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A special pullout recapping the city of Spokane Valley’s first decade I n s e rt e d a f t e r pa ge 1 6

2 • March 2013

Heads, he’s in


The Current

Newest SV council member made national news after coin flip determined his selection By Steve Christilaw Current Contributor

It was easily the most famous coin flip in the history of the city of Spokane Valley. When the City Council could not settle at its Feb. 5 meeting on a single candidate to fill the vacancy created when former Council Member Brenda Grassel resigned, it was left to the flip of a dollar coin to decide between two finalists: Rod Higgins and Linda Thompson. When City Manager Mike Jackson’s flip came up heads, the job went to Higgins, a candidate for the job two years ago and, for the past year, a member of the city’s planning commission. The Current talked with Higgins about his pathway to a seat on the Council and about his plans now that he’s there.

Submitted photo

Rod Higgins moved over from the Spokane Valley Planning Commission when he was appointed to the City Council Feb. 5. ago. When I was unsuccessful, I thought there was a lot about the city and city government that I simply did not know. Throughout my life, when something interested me, I’d start a hands-on information campaign and learn as much about it as I could. I did that with personal financial planning and that sort of thing. I thought, well, it’s time to step in and see how it all works. So I applied for the planning commission, and it’s been quite an experience. Q: You’re not alone in not understanding the intricacies of city government. What’s been the biggest surprise for you, sitting on the other side of the desk? A: It’s not a big surprise, but most people don’t understand the ins and outs of government. They have a vague feeling that they’re being governed, but they don’t have the foggiest notion of the nuts and bolts of what’s going on. They don’t understand that they have immense power if they choose to use it: simply getting involved. There are two opportunities at a council meeting where citizens can comment. They can comment on issues that are being voted on, of course, but they can also get up and just say what’s on their mind. And those folks up there listen; they do. If you are intimidated by standing in front of a group of people, which some folks are, there’s nothing wrong with picking up the phone and calling individual council members and asking to meet with them. There are lots of ways to get the job done. That’s the beauty of local government. Q: The banner issue with the council has been debate over Sprague and Appleway. How do you see that at this point?

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Q. A.

You have one of the most unique introductions to public office we’ve heard in quite some time. It must have been quite an experience.

(Laughing) In fact, it has. The process was unique enough to make it into USA Today. It was interesting that, after all the interviews and the voting, it came down to a plain, old toss of a coin. Throughout my life, coin tosses and card games for money, things like that — I haven’t been very lucky, and I avoid them like the plague. I wasn’t looking positively on the outcome of all this, to tell you the truth. I thought, well, this is the end of all that. But it didn’t turn out that way. Q: Depending on your point of view, I suppose, you could look at it either way. A: (More laughter) You’re right. I may still come to think of it that way down the road. Time will tell. Q: You come onto the council from a position that should make for an interesting transition: the planning commission. A: Yes. I ran for City Council two years

See HEADS, page 4

The Current

March 2013 • 3


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4 • March 2013


The Current

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

SVFD finds a chief Bryan Collins was selected Jan. 28 as the new chief of the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Collins replaces retiring Chief Mike Thompson. Collins comes to the department with more than 27 years of experience in the fire service. He retired last year from the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District in San Ramon, Calif., where he held the position of assistant Collins fire chief for the previous three years.

HEADS Continued from page 2

A: I think that’s pretty much a settled issue. The last vote on that pretty much settled it. The people said they don’t want to go back to the way it was. And now there’s an element of certainty over that and people can plan for the future. Before, there was always a question about what would happen in the future, and I think that prevented them from making developing plans for going forward. Now they can begin to plan and have confidence in the way it’s going to be. I think you’re going to see things progress. Just keep in mind that we’re working with a backdrop of a pretty serious financial debacle, and we still have to deal with that. There are still problems out there. Money for projects like this flows down from the top. Moneys for public works projects start at the federal level and is handed down to the states and the state doles it out. If that money dries up, we’re in trouble. Q: Are there some ways to jump start

Collins was selected from among six finalists for the post. He was scheduled to receive the oath of office at the Fire Commissioners regular meeting Feb. 25 and start his first official day on the job March 4. A farewell event for Thompson will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. March 1 at the Spokane Events Center, 10512 E. Sprague Ave.

Local election results

passage was a $65 million capital facilities bond put forth by the East Valley School District. That measure, which needed a supermajority of 60 percent to pass, instead received a supermajority against it. Only about 37 percent of voters approved the bond.

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Newman Lake Fire District 13 voters passed the emergency medical services replacement levy Feb. 12 with 70 percent of the vote, but two other local issues on the ballot did not fare nearly as well. The tow of Rockford’s property tax levy designed to help the town pay for tis law enforcement contract with Spokane County only received about 30 percent approval. With slightly better results but still far from

The recently formed Valley Homeless Network is looking to connect with people, churches and agencies who provide services — or want to learn more about providing services — to the greater Spokane Valley’s homeless and hungry population. The Network has posted a survey at, or search for “Spokane Valley Homeless Net-

projects like the rebuild of the Sullivan Bridge? A: As a matter of fact, that was the main thrust of a trip to Olympia. We visited with legislators over there, in particular Sen. (Curtis) King, the chair of the transportation committee and, apparently, a person with a great deal of influence over whether or not we get the $4 million we need to complete the project. I have to give a lot of credit to Sen. (Mike) Padden. When we first went over, we didn’t have an appointment to talk to Sen. King, and he picked up the phone and not only arranged the meeting for us, he sat in with us. This is the single biggest thing we have on our plate right now. If that bridge becomes not functional, it effectively cuts off a quarter of our revenue-producing income stream. We end up dividing the city roughly in half. That just can’t happen. The simple decision is this: We have a grant of almost $4 million, and if we don’t have a commitment to finish off the bridge project by October, we have to

give that grant back. That sets us back and makes the whole thing virtually impossible. The question becomes, do we spend our own money to do it? And the simple answer is that I don’t think we have a choice. We have to. If we don’t it deals a crippling blow to our industrial park, and we just can’t allow that to happen. There’s an added kicker to all this: Bigelow Gulch Road is being extended, and there will be more traffic coming down Sullivan Road from Bigelow Gulch in the future, so the problem is bigger than it appears right now. I have great hopes that our trip to Olympia will pay off, and we’ll get the money we need to finish it off. Q: With the 10th anniversary of incorporation coming up, what are your impressions of how it’s worked out? Were you a supporter of incorporation? A: To be quite honest with you, no, I was not. I liked Spokane Valley the way it was. It wasn’t until the city of Spokane made overtures of annexation that I changed my mind and voted for it. Have I been pleased with it? To be hon-

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est, I didn’t pay that much attention until the last four years or so. I heard some people grouse about some costs going up and things like that. Q: What prompted you to get involved? A: I began to see things like what they were paying the city manager here in the beginning. You understand that Brenda Grassel, when she built a house in Liberty Lake, she had to resign because she didn’t live in the district. Well, what’s good for the goose, you know? That, of course, came much later. But the issue, to me, was that they were paying the city manager this much money and he didn’t live here. That, I think, was one of the issues that caused a change in the City Council four years ago. A lot of people started asking that question, and it became not only a campaign issue, but a successful one. Q: Speaking of campaigns, will you run for your seat in the next election? A: Yes, I will. I was already planning to run before I got the job.

The Current

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The Current

6 • March 2013


The city of Millwood posted a total net profit of $207,000 for 2012. As part of its year-end financial report during the February Millwood City Council meeting, City Treasurer Debbie Matkin reported that three funds — general, water and sewer — showed excess funds available. The water fund’s excess of $33,496 for 2012 is attributed to last year’s water rate increase. The general fund had a net profit of $132,905.


The city of Spokane Valley will celebrate a decade of incorporation March 16 with a birthday party and carnival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. The free event will include opening remarks by Mayor Tom Towey, carnival games and food, historical presentations, a recycling fair, music and ceremonial dancing by representatives from the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene tribes.

Rod Higgins, former director of International Mine Safety Professionals and a member of the Spokane Valley Planning Commission since January 2012, was appointed as the newest representative of the Spokane Valley City Council on Feb. 5, replacing Brenda Grassel. Higgins won out over Linda Thompson, executive director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council, in a coin flip after sitting council members emerged in a 3-3 tie.

The ballots for the property tax levy that would have helped pay for law enforcement expenses faced by the town of Rockford were returned Feb. 12. The levy did not pass, with 96 votes (about 70 percent) opposed and 41 votes in favor. Rockford Mayor Micki Harnois said there is no decision about whether to propose it again in the fall.

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For vendor or general information, contact Liberty Lake Kiwanis members Pat Dockrey ( or Scott Draper ( For sponsorship information, contact Janet Pier at or 242-7752.

The Current

March 2013 • 7 On the tails of the defeat of a capital facilities bond last month, the East Valley School District is asking each school principal to form a school advisory council. This council of community members and parents will, based on data, research and other factors, advise the principal on matters ranging from curriculum to logistics. The primary purpose of these advisory councils will be to identify gaps between district goals and practice, and recommendations received will be forwarded to the board of directors, through the superintendent. Interested people are encouraged to contact their neighborhood school principal or Superintendent John Glenewinkel.

Discussion regarding the city of Liberty Lake’s utility tax is expected to continue this month following a presentation by Finance Director RJ Stevenson in February that outlined a potential shift to the 3 percent toll on electric, cable, phone, garbage and gas services. The plan would keep waste management at 3 percent, move phone and cable to 5 percent and decrease electric and gas to 2 percent.

Three Up, Three Down features at-a-glance news of what’s coming UP in March or went DOWN in February. 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.)


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The Current

8 • March 2013

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

City of Spokane Valley Compiled by Craig Howard

As Spokane Valley roads recover from a challenging winter, residents are encouraged to call the city’s Public Works Department to report potholes. Citizens can call 921-1000 with a concern or go online at and select the “Report a Problem” link on the left-hand side of the home page. The city of Spokane Valley will celebrate a decade of incorporation March 16 with a birthday party and carnival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 6-7. The search for a new planning commissioner will continue in March. A vacancy was created on the board when Rod Higgins was appointed to the City Council last month. The deadline for applications for the planning commission seat is 4 p.m. March 4. Commissioners are nominated by the mayor and approved by a majority vote of the City Council. The Spokane Valley City Council moved its municipal discussion to the Spokane Valley Mall Feb. 28 as part of this year’s “City Hall at the Mall” event. City representatives were scheduled to be on hand to answer questions from residents in an open house setting situated in the food court. Rod Higgins was appointed as the newest representative of the Spokane Valley City Council on Feb. 5, replacing Brenda Grassel. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 6-7. Rick Scott, director of Sheriff ’s Community Oriented Policing Effort, accepted a community recognition award on behalf of a quartet of SCOPE stations in Spokane Valley at the Feb. 19 City Council meeting. Last year, SCOPE donated more than 33,000 volunteer hours in supplementing law enforcement efforts countywide. Spokane Valley SCOPE branches include Central Valley, Trentwood, Edgecliff and University.

City of Liberty Lake Compiled by Craig Howard

Discussion regarding Liberty Lake’s

news utility tax is expected to continue this month following a potential shift outlined in February that would change the rate structure of the tax. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 6-7. A volunteer committee will meet in March and April to form the groundwork for the muncipal library’s strategic plan, entitled, “Envisioning the Difference the Library Can Make in the Future of Liberty Lake.” The document will map out the library’s goals and priorities over the next five years. Progress continues on the Fallen Heroes Circuit Course in Rocky Hill Park. The city has set aside $35,000 for the project, proposed by Liberty Lake resident and exMarine Bob Wiese. When complete, the outdoor exercise circuit will span a loop at five sites across the city, honoring veterans in each branch of the military. In a presentation to City Council, Liberty Lake Planning and Building Services Manager Amanda Tainio noted that single-family residences and commercial construction both increased significantly over the past year. Revenue from building permits set a new city record, with new commercial and residential valuation ringing in at $29 million, nearly double the total from 2011. The City Council decided against an initiative that would have restored the placement of political signs in the public right-of-way. A 6-0 vote against Ordinance 205 means the policy will remain as it was for the last election season — no campaign signage on city-owned property within the right-of-way or a public easement. Forget about Orlando or Palm Springs. Trailhead at Liberty Lake, the cityowned golf course, has been faring well in the first part of 2013. By mid-February, the venue had already collected $4,100 in greens fees and $6,300 on the driving range.

City of Millwood Compiled by Valerie Putnam

Registration is currently being accepted for adult and children classes at Company B, the newly expanded suite at Dance Studio of Company Ballet School and Performing Arts Center, 3201 N. Argonne Road. For more information, call 869-5573. The City Council’s next meeting is 7 p.m. March 12, while the Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. March 25. Both meetings will be held in Millwood City Hall, 9103 E. Frederick. Call 924-0960 with questions or to learn more about each meeting. The city of Millwood is currently accepting applications for five members and an advisor for the Millwood Teen Advisory Council. Training will be provided for the volunteer advisor role. Students from West Valley High School are encouraged to apply. For more, contact Patty Peterson at Millwood City Hall, 924-0960.

The city of Millwood posted a total net profit of $207,000 for 2012. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 6-7. Attorney Brian Werst updated the City Council about a recent meeting with the Washington State Department of Ecology. His said Ecology made it clear the agency would not accept the city’s desired use of the word “encouraging” when discussing public shoreline access across public land as part of its Shoreline Management Plan. Ecology intends to maintain its position that Millwood use the word “require.” The Millwood City Council approved Medical Lake Mayor John Higgins to be its “small cities” representative on the Emergency Management Policy Board. Higgins will represent cities with a population size ranging from 1,000 to 10,000.

Town of Rockford Compiled by Heidi Scott

The Rockford Lion’s Club will be holding its annual Rockford Easter Egg Hunt in the city park. The hunt will be held on March 30 and will include a visit from the Easter Bunny at 1 p.m. The Rockford Community Center received a donation of several printers and scanners, which will now be available for community members to use. There will be special Easter services in Rockford. The Methodist Church will hold a Holy Thursday service at 6:30 p.m. March 28 and, on Easter, a 7 a.m. sunrise service as well as a regular service. The Catholic Church will hold a Good Friday service March 29 as well as an Easter service. A property tax levy that would have helped pay for the town of Rockford’s law enforcement expenses was defeated Feb. 12. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 6-7. Several specific priorities were set by Rockford youth when about 20 young people from the community met with town officials and set several goals. Among them: Creating a committee to connect young volunteers with local seniors who need help with yard work and snow shoveling; adding a “waterpark” feature to the summer Farmer’s Market, including the use of donated slip-and-slides and makeshift water features for families to enjoy; and considering providing archery lessons for youth. The Southeast Spokane County Fair committee met recently and decided on a theme for the 69th annual event, planned for Sept. 20-22: “All Roads Lead to the Fair.”

Central Valley School District Compiled by Josh Johnson

Enrollment is open for eight summer classes at Spokane Valley Tech, the career

and college readiness school operated jointly by the four Spokane Valley-area school districts (Central Valley serves as the host district). The classes include aerospace and advanced manufacturing, cosmetology, energy and manufacturing, fire science, Microsoft IT Academy, sports medicine, principles of biomedical sciences, and introduction to engineering design. For more information, visit The Central Valley School District’s annual Meritorious Service Awards will be announced at the March 26 school board meeting. The awards honor outstanding contributions toward student achievement, teaching and learning. Recipients are selected from nominations by colleagues, students, parents and community members. Awards are given in four categories: certificated employee, classified employee, community member/organization and team. This year, Easter weekend leads into spring break. When students release for the day March 29, they will not return to class until April 8. Members of Joe Pauley’s A+ Computer Technician certification class at Central Valley High School recently passed the CompTIA Network+ Industry Certification Test. The students — Erik Bodrock, Alex Arachtingi, Anya Carter, Brandon Sommer, Frank Petrilli, Jeff Moberg, Matthew Troxel and Mathew Merrick — also earned other certifications and are considered Microsoft Technology Associates in Windows Operating System, networking and security. Central Valley schools fared well on the 2012 Washington State Achievement Index recently released by the State Board of Education. All but two schools in the district were rated “good,” “very good” or “exemplary.” The two schools recognized as being “exemplary” were Bowdish Middle School and Greenacres Elementary School. The index is intended to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of schools and to aid in improvement planning. Four teachers were recognized by the Central Valley School Board at its Feb. 11 meeting for their efforts in earning National Board Certification: Katie Bousley, Central Valley High School; Betsy Casteel, North Pines Middle School; Katie Louie, Central Valley High School; Sharon Stevenson, Opportunity Elementary. CVSD now has 57 board-certified teachers working in the district.

