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Lots of Hillyard meetings this week

The Greater Hillyard Business Association is meeting on Monday Dec. 12 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Outlaw Cafe located at 5012 N. Market Street. This is a special meeting about the utilities and maintenance payment plan for the Historic Hillyard Business District that’s been proposed earlier this year. See the agenda here (Word) and the minutes from the Nov. 17 meeting here (Word).

Then on Wednesday Dec. 15, Mayor Mary Verner and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick along with city staff and city council members will be at a public meeting also at the Outlaw Cafe from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This meeting is a direct result of a letter written and signed by Hillyard business owners and neighbors, asking for more police protection in the area - especially in the hours between midnight and early morning. Many business owners have video surveillance inside and outside their stores in a effort to cut back on shoplifting and drug dealing - but problems persist. The meeting is (of course) open to everyone.

 

 

Keep an eye out for your kids

Colleagues put together this story on a reported attempted child abduction this morning in Northeast Spokane, near East Euclid and North Atamont. Watch out for your kids, know which way they go to and from school and call Crime Check if you see anything unusual.

Santas congregate in Hillyard

The Hillyard North Pole continues this weekend, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The North Pole is located at The River Church, 5201 N. Market Street - bring a food donation and get a deal on your pictures with Santa.
Then on Monday, Clyde Decker aka Hillyard Santa, begins handing out this year’s round of presents for northeast kids. The presents are all stored at Bank of America’s branch in Hillyard and Decker and his elfs will be ready at 10 a.m. Please don’t bring any children on Monday - Santa is guarding the magic.

Spokane blog meeting

The blog spent the morning at a blogger forum put on by LaunchPad at the Apple Store downtown. They were all there - DrinkNectar - SpoCool - Spokane Southie - Spokane Grapevine - and a whole bunch of other blogs from around town.

This blog was definitely the odd one out, what with being all mainstream media and all that.

I left the meeting with about a zillion ideas swirling around my head, and with a lot of admiration for the people who commit to and maintain a blog in and around Spokane for one simple reason: because they feel passionate about the place where they live and what they do. Hats off to all of you.

He’s getting ready for the North Pole

Walking through downtown I saw good old Santa taking a little break outside a coffee shop. He was reading the paper and enjoying what looked like a latte - I’m sure he’s getting ready for the Hillyard North Pole this weekend.

The North Pole, with shopping, bake sale, fun and pictures with Santa is at The River Church, 5201 N. Market Street, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Same hours next weekend - ho, ho, ho.

Be aware of phony door-to-door sales

The Spokane Sheriff’s Department said Crime Check has received numerous reports of suspicious persons representing themselves as salesmen this week. Some say they are Comcast employees, but that may or may not be the case said a Comcast spokesperson. It’s especially residents in Hillyard, Gleneden and other neighborhoods in North Spokane County that have been contacted by men who claim to represent Comcast.  In one instance the men asked for personal financial information and in another case the men walked back to a woman’s shop after she did not answer their knock on the front door.
One “salesman” was a black male in his 20’s who drove away in a gold Tahoe or Suburban.  In another incident, two younger white males were walking through the neighborhood and no vehicle was seen. A Comcast representative said the company currently has a promotion in Spokane County and that “subcontractors” are going door-to-door to pitch the sales, but all Comcast employees, including subcontractors, wear clearly visible identification.  At a minimum, company representatives should produce identification if asked.
Criminal suspects often knock on the doors of their intended victims to find out if someone is home, and then give some sort of phony sales pitch or excuse if a resident answers the door.
Spokane County residents who encounter someone claiming to be a Comcast employee and who does not produce Comcast identification should call Crime Check at 456-2233 to report the matter.

SPD update on crime prevention

From Greater Hillyard Business Association’s Luke Tolley:
“I just got a call from SPD’s Sgt. Tom Hendren, the officer who met with GHBA to discuss crime activity in downtown Hillyard.
He let me know that last night they served warrants on two houses/apartments on Olympic, one just east of Haven and one just west of Haven.  They arrested 11 people and will be working on an eviction at apartment and abatement at the house.  He believes this will help cut down a lot of our crime activity, but assured me that Det. Bowman and their Tech are still working with business owners to put up additional surveillance on building around the neighborhood in the next week or two.
Needless to say, I think our letter was very effective.  Sgt. Hendren would welcome any comments or feedback if you want to give him a call at 363-8224.”

Elementary and middle school buses late on Friday

Friday morning school will start on time except for elementary and middle school students who bus. Elementary and middle school buses will pick up students later than normal due to the condition of the residential roads. Middle school students will be picked up 30 minutes later than normal and elementary students one hour later, giving the buses more time between routes to navigate rutted and difficult residential roads. High school bus pick-ups will remain the same.

