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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

No docks on the rocks

Remember the "No Docks At The Rocks" protest last summer? Here's an update from Tim Connor and the Spokane RiverkeeperIn a major victory today for opponents of the Coyote Rock developers’ plan to site 30 recreational docks on a scenic stretch of the Spokane River, a state court of appeals panel has ruled that permits for the first two docks at the site were illegally granted by the City of Spokane Valley.

The three-judge panel’s unanimous decision stems from a challenge that Washington’s Department of Ecology brought two years ago when it intervened in a challenge originally brought by the Spokane Riverkeeper, the Spokane Falls Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and The Lands Council. At the time, Ecology contested the validity of exemptions that the City of Spokane Valley issued under the state’s Shoreline Management Act. It also sharply criticized the overall plan because the “cumulative effects of locating 30 individual docks on this reach of the river will result in complete degradation of the shoreline” in violation of the state law.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

After the jump, take a look at a video produced about the proposal at Coyote Rocks. I suspect the red band trout will be partying about the decision.

Get ready for the “No Docks At The Rocks” river rally this Sunday

Here's a good question: Do you want 30 docks defacing pristine shoreline and threatening native redband trout on the Spokane River? No! But that is exactly what could happen if the Coyote Rock Development plans go through to install up to 30 homeowner docks along the river with a proposed residential development located downstream of Plante’s Ferry and above Centennial Trail (Denny Ashlock) Bridge. 

A local consortium of recreation, environmental and conservation groups have joined forces to promote a River Rally protest that’s about both celebrating summer and making a clear statement: No Docks at the Rock. Event organizers include Spokane Riverkeeper, the Lands Council, Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club, Futurewise, Trout Unlimited, Northwest Whitewater Association and Gonzaga University Environmental Law Clinic.

The rally will take place this Sunday, August 21st from noon to 2:00 p.m. Put in will be at Plante’s Ferry. Check Facebook for more event details. It's an on-the-water protest and a chance to get out in the sun and send a message about docks.

The reason for opposing this development is both ecological and aesthetic.

Saturday’s highlights

Spokane Valley kayaker Steve Bailey surfs the "Sullivan Hole" on the upper Spokane River on August 1, 2011. The wave is a Spokane low water play spot for whitewater enthusiasts. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

If you missed Saturday's Valley Voice you should go back and take a look. It's full of interesting news and stories this week. The picture in the middle of the front page of kayakers having fun on the Spokane River makes me want to run down, jump in and cool off. (My kingdom for a cold front!) Correspondent Steve Christilaw has an interesting story to go with the picture.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote about the old East Trent Motor In sign that has found a new home at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. She also stopped in at an open house held last week at Spokane Valley Partners to celebrate the receipt of some grant funds.

The developer of the Coyote Rocks development on the Spokane River near Plantes Ferry Park has hit a stumbling block. The Spokane Valley Hearing Examiner recently ruled that the developer must redo a preliminary plat map for a new section of the development to take into account a new ordinary high water mark set by the Department of Ecology.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam wrote that the Millwood City Council just approved a real estate exise tax on all home sales in its jurisdiction. Apparently it was the only city or town in the state that didn't already charge the tax, which is one-half of one percent of the selling price and is paid by the seller. The money will be used to fund capital improvement projects as well as maintenance and operation costs.

There's more to read, but we would be here all day if I listed it all. Check out the Voice page here.

Spokane river inflicts a bit of justice on boat docks

RIVERS — Both of the controversial boat docks in the Coyote Rocks development in the Spokane Valley have been damaged this spring by the Spokane River's spring runoff  waters.

A lot of people said the docks shouldn't be allowed to be built there.

Now the river is getting its say.

Coming Thursday

One quick note before we get into Thursday's coming attractions. Expect light posting for the next couple of days as I stay home, sleep in and sit in my recliner. I promise to poke my head in at least once to post links to Thursday's stories and, thanks to the wonders of technology, I'll pre-write a preview of Saturday's Valley Voice that will post on Friday.

Now then, where were we. On Thursday I'll take another look at the situation involving docks installed illegally at the Coyote Rock development on the Spokane River near Plantes Ferry Park. The Department of Ecology sued the City of Spokane Valley over what it said were improper exemptions from the Shoreline Management Act.  A judge has recently released a letter of opinion in the case. Also, we'll have a great story on Meals on Wheels volunteers delivering pet food to seniors who would sometimes share their own food with their furry companion because they couldn't afford to buy pet food.