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Spokane Valley

River rock homes in Spokane Valley

Together with staff at The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum we are looking for homes in Spokane Valley constructed with river rock. The homes we are looking for don't have to be as elaborate as the original Vera Water Pump House above, but the front or another significant part of the house should be built using river rock (a river rock foundation is not going to make it). However, if you have a stretch of river rock wall or entrance pillars, we'd be curious about those too. Please email your name, address, year the home was built and a snapshot (if you have one) to piah@spokesman.com 

STA open house and forum Thursday

Spokane Transit Authority is hosting a series of open houses asking the public for input on its long-range transit plan, Moving Forward. The first open house is Oct. 9 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Center Place, 2426 North Discovery Place. Valley residents are encouraged to show up and share their input on transit service today and in the future. Public input may be emailed to stamovingforward@spokanetransit.com or by calling the STA Moving Forward Hotline at (509) 343-1659.

Spokane Valley City Council meeting tonight

This evening's City Council meeting is a study session during which city staff will present research on current topics and issues facing the council. Tonight, we will hear about possible restrictions on truck parking in neighborhoods and get a briefing on proposed amendments to the Spokane Valley municipal code. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall - here's the agenda. 

Who makes Spokane Valley what it is?

A city is made up from the people who live there. It’s the sum of their experiences, trials, joys, victories and everyday life that makes a community what it is. One reason why I spend so much time driving around Spokane Valley and drink so much coffee (I haven’t slept since I got on this beat…) is because I want to meet the people who live here - and I need your help. 

The week of the Valley virus

The second week in Spokane Valley did not go quite as smoothly as the first one because the blog got a virus. Actually, I got a virus and was laid up for a day in the middle of the week, but hey, I still got some Valley miles in; 47 miles for those counting at home.

On Tuesday, I met the Valley Rotary Club at their regular meeting at Darcy’s Restaurant. Chris Cargill of the Washington Policy Center did an interesting presentation on policy development in the state and the upcoming election. Among many services and think tank initiatives the center runs WashingtonVotes.org – a website that lets you keep track of bills as they move through the Washington legislature. You can subscribe to email updates about bills you are following. I also got to talk to the Rotarians about the upcoming Rotary Men of Fashion show happening on Oct. 10 – story’s coming right up.

 

Senate Law and Justice Committee meets in Valley

The Senate Law and Justice Committee will meet in Spokane City Council Chambers, 11707 E. Sprague Ave., on Oct. 2 from 1- 3 p.m. Chaired by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, the committee will hold its regular work session here instead of in Olympia. On the agenda is: Electronic monitoring/home detention; habitual property offenders, subject of legislation introduced by Padden last year; sentencing options related to mental health/illness such as treatment instead of jail; patent trolling; proposed revisions to state law concerning Limited Liability Companies and the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative, judicial and executive branches of state government. 

In the market for a rabbit or two?

SCRAPS is hosting a special adoption event on Oct. 1 from 2-6 p.m. at the Spokane County Fairgrounds, featuring animals from the recent seizure near Deer Park. Up for adoption are: 60 rabbits, 14 roosters and two billy goats. 
A $25 adoption fee is requested for rabbits; $10 for roosters and $50 for the billy goats. The adoption fee helps recover the cost of care and feeding of the animals during their holding period. Call SCRAPS at (509) 477-2532. 

Suspected arson fires continue to flare

Fire investigators believe that the high number of brush fires spotted lately are the work of an arsonist. The fires are within Fire District 8 and there has been more than two dozen of them. Scott Maben wrote today's story on the fires - please keep an eye out for anything suspicious and call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 with any reports. You can also contact Fire District 8 directly. 

The week to come

Here's your Monday afternoon blog update and a quick look ahead at the week to come. Remember, there's no Spokane Valley City Council meeting tomorrow, Sept. 30.  the council will resume its regular meeting schedule with a study session on Oct. 7. At that meeting, city staff will present two ordinances aimed at regulating semi truck parking on residential streets. Look for a preview story about that issue in The Valley Voice on Oct. 2.  

On Sept. 30, I will have lunch with the Rotary Club of Spokane Valley at noon. The group's fashion show is coming up on Oct. 10, so look for a story about that next week. I'm looking forward to meeting the good folks at Rotary and would be happy to come meet with your Spokane Valley based community group as well. Just shoot me an email at piah@spokesman.com 

On Wednesday, Oct. 1, I will be at Forza Coffee Co. - 325 S. Sullivan Rd. - at around 9 a.m. for another round of Valley morning coffee. Please stop by and say hello and share a Spokane Valley story with me. 

Finally Friday

It's Friday at the end of my first official week on the Spokane Valley beat - what did I do? Well, I put 140 miles on my little car. I'm a spoiled woman, used to a 10 minute commute and the ability to walk to many of my assignments downtown, so that's a lot of miles for me. 
I met the entire Valley City Council at the meeting I covered on Tuesday. I'm happy to say that everyone was really friendly and helpful.

