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Saturday’s highlights

Tiffany Allen, who has Down Syndrome, sits beside the formal dress she will wear as she vies for homecoming princess at East Valley High School. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Hold on to your hat, and your Saturday Valley Voice, so it doesn't blow away on this very breezy Monday. We had a couple of stories about teenagers doing well to start off with. Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote about East Valley High School junior Tiffany Allen who has been nominated for homecoming royalty. Allen, who has Down syndrome, is getting a lot of support from her fellow students.

Teenager Micaela Halpin won second place in the recent video and photo contests run by the city of Spokane Valley in celebration of the city's 10th anniversary. Halpin's winning entries and the entries of the other winners can be seen at www.spokanevalley10.com.

A recent dog attack in the small town of Latah is illustrating the problem that many small towns are having with animal control. Many of the towns contract with SpokAnimal, which doesn't have any enforcement powers outside of the Spokane city limits. Now the towns are looking to the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service for help.

New home for regional animal control

Regional animal control is expected to find a new home at the former Schumate Harley-Davidson building, according to a Spokane Regional Animal Protection Service news release.

The building, located at 6815 E. Trent, will be retrofitted to handle animal control for all of Spokane County.

Spokane City Council voted to switch to country services for their animal control, breaking off their ties to SpokAnimal after three decades of contracts.

S.C.R.A.P.S. will begin their 20-year contract with the city of Spokane beginning in 2014. They’ll take over animal licensing and combine their data with the city’s as well.

The new contract does not increase local taxes and the city of Spokane will pay the county $561,000 per year, according to prior reports.

A news conference is being held later today to talk about the site and host a tour for public officials and local media outlets.

Correction: Our original blog post named the building as Latus Harley-Davidson based on information from Spokane County news releases. 

Today’s highlights

Role call: Shauna Cozza, 7, gives a humorous monologue about the existence of fairies Monday as she auditions for a part in the upcoming Theater Arts for Children production of “The Three Musketeers,” at the TAC headquarters in Spokane Valley. TAC will host a silent auction and buffet Saturday. The Star Tacs, the theater’s improv group, will perform. Tickets for the fundraiser are $30 per person or $50 per couple and are available by calling (509) 995-6718 or by sending an email to email@theaterartsforchildren.org. The theater is at 2114 N. Pines Road, Suite 3S. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

I'm not sure where the morning went. I was so busy working on stories for Saturday's Valley Voice I forgot to write up some highlights from today's Valley Voice. I blame the sleep deprivation.

The Spokane Valley City Council voted this week to approve a 20-year contract with the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) for animal control services. City staff said the county hopes to have a new regional shelter complete by the beginning of 2014. The city of Spokane is expected to vote on a contract with SCRAPS later this month.

New Valley Voice reporter Nicole Hensley has a story on the crud going around local schools that is resulting in a high number of absences. There's been a short term reporting change in the newsroom and Nicole will be working for the Valley Voice for a couple months while Lisa Leinberger tries her hand at the night cops beat.

It seems as though New Year's Eve and New Years Day were busy for local law enforcement and the city of Liberty Lake is no different. Officers there responded to quite a few calls on New Year's Day, ranging from a bar brawl to a 13-year-old boy arrested for assaulting his mother.

Another animal control discussion

Animal control is once again on the Spokane Valley City Council meeting agenda for tonight, but it appears that the end may be in sight. Tonight the council members will discuss a draft agreement with SCRAPS, who they have been negotiating with for several weeks. It looks as though the draft includes some key changes from earlier proposals, including not having an automatic yearly price increase. As of right now a vote is scheduled on whether to approve the contract at the Dec. 11 council meeting.

If you are interested in hearing tonight's discussion, the meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

Saturday’s highlights

CV freshmen Jaimee Clark, standing at left, and Alexandra Burke, standing center, consult as they evaluate the entrepreneurial project of third-graders at Sunrise. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Welcome to a wet, windy Monday. But look on the bright side; we've got Thanksgiving to look forward to. As always we have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a program that teams Sunrise Elementary students with Central Valley High School DECA students to learn about running a business. The students are selling products that they made.

