Just Peachy -- SPOKANE -- People for Environmental Action and Children's Health (PEACH) is organizing the first annual Local Flair Street Fair this Saturday on the 1000 West First block of downtown. The street fair coincides with the grand opening of PEACH Safe Food's all-natural store.
"We work on children's health issues and try to educate parents on how to keep their kids healthy," says BrightSpirit, executive director of PEACH. "We feel a key part of children's health is teaching people to consume locally, keeping their dollars in the local community and getting to know their local businesses. Creating contacts, resources and community enables children to be healthier."
BrightSpirit says interest in the street fair, which will become PEACH's annual fundraiser, grew rapidly.
"We already have 50 vendors. It's a lot of room," BrightSpirit says. "We're already planning next year's fair to be three days long."
PEACH Safe Foods has operated in Spokane for nearly two years. The organization helps provide organic, locally grown produce and products to more than 300 families in the Spokane area, along with promoting children's health and community activism. PEACH's new store will be a "natural department store," carrying organic and locally produced goods, from food and home care items to clothing and beauty care products.
"We at PEACH just love Spokane," BrightSpirit says. "We're so excited for this [fair]. It'll be a way to celebrate that we have the coolest city in the state of Washington."
For more information, call 835-3663 or visit www.peachearth.org
Off the List -- OTHELLO, Wash. -- It seems that we hear a lot of gloomy news about the environment, but at least now the state can scratch one of its most contaminated sites off its hazardous sites list. The site is the Burlington Northern (BN) railroad yard in an industrial section of west Othello in Adams County.
Railroad companies used the site, built in 1908, for refueling steam, electric and diesel locomotives. In 1980, Burlington Northern purchased the site.
"Back in 1986, BN started investigating because they had signs of contamination," says Jani Gilbert, spokeswoman for the DOE. "The petroleum contamination was higher than state standards, so we came in and did an assessment to rank the site."
The DOE ranked the site a "number one" out of five, representing the highest potential threat to human health and the environment.
"That's serious contamination," Gilbert says. "By a legal agreement, we ordered BN to start taking some action."
Almost 10,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil have been removed and recycled in the cleanup, and groundwater has been diverted
"The site was considered clean in 1998, and then we did a five-year review of the site to see if cleanup is working and to make sure things haven't gotten worse," says Gilbert. "The site is doing well, and it's time to de-list."
Military Museum -- SPOKANE -- Think the view from Spokane International Airport is drab? You may not be staring at the plains much longer, because the Armed Forces and Aerospace Museum Society (AFAMS) is moving ahead with plans to build a new all-services museum adjacent to Interstate 90 at the Spokane International Airport Business Park. The $30 million museum will be built in phases. When finished, it'll include a conference center, museum store, research library, restaurant, restoration shop and gallery for military artifacts from American history.
"We've gone through a seven-and-a-half year process to gain permission to do this," says Arne Weinman, president of AFAMS and former commander of Fairchild Air force Base. "We have 7,000 artifacts.
"This isn't just for the Air Force," Weinman continues. "This is an all-services museum that's really a community museum. The MAC, the Navy League and other Naval, Army and Marine units are working hard to make this a reality."
The AFAMS is raising money for the museum from private donors for phase one of the project, which will cost about $5 million. $500,000 has already been pledged. Weinman hopes the public supports this tribute to those who have served their country.
"Our date to start construction is July 2005," he reports, "opening in July 2006."