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South Perry Blog

Archive for September 2010

New development director at Vanessa Behan

It was supposed to be a short introductory interview of Marge Rusch, who just accepted the position as development director at Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. Rusch comes from a similar position with the American Red Cross Inland Northwest Chapter, and is excited about her new job. Yet it was this morning’s headline about a child being beaten to death that stole our attention.
“The lucky ones are the ones that can ask for help,” said Rusch, reflecting on yesterday’s tragedy. “We have to convince them that it’s okay to ask for help, that it’s safe to ask for help, that you can get help.”

Thursday morning

I’ll be at the Perry Street Cafe Thursday morning from around 7 a.m. and probably until 9:30 a.m. I have a couple of interviews lined up, but feel free to stop by. I’d love to hear some fall news, like who’s planning a Halloween party?
I also continue to search for active Block Watch Groups in the South Perry Neighborhood - if you have one, come in and tell me what you’re doing.
As always you can e-mail me at and I’ll post your message.

What’s in a name?

Look at any map of Spokane and you will not find the words “South Perry.” Yet in the local (and national) media you hear a lot about Spokane’s “revitalized” South Perry neighborhood. Real estate agents refer to the South Perry neighborhood when listing the amenities of a property. I’d like to engage you in a conversation about this emerging identity. What is causing our neighborhood’s positive evolution? We’ll explore this question for a while, and then look ahead toward a shared vision for this community. But first I want to set the stage:

Speaking of, ahem, First Friday

Via e-mail from the Spokane Arts Commission: We’re excited about Visual Arts Tour on Friday, October 1 and  Saturday, October 2. Venues are open 5 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday.
There are 41 venues with all species and subspecies of art, music, and food.  With special events at the Lion’s Lair, at Terrain, the Riverspeak Collective’s exhibition “Kinetic”, to mature artists works like Selene Santucci at the Chase and Harold Balsz at the TinMan there is lots to see and try out.  For a complete schedule of galleries, events, and openings, please download below or check out the Spokesman Review & the Inlander!  Come enjoy an evening of drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, photography and other visual art. Take in diverse live performances!  This tour has some traditions and some new energetic and curious activities. Here’s the list,

Crime update

Via e-mail from neighborhood crime watchers Will and Sue Hille:

We no longer receive the SPD crime maps at C.O.P.S. East Central so I want to be sure you all know about sites you can connect to directly for daily updating on crime incidents close to your home.
The first is elert - a free service through the Spokane Police Department. Go to the Spokane Police Department and look on the left side of the screen for elert. Follow the prompts to sign up. This is a secure site and it provides current information about any area of the city you select.
The other is, another free service that shows you a daily crime map delineating incidents within a three-mile radius of your address.
By checking both of these daily you will have better information more quickly than anything we can send.  Emergency alerts will come directly to your e-mail address.

Open house for Ferris modernization

There is an open house at Ferris High School on Oct. 6 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at which the public is invited to fiew and comment on the final renderings of the Ferris modernization project. Construciton is expected to begin in late spring 2011 and will take an estimated three years.
Spokane Public School staff and reprensentatives from the architectual firm will be there to answer questions.

Via e-mail from Kristy Mylroie, communications specialist at Spokane Public Schools

The blog is back

Hello neighbors, I’m back from vacation rested and somewhat energized. What have you all been up to? What are your plans for the fall? I’m looking forward to hearing from you all. How’s school going for all of you?
This weekend I noticed an increase in yard sales (perhaps it was just on my block?) - remember to let me know if you’re planning one. Figure we can list a few here on the South Perry Blog.
On Thursday, I’ll be at the South Perry Café from 7 a.m. and as long as you can keep me there - yes, I will bring some papers - and remember the Farmers Market is still going Thursday afternoon between 3-7 p.m.
When I went on vacation there was some talk about bringing First Friday to South Perry. I hate to break this to you but First Friday is THIS Friday - if you have plans to celebrate send me an e-mail at

Openings at Liberty Park Child Development Center

Liberty Park Child Development Center, 1417 E. Hartson, has openings for children four years old and younger state-funded ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program).

The center is a non-profit ministry of the Presbyterian Church and serves primarily low-income families with a Christian preschool, and before and after school programs for children in kindergarten through the sixth grade.

They are currently recruiting students for its ECEAP classroom for children who were four years old before Aug. 31.

For more information, call Jenn at (509) 534-0957 or visit

Even a blog needs a little time off

Hello neighbors - I have the next two weeks off and as much as I love doing this blog, I’m taking a vacation from that, too. While I’m gone, I’m handing the “big keys” to the blog to my good friend and colleague Lisa Leinberger - you can reach her at: or (509) 459-5449.

Don’t be shy - please e-mail Lisa or give her a call with blog news - she’ll be all over it. I’ll return on Sept. 27. Until then, I’m sure I’ll see you around the Perry District.


Bonus movie night

School is back in session and the weather is getting cooler, but there is still a chance to enjoy a summer tradition in the South Perry Neighborhood.

