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City Council considers Golf Cart Zone on Monday

On the agenda for Monday's Spokane City Council meeting: Golf cart zones in Northeast Spokane.

“The Greater Hillyard Neighborhood Planning Alliance identified a golf cart zone as part of its strategy to provide a wider range of mobility options for all residents,” said Council Member Amber Waldref, who sponsored the ordinance. “I’m happy to help implement this neighborhood-driven effort.”

According to the City of Spokane, the ordinance allows electric golf cart use within specified boundaries. (Check map.) The carts would be operated on streets in the zone with speed limits of 25 mph or less and a golf cart may cross a street with a speed limit greater than 25 mph when safe to do so at intersections.

In Spokane County, Cheney and Liberty Lake already have golf cart zones and there's been a shift to use the vehicles for more purposes than hitting the links. Could the golf cart ordinance be a gateway to more low-speed electric vehicles in the region? We shall see.

Northeast Youth Center faces potential cuts

Northeast Youth Center's executive director Kate Zehner Green sent an email this morning, announcing three upcoming public meetings seeking support for NEYC and other programs that may lose funding in 2013.

The Parks and Recreation Department is facing a 4 percent budget cut in 2013, and that proposed reductions may be made in senior and youth center funding, outdoor program funding and many other outdoor and arts programs, including Corbin Art Center and sports facilities.

Store fights booze thieves w/ mace

Employees at a Spokane grocery store pepper sprayed the front doors to try to stop two suspected booze thieves from attacking them on Friday, police say.

Police say Kerry Alan Zaugg, 24, appeared to be preparing to assault an employee at Grocery Boys, 3430 N. Crestline St., with a stolen $60 bottle of Grey Goose vodka until another employee emerged from the store with a baseball bat.

Zaugg had been chased in the parking lot after running from the store with the booze.

Co-defendant Norman L. Caoile, 25, was standing nearby and told employees to let Zaugg go after he gave them back the bottle. When an employee instead called 911, Caoile tried to knock the phone from his hand, then chased the employees back to the store with a tire iron, police say.

Police arrested the men in the parking lot. Caoile told officers he was trying to defend Zaugg with the tire iron because employees were continuing to attack him even after he'd given the booze bottle back.

Friday was the first day grocery stores could sell liquor in Washington. Zaugg and Caoile appeared in Superior Court Monday on charges of first-degree robbery.

Hillyard ChalkArtWalk on Saturday

For the 15th year in a row the Hillyard Heritage Celebrations will be putting on a free chalk art walk on Saturday June 3 starting at 10 a.m.

Artists are encouraged to bring their own sidewalk chalk when they register on the corner of Olympic Avenue and Market Street. For the chalk-less a smaller assortment of chalk is available for free at registration, and special handmade chalk in bright colors are sold as a fundraiser for Hillyard Heritage Celebrations. Once you've registered, you may claim a space on the sidewalk in the historic downtown Hillyard business district and start drawing. (Oil pastels, surface preparation and paint is not allowed).

Every Chalk Art Walk has a theme, and this year it's music. Winners are picked in five age categories and a Best of Show prize is awarded, too. Expect judging to begin at 2:30 p.m. Results will be announced at the registration booth.

This is a great family event - whether you draw or not. The 100 first participants will receive a free t-shirt featuring last year's winning design.

Questions? Call (509) 868-2900 or email Hillyardfestival@yahoo.com

It’s almost time to go egg hunting

The 14th annual flash light Easter egg hunt is this on this Saturday, March 31, at Hays Park which is located at 1700 E. Providence Ave.

Sponsored by North East Youth Center the egg hunt is divided into three age categories, with the youngest going at 7 p.m. and the oldest group at 8 p.m. Wear warm clothing and bring your own flash light - it will be dark by the time the egg hunt starts.

Tickets are $11 and you can get more information by calling NEYC's Jessica Hyatt at (509) 482-0708

Here's a link to the NEYC's website, which has all the information and a PDF format entry form you can download.

