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South Perry Blog

Archive for August 2010

Odds and ends and Facebook

Labor Day is right around the corner and so is the first day of school, the furnace is starting up in the morning and with a little luck some of the green tomatoes are finally turning red. So what you are doing this fall? What are you looking forward to? Is fall your favorite season?

Here at the blog we’re branching out with the launch of a Hillyard Blog in late September. It will follow the same model as the South Perry blog and hopefully be just as successful.

This coming Thursday the blog will be at the Farmers Market from 3-4:30 p.m. Feel free to visit - it’s always nice to chat at the bustling market.

And there’s this: The Voices (the local section most of you get inside your Spokesman-Review on Thursdays) now has a Facebook page. Staff writer and fellow Voices reporter Lisa Leinberger is taking on that project - go ahead and send her a ‘like’ here.


City of Spokane closures on Labor Day

In observance of the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 6, Spokane City Hall will be closed along with other City facilities, including the garbage transfer stations and the waste-to-energy plant.

Parking meters don’t have to be plugged on Labor Day, and garbage pickup and curbside recycling will be a day late all week with Friday’s pickup occurring on Saturday.

Spokane Public Library branches will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6. The Shadle, South Hill, and Downtown branches will reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 8. All other branches—Eastside, Hillyard, and Indian Trail—also will be closed on Tuesday, Sept. 8, because those branches normally are closed on Mondays so the holiday is observed on Tuesday.

The Spokane City Council has cancelled its meeting for the week of Sept. 6 because of a lack of a quorum. The Council will meet next on Monday, Sept. 13, at a 3:30 p.m. briefing session and a 6 p.m. legislative session. The Council meets in the City Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. Meetings also are shown live on CityCable 5, the City’s government-access cable station, and on the web at

Meanwhile, the Riverfront Park attractions, including the Imax Theater, Spokane Falls Skyride, Pavilion rides, Rotary Riverfront Fountain, and Carousel, are open throughout the weekend and on Labor Day. Pig Out in the Park, featuring lots of food and music, also is scheduled Sept. 1 - 6 in the park. Go to for information on all activities.

City splash pads and golf courses will be open throughout the weekend. For splash pad information, go to or call the Aquatics Hotline 625-6960. For golf information, go to

Via e-mail from the City of Spokane



Project on Ninth Avenue long way to go

From Tony Kliment: I took a walk down Ninth Ave. this weekend and it looks like the project has a long way to go. There’s about half a mile of sewer and water main pipe laying on the road and there is still another half mile to go. And soon the intersection of 9th and Altamont will be closed completely as the project crosses that intersection. I’m not sure why it was closed-up so early on, other than the streets aren’t safe for the increased traffic that would be going through looking for a way out (which is not so easy).

Ann Deasy, public information coordinator for the city of Spokane and the person in charge of keeping us all updated on road construction, just e-mailed and said the entire project is expected to be completed by the end of December. Street closures will follow the project as it progresses east-ward.

Expect Altamont to remain closed for about the same time. Why? Probably because it feeds a lot of traffic onto Ninth Avenue which is closed, and there is no easy way “out” or “around” once you get up there. Be patient.

A Peary fair?

We have just celebrated Unity in the Community and the Garland Avenue Fair with its ongoing theme of Judy Garland and the Wizard of Oz. That leads me to wonder what if the Perry Street Fair had a theme? We could go with something like a Perry Mason “Who Done It?” theme, but that might work better for West Broadway Avenue.

A Joe Perry Street Fair would certainly be fun, especially if Joe and his Aerosmith band mates made regular appearances.

A Peary Street Fair has potential in both uniqueness and fun potential. Peary is a traditional alcoholic pear cider originally from France. All kinds of possibilities for this one, perhaps our friends at the Lantern Tavern can get us started. Posted by Tony Kliment.



