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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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Council funds city’s first greenway

The Spokane City Council approved $500,000 for the design and construction of a greenway on Cincinnati Street between Spokane Falls Boulevard and Euclid Avenue.

Spokane’s cell tower moratorium ends with stricter rules

New rules governing the location of cell towers were praised and unanimously passed by the Spokane City Council on Monday. It was a long way from six months ago, when Allen had predicted a lawsuit as all but certain after the council unanimously approved a moratorium on cell tower construction in the city.

Spokane police department moves away from precinct model

The Spokane police department is no longer pursuing a plan to create decentralized police precincts but will continue staffing existing locations, interim Chief Rick Dobrow told the city’s Public Safety Committee on Monday.

City Council supports John Wayne bike trail across Washington

The Spokane City Council unanimously agreed to support the “preservation, maintenance and improvement” of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail Monday night, following threats from state legislators to abandon ownership of some parts of the trail crossing the entire state.

Shawn Vestal: Larry H. Miller’s Madison Street closure plan still possible

The word on the street – the word about the street – is that Larry H. Miller plans to take another stab at closing part of Madison. Which might surprise those who assume that the city already did, given that the dealership has blocked the street between Third and Freeway avenues for a couple of years now. The dealership has a tentlike structure there – neighborhood leaders call it the “Quonset Hut” – and under its city permit it can stay there through the end of 2017.

Work will finish downtown bicycle lane loop

There is a place in downtown Spokane where the bike lane ends. It’s at Main Avenue and Howard Street, and it’s not the greatest transaction for cyclists. When the light turns green, they either must join a lane of traffic rushing ahead to turn right on Washington, or they must pedal furiously to keep up with four lanes of traffic heading to Division.

Spokane City Council requires two firefighters on calls for help

At least two firefighters must respond to a call for help, the Spokane City Council decided Monday in a surprise decision that not even the fire chief was briefed on until just prior to the vote. The requirement raises questions about the future of the city’s “Alternative Response Units,” which were formed in 2013 in response to long-standing concerns that the department was over-responding to minor medical emergencies with multiple firefighters in gas-guzzling firetrucks. Fire officials had long argued that they needed to be in firetrucks so they would be ready for any call. But they said that position shifted with the increasing load of medical calls and budget crunches.

Speed cameras going up at three Spokane elementary schools

After months of traffic counts and warnings to drivers passing through school zones, the Spokane City Council agreed to put automated cameras near three Spokane schools to nab speeders. By a vote of 6-1, with Councilman Mike Fagan dissenting, the council agreed to have cameras monitor vehicle speeds near Finch, Longfellow and Stevens elementary schools.

Spokane County treasurer defends action in clash with city

A squabble between city and county officials regarding property tax exemptions continued Tuesday with Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase hitting back at the allegation that his office is engaged in “a fantasy.” That statement was made by Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder late last month.

Judge orders county to refund tax payments to 5,000 city residents

Spokane County has been ordered to issue refunds to about 5,000 Spokane residents who paid higher taxes because of a street levy approved by city voters last fall. County Assessor Vicki Horton and Treasurer Rob Chase said they’re deciding whether to issue the refunds or appeal the ruling. Meanwhile, city officials accuse the county of creating the problem.

City Council rejects paying $300,000 for soil cleanup at Grand Hotel

A proposal to use city funds to pay for more than $300,000 in environmental cleanup at the Davenport Grand Hotel was shot down this week by Spokane City Council members, who argued that doing so would be unconstitutional and set a bad precedent for other polluted properties the city has previously owned. Mayor David Condon, who made an informal commitment for the soil remediation to Walt Worthy, the hotel’s developer and owner, said the city could still be responsible for any polluted soil on the land because the city is in the “chain of custody” for the property. He added that the Worthy hotel mitigation was part of his administration’s larger effort to clean up developable lands across the city.

City Council will discuss River Park Square expansion plan

A plan that would effectively expand River Park Square needs more than brick and mortar. It needs city property. Centennial Real Estate Investments, a sister company of River Park Square, announced earlier this year that it hopes to tear down a building it owns adjacent to River Park Square to build a new structure that would house Urban Outfitters. The plan calls for the city to vacate 17 feet of city right-of-way along Wall Street to allow for a larger store.

Guards in Spokane schools would be armed under district proposal

A sergeant with the Spokane Police Department will supervise up to 17 armed guards in Spokane’s schools, if an agreement between the city of Spokane and Spokane Public Schools is approved Monday by the City Council. It’s unclear when those guards will carry firearms because the teachers union that represents them is still at loggerheads with the school administration over what they consider a change in working conditions.

Shawn Vestal: On big projects and incentives like Grand Hotel, city needs to get it right

The Davenport Grand Hotel will open before controversy closes over city contributions to the project. That’s simply backward, no matter how good the project is for downtown – and there is every reason to think it will be very good indeed. As Mayor David Condon, the City Council and even hotel developer Walt Worthy debate just how it is that the city is on the hook for $318,000 the council has not yet approved, one point of agreement has emerged: The city needs a clear, clean, consistent plan for how and when it offers incentives to developers and businesses.

STA transit sales tax increase fails

Late returns counted Wednesday failed to give Spokane Transit Authority’s Proposition 1 ballot measure enough votes to overcome an election night deficit. With less than 1,000 votes remaining to be counted, the chance of the measure passing is “almost impossible,” Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said.