March and has been on medical leave since mid-April. “It’s been tough because Barb’s always been the one to lift us up,” Olson said. “She still calls almost every day, asking how the students are doing and making sure we’re having a good day. It’s really something.” For Cruse, the road back has been paved with well-wishes from all areas of the East Valley community, from co-workers to parents to students. Meals have been brought into her home, homemade get-well cards arrive regularly. “The support has been amazing,” Cruse said. “The cards, emails and people checking in with me when they have an opportunity — it’s meant so much to me.” As Cruse regains her strength, she is looking ahead to the W.A.A.T. graduation ceremony, scheduled for June 6. A total of 52 students will receive diplomas that day, and Cruse is determined to be there, applauding those who overcame all sorts of odds to be part of the class of 2012. “My goal is to be there,” Cruse said. “I may not be the one saying something at graduation, but I am saying I’m going to be there.”

An 18-year veteran of EVSD, Cruse was hired as the principal of W.A.A.T. in December 2008 after Superintendent John Glenewinkel created a format to expand alternative programming throughout the district. W.A.A.T. includes areas of emphasis such as online classes, career and technical training and modified instruction and takes into account the learning modes of each student. “These students know how to work; they just need a different way of looking at learning,” Cruse said. “They also have to experience success. We want to provide them with the opportunity and rigor so they’ll have what they need to succeed in school and society.” Olson said Cruse “has always put students first” at W.A.A.T., making sure they have both academic support and essentials like shoes and winter coats. “You get tears in your eyes when you hear those stories,” Olson said. W.A.A.T. includes an alternative high school called “Harmony” with an enrollment of more than 70 kids as well as a program for students beyond 18 who are working toward diplomas. Cruse said the staff at W.A.A.T. emphasizes inclusive education “with extra guidance and stability.” “Usually, there’s a reason these kids are not succeeding,” Cruse said. “We take the time to find out why.”

The Current

Overall, W.A.A.T. is comprised of around 700 students, more than half of whom live outside the East Valley School District. Communities such as Vancouver, Wenatchee, Yakima and Shelton are represented in the program. On April 27, W.A.A.T. was honored by the Chase Youth Commission as an “Education Champion of Youth.” Cruse attended the awards banquet along with fellow staff, many of whom gave credit to her for the recognition. “I don’t see this as my award,” Cruse said. “We’re a team. This is about the school and the benefits we offer to students.” Cruse has made it a point to focus on the journey after high school, bringing in representatives from local colleges to talk with students and shedding light on various career opportunities. Advisors help with financial aid applications and other forms. “It’s just about being there for these students, and Barb gets that,” said Paula Cavaness, a W.A.A.T. instructor. Cavaness added that Cruse also goes out of her way to make sure teachers understand they are appreciated. “She’s always saying, ‘Thank you for your work,’” Cavaness said. “You don’t always hear that from principals.” John Myers, dean of students at W.A.A.T.,

See PRINCIPAL, page 15

The Current

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12 • June 2012

The Current

Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS May 31 | Otis Orchards Book Club

4:30 p.m., Otis Orchards Library, 22323 E. Wellesley. For more: 893-8390

June 2 | Greenacres Park Grand Opening 10:30 a.m. to noon, 1311 N. Long

Liberty Lake’s residential streets roar to life each year on the second Saturday in June for the community’s annual event for bargain hunters. The 19th annual Liberty Lake Community Yard Sales will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 9.

Road. Family activities, demonstrations, tree planting and a ribbon cutting and speech by Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey. For more:

June 2 | West Valley Days 11 a.m., Millwood. The annual community celebration is sponsored by the West Valley SCOPE chapter. The agenda begins with a parade starting from the corner of Boeing and Trent and winding up in Millwood Park where there will be booths, food and music. June 2 | Felts Field Neighbor Day

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Felts Field, 5829 E. Rutter Ave., Spokane. This historic venue just west of Spokane Valley will host an open house featuring vintage planes and tours of the grounds. Established in 1927, Felts Field was recognized as Spokane’s municipal airport in the 1930s and 1940s.

June 2 | Summer Sellebration 10 a.m. to

4 p.m., 15303 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley. The second annual Sellebration will feature retail vendors, arts and crafts and more near the intersection of Sprague and Sullivan. For more: 385-8732

June 2-3 | Farm Chicks Antique Show

Current file photo

June 22-23 | Spokane Valley Relay For Life 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., University High School,

12420 E. 32nd Ave. The Spokane Valley version of this fundraiser for the American Cancer Society began in 1990 and, just this year, moved from East Valley High School to University. For more: www.relayforlife/spokanevalley

June 23 | Lego Mindstorm Robot Class 10:30 a.m. to noon, Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. Class for ages 9-14, registration required. For more: 232-2510

June 28 | “E.T.” Family Movie Night

Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Vintage and retro furniture, arts and crafts and more.

6:30 p.m., Liberty Lake Municipal Library, 23123 E. Mission Ave. For more: 232-2510

June 5 | Spokane Valley Quilters’ Guild 6:30 p.m., Spokane Valley Assembly


of God Church, 15618 E. Broadway Ave. The guild gathers on even-numbered months with a potluck before each meeting. For more: 9246320

June 8 | Second Harvest food distribution Noon to 2 p.m., Millwood

Presbyterian Church parking lot, 3223 N. Marguerite Road, Millwood.

June 9 | Classic Chevy Open Car Show 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Millwood City Park on East Frederick Avenue. Event organized by the Spokane Area Classic Chevy Club. For more: 467-1957

June 9 | Liberty Lake Community Yard Sales 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 19th annual celebration of bargain shopping is expected to include more than 200 homes as well as additional vendors in Pavillon Park. For more:

June 16 | Opening Day for Spokane Valley Pools 1 p.m. at Park Road, Valley

Mission and Terrace View pools. Open swim is $1 per person. For more: 688-0300

June 18-22 | Vacation Bible School

9 a.m. to noon daily, Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond Road. Free program themed, “Operation Overboard: Dare to go deep with God,” for children 4 years old through entering fifth grade. Registration deadline June 15. For more: 924-7262 or www.

June 1 | Founder’s Day Celebration

Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake. A ribbon cutting and social will celebrate 91 years of the chamber in Spokane Valley. For more:

June 19 | Meet the Chamber Member Reception 5 to 7 p.m., Paul Mitchell — The

School, 15303 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley. For more:

MUSIC & THE ARTS May 31-June 3 | “Narnia, the Musical”

7:30 p.m., Spokane Falls Community College, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Drive. The Spokane Children’s Theater and SFCC present the stage adaption of the C.S. Lewis tale, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Tickets: www.

June 13 | “Annie” 7:30 p.m., Spokane Civic Theater, 1020 N. Howard St., Spokane. Proceeds from the local production of this Broadway classic will go toward Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest. Tickets are $30. For more: 328-8310 (Big Brothers/Big Sisters) or www. (for other showings through June 17) June 15 | An Evening of Dueling Pianos 6 p.m., Good Samaritan Society benefit at Valley Bible Church, 3021 S. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. Event kicks off with social hour featuring silent and live auctions to raise funds for the

Spokane Valley Rehab Therapy Courtyard before “Dueling Pianos” Jeff and Rhiannon perform at 8 p.m. For more: 924-6161

June 23 | Art at the Market 9 a.m. to

1 p.m., Liberty Lake Farmers Market, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane. The weekly market’s annual event to highlight arts and crafts vendors. For more:

June 23 | Farmers and Artisans Market

9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Word of Life Community Church, 6703 N. Idaho Road, Newman Lake. For more: 226-5148

SPORTS & RECREATION June 2 | Liberty Lake Kiwanis Scholarship Scramble 8 a.m. shotgun

start, MeadowWood Golf Course, 24501 E. Valleyway Ave., Liberty Lake. Fundraiser for local scholarships. For more: www.libertylakekiwanis. org

June 2 | Hoops Over the Horizon 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., University High School, 12420 E. 32nd Ave. A 3-on-3 basketball tournament for youth from grades 3-12. For more: 228-4940

June 9 | Parade of Paws 10 a.m., Spokane Humane Society, 6607 N. Havana, Spokane. The ninth annual fundraiser for local cats and dogs includes a 2-mile or 4-mile walk with canines leading the way. Day of event registration begins at 8 a.m. For more: 995-4542 or www.

June 9-10 | Hoopfirst HUB Sports Center,

19619 E. Cataldo, Liberty Lake. This 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament will include participants from grades 4-12. For more: 927-0602 or www.

June 9-10 | Spokane Gun Show Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Daily admission is $7. For more: 208-746-5555

June 15 | Spokane Indians season opener 6:30 p.m., Avista Stadium, 602 N.

Havana St., Spokane Valley. The Northwest League season opener for the hometown team vs. Vancouver (the regular season runs through Aug. 31). Tickets: 343-6886

June 16 | Cancer Patient Care Walk of Hope and Loreen Miller Ride 6 a.m. to

Authority, 15118 E Indiana Ave. For more: www.

3 p.m., Mt. Spokane High School, 6105 E. Mt. Spokane Park Drive, Colbert. The 19th annual fundraiser will include bike expeditions of 3, 12, 25, 50 and 100 miles as well as a 5K walk through the rolling hills of Green Bluff. Proceeds benefit Cancer Patient Care, which provides free advocacy and support for local cancer patients. For more: 456-0446 or www.cancerpatientcare. org

June 6, 13, 20 & 27 | Corporate Cup

June 24 | Ironman Coeur d’Alene

June 2 | Run for the Son 9 a.m., Rockin’

B Ranch, Liberty Lake (Exit 299 from I-90). Registration is $10 for this 5K run and walk. For more:

June 2 | Spokane Valley Pop Warner Registration 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Valley Sports

Picturesque North Idaho will once again be the venue for a rigorous competition that includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run. For more:

HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo, Liberty Lake. Round up a team from your company and compete in the inaugural tournament featuring volleyball, basketball, dodgeball and Zumba (respectively). Businesses can field a team for all nights or just pick or choose tournaments of interest. June 27 Zumba night benefits Blessings Under the Bridge. For more: 927-0602 or www.

June 30-July 1 | Hoopfest Downtown

June 8 | MDA Golf Tournament 1 p.m., MeadowWood Golf Course, 24501 E. Valleyway Ave., Liberty Lake. This four-person golf scramble event benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association. For more: 325-3747

All 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

Spokane. The 23rd rendition of the world’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament is expected to feature more than 7,000 teams on over 450 courts. For more:

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14 • June 2012


The Current

Royal court of character

PACE program honors local students for outstanding ethics By Kelly Moore Current Staff Writer

Along with reading, writing and arithmetic, lessons in character are part of the syllabus in greater Spokane Valley schools. With an emphasis on constructive traits and positive values, the Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) program includes honoring local students who exemplify the qualities featured throughout the academic year. To recognize 46 “champions of character,” PACE officials organized the inaugural PACE Awards Banquet on May 31. “Recognition is such an important part of bringing character to light,” Central Valley School District Superintendent Ben Small said. “This is the first time we’ve gathered in such a celebration, and we are grateful to our event sponsors for making this event a reality for these well-deserving students.” PACE began in September 2010 with only a dozen founding partners. Since then, the character education program has grown to include 104 partners and 46 schools working together from a common list of monthly character traits to promote good character. Each month, schools and community partners focus on a particular trait. The year’s list includes: respect, responsibility, citizenship, caring, fairness, honesty, diligence, trustworthiness, courage, integrity, generosity and gratitude. For the 2012 PACE Awards, one student from each participating school was selected for best exemplifying the program’s mission. Honorees are from diverse backgrounds and range from kindergarten all the way to high school seniors, but they all have at least one thing in common — outstanding character. The 2012 PACE “champions of character” are listed below by participating school district, with a separate category for the private partner schools. While there wasn’t space to tell stories about all 46, The Current profiled one student from each participating district to help encapsulate the caliber and character of this year’s honorees.

