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A Matter Of Opinion

Big Changes : Walla Walla and Spokane Valley

Our editorial today talked about the mild controversy in the Spokane Valley because it appears the City Council is going to allow more homes per acre than some are comfortable with. Part of the reason for the controversy? The Valley has always had a rural feel. The zoning changes are an acknowledgment of the way "country" is quickly evolving into "city" in the Spokane Valley. It's a huge cultural change.

Spent the weekend in Walla Walla with our old friends Myles and Myrna Anderson. Lifelong educators by profession, they branched out into the winery business in 1995 with the opening of Walla Walla Vintners.

It was the eighth winery in the Walla Walla area. Now there are 130!

People are moving into Walla Walla from all over the world, because winemanking tends to be a global profession. And Walla Walla Community College's Center for Enology and Viticulture has been a big draw for students from throughout the country seeking education about the art of winemaking.

We've been visiting the Andersons for almost 25 years now and it was astounding at the changes downtown.

Like the Davenport in Spokane, The Marcus Whitman Hotel was refurbished. Great restaurants have opened up. Whitman College has always been popular nationally, and it's booming, too.

One of the issues I try to track for the editorial board and for this blog is the rapidly changing Inland Northwest. I grew up here, moved away in my 20s, came back in 1985 and have remained since. Not that much changed here in the late 70s and early 80s when I was gone, but I can't believe what's going on out here now, just in the past two to three years.

For other long-timers out there, what changes have you most noticed?

(Tony Wadden photo)

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.