by Inlander Staff

Almost There

SPOKANE -- The long awaited low-power FM radio station, Thin Air Community Radio, is getting very close to landing its final approval from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

The station, located inside the Community Building on West Main, has been in the planing stage for 18 months.

"The FCC is saying we could have the final approval by the end of the year," says Lupito Flores, Thin Air Community Radio coordinator. "The FCC has been very slow."

In the meantime, funding keeps coming in. Earlier this week, Thin Air received a $7,000 grant from Foundation Northwest, and a $1,000 anonymous donation.

"It all came on the same day. The Foundation Northwest grant is to help buy transmission equipment," says Flores. "We have huge public support. We got one other grant for $6,000 earlier on, and in the community we have raised about $2,000. With that initial money, we outfitted the studio."

One thing that's not lacking is programming. "We have 80 formal program proposals from the community," says Flores. "Everything from news to someone who wants to do a program in Russian. I just hope we'll be up by spring."

Volunteers interested in helping

Thin Air can call 747-3807 or


Let it Snow -- Now! -- CHEWELAH, Wash. -- Finally, the snow has arrived. Area ski resorts have been impatiently awaiting the white stuff for weeks, and now it seems to finally be coming down.

49 & deg; North is opening today, Thursday, Dec. 19, and will stay open seven days a week through Jan. 7.

"Yes, this is late -- it's the latest we have opened in the last seven seasons," says Gabe Lawson, director of sales and marketing at 49. "I guess we were just blessed with a lot of early snow the other years." On Tuesday, the resort had 10 inches packed at the base and 32 inches at the top.

"We're still feet off the maximum," says Lawson, "but it will be fun."

Silver Mountain is opening tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 20. "It'll be a limited opening. We have 23 inches at the top and 15 at the base of the mountain," says Pat Nowak, Silver spokesperson. "We will have chairs one and two open as well as the Pony Tow."

Mount Spokane is still lacking snow and hasn't set an opening date yet. Lookout Pass also needs more snow to open.

Finally, Schweitzer Mountain outside of Sandpoint also opens today, Thursday, Dec. 19. Only some of the lifts will be running, but this resort reports 50 inches of fresh snow on the top and about half that at the bottom.

For up-to-date information on area ski resorts, visit the Inland Northwest Ski Association's Web site at

Helping Hands -- SPOKANE -- The Community Action-Related Entities (CA-RE) program has just opened a joint distribution site. In March of this year, Metropolitan Mortgage and Securities established CA-RE as sort of a network of nonprofit organizations, which has been spearheaded by Judith Gilmore.

"The CA-RE program is something that I started here," says Gilmore. "It's a coalition of nonprofit groups who work to make Spokane a better place for the many people who need extra assistance. The nonprofits have buckled under the weight of the need, with layoffs at Boeing and Kaiser and all."

More than 100 nonprofit organizations, such as the Artisan Arc, Cancer Patient Care, Cross Walk and Spokanimal, are CA-RE members. Members must come to a quarterly meeting and agree to help out at least one other nonprofit during the year.

The CA-RE House is essentially a warehouse space, where donations of everything from Xerox paper to books, clothes and stuffed animals can be stored. Only CA-RE member organizations have access to the goods.

"This is not a site for individuals," says Gilmore. "We'll have office supplies here as well. We recycle envelopes that have outdated logos on them -- with a new label they work fine for a nonprofit instead of just getting thrown out."

The CA-RE program is growing rapidly. "We also do business plans and workshops for people," says Gilmore. "And Met Mortgage has hired a grant writer to give to the organizations. And we have an attorney for them as well."

Non-profits that want to become CA-RE members or organizations that want to donate office equipment or supplies can contact Judith Gilmore at 835-2349.

Skate for a Cause: Habitat for Humanity @ Numerica Skate Ribbon

Wed., Nov. 30, 4-8 p.m.
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