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Doddie Williams, right, and Rachel White serve Aimee Cook, 4, a corn dog lunch at Spokane Valley Community of Christ Church Wednesday. Some of the free lunch programs offered at schools have ended, so the congregation at Community of Christ is stepping up with free lunches for children and adults three days a week at the church. SR photo/Colin Mulvany
Saturday's Valley Voice once again gave you a solid lineup of stories covering what's happening in Spokane Valley. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has details on the annual Summer of Service volunteer day run by Eastpoint Church that will send volunteers to 15 Central Valley schools for improvements on Aug. 11. Volunteers are still needed, so sign up if you can lend a hand.
The Spokane Valley Community of Christ Church has stepped up to offer free meals to children and adults three days a week through the month of August. The church is trying to fill the gap that exists now that many schools have stopped serving free meals for the summer.
The Spokane Valley City Council discussed a familiar topic last week - animal control. The council is moving nearer to a decision, however. The city has to decide whether to continue with SCRAPS or switch to SpokAnimal for animal control services.
Spokane Valley Partners is again collecting school supplies for distribution to low income students. Lisa put together details on what supplies are needed and how families can sign up to get a backpack filled with supplies.
Kristen Messer, Austin Pruitt, center, and Amberlynn Weber, shown July 19 at West Valley High School, have qualified for the Paralympics in London this summer. The three, all members of Team St. Luke’s, will compete in track events along with Susannah Scaroni. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
It's another hot summer day today as we head toward the end of July. But it's also Thursday, so that means we have some Valley Voice highlights to go with our morning (iced) coffee. The Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to approve a development agreement designed to limit the impact of an apartment complex on surrounding single family homes. The agreement applies to land on Conklin Road south of Broadway. But the agreement did not appease neighbors, who wanted an increased setback so they wouldn't have buildings right up against their back yards.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on a new community garden planned by Spokane Valley Partners. The organization has received permission from Modern Electric to use vacant land the utility owns across from Valley Mission Park as a garden. Organizers hope to have everything set up in time for spring. There's an informational meeting tonight for community residents.
Correspondent Cindy Hval spoked to several local athletes who will be competing in the London 2012 Paralympic Games in track events. They are all members of Team St. Luke's.
Feed the Children Inc. will deliver two semi-trucks full of boxes of food and personal care items to Spokane Valley Partners on Thursday. The boxes will go to low income clients of the social service organization. Anyone interested in receiving a box has to get a voucher in advance by calling Valley Partners at (509) 927-1153 or stopping by Valley Partners at 10814 E. Broadway. People will be assisgned a pick up time when they receive a voucher.
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.
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.
Every year Spokane Valley Partners collects school supplies to give to low income children who need them. This year's donation drive is almost over. The last day to donate is Sunday. Donation barrels are located at Spokane Valley Partners, area Rosauers locations, Spokane Valley Fire stations, Dishman Dodge, Vera Water and Power, Valley Hospital, Dollar Tree locations and the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.
Items needed include backpacks, crayons, paper, erasers, folders, colored pencils, pens, pencils, rulers, scissors, spiral notebooks, binders, highlighters, markers, divider tabs, glue and pencil pouches. Call Spokane Valley Partners at 927-1153 for more information.
We've just learned that Spokane Valley Partners is having an open house today at 11 a.m. along with representatives from the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. Several local legislators have been invited to attend as well. This is your chance to check out the non-profit if you haven't already and see the many services they offer to low income residents. There is a food bank, clothing bank, WIC office, a dentist and much more. There will be refreshments available. Spokane Valley Partners is located at 10814 E. Broadway.
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.
Some cooler weather should arrive with your Saturday Valley Voice this week (thank goodness). A hearing was held last week on the Trailside portion of the Coyote Rock development along the Spokane River near Plantes Ferry Park. There is a dispute between the developer and the Department of Ecology on where the river's ordinary high water mark is east of the Centennial Trail foot bridge. If the hearing examiner agrees with the DOE, the developer's attorney says it may kill the project.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger recently visited Spokane Valley Partners to check out their programs and see what is new. I'll also have the second round of reporting from Tuesday's Spokane Valley City Council meeting. The council spent some time discussing sign codes and landscaping regulations. Some changes to those rules might start going through the amendment process soon.
