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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.
East Valley Athletic Director Joe Kostecka lays out Mountain View Lancer and East Valley Middle School Squires uniforms that will be sold during Friday’s sale. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
If you have fond memories of being a Mountain View Middle School Landers or East Valley Middle School Squires, now is your chance to own a piece of your history. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story in today's Valley Voice on the upcoming sale of old softball, cross country, westling, football and other uniforms. All students in the combined East Valley Middle School will become the Knights, so the district has no need for the old uniforms. They will be sold from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday at the middle school, 4920 N. Progress Road. The district will use the proceeds to buy new uniforms.
Lisa also has a story on newly approved agreements with the classified staff and principals unions in the Central Valley School District. Both groups have agreed to accept pay cuts after the state cut the amount given to school districts for their salaries.
There was a lengthy debate at this week's Spokane Valley City Council meeting on whether to fund a study to possibly create railroad quiet zones on two crossings on the Union Pacific line north of Trent and west of Millwood. The proposal was voted down, but not before a discussion on who has the authority to select the city's consultants that was touched off by councilman Arne Woodard presenting the council and staff with a brochure from a company in Texas he thought the city should do business with.
Mountain View Middle School fitness and health teacher Cathy Inouye high-fives student Brendan Schuller as the last bus leaves on the last day of school on Friday in Newman Lake. The school is closing after 32 years. SR photo/Dan Pelle
Wecome to another rainy Thursday. I think the sunshine we had the last couple days was all just an illusion. But that's okay, because we have plenty of stories in today's Valley Voice to keep you busy. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has two great stories on the cover today. The first is about the last day of school at East Valley's Mountain View Middle School, which has closed for good. It was an emotional day for students and teachers alike. They tried to have a happy last day, but tears flowed when it came time to say goodbye and get on the buses for the last time.
In the second story she talks to new Contract Based Education graduate Johnny Martinez, whose controversial artwork was vandalized during the school's graduation celebration. Some pieces were completely destroyed while others were only slightly damaged. One piece is missing.
Today we also have the full story on the new scenic byway between Rockford and Tekoa. The Liberty Lake City Council met this week and voted not to change its invocation policy and not to put the city manager form of government on the November ballot.
Mountain View Middle School social studies teacher, Lisa Nunlist (center) and athletic director, Angie Bordwell (right) wave goodbye as the last buses depart on the last day of school, June 17, 2011 in Newman Lake, Wash. The school is closing after 32 years. SR photo/Dan Pelle
For Thursday's Valley Voice reporter Lisa Leinberger visited Mountain View Middle School on the last day of school before the building closed for good. Her story will be in the Voice and photographer Dan Pelle put together an online slideshow here. She will also have a story on some recent vandalism at Contract Based Education, a West Valley alternative school.
There will be a report on the Liberty Lake City Council meeting where there were votes on whether to put a goverment change on the November ballot and whether to change the council's procedure for invocations. My story on the Highway 27 scenic byway between Rockford and Tekoa will run tomorrow - this time, all of it. The ending was missing in Saturday's Valley Voice so we are rerunning it. We will also have last week's Liberty Lake crime blotter, which we were not able to fit in on Saturday.
Tomorrow I will spend most of the day in a room with the Spokane Valley City Council and you're invited to tag along. The city's annual budget retreat will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, room 213. The public is invited to attend, but no public comment will be taken. The council will discuss the 2012 budget as well as priorities for capital projects.
After a short break, the council will then convene for its normal weekly city council meeting at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. On the agenda there are a couple of committee appointments and discussion of the Sprague one-way versus two-way issue.
Since I'll be in both of those meetings, don't expect any blog postings tomorrow. But after a good night's sleep I'll be back and ready to go on Wednesday morning.
If city council debates aren't exactly your cup of tea, the East Valley School District board of directors also meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the administration center at 12325 E. Grace. Near the top of the agenda is a public hearing on the closure of Mountain View Middle School.
The East Valley School District board of directors have held several special meetings in the last two weeks to get input from parents and students on the closure of Mountain View Middle School next month. The board has announced another special meeting for Wednesday night to discuss the input they received. The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at East Valley Middle School, 4920 N. Progress. If you can't make it, reporter Lisa Lienberger plans to attend and will have a story in Saturday's Valley Voice.
Ramon Alvarado Estrada and Frank Quates of Pointwest Landscape in Coeur d’Alene plant Ponderosa pines at the Spokane River access next to the Barker Bridge on May 12. The city of Spokane Valley regraded the site, and the Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club provided $3,500 for improvements that included planting native trees, plants and shrubs. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
It was a good thing we had a few days of nice weather last week before the rain moved back in. It gave the City of Spokane Valley and the Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club just enough time to make improvements to the Spokane River access next to the Barker Bridge. They had been waiting for good weather so soil didn't get washed into the river during the project. The city graded the slope and moved some bollards down closer to the water, while the group of river users planted grass, trees and other native vegetation.
