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Bob Apple reappears, will operate a new sports bar on Spokane’s South Hill

Former Hillyard bar owner and Spokane city councilman Bob Apple plans to open a sports bar on the city’s South Hill.

Apple, who served on the council from 2004 through 2011, has applied for a liquor license for a new business at 5620 S. Regal.

The license lists the business name as Somewhere. Apple said that’s a placeholder name, and is likely to change.

“I hope to open before the Super Bowl,” he said, adding, “but you never know how long it takes to get your license.”

Apple said the bar will be roughly 4,700 square feet. He’s leasing the building from the Swartout Family Trust, and said he’s in the process of completing tenant improvements.

Back when he ran the Comet, Apple made headlines (no pun intended) by not stocking toilet paper in his bathrooms. He said he couldn't afford the cost of replacing the paper thieves took from the privy.

Here's a Doug Clark column on the Comet's paper thin legacy.

Apple was also the owner of The Comet, a restaurant and bar in Hillyard. He sold that business two years ago, and the new owner renamed it Usher's Corner, Apple said.

File photo: from Spokesman.com. Photo taken when Apple served on the Spokane City Council, with Dennis Hession as council president.

Notes from a Democratic rally

About 150 gathered for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s campaign rally this evening in Spokane at the Lincoln Center.

There wasn’t much we haven’t heard on the trail before, so here are a few miscellaneous thoughts:

— The Democrats appear enthused about the race for Congress. Sure, it’s still somewhat of long-shot for them and Democrat Rich Cowan did not come near to raising the $1 million he said was his goal when he began his campaign for the seat in Washington’s 5th Congressional District.

But he’s not Daryl Romeyn, who was the party’s nominee two years ago and who was not embraced by the party. Cowan has raised enough to advertise on TV and he even got a mention recently in the Capital Hill newspaper, Roll Call.

Benn secures spot on November ballot; Snyder endorses Riccelli

Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder ended his campaign for state House on Thursday and endorsed Marcus Riccelli in the November election.

Snyder conceded after the third day of counting in Tuesday's primary showed that Republican Tim Benn's hold on second place getting more secure.

Riccelli, a Democrat, was the top-vote getter in the race for an open House seat in Spokane's 3rd Legislative District. The top two candidates face each other in the general election.

The Spokane County Elections Office counted about 500 ballots in the race today. Out of the more than 24,000 ballots cast in the 3rd Legislative District, only about 1,500 are left to count.

In today's count, Benn's lead for second place over Democrat Snyder grew slightly to 426. His lead over former Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple, also a Democrat, increased to 565.

After the first day of counting, Benn, Snyder and Apple were within 100 votes.

The election's office won't resume counting until Monday.

Mapping the vote: 3rd District House race

Marcus Riccelli is comfortably in first place in the 3rd District House race, but three candidates are bunched up in the race for second place and a spot on the general election ballot.

As this map shows, Riccelli owes his first place standing to doing well in the western and southern precincts of the district.  Bob Apple ran strong in the northeast portions of the district, which correspond closely to his old council district. Tim Benn won a few of his precincts big, and Jon Snyder was strongest in the precincts in or near his south Spokane Council District.

For a closer look at the map, check out the PDF file.


Documents:

Thousands left to count in Spokane House race

About 24,000 people voted in Spokane's 3rd Legislative District in Tuesday's primary election, according to election statistics that include ballots received in today's mail.

So far, about 17,000 of those votes have been counted. That means the second-place battle for state House among Democrats Bob Apple and Jon Snyder and Republican Tim Benn to determine who will face Democrat Marcus Riccelli hinges on more than 7,000 uncounted votes.

The second round of counting will start at 3 p.m., Spokane County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said. New results will be posted after 5 p.m.

Intriguing possibilities for Spokane House race

After an intense three-month campaign, the race for a state House seat representing central Spokane only revealed the first- and last-place finishers.

The three candidates in between will have to wait at least through the end of the week  – and perhaps through a round of recounting – to determine who will face top vote-getter Democrat Marcus Riccelli in November.

Two of the three possible challengers to Riccelli also are Democrats and offer intriguing general election matchups.

