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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: East Valley

Today’s highlights

Al Palm works on his balance and strength, with the help of occupational therapist Emily Querna, left, and his daughter Joelle, on Dec. 2 at his home in northwest Spokane. SR photo/Dan Pelle

I have to start my apologizing for my general inactivity on the blog and Twitter lately. Last week I was waylaid by a lovely flu virus and didn't leave my house for four days. I'm not quite back up to full speed yet, but I'm here. With that said, here are some highlights from today's Valley Voice.

Reporter Mike Prager has a story on Al Palm, who used to run the City Perk coffee shop in the STA Plaza. He is battling a rare diseases that paralyzed him almost overnight and his friends are organizing a benefit auction to raise money for medical equipment and renovations to his house to make it wheelchair accessible.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has some details on the water damage from a frozen pipe that shut down Adams Elementary for two days. She also attended this week's East Valley School Board meeting, where board chair Mike Novakovich had to step in and ask people to be civil to each other. At least one speaker called for the board not to renew the contract of superintendent John Glenewinkel.

The Spokane Valley City Council voted this week to award lodging tax revenue to local agencies that promote tourism. The process has been controversial in recent years, but this year everything went fairly smoothly. The council also approved a new towing ordinance that requires tow truck operators to check if an abandoned car has been reported stolen before towing it.

Today’s highlights

Anthony Matthews, 30, an 11-year veteran of the Marine Corps and a student in Spokane Community College’s Natural Resources program, plants foliage to restore the south side of the Spokane River at Stateline on Friday. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

As we slide through our Thursday (nearly to Friday), lets take a look at some highlights from today's Valley Voice. I stopped by a Spokane River shoreline restoration project last week near Stateline and found volunteers industriously planting 800 trees, shrubs and other plants. In our rocky soil, that's no picnic. The project will help repair damage done by vehicles driving down to the water's edge to launch boats illegally.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in with the West Valley, East Valley and Central Valley school districts to check on student enrollment. Some numbers are lower than expected and others are higher. Central Valley is seeing a growth in high school students.

The Spokane Valley City Council approved a flat property tax for 2014 this week, though one council member argued that the city should consider taking the allowed 1 percent increase because of all the projects coming up.

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.  

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.

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.  

Saturday’s highlights

Photos and flowers are seen in the Pines Cemetery’s Mausoleum on Wednesday. Fairmount Memorial Association has acquired the Pines Cemetery and South Pines Cemetery. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

The wet weather returned again today, but we have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice to keep us entertained while we stay dry. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Pines Cemetery and South Pines Cemetery being purchased by the Fairmount Memorial Association. The Pines Cemetery has been run by the Opportunity Cemetery Association since 1910. The South Pines Cemetery opened in 2007.

The city of Spokane Valley is considering new regulations on shoreline development as part of its state mandated update of the Shoreline Master Program. Last week the city council and the city's planning commission had a joint meeting to go over the draft regulations. A public hearing and an open house will be held in July.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on longtime East Valley cross country and track and field coach Dave McCarty. He has been with the district as a teacher and a coach for 36 years. He was also a star athlete in the district as a student.

Today’s highlights

Jerry Kienbaum talked about collecting snowmobiles for his museum in Greenacres on Monday. SR photo/Kathy Plonka

The top news in today's Valley Voice is reporter Lisa Leinberger's story on the East Valley School District's continuing transition to a K-8 education model. The district has had several meetings lately and heard emotional testimony from parents. On Tuesday they voted unanimously to moved the preschool and other special programs to East Valley Middle School in the fall.

Lisa also has a story on Spokane Valley resident Jerry Kienbaum, who has spent years amassing a collection of vintage snowmobiles. He runs the Northwest Museum of Vintage Snowmobiles.

Spokane County is planning several upgrades to the Argonne Road corridor north of the Spokane Valley city limits over the next few years, replacing pavement and adding sidewalks. The only project scheduled for this year is the replacement of the Bruce Road bridge over Deadman Creeek south of Mount Spokane Park Drive.

The Spokane Valley City Council spent some time Tuesday on how to avoid a bill of over $300,000 when new limits on the number of misdemeanor cases public defenders can handle take effect in October. That amount would be the city's share of seven new attorneys Spokane County might have to hire to help with the load. The increased cost would be charged to the city every year.

Today’s highlights

Golf carts at Painted Hills Golf Course sit locked behind a fence. SR photo/Dan Pelle

There are some good stories in today's Valley Voice, topped by one that should put a few rumors zipping around to rest. The gates of Painted Hills Golf Course are chained shut as the owners go through the bankruptcy process. There are reportedly several interested buyers, but there's no way to tell yet when, or if, the course will reopen.

