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The construction season has begun, and while Spokane Valley is dotted with projects, they should be less disruptive than the large projects of last year. Several neighborhoods will see streets ripped up to add sewer lines, which will have an extreme but localized impact on residents. Some sewer projects are under way, and the first road projects are expected to begin in April. Some are funded by state and federal grants, which are matched by the city. One of the largest projects, the extension of Indiana Avenue east of Sullivan Road, will have less effect on traffic because there isn’t currently a road there. The intersection of Mission Avenue and Flora Road will be closed for the installation of a roundabout, but detour routes will be in place. The contractor will be required to provide a route through the area to get to a nearby Centennial Trail trailhead, said engineer Steve Worley. “He has to leave access to the trailhead,” he said.
The plan to extend Indiana Avenue east from Sullivan Road may be in jeopardy after the Spokane Valley City Council narrowly voted to table the decision to award the construction bid for the project for two weeks. The lowest bid, submitted by Spokane Rock Products, was just over $1 million, significantly less than the estimated cost.
Some Greenacres residents came to Tuesday’s Spokane Valley City Council meeting to speak out against the planned extension of Indiana Avenue east of Sullivan Road to Flora Road. But senior engineer Steve Worley quickly put their concerns to rest during a presentation on the project to the council. Resident Mary Pollard said she was concerned about a “master plan proposal” drawing that showed condos and businesses around the new road the city plans to build beginning in mid-April. She said the city should not create prime condo property by “plundering the taxpayers.” She said the drawing does not show Mission Avenue, which currently provides access to the Centennial Trail. Kayakers use that trailhead to access the river.
The High Drive bluff is the rugged area slanting off High Drive down toward Highway 195. It’s crisscrossed by trails trampled by dog walkers and hikers over the years, but largely left ungroomed. “It’s actually a city park,” said Diana Roberts of the Washington State University extension office in Spokane. “There’s a little bit of private land in there, too.”
The lunch table at North Idaho College Children’s Center was a thriving classroom on Tuesday. At the 2-year-olds’ table, the children carefully scooped homemade chicken noodle soup into their bowls. When they wanted more, teachers reminded them to say “please.” And when they were done, they cleared their plates.
A pair of garden tours – one to raise money for the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens and the other to show off community food gardens – will keep garden folks busy on Saturday. The heritage gardens fundraiser will feature walks through four historic mansions and gardens on exclusive West Sumner Avenue, plus a look at the brightly colored but secluded garden of Myrtle Woldson at 526 W. Sumner Ave.
The third annual Community Gardens Tour will be on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eleven gardens will be on display this year, all of which create a sense of community and connection to the environment.
Ripening raspberries in my backyard never make it into the house, let alone into a canning jar. But since I’ve eaten myself silly on Yakima cherries from the farmers markets in the last few weeks, I’ve been pondering a few canning projects. Pie filling is a given, and a recipe for plum cherry vanilla freezer jam would be an easy addition.
Construction crews are back at work at Spokane International Airport this month on a multi-year program to upgrade runways, aprons and taxiways. The largest project is a 2,000-foot extension of the main runway, which will allow airlines to operate fully loaded aircraft during hot summer days.
Earth Day 2010, climate change and sustainability link predictably and ideally elegantly with how we grow our food, how we process it, how we bring it to market, and how we inculcate a culture of healthy living and bind strong communities through the things we eat.
Facing a growing budget shortfall now estimated at $11.7 million, Spokane County commissioners Tuesday endorsed an extension of a small hike in the local sales tax for law enforcement and criminal justice programs. County voters will be asked in the Aug. 18 primary election to extend the one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax originally approved in 2004. Rather than the five-year life span voters approved then, they’ll be asked to extend it to 2020.