Latest from The Spokesman-Review
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.
James Clancy, 83, sells produce for bargain price, like these tomatoes for 39 cents a pound at his stand near the corner of Maxwell and Ash in North Spokane. SR photo/Dan Pelle
One of today's highlights from the Valley Voice is a story about something that isn't in the Valley, but it's such a great read anyone can enjoy it. Reporter Pia Hallenberg talked to James Clancy, who runs Clancy's Produce Stand on West Maxwell in Spokane. Clancy has a heart of gold and seems to enjoy helping those who are down on their luck.
On Tuesday the Spokane Valley City Council voted to reject a zone change requested by St. John Vianney Church so a low income senior housing complex could be built. Primary ballots are being mailed this week, so we asked five questions of the four candidates for City Council Position 6 to help you make a decision on who to vote for. The top two vote-getters will advance to the November primary election. Last week the city had a small celebration to mark the new state law that requires cattle trucks to go through the Port of Entry at Stateline instead of using roads through residential neighborhoods.
Reporter Lisa Lienberger tracked down some information on Liberty Lake Days, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The event includes a car cruise, a car show, community picnic, carnival games and more. A word of warning - you will want to grab some tissues when you sit down to read Cindy Hval's touching tribute to her father-in-law, who died suddenly last week.
We'll have a bunch of interesting things coming your way in the Thursday Valley Voice. Perhaps the biggest news of the week is that last night the Spokane Valley City Council killed a zone change request that was filed by St. John Vianney Church to allow them to build low income senior housing. I'll have the details on that discussion.
Last week the city had a small celebration to celebrate a new state law that requires cattle trucks weighing more than 40,000 to go through the Port of Entry instead of through residential neighborhoods. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has information on the Liberty Lake Days event coming up this weekend in Liberty Lake.
The agenda for tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting is a little one the long side. First up will be the first reading of a proposed ordinance on the St. John Vianney rezone request, which will likely attract some public comment.
The council will also consider whether to spend more than $80,000 on a consultant to do preliminary work on establishing quiet zones at the Park Road and Vista Road Union Pacific railroad crossings. A group of citizens approached the council last year with a petition asking for the quiet zones, which require extensive safety barriers in exchange for trains not blowing their whistles at crossings.
Other topics up for discussion include the speed limit on the newly constructed portion of Indiana in Greenacres and a draft ballot ordinance for the one-way Sprague issue. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.
Mariah, a 10-year old Australian shepherd, enjoys a romp at the Patricia Simonet Laughing Dog Park at Interstate 90 near the Idaho state line on July 3. The off-leash park has been open for five years and is open year-round. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
It looks like today is a Valley Voice Thursday with a chance of sprinkles. I'll be thinking of this day fondly when it ramps up to above 90 degrees next week. We've got some great stuff for you today, including reporter Lisa Leinberger's recent visit to the Patricia Simont Laughing Dog Park at Stateline. The off-leash dog park is a hit in the canine world and I swear the dogs in the pictures are laughing.
Correspondent Cindy Hval has a humerous tale to share about how she got lost in the woods - in a gated community at Shelley Lake in Spokane Valley. A large group of people turned out for the Spokane Valley City Council meeting this week to voice their opinion during a public hearing on a proposed development agreement with St. John Vianney Catholic Church. The church wants to rezone a piece of property so Catholic Charities can use it to build a low income senior housing complex.
Another public hearing was held last week, this one before the city's Planning Commission to get input on the city's proposed Bike and Pedestrian Master Program. The hearing was well attended and nearly everyone liked the plan.
The Liberty Lake Police Department had a busy week. The town may have been visited by the Bad Hair Bandit, a man was caught stealing dirt from a construction site and police recommended charges be filed on five teenagers for several related crimes.
It's time to take a look at the stories we've got coming for you in Thursday's Valley Voice. There was a public hearing before the Spokane Valley City Council this week on a proposed developers agreement between the city and St. John Vianney Church, which has applied to rezone a piece of property to the south of the church so Catholic Charities can build a low income senior housing complex. Plenty of people spoke against the agreement, but several also spoke in favor of it.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger recently visited with some happy dogs out at the Patricia Simonet Laughing Dog Park at Stateline. The Liberty Lake Police Department recently had a good week, clearing up several related crimes by recommending various criminal charges against five teenagers. They also dealt with a wayward gardner who wanted potting soil for his pots and decided to take some from a construction site.
There will also be a report from last week's public hearing before the Planning Commission on the city's proposed Bike and Pedestrian Master Program. People were overwhelmingly in favor of it and it received a unanimous nod of approval from the commission.
I'm expecting a bit a crowd to be at the Spokane Valley City Council meeting tonight for the public hearing on the St. John Vianney zone change request. The church asked that a piece of property to the south of the church be rezoned so Catholic Charities could build a low income senior housing complex on it. The plan has drawn the ire of many neighbors. City staff has negotiated a development agreement that would limit what can be done with the property. Tonight's hearing is on the agreement and the zone change request.
The other hot topic of the evening will be a motion on whether or not to put the one-way Sprague issue on the November ballot. There will be public comment taken before the vote, so this is your chance to put in your two cents.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. If you can't make it, though, you can always take advantage of the city's new live web streaming of the council meetings. Just go to the city's web site at www.spokanevalley.org and click on the SVTV link. You can also watch a video of the meeting later at your leisure.
