Whitworth Water District 2019 Update

by Matt Wright, PE, District Superintendent Whitworth Water District is excited to announce that they have selected Matt Wright as the new District Superintendent. Matt started in his new position with the District on September 4, 2018 and is training with the District’s current Superintendent, Doug Babin, who will be retiring in the next couple years. Doug has been employed with the District since 1978. Tom Davis, Operations and Maintenance Supervisor retired on December 31, 2018. Tom had been with the district since 1979. The new District Office located at 17401 N. Newport Road is nearing completion and we plan to move into the new facility in February of 2019. This project has been in the works for over 20 years and allows the district to consolidate district opera- tions into a single facility. The District Office has been in the current location on Waikiki Road since 1968.  The district’s 10-year Water System Plan has recently been approved by the Department of Health and includes a 10-year Capital Improvement Plan that proposes significant infrastruc- ture improvements through 2027. Included are new distribution and transmission system piping, as well as new source and storage projects that will provide additional system redundancy and […]

A “Walk” Through FLSRV’s 2018 Activities

by Tina Wynecoop Enlarged membership boundaries on each side of LSR from 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 mile.  Met with Barry Greene, Spokane County traffic planner to discuss adding a trail from Colbert Road to Midway Road.  Discussed trails/roads in planning stages for “Village At Midway” and learned that road construction at Northside Aquatic Park will continue now that funding to complete the park has been received.  Sent letter to WDFW supporting addition of their parcel to the Waikiki Springs natural area north of Mill Road.  Invited David Schaub, Director of Inland Northwest Land Conservancy, to speak to our board about efforts to protect open space in the LSRV.  Received approval to have a cross walk painted at Pine River Park enabling safe passage when crossing the road from the pedestrian trail to the park.  Prepared annual budget for 2018.  Pursued grants.  Opposed proposed changes to low-density (LDRS) standards for county.  Hiked with naturalist/historian/author Jack Nisbet at the confluence of Latah/Hangman Creek and the Spokane River. (Wonderful as usual.)  Picked up litter along WSDOT’s Children of the Sun Trail – from Wandermere Frontage Road to Highway 2 – four times.  Reported finding a transient camp along Children of the Sun trail near […]

Maya Jewell Zeller

by Tina Wynecoop Interesting people live in the Little Spokane River watershed. Always have. Over the years I have written articles for our newsletters about the river’s indigenous residents, chiefs, early pioneers, water wheel builders, inventors, proprietors, dairy farmers, horse race course owners, fishermen, stewards of the land, pilots (who crashed), and so on.. It has been fun. Now, it is time to focus on the present, and if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading her poetry and essays, or heard her interviewed on the radio, you must to meet neighbor Maya Jewell Zeller!  Allow me to introduce her: Two years ago she was invited to read her river-themed poetry at the annual dinner/fundraiser for Spokane Riverkeeper. The other invitees were: author/ naturalist Jack Nisbet, and Spokesman Review columnist Shawn Vestal. They made an eloquent threesome. I knew then that I would write about Maya for our newsletter. She’s our ‘neighbor’ and we are hers. Last November I heard her speak on Montana Public Radio’s program, The Write Question.* She and editor/ author Margot Kahn were interviewed about their new book, This Is The Place. It is a collection of thirty essays by women writing about home. After listening […]

Annual Meeting and Dinner/Auction

Friday, February 22, 2019, Wandermere Golf Club Annual Meeting and Dinner/Auction Friday, February 22, 2019 Wandermere Golf Club  • Todd Dunfield, Community Conservation Manager, for Inland Northwest Land Conservancy will be our speaker.  • Detailed maps of the proposed new Trail from Midway to Colbert Road will be on display and a board member will be available to answer any questions you may have.  • Fundraising KICK OFF for this new trail along Little Spokane Driver.  • Please make your reservations by returning the form at the bottom of the membership form here. If you have items you would like to contribute to the auction please call Harla Jean 951-2084 