West Valley School District Darby Howat, Centennial Middle School Eighth-grader Darby Howat earned top PACE honors this year at Centennial Middle School. After reviewing teacher recommendations, a selection committee voted on the finalists and she won “by a landslide,” Centennial Counselor Tammy Rogers said. “She does things without having to be asked, and she doesn’t complain about going the extra mile either,” Rogers said.

“That’s really rare in kids her age.” Rogers recalled a school service project Darby worked on to honor bus drivers. “We were handing out doughnuts to all the bus drivers, and as soon as Darby realized we were short by a few, she just took off sprinting to go get more,” Rogers said. “That’s the kind of kid she is. She takes the howat initiative.” At school, Darby volunteers as ASB treasurer and a teacher’s assistant and helps run the student store. She’s also worked on numerous school projects and fundraisers as a member of National Junior Honor Society. In addition, throughout her time at CMS, she’s maintained a 4.0 grade point average. “She’s just an all-around great girl,” Rogers said. “She always has a positive attitude, and she’s the most trustworthy student I know.” Staff comments submitted to the PACE awards committee emphasized that because of Darby’s proven character, she is trusted 100 percent of the time to make the right decisions, and she does. Outside of school, Renae Howat, her mom, said Darby swims competitively and keeps involved with her church youth group. She also helps as a teacher’s assistant at her church’s Vacation Bible School. “She’s just very dependable,” Renae said. “You can ask her to do something and not have to worry about whether or not it’ll get done.”

Other 2012 PACE Champions of Character from the West Valley School District: Hunter Tiffany, Arthur B. Ness Elementary Katelyn Buffkin, Orchard Center Elementary Justis Wells, Pasadena Park Elementary Connor Shillam, Seth Woodard Elementary Chase Pritchett, Contract Based Education Griffin Stiles, River City Leadership Academy Ivan Bityukov, Spokane Valley High Shawen Christensen, West Valley City School Jacqueline Swanson, West Valley High

Freeman School District Peter Underhill, Freeman High School The Freeman High School staff nomi-

nated junior Peter Underhill for PACE recognition based on his example of responsibility and a positive attitude, Principal Dave Smith said. “He works hard and always has a smile on his face,” Smith said. “He’s mature beyond his years.” Comments submitted by staff said Peter brought the designated character traits to life each day at school underhill and leads by example. Many teachers said they couldn’t imagine a more worthy student. Smith recalled times when the band director was busy working with other students, and Peter stepped in to help lead class. “Just because of who he is and the leadership he displays, kids listen to him,” Smith said. In addition to band, Peter is involved in Math is Cool, the Knowledge Bowl team and a new jazz ensemble. “He’s very responsible,” said Carolyn Underhill, his mom. “In terms of his music, I’ve never had to prod him to practice. In his 10 years of studying the piano, he’s always taken the initiative.” She said Peter is a very determined and conscientious student — no matter what he studies. And he’s always been involved at church, where his father is a pastor. “He’s so good at encouraging others,” Carolyn Underhill said. “He truly wants everyone to succeed, and that shows in his work and in the way he interacts with his peers.”

Other 2012 PACE Champions of Character from the Freeman School District: Veronica Keizer, Freeman Elementary Avery Oja, Freeman Middle

Central Valley School District Corinne David, Broadway Elementary School Corinne David, a fifth-grader at Broadway Elementary School, was selected by her school’s administration through an extensive voting process among students and teachers. After a narrowed field of candidates was presented to the selection committee, Principal Lori Johnson said she was

the unanimous choice. “She stood out to us because she just always quickly does the right thing,” Johnson said. “She doesn’t try to be the center of attention, and she’s always diligent and respectful. The motto at our school is, ‘Work hard and do the right thing,’ and Corinne just really exemplifies that.” Her mother, Lily David, said her family david discussed the school motto at home, and it struck a chord with Corinne. “She really took that to heart,” Lily David said. “She always values doing the right thing. I see her putting that to practice all the time at home and at church, and she’s not doing it to make other people happy or see her a certain way. She does it because it makes her happy.” A statement from the Broadway Elementary teachers to the PACE awards committee said Corrine is willing to take on any challenge, always tries to be the best and always has a wonderful smile on her face. Of the 12 PACE traits, Lily David said she sees many in Corinne, but caring and responsibility particularly stand out. “She’s just a good kid,” her mom said. “I’m really proud of her.”

Other 2012 PACE Champions of Character from the Central Valley School District: Meghan Salsbury, Adams Elementary Eric Radmer, Central Valley Kindergarten Ctr. Joel Thompson, Chester Elementary Brooke DeRuwe, Greenacres Elementary Jack Lavelle, Liberty Lake Elementary Rylee Felgenhauer, McDonald Elementary Gracie Priddy, Opportunity Elementary Meggie Cross, Ponderosa Elementary Ryan Anderson, Progress Elementary Reese Strom, South Pines Elementary Mara Albretsen, Sunrise Elementary Michelle Geer, University Elementary Shannon Braithwait, Barker High Daniel Barajas, Bowdish Middle Cora VanDyke, Central Valley High Ellie McDonald, Evergreen Middle Noah Whitman, Greenacres Middle Lexi Ivankovich, Horizon Middle Steven Jensen, North Pines Middle

See PACE, page 15

The Current

June 2012 • 15



School District:

Continued from page 14 Lauren Walker, Summit School TaylorShae Martins, University High

East Valley School District Joshua Ambach, East Valley High School Senior Joshua Ambach was selected by East Valley High School staff to represent the school as this year’s PACE award reAmbach cipient. “We cannot think of a more deserving student for this award,” teacher Julie Dodge said. “Josh has an amazing work ethic and is involved in a lot of organizations that help others.” At school, Joshua mentors youth in his Teen Advisory Group. He is also a part of Know Your Government, in which his group talks to the state legislature about issues facing teens. In addition to all of his efforts at school, Joshua helps run community horse shows through the Horse Project in 4-H and also teaches younger kids about agriculture and cattle ranches through a program called Working Rancher-4-H. He has also been part of the 4-H shooting team the past three years. Outside of school, he’s spent time working with Rough Start Horse Rescue and worked as a volunteer firefighter for the Newman Lake Fire Department for a year and a half. “On one occasion in late January, he had been up since 1 a.m. working on a structure fire and with very little sleep, came to school on time that same morning with a smile on his face,” Dodge said. Of the entire list of PACE traits, his mom, Kim Coburn, said integrity and trustworthiness particularly stand out in Joshua. Courage, however, is something that may define him more. These days, he spends his weekends training to be an EMT, and he’s made his successes despite challenges with dyslexia and dysgraphia, Coburn said. “I’ve watched him push through,” Coburn said. “It’s taken a lot of extra effort on his part, but he never gives up and nothing can hold him back.” Coburn added that Joshua has always been very service-oriented. That, she said, combined with his consistent work ethic makes for a winning combination. “He’s stubborn, and he’s focused,” Coburn said.

Other 2012 PACE Champions of Character from the East Valley

Greta Helfenstein, East Farms Elementary Olivia Roberts, Otis Orchards Elementary Jaylynn Buehler, Trent Elementary Cierra Wolf, Trentwood Elementary Lydia Tombarelli, Continuous Curriculum Paul Yount, East Valley Middle Rachael DesAutel, Washington Academy of Arts and Technology

Private schools Chantal Coyner, Valley Christian School

Coyner standing character.

Valley Christian School faculty and administration selected sophomore Chantal Coyner as one of two students to be recognized at the school for out-

School Principal Derick Tabish said Coyner is a worthy PACE recipient because of her “solid morals and do-what’sright attitude.” He said the faculty voted for Chantal as a PACE award recipient because she exhibited the most well rounded character in each category. Chantal spent the year as Valley Christian's ASB Spiritual Life representative, organizing school assemblies and coordinating events and speakers during the year. “She is a beautiful young lady, both inside and out,” said Chantal’s dad, Steve Coyner. Tabish said fellow students elected her to the position based on how she lives her faith as well as her kindness toward others. Through the assemblies, he said, she challenged fellow students to go the extra mile throughout the year. “Caring for others and being responsible are definitely both strengths of hers,” Tabish said. “She’s the type who does well leading by example.”

PRINCIPAL has faced the daunting task of standing in for Cruse while she is away. Myers said the Chase award acknowledged the efforts of Cruse and the program to provide hope to students by replacing discouragement with possibilities. “I think it “Every time we basically said, ‘Look what ask Barb how we’ve done to we can help, she support kids who probably doesn’t ask for wouldn’t be in material things, school,’” Myers “A lot of she says, ‘Bring said. that has to do me a joke.’ We’re with Barb. She most of just trying to be knows these kids by their first name. there for her, Each of these just like she’s students is important to her.” been there for Glenewinkel everyone else.” said the absence — John meyers, of Cruse has Dean of students “shown how at W.A.A.T. critical she is to the success of this program.” “Barb is one of those community champions,” Glenewinkel said. “When we started W.A.A.T., it was Barb who helped build it into what it is today.” Cruse said she hopes to be back on a full-time basis in September. In the meantime, friends like Olson said there has been talk of W.A.A.T. employees “getting our hair cut and going out and buying wigs” to show support for Cruse throughout her treatment schedule. “Every time we ask Barb how we can help, she doesn’t ask for material things, Myers says, ‘Bring me a joke.’ “We’re just trying to be there for her, just like she’s been there for everyone else.”

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“Integrity in particular applies to Chantal,” Tabish said.

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Continued from page 10

Comments from school staff submitted to the PACE awards committee said Chantal's good character is also evident in her humility, and she shows this through listening skills, teaching ability and transparency with her faults.

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The Current

16 • June 2012


A special salute Local program honors veterans with trip to Washington, D.C. By Kelly Moore Current Staff Writer

When World War II veteran Bill Conaway, 87, returned from his Honor Flight trip last November, he received the hero’s welcome he’d been missing since June 1946. “When I was in the service, I was flying out of Europe with a bombardment group,” Conaway explained. “Right after the war, they kept us there flying mail and wrapping things up. It was about a year after the war ended that I made it back. By then, the flights had quit waving soldiers in. I heard comments like, ‘Oh, quit playing cowboy,’ but I’d just gotten back that day.” Fast forward about 67 years, and Conaway, now a Liberty Lake resident, is greeted at Spokane International Airport with a band and about 300 fans waving American flags. But coming home is just the half of it. The Honor Flight program flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials built in their honor. At every stop on the three-day trip, veterans are treated like modern-day heroes. Welcoming committees meet them at every memorial, and students wave them along in between. Honor Flight was established in May 2005 — just a year after the WWII memorial was finished and dedicated. Half-a-dozen small planes flew 12 veterans to Washington, D.C., and within three months, the idea had caught on. The growing waiting list led the organization to transition to commercial flights, made possible by

Submitted photo by John Moore

A volunteer honors a local veteran with an Honor Flight medal at the Spokane International Airport. The program pays tribute to area World War II veterans with trips to view war memorials in Washington, D.C. major donations from airlines like Southwest. Inland Northwest Honor Flight was established in May 2009 as a regional hub of the national organization. It regularly takes groups Husband and wife Bill and Connie Conaway, both World War II vets, at the Spokane International Airport before taking off on their Honor Flight. The couple toured Washington, D.C., with the program in November 2011. Submitted photo

of about 25 veterans to Washington, D.C., for a three-day, all-expenses-paid trip. When Conaway went in November, he made the trip with his wife, Connie, 87, who also served

in World War II, working for the hospital corps. The two met when they were both in high school and married after the war when they were nearly 22. Connie went on to get a master’s degree in reading

Submitted photos

Mirium Randolph with his late wife at their 65th wedding anniversary.