East Valley School District Compiled by Jim Ryan

This spring, Trent and Trentwood will be among the Valley schools chosen for every student to receive a free book, courtesy of a program called “Books for Kids,” founded by the Rotary Club of Spokane Valley and spearheaded by club member Kay Bryant. This year, the program expand-

See 3 UP, 3 DOWN, page 9

The Current

March 2013 • 9


3 UP, 3 DOWN Continued from page 8

ed to include six elementary schools, two from each district in the Valley. The total count will mean a free book for more than 2,600 students. The East Valley School District is asking each school principal to, over the next few weeks, form a school advisory council. See the full version of this entry on the artistic map on pages 6-7. Kindergarten registration begins March 5 at the neighborhood school the student will be attending. Requirements or more information are available by calling the district at 924-1830 or visiting www. Marla Pflanz, a teacher at East Valley High School, was selected by the Spokane Symphony as the Outstanding Music Teacher for 2013. A $65 million capital facilities bond proposal was turned aside by voters Feb. 12. The bond achieved only 37 percent support. It was the fifth time since 2008 that the district had a capital facilities request go before voters but fall short in receiving the required 60 percent supermajority. Several East Valley students advanced to state competitions in a variety of disciplines. Orchestra: Riley Cox, Ryan Brou, Ashley Beal, Sum-

mer Romney, Bailee McNannay, Katlynn Whitney, Haley Madison, Patrick Herbert, Nathan Stevens, Adam Divens, Riley Cox, Cheyenne Meidling, Robyn Jasinski and Payton Goodwin. Band: Nicole Estabrooks, Danika Franklin, Evan Alderete and Kaylyn Zastoupil. Choir: Elisha Allred, Andrea Bewick, Morgan Cockrill, Katlyn Kelley, Andrea Bewick and Alisha Allred. FBLA: Hanna Gillingham, Rochelle Trainor, Tanner Bauman, Joram Fultz, Matt Montoya, Kenzie Uphus, Damon Albrecht, Audrey Burgess, Payton Fredrickson, Morgan Cockrill, Hannah Herndon and Baylee Buchanan.

Freeman School District Compiled by Jim Ryan

The 34th Annual Freeman Alumni Basketball Tournament will be held March 14-16. The teams will again be mixed up with rosters consisting of alumni players from all eras. Admission is $1 and proceeds will go to the Freeman High School Letter Club. Register by March 8 at For more, call the school at 2913721, ext. 232, or Kris Barnes at 999-0494. The Foundation for Freeman Schools fourth annual “Freeman Freeze” 5K and 1-mile fun run/walk is set for March 16 at Freeman High School. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Freeman High School track team. Full entry fee is $25, which includes the race, T-shirt and a lunch. Register by March 3 at to guarantee a T-shirt. A reserved snow day for March 1 has been cancelled due to the weather-related school closure the district had in December. School will be open as normal. Jonathon (Zeke) Flack and Benjam

Carasco were recently named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition. At the Jan. 31 school board meeting, Assistant Transportation Supervisor Everett Combs reported they are gathering bids for the purchase of two buses in August. Technology Director Todd Reed demonstrated the new transportation security cameras, which can view license plates of vehicles entering the area. The wrestling team completed a perfect league season, 6-0, to win the Northeast A League wrestling title. The team sent 18 wrestlers to the district tournament in Medical Lake, with 17 of them placing in the top six. The team won a district title by 40 points over Chewelah.

West Valley School District Compiled by Jim Ryan

Pasadena Park Elementary is working in conjunction with the West Valley Transportation Department on a new program focusing on school bus etiquette. The “Bus Student of the Month” program recognizes outstanding student behavior while riding the school bus. A winner will be chosen from a different bus each month. West Valley City School has embarked on a science project that sent students snowshoeing in the Scotch Peak Wilderness to set up a wolverine study station. The 12 students involved will return in four weeks to take down the station and study the DNA results of the habitat. Contract Based Education continues the successful partnership with the neighboring New Life Church and 2nd Harvest Food Bank to collect hundreds of pounds of food for the needy. The school’s next food drive will be May 10. Ness Elementary students of the month and their parents were honored recently at a school breakfast. Also on hand were members of Spokane Teachers Credit Union, who chose the Ness Elementary character education program for their “Kids caught in the act” promotion. As students of outstanding character, they received gifts from STCU and were featured in a local kids’ newspaper. West Valley High School, in conjunction with Centennial Middle School, has started a program called “Eagle for the Day.” Each week, 10-15 middle school students will go to WVHS and shadow a high school student throughout the day. Spokane Valley High School will be part of a study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, which is conducting research on innovative schools. The study will research literature and statistical data sets to identify characteristics of innovative schools associated with improvements in student outcomes. Researchers visited SVHS recently to gain a better understanding of the school’s approach to education. The study will be completed in June.

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Stepping, leaping and learning together Siblings support one another in Irish dance By Tammy Kimberley Wave staff writer

If you peek in the windows of a certain Spokane Valley home, you are likely to see a quartet of kids skipping or leaping from room to room. Dorothy Huffmanparent, the mom of the brood, said she had to restrict her dancing kids from displaying their abilities in a certain room of the house. “These kids don't walk, they Irish dance from place to place,” she said. “It got to the point that I had to say the kitchen was off limits because I was afraid of injury.” The set of siblings, which includes Ellie, Lily, Bazzy and Adeline, loves to do activities together such as singing, reading, homeschooling and playing with their two dogs and three cats. They recently added Irish dancing to the list. Irish dancing involves steps, skips, leaps and beats, the 10-year-old-twins Ellie and Lily explained. It differs from other forms of dance in that arms and hands are not used. They described the music they dance

Signs of the Irish By Tammy Kimberley Wave staff writer

The green holiday celebrated on March 17 recognizes Saint Patrick (387-461 AD), a patron saint of Ireland who is credited for spreading Christianity in that country. Although it’s not a legal or government holiday in the U.S., Ameri-

to as “jumpy and cool” with lots of fiddle and flute sounds. “It's really fast,” Lily said. “You have to keep your arms perfectly straight and not move them a bit.” Ellie said that besides keeping arms tight to your side, dancers must keep their feet in a diamond shape and keep track of the beats. “You need to memorize (the movements) since you don't have time to think about it,” she said. While beginning Irish dancers typically wear black leotards and skirts with a colored sash, Ellie explained that more advanced Irish dancers wear special dresses and hair accessories when they perform. Every dancing school has certain colors and dress styles. Bazzy, who currently is the only boy in his class, wears a black dress shirt with a green bow tie when he performs with the group. “Irish dancing is a lot of fun,” the 7-yearold said. “I really like the light jig.” Adeline, 3, said that besides the dancing, she enjoys water breaks and hanging out with her dance instructors. "They're very funny,” she said. “Teacher

cans have been celebrating Irish culture on St. Patrick’s Day since the late 18th century. Some cities have grand parades and festivities, such as Chicago which annually dyes the river going through the city green on St. Patrick’s Day. Listed below is some information to help sharpen your smarts on the symbols associated with this merry holiday. Horseshoe: If you’ve ever wondered why this symbol is in your bowl of Lucky Charms, it’s because they are thought to

Bazzy, Ellie, Lily and Adeline Huffmanparent all enjoy Irish dancing, whether it’s during class or around their home. Above: Wave photo by Tammy Kimberley

Amy and teacher Audrey's dancing is pretty." Dorothy, who danced as a child, said both she and her husband Brad have Irish traces in their family lineage. Her kids had all been previously involved in tap, ballet or gymnastics, and she wanted to expose them to Irish dance. She enrolled all four in a dance camp last summer that led to Lily and Bazzy starting lessons that fall through the Mid-Columbia Celtic Arts, an An Daire Academy. Those two were constantly teaching the moves to their siblings, so Dorothy enrolled Ellie and Adeline in lessons starting in January. They practice once a week for an hour at Tangled Roots, a Spokane dance studio, but she said the benefits of the dance instruction go beyond that one hour. “The kids cooperate more because they're trying to learn from each other at home,” Dorothy said. “They all seem to have an advantage in class because they work together.”

bring good luck. In fact, many Irish brides used to carry a real horseshoe on their wedding day for good fortune. Irish flag: The national flag of Ireland has three colors that each mean something different. Green represents the Gaelic tradition of Ireland, orange symbolizes the followers of William of Orange in Ireland and white represents the peace between the two groups. Leprechaun: These mythical creatures are believed to spend all their

Submitted photo

Bazzy, who is currently the only boy in his class, show off his footwork during a past performance.

time making shoes and then storing away all their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. If a person catches a leprechaun, he is believed to have the power to grant three wishes. Shamrock: Common folklore believes St. Patrick’s used this threeleaved plant to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people. Now people believe finding the four-leaf variety can bring good luck.

Did you know? • March is Irish American Heritage month. • St. Patrick’s Day always falls on March 17. • There will be a St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16 at noon in downtown Spokane. For more info, visit www.

The Current

March 2013 • 11


Kids Tell It Like It Is

If you found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, what would you do with it? Compiled by Tammy Kimberley at Freeman Elementary School “Go on a shopping spree in the mall.”

“Grab it and sell it to try to meet LeBron James.”

Emma Nees, 9, fourth grade

Ellie Boni, 10, fifth grade

“I would say, ‘I am rich!’”

“I would help people in need or give it to my family.”

Aiden Fitzgerald, 7, second grade

“Hide it so the leprechauns wouldn’t know where it was.”

Jessie Blair, 8, second grade

“Build a mansion for orphans and then make a home for abused animals.”

Willow Ennis, 10, fourth grade

Rebekah Martin, 12, sixth grade

“I’d use it to go to college and get a scholarship.”

Hope Storro, 10, fourth grade

“I would jump in it.”

Jaidyn McLuskie, 8, second grade

Write a limerick for Wave contest Going to In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, The Wave is hosting a writing contest where kids can submit original limerick poems. A limerick is a short, funny poem Sponsored by: that is believed to have originated in the Irish Quiznos county of Limerick. How do I write a limerick? The last words of the first, second and fifth lines all rhyme with each other and have three “beats” in them. In the same way, the last words of

the third and fourth lines rhyme with one another but only have two “beats.” The first line often begins with “There once was a…” and usually ends with a person’s name or the name of a place, while the last line is usually funny. Here is an example of a famous limerick: There was an old man from Peru, Who dreamed he was eating his shoe. He awoke in the night With a terrible fright, And found out that it was quite true.

Who can enter? Kids in kindergarten through sixth grade who live or attend school in the Valley area are eligible to enter this contest. Entries will be judged on their creative use of rhyming words. The winner of the contest will receive a $20 gift certificate to any participating Quiznos in the Spokane Valley area. Where do I send my limerick? Poems can be emailed to or turned in to our office, 2310 N. Molter Ave., Suite 305 in Liberty Lake by March 15. Only submit one poem per person, please. Questions? Email or call 242-7752.

1 2 3 4 5 Name:

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

Check out our Facebook page for contests and events.


Parent’s name: City you live in:

the dentist can be fun and easy!

Phone number:

Contest Deadline: March 15

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

The Current

12 • March 2013

The Fountain

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About and for Valley seniors

No slowing down Curnow’s Big Band sounds 72-year-old’s long music career still playing out in his home studio near the state line

fast facts Bob Curnow Nickname Big Band Bob Family Wife, Darlene; grown children, Kelly, Jason and Rob

By Jocelyn Stott Current Contributor

Bob Curnow has spent his entire charmed life as a working musician. In one capacity or another, whether it’s teaching, performing or writing, Curnow’s livelihood has always involved the jazzy sound of Big Band music. Well, in between raising a family, gardening, traveling, renovating his house and relaxing by the pool, that is. Curnow and his wife, Darlene, have followed the music from the East Coast to the West Coast throughout his years in the industry, beginning in Pennsylvania where Curnow first picked up the trombone as a 14-year-old. His early influences included the popular jazz music of the day — Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and the like. Even though everyone in his family played an instrument, none took it as passionately as Curnow. “We all played, but never together,” he recalled. “But I was obsessed. I wanted to know how to do it.” Curnow studied music education at West Chester State College (now West Chester University), in West Chester, Penn., where he earned his bachelor’s degree and fatefully met Stan Kenton at a clinic. Immediately upon graduating, Curnow flew to Chicago to join his mentor as part of the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Curnow was a composer and trombonist, and he played with the orchestra throughout the United States and Europe for several years before Kenton called it quits. Curnow enrolled at Michigan State University, where he earned two master’s degrees — one in composition and another in music theory. A teaching stint followed at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio for several years, until Kenton called again. This time, it was off to Southern California, where the two worked on a number of recording projects until Kenton’s retirement. Curnow went on to teach music at Cal State Los Angeles for another 14 years. Throughout his teaching and performing, Curnow became well known for his ability to rewrite jazz music to incorporate modern

Canine companion Molly Lifetime regrets of wishes unfulfilled None Second passion Landscape architecture/gardening Key to success Hard work, passion, integrity For more Current photo by Jocelyn Stott

Bob Curnow has passed many an hour editing and composing Big Band music in his home studio near the state line east of the city of Liberty Lake. Northwest, Sierra rock fusion sounds Music became his and additional inIF YOU GO ... full-time work. struments — about 25 of them — for Bob Curnow’s Big Band will be in The Curnows the Big Band. Some concert at 7:30 p.m. March 11 at the discovered the area of his more notable Red Lion River Inn, Shoreline Ballroom, when Bob was inworks included his 700 N. Division in Spokane. There is no vited to teach at adaptation of music Eastern Washingcost to attend. from bands like Chiton University for cago; Blood, Sweat a couple weeks in and Tears and The YellowJackets. the summer of 1982. His hosts from EWU Curnow said that, without hesitation, the took him out to Lake Coeur d’Alene, and best part about teaching music is his stu- he fell in love with the area. The Curndents. He said younger generations — in- ows soon moved their young family from cluding his own kids — are what prompted the bustling life in Los Angeles to Liberty him to try to rewrite Pat Metheny and Lyle Lake. Mays compositions into Big Band jazz The Bob Curnow Big Band was born sounds. One of his most highly acclaimed around that time, too. The band’s original works is the adaptation of Metheny’s “First intent was to help Curnow perform, edit Circle.” and test the jazz music he was composCurnow said he’s regularly inspired by ing and commercializing, but 23 years the ideas of the younger set — citing his later, it’s also a form of entertainment and most recent inspiration from his grand- education for young musicians. The group daughter, who introduced him to the played regularly at Ichiban’s in downtown Spokane for several years and just recently sounds of Imogen Heap. Throughout his career, he also wrote, moved to the Shoreline Ballroom at the packaged and sold music from his side Red Lion River Inn. (The band plays 7:30 business, Sierra Music Publications Inc. to 9 p.m. March 11, April 22, May 5 and When the Curnows were ready to leave May 19, and there is no charge.) Now 72, Curnow is anything but retired. Los Angeles for a quieter life in the Inland

He simply doesn’t want to. And clearly, he’s still having fun. While he doesn’t play in his band anymore, he still conducts and tests his music with the band. Now an online catalog company, is run out of a building on the Curnow property by a band member of the Bob Curnow Big Band and his wife. Sierra Music, one of the largest publishers in the world of Big Band jazz, has nearly 640 selections within its catalogs of works — many of which have been edited and composed by Curnow. Curnow said his biggest customer base outside of the United States is Japan. The company publishes the works of the Sam Kenton Orchestra as well as other wellknown jazz compositions. Sierra Music is also the publisher of the large ensemble music of the band Radiohead. Back in his basement studio, a large window overlooks the state-line countryside where he lives east of the city of Liberty Lake. Central to the view is the enormous Curnow gardens populated with Darlene’s collection of angel figurines. The office studio is lined with photos of a younger Curnow posing with the likes of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. Stacks of music wait for editing next to Curnow’s computer and keyboard, testifying that Big Band Bob has no intention of turning off the music anytime soon.

The Current

March 2013 • 13

Where Wellness Is A Way Of Life

Come join us for a

TRIVIA TEST 1. TELEVISION: What was the name of the estate in the gothic soap opera, “Dark Shadows”? 2. ANIMAL KINGDOM: How many eyes does a bee have? 3. ENTERTAINMENT: Which actress was married to Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra? 4. INVENTIONS: When was the first coinoperated pinball machine invented? 5. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Who was the first president to be born an American citizen? 6. QUOTATIONS: Who said, “It’s not that I’m afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” 7. U.S. STATES: What does the name of Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, mean? 8. LITERATURE: Which one of Shake-

speare’s plays contains the line, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” 9. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What was the name of cowboy actor Roy Rogers’ dog? 10. FOOD & DRINK: What is a gherkin? © 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

Answers to Trivia Test 1. Collinwood; 2. Five — two compound eyes and three simple eyes; 3.

Ava Gardner; 4. 1931; 5. Martin Van Buren; 6. Woody Allen; 7. Sheltered bay; 8. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; 9. Bullet; 10. A type of pickled cucumber

Senior Irish Festival Saturday, March 9th 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Live Music • Food • Community Tours! • Independent Living • Light Assisted Living • Walking Trail • Wellness & Fitness Center • Gourmet Chef • Cottage Homes • Swimming Pool & Spa • Assisted Living • Bistro

Locally Owned and Operated by the Arger Family

The Current

14 • March 2013


The Lake Men: Courchaine, Liberty, Morrison, Newman By Bill Zimmer and Jayne Singleton

From left, Stephen Liberty, William Newman and Peter Morrison were early pioneers who settled beside Spokane Valley lakes. Not pictured but featured in this article: Daniel Courchaine.

Spokane Valley Heritage Museum

The “Lake Men” were very early pioneers in the Spokane Valley. Three of them, Courchaine, Liberty, and Newman, settled at Saltese, Liberty and Newman lakes. Morrison, who arrived in the Valley about 20 years later, was equally influential. His property is still being developed today.