Sullivan Park will double in size after the construction of the new Sullivan Bridge is complete. The park will be expanded as mitigation for the portion of the park that will be used as a staging area during construction. Other improvements in that area are also planned.

The HUB Sports Center has a new after school program for Greenacres Middle School that is proving to be popular. The students get help with their homework, have a snack, listen to guest speakes and play games.

The city of Liberty Lake is taking a second look at its animal control contract with SCRAPS. Mayor Steve Peterson iswants to see if SpokAnimal can provide the city cheaper service or if the SCRAPS contract can be changed to cost the city less out of pocket.

Lisa also has a report on a Central Valley school board meeting where a decision was reached to sell land in Liberty Lake to the city of Liberty Lake for $10 so it can be used for playing fields. The district has the option to purchase the land back for the same price in the future if it needs the property.  

Today’s highlights

Perhaps the biggest news in today's Valley Voice is that the Spokane Valley City Council agreed this week to negotiate with SCRAPS for animal control services. The city has been contracting with SCRAPS since incorporation, but SpokAnimal had also submitted a proposal to provide animal control services. The decision has been discussed for months. The decision isn't final, however, until the city approves a contract.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger tagged along last week when a group of new teachers and employees in the East Valley School District took an orientation tour of the district on a school bus. They got a look at each of the schools and what makes them unique.

If you are planning ahead, start thinking about the Southeast Spokane County Fair in Rockford Sept. 21-23. It features livestock, a carnival, parade, fun run, live music, pie eating contest, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, horse show and Cow Chip Bingo. Admission is free, so bring the family.

Decision on animal control?

There may be a decision made on animal control in Spokane Valley at tonight's City Council meeting. The 6 p.m. meeting will start with a public hearing on the animal control proposals the city has received from SCRAPS and SpokAnimal (the city currently contracts with SCRAPS). If you have thoughts on the issue, it looks like this may be your only chance to have a say. After what may be lengthy presentations from 10 outside agencies seeking economic development money, city staff will make a recommendation to the council as to which animal control proposal is best. The council will then decide which entity to begin contract negotiations with.

To top off the meeting, which I'm expecting could easily run four hours, the council will also discuss 2013 property tax rates. If you are feeling brave enough to sit through the whole thing, join me at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.  

Today’s highlights

Japanese students perform traditional dance and drumming on Monday at New Life Church. Compass USA is celebrating 25 years of its exchange student program with Japan.SR photo/Dan Pelle

We have a bright and sunny morning to check out today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a large group of Japanese exchange students who have been visiting Spokane Valley through a program run by Compass USA. The students, who took English classes and explored the area, recently put on a Japanese culture night for their host families.

Spokane Valley is still mulling over a decision on animal control. The city received proposals from SCRAPS and SpokAnimal for animal control service and there are some important differences between the two. The city council is expected to make a decision by the end of the month.

Reporter Pia Hallenberg has a story on God's Closet, which provides free clothing for children after parents pay $1 admission. There's a free shopping day coming up Friday at the Central Seventh-day Adventist Fellowship Hall at 804 W. Spofford in Spokane.

Saturday’s highlights

Doddie Williams, right, and Rachel White serve Aimee Cook, 4, a corn dog lunch at Spokane Valley Community of Christ Church Wednesday. Some of the free lunch programs offered at schools have ended, so the congregation at Community of Christ is stepping up with free lunches for children and adults three days a week at the church. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Saturday's Valley Voice once again gave you a solid lineup of stories covering what's happening in Spokane Valley. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has details on the annual Summer of Service volunteer day run by Eastpoint Church that will send volunteers to 15 Central Valley schools for improvements on Aug. 11. Volunteers are still needed, so sign up if you can lend a hand.

The Spokane Valley Community of Christ Church has stepped up to offer free meals to children and adults three days a week through the month of August. The church is trying to fill the gap that exists now that many schools have stopped serving free meals for the summer.