Above: A portrait from Mirium Randolph’s time serving in the Navy during World War II. He took his Honor Flight in September 2011.

and Bill Conaway earned a doctorate degree in philosophy. After 65 years of marriage, they do everything together — even Honor Flight. “It was a wonderful whirlwind trip,” Connie said. “That was our memorial. It was very emotional. We knew there was a World War II memorial there, and we’d seen pictures of it in the paper, but we just never thought we’d get there.” In fact, even after learning of Honor Flight, signing up and finishing the necessary paperwork, many still questioned whether they would get there. The Conaways came in at 173 and 174 on the waiting list, and the trip took more than a year to materialize. “Of course, we were excited to get to go, but it’s not something we made ourselves anxious about,” Bill said. “At our age, we don’t even buy green bananas. You don’t plan on things a year from now. If it comes, it comes.” The couple, like most veterans participating in the Honor Flight program, learned about it by word of mouth. Bill Conaway’s physical therapist signed them up to go and a friend at the American Legion filled out and submitted their paperwork. Otis Orchards resident Norm Whitford, 89, went on an Honor Flight in April 2011. The veteran Army pilot served with three older brothers in the war, but was the only one among them who made it to see the memorial. “I’m just glad I got to go,” Whitford said. “It’s a nice trip for the veterans. The volunteers do a great job making sure no one has to worry about anything, and it’s a very memorable trip.” On Whitford’s trip, he said he enjoyed the World War II Memorial, but a stop at Arlington cemetery is what left the most lasting impression with him. “When all you can see is thousands of headstones over the hill, you’re reminded of the cost of war,” Whitford explained. “Sometimes we forget that it’s more than money or equipment. It’s people.” Whitford moved to Otis Or-

See SALUTE, page 17

The Current

June 2012 • 17


SALUTE Continued from page 16

chards in 1954, and he’s lived in the same house ever since. He volunteers at Otis Orchards Elementary once or twice a week and meets up with friends for the Meals on Wheels senior lunch in Liberty Lake on Wednesdays. Whitford said his hearing isn’t what it used to be, but he can drive and gets around pretty well. Still, he said he probably would have never been able to make the trip without Honor Flight. On every trip, a group of guardians coordinate everything from checking in at the airport to transportation to a banquet dinner on the second night. In addition to paying their own way, these volunteers strive to make sure veterans get first-class service. “They treated me like a king,” said Spokane Valley resident Mirium Randolph, 88. “The whole trip, start to finish, was just fantastic, and the volunteers were so nice.” Randolph made the trip in September 2011. He served as a cook on a dry dock in the South Pacific during the war. At his station, Randolph said he saw ships being repaired with fractures as large as 12-feet by 24-feet. Spokane Valley resident Howard Her-

Submitted photos

Otis Orchards resident Norm Whitford is seen off at the Spokane International Airport by three generations of his family as he departs for his Honor Flight in April 2011. At left, Whitford with the memorial dedicated to veterans like him who served during World War II. man also served in the Navy during World War II. He said he enlisted in the Navy when he was 19, because that’s just what able-bodied young men did during that

time. Throughout the war, he was stationed in the southwest Pacific and was on one of the first ships to come into Tokyo after the war ended. He made his Honor

Flight trip in June 2010. “The volunteers really treated us like royalty,” Herman said. “They kept calling us heroes.” Among the sights Herman said he remembers most were the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Vietnam Memorial. “There was so much about that trip that was special,” Herman said. “Just being able to stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking out over the reflecting pool. That was a fantastic moment in my life.” The three-day visits are often a blur for the veterans. Fridays are spent traveling. Saturday is a packed tour of about a dozen memorials. On Sunday, they head home. “It just makes it gratifying that we were so well received and appreciated,” Whitford said. “I’ve gone back a handful of times to welcome other flights in. It’s a great experience on both sides.” The Inland Northwest Honor Flight program is continuously accepting applications from qualified veterans. Top priority is given to World War II veterans or terminally ill veterans from all wars. In the future, Honor Flight will be expanded to include Korean War and Vietnam War veterans. For more information about the local Honor Flight network and to learn about opportunities to get involved, visit

Join the fight to find a cure for a disease that will be diagnosed in approximately 35,360 men, women and youngsters in Washington this year. Contact your friends, family members, coworkers or classmates and form a team to participate in this year’s 15-hour American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Liberty Lake. To form a team contact

Liberty Lake reLay For LiFe 2012 Meadowwood Technology Campus 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 20th to 9:00 a.m. Saturday, July 21st

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18 • June 2012

Millwood market opens for season

The Current

A horse, of course

Current photos by kelly moore

Area residents kept the vendors busy at the opening day of the Millwood Farmers Market May 23. The market runs Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. at 3223 N. Marguerite Road.

Awarded for service

Math is Cool champs

Current photo by Craig Howard

This horse enjoyed a sunny afternoon on a suburban farm in Otis Orchards.

Shades of sunset

Submitted photo Submitted photo

Inland NW Baby founder Jesse Sheldon (center), 17, is congratulated by 2012 Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning at the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in Washington, D.C., May 6.

A mind for robotics

Freeman Elementary fourth-grade students took first place at the Math is Cool state competition May 19. Pictured from left are Trista Gilbert, Owen Bryant, Thoman Willard, Coach Erin Honeycutt and Chris Barron.

STCU awards scholars

Current photo by Craig Howard

Clouds roll near the Spokane County Fairgrounds as the sun sets on a mid-May evening.

Camp Fire USA honoree Spokane Valley resident Paige Salveti was awarded the Wohelo Award from Camp fire USA and the Inland Northwest Council. The award is the highest achievement for youth in Camp Fire USA. She is one of nine students nationwide to win the 2012 award. Submitted photo

Submitted photo Submitted photo

More than 200 elementary and middle school students competed in robotics competitions held May 12 at West Valley High School. The event was sponsored by Liberty Lake-based MINDS-i.

STCU President and CEO Tom Johnson celebrates with Focus Awards scholarship winners Leah Amsden from Central Valley High School, Taylor Lewis from Newport High School and Mariah Nepean from North Central High School. The honorees were each awarded a $2,000 scholarship.

Local Lens Share your snapshots for

The Current’s photo page. E-mail photos@ with scenes from around town, community events and group photos.

The Current

June 2012 • 19


Highlights from your Chamber The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce is now open at its consolidated headquarters at 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane in Liberty Lake. Submitted photos

At left: Hutton Settlement founder L.W. Hutton with campus residents in 1926. Today, children often stay at the campus for multiple years and no child is turned away for a guardian’s inability to pay.

Nonprofit Spotlight

The Hutton Settlement Description

The Hutton Settlement nurtures and educates children ages 5 to 18 in need of a longterm alternative home. The historic campus consists of four large homes located on 319 acres in Spokane Valley. Administrative offices are located in downtown Spokane.

Founding Since his childhood as an orphan, it was founder L.W. Hutton’s dream to build a home for children. He aimed to create a place that was family-oriented and not an institution. After becoming a millionaire as an investor in Idaho’s Hercules Mine, he moved to Spokane with his wife in 1906. In 1919, the Hutton Settlement was born. During the years after Hutton Settlement was founded, L.W. Hutton played an intricate part in the lives of dozens of children until he passed away in 1928. The years also included a visit from Babe Ruth, who was orphaned as a child and played baseball with the Hutton boys.

What they do Programs provide the stability that is difficult to achieve in short-term foster care. Children’s lives at Hutton are consistent, with brothers, sisters, friends and other meaningful adults. Each cottage’s parents provide a structured environment that is safe, healthy and consistent. Balanced meals, daily chores, study time and planned activities provide a full day for children during the school year. Summertime allows for more opportunities and activities, including swimming, arts and crafts, picnics, movie nights and other scheduled outings with cottage families. Hutton offers a number of programs that challenge youth to succeed. While a strong emphasis is placed on education, additional

programs focus on character development and the building of strong leadership skills.

Who benefits Hutton Settlement is an option for children in need of long-term care. Placements may last as short as one year or a child may remain through high school. Referrals come from parents, grandparents, family members, case managers, therapists, educators and other child welfare advocates. Hutton children are able to maintain relationships and keep in contact with friends and family members through the consistency and security of a safe and stable environment. Children are encouraged to develop and maintain valuable and meaningful relationships with both their Hutton families and their biological families. No child is turned away because of a parent or guardian’s inability to pay.

How you can help Volunteer tutors are needed to assist children in their academic and social development. All volunteers must meet certain qualifications and will undergo background checks. Volunteer tutors typically start at the beginning of a school year, must commit for the entire term (one to two hours per week) and are matched to the individual needs of children. Gifts and donations are also needed and may be given to the organization’s general fund or designated for scholarships, activities, scouting or special interest activities.

Celebrate Founder’s Day at our consolidated headquarters

Join us for cake, a champagne toast, and ribbon cutting on June 1 from 3 to 5pm to celebrate 91 years of service to member businesses in the greater Spokane Valley area and beyond.

The party will be held at our eastern Valley office in Liberty Lake, where we are consolidating our office operations, effective June 1. We have maintained an office in Liberty Lake for the past two years in the lower level of the Liberty Square building at 1421 N Meadowwood Lane. The Board’s decision to consolidate will make the best use of resources for the benefit and growth of member businesses without a dues increase.

as 14,000! Come celebrate our continued success in serving our membership on June 1!

NxLeveL graduates surpass the century mark In May, seven more people finished the 39-hour NxLeveL® Entrepreneur’s Course, making the total 105 since the program began in the spring of 2008. The NxLeveL program provides comprehensive training for entrepreneurs that has been recognized as the top program of its kind in the state of Washington.

The Chamber’s start began with the apple growers along the Spokane River in the Greenacres area. All-Valley Picnics held by the Chamber at Liberty Lake resorts drew as many

For information regarding the summer session of the 13-week course, which begins June 13, visit or call 924-4994.

