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Saturday’s highlights

T.J. Williams Jr., the director of photography, frames up a shot with a digital movie camera in Fairfield, on Wednesday, while shooting a feature film assisted by North By Northwest. At right is Adam Miller, the first assistant camera operator. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Oh, it's Monday again. Pardon me while I shake off the weekend cobwebs. As we start the work week there are some Saturday Valley Voice highlights to greet us, as always. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a report on the safety of Mountain View Middle School in the East Valley School District. Building and fire inspectors recently toured the building to make sure it was safe after parents raised concerns about the partially boarded up building.

The small town of Fairfield hosted a movie crew from North by Northwest last week. Portions of the movie "West of Redemption" starring Billy Zane were filmed there while grain trucks lumbered by on their way from the nearby grain elevators.

Lisa stopped by University High School during the morning on the first day of school when freshmen had the run of the buliding. The school had a special program that morning to help the students acclimate to the school and get to know each other.

The City of Spokane Valley and Spokane County had a joint meeting last week to discuss solid waste options under a new regional plan. The city would like to own the Valley transfer station, but County Commissioners seem to favor a plan that has the County owning and running the facility.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department is considering spending a budget surplus on remodeling several fire stations, two of which are decades old. Problems include leaking roofs, failing floors and kitchen cabinets in disrepair.

Fairfield community yard sale

The Fairfield community yard sale is running today and Saturday, so stop by if you happen to be down that way. The hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days and maps of the sale locations will be available at the post office next to City Hall on Main St. To reach Fairfield, head south from Spokane Valley on Highway 27. Take a left on Main St. when you arrive in Fairfield.

I can attest that the trip down to Fairfield is a nice drive. The picture above is an SR file photo taken just south of Fairfield.

Saturday’s highlights

Broadway Elementary School students extend hands for high-fives from from Swoop, the Eastern Washington University mascot during an assembly, May 17 in the school gym. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Well, here we are on a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. I've successfully moved my base of operations across the room and am all set to go, so let's take a look at our packed Saturday Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote a story on Broadway Elementary students, who won a contest to have the Eastern Washington University mascot Swoop visit their school. The entry was a last minute decision, but the kids enjoyed the visit.

Three draft designs for the expansion of Balfour Park were presented to the community during a recent public meeting. The majority of people seemed to favor the design that put an angled library on the southwest corner of the property at Sprague and Herarld. Spokane Valley is developing the site in partnership with the Spokane County Library District.

Filing week is over and there are some heated races coming up. Controversies in Latah and Rockford have brought out more than the usual number of candidates. Every Spokane Valley City Council seat will be contested this fall.

A preliminary design for the Appleway Trail was presented at a recent public meeting to get input on planned features. The city has no construction money for the project and is creating a design so the project will be ready to go. At a recent meeting the Spokane Valley City Council heard details on several proposed comprehensive plan amendments.

The town council in Rockford recently took the unusual step of cutting their own pay to save money. They are down to one full-time employee and other changes are likely in the future.

Mosquito fogging in Fairfield

The town of Fairfield will be doing mosquito fogging beginning Tuesday, weather permitting. Anyone who does not want their property sprayed is asked to contact City Hall at (509) 283-2414 as soon as possible.

Special meeting in Fairfield

The Fairfield City Council is having a special meeting at 8 p.m. Friday at City Hall, 218 E. Main St. The sole purpose of the meeting is to discuss closeout options for the East Main Street rehabilitation project. Call City Hall at (509) 283-2414 for more information.

Saturday’s highlights

Rick Kelley is closing Kelley’s Thrift in Fairfield after 39 years in business. It’s the only grocery store between Tekoa and Spokane. When he was a student at Liberty High School he worked there as a box boy. In 1973, Kelley took over the business from his father. SR photo/Dan Pelle

It's such a wonderful day out that I'll forgive it for being Monday. But if it's Monday's it is also time for some Valley Voice highlights from Satuday. Kelley's Thrift, a longtime fixture in Fairfield, is closing its doors soon. The grocery store is the one only available to residents in the area. Owner Rick Kelley says too many people are doing their shopping in Spokane and Spokane Valley and he can't afford to keep the doors open.

The Contract Based Education alternative school run by the West Valley School District is looking for a new name. Several options are being considered, but one option that seems to be rising to the top is Dishman Hills High School.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners voted last week to purchase iPads for themselves, but made several suggestions with an eye toward lowering the cost.

