Sound Off This Week on Spokane School Budget Cuts

Spokane Public Schools is facing a $9M to $12M budget shortfall and wants public input on how to get the budget in-line with the money the district has to spend.The district is holding two workshops, one Monday night at Chase Middle School and the second Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Glover Middle School, where people will get worksheets to help try and figure out how to fix the budget.Each worksheet has a list of all the ideas the school board has for closing their up to $12M budget gap. The ideas range from 3-percent cuts to administrator salaries to getting rid of various extracurricular activities.

Seattle Is Grumbling About Their Farmers Markets

Plant starters, baked bread, morel mushrooms, baskets, etc. That's what you can find at farmers markets this time of year. According to this map created by the Liberty Lake Farmers Market in 2009, there are twelve farmers markets in our area. There could be more.On almost every day of the week, you can attend a local farmers market from North Spokane to Airway Heights. There are even more outside of the county in Northern Idaho ranging from Coeur d'Alene, Sandpoint and more. North of Spokane County, you can find one in Davenport. No matter where you go, you can find a farmers market. That's practically one for each major community. Is that too many? The Seattle P-I says that people in Seattle are grumbling from way too many farmers markets. Last summer they had 19 total.

Spokane River Soccer Ball Watch of 2011

The Spokane River Soccer Ball Watch of 2011 continues! It was spotted last week (features video) surfing the waves of the river and it seems to have been stuck ever since. The picture above was taken last Friday during an afternoon walk. According to one of our readers, Mark Simonds, as of this afternoon,

"Verizon says Spokane's 4G service starts on June 16"

This is news to celebrate for Spokane-based Verizon customers. Remember that thing called 4G, where Verizon says that 4G LTE users should experience average data rates of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink? Yes, that sounds a little complicated. Translated to simpleton terms, it means speed! Cue the Tool Time man grunts. Well, it's coming to our area June 16th.

Everyone Is A Winner with The Armed Forces Torchlight Parade

Lilac Festival announces the winners for various awards. The  "Queens" award goes to Freeman. Princess Award is given to Manson-Apple Blossom. Presidents Award to Chewelah and the Grand Marshall Award is Puyallup-Daffodil Festival. Ritzville recieved the Community Seepstakes and non-commercial goes out to Stomp Out MS. The Parade was a huge hit and went very smoothly, the rain held off till the last float past by the finish.

Broken Water Main Creates Large Sinkhole

A 12-inch water main break at the intersection of N. Foothills and Perry flooded the roadway and has forced the city to shut down the intersection for the rest of the week in order to repair the damage.City crews say the cast iron main broke around 4 a.m. at North Foothills and Perry Street.The water was flowing slowly at first and gradually picked up speed and intensity, sending a river of debris down the street in all directions, including the city's nearby Water Department building.

The Meat You Eat

Have you ever wondered where your hamburger or chicken dinner came from? Or how the cow or chicken was raised before it made it to your table? A national animal rights group, Mercy For Animals hopes to answer those questions and inspire you to make more ethical choices when choosing the meat you eat. Mercy For Animals will be in Spokane on Wednesday, May 25th to expose what they call animal cruelty at factory farms across the country.

Body Found In River Identified As Missing Spokane Man

A body found in the river near the Nine Mile Boat Launch has been identified as Leighton Welch, a Spokane man who was reported missing in April.Welch, a Spokane Falls Community College student, disappeared March 28 and no one has seen or heard from him since. Welch's fiancée, Michonda Weaver, was talking to Welch on his cell phone when he mentioned something about a cliff and a dog and then she heard him scream.

"Council support for property tax boost dwindles"

During City Council's May 23rd meeting, they'll be discussing: "RES 11-43". The City of Spokane is proposing to increase the regular property tax levy to provide funding for police, fire and library operations. If approved, it would be added to the August primary election.

Dry Cleaner Reopens After Fire

U Save Cleaners in Spokane is back open following a fire on Tuesday.  A small electrical fire in the rafters shut the business down for two days.  Firefighters say an employee smelled smoke and used a fire extinguisher to keep the fire from spreading.  All the clothes in the building were sent to another dry cleaner for cleaning before being returned to U Save customers.  The owner of cleaners praised the city saying inspectors did everything they could to get the business back open as soon as possible. 

Joggn' for the Noggn' set for Saturday

A Spokane woman's personal crusade to raise awareness about brain tumors has turned into a successful fun walk/run set for this Saturday. In 2008, Joan Ambriz was diagnosed with a non-cancerous brain tumor.  Soon after she was diagnosed she underwent a 16 hour surgery to remove the mass.


