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Spokane Valley blog

Archive for September 2013

Saturday’s highlights

Tiffany Allen, who has Down Syndrome, sits beside the formal dress she will wear as she vies for homecoming princess at East Valley High School. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Hold on to your hat, and your Saturday Valley Voice, so it doesn't blow away on this very breezy Monday. We had a couple of stories about teenagers doing well to start off with. Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote about East Valley High School junior Tiffany Allen who has been nominated for homecoming royalty. Allen, who has Down syndrome, is getting a lot of support from her fellow students.

Teenager Micaela Halpin won second place in the recent video and photo contests run by the city of Spokane Valley in celebration of the city's 10th anniversary. Halpin's winning entries and the entries of the other winners can be seen at www.spokanevalley10.com.

A recent dog attack in the small town of Latah is illustrating the problem that many small towns are having with animal control. Many of the towns contract with SpokAnimal, which doesn't have any enforcement powers outside of the Spokane city limits. Now the towns are looking to the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service for help.

Today’s highlights

Meghan Palmer demonstrates her leaps in her dance studio in Spokane Valley. The avid Highland dancer traveled to Scotland and placed third at the World Highland Dancing Championships. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Happy chilly Thursday, everyone. We've got another great collection of Valley Voice highlights for you today. Reporter Pia Hallenberg talked to Highland dancer Meghan Palmer, 16, who recently placed third at the Scottish World Highland Dancing Championships. Photographer Jesse Tinsley also took some great photos of some of her high flying moves.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Pasadena Park Elementary, where musician Joel Brantley recently brought his anti-bullying message and his Elvis impersonation. He made the kids part of his show, complete with rubber guitars and Elvis sunglasses.

This week the Spokane Valley City Council allocated funding to outside agencies and looked at Community Development Block Grant funding. They also heard more than two hours of public comment against the XXXtreme Espresso coffee stand that features bikini baristas and topless Tuesdays and Thursday.

There was a lot of talk about nipples

With a crowd spilling into the hallway, hundreds of citizens showed up at Tuesday's Spokane Valley City Council meeting to voice their concern about the XXXtreme Espresso stand on Sprague Avenue near Pines Road. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Many of the 200 or so people who packed into City Hall for last night's Spokane Valley City Council meeting were there to complain about a new business in town, XXXtreme Espresso. The baristas wear bikinis most days, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays they are topless, wearing only pasties. This is what led numerous people to mention nipples (and other parts of the body) in their comments to the council.

But among the comments about concern for the activity taking place in the view of children was another message: take immediate action or we'll kick you out of office. Three of the current council members are up for election on the November ballot. Resident Dan Ross said he would campaign against anyone “who does not stand up for my children.” “As you can see, I have a few friends,” he said. “We are not afraid to take those positions away from you.”

Reporter Jody-Lawrence Turner has a story today on the issue. Click here to read more.

Update: The City Council has called a special meeting for 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. Items on the agenda include solid waste and potential regulations on public nudity. Public comment will not be taken.

Saturday’s highlights

Instructor Adam Smith teaches karate to autistic students, left to right, Tessa Merritt, 17, Matthew Pretz, 17, and Paul McKinley, 18, at Tazmanian Martial Arts in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Welcome to fall, everyone. Let's ring in the brisk weather by checking out some highlighs from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on University High School math teacher Mike Conklin, who was recently nominated for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. There have only been five previous winners of the award in the Spokane area.

The Spokane County Library District is in the final stages of deciding whether to put a bond on the ballot in April to build two new libraries in Spokane Valley. The bond, if approved, would build a new Spokane Valley Library and a new neighborhood library on Conklin Road. The board of trustees is scheduled to vote on the issue in October.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam wrote about a special needs class offered at Tazmanian Martial Arts. Students gain self confidence along with better balance, strength and coordination. Lisa also has information on a free vaccination clinic for children that will be offered Tuesday at North Pines Middle School.

The fall elections are fast approaching, so we fact checked some claims made by Ed Pace about his opponent, incumbent Gary Schimmels. A check of Schimmels' voting record show that some of the claims are true, but others are false or only partly true.

I’m still waiting

I dropped by the Spokane County Courthouse today for the previously postponed trustee's auction of the Painted Hills Golf Course only to find that it has been postponed. Again. The new date is October 4, though at this point I wonder if that is the auction date or the postponement date. So once again we wait and see what might happen.  