Former Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple, a Democrat and former Republican, appeals to some Republicans and even won the endorsement of the Spokane Home Builders Association during the primary. With a solid base of support in northeast Spokane, he could offer a formidable challenge to Riccelli – though he would have to massively step up his efforts to match Riccelli’s financial support and professional organization.

Current Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder holds nearly identical views on the issues as Riccelli and is popular with the Democratic Party, but faltered as the party’s establishment fell in line behind Riccelli, who was Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown’s choice. Republicans would struggle to choose between the two, and Snyder would have to successfully woo them to win.

Day care center co-owner Tim Benn, as a Republican and first-time candidate likely would have significant difficulty in a race against Riccelli, as shown in two-person races between Democrats and Republicans in the district, including Tuesday’s primary for state Senate between Democrat Andy Billig and Republican Nancy McLaughlin. Billig has a nearly 20 percentage point lead over McLaughlin, who has won big in her nonpartisan races for Spokane City Council.

Still trying to decide among Apple, Benn, Oyler, Riccelli and Snyder?

Tuesday is the last chance to mail your Washington primary ballot. If you live in central Spokane and are having a hard time deciding who to choose among the five candidates for the position 1 House seat in the 3rd Legislative District, try studying their stances on 15 issues in the following links:

Bob Apple

Tim Benn

Morgan Oyler

Marcus Riccelli

Jon Snyder

And here are their responses to one of the questions The Spokesman-Review questionnaire:

8. Do you support the legalization of marijuana for adults, including for recreational purposes? If not, do you support the legalization of marijuana for medical use? How would you address the conflict that currently exists between state law allowing marijuana for medical use and federal law banning it?

Waite drops out, endorses Snyder

Downtown Spokane businessman John Waite said Friday that he has decided not to run for the state House afterall.

Waite said earlier this month that he would run as a Democrat for the seat held by state Rep. Andy Billig, who is giving up his seat to run for state Senate.

With five candidates who have filed for the seat, Waite said he decided this afternoon that it already was too crowded and that the entry of former City Councilman Bob Apple would make the race more difficult because he was hoping for strong support in Apple's former council district in Northeast Spokane. Waite ran for Apple's seat last year.

Waite said he will support City Councilman Jon Snyder in the race because of Snyder's experience in small business and his work promoting sustainability.

“He fits my agenda as well as anybody,” he said.

Apple joins crowded field for Spokane House seat

The field to replace state Rep. Andy Billig is getting larger.

Former City Councilman Bob Apple today became the fifth person to say he will run for the Third Legislative District House seat that Billig is leaving to run for state Senate.

Apple, 56, joins Democratic candidates City Councilman Jon Snyder; downtown businessman John Waite; and Marcus Riccell, senior policy analyst to state Sen. Lisa Brown; and Republican candidate Tim Benn, a child day care center owner.

Apple left the City Council at the end of last year after finishing his second term. He was term limited from running again. He ran for the same House position in 2010 and finished third among four candidates in the primary.

A former roofer, Apple said he currently isn't employed and will be able to campaign full-time.

Apple is more conservative than many in the party. He opposed former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner's sustainability plan, for instance. He said he likely will vote against same-sex marriage in November, though he'll accept whatever the voters decide on that issue.

Two Democrats consider bids for county commission

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Mark Richard announces he won’t seek 3rd term

Former City Councilman Bob Apple and former KREM-TV weatherman Daryl Romeyn are contemplating bids for Spokane County Commission.

Both would run for the seat held by Republican Commissioner Mark Richard. He announced last weekthat he would not seek a third term. Republican Shelly O'Quinn, who works for Greater Spokane Inc., immediately announced her candidacy and earned the endorsements of all three county commissioners.

Apple said on Monday that he is talking to Democrats about running. He ran as a Democrat for state House in 2010 but the party declined to endorse him. He said he would consider running as an independent if the party is not open to his candidacy.

Apple said his bid is dependent on the amount of support he gets before the May 18 filing deadline.

Romeyn appears more certain about running.

“I do plan to run, but it's not in stone,” he said Tuesday.

Romeyn, a former weatherman who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010, owns a farm in Greenacres. He also owns Green Acres Grown, which sells dried fruits to area grocery stores in the bulk section.

