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Washington Voices

Time for pingpong at diplomacy

Sat., Sept. 11, 2010

This senior appreciated Maggie Peluso’s letter to the editor (Sept. 4, Valley Voice) with the information about her accident while playing pingpong at the Spokane Senior Center.

I’m with you. Would they stop line dancing or tai chi if someone turned an ankle or collapsed from fatigue or an illness. But like you say the center is only 1 ½ miles from a hospital.

Pingpong is not dead at CenterPlace. Seniors, players and citizens should deluge not only The Spokesman-Review with letters, but the Spokane Valley City Council, the city manager and the Spokane Valley Senior Center Association board of directors regarding the lack of interest in allowing pingpong at CenterPlace.

CenterPlace has 14 rooms that would support two to four pingpong tables in a safe and practical manner. In August, I was able to determine there were plenty of available rooms almost daily. Now mind you, the center probably has computer records that might differ a little since I have only been checking their rooms in the morning, but the office staff is not interested in my request for information on room rentals and referred me to the senior center, which was a waste of time.

The senior center board of directors refuses to acknowledge that the dance floor, which is used as a multi-purpose area, is available to pingpong players. The floor is used weekly only about half of the available 40 hours. It is a matter of scheduling the unused times. And of course time is needed to set up the tables and take them down, a matter of minutes.

There is an easier solution. Provide pingpong players a permanent home with two to four tables in one of the 14 rooms. Based on the lack of rentals this should not be a problem. Then the pingpong players would have the same advantage as the billiard players with their six tables, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus they play on Saturdays and some evenings until 7:30. And there’s no set up or take down.

The Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department mission statement says; “to acquire, develop, operate and maintain a diverse park and recreation system that enhances our community.”

What part of this mission do they not understand?

Spokane Valley resident Verne Hutchinson can be reached by e-mail at


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