Fairfield does St. Patrick’s Day

If you are looking for a way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, turn your eyes to the south. The town of Fairfield will host its annual St. Paddy's Day feed Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Fairfield Community Center, 304 E. Main St. The menu features Reuben sandwiches, corned beef, cabbage, baby reds and salad. The cost is $15 and the proceeds benefit the town's annual Flag Day celebration.

To reach Fairfield, head south from Spokane Valley on Highway 27. Turn left on Main Street when you arrive in town.

Do you sew?

If sitting in front of your sewing machine is your happy place, you might want to check out the event going on Saturday in Fairfield. The Top Stitch is putting on a show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairfield Community Center on Main Street. There will be fabrics by the yard, patterns, books and project kits available. Sewing machine tune ups will be avaiable for $25.

To reach Community Center, head south on Highway 27 from Spokane Valley. Once you get to Fairfield, take a left on Main Street and head up the hill to the center.

Saturday’s highlights

Joshua Bailey, 5, enjoys a kiwi during lunch with fellow kindergartners on Wednesday at Broadway Elementary in Spokane Valley. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

There is a strange, golden orb in the sky on this Monday morning. While we are enjoying some sunshine, check out some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on an experiment in Central Valley schools to serve lunch to half-day kindergartners. It's being tried at Broadway Elementary, where 72 percent of students quality for free or reduced price lunches.

Valleyfest organizers are once again waiting to see if they will receive lodging tax funding from the city of Spokane Valley. For the second year in a row the organization was not recommended to receive any by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a story on the discussion at the recent Millwood City Council meeting over the public access requirement for properies on the shore of the Spokane River under the state-mandated update of their Shoreline Management Program.

The town of Fairfield is looking for donations of personal hygiene items for gift baskets for local teens. There is still a week to make a donation. SCRAPS is also looking for donations as it hosts several adoption events and fund raisers during December.  

Fairfield Christmas bazaar

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, the annual Old Fashioned Christmas Bazaar in Fairfield is Saturday. There will be plenty of vendors to shop from and the North Palouse Community Food Bank will be offering lunch items for purchase beginning at 11 a.m. The menu includes homemade soup, rolls, pie and beverages. Anyone who brings a donation of food for the food bank will receive a free beverage.

The bazaar will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fairfield Community Center at 304 E. Main. To reach Fairfield, head south on Highway 27 from Spokane Valley.

Special meeting in Fairfield tonight

The Fairfield City Council will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. today to discuss the concrete failure in some areas of the Main Street Rehabilitation Project. The meeting will be held at City Hall, 218 E. Main.

Ribbon cutting tonight in Fairfield

The town of Fairfield will celebrate the completion of its East Main Street rehabilitation project with a ribbon cutting tonight at 6 p.m. There will be a hot dog and hamburger barbecue in nearby Thiel Park for those who want to attend.  

Saturday’s highlights

Broadway Elementary summer school student Connor Dehn, 9, keeps an eye on his computer-programmed Lego car as it heads to a target Thursday. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Yesterday was a nice respite from the heat, but it looks as though our sunshine is back this morning just in time to take a look at the highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a summer school class at Broadway Elementary focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students used pop bottle rockets to study flight and then built Lego cars to use on an obstacle course.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a report from the recent Millwood City Council meeting, where residents spoke their mind about the new water rate increases. The town of Fairfield has started a new recycling program after a lengthy discussion and so far the program seems to be a success.

University High School grad Hank Frame, who plays golf for Washington State University, won the recent Lilac City Invitational golf tournament. Correspondent Steve Christilaw talked to him about his win and about the golf program at WSU.  

Special meeting in Fairfield

The Fairfield City Council has announced a special meeting tonight to discuss engineering credentials for upcoming projects. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 218 E. Main St.

The grand council meeting shuffle

Just about every city with a council meeting scheduled for next week is doing a bit of shuffling to avoid the Fourth of July holiday on Wednesday. The only exception is Spokane Valley, which will have its council meeting at its normal time at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

The Fairfield City Council is moving its Tuesday meeting to Monday at 7 p.m. at City Hall at 218 E. Main in Fairfield. The Rockford City Council is moving its meeting from Wednesday to Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall at 20 W. Emma in Rockford. The City of Liberty Lake is moving its Tuesday meeting to July 10.