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.
The item on the agenda for tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting that will probably attract the most interest is a staff report on the a proposed development agreement between the city and St. John Vianney Church. The church requested the rezoning of a parcel of property next to the church so Catholic Charities can build a low income senior housing complex there. The proposal was met by wide disapproval from the neighborhood.
A quick perusal of the proposed agreement shows the developer is willing to increase the amount of time the site would be limited to only low income senior housing to 75 years, plus implementing various design specifications to help the building blend into the neighborhood.
Other items on the agenda include motions on awarding a couple of road projects and a discussion on putting one-way Sprague on the November ballot. If you find any of the topics interesting, head over to City Hall (11707 E. Sprague) at 6 p.m.
Residents along Walnut Road are voicing their opposition to a rezone request by St. John Vianney to build low-income senior housing on its property. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
It's a fine and lovely Monday morning out there - at least until the clouds move in later - so let's take a look at a few highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. St. John Vianney Church and its neighbors are no longer in discussions about a zoning request that would allow the construction of a low income senior housing complex, but the rezone is still moving through the process. Correspondent Mike Vlahovich has a story on retiring high school track and field coach Howard Dolphin. He worked at East Valley High School for many years, then moved on to West Valley High School.
Reporter Lisa Lienberger has a look at the huge new sign at Liberty High School in Spangle. It celebrates academic and musical achievements as well as sports awards. Those who follow the actions of the Spokane Valley City Council will recognize the names of the latest people to throw their hat in the ring for the November 2011 elections. DeeDee Loberg has filed to run against appointee Arne Woodard and Ben Wick has filed to run for the seat held by Bill Gothmann, who has said he will not run for re-election.
On a side note, this week is the official filing week for all positions that will be on the ballot. Candidates must file through the Spokane County Elections Office by the end of the day Friday. We have a list of all positions up for election this fall here.
If you can tear yourself away from tomorrow's (hopefully) sunny weather, we'll have a few interesting stories for you in the Valley Voice. You will finally get to see that story I promised you by Lisa Leinberger on the new Liberty High School sign that celebrates academic and musical achievements in addition to sports wins. Anyone who has driving down Walnut Road near St. John Vianney Church lately has seen all the green signs sprouting on lawns. A request has been made to rezone a parcel of land to put in a low income senior housing complex and the neighbors are in an uproar. I'll have an update on where the zoning dispute is and what is next in the process. I'll also have a story on two new candidates for Spokane Valley City Council in the November elections. Have a great weekend!
The Spokane Valley City Council will select a new council member to join them on the dias tonight during the council meeting at 6 p.m. in City Hall. The new council member, either IT professional Ben Wick or Positive Change organizer Chuck Hafner, will be immediately sworn in.
There are a few other interesting discussions on tonight's agenda. The council will also vote on whether to allow 60 days for a developer's agreement to be negotiated with St. John Vianney Catholic Church, which is seeking to rezone a piece of property. The issue has become heated at times.
The council will also discuss a proposed drainage project on Broadway and other proposed capital projects - including railroad quiet zones at the Union Pacific crossings on Vista and Park Roads.
My goodness there was a lot of people at the Spokane Valley City Council meeting last night. The council chambers were packed and the public comment period lasted for well over an hour. Most people were there to complain about a proposed comprehensive plan amendment to rezone property next to St. John Vianney Catholic Church to allow Catholic Charities to build a low income senior housing complex. It has become a highly emotional and controversial issue. My story on the council's discussion and decision will be in Thursday's Valley Voice.
Also in the Valley Voice will be an update on the efforts of the Spokane Valley Fire Department to evict a construction company from land the department owns at Barker and Euclid. The company has been using the site for storage for years and they were supposed to be gone by now.
I'll also have a report on the Mayor's first State of the City speech. There will be four in all and the second one will be Thursday night at 7 p.m. at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place. So if you missed the first one, there are plenty of other chances to get in on the discussion.
The Spokane Valley City Council meeting tonight looks pretty straightforward. There's only one item up for a vote - the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would allow livestock on parcels larger than 40,000 square feet in mixed use zones. It would only affect a handful of properties in the city.
The council will also hear reports on the street vacation process and a Broadway Avenue stormwater drainage project. The report on the annual comprehensive plan amendments will probably be lengthy, as there are several. The major one would do away with the entire Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan and the proposed amendment that has gotten a huge amount of attention is a request from St. John Vianney Catholic Church to rezone a parcel it owns so senior low income housing can be built. Tonight's discussion will not include a vote, which will come later in the month.
So if you find yourself out and about tonight, drop by City Hall at 11707 E. Sprague at 6 p.m.
Tonight the Spokane Valley Planning Commission will pick up where it left off two weeks ago and continue a public hearing on the proposed annual comprehensive plan amendments. Apparently the last meeting was so full of citizens wanting to give public comment that the commission couldn't fit it all into one night.
One of the main items proposed is to kill off the entire Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. St. John Vianney Catholic Church wants to have a parcel it owns at 503 N. Walnut rezoned from low density residential to medium density residential. Tthe church would like to build a 40 unit senior housing complex there.
The Hultman Family Trust owns property on the southeast corner of Progress Road and Sprague Ave. and is asking to have it rezoned from mixed use avenue to neighborhood center.
The hearing will begin tonight at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.