Please welcome Tony Kliment to the blog

Tony is the first person to officially hold “the keys” to the South Perry Blog - here is a bit about him in his own words:

“I have lived in Spokane for 15 years, mostly in and around the South Perry Street neighborhood. I truly believe that experiencing the people and businesses of a neighborhood is one of the best ways to build a strong community. I walk or ride through the neighborhood most every day, taking pictures, enjoying the good food and drink and meeting the people of our neighborhood. Writing for the South Perry Blog and posting photos will allow me to share all the good things I find with you. Aside from general comings and goings of the neighborhood, I’m also interested in history, social justice, sustainable businesses and healthy living. When I’m not writing for the South Perry Blog, I work as a mental therapist, artist and an advocate for youth through the Odyssey Youth Center and other organizations.”

You can e-mail Tony at

When is “local access” local access?

Via reader e-mail earlier today: “Say, at the moment, the police are pulling people over going up and down Altamont, and a quick Google yielded the fact that you have blogged about the repairs, so I thought I’d see what you know.  Obviously, they have the road partially blocked off because of 9th, but I’d think that “local access” would stil apply, since Altamont is in perfect shape (having already been torn up recently).

Any idea what gives, since you’ve apparently looked into it? Legal to go down Altamont if you live (as do I) on that side of the 9th closure/construction? Most days, there is an opening on one lane for cars to go through (which everyone living at the top of Altamont does) except for two random days where the signs were moved over to physically block the whole thing and cops parked at either end.
Any insider info?”

A surplus of cats

This came in via e-mail from SCRAPS this morning:

Just last week alone SCRAPS received more than 100 cats and kittens. “We have been inundated with cats in the last week and need to do as many adoptions as we can over this weekend,” said Nancy Hill, SCRAPS Director. “Our shelter is so overcrowded with cats we have opened up our isolation area to handle the overflow.” SCRAPS will be offering a special break on adoption fees for cats on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. All cats and kittens will have their adoption fees reduced by $25 which will be taken off the usual cost of $62.70.


“We have some wonderful cats right now,” said Cindy Taskila, SCRAPS Kennel Maintenance Officer. “Many of the cats are already spayed or neutered and several of them are declawed. We have something for everyone from Persians to Calicos, from long hair to short hair, everyone should come on down to SCRAPS to see our wonderful animals.”


SCRAPS is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon until 5:30 p.m. The adoption special ends on Saturday. SCRAPS is located at 2521 N. Flora Road, Spokane Valley. Call: (509) 477-2532.

The South Perry Blog would like to know if your cat is fixed? Have you taken in a litter of kittens?

Jefferson Elementary School meeting tonight

This is a bit outside the neighborhood, but some may want to attend the meeting at Jefferson Elementary School tonight at 6:30 p.m. Spokane Public Schools have conducted a traffic study and a property valuation study in connection with the proposed Jefferson and Hart Field bond projects. The school board is also holding an open forum about the same project at Jefferson Elementary on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.

To recap: funded by the school bond passed a few years ago, the school district has proposed three options for remodeling of Jefferson Elementary - one leaves the school where it is, another moves it to the west side of Hart Field by Manito Boulevard and a third moves it to the north end of Hart Field. All three locations have been modified after extensive input from neighbors and parents. A final decision on the remodeling has not been made yet.

Friday concert at Liberty Park Untied Methodist Church

On Friday evening at Liberty Park United Methodist Church, a small group spent an hour letting our souls be fed by the music of John Nilsen. Pieces ranged from original adaptations of traditional hymns to boogie-woogie. John’s original songs are often inspired by family – he wrote “Dakota Rose” one of his most popular songs, for his grandfather. “Train 18” is a delightful jazz number written for his wife. And John took all of us on a ride to freedom with “Hot Air Balloon.” John’s music was enhanced by the great accoustics of the historic Liberty Park United Methodist Church sanctuary. Look for more concerts at the church in the future.

Via e-mail this morning from the Reverend Debra Conklin at Liberty Park United Methodist Church.

