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West Central Neighborhood leader wins lottery

A West Central Neighborhood leader says his life won’t be altered much by his recent one-in-a-million lottery win that will give him $1,000 a week for the rest of his life.

Kelly Cruz, 53, bought the $5 ticket on New Year’s Eve at Safeway on Northwest Boulevard. He went to the grocery store to buy milk and bread and Lotto tickets for his father, Henry Cruz, who stayed in the car and frequently plays the lottery. Cruz decided he, too, would get a ticket and chose a “Lucky for Life” scratch ticket because it’s a game his brother often plays.

Last year, Cruz, a carpenter, made an unsuccessful run for City Council. He lives with his father, a retired electrician, in the home his father built in 1978.

Only four of the 4,324,950 Lucky for Life scratch tickets printed came with the top prize, according to the Washington Lottery website. Cruz was offered a lump sum option of $750,000 ($688,000 after taxes), but he turned it down for the monthly payment. More here. Jonathan Brunt, SR

If you won the lottery would you take the lump sum or the monthly payments? Why?

Lottery winner’s first purchase: Lifetime membership to Elk Foundation

CONSERVATION — A Spokane man who won a big lottery jackpot put wildlife on the top of his list of benefactors from the windfall.

Kelly Cruz, 53, a local carpenter, scored a win in the Lucky for Life scratch ticket and will receive $1,000 a week for life.

That's a bit short of the mega millions jackpots we hear about every few months, but still a nice security blanket for anyone to win and still enough to give a man a shot at opening his wallet to a worthy cause.

According to today's story in The Spokesman-Review:

“With the money, he plans to buy a lifetime membership in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and probably will give to more causes. But he doesn’t plan to move or make major changes in his life. 

The Missoula-based RMEF, which has about 200,000 members, raises money and recruits volunteers to improve habitat for a wide range of wildlife, especially elk, across the country.  A lifetime membership will set Cruz back for a week and a half of lottery winnings — a noble share to the cause.

Since it was founded in 1984, RMEF has: 

  • Protected and enhanced more than 6.4 million acres
  • Opened and/or secured for public access for hunting and other outdoor recreation more than 667,000 acres

The group also has organized more than 8,500 projects for permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration, conservation education and hunting heritage.

City Council candidate set for life with lotto win

A West Central Neighborhood leader says his life won’t be altered much by his recent lottery win that will give him $1,000 a week for the rest of his life.

Kelly Cruz, 53, was with his father on New Year’s Eve at Safeway on Northwest Boulevard to buy milk and bread when he decided to join his father in buying lottery tickets. Cruz chose a “Lucky for Life” scratch ticket because it’s a game his brother often plays.

Last year, Cruz, a carpenter, made an unsuccessful run for City Council. He lives with his father, a retired electrician, in the home his father built.

City Hall Scoop: Foot bridges and vegetated roofs

There were enough members for a quorum, but the dais was a bit spare at Monday's regularly scheduled Spokane City Council meeting.

Councilman Jon Snyder, acting as council president pro tem in Ben Stuckart's stead, politely led the charge through the hour-long meeting. Councilman Mike Allen was also absent. 

Members voted on an emergency spending request put forth by Snyder to shift $350,000 out of general fund reserves to pay for comprehensive inspections on 11 bridges, mainly in Riverfront Park. Our previous story here said nine bridges would be checked, but two bridges on the Fish Lake trail were added. 

On his blog, Snyder said the bridges are “vital bike riding and walking links for our City, a City that has precious few places for those using non-motorized to cross our river.”

Kelly Cruz, who failed to get past this month's primary in the race to replace the term-limited Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, spoke against spending so much money on inspections when he said some of them were thoroughly inspected four years ago by CH2M Hill.

“I just want to make sure we're not spending money on something we've already covered,” he said.

George McGrath, a vocal fixture at the council meetings, spoke against the plan.

It passed 5-0. Usually members light up a screen showing their yea's or nay's, but with Stuckart gone and city Attorney Mike Piccolo befuddled by his first time use of the electronics, Snyder called for a voice vote.

The council also approved a low impact development ordinance, which encourages developers to utilize innovated approaches dealing with stormwater.

As Councilwoman Amber Waldref said on her blog, “developers will be able to manage stormwater onsite either through traditional methods like swales OR choose rooftop gardens, rainwater collection or rain gardens on their properties. These will be optional, but it is a start for Spokane.”

We wrote about all of this earlier here. Check out the city's website on it here.

Bart Mihailovich, with the Spokane Riverkeeper, said the LID ordinance was an example of the city working across departments to solve problems. 

As for dealing with stormwater on site, Mihailovich said, “This is certainly the trend.”

It also passed 5-0.

Another resolution before the council regarding the appointment of committees to “prepare statements advocating voters' approval or rejection” of this year's ballot propositions was delayed for two weeks.

Finally, next week's meeting has been canceled in lieu of Labor Day.

Race heating up for McLaughlin’s Spokane City Council seat

The most contested race in this year’s three races for Spokane City Council seats is almost certain to be in the Northwest council district.

One seat in each of the three districts will be on the ballot this year, but the position in the Northwest district already is attracting the most candidates.

That’s largely because incumbent City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin is term limited, leaving the seat open. The other two seats on the ballot are represented by council members Jon Snyder and Amber Waldref, who are running for reelection.

As of Thursday, two candidates had announced candidacies with the state Public Disclosure Commission for the seat representing South Spokane (District 2), three candidates had filed for the seat representing Northeast Spokane (District 1) and four had filed for the seat representing Northwest Spokane (District 3).

The fight for McLaughlin’s seat should be all the more contentious because of the close split on the current City Council between members with backing from the Republican and Democratic parties. There have been several high-profile 4-3 votes in the past year that favor the Republican-leaning members.

Read on for info on the four candidates who have announced their intentions to run for the seat.

Complaint filed against flyers targetting McLaughlin

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Dozens if not hundreds of fliers left on cars and doorsteps against Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin’s campaign for state Senate could violate state disclosure law.

The black-and-white fliers that appear to be printed with a copy machine or computer printer criticize McLaughlin, a Republican, for her vote in support of revoking the alcohol impact area in the West Central neighborhood. One version of the flier said, “Nancy McLaughlin voted for fortified malt liquor sales over safe neighborhoods. We don’t need that kind of representation in Olympia.”