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Today’s highlights

Hugh Grim watches from the top of a Fairbury farm windmill tower as his son, Jim, keeps a hand on a guide-line as they use a crane to lift the windmill to the top of its tower Tuesday at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Happy Halloween! Just remember to limit your sugar intake and everything will be fine. Meanwhile, we can take a look at some highlights from today's Valley Voice in between sugar breaks. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a "new" 1930s windmill that was just installed behind the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. The Valley was once full of such windmills, which pumped water for farmers. The windmill has made previous appearances at the museum's annual farm show.

The Rev. Craig Goodwin of Millwood Presbyterian Church was recently diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He is currently balancing his pastoral duties with an aggressive chemotherapy schedule that has him in the hospital for five days every three weeks. He said his diagnosis has given him a new perspective when dealing with people struggling with their own health issues.

The Spokane Valley City Council is moving forward with a proposed ordinance that would regulate the attire of bikini baristas at a business near City Hall who routinely go topless on certain days of the week, wearing only pasties and g-strings. The new law would mandate that their breasts be at least half covered. The proposal is sure to generate plenty of public comment at future council meetings as the ordinance moves through the approval process.

Saturday’s highlights

Jayne Singleton, director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, reads a list of Civil War veterans from a 1913 Spokesman-Review Tuesday at the museum. Sources like the old newspaper helped provide links from area pioneers to the Civil War. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Here we are at Monday again. It's the start of another work week in addition to being the day for a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped in at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum to check out a new exhibit on the Civl War. Some of the items on display include bone saws and a 1913 edition of The Spokesman-Review that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

The city of Spokane Valley is taking a look at what could be the final design of the expansion of Balfour Park. Another public meeting is planned for September to get input on what people think of the plan. The expansion would include a reading garden, veterans memorial, picnic shelter, a splash pad and more.

Lisa also has a story on University High School graduate Stevie Gildehaus, who will travel to Brazil next year as a Fulbright scholar. She will help teach English classes as well as take classes at a local university.

Saturday’s highlights

John Rice, 15, acts out an improvisation scene with Tori Heischel during a creative writing exercise designed to show how characters influence story on Tuesday at RiverCity Leadership Academy in the West Valley School District. RiverCity will close at the end of the school year. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Good Monday morning, everyone. You may have noticed that I ducked out of the office on Friday and didn't post on the blog, but I'm back now with some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Anyone who drives down Sullivan Road will notice that a construction project has begun north of the Spokane River to Trent. Over the next six weeks or so northbound and southbound traffic will be limited to one lane each direction, so be prepared if you need to head that way.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger had a story on West Valley's RiverCity Academy, which is closing for good at the end of the current school year. Enrollment at the project-based school is down to 17 and the students will go to other alternative schools in the area.

Lisa also had a story on a driving tour of the Lake Saltese area organized by the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. The tour, which was held over the weekend, visited several historical sites in the area. The former Lake Saltese was drained in 1894 to create the Morrison Ranch.

A big crowd turned out for last week's meeting on whether or not there should be an I-90 overpass at University Road. Several neighborhood residents were there to speak out against doing such a project while others were in favor of at least a pedestrian/cyclist overpass. Right now no construction project is planned, the city is doing a study on whether an overpass is needed.

Saturday’s highlights

Jayne Singleton, director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, is ready to open the Grand Coulee Dam and Ice Floods exhibit. The box hanging from the ceiling denotes one cubic yard. Grand Coulee Dam contains around 12 million cubic yards of concrete. SR photo/Dan Pelle

I'm fairly certain it's Monday morning (hello, second cup of coffee), so let's look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Nichol Hensley has a story on a new exhibit at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum that focuses on the Grand Coulee Dam and Lake Roosevelt.

Last week Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey gave his annual State of the City speech. He compared the city to the Gonzaga University men's basketball team in that they both focus on recruiting and the basics. Citizens can be proud of the city, he said.

There's a big celebration Saturday of the 10th anniversary of the incorporation of Spokane Valley. The bash at CenterPlace will feature some history from the Spokane Valley Heritage museum and local Native American tribes as well as carnival games and birthday cake.

In sports, correspondent Steve Christilaw takes a look at this year's Central Valley High School boys soccer team. There is a strong group of freshmen this year.

Today’s highlights

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.

Saturday’s highlights

Firefighters build steps to get a horse out of a pool in the 17000 block of East Montgomery on Dec. 18. The horse was not injured when it fell through the pool cover. Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Good morning on this last day of 2012. We have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice in case you missed them. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Spokane Valley Heritage Museum volunteer Peggy Taylor. The museum recently threw a surprise 89th birthday party for the longtime volunteer.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department performed a unique rescue recently when a horse broke through the cover of a swimming pool. Fire crews and citizens built makeshift steps so the horse could climb out of the shallow end.

