by Inlander Staff

Walk for Life -- SPOKANE -- It's at a new time and location, but it's the same great event. This Saturday, Sept. 21, the Spokane AIDS Network (SAN) holds its annual Walk For Life at Riverfront Park.

"In 2001, we saw more than 400 clients, most of whom are low-income," says Leslie Farris, SAN's development director. "Most come in for more than one reason. We have a food program. People with HIV have specific nutritional needs -- the drugs and the disease can have a pretty debilitating effect on the body -- so our dietitian helps them watch their diet and keeps an eye on that they are not wasting."

The Washington State Department of Health estimates that there are between 1,000-1,500 people with HIV or AIDS living in Spokane.

"But it's hard to come up with an accurate number. A lot of people who are positive don't know it -- they estimate that up to half of the people who are positive don't know it," says Farris. Statewide, every day, two people become infected with HIV; one of the two is under 25 years old.

SAN also provides case managers and counselors for its clients, helping them navigate through the public assistance programs. Farris says they hope to raise $20,000 Saturday. The group's annual budget is close to $900,000, a good part of which is publicly funded.

"There has been a state program, but that's in jeopardy, and the funding we get on the federal level is in jeopardy, too," says Farris.

There still is no cure for HIV or AIDS. And there's no vaccine either.

"Some people think that, but all we have is drugs," says Farris. "They are super-expensive, around $2,000 a month, and you have to take them exactly as prescribed or they may not work or you may become resistant. They have horrible side effects."

Aside from assisting already infected clients with their daily life, diet and health concerns, SAN also funds prevention programs.

Registration begins at 4:30 pm on Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Lilac Bowl, and the walk begins at 5:30 pm. Bring in $40 worth of pledges and get a T-shirt, though you may walk for free. There will be food and music by local bands. Call: 455-8993.

Schools Need Overhauls -- SPOKANE -- Spokane Public Schools is hosting a series of meetings trying to determine how to best improve and upgrade local schools.

Some schools are running short on space for classes and support staff, especially now as they have to reduce class sizes and set aside entire classrooms for computer labs and other technology.

"We've examined every school and support facility in our district in an effort to identify the need and sequence for ongoing major renovation," says Superintendent Brian Benzel. Spokane Public Schools recently completed a comprehensive school facility study, which will guide renovations, upgrades and rehabilitation plans for the schools over the next 25 years.

"We've identified several critical improvements to buildings across the community and are working to put forth a potential school bond to address them in 2003," says Benzel. But before it gets that far, Spokane Public Schools would like to get some input from the public. The results of the study will be presented at forums at Lewis and Clark High School (Sept. 24), Rogers High School (Oct. 1), North Central High School (Oct. 3) and Shadle Park High School (Oct. 10). All forums begin at

7 pm.

"We hope that this long-range plan and community guidance will help to develop a cycle of renewable bond measures every six years," says Benzel. "With this schedule in place, we will be able to be much more efficient in our use of district funds."

A Mall on the Lake -- COEUR D'ALENE -- California-based Price Legacy Corporation has announced that it has purchased 25 acres at the Riverstone Master Planned Development on Northwest Boulevard.

The company plans to build a 225,000-square-foot shopping center on the site -- including a 14-screen, state-of-the-art stadium-seating theater run by the Regal Entertainment Group. There are no set deadlines on the project yet.

"In addition to a theater, we plan on bringing tenants to the project that previously have not been located in Coeur d'Alene," said William J. Stone, senior vice president of Price Legacy, in a statement announcing the land acquisition. "We were drawn to the area by the Riverstone site and the city's commitment to an educational corridor that will connect the Riverstone Project to the Coeur d'Alene Resort."

Krampus Fun for Everyone @ Hillyard Library

Sun., Dec. 11, 2-4 p.m.
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