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Spokane Valley blog

Archive for August 2013

September road work

Yes, next week really is September. For now road construction season is still in full swing and there are some projects coming up that might mess with your commute. Eighth Avenue will be closed just east of Wilbur Court begining at 8 a.m. Tuesday for utility work. Traffic will be detoured via Sixth Avenue or 10th Avenue. The road will reopen at 3:30 p.m.

Spokane County will be doing some chip seal work on Dishman-Mica Road next week. Crews will be working from the southern Spokane Valley city limits to Madison Road on Wednesday and from Madison Road to Highway 27 on Thursday. Expect to see lane closures and flaggers.  

Other big projects are still underway as well: Argonne Road is down to one lane in each direction from Wellesley to Bigelow Gulch, Bruce Road is closed from Stoneman to Day-Mount Spokane Road and a roundabout is being constructed at Mission Avenue and Harvard Road in Liberty Lake.

Today’s highlights

Ted Taylor waves to passing motorists from his fruit stand at 2900 E. Trent Ave. on Monday. SR photo/Dan Pelle

First I'd like to report a missing morning. With that done, it's time for a bunch of good highlights from today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Faye's House, which provides a place to stay to people in town for cancer treatment. The house is run by Because There is Hope, a local non-profit. Cancer patients are referred to the home by social service agencies.

Lisa also chatted with Ted Taylor of Northwest Citrus Plus, who has staked out a corner at Trent Avenue and Freya where he sells cases of oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemons. Turner used to sell his citrus door to door and has customers that buy their fruit from him year after year.

Correspondent Cindy Hval recently spoke with Jim Zahand, who donated 5,000 books to the Spokane County Library District. The books were from the personal collection of his wife, Diane Zahand, who taught at Pioneer School and Prism School in Spokane Valley.

The Spokane Valley City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether or not to try to buy the Painted Hills Golf Course at a trustee's sale in September. The course was put on the auction block after its owners filed for bankruptcy.

The Spokane Valley FIre Department just accepted a settlement relating to the botched design of the new Edgecliff Fire Station. The department will received $50,000 in damages from the architect and the civil engineer hired by the architect to work on the project.

Should Spokane Valley buy Painted Hills?

Golf carts sit locked behind a fence at Painted Hills Golf Course back in March. SR file photo.

It looks like there will be a vote at next Tuesday's Spokane Valley City Council meeting on whether the city should attempt to buy the Painted Hills Golf Course during a trustee's auction on the steps of the Spokane County Courthouse in September. A small group of neighbors have been pleading with the city to buy the course and reopen it, but the parks director has said it would make a great community park. So what do you think? Should the city buy it? And if so, should it remain a golf course?

Public comment on the possible purchase will be accepted before the vote next week. If you'd like to put in your two cents, show up at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave.

Saturday’s highlights

John White, 23, is seen reflected in the rearview mirror of his 1994 CBR 600 motorcycle before running through a low-speed obstacle course during Ride ’Em Wednesday this week at Empire Cycle and Powersports. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Good Monday morning, everyone. I hope everyone made it through our short but powerful thunder storm last night in one piece. There are, of course, some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Empire Cycle and Powersports for their weekly Ride 'Em Wednesday event. It includes motorcycle competitions, live music and a beer garden.  

The Spokane Valley Lodging Tax Advisory Committee recently had a meeting to discuss changes in state law governing lodging tax distribution and funding goals being put together by the City Council. The committee now has the only say in what groups and organizations will receive funding.

Yesterday was Day One of the annual “Paws in the Pool” event and Day Two kicks off tonight at the Valley Mission Pool. The annual dog swim has a new feature this year - specially made ramps to help the dogs get out of the water.

Pines exit, I-90 overpass closed tonight

Take note if you're going to be driving in Spokane Valley tonight: Pines Road will be closed between Mission Avenue and Indiana Avenue while crews pave the I-90 overpass. The closure is scheduled to being at 7 p.m. tonight and could last through 7 a.m. Friday. The eastbound I-90 on and off ramps at Pines Road will also be closed. Drivers should plan to use Evergreen Road or Argonne Road to cross the freeway tonight.

