by Cara Gardner

Thin Air to be on Air -- Spokane -- If you listen to local radio, get ready for a breath of fresh air -- or Thin Air -- because Spokane's Thin Air Community Radio received its permit from the Federal Communications Commission to begin construction of a new Low Power FM radio station. Thin Air aims to go on air October 27, 2003, at 95.3 FM. Its call letters are KYRS, or "Your Radio Station."

"We've enjoyed so much support from the community in the form of program ideas, donations and volunteers," says Thin Air Coordinator Lupito Flores. "This is concrete evidence that everyone's hard work is paying off."

Thin Air Community Radio was formed in 1999 with a mission to provide diverse programming to locals who are underserved by mainstream radio.

"So far, we have about 100 program proposals from the community, and it's pretty much all over the board -- whatever you can't hear on public radio. We'll have all sorts of progressive news programs, maybe some foreign language shows, some underground and local music scenes, with a focus on local talent," Flores says.

The radio station already built a broadcast studio and has acquired a transmitter tower with funds raised in the community.

Spring Greening -- Spokane -- On Saturday, volunteers throughout Spokane County will respond to requests from senior citizens and physically challenged individuals for the safe disposal of hazardous household materials. This activity marks the Spokane Regional Health District's (SRHD) sixth annual "Spring House Greening," a collaborative effort to help safely dispose of environmental toxins. Last year, 16 tons of hazardous materials were safely collected and disposed of in 19 Spokane County neighborhoods.

"This event has always represented an excellent example of a grassroots effort to assist those needing help to properly dispose of their household hazardous waste," says Scott Windsor, hazardous/infectious waste coordinator with the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System.

This year, more than 25 neighborhoods are participating and supporting the effort, and more than 80 volunteers are scheduled to collect materials such as pesticides, herbicides, batteries, non-latex paint, varnish, household cleaners, solvents, automotive fluid and other chemicals.

Able-bodied people can take hazardous materials to the Waste-to-Energy Plant, the Valley Transfer Station or the North Transfer Station in Colbert.

In addition, the Department of Ecology will be accepting old fluorescent tubes and bulbs at the Spokane Fairgrounds all day on Saturday, April 19.

"People are surprised to learn that fluorescents contain mercury," says Tom Fitzsimmons, director of Ecology. Though fluorescents are a great conservation choice, the mercury content makes it important to recycle them correctly. Look for Eco-Lights and Department of Ecology near the main entrance of the fairgrounds.

The Household Hazardous Waste Hotline is 532-7645.

Convention Plans Move On -- Spokane -- The push for a new Spokane convention center goes on. The Spokane City Council is planning a public hearing as it considers the three major inter-local agreements involved in allowing the transfer of the current convention facilities and certain parking lots to the Spokane Public Facilities District (PFD).

"It's an open public hearing that is part of the regular Monday night council meeting," says Marlene Feist, public affairs officer for the City. "It's not [about] where the convention will be located, but about the inter-local agreements. Who will guarantee the loans, who will sell the bonds -- these are some of the things that will be included in these agreements."

The agreements are, as Feist says, "a pretty good consensus" of what has been a moderately controversial $77 million project.

Citizens are welcome to attend the council meeting, which will be held on April 21 at 6 pm. The meeting takes place in City Hall in the City Council Chambers. Feist says people are welcome to comment.

"If they want to speak they'll have to sign up when they get there. Certainly there is no requirement to sign up to attend the meeting."

Publication date: 04/17/03

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