Via e-mail from Spokane Public Schools

Help the garbage crews

The City of Spokane Solid Waste Management Department is asking residents for assistance during these snowy days. Residential customers are asked to place their garbage carts and recycling bins in front of snow berms and clear of other obstacles. Commercial customers are asked to remove show from around dumpsters and the access areas for those receptacles.  Sanding icy areas next to dumpsters also would be helpful.
Meanwhile, some customers in the Five Mile area were missed by recycling trucks today, Wednesday, Dec. 1, because these lighter trucks had difficulty maneuvering in the area.  Customers who were missed are asked to place their recycling bins out at the curb again on Thursday, Dec. 2.  A recycling crew will pick up the items then.
“The Solid Waste Department is committed to providing safe and reliable collection to our customers at all times of the year,” says Scott Windsor, the department’s director.  “We apologize for any inconvenience, and we appreciate the help of our customers as we work to get this important job done.”
If you have additional questions about your garbage service or curbside recycling, please call the Solid Waste Department at (509) 625-7878 or visit www.spokanesolidwaste.com.

Via e-mail from the city of Spokane

Santa is coming to Hillyard this weekend

The Hillyard North Pole opens this weekend. This is the Hillyard shopping district’s main Christmas celebration and it runs this weekend and next. The event will feature vendors, treats and a bake sale - as well as pictures with Santa, of course.
Bring a canned food donation to the food bank and get a deal on your picture with Santa. The blog will be there on Saturday around noon. Note that the North Pole is in a new location: The River Church, 5201 N. Market Street.
Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. - this weekend and next. For information call: (509) 487-1138.

Country gospel concert on Friday

The band Bluegrass Union will be playing at St. Peter Lutheran Church (4620 N. Regal Street) on fFriday Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. Donations are accepted and there will be pie and ice cream during the intermission.

He’s not going anywhere soon

Blog reader Charles Hansen sent in this photo from East Queen. The snow-covered car (the white bump in the middle) had been sitting there abandoned for some time when the plows came by.
Writes Hansen: “Here is a picture of the only idiots that refused to move their vehicles for the snow plows. Interesting as I have lived here for close to 60 years and never have seen almost all the street cleared of cars. The snow hump in the middle was a car that was in a smashup and not movable when the city ticketed it as abandoned a couple of weeks before the snow.”

Keep the blog posted

Keep the Hillyard blog posted - photos and e-mails about street conditions and other snow related issues are very welcome. Send them to piah@spokesman.com  and I’ll list as many as I can. Look out for your neighbors in this nasty cold. The elderly are especially vulnerable when the snow falls and conditions turn icy. Let me know what’s going on and stay warm and safe.

Looks like plows will make it…

… just in time before the next storm hit tonight. If you are getting impatient you can check the progress of City plows at this link.
Type in your address on the top of the snow plowing progress map to get a closer look at your neighborhood area. You can also call the Snow Removal Hotline at 456-2666 for information on where plows are. H
ere is the link to the residential plow route map.

In the residential areas, cars should be parked on the even side of the street until the plows pass through.  Parking remains restricted in the downtown area between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. to facilitate plowing there.  And no parked cars are allowed on arterials or STA fixed bus routes.  The City also asks that citizens clear snow off parked vehicles and from around fire hydrants, storm drains, and mail boxes.

This came in via e-mail from the city of Spokane Monday morning

Hillyard’s Santa needs a hand

Here’s a link to yesterday’s story about Clyde Decker and the incredibly job he does every year, collecting Christmas presents for kids in Hillyard - he can always use more. And don’t forget about the Hillyard North Pole - it’s coming up on December 4 and 5, and December 11 and 12.

Happy Thanksgiving from your neighborhood blog

Because I immigrated to this country as an adult, Thanksgiving is a holiday I had to learn. I’m not ashamed to admit that at the time, the differences between that and Halloween were not quite clear in my little European head. It all seemed to be about pumpkins, corn and turkeys. And who were those guys with the little funny hats? I dug up a column I wrote about my first Thanksgiving a couple of years ago - you can read that below - and this is my way of wishing you a happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for supporting your neighborhood blog.