Reporter Nicole Hensley has a profile on East Valley High School junior Rachael Coleck, who fills the dual roles of cheerleader and wrestler. She talks about how she deals with being a girl involved in a male dominated sport. The Spokane Valley City Council spent some time this week talking about whether they should adjust their sign code and if street parking on the one-way section of Sprague Ave. is a good idea.

The Washington State Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of a Spokane County Superior Court Judge throwing out a lawsuit filed against the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum by several neighboring business owners. The lawsuit was filed when the museum fenced in their parking lot for outdoor exhibits, which meant that customers of nearby businesses could no longer use the lot as a shortcut.

Saturday’s highlights

Luke Pillsbury, director of youth ministries for Opportunity Presbyterian Church on Pines Road, sits with some of the toys for the church’s toy store, where community members who are invited can get toys at a deep discount. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Welcome to a snowy, somewhat slippery Monday morning. We brought you some good stories in Saturday's Valley Voice, so lets look at some of the highlights. Opportunity Presbyterian Church opened its toy store for business Saturday, carrying on an annual tradition of providing extremely low cost toys to low income residents. The store, which is organized by the church youth, has been growing every year.

A Newman Lake woman was recently charged with animal cruelty after someone reported buying a sick puppy from her Iron Horse Kennel on Hauser Lake Road. An inspection by SCRAPS animal control officers reportedly showed other violations at the dog kennel as well. The woman, identified as Wilma L. Turner, also has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday on allegations that she has violated her probation after she pled guilty to two charges related to conditions at her kennel in 2011.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on East Farms Elementary School teacher Elisha Erickson, who was recently given an award by the Spokane Valley Fire Department for taking in two children that were dropped off at a fire station with little information. One of the children was a student of Erickson's. Lisa also has a story on a possible bond vote in the East Valley School District. The school board will meet Tuesday to decide whether or not to run a bond to modernize and repair several schools. Four previous attempts to pass a bond in recent years have failed.

The Spokane Valley City Council had several discussions during its Tuesday meeting, including a draft Shoreline Master Program restoration plan, fee amounts for 2013 and street maintenance and sweeping contracts.   

Saturday’s highlights

Machines operated by Piersol Construction scrape dirt from the Flora Road landing along the Spokane River on Thursday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

It's another sunny Monday morning, so enjoy the sun while we still have it. A look at the calendar shows that October is just around the corner. Meanwhile, we have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has her first entry in the East Farms Diary. She will be spending time at the East Farms STEAM Magnet School in East Valley as it transitions from an elementary school and wrote about her first day in class. She gave blog readers a preview last week.

The Department of Ecology is working on several Spokane River beach cleanups to remove and/or cap sites contaminated by heavy metals flowing in from upstream. Right now they're working on Flora Road and a spot near Barker Road is next.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam reports that the city of Millwood made changes to its medical marijuana dispensary license rules. Correspondent Steve Christilaw spoke to 1962 Central Valley High School graduate Bob Keppel, who was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame for his achievements in track.

Today’s highlights

Perhaps the biggest news in today's Valley Voice is that the Spokane Valley City Council agreed this week to negotiate with SCRAPS for animal control services. The city has been contracting with SCRAPS since incorporation, but SpokAnimal had also submitted a proposal to provide animal control services. The decision has been discussed for months. The decision isn't final, however, until the city approves a contract.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger tagged along last week when a group of new teachers and employees in the East Valley School District took an orientation tour of the district on a school bus. They got a look at each of the schools and what makes them unique.

If you are planning ahead, start thinking about the Southeast Spokane County Fair in Rockford Sept. 21-23. It features livestock, a carnival, parade, fun run, live music, pie eating contest, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, horse show and Cow Chip Bingo. Admission is free, so bring the family.

Saturday’s highlights

Bob Williams of Longview, Wash., rides a body bowl slide on Monday at Splashdown Waterpark in Spokane Valley. Williams said he and his son, Bob Jr., travel to the park from the West Side as much as they can. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

It's hot and it's Monday. Enough said. That does mean, however, that we have some Saturday Valley Voice highlights to share. If you're looking for a something to do and a way to beat the heat, check out the Splash Down Waterpark. Reporter Lisa Leinberger recently stopped by to check out the Fastball water slide and the Cannon Bowl.