The Hobo Dinner is coming right up

The annual Hobo Dinner benefits the Hillyard Heritage Museum - get your tickets soon. The blog just noticed there is no phone number on the poster - here it is: call Mike at 509-483-2383 for tickets.

Mayor Condon at Northeast Community Center

I stopped by the Merchants Committee meeting Wednesday morning at the Outlaw Cafe - they meet at  8:30 a.m. every Wednesday - and there's always lots to talk about. Here are a few of my notes:

There is a meeting tonight at Northeast Community Center at 5 p.m. featuring Mayor Condon and city council member Mike Fagan, addressing the proposed cuts to senior, community and youth centers across town. Northeast Youth Center, which is threatened with closure, will be there with a big presentation and encourages everyone to show up.

The Greater Hillyard Business Association is having a meeting on Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center. This meeting features a tax accountant who'll share advice for the upcoming tax season.

Clearing snow in business districts

At this morning's Hillyard Merchant Committee meeting there was some conversation about who and how snow may be cleared from street parking spots (aka cut outs or parking bays).

In the business districts along Market Street, North Monroe, Garland and South Perry, the snow and slush often end up filling those on-street parking spots between curb bump-outs. These parking bays are very popular with business owners when it’s not snowing, but what’s a person to do when they are filled up with slush and hard-frozen snow?

“The street department will try to clear out the parking bays but it’s lower on the priority list, behind basic plowing of the streets,” city spokeswoman Marlene Feist wrote in an e-mail. “It also has to be done at night since the parking bays are used during the day.”

Read the entire story here.

Northeast Spokane Facebook connections

If you are on Facebook already and want to stay in touch with what's going on in and around Hillyard, here are some Facebook pages for you to follow:

The Greater Hillyard Business Association can be found here.

The Hillyard Festival Association can be found here.

Hillyard's main Facebook page is here.

Northeast Community Center's (not very frequently updated) Facebook page is here.

I'm sure there are community organization Facebook pages out there that I don't know about - let me know if I forgot some.

Northeast PDA approved - now what?

The Spokane City Council approved an ordinance establishing a public development authority for northeast Spokane on Dec. 12.

Establishing a public development authority in that area has been at the top of the agenda of the Northeast Development Advisory Board, which was created 12 months ago.

“We now have an entity that will be focused on economic development in northeast Spokane,” said Elizabeth A. Tellesen, a member of the Northeast Development Advisory Board. “This entity will not be as easily influenced by political changes at City Hall.”

Read the entire story here.

Which issues and development projects would you like for the PDA to address? Why? How?

Ready, set… Santa!

For the ninth year in a row, Hillyard Santa is getting ready to distribute gifts to children in Northeast Spokane. The first distribution days are Thursday Dec. 15 and Friday Dec. 16. And then he's back for one more round all next week - from Dec. 19 through Dec. 23 - supplies and gifts permitting.

Hillyard business networking group

Michael Carlson has started a business group in Hillyard. The first meeting was a few weeks ago, and the next one is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 8:30 a.m. at the Cricket Link Wirless store next to Safeway (3721 N. Market Street)

"We had nine businesses represented and learned a bit about each business. We already have two of the businesses starting to work together," Carlson wrote in an email. "Our goal is to have around 25 businesses represented and to bring each other many profitable leads and referrals. It is free and there are no attendance requirements. This is an opportunity to build relationships and help each other out."

Carlson may be reached at (509) 847-5313.

Rebuilding Together Spokane

The non-profit group Rebuilding Together Spokane is looking for homeowners in the greater Hillyard-area who need help completing home repairs or updates. The group is looking for disabled or elderly homeowners who are overwhelmed by home repair projects. Veterans and low-income families are encouraged to apply, too. Non-profit facilities may qualify as well.

To qualify for free home repairs you must own your home, have home owners insurance, intend to continue to live in your home and explain why you can't do the repairs yourself.

"We wish we could help families who live in rentals," wrote coordinator Whitney McKelvey in an email, "but we found that landlords often evicted the family or increased the rent after we made repairs."

