Spokane Public Schools may need to add several more elementary schools to alleviate overcrowding.
In 2003, when Spokane Public Schools was coming up with a long-term plan for construction, the task was simpler.
Enrollment was declining at the time, so they didn't need to plan to add more school buildings — just better ones.
Two things have put a hitch in that plan. First, in the past few years, enrollment in the district has increased by a couple of thousand students. Second, districts across Washington have been mandated by the state to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through third grade.
The class size reduction alone, says Spokane Public Schools associate superintendent Mark Anderson, means the district would have to add more schools — around five new elementary schools just for the K-3 size reduction.
So the district is trying to find a way to configure the grades in a way that will cost less for new buildings and make sense for the community. The best way to to do that is up for debate.
Some businesses on North Monroe aren't excited about the city's lane reduction plan.
Diets aren't for everyone
The city of Spokane, despite some opposition from businesses, is moving forward into the design phase of its $7.1 million North Monroe "road diet" plan. (Spokesman-Review)
Post Falls company under fire for racism
Take a look at this, let's say, questionable image of a black girl eating a watermelon that a Post Falls company posts on the side of its trucks. This company, Dixie Services, also uses a Confederate flag as its logo. People are calling for the company to take the images down, but the owner says "there's a lot of goodness and happiness" associated with the flag, and he sees nothing wrong with the picture of a black girl eating watermelon. (KXLY)
Is it finally happening?
In the the seemingly never-ending plan to turn the Ridpath Hotel into affordable apartments, Spokane City Council has now decided to loan developer Ron Wells $1.75 million once he closes on the property next month. (Spokesman-Review)
Earlier this month, Axon (the company formerly known as Taser), announced that it is offering free body cameras and a year's subscription to its cloud storage service to any American law enforcement agency.
Even with the discount, Spokane County commissioners say it's unlikely that county Sheriff's deputies will start wearing what many police reform advocates say is an essential police accountability tool any time soon.
"Where are we going to get the biggest bang for the buck for the public?" Commissioner Al French says. "My suspicion is that means putting more deputies on the road than putting cameras on the ones we have."
In theory, French says, he's in favor of body cameras. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich agrees.
"If I had half a million dollars I could throw at this, my world would be a whole lot better," French says. "I just don't have the funds. That's where the rub is."
Built to Spill, Chastity Belt, Ras Kass, Windoe, Belt of Vapor, Folkinception among featured bands
By Dan Nailen
on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 12:25 PM
Northwest indie-rock favorites Built to Spill and Chastity Belt will play a new outdoor stage at the Steam Plant at Volume 2017 this June 2-3, part of a sprawling lineup of nearly 100 artists ranging from hip-hop to punk, folk to synth-pop, metal to electro-rock.
The Inland Northwest's best bands provide the backbone for Volume, as they have every year in its six-year history. Cathedral Pearls, The Dancing Plague of 1518, Itchy Kitty, Belt of Vapor, Empty Eyes, Summer in Siberia and Jan Francisco are among the locals who will play alongside visitors like rapper Nacho Picasso (Seattle), electro-pop crew J GRGRY (Seattle), grease-slathered Southern rockers Shawn James and the Shapeshifters (Fayetteville, Arkansas), art-rockers Lithics (Portland) and California-based Ras Kass, who Pitchfork once called "one of the best rappers of all time."
That's just the start of what is the best lineup yet for the largest, most diverse music festival in the Inland Northwest. You can see the entire lineup here, or scroll down for a complete list.
The venues for Volume 2017 include The Baby Bar (all-ages), The Bartlett (all-ages), The Big Dipper (all-ages), Boots Bakery, Mootsy's, The Observatory, The Pin! (all-ages), The Red Room Lounge, nYne Bar and the Washington Cracker Co. Building (Terrain stage; all-ages), plus the new Steam Plant Outdoor Stage on Saturday (all-ages).
Tickets are just $25 in advance for two days of amazing music ($35 if you wait until the festival), and you can get those right here.