Perry and Ninth Avenue intersection to close

The road construction isn’t quite done on South Perry: The intersection at Ninth Avenue and Perry Street will be closed Sunday and remain closed through mid-week.

Ninth Avenue remains closed from Perry to Julia Streets. It’s the same water main project that’s progressing west-ward and closing streets and intersections along the way.

Vandalism on East 11th Avenue

From the Spokane Police Department: there has seen a huge surge in malicious mischief over the last couple of days, and reports are continuing to come in. Initial numbers look like we are double what we normally see on an average week, and most of those have occurred over a two day period. BB and pellet guns appear to be the main method for breaking out vehicle and house windows. Many windows were damaged along East 11th Avenue from the 1200 to the 1900 block. Most of these crimes are occurring in the East Central Neighborhood. If you have been a victim of vehicle prowling, please make a report with Crime Check 456-2233.

Creative tomato kids

There were about two dozen entries in the tomato beauty pageant - and - well - everyone who entered was a winner. Chef Chris Deitz, the South Perry Blog and two community volunteers judged three other categories: size (the smallest one won) - ugliness (it was pretty ugly) and taste (a classic, dark, striped sun warm specimen won). But it was the kids who stole the show.

Farmers market cooking demonstrations

Chef Chris Deitz of South Perry Pizza is taking his cooking across the street and doing live demonstrations at the Farmers’ Market tonight. As part of the tomato festival Deitz is preparing several tomato-centered recipes, including a salsa fresca with peppers and cilantro, and ‘South Perry Panzanella.

The market runs through 8 p.m. today so it’s not too late to come by for some dinner inspiration.

And the winner is:

It’s not too late to enter your special tomato in the tomato beauty pageant at the South Perry Farmers’ Market - judging begins at 5:30 - everyone is welcome and encouraged.

And the market is full even though it’s barely been open for half an hour. Spotted lots of tomatoes (duh!) and many different varieties of potatoes and cucumbers.

Free community concerts begin Friday

Liberty Park United Methodist Church is offering a series of free community concerts, with the first one being held on Aug. 20 at 7:00 pm. The artist is John Nilsen, musician and composer from Portland Oregon. He will be playing a piano concert called “Places I Go” featuring his own music weaving folk, jazz and classical styles. He will also include some of traditional hymn arrangements and stories of his life, family and faith. The church is located at 1526 East 11th Avenue, just off Perry Street.

Via e-mail from Liberty Park United Methodist Church

Tomato festival at market tomorrow

The South Perry Farmers Market will host its first Thursday Market Tomato Festival at the Shop tomorrow - and stay open for one more hour, so from 3-8 p.m. The event will feature tomato-focused cooking demonstrations and recipes by South Perry Pizza chef Chris Deitz, a tomato beauty pageant contest open to all, and activities for kids.

Chef Deitz of the neighborhood pizzeria will provide a series of demonstrations throughout the market day for easy home-preparation recipes celebrating the beginning of the tomato season in the Inland Northwest. Recipes, which will include a tomato sauce as well as a bruccetta plate, will focus on ways to preserve tomatoes, giving the community tools to eat local tomatoes year-round.

The tomato contest, open to all entries free of cost, will award prizes to tomatoes judged in four separate categories: best flavor, prettiest, biggest and ugliest tomatoes. Participants are welcome to place multiple entries. The contest will be judged by a team of tomato experts, including a farmer and several community members. The weekly kids booth at the Market Info Table will feature Mr. Tomato Head tomato decorating activities.

Via e-mail this morning from the South Perry Farmers’ Market

First Friday on Perry?

Here’s an idea free for the taking: how about bringing First Friday to South Perry?

The downtown art and retail walk and celebration has gained a huge following over the last couple of years. For those unfamiliar with the idea, it’s a simple concept: on the first Friday of every month retailers, restaurants and galleries host local art shows and receptions for local artists, big and small. Venues stay open from 6-8 p.m. The Downtown Spokane Partnership is the driving force behind the event - check out August’s First Friday participants here.
What do you all say?

