Latest from The Spokesman-Review
TRAILS — A packed house showed up last night at the new Jefferson Elementary School for the city-sponsored meeting to unveil new plans for the $6.8 million project that will repave and remodel High Drive while changing access to the South Hill bluff trails. The meeting provided a lot of answers to concerned neighbors and perhaps raised a few more questions.
One comment from the audience caught my attention as an illustration of how wide the views range on developing a public asset such as High Drive. The comment from the man, Dave, reminds us that private property owners often take very narrow views of public interest on city right-of-way.
To paraphrase Dave:
The city should focus funding earmarked for sidewalks to poor neighborhoods where people need the walkways to get to the bus rather than waste the money on a sidewalk in an affluent neighborhood where it isn't needed.
First, Dave apparently doesn't look out the tinted windows of his vehicle as he drives to and from his South Hill home to observe all of the walkers and runners who use High Drive each day.
Second, more walkers and runners would enjoy the premier views of High Drive if they didn't have to walk in the road especially around dangerous curves.
Third, it's crazy that the city has gone this long without providing a sidewalk or path the length of High Drive, one of the finest pedestrian routes the city has to offer.
TRAILS — As today's news story points out, City of Spokane engineers are ready to present a new plan for the $6.8 million High Drive street project after public criticism of initial proposals this summer and fall sent them back to the drawing board.
The project is of major concern to the hikers, cyclists, dog walkers and runners who flock to the 25-mile trail system along the South Hill bluff. Initial proposals would have reduced access to the trails and eliminated up to 80 percent of the available parking.
The city will unveil the revised design in an open-house meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., at the new Jefferson Elementary School, 123 E. 37th Ave.
- To get involved with protecting and improving the bluff trails and the natural landscape they traverse, check into the Friends of the Bluff.
Revel 77 is celebrating its first anniversary on Sunday.
The specialty coffee shop on Spokane’s South Hill will be giving out door prizes of coffee and coffee-related gear throughout the day. Espresso shots over ice cream, or affogatos, will be on sale for a dollar. And there will be live music by Hannah Siglin and Blake Baxter.
Revel 77 is located at 3223 E. 57th Ave. It is open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
And stay tuned: Beer and wine are slated to be sold at the coffee shop in mid November.
HIKING — I case you haven't walked over High Drive to hike the trails along the South Hill bluff, massive swaths of arrowleaf balsamroot have been in full bloom for several days. Check it out.
TRAILS — In mid-April last year, several off-leash dogs were attacked by coyotes that were defending the territory around a den near a popular South Hill bluff trail below High Drive.
Candace Hultberg-Bennett, a local wildlife biologist, will present a short program on what people can do to live safely and peacefully in the same neighborhood with coyotes.
- The program starts at 7 p.m. at St. Stevens Church Parish Hall, 5720 S. Perry.
The Friends of the Bluffs have asked her to speak on her studies on how urbanization and the reintroduction of wolves have impacted coyote populations in northeastern Washington.
A public sentiment that emerged from the coyote-dog conflicts last year was the simmering discontent trail users have with people who violate city-county laws by walking, running and even bicycling with their unleashed dogs.
HELP IMPROVE BLUFF TRAILS
The Friends of the Bluff have scheduled another trail work party, 9 a.m.-noon, on April 27.
Meet at the High Drive and Bernard trailhead. Wear suitable work clothes and gloves, bring water to drink.
TRAILS — Local writer Jim Kershner, a household name to long-time readers of The Spokesman-Review, is having a ball watching spring explode along the trails of the South Hill bluff below High Drive.
Last week he found a few bunches of arrowleaf balsamroot blooming a bit ahead of normal.
On Saturday he found the slopes alive (above) with grasswidows — that clearly were having nothing to do with being alone this season.
Coyote advisory: Remember last year, when several dogs were attacked by denning coyotes as they joined their owners for hikes or runs on the South Hill Bluff trails?
The Friends of the Bluffs are sponsoring a free program, “Living with Coyotes,” at 7 p.m., April 17, at St. Stevens Church Parish Hall, 5720 S. Perry.
Meantime, be proactive in your dog's favor: Keep your dog on a leash.
NATURE — Reader Jim Kershner emailed a photo snapped Thursday of arrowleaf balsamroots blooming in brilliant yellow on the South Hill bluff trails — a bit earlier than usual, but, hey, we should have expected this given the smiles on golfers' faces all through March.