Daniel Courchaine (1837-1897) The family patriarch arrived about 1866 with other French Canadians from Quebec. He bought a section of land in the Saltese area from the Indians near Saltese Lake and soon became a friend of Chief Seltice. Daniel built a house with lumber hauled from Walla Walla by team. At this time, there wasn’t a sawmill closer. Glover did not begin to develop Spokane until after 1872. Daniel married Mary Barnaby, one of the daughters of Joseph Barnaby. Mary’s mother was Indian. Joseph had settled at Rathdrum and was at one time a prefect for the Hudson Bay Trading Co. Two other Barnaby daughters married “Lake Men”: Stephen Liberty and William Newman. The Courchaines were farmers but were primarily interested in raising cattle. There was a large spring on the property which supplied enough water to provide grass for the cattle. The milk house was located at the spring. The cool water helped keep the milk from souring. Daniel donated the land for the Saltese School house, and it was built in 1891. He was also one of the incorporators of the Saltese Cemetery. The Courchaine place was a favorite camping spot for miners, freighters and others traveling the Kentuck Trail. Coeur d’Alene Indians frequently visited the ranch.

A Valley of opportunity A monthly series on the heritage of the greater Spokane Valley Jan. Missionaries and Indians Feb. Bridge Builders and Ferrymen March The Lake Men April The Real Estate Developers, Land and Power May Immigrants claim their Valley June Irrigation July Depots and Platforms Aug. Purveyors of Leisure Sept. Commerce Oct. Ladies of the Valley Nov. Veterans of the Valley Dec. Old Timers’ stories

Photos courtesy of Spokane Valley Heritage Museum

Daniel’s son, George Courchaine, met his wife, Annie, when she was hired to teach at the Lone Fir School. She was boarding at the home of Herman and Henrietta Linke. George had lost both parents by age 10 but continued to improve the ranch, though he sold off half the land during the Depression. George lived there for more than 75 years. In the 1940s, George’s son, Bob, started the family dairy business on Harvard Road north of Trent Road. The family continued in the business until fairly recently, when it was closed as milk prices fell and costs increased. There are many descendants of Daniel Courchaine still living in the Spokane Valley. George’s daughter, Thelma is still living. She is the keeper of the Courchaine heritage. Daniel passed away after being kicked in the head by a horse. He is buried at the Saltese Cemetery. A monument stands in front of the house Daniel built, a legacy to this early pioneer.

Stephen Liberty (1842-1911) Stephen Liberty, born Etienne Edward Laliberte, was a French Canadian who originally settled in Rathdrum after arriving in the area. In 1871, he settled on the west side of Liberty Lake (named for him). Joe Peavy, who came west on the same train as Liberty, became a close friend. Peavy settled on the northwest side of the lake. They carried mail together across Lake Pend Oreille to Rathdrum and also along the Mullan Road through Rathdrum. Liberty first met Chief Andrew Seltice, Pierre Wildshoe and Quinnemose while carrying mail. Liberty and Seltice had similar religious beliefs. Liberty had studied to be a priest, and Seltice formed his beliefs from Catholic missionaries. Liberty married Joseph Barnaby’s daughter, Christine, in 1886. Barnaby was a Hudson Bay factor in charge of a post at Newman Lake. As a good friend of Chief Seltice, Liberty was consulted any time an Indian uprising was threatened. He and his family were also recognized and treated by the chiefs and

head men as members of the Coeur d'Alene Indian tribe. In 1887, Liberty was one of a delegation of five (including Seltice) who went to Washington D.C. They met with President Grover Cleveland and other officials (Liberty served as interpreter) and were successful in securing a right-of-way for a road to Wardner and the mines through the reservation. Both Liberty Lake and the city named after it bare this pioneer’s name.

William Newman (1835-1887) William Newman was born in Liverpool, England. He arrived in New York in 1857, where he enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 22, serving for approximately five years. While still in the Army, he came to Spokane County as an escort to the Northwest Boundary Survey crew establishing the boundary line between the U.S. and Canada. Newman first came to the lake named after him in 1860. In 1861, he established a station for travelers and government animals near the present site of Sprague, Wash., providing a watering place for freighters from Walla Walla. In 1865, he returned to the lake, where his original homestead was 160 acres — later increased to 320 acres — on the south part of the lake. His nearest neighbors were Stephen Liberty and Daniel Courchaine. In 1872, he married Elizabeth Barnaby, daughter of Joseph and Mary Barnaby. They had eight children. After 1880, homesteaders began settling in the Newman Lake area. Pioneers in the area began catching fish in Liberty Lake and transferring them to Newman Lake in buckets. William Newman died in 1887. Newman Lake is his legacy.

Peter Morrison (1855 -1923) Peter Morrison came to Spokane in 1886 and began a hay, grain and feed business known as the O.K. Livery stable. In 1892, he purchased land in the Saltese area, including Saltese Lake, named after

Chief Seltice of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The lake, which was very shallow, was comparable in size to Liberty Lake. Morrison planned to drain the lake and raise timothy hay. The drainage began by making a ditch through the natural outlet at the north end of the lake. It was accomplished by cutting channels with large scoops pulled by two horses each, using about ten teams. Morrison made wooden shoes for the horses to keep them from sinking in the muddy lake bottom. The effort was successful and resulted in a wide meadow that has provided for more than a century of farming and cattle-raising. After the lake was drained, squatters moved in and set up shacks on the fertile lake bottom, claiming “squatter’s rights” on about 100 acres. They believed that since the lake bottom had never been surveyed as real estate, it could be claimed under the U.S. Homestead Act. After 12 years in the courts, including two appearances before the U.S Supreme Court, the case was decided in favor of Morrison. Morrison’s “reclaimed” land provided the first timothy hay this side of the Mississippi River. According to Kim Linke, the greatgranddaughter of Herman Linke, the Linke and Courchaine families were supportive of Morrison’s efforts. As a community, they established three schools, the Lone Fir, Saltese and the Quinnemossa. They also had community barn dances. In the early days, the ranch had several barns and a bunkhouse for hired men. Bud Morrison still operates a portion of the ranch. Spokane County is currently working with him to restore 510 acres as wetlands. Draining Saltese Lake is a piece of the legacy of Peter Morrison. Bill Zimmer is a retired educator and longtime West Valley School District board member, and Jayne Singleton is the executive director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. For more about this article or other elements of Spokane Valley history, visit the museum at 12114 E. Sprague Ave. or call 922-4570.

The Current

March 2013 • 15

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The Current

16 • March 2013


Calendar of Events COMMUNITY EVENTS

Valley Library.

March 1 | March for Meals 7:30 to 9:30

March 7 | Central Valley School District kindergarten registration begins 8 a.m.

a.m., Spokane Valley Mall, 14700 E. Indiana Ave. Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels is holding a walk to raise awareness and money to help feed seniors in our area. Walkers are invited to stop by Cinnabon afterwards for $1.00 minibuns and coffee. For more: 924-6976 or sarahr@

March 2 | “Rock Around the Clock” mission auction 5 to 9 p.m., Valley Fourth Memo-

rial Church, 2303 S. Bowdish, Spokane Valley. This free event includes silent and live auctions, games, free childcare and an ice cream social. Proceeds benefit mission trips to Papua New Guinea and Slovenia. For more: 924-4525

March 2 | “Evening in Paris” Father Daughter Dance 7 to 9 p.m., CenterPlace at

through normal school hours. Registration packets available in home schools starting February 28. For more:

March 7 | Griefshare begins 6:30 to 8 p.m.,

ONE* Church, 15601 E. 24th Ave, Spokane Valley. The group, which meets weekly on Thursdays until May 30, is a recovery support group for those who have lost loved ones. For more: 993-8276

March 8 & 15 | Bridge lessons 10 a.m. to

noon, Spokane Valley Senior Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, 2nd floor card room. Brenda Simpson, master teacher with 30 years of experience, will be offering two free bridge lessons to introduce the game to anyone interested. To register or for more: 926-1937

Mirabeau Point, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. This 8th annual event is sponsored by the Liberty Lake Kiwanis and K-Kids. Tickets are $25 per person. For more:

March 9 | Blood drive 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pe-

March 4 | West Valley School District kindergarten registration begins For forms

at 2 a.m.

and more:

March 5 | East Valley School District kindergarten registration begins Parents

can register their children at their neighborhood school during school hours. For requirements and more:

March 6 | NW Heritage Alliance Forum Speaker Series 6 p.m. Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Explore a bygone era and learn about using the WA State archives database from Tracy Rebstock, Digital Access Archivist. Presented by the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum and hosted by the Spokane

Gem of the Valley Gala

ters Hardware, 12118 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley. Inland Northwest Blood Center will be holding a local blood drive. For more: 926-3646

March 10 | Daylight Saving Time Begins March 13 | Kindergarten Visitation 1 to 3

p.m., Valley Christian School, 10212 E. 9th Ave., Spokane Valley. Please RSVP for this preview day. For more: 924-9131 or

niversary of incorporation. Admission is free and will include music, entertainment, historical presentations and exhibits, cake, carnival games and the R.U.R. Bazaar. Carnival food will be available for purchase. For more: 720-5411 or cbranch@

March 16 | R.U.R. Bazaar 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. Recycled, upcycled and repurposed household furnishings, décor, artwork, accessories and other unique items. For more: 720-5411 or

March 16 | Bee Informed: Beekeeping

2 p.m. Argonne Library, 4322 N. Argonne Rd. Are you interested in raising your own bees for honey, but aren’t sure where to start? Join us as members of the West Plains Beekeepers Association discuss the basics of backyard beekeeping and answer your questions.

March 22 | Greenacres Elementary School Fundraiser 6 to 9 p.m., Triple Play, 175 W.

Orchard Ave., Hayden. Cost is $15 which provides unlimited use of all attractions and waterpark until close. Stop by the GES table to purchase a wristband in support of Greenacres Elementary School.

March 26-27 | Spokane River Forum Conference CenterPlace Regional Event Center,

For more: 456-0438 or

March 30 | Community Easter Egg Hunt

Noon to 2 p.m., Valley Real Life, 1831 S. Barker Road, Greenacres. The hunt is open to children up through 5th grade. For more:

March 31 | Easter

Recurring CV Class of 1958 Reunion The Central Valley Class of 1958 is planning a reunion for August 17 along with a picnic on August 18. If you are a graduate or know someone who might need information, please call 255-6803 or 924-0099 or email

Spokane Valley Camera Club photography exhibit Center Place, 2426 N. Discovery Place,

Spokane Valley. Runs now through March 15. On display Monday through Friday in the reception area, the free exhibit is a collection of color and monochrome photographs from members of the club. For more: 924-9754

Spokane County Library District Valley

branch locations include Argonne, Fairfield, Otis Orchards and Spokane Valley. Special events and weekly activities for all ages including book clubs, children’s story times, classes, teen anime club and writing clubs. For more:

6:30 to 8 p.m., Valley Christian School, 10212 E. 9th Ave., Spokane Valley. Discover more about school and enrollment. For more: 924-9131 or

2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. This conference will provide a unique opportunity to share information and network with others. Cost of the two-day conference is $75, which includes refreshments and lunch each day. For more: 5357084 or

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

March 16 | Spokane Valley Ten Year Birthday Party 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CenterPlace

March 29 | “Taste of Life” benefit for Hospice of Spokane 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Spo-

Cribbage Club Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. Puerto

March 14 | PreK-12 Preview Open House

Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place. Mayor Tom Towey and City council members invite you to join in celebrating the ten year an-

kane Club, 1002 W. Riverside, Spokane. The public is invited to this distinctive dining experience in support of Hospice of Spokane. Tickets are $75.

Vallarta Restaurant, 6915 E. Sprague. Meets September through May. For more: 489-0799 or

local lens

A presidential presentation

Submitted photos

The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce presented its 10th annual Awards of Excellence Winners during a January gala. Bill Gothmann received the 2012 Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year Award (top left), while the Entrepreneur of the Year award went to The Grounds Guys-Kenny Smith.

Current photos by Tammy Kimberley

Students in Mrs. Dexter’s second grade class at Freeman Elementary get into costume for the Presidential Wax Museum on Feb. 12. Students researched a president, prepared a short speech and created portrait posters in preparation for the annual event.

See CALENDAR, page 19

The story of a city From the initial incorporation campaign, to the ground Floor, to the people who have Spent the paSt 10 yearS building a municipality — thiS iS Spokane valley


The VoTe


On May 21, 2002, the incorporation vote for a new city of Spokane Valley was held. The results:

Dedicated catalysts keyed incorporation passage By Craig Howard Current Contributor

The most famous cow in the history of Spokane Valley now grazes in a parking lot on Sprague Avenue just west of Pines Road. Years ago, the porcelain bovine was paraded through the Spokane County courthouse as a kitschy but effective symbol of Spokane Valley’s status as “the cash cow” of county government. Other times, it merely stood on the side of a busy road, reminding passing motorists that establishing a city in the Valley and recouping the resulting tax revenue might just be a prudent idea after all. These days, the black and white mascot of the incorporation movement stands among other relics on an asphalt patch behind the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum in the city of Spokane Valley, now officially a decade old. “I think people in the Valley began to realize that there were a lot of tax funds being generated out here, and we really had become the cash cow for the county,” said Jayne Singleton, who was the treasurer of the “Valley Yes” incorporation campaign launched in 2001 and now serves as director of the museum. “For me, what clinched it is that the Valley didn’t have any kind of representation on the regional boards. It was time for a change.” Retired Valley businessman Ed Mertens had been part of three of the four unsuccessful incorporation campaigns prior to the May 2002 election. In 1997, voters were asked to weigh in on the proposed formation of two smaller Valley cities — Evergreen and Opportunity — but the initiative drew less than 40 percent of registered voters and failed miserably at the ballot. Previous elections in 1990, 1994 and 1995 did not fare much better.

Current photo by Craig howard

Mementos of various Valley incorporation campaigns are housed at the Spokane Valley heritage Museum on Sprague avenue near pines road. the museum’s founder, Jayne Singleton, served as treasurer of the “Valley yes” committee that advocated for cityhood leading up to the successful vote in May 2002. Undaunted, Mertens led a charge to collect the 5,000 signatures required to put Valley incorporation on the ballot again. By August 2001, the petition was ready for consideration by the Boundary Review Board. When the issue finally earned a place on the ballot the following spring, Mertens and his cohorts made sure to do their homework before the vote. “We went over to the Seattle area and talked to five or six of the cities that had incorporated,” Mertens recalls. “All of them said it’s critical to stress cutting taxes.” Mertens was joined in his efforts by a team of longtime Valley residents that included former publisher of the Spokane Valley Herald, Clark Hager, Ray Hansen, Dick Behm and Terry Lynch of the Spokane Valley Business Association and Ray Perry, past president of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. “I remember passing out brochures about incorporation, and some people had heard

of it while it was news to others,” said Perry, a 1950 graduate of Central Valley High School who once ran for Spokane County Commissioner. “I was feeling pretty confident that it would pass. People didn’t like what was going on in the city of Spokane, and they didn’t want to be part of that.” Rumblings about possible annexation of at least a portion of the Valley by its metropolitan neighbor to the west provided the incorporation campaign with another key rallying point. Even though a legal ruling in March 2002 specified that at least 60 percent of residents in the proposed annexation area must vote for the transition, the threat of absorption by Spokane was still viewed as a threat by many. In particular, the Yardley area in the western part of Spokane Valley was being actively discussed by Spokane officials as a potential addition to the city in the early 2000s. Major retail sites like Costco, Home Depot and Lowe’s signified a serious upgrade in tax revenue for the city if annexed.

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“I think the people of the Valley were tired of the politics,” said Dennis Scott, one of the leaders of the incorporation campaign. “Most folks understood that if Spokane annexed Yardley, it was going to impact the Valley, but the people of the Valley didn’t really have a voice, and they weren’t going to have a voice until they had a city.” Mertens recalls going to a hearing of the Boundary Review Board when the parameters of the proposed city were still being discussed. “There was a map in the room, and I pointed out that we had collected signatures for the petition from residents in the Yardley area, and they couldn’t just take it out of there,” he said. Eventually, the BRB kept Yardley in the prospective Spokane Valley boundaries. If approved, the city would cover almost 39 square miles and include just more than 80,700 residents. While Yardley was a temporary sticking point, Singleton remembers hearing concern from Valley old-timers about the impact of an urban approach in a community rooted in fruit orchards and horse barns. “People were asking how you retain the Valley’s wide-open spaces and rural identity if it was going to become a city,” Singleton said. Lower taxes become one of the catch phrases of the “Valley Yes” movement that pounded the pavement in the early part of 2002. Cary Driskell, who currently serves as city attorney for Spokane Valley, was named director of the incorporation committee and pointed to concrete numbers, such as the drop in property tax — from $1.88 per assessed $1,000 to $1.60 — that would take place if the Valley became a city.

See GROUNDWORK, page 8

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Spokane valley 10-year anniverSary



the incorporation of Spokane Valley in 2003 meant a new collection of employees once affiliated with surrounding jurisdictions like Spokane County and the city of Moscow, idaho. the quartet above represents nearly four decades of experience with the city of Spokane Valley. From left to right: Community development director John hohman; planner Micki harnois; City Clerk Chris bainbridge and Senior Capital Facilities engineer Steve worley.

