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Neighbor starts campaign to raise money for Rocket Market’s legal fees

UPDATED: Sun., Feb. 26, 2017, 11:26 p.m.

They come by car, by foot and by training wheels to listen to music at The Rocket Market on east 43rd in Spokane. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
They come by car, by foot and by training wheels to listen to music at The Rocket Market on east 43rd in Spokane. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

A GoFundMe campaign is raising money to help the Rocket Market fight a lawsuit from neighbors who want the popular corner grocery store to stop its summer concert series.

In one day, 78 contributors have raised more than $3,200 of the $15,000 goal.

Money will go toward the market’s legal fees.

The campaign was started by Kate Pogue Rau, who wrote, “I live three doors away and can’t tell you how much I enjoy watching people come from all around, walking, biking, pushing children in strollers, carrying lawn chairs to come to these events. I actually chose the house I live in BECAUSE of the proximity to the Rocket.”

Other nearby neighbors aren’t as enamored. Their lawsuit is asking that the business not host any event that interferes with the use of their properties, and seeks money for medical expenses that include “psychological treatment.”

The residents suing the market at 726 E. 43rd Ave. are Russell Neff, Lisa Gardner, Bonnie Avery, Kelli Weaver, Eileen Pilant, Kerry Edwards-Peters and Robert Peters.

In response to previous complaints from homeowners, the market changed the hours of the free outdoor shows from 8 to 10 p.m. to 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Only the singers have microphones. None of the instruments are amplified and no drums are allowed. Music is usually jazz or folk.

“These events take place twice a week, in the summer months only,” Rau wrote. “If you have ever attended the live music at the Rocket, you will see people of all ages enjoying a warm summer night, talking, laughing, singing along. At a time when our connection to one another is more important than ever, the Rocket Market provides a priceless sense of community.”

If any money raised for the market’s legal fees goes unused, it will be donated to the college fund for the children of the late Isamu “Som” Jordan, a writer, music critic and musician who was, Rau wrote, “instrumental in establishing the music events at the Rocket. Som died unexpectedly, leaving behind a family and friends who loved and miss him greatly.”

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