A captain in the Spokane Valley Fire Department is in a dispute with the department over sending religious emails using department email. Capt. Jon Sprague has been suspended without pay for two shifts, but the firefighters union is contesting the discipline.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw talked to Morgan Manchester, former East Valley High School soccer player and current captain of the Gonzaga University women's soccer team. Manchester stopped by an East Valley practice recently.  

Saturday’s highlights

Linda Crowe, pastor of Veradale United Church of Christ for the past 17 years, is shown outside the church on Tuesday. She is retiring. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Apparently we're back to rainy and cool Mondays now. While you enjoy your morning coffee, we've got a bunch of stories from Saturday's Valley Voice to highlight. The Rev. Linda Crowe has been the pastor at the Veradale United Church of Christ for 17 years. She retired Sunday and it was an emotional experience for Crowe and her congregation.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on East Valley High School student Emily Harris, who won a statewide art competition. Her painting, titled “My Childhood,” will hang in the Cannon Tunnel, which connects the Cannon House Office Building to the Capitol Building in Olympia.

The Liberty Lake City Council has an opening after Susan Schuler announced her resignation so she can move to New Zealand with her husband. Anyone interested in applying for the seat needs to do so by 4 p.m. on May 31. The Spokane Valley City Council had a discussion last week on what projects to fund with the street preservation money they recently set aside. There was some debate over which roads should be done first.

In other road construction news, the Sprague Avenue reconstruction project between Evergreen and Sullivan started today. The project will be completed in four phases to limit traffic impacts. Access to businesses will be maintained. The project should be done by mid-August.

Correspondent Juli Bergstrom Wasson has details on Wags to Riches dog grooming, which opened in Spokane Valley last fall. It's not just a place to go if Fido needs a bath and a trim. Owner Virginia Patton has nearly completed the requirements that will earn her the title of master groomer and she likes to do creative trimmming styles.

Saturday’s highlights

A dock sits below the Coyote Rock development Tuesday. The Washington state Court of Appeals ruled that docks installed at the development were illegal. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

We have a ton of good stories for you in Saturday's Valley Voice, so let's get right to it. The Washington State Court of Appeals recently ruled that the docks at the Coyote Rock development are illegal after a lawsuit filed by the Department of Ecology, but the court didn't examine one of the issues presented by the DOE and the environmental groups that joined the lawsuit.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a great story on students at Summit School, who sent their teacher light-hearted threats in iambic pentameter to convince him to allow them to put on a shortened, clown-based version of “Hamlet.” Lisa also reported on vandalism of the sheds at the East Valley community garden. Police quickly arrested the group of teens responsible, but students were left to clean up the mess.

A goup of Girl Scouts has come through in a big way for the town of Millwood. Correspondent Valerie Putnam reported on their successful effort to raise enough money to repair the town's wading pool. The Spokane Valley City Council seems willing to explore contracting with SpokAnimal for animal control services instead of SCRAPS. City staff is still in the information collecting stage.  

Today’s highlights

Lexi Saeger is working her way toward a national competition by selling shopping bags, right, that she makes from empty pet food bags. She also made a skirt and camisole out of the bags, left, for the Future Career and Community Leaders of America competition. SR photo/Dan Pelle

The rain is back, but since it is Thursday there's a Valley Voice to take a look at over coffee since you can't look out the window and see sunshine. Reporter Lisa Leinberger attended an East Valley school board meeting this week where there was a public hearing on the district's plan to take on $6.2 million in nonvoted debt to pay for new portable classrooms at the elementary schools. The portables are needed to allow the schools to include students in grades K-8. The topic did generate some discussion.

Correspondent Cindy Hval interviewed Lexi Saeger, a student at Freeman High School, who makes clothing and shopping bags out of old pet food bags. She's been selling her shopping bags and they are available at a local store.

The Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to name nine people to its new ad hoc economic development committee. The council also voted to pass a new sign code ordinance. This week the Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners gave a resident an outstanding citizen award for his role in saving a woman from her burning apartment. The commissioners also voted to put a replacement maintenance and operations levy on the Aug. 7 ballot.

Saturday’s highlights

Spokane Valley councilman Arne Woodard is known for his ties. Many are bright, loud and a few are a bit wild. He owns about 60 of them and since his appointment to the council last year, Woodard has tried to wear a different tie every Tuesday night. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Saturday's Valley Voice was so packed with stories that I'm really not sure how we fit them all in. Here's your chance to take a look if you missed them. Spokane Valley City Councilman Arne Woodard has been making a name for himself by wearing colorful and unusual ties to council meetings. He thinks the ties make him more approachable and they fit his sense of humor.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has several stories on local schools. The East Valley School District is considering purchasing portable classrooms for its elementary schools to create room for seventh graders. There will be a public hearing on the subject during the school board's meeting Tuesday. Lisa talked to students at University High School last week who were taking part in a distracted driving demonstration. They tried texting while driving and also driving with special goggles that simulated a drunk person's vision.

