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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: Spokane Valley City Council

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Three candidates try for SV council seat

In today's “in case you missed it” category, we ran a story Saturday that profiled the three candidates for Spokane Valley City Council that will appear on the primary election ballot that will hit mailboxes this week. Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels is running for re-election against opponents Dee Dee Loberg and Ed Pace. Both challengers have previously run for city council and failed. What makes this contest a little more interesting is that the Positive Change group that supported Schimmels in his last election in 2009 have shifted their support to Ed Pace. The two candidates who receive the most votes will advance to the November election. Click here to read my story.

Saturday’s highlights

Broadway Elementary School students extend hands for high-fives from from Swoop, the Eastern Washington University mascot during an assembly, May 17 in the school gym. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Well, here we are on a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. I've successfully moved my base of operations across the room and am all set to go, so let's take a look at our packed Saturday Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote a story on Broadway Elementary students, who won a contest to have the Eastern Washington University mascot Swoop visit their school. The entry was a last minute decision, but the kids enjoyed the visit.

Three draft designs for the expansion of Balfour Park were presented to the community during a recent public meeting. The majority of people seemed to favor the design that put an angled library on the southwest corner of the property at Sprague and Herarld. Spokane Valley is developing the site in partnership with the Spokane County Library District.

Filing week is over and there are some heated races coming up. Controversies in Latah and Rockford have brought out more than the usual number of candidates. Every Spokane Valley City Council seat will be contested this fall.

A preliminary design for the Appleway Trail was presented at a recent public meeting to get input on planned features. The city has no construction money for the project and is creating a design so the project will be ready to go. At a recent meeting the Spokane Valley City Council heard details on several proposed comprehensive plan amendments.

The town council in Rockford recently took the unusual step of cutting their own pay to save money. They are down to one full-time employee and other changes are likely in the future.

Today’s highlights

Andrea Gasser, a Central Valley High School junior, represents Israel at the International Economic Summit on Tuesday at the school. Students from CV and East Valley High School came together to display their research about the culture and economy of various countries around the world. Wearing a costume of some kind and serving a traditional food was optional. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Happy Thursday, everyone, though I confess I thought today should be Friday. But since it's not Friday yet, it's time for some Valley Voice highlights. Reporter Lisa Leinberger recently stopped by an economic summit hosted by the marketing classes at Central Valley High School and East Valley High School. The students researched different countries and then presented what they learned during the summit. Some students went as far as wearing traditional costumes or bringing food samples.

The Spokane Valley City Council is preparing to make changes to the 2013 budget to pay for several new projects. They are providing funding for new carpet in City Hall, a yearlong advertising campaign, designing the Appleway Trail, developing the Balfour Park expansion and buying business route signs.

Lisa also has a story on the University of Idaho's performance group called DancersDrummersDreamers, which is performing at University High School Friday. The performance will include students from the high school.

Today’s highlights

East Valley Middle School student Max Thrasher, center, hands a rock to Avista biologist Tim Vore to help weigh down a plastic mesh box containing trout eggs Friday, in the Spokane River at Mirabeau. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Unfortunately it's not Friday yet, but it is Thursday and that means highlights from today's Valley Voice. A big crowd packed the Spokane Valley Library basement meeting room to give their input on what features should be included in the expansion of Balfour Park. The city purchased property across from the old University City Mall last year to expand the park and partner with the Spokane County Library District to place a new library branch there.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger caught up with East Valley Middle School students who are doing a unique science project in the Spokane River. They are placing trout eggs in the river to hatch. When they grow large enough they'll be relocated to Liberty Lake.

Lisa also has a follow up story on the famous crossing guard cat at Broadway Elementary School. The students call him Kudo, but it turns out that his name is really Uno. Uno the cat also has a history in Browne's Addition in Spokane, where he would invite himeself into apartments and receive gifts of tuna from his adoring fans.

Today’s highlights

Taylor Gatts, a University High School senior, launched a nonprofit organization – Kids Against Cancer – for her culminating senior project. Gatts has been raising funds for children’s cancer research, working with children with cancer and even shaved her head to donate her hair to Locks of Love. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Today is Thursday, which means it is time for another round of Valley Voice highlights. Reporter Lisa Leinberger talked to University High School senior Taylor Gatts about the Kids Against Cancer nonprofit organization that she founded as her senior culminating project. She even shaved her head to donate her hair to Locks of Love to show support for children with cancer.