As cold hits, take extra care of pets

SCRAPS - the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service - sent out a reminder today to all pet owners that pets should be brought indoors. There’s a blizzard warning in effect overnight and it’s already well below freezing outside.
“No pets should stay outside for unlimited amounts of time in freezing cold weather, they can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite just as we can,” said animal protection officer Nicole Montano. “If we see a lot of snow coming down we would also like to remind pet owners that snow build up can damage fences or allow pets to escape if the snow level is high enough.”
In extreme cold even an insulated dog house with bedding may not be warm enough. If your pet is in an insulated kennel make sure it has plenty of dry bedding and that blankets are dry, too.
SCRAPS emergency line is 509-477-2533 (for county residents) and SpokAnimal’s number is (509) 534-8133 (for city residents)

Snow update from the city

With a couple inches of snow on the ground, City of Spokane street crews have been out since the early hours of the morning Monday plowing snow and putting down de-icer on City streets.
Crews concentrated first on hills and now are working on arterials throughout the City.  With snowfall now tapered off, the City is working to improve driving conditions before very cold weather sets in tonight.
Meanwhile, the City has opened warming shelters for the homeless tonight at the Salvation Army for families, Hope House for single women, and House of Charity for single men.  Shelter space is still available at Crosswalk for youth/teens.
Citizens can check the progress of the plows on the arterials on the City’s web site by clicking here: http://www.spokanestreetdepartment.org/snowplow.htm.  Click on “Snow Plowing Progress Map.”  This web page also includes overall information on the City’s snow removal plan.
Plow route maps and other snow removal information also can be found in the City’s utility bills in November, in the current edition of the Inlander, and in last Thursday’s Voice sections in the Spokesman-Review. 

Via e-mail from the City of Spokane this morning

GHBA meeting today at noon

The Greater Hillyard Business Association has it’s board meeting today at noon at the Outlaw Cafe. And Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. is the usual meeting time for the Historic Hillyard Merchants Committee - also at the Outlaw Cafe.

If you’d like to stay in touch with your local COPS Shops, join them here on Facebook. The social network makes it easy to keep up with a variety of community groups; if you explore a little you’ll also find that many of your favorite Hillyard businesses also have Facebook pages.

And yes that’s snow out there and it’s going to continue to fall for a while. Drivers were making their way downtown this morning without too much drama, but please do take your time - and don’t follow too closely.
Homeowners are responsible for keeping their sidewalks clear of snow and ice - if you have a moment, check on elderly neighbors and make sure everyone is okay. Small favors, like picking up a few things at the store when you’re going anyways, or sweeping the frontsteps for someone who can’t do it alone, means the world at this time of the year.

Hillyard’s North Pole is ready to roll

Hillyard’s traditional North Pole Celebration will be held at The River Church, 5201 N. Market Street this year. The festival includes treats and vendors, shopping opportunities and of course a visit from Santa. Have your pictures taken with Santa in Hillyard this year. The North Pole is open on Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Dec. 5 from noon to 4 p.m. It’s also open on Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Dec. 12 from noon-4 p.m. For questions or to inquire about a booth or a vendor table call Vickie at (509) 487-1138.

City hours on Thanksgiving

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Spokane City Hall will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26.  Municipal Court also will be closed both days. City libraries, the solid waste transfer stations, and the Waste to Energy Facility will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 25, and open regular operating hours for the rest of the weekend.
Garbage pickup and curbside recycling will be a day late during the week of Thanksgiving for those residents whose garbage is normally picked up on Thursday and Friday.  Because of the holiday, crews will do Thursday rounds on Friday, Nov. 26, and Friday rounds on Saturday, Nov. 27.
Parking meters don’t have to be plugged on Thanksgiving Day.  For the rest of the weekend, normal meter use rules apply.
The Riverfront Park attractions, including the Ice Palace, Imax Theater, Spokane Falls Skyride, and Carousel, are open on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the holiday weekend.  Go to www.spokaneriverfrontpark.com for information on hours of operation.

Via e-mail from the city of Spokane this morning

 

Neighborhood council meeting today

Via e-mail from Luke Tolley: “Our Hillyard Neighborhood Council meeting is today, 11/17 at 6:30pm at the Northeast Community Center.
As well as our normal reports from our other organizations and committees, we will be spending a good portion of time on GHNEPA.  If you have been involved in the past with our Neighborhood Planning efforts and are willing to help out in the future with implementing our ideas, please attend the meeting or contact me so we can get moving!

Luke Tolley
509.475.3509
Luke.Tolley@gmail.com

1 man suspected in 4 Hillyard holdups

Spokane police are looking for tips on a serial robber suspected of targeting Hillyard convenience stores.

The latest holdup occurred Friday when police say a man with a handgun stole money from the Qwik Stop, 3021 E. Wellesley Ave., about 12:45 a.m.  after pulling a black and white scarf over his face. He’s described as in his 20s with dark complexion, 6 feet tall and average build. He wore a black coat and blue jeans. 

