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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: Liberty Lake City Council

Saturday’s highlights

Chris Sheppard dons only one costume on Halloween, a robe, crown and sweatshirt reading “Queen of Halloween.” Indeed, her house dominates the neighborhood, with hundreds of whimsical items for the holiday. Sheppard is shown at her home on Bettman Road in Spokane Valley, on Wednesday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Saturday's Valley Voice was packed full of stories (and quite a few election advertisements), so lets get right to the highlights. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by the home of the Queen of Halloween, aka Chris Sheppard. Her home turns into a festival of the orange and spooky every year and this year is no different. She starts decorating the inside of her home in August but waits until September to start putting in the skeleton crawling out of its grave in the yard.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on the University High School girls soccer team, which is rallying after losing one of its star players in a car crash recently. The team had a small ceremony at their recent home game. The Spokane Valley Lodging Tax Advisory Commission recently met to make recommendations for 2014 funding to agencies that promote tourism.

We also had a ton of election coverage Saturday since ballots have now been delivered. Correspondent Valerie Putnam tackled the Millwood Mayor race between Kevin Freeman and Dennis Hamlin while Lisa covered the East Valley School District school board and Liberty Lake City Council. There was also a candidate forum last week featuring those running for Spokane Valley City Council.

Liberty Lake, East Valley candidate forums

Don't look now, but ballots for the November general election are about to hit your mailbox. Candidate forums are scheduled this week for East Valley School District board of directors and Liberty Lake City Council. Additional forums are planned for the coming weeks.

Tonight the candidates for the East Valley school board will face off from 6:30to 8:30 p.m. at the Starr Road Baptist Church, 4720 N. Starr Road. Those attending will be able to write down questions, which will be placed in a bucket and drawn at random by a moderator.

The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a forum for the Liberty Lake City Council candidates Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Meadowood Technology campus dining room at 2100 N. Molter Road.

The grand council meeting shuffle

Just about every city with a council meeting scheduled for next week is doing a bit of shuffling to avoid the Fourth of July holiday on Wednesday. The only exception is Spokane Valley, which will have its council meeting at its normal time at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

The Fairfield City Council is moving its Tuesday meeting to Monday at 7 p.m. at City Hall at 218 E. Main in Fairfield. The Rockford City Council is moving its meeting from Wednesday to Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall at 20 W. Emma in Rockford. The City of Liberty Lake is moving its Tuesday meeting to July 10.

Liberty Lake special meeting today

The Liberty Lake City Council has called a special meeting for 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. There will be a discussion on the city administrator interview process and the city's budget, followed by public comment. The majority of the meeting will be an executive session for the council to review applications for the city administrator position.

Today’s highlights

Betsy Blake, Cathy Lobe, center, and Jan Stripes, rear, work on producing homemade placemats for Meals on Wheels at Lobe’s home in northwest Spokane on Feb. 1. SR photo/Dan Pelle

At the top of today's Valley Voice is news that residents along south Evergreen will have their street fully repaved this summer after a new water line is installed underneath it. This week the Spokane Valley City Council approved using city money to repave the road.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a report on the Liberty Lake City Council meeting, where council members voted to not change their attendance policy. It was the topic of some discussion last year after a couple of council members had accumulated several absences.

Rainey Coffin has a story on a group of retired home economists who make placemats for the local Meals on Wheels organization. Longtime correspondent and Master Gardener Pat Munts wrote a story on a Spokane Valley couple who are making every effort to make sure a hummingbird survives the winter.

Liberty Lake special meeting Tuesday

The Liberty Lake City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday night to select a person to fill the seat on the council vacated by the resignation of councilman Ryan Romney. Candidates for the position will be interviewed before the council appoints someone to the seat. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive.

Liberty Lake needs a new council member

If you've had a desire to serve on the Liberty Lake City Council, now is your chance. The city will be accepting applications for the seat vacated by the resignation of Ryan Romney until Jan. 25. The term expires at the end of 2013. Applicants must have lived in Liberty Lake for at least a year and be a registered voter. The applications are available online here. The completed forms must be mailed to City Hall at 22710 E. Country Vista Drive, delivered to City Hall in person, or faxed to (509) 755-6713. Call (509) 755-6728 for more information.

