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Curt Buyser of Critter Control removes a captured yellow-bellied marmot near the Gonzaga University baseball field earlier this month. SR photo/Dan Pelle
I love Thursday for two reasons: it means it's nearly Friday and it's a Valley Voice day. Today's Voice section is packed with good stuff, so let's move on to some highlights. First up is our primary election coverage. Ballots are being mailed this week. I took a look at city council races in Rockford and Latah and a fire commissioner race in Spokane County Fire District 9. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has information on the candidates runnings for two East Valley School District board seats.
This week the Spokane Valley City Council took a look at several possible locations for a new City Hall. They favored buying the former Crescent building in the old University City Mall even though the building is significantly larger than what they would need for a combined city hall and police precinct. In other city news, the council is considering easing the sign code again to address the number and type of temporary signs and where they can be placed.
Reporter Pia Hallenberg has an interesting story on Curtis Buyser of Critter Control. He's the one you call when you have a skunk in the neighborhood, raccoons setting up house in your attic or marmots burrowing in the bushes.
Golf carts at Painted Hills Golf Course sit locked behind a fence. SR photo/Dan Pelle
There are some good stories in today's Valley Voice, topped by one that should put a few rumors zipping around to rest. The gates of Painted Hills Golf Course are chained shut as the owners go through the bankruptcy process. There are reportedly several interested buyers, but there's no way to tell yet when, or if, the course will reopen.
Reporter Nicole Hensley has a profile on East Valley High School junior Rachael Coleck, who fills the dual roles of cheerleader and wrestler. She talks about how she deals with being a girl involved in a male dominated sport. The Spokane Valley City Council spent some time this week talking about whether they should adjust their sign code and if street parking on the one-way section of Sprague Ave. is a good idea.
The Washington State Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of a Spokane County Superior Court Judge throwing out a lawsuit filed against the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum by several neighboring business owners. The lawsuit was filed when the museum fenced in their parking lot for outdoor exhibits, which meant that customers of nearby businesses could no longer use the lot as a shortcut.
Among the topics on tonight's Spokane Valley City Council agenda is a discussion on the city's sign code, which was last changed in 2011. Recently several business owners have complained to the city that the sign regulations are negatively impacting their business. The council will discuss whether further changes to the sign code are necessary.
There are a couple of other interesting topics on the agenda, including the proposed Spokane River Public Access Plan that is being considered as part of the city's Shoreline Master Program update. The council will also talk about grant opportunities and a renegotiated City Hall lease.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.
Lexi Saeger is working her way toward a national competition by selling shopping bags, right, that she makes from empty pet food bags. She also made a skirt and camisole out of the bags, left, for the Future Career and Community Leaders of America competition. SR photo/Dan Pelle
The rain is back, but since it is Thursday there's a Valley Voice to take a look at over coffee since you can't look out the window and see sunshine. Reporter Lisa Leinberger attended an East Valley school board meeting this week where there was a public hearing on the district's plan to take on $6.2 million in nonvoted debt to pay for new portable classrooms at the elementary schools. The portables are needed to allow the schools to include students in grades K-8. The topic did generate some discussion.
Correspondent Cindy Hval interviewed Lexi Saeger, a student at Freeman High School, who makes clothing and shopping bags out of old pet food bags. She's been selling her shopping bags and they are available at a local store.
The Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to name nine people to its new ad hoc economic development committee. The council also voted to pass a new sign code ordinance. This week the Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners gave a resident an outstanding citizen award for his role in saving a woman from her burning apartment. The commissioners also voted to put a replacement maintenance and operations levy on the Aug. 7 ballot.
Tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting will include the appointments of local residents to the city's new ad hoc Economic Development Committee. The group will include two council members, three business representatives, three tourism representatives and two citizens at large. The city received 19 applications for the positions.
Other items on tonight's agenda include the second reading of a sign code ordinance and what may be a lengthy presentation of the proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments for 2012. Tonight is a regular meeting, so there will be a public comment period for anything anyone wants to discuss. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.
East Valley’s Farm to School project leader Lynette Romney stands on the porch of a shed at East Valley Farms on Tuesday. The project, which sits next to East Valley Middle School and East Valley High School, is on a Bonneville Power easement. The community garden is the work of service clubs, school kids, farmers and others who want to participate. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
There are two interesting school stories in today's Valley Voice from reporter Lisa Leinberger. The Central Valley School District is moving forward with plans to open a new Skills Center at Sprague and University that will be called Spokane Valley Tech. The board voted this week to set aside earnest money for the building that currently houses West Valley's Contract Based Education.
East Valley is ramping up its Farm to School project that is in a field between the middle school and high school on Wellesley Ave. The farm will grow beans for Second Harvest and an acre is set aside for the community. A plowing day is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m.
The Spokane Valley City Council agreed Tuesday to adopt changes to the sign code proposed by a sign company representative. The council is scheduled to have a final vote on the sign code changes on April 24. Correspondent Cindy Hval has another one of her touching Love Stories today about a couple who met later in life and became best friends before marrying.
The list of reports on tonight's Spokane Valley City Council agenda looks long enough to ensure that we'll be in the council chambers until Wednesday. The many topics up for discussion tonight include entry signs, car shows in city parks, the old Milwaukee Railroad right-of-way, speed limits, code compliance, the sign code and helmet safety. If one of those strikes your interest, head over to City Hall at 11707 E. Sprague at 6 p.m. to listen in on the discussion. Tonight is a study session, so no public comment will be taken.
Quarterback Gaven Deyarmin (center in white) returns for his third season as a starter and team leader for the Central Valley Bears. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
It never fails. I tried to sneak quietly away from the blog Friday for a day off and it was nonstop action. I missed mail thieves, the grand opening of the new Harley Davidson dealership, a street brawl and the identification of last week's mysterious boom (an improvised explosive attached to helium balloons).
But I can still bring you highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Correspondent Steve Christilaw has the season's first look at the football teams at Central Valley High School and University High School. Catholic Charities seems to be taking the wait-and-see approach with their proposed low income senior housing complex next to St. John Vianney. It doesn't look like the issue is going to go away soon.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners spent some time last week looking at the 2012 budget, which looks healthy. The department has plans to demolish and rebuild Station 6 on Sprague on the west end of town.
The Spokane Valley City Council spent about 90 minutes last week discussing the city's sign code and what changes might be made. A lot of the focus was on temporary signs and the A-frame or sandwich board signs.
Theresa Ray sorts through bananas for Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank. She works at NOVA services and volunteers at the food bank. She also brings NOVA clients with her for job training. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
I hope everyone had a great weekend and that at least part of that time was spent checking out Saturday's Valley Voice. But if you didn't, I've got links to some of the stories we brought you. Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in with Spokane Valley Partners, which houses nearly a dozen agencies and groups under one roof to help low income residents. Correspondent Valerie Putnam reports that Millwood has changed course and will open the wading pool once someone is hired to staff it. I'm sure lots of children in the area will be happy to hear that.
The developer of the Coyote Rocks development along the Spokane River and the Department of Ecology are arguing over the ordinary high water mark of the river. The newest phase of the development may be in jeapordy if the Spokane Valley hearing examiner sides with the DOE. That decision won't come for a couple weeks. The Spokane Valley City Council spent some time last week discussing sign codes and landscape regulations and some changes may be coming on those.