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Sprague-Appleway project draws support

Debbie Jensen's Shetland sheepdog Tavi broke a side tooth while munching on a treat. Jensen's dentist, Dr. Kenneth M. Collins, performed  a root canal  on the dog. 
 (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Debbie Jensen's Shetland sheepdog Tavi broke a side tooth while munching on a treat. Jensen's dentist, Dr. Kenneth M. Collins, performed a root canal on the dog. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

SPOKANE VALLEY – A couple of business owners had just one question about a plan to restore two-way traffic on Sprague Avenue: How fast can it be done?

That aspect of Spokane Valley’s Sprague-Appleway corridor revitalization plan has been criticized by motorists. But there was only support at a meeting last week when some 75 people packed a joint session of the Spokane Valley City Council and Planning Commission.

Troy Russ, an Orlando, Fla., transportation consultant, said traffic efficiency wouldn’t suffer much under his proposal to extend Appleway Boulevard to Evergreen Road and restore two-way traffic on both Sprague and Appleway. The $37.1 million project would be done in four phases.

A key reason, Russ said, is his proposal to shrink much of Appleway to one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane. However, Russ’ plan calls for two eastbound lanes between Interstate 90 and Dishman-Mica Road because most of Appleway’s eastbound traffic exits onto Dishman-Mica.

Extending Appleway and improving its efficiency would allow the city to “put Sprague on a diet,” reducing it from seven lanes to five, including a center turn lane, Russ said.

Another means of improving Appleway Boulevard’s efficiency would be to cut speeds to 30 mph and reduce the space between vehicles, Russ told city officials.

Michael Freedman, head of the consulting firm in charge of the overall corridor revitalization plan, called on city officials to point out any parts of the plan they don’t like before the Planning Commission conducts its first formal public hearing at 6 p.m. March 13.

John Craig

Tavi gets his smile back

Debbie Jensen couldn’t bear the thought of her prize-winning Shetland sheepdog going without his bone.

Her dog Tavi, a breed champion, had broken a large tooth in early January and was reduced to eating only soft food.

It happened while Tavi was working over a chew bone. Jensen looked in his mouth and saw the damage – a slab fracture of a large tooth on the right lower jaw.

The tooth pulp was exposed and the injury was clearly painful for Tavi, who has sired other top Shelties over the years and has competed to win a string of dog awards in obedience, agility and herding.

Jensen took him to the pet emergency clinic for initial treatment and then to her regular veterinarian, Dr. Steve Bauer at Latah Creek Companion Animal Hospital.

An extraction was one possibility, but that would have left Tavi with a big gap in his jaw.

Jensen knew that some veterinarians have a subspecialty in dentistry so she asked Bauer about it. He said he was not qualified to do that kind of work, but that she might ask her personal dentist if he would repair the tooth while Bauer administered anesthesia.

Jensen talked with her dentist, Dr. Kenneth M. Collins, who did not hesitate to say yes, she said. He called a friend in Seattle who does dental work for animals at the Woodland Park Zoo to learn about the techniques for animal dentistry, and Bauer had a book on veterinary dentistry at his office.

On Jan. 10, Tavi underwent anesthesia at Bauer’s clinic while Collins used his regular tools to perform a root canal on the three-rooted tooth and then placed a white resin filling onto the fracture, essentially restoring Tavi’s bite and smile in a single visit.

Tavi should live another six years, so the root canal and filling were worth it, Jensen said.

She was fortunate, too, when it came time to pay for the help. Collins told her he was doing the procedures as a challenge and would not charge for it.

Collins said that when Jensen first called, he thought the request was weird but agreed to do it because, he joked, “it fills out my career.”

Mike Prager

A jury of peers for teens

CHENEY – When you’re new to driving, the freedom of the open road can come to a screeching halt with that first traffic citation. The city of Cheney plans to help young drivers out of their first jam by sending them to a new youth court where teens will be judged by a jury of their peers and traffic citations can be deferred and kept off of driving records.

Under state law, municipal courts can form a youth court to defer any first-time traffic infractions committed by 16- and 17-year-olds, provided they agree to admit to the offense.

Youth court in Cheney will meet once a month from September to May. It will consist of a judge, a clerk, three adult supervisors and a jury of selected from among students in the eighth grade through the 12th grade who can apply to hear youth court cases.

Student jurors must follow guidelines when deciding the penalty. All penalties will include attending a “Reduce the Risk” traffic class and likely community service at the recycling center.

For now, the court will hear only cases involving traffic infractions, but Terri Cooper, administrator of Cheney Municipal Court, hopes to work with the school district to hear cases involving school violations.

Lisa Leinberger

Sister city scene

POST FALLS – Kathy Pierce has never been to Herborn, Germany, but her vision of Post Falls’ sister city, culled from photographs of the picturesque town, will be the dominant feature decorating the centerpiece atrium of the new Post Falls City Hall.

Pierce has been commissioned to design and create an 8 1/2-by-12-foot stained glass window depicting the city.

Pierce has been creating stained glass art for 30 years, and the Herborn window will be her most ambitious creation. The German town scene will be filled with stone buildings, a flowing river, flowers, swans and a sidewalk cafe.

“We were looking for something to be able to honor and recognize our sister city, Herborn, Germany,” said Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin. “We’re going to hopefully be able to tie this in with the Herborn band visit over the Fourth of July.”

The art will be paid for with corporate donations.

Amy Cannata