Writing a review about a musical that has received 35 awards and been deemed "The best musical of the decade" by Entertainment Weekly is intimidating. What can I say that hasn't already been said about WICKED? Because of all it's accolades, the Grammy, the Tonys, I shouldn't have been surprised when the house was packed this afternoon, nearly 2,700 seats filled at the INB Performing Arts Center on a Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock. You know the show is good when people are cutting class, work and who knows what to see it. If you don't already know the gist of it, .  Courtesy of the WICKED . Now, that that's clear. Here are my two cents.

"Just Released: The List of Breweries Pouring at the Washington Brewers Festival"

If you're traveling to the "far west" June 17-19th, you can still get a taste of home. You'll be following over two Eastern Washington breweries: Golden Hills from Airway Heights and Northern Lights from the university district. Those appear to be the only representation of Eastern Washington breweries at the Washington Brewers Festival.

"Summary of City Charter Amendments"

For those living in the city of Spokane, this August primary, you'll be voting on twelve different proposed charter amendments contained in eleven ballot propositions. They were discussed at Monday's city council meeting. You can read the recap at Councilman Jon Snyder's blog. Today he posted a summary of the propose charter amendments as described by City Council Attorney Mike Piccolo.

Neighborhood Group Wants a Second Open Forum at City Council

Neighbors 4 Neighborhoods met Wednesday morning to unanimously pass their first initiative to request that a second open forum be added to the beginning of City Council meetings. They spent that evening visiting various neighborhood council meetings in the City of Spokane to gain their endorsement. At the Comstock neighborhood council meeting, all members voted in favor with no opposition.

Seen on the South Hill

While en route to the Comstock Neighborhood Council Meeting, I spotted this unusual "lost cat" sign across from the Starbucks at 37th and Grand. Luckily, I didn't see that cat while I was out and about. I've seen a lot of lost cat signs in my day. This didn't come anywhere close to Missy the Missing Cat, but it was still a humorous sighting in the upper South Hill.

Hot Dogs At "Wild Dawgs" Are Now More About The Taste

  Serena Belsby figured she'd get some flack for the logo she uses for her restaurant "Wild Dawgs" but she never anticipated how much. "It was crazy, I had people come out against it but overwhelmingly people say it's something fun and not offensive," says Belsby.

Want a Tree?

The Spokane Urban Forestry, a program tied to the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation, is looking to plant new trees in the yards of neighbors affected by the construction on South Grand from 29th to High Drive.Angel Spell, Urban Forester, said to the attendees of the Comstock Neighborhood Council meeting, that neighbors will be canvassed this summer to find interest in who would like a tree. Space is a requirement in the official decision on who gets a tree.Side streets, one to two blocks in from Grand, also have an opportunity to receive a tree from the program.

Stay Out Of The River!

SPOKANE-- What a sight!  The Spokane River is raging through Riverfront Park.   I saw dozens of people out taking pictures and walking the bridges Wednesday afternoon. It is so high that it is spraying pedestrians on several of the park's bridges. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Spokane River in downtown.  As of Wednesday afternoon, it is less than 2" below flood stage and is expected to rise above flood stage later tonight.  For up to the minute updates on river flows and forecast

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Visiting Sandpoint and Spokane

There were numerous exclamation marks following the sentence, " I just drove up here with RFK Jr," as cried out by the Spokane Riverkeeper, Bart Mihailovich in a recent instant message. Let me translate. He just drove up to Sandpoint with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to the Panida Theater presentation of "Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper presents Robert K. Kennedy Jr."Kennedy, the founder and President of the international , is visiting Sandpoint tonight to support the work of Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper and discuss critical water issues around the globe. On Thursday, May 19th,

Photo Essay: Riverfront Park

It's finally starting to feel like spring. Before we know it though, it's going to be summer, but that's another complaint for another time. If you haven't already, head downtown and to see just how beautiful it is around the river and the park. Flowers are blooming... People are out and about. It's the perfect time to eat your lunch under the totem pole just near the foot bridge. Be cautious of those seagulls though. They look hungry. As for the video above, there's a red soccer ball that can't seem to escape the Spokane River. For those that are curious, the photos below are treated with the iPhone app, CrossProcess.

Sweet New Shop To Open In RPS

The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory  will open this spring in River Park Square. The gourmet chocolate and confectionery retailer will be located on the main level near the concierge desk.Spokane natives Aaron and Rachelle Blackmer, along with Aaron's parents, Bruce and Candice Blackmer, currently own the Spokane franchise and a second location in the Spokane Valley.