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Posts tagged: Spokane River

LCDC Likely To Help Buy Waterfront

The city of Coeur d’Alene has reached a tentative agreement with BNSF Railway to purchase 2 miles of railroad right-of-way along the Spokane River for future trails and parks. The railroad hasn’t used the line since Coeur d’Alene’s last waterfront sawmill shut down, but it took years of negotiations for BNSF and city officials to reach an agreement on price, said Mike Gridley, Coeur d’Alene city attorney. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, staff will ask the council for approval to finalize the $2.5 million purchase. The 20 acres is appraised at $4.3 million, said Gridley, who credited U.S. Sen. Jim Risch’s office and the Kootenai County commissioners for supporting the plan and helping persuade the railroad to accept the final price. Urban renewal funding from the Lake City Development Corp. is expected to contribute to the purchase/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Does this sound like a good deal to you?

Edit: Footing Bill For Public Property

It's an ugly hunk of acreage with awe-inspiring potential. When a newly appointed advisory committee gets up and running, it will look closely at the expanse of old mill site land stretching west of Coeur d'Alene along the banks of the Spokane River. What it is now and what it will eventually become is exciting to think about. A little worrisome, too. Waterfront property, put in a conscientious public entity's hands, can do a lot of good. Look at City Beach and Tubbs Hill on Lake Coeur d'Alene, for example; Q'emiln and Falls parks in Post Falls. They're great examples of quality outdoor opportunities for all citizens. McEuen Park might also join that list despite a great deal of anxiety in the community over its metamorphosis and primary funding source. While public entities should look for the greatest good for the greatest number of people, they must remember that sometimes, that includes private ownership/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: How would you like the old Atlas Mill site developed — private or public or both?

Water Venue Adds To Dining Out

We’ve all asked or been asked the same question when it comes time to dine in unfamiliar surroundings: Where’s a good place to eat? Most answers are a question: What do you want? Italian, seafood, steak or a sandwich? Fancy or casual? Those general categories, along with a couple other ethnic options – Mexican, Greek, Chinese – seem to cover most bases, or at least get a sense of what the inquisitor wants. Our restaurateur got this question a lot. The category he always included – and which nearly always topped the list – was view. With this idea percolating, we took our wives to what is simply the best water experience in the area: We settled onto the patio at Anthony’s on a late spring afternoon for a glass of wine, an appetizer, a lovely view of the Spokane Falls complete with the soundtrack of roiling water and, what we do best, a debate/Dave Trimmer & Dan Coyle, SR Spokane7. More here.

Question: Where's your favorite place to eat on the water in the Inland Northwest?

Pretty Public Art At ‘Poop Plant’

A coupla Berry Pickers snapped this photo of public art at the wastewater treatment plant (aka Sharon Culbreth's “poop plant”) during a walk on the news stretch of Centennial Trail along the Spokane River and Education Corridor. One Berry Picker writes: “The sculptures are awesome and educational. What a cool idea!” If you haven't had the chance to view the new infrastructure for the Education Corridor, you should drive or ride your bike over to it. Impressive.


Fire-Razed Home Faced Foreclosure

Arson investigators are combing through the debris of a million-dollar riverfront estate that was engulfed by fire Thursday morning as lenders prepared to hold a foreclosure on the home. Flames were visible to daybreak commuters along Interstate 90. Parts of the 10,000-square-foot brick and wood mansion – assessed at about $1.5 million – continued to smolder at nightfall. No one was home and no one was injured in the fire, said Ron Sampert, Kootenai County fire chief. The fire capped months of financial and legal tumult for the homeowners, said Leonard Wallace, who bought the home in 2002 with his wife, Pamela Wallace. Lender Deutsche Bank filed a foreclosure action against the Wallaces last year, and the family has turned to Bankruptcy Court to try to shield their assets at least twice/John Stucke, SR. More here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)


Rescuers Pluck Man From River

Crews rescued a man from the Spokane River in Riverfront Park today. The man was pulled from the river about 12:20 p.m. after rescuers responded to reports of a man hanging onto a rope in the water west of the Looff Carrousel, said Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams. Story & photo by Meghann Cuniff/SR here.