Homeowners who qualify will receive help on Rebuilding Day, April 28, 2012.

For more information call (509) 218-5655 or email: mckelveywithrts@hotmail.com

(The blog has been on hiatus for a bit and it's now back - please e-mail news bits and pictures to piah@spokesman.com or give me a call at 509-459-5427 - watch for expanded neighborhood blogging in the new year)

Meet the newly elected

The Greater Hillyard Business Association and the City of Spokane is hosting an event featuring the newly eleted Spokane politicians on Nov. 10 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, 6116 N. Market St. and it's $15 for GHBA members and $20 for non-members. Dinner will be served by the Red Dragon Chinese Restaurant.
Here's a chance to meet up close and personal with the newly elected mayor, city council president and the city council member representing District 1, position 1. Current city council member Amber Waldref will be there too.

Trek and Treat in Hillyard

The Hillyard Business District got a head start on Halloween with a walking tour and trick or treating on Friday. The event was a success and the blog couldn't resist posting a photo of these little cuties.

Trek and Treat in Hillyard

The Northeast Youth Center and downtown Hillyard businesses are sponsoring a "trek and treat" neighborhood walk on Friday Oct. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. There will be lots of candy and Halloween fun - just stop by.

Neighborhood events timing

The blog is back at the Hillyard Merchant Committee's meeting this morning - it's been a while since the last time. I am still impressed by the number of people who show up here, every Wednesday morning, at the Outlaw Cafe.
The conversation is about neighborhood events - and the timing of when to have festivals and neighborhood gatherings to best help local businesses.
What's your favorite neighborhood event? Why do you like it?

The next city-wide neighborhood event is Girls Day Out on Nov. 12 - find them on Facebook here.

Pancakes for Hillyard Senior Center

There's a pancake breakfast on Sunday Oct. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northeast Community Center (4001 N. Cook) in support of Hillyard Senior Center. The breakfast is co-sponsored by Hillyard Senior Center and The Hillyard Lions Club. Proceeds go toward the senior center's operating budget.
Tickets are $4 for adults and $2.50 for children six to 12 years old. Children younger than six are free. No need to make reservations - just show up.

The city’s Districting Board wants to hear from you

The City’s Decennial Districting Board is holding three community meetings soliciting input from citizens on whether the boundaries of the City Council districts should change as a result of the new population figures and if so, how they should change.

The community meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on:

Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt.
Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone.
Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook.

The City has eight months from the official receipt of the 2010 Census data from the State Redistricting Commission to prepare a redistricting plan.
The redistricting process requires that the City work to create Council Districts that are as equal in population as possible and that meet other criteria as established by state law.  The process will not impact the 2011 City elections.  The current council boundaries and election precincts already are established for this fall’s election.

Via email from Marlene Feist, City of Spokane Public Affairs Officer.

For more details on city of Spokane redistricting read Jim Camden's story here.

Crime forum next week

Spokane COPS is presenting its third crime prevention forum at Northeast Community Center (4001 North Cook) on Tuesday Oct. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. Mayor Mary Verner and Spokane Police Chief Kirkpatrick will be there along side neighborhood resource officers and crime analysis specialists from SPD.
The crime prevention forum was requested by councilman Bob Apple for the Northeast quadrant of the city.

Hillyard Festival Associaton meeting Tuesday

The regular Festival Association meeting is Tuesday Sept. 27 at 6:30 at Northeast Community Center. The Association is wrapping up this year's 100 year anniversary celebration and looking ahead to next year's festival.
Elections are next. According to the minutes from last meeting, here is a little update on who's running and who's not:

"Desi Bucknell disclosed she will not seek re-election, as did Richard Burris and Vicki Peterson.  Jessie Anderson expressed interest in being President, Tom Stoltz indicated he would like to be either President or Vice President.  Ken Close would like to continue as Vice President.  Luke Tolley expressed interest in being Secretary, and Marty Phanco was suggested for Treasurer."

Voluteers are always needed - just come to the  meeting.

