Preserving downtown Spokane’s economic health and attractiveness is a longtime concern of Philip J. Mulligan of Spokane.
So, with City Council campaigns just around the corner, that’s an issue he wants candidates to address.
“While I continue to believe that free downtown parking (on existing pay parking lots) is more key to attracting mall customers downtown than will be a tax-supported parking garage, I hope the latter turns out to be a resounding success nevertheless,” Mulligan said.
Mulligan was the first to accept the invitation from “Bagpipes” for readers to air the concerns on which they believe this fall’s campaigns should focus.
He also wants to hear candidates’ thoughts about using “British-style roundabouts” to control traffic intersections instead of more traditional methods such as widening streets and installing traffic lights.
The British model, he said, is better at “preventing the running of red lights, slowing traffic entering the intersection and yet keeping it moving, thus alleviating the very congestion that requires road widening.”
Mulligan also wants “to hear candidates promise to fund law enforcement more so that the average citizen doesn’t get ignored more in reporting a crime than he does in drawing parking violations.”
Kids miss popular open gym
Libby Teen Center is not the only public school facility in Spokane where youngsters have a safe place to play during non-school hours, said LuAnn Suryan, president of COPS Northeast.
“COPS Northeast and Shaw Middle School have been doing this for over a year and a half,” she said.
Run by volunteer staffers, Shaw’s gym was opened for community youngsters on Friday evenings beginning in October 1995, Suryan said. But the program had to shut down this summer due to a lack of funds to rent the gym outside the school year.
“The kids really miss it,” said Suryan, who noted it was so popular that a 250-person limit had to be imposed.
Youngsters don’t have to live in the Shaw attendance area, but all participants have to sign a rule sheet.
“You mind or you’re out,” Suryan said. “They know we’re volunteers. If they want it to continue, they will treat us with respect.”
Suryan said several other Spokane District 81 schools have picked up the idea. “I think the school system needs to get involved all over town.”
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