Pasadena Park Elementary volunteer Cheri Reed helps third-grader Grace Peters find the perfect gift for her family at the Scholar Dollar Christmas store, which she organizes. SR photo/Bart Rayniak
Now that we’re all up on this fine Monday morning and on our first (or second) cup of coffee, it’s time to take a look at some highlights from Saturday’s Valley Voice in case you missed it. Spokane Valley Fire is heading up a new ambulance contract that includes nearly every fire department and district in the county. Response times are down and some tweaks are being made to the contract to make it better.
A volunteer grandma at Pasadena Park Elementary spends her December running the Scholar Dollar store for children who have earned points by reading. They can spend their points on Christmas gifts. Spokane Valley Partners is not having a Season of Sharing this year due to budget cuts.
An audit of 2009 records shows no problems for the City of Spokane Valley, according to auditors. However, the city is dealing with a criminal case against a former employee for theft of city money. Millwood residents will see increases in their water and sewer rates beginning Jan. 1. And at Tuesday’s Spokane Valley council meeting, deputy mayor Gary Schimmels will recommend that the council appoint the mayor’s half-brother to the planning commission.
Saturday’s Valley Voice will have a bit of everything - school kids, emergency services and city government. The students at Pasadena Park Elementary spent the fall reading to earn points. Now they’re spending those points to buy Christmas gifts at the Scholar Dollar Store run by Cheri Reed.
The new contract between American Medical Response and the majority of the fire districts and departments in Spokane County seems to be going well. Spokane Valley Fire is administering the contract and data shows that response times are dropping. Auditors gave the City of Spokane Valley a clean bill of health this week, but the city is currently involved in a criminal case against a former employee who is facing felony theft charges for allegedly stealing money from city deposits.
And in a story that shows how the economy is affecting everyone, Spokane Valley Partners has announced that there will be no Season of Sharing this year.
Read tomorrow’s stories here for more details.
Liberty Lake residents have the power to stop an ongoing crime spree by doing only one thing - locking up. Residents leaving their garages and the cars inside them unlocked have created a one stop burglar buffet for several weeks now. More thefts will be in the Liberty Lake police blotter coming in Thursday’s Valley Voice.
Other stories on tap for Thursday include a look inside the new (and newly renamed) Greenacres Fire Station, formerly known as Station 10. Crews started responding to calls there again this week after several months of bunking with crews at Station 7 on Evergreen Road. Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels recently got a contract to provide meals for all of Spokane County and the annual Fill the Bus food drive to benefit the Spokane Valley Partners Food bank is this weekend.
Happy Sunday, everyone. We had a banner day yesterday in the Valley Voice. A group of Orchard Avenue neighborhood residents are complaining about Union Pacific trains blowing their horns too much and blocking the Park Road intersection for extended periods of time. Some parents asked East Valley superintendent John Glenewinkle some tough questions in a community meeting to go over the district’s new school configuration plan. The Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank needs volunteers to sort donations and more non-perishable food items are needed to help get the food bank through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Anyone who would like to receive help from the food bank has to sign up by Wednesday by calling 927-1153. Distribution is scheduled for Nov. 22 and 23.
There’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is I won’t be in the office to post tomorrow, but I will be working Sunday so you will be able to see your Saturday highlights a day earlier than normal.
We have a bunch of good stories coming up in the Valley Voice on Saturday. There was a fairly contentious East Valley school board meeting this week as parents try to understand the district’s proposed new school configuration plan. Spokane Valley Partners is in need of volunteers to help sort the donations from several large food drives in preparation for Thanksgiving. A group of residents in the neighborhood near Orchard Center Elementary in West Valley are asking the city of Spokane Valley to spend money to create quiet zones on some Union Pacific railroad crossings.
Looking even further ahead, there’s an interesting agenda on tap for the Spokane Valley City Council meeting on Tuesday. Expect to see a proposed resolution amending speed limits, discussion on the city’s snow removal plan and a report on amendments to the ordinance covering adult retail establishments. The city of Liberty Lake hasn’t released their agenda for Tuesday yet, but expect them to be discussing possible budget cuts for 2011, including cutting library hours and closing the city golf course during the winter.