Today’s highlights

We've got some great reads in today's Valley Voice. Correspondent Cindy Hval has a powerful story on the Santos family, who were involved in a collision with a drunk driver last summer. The family has been supported by the community as they slowly recover.

Recently retired Spokane Valley City Council member Bill Gothmann recently took a look back at his work with the city that dates back to before incorporation. He talked about his accomplishments and frustrations, but said overall that he has no regrets.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger attended the first Liberty Lake City Council meeting with new mayor Steve Peterson. It was a well attended, festive meeting with the swearing in of Peterson and two new council members. It was announced during the meeting that councilman Ryan Romney has resigned. The city is now accepting applications for a replacement to finish his term.  

Today’s highlights

The Clock Tower in Riverfront Park originally was part of the Great Northern Railway Depot building. The depot opened on May 30, 1902. The structures were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. SR file photo.

Thursday brings you another edition of the Valley Voice on your front porch (or on your computer screen). In today's edition reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the Reading Buddies program at Opportunity Elementary School. The school brings in volutneers from Eastpoint Church to help third graders practice their reading skills.

There was an interesting twist at this week's Spokane Valley City Council meeting, where a council member said that Valleyfest organizers had been offered money in years past to not apply for lodging tax funding. The discussion was part of the ongoing debate over the council's decision to not grant Valleyfest any lodging tax money this year.

Lisa also has a story on several decisions made by the Liberty Lake City Council. The council voted to approve the 2012 budget, pay of a golf course bond and reduce the city's utility tax to 3 percent. The Clock Tower in Riverfront Park isn't in Spokane Valley, of course, but it is a regional icon. Correspondent Stefanie Pettit has a story on the landmark and the man who keeps it running.

Saturday’s highlights

The city of Spokane Valley’s new snowplow is parked next to one of the original plows at the Public Works Facility in the Industrial Park. The old snowplows, purchased from the WSDOT, averaged 2,500 miles each during last year’s snowy winter. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Here we are again on another lovely Monday morning, which means it is time to look at the Saturday Valley Voice highlights. The city of Spokane Valley is working on breaking in its first brand new snow plow, which was ordered last year but didn't arrive until April. It will be the only white plow truck you see out on the road.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger highlighted the high number of absences at the Liberty Lake City Council, which was brought into focus last week when the council meeting didn't have a quorum for nearly an hour. The Mayor is considering a chance to the council's absentee rule.

The state Public Disclosure Commission has decided not to persue a camplaint filed against former Spokane Valley City Council candidate Marilyn Cline. The complaint was filed in October. Spokane County has wrapped up sewer construction work in the Valley for the season, but residents in the Green Haven neighborhood can expect to see crews back in the spring. Large boulders and old concrete irrigation system conduits slowed work so much that the project wasn't completed in time.

Saturday’s highlights

Central Valley defensive coordinator Steve Kent’s intense energy and enthusiasm has sparked his Bears in holding their opponents to just 12 points in their last three games, including two playoff wins. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Saturday's Valley Voice is packed to the gills with news from the Spokane Valley area. Correspondent Steve Christilaw checked in with the Central Valley High School football team, which has had a successful season. Spokane Valley City Council candidate Ben Wick has clinched a win over competitor Marilyn Cline to take a seat on the council. Wick was ahead by only 20 votes on election night, but he drew further ahead as the vote counting continued.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on last week's Liberty Lake City Council meeting, which operated without a quorum for a while. The Spokane Valley City Council, after much discussion and a close vote, agreed to allow city staff to apply for a grant to build a decant facility to process the waste removed from the city's drywells. The council also unanimously approved the 2012 budget.

Fire District 8, Fire District 13 and the town of Rockford are regrouping after fire levies and bonds failed at the November polls. Each is considering how to move forward after voters rejected their request for money. Commissioners from the Spokane Valley Fire Department heard a presentation on their 2012 budget last week, which includes the construction of a new Station 6.  