Sullivan Bridge project celebrated

The Spokane Valley City Council and dignitaries from around the area gathered on the shore of the Spokane River to kick off the Sullivan West Bridge Replacement Project, today at 3:30 p.m. The west bridge is the southbound part of the 60-year-old structure which is currently held together with temporary reinforcement. Before the ribbon cutting, Spokane Valley Mayor Dean Grafos told the gathering that bridge safety never was an issue but that replacement was badly needed. “This is one of the most vital pieces of Valley infrastructure,” Grafos said, adding that it’s a major north-south arterial. “More than 4,500 jobs depend on smooth flow of traffic on this bridge.”

 

Friday morning coffee

The Spokane Valley Blog is touring coffee houses in the Valley and surrounding municipalities starting at Galaxy Grind, 12402 E. Saltese Rd., at 9 a.m. on Sept. 26. That's tomorrow. Feel free to stop by and say hello. The morning coffee dates will continue for the next couple of months as I get to know Spokane Valley in more detail. To keep updated, follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook - and of course, read the blog. It's good for you. 

Don’t park it here

It's not easy driving a big rig: In downtown Spokane they get jammed under railway overpasses and soon they may be restricted from parking on residential streets in Spokane Valley. The City Council has scheduled a study session on Oct. 7 to possibly adopt an ordinance restricting parking - read the story here.

The Valley Precinct wants your drugs

The Spokane Valley Police Precinct is giving everyone a chance to get rid of their old drugs on Sept. 27. Drop off expired, unused and otherwise not needed medication between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Precinct, 12710 E. Sprague Ave.

Spokane Valley City Council meeting tonight

The Spokane Valley City Council his holding its regular meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave. On the agenda are items dealing with the comprehensive plan update, the 2015 property tax ordinance and an informational update on the Fife marijuana ban. In July, the City Council adopted some restrictions to where marijuana businesses may be operated. For more details see tonight's agenda - note that this is an informational agenda item only.

Sullivan Bridge project kickoff

The replacement of the Sullivan Bridge begins on Sept. 25 and the public is invited to stop by for a project orientation at 3:30 p.m. Spokane Valley Mayor Dean Grafos will be there together with other city dignitaries and project staff. The $15 million project is expected to be finished in 2016. Read more about it here. 

To sign up for traffic alerts and project updates from Spokane Valley visit the city's website and click on “follow us.” 

Valley Fest took flight

This weekend marked another wonderful Valley Fest celebration - the 25th to be exact. Check out photographer Dan Pelle's slide show from the festive weekend here. And share your favorite Valley Fest memories in the comments below. 

Zombie breakfast not a dead affair

I attended the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce “Zombie Breakfast” this morning at Mirabeau Park Hotel and got a chance to say hello to the new president and CEO of the chamber, Katherine Morgan. John Guarisco said that Morgan was selected from a group of 20 highly qualified applicants. 

“It was very difficult,” Guarisco said, “but she was the one person who was just a bundle of passion for Spokane Valley.”

 

Hello Spokane Valley

- I'm your new designated reporter and I am looking to have some fun with this blog, too. I just spent a good hour visiting with Carolbelle Branch at City Hall, and she helped me come up with a list of people and places to visit as I get a sense of my new beat. 

I will be taking the blog on the road in Spokane Valley on a regular basis - hopefully once a week - and I encourage you to come out and meet with me. The easiest way to keep track of me is to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter; I will be posting invites there as I go. Story ideas are always welcome at piah@spokesman.com 

Valley’s first legal pot store set to open

The Valley’s first state-licensed recreational marijuana shop is hosting a grand opening celebration Friday.

Sativa Sisters is located in the former Planned Parenthood building at 10525 E. Trent Ave., just inside Millwood city limits. It plans on carrying marijuana from at least three regional producers, including a line of organic pot grown in nearby Lincoln County.

“It’s exciting,” said general manager Eric Skaar. “We haven’t even announced we’re opening and we’ve already got people stopping in.”

The store will keep daily operating hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and also offers smoking paraphernalia.

Friday’s celebration will include live music and a taco truck in the afternoon.

The store is the fourth to open in the Spokane area since July, when state regulators began issuing licenses to retail marijuana operations. The first three are in North Spokane. State regulators will allow up to 18 licensed retail shops throughout Spokane County, with eight allotted for the city of Spokane and three for the city of Spokane Valley.

Most of the first stores to open statewide have struggled with supply shortages that limited their hours of operation, but Skaar said he's confident Sativa Sisters will be able to maintain regular daily operating hours. He said that one of the reasons they're just now opening is because they wanted to have supply issues resolved ahead of time.

The city of Millwood issued the store a business license after concluding the location complied with zoning codes and other restrictions, officials said. The store also obtained city permits for renovations and other improvements to the property before opening.

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About this blog

Welcome to the Spokane Valley blog. Here we cover news, events and information from the greater Spokane Valley area, including Millwood, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Rockford and Fairfield.

Stop by often to find stories, information on events received too late to print in the Valley Voice and breaking news.

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