Woman’s Body Found Near Dam

The body of a woman who has been missing since Nov. 10 was found this morning in the Spokane River below the debris gate of the Avista Dam in Post Falls. The body of Cheryl A. Corbett, 61, of Post Falls, was recovered by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Dive Rescue Team after being discovered at about 10:30. The remains were positively identified by the Post Falls Police Department, and Corbett's family was notified.
According to police reports, there were no outward signs of trauma to the body. An autopsy is planned.

KEA Blog: Press Cleanup Edit Misfires

re: Editorial: Kootenai County residents face double, triple sewer rates/Coeur d'Alene Press

KEA Blog response: The paper is evidently calling for some sort of misguided citizen uprising against yet-to-be-determined sewage rate increases caused by yet-to-be-permitted sewage treatment upgrades. Wildly missing the mark though, the CDA Press does the region no favors. In fact, some 13 years into an impossibly complicated process, the polluted Spokane River and particularly he green-slimed and oxygen-starved Long Lake finally have a reasonable cleanup plan that requires significant pollution reductions to all the dischargers on the River, including Idaho’s. Despite the editorial’s unfounded and hyperbolic claims, Idaho municipalities discharging onto the River are already committed and are hard at work designing and testing improved sewage treatment technologies. Full response here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo: Tubers on Spokane River)

Question: How import to you is the water quality in the Spokane River?


River Cleanup Costs Rile Residents

Item: River cleanup riles residents: EPA opts out of local meeting to discuss issue/Brian Walker, Press

More Info: Citizens have noticed what cleaning up the Spokane River — as the feds want — could mean to their sewer bills and growth. They think it stinks. Craig Wilcox, Todd Christensen and Len Crosby have started a grassroots effort called Citizens for Affordable Sewer Rates. The group, the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce and some local businesses had organized a meeting for Sept. 28 in Post Falls to discuss implications of a proposed river cleanup plan.

Question: What do you make of the EPA backing out of a meeting with local residents to discuss cost implications of new rules for discharge permits?

Otter Enters Spokane River Dispute

Item: Otter gets involved in bi-state river dispute: Governor: New technology may help solve problem/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has been enlisted to help shake the bi-state Spokane River cleanup plan controversy. Otter and Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss how Idaho agencies that discharge wastewater to the river can avoid a costly court battle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Question: Do you want to see Gov. Butch Otter be involved in the cleanup controversy involving the Spokane River?

Swim or Float

Exposed boulders at Flora Rapids on the Spokane River create an obstacle for river floaters below the Barker Bridge on Sunday.  The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has adapted a zero-tolerance policy regarding its mandatory life jacket usage law.

Hundreds of people had fun floating down the Spokane River Sunday, but 45 probably didn’t.

Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Nelson said he and two other marine enforcement officers issued about 45 citations for failure to wear life jackets.

The standard penalty is a $76 fine if violators don’t try to get away when a deputy on the riverbank orders them to come ashore. More.

Where’s your favorite place to swim?

  • Lake
  • River
  • Ocean
  • Swimming Pool
  • Other

Post Falls OKs Lawsuit Against EPA

Item: Post Falls approves suit against EPA/Becky Kramer, SR

More Info: The Post Falls City Council passed a resolution tonight approving a lawsuit against the federal government over a phosphorus-reduction plan for the Spokane River. City Manager Eric Keck said Post falls is willing to do its part to reduce the amount of algae-spurring contaminates in treated sewage discharged into the river. But city officials contend that phosphorus limits in the plan crafted by the Washington Department of Ecology would strangle growth in North Idaho, unfairly penalizing Idaho dischargers while giving more generous limits to Washington municipalities.