He said he would run as a Democrat, and his top two issues are cutting property taxes and preserving open space.

“That's our biggest problem — getting our property taxes down,” Romeyn said. 

More from Verner’s exit interview

 

 

Here are the rest of Spokane Mayor Mary Verner's responses to topics we asked her to reflect on as she prepares to leave office. The rest is in an article running today online and in print.

Regionalism

Background: As mayor, Verner opted to end the city’s court partnership with Spokane County and created a separate municipal court. This year, it became clear that the city-led regional trash system is likely to disbanded in the next few years as a result of city disagreements with the county and other cities. Also this year, an attempt to regionalize animal control services failed.

Verner: “Go carefully into the realm of regionalism. (She noted a study from Eastern Washington University about regionalizing local government.) There are some benefits in certain subject areas or service delivery areas and then other communities … don’t get what get what (they think they’re) going to get. You don’t always get a cost savings, Nor do you always get an improvement in service, which is why you have to approach it carefully and do a thorough analysis.”

Bicycle lanes

Background: Verner was criticized by council members Richard Rush and Jon Snyder for not ensuring that Second Avenue was rebuilt with a bike lane, as called for in the city’s bicycle plan. But she’s also supported expanded bike lanes in other parts of downtown. Verner has generally agreed that roads paid for by the 2004 street bond should by completed only curb-to-curb and has argued that a new street bond be more encompassing.

Verner: “I think we’ve been working toward a good balance of installing bicycle infrastructure with the other transportation investments that we must make, including ongoing street maintenance. I’m glad that we have provided that opportunity for more people to get around on bikes safely and people of all ages and all skill levels, and I’m also glad and proud that we have not allowed one voice to dominate. We have a bicycle advisory board that has gone through its own evolution and (has a) better understanding of what an advisory board does. We’ve created the Citizens Design Review Committee that gives the bicyclists and pedestrians and schools an opportunity to help design our projects before we go out and do the projects. We’re talking about the phase two street bond – the next of the three series of street bonds that were anticipated in 2004 – and appropriately providing for bicycle infrastructure where it should be included. So I think we’ve struck a good balance on bicycle infrastructure.”

McKereghan will make second run for Apple’s council seat

Donna McKereghan, former chairwoman of the Logan Neighborhood Council, is making a second run for Spokane City Council.

McKereghan, 57, filed papers announcing her candidacy last month with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

McKereghan lost to Councilman Bob Apple in the 2007 general election. She came in second that year in the five-candidate primary for Apple's seat representing Northeast Spokane.

Apple can't run again because of term limits. McKereghan is the first person to declare his or her intention to run for the position.

McKereghan owns Rave Web Designs and recently completed seven years on the State Legislative Ethics Board.

Tax for streets overshadows talk of task force

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A) Jon Snyder: “You can’t just say, ‘We need the streets fixed! We need the streets fixed!’ and then vote against every single remedy that we have at our disposal”
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B) Steve Corker: “If the No. 1 priority of the city was public safety, would we have the courage to vote in a B&O (tax) to ensure that was funded?”
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C) Bob Apple: “I hope the voters take a negative act towards those who think that they don’t have a right to an input”
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D) Joe Shogan: “A B&O tax in this town has got about as much chance as an ice cube in hell”

Mayor Mary Verner told the Spokane City Council on Tuesday that she will reconvene a committee that will help form policy on paving streets and select opportunities to focus “complete streets” efforts.

For the most part, the city's 2004 street bond has been used only to reconstruct streets from curb-to-curb, a policy that has been challenged by some members of City Council who believe it should also be used to improve sidewalks and make other upgrades. Verner has stood by the curb-to-curb use of the street bond, but has worked to supplement that money with grants and other funds to add amenities on certain projects.

Talk in Tuesday's meeting often turned to funding, specifically on the proposed tab tax that will be considered by the Spokane City Council next month. As you can hear in the above clips, passion among the council members about streets is high.

Spokane takes step closer to vehicle tab tax

Spokane City Council members on Monday decided to give themselves new taxing authority.

The council voted 5-2 to create a “Transportation Benefit District.” The decision means the council will have the ability to enact a vehicle tab tax up to $20. Higher tab taxes would require public votes.