The city of Liberty Lake has decided to stick with SCRAPS for animal control services after considering switching to SpokAnimal. The city council recently approved a new contract and included funds for the contract in the 2013 budget.

Today’s highlights

Spokane Valley Councilman Ben Wick, his wife Danica and daughter Sabriel, 3 months, arrive at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum for the celebration of the centennial of its building, the former Opportunity Township Hall, last Thursday. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

There are a lot of good stories to be had in today's Valley Voice, so let's get started. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by the 100th anniversary celebration of Opportunity Township Hall last week. The Hall now houses the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. The museum is also getting ready to host its annual history tour on Oct. 6.

The construction of the Spokane Valley Fire Department's Station 6 has hit another snag. Representatives of the department say there have been numerous design problems that have led to delays and construction is reaching a critical point. If the alsphalt isn't put in before it gets too cold the department can't move in.

The Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to not raise 2013 property taxes by the allowed 1 percent, saying this just isn't the time to raise taxes even though the vote means residential property owners will only save 76 cents per year.

The Central Valley School District is taking a look at whether it should continue it's pay-to-play policy, Lisa reports. The school board is taking a look at how much playing sports costs and whether the fees have impacted how many students sign up.

Opportunity Hall celebrates centennial

Present day: The former Opportunity Township Hall, right, is now the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. SR file photo

There are a whole bunch of fun activities coming up this weekend, so let's review. We'll start with a look at the Opportunity Township Hall centennial celebration on Thursday. The hall, built in 1912, now houses the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. The event will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the museum, located at 12114 E. Sprague. The evening includes a ribbon cutting, time capsule covering and refreshments.

There is limited parking on site, so people are asked to park across the street on the north side of Sprague. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by calling (509) 922-4570.

Saturday’s highlights

The East Valley High School girls soccer team is returning a strong squad for the fall season. On Wednesday, they worked on drills at the school. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Okay, I'm back. My nest has been successfully empied and I'm ready to get back to work with some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger recently stopped in at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, which is opening a new World War II exhibit featuring the Tuskegee Airmen, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Navajo Code Talkers.

Lisa also has a feature on the calls responded to by the Spokane Valley Fire Department, which also includes a reminder about the burn ban currently in effect. Dog owners can take advantage of a new opportunity Thursday with a Paws in the Pool swim event for dogs at Valley Mission Pool. It should be a fun event.

Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a story on the East Valley High School girls soccer team, which has a strong bond. The team is expected to go far this year after several league titles.

Today’s highlights

Spokane Valley Heritage Museum Executive Director Jayne Singleton highlights a photograph of Titanic's grand staircase on display in the museum's exhibit about the April 15, 1912, sinking of the ship. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Here we are, having yet another rainy day. But it's also Thursday, which means there are some great stories from the Valley Voice to read while you have your coffee. The Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to provide $30,000 in lodging tax funding to Valleyfest. This is the second round of allocations of lodging tax money for 2012 and there was a bit of a furor when Valleyfest didn't get funded in the first round.

In other news from the city, Spokane Valley Public Works Director Neil Kersten has confirmed that he is leaving the city sometime in May. He's one of the few department heads left who has been with the city since the beginning. He'll be going back to Alaska, where all his children and grandchildren live.

The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum has opened a new exhibit on the Titanic as the 100th anniversary of the sinking approaches. The exhibit includes information on local passengers who went down with the ship.

The town of Rockford is trying again to pass a one-year replacement levy to help fund the town's fire department. The levy failed in November, though is did get 56.71 percent approval. The levy requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass. The levy, which is on the April 17 ballot, would provide nearly 40 percent of the department's annual budget.

Old West Valley High School

On a winter day that seems more like a spring chinook, here's a snowy look back at the old West Valley High School that was built at Trent and Argonne in 1924. An Albertons store is on the site now and a new high school was built at Vista and Buckeye in the 1960's. Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

Saturday’s highlights

Centennial Middle School eighth grader Darby Howat accepts Rachel’s Challenge after the all-school assembly on Wednesday. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

No, you didn't imagine it. I wasn't around on Friday to update the blog. That will be happening frequently on Fridays between now and the end of the year. But I'm back now and I'll start today by bringing you the updates from Saturday's Valley Voice. 

Reporter Lisa Leinberger had a couple of interesting stories. The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum will honor Maggie Rail at its annual Heritage Program luncheon this weekend. Rail has a web site that lists who is buried in more than 400 cemeteries in Spokane County and other locations, which is a boon to those researching their family history. Lisa also stopped by Centennial Middle School as students promised to participate in Rachel's Challenge, which focuses on how students treat each other.