Incorporation had ripple effect on Spokane County, other jurisdictions By Craig Howard Current Contributor

Scott Kuhta was preparing for a week’s vacation in Hawaii when he received a layoff notice from Spokane County. The day he left for the islands, the jettisoned associate planner updated his resume in hopes of latching on with a community development department in the county’s newest jurisdiction. After returning to the Inland Northwest, Kuhta would be called in for an interview and discover he had a job with the city of Spokane Valley before he could unpack his souvenir abalone shell. “When it first hit, I was disappointed because we’d been working on a lot of really important regulations with the county,” said Kuhta, now Spokane Valley’s planning manager. “But once I got out here, it was a huge opportunity to start with a city from scratch.” Kuhta was part of a mass exodus from Spokane County following the passage of

Current photo by Craig howard

Valley incorporation in May 2002. Over two dozen of Kuhta’s colleagues in the planning and building division found themselves looking for work as the county grappled with ways to deal with the loss of nearly 40 percent of its revenue generated through Valley property tax and sales tax. “I think everyone was surprised it passed, including the proponents,” said Ross Kelley,

Thank you for welcoming us to the Valley!

517 N. Pines • Spokane Valley

509.891.7662 Serving Breakfast & Lunch Daily Mon-Sat 7am-2pm • Sun 7am-3pm

who was working as Spokane County head engineer when the vote occurred. “It wasn’t a joyous time at the county, but it wasn’t a time of great despair either. Mostly, our biggest concern was ‘What did we do to make the citizens out there so upset?’” Kelley, now main principal at Spokanebased HDR Engineering, recalls hearing feedback from Valley residents that the shift away from the county had nothing to do with complaints over the quality of public works, but with issues surrounding governance, land use and tax revenue. “It wasn’t about us,” Kelley said. A resident of the Spokane Valley area since 1994, Steve Worley had been working with the county public works department for nearly nine years when the Valley voted to form its own city. He left his job as a county stormwater engineer in the summer of 2003 to take a job with a jurisdiction in his own backyard. “I saw it as a cool opportunity,” said Worley, who serves as the Valley’s senior engineer in charge of capital projects. “I had a background in capital projects with the Corps of Engineers in Alaska, so it was good to be back doing that sort of work.” It was quickly apparent to Worley and the rest of the public works crew that the startup city would run a lean ship. When he attended meetings involving Spokane County, his former employer would typically send three representatives to address the discussion that Worley was covering by himself. “This staff has accomplished so much with so few people,” Worley said. “We’ve always been about efficiency.” Worley said that the confluence of employees from various backgrounds gave Spokane Valley a unique advantage when it came to taking on the challenges of an unseasoned city. “It afforded us flexibility in a lot of areas,”

Worley said. “We had so many staff from different jurisdictions, so there were all these great ideas about addressing issues from various perspectives.” Micki Harnois preceded Kuhta as a Valley transplant from the county’s dismantled building and planning division. In the rumblings after the May vote, she recalls hearing that some 40 percent of the department’s workload was located in the soonto-be incorporated city. “It was kind of exciting to be in on the ground floor,” Harnois said of the move to the Valley. “There were things like getting the new permit center set up that not many people get to be a part of.” Former county employee John Hohman migrated to the Valley a decade ago along with the group that included Kuhta, Worley and Harnois. Now Spokane Valley’s community development director, Hohman’s initial workload included a cavalcade of responsibilities in areas like stormwater management, traffic engineering, review and inspection of projects and monitoring street maintenance. As for the residual benefits of incorporation, Hohman said the decision to break free from the county was a good one. “This city has always focused on the citizens,” he said. “When you look at it, there is a much better level of service now than what the citizens were receiving before.” While folks at the county courthouse may not have been celebrating the final tallies of the incorporation vote, Spokane Valley’s neighbors to the east had a different view of the impending transition. Liberty Lake had passed its own ballot for cityhood in November 2000, officially incorporating in August of the following year. As a gesture of support for the latest city formation, Mayor Steve Peterson showed up at one of the first Spokane

See MIGRATION, page 7

Spokane valley 10-year anniverSary

Our sincere appreciation to the many leaders and public servants who have seen the city of Spokane Valley through a successful first decade. Thank you to the City Council members and their staff for making the city a nice place to live and do business.


15404 E. Springfield Ave., Suite 200 Spokane Valley

March 2013 • 3

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Spokane valley 10-year anniverSary


I wanted people to take note that Spokane Valley was a contender,” she said. “I still keep up with what’s going on, and even though I’m not sure I agree with the direction the current council is going, I’m still very supportive of the city.”


Mayor’s office occupied by quartet of quality leaders

Rich Munson — 2008-2009

By Craig Howard Current Contributor

While it’s common to see the “face” of Spokane Valley in the front row at a festive ribbon-cutting or waving to parade-goers from an antique convertible, you won’t find the mayor of Washington’s ninth largest city organizing the municipal budget or mapping out the pay structure for department leads. Since its inception, the city of Spokane Valley — unlike its neighbors in Liberty Lake, Spokane and Millwood — has operated on a “weak mayor” system in which a city manager oversees the day-to-day business of the jurisdiction. The mayor — an elected member of the City Council who is chosen by fellow members of the governing board — serves mostly in a ceremonial role, conducting council meetings and appearing on behalf of Spokane Valley at a variety of local and regional functions. “That form of government was the best for a startup situation,” said Mike DeVleming, Spokane Valley’s first mayor who served from November 2002 to the end of 2004. “We had a council where no one had the time to be a full-time mayor. This allowed for more flexibility.” While more of a figurehead, each Spokane Valley mayor over the years has emerged as far more than window dressing. From setting the tone for discussions critical to the city’s future to representing Spokane Valley in settings from Olympia to Washington, D.C., the quartet of mayors since incorporation have proven their mettle at the dais and beyond.

Mike DeVleming — 2002-2004 Mike DeVleming never lobbied for the post of mayor in the first whirlwind year of the city’s newly formed government. Instead, the longtime employee of Vera Water and Power was appointed by a majority of his colleagues on the City Council who felt he had the right demeanor to handle the task. “I recall a lot of politicking going on for mayor back then,” DeVleming said. “I thought Dick Denenny would be the pick just because he’d been president of the (Greater Spokane Valley) Chamber. I remember talking to Mike Flanigan, and he said something along the lines of, ‘We’ve been talking and we think you’re the guy.’” DeVleming beat out Rich Munson and Diana Wilhite for the job and proceeded to represent the city with a charismatic approach that never crossed the line into entitled royalty. He was instrumental in organizing the first U-City Christmas Tree

Current photo by Craig howard

the title of “mayor” has been held by four people over the brief but eventful history of the city of Spokane Valley. From left to right: diana wilhite, Jan Munson (widow of former Mayor rich Munson), Mike deVleming and tom towey. Lighting that has become a Valley holiday tradition and served as the catalyst for programs like a youth advisory council and a traveling town hall meeting known as “Conversations with the Community.” “It was a lot of work, but it was fun,” DeVleming said of the city’s early years. “When you feel like the time you’re spending is having an impact on people, then it’s really rewarding.” As far as the legacy of the original council and his tenure as mayor, DeVleming said he takes pride “in building a sound foundation the city could grow from.” “I think we did a great job hiring that first city staff,” he said. “(Inaugural City Manager) Dave (Mercier) did such a fantastic job setting the tone.” As residents of the newly organized city adjusted to the changes brought about by incorporation, DeVleming found himself clearing up misunderstandings about the degree of authority wielded by the mayor. “I remember people being frustrated that I couldn’t make some change or some improvement,” DeVleming said. “Overall, I think I had the easiest responsibility of the four mayors. People cut me a lot more slack because we were a new city. For me, it was a lot more about listening than talking. It was about being there to answer questions from residents.”

Diana Wilhite — 2005-2007 Even though she saw support building for the establishment of a city in Spokane Valley, Diana Wilhite was surprised when the initiative for incorporation earned 51 percent of the ballot to pass in May of 2002. Wilhite wasted no time after the vote, chairing the finance and administration transition committee tasked with everything from finding a suitable City Hall to securing an official bank. A co-owner of a

commercial printing and promotion company with her husband Rick for the past 32 years, Wilhite brought financial savvy to her duties on the inaugural City Council and later as mayor. “There were startup costs, but I think we did one heck of a job just in the reserve we built up,” Wilhite said. “We understood we needed to have a savings account.” Faced with a steep learning curve in the early days of the city, Wilhite immersed herself in the study of proposed ordinances and other municipal documents. She also gleaned wisdom from the transitional governance team assembled by Prothman, a Seattle-based consulting firm. “We were really concentrating on topics like public safety, roads, parks and public works,” Wilhite recalls. “You needed to know something about everything. It was important to ask the right questions.” Wlihite said the first council ran efficiently “because everyone was dedicated to making sure the city was a success.” “We all had different personalities, and we didn’t always agree, but we still liked each other,” she said. “The chemistry was there.” As mayor, Wilhite made it a point to visit with city employees on a regular basis, even if it was just to ask how their day was going. “I wanted them to know that I cared about them not just as employees but as people,” she said. Wilhite lost her council seat in the 2009 general election, but has remained involved in a number of civic causes, including the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and the local Republican Party. She is still a presence at municipal retreats and workshops as she stays in tune with the city she once helped govern. “When I was mayor and on the council,

Among his many accomplishments as a municipal leader, Rich Munson is remembered for his part in upgrading the scope of public transportation across Spokane Valley. As an often marginalized swathe of unincorporated Spokane County, the Valley’s level of representation on local and regional boards had been severely lacking — until the formation of the first council. Munson and Dick Denenny were appointed to the board of the Spokane Transit Authority and launched a successful campaign to expand bus routes throughout the new city. “Rich was ready to serve on every board,” said Rich’s wife, Jan. “He wanted to do all he could to make the city a better place to live.” Sadly, Munson only saw part of his vision for the city reach fruition. He passed away on Jan. 1, 2011, at the age of 68 due to complications from leukemia. “I learned a lot from watching Rich,” said current Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey. “He helped me a great deal in terms of procedure and the dynamics of discussing the issues.” Munson served 28 years in the Air Force between active and reserve duty. After retiring as a lieutenant colonel, he began a new career on the financial frontlines as a stockbroker. Munson’s background — which included a bachelor’s degree in political science from San Jose State University and a master’s in business from the University of Arkansas — stood him in good stead as he tackled the financial and logistical challenges of a developing city. “It was always important for Rich to get out into the community and see what was going on,” Jan said. “I remember we would drive around and check on the condition of the roads.” Munson held many titles during his tenure at City Hall, including president of the Association of Washington Cities board of directors. He also served as president of the downtown Spokane branch of Rotary and on the board of Spokane Valley Partners. When his friend, Bill Gothman, asked for help with a campaign for City Council, Munson quickly organized a doorbelling effort complete with a detailed map of the city divided into canvassing sections. “Rich really sounded the horn of Spokane Valley,” said Jan. “He was very proud of this city.”

Tom Towey — 2010 to present While he’s served as mayor of Spokane Valley for more than three years now, Tom

See GAVEL, page 8

March 2013 • 5

Spokane valley 10-year anniverSary





City plans year of events honoring 10th birthday eventS  Birthday Party Carnival 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 16 CenterPlace Regional Event Center From birthday cake and the mayor's welcoming remarks to carnival-style food vendors and games, this celebration is brimming with entertainment and activities. Among the featured events are Native American Heritage and Culture rooms, musical entertainment provided by local student groups, presentations on local history from the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, a dance with the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane tribes and a RUR Bazaar featuring recycled, upcycled and repurposed arts and crafts.

 Spokane Valley Group Night with Spokane Shock 7 p.m. April 27 Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena Special Spokane Shock gameday festivities will honor the city's 10th birthday.

 Celebration of the Valley Heritage 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 17-19 The corner of Sprague Avenue and Herald Road Event presented by the the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum will feature demonstrations of "the way it was."

 Spokane Valley Group Night with the Spokane Indians 6:30 p.m. July 6 Avista Stadium Special Spokane Indians gameday festivities will honor the city's 10th birthday.

 Spokane Valley Cycle Celebration July 28 Save the date for what a local group is hoping will be an inaugural Spokane Valley


1318 N Liberty Lake Road • Liberty Lake (Albertsons Shopping Center)

(509) 926-7272 Celebrating 15 years in Liberty Lake Visit us at to find a location near you

Congratulations, City of Spokane Valley, for 10 Years!

6 • March 2013



Schimmels represents last vestige of original City Council By Craig Howard Current Contributor

Gary Schimmels can remember a time when there was more talk of the summer apple crop in Spokane Valley than the latest zoning amendment. The last remaining member of the inaugural Spokane Valley City Council has witnessed the rural heyday of the region, the construction of an interstate highway and the arrival of a city — all while maintaining a wise and even-keeled outlook that takes each change in stride. When Schimmels describes the characteristics of his lifelong home, he may as well be talking about himself. “It’s a good, low-key place,” he said. After the vote for Valley incorporation passed in May 2002, Schimmels became one of 49 candidates for the first City Council on the primary ballot that September. He and Dick Collins moved on to the general election from a list of eight contenders for the Pos. 4 chair. In November, Schimmels collected just over 51 percent of the vote to earn a seat on the first governing board. He has retained a place around the dais ever since. “After the incorporation vote, I jumped right in,” said Schimmels, whose first postvote responsibility was on the transition committee for roads. “I think if I hadn’t done that, I would have been on the outside, looking in.” Schimmels’ professional background added valuable insight to the newly elected collection of city leaders, particularly when it came to streets and infrastructure. He spent 30 years in road construction and utilities development, including eight years as a general superintendent working with local paving contractors.

CELEBRATION Continued from page 5

bicycling event timed with the city's anniversary that will be held for years to come.

 Spokane Valley Day at the Fair Sept. 10 Spokane County Fair and Expo Center This date has been designated as Spokane Valley Day during the course of the 2013 Spokane County Interstate Fair.

Spokane valley 10-year anniverSary When Schimmels ran for council in 2002, it wasn’t his first bid for public office. A longtime board member of Consolidated Water District No. 19 in Greenacres, Schimmels understood the keys to running an effective campaign as well as the logistics of governing within a group. “There was a lot going on when we first started the city,” Schimmels said. “You had to pay attention to everything or you’d be in trouble. That learning curve was a big deal.” Schimmels pointed to the construction of the CenterPlace Regional Event Center and Discovery Playground as two of the highlights of the city in the decade since incorporation. He also alluded to a late summer celebration in the CenterPlace neighborhood that has taken off since incorporation. “Valleyfest is one of the most important things we have as a city,” Schimmels said. Council Member Chuck Hafner, who joined the governing board in 2011, said Schimmels has provided critical elements of continuity and context over the years at City Hall. “Gary’s been a good leader, and you can always rely on his word,” Hafner said. “He gives us the background. It’s important to have someone who knows what’s gone on in the past and what’s happening in the present. When I joined the council, he was outstanding in terms of letting me know about the process and the history.” Schimmels ran for re-election in 2005 and 2009, the only Pos. 4 candidate on the ballot each time. In 2009, he was included in the “Positive Change” coalition that swept in a quartet of new leaders and ushered original council members Rich Munson and Diana Wilhite out of office. While Schimmels sided with certain Positive Change platforms such as opposition to the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan, he says he was not on board with every priority of the new majority. “I think that election was a sign of the times, mostly because of SARP, but I didn’t subscribe to everything the group supported,” he said. Schimmels was part of the council vote led by Positive Change in January 2010 that unceremoniously dismissed longtime City Manager Dave Mercier. Looking back, Schimmels says it was “a move that could

 Valleyfest Sept. 20-22 Sprague Avenue and Mirabeau Park From the opening "Hearts of Gold" parade through the weekend's festivities along the park and CenterPlace campus, city officials are planning special touches in honor of the city's birthday.

conteStS "This is Spokane Valley" A special video and photo contest honoring the city's birthday is planned for

Spokane Valley deputy Mayor gary Schimmels is the only remaining representative from the original Spokane Valley City Council formed in 2002. the lifelong Valley resident was one of 49 candidates in the primary election held in September of that year, just four months after the passage of incorporation. Current photo by Craig howard

have been handled better.” “We’re one of the few cities to have reserves, and I still thank Dave for that,” Schimmels said. As for the fallout with the fellow members of the first council, Schimmels said the Positive Change affiliation “definitely put a strain on the relationship.” He still talks regularly with Steve Taylor, who was part of the council from 2002 to 2009 and now serves as city manager of Kelso in southwest Washington. “I try to talk things out,” Schimmels said. “I really do my best to try and get along with everyone.” Those who raised concerns with the Valley’s lack of representation on regional boards prior to incorporation can take heart knowing Schimmels is doing his part to make sure the city has a voice. He currently serves on committees of five organizations, including the Spokane Transit Authority and the Spokane Regional Transportation Council, and was part of 465 hours spent by council members last year on close to 20 boards. Schimmels has also been critical to less glamorous, but essential, discussions involving topics like waste management

and stormwater maintenance.

March 31 through July 26, with winners to be announced and celebrated on Sept. 21 at ValleyFest. Details of the contest will be available at the March 16 party or as they become finalized at www.spokanevalley10. com.

anniversary Community Recognition Program. One honoree is being selected each month from the pool of nominations, and they will be celebrated during a City Council meeting and honored in a special ad set aside each month in The Current.


