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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Joe Shogan and David Elton

Spokane City Council President Joe Shogan and David Elton, speaking during the public comment period of Dec. 8 City Council meeting, have a heated back-and-forth.

Council rejects money for Y

The Spokane City Council said no thanks Monday to county leaders considering a plan to buy the downtown YMCA in Riverfront Park with existing public money. If county commissioners don’t fund the purchase, the city will have to buy the YMCA and sell it to a private party or ask voters to approve a new tax.

City reins in panhandling

Panhandling in Spokane will be greatly restricted as a result of two new laws approved by the City Council on Monday night. One set of regulations will prohibit begging within 15 feet of building entrances, ATMs, pay phones, fuel pumps, bus stops, taxi zones, self-service car washes and any parked car when someone is entering or exiting it.

Spokane survey hopes to identify residents’ priorities

Spokane residents have 10 more days to give the City Council a piece of their mind – at least in an online survey. Council members are asking residents to fill out a “citizen priority survey” to rank 21 categories by importance to their neighborhood and to the city as a whole. A link to the survey is on the city’s Web site, at spokanecity.org.

Survey identifies Spokane priorities

Spokane residents have 10 more days to give the City Council a piece of their mind – at least in an online survey. Council members are asking residents to fill out a “citizen priority survey” to rank 21 categories by importance to their neighborhood and to the city as a whole. A link to the survey is on the city’s homepage, spokanecity.org.

Euthanasia policy challenged

An animal law attorney is targeting a new Spokane ordinance that allows unidentifiable cats to be euthanized upon entering the city’s animal shelter. The Spokane City Council voted last month to end its policy requiring impounded cats be kept at least three days.

City forgoes countywide ambulance contract

The city of Spokane will continue to go it alone for ambulance service. The Spokane City Council on Monday rejected in a tie vote a proposal to join a board that will take bids for a countywide ambulance contract.

Verner considers veto on South Hill big-box rules

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner said this week she might veto City Council legislation for the first time. Verner said she opposes a portion of the council’s June 30 decision that allows big-box retail development near Regal Street and the Palouse Highway.

City picks county for animal control

After years of talk, the Spokane City Council on Monday agreed to join a county-run regional animal control agency. Council members thanked the nonprofit group that has handled animal control since 1984, SpokAnimal C.A.R.E., for its service, but said a regional service would provide stability.

Hearing planned on Mann Center

A public hearing on a proposed reuse of the Pfc. Joe E. Mann Army Reserve Center as an educational facility will be held by the Spokane City Council on Monday evening. An advisory committee has recommended that the Mann Center be redeveloped for use by the Community Colleges of Spokane as well as Spokane Public Schools.

Spokane council approves photo-red

Running a red light soon could cost drivers $124, even if a police officer doesn't witness the violation. The Spokane City Council on Monday approved a contract with American Traffic Solutions of Arizona to install cameras to catch drivers who run red lights and approved spending $67,000 to hire a police officer to run the program.

Doug Clark: Smile: You’re on tattletale camera

On Monday, the City Council will take an important vote on whether to turn Spokane into Spy Land. This would happen by paying an Arizona company to operate sneaky intersection cameras set up to catch idiot drivers who run red lights.

Shogan, Lampert vie for council president

If the past is any guide, Barbara Lampert's attempt to beat Joe Shogan for Spokane City Council president will be a significant challenge. Not only has she lost an election annually for more than a decade, she's been defeated by Shogan before – by more than 50 percentage points.

Group to inspect red-light camera system

Spokane representatives involved in selecting a company to run cameras that catch red-light runners will travel to Baltimore soon to inspect and inquire about how that city's operation is working.

Industry pushed Photo Red

Among those lobbying Spokane City Council members to begin using cameras to catch red-light violators was an advocacy group financed by two companies vying for the contract to operate the program. The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running is a nonprofit organization financed by three firms that contract with local governments to run camera enforcement programs.

City adds structures to historic register

Three homes, a downtown business building and a Tudor revival apartment building all were voted onto the Spokane Register of Historic Places on Monday. The City Council approved nominations for the properties in Browne's Addition, the lower South Hill, downtown and the West Central neighborhood.

Time to update the plan

As more and more people find their way to downtown Spokane, the city is going to have to consider ways to accommodate larger numbers of pedestrians. Ron Wells, a downtown business leader, says there are plenty of wide arterial streets but not enough pedestrian amenities: benches, green spaces, improved sidewalks, planters, drinking fountains, extended sidewalks at some intersections.

Red-light cameras wait for green light

Driving along Division Street could be safer, and more expensive for some, if the city proceeds with plans to install red-light cameras at intersections to catch traffic violators. Spokane is compiling bids from companies that offer the "Photo Red" technology, which takes photos and videos of people when they run a red light. Members of the city's public safety committee agreed last month that putting cameras at dangerous intersections would benefit the city and the motoring public, but the rest of the City Council has yet to weigh in on the program. Police said it would not only help with public safety but more than pay for itself. Officials said it would only take about two paid violations per day to make enough money to pay for the system. Public safety officials hope to target as many high-collision intersections as possible.

Council votes to fund Carlyle

The Spokane City Council on Monday voted to spend part of its community development money to preserve the Carlyle Care Center as affordable housing for as many as 138 residents with severe medical and mental health disabilities. The council voted 6-1 to spend $3.2 million to purchase a note held by C'est La Vie Inc., of Minneapolis, in lieu of foreclosure on the Carlyle, 206 S. Post St. The purchase price is being discounted $1.5 million by the lender.

YMCA site may go condo

A Spokane developer plans to build a $50 million, 14-story condominium tower on the YMCA property at the edge of Riverfront Park, overlooking the Spokane River. Mark Pinch, who has offered the YMCA $5.3 million for the property, said the new building would be 150 feet high with up to 80 residential units and two levels of parking. The condominiums would start in the $300,000 range, he said.