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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: East Valley

Coming Thursday

The Valley crew has been hard at work this week getting everything ready for Thursday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in the local school districts (East Valley, West Valley, Central Valley and Freeman) to see how district enrollment is doing. We'll have a story on the new Saltese natural area and a report on Tuesday's Spokane Valley City Council meeting. There was a lengthy discussion on stormwater projects that are eligible for grant money. There were a bunch of other topics covered, but those will have to wait until Saturday's Valley Voice. Don't forget to pick up your paper in the morning to check out the stories.

Saturday’s highlights

Dracula (Michael Ashton Toth) was found lurking around the Dracula Blood Drive at Central Valley High School on Oct. 17. More than 80 students, faculty and community members participated and received a $3-off coupon to CV's”Dracula” for donating. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

We brought you news from nearly every corner of the Spokane Valley area in Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has information on Central Valley High School's upcoming performances of “Dracula.” The star of the show turned up at a blood drive at the school recently.

We also have a bunch of election stories. Lisa put together a Q&A with the candidates for Liberty Lake Mayor. There are also stories on the Marilyn Cline/Ben Wick Spokane Valley City Council contest and the council race between Dee Dee Loberg and Arne Woodard (though Woodard didn't respond to multiple requests for answers to the questions).

Lisa also had a story on the levy discussions going on in the East Valley School District. The district is considering running a levy in February to pay for things like music programs, libraries, counselors, sports programs, AP classes and more.

The Spokane Valley City Council heard a report last week on the Parks and Recreation Department's policies on allowing car shows in city parks. They also discussed city entrance signs and where to put them.

Saturday’s highlights

The newest roundabout in the Spokane Valley is at Flora Road and Mission Avenue. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

We managed to pack a lot of news into Saturday's Valley Voice. We looked into the growing popularity of roundabouts, which are popping up all over Spokane County. The city of Spokane Valley now has three.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger listened to the superintendents of four Spokane Valley school districts talk to the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce education committee about cuts they have made over the years because of reduced funding from the State. She also stopped by East Valley High School, which installed an automated external defribrillator last week.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department had a busy week with several arson fires and a major two-alarm fire at a medical building.  

Saturday’s highlights

Like many seventh-graders, Karissa Johnston, 12, left, and Charli Bise, 12, struggle with getting their locker to open on the first day of classes at East Valley Middle School on Wednesday. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

We had a ton of news packed into Saturday's Valley Voice. I'm actually surprised we were able to fit it all in. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped in at East Valley Middle School on the first day of school to see how the students were dealing with having one less middle school in the district. She also has information on the bus problems East Valley has been having.

The new Port of Entry facility is open near Stateline. All the technological bells and whistles haven't been installed yet, but once everything is up and running things will be smoother for truck drivers as well as the WSP commercial vehicle enforcement officers.

The Spokane Valley City Council discussed improvements to its permit process and correspondent Valerie Putnam reports that the town of Millwood is considering several road construction projects.

Saturday’s highlights

Snowplows are parked waiting for winter at the new City of Spokane Valley public works facility on East Euclid Avenue just west of Flora Road near the Spokane Business and Industrial Park. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Now that we're refreshed from the long holiday weekend, it's time to take a look back at some Saturday Valley Voice stories that deserve a look. The City of Spokane Valley has moved into its new Street and Stormwater Maintenance facility on the back edge of the Spokane Valley Industrial Park. The new site has plenty of room for all the trucks and snow plows.

Four Spokane Valley City Council candidates involved in a joint campaign event in early July had, with one exception, not reported any donations received to put on the event as of last week. The Public Disclosure Commission said that even though the donations should have been reported long ago, it would likely not seek any disciplinary action such as fines unless a complaint is received.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department has become one of only 144 departments world wide to become internationally accredited. Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in with Liberty Lake SCOPE volunteers, who patrol the city trails on golf course and do school patrols. She also reports that East Valley raised $1,100 from its sale of old uniforms.

Today’s highlights

East Valley Athletic Director Joe Kostecka lays out Mountain View Lancer and East Valley Middle School Squires uniforms that will be sold during Friday’s sale. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

If you have fond memories of being a Mountain View Middle School Landers or East Valley Middle School Squires, now is your chance to own a piece of your history. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story in today's Valley Voice on the upcoming sale of old softball, cross country, westling, football and other uniforms. All students in the combined East Valley Middle School will become the Knights, so the district has no need for the old uniforms. They will be sold from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday at the middle school, 4920 N. Progress Road. The district will use the proceeds to buy new uniforms.