Chamber events in June

Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley

June 1, 3 to 5 p.m.: Founders Day Celebration, Champagne Toast & Ribbon Cutting at 4:30 p.m., 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake, in the lower level of the Liberty Square Building June 1, 4 to 7 p.m.: Co-grand opening of new location for KidSmile Dental and Paventy Orthodontics, ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m., 721 N. Pines, Suite 101, corner of Broadway and Pines June 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Greater Spokane Valley Food Truck Rally & Summer Sellebration, Daev’s Burgers & Gyros partnering with Inland NW Baby, ribbon cuttings at 1 p.m., 15503 E. Sprague parking lot June 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Government Action Meeting, Update on the Legislative Session from the 4th District Legislators, Location TBA June 13, 4:30 to 6 p.m.: Co-open house for Flower Patch and Artistry in Gold Inc., ribbon cuttings at 5:40 p.m., 13817 E. Sprague Ave. June 15, 6:30 a.m. (networking), 7 to 8:30 a.m. (breakfast and program): Business Connections Breakfast, “BIZ BUZZ,” featuring a breakfast program of networking, Mirabeau

June 19, 5 to 7 p.m.: Meet the Chamber/ Member Reception, Paul Mitchell - The School, 15303 E. Sprague Ave., Suite C

New members Please join us in welcoming the following members who have recently joined the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce: Alliant Securities Artistry in Gold Chipman Moving & Storage Christian Youth Theater Commercial Video Solutions Display House Inc. Doggyland Daycare Isagenix International Jazzercise K&J Enterprises LLC Martin Bohl Medical Oncology Associates PS NxGen Payment Services The Isaac Foundation Steve Zimmerman – Dixon Golf Spokane Club

To learn more For more information, visit To schedule a tour, please call 926-1027 and request an appointment. Placement questions can be directed to Social Services Coordinator Pam Hydrick at 926-1027, ext. 12 or Do you know of an organization in the greater Spokane Valley area that should be featured as a Nonprofit Spotlight? Tell us at

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

The Current

20 • June 2012



st fo u j n

r kids

A speci

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Amanda Hess, an instructor from Spokane County, explains to Broadway Elementary fifth grade students how common items such as oil, dirt and soap can pollute drinking water when they are washed down storm water drains. During the Central Valley environmental education program, students learn about the watershed and aquifer.

Brought to you by

The forest through the trees Fifth graders explore environment, water and teamwork By Tammy Kimberley Wave Editor

LIBERTY LAKE — While it may have appeared to be a break from studying to many students, the elementary kids who traveled to Liberty Lake Regional Park on a recent school day did just as much — if not more — learning than they do on a typical school day. Kids received an up-close look at local forestry and wildlife, hearing how fires can benefit the forest and learning the difference between carnivores and herbivores. Broadway Elementary School student Calvin Crawford, 11, said he was fascinated by the black bear skull found in the woods. “I never knew that black bears’ heads

were so small,” he said. Each spring, fifth grade students who attend school in the Central Valley School District take a day away from the classroom to participate in the environmental education program at the park. Nearly 1,100 students look forward to the trip each year, thanks to contributions from the Spokane Public Utility Division as well as funds from local school budgets. The students rotate through various stations that also deal with the local watershed, beaver ecology and teamwork. Teachers from the district as well as instructors from Spokane County and Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District take part to connect kids to nature, science and one another. Volunteers from Spokane County provided students with a visual lesson by showing jars with different items that can pollute the aquifer, the source of this area’s drinking water. They led a discussion of how to prevent various types of pollution, such as trash, chemicals and even dirt, from enter-

Current photos by Tammy Kimberley

Fifth grade students from Ponderosa Elementary School try to figure out how to use a bucket and items in their possession to retrieve a rope to swing to the other side. Many students said that the team-building activities were their favorite part of the outdoor experience at Liberty Lake Regional Park. ing storm drains. “I didn’t know that drains don’t go to the sewer. They actually go to the aquifer,” said Broadway Elementary student Bellamie Sy, 11. The history of the area as well as recent work done by beavers along trails in the park was a point of discussion as kids walked to the various stations. “This place (the park) used to be wet-

lands,” Broadway student Kaleb Sabota, 11, said. Several kids said their favorite activities were the wall and ropes course where students worked together to solve a problem. Brady Magruder, an 11-year-old from Ponderosa Elementary School, said he most enjoyed working together with his group to hoist everyone over the 10-foot wall. “I learned that teamwork can solve just about anything,” Brady said.

The Current

June 2012 • 21


Park provides glimpse at local ecosystem Take this quiz to learn fun facts about our environment By Tammy Kimberley Wave Editor

An old melody, often sung by Scouts or around campfires says, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” The same can be said for parks in the Spokane Valley area. While newer parks provide features such as climbing walls, splash pads and other areas for play, older parks provide some valuable history about the area and can give visitors a better appreciation of Mother Nature.

Liberty Lake Regional Park, 3707 S. Zephyr Road in Liberty Lake, includes many trails and opportunities to have a unique experience in the environment. Some local agencies hold special events at this park where you can learn more about how the local ecosystem operates. For more information on hours and admission fees, go to parks. This six-question quiz includes topics discussed with students during an environmental program at the county park. Some are true and some are false. Guess if the statement is accurate, and then check answers below. T F 1) Liberty Lake Regional Park is the smallest county-owned park in the state of Washington. T F 2) Beavers wander around this green space during the day.

Wave photo by Tammy Kimberley

From staff reports

Courage can be found in all shapes and sizes. That’s the theme found woven throughout the essays submitted for the May Wave contest that asked kids to write a short essay about the most courageous person they know. The judges selected Aimee Hawley’s essay on her cousin as the winner of the contest. She received a $15 gift card to Froyo Earth in Spokane Valley as well as the honor of having her essay printed below. Second place was awarded to Clara Orndorff, and third place was given to Parker Thomas. They also received gift cards to Froyo Earth. The contest was designed as a way for elementary-age kids to address the PACE (Partners Advancing Character Education) trait of the month. Entries were judged on writing quality as well as how well the essay embodied the trait of courage. For more information on PACE, go to

My cousin Sophie

T F 3) Cat litter is helpful in cleaning up antifreeze to prevent it from entering our water source.

Everyday items, such as antifreeze and dirt, serve a purpose but can become pollutants when they mix with water and are washed down storm water drains into the aquifer.

Wave announces winners of essay contest

By Aimee Hawley

T F 4) The best place to wash a car is the driveway. T F 5) Forest fires can be good for the environment. T F 6) Black bears have been sighted at Liberty Lake Regional Park.

1) False. With nearly 3,000 acres of wetlands, lakeshore, forest and turf, the park is one of the largest county parks in Washington. 2) False. Since beavers are nocturnal, they are rarely about during daylight hours. 3) True. Since it’s harmful to wash pollutants like antifreeze or oil down any drains where they will reach the aquifer, cat litter or baking soda can be used to absorb the spill. 4) False. If you don’t want to take a car to the car wash, cleaning it on the grass is the next best place. The grass acts as a natural filter for pollutants — plus you’re watering the lawn at the same time! 5) True. Forests have their own natural cycle, and some fires help cleanse the forest and keep the ecosystem in balance. 6) True. But there’s no record of anyone being attacked or bitten at the park.


Kids Tell It Like It Is

When my cousin Sophie was born her heart did not work right. So the doctors had to put a ticker in her heart and she has to have more heart surgeries when she gets older. My cousin Sophie is very brave because she has a zipper so the doctors can get into her heart. When they have to give Sophie stitches they open her zipper and check her heart. Also she has to wear a safety bracelet on her wrist and it has her mom’s phone number in case of emergency so the doctors can call her mom so her mom knows that Sophie is at the hospital and can leave work as soon as possible. That’s why Sophie is the most courageous person I know!

Compiled by Tammy Kimberley at East Farms Elementary School

If you could give your dad any gift for Father’s Day, what would you give him? “A fishing boat. He loves the water, and he used to go out on the water a lot with his grandpa.” Lydia Gordon, 12, sixth grade

“A new snowmobile because that’s what he loves.” Jacob Binghan, 11, fifth grade

“A day off work.” Alex Vickery, 6, first grade

“A big office with windows. His office doesn’t have windows, and it’s very dark.” Hope Mallet, 12, sixth grade

“A house in the middle of the woods. He’s a hunting and camping type of guy.” Kylee Porter, 12, sixth grade

“A Corvette because that’s his dream car.” Carson Lueders, 10, fifth grade

“I’d buy him a house in Hawaii. We’ve been there before, and it’s all he talks about.” Sydney Frogge, 12, sixth grade “A car lifter because he works on cars.” Vlad Kopets, 11, fifth grade

Going to the dentist can be fun and easy! We’ve got convenient hours to fit your family’s schedule. Evening, early morning, and Saturday appointments available.

Call to schedule an appointment today!

509.891.7070 New patients welcome

Proud supporter of the PACE Program Character trait for June: INTEGRITY Check out our Facebook page for contests and events.

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

22 • June 2012


The Current

Valley of the sun A monthly series of historical chronicles providing a window into the past — and a connection to the heritage — of the communities that make up the Spokane Valley. February Dishman March Chester April Opportunity May Vera June Greenacres July Liberty Lake/Saltese August Spokane Bridge September East Farms/Otis Orchards October Trentwood November Orchard Avenue December Millwood

Photos courtesy of Spokane Valley Heritage Museum

The Greenacres Train Depot is shown here in a photo from the 1930s. The depot, located at Greenacres Road (then Center Road) and Boone Avenue, was located about a block east from where Spokane Valley’s newest park is celebrating a grand opening on June 2.

Greenacres was the place to be! By Jayne Singleton SPOKANE VALLEY HERITAGE MUSEUM

Greenacres: Such a picture of prosperity the name brings to mind! Real Estate developers attracted many a hopeful orchardist with the name. Platted in 1904, Greenacres originally consisted of the area north of what is now Interstate 90. Greenacres Township was formed in 1909 after the Washington State Legislature enacted a law allowing for the creation of townships. The township boundaries initially included Liberty Lake, Saltese and the Spokane Bridge area. As of May 1, 1909, township valuation (real estate located in the township) rang in at $520,480. The first levies were $1,906.80 for roads and bridges and $695.60 for operation of the township. Some early families who settled in Greenacres were the Vandivers, Bacons, Osbuns, Boormans, Cogleys, Longs, Peasleys, Matlacks and McDowells. The McDowells and Cogleys operated general stores. Milo Osbun was the postman and delivered the mail by horse and mailwagon. Mount Peasley, a Civil War veteran who served with General Ulysses S. Grant, came out west and farmed in the Greenacres area for more than 33 years. As early as 1905, the Greenacres Train Depot served the community and points beyond. The depot was located where Greenacres Road intersects Boone Av-

These students, pictured in 1908, were among the first to attend Greenacres School, which opened the year prior. The school stood at Barker Road and Mission Avenue, on land occupied today by the Central Valley Kindergarten Center. enue today. The Inland Empire Electric Railroad — and then later, the Spokane, Coeur d’Alene & Palouse Electric Railroad — stopped at the depot to pick up freight or passengers headed for Spokane or North Idaho. Just east of the depot was a very large power station supplying the electricity needed for the trains. As the number of orchards, poultry, dairy and truck farms increased, the community began to develop. Greenacres Christian Church was organized in 1902 to serve the spiritual needs of the community. Sunday worship service is still held in the same building at 18010 E. Mission Ave. Greenacres Methodist was organized a year later, and a church was built on Barker Road. The building is now home to a Sikh temple.

Greenacres School was built in 1907. It was located on the east side of Barker Road, south of Mission. It was a twostory brick building and had four classrooms. Today, the site is occupied by the Central Valley Kindergarten Center. In 1927, Central Valley High School opened on the site that is now occupied by Greenacres Middle School. “Alfalfa Tech,” as it was affectionately called, became the second high school in the growing Spokane Valley. West Valley High School opened in 1925. In 1923, D.C. Corbin platted an area south of Greenacres. Called “Corbin’s Addition to Greenacres,” it is the area bordered by Interstate 90 to the north and Fourth Avenue to the south and between Barker and Flora roads east to west.