Instructions and forms are available at The earlier nominations are received the better, but the final deadline to nominate for the final award will be Dec. 5.

Community Recognition Program Individuals, organizations and businesses that make Spokane Valley a better place are being honored monthly at City Hall with a Key to the City during a special 10-year

While not the most vocal presence at council meetings, Schimmels is known as a leader who does his homework and applies scrutiny to each issue. He is at City Hall bright and early every Monday morning to mull over the municipal agenda with Mayor Tom Towey. “He always knows what’s going on in the city,” said Sue Passmore, Spokane Valley’s administrative assistant to the mayor and City Council. “If he has questions, he’ll go to staff and do his research. He also knows everything and everyone in the Valley.” Currently serving as deputy mayor, Schimmels has yet to announce his intentions for serving beyond the end of 2013, when his four-year term is up. Whatever happens, chances are this vigilant Valleyite won’t be far from any discussion involving the place he’s always called home. “I think we can be really proud of this city,” Schimmels said. “I think we’re better off than we were before when the county couldn’t keep up. When citizens don’t like something, they can come and talk to us. We’ll be here.”

Source (and for more information):

March 2013 • 7

Spokane valley 10-year anniverSary



From voting to incorporate to celebrating a decade, milestones in city of Spokane Valley history

• It all began on May 21, when Spokane Valley citizens voted to incorporate • The first City Council sworn in on Nov. 20 included Mayor Mike DeVleming, Deputy Mayor Diana Wilhite, and Council members Dick Denenny, Mike Flanigan, Richard Munson, Gary Schimmels and Steve Taylor • The population at the time of incorporation: 82,000 • Initial employees: Six temporary, interim staff members • County Commissioners voted to turn over Mirabeau Point community center project to new city (now known as CenterPlace)


2003 • On March 31, the city officially incorporated • City Hall space leased at Redwood Plaza • City Council contracted with Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services • Dave Mercier hired as first city manager • In a busy first year, 104 ordinances and 454 resolutions were adopted, and 87 contracts were signed

• Construction began on CenterPlace, the city’s first major capital project • Mirabeau Park received new stage and its first “official” tree • Draft of city’s first vision statement completed: “A community of opportunity where individuals and families can grow and play, and businesses will flourish and prosper.”

2004 • Citizens voted to annex into Spokane County Library District • CenterPlace enjoyed grand opening event • City established a public information function and a city attorney’s office

MIGRATION Continued from page 2

Valley council meetings with a check for $50,000. “When we first started, we didn’t even have money for pencils or paper,” Peterson said. “We just wanted to help the Valley out. We told them they could pay us back when they got the money.” While Liberty Lake has taken less of a contract-based route to government compared to Spokane Valley — starting its own police force, municipal library and even overseeing animal protection for a time — Peterson said both cities faced the dilemma of a shortage in representation and services under the county regime.


• Bill Gothmann joined City Council, replacing Mike Flanigan

• Rose Dempsey joined City Council, replacing Mike DeVleming

• City adopted first comprehensive plan and first parks and recreation master plan

• State Legislature appropriated $300,000 to build Greenacres Park

• Spokane Valley Police Department precinct building purchased from Spokane County

• Launched free movies at Mirabeau Park

• City developed year-round recreation programs



• Largely new City Council takes office; including Mayor Tom Towey and Council members Dean Grafos, Bob McCaslin and Brenda Grassel. Gary Schimmels was appointed deputy mayor. Other Council Members included Bill Gothmann and Rose Dempsey

• New gateway signage at Appleway and Thierman erected as an entryway and welcome into Spokane Valley

• Starting the year as Deputy City Manager Mike Jackson, he became interim city manager until August, when the Council agreed to hire him as the permanent city manager

* Two emergency declarations made during the year, one for the Valley View Fire and the other as the city unburied from a severe winter snowstorm


• The City Council designated, for the first time, money in the budget toward street preservation projects

• In the new Council’s first official meeting on Jan. 5, the resignation of City Manager Dave Mercier was asked for and received. Council members Rose Dempsey and Bill Gothmann opposed the move.

• Held five-year anniversary celebration


• Tom Towey re-elected by his peer Council members to continue service as mayor, and Gary Schimmels likewise maintained his role as deputy mayor

• Greenacres Park officially opened • Economic Development ad hoc committee formed to study the issue and make recommendations to the City Council

• When the 2010 Census data was finished being tabulated, the city of Spokane Valley was labeled the 10th largest city in the state with 89,755 residents




• Land purchased that would later become Greenacres Park

• After years of discussion and fine-tuning, the City Council approved the SpragueAppleway Revitalization Plan

• Regulations expanded to allow residents to raise poultry

• Discovery Playground opened

• State Legislature appropriated $800,000 toward construction of Children’s Universal Park (now known as Discovery Playground at Mirabeau Park)

• City brought snow removal services in house

• Bike/pedestrian plan adopted

• Completed Mirabeau Springs overlook • Held first Arbor Day celebration • Finalized city policies and procedures

• November saw the election of a number of new Council members who campaigned under the “Positive Change” banner. Founding Council members Diana Wilhite and Richard Munson were defeated, and Dick Denenny decided not to run again, leaving Gary Schimmels (who identified himself as part of the Positive Change group) as the only remaining of the original Council members • “Working the Line” sculpture of a mountain man donated to the city by the Spokane Valley Arts Commission

“I went out and campaigned for Valley incorporation,” said Peterson, who returned to the mayor’s office in 2012 after a four-year hiatus. “The county was designed to manage rural services, whereas cities are designed to manage urban services. I think both Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley have brought something to the county that it didn’t have before. The county had to readjust its sails, and I think we’re all better off.” Chris Bainbridge was working in Latah County, not Spokane County, when she heard of potential job openings in a new city to the north. As the city clerk for Moscow, Idaho, Bainbridge had visited the Spokane Valley area a handful of times, but didn’t know much about the incorporation effort. When she first told the Moscow city supervisor that she

• Much-debated Sprague-Appleway Revitalization Plan is revoked • Implemented the broadcasting and web streaming of City Council meetings, and the Spokane Valley Business Association donated the cost of the first six months • Arne Woodard joins City Council following resignation of Rose Dempsey; a couple months later, Chuck Hafner was appointed to replace Bob McCaslin. Both appointments held up before voters in November, with Hafner unopposed. • Also in November, Dean Grafos was re-elected to the City Council and Ben Wick was elected to the seat vacated by Bill Gothmann • “Harvest Time on the Big Missouri” sculpture of a berry picker donated by the Spokane Valley Arts Commission is installed and dedicated at Mirabeau Park

would be leaving to become city clerk in the region’s newest incorporated town, he was less than impressed. “I remember him saying ‘Well, you know they don’t even have a downtown,’” Bainbridge said. While Spokane Valley may still be searching for the signature center of its city, those who follow the happenings at City Hall will tell you Bainbridge has been one of the reliable pillars here since her first day in June 2003. Along with her job as municipal historian — which involves archiving records from every department — Bainbridge is the steady presence at each City Council meeting, making sure all goes according to protocol. “It’s been so much fun to be a part of this,” Bainbridge said. “I was more on the

2013 • Rod Higgins is appointed to the City Council, replacing Brenda Grassel who moved outside city limits • The city initiated a yearlong celebration of its 10th birthday, including a slate of events, a community recognition program and an official birthday party planned for March 16

Sources: City of Spokane Valley documents, Public Information Officer Carolbelle Branch and staff research

sidelines at first, but (former City Manager) Dave (Mercier) encouraged me to speak up. The early days were special — there was a sense that we were all in this together.” In addition to her contributions to Spokane Valley’s sparkling record of state audits, Bainbridge has been integral to a number of important city initiatives over the years, including the launch of the municipal code and the formation of the public safety committee. “I like working with the City Council,” Bainbridge said. “I’ve learned so much more here than I did when I worked in Moscow. The people here have just been great. We’re all working together to make this a wonderful place to live.”

8 • March 2013

GAVEL Continued from page 4

Towey is usually recognized more for a 32year career as manager of several Rosauer’s grocery stores. For the low-key Towey, who grew up in the area and graduated from West Valley High School, the lack of notoriety is not a worry. “I’d never been in politics before this,” said Towey, who was first elected to office as part of the Positive Change sweep in 2009. “I just wanted to be on council.” Towey attended council meetings regu-

Spokane valley 10-year anniverSary

larly in the two years leading up to his official arrival. In observing municipal proceedings as an interested citizen, Towey said he “took notes and learned the dynamics of how the council operates.” Like the mayors before him, Towey hears from residents who are convinced he runs the show at City Hall. “I encounter people who don’t understand our system of government and think I can do a lot more,” he said. “I like the system we have. We have a great city manager. If you have a strong mayor system, it’s imperative to have the right person in that role, and sometimes elections can just be

popularity contests.” While Towey flew under the banner of Positive Change, a movement critical of inaugural City Manager Dave Mercier and initiatives like the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan, he gives Mercier credit for his role in forming a solid financial foundation that, to this day, has translated into a healthy reserve.

Inland Power Congratulates the Spokane Valley on 10 Years of Success



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“It’s a tribute that from incorporation on, every council before us has been very conscious about spending money,” Towey said.

“Dave was an absolute genius at starting a city,” Towey said.

When it comes to presiding over council meetings, Towey said he strives for fairness and balance. He singled out City Clerk Chris Bainbridge for her support in “making sure everything runs smoothly.”

Spokane Valley’s secure economic standing is magnified when Towey represents the city at various conferences throughout the state. It is there where he hears of troubling deficits and shaky rev-

“As we’re discussing issues, my job is to make sure each council member has a voice,” Towey said. “At those meetings, I’ve learned that, as mayor, you have to think fast on your feet.”


exercise as “a very targeted ‘get out the vote’ effort.” “Going into the vote, we were reasonably confident that we had the support,” Driskell said. Still, Driskell remembers the atmosphere as “tense” on election night. Incorporation supporters gathered at the Red Lion Hotel on Sullivan — now the Mirabeau Park Hotel — to see early returns and hope for the best. While each one of the centralized urban areas cast their ballots for the city, certain outlying sections of the Valley, including a suburban section of Ponderosa and rural neighborhoods in the outer east and southwest of the boundary, did not reach the required simple majority. By the time the ballots had been tabulated, the city of Spokane Valley had won approval — but only by a slim margin of 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent. The final totals showed 10,272 voting for the city; 9,680 against, a total that represented just under 49 percent of registered voters. According to state law, the new jurisdiction would have up to a year from the vote to elect a City Council and assemble a municipal staff. “At some point, we knew it was looking pretty good,” Singleton said. “It took a lot of effort and dedication to have incorporation pass. When you look at the history of the Valley, this is one of those significant moments that is right up there. We were finally a city.”

Continued from page 1


enue outlooks in cities and towns across Washington.

“I lived in the Valley and saw the low level of service we were getting for our tax revenue,” said Driskell. “I also didn’t feel like the structure of the county commissioners was adequate for governing over a large urban area that the Valley had become. We needed more localized representation.” While Driskell, Mertens, Singleton and the rest of the “Valley Yes” crew were extolling the benefits of incorporation, a vocal opposition movement was warning against the cost of “another layer of government,” the risk of governance by unproven leaders and the shaky rationale of leaving a county system that had built some $17 million in reserves. In the issue of the Spokesman Review’s Valley Voice published just four days before the May 21, 2002 election, anti-city letters to the editor outnumbered pro-incorporation messages 11 to five, while the Valley Citizens Against Incorporation ran a quintet of ads proclaiming “No New Taxes!” and “No More Debt!” “Let’s quit wasting our tax dollars on these phony elections,” resident John Papich wrote in the May 18 Voice. “The latest attempt to incorporate the Valley, funded by a few special interest groups, is no different than the others.” One group taking interest in the possibility of an established jurisdiction was the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, a coalition of businesses that had never taken an official stance on incorporation in the previous four votes. After hearing feedback from experts like Bob Jean, city manager of University Place who had served as consultant for several incorporation efforts and speculated that the city of Spokane Valley would have a reserve of as much as $10 million, the chamber added its endorsement. “Getting the business community to support it was a big step,” said Perry. City advocates doorbelled, called, placed signs and handed out flyers in the months leading up to the vote. Driskell recalls the

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Distributed for free with The Current, the Spokane Valley 10-year Anniversary pullout is possible because of its advertisers. Please consider them when offering your patronage. City of Spokane Valley Inland Power & Light Company Little Euro Cafe Papa Murphy’s Pring Corporation Rockwood Health System Toby K. Hallowitz, ND, MSOM, LAc

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The Current

March 2013 • 17 25

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The Current

26 • March 2013 18

Highlights from your Chamber Spokane Valley Chamber Business Show


“Innovative Ideas to Grow Your Business”


Wednesday, March 27 • 2-7 p.m. Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center M Aj O R SP O N S O R :

AND HALF MARATHON Submitted photo

Attendees mingle among the vendors at the 2012 Spokane Valley Chamber Business Show. This year’s show will provide more networking time and space than in the past.

MAY 19TH - 2013

general public. This year’s show features: 5 - 7 P. M . : A F T E R HOu R S N e t Wo r k i N g SP o N S o r :

• oversized 8' x 10’ Booths at last year’s pricing (at least until 3/1) — Register today! • More networking space/time, with fewer distractions and more interactions

Don’t miss the opportunity to promote your business at the Business Show serving the greater Spokane Valley. The Business Show is an excellent way to cultivate business relationships with Chamber Members and to develop leads from the

For more information, visit our home page at

Chamber events in March

cutting and certificate presentations at 5:30 p.m.

March 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Government Action Committee meeting, Valley Hospital Education Center, 12606 E. Mission, Spokane Valley. Program: TBA. Cost: $20.00 (includes lunch). Register at March 7, 5:30 to 7 p.m., “Buon Giorno” Classica Italia Trip informational meeting, Valley Chamber Business Center, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, lower level, Liberty Lake. Please RSVP at 924-4994 or info@ March 13, 4:30 to 6 p.m., H & R Block Open House, 9211 E. Montgomery, Ste. D, Spokane Valley. Ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m. March 14, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Business/ Education Committee meeting, location and program TBA. March 15, Business Connections Breakfast, Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. Program: Overview of Crime in Greater Spokane County with Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Coffee and networking begins at 6:30 a.m., program 7 to 8:30 a.m. Cost is $25 for members and guests, $35 for non-members. Register at March 20, 4 to 6 p.m., “Meet the Chamber” member reception and 79th Anniversary Celebration, Peters Hardware, 12118 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley. Ribbon

• Proactive community advertising — better attendance and focused opportunities to connect

March 27, 2 to 7 p.m., Spokane Valley Chamber Business Show: “Innovative Ideas to Grow Your Business,” Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. Free to the public. March 28, noon, Transportation Committee meeting, Longhorn Barbecue, 2315 N. Argonne Road, Spokane Valley. Program: TBA. Be sure to check our website at for more details and updates.

New members

Please join us in welcoming the following members who have recently joined the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce: A Personal Fit Cruise One David Fun Flicks Galaxy Grind Grady Financial Network, LLC Mountain Dog Sign Company Operation Healthy Family Solar Express, LLC Squishy Peanut Marketing, LLC Valpak

Early Registration thru March 31, 2013

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

The Current

March 2013 • 19 27



and under free. For more: 924-0588 or www.

Continued from page 16

March 8-10 | Custer’s 36th annual Spring Arts & Crafts Show 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Friday),

Rockford Crochet Class Saturdays, 10 a.m.

to noon, 229 South First, Rockford. Join other participants at the Rockford Community Center. Other types of craft, sewing, needle work are also enjoyed. For more: 291-4716 or index.php/calendar

Spokane Valley Eagles 16801 E. Sprague.

Breakfast served Sundays 9 to 11:30 a.m. Bingo on Thursdays at 1 p.m. For more: www.foe3433. com

MUSIC & THE ARTS March 6 | Whitworth College Jazz Ensemble 7 p.m., Church of the Resurrection,

15319 E.8th Ave., Spokane Valley. Come enjoy jazz played be one of the Northwest’s finest college jazz bands. Dessert will be served after the concert. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students (18 and under). For more: 926-6540 or 927-9678

March 7 | Everyone’s Irish in March! Celtic Nots 6:30 p.m. Spokane Valley Library,

12004 E. Main Ave. Celtic Nots is a Spokanebased acoustic band playing music based on the Celtic Music traditions of improvisation, layered harmonies and interspersed melodies. The group is also playing noon March 9 at Otis Orchards Library and noon March 30 at Argonne Library. For more:

March 9 & 10 | CV Spring Arts & Crafts Fair 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday), 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(Sunday). Central Valley High School, 821 S. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. $2 admission benefits CV band programs. For more: 228-5100

March 13-16, 20-23 | “Little Shop of Horrors” 7:30 p.m., Central Valley Theatre, 821

S. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. Over 80 CVHS theater and music students will present this Broadway sci-fi classic musical. Ticket prices will be $10 presale and $12 at the door. This show rated PG. For more:

March 15 & 16 | “American Way” 7:30 p.m.

