A Legend Passes

A memorial service this Friday for Tom Foley; plus, an agreement on climate change

A Community Farewell

Gonzaga University is expecting an overflow crowd at the 800-seat St. Aloysius Church Friday for a memorial service honoring Spokane native and former U.S. Speaker of the House Tom Foley, who died earlier this month. Having attended both Gonzaga Prep and GU before graduating from the University of Washington, Foley represented Eastern Washington's 5th District from 1965-95 and served as U.S. ambassador to Japan under President Clinton. Despite being voted out in a historic Republican takeover, Foley has been remembered for his efforts to bridge the gap between the parties.

Doors open at 10 am for the service, which runs from 11 am to 12:30 pm and will also be streamed live to Gonzaga's Charlotte Y. Martin Centre and on tvw.org.

In a statement announcing the memorial and calling it a "community farewell," Gonzaga President Thayne M. McCulloh said, "Everyone is welcome."


Historic Development

There's no question that the Ridpath Hotel, the ancient Spokane hotel that once hosted Elvis and Evel Knievel, is an historic piece of Spokane. But making that official means millions of dollars for Ron Wells' rehab and revitalization of the Ridpath complex.

A Legend Passes
Young Kwak

About a year ago, Wells says, the hotel was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. That made last week's process, where the Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation recommended the hotel for the national registry, a formality.

"If it's a certified historic rehabilitation project, and it's listed on the National Register of Historical Places, you can qualify for a tax credit," Wells says. "It's a big addition to the equity puzzle." With more equity plugged into the project through promised tax credits, it means Wells can get more enviable interest rates.

Wells is the local king of historic rehabilitation, having worked on 43 different projects that were certified historic locations. "I'm a junkie on that," he says. The $781,000 in tax credits he got for the Lofts at Joel, the location of a 2008 fire, allowed Wells to turn the building back into apartments.

He's certain he'll get the tax credits; all that's left is to determine how much they're worth. Wells estimates he'll receive credits worth about $3 million to $5 million.

Wells says one recent development complicates the financial piece of the long-complicated project: interest rates. "If rates in the next two or three months drop another 0.3 or so, we'll be in great shape," Wells says.

If the rates stay where they are, he says the project will move forward, but it will become much more of a financial struggle.


Coordinating on Climate Change

Convening in San Francisco, Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington, Jerry Brown of California, John Kitzhaber of Oregon and Mary Polak, the environmental minister of British Columbia, made a pact Monday affirming their commitment to coordinate their greenhouse gas policies in an effort to fight global warming.

According to the agreement — signed by all three governors and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark — Washington and Oregon, on their end, "will set binding limits on carbon emissions and deploy market mechanisms to meet those limits" and adopt low-carbon fuel standards. California and British Columbia, meanwhile, would maintain their existing carbon-pricing programs and clean fuel standards.

Although the pact isn't legally binding, Inslee (pictured) has voiced his support for a statewide "cap-and-trade" system that would incentivize companies to reduce their carbon emissions below an industry limit. At a Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup meeting earlier this month, Inslee warned that Washington will fail to meet its goals, set in 2008, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions if the Legislature doesn't take action.


VolunBEER with Mountain Lakes Brewing Company @ Second Harvest

Wed., March 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
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About The Authors

Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...

Deanna Pan

Deanna Pan is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers social justice, state politics and health care. In her cover stories, she's written about mass shooting survivors, NGRI patients and honey bees...

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, Daniel Walters is the Inlander's senior investigative reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...