Children's Book Bank organizer Mike Frucci was recognized by Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey with a community recognition award this week. The book bank donates new and used books to children under the age of six in the Spokane area.

There is a group of women at the Broadway Court Estates independent living center that have been meeting at least once a week to create prayer shawls for a local ministry. They turned out 32 shawls in the first two months. They seem to be having a good time while they do it, laughing and joking while their hands work.

A man being arrested by a Liberty Lake Police officer tried the popular “Officer, these aren't my pants” defense when suspected oxycontin and drug paraphernalia were found in his pockets. He was apparently unable to identify the true owner of the pants, however.

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.

Today’s highlights

Washington State Patrol trooper Jon McKee, left, and Airway Heights police officer Mike Suniga haul their cold bodies out of Liberty Lake on Feb. 22 after taking their 16th polar plunge of the day in support of Special Olympics Washington. SR photo/Dan Pelle

There's a bunch of great stuff in today's Valley Voice. We'll start with a small group of people freezing for the cause - 10 super plungers who dipped into chilly Liberty Lake 24 times in one day to raise money for Special Olympics. One of those plungers was Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus, who raised more than $4,000.

Reporter Nicole Hensley has a story on a group of Centennial Middle School students getting ready to participate in the Inland Northwest Regional Science Bowl. They will answer knowledge questions and have a small car they built haul around a load of salt.

The Spokane Valley City Council had a day-long winter retreat Tuesday and one of the topics of discussion was the lodging tax. They discussed bills governing the lodging tax making their way through the state legislature and whether the city should change the procedure it uses to award the funds.

As for this story out of Liberty Lake, the headline says it all: “Broken-down car stolen by tow truck.” Talk about an unusual theft report.

Back at it again

I'm back in front of the computer today after spending all day yesterday at the Spokane Valley City Council's winter retreat. I'll have a story in Thursday's Valley Voice on the discussion about lodging tax and I'll tackle their 2.5 hour discussion about trash in Saturday's Valley Voice. They talked about a few other things, too, and I'll try to work in as much as I can. Just let me say that even the most comfortable chair feels really uncomfortable after eight hours…..

Today’s highlights

Ralph and Geraldine Reifenberger live near Fairfield on farmland that has a 97-year-old barn on the property. They have been married for 63 years. SR photo/Dan Pelle

We packed a ton of news into today's Valley Voice, starting with a profile of new Spokane Valley City Councilman Rod Higgins. His background is mostly in the mining industry, but it includes detrours as a seed farmer, mail sorter and a broker.

Reporter Nicole Hensley has two reports from the East Valley School District. One story looks at the aftermath of the district's fifth bond failure. The second looks at the district's plans to take over the former Walker Army Reserve Center off Sullivan Road. The property was declared surplus and isn't costing the district any money to acquire.

The Spokane Valley City Council met to talk about road construction projects in 2013. The Mayor also gave SCOPE an award and key to the city in recognitition of their positive impact on the community.

Correspondent Cindy Hval tops it all off with a Love Story on Fairfield couple Ralph and Geraldine Reifenberger.  

Today’s highlights

Liberty Lake Police Officer Jeff Jones. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Another Thursday means more Valley Voice highlights to look over. The Spokane Valley City Council had to turn to a coin toss this week in selecting a new council member after three tie votes. Rod Higgins, who has served on the city's planning commission for the last year, won the toss and was sworn in as the newest council member.

There's a new police officer on patrol in Liberty Lake. Officer Jeff Jones joined the police department in January after working as a Pend Oreille County sheriff's deputy for eight years. He's adjusting to a busier pace and a much shorter distance between calls.

Reporter Nicole Hensley has a story on a flyer the Citizens for Responsible Taxation has sent out opposing the East Valley School District bond. The school district says the information on the flyer is incorrect. The group has opposed school bonds and levys throughout the county in recent years.

A coin toss decides it

The appointment of a new Spokane Valley City Council member took an unusual twist last night when the six remaining council members had three tie votes in a row. They decided the issue with a coin toss. The new council member is Rod Higgins, who has served on the city's planning commission for the last year. Check out my story in tomorrow's Valley Voice for more details.

And the winner is…

….to be determined at tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting. Tonight the council's first order of business will be to appoint a new council member to fill the vacancy created by the resignation by council woman Brenda Grassel when she moved outside the city limits. Interviews of the top finalists were held during last week's meeting. The newest council member will be immediately sworn in and put to work. The action begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave.