Ignite Community Theatre, 10814 E. Broadway, Spokane Valley.This show, which will be performed in “reading stage” format, shows what happens when those with super powers suddenly realize that they are powerless. Free to the public; donations accepted. For more: or 795-0004

March 22-23 | “The Reluctant Dragon”

This fantasy/comedy will be presented by Liberty Lake Community Theatre at a location and time TBD. For more:

CIVIC & BUSINESS Feb. 28 | City Hall at the Mall 10 a.m. to 9

p.m. Spokane Valley Mall, 14700 E. Indiana Ave., 2nd floor food court. Opportunity for community members to meet elected city of Spokane Valley officials and staff members. For more: 720-5411 or

Feb. 28 to March 3 | 35th Annual Custer Home & Yard Show Noon to 9 p.m. (Thursday

& Friday), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday), Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Features hundreds of displays and demonstrations offering the latest in home and yard related products, services and improvements. Admission, which is good for all weekend, is $7 for adults and children 12

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday), Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Enjoy a festive spring atmosphere with exhibitors decorating their displays and selling items for gifts and home décor. Admission, which is good for all weekend, is $7 for adults and children 12 and under free. For more: 924-0588 or

March 6 | State of Spokane Valley presentation Noon to 1 p.m. Spokane Valley

Mall, 14700 E. Indiana Ave., 2nd floor community room. Mayor Tom Towey will review accomplishments from 2012 and talk about efforts to help Spokane Valley prosper into the future. He will also have a presentation from 6 to 7 p.m. the same day at CenterPlace Regional Event Center auditorium. For more: 720-5411 or cbranch@

March 9 | Desperate Housewives Shop Hop 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A day of shopping, tasty

treats, new products and free gifts. Participating locations include Orchid Boutique, Jemma Lane Boutique, Simply Northwest and Trellis Marketplace. For more: 927-8206

CHURCH DIRECTORY Greenacres Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

March 14 | “Spring Bling” Spokane & N. Idaho Power Woman Networking Event

5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Spokane Events & Catering, 10512 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley. A free networking event mixing business with girls night out. Men also welcome. For more: Charitydoyl@

March 15 | Business Connections Breakfast 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Mirabeau Park Ho-

tel.1100 N. Sullivan, Spokane Valley. Program will be an overview of crime in the greater Spokane County with Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Cost is $25 for members and guests, $35 for non-members. For more:

March 15-17 | 10th annual Inland Northwest Motorcycle Show & Sale 3 to

8 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday), Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children five and under. For more: www.

March 27 | Spokane Valley Chamber Business Show “Innovative Ideas to Grow Your Business” 2 to 7 p.m. Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan. Free to the public. For more:

Recurring Spokane Conservation District Tree and Shrub Sale Spokane Conservation District,

210 N. Havana St., Spokane. Get a great deal on native tree and shrub seedlings. Orders can be placed through March 15. Pick up seedlings April 5-6. Cost: $9 per 5 seedlings. For more: 535-7274 or

HEALTH & RECREATION Feb. 28 | Healthy Communities Network Get Connected 3 to 6 p.m. CenterPlace

9:30 a.m.

WorShip Service 10:45 a.m.

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

18010 E. Mission - 926.2461 Established 1902 Member of CUIC

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

March 9 | Senior Irish Festival 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1201 N. Evergreen Road, Spokane Valley. The event will feature live music, food and community tours. For more: 922-3100 or

Sunday School

Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. Fun and free event to learn more about and connect with local health, wellness and community services providers. Door prizes, demonstrations, activities and more. For more: 720-5408 or

March 9 | Riverview Little League Spring Training HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo

23304 E. Wellesley, Otis Orchards, WA


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

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


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

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

Ave., Liberty Lake. Available for ages 4 to 15. Also, registration is now open for the spring season. For more:

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

March 10 | Spa Day on the Palouse 1

to 4:30 p.m., On Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop, 12212 E. Palouse Hwy., Valleyford. This afternoon will include food, refreshments, chair massage, reflexology session, stretching clinic and essential oils lecture by licensed therapists. Cost is $25 per person for entire session. The event is limited to 10 people; register by March 1. For more or to reserve a spot: 747-6294

March 16 | Yoga for Back Care Twist workshop 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunflower Yoga,

6413 E. 14th Ave., Spokane Valley. The public is invited to this workshop on how twisting poses can help free the spinal muscles and release shoulder and neck tension. Cost is $25, and preregistration is required. To register or for more: or 535-7369

March 16 | “Freeman Freeze” 5K & 1-mile Fun Run/Walk 10:30 a.m., Freeman

High School. Proceeds from this fourth annual event benefit the Freeman High School track team. Cost is $25 which includes race entry, t-shirt and lunch or $15 for race only. For more:

March 22-24, 29-31 | USA Volleyball Pacific Northwest Qualifier HUB Sports

Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave., Liberty Lake. Play is also scheduled at the Spokane Convention Center and Eastern Washington University for this event, one of the largest annual events in the Spokane area. For more: pacificnwqualifier. org

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

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

YOUR CHURCH GOES HERE For as little as $7 a month, area churches can share service times, special programs or upcoming events in The Current. Call to learn more about the Church Directory: 242-7752

Recurring Spokane Youth Sports Association registration open Spring sports include soccer at a new Valley location (register by March 21); track and field (register by March 21); and US lacrosse (register by March 14). Also accepting registration for summer sports. For more: 5361800 or

Windermere Marathon and Half Marathon Early registration for the May 19th

race that runs from Liberty Lake to Riverfront Park is available until March 31. For more: All calendar listings were provided to or gathered by Current staff. To have an event considered for the calendar, please submit information by the 15th of the month to

28 • March 2013 20

The Current

At the Liberty Lake PORTAL

IT-Lifeline Reaching Nationwide

Paid Advertisement

terrupted business operation come flood, fire, earthquake, or worse.

“and I am hoping that many will share it with friends and family.” He plans to distribute the book through retail stores, Amazon, IBooks and Google books. Anyone trying to find his book can visit for help.

IT-Lifeline is in the business of ensuring their customers can continue to do business when disasThe Language of Forgiving ter strikes. As the leading provider of enterprise Charlie Finck has spent the last 28 years teaching class data vaulting and recovery services, this people how to forgive. And while his formal education cutting edge company literally provides a lifeline is extensive, his life experience truly enhances his ability Guys & Dolls Choir Forming to customers who depend on IT-Lifeline to meet to share what he knows with others throughout the Suite 100C in the Liberty Lake Portal houses the recovery times and provide minimum data loss. world. multiple business ventures of entrepreneurs Rik Because IT-Lifeline Charlie operates Liberty Cross Minisand Heidi Stewart. Rik, a fourteen year survivor customers operate in the tries from the Liberty Lake Portal, offering of an incurable form of cancer, provides consultheavily regulated indusbiblical based counseling to couples and ing services for Red Drop, a cancer detection tries of healthcare and individuals. When he first came to lease company while his wife Heidi attends to the financial services, security space in the Portal, the building manager administrative elements of her “Guys & Dolls is paramount. “I don’t asked him what he needed. The result Children’s Choir.” think there is another was a space tailored to his counselAs a four year old, Heidi Demars sang her first facility in this region that ing business, complete with additional solo. “I loved performing,” Heidi explained. I even comes close to the insulation for soundproofing. “I absohave a definite passion for music. It fuels my life technology that is in the lutely love being in the Portal,” Charlie every day.” As a standout student in the Central Liberty Lake Portal,” said remarked. “It’s quiet, it is always clean, Valley band and choir, Heidi earned a vocal scholVice President Brandon and I look out my window and see Mica arship to Brigham Young University where she Tanner. “This enables us Peak. I’ve been here eight years and the polished her musical performance skills. While at to ensure our business best part is the building management, the university, she also studied the fundamentals is always available and IT Lifeline employees conduct regular who create a professional, yet relaxed of music and vocal technique. ready, so that if a custest scenarios to ensure data security environment.” Over the past fifteen years, Heidi has applied tomer can’t use their own and accessibility for customers. In recent months however, Charlie her learning to share the power of music with space, they can come and has divided his time between counmany. “I have taught private lessons and group set up in ours.” seling and the creation of a work he hopes will reach lessons. I have led church choirs, community As IT-Lifeline expands their customer base around the world. His first book, entitled “As We Forchoirs, and children’s choirs for 15 years.” throughout the United States, they are continugive Those; How to Forgive Others, Ourselves, and God,” Heidi recalls working with a young man most of ally demonstrating their compliance with secubecame available online and in print February of 2013. us remember as possibly the only player to ever rity regulations specific to their industry. “We The book covers what makes forgiving difficult, why it is stand out on the Central Valley High School track, go through extensive audits,” Tanner explained. important to forgive and how to go about doing it. in his football uniform, and sing the National “This allows our customers to know the service “I have been teaching on forgiving for 28 years,” Anthem before a game. Heidi’s instruction and we provide is secure as or more secure than if Charlie explained. “I’ve seen it encouragement enabled MaKade Claypool they were to handle it on their own.” literally change thousands of to make the leap from choir participation to With the introducpeople’s lives.” Through his years public solo performance, and led to future tion of BlackCloud, a “The telecommunicaof study and counseling, Charlie performance opportunities with choral secure private cloud tions infrastructure in has identified a six step process groups in college. solution, Tanner based on biblical principles and While Heidi’s technique and methods will the Portal competes pointed out that prayer. Shortly before completing help those participants who aspire to perfor“IT-Lifeline is rapidly with data centers you’d the book, Charlie stumbled across mance careers, she points out another great gaining national at- find in Seattle, Denver, his grandfather’s wallet, and found benefit of music participation in any form. tention and adding inside several scriptures on forgiv“Music performance promotes confidence or San Francisco.” customers across ing, along with a note that said, and helps any child to be a better student,” Brandon Tanner the country.” In adV.P. Sales & Marketing “Forgive always.” This discovery Heidi explains. dition to their many IT-LIfeline helped confirm his belief that The Guys and Dolls Children’s Choir is open regional customers, many could be helped through to children ages five and up. They will learn their services are bethis book. and perform a Broadway Repertoire. Reing utilized by companies in Colorado, California, From time to time, Charlie has hearsals will occur in age group blocks. and Maryland with many more states to come. Look for Charlie’s book taken his expertise outside of “The most rewarding aspect of this busi“The telecommunications infrastructure in the in stores & online outlets. Liberty Lake, traveling to Germany ness is just seeing kids gain a love of music,” Portal competes with data centers you’d find in and Mexico to teach. He believes Heidi said. You can get more information Seattle, Denver, or the San Francisco bay area” that people all over the world can benefit from learning about the Choir at the Liberty Lake Portal, Suite enabling IT-Lifeline to provide customers namore about forgiving. “I am going to incorporate every 100C, or by calling Stewart at 509 217 8052. tionwide with security, redundancy, and uninmethod I can to get this book distributed,” Charlie said,


Start your story here at The Portal.

Contact Steven Daines at 509.343.0103 for information.

The Current

March 2013 • 21 29

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business Cravings, coffee and conversation at Dave’s 30 • March 2013 22

The Current


Dave’s Bar and Grill

By Kyle Hansen

12124 E. Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley 926-9640

Critics on Bikes

Reading through the menu items in the Dave’s Bar and Grill breakfast special, I began to wonder how I could finish the whole meal. Biscuits and gravy with two eggs and sausage are a big step up from the granola bar that I choke down five mornings a week in a mad rush to get to school on time. But after the first bite, I knew I wouldn’t have a problem eating the rest. Within minutes, I had engulfed a full steaming plate and found myself scraping every last gravy soaked crumb into a mound, making sure no morsel of food was left on the plate. I’ll never be too full for Dave’s. Dave’s Bar and Grill makes some of the best breakfast food I’ve eaten. The bacon is crisp and thick, the sausage is

Sleep Like a Baby!

Critics on Bikes rating: +4/4 Tour de France plump and juicy. Warm gravy bursts from every opening in a wedge of a fluffy, milky biscuit, creating a perfect flavorful combination. The eggs are cooked exactly to the customer’s preference. The whole meal combines into a variety of savory tastes in helpings that are generous, but by no means overwhelming. As soon as the doors open, Dave’s Bar and Grill comes alive with commotion. The room buzzes with the hustle of service and the healthy conversation of customers. The quality of cooking and catering at Dave’s Bar and Grill is no secret.

See DAVE’S, page 23

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Craig Swanson’s plate only looked like this for a moment before he dove into one of his favorite meals. Submitted photo

Discovering a Pearl for Valentine’s dinner By Craig Swanson Spokane Valley Scoop

Having been trying for the last 30 Valentines to find romantic spots to dine on the most important dinner night of the year, I was amazed at our good fortune this past month at The Black Pearl. Due to a scheduling snafu, Elaine discovered we had the night off from the family at about 5:30 when she got off work. She thought we should go out for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Eve since she worked late the next night. She called on her way from downtown and asked me to think about a place. I knew she would want some place special that would complement our romance, which can flare like a Piccolo Pete on Valentine’s Day. I was thinking Timber Creek Buffet would be the perfect metaphor for the smorgasbord of love we share between us. Perhaps the ribs at Charlie P’s to honor God’s ultimate gift exchange when he swapped Adam a rib for Eve. It would make the perfect Eucharist for lovers like us, or at least for a manly rib lover like me. I kept my ideas to myself, and I told her I would think about it while she was getting home. But with an attention spanning maybe an inch, my mind moved on between my goodbye and hers. Luckily, she rescued our hastily sched-

uled but crucial, must-win annual dining event with a suggestion even more brilliant than my own secret ideas. I was impressed. We had stopped in the other day at The Black Pearl, 2104 N. Pines Road, but only had the chance to look at the menu during our brief visit. It was an impressive and tempting look, worthy of a second. Cost effective with lots of tempting choices for both of us, just what we like to see in a menu. Everything is reasonable. None of the other places that advertise Valentine Dinner Specials can match The Pearl’s pricing. We could have gotten loaded nachos for $9.99, which would have gotten my vote Valentine dinner or not had we been there during Happy Hour when they are half price. Beyond a menu worthy of the sacred supper, The Pearl has class. I would say it is right up there at the top of the local class. Once cost has been factored in, it is the Valley’s Valedictorian of Valentines Value. Its three parts, casino, lounge and restaurant, are upper class but comfortable. The staff is well dressed, attentive and friendly, complimented by their surroundings of rich woodwork, atmosphere lighting and stylish furniture. I liked the second to the last buddy bar

See PEARL, page 24

The Current

March 2013 • 23 31


House Cleaning serviCes

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DAVE’S Continued from page 22

Some mornings, a line stretches all the way to the door. Customers know it’s well worth the wait. The space is small, but it creates a cozy atmosphere for a cup of coffee at the start of a day. Dave’s unique, retro style, with its black-and-white beer advertisements in frames on the walls and bins of pull tabs behind the bar counter, only adds to the comfortable setting. Since 1989, Dave’s Bar and Grill has served its customers food that can’t be

Critics on Bikes is a monthly column written by Kyle Hansen, a lifelong Millwood resident and junior at West Valley High School. Local businesses are reviewed on a four-point rating system: Ÿ (road rash); 2/4 (flat tire); ž (bike lane) and 4/4 (Tour de France).

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The Current

32 • March 2013 24


Biz Notes IntelliTect announces hires, employee training honor IntelliTect Corporation, a high-end software architecture and development consulting firm at 3024 S. Bannen Court in Spokane Valley, recently announced the hiring of two new employees and an accomplishment for two other team members. Brian Jones was hired as senior integration architect. He has worked with the company on various projects as a consultant for the past six years. Bob Kish was hired jones as director of sales. Kish previously was a regional sales manager at a Fortune 500 compnay, where he was a five-time winner of the President’s Club Award. IntelliTect also announced that two employees — Mark Mikish chaelis and Michael Stokesbary — were

selected to travel the world this year to teach Microsoft-based technologies and products through the Office Microsoft DevCamps program. Michaelis is a Microsoft regional director and Stokesbary is a SharePoint development architect and trainer.

Chamber winners announced A complete list of the winners of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence was recently released, including: Business of the Year, Tier I: Independent Wealth Connections Business of the Year, Tier II: Greenstone Corporation Entrepreneur of the Year: Kenny Smith with The Grounds Guys Human Services Award: HUB Sports Center Community Caring Award: Avista Chamber Member Volunteer of the Year: Cindra Shields Chamber Ambassador of the Year: Jennifer Nemes Educators of the Year: Morgen Larsen of the Central Valley School District and Patricia Perrenoud of the West Valley School District

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dick Behm 2012 Harry E. Nelson Citizen of the Year Award: Bill Gothmann

Accra-Fab awarded for video After completing a wastewater reclamation project last year and making a testimonial video about it, Accra-Fab Inc. of Liberty Lake was scheduled to be recognized for the video by the Washington Department of Ecology Feb. 25. The company has also been recognized for the project itself, which it estimates saves them more than $179,000 per year while producing 69,940 less gallons of wastewater. “We view this as a win-win project because what was good for the environment also was very good for our bottom line,” Accra-Fab President Greg Konkol said. Biz Notes features Valley-connected business items. Contact The Current with business news at editor@valleycurrent. com.

There are six of us. There are 100,000 of you. Submit story ideas, pictures, rants, advice, milestones, recognitions, accomplishments or just tell us the best places for a cheeseburger:

PEARL Continued from page 22

February Honoree S.C.O.P.E. S.C.O.P.E. Director Rick Scott accepts the Key to the City from Mayor Tom Towey. S.C.O.P.E. was recognized for making Spokane Valley a safer place to live, work and play.