Here's a sample of Boise-based Built to Spill:
Chastity Belt formed in Walla Walla:
Ras Kass gets topical on his latest:
Myke Bogan's "Take the Night Off" featuring Blossom:
Hostage saved in the Valley A hostage crisis in Spokane Valley was resolved safely. (Spokesman-Review)
Bridge builders Blessings Under the Bridge is going to be on Lifetime's Live Life Forward TV show. (Spokesman-Review)
Punishing the sanctuaries
The Justice Department sent warnings to nine "sanctuary city" jurisdictions. But not Spokane, because Spokane isn't a sanctuary city. (New York Times)
The far left and far right have gone to war in Berkeley, California. (Washington Post)
If your sewing machine never gets tucked away, your toolbox, glue and scissors are always ready for the next project, or you're just looking for some creative inspiration, ZeroLandfill Spokane has you covered.
This Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day!), people can come get free materials from the Inland Northwest City Center (a chapter of the International Interior Design Association) and save things from going to the dump.
Some of the things you might find include "fabric, carpet, wall covering, wood, tile, stone, glass, rubber, vinyl, laminate and much more," according to the event page, and there will be free activities for the kids.
"The Interior Design & Architecture community will collect expired and unwanted material samples for reuse and creative upcycling by educators, artists, DIY-ers, and crafters," says the event page. "Last year we diverted several tons of material from the waste stream."
Last week, House of Charity announced it would have to stop offering daytime hours at its downtown shelter, and wouldn't be able to sleep about 200 extra people on its floor as it has all winter, after a boost of funding it received from the city runs out on May 1.
For its part, the Downtown Spokane Partnership helped
Samantha Wohlfeil photo
Downtown Spokane Partnership President Mark Richard speaks at an April 13 press conference about House of Charity funding.
HOC last year with a $25,000 donation, and offered another $25,000 in matching funds, if other people stepped up to help out too.
Until April 14, about $10,000 had been donated for the match, and then Vickerman & Driscoll Financial Advisors pledged $10,000, DSP reports.
Kevin Driscoll told partnership staff that the firm had wanted to donate to HOC for a while and decided to take advantage of the match, DSP announced in a news release.
"(HOC) provides vital services to some of the most disadvantaged members of our community," Driscoll says in the announcement. "We are happy to support them and would hope others join us to enable the 24/7 services to continue."
The partnership is still looking for $5,000 to complete their match, and they have an easy way for people who want to donate small amounts to help.
To donate by phone, text "Change" to 50555 and a $5 donation will be added to your next phone bill.
• MUSIC: If you have the means, we highly recommend picking some up — our picks for Record Store Day releases.
• 4/20: It doesn't refer to a cop code for smoking marijuana in progress, and it's not Bob Marley's birthday. Here's the legit story behind the international signifier for all things marijuana.
IN OTHER NEWS:
• Are your tushies safe?
A headband-wearing Aeropostale-clad bro says he's the Spokane Spanker. Police have not yet arrested Jonathan Smith, who admitted to assaulting 30 to 50 women on the Centennial Trail over the course of three days. (KHQ)
Bill O'Reilly: Out at Fox News.
• Bye-bye, Bill
Longtime Fox News host Bill O'Reilly resigned from his post under embarrassing, controversial circumstances. Allegations of sexual harassment continue to pour in after 21st Century Fox reportedly paid out $13 million in settlements to five women who accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment. (New York Times)
• Tragic end for runaway teen
A 17-year-old from Orofino, Idaho, died in a car crash yesterday on Sunny Side Bench Road. The boy, identified by police as Kristian Branden Perez, ran away from his prom Friday and was missing for days before he was found. Perez died the next day. (Spokesman-Review)
• "I don't mind if you boo or yell"
U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador held a three-hour town hall Wednesday in Meridian, Idaho, facing questions and criticism of President Donald Trump's administration. The forum was only scheduled to last 90 minutes, but Labrador continued to field questions about Trump's tax returns, the future of health care and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the president's frequent (and costly) visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. (Idaho Statesman)