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County Commissioner Pitches New Animal Facility Proposal

A new proposal is being shopped around to local elected officials. The proposal could build a new regional animal facility that voters turned down last November. After going back to the drawing board, Spokane County Commission Todd Mielke, says the proposal is cheaper by a few million.

The original concept was estimated to be about $15 million. When the proposal made the ballot last year, it was reduced to $9.3 million to convert an already existing building into what they’d need. That was voted down.

The new plan has been reduced to $4.5 million and would take over an existing building. Mielke says they have three choices, one at the vacant Harley Davidson building on East Trent, another in a now vacant mattress building north of Sprague and Fancher. Another on the east end of the Fairgrounds on Broadway that went on the market last week.

If approved by all the jurisdictions, this proposal doesn’t need voter approval because it’s below $6.5 million.

City Council Discussing Animal Control And New Library Options

(Updated 1:11 p.m.) - I just spoke with Carolbelle Branch, the public information officer for the City of Spokane Valley. She outlined tonight’s city council meeting that might be worth looking into if you need a Tuesday evening activity at City Hall or the comforts of your home, online.

Tonight’s meeting is study session format only. No public comment will be taken.

  • Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke will be making a presentation on regional animal control. SCRAPS operations manager, Nicole Montano, who was pictured recently during the adoption update at their emergency adoption shelter, will be featured during the presentation. They're talking about a proposed animal shelter at three different locations: one at the vacant Harley Davidson building on East Trent, another in a now vacant mattress building north of Sprague and Fancher. Another on the east end of the Fairgrounds that went on the market last week. . Depending on purchase option, a dog park could be built as well. 
  • City attorney, Cary Driskell, will be talking about city franchise purchases to establish standards for utilities operating in the right-away.
  • The City Council will also be talking about charitable donations in the right-away of roads. Branch says the city still allows for campaigns like Fill The Boot. The council will just be reviewing the ordinances already in place since more groups are using the roadway for these activities. They might discuss modifications if they’re needed.
  • Spokane County Libraries is hoping to purchase new property along Sprague Ave to build a new library, but they only want to buy 4-acres of the 8-acres. They’re hoping to form a joint-purchase agreement with the city so they can build a park on the other half of the property. There will only be discussion at this point on this topic.

Branch also added that three of their city employees were able to give out ALL of their business cards from last week’s City Hall at the Mall. Including herself, city attorney Cary Driskel ran out and so did Sue Passmore, the administrative assistant to the mayor.

State Senator Hosting Telephone Town Hall Next Week

State Senator Mike Padden (R) is hosting a telephone town hall meeting next week on Wednesday, February 15th. It’s a community forum that people can either listen to or participate from home. On the agenda for discussion is the state budget.

It takes place from 7-8 p.m. You can call 1-877-229-8493 and enter the code 19371 to enter the conference call.

Padden represents the 4th Legislative District which covers the Spokane Valley area including Liberty Lake, Millwood, Peone Prairie, Mead, Colbert, Chattaroy and Elk.

Good idea? Connecting politicians with citizens on Google Hangouts

Here’s an idea - Google Hangouts with citizens and local politicians. It’s another way to talk face to face over great distances. Some selected Google+ users had the rare opportunity to ask questions to President Barack Obama in a video chat on Monday. Reuters' Anthony De Rosa explains: 

He answered questions about the economy, job creation, small business, and the use of drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama referenced a New York Times story on the use of drones, which he called “overwritten,” and said that the use of drones had not resulted in an unusual number of civilian casualties. Asked about the anti-piracy legislation that set the Internet on fire, Obama said, ”When SOPA came up on the hill, we expressed some concerns about the way the legislation had been written.”

Share: It’s one way to answer the questions of millions of citizens. Locally, would you like to see this happen with state and city officials?

Local State Senator Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Local State Senator Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

It's the first week of the 2012 legislative session in Olympia and lawmakers are already going head to head about a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage.  Last week, Governor Christine Gregoire announced she plans to propose a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington.

If passed, Washington would be the seventh state to recognize same-sex marriage.  However, some lawmakers argue marriage should remain between a man and a woman. Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) issued a news release today opposing the bill.

“I do not support changing the traditional definition of marriage," wrote Senator Padden.

"I will oppose any bill that attempts to redefine marriage as anything other than its historic definition as a union of one man and one woman," explaining further. "Marriage has always been understood as a comprehensive relationship between a man and woman, as husband and wife, grounded in their complementary nature and their ability to naturally conceive and give birth to children, as father and mother.

“The state has always recognized the special nature of that relationship and its benefits for society as a whole."

Election 2011: Provisional Ballots at CenterPlace

Election 2011: Provisional Ballots at CenterPlace

For whatever reason, dozens of voters found their way to make-shift election centers scattered across Spokane County to vote the old fashioned way. In a booth. It’s not a method that’s advised for everybody. For those that have unfortunate accidents happen to their ballots on election day, it’s the only option.

Spokane County Elections provided the stats for their election center, located at CenterPlace. The numbers were... interesting.

Central Valley High School students prepare for Rally in the Valley

Central Valley High School students prepare for Rally in the Valley

Students from Central Valley High School’s AP government classes are getting a lesson in event planning and politics. With the guidance of their instructor, Bill Gilchrist, they’re planning “Rally in the Valley”, a debate of issues for Spokane Valley candidates and the Spokane Valley residents they hope will vote for them.

“It has not been easy,” Gilchrist explained. He continued, “There have been some obstacles, but it shows perseverance and even courage. You have to constantly look for solutions.”

One student, Drew Brown, ASB president, said politicians are the challenge.