Lisa also has a story on newly approved agreements with the classified staff and principals unions in the Central Valley School District. Both groups have agreed to accept pay cuts after the state cut the amount given to school districts for their salaries.

There was a lengthy debate at this week's Spokane Valley City Council meeting on whether to fund a study to possibly create railroad quiet zones on two crossings on the Union Pacific line north of Trent and west of Millwood. The proposal was voted down, but not before a discussion on who has the authority to select the city's consultants that was touched off by councilman Arne Woodard presenting the council and staff with a brochure from a company in Texas he thought the city should do business with.

Today’s highlights

Cleve Penberthy, Contract Based Education principal and longtime West Valley School District educator and administrator, is retiring after 40 years in education. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

I apologize for the lateness in posting links from today's Valley Voice. My computer went a little bonkers this morning. It now seems to be cured, but I have no idea why. I'm not going to argue, though. So, on to the highlights. Every spring we highlight notable retiring educators from the large Spokane Valley school districts - East Valley, West Valley and Central Valley. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has those stories in today's Valley Voice, including Contract Based Education princpal Cleve Penberthy. He's retiring after 40 years in education and I think he will be sorely missed. He was an oustanding advocate for his students. The other educators featured are East Valley teacher and librarian Linda Carper and Central Valley business teacher Sherry Johnson.

Kids will be happy to learn that Spokane Valley pools are opening this weekend. Splash Down is already open, but it only opens the doors if the weather is nice. I put together an introduction to the three newest candidates for a Spokane Valley City Council seat - John Baldwin, Marilyn Cline and Lewis Higgins. The City Council also had quite the debate this week on whether to let voters decided the fate of the one-way stretch of Sprague.

Tuesday meetings

Tomorrow I will spend most of the day in a room with the Spokane Valley City Council and you're invited to tag along. The city's annual budget retreat will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, room 213. The public is invited to attend, but no public comment will be taken. The council will discuss the 2012 budget as well as priorities for capital projects.

After a short break, the council will then convene for its normal weekly city council meeting at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. On the agenda there are a couple of committee appointments and discussion of the Sprague one-way versus two-way issue.

Since I'll be in both of those meetings, don't expect any blog postings tomorrow. But after a good night's sleep I'll be back and ready to go on Wednesday morning.

If city council debates aren't exactly your cup of tea, the East Valley School District board of directors also meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the administration center at 12325 E. Grace. Near the top of the agenda is a public hearing on the closure of Mountain View Middle School.

Saturday’s highlights

Jessica Sharpe can still find the energy to laugh while talking about the horrific car wreck on Easter that left her with extensive injuries. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

I see the rain is back in town, and of course it waited until after I watered my lawn. Typical. But since we're back to our normal weather that leaves plenty of time to check out the highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. A group of 100 or so golfers descend on Liberty Lake every Monday to play golf. They call themselves the Over the Hill Gang. Correspondent Steve Christilaw checked in with the gang to see what keeps them ticking.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to Central Valley High School grad Jessica Sharpe, who is recovering after being injuried in a terrible head-on crash on I-90 on Easter. The list of bones she broke is lengthy and she's in the midst of a long, painful recovery, but she has kept her positive attitude.  

A hearing was held last week on a proposed new subdivision in Spokane Valley and neighbors are objecting that the project is too dense for their neighborhood. The preliminary plans call for 41 homes on 9.5 acres west of Evergreen Road and just north of Wellesley. The Spokane Valley Hearing Examiner is expected to rule in a couple of weeks on whether or not the project can move ahead.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department has determined that a faulty electrical outlet caused the 2 alarm fire at the Whimsical Pig Apartments last week. It caused more than $100,000 in damage.

Coming on Saturday

I know there's a lot going on this weekend, but I hope you still take some time Saturday morning to read the Valley Voice. We'll have a report on the Millwood City Council meeting, including the decision to accept a grant to purchase new playground equipment for the City Park. Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to a Spokane Valley woman who survived a horrible accident on I-90. The list of her injuries is enough to turn your stomach. We also talked to some local golfers and I attended a hearing this week about a proposed development in the East Valley area of Spokane Valley. Neighbors are complaining that the project is too dense.