Today’s highlights

Kelly Hamill tries to detect the faint aroma of vanilla found in the bark of a mature ponderosa pine during a class for teachers at the Dishman Hills Natural Area on Tuesday. Hamill was among the elementary schoolteachers taking a class about how to use the popular park for educational purposes. SR photo Jesse Tinsley

Happy Thursday, everyone. We're another step closer to Friday. We've got some good highlights from today's Valley Voice, including more details on the replacement of the west Sullivan Bridge over the Spokane River. The bridge that carries southbound traffic was built in 1951 and has been rated structurally deficient. Construction should begin in early 2014.

Reporter Pia Hallenberged tagged along on a recent field trip for teachers in the Dishman Hills Natural Area. The teachers were learning how to incorporate plants, animals and geology of the area into their classrooms.

The eastern edge of Spokane County has a lot of what is known as no man's land - areas not served by a fire district. Residents living in those areas can't count on a fire department coming to their rescue if their house catches on fire, though in some cases the firefighters come anyway. A recent fire in a no man's land area north of Otis Orchards drew a response from three surrounding fire districts.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger dropped by a special Zombie Day at the Spokane Valley Library recently. The library has been having various events for kids all summer and in this one they put on makeup to make themselves look like zombies, ate zombie treats and learned about zombie books.

Coming soon: a new bridge

Last night Spokane Valley City Manager Mike Jackson announced that the city will be able to move ahead with the replacement of the west Sullivan Road bridge over the Spokane River. The city has been trying to come up with enough money to tear down the 1951 bridge and build a new one since 2008. The bottom line: the project should go out to bid this fall and construction should start in early 2014. I'll have more details in Thursday's Valley Voice. SR file photo.

Saturday’s highlights

Dan Westacott, of Crop Production Services, harvests wheat at the East Valley Farm and Community Garden on Thursday. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Good Monday morning, everyone. Sorry for ducking out of here unannounced last week. I took a little road trip to Colorado to drop my daughter off at school and forgot to warn everyone that I wouldn't be around. I'm back now, though, and ready with some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice.

The Millwood City Council has voted to postpone a planned sidewalk project on Buckeye Ave., according to a report from correspondent Valerie Putnam. The bids for the project all came in at least $40,000 higher than expected and the council voted to reject all of them and regroup. The project could still be completed in 2014.

Reporter Pia Hallenberg stopped by the East Valley Farm and Community Garden last week for the farm's first wheat harvest. The farm grows vegetables for the school lunch menu and the food bank. The wheat will be ground into flour and used in the school kitchens.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on Kayla Mainer, former volleyball player at West Valley High School and current assistant volleyball coach at Central Valley High School. She also plays with Team Evergreen in the Premier Volleyball League.

If you have a pooch that needs grooming, reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Debbie's Dog Grooming, which has been in business in Spokane Valley for 40 years. The family owned business even does cats.

Today’s highlights

Tyler Reeves mixes colored sprinkles and frosted animal cookies into ice cream to make Brain Freeze’s Circus ice cream. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Good Thursday morning, everyone. It's time for some highlights from today's Valley Voice. The election results are in for races in Spokane Valley, Latah, Rockford and Spokane County Fire District 9. In Spokane Valley incumbent Gary Schimmels will face challenger Ed Pace in November.

Reporter Pia Hallenberg stopped by the Brain Freeze Creamery in Spokane Valley, where you can buy flavors like salted caramel or Crayonberry Sorbet. They are always in search of new flavors to make. The maple bar bacon flavor sounds interesting.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked into the annual inspection process that all school buses must pass. Recently the Washington State Patrol was working its way through the Central Valley School District bus fleet. Any vehicle that carries children must pass inspection at least once a year.

There's also an interesting Vocal Point submitted by two Newman Lake residents addressed to whoever is having repeated parties on nearby land, leaving behind beer bottles and smoldering camp fires.