That was just one of the stories in Saturday's Valley Voice that you may have missed. Reporter Lisa Leinberger also listened in on one of the meetings between parents and East Valley school board members about upcoming changes and how to make it easier for students. Lisa also has background information on Joanne Comer, who has been selected as the new principal of Liberty Lake Elementary School.
Meanwhile, the Spokane Valley Fire Department took advantage of the good weather to hold trench rescue training for firefighters. Of course, the training probably would have continued no matter what the weather, but doing it in the rain would have been miserable.
We've got some great stories (and photos) coming your way for Saturday. The Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club teamed up with the City of Spokane Valley this week to make improvements to the river access by the Barker Bridge. Reporter Lisa Leinberger attend one of the East Valley School District special meetings to discuss the closure of Mountain View Middle School and she'll have a report on that. She'll also have information on who was selected to be the new Liberty Lake Elementary School principal. Finally, I'll have a look at some training the Spokane Valley Fire Department did last week on trench rescues. Just stay out of deep holes in the ground and we'll be good.
"It's kind of heartbreaking for me," said Jim Stookey, who's been teaching at the school since 1985 . He drove all three of his son's with him to Mountain View Middle School when they attended there. "I have a lot of fond memories of the people." SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
The East Valley School District board of directors hosted three special meetings this week to talk to community members and parents about the closure of Mountain View Middle School, which will happen at the end of the school year. On Monday the board will hold two more special meetings, this time to meet with students at both middle schools and discuss their concerns about the process of merging together into one school.
The first meeting is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday at East Valley Middle School, 4920 N. Progress. The second is at Mountain View Middle School, 6011 N. Chase, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
I'm sure many students are worried and upset about the changes, so hopefully these meetings will help ease their minds.
The East Valley School District board of directors will hold the last two special meetings today to discuss upcoming changes to the district, including the closure of Mountain View Middle School and moving Skyview Elementary students. While the decisions are not up for debate, the district is seeking input from parents and the community on how to best handle the transition. A meeting held Monday apparently drew a fairly good crowd of about 100 people.
The first of today's meetings is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Administration Center, 12325 E. Grace. If you go to this one, arrive early to make sure you get a seat. The board room isn't all that big. The second meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Trent Elementary Audiorium, however, will accommodate a large crowd. The school is located at 3303 N. Pines Road.
The East Valley School District board of directors will host a special meeting tonight to discuss upcoming changes in the district, including closing Mountain View Middle School and moving Skyview Elementary students. The closure decisions have been made, but the district is seeking input from parents and community members on how to make the changes as painless as possible. Tonight's meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mountain View, 6011 N. Chase.
If you can't make it tonight, additional meetings are set for 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Administration Center, 12325 E. Grace, and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Trent Elementary, 3303 N. Pines.
Principal Tammy Fuller reflects on 32 years of achievements displayed in the Mountain View Middle School trophy case. She hopes to find a place for the trophies and awards and is planning events to mark the last days of the school. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
There's a must-read story in Saturday's Valley Voice that needs to be looked at today if you didn't manage to get to it on Saturday. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has an excellent story on Mountain View Middle School, which will be closed at the end of this school year as the East Valley School District struggles with state funding cuts and the loss of a recent bond. She talked to students, teachers and parents who are in mourning for their school. Some of the students are second generation attendees and some of the teachers were once students at the school themselves. It's a real community school, something you don't find a lot in today's more transient society.
Meanwhile, there was also a bunch of news coming out of City Hall last week. There are six candidates for the vacant Spokane Valley Planning Commission seat, one of whom has had a rocky relationship with city staff and once made a comment during a council meeting that could be considered threatening. I also took a look at the two candidates who will be interviewed for the vacant City Council seat during tomorrow's council meeting. Chuck Hafner is the favorite to get it, thanks to his long involvement in the community and his strong ties to the Positive Change council members.
The city's Community Development Director, Kathy McClung, has announced that she will retire at the end of July. That annoucement got an immediate strong reaction from councilman Bill Gothmann, who said he believes some council members have been hostile to city staff and that has caused the departure of more than a half dozen key staffers.
Rounding out Saturday's package were details on the new trash pickup days and an update on Millwood's efforts to save the city's wading pool. A special meeting is set for today at 5 p.m. for the council to vote on an ordinance to allow citizens to raise money to repair the pool.
This week reporter Lisa Leinberger headed out to Mountain View Middle School to see how everyone there is reacting to the news that the school will be closed at the end of the school year. Her story on that will be in Saturday's Valley Voice, along with a trio of stories out of the Spokane Valley City Hall. I'll have a look at the planning commission candidates, a story on the two candidates for the open city council seat and a story on another city staffer who is leaving.
We'll also have a short story on new trash pickup days for Waste Management customers in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Otis Orchards and Millwood. The new days start the week of May 16.
After a special meeting last Friday to declare a fiscal emergency, the East Valley School board decided to lay off up to 25 teachers, close Mountain View Middle School next year and send the Skyview Elementary students to Otis Orchards Elementary. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has an overview of the coming changes and a schedule of upcoming community meetings for discussions on how to implement all the changes. Read her story here and watch for a more in depth story later in the week.