The development included irrigation water pumped out of Liberty Lake. Daniel Chase Corbin became well known as the founder of the Spokane Valley Land and Water Company. Corbin undertook the ambitious project of irrigating the Spokane Valley using Frederick Post’s abandoned mill race on the Spokane River in Post Falls as the head gates of the Corbin Irrigation Ditch. By 1922, the wooden flumes that carried water into the Spokane Valley were being replaced with concrete ditches. The development included plans for a park and a shopping center. By the late 1920s, the center included Osbun’s Grocery Co. and the Fruit Grower’s State Bank. Today, the shopping center still exists with its characteristic red barn-themed appearance. The 1940s and 1950s were a time of industry and business development throughout Greenacres. Standard Oil, Potlatch Lumber Yard, Greenacres Drug Store, Quickie Box Factory and several car dealers were established along the Appleway. Tourist courts and auto cabins in Greenacres lined both sides of the Appleway, which was also Highway 10. The Grand Motel and the Electric Motel were demolished by the late 1990s. The Flora Motel still stands on the southwest corner of Flora Rd and Sprague Avenue. Over the years, Greenacres has largely been urbanized, with a landscape of housing tracts in a place where apple trees, cantaloupe and strawberries used to confirm the name, “Greenacres.” Jayne Singleton is director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, located at 12114 E. Sprague Ave. Additional items about the history and culture of the Greenacres area — or any of the communities in the Valley of the Sun series — are available in the museum archives. For more information, call 922-4570 or visit


The Current

June 2012 • 23

Doctor brings healing knowledge to Myanmar By Nick Merchant Current Correspondent

When the Obama administration announced earlier this month it would be easing economic sanctions in the country of Myanmar and appointing a U.S. ambassador there for the first time in 22 years, Dr. Jon Keeve of Liberty Lake couldn’t help but feel that his recent medical mission to the country contributed to the improved relations. “Hillary Clinton was there about a month after we were. So maybe we were the ones that started it all,” Keeve said with a chuckle. “Maybe we made some sort of diplomatic impact because we went in a very nonpolitical way to try and help these people who really need it.” Keeve, an orthopedic surgeon with Northwest Orthopedics Specialists in Spokane Valley, visited the long-isolated country last November with a team of doctors and surgeons to bring much needed equipment and teach arthroscopy to the surgical residents there. Arthroscopy is used on joints and is considered advantageous to traditional open surgery because small incisions are made instead of opening up the whole joint. Keeve previously visited Myanmar with SIGN (Surgical Implant Generation Network) — a Richland, Washington-based organization that takes surgeons to disadvantaged countries to teach and perform surgeries. “When I was there in 2008, I asked them what else they needed,” Keeve said. “They said they have a country of 50 million people but they didn’t have arthroscopy — one of the most common orthopedic operations done in the United States. Over the course of the last couple of years, I collected all the equipment they needed to do that and put on a course for their residents and for their medical staff.” The emphasis of the mission was to teach the local surgeons how to address arthroscopic procedures through large-scale lectures and specialized instruction. “We went to their big annual orthopedic meeting where all the orthopedists in Myanmar come together, and we gave lectures on

Submitted photos

Above: Dr. Jon Keeve joins his team in an arthroscopic surgery in Myanmar, a procedure not common in the developing country. At right: While on a medical mission trip, Keeve (right) and Dr. John Shuster toured the 700-year-old pyramids in the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar.

different things like orthopedic research, trauma and treatment of hand injuries,” Keeve said. “We did a lot of diplomatic handshaking and collaboration there. But then we also did individual teaching in small groups for knee and shoulder surgery.” Despite its status as a developing country, the injuries Keeve encountered in Myanmar were not all that different from the ones he is used to treating in Spokane. “The injuries are similar but

the treatment for them is vastly different just because they don’t have equipment and they don’t have the technology or the techniques to take care of a lot of knee injury problems,” Keeve said. “If you’re a soccer player and you injure your knee — they don’t have a way to treat it except for a big open surgery which hasn’t been done in this country in four years.” Keeve also visited Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, an experience he said was radically differ-

ent from the recent mission to Myanmar. “Haiti was an incident-based trip, going there to take care of a disaster,” Keeve said. “This was much more controlled and predictable than Haiti was. The injuries from Haiti were unlike anything anybody had ever seen before. Versus the things we saw in Myanmar this time were very common in the United States. It was a completely different environment — both challenging but in different kinds of ways.”

While Keeve’s most recent mission to Myanmar was separate from SIGN, he remains connected to the organization and its mission. Keeve collaborated with SIGN founder Dr. Lewis Zirkle on a medical mission to Vietnam in 1999, and the two have remained close ever since. The medical mission in Myanmar and other SIGN projects have been supported in part by the Liberty Lake Kiwanis chapter. “They’re a generous and interesting group of people that I’d like to take with me sometime,” Keeve said. “They’ve been very helpful and have a much broader view of the world than just Liberty Lake.” Keeve has seen Myanmar develop quite a bit since he first visited the country as a tourist in 1986. “Myanmar has a very long and interesting history,” Keeve said. “It’s been under a totalitarian regime until recently. When I was there in the 1980s, it was very primitive, very reclusive. Very few people spoke English, it was kind of like the Wild West.” In recent trips, Keeve has experienced a changing culture and a country that he believes is moving in the right direction. “In 2008, it was quite a bit more sophisticated and advanced but still under that totalitarian regime,” Keeve said. “This time, the people were much more hopeful that there had been progress toward some sort of democratic reform in the country.” Since visiting Vietnam in 1999, Keeve has been involved with several medical missions that brought him to exotic locations like Cambodia and Bhutan. Keeve said giving back and using his skills to help others is important. “Everybody can do something, and I’m fortunate to have a skill that people need in developing countries,” Keeve said. “There’s nothing wrong with people donating. Donating money helps a great deal, but I think you go as an ambassador of your own country and that makes a huge difference in the world community. I think people have to think outside of their immediate community and sometimes out of their country to try to make a difference and give back when you can.”

24 • June 2012


A scouting report of the Valley’s top cycle shops By Kelly Moore Current Staff Writer

Cyclists tend to be loyal about their bike shops, and with the greater Spokane area wrapping up a celebration of Bike Month, I thought getting to know a handful of the local retail sites could be a great way to keep the theme peddling into June. The Valley offers only a handful of dedicated bike shops, yet all are surprisingly distinct. On assignment for The Current, I spent a blustery May day making the rounds in search of a store to call home — one I’d feel comfortable latching onto as well as a trustworthy place for advising someone through a major bike purchase some day.

Wheel Sport East: ‘The mountain bike gurus’ The first stop of the day was at Wheel Sport East — a roomy shop that fills two suites in a shopping center on Sullivan Road. As soon as I walked in, the familiar smell of bike tires was in the air. To be clear, the shop sells and maintains everything from road bikes to cruisers and kids bikes, but, as manager Josh Tofsrud explained, mountain biking is kind of their sweet spot. Most everyone on the staff comes from a downhill or BMX background, and customers tend to gravitate toward that sector, too. Personally, mountain biking makes me feel a little bit on-edge. I tried it once, severely injured myself, and to date, it’s a horse I’m still reluctant to climb back on. For novices up for the downhill thrill, Tofsrud said he always recommends good shorts, gloves and a helmet. “Gear is super important,” he explained. “That’s the kind of stuff that will really make a difference in an OK ride and a great ride. And sometimes it’ll be what keeps you from really hurting yourself.” The laid-back, tight-knit staff may come across as intimidating at first, but the gang turned out to be pretty helpful and knowledgeable. Tofsrud toured the store with me and provided an overview of the extensive selection. Almost every bike had a men’s and women’s version. Bottom line: It’s a good place to go for all-things mountain bikes and custom-built cycles.

The Bike Hub: ‘The everyman’s shop’ The Bike Hub shares a building with the Sports Creel on Sprague. They have a dedicated parking lot and a fun storefront. The handles of the double door entrance are handlebars with rubber grips

The Current

— a nice touch. Inside, the staff at The Bike Hub was the friendliest and most approachable (Fitness Fanatics is a close second), and inside the shop is spotless. Manager Morgan Johnson said employees come to the shop from a variety of backgrounds in order to provide well-rounded service. The shop is open and airy with plenty of room to browse, but not too cramped to find the product you’re seeking. The space includes a custom fitting station, a wall of accessories, a shoe-fitting area and, of course, lots of bikes. Johnson explained the shop’s mission — meet and greet, get to understand needs and goals of the customer and educate patrons so they can make the best decision on their purchase. Bottom line: It’s a classy balance between professional and laid back — a place I’d feel comfortable simply browsing or showing up to make serious purchase.

Argonne Cycle: ‘The neighbor’ Argonne Cycle is located in a pedestrian section of Argonne Road in a strip of brick-and-mortar storefronts that includes Rocket Bakery and a music store. A treelined neighborhood reaches all the way to the back of these stores and the Millwood Farmers Market, held every Wednesday, is just a couple blocks away. Argonne itself is a very busy street, and the shops have limited curbside parking, so I opted to park in the back and walk around. A sign on the door instructs customers to park bikes outside if they aren’t being brought in for maintenance, and when I walked in, I understood why. The place is not exactly the Superdome. Storeowner Paul Edwards is a straight shooter and likes to keep things simple in the store. His mission is to help you find what you need. When it comes to maintenance and service — there’s nothing he hasn’t seen in his decades of bike shop experience. The store, as it turns out, is a bit of a throwback. It’s like a general store for bikes. The packed space has a little bit of everything, but aside from bikes, the majority of the inventory is aimed toward necessities like tires and chains. Edwards founded the shop in 1978, and he’s been in tune with the ever-changing bike culture in the Spokane area ever since. He’s also seen a handful of other shops come and go. It seems his simple business formula is one to withstand the ages. Bottom line: Outside of purchasing your next ride, this would be a good grab-andgo place for a specific part or accessory you might need to pick up.

See CYCLE, page 25

Current photos by Kelly moore

Clockwise from top: The creative entrance to The Bike Hub adds a nice touch to visiting bike enthusiasts; the Cervelo S5 stands out as one of the most sought-after cycles in the shop at Fitness Fanatics; the space at Argonne Cycle is packed floor-to-ceiling with bike inventory; Mountain biking and cycling accessories line the wall at Wheel Sport East.

The Current

June 2012 • 25


Wheel Sport East 606 N. Sullivan Road

Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Est. 1996

What sets the store apart from others?

Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Est. 1990

It’s a one-stop shop for area triUsually smells like an old tavern athletes (running, biking, swimming), and employees are more like a “cast and the cross-country ski selection of characters.” In all seriousness, is nice for those wanting to crossmanager Josh Tofsrud said they’re train in the winter. Plus, the store is the only store with the highest caliber about the only place in the area that of downhill mountain bikes. rents wetsuits.

Coolest bike in the store

Most interesting employee

Fitness Fanatics 12425 E. Trent Ave.

Transition TR450 Chase Gregorian. He’s a trained MMA fighter, he’s always bloody, and he can somehow build 20 bikes a day.

Cervelo S5 (coming soon: Cervelo P5) Hayley Cooper-Scott. She’s a professional tri-athlete, and her career highlights include placing third overall at last year’s Coeur d’Alene Ironman.

Argonne Cycle 3215 N. Argonne Road

The Bike Hub 12505 E. Sprague Ave.

Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Est. 1978

Monday — Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Est. 2009

Decades of experience mean they’ve seen — and can fix — it all. A general inventory makes it a find-whatyou’re-looking-for place with a great neighborhood feel.

The friendly, approachable staff creates a non-intimidating atmosphere for the less-thanardent cyclist. Plus, employees come from all different backgrounds, so there are experts in every bike genre on hand.

KHS UrbanX

Trek Speed Concept

Paul Edwards. He’d never admit it himself, but he comes with a wealth of knowledge. He’s worked in the industry since the 1970s and understands the local cycling culture as well as anyone.