Kershner must have been running from a moose, evading a coyote or walking his rough-and-tumble dog, Jack — the photo was blurry — but those definitely were wildflowers.
Take a hike on the miles of trails below High Drive and see for yourself.
Next to bloom: Serviceberry.
PUBLIC LANDS — The Friends of the Bluff is beginning to develop a comprehensive plan for the popular trails on the south-facing slope of city-owned land on the South Hill.
The group already has set “sustainable trails” as the highest priority.
The public meeting set for Wednesday (March 27), 6:30 p.m., at St Stephens Episcopal Church will consider questions such as:
- What is a sustainable trail?
- What is a “multi-use” trail on the Bluff?
- When do we have enough trails on the Bluff?
- How do we maintain existing trails?
- When do we decommission unsustainable trails?
- Trail signage or no signage?
Info: Diana Roberts, 477-2167
WILDLIFE — Coyotes defending a den of pups are not tolerating dogs coming through their territory between High Drive and Hangman Creek.
After my story about a Thursday attack on a dog was published today, The Spokesman-Review has learned of at least three coyote attacks this week on dogs up to 80 pounds.
Coyotes generally weigh 30-45 pounds.
If you hike in the area above Qualchan Golf Course, keep your dog on a lease for awhile.
Read on for details.
TRAILS — Last Saturday a hard-working group of 20 turned out to work on Bluff trails.
The many, many more people who use the trails owe them a tip of the hat.
They did trail maintenance and prepared to re-align a trail that is steep and highly erosive. The new route will be more stable and user-friendly for hikers and mt bikers.
To complete the task, the Friends of the Bluffs are encouraging more people to join some evening work parties.
The first two will be Tuesday April 24 and Wednesday May 2.
Join the group from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to work off the stress of the day (and perhaps adjourn to the Rocket Market afterwards).
Meet at the Bernard/High Dr trail head and bring/wear hiking boots, work clothes, work gloves, and bring water.
TRAILS — In the photo above, volunteers pose with the metal-recyclable garbage they picked up today from the South Hill Bluff below High Drive.
TRAILS — Join the fun as the 'Friends of the Bluff' are having a trash cleanup day Saturday (March 24), 9am - Noon.
Meet at the main trail head just south of the Bernard and High intersection. Be prepared for the weather and to hike to our two focused sites which are 1/4 and 3/4 mile down the slope.
Volunteers are encouraged to:
- -Wear heavy duty clothing, leather gloves, and hiking footwear
- Bring wheelbarrows/dollys with ratchet straps and ropes as tie downs
- Bring several sturdy cloth bags (think reusable grocery bags) for the smaller stuff
Bring plenty of water to drink
Post event cool down at the Rocket Market (0.8 miles east at the corner of High Dr/Hatch).
Jim Schrock of Earthworks Recycling www.earthworksrecycling.com is donating the metals disposal bin.
PUBLIC LANDS — Friends of the South Hill Bluff will hold a meeting tonight (March 14), 6:30 p.m. at St. Stephens Church, 57th & Hatch Road to discuss requirements for getting DNR costshare funding for Firewise Community projects.
Angel Spell, City of Spokane Director of Urban Forestry will be there to answer questions.
These meetings will determine the direction of the group in managing fire danger to the popular hiking and biking trails below High Drive as well as to the nearby neighborhoods.
Info: Diana Roberts, 477-2167.
The Manito/Cannon Hill Neighborhood Council is hosting a city candidate forum today, Thursday Oct. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at The Woman's Club (9th Avenue and Walnut Street - enter from 9th Avenue). Organizers say all candidates for school board, mayor, city council president and city council have confirmed their attendance.
The blog got an email from the people behind Handmade Parade, a craft show and open house that's held on Dec. 3 at a private home (2518 S. Magnolia Court).
Handmade Parade is looking for vendors featuring handcrafted items, art work and crafts for this year's show.
For more information visit the group's website here.
This is the third year for the Handmade Parade. Jane Harper, one of the organizers, wrote in the email that it's a great venue for new crafters and hobbyists to test the waters and show their wares. Vendors don't have to remain on-site all day and there's a $25 registration fee to reserve a spot. Commission is collected based on sales. Vendors may apply until Nov. 1 - the application form is available on the website above.
(The photo is a couple of years old and from Ohio… perhaps an idea for Spokane this winter?)