Today’s highlights

Rustin Hall and his son Joseph unfold the wing structure of the 24-foot, 75-pound dragon they built for the University High School drama department production of “Shrek.” SR photo/Dan Pelle

Now that I have finally found my copy of today's Valley Voice that was sitting right in front of me on my desk, I can go over some highlights. (Don't ask. It's one of those days.) Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a cool story on a local family that built a huge mechanical dragon for the University High School's winter play “Shrek.” She breathes smoke, she talks and she moves. It will take five students to control the beast. The production is scheduled for Dec. 5-14. Is it too soon to buy tickets?

The Southest Spokane County Fair is this weekend in Rockford. The 69th annual event features a parage, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, live music, a pancake breakfast, a fun run and much more. Of course, you can't forget all the animals either. They even play center stage in the Cow Chip Bingo.

A woman interested in opening a gymnastics facility is asking the city of Spokane Valley to make changes to its zoning code to allow her business to be located in an industrial zone. In a close vote, the city council sent the proposal back to the planning commission for further deliberation.

The city of Liberty Lake has finished a couple of missing links in its trail system along Sprague Avenue. There will be a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday at Sprague and Molter Road.

Economic update breakfast

We all want to know how the economy is doing these days, don't we? The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce will host their monthly Business Connections breakfast at 6:30 a.m. Friday at the Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road. The featured speaker will be Grant Forsyth, Chief Economist at Avista Corp., who will give a mid-year economic update. The program will begin at 7 a.m. The cost is $25 for members or $35 for non-members. Call (509) 924-4994 or visit www.spokanevalleychamber.org to register.

Saturday’s highlights

Second-grader Isabella Collier reads quietly in her class at South Pines Elementary School on Wednesday. Isabella is in the Student, Parent Alternative Classroom Experience program, where parents opt in and promise to volunteer and contribute funds to the program. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

I trust we have all dusted ourselves off from last night's storm and are ready for another Monday. I made the mistake of having my windows open when the storm hit last night and had to scurry around closing them when I started choking on the dust. There is dusting in my future.

Now on to the highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. A final community meeting was held last week to discuss the design of the Balfour Park expansion. Several well attended meetings were held in the spring to get input on what amenities to include and people who stopped by last week seemed pleased with the result. The Spokane County Library District has also installed a Little Free Library on the site in lieu of the expected Spokane Valley Library branch that is planned for the site.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by South Pines Elementary School to check out their Student, Parents Alternative Classroom Experience (SPACE). Parents help keep the class organized so the teacher has more time to spend with students.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam reports that the city of Millwood is considering whether to accept a $448,208 loan from the state to repalce a 60-year-old water main that runs under Buckeye Avenue. A special meeting is planned later this month so the council can vote on the loan.

Paving work is expected to begin next week on Indiana Avenue between Pines Road and Mirabeau Parkway and on Carnahan Road from Eighth Avenue to the city limits. The city is making one final road construction push before the weather becomes too cold for paving.

 

Painted Hills auction postponed

In case you were anxiously awaiting the news of who bought the Painted Hills Golf Course: the trustee's sale that was supposed to take place today at the Spokane County Courthouse has been postponed until next Friday. The course is being auctioned off after the owners filed for bankruptcy last year. I guess we'll all have to tune in next week to find out what happens.

Today’s highlights

East Farms STEAM Magnet School students attended the East Valley School Board meeting Sept. 10 with their heavy backpacks in tow to advocate for lockers at their school. From left: Marena Stewart, 12, Tizara Belback, 12, Riley Wallwork, 11, and Shontelle Belback, 12. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Well, it's better late than never when it comes to highlights from today's Valley Voice, right? Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a protest at Tuesday's East Valley School District board meeting staged by middle school parents and students. They were objecting to the lack of lockers for middle school students now that the district has moved to a K-8 model that puts those students in the elementary schools.

It's that time again: Valleyfest is approaching fast. One of the new events this year is a triathlon that features a 1.5 mile paddle on the Spokane River in addition to a bike ride and a run. Organizers are still looking for participants, so register online at www.valleyfest.org if you have something that floats. The classics are returning too, like the hot air balloons, the parade, the pancake breakfast, the live music and lots more. It's all heppening Sept. 20-22.

The Washington State Court of Appeals has handed down a split decision in a lawsuit over a roundabout at Wilbur and Montgomery in front of the Montgomery Court Apartments. The court upheld a decision to throw out the property owners' claims that restricting vehicle access to their complex was an unconstitutional taking but also ruled that the property owners are entitled to a trial on whether or not the city of Spokane Valley has to put in an additional driveway on Montgomery as they allegedly agreed to do.  