Last week the Spokane Valley City Council heard a comprehensive report on the feasibility of putting quiet zones or wayside horns at the many railroad crossings in the city. The Spokane Valley Fire Department has dealt with a fatal motorcycle crash and two major house fires recently. City of Liberty Lake department heads used last week's council meeting to discuss what they accomplished in 2010 and what they hope to do in 2011 if the budget allows.  

Saturday’s highlights

Spokane Valley kayaker Steve Bailey surfs the "Sullivan Hole" on the upper Spokane River on August 1, 2011. The wave is a Spokane low water play spot for whitewater enthusiasts. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

If you missed Saturday's Valley Voice you should go back and take a look. It's full of interesting news and stories this week. The picture in the middle of the front page of kayakers having fun on the Spokane River makes me want to run down, jump in and cool off. (My kingdom for a cold front!) Correspondent Steve Christilaw has an interesting story to go with the picture.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote about the old East Trent Motor In sign that has found a new home at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. She also stopped in at an open house held last week at Spokane Valley Partners to celebrate the receipt of some grant funds.

The developer of the Coyote Rocks development on the Spokane River near Plantes Ferry Park has hit a stumbling block. The Spokane Valley Hearing Examiner recently ruled that the developer must redo a preliminary plat map for a new section of the development to take into account a new ordinary high water mark set by the Department of Ecology.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam wrote that the Millwood City Council just approved a real estate exise tax on all home sales in its jurisdiction. Apparently it was the only city or town in the state that didn't already charge the tax, which is one-half of one percent of the selling price and is paid by the seller. The money will be used to fund capital improvement projects as well as maintenance and operation costs.

There's more to read, but we would be here all day if I listed it all. Check out the Voice page here.

Coming on Saturday

We've got more good stuff coming your way in Saturday's Valley Voice. Spokane Valley Partners had an open house this week to celebrate a recent grant and reporter Lisa Leinberger. Lisa also stopped by the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, which is getting ready to display a sign from the old East Trent Motor In.

The Spokane Valley hearing examiner recently made his decision on a new part of the Coyote Rock development along the Spokane River near Plantes Ferry Park. He ruled that the developer has to build homes set back 200 feet from a new high water mark set by the Department of Ecology. The proposed plat has been sent back to the developer, Coeur d'Alene based Neighborhood Inc., for revision.

There will also be a wrap up of the last week of calls for the Spokane Valley Fire Department. They responded to fires started by everything from a boy playing with a magnifying glass to a Robin that landed in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Today’s highlights

Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen ruled in favor of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum in a lawsuit filed by Ichabod’s Tavern, Peters Hardware and Dave’s Bar and Grill over parking lot access for the businesses. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Since none of us blew away during yesterday's little wind storm, I guess it's time to take a look at the Thursday Valley Voice. A Spokane County Superior Court judge has issued a written opinion in a lawsuit filed against the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, saying that three neighboring businesses have no easement rights to the property.

The Liberty Lake Police Department has arrested a familiar face this week in connection to a string of vehicle prowls in the area. Robert L. Hahn was arrested early Monday morning with allegedly stolen property in his pocket and burglary tools in his car. Liberty Lake officers have arrested Hahn several times before, most recently in December.

The Spokane Valley City Council has now seen the proposed development agreement negotiated by city staff and St. John Vianney Church after neighbors withdrew from the discussion. The agreement would limit a low income senior housing facility on the site of a proposed zone change to 40 units, limit the height and require the facility to remain low income senior housing for 75 years. A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for July 12.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in with the Spokane Thunder drum corps this week as they finish up weeks of day-long practices to polish their performance. The group will be in a competition Sunday at 7 p.m. at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane. If you've never been to a drum corps competition I highly recommend it. They are great to watch and a lot of the time you just have to marvel at their precision. Check Lisa's story for ticket information.

There was a light turnout at last week's candidate fair hosted by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. But the few people who attended were able to get their first look at some of the candidates for the Spokane Valley City Council.

Coming Thursday

It's hard to believe it is Wednesday already, which of course means it's time for a preview of Thursday's Valley Voice. We've got some interesting stuff coming your way this week. A Spokane County Superior Court judge has recently filed an opinion on a lawsuit filed against the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. I checked out Spokane Valley's first candidate fair last week and the turnout was very light. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Centennial Middle School this week to check out the Spokane Thunder, a local drum corps that has been putting in day-long practices to prepare for a competition this weekend in Spokane.

Looking back

Now that spring has officially arrived and crocuses are valiantly blooming, it's time to think about planting and growing. Farms were once the core of the Spokane Valley area. This photo takes a look back at Bert and Ruth Porter’s Veradale Farm circa 1940. The photo is courtesy of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

The law in Spokane Valley

A search through the archives has turned up this historical photo of Patrolman Murphy of the Washington State Patrol circa the 1940s. It's interesting to see how much the uniforms have changed over the years (not to mention the cars). This photo was taken between 60 and  70 years ago, but there are probably people out there who might have known Patrolman Murphy. Anyone have memories to share? Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

The open range

People talk all the time about how rural Spokane Valley used to be - full of orchards and farms. But it can be a hard thing to picture while driving down a major commerical and commuter corridor like Sullivan Road. This aerial view of the corner of Sprague and Sullivan looking north was taken in 1965. See which landmarks you can pick out.