Today’s highlights

Adams Elementary media specialist Julie Custer reads “Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum” to second-graders Oct. 5. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

There are a lot of stories to highlight from today's Valley Voice, so let's get started. We hae city council candidate Q&A stories from Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake. Today we are highlighting Dean Grafos and John Carroll in Spokane Valley and Shane Brickner and Keith Kopelson in Liberty Lake. The rest of the candidates will be featured in Saturday's Valley Voice.

A complaint has been filed with the PDC against Spokane Valley City Council candidate Marilyn Cline alleging that she is running a hairdressing business out of her home without declaring in on her financial affairs statement. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on how a grant fromTarget allowed Adams Elementary to buy books for its library and volunteers also showed up to redecorate.

The city of Spokane Valley and Spokane County are in the early stages of discussions about turning the old Milwaukee Railroad right-of-way into a mixed use trail. At one point the city wanted to use the land, which is still owned by the County, to extend Appleway Blvd. to the east.

Liberty Lake Mayor Wendy Van Orman presented her proposed 2012 budget to the city council this week. It calls for reducing the city's new utility tax to three percent while purchasing a new police car, getting a new records management system for the police department and completing phase two of the city's arboretum.

Today’s highlights

The Evergreen Railroad Modelers HO layout is built on a 25-foot-by-60-foot area with 18 bridges, a dozen tunnels, a large city and rail yard, three main lines, mountains, small towns and a computer system that allows the operator to run the trains with realistic sounds for steam and diesels. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

The November election is getting closer and our candidate coverage continues in today's Valley Voice with a story by Lisa Leinberger on the recent Rally in the Valley debate this week. Candidates for Liberty Lake Mayor and Liberty Lake City Council answered questions from students on current issues facing the city.

Lisa also checked out a few new towns - Bakersville, New City and Cobbleton. The cities are part of a huge model railroad layout created by the Evergreen Railroad Modelers. The cities are very detailed, right down to the cars in parking lots and shrubs dotting the hillsides.

The Spokane Valley City Council tackled several issues this week. The agreed to send a letter to Spokane County expressing their displeasure at being asked to subsidize the city of Spokane in a regional animal shelter plan after Spokane said it would only join the effort if their costs don't go up. They also had a split vote approving the first reading of the proposed Bike and Pedestrian Master Program.

This week's Liberty Lake police blotter includes a report on a citizen coming to the rescue of a police officer fighting with a suspect.

Today’s highlights

Popular Spokane Indians superhero Recycle Man poses for pictures with a young recycler before a recent ballgame. “You, too, can be a hero if you recycle,” he says. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

There's news from all over in today's Valley Voice. Reporter Pia Hallenberg checked in with Mascot Man, who fills the suits of various mascots in the area. We have the full story on Monday's special Spokane Valley City Council meeting, where the council voted to put one-way Sprague on the November ballot along with a $2.1 million bond to pay for it. That is down from the initial proposal for a $6.4 million project, which briefly went up to $7 million before the council vote.

In other Spokane Valley news, the city quietly hired an interim deputy city manager last week. Longtime residents may recognize Roger Crum, who worked for the City of Spokane for more than 20 years as a deputy city manager and city manager. As City Manager Mike Jackson said on Monday, “He retired in 2004 and has been working full time ever since.”

Some Liberty Lake residents can now get a reprieve from the city's new utility tax. The Liberty Lake City Council voted this week to allow utility tax rebates for low income seniors and low income disabled residents. Correspondent Cindy Hval spoke to a couple who train German Shepherds for protection and for police work.

Today’s highlights

Flaggers direct traffic on Bowdish Road just south of Sprague, July 11,while utility work is completed in the area. There have been several cases so far this year where utility workers have severed natural gas lines in Spokane Valley in residential neighborhoods. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

There's a ton of news to catch up on in today's Valley Voice. Let's begin with a little primer on what you should do if there is an outdoor natural gas leak in your neighborhood. It's something that has happened a lot this year as construction crews dug up gas lines. According to the experts, you should leave the area if you can smell the gas inside your home. But if your windows are shut and you can't smell any gas, you should be fine.

Some Spokane Valley City Council members took aim at the proposed Bike and Pedestrian Master Program this week. In the end they decided there were too many questions to advance it to a first reading, so there will be another study session held on the plan. It hasn't been scheduled yet, but I'll be sure and let everyone know when the date is set.