Today’s highlights

Aliyah Forrester, 5, runs with a bucket and shovel Monday, through the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden in Millwood. Her grandparents, Doug and Teresa Sadler, help run the garden. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Today you get a look at the stories we've been working on all week. Reporter Pia Hallenberg is continuing her look at local community gardens and recently stopped by the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden in Millwood. The garden still has some of its 57 plots available and also participates in the Plant a Row for the Hungry program, donating produce to Second Harvest.

In a departure from past practice, the Spokane Valley City Council is not allowing the Spokane Valley Fire Department to make a presentation on its replacement levy on the August ballot. The move caught the fire department by surprise, particularly since it gave similar presentations twice previously.

The work on the Sprague Avenue reconstruction project has been delays after a gas line was found only inches under the asphalt. It had to be relocated and buried deeper before the road work could continue. During Tuesday's meeting the Spokane Valley City Council voted to require a development agreement before land on Conklin Road just south of Broadway can be rezoned high density residential. The agreement would set restrictions on setbacks and building height on the land, which is surrounded by single family homes on land zoned low density residential.

The town of Fairfield has several programs for kids running this summer. Free lunch is available in the Community Center on weekdays and the town will again bus children to the Tekoa pool.

Special meeting in Fairfield

The Fairfield City Council will have a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall (218 E. Main). The agenda includes votes on the mosquito fogging contract and sidewalk repair bids as well as a discussion on the location of the town's new recycling dumpster. Apparently some debate has cropped up about where best to put the dumpster.

Fiber Fest in Fairfield

If you like to sew, knit or crochet, head down to the South Spokane Fiber Fest on Saturday. The event is being held at the Fairfield Community Center, 304 E. Main, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To get to Fairfield, head south from Spokane Valley on Highway 27. When you reach Fairfield, turn left on Main Street.

The Fiber Fest will include fiber craft vendors and a used eqiupment sale and swap. Food items will be available for purchase and admission is free. There will also be prize drawings.

St. Patrick’s Day in Fairfield

If you need a dose of corned beef to properly celebrate St. Patrick's Day, head south to the annual St. Paddy's Day Feed at the Fairfield Community Center Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. The price of $15 per person will get you a menu of corned beef, cabbage, baby reds, salad, Reubens and a beverage. To get to Fairfield head south from Spokane Valley on Highway 27. When you get to Fairfield, turn left on Main Street and go up the hill. The Community Center will be on your right.

Today’s highlights

At the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, a 1915 Rauch and Lang electric car is part of the new exhibit in the Campbell House carriage house. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Happy last Thursday before Christmas. It's time to take a look at the highlights from today's Valley Voice. The small towns in southern Spokane County are looking at their law enforcement bills from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office with concern, particularly Rockford. Their bill jumped $10,000 in a year.

While the Campbell House next to the MAC isn't in the Valley, it's still a regional icon. Reporter Pia Hallenberg has a story on a new visitor center in the carriage house. There are interactive exhibits in the horse stalls and touch screen displays so visitors can page through historical documents.

Correspondent Stefanie Pettit has an update on Chicken, the wayward hen she took in and cared for that now has a new home and chicken family.  Correspondent Cindy Hval has another touching Love Story, this one about a World War II B-17 pilot and his WAVES wife.  

Pumpkin carving contest

If you have a great idea for a jack-o-lantern design, you might want to head south tomorrow for a pumpkin carving contest in Fairfield. Just bring your own cleaned out pumpkin and carving tools to the Fairfield Community Center on Main Street at 6 p.m.

Prizes will be given for the scariest, funniest and most creative pumpkins. All ages are welcome to participate. There will also be refreshments. To get to Fairfield, head south from Spokane Valley on Highway 27. Take a left on Main Street when you get to Fairfield.

Special filing period next week

The Spokane County Elections Office is planning a special filing period next week for the 29 seats up for election across the county that didn't draw any takers during the June filing week. Many of those seats were for small town city councils and small fire districts, including several in the Spokane Valley area.

The vacant seats are on the Fairfield Town Council, Latah Town Council, Spangle Town Council, Waverly Town Council, Fire District 2 and Fire District 12. The full list of vacancies is in this story. The new filing period will be from 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16 to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19. Those interested in running for office in November can file online or in person at the election office at 1033 W. Gardner. Call (509) 477-2320 for more information.