Spokane Valley incumbent advances

Incumbent Spokane Valley City Council member Gary Schimmels sailed through the primary election and will appear on the general election ballot in November along with opponent Ed Pace. Schimmels collected 34 percent of the vote while Pace garnered 36 percent. There are still some ballots to be counted, but the percentages aren't expected to change much.

It will be a tight race and the key to winning may be attracting the 28 percent of voters who cast their ballot for Loberg. While Loberg may be out of the running this year, don't count her out. “I'll just do it again in a couple years,” she said. “I think I have what the city needs. I'm just going to work harder to show people who I am and what I do.”

Look for a story on the election results in tomorrow's Valley Voice.  

Last chance to vote

Attention procrastinators: Today is your last chance to vote in the primary election. Ballots must be postmarked by today or dropped off before 8 p.m. at any ballot drop box located at local libraries. Many people didn't get a ballot, which only includes races with more than three candidates. But there are contested races in Spokane Valley, East Valley School District, Latah, Rockford and Spokane County Fire District 9.

Apparently many people who have gotten a ballot haven't returned it. The small town of Latah is leading with way with 45 percent of ballots already returned. Rockford comes in second with a 28 percent return rate. Other return rates are in the teens: only 16 percent of ballots have been returned for the Spokane Valley City Council races. The numbers are 13 percent in the East Valley School District and 15 percent for Fire District 9.

The first vote tally will be released at 8 p.m. today. It usually takes two weeks to count ballots and certify the results.

National Night Out

Tonight is National Night Out Against Crime, when neighbors are encouraged to gather for picnics and barbecues to get to know each other. In the Spokane Valley area there are parties planned at Edgecliff SCOPE (4-7 p.m.), East SCOPE (6-9 p.m.), Trentwood SCOPE (3-6 p.m.), University SCOPE (6-8 p.m.) and the Spokane Valley Target store on East Sprague (1-3 p.m.). There will be many more gatherings occuring in neighborhoods. Call (509) 893-3934 before 4 p.m. tonight to find the location of one near year or check here for the addresses of the SCOPE stations.

Saturday’s highlights

Jayne Singleton, director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, reads a list of Civil War veterans from a 1913 Spokesman-Review Tuesday at the museum. Sources like the old newspaper helped provide links from area pioneers to the Civil War. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Here we are at Monday again. It's the start of another work week in addition to being the day for a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped in at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum to check out a new exhibit on the Civl War. Some of the items on display include bone saws and a 1913 edition of The Spokesman-Review that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

The city of Spokane Valley is taking a look at what could be the final design of the expansion of Balfour Park. Another public meeting is planned for September to get input on what people think of the plan. The expansion would include a reading garden, veterans memorial, picnic shelter, a splash pad and more.

Lisa also has a story on University High School graduate Stevie Gildehaus, who will travel to Brazil next year as a Fulbright scholar. She will help teach English classes as well as take classes at a local university.

Today’s highlights

Dana Eberly, of Spokane Valley, heats a glass tube with a special torch setup before bending it. She said plastic signs took over in the 1970s, but neon came back in the 1980s. Now LED lights are popular. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

It's Thursday, it's cool and it might rain later. And to top if all off, we have some highlights from today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has an interesting story on Spokane Valley resident Dana Eberly, who makes and repairs neon signs. It's an exacting process to create the glass tubes.

The fate of the Painted Hills Golf Course has been determined after its owners declared bankruptcy last year: it will be sold in a trustee's sale on the steps of the Spokane County Courthouse next month. A group of residents have asked the city of Spokane Valley to buy the course so it won't be developed, but that doesn't look likely at this point.

The city is looking at the feasibility - and price tag - of adding sewer to a large swath of vacant industrial land near the eastern edge of the city. Early research shows an estimated cost of $10.2 million, but the project can be split in three phases and done over time.

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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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Nina Culver Nina Culver covers city of Spokane Valley, Spokane Valley Fire Department, Newman Lake Fire and Rescue, Spokane County Fire District 8, Liberty Lake Police Department and the small towns of Fairfield and Rockford.

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