Zach Hettinger. He’s described as a “very creative free spirit type.” Plus, these days, the mountain bike and BMX rider sports an extraordinary mustache worth stopping by the store to see.

If you had $50 to spend in the store, the staff recommends

Deity compound pedals

Community involvement

All Gravity downhill mountain bike races; Wednesday road rides, group meets at shop at 6 p.m.; Thursday trail rides, meet at shop at 6 p.m. or various trailheads at 6:30.

CYCLE Continued from page 24

Fitness Fanatics: ‘The cozy triathlon (and ski) shack’ Don’t be fooled by the windowless tin exterior of Fitness Fanatics on Trent. Inside, the store is warm and cozy with friendly staff, an extensive selection and

Pearl Izumi Quest shorts Wednesday road rides, leaves shop at 6 p.m.

even a comfy couch. By the time I made it to my last stop, it was cold, windy and raining outside, so the entrance to the store might as well have been a warming hut on Mount Spokane. Incidentally, the shop also sells cross-country ski gear. Wes, a sweet, slow-moving Irish terrier greeted me in the doorway, and owner Robin DeRuwer tended to a steady stream

Good tires

Sponsors local BMX team

of customers. Still, she somehow seemed to know everyone who walked through the door. Of all the bike shops, this one had the best inventory — plenty of bikes, running gear, energy bars, clothes, swimming accessories, shoes and ski equipment. DeRuwer also pointed out the selection for women — something she created herself after feeling limited shopping other places.

A gift certificate to give to a friend so you can promote the sport. Sponsors triathlon team (Team Blaze) as well as a road team and mountain bike team; Monday co-ed group rides, leaves shop at 6 p.m.; Monday women’s group expeditions, leaves shop at 6 p.m.

The shop’s focus is to provide all the necessary gear for the area athletes who run, cycle or swim — whether it’s bike shorts, water bottles or wetsuits. For me, the welcoming atmosphere, friendly staff and extensive selection make this a place I’d like to return. I think I found my shop. Bottom line: The aptly named store is perfect for those who are fanatical for fitness. Seriously.

26 • June 2012

Patriotic pace


Central Valley High School seniors Austin Pruitt (left) and Amberlynn Weber will travel to Indianapolis later this month to compete in the Summer Paralympic Trials. Those who qualify at the event will be part of Team USA at the Paralympic Games in London, Aug. 29-Sept. 9.

Valley athletes strive to represent USA at 2012 Paralympics By Craig Howard Current Editor

Amberlynn Weber and Austin Pruitt are aware that representing their nation in Great Britain will require an exceptionally great effort this summer. The two seniors at Central Valley High School will be among an elite group of track and field athletes to compete at the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Trials in Indianapolis, June 29-July 1. Those who move on will comprise Team USA at the Summer Paralympic Games in London, scheduled for Aug. 29-Sept. 9. Weber, who just missed a chance at the Beijing Games in 2008, said qualifying for the Paralympics epitomizes the ultimate team goal. “To get to London would be the coolest thing in the world,” Weber said. “Just to be there representing my country would be amazing.” Weber and Pruitt participate on a Spokane-based squad known as Team St. Luke’s that is recognized as one of the top programs in the nation for athletes with disabilities. The team regularly excels at regional, national and international competitions and qualified one athlete, Chelsea McLammer of Richland, for the 2008 Paralympics. This March, Weber was part of a title at the National Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. Weber and Pruitt were included on a Team USA squad that participated in the 2011 Paralympic World Championships in New Zealand last January. Pruitt earned a bronze in the 200-meter race and finished fourth in the 100. Weber set a personal record in the 400 at the event, placing sixth in the international field. “That was probably the best part of New Zealand, getting to the finals when no one thought I could,” Weber said. Pruitt, who has won 13 gold medals in state track competition, said his experience at the World Games taught him to train differently for London. While he was aware of his competition from the U.S. and Canada, Pruitt was surprised by the racers from nations like Australia and France. “Where I was at in New Zealand and where I’m at now are totally different,” said Pruitt, who deals with cerebral palsy. “I was definitely overconfident before.” While the history of the Paralympics

The Current

goes back to 1960 and the first official games in Rome, the site of the 2012 event actually hosted the inaugural rendition of the International Wheelchair Games in 1948. The competition in London included British World War II veterans coping with the aftermath of spinal cord injuries and eventually led to the establishment of the Paralympics a dozen years later. In 1960, the summer spectacle consisted of 400 athletes representing 23 countries. In 2008, that total had grown to over 3,900 athletes representing 146 nations in Beijing. In addition to Weber and Pruitt, Team St. Luke’s will be represented in Indianapolis by several other Spokane Valley athletes, including Mikila Salazar, a junior at West Valley High School, Bob Hunt and Kristen Messer. Teresa Skinner, Team St. Luke’s Sports coordinator, said simply sending so many Spokane athletes to Indianapolis is an impressive feat. “It says a lot about our athletes, volunteers and coaches,” she said. “It also says a lot about the support of the community for this team.” In order to earn a spot on the national squad, athletes must place in the top three at the trials and also achieve a “London standard” in their times. Team USA will be announced on July 1 with an anticipated roster of around 50 athletes. Hunt, who placed fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 200 at the Para PanAm Games in Mexico last November, said the Paralympics have been the objective ever since he joined Team St. Luke’s. “It’s what I’ve been working for since day one,” he said. Like Pruitt, who could barely complete one lap around the track when he joined the program in his first year at Central Val-

Current photo by Craig Howard

Weber competed at the 2011 Paralympic World Championships in New Zealand last January, setting a personal record in the 400 while placing sixth. She will attend the University of Illinois on a track and field scholarship. Submitted photo

Pruitt won four gold medals at the 4A state track and field championships in Tacoma, May 24-26. In his high school career, Pruitt raced to 13 individual state titles. Current photo by Craig Howard

ley, Hunt said Team St. Luke’s has helped him set new expectations in athletics and in life. “At first, I didn’t think I could be in sports,” he said. “The best thing is being part of a team.” Pruitt and Weber have all exceled with their respective school teams in both cross country and track, as has Salazar, a state champion in cross country the past two years. Butch Walter, athletic director at Central Valley High School, said Pruitt and Weber have been “great ambassadors for the school” throughout their time as student-athletes.

“They’ve both been very successful in their careers, and I know they’ll continue to be successful after high school,” Walter said. Pruitt has been working on a documentary about his experiences as a wheelchair athlete called “Pushing for Victory,” while Weber will attend the University of Illinois in the fall on an athletic scholarship. As for their chances to represent the stars and stripes in London, Walter said both Bears have the inside track. “Not only do I think they’ll qualify,” Walters said, “I think they both have an excellent opportunity to medal.”

The Current

June 2012 • 27


Former Titan making the most of WSU tee time bad,” he said, despite a lower finish than the previous year. He said his short game betrayed him.

By Mike Vlahovich Current Contributor

Washington State University golfer Hank Frame has rubbed elbows with some of the country’s best collegiate strikers, including Rickie Fowler, today one of the world’s top young PGA professionals. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Spokane Valley product aspires to join the tour. “I don’t want to give it a shot unless I have a legitimate chance of making it,” Frame said in a telephone interview from Pullman, where he’s just completed his third season on the Cougars golf team. “It’s really expensive.” He is content in the knowledge that he’s balancing the best of two worlds. He gets to play golf as a means to a college degree and a future in business. “I wanted to go to a big school that had the whole college experience,” he said. “I get to do something I love, it pays for school, and you’re treated like a king.” This summer, the finance major has an internship lined up with Northwestern Mutual Insurance in Spokane and won’t play as many tournaments. Still, he hasn’t ruled out the professional dream most recreational golfers would die for. “I’m not throwing it out the window yet,” he said.

The top Coug Frame has played golf nearly all his life. He was a standout at University High School and is a standout at WSU. The four-year Titan starter and team captain placed among the top 19 in state each year, finishing third as a senior. During summer Washington Junior Golf Association competition, he added multiple district titles and won an Idaho state championship. His credentials as a Cougar have been equally impressive despite teeing off 30 to 50 yards farther back, with tougher pin placements on the greens and where a high school round of 68 becomes a 73. He won the Georgetown Intercollegiate as a freshman and averaged a little below 74 strokes per round for the season. His sophomore season he had seven top-25 finishes in 11 events, averaged 73 and placed 16th in the Pac-10 Conference tournament. “The funny thing about that is it was my best golf of the year,” Frame said. “I played as good as I could for four days. (But) you can’t play just good in a tournament; you have to play absolutely great to finish well.” Last month, he was the highest Cougars placer in the now Pac-12 tournament, tying for 32nd place with a four-round, 7-overpar total of 295. “You know? It wasn’t good, and it wasn’t

Getting into the swing The middle child of Mike and Betsy Frame (his older sister Madison and younger sister Ellie are also Cougars) remembers his golf initiation. “I think it was a little bit of randomness,” he said. “My parents got me a plastic set when I was really small. It was hilarious. I could hit it and kept beating balls into the neighbors’ house.” A few years later, his dad took him to the driving range, and his first tournament came at about the age of 10. “Another huge factor was (club professional) Patty Marquis when she was at Painted Hills,” Frame said. “I would do all of her junior camps and take lessons from her today. She taught me to love the game and does a great job of understanding a person and the way they think about their golf swing. For me, it was more about simple thoughts, not really thinking a ton about technique.” In high school, coach Joe Turman made sure “we had a blast every day.” But he also offered Hank a bit of advice that helped straighten out his driver. “I was casting at the top of my swings and was hitting all over the map. He said, ‘act like you’re pulling down on a chain or rope.’ It felt a little weird, but after probably 10 balls I was hitting it straight,” Frame said.


help them to truly have that inner belief in themselves. Hopefully, he can play with that edge the top players have,” Clegg said. “His biggest weakness right now is his wedge game. We can sharpen his pitching and chipping.” Frame doesn’t disagree with either assessment. It was the summer before he went to WSU that he played in tournaments with college golfers. That’s when the mental side of golf truly clicked. During the Public Links tournament in Oklahoma (an event that included Ricky Fowler), he came to a realization. “Being a bit dumb and not knowing who everybody is plays in your favor a lot,” he said. “I just went out and played great. When I went to (college) and recognized people (with PGA potential) all of a sudden I was intimidated. The dumber you are at the start, the better.”