Garage sale nirvana continues

Each of the last two weekends has featured a major community yard sale, which have been a delight for bargain shoppers. A lot of people love them because you never know what treasures you might find. It appears that this weekend is no different. The small town of Fairfield will host its community yard sale Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. Maps of participating locations will be available at local businesses.

To reach Fairfield, just head south on Highway 27 from Spokane Valley. You can't miss it. Here's hoping for fair skies and good bargains.

Fairfield Flag Day

Classic cars, marching bands and floats make their way along East Main Street during the annual Flag Day parade in Fairfield on June 12, 2010. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

For the 101st time, the small town of Fairfield will host a Flag Day celebration this weekend. The community made a big to-do last year for the 100th celebration, but things are a bit more toned down this year. Things start at 7 a.m. Saturday with late registration for the Flag Flyin' Fun Run in the Lower Park (the run starts at 8) and the fireman's breakfast in the Community Center on Main (which continues until 9:30 a.m.)

The kids parade down Main Street starts at 10:30 a.m. and the grand parade will follow at 11 a.m. Lunch will be available in the Community Center after the parade. Parents can bring the kids to Thiel Park where there will be music, a bouncing castle, food, vendors and crafts all day. Adults can visit the beer garden that will open at 11:30 a.m. and keep serving up the suds until dark.

It sounds like there will be something for everyone on Saturday. Fairfield is easy to find. Just head south on Highway 27 until you hit Fairfield. The challange will probably be in finding a place to park.

November 2011 elections

It seems awfully early to be talking about the elections scheduled for this fall, but it's really not. The candidate filing week is June 6-10 and there are a ton of seats up for election in local city councils and school boards. Anyone who doesn't file at the Spokane County Elections Office by the end of the day on June 10 will not be on the ballot this fall. Some candidates, however, have already thrown their hat in the ring by filling out Public Disclosure Commission documents so they can start fundraising now.

The City of Spokane Valley has four council seats up for election and three of those already have announced candidates. Councilman Dean Grafos is running for re-election and planning commission chairman John Carroll has filed to run against him. The newest appointees to the council, Arne Woodard and Chuck Hafner, are running for election in order to continue serving out the terms they were appointed to. So far no one has filed to run against them. Councilman Bill Gothmann has announced he will not run for re-election and so far no one has filed for his seat (though I am hearing things that indicate that will change soon).

And it's not just Spokane Valley. This fall the Liberty Lake Mayor and four council seats are up for election. There are three seats on the Millwood City Council, plus three each on the Fairfield City Council, Latah City Council, Rockford City Council, Central Valley School District and Freeman School District. There are two seats up for grabs for the East Valley School District, the Liberty School District and West Valley School District. Plus there will be a scattering of fire district commissioners and one Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District commissioner on the ballot.

For an off year election, the ballot is going to be pretty crowded in November. So sit down and buckle up. It should be a fun ride.

Free fire wood available to Fairfield residents

The town of Fairfield recently had several trees removed from Hart Park. The wood will be given away on a "true need basis." Those interested in getting some of the fire wood must be Fairfield residents and must be able to haul it away themselves. A limited amount is available. There is a sign up sheet in City Hall and the decision on who will receive the wood will be made at closing time Friday.

Hart Park meeting in Fairfield

The town of Fairfield will host a special meeting Tuesday to discuss upcoming work to be done in Hart Park. Residents are encouraged to attend to give input and hear about the plans. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. tomorrow in Hart Park.

Coming on Saturday

People in certain neighborhoods have already seen the bright orange "road construction" signs popping up, which means it's time for the annual road construction season story in the Valley Voice. It will run tomorrow, complete with a nice map and information on the estimated start and stop times for each project. Then you'll be able to plot out your traveling routes for the coming months.

Residents in Fairfield will start seeing a new six percent utility tax on their electric bills in July after the city council recently approved the tax. Reporter Lisa Leinberger will have a story on a World War II veteran who recently visited a humanities class at Central Valley High School to talk about his war-time experiences. There will also be another Spokane Valley City Council candidate annoucement.

Part of Highway 27 closed

The Washington State Patrol has closed Highway 27 between Fairfield and Tekoa because of poor visibility. It is unknown when the road may reopen. Be very careful when driving through areas prone to drifting and blowing snow.

Some libraries closed

Apparently if you live in Otis Orchards or Fairfield you can't use your snow day to head to the library to check out a fresh batch of books. The Spokane County Library District has closed those branches because of the weather. Check here for a full story.