Ranching in Newman Lake

We haven't had a historic photo for a while, so here's a look back at the ranching culture that used to be so prevalent in the Valley area. This haying picture was taken on the James Day Ranch at Newman Lake circa early 1920s. The photo is courtesy of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. See anyone you recognize?

Summer days will come again

Here's a little somthing to help you remember warm summer days as we struggle through lingering snow and arctic temperatures - a historic photo of the Liberty Lake Dance Pavilion circa 1953. Anyone out there have any memories of the Pavillion? The photo is courtesy of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.
  

Saturday’s highlights

Spokane Valley Heritage Museum volunteers Herman Meier and Al Shrock get a hand from Don Gorman covering the sign to protect it from deteriorating. The museum hopes to raise $10,000 to restore the original 1912 scroll sign above the entrance to the historic Opportunity Township Hall. SR photo/Bart Rayniak 

I hope everyone out there is safe and sound this morning, what with all the accident reports on the scanner. I always say that when the roads are nasty there is no shame in creeping along (particularly since I nearly impaled my car on my concrete retaining wall yesterday).

So, on to the highlights from Saturday’s Valley Voice. The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum is raising money to restore the nearly 100-year old historic scroll sign on the front of the historic building that houses the museum. Volunteers recently covered the sign with black plastic to slow the deterioration.

The second story on the Spokane Valley City Council meeting included a variety of discussions and decisions. Longtime volunteer and Valleyfest organizer Peggy Doering nearly lost her seat on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee after an unexpected push to replace her. The renewal of the city’s street maintenance contract was narrowly approved after it hit a speed bump. The council also discussed whether to raise stormwater fees or allow Spokane County to raise sewer rates, since one of the fees will have to go up.

Parents in the Central Valley School District should note that the school board has approved new elementary school attendance boundaries in Liberty Lake and Greenacres that will take effect if a bond that would pay for a new elementary school (plus other projects) is approved by voters in the spring.

Coming Saturday

There are a couple things coming up in Saturday’s must have edition of the Valley Voice. (But then, aren’t they all must have editions?) Staff at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum are trying to restore the original scroll sign mounted on the Sprague-facing side of the historic building that houses the museum. The sign is deteriorating and has been covered to slow the ravages of time while the museum raises money to restore the sign.

Tuesday’s Spokane Valley City Council meeting was so lengthy that it couldn’t all be included in a story in yesterday’s Valley Voice. The second installment features some unexpected controversy with votes on the street maintenance contract and the make-up of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. The council also has finally approved the purchase of equipment so council meetings can be broadcast on cable and over the internet.

One scheduling note for next week: the Spokane Valley City Council meeting normally held every Tuesday has been cancelled because of the Christmas holiday. The next meeting is set for Dec. 28.

The old Morrison Ranch

Cattle don’t graze in large numbers on the Saltese flats anymore, but the current Morrison family home is still perched up on the hill even as more and more of the flats are seeing a bumper crop of new development. Pictured here is the Morrison Ranch circa the 1920’s in the Saltese Flats area of the Valley. The photo was donated to the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum by Bud Morrison. Photo courtesy of the Spokane Valley Heritage Musuem.

Old Highway 10

This sign welcomed drivers to Washington as they crossed Idaho-Washington state line on Highway 10 before Interstate 90 was constructed. The photo is courtesy of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

Think of warmer times

If you are tired of looking at snow and ice, take a look at the Corbin irrigation ditch, which was constructed in the early 1920s, east of Otis Orchards in the Spokane Valley. If you know a long-time Valley resident, ask them about how the kids used to use it as the world’s longest water slide. The photo is courtesy the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

Snowy history

In honor of the white stuff currently on the ground, here’ s a look back at the Ski Mor, a ski resort built by the Schafer family in the Chester Hills area near the end of 44th Avenue in the Spokane Valley. The photo was taken in the mid 1930’s. The resort had two ski jumps and a toboggan run. The photo is courtesy Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

A look back

This Liberty Lake Dairy wagon  delivered milk to the Valley and Spokane. Photo circa 1910-1915. Courtesy Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum has opened up their historical photo collection to us and we regularly print old photos in the Valley Voice. It’s kind of fun to take a look back at the way things used to be in Spokane Valley back in the days of fruit orchards and farmers. And if you’ve never stopped by the museum, it’s worth a look. They have some interesting exhibits.