Church looking for Perry District artists

Emmaus Church is moving into the church building located at 1317 E. 12th Avenue - just off Perry Street. Pastor David Von said the congregation has been working hard to get ready for its first service on Sept. 12 at 10:03 a.m.
“We have spent a lot of time getting the place into shape, after we recently purchased the building,” said Von. The church is a plant from New Community which is a non-denominational church currently located at Hamilton and Trent.
Why 10:03 a.m.?
Von laughs: “I spent a lot of time as a youth pastor and I know an unusual time will make it easier for people to remember when the service starts.”
Von explains that it’s the church’s goal to create a community of people who will serve and give in the Perry-area.
“One of the things we’d like to do is hang local art in the church, and we’re looking for artists in the Perry District,” said Von. “We’d be open to hosting a show and it’s okay with us if there are price tags on the paintings.” Interested artists can contact Von via e-mail at:

Thursday morning news

Just a quick update from the neighborhood: the construction on Perry is over, but Ninth Avenue is still closed, so don’t come up Altamont on your way to the Perry District.

Today is Farmers’ Market day - expect lots of fresh fruits and veggies from local farmers, as well as breads, honey, meats and crafts. The market runs from 3-7 p.m. in the parking lot at The Shop, 924 S. Perry Street.

Saturday’s movie is 1963’s “The Great Escape” with Steve McQueen - it’s shown at dusk, bring your own chairs and maybe a picnic?

The South Perry Blog is talking to a couple of neighbors who soon will begin contributing directly to the blog - drop me a note at if you are interested in holding a key to the blog.

Odyssey open house draws lots of visitors

It was quite a party at Odyssey Tuesday evening. At 5 p.m. friends, youth and supporters began piling in for cake and snacks, visits and hugs.

Odyssey’s mission statement is to work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth and their allies, friends and families - and to provide a safe place for them to meet and grown.

Carla Savalli, the center’s executive director, said the Perry Street neighborhood has been warm and welcoming to the center and to the youth.

“It’s just been a great match for us here,” Savalli said, while giving a short tour of the center. “The neighborhood is a little eclectic and our youth feel really safe here.”


Odyssey Youth Center open house is tonight

The Odyssey Youth Center is throwing an open house today from 5-7 p.m. The youth center, which is located at 1121 S. Perry Street, is the only all inclusive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and straight-allied  (LGBTQA) youth center in the Spokane-area.

The center provides social service referrals, HIV education, life skills and socio-emotional learning and curriculum and is a safe place where LGBTQ youth can connect with peers.

The South Perry Blog is stopping by for a quick visit.

No meeting tomorrow

This just in from the South Perry Business and Neigborhood Association:
the SPBNA has traditionally taken off the month of August. Our current executive committee decided to continue that tradition as three of our four officers are out of town this week. We will be sending out minutes and an agenda for September shortly. And please put October 12th on your calendar for our annual meeting!
For those we were at the Fair debriefing and we talked about our next meeting being this Tuesday, I apologize.
See you on the second Tuesday of September… unless we see each other sooner at the Farmers Market …. the South Perry blog…. or ……
Pastor Deb
President of the South Perry Business and Neighbor Association

Time flies – let’s take it to the next level

When I posted the first blog post here on April 30, I wasn’t sure exactly how the blog would shape up or how frequently I’d be able to post – as I continue to write for the paper-newspaper as well – but things have worked out great.


I’ve heard from lots of readers and gotten to know many people in my little neighborhood. The South Perry Blog also has picked up a fan in Phoenix (hi Tom!) who took time to come in and chat with me one Thursday morning when he was in town. Of course the blog has gathered mostly local fans and Facebook friends – thanks to all of you for checking in and cyber linking and tweeting and all that – I couldn’t do it without you.


So now it’s time to take it to the next level: how would you like a key to the South Perry Blog?

