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No new cell towers will be built in Spokane until the “form, fit, function and placement” of the towers is defined by the City Council, which put a six-month moratorium on new towers despite warnings from the city’s legal department of a potential lawsuit. The moratorium, put forth by Councilman Mike Allen and unanimously approved by the council Monday night, also puts a hold on any permits that have been with the city for up to six months.
A BNSF freight train pulling 103 cars of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation derailed in rural Illinois last week, sending flames and jet-black smoke into the sky and triggering warnings from federal officials of a “substantial danger” of contaminating the Mississippi River. Last month, a similar incident occurred in rural West Virginia when an oil train carrying 70,000 barrels of Bakken oil derailed and exploded, engulfing 19 tanker cars in flames, destroying a home and sending giant fireballs 300 feet into the air. In 2013, a train carrying Bakken crude crashed in a Quebec town, killing 47 people.
Someone decided to mix “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” with current council politics. How well they did may depend on where you stand.
Next time you get a burger at the Lantern Tap House in Spokane’s Perry District, rest assured it didn’t come with a cough. The restaurant has enacted a paid sick leave policy for its 10 kitchen employees, prompting immediate gratitude from its cooks and dishwashers, as well as an upcoming visit from U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
A crowd of vaccination opponents hoping to dissuade the Spokane City Council from kicking Councilman Mike Fagan off the county health board erupted into shouts of “coward” when a chance to publicly testify was denied them Thursday afternoon. The shout, which first came from Fagan, was aimed at Council President Ben Stuckart during a meeting in a stifling City Hall basement room that has low capacity and poor visibility because of giant pillars that block sightlines. Many attendees had to stand.
About 50 people packed the City Council briefing center on Thursday to hear the council’s discussion regarding a letter to Councilman Mike Fagan asking him to “clarify” his recent questioning the safety of vaccination and linking recent infectious disease outbreaks are linked to illegal immigration.
Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan declared Wednesday that there was “no way” he would resign from the county health board amid criticism of his statements questioning the safety of vaccines. Other council members have begun the process to strip him of his appointment.
As Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan declared Tuesday that there was “no way” he would resign from the county health board, other council members began the process to remove him.
An ongoing audit of taxes paid by telephone companies operating in Spokane has turned up $700,000 in unexpected funds for the city, including more than $500,000 in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties from CenturyLink. Along with funds from T-Mobile, the money discovered so far comes from just two companies, and city officials say there’s likely more to come, though they couldn’t predict how much in unpaid tax remains. “That’s a number I can’t even tell you. There’s no way of knowing,” said Tim Dunivant, the city’s budget director, noting that every telephone company operating in Spokane will have its tax bill examined. “All the big ones. Even some of the small ones. Verizon we just completed, and everything was fine.”
I went to a City Council meeting expecting a brawl. Instead, there was an outbreak of civility.
Envision Spokane, the twice-failed initiative seeking to bolster environmental protection and neighborhood and labor rights, will be before voters again, after a decision Thursday by a state appellate court. The ruling reverses a 2013 decision by a Superior Court judge to remove the controversial measure from that year’s general election ballot. The court ordered the city to put the measure on the next available ballot.
Jan Quintrall, the embattled head of Spokane’s Business and Developer Services division, announced her resignation from the city Tuesday, saying she had “broken the public’s trust, and I can’t repair that.” In a letter to her employees, Quintrall said the city’s “ongoing progress is continually being sidelined by the negative attention on me, with the focus being directed away from all the good staff is doing here.”
The Spokane administrator who led Spokane’s engineering, streets, business and other departments, announced Tuesday that she was resigning her position.
The Spokane City Council is poised to assert its independence from Mayor David Condon’s administration as it begins a search for its own attorney. Council members say relying on legal advice from city administration threatens their autonomy.
It’s only natural to be a bit nervous at the start of a new year, wondering whether the next 12 months will be a boom or a bust. But though 2015 is barely a week old, I will say with confidence that Spokane is in for a banner year, at least as far as City Hall is concerned.
Angry, foul-mouthed caller leaves completely over-the-top NSFW voice mail for council president and staffer posts it to YouTube.
With $500 million of public works projects scheduled during the next five years, Spokane Mayor David Condon has a plan to create a qualified local workforce to help in construction. Condon announced Monday his idea to convene a group to discuss how best to train workers for construction careers, which he said will help raise Spokane’s depressed median income to national standards. The group will consist of veterans, people with disabilities, women, minorities, people with criminal records and young people, as well as contractors and union and business representatives, according to the mayor’s spokesman, Brian Coddington.
After numerous, ultimately unsuccessful attempts to quiet the packed Spokane City Council chambers, Council President Ben Stuckart gaveled the meeting to an early close and stormed from the chambers Monday night. Most in the crowd of more than 100 people were there to speak in favor of repealing a city law that says police will not ask people about their immigration status. A few spoke in support of the city policy, which was put forward by Stuckart and adopted last year by the City Council.
Larry Stuckart, a champion for Spokane’s downtrodden who helped build the city’s most prominent nonprofit helping the poor, died after a 10-month struggle with cancer. He was 65. For 20 years, Stuckart led SNAP, the private, nonprofit social services organization that aimed to lift people out of poverty. He helped the organization grow from a nine-person outfit administering about $125,000 in grants to, at one point, an institution with 180 employees and an annual budget of almost $25 million.
Almost 200 people packed the Spokane City Council chambers and Chase Gallery on Monday night for the council’s final meeting of the year. Most of them came to support an ordinance put forth by Council President Ben Stuckart mandating that a certain amount of work on public works construction projects be performed by apprentices. The measure passed in a veto-proof 5-2 vote after hours of testimony. It will “create a more skilled workforce” in Spokane, Stuckart said.