The Spokane Valley City Council discussed a familiar topic last week - animal control. The council is moving nearer to a decision, however. The city has to decide whether to continue with SCRAPS or switch to SpokAnimal for animal control services.

Spokane Valley Partners is again collecting school supplies for distribution to low income students. Lisa put together details on what supplies are needed and how families can sign up to get a backpack filled with supplies.

Saturday’s highlights

Firefighter Tom Carleton of Spokane Valley’s Ladder 10 walks through a charred hillside during a wildland fire training session Wednesday in Spokane Valley. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Today is Monday and it's sunny. Are we sure this is Spokane? It's time to grab a cup of coffee and settle in to check out some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. The Spokane Valley Fire Department spent some time doing wildland fire training last week and invited other local fire departments to participate.

The Spokane Valley City Council has agreed to issue a request for proposal's for the city's animal control service with the intention of getting information from SpokAnimal Care on what they might charge to take over the city's animal control contract.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a nice story on Liberty Lake Regional Park, a little known park on the shores of Liberty Lake that has hiking trails, camping, a playground, swimming and a dock to fish off of. It's a great place to sit on the beach and enjoy the views.

A car full of felines

Ellen Sherriffs read Mike Prager's story in the Sunday paper about local animal control officials not having to snuff out quite so many unwanted cats and dogs. And SCRAPS director Nancy Hill's anecdote about transporting felines to the West Side had her wondering.

"The news from our local animal shelters is fantastic, but I've been chortling all afternoon about 48 cats heading to Seattle in a Subaru Forester.  Which cat gets to drive? The one with a license? Are there enough seat belts for everyone? Do they stop at Ivar's or The Crab Shack first? What would make the driver threaten 'Don't make me stop this car!' Do they have fights in the back seat too? 'He's breathing on me and it smells like tuna!' 'His tail's on my side!' 'Fluffy's gonna have a hair ball!'" 

Conklin Road zone change on agenda

Sorry for the light posting lately, I've been working on several interesting stories for Thursday's Valley Voice. It looks like tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting will be busy. The first reading of a proposed zone change on Conklin Road just south of Broadway is on the agenda. Neighbors have been voicing their opposition to the request regularly and I expect some of them will be there tonight.

There are a few other interesting items on the agenda, including the approval of an interlocal agreement with Spokane County to develop a trail on the old Milwaukee Railroad right of way that the city once wanted to use to extend Appleway Blvd. The council will also discuss animal control and may indicate whether they want to pursue a possible agreement with SpokAnimal any further.

SV council to talk critters, zoning changes

It's been pretty quiet today and it looks like a pretty quiet meeting tonight for the Spokane Valley City Council. The council is set to discuss animal control again as they work to decide whether or not to go forward with a new regional animal shelter. Tonight is also the first reading of an ordinance with this year's comprehensive plan amendments. One or two of the proposed zoning changes is controversial, so there may be some public comment to go along with it. Tonight is a formal meeting, so there will also be time for public comment on items that aren't on the agenda. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

Today’s highlights

Rylee Walker, 17, shows some of her art work as she talks about her career goals during her senior project presentation Friday, at East Valley High School. For their senior culminating project students are required to compile a portfolio about their high school careers, a video about their lives and their plans for the year after high school. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Welcome to spring. Or is it winter? At any rate, it's Thursday and time to run down the highlights from today's Valley Voice. The Spokane Valley City Council spent some time Tuesday talking about Spokane County's new proposal for a regional animal shelter. There are a lot of questions council members want answered before they are prepared to make a decision.

Students at East Valley High School recently made their senior culminating project presentations to teachers and community volunteers. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by and talked to some of the students about their plans for the future.

Correspondent Cindy Hval stopped by Spokane Falls Community College recently when they hosted Pearl Harbor suvivors who spoke to a packed room about what they saw and did that day in Hawaii. Their stories are very moving. You might need a tissue for this story. 