His coach said anyone playing at the Pac12 level is “extremely special. To play in Division I says you are a great player,” Clegg said. “Hank has the ability to be a star in our league. He hasn’t shown the consistency yet, but as far as ability goes, he’s a very talented kid.” Contributor Mike Vlahovich is a longtime Spokane Valley resident and sportswriter. Write to him at

There are nine of us. There are 100,000 of you. Submit story ideas, Valley restaurant orders you crave and what you love about summer to:

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‘Dumb’ potential Frame has played for two coaches with two different styles at WSU. First-year coach Garrett Clegg played professionally and was a four-year assistant at the University of Washington before his arrival. His practices, Frame said, are a little more structured. “I knew kind of where they were competitively,” Clegg said. “It was a matter of getting to know them on a more personal level — their work ethic and habits — to determine expectations.” What impressed him about Frame was dynamic leadership, his work ethic and ability to balance academics and sport despite missing some 30 class days a year to travel. The Cougars play five tournaments in the fall, seven more in the spring. Frame, he said, is a very good ball striker and solid putter. He was the Cougars best player this year and carried the lowest scoring average. Yet, Clegg continued, he doesn’t give himself the credit he deserves. “It’s tough to get inside kids’ heads and

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The Current

28 • June 2012


My summer sports bucket list Bucket 2: Walk all night

By Chad Kimberley Current Guest Column

It is here … summer. Last night, I fired up the grill, cooked some chicken along with jalapeño and cheese brats and savored the sounds and smells which make summer officially start in my world. Yes, there are still a few weeks of school left for me and the kids, it’s still only in the 60s most days and unfortunately the NBA playoffs are still on, but the grill is firing and thus we need to think about summer sports plans. Being a sports and outdoors junkie, I am discovering the Pacific Northwest is a pretty great place to be. Now I do miss the chance to head out to Wrigley Field and catch a Cubs game from the bleachers, yet at the same time I can now watch them at 5 in the afternoon and still wrap up in time to catch a movie with the wife or read a good book before bed. I decided this summer, however, that I need to have a bit more focus. I need to really lock in on the goals I have so that I, much like Phineas and Ferb, can truly make the most of my summer. That said, I present my first ever attempt at a summer sports bucket list. There are 10 items on the list, and as a teacher, I am well aware that anything below a 60 percent success rate is failure. Yikes. So, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, here is what I want to accomplish this summer:

Bucket 1: Ride the Centennial Trail I have previously bicycled the Washington portion of the trail but have never made the full 61-mile trip from the hills outside of Spokane to Higgins Point in Coeur d’Alene. This summer, it is time to make the complete journey.

Maybe I will take a couple of breaks throughout the night, but this summer I plan on walking a lot at the Liberty Lake Relay For Life event in support of cancer survivors and to raise money to fight this disease.

Bucket 3: Water ski For any faithful readers from my days writing for The Liberty Lake Splash, I have had an epic failure in this area. I consider myself a fairly athletic person, but for whatever reason I can’t stand up while water skiing. I can fail spectacularly and with great consistency, but for some pathetically nonathletic reason I am unable to accomplish this feat. This summer, I will.

Bucket 4: Hit a hole-in-one This has actually been a lifelong goal since I first hit some sticks as a teenager. Unfortunately, I golf very infrequently at this stage of life, but I still have the same goal to take a mighty swing, watch the ball sail to the green, take one bounce and nestle comfortably into the bottom of the cup. Of course, I would gladly buy everyone a drink in the clubhouse, immediately sell my clubs and retire from the game of golf knowing it can never get better than that.

Bucket 5: Fish fry I have never been to a fish fry. This summer, I want to get a bunch of friends together and spend a day catching the fish, cooking the fish and most importantly eating the fish.

Bucket 6: Run a 5K There are tons of great races all around the Spokane, Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley areas. The one aspect I love about running is that it is something I can do with my wife. For years, she has supported me from the stands whether I was playing or coaching, and running is something we can do together. So, this summer it is time to lace them up and race with the wife.

Bucket 7: Enter a tournament Not even sure what kind of tournament I am going to play

in: beach volleyball, softball or something completely different. But this summer I want to see my team’s name as part of a bracket and compete to the end because there is nothing that screams sports like brackets and eliminations.

Bucket 8: Catch a ball Yes, this is more than having a catch with my son in the backyard. This summer, I want to snag a foul ball at Avista or a rogue ball at a Shock game. This one is all about positioning at the game, whether at the Arena or around the ballpark, it is about being in the right place at the right time. Still, if that doesn’t work, I might resort to underhanded tactics and get my kids to sit at the rail to see if we can get an Indians reliever to hand them a bullpen ball — still counts for the bucket list.

Bucket 9: Hike up Mt. Spokane I have been staring at the mountain since I moved here. This summer, I want to hike from the base to the peak. I know this is not a Mt. Everestsized goal, but it is one of the buckets on this list that motivates me the most.

Bucket 10: Dominate my draft Call me a geek if you want, but I love my annual fantasy football draft. I have been in the same league for 10 years now with many of the same fellas. We have seen people get married, have kids, survive cancer scares and talk inordinate amounts of trash with one another. It is one of my highlights of the year. Now it is out there, the pressure is on and the Vegas odds makers aren’t showing a lot of love to my goal of not failing! But I believe in setting the bar high. I was a C student in high school, and I can live up to at least that standard of seven out of ten. Whether you play, cheer or watch, enjoy a sports-filled summer! Current contributor and sports aficionado Chad Kimberley teaches at Valley Christian School.

Sports Roundup Compiled by Craig Howard Current Editor

Fastpitch softball

West Valley High School After winning the Great Northern League title with an 18-0 record, West Valley placed third at the state 2A tournament, defeating Sequim 5-2 on May 26 in Selah. Senior pitcher Kelli Peckham had 11 strikeouts and Natalie Noble led the offense with four hits. West Valley concluded the season with a 27-2 mark. Both of the team’s losses — to Colville and Aberdeen — were by one run. University High School After advancing to state for the third consecutive year, University fell one game away from a top four trophy in the state 3A bracket on May 26 in Spokane. The Titans, 22-5 overall, won the Greater Spokane League regular season title with a 17-1 record. Central Valley High School Central Valley placed second to U-Hi in the GSL standings at 13-5 and qualified for the 4A state tournament in Spokane by defeating Mead at regionals. The Bears, 19-9 overall, lost their first game at state, but went on to win three straight before being eliminated a game short of a trophy.

Track and field

Valley Christian School Led by distance runners Grant Marchant and Richard Nyam-

bura, Valley Christian won the 1B boys team state championship in Cheney on May 26. Marchant, a sophomore, ran to victories in the 800 and 3,200-meter races. Nyambura, a senior, earned a win in the 1,600 and placed second to his teammate in the 800. Freeman High School The Freeman boys track team took fourth place at the 1A state championships in Cheney on May 26. Senior Quinn Robinson won his second consecutive title in the 400-meter run while the relay squad of Max Axtell, Connor Rubright, Christian Dresback and Robinson won the 4x400 race. University High School University junior Eddie Gonzales soared to gold in the high jump at the 3A state track meet in Tacoma on May 26. Titans junior Tanisha Whitsett placed second in the shotput. The boys’ 4x400 relay team finished fifth and University boys earned seventh in the 3A team race.

Soccer Central Valley High School Central Valley earned a bid to the state semifinals for the first time in school history, eventually placing fourth among Washington 4A teams. The Bears, 13-5 overall, trailed Davis of Yakima 2-0 in the second half of a quarterfinal game on May 19, but battled back to reach the Final Four with a 3-2 overtime win.

Valley represented at state

Current photos by Craig Howard

Senior Justin Alcala (left) was part of a Central Valley soccer squad that moved on to the state semifinals for the first time in school history. University pitcher Brittany Hecker and infielder Karly Schuh, both juniors, were keys to a Greater Spokane League fastpitch softball title and the Titans' third consecutive trip to state.

The Current


June 2012 • 29

In the Army or in the classroom, integrity is vital By Brad Liberg Current guest column

As a retired Army lieutenant colonel now in a second career in public education, I have been asked to share some of my thoughts on the Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) character trait for the month of June — integrity. Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage were the values that guided my career for more than 22 years. They are the Army values, and they provided me with the foundation essential for my success as a leader. Integrity, as defined by the Army leadership doctrine is, “Do what’s right, legally and morally.” Integrity is not just expected of the military leadership, it is the expectation for all soldiers to act with integrity, to do what is right, in all that they do, all of the time. Integrity, as a value, is essential to build a culture that insists on all levels to do what is right — legally and morally. However, recent lapses in integrity by a small number of service men and women over the past months point out the tremendous impact in terms of loss of life and our nation’s international reputation that can result from an individual soldier’s lack of integrity in a decision-making process. My intent here is not to highlight failure but more importantly to express why integrity — “Doing what’s right, legally and morally” — is essential as a value to be expected by all. Failure cannot be an option. The costs are too great. I assure you from my past experiences, I truly believe our nation’s military is very strong in character and integrity. There are countless examples every day where our service men and women serve our country well,

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

with pride, and demonstrate these values at all times. After my retirement from the Army in 2004, I began a career in public education. Integrity, as defined in the PACE program, is “living a set of values which includes honesty, respect for others and a sense of personal responsibility.” Being honest, respecting others and being responsible are essential for all of our students to be successful in school. It should come as no surprise that these behaviors lead to success in the classroom and provide the foundation for future success in our students’ pursuit of their educational goals, in their chosen careers and as citizens in our community. Character education is truly a partnership and a responsibility we all share. Ultimately, as a parent, it is my responsibility to provide the character education and provide the moral and ethical framework for my children. But I also know, as the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” There is a true partnership that exists between parents and our community, including those in education, which is essential for our success in character education. We must teach our children, as a community, to have strong character and to act with integrity in all they do. To do what is legally and morally right and to live a set of values that includes honesty, respect for others and a sense of personal responsibility. The choices we make matter because they show our true character and define who we are and who we will become. In closing, I have a picture on the wall in my office behind my desk with the following M.H. McKee quote: ”Integrity is one of several paths. It distinguishes itself from the others because it is the right path and the only one upon which you will never get lost.” It has held that place in my office throughout my Army career and my career in education. It reminds me every day of the importance of acting with integrity, and my hope is that it also reminds others. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our service men and women, past and present, and all of those involved in education in our community for the important work they do, day in and day out, keeping our country safe, and providing a strong education for all of our children. Brad Liberg is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who has been a career and technical education teacher in the West Valley School District for the past eight years. He is currently the dean of students at Contract Based Education as well as the district’s career and technical director. West Valley School District is a founding PACE partner, and Liberg wrote this column as part of a monthly series highlighting the PACE trait of the month.

Current Editorial

A fan club for Team Academics High achieving Valley students deserve accolades The play-by-play from the state title match might have gone something like this: “Central Kitsap now trails Central Valley by five points as we move into the critical stages of the 4A Knowledge Bowl final. The next question has to do with an obscure reference from an early poem by T.S. Eliot, and it appears Hailey Reneau has the answer for CV … ’Boston Evening Transcript’ — that’s correct! Amazing! Whether it’s literature, geology, math or philosophy, this squad from Spokane Valley really has some championship brainpower!” Of course, the reality of the competition — and its accompanying media coverage — was a bit more subdued. Central Valley did participate in the 2012 Washington State Knowledge Bowl Finals in March, although press passes for the event were not in great demand. A generic classroom in Snohomish County served as the venue for the championship match, attended by around 50 people. After CV soared to the state crown — the first in school history — most folks back home in Spokane County were paying more attention to the soggy start of spring sports season. In winning the title, the team had nearly aced the written round, correctly answering a remarkable 46 out of 50 questions. In sports parlance, the feat would be like a basketball player netting 90 percent of his field goal attempts in the most important game of the year. In the 2A rendition of state Knowledge Bowl, the West Valley High School contingent managed something that approached the level of CV’s supreme achievement. Considering the fact that WV hadn’t even fielded a Knowledge Bowl squad until a few years ago, the team’s seventh place effort

was a championship in itself. Whether it’s debate, Knowledge Bowl or programs like Future Business Leaders of America, the greater Spokane Valley has traditionally featured a considerable quotient of stellar students who excel in the academic arena. Yet how many residents could tell you about the triumphs of someone like Deven Coffey (University High, class of 2011) who qualified twice for the National Debate and Speech Tournament, an accomplishment that rivals a pitcher leading his team to the World Series in consecutive years? Fortunately, the Spokane Scholars Foundation is on the scene to provide some perspective. Established in 1993, the group originated with a goal of recognizing academic greatness in the same way that the Downtown Athletic Club awards the Heisman Trophy each year. In words from the foundation’s own website, “Publicity seemed reserved for all activities other than academic achievement … it was time to stand and cheer for scholarly efforts.” This April, more than 125 students — including 35 from Central Valley, East Valley, Freeman and West Valley school districts as well as Valley Christian School — were honored at the Spokane Scholars Foundation annual banquet. Students received recognition based on criteria such as national test scores, supplemental honors and grade point average. A month or so after the banquet, CVHS held its annual spring awards assembly. For the first time since anyone could remember, the Knowledge Bowl team was saluted first on the agenda in spite of impressive campaigns by several of the school’s athletic teams. “After all, Knowledge Bowl won state,” CV Principal Mike Hittle said. Smart pick.

