In the year 2020

COEUR D'ALENE -- Residents will have the opportunity to help shape the future of the city by sharing their ideas at a series of community meetings. These ideas will be combined to form the Coeur d'Alene 2020 Strategic Plan.

"We're collecting data, and we hope to put together a vision," says Coeur d'Alene 2020 Steering Committee Chairwoman Sandi Bloem. "We're asking the community to come out and share their ideas with us. This isn't [the mayor's] vision, and it isn't the city's. We're facilitating a process." Mayor Steven Judy did, however, request the project be started in his State of the City address.

Bloem encourages people to attend and emphasizes that no idea is too small. Topics can range from education and the economy to attractiveness of the city and entertainment. "A vision for 20 years is not singular," says Bloem. "We're trying to get people to think all over the board."

At the first public meeting on Feb. 28, about 50 residents met to share their hopes and visions. Two more meetings will be held March 15 and 17. Bloem expects the turnouts to get progressively larger as word about the project continues to travel around town.

For those who can't attend the meetings, they can go to and fill out a short survey to express their views.

-- Rhiannon Fabian

Meetings for Coeur d'Alene 2020 are Thursday, March 15, from 6-8 pm at Coeur d'Alene High School, and on Saturday, March 17, from 9:30-11:30 am at Lake City Senior Center. Call: (208) 769-2204.

Tree trimming tips

SPOKANE -- As temperatures warm up to the mid-50s this week, cases of illegal tree pruning are being reported to the city. For the record, any pruning of city trees requires a permit. But as thoughts naturally turn to spring cleanup, tree experts say common sense will help with pruning of trees on your own property, too.

John Jesseph, a certified arborist and owner of Inland Tree Service, says improper cuts can mean life or death for a tree. Disease and wood decay can penetrate the collar of the tree, the swollen area at the union of a tree's branch and stem. "When you cut back into the branch collar, you are really opening up the flesh of the tree where nutrients are stored and transported," says Jesseph.

Spokane Urban Forester Jim Flott finds that the biggest problem with improper pruning in Spokane is the topping of trees. Not only is it ugly, he says, but it upsets the balance between the crown and roots, creating a cancerous wound. "When you take green wood off a tree, you're essentially removing a nutrient factory," he says. "And new growth from topped trees are more susceptible to coming down from storms."

Typical unhealthy pruning includes stub cuts, leaving a dying stub, which serves as an incubator for disease organisms. Flush cuts are made right up against the trunk, subsequently removing the protective collar, and opening the wood beneath to disease.

-- Laura White

& & & lt;i & A list of local professional arborists is available by calling the National Arborist Association at (800) 773-2622 or visit their Web site at & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

Dreamworks Animation: The Exhibition @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 11
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