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Daisy Hanson and Kelsie Brulotte splash around in the Millwood wading pool Thursday. Community donations made it possible for the pool to reopen after being closed last year. SR photo/Dan Pelle
Sorry I wasn't on the blog Friday. I snuck out for a day off before the high temperatures made me feel like a chicken roasting in the oven. While it's still relatively cool this morning I've got some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in at the popular Millwood wading pool. The city planned to close and destroy the pool, but residents objected and then took it a step further by raising the $10,000 needed to repair the pool. Now kids are again happily splashing away.
The Spokane Valley City Council appointed former planning commissioner Fred Beaulac back to a vacant position on the commission. He will serve out the term of Marcia Sands, who recently resigned. The council also heard a report on a development agreement negotiated with the owner of land on Conklin Road. They previously voted to allow the land to be rezoned as high density residential only if an agreement was reached to increase setbacks and limit density.
Correspondent Steve Christilaw spoke to University High School football coach Rob Bartlett, who is continuing a family tradition of coaching. He now holds the same job as his father did.
Yes, it is Fourth of July eve, but Spokane Valley is going ahead with their regularly scheduled council meeting tonight at 6 p.m. and there are a few interesting items on the agenda. The council is set to vote on appointing a new planning commissioner to fill the seat of Marcia Sands, who resigned. There are three candidates and there are some familiar names in the bunch. Teacher Robert McCaslin is the son of the late Bob McCaslin, who was a senator and city council members. Fred Beaulac served on the planning commission previously from 2003 to 2008. The other candidate, Kevin Anderson, is a retired manufacturing manager.
A development agreement on land on Conklin just south of Broadway has apparently been negotiated with lighting speed; a proposed agreement will be discussed tonight. The council voted previously to require the agreement as a condition to rezoning the land high density residential.
The council will also discuss a proposed agreement with Spokane County to fix 48th Avenue in the Ponderosa neighborhood. The road was repaved after a county sewer project years ago and hasn't drained properly since.
Aliyah Forrester, 5, runs with a bucket and shovel Monday, through the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden in Millwood. Her grandparents, Doug and Teresa Sadler, help run the garden. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland
Today you get a look at the stories we've been working on all week. Reporter Pia Hallenberg is continuing her look at local community gardens and recently stopped by the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden in Millwood. The garden still has some of its 57 plots available and also participates in the Plant a Row for the Hungry program, donating produce to Second Harvest.
In a departure from past practice, the Spokane Valley City Council is not allowing the Spokane Valley Fire Department to make a presentation on its replacement levy on the August ballot. The move caught the fire department by surprise, particularly since it gave similar presentations twice previously.
The work on the Sprague Avenue reconstruction project has been delays after a gas line was found only inches under the asphalt. It had to be relocated and buried deeper before the road work could continue. During Tuesday's meeting the Spokane Valley City Council voted to require a development agreement before land on Conklin Road just south of Broadway can be rezoned high density residential. The agreement would set restrictions on setbacks and building height on the land, which is surrounded by single family homes on land zoned low density residential.
The town of Fairfield has several programs for kids running this summer. Free lunch is available in the Community Center on weekdays and the town will again bus children to the Tekoa pool.
Sorry for the light posting lately, I've been working on several interesting stories for Thursday's Valley Voice. It looks like tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting will be busy. The first reading of a proposed zone change on Conklin Road just south of Broadway is on the agenda. Neighbors have been voicing their opposition to the request regularly and I expect some of them will be there tonight.
There are a few other interesting items on the agenda, including the approval of an interlocal agreement with Spokane County to develop a trail on the old Milwaukee Railroad right of way that the city once wanted to use to extend Appleway Blvd. The council will also discuss animal control and may indicate whether they want to pursue a possible agreement with SpokAnimal any further.
Austin Long and his mother, Ann Long, are both graduating from Eastern Washington University this Saturday. SR photo/Dan Pelle
Once again we have a lot of good stuff for you in today's Valley Voice. Reporter Pia Hallenberg has a story on mothers graduating from Eastern Washington University at the same time as their children, including former Central Valley School District board member Ann Long. She and her son Austin will graduate this weekend.
The Spokane Valley City Council has decided to move forward with a zone change request without requiring an agreement that would mitigate the impacts of an apartment complex surrounded by single family homes. The zone change on Conklin is strongly opposed by neighbors and the city's planning commission has recommended the negotiation of a development agreement to increase buffering and limit density.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger has several stories today, beginning with fifth grade students at Opportunity Elementary School who recently participated in their annual congressional hearings. Students learn about the Constitution and their roles in society.
Lisa has details on schedule changes coming up this fall in the East Valley School District. Elementary school will start later and CCS students will now be bused directly to their school. She also put together a list of where children can get free meals during the summer.