The Current

30 • June 2012

news Volume 1, Issue 5 publisher

Josh Johnson

General Manager

Tammy Kimberley


Craig Howard

staff writer

Kelly Moore

Contributors Chad Kimberley Jayne Singleton Mike Vlahovich Intern Nick Merchant Senior account Janet Pier executive

account Cindy Esch executive

graphics editor

Sarah Burk

Office manager

Kelli Dexter Circulation Mike Johnson manager

On the cover: Current photo by Kelly Moore


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MANAGER Continued from page 2

lives with his wife, Linda, in Shreveport, La., where he coaches baseball at Evangel Christian Academy. The team has won three state titles since 2006. The Current caught up with Hulett recently to chat about his career in baseball, the challenges of bus transportation and his expectations for another season in Spokane, a place that he now calls home each summer.


You made your Major League debut on Sept. 15, 1983, in the old Comiskey Park with a White Sox team that had just won the the American League West division title. What was it like to step up to the plate that day?


When your dream is to play in the big leagues, you think you know what it’s about, but until you get in front of 50,000 fans, it’s a real eye-opener. I had a little bloop down the left field line for my first hit. Comiskey Park had a lot of character; it was really a great place to play baseball. I remember it was a September call-up, the White Sox had already clinched the pennant, so there was no chance I could mess it up. Q: When you talk to the players about the rigors of Minor League baseball, you know what you’re talking about. Even after getting to the majors, you were sent down a few times, including stops in Rochester, Denver and Indianapolis. What do you tell your team about the business of baseball? A: Even though I’m not playing, I’m on the same bus as everyone on the team. If I’m getting tired, I know they’re probably getting tired too. I try to manage that for them, help them understand what they’re going through and how you need to deal with it. The first meeting of the year, I talk to our players about how fortunate they’ve been to play this game for fun. I tell them it’s still going to be fun, but it’s your job now, so you need to be here on time and be professional. Q: Your travels with the Indians take you to places like Eugene, Boise, Yakima and the Tri-Cities. You’re a native Midwesterner who has spent a lot of time back east — what are some of your impressions of the Northwest? A: The only place I didn’t travel to much in my pro career was the Northwest. I played in Seattle a few times and loved Seattle, but it’s not the only place in this region — you have the Spokane area, the Vancouver area, Eugene, so many great places. During the season, I live in Liberty Lake, another great place. At some point, when I’m done coaching in Spokane, my wife and I like to think we’d have a summer home in Spokane.

“I would characterize the fans in Spokane as the best in the league and maybe the best in the Northwest region.” — Tim Hulett

Q: Your best year in the majors was 1993 in Baltimore when you hit .300 in 260 at-bats and had a .361 on-base percentage. At the time, I think your baseball card was escalating in value. What was so unique about that season? A: Leo Gomez, our starting third baseman, was injured, so I played a lot that year. For the most part, I was a much better utility guy, not a starter. That year, I incorporated some of the things I learned in the offseason and — what do you know? — it worked. Q: You played in the same infield with Cal Ripken Jr. on those Baltimore teams. This is a guy who played in 2,632 consecutive games, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record back in 1995. If you had a blister or something, I’m guessing taking a day off wasn’t really an issue with Cal around. A: Cal was such a professional. The thing about Cal is he just showed up for work every day. Now Major League teams don’t take infield (practice), but back then we took infield, and if anyone could have been excused, it would have been the guy playing 162 games a year, but Cal never missed infield. He just had an amazing work ethic. Q: As a Minor League manager, you’re well aware that every player has a goal of moving on to the majors. That means putting up stellar numbers, whether it’s batting or pitching. How do you balance the individual goals of each player with the priorities of a winning team? A: If you don’t win, you don’t learn how to win on any level. If a guy loses his entire Minor League career and all of the sudden he gets to the Major Leagues and you expect him be a winner? He doesn’t know how to win. We believe in teaching and developing winning players. In all reality, you can be a guy who hits .270 and be on a winning team and be more valuable than a guy who hits .300 and is on a losing team

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every year. Q: Minor league teams are not known for traveling in private jets. What are some of your recollections of bus journeys when you were playing for a team like the Denver Bears? A: The toughest time in a bus was probably in Mexico, winter ball. We went from Nagalas to Mazatlan in a bus that didn’t have air conditioning. There also weren’t really any roads. In minor leagues, you’re not making any money, there’s the travel … things can be a headache if you choose to look it that way. Q: Less than 10 percent of minor leaguers will play an inning or more in the majors. What do you tell your team about the reality of that quest? A: At this point, they’ve just signed for their first year, or only played a couple of years in the Rangers organization. If someone had told me back then that I would never get to the Major Leagues, I would have told them to go away. I made it partially because of my talent, but mostly because I never thought I wasn’t going to get there. For me, once they get in their system, I don’t want to be the guy that says they won’t get to the Major Leagues — it’s what the player does with that opportunity. When a guy’s still in the organization five or six years and they’re still in Spokane, then reality sets in. Q: Speaking of reality, do the coaches and players ever gripe about Otto the mascot? It seems like he can get a bit annoying with all the antics. A: The mascot doesn’t get on my nerves. We have an understanding that he can mess with anyone but me. Q: You could have stayed in Shreveport and lounged by the bayou with a plate of jambalaya. Why return to Spokane for another season, especially with three new coaches and a new trainer? A: I don’t know if I would have been in another city with another team that I would have been quite so happy to be there. The Spokane Indians, Bobby Brett, they’re first-class. They know how to make it a great experience for the fans. I would characterize the fans in Spokane as the best in the league and maybe the best in the Northwest region.

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The Current

June 2012 • 31

Greenacres Park Great place to play, bad place for a press conference By Josh Johnson Current staff column

With the grand opening of Greenacres Park just days away, The Current hired a team of consultants to provide an exclusive sneak peek of the chain-linkguarded play area. (Thanks to the fine folks at the city of Spokane Valley for making this possible). The fence falls June 2 (see breakout box about the festivities), but these four experts agreed to slide the slides and swing the swings in advance to provide prospective players an inside glimpse of the sparkling new amenities. My budget for consultants is actually nonexistent, so I snagged my first hire with a sister duo who would have a hard time saying no: my daughters, Kylie and Jaysa, ages 7 and 4. For a more masculine perspective, we asked our friends down the street, brothers Josh and Rylan Rivera (8 and 5), to join us. The concept: The kids would receive 15 minutes of free play. I would then get them all to sit still and dutifully answer my questions using ice cream sandwiches as anchors. How did this plan work out? The kids loved the park and were fully engaged in their play. As for the press conference, the kids were … still fully engaged in their play. For those looking for actual insights into the park or its many amenities, you may stop reading at the end of this paragraph. Rylan liked to climb the stairstepped hay bales in the play structure. Kylie liked the slide with the speed bump. Josh liked a spinning green toy that made me dizzy just watching it. Jaysa liked the swings. For those still with me, suffice it to say the Q&A session lasted seven minutes, which was about

Greenacres Park Grand Opening When 10:30 a.m. to noon June 2 Where Greenacres Park, 1311 N. Long Road Opening Activities • 1-mile family walk including a stop to plant a tree to commemorate the event • Official ribbon cutting and speech by Mayor Tom Towey After the opening ceremony • Crafts and games • North Idaho Disc Club sharing rules and techniques to use the park Disc Golf Course, the city of Spokane Valley’s first • Booths • Safety information, including police car and fire truck For more twice as long as the ice cream and half as long as the cleanup. There isn’t space to print all of the “creative” answers, but what follows is a condensed version of the transcript: Me: What did you like best about the park? Kylie: Your mustache! (Kids all laugh.) Me: OK, I’ll be more specific. What do you think is the best part of the park for little kids? Rylan: The stairs. ... Uh, I spilt! Me (as moms jump in with napkins): That ice cream sandwich is looking like an ice cream sculpture. Jaysa (randomly): Hair! Me: What else would little kids like about the park? Kylie: Um, if skunks come! Me: Josh and Rylan, if you had to tell your dad about one thing here that would get him to come to the park, what would it be? Josh: Us. If me and Ry and Mom go down here, he'll go. Me: I want to tell you about

Current photos by Josh and Kim Johnson

Above from left, Josh and Rylan Rivera and Kylie and Jaysa Johnson snack on ice cream sandwiches during the “press conference” after they tried out the new play area at Greenacres Park. At left: Play area namesake Ferdinand the Bull faces off with Rylan Rivera.

the bull up there around that time, first new “neighborhood at the front of the long after the moFast Facts park” to be constructed in park. His name is ment I officially lost • Representatives of the the city of Spokane Valley. Ferdinand the Bull. control. North Greenacres Neigh- (As opposed to Discovery There is a story Coming back to borhood Association will Playground, which was written about him my notes after a few be on hand during the the first new playground.) — maybe you've days of reflection, opening ceremony. This even seen the car• The size of the park is it’s clear to me that group advocated for a 8.3 acres. toon — about a kids will love to play park in this neighborhood bull who doesn't at Greenacres Park. • The land was pursince the early days of the like to do bull chased for $612,351. The It’s a great environcity of Spokane Valley. The fights but instead design and construction ment for interacgroup was instrumental in likes to picks flowcost was about $1.4 miltion and imaginadeveloping and designing ers and have fun. lion. Between the purtion. I found myself the park and also gathHave you seen the chase, design and confeeling a bit jealous story about that? ering input on the park struction, the city was at their carefree fun through a survey that was granted about $800,000 Josh: No, but I as I walked around shared with the city. picked his nose. in state funding for the with a camera and (All kids laugh hys• Greenacres Park is the project. notes. terically.) Certainly, I Me: So if you go in the water. learned Greenawere a nice bull like Ferdinand in Rylan: If I was a nice bull, I cres Park is a lousy place to ask a park ... kids to sit still and act like an would eat all the other bulls. Rylan: I poked out his eyes! adult. But I’m going back with Jaysa: Can I please hold the my girls, because it’s a perfect Me (fighting for control over microphone for a little bit? I want place to ask this adult to act like the laughter): If you were a nice a kid. bull in a park, what types of to ... I want to ... I want to ... Kylie: Boog-ah! Boog-ah! things would you like to do? Josh Johnson is publisher of The Current. Write to him at josh@ Josh: If I was a nice bull, I Boog-ah! I cut the interview somewhere would walk around and maybe

The Current

32 • June 2012

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5/17/12 7:11 PM

The June 2012 Current  

Tour de Valley: The Current pedals its way through a quartet of local bike shops to learn about gear, maintenance and cycling culture. www.v...

The June 2012 Current  

Tour de Valley: The Current pedals its way through a quartet of local bike shops to learn about gear, maintenance and cycling culture. www.v...