The Spokane Buddhist Temple will present one last movie at the Shop, 924 S. Perry, Saturday at dusk.

The movie, “Secondhand Lions,” stars Haley Joel Osment, Kyra Sedgwick, Michael Caine and Robert Duvall.

Everyone should bring their own blankets, coats and chairs for the movie, which is rated PG.

For more information, call the temple office at (509) 534-7954.

Business and neighborhood association update

The South Perry Business and Neighborhood Association meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Perry Street Cafe - and it needs your help and input. The organization formed years ago when businesses were first moving into the district, and it falls under the East Central Neighborhood Council. Business oweners, neighbors, teachers, anyone with a connection to South Perry is welcome to attend the meetings.

The annual meeting is coming up on October 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Emmanuel Life Center - Mayor Mary Verner has been invited, and so has city council menbers Jon Snyder and Richard Rush. Brian Estes will give an update about the Farmers Market and there will be a sign up sheet for volunteer positions - or just volunteers.

Great gift from Perry Fair and Parade

The proceeds from this year’s South Perry Fair and Parade were designated to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and to Grant Elementary School’s PAWS program. On Tuesday night at the South Perry Business and Neighborhood Association, Kris Gladeau, a teacher at Grant, received $1,000 toaward purchasing new books for the school library.

“This means so much, it really is a great gift,” said Gladeau, looking at the check. “It has been years since we have been able to buy any new books. It’s like our fiction section is all classics.”

Gladeau said she’ll ask the students which kinds of books they are interested in and then create a purchase list from there.

So much good food, so little time.

After enjoying the Farmers Market on Thursday, I started my day Friday with a wonderful breakfast at the Perry Street Café. The service and food were great as always and it was nice to see the café filled with happy and satisfied customers. For dinner we had another tasty pizza from South Perry Pizza—you’ll find me there most Friday nights. As always, the place was bustling and there was just a short wait for a table. And then to top the day off we went across the street to the Lantern for a little beer and wine. Good conversation sitting outdoors on the patio enjoying the evening. How can you beat all this good food and fun just a few blocks from home? This week I’ll work on having lunch in the neighborhood as well. Experience tells me The Shop has some good food going on mid-day. Maybe I’ll see you there. From Tony Kliment.

Neighborhood yard sale on Saturday

From Summer Hightower at Veda Lux Boutique: I am planning a big yard sale in the Perry District this saturday. If you have stuff you want to sell, please join in on the fun! Let me know if you would like a space reserved. There is plenty of room in my parking lot, so furniture and large items are acceptable.
Where: Veda Lux- 1106 S. Perry Street
When: Saturday, September 11th
Time: 7 a.m- 5 p.m.
Contact Summer here.

Watch out for the kids

Hey neighbors: slow down. Yes, the pavement is nice and new and smooth coming down Perry on your daily commute, but please slow down and watch the speed limit - school is back in session. Please watch out for the kids crossing Perry at Ninth Avenue (and everywhere else). There is still construction on Ninth - heaps of dirt and large machinery sometimes obscure the view - so please, please slow down.

As the neighborhood is developing we are (thankfully) seeing more pedestrians, both young and old, and we are seeing many more cars parked along the street in the business district and on the side streets. Watch out for each other - and please slow down.

Please welcome Spencer Grainger to the blog

From Spencer Grainger in his own words: I have lived with my wife, and recently with two children, in the South Perry Neighborhood since 2003. We were attracted to the walkability of this area, so we purchased a 1911 craftsman home near Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery that we have slowly been renovating and improving. Since moving here, I have worked with the South Perry Business & Neighborhood Association and the South Perry Farmers’ Market. I have also helped organize the Summer Street Fair.
My background is in urban planning, community development, and community organizing. I obtained my Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from EWU in 2008. Recently, I helped complete and open the Emmanuel Family Life Center, which is located at
Richard Allen Court.
Ihave worked to strengthen communication within our neighborhood. I helped create the “South Perry Neighborhood News,” which is a monthly e-newsletter distributed through the Emmanuel Center - visit to sign up. I hope to offer a perspective on local community development and organizing initiatives, and additionally, I hope to bring a unique perspective to the blog from the broader faith based community. Other areas of interest that I want to discuss relate to planning and public policy. Specifically, I would like to comment on policy affecting historic preservation, design, land use, transportation, and the environment.
You can e-mail Spencer directly at:

Vandalism, car prowlings super annoying

I was a victim of the car break-ins the other night. Our car was parked in front of the house and sometime during the night the back window was smashed. There was nothing of value in the car; it just appeared to be random vandalism. Be sure to keep all items out of sight and you if see any unusual activity in your neighborhood please call Crime Check. Every piece of information they can get helps to build cases and catch suspects.

From Tony Kliment.

Last minute First Friday?

Hello neighbors - Summer Hightower, the owner of Veda Lux Boutique, is trying to pull together a last minute First Friday celebration for, well, tomorrow. Summer wants to bring First Friday to South Perry, so if you are a local artist or musician and you can help her out in however little way tomorrow - stop by her shop (right next to the windmill) or find her here on Facebook.

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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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