Police Officer Kevin Schmeckpeper rides down stairs while practicing bike handling techniques at the skate park in Pavillion Park in Liberty Lake May 15. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
We are a day late doing the Saturday Valley Voice highlights because of the holiday, but they say some things get better with age, right? Yes, I think I'll go with that. Reporter Lisa Leinberger had a story on Central Valley High School students who got the opportunity to chat with scientists who are simulating manned missions to Mars.
The Spokane Valley City Council had a bit of a wild meeting last week while they were debating a controversial zone change request that would allow high density housing on a chunk of land surrounded by single family homes. They decided to hold off on a final vote, though they did approve all the other zone change requests submitted as part of the annual comprehensive plan amendments.
Genesis Church has a new home. The church, founded in 2010, is now leasing the old Good Shepherd Lutheran Church across from Central Valley High School. A trio of Liberty Lake police officers recently completed special training before they head out on bicycle patrol.
A camera mounted near the roofline (upper right) of a Central Valley School District bus is part of a system that will record when motorists pass the bus when the stop arm is deployed as part of a trial run of the new technology. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
It's another Thursday, which means it is time for some Valley Voice highlights. All drivers have to keep an eye out for school buses, but now some of them will be keeping an eye on you. The Central Valley School District is particpating in a test program and has installed cameras on three school buses. The cameras will record drivers who illegally pass a bus while it is stopped with its red lights flashing. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the program here.
The Spokane Valley Planning Commission held a special meeting this week to talk about members recusing themselves, the Open Public Meetings Act and the public records act. A facilitator called in to lead the meeting suggested several additions to the commission's policies and procedures.
The Spokane Valley City Council also had a meeting, where neighbors asked council members to reject a zone change that would allow an apartment complex in their single family home neighborhood. Reporter Pia Hallenberg recently talked to three Spokane Valley sisters who stared the Spokane Garden Expo, and it all started when they began planting their yard for their cats. The Expo is this weekend and will include 60 plant vendors and more than 300 businesses.
Joel Elgee, left, and paramedic Nick Muzik look at baby Leona, who was delivered with Muzik’s help in Liberty Lake Jan. 25. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
There are some good stories in today's Valley Voice to go with your morning coffee. The feel good story of the day is about the successful birth of a healthy baby girl who was helped into the world by a Spokane Valley Fire Department crew and an AMR abulance crew. This baby wasn't waiting around and firefighters delivered the baby in only a few minutes. The family recently stopped by Station 3 in Liberty Lake to express their gratitude.
Spokane Valley's Public Works Director Neil Kersten takes a trip to Honduras every year to help build schools. He's on the board of directors of the non-profit that does the work, Schools for the Children of the World. The Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to exempt Spokane Valley businesses from a new state law that limited alcohol signs in windows. Two council members voted against the exemption after several citizens testified against it.
The city planning commission met recently and gave their vote of approval to rezoning property west of Conklin and a little south of Broadway to high density residential. Scores of neighbors testified against allowing apartment buildings on land surrounded by single family homes. The planning commission did recommend that the city negotiate a development agreement with the property owner that would provide larger setbacks and restrictions on height and density on some areas of the property. It will be up to the city council to make the final decision.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger spoke to a Spokesman-Review carrier who spotted and put out an early morning fire at the Brass Rail Tavern in Rosalia recently. The property owners are grateful for his help and have promised him a steak dinner.
The notes of the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting last night may explain why new Councilmen Dan Gookin and Steve Adams voted against the proposed zone change to commercial of part of the Education Corridor: ". "Councilman Adams expressed his belief that his constitutional right to vote on the funding of this project has been violated and therefore will vote against this zone change. Councilman Gookin voiced his concern of the shoreline regulations and the impact to the alleyways as a result of the eastern parking garage abutting the residents along North Military Drive. " The motion carried 4-2. (Facebook photo from Steve Adams page)
Question: Can someone explain why Councilman Adams would think he has a constitutional right to vote on the funding for the Education Corridor?
Zoning on a roughly 7-acre parcel of land inside the education corridor could be changed to commercial tonight to match adjacent property and allow North Idaho College to one day expand its campus. The 6.79 acres sit on an approximately 18-acre plot that formerly held a saw mill, near the city's wastewater treatment plant. It's currently zoned for light manufacturing and Commercial-17 Light. A change to C-17 zoning would allow more uses on the land, such as commercial, residential and civic facilities, which light manufacturing prohibits, according to John Mueller, landscape architect representing NIC. "It allows the college and university uses to happen," he said. "C-17 really encompasses a lot of different uses, including university and higher education." If the Coeur d'Alene City Council approves the request, it would conform zoning to adjacent parcels/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Getting around near North Idaho College goteasier on Tuesday after completion of an education corridor infrastructure project)
Question: Do you support the zone change for the Education Corridor?
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.
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.