Last night’s Garland District fires

As most everyone knows by now,  Ferguson's Cafe and Mary Lou's Milk Bottle on Garland Avenue burned down last night. It's a terrible loss to owners and customers - and to the neighborhood.
The blog promised to remind readers that businesses in the Garland District remain open. No word yet on rebuilding plans for the two landmark restaurants, and the cause of the fire has also yet to be determined.

Here's a link to photographer Colin Mulvany's picture story from last night.

Which building or place is a landmark in your neighborhood?

Scammers using city-like number

The city of Spokane is warning residents that there is an on-going phone scam using phone numbers with the common city hall prefix "625."
The call looks like it's coming from a phone at city hall, and the person is asking for personal and bank account information.
Marlene Feist, spokesperson for the city of Spokane, said in a press release this morning that no one at city hall would call and ask for bank account information.
If you receive a call like this, call Crime Check at 509-456-2233 or the Attorney General's Office at 509-458-3509

Greater Hillyard Business Association meets

The regular Greater Hillyard Business Association meeting is tonight, 9/8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center.
Guest speaker is state senator Mike Baumgartner.
Minutes from the last meeting are available here.
For more information contact Luke Tolley at 509.475.3509

Hillyard calling all hippies

The Hillyard Hippie Happening is this Saturday. Get back in touch with your '60s roots and enjoy that spirit. Lots to do for the whole family. Peace.

Hillyard Festival was a blast

Share your comments on the 100th Hillyard Festival this weekend, below. It was a great event - lots of people, live music, hot rods and fun vendors in the park.
What did you do? What was your favorite part of the parade?
If you have a good snapshot, e-mail it to the blog at piah@spokesman.com
Don't miss this picture story from Sunday's paper.
The Hillyard Festival Association is meeting today at 6:30pm at the Northeast Community Center, for a debrief and preparation for the Hispanic Festival this weekend.
Questions? Call Luke Tolley at 509-475-3509

Ten things to know about the 100th Hillyard Festival

- it starts tomorrow, Friday. The official proclamation for Hillyard Festival Weekend is at 4:30 p.m. in Sharpley-Harmon Park.
- the Hillyard Hi-Jinks Parade is at 10 a.m. Saturday - going north on Market Street from Wellesley and Francis.
- there's another parade: Hot Rods in Hillyard parade south on Market immediately after the first parade. The Hot Rods stay in downtown Hillyard all day.
- find a place to park your car - the event is completely walk-able.
- Saturday is free swim day at the Hillyard Pool, all day. Remember to say thank you to Central Spokane Lions Club - they are footing the bill.
- there are more than 70 vendors at the park. There's bound to be one kind of food there you like.
- in case you left the house without cash, you can purchase commemorative 100th Hillyard Festival wooden coins with your debit or credit card to pay your way at the booths.
- you MUST have ID on you to get into the beer garden; no exceptions.
- pick up a Hillyard Festival Gazette at any Hillyard business for a full schedule of music and entertainment.
- If you haven't been to Hillyard in a while, come on up. It's going to be a great weekend.

Here's a link to this morning's story about the 100th Hillyard Festival

The blog is at Satori camp this morning

The Hillyard Blog is not so active this week, because it's teaching a class at the Satori Camp at Eastern Washington University.

We are talking about old style journalism in a new media world, and we are having a good time with it. The Satori Camp was founded in 1983 by Michael Cantlon and students between 12 and 19 years old come here and spend a week in college. They live on campus in the dorms and go to classes in food preservation, social ethics and philosophy.

Here is a picture of the journalism students.

What would you do if those three Spokane area post offices close down?

A news item this morning reports the possibility that a number of area (Eastern Washington, North Idaho) post offices could be closed.

Which leads to the question: what's the best next use for any of those buildings that do might close?

Three Spokane area offices are on that possible list: those in Hillyard, in Dishman and Parkwater.

I'm eager to hear what you'd propose be the best next uses for those locations, assuming they could be converted. 

No, not another Starbucks. My suggestion: Hillyard's post office becomes a guitar-making studio and woodworking shop.