The city is hosting a traffic calming orientation on December 8, 2011 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at city council chambers. The orientation will include a presentation of the 2011/2012 traffic calming program and explain how your neighborhood can apply for funding for traffic calming projects such as speed bumps, roundabouts, crosswalks, flashing signs and traffic islands.
Better get there: participating in the orientation is mandatory if your neighborhood would like to apply for funding.
No need to RSVP – just show up.
If you can't make it at this time, the training will be available online at a later date.
Via email from Sandy Scott, Spokane’s neighborhood services and code enforcement office.
TRAILS/ENVIRONMENT — The Friends of the High Drive Bluff on Spokane's South Hill are coordinating a tree pruning clinic 1 p.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 9) to help generate more helpers to reduce fire danger on the bluffs and improve thee quality of the bluff trails.
Participants on Sunday will create a fire risk reduction demonstration site.
Anyone interested in joining a team to maintain fuelbreaks along the Bluff trail system is welcome to participate.
Please RSVP by Friday to Erik Sjoquist of the Spokane County/WSU Extension, phone 477-2175, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The project will involve physical work on steep slopes.
Meet at the trailhead 20 yards south of the intersection of Bernard and High Drive. Bring water to drink, work gloves and wear sturdy boots. If you have any of the following, please bring them also; pruning saws, loppers, axes, and hard hats.
URBAN FORESTS — Residents interested in Spokane’s High Drive bluff — the trails and the neighborhoos — are invited to participate in a discussion of forest health for the area on Wednesday (Aug. 31).
Last spring, community members identified fire risk abatement as a high priority for the Bluff. This workshop will focus on a plan for reducing fire risk on the Bluff and for neighboring homes.
The workshop will be held at the Rocket Market at 726 E 43rd Ave from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will include a description of the proposed forest health plan, plus a question and answer session.
Join in the discussion, enjoy a no-host beverage with neighbors, and learn how you can get involved in the project!
For planning purposes, please RSVP to Diana Roberts at WSU Spokane County Extension, phone (509) 477-2167 or E-mail email@example.com.
SOUT HILL BLUFF TRAILS — Hikers and bikers can learn the theory and application of effective trail building and trail maintenance in a free clinic TONIGHT on the South Hill.
Mike Brixey, who's trained with the International Mountain Bike Association, will make the presentation starting at 6 p.m. at Polly Judd Park, 1732 W. 14th Ave.
The South Hill bluff trail system also will be discussed, and a volunteer trail maintenance group may be organized.
Bring a folding chair and, if you wish, a picnic dinner.
Small children and dogs are discouraged.
A follow-up practical trail building session will be scheduled next week on the bluff trails below High Drive.
Info: Diana Roberts, WSU Spokane County Extension, (509) 477-2167, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRAILS — When I biked and hiked the Spokane South Hill bluff trails one day with a GPS unit, I was a bit startled to see the final tally of more than 23 miles on the unit's odometer.
This trail system of old roads and routes hand-built by volunteers just over the hill and out of site of a city neighbornood is a treasure for hiker, bikers and nature lovers, as my Sunday outdoors story explains.
The story includes a contact for getting involved with stewardship of the trails and the bluff, from trail maintenance to weed control.
Any bluff trails users should consider joining the Doo-Crew, either by taking a day of the month to tend the doggy doo plastic bag stations — or simply by picking up after your dog!
FYI, there were a few connector trails I did not log on the map above, either because I could not map them without a lot of backtracking or because they are ill advised.
If you haven't been to the bluff for a walk or mountain bike ride, you own it to yourself to check out the map above and give the area a look — perfect for after-work summer visits.
HIKING — Two people I know own dogs who recently encountered the defense mechanism of a porcupine along the South Hill bluff trails below High Drive.
Let's think about this: Vet visit to remove quills, $150. Leash, $7.
Trader Joe’s, the nationwide chain that’s created a legion of
food-loving fans, announced it will open its first Spokane store
next year. The Southern California-based company confirmed Wednesday it will
lease a 12,000-square-foot building on Spokane’s South Hill. That
building will be constructed at the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, at
29th Avenue and Regal Street, next to the existing Hogan’s Restaurant. The specialty grocery chain has considered opening a Spokane store
for several years. Earlier this year it started looking seriously at
Spokane’s South Hill, said Jeff Ottmar, who works for a Spokane company
that represented property owner Lincoln Heights Center LLC/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (Artist conceptual drawing courtesy of Trader Joe’s)
Question: Can someone explain the excitement some of you have re: the opening of a Trader Joe’s in Spokane?