Thursday’s highlights

Brett Rountree is overcome with emotion as she is announced as the 2013 Lilac queen on Sunday at the Bing Crosby Theater. Emily Staker, left, and Katie Heitkemper, right, look on. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Let's file this in the “better late than never” category. I wasn't able to post links to Thursday's Valley Voice because I was in hearings all morning and writing all afternoon. So, let's move on.

Reporter Nicole Hensley has a story on the new Lilac Queen, Central Valley High School senior Brett Rountree. She spoke about what's next for her in her new role and her plans to study chemical engineering at Washington State University.

The Spokane Valley City Council interviewed five candidates for a vacant council position Tuesday. They talked about why they wanted to serve on the council and what they believed the city's most important issues are.

The Spokane Valley Planning Commission held a public hearing last week on the city's draft public access plan for the Spokane River. The plan is part of a state-mandated update of the city's Shoreline Master Program. There were several people in attendance at the hearing, but no one spoke out about the plan.

Today’s highlights

Central Valley High School’s marching band practices on Saturday at Eastern Washington University’s Jim Thorpe fieldhouse in Cheney, for a trip to Washington, D.C., to perform in the Presidential Inauguration Parade. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Sorry I'm so late with the highlights from today's Valley Voice. Let's just chalk it up to being one of those days. But we do have some great stuff for you. Reporter Nicole Hensley stopped by to chat with the Central Valley High School marching band before they left for their trip tp play in a parade at the inauguration of President Obama. The band is one of only 14 high school groups selected to march in the parade.

The Spokane Valley City Council selected five candidates to interview for a vacant city council position. Those selected include former state legislative candidate Amy Biviano, current city planning commissioners Kevin Anderson and Rod Higgins, Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council executive director Linda Thompson and real estate appraiser Samuel Wood.

Former Spokane Valley Fire Department Capt. Jon Sprague argued before the department's Civil Service Commission this week that he was improperly fired in October. He was fired from the department after refusing to stop sending religious emails to a group of fellow firefighters using the department's email system.

Nicole has a second story out of Central Valley High School on the school's world geography class that will be going away at the end of the school year. Students presented information and food from countries around the world that they had researched.

Today’s highlights

Chief Bob Anderson of Spokane County Fire District 9 has retired after more than 25 years with Spokane County Fire. He’s shown at District 9's Station 92 on Friday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

We've got some great stuff in today's Valley Voice to go over while to wait to see if we ever get any snow that sticks around longer than required to make the streets slippery. Spokane County Fire District 9 Chief Bob Anderson has retired. In fact, he's probably sipping coffee in his retirement home in Boise as I type this. He's had a very long career that is very unusual for its tenure (26 years as chief) and his expertise in incident management that has helped make the whole state safer.

The Spokane Valley City Council came through for Valleyfest again, voting to give the organization $35,200 in lodging tax funds after the majority of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee did not recommend funding the organization. At the end of this week's meeting, council woman Brenda Grassel made a surprise announcement that she is resigning her position because she is moving outside the city limits.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the annual foreign exchange student mixer hosted by West Valley High School for the last 20 years. Students representing 19 countries attended the recently event.  

Another animal control discussion

Animal control is once again on the Spokane Valley City Council meeting agenda for tonight, but it appears that the end may be in sight. Tonight the council members will discuss a draft agreement with SCRAPS, who they have been negotiating with for several weeks. It looks as though the draft includes some key changes from earlier proposals, including not having an automatic yearly price increase. As of right now a vote is scheduled on whether to approve the contract at the Dec. 11 council meeting.

If you are interested in hearing tonight's discussion, the meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

Saturday’s highlights

West Valley senior Corbin Smith, left, tapes the wrist of sophomore cheerleader Kensley Seacrest under the watchful eye of sports medicine instructor Keith Eggleston at West Valley High School on Tuesday. SR photo Jesse Tinsley

Good Monday morning, everyone. I hope everyone had a nice, restful holiday. I wonder how many people are having turkey sandwiches for lunch today? Anyway, on to some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the sports medicine program at the new Spokane Valley Tech. It joins other new programs for high school students that include aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

Spokane Valley city councilman Ben Wick is nearly fninished with his first year on the city council. He talks about his role on the council and how that fits in with his work and personal life. We also have some details on who has applied for open positions on the city's planning commission and Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on the coming basketball season at Central Valley High School and Freeman High School.

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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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