I’m looking for a handful of people in the South Perry Neighborhood who would be interested in posting here on a regular basis. I know you are out there and I know you have opinions and dreams and plans for our neighborhood – if you’d like the opportunity post once or twice a week, send me a note at or come in and meet with me on Thursday at The Shop, between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.


A friend of this blog often laments that mainstream media isn’t stimulating a community conversation about important issues, trends and ideas – well, here’s your chance.


Of course there are guidelines to go over and all that – but drop me a line if you are at all interested – and live in the Perry neighborhood.

And South Perry is open again

Merchants were seeing a noticable drop in business over the past couple of weeks - some down 25 to 30 percent - as South Perry and Ninth Avenue were under construction. They’ll be happy to hear that South Perry is now open for good, just in time for the weekend.

Ninth Avenue from Altamont to Perry Street, and again west from Perry Street to Arthur remains closed for now.

Odyssey open house

The Odyssey Youth Center is throwing an open house on Tuesday, Aug. 10 from 5-7 p.m. The youth center, which is located at 1121 S. Perry Street, is the only all inclusive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and straight-allied  (LGBTQA) youth center in the Spokane-area.

The center provides social service referrals, HIV education, life skills and socio-emotional learning and curriculum and is a safe place where LGBTQ youth can connect with peers.

On Tuesday, some of Odyssey’s board members will be present as will some of the youth and adult volunteers. For more information call: (509) 325-3637

Saturday night is movie night

If you haven’t been to an outdoor movie at The Shop yet this year, stop by on Saturday for “Stand By Me” from 1986. On Aug. 14 you can watch “The Great Escape” (1963) and on Aug. 21 it’s “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) followed by 1980’s “Superman” on Aug. 28.

The movies are free and they are shown on the side of the old Altamont Pharmacy building. Bring your own chairs (couches have been spotted…) and enjoy a night outside watching a great flick. Movies begin at dusk.

And that’s a wrap

There was an informal gathering at the Perry Street Cafe Monday evening of all the people who helped make this year’s fair and parade a success. The Cafe generously fed everyone and ideas flew left and right around the table. Most importantly: the fair and parade made a profit, which will be donated to two charities in the neighborhood - the final amounts will be announced on Tuesday, at the South Perry Business and Neighborhood Association meeting.

Among the many ideas was to have the parade go around twice (it’s short…) - starting the music earlier, right after the parade - getting a banner to hang across the street - the location of the stage - the need for MORE volunteers to help move tables and chairs - and complete closure of the street for the afternoon.

So here’s your chance: what would you like to see next year at the South Perry Fair and Parade?

South Perry road construction continues

Let’s put it this way: it’s a wee bit difficult to get to South Perry these days - but all the businesses up here are open, though many of the main access routes are closed.

You can’t go north from the intersection of South Perry and South East Boulevard - Perry is one lane southbound only from around the windmill (12th Avenue) and up the hill.

At the other end of the business district, 9th Avenue is closed (torn up) in front of Grant School and the Park (west of Perry) and by the Hi-Co Station toward Altamont Boulevard (east of Perry).

Drivers can come up the usual ways from downtown, from Sherman and the freeway overpass, and hit the north-end of the business district. Southbound drivers are then detoured around the park and over to Southeast Boulevard. Coming down from 29th Avenue is a little more tricky as you can’t go north on Perry - you’ll be detoured over on Southeast Boulevard, be patient, follow the signs, don’t try to cut across until you hit 11th or 12th Avenues - 12th Avenue will deposit you right in the middle of the business district, north of the main construction zone.

Confused? Hopefully not - and please feel free to share your favorite short cuts. Construction is due to water main line repairs - and yes, some new pavement will be a pleasant side effect of all the digging.

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About this blog

Welcome to the South Perry neighborhood blog. My name is Pia Hallenberg and I’ve worked as a journalist in Spokane since the fall of 1998; for the last four years I’ve lived on South Perry Street.

I love the neighborhood so when time came to pick an area for The Spokesman-Review’s first neighborhood blog, the choice was simple: South Perry is where it’s at.

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