No council meeting tonight

This is just a reminder that there is no Spokane Valley City Council meeting tonight. Instead council members are taking turns today manning a Spokane Valley booth at the Spokane County Interstate Fair. Today is officially Spokane Valley Day at the Fair in celebration of the city's 10th anniversary. Any concidence that today is the 10th? Probably not. So if you just can't last week without a dose of city politics, head over to the fairgrounds at Broadway and Havana.

Saturday’s highlights

T.J. Williams Jr., the director of photography, frames up a shot with a digital movie camera in Fairfield, on Wednesday, while shooting a feature film assisted by North By Northwest. At right is Adam Miller, the first assistant camera operator. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Oh, it's Monday again. Pardon me while I shake off the weekend cobwebs. As we start the work week there are some Saturday Valley Voice highlights to greet us, as always. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a report on the safety of Mountain View Middle School in the East Valley School District. Building and fire inspectors recently toured the building to make sure it was safe after parents raised concerns about the partially boarded up building.

The small town of Fairfield hosted a movie crew from North by Northwest last week. Portions of the movie “West of Redemption” starring Billy Zane were filmed there while grain trucks lumbered by on their way from the nearby grain elevators.

Lisa stopped by University High School during the morning on the first day of school when freshmen had the run of the buliding. The school had a special program that morning to help the students acclimate to the school and get to know each other.

The City of Spokane Valley and Spokane County had a joint meeting last week to discuss solid waste options under a new regional plan. The city would like to own the Valley transfer station, but County Commissioners seem to favor a plan that has the County owning and running the facility.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department is considering spending a budget surplus on remodeling several fire stations, two of which are decades old. Problems include leaking roofs, failing floors and kitchen cabinets in disrepair.

Today’s highlights

David Schultz, second from left, talks with incoming sixth-grader Brandon Hawvermale, 11, and his parents Keith, left, and Amanda, at Centennial Middle School during an open house on Tuesday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

I've been zipping all over the county during a very busy week, so my apologizes for not posting this earlier today. There must be some rule of journalism that says that every jurisdiction must scheduled a special meeting during the same holiday week. But on to the highlights from today's Valley Voice.

The City of Spokane Valley will not participate in next week's auction to purchase the Painted Hills Golf Course. The property is being auctioned off in a trustee's sale on the steps of the Spokane County Courthouse to satisfy bankruptcy debts. The city council narrowly voted Tuesday not to try to buy the course after several residents spoke against it, including one person who said he represented a group trying to buy and preserve the golf course.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Centennial Middle School this week for a meet and greet session before the first day of school. Students picked up their schedules, met their teachers and tried to get their lockers open.

Recently some Newman Lake residents invited Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke to come take a tour of the lake and look at areas that have been severely eroded. Reporter Mike Prager was along for the ride as well as homeowners asked for new regulations to help save their beaches and homes.

Spokane Valley won’t buy Painted Hills

The Spokane Valley City Council narrowly voted Tuesday not to participate in the auction of Painted Hills Golf Course next week to satisfy bankruptcy debts. Several people attended last night's council meeting to ask the city to stay out of it and one said he represents a group trying to buy the property and keep it as a golf course. Check Thursday's Valley Voice for more details on their decision.

Saturday’s highlights

Otis Orchards School principal Suzanne Savall hugs cousins Devon Nelson, 7,left, and Zachary Hughes, 7, as they return for second grade on the first day of school Thursday. Kindergarten teacher Stacey Brinkley awaits arrivals at left. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone enjoyed a nice, extended weekend. Let's celebrate our shorter work week with a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. The Positive Change coalition that swept into power at Spokane Valley City Hall in 2009 is fracturing, with some supporting incumbent Gary Schimmels in this year's election and some supporting his challenger, Ed Pace. It's shaping up to be the race to watch in November.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by the Otis Orchards School in the East Valley School District for the first day of school last week. This is the final year of the district's transition to schools that combine kindergarteners through eighth graders under one roof. Lisa also has a brief look at the school year budgets for the East Valley, West Valley and Central Valley school districts.

The YWCA is preparing to open a new confidentail domestic violence shelter in Spokane Valley this month. They're looking for donations from the community to provide basic household items like pots and pans. This shelter will be able to house three single women and three or four women with children at a 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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