Ice Skating in the Little Spokane River Valley

by Ty Brown Before Wandermere Golf Course was even in existence, the lake on the property was known for its winter pastime of ice skating. As far back as the late 1800s when Francis H. Cook owned the property and continuing through the ownership of Benjamin Laberee, the ice at Wandermere was a destination for wintertime recreation. Eventually with the purchase of the facility by Robert C. Ross and A. L. Doran, the soon to be Wandermere Golf Course, continued the traditions of the past. Ice skating was the first revenue generator of the business as the construction of the clubhouse was ongoing for the newly planned multi-sport activity center north of Spokane.  In the fall of 1930 ice skating was all the rage in the Spokane area, as well as nationwide. It was a different era, before other distractions, such as the television and the easy access to the automobile and other forms of recreation. People ventured outside yearround and what a better way to spend an afternoon or an evening than to ice skate in the great outdoors. Recreational skating was not hard to come by during this era. Most all major lakes and ponds in the Spokane […]

It’s All About The Plants

As landowners along the Little Spokane River Valley, we have a unique opportunity to help maintain and improve the health of the river and our riparian areas. A riparian area is the area adjacent to a stream, lake, or wetland. Most healthy, natural riparian areas have moist, fertile soils that support many types of moisture loving plants. These plants provide food and shelter to numerous fish and wildlife.  Healthy riparian areas include a variety of types and ages of plants, including trees, shrubs, grasses, and ground covers. Plants adapted to local rainfall, climate, insects, and soil conditions tend to be easier to care for and have a better chance to survive than non-native plants. Plants that are removed or damaged in riparian areas can cause harm to the river from an increase in runoff and sediment.  A healthy riparian area has the following benefits:  • Provide wood to streams, creating fish habitat and slowing the stream current during and after storms.  • Shade the stream in the summer. Cool water is healthier for many native fish species.  • Help prevent erosion by holding soil in place with their roots.  • Filter out sediment laden runoff, keeping it from smothering fish […]

Volunteers Wanted

by Kirk Neumann The Spokane County Conservation District is looking for volunteers living along the Little Spokane River to perform water quality testing.  If you are interested please contact Dan Ross.  Office: (509) 535-7274 Ext. 229 Email: dan-ross@sccd.org

Holiday Shopping at Amazon Smile

0.5% donated to FLSRV for a no-cost way to support your organization Go to: smile.amazon.com and search for:  Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley  Get your 12 days of Christmas gifts on Amazon, but within smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com, and 0.5% of the purchase price will be donated to FLSRV on all eligible products!  No additional costs to you!

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Please, Won’t You…

by Tina Wynecoop Last month a hundred and more neighbors met at Gleneden’s Covenant United Method Church after work to come up with solutions regarding the ongoing and unrelenting issue of transient/homeless camps popping up in our Little Spokane River area with its many neighborhoods. How did the call-to-meeting attract so many attendees? Thanks to Nextdoor.com it was easy to spread the invitation.  First, let me report that a sheriff deputy, as well as the CEO of Spokane County,and Commissioner Josh Kerns came to this meeting. Although the main concern was not satisfactorily addressed by them and many of us left dissatisfied, the men did get to listen to a lot of impassioned and plaintive requests for solutions – requests from people directly impacted. The attendees could have heard many more than time allowed. (We have had two transient camps next to our easement.) What each neighbor reported left little doubt that the squatters, their camps, and garbage, their bullying, their fires (during fire season), their attacks with weapons, their break-ins…and on and on, are not to be tolerated.  With thanks to Jill who organized the recent meeting, and the Nextdoor.com website/desktop and phone app, the meeting came together without […]

Murder at Greenleaf Farm: The Tragic Downfall of Theodore Cushing and His Ties to Francis H. Cook and Wandermere Golf Course

by Ty Brown Theodore Cushing arrived on the west coast from Chicago and made his home in Portland, Oregon, in the summer of 1883. While a resident of Portland, he invested in real estate in Spokane Falls and made a small for- tune in the rise in values there. Cushing’s brother, William, was already well established in the area and operated a large mercantile store, Cushing and Bryan, in the town of Mead, just north of the city. Theodore moved to Spokane in 1888 and erected a flamboyant building which was known as the Cushing block on the northwest corner of Howard and Sprague. This building was the first commercial building designed by famed architect, Kirtland Cutter. Cushing was the director of the Washington National Bank and the Washington Savings Bank of Spokane Falls located in his new building. During the Panic of 1893, Cushing lost the block to foreclosure and it later become known as the Spokane and Eastern Trust Company. This space is currently occupied by the Bank of America tower, constructed in 1980. Following the financial downturn, Cushing took up residence at a farm owned by his father-in-law, Thomas Hampton, on the Little Spokane River (site of […]