You can also get your first look at the cash being donated to city council candidates, who has the money and who it is coming from. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on this week's discussion on the new utility tax at the Liberty Lake City Council meeting. She also checked in with three local churches who sent volunteers to Central Valley School District schools last weekend to do landscaping and other projects.

And if there are any fans of Chicken out there, correspondent Stefanie Pettit has another update. Apparently Miss Chicken is now a mother. I just love reading about that bird. 

Today’s highlights

Mountain View Middle School fitness and health teacher Cathy Inouye high-fives student Brendan Schuller as the last bus leaves on the last day of school on Friday in Newman Lake. The school is closing after 32 years. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Wecome to another rainy Thursday. I think the sunshine we had the last couple days was all just an illusion. But that's okay, because we have plenty of stories in today's Valley Voice to keep you busy. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has two great stories on the cover today. The first is about the last day of school at East Valley's Mountain View Middle School, which has closed for good. It was an emotional day for students and teachers alike. They tried to have a happy last day, but tears flowed when it came time to say goodbye and get on the buses for the last time.

In the second story she talks to new Contract Based Education graduate Johnny Martinez, whose controversial artwork was vandalized during the school's graduation celebration. Some pieces were completely destroyed while others were only slightly damaged. One piece is missing.

Today we also have the full story on the new scenic byway between Rockford and Tekoa. The Liberty Lake City Council met this week and voted not to change its invocation policy and not to put the city manager form of government on the November ballot.

Coming Thursday

Mountain View Middle School social studies teacher, Lisa Nunlist (center) and athletic director, Angie Bordwell (right) wave goodbye as the last buses depart on the last day of school, June 17, 2011 in Newman Lake, Wash. The school is closing after 32 years. SR photo/Dan Pelle

For Thursday's Valley Voice reporter Lisa Leinberger visited Mountain View Middle School on the last day of school before the building closed for good. Her story will be in the Voice and photographer Dan Pelle put together an online slideshow here. She will also have a story on some recent vandalism at Contract Based Education, a West Valley alternative school.

There will be a report on the Liberty Lake City Council meeting where there were votes on whether to put a goverment change on the November ballot and whether to change the council's procedure for invocations. My story on the Highway 27 scenic byway between Rockford and Tekoa will run tomorrow - this time, all of it. The ending was missing in Saturday's Valley Voice so we are rerunning it. We will also have last week's Liberty Lake crime blotter, which we were not able to fit in on Saturday.

Tuesday meetings

Several members of the Spokane Valley City Council are attending the annual Association of Washington Cities conference this week, so there will not be a city council meeting tonight. But the Liberty Lake City Council has a couple of interesting things on their agenda tonight. They are set to have a workshop discussion on the central business district, vote on amending the council's rules of procedure regarding the invocation and vote on a resolution to put the city's form of government on the November ballot. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive.

Special meeting tonight in Liberty Lake

The Liberty Lake City Council has announced that it will have a special meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive. The meeting is to discuss the city's form of government and whether the city should change the way it operates. It could be an interesting discussion.

Today’s highlights

Keith Arp levels a fence post at the newly constructed Veterans Memorial in front of Valley Fourth Memorial Church. When completed, the memorial will be available 24/7 for community members to pray and meditate for members of the military. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

I suggest on this lovely, bright and sunshine filled day that we first spend a little time checking out today's Valley Voice. The congregation of the Valley Fourth Memorial Church plan to dedicate a new veterans memorial on May 29, which of course is the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. It will honor all the local military members who have been killed in action since 9/11.

The Spokane Valley City Councl picked Positive Change architect Chuck Hafner to fill the vacant seat in their ranks, a move that probably doesn't surprise anyone. The Farm Fresh Fruit stand on Argonne just south of Sprague has been having problems with complaints and a feud with a neighbor factors into that.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger was in attendance at the Liberty Lake City Council meeting this week when the council members discussed whether or not to continue having prayer at the beginning of each meeting. And for those of you who followed the exploits of Chicken, Spokane Valley's most famous bird, correspondent Stefanie Pettit has an update on the popular fowl.

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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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