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Tip sends watchdog barking down the wrong trail – with company

The posse that’s been tracking Lake City Development Corp. activity for months stubbed its toe badly last week. It all started with a tip to LCDCritic Dan Gookin from someone with concerns about a Black Rock Development project. Seems the tipster had heard that developer Marshall Chesrown had illegally diverted the Spokane River in front of the Bellerive neighborhood along the shore next to Riverstone. To Gookin’s credit, he decided to check things out before spreading rumors. To the discredit of his associates, the local media was called, along with Beth Reinhart, an Army Corps of Engineers rep. Everyone met at Riverstone Starbucks – Gookin, Duane Rasmussen, Matt Roetter and Ron Johnson representing, ahem, concerned citizens; reporters and photographers from both local papers; and biologist Reinhart. Gookin led the group along the shoreline, where crews are building condos. Reinhart inspected the silt fences, the rock retaining walls and the pilings for the public boardwalk and said everything looked A-OK. “This looks like a good job, a really good job,” Reinhart said. She politely answered the questions and promised to make sure the property owner had the proper permits. Strike one. Then, the group moved downstream to the Mill River development to see if the alleged river diversion was there. It wasn’t. Again, Reinhart didn’t see anything wrong. Strike two. Finally, Gookin tried and failed to phone the tipster. Strike three. Gookin apologized for leading everyone on a “wild goose chase.” Next time, boys? We’ll call you.