Saturday’s highlights

The original historic metal gates to the Fairfield Cemetery, damaged in an ice storm two years ago, have been restored and will be rededicated in a Memorial Day ceremony, Mon., May 30, 2011. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak.

Well, I didn't manage to make it on the computer yesterday to post Saturday's Valley Voice links. What can I say. The weather was better than expected and we did some running around. Now then, on to the interesting stuff. There was a Memorial Day celebration yesterday in Fairfield and the historic 1895 gates were re-dedicated. The town of Millwood is getting ready to host the West Valley Days community event this weekend and it promises to be a lot of fun.

Correspondent Jill Barville talked with popular preschool teacher Diane Knowles on the eve of her retirement after 32 years in the classroom. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a report on the latest East Valley School District meeting held to discuss the changes coming up, including the closure of Mountain View Middle School and transferring students from Skyview Elementary. This week's education column by Lisa is also packed with news, including details on a new Central Valely elementary principal and which Central Valley board member has resigned.

Last week the Spokane Valley City Council had a long discussion on whether or not to accept a grant from the Department of Ecology to help pay for the city's work to update the Shoreline Master Program, which is required by state law. After the lengthy debate, the majority of the council voted to apply for the grant.

Coming on Saturday

We had so many stories for tomorrow's Valley Voice we literally could not fit them all in. So a few (including the Liberty Lake police blotter) will be held over until Thursday. But you will still get some great stories tomorrow. The Fairfield Cemetery Association will host a Memorial Day celebration on Monday to honor veterans and re-dedicate the century old cemetery gates. Reporter Lisa Leinberger will have a report on the latest special East Valley School District board meeting where they again discussed the closure of Mountain View Middle School. The West Valley Days celebration in Millwood is coming up next weekend and we'll have your schedule for that. And the Spokane Valley City Council this week voted, after much discussion, to apply for a Department of Ecology grant and to buy new permit tracking software.

Of course we all know that Monday is a holiday. What does that mean for you? It means the City of Spokane Valley offices will be closed and so will this blog. I might post some links if I feel ambitious, but don't expect much else. Besides, we'll probably all be huddling in the back yard trying to have the traditional Memorial Day barbecue in the rain. Have a great weekend!

Saturday’s highlights

Ramon Alvarado Estrada and Frank Quates of Pointwest Landscape in Coeur d’Alene plant Ponderosa pines at the Spokane River access next to the Barker Bridge on May 12. The city of Spokane Valley regraded the site, and the Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club provided $3,500 for improvements that included planting native trees, plants and shrubs. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

It was a good thing we had a few days of nice weather last week before the rain moved back in. It gave the City of Spokane Valley and the Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club just enough time to make improvements to the Spokane River access next to the Barker Bridge. They had been waiting for good weather so soil didn't get washed into the river during the project. The city graded the slope and moved some bollards down closer to the water, while the group of river users planted grass, trees and other native vegetation.

That was just one of the stories in Saturday's Valley Voice that you may have missed. Reporter Lisa Leinberger also listened in on one of the meetings between parents and East Valley school board members about upcoming changes and how to make it easier for students. Lisa also has background information on Joanne Comer, who has been selected as the new principal of Liberty Lake Elementary School.

Meanwhile, the Spokane Valley Fire Department took advantage of the good weather to hold trench rescue training for firefighters. Of course, the training probably would have continued no matter what the weather, but doing it in the rain would have been miserable.

Coming on Saturday

We've got some great stories (and photos) coming your way for Saturday. The Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club teamed up with the City of Spokane Valley this week to make improvements to the river access by the Barker Bridge. Reporter Lisa Leinberger attend one of the East Valley School District special meetings to discuss the closure of Mountain View Middle School and she'll have a report on that. She'll also have information on who was selected to be the new Liberty Lake Elementary School principal. Finally, I'll have a look at some training the Spokane Valley Fire Department did last week on trench rescues. Just stay out of deep holes in the ground and we'll be good.

East Valley board to meet with students Monday

“It's kind of heartbreaking for me,” said Jim Stookey, who's been teaching at the school since 1985 . He drove all three of his son's with him to Mountain View Middle School when they attended there. “I have a lot of fond memories of the people.” SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

The East Valley School District board of directors hosted three special meetings this week to talk to community members and parents about the closure of Mountain View Middle School, which will happen at the end of the school year. On Monday the board will hold two more special meetings, this time to meet with students at both middle schools and discuss their concerns about the process of merging together into one school.