Students at University Elementary School spent some time last week planting seeds to grow in their new donated greenhouse. The students seemed happy to get out and have fun in the dirt.

Nineteen people have applied to serve on Spokane Valley's new economic development committee. The story includes a list of those who have applied. Mayor Tom Towey will make his appointment recommendations on Tuesday. Last week there was a public hearing regarding a retroactive substantial development permit being sought by a Liberty Lake homeowner for shoreline improvements that were put in without a permit. The owner, Lloyd Herman, was ordered to remove the improvements but has not done so.  

Today’s highlights

East Valley’s Farm to School project leader Lynette Romney stands on the porch of a shed at East Valley Farms on Tuesday. The project, which sits next to East Valley Middle School and East Valley High School, is on a Bonneville Power easement. The community garden is the work of service clubs, school kids, farmers and others who want to participate. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

There are two interesting school stories in today's Valley Voice from reporter Lisa Leinberger. The Central Valley School District is moving forward with plans to open a new Skills Center at Sprague and University that will be called Spokane Valley Tech. The board voted this week to set aside earnest money for the building that currently houses West Valley's Contract Based Education.

East Valley is ramping up its Farm to School project that is in a field between the middle school and high school on Wellesley Ave. The farm will grow beans for Second Harvest and an acre is set aside for the community. A plowing day is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Spokane Valley City Council agreed Tuesday to adopt changes to the sign code proposed by a sign company representative. The council is scheduled to have a final vote on the sign code changes on April 24. Correspondent Cindy Hval has another one of her touching Love Stories today about a couple who met later in life and became best friends before marrying.

Stolen tools returned by hooded figure

A tip to Crime Check has led to the arrest of one person in the recent theft of tools from the East Valley School District maintenance office. The tip came after police released video of the thief in action. After the video was release, somone wearing a hooded sweatshirt returned the tools to the front porch of the maintenance office. Reporter Meghann Cuniff has more details here.

In other crime news, police are searching for an “aggresive panhandler” who threatened a Spokane Valley store manager with a knife on Sunday. The woman was reportedly asking people for money at Sprague and Sullivan when she was approached by the manager. She drove away in a white F-150 truck. Meghann has more details on that case here.

Today’s highlights

Cemetery Director Richard Cesler, far right, reads the names of veterans from Washington who did not receive funeral honors. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

It's Thursday, which means another edition of the Valley Voice has hit porches across Spokane Valley. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story today on the monthly Veterans Memorial Tribute Program held at the Eastern Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake. The ceremony gives formal honors to veterans who did not receive the honors at their own funerals for whatever reason.

The Spokane Valley City Council spent a fair amount of time Tuesday complaining about a recent story and editorial on a possible conflict of interest due to the close ties some council members have to Jack Pring, the owner of property the city is considering purchasing. After their digression from the agenda, the council decided to move forward with the purchase by preparing a conceptual site plan for the property and negotiating a letter of intent to purchase.

The city recently launched new permit software that has opened up a whole new realm for how employees can track and process permits. There are also plans to open up information to the public by this summer. And if you are looking for something to do this weekend, Lisa has information on the play “Did Someone Say Murder?” being put on by the East Valley High School drama department.

Today’s highlights

Trail developer Mark Pinch stops to enjoy the view from the top of the 552-acre Saltese Uplands, an area of Liberty Lake that was recently purchased through Spokane County’s Conservation Futures program. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

One of the highlights in today's Valley Voice is a story by correspondent Jill Barville on the new Saltese Uplands natural area. Spokane County is working to buy the 552 acre property south of Liberty Lake off Henry Road as part of the Conservation Futures program. A trailhead will be built on Henry Road next year and hikers and bikers will be able to enjoy a network of seven miles of trails.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a report on enrollment in the Central Valley, West Valley, East Valley and Freeman school districts. Most of them have larger numbers of students, but enrollment at East Valley's Continuous Curriculum School took a huge jump. This week the Spokane Valley City Council debated the need for a facility to precess water and debris removed from the city's numerous drywells. A decision on whether to apply for a grant for the project will likely be made at the Nov. 15 council meeting.

Reporter Pia Hallenberg has a touching story on Libby McGrory, who has battled breast cancer four times. She recently participated in a 200-mile fundraising bike ride called the “Tour de Pink” in California.

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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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