Nominate an individual, organization or business who makes a difference in Spokane Valley. Go to or call 720-5102. Nominations are due by the 5th of each month.

in the lounge where I sat facing the door and could watch the game room behind a glass wall to my left and the long, wellappointed bar to my right. With Elaine sitting between them in my field of vision, there was no possibility of being bored. None of this backdrop was so distracting that it drew undue attention. But there were brief moments during Elaine’s retelling of her day in sometimes numbing detail that my attention wandered left to the more interesting gamers and then drifted right to the more colorful bar. But that just about never happened. I have not made it through 30 Valentines by not paying attention to my sweetheart, but The Pearl is a place that makes it easier and more interesting to look into her eyes while looking occasionally beyond. It is also a place that delivered the perfect romantic dinner for the right price. She got Coconut Prawns for $7.99, which were quite good. I know because she shared two with me.

Eye on the Valley: Results Perry wins February contest The winner of the February Eye on the Valley contest was Diane Perry, who was one of three readers who correctly identified all 12 photos in the contest found on page 31 of the February Current. Perry received a $20 gift certificate to a business of her choice along the featured area, and she chose King’s Restaurant, 17005 E. Sprague Ave. The other two perfect scores belonged to Amanda Konzal (who finished in second place in the January contest) and Marya Oakes. Close behind with 11 correct was Noreen Reeno Walsh. The answer key is on The Current’s Facebook page. Look for the Eye on the Valley game to return soon in an upcoming issue of The Current. I got my beloved ribs for $9.99, and they were quite good, which Elaine knows as well because I also shared. I cannot be more generous because, as much as I love her, she is no better than God, and so like Adam, I will only give up one of my ribs.

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

sports March Madness: The Pacific Northwest Region The Current

By Chad Kimberley Current Column

This is not a column that needs a long, creative, funny intro. Two words should suffice. March. Madness. I assume I have your attention at this point. As the WIAA state basketball tourneys wrap up Feb. 28 through March 2 with at least a couple local teams representing the Valley (I am writing this before the teams are decided and optimistically believing in our local teams) and hopefully cutting down some nets, we begin to look forward to office pools, bracket challenges and bragging rights. With this being the 75th anniversary of the NCAA tournament, there will be all kinds of all-time teams, players, moments and such, so let me be one of the first to present my homage to the greatest individual sporting event of the year by sorting through all the brackets since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 to find the greatest Pacific Northwest teams in that span of time that could fill a 16-seed bracket. And then, of course, we have to play it out for a winner. No. 16: 1987 Idaho State Bengals The Bengals as a low seed were pounded pretty badly by UNLV 95-70 but can take solace in the fact they lost to a Final Four team. No. 15: 2004 Eastern Washington Eagles The Eagles made their first and only appearance in the Big Dance playing to a first-half tie before losing to Final Four participant Oklahoma, 75-56. No. 14: 1988 Boise State Broncos The Broncos, who have never won an NCAA tournament game in the school’s history, came close as they lost to Michigan by three after trailing by 16 at the half. No. 13: 1989 Idaho Vandals Idaho, who only has one NCAA tournament win in school history (over Iowa, ouch) dropped a 12-point decision to UNLV, who made it to the Elite Eight. No. 12: 2001 Gonzaga Bulldogs The Zags made a run to the Sweet Sixteen, and it was kicked off with an exciting one-point win in the first round over Virginia as Dan Dickau scored 29 points.

March 2013 • 25 33

Gonzaga lost to Final Four participant Michigan State in the Sweet Sixteen. No. 11: 2010 Washington Huskies The Huskies won their conference tournament and carried that momentum into the Big Dance as they knocked off No. 6 Marquette and No. 3 New Mexico before losing in the Sweet Sixteen. No. 10: 1999 Gonzaga Bulldogs “Gonzaga, the slipper still fits!” This was shouted after Gonzaga defeated Florida on the last second tip-in by Casey Calvary in the Sweet Sixteen before falling to National Champion Connecticut in the Elite Eight and starting the program’s improbable run. No. 9: 2003 Gonzaga Bulldogs After winning their first-round game, the Bulldogs played a classic second-round game against the No. 1-seed Arizona Wildcats, losing in overtime 96-95 despite 25 points from both Blake Stepp and Tony Skinner. No. 8: 1994 Washington State Cougars The Cougs gave up a 10-point halftime lead in losing to Boston College, who went on to play in the Elite Eight. No. 7: 2008 Gonzaga Bulldogs The Bulldogs battle it out with fellow mid-major Davidson in the first round and are upset by the hot shooting of Stephen Curry, who scores 40 points against the Zags. No. 6: 2002 Gonzaga Bulldogs Gonzaga experiences the other side of the tourney, as the team is outscored by 11 in the second half and upset by Wyoming in the first round.


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No. 5: 1990 Oregon State Beavers The Beavers for the third consecutive year were unable to advance beyond the first round despite the play of guard Gary Payton, as Ball State upset them and ultimately moved onto the Sweet Sixteen. No. 4: 2008 Washington State Cougars Behind the guard play of Kyle Weaver and Derrick Low, WSU advances to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to North Carolina. No. 3: 2006 Gonzaga Bulldogs Adam Morrison. Crying. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Sorry for the reminder Zags fans. No. 2: 2002 Oregon Ducks The Ducks, behind the hot shooting of Luke Ridnour, Luke Jackson and Fred Jones, go to the Elite Eight and Kansas before falling one step short of the Final Four. No. 1: 2005 Washington Huskies UW earned their way to a No. 1 seed behind the play of NBAers Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy and picked up two wins before being upset in the Sweet Sixteen by Louisville. So, how would this region play out? The top five seeds would get through the first round as the Huskies, Ducks, Bulldogs, Beavers and Cougars knock out the double digit seeds in comfortable fashion. The upsets happen next as the No. 11 seed Huskies along with the No. 10 seed Bulldogs pick up wins and advance to the second round while the No. 9 Bulldogs add another minor upset as they take out the No. 8 seed Cougars. The second round gets started as the top-

seeded Huskies get a combined 50 points from Roy and Robinson and easily outpace Stepp and Skinner. Washington State continues to cause Payton NCAA Tournament disappointment by knocking Oregon State out of our Pacific Northwest region. Two major upsets keep the second round exciting as the No. 10 seed Bulldogs behind another late Calvary tip-in defeat the Oregon Ducks, while a second upset happens as the No. 11 Huskies again crush the spirits of Morrison and his mates and take out the No. 3-seeded Bulldogs. The Final Four of the region is set with No. 4 Washington State facing No. 1 Washington in a battle for the basketball version of the Apple Cup, with the Cougars pulling off the upset, while the No. 11-seeded Huskies also fail in the semis as they lose to the Cinderella No. 10 seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs. There is only one way this region could wrap up: Gonzaga finishing the job, winning the game and moving onto the Final Four. Whether they win or lose at that level is up to your imagination. Enjoy March Madness. Columnist Chad Kimberley is a sports aficionado and teacher at Valley Christian School.

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The Current

Bailey scores points with a basketball, with character U-Hi senior finishing up record-setting prep career By Steve Christilaw Current Contributor

In a good many ways, you can sum up Brett Bailey’s University High School basketball career in just one game in late January. Rogers High School opened the Greater Spokane League game with an offensive display the likes of which the Titans had not seen: knocking down 8 of 10 3-point shots in the first quarter, with an accompanying amount of smack talk throw in. “They scored 32 points on us in the first quarter,” U-Hi coach Garrick Phillips said. “We’ve had games where we haven’t given up 32 points.” A 6-foot-6 senior forward bound for the University of San Diego in the fall, Bailey set to work. Without fanfare — without a negative word to anyone — he put the team on his back and carried them to a comefrom-behind, 83-72 victory. In the end, his deeds spoke volumes about his effort: he’d quietly broken the GSL single-game scoring record with 47 points. “That was an important game for us,” Bailey said. “We didn’t lose the game, but it’s the kind of game that you can learn a lot from. Rogers hit us with their best shot, and we found a way to come back and still win that game. That’s a lesson that could help us once we get to state — and I am dead certain we’re going to get to state.” No player scores that many points in a single game without having a roaring fire of desire burning inside, and Bailey’s intensity on the court is obviously apparent. But the fire? The fire is on the inside. “You don’t see much emotion in Brett when he’s on the court,” Phillips said. “I played high school and college basketball, and I had some pretty good nights scoring — I may have reached 30 points but never anything like scoring 47 — but I could never keep my emotions in check the way he does. He stays in total control. “But if you watch closely, if you watch his eyes, you can tell. At the end of a game like this one, there’s a moment there of emotional release. Just a little one.” On this night at Rogers, Bailey needed a release of a different kind. He walked into the locker room and promptly threw up; he’d broken the single-game scoring record while coming down with a case of the flu. Humility is engrained into Brett Bailey’s very being. “I definitely get that from my parents,” he explains. “We’re taught to treat everything as if it was a gift, and we treat people the way we would like to be treated.”

Current photo by Bob Johnson/Spokane Sports Shots

University High School standout Brett Bailey goes up for another 2 points against Central Valley High School earlier this season in the annual Stinky Sneaker rivalry game. Bailey, the defending Greater Spokane League MVP, led all scorers with 26 points in the contest. That, too, is a Brett Bailey hallmark. “I have never heard Brett Bailey say anything negative to anyone, especially his teammates,” Phillips said. “He’s always talking about the positive. He’s like that with everyone, not just the basketball program. He’s like that with his classmates and his teachers. It’s just who he is. “He’s a leader, but he’s a leader by example. He’s my hardest worker. He’s my most disciplined player. And he’s definitely not a rah-rah type of guy.” Perhaps even more importantly to the coach is the simple fact that his player is also a role model for future generations of U-Hi Titans. “I’ve got two future Titan basketball players at home, and they both look up to Brett,” he said. “He’s a great role model.” “When I got here, I had a vision for the type of character I wanted our players to have, about how I wanted them to play the game. Not Xs and Os stuff, but character. Brett meets every one of those standards I had in mind. And, yeah, he sets those standards.”

And Bailey the role model has his share of people he has looked up to himself. “I was very lucky to have a role model when I first got to U-Hi,” Bailey said. “My big brother, Kyle, was pretty much the goto guy on that team. He took me under his wing and taught me what was expected of me. “Having had such a great role model myself, I understand what that can mean to our younger players, and I am very aware of what my actions mean to them.” Bailey said his high school career seems like a blur, and there’s a surreal quality to the fact that it’s all about to end. “It’s strange to think that my next game could be my last — I don’t believe it will be,” he said. “We were one game away from playing for the state championship last year, and I think each one of my teammates believes that our season is going to end in the Tacoma Dome, and we’re going to be holding up the championship trophy.” The 2012-13 Titans are only the second U-Hi team to reach the state tournament in back-to-back seasons. Bill Ames, who

went on to play football at the University of Washington, helped the Titans reach the state tournament in 1984 and again in 1985. “It was a very big deal for us to get to state last year,” Bailey said. “There are all kinds of banners up in there in the gym, but the last one was in 1985.” Getting back this year was even more important. “To me it is,” Phillips said. “Getting there last year made a lot of our former players feel good about the program. Getting back there this year means we’re becoming one of the elite programs. We’re part of the round of 16.” That name, Bill Ames, will get mentioned quite a bit as Brett Bailey’s career comes to a close. Going into a winner-to-Tacoma game with Enumclaw on Feb. 23, Bailey sat 27 points shy of tying Ames’ all-time school record for most career points scored. “I doubt the thought would even cross Brett’s mind, but he could easily have the kind of game where he breaks the record (against Enumclaw),” Phillips said. “If we win that game, then we have at least two games in the Tacoma Dome, and he’s undoubtedly (going to) break it there.” Spokane basketball audiences will continue to see Bailey after the uniforms are turned in for another year next month. “I made the choice to commit to the University of San Diego really early on, at the end of my sophomore season,” Bailey explained. “I like the coaching staff there. Coach (Bill) Grier and his assistant coaches, Scott Bankhead and Mike Burns — they all have strong ties to the area.” The top assistant to Gonzaga’s Mark Few, Grier began recruiting Bailey when he was just a freshman and never backed off. “To be honest, that’s where I wanted to be,” Bailey said. “My family moved up here from the Long Beach area, and I want to go back to Southern California.” From all angles, it appears to be a perfect fit. “I can really see him getting down there and playing right away,” Phillips predicted. “I think he’s going to be just the right kind of player for them.” It will be a chance to reconnect, too. “My brother, Kyle, plays at Biola — just up the road in Los Angeles,” Bailey said. “I’m already talking to him about getting tickets to see the Lakers and Clippers.” Editor’s note: At the time of The Current’s press deadline, the Titans were about to take the court against Enumclaw in a winner-toTacoma game. By winning that game, the Titans would advance to the final eight, playing in the Tacoma Dome for the state title Feb. 28-March 2.

The Current

March 2013 • 27 35


State wrestling champs lived like it ‘24/7’ U-Hi team philosophy impacts all aspects of life

University’s Austin Stannard works for the pin during the Battle of the Bone rivalry match against Central Valley in January. Stannard would go on to place second in state, helping propel the Titans to the overall title.

By Steve Christilaw Current Contributor

The chant says it all. On Feb. 16, the University Titans won the school’s third state wrestling championship since 2005 in the Tacoma Dome, holding off Decatur 142.5 to 138.5. Throughout the tournament — throughout the season — you could hear the Titans chant the same thing: “24/7.” “That’s kind of our motto,” coach Don Owen said. “But I don’t think many people understand what it means.” The chant sums up the University philosophy: Be a champion, 24/7. It’s a concept Owen came up with after attending a coaching clinic, and one he now shares with coaches across the country. “The clinic was all about how to make kids be better wrestlers and they talked about it being a 24/7 commitment,” Owen said. “I got to thinking about the whole concept. I thought, why not take it a step further and have kids live right, 24/7. Have them go to school and be committed to it. Have them treat their classmates right, their teammates right, their mom and dad right. Teach them to be good human beings and at the same time train hard and compete hard.” It wasn’t just a team philosophy, he said. It was a life philosophy. The sport of wrestling creates a bond between wrestlers and their coaches that runs deeper than most. “You get closer to kids,” Owen said. “Any time you put your hands on people, when you grapple with them and work with them in that kind of close, physical contact, you have a strong feeling of connective-ness. It’s spiritual, almost. You have a chance to reach these kids in deep ways that are life-changing.” In addition to teaching wrestling techniques, Owen and his assistant coaches teach valuable life lessons. They teach not only how to wrestle, but how to be effective leaders. “Part of that concept was being a leader in every way,” Owen explained. “It’s about doing service, whether that means taking the laundry down before the coach asks you to or helping out with tournaments. It’s about being there on time and serving the greater good. It’s unbelievable the connective-ness it’s created.” The state championship was clinched when senior Tanner Orndorff won the 195-pound championship. Orndorff was

Submitted photo by Erik Smith/eriksmith@smugmug

the last of four Titans to wrestle in the finals, and the first three, Cam Sorensen (113), Ryan Gabel (138) and Austin Stannard (170), lost their matches. “This is what was so cool: look at Tanner Orndorff,” Owen said. “Last year, I had never seen a more broken kid. He never even made it to regionals. He worked harder than anyone I’ve ever had in my program. He got to district, but he hadn’t fully matured physically at that point, and he was in a very tough weight class. He lost in a heart-breaking match. “That could have led to a change in his life that was negative. Instead, he came back and worked twice as hard this year. He did all the stuff you have to do to get to state. He had to wait until his senior year to get to the state tournament, and he wins a state championship.” Owen said his team’s 24/7 philosophy pays surprising dividends. “You get more out kids,” he said. “They produce more because you challenge them. At the state tournament, when we had kids wrestling through the consolation brackets, I told them that they weren’t just wrestling for themselves. They were wrestling for their community, for the program, for their teammates. In a very real way, it lessens their individual anxiety. They’re serving the greater good. “Our kids have always been conditioned. We’ve always worked them hard. But since we changed our approach, we’ve been more of a complete team. We’re not

just a few individuals. We’ve breathed life into every level of our program. Our kids have become more committed. Our coaches have been more committed. Our parents have been more committed — they’ve bought into it. They come by, pat us on the back and say thank you. It feels like we’re a community.” Owen’s found himself in demand now

as a clinician. He was flown in to present a clinic on his team philosophy at the NCAA wrestling tournament, and he’s been in demand at local clinics. “I think this has made me a better coach,” he said. “And I have to say I have some great assistant coaches who don’t just believe this, they live it. I have to give them all the credit. They’re some great men.”

submitted photo

The University High School contingent celebrates the wrestling state championship Feb. 16 in Tacoma.

The Current

36 • March 2013 28


Valley prep teams fare well in winter

disappoint. Junior Colton Orrino (132) and sophomore Blake Beard (126), in just 21 seconds, won individual titles, senior Tanner Davis (182) was second and freshman Bryson Beard (113) placed third, helping the young Bears finish fourth overall. 2A — West Valley and East Valley placed two wrestlers each. The Eagles’ Jace Malek reached the finals at 220 pounds, losing a heartbreaker 9-8 while finishing second. Ricky Miller, a 285-pound junior, placed third. East Valley freshman Trey Meyer placed third at 126, and Nick Gonzales was fourth at 160. Rachael Coleck, serving as both Knights cheerleader and competitor in Tacoma, was sixth in the girls 118-pound weight class. 1A — Two sophomores placed for Freeman. Teigan Glidewell was fourth at 220 pounds, and Markus Goldbach took fifth at 182.