The first meeting is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday at East Valley Middle School, 4920 N. Progress. The second is at Mountain View Middle School, 6011 N. Chase, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

I'm sure many students are worried and upset about the changes, so hopefully these meetings will help ease their minds.

Saturday’s highlights

Principal Tammy Fuller reflects on 32 years of achievements displayed in the Mountain View Middle School trophy case. She hopes to find a place for the trophies and awards and is planning events to mark the last days of the school. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

There's a must-read story in Saturday's Valley Voice that needs to be looked at today if you didn't manage to get to it on Saturday. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has an excellent story on Mountain View Middle School, which will be closed at the end of this school year as the East Valley School District struggles with state funding cuts and the loss of a recent bond. She talked to students, teachers and parents who are in mourning for their school. Some of the students are second generation attendees and some of the teachers were once students at the school themselves. It's a real community school, something you don't find a lot in today's more transient society.

Meanwhile, there was also a bunch of news coming out of City Hall last week. There are six candidates for the vacant Spokane Valley Planning Commission seat, one of whom has had a rocky relationship with city staff and once made a comment during a council meeting that could be considered threatening. I also took a look at the two candidates who will be interviewed for the vacant City Council seat during tomorrow's council meeting. Chuck Hafner is the favorite to get it, thanks to his long involvement in the community and his strong ties to the Positive Change council members.

The city's Community Development Director, Kathy McClung, has announced that she will retire at the end of July. That annoucement got an immediate strong reaction from councilman Bill Gothmann, who said he believes some council members have been hostile to city staff and that has caused the departure of more than a half dozen key staffers.

Rounding out Saturday's package were details on the new trash pickup days and an update on Millwood's efforts to save the city's wading pool. A special meeting is set for today at 5 p.m. for the council to vote on an ordinance to allow citizens to raise money to repair the pool.

Coming on Saturday

This week reporter Lisa Leinberger headed out to Mountain View Middle School to see how everyone there is reacting to the news that the school will be closed at the end of the school year. Her story on that will be in Saturday's Valley Voice, along with a trio of stories out of the Spokane Valley City Hall. I'll have a look at the planning commission candidates, a story on the two candidates for the open city council seat and a story on another city staffer who is leaving.

We'll also have a short story on new trash pickup days for Waste Management customers in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Otis Orchards and Millwood. The new days start the week of May 16.

East Valley to close middle school, lay off teachers

After a special meeting last Friday to declare a fiscal emergency, the East Valley School board decided to lay off up to 25 teachers, close Mountain View Middle School next year and send the Skyview Elementary students to Otis Orchards Elementary. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has an overview of the coming changes and a schedule of upcoming community meetings for discussions on how to implement all the changes. Read her story here and watch for a more in depth story later in the week.  

Saturday’s highlights

Eldon Jon of AC Starr Farms finishes spreading a load of cow manure donated by neighbor Carol Bear on the East Valley Schools Farm on April 25. The field is between East Valley High School and East Valley Middle School off Sullivan Road on Wellesley Avenue. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Saturday's Valley Voice included news from nearly every corner of the Spokane Valley area. Reporter Lisa Leinberger worte about improvements to the East Valley garden at Wellesley and Sullivan, which will include beds for community members who want to grow their own vegetables. She also has a story about the East Valley school board's discussions on what happens now after the bond vote failed and state budget cuts are on the horizon.

The small Liberty Lake Police Department is down by two officers after they unexpectedly resigned for personal reasons. The department's detective and sergeant are taking patrol shifts to try and fill the gap until replacements can be hired.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report on a special Millwood City Council meeting last week. The council heard and approved a plan by a group of residents to raise $10,000 to save the wading pool in Millwood City Park. The pool will not open until the money is raised. It would pay to resurface and repair the pool. Donations can be made at the Bank of America in Millwood.

Coming on Saturday

Here's a quick look at what is coming in the Valley Voice on Saturday. There have been some unexpected changes to the Liberty Lake Police Department and I'll take a look at what is next. Citizens in Millwood who have been trying to save the town's wading pool are moving forward with their plans. Reporter Lisa Leinberger will also have a look at the small farm run by the East Valley School District and changes that are in store this year.

Now, all everyone has to do is hope for good weather on Sunday for all the Bloomsday participants. Go forth and run! Of course, walking it works too.

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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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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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