Full agenda for council meeting

Tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting looks a bit long, judging from the number of reports and discussions on the agenda for the study session. The topics to be covered include the city's Transportation Improvement Plan, a sidewalk and transit accessibility project, Safe Routes to School projects, the city's pavement management program, animal control and economic development.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. And if you would prefer to watch the meeting from the comfort of your recliner, remember that the meetings stream live here.

Animal control, property on agenda

There are a couple of interesting items on the Spokane Valley City Council agenda for tonight. Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke is expected to be there to present information on a new regional animal control concept and the council is also scheduled to discuss the possible acquisition of property on East Sprague across from the old University City Mall. The police chief will also be there to discuss charitable solicitations in public right of way. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague, if any of those topics interest you.

Spokane Valley, County talk critters and trash

Reporter John Craig has a story in today's paper on yesterday's joint meeting with the Spokane County Commissioners and the Spokane Valley City Council. The main topics of discussion were regional plans for an animal shelter and solid waste. The two entities are exploring how to have regional programs to deal with trash and stray or lost animals, but possibly without the participation of the City of Spokane. Expect more discussion on these topics in the future.

Animal shelter tax gets boost from City Council

A unified regional animal control system won important, though qualified, support tonight from city leaders.

The Spokane City Council voted 6-1 to endorse Mayor Mary Verner’s stance on a proposed nine-year county property tax that would pay for a new animal shelter for the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service.

Verner has told county commissioners that she will back the tax if the county agrees to let Spokane join the system for the same amount the city is paying its nonprofit provider, SpokAnimal C.A.R.E., this year (about $561,000) plus increases to account for inflation over the next nine years. The county would keep the city’s dog and cat license revenue.

“This way, we have control over our own destiny, at least for nine years,” said Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin.


Oregon Conservation Fund a misnomer, groups say

PREDATOR CONTROL — Oregon's new fund to boost predator control is appallingly misnamed environmental groups say.

Even Governor John Kitzhaber complained of the name when he signed the measure into law, according to a Northwest Public Radio report.

Few people would balk at contributing at face value to the "Wildlife Conservation Fund."

But Brooks Fahy of Eugene-based Predator Defense calles the name is a sham. It's "offensive, because it's just the opposite. It should be the 'Wildlife Destruction Act," Fahy told correspondent Chris Lehman.

The newly created Wildlife Conservation Fund targets hunters. Starting in January, hunting license buyers can volunteer a donation when they apply for their license.

Most of the money will be funneled toward an existing U.S. Department of Agriculture predator control program, Lehman reports.

Among other things, the federal agents kill problem coyotes and bears, a program supported by many sportsmen, ranchers and timber companies.

Environmental groups urged Governor Kitzhaber to veto the measure. The governor signed the bill, but said he was concerned about quote "truth in labeling" when it comes to the name of the fund.

On the web:

Oregon House Bill 3636

Governor Kitzhaber's Statement

Environmentalist’s Letter to the Governor.


A surplus of cats

This came in via e-mail from SCRAPS this morning:

Just last week alone SCRAPS received more than 100 cats and kittens. “We have been inundated with cats in the last week and need to do as many adoptions as we can over this weekend,” said Nancy Hill, SCRAPS Director. “Our shelter is so overcrowded with cats we have opened up our isolation area to handle the overflow.” SCRAPS will be offering a special break on adoption fees for cats on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. All cats and kittens will have their adoption fees reduced by $25 which will be taken off the usual cost of $62.70.


“We have some wonderful cats right now,” said Cindy Taskila, SCRAPS Kennel Maintenance Officer. “Many of the cats are already spayed or neutered and several of them are declawed. We have something for everyone from Persians to Calicos, from long hair to short hair, everyone should come on down to SCRAPS to see our wonderful animals.”


SCRAPS is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon until 5:30 p.m. The adoption special ends on Saturday. SCRAPS is located at 2521 N. Flora Road, Spokane Valley. Call: (509) 477-2532.

The South Perry Blog would like to know if your cat is fixed? Have you taken in a litter of kittens?