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Frisbees, Bikes and a Conspiracy? 

Will another disc golf course rise in Peaceful Valley? Plus, the Valley and Coeur d’Alene get hip to bikes.

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HOVERING FRISBEE

Back in February, the Spokane Disc Golf Association installed a disc golf course in People’s Park, a place once renowned as a haven for drugs and sexual encounters. But many Peaceful Valley neighbors weren’t happy.

Months later, the status of a permanent disc golf course is still up in the air.

Last Thursday, the Peaceful Valley neighborhood held another meeting to rehash their concerns about such a course: packed parking, extra trash and disturbing the archeologically significant ground.

Several neighbors and a horde of disc golf fanatics arrived to air their issues. Jeff Crum, Spokane Disc Golf Association president, reports a slightly more positive tone from the neighbors, though skepticism remains. One challenge: So far, the parks department is unwilling to let the association dig into the ground to bury the buckets, Crum says.

He says the parks department will let him know if he has a green light within a month. Already, Crum says, the Swamp Tavern has promised to donate money for at least two permanent buckets.

More Frisbee golf courses are coming. “We’ve been given 109 acres of land at Camp Sekani, on Upriver Drive,” Crum says. — Daniel Walters

BI-STATE BIKING

Spokane celebrated when it received bronze-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community two weeks ago, but it’s not the only city in the area getting hip to bikes. Both Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene are working on master bike plans — one of the key components cited in the decision to bestow the “bike-friendly” title on Spokane.

The process in Spokane Valley is still young.

The city is holding its first public meeting on its Bike and Pedestrian Master “Program” (not a “plan”) on June 16, at City Hall. But the plan in Coeur d’Alene is almost complete. Full-time bike/ped liaison Monte McCully said last week that the city has been working on the plan for three years and that it was headed to the City Council for final approval on Tuesday night, when it was expected to pass easily. (Results from the meeting weren’t available at press time.)

That’s a boon for the Lake City but also for cyclists from around the region. McCully says one of the main reasons he was hired was to develop linkages from the Centennial Trail into the city. The more other cities follow suit, the more powerful that 61-mile spine becomes for everybody. — Joel Smith

BIG BROTHER IS (NOT) WATCHING 

City Hall officials responded quickly last Thursday morning after learning that a rerun of May 24’s tense City Council meeting, dominated by testimony of law enforcement misconduct and calls for greater powers for the police ombudsman, suddenly cut off just as the testimony began.

Alert City Cable 5 viewer John Olsen began sending out e-mails at 6:41 Thursday morning noting that the Wednesday evening rebroadcast of the council meeting suddenly switched to soothing music and a scroll of civic events in the middle of testimony from social justice activist Marianne Torres. Torres was the third of 23 people to testify Monday, urging City Council members to adopt an ordinance that expands the investigative and reporting authority of the almost-year-old Office of Police Ombudsman, the civilian overseer of police conduct.

This has become a tense enough issue that harsh words have been exchanged and accusations made of various skullduggeries and of kow-towing to police unions. Olsen reflected the suspicious atmosphere when he wrote:

“There likely is a ‘cover story’ for why that part of the city council meeting was not repeated, but it looks and feels pretty icky and controlled... i.e., someone did not want that testimony to be readily available to the citizens.”

Councilman Jon Snyder responded to Olsen’s e-mail by 7:22 am, calling the glitch “disconcerting” and promising to immediately look into it.

By 9:09 am city spokeswoman Marlene Feist responded that, thanks to Olsen’s catch, a problem with the server was discovered. An extra re-run of the council meeting — the entire riveting three hours and 40 minutes of it — has been added for last Friday.

The meetings are also available online on the city’s Website, Feist notes. You can find it by clicking on the “CableChannel5” link and then online videos. — Kevin Taylor

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