Question: Can you understand why Post Falls plans to the sue EPA over its phosphorus-reduction plan for the Spokane River?

Deanna: Humans Produce Phosphates

Deanna Goodlander: The largest (by far) provider of phosphates in sewer systems is the human body. Every time you flush, you are adding phospates to the system. You will be seeing much more about phosphates in the systems in the future dealing with the TMDL (total maximum daily load) of phospate limitations placed on all cities on the Spokane River by the State of Washington. Total cost estimated at as much as 2 billion dollars to meet those standards, presently unattainable with todays technology. Anybody ready for a 500 per month sewer bill???????

DFO: So, if we all agree to stop pooping & peeing and/or flushing, we can keep our dish soap w/phosphates?

Question: Are environmental agencies demanding too much of communities that dump treated wastewater into waterways?

OLNI: Corbin Park Currents Deceptive

“Corbin Park (where photo above was taken) is one of my favorites in the area, but not for swimming,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “The currents can be deceptive and the park is posted to use extreme caution when entering the water. One young man died this morning when the currents overturned a canoe he and a friend we riding in just after sun-up downriver from the wide-open Post Falls dam. I urge everyone to be careful on the rivers, including the north fork of the Coeur d’Alene.

Drowning Victim ID’d As Spirit Lake Man

Michael W. Blankartz, 28, of Spirit Lake, has been identified as the victim of the Spokane River drowning this morning near Corbin Park in Post Falls. Blankartz and Danny J. Richison, 29, of Post Falls had put a canoe in the water at the East end of Corbin Park in an attempt to float to the old Pleasant View Bridge area. Shortly after pushing out from shore, the canoe flipped, tossing both men from the canoe. Richison reported that he was able to hang on to the canoe for a short period of time and get back to shore. He last saw his friend floating in the river just below the first set of rapids. The victim’s body was recovered in 4 feet of water, about 1 mile downstream from Corbin Park, by KCSD Dive Team/Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department news release.

Crapo, Risch Oppose River Regs

U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voiced their strong opposition to a plan by the Washington Department of Ecology to require new discharge standards that are more stringent on Idaho dischargers than those in Washington. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region X has announced their approval of the department’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan to reduce the amount of phosphorus discharged into the Spokane River/U.S. Sen. Jim Risch news release. More here.

Question: Should Crapo and Risch fight against stricter wastewater standard for Kootenai County than Spokane County?

Press: Double Standard On River

For about five hours Monday, various parties participated in a “dispute resolution hearing” in Spokane. The purpose of the meeting was for interested groups to tell a five-member panel of Washington Department of Ecology staffers why they support or oppose the proposed water quality standards for the Spokane River. … Here’s the beef: The Washington Department of Ecology has recommended a much more rigorous water quality standard for Idaho than for itself. While Washington would be permitted 42 parts per billion of phosphorus, Kootenai County would be held to a standard of 36. Even if the technology were developed to meet that 36 parts standard - which would be the most rigorous in the nation - finding the millions upon millions of dollars to totally overhaul wastewater treatment facilities in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden seems all but impossible/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

  • Terry Harris tweets:In Boise for a couple of days, but we’ll have more to say about the Spokane River next week. It’s not so simple …

Question: What do you make of the insistence by the Washington Department of Ecology that sets a tougher water quality standard for Kootenai County towns along the Spokane River than for Spokane County ones?

Post Falls Wants No-Wake For River

Item: Post Falls joins fight for no-wake zone/KREM

More Info: It’s been a complaint of some homeowners along the Spokane River for many years, now, the city of Post Falls says it also wants a no-wake zone on a small stretch of the waterway. Balancing boater’s rights and land protection has always been hard and time-and-time again, a no-wake zone has been denied by the county. “We estimate we’re losing about a foot of shoreline a year,” said Post Falls City Manager Eric Keck.

Question: Would you support a no-wake zone on the Spokane River in the stretch that includes Kiwanis Park (south end of Highway 41/Ross Point Road)?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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