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Spin Control

Posts tagged: City of Spokane

City to hold call-in session on budget

People who have a question of a comment or a question on the City of Spokane budget could get a chance to phone it in Tuesday night.

That's when the city is holding a Telephone Town Hall on the budget from 6 to 7 p.m. The phone number is (855) 296-4484. Or you can get to the online link by clicking here.

City loses $500,000 grant for whitewater park

OLYMPIA — A state board in charge of money for recreational projects rejected a plea from supporters of a whitewater park in the Spokane River and refused Thursday to extend a $500,000 grant. The project will probably take longer than supporters estimate, and the city should return when more prep work has been done, board members said.

In a 6-1 vote, the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board agreed with a staff decision in April not to extend the expiring grant. Board members rejected arguments that doing so would kill the momentum for the project; instead they said the project should complete an environmental impact statement and obtain needed permits, then return to the board to ask for the grant to be awarded a second time.

Spokane City Parks Director Leroy Eadie said after the vote that the next step will be to “go back and regroup” and try to find the $75,000 to $80,000 needed for the EIS. It might be possible to pay for that study with another grant obtained by Friends of the Falls: “This is a little bump in the road. This project's had a lot of bumps in the road.”

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.
  

City to review council boundaries

The City of Spokane is looking for three people willing to review its council district boundaries and decide whether they need to be adjusted as a result of the 2010 Census.

Think that's you? You have until July 1 to decide. Here's the criteria:

You must:
Be a registered voter.
Be a resident of the city for at least two years.

You can't:
Be a lobbyist now, or any time in the past year.
Campaign for public office, be part of someone else's campaign or contribute to a campaign while on the board
Serve on the City Council or campaign for a council seat for two  years after the plan takes effect.

If the lines are redrawn, they won't matter to this year's campaign. They'll be used in the 2013 city elections.

Board members will be nominated by the mayor and approved by the council. Council President Joe Shogan and a councilmember to be named later will serve in advisory capacity on the board.

And before you ask, no there's no pay involved.
  

Don’t plug city parking meters Monday

Monday is Presidents Day. In honor of that, you can avoid putting those little round metal things with portraits of George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt or Thomas Jefferson in city parking meters.

In other words, it's a parking meter holiday.

City on ducks: Let ‘em get their own food

For the umpteenth time, the City of Spokane’s Parks Department has a message for walkers and loungers at Manito Park.

Don’t feed the freaking ducks. Or the geese either, for that matter.

The city’s been trying to get folks to stop feeding the ducks for several years. The bread that is the most common food people bring to the park isn’t good for them, the ducks get fat on empty calories, they don’t get enough exercise and they foul the pond water.

But then, you’ve heard that all before. And YOU are probably not doing it. So the next time you’re at Manito Park and see SOMEONE ELSE feeding the ducks, feel free to read them the riot act.

Or maybe just point to one of the signs that say don’t feed the ducks.

City of Spokane take note: Red light cameras on Mukilteo ballot

OLYMPIA — City of Spokane officials might be watching one election result from across the state pretty closely on Nov. 2. Or if not, they should.

The City of Mukilteo has an initiative that severely limits the use of red-light cameras and speeding cameras which issue tickets to motorists they catch running lights or driving too fast. It would require a two-thirds majority of that city council AND a simple majority of voters to approve the devices, and reduce the cost of a fine to the amount of the lowest parking ticket.

The ballot measure, sponsored by Tim Eyman, had huge numbers of signatures at its turn  it, and qualified for the ballot. When one combines the universe of voters unhappy with their government with the universe of voters who don’t like to make it easier for police to issue them speeding and traffic tickets, it’s would seem this proposal has at least a decent chance of passage. (Note deliberate understatement as an literary device.)

A successful campaign in Mukilteo could spread across the state like  BP oil in the Gulf.  It’s also important to note that Eyman’s two chief lieutenants, Jack and Mike Fagan, are Spokane residents.

Drop that bag. Move away from the bread.

The City of Spokane is asking — actually, it’s sort of pleading, sort of demanding — that people stop feeding the ducks at Manito Pond.

City Parks and Recreation has put up signs to that effect. It has issued press releases and public announcements that feeding bread to the ducks is bad for the water fowl, and fouls the water.

People feeding ducks leads to an increase of ducks on the pond, which quickly becomes more than the pond can support, and some very nasty water. And the ducks don’t get much nutrition out of the bread, so they wind up fat and malnourished.

It seemed to be working for a while, but now, two years into the “Don’t Feed the Ducks” effort, City Parks is seeing an increase in duck feeding, and an increase in bread in the pond. (That seems to suggest that people are bringing bags of bread to the pond, reading the signs and tossing the bread in the water. “Honest officer, I wasn’t feeding the ducks. I was feeding the POND. Not my fault the ducks ate some of the bread before it sank.”)

So, to review. Don’t feed the ducks. Don’t take bread to the pond to feed the ducks.

But if you forget, and you bring the bread and read the sign and say “D’oh!” Don’t just toss the bread in the water, toss it in the trash cans conveniently located in the park. Or, better yet, take it home and toss it in your trash can.

Any questions?