By Mike Vlahovich Current Contributor

Winter high school sports season ends the first weekend in March with state basketball tournaments. Central Valley boys, University (both boys and girls), West Valley girls and Valley Christian boys were still in the hunt as of The Current’s press deadline. With spring sports soon to follow, it’s a good time review the efforts of other Valley high school sports teams and individuals during the winter.

Wrestling At last month’s sub-regional wrestling tournament, Mead coaching legend Cash Stone pointed to University’s Don Owen and mentioned that we could be looking at the first Greater Spokane League wrestling coach to win three state team titles. Stone should know. He built Mead into a power and won two state titles of his own before retiring. His observation was prescient. Owen’s Titans added the 2013 State 3A championship to go with 4A titles in 2005 and 2010. His was the league’s ninth team titlist dating back to the sport’s inception in 1953. Central Valley, East Valley (3A), Lewis and Clark and Gonzaga Prep are the others.

Basketball Submitted photo by Erik Smith/eriksmith@smugmug

Wrestling at 182 pounds, Central Valley High School senior Tanner Davis had many moments like the one pictured above en route to concluding his season with a secondplace finish at the state tournament. Senior Tanner Orndorff, who wrestled 50 pounds heavier than last year, won the individual 195 state title that secured the team crown. Junior Austin Stannard (170 pounds), senior Ryan Gabel (138) and gifted freshman Cam Sorensen (113) all lost their finals matches by agonizingly late twopoint decisions. Sophomore Tate Orndorff (285) took third, senior Rieley Smith (132) was fourth and senior Kwest Osborn (106) was fifth. 4A — Central Valley took a quartet of wrestlers to the State 4A tournament with high expectations. The Bears didn’t

Central Valley’s boys placed second, University’s boys and girls basketball teams placed third and fifth in state last year. And all were playing the final weekend in February for a return to the eightteam state tournament in Tacoma the first weekend in March. The Titans boys have been led seasonlong by Brett Bailey, who averages nearly 25 points per game and set a GSL single game record 47 points this year. The girls rallied after losing double-figures scorer Cassie Shillam to a knee injury and are led by Kayleigh Valley, who averages some 15 points per game. West Valley traveled to Ellensburg for its final-eight qualifier to Yakima after Aaliyah Ashley-Meek hit a buzzer beater for a 47-44 win against Selah. Sophomore post Erin Higbie is the Eagles’ leading score at nearly 16 points per game. Valley Christian, under new coach and alum Justin Pope, started slowly with a

Submitted photo by Erik Smith/eriksmith@smugmug

Flanked by a pair of East Valley High School defenders, West Valley High School sophomore post Erin Higbie is the Eagles’ leading score at nearly 16 points per game. As of press time, Higbie had helped the Eagles advance to the final 16 teams in state and an 18-5 record, including two hard-fought victories over the rival Knights, who finished the season 15-9. team mainly comprised of juniors, but came on at the end. Led by junior veterans Nick Cox and Bo Piersol, the Panthers beat Almira/Coulee-Hartline, in a matchup of last year’s State 1B finalists, as the Northeast 1B South swept all three subregional berths over foes from the Northeast 1B North.

Gymnastics Central Valley sophomore Izzy Erdem made a splash during state competition. She finished first during floor exercise with a 9.75 score during the first day of team competitions qualifying for the individual events portion of the tournament, where she tied for sixth. Teammate McKinzie Carter placed among the top 20 in three events and tied for 16th all-around in the 4A meet. U-Hi’s Moriah Knowles and Shantel Singh both competed all-around in the 3A meet.

Hockey champs The Coeur d’Alene Thunder hockey team recently won the Clearwater Classic tournament in Lewiston, Idaho. They’ve participated in four championship games during their season. The team includes Liberty Lake resident Niko Corsaro (winger) and Spokane Valley residents Caiden Berendes (defenseman), Zach Scott (goalie) and Bill Ernst (assistant coach).

Local Lens

Share your snapshots for The Current’s photo page. Email with game shots and team photos. Submitted photo


The Current

March 2013 • 29 37

Diligence pays dividends on the diamond By Jeff Simmelink Current Guest Column

Baseball is a game of failure. Hall of Fame hitters fail 70 percent of the time. However, players don’t see it that way. They see baseball success as the great mountain that needs to be conquered. They revel in the little battles and the opportunity to overcome adversity. Each pitch presents an opportunity to do something great. With all that failure, you may ask how the great ones succeed. The answer, in a word, is diligence. The dictionary defines diligence as “a constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.” Baseball is a game of preparation and execution. Great players are diligent in their

preparation so that when the opportunity presents itself, they are able to execute. They develop the repeatable actions, or habits, that allow their bat to arrive at the correct moment on the correct plane, the fastball that paints the black on the outside corner on a 3-2 count or the ability to pick off the runner at first. Habits are formed by performing a correct action thousands of times over an extended period of time. We like to call this the daily grind. Players take pride in the daily grind. Great players develop daily routines to hone their game. They put in a constant and earnest effort to perfect these actions every day — regardless of their mental or physical state. The diligent player doesn’t require a coach or teammate to encourage them. They visualize the future and establish a plan to reach their goals. Then they stick to it. Great players aren’t great by accident. There are thousands of good players around the world. However, there are only a few

players that perform at the level of an Albert Pujols, Edgar Martinez or Randy Johnson. Aspiring young players tend to only see the results. They don’t see the preparation and the relentless pursuit of perfection that these elite players put in behind the scenes. Nobody sees Albert Pujols putting in an hour on a batting tee before every game. Nobody sees Edgar Martinez spending time in the video room prior to each at-bat, studying his previous at-bat and the opposing pitcher. Nobody sees the sweat expended by Randy Johnson as he works with a medicine ball to improve his core strength. They establish their routines and never stray from it. Come rain or shine, great players put their work in. It’s not an option. It’s what they do. Diligently. Regardless of your goals, the key to success is what you put into it and the consistency of which you do it. Worthwhile achievements are not found by accident. They begin with a goal and usually include a long journey, a journey ripe with oppor-

tunity to deviate off the path. Diligence, the constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken, is the key. Take each step one at a time. Have the faith to trust your vision, put your work in and success is right around the corner.

played SYSA youth sports, including soccer, Grid Kids football, flag football, baseball, softball, lacrosse, high school basketball, dodgeball, track and field and cross country. SYSA also offers speed and agility and sports camps.

healthy while having fun, making friends and playing for coaches who are positive role models help to build a better community. Over 900 SYSA volunteer coaches help to keep programs affordable. Everyone interested in supporting SYSA Scholarships for youth in the Spokane Community is invited to attend our 2013 SYSA Annual Fundraising Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. March at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. Washington State University Head Football Coach Mike Leach will be the guest speaker. To reserve your spot at the breakfast, email, or make a contribution online at Thank you for your support of SYSA, “Where every kid’s a star.”

Now let’s get rid of the snow and play some ball! Jeff Simmelink has been the head coach of the Club Spokane Dodgers since 2001. He was a catcher at Lower Columbia Community College for two years before signing a professional contract with the Cleveland Indians. Simmelink is currently a principal solutions engineer at Itron Inc. in Liberty Lake and an assistant coach with the Central Valley High School baseball program since 1996. He enjoys spending time with his wife of 28 years, two children and his pet bulldog. He wrote this column as part of a monthly series highlighting the Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) trait of the month. The trait for March is diligence.

Letters to the Editor Bonds should focus on education You asked for some reasons why the voters say “no” to Valley School bond elections (“Safe, effective school buildings,” February Current). Well, here are two: 1. Artificial play-field turf 2. Performing arts center Despite being accused of being an old fogey, a curmudgeon or worse, these two items say “no way” to me and dictate my vote. Like the majority of Valley residents, I have kids or grandkids in district schools. We want them to have the best education possible. But does that include AstroTurf play fields and a community/performing arts center? I think not. What is the Mirabeau Park development, if not a community center? What’s wrong if kids have to play and exercise on a dirt field or one with real

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.”

grass growing on it? Can’t a high school play or concert be presented in a gym anymore? My primary and secondary education was received in the dark ages, I know (the 1950s and 1960s). But we were happy to find a dirt lot to play in (even if the weeds were as tall as we were) and not have to dodge traffic by playing ball in the street. We presented band and orchestra concerts in the gym when one was available, or, more often than not, in the “multi-purpose” room that served as cafeteria, gym, dance hall, PTA meeting room and polling place, among other things. Air conditioning? Forget it! Heat? Some, but keep your coat on and sit on your hands as much as you can. Transportation? That’s why we have feet and legs. A mile or two through the snow was a daily adventure. Modern buildings? Sure, if you call preWorld War I structures modern. What I’m saying is, “Get Real!” Bond elections to improve education will pass. Once the school districts trim off the froufrou, you’ll see much more cooperation from the voters. Sooo … excuse me while I put some more wood on the fire and then go hitch up the buggy.

Frank Jones

Spokane Valley

Eat breakfast, help kids As more kids participate in youth sports at Spokane Youth Sports Association, the bigger the need is for scholarships to families who need financial assistance so their kids can play. In 2012, more than 9,000 kids

SYSA has seen a substantial increase over the past few years in the need for scholarships. In 2012, more than 700 kids received more than $575,000 in scholarships that allowed them to play. The mission of Spokane Youth Sports Association is to provide sports activities for all youth where everyone plays, develops skills, is taught good sportsmanship and learns the value of being a team player. One goal of the SYSA Board of Directors is to never turn away any player because of an inability to pay. Keeping kids active and

Philip J. Helean

Executive Director, Spokane Youth Sports Association

The Current

38 • March 2013 30

Wondering where you can find The Current? Volume 2, Issue 3 Editor/publisher

Josh Johnson

General Manager

Tammy Kimberley Senior account Janet Pier executive

graphics editor

Sarah Burk

Sandy Johnson Mike Wiykovics

Circulation Contributors

Steve Christilaw, Kyle Hansen, Craig Howard, Chad Kimberley, Valerie Putnam, Heidi Scott, Jayne Singleton, Jocelyn Stott, Craig Swanson, Mike Vlahovich, Bill Zimmer On the cover: Submitted photos; design concept by Sarah Burk


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Following are the local advertisers in this issue of The Current. Amaculate Housekeeping 17 As We Forgive Those by Charles Finck 5 Barlows Restaurant 17 Careful Cleaners 7 Casey’s Place 5 Clark’s Tire & Automotive 3 City of Spokane Valley 24 Cruise One 25 Desperate Housewives Shop Hop 5 Evergreen Fountains 13 Glass Guru 2 Good Samaritan Society Spokane Valley 21

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The Current

March 2013 • 31 39

Math and the mystery of ‘10 Billion Burgers’ By Josh Johnson Current staff column

The following Liberty-Bell stamped, college-rule spaced, hand-penned letter to the editor arrived at Current headquarters via postal carrier recently: ••• Dear editor (Josh Johnson): I really enjoyed both articles on honesty in your February 2013 edition: 1. “The truth about honesty” (page 20) 2. “What have you done to show honesty?” (page 35) Two other items caught my attention as well: 1. The advertisement for Ron’s Drive-Inn (page 17), “Celebrating 55 years” ... “10 Billion Burgers!” 2. “Advertising Integrity” (page 38): “Inaccurate or deceptive advertising is never knowingly accepted ...” All that got me to thinking. In 55 years, which amounts to 20,089 days (counting 14 leap-year days), Ron’s did a great job with burgers. Every day for 55 years, Ron’s sold at least 497,784 burgers, which, if you do the math — sorry, if you do the arithmetic — it works out to 5.76 burgers 24/7 per second. Yes, there are 86,400 seconds in one day. All I’m saying is we’re not going to compete with Singapore and Korea on math test scores until we get our arithmetic right. Oh yeah, and our honesty, too. Just saying, Daniel Sparks Spokane ••• Dear Daniel, Most communication delivered to the newsroom these days comes via tiny electronic spaceships zooming through cyberspace. So, first off, thank you. It was a nostalgic and exciting experience to tear into an envelope and receive a thoughtful note written in that neat and long-lost font I like to refer to as “Human Being.” I also appreciated the way you delivered your message, a succinct and creative point that doesn’t lose its sense of humor. I must admit to you that I’m a bit of a

current photo by josh johnson

From left, Jaysa and Kylie Johnson helped solve the mystery of “10 Billion Burgers” at Ron’s. kindred spirit when it comes to facts and figures. My first job out of college was as a copy editor. Words should be spelled correctly, basic questions should be answered and the arithmetic should indeed add up. Then, one day, I got a job writing for an opinion page and found myself occasionally penning incomplete sentences with fragmented words. For effect. Kinda like this. My copy editor and I agreed to disagree a few times, but usually I caved because, after all, according to the rules, she was right. Had to admit it. What does Ron’s have to do with this? Well, first, I’ve been eating there since I can remember, because Dad has always loved their fried chicken. Me, I’m a burger guy. I’ve had my share and then polished off my younger siblings’. When Ron’s began using “10 Billion Burgers” in its marketing, I proudly wondered what my slice of that delectable beef pie might be. Just kidding. Actually, 10 billion burgers is a bit outrageous on its face from a sales number standpoint — and obviously even moreso when you actually do the arithmetic. So I immediately took it for some type of marketing gimmick. Hmmm ... but what kind? If it’s not meant to be taken literally, perhaps it’s kind of like the Wendy’s campaign that displayed the difference between its lustrously photographed chicken sandwich and the competitors’ — which were shown to be constructed out of cardboard. Or take Gillette’s promise that using their product is “the best a man can get.” (If that’s the case, I’m surprised razor-distribution hasn’t been more of a focal point in prison rehabilitation programs.)

Like Gillette’s catchphrase, you can take “10 Billion Burgers” a lot of different ways. Maybe that’s part of the purpose. Notice Ron’s didn’t attach the “10 Billion Burgers” catchphrase to anything. I’ve never seen it attached to the number of burgers sold, served or cooked for one of their famous burger-eating contests. It’s just “10 Billion Burgers.” Gnaw on that mystery for a while. So on our mutual behalf, Daniel, I decided to do some market research. After my oldest got off the bus the other day, I drove my two daughters down to the Drive-Inn for a good, old-fashioned afterschool snack — burgers and fries. I got straight to the point. “Ten billion burgers?” I asked the friendly woman taking my order. “What is that in reference to?” She smiled. It’s a question, turns out, she gets quite a lot. “We even had a mathematician-type guy come in here the other day, pull out a piece of paper, and start doing the math,” she said. “Daniel!” I thought to myself. “Of course! He’s 10 steps ahead of me and beat me to the answer.” But Daniel, if that was you, perhaps the same non-conclusion awaited your question. “We’ve just been using that line for a while now,” she said. “Maybe it’s a vision statement,” I tried prodding her to a definitive response. “Like, that’s your goal you’re aspiring to.” “Sure,” she said.

It appears some people just don’t have the detective bug in them like you and me, Daniel. And so I was left to consider this on my own. Maybe “10 Billion Burgers” is just a way of invoking a vision of a meat-lover’s paradise, like the great dream I had one night about being assigned to the cleanup crew in the aftermath of the “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” storm. Or maybe it’s just a good name suggestion for a middle-aged Hoopfest team. Or maybe it’s a knock on McDonald’s “billions and billions served,” as in “we’re not sure what you’re serving, but at Ron’s we call it a burger.” Maybe that’s just what Ron’s management wants us to do: Let our imaginations run wild. For some of us, “10 Billion Burgers” conjures up so many happy thoughts, who needs a yellow-clad clown wearing red lipstick to make you smile? And so, sorry Daniel, I failed on my mission to find out the meaning behind the slogan. Indeed, it would have been a wasted trip if not for the fact that our backup after-school snack was a carrot. As we got up to leave, my 8-year-old gave me one of those drawn-out “I’m still so hungr-yyyyyy” lines, and then asked if she could please just have two more cheeseburgers. “And I want 100!” my 4-year-old chimed in. The line stopped me in my tracks. I grabbed my oldest, Kylie, by the shoulders. This could be it! “Honey, suppose you had 55 more years to come and eat here at Ron’s. How many of these burgers do you think you would realistically eat?” She paused for a minute, diligently calculating. “A million,” she coolly replied, before remembering what she was still hoping to get out of the visit. “Well, a million and three.” “Jaysa, how about you?” “One hundred!” She wasn’t getting it. I’d go with the first number. I grabbed for my phone calculator. Aha! It will only take about 10,000 of us committing to the consumption of roughly a million burgers in the next 55 years to cause “10 Billion Burgers” to make sense. Perfect. Logical. Sense. The problem with Singapore and Korea, Daniel? They clearly aren’t thinking with their stomachs. Josh Johnson is editor and publisher of The Current. Write to him at

40 • March 2013 32

The Current

The March 2013 Current  
The March 2013 Current  

Celebrating 10: A special pullout recapping the city of Spokane Valley's first decade.