The same gunman is believed to have robbed two other Hillyard stores three times late last month, Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said today.

Surveillance photos from Conoco, 3501 E. Francis Ave., show a man in a blue hooded sweatshirt pointing a gun at a clerk and demanding cash on Oct. 24 about 7:45 p.m.

The same robber is believed to have struck Kwik Stop & Go, 4713 N. Crestline, the mornings of Oct. 23 and Oct. 24.

Anyone with information on a suspect is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Small business event on Thursday

Mayor Mary Verner will host a discussion about the issues facing small businesses in Spokane on Thursday Nov. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the City Council Chambers. The Mayor will be joined by three small business owners and also by people who have worked in economic development in Spokane for a long time.
The city will also unveil the results of the small business survey it’s just conducted.
Please join the Mayor at City Council Chambers or watch live on CityCable channel 5.

Early morning robbery

From the Spokane Police Department: “Early Friday morning, at about 12:45 AM, a male walked into the Qwik Stop at Wellesley/Market, wearing a scarf pulled up over his face.  He displayed a handgun and demanded money from the clerk before leaving the store.  Spokane Police immediately responded to the scene but were unable to locate the suspect in the area.”
Here’s a link to the entire report.

If you know anything about this, please call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Girls day out and the Mayor is coming

Girls Day Out was on the top of the agenda today at the Historic Hillyard Merchants’ meeting. The annual shopping event is Saturday and it takes place in Hillyard, Garland, North Monroe and on East Sprague (the International District). Go to the Girls Day Out website for more information and read the story in your Voice section Thursday.
The letter to the city and police department asking for more police protection was well received. Mayor Mary Verner and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick along with city staff and city council members will be at a public meeting at the Outlaw Cafe on Dec. 15 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The meeting is open and intended as a forum for business owners and neighbors.

Take the small business survey

Join Mayor Mary Verner on Thursday, Nov. 18, as she hosts a discussion about the issues facing small businesses in Spokane.  The event, called “Let’s Talk: A Conversation with Mayor Verner about our Small Business Community,” will be held in the City Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., from 10:30 a.m. to noon. During the event, the Mayor will be joined by three small business owners who will talk about their challenges during this time of recession.
In addition, the City will unveil the results of its small business survey, which looks at economic conditions, workforce issues, access to capital, and local government’s role.  The City is collecting responses on the survey through Nov. 14; it is available at www.surveymonkey.com - look for Spokane small business survery.

Via e-mail from City Hall

Ground breaking at “Old Hillyard High School”

The Spokane Housing Authority is holding a ground breaking ceremony at “the old Hillyard High School” on Nov. 10 at 12:30 p.m. The event starts the construction of the Agnes Kehoe Place. The address is 5313 N. Regal.

Girls Day Out planning meeting tonight

There’s a Girls Day Out planning meeting tonight at the Outlaw Cafe at 6 p.m. Girls Day Out is an annual neighborhood shopping event and this year it takes place in Hillyard, the Garland District, Monroe Business District and the International District (East Sprague) on Nov. 13 - anyone interested in helping out is welcome at the meeting Thursday evening.

Moving right along to the Merchants’ meeting Wednesday morning: The Hillyard Howl was deemed successful though some conversation was had as to whether it serves the group’s purpose of bringing shoppers into Hillyard and keeping them there for a while. The bake sale made $80.
The next big event is Girls Day Out (see above) followed by the Hillyard North Pole and Santa’s arrival. Santa’s chair is in the shop, getting painted, but will be ready for his arrival.
Merchant Committee members pay for the power and water cost associated with planters and holiday lights along Market Street. It’s by donation and the association is figuring out a way to make that system more fair, by suggesting a donation that matches the individual merchant’s storefront size. Paying the fee is not mandatory, but the group hopes that everyone will pay their fair share to cover the water and power bills.
And the Greater Hillyard Business Association has been meeting with businesses and neighbors in West Central who are working to get their business association back on track.
And finally, before mentioned letter to Mayor Mary Verner, the city council and the Spokane Police Department asking for more frequent and under-cover drug patrols in Hillyard was signed by most of the merchants at the meeting. It will be delivered to the city as soon as possible.

Stay connected with Hillyard

I wanted to drop you a line and let you know there have been a lot of recent developments among them the Greater Hillyard Business Association Website at www.hillyardGHBA.org  which includes a calendar of all Hillyard meetings and events.

 

Next year is the 100th Anniversary of the Hillyard Festival so watch www.HillyardFestival.org for more information coming soon.

Via e-mail from Luke Tolley in Hillyard - and thanks, Luke, for linking the Hillyard Blog to the GHBA site