The decision did not enact any tax. Council members said they likely will hold a hearing on a proposed fee as early as November.

While the money raised would have to be spent on street and transportation projects, the law allows the city to divert other revenue currently spent on streets.

Council members Bob Apple and Nancy McLaughlin voted against the proposal. Council members said they likely will dissolve the district if the county forms a regional district at a later date. Apple said any fee should go on a ballot.

Chadez endorses Billig

Lousie Chadez, who won about 20 percent of the vote in the four-way primary for the state House seat representing central Spokane, said this week she will endorse follow Democrat Andy Billig for the general election.

Billig finished second and will face the likely winner of the primary, Republican Dave White, in the November election. Here is a map showing where the Democrats in the race won their support.

Chadez’s decision isn’t a huge surprise. She and Billig shared many of the same positions during the campaign.

Meanwhile, third-place finisher, City Councilman Bob Apple, said Thursday that he has no plans to endorse either candidate.

How the Ds split the 3rd Leg District

The three Democrats running for the open House seat in Central Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District had very different bases of support.

The map shows the vote totals without Republican Dave White, who also seems set to advance to the general election from the Top Two primary. City Councilman Bob Apple ran strongest in his council district, which stretches east from Division, from the river to the northern city boundaries. Andy Billig ran stronger to the west of Division and up onto the South Hill. Louise Chadez ran strongest in West Central, and near Gonzaga University.

Apple not running for grammarian

We don’t want to get too picky about grammar, but this mailer from Bob Apple is worth noting, if only because one of the errors occurs while making the point that “Washington States first priority is to education.”

 

White, Chadez, Billig and Apple take stands on budget cuts

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Here’s the latest video of candidates from the 3rd Legislative District vying to replace retiring state Rep. Alex Wood.

Verner’s sustainability plan ‘adopted’ and ‘accepted’

The Spokane City Council just after midnight adopted a plan aimed at cutting carbon emissions and reducing the city’s dependence on oil.

The 5-2 decision was the second time the council voted on a report finished last year by Mayor Mary Verner’s 13-member Sustainability Task Force. Council members Nancy McLaughlin and Bob Apple voted against the plan.

When the council took its first action on the plan, in May 2009, there were only enough votes on the council to “accept” the report. Since then, two City Council members have been replaced.

“I’m honored to have another opportunity to adopt” the report,” City Councilman Steve Corker late Monday night.

City officials say that new state rules require that the city have an “adopted” plan to reduce emissions to qualify for some state grants.

The report recommends several steps the city should take to cut its dependence on oil and reduce the city’s negative effect on climate change. Ideas include promoting energy-efficient construction and transportation. It also sets a goal for the city to acquire 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

Apple’s campaign for state House may have violated campaign rules

Two years after paying a hefty fine for breaking campaign law, City Councilman Bob Apple appears to have violated another campaign rule.

As of Tuesday, Apple, who is running for a state House seat representing the 3rd Legislative District, listed on his campaign website his City Council e-mail address as a way to contact him.

Reached on Tuesday, Apple agreed that the address shouldn’t appear on campaign material.

“It it was on there, it shouldn’t be,” he said. “I’l have that stripped out.”

Lori Anderson, a spokesman for the state Public Disclosure Commission, said using a city e-mail address violates rules that prohibit the use of public resources in campaigns.

“If (voters) want to contact him, they should do it through some other means other than his city e-mail address,” Anderson said. “The city e-mail address is paid for with city tax dollars and it’s to conduct city business.”

She added, however, that the mistake is minor and likely would not result in fines.

In 2007, Apple’s election opponent complained to the PDC about Apple using a City Hall phone number and e-mail address in a campaign ad.

Apple later faced more serious accusations from the PDC regardng his 2007 campaign.

Billig gets Democratic nod over Apple, Chadez

Spokane County Democratic Party officials voted this week to endorse Andy Billig for the Statehouse seat now held by Democratic Rep. Alex Wood.

Billig, president of the Spokane Indians Baseball Blub, announced his candidacy last fall, before Woods announced his retirement.

Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple and social worker Louise Chadez also are running as Democrats on the August primary ballot. No Republicans have announced a run for the Third Legislative District seat, which represents central Spokane and is Eastern Washington’s most reliable Democratic district.

Billig’s endorsement doesn’t come as much of a surprise. He already had won backing from many prominent Spokane Democrats, including three of Apple’s colleagues on City Council: Richard Rush, Jon Snyder and Amber Waldref.

The county party has typically not weighed in on candidates until after primaries, but county Chair Amy Biviano said state party officials decided that the party should select candidates in response to the top-two primary system.

More on Apple’s endorsement of Ahern

John Ahern’s campaign released this form Wednesday after Bob Apple denied endorsing Ahern. Both Ahern and his campaign manager, Josh Kerns, said they witnessed Apple signing it last year at the county fair.

The top of the form is quite clear: “I endorse John Ahern for State Representative in the 6th District, position 2. By signing below, I give permission to Citizens for Ahern to use my name in campaign materials for the 2010 election. Your contact information will not be shared with anyone outside the campaign. Thank you for your support!”

The campaign blocked other names and Apple’s contact information before releasing the document.

So far, Apple’s opponents in the race are Spokane Indians Baseball Club President Andy Billig and social worker Louise Chadez.

In an interview this morning, Billig said Apple’s endorsement is “surprising,” but that he had no further comment about the issue.

Apple says he’ll compete for Wood’s seat

The field of candidates is growing in the race to replace retiring Democratic state Rep. Alex Wood.

Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple confirmed this week that he will compete for Wood’s seat representing the 3rd Legislative District, the most reliably Democratic district in eastern Washington.

Carpetbaggery, Part 2

Thursday’s post challenging Councilman Bob Apple’s label of “carpetbagger” on a city judicial candidate brought more than a dozen comments, including one from Apple himself.

” I honestly believe any body still considers an elected official who would literaly refuse to live in the area they are elected for would qualify as a carpetbagger. Now Mrs Staab wants us to, elect her as a Spokane City Municipal Court Judge and only hearing cases of Spokane City residents however will not reside within our City as Brian Whitaker dose and as a result, he has my vote. Honestly I cannot imagine voting any other way concerning this simple question.” he wrote.

To save occasional readers from scrolling down, the Reader’s Digest version of this discussion goes like this: Judge Tracy Staab, who is seeking election to the position to which she was appointed earlier this year, lives outside the city limits in Spokane County. The law allows that, although Apple and some others think that regardless of what the law allows, Staab ought not to hold the post. In an e-mail, to constituents and others last week, Apple said he was voting for her opponent, Bryan Whitaker, because she’s a carpetbagger.

The term carpetbagger dates to the 19th Century and  comes from a description of outsiders who move into an area to take advantage of something, such as a political race. It doesn’t apply to Staab, the post argued.

In his rebuttal, Apple makes two interesting arguments. One is that she would “literally refuse to live in the city”. Ignoring for a moment the all too common misuse of literally, Apple seems to be suggesting that Staab should move from the county to the city to be eligible for the job.

That would actually be carpetbagging, because she’d be moving in an attempt to get elected.

The other argument is that he’s using the word properly because under his definition, which he believes is acceptable to “anybody”, that’s what a carpetbagger is.

That’s the argument Humpty Dumpty made to Alice, that a word “means just what I choose it to mean, nothing more nor less.”

But on this side of the looking glass, words mean what they mean.

Should Apple be called on the carpet?

Is it too much to ask that people who hurl political epithets during campaign season at least get them right?

OK, that was a stupid question. It probably is. But still…

In an e-mail to constituents last week, Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple described whom he is endorsing for various city elected positions this year, and how he’s voting on several ballot measures. No big deal. Apple has the same right as everyone else, and has no less right to an opinion by being elected to the council.

At least one reader e-mailed his objections, questioning whether Apple was out of line for his endorsement of judicial candidate Bryan Whitaker – not for anything nice he said about Whitaker but for a label he hung on opponent, Municipal Judge Tracy Staab.

Carpetbagger.

The reader suggested it was libelous, which it probably isn’t on its face. It’s a political term in the midst of a campaign, and political speech is among the most protected by the courts.

Being legally protected, however, doesn’t make it correct…