Before the power goes out, read this

Anticipating that some power might be knocked out by high winds, the ever-helpful folks at Spokane City Hall sent out some tips, which Spin Control is happy to provide despite the obvious underlying irony that when you most need them, you won’t be able to read them here.

So read now and commit to memory:

**********************************************

WHEN THE POWER’S OUT, EVERYBODY STOPS

Expected high winds could lead to power outages, other street obstructions

**********************************************

 

With high winds in the forecast for today, here’s a reminder for motorists:  When the power’s out, everybody stops.  Motorists should use caution and treat a signalized intersection without power like a four-way stop, allowing vehicles to take turns.

 City Street crews are monitoring weather conditions closely today.  They are prepared to deploy generators to busy intersections, if needed, but they note that citizens should be prepared for dark signals as well as the possibility of downed power lines and trees blocking the roadway.

 Don’t approach a downed power line; call 9-1-1 for assistance.  To report a tree blocking traffic, call 625-7733.

Spokane’s snow plow Web site ranked No. 1

Spokane hasn’t had much of a chance to show off its new snow plan this winter thanks to mild temperatures. It has, however, earned props for its snow plow Web site.

Over the past couple of rough winters, Spokane created an online interactive map so residents can check which streets have been plowed during storms. That effort earned the No. 1 rank on the list of the “10 best cities for tracking snow removal online” by OhMyGov, a Web site that writes about government issues.

A new map for: Fire District bond

The only race that seems to be hanging fire still is the City of Spokane Fire Bond.

As of Friday, it had inched up to a 59.43 percent approval rating, or

29,611 for

20.215 against

It needs to get to 60 percent.

The county elections office estimates it has about 8,000 votes left to count. If half of them are from the city (which is about what we can expect in most elections), the bond issue is going to need about 67 percent approval rating in those ballots to close the gap.

Turn the valve to OFF

If the stalactite sized icicles around your sprinkler heads aren’t enough incentive, the City of Spokane has a request for homeowners.

Turn off your sprinklers.

Seems there are problems this morning with water from sprinklers running down the street, turning to ice and making slick spots on the streets. That’s apparently from sprinklers that are watering frozen ground, which, as one might imagine, does not soak up much water. For a homeowner, that might be marginally better than the alternative, which involves the water in the pipes being just as frozen as the ground, bursting the pipes and sprinkler heads and creating improptue ice sculptures.

So, to repeat, turn off your sprinklers. And drain the system to avoid frozen pipes and heads.

City Water Department also has some other cold weater suggestions, which are reprinted inside the blog. They’re the standard things, but this may be the earliest we’ve printed them.

What do you think about MKL Way?

The City of Spokane is considering naming a new stretch of street just east of downtown as Martin Luther King Way. It’s the section of what might more cartographically be labelled an extension of Riverside Avenue east of Division, which would be built through the old railroad warehouse area that will become part of the university district.

It’s also thinking of naming the pedestrian bridge in the university district as the Coretta Scott King Memorial Bridge.

If you think that’s the best idea since sliced bread or the worst idea since disco, or something in between, the city is inviting you to send comments. They can be e-mailed to tpalmquist@spokanecity.org  .

Or you could just wait for the public hearings that will be scheduled later for the Plan Commission and the City Council.

Ground “broken” for sewage treatment plant

One of the largest public works projects in Spokane County history — one that has been nearly 30 years in the making — got its official start Thursday as local officials held a dirt turner for the $140 million wastewater treatment facility.

For those unfamiliar with such events, a dirt turner is news media terminology for a standard arrow in the public officials’ quiver of events. A bunch of people who have little or no business on a construction site go out to a piece of land that’s been cleared for some big construction project, stand around near heavy equipment, and at the appropriate time stick shovels in the ground and hoist up what is often a pitiful amount of earth to signal the beginning of the project.

Standing on land off Freya Street once occupied by stockyards — any allusion to the by-product of so many cows standing around for so many years is strictly the fault of the county here — elected and appointed government leaders from the county, the city of Spokane Valley and the city of Spokane stuck shovels into the pre-softened soil and complimented each other for their cooperation.

Really. They were extremely nice to each other. Dirt turners bring out the best in public officials.

Two-armed pickup

It’s such a nice day that anyone with time on their hands Wednesday morning should consider stopping by Corbin Park at 11 a.m., where the city plans to show off one of its newest vehicles.

A new garbage truck that can pick up cans on either side of the alley in a single pass. It’s sure to be a big event; even Mayor Mary Verner is supposed to be there.

Hmmm. Garbage pickup. Corbin Park. Alleys. Mary Verner.

Where have we seen those concepts all together in the past?

Oh, yeah…

The difference between bond issues

Although it’s too early to declare the Spokane School District’s bond issue a winner, it is clear that it did considerably better than the City of Spokane’s bond issue.

It pulled more votes out of almost every city precinct that the two proposals shared. Sometimes lots more, as the above map of the first night’s vote totals shows.

This is interesting for several reasons.

Bond report: Dist. 81 yes; “police and pets” no

Spokane School District officials can probably rest easy tonight. Their $288 million bond issue has a comfortable lead, and seems headed for passage.

News for the City of Spokane’s Police Department and animal control plans is not so good. The $18.5 million “Police and Pets” bond issue was thumped. Hard.

The above map is a look at the city bond issue as of Tueday night’s count.-

 

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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