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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
February 3, 2011     Cheney Free Press
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February 3, 2011

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Thursday, February 3, 2011 VFW Free Press Page 9 continued from page 1 the Voices of Democracy youth essay contest and held a Memorial Day ceremony for two Cheney natives who were killed in military service. In past years they raised thousands of dollars to refurbish the war memorial at Veterans Park. They sponsor local Cub Scout Pack 356. They recently donated $500 to the Inland Northwest Honor Flight program. Hagenbuch said that most members of Cheney&apos;s post have been on the roster for years or are life- time members, but many don't participate. "Many of those members are elderly now and physically unable to participate, let alone attend meetings," he said. Participation has declined over the years and membership has slowly dwindled, mostly due to deaths. Many members are in their 80s and while the VFW has a core group of active participants, Craner said the list of events and activities is getting to be too much for them. "We're just at the point now where if people don't start showing up we're going to have to close the doors," he said. VFW Post 11326 was chartered in 1991 and had as many as 120 members before slowly de- clining through the 2000s. Valentine, Hagenbuch and Craner couldn't give a reason for the decline in participation besides an aging membership base and lack of new members. They admitted that they haven't actively recruited and while they would like to see younger veterans join, they didn't join the VFW themselves until their later years. Council ' Photo by Becky Thomas From left, VFW commander Jim Valentine, quartermaster Roger Hagenbuch and junior vice commander Merle Craner sit in the post's meeting room next to the Legion Hall in Cheney. "The young vets dDn't seem to be coming in," Craner said. "I think there was a sense during our era, we were in and served and we wanted to carry on...Iraq vets and Afghanistan vets and all, they're all good GIs, but there's a societal difference I think. They want to get on with their lives." They said that while community service is a central goal of the VFW, the organization also serves as a resource for veterans. Valentine said a VFW representative recently informed him about medical benefits he could receive from his service in the Korean War. "I would never have gotten it if he hadn't told me about it," he said, adding that the local post can refer veterans to a wide variety of services and benefits available to them. "All they have to do is come to a meeting and even if we don't know the answer, we can get informed. Finan- cially and medically, it's very good." The post's charter requires a log of activities and a variety of paperwork to keep the group's nonprofit status. "You have to have meetings and you have to be active. If you're not then your charter is not being fulfilled and you lose your status as a non- profit organization," Hagenbuch said. "You can't have membership and not do anything. There's no sense in that." The post will continue riding in parades, though the flags must be mounted out the hood of their jeep because there are only a couple of people healthy enough to carry the colors and rifles down the parade routes. The pancake breakfast has been cancelled this year due to a lack of members able to help. "We have a wonderful community here, with our town and gown, with our agriculture, with our proximity to Spokane, community spirit, good schools," Craner said. "We've got a wonder- ful community but you have to get in and support it. That's what we are trying to do." The officers said they welcome all veterans of overseas military campaigns to attend the Cheney post's next meeting Saturday, Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. "If we can just get one more person, it's worth everything," Valentine said. "I just want so bad to see the young people." For more information on the Cheney VFW, call Valentine at 838-3171 or Hagenbuch at 235-5551. Becky Thomas can be reached at becky@cheneyfreepress. com. continued from page 1 The CEMP aims to enhance the region's ability to "mitigate, pre- pare for, respond to and recover from" emergency and disaster situations. It also touches on haz- ard identification and analyses vulnerabilities to terrorism and other threats. Jameson said the CEMP is the umbrella plan that facilitates how emergency and government agencies work to strategize and react to unprec- edented situations together. Knezovich also gave his in- sight and fielded thoughts from council on how the city's county contracted law enforcement is do- ing these days. Mayor John Hig- gins expressed his appreciation of Park funding "This is something new that we're trying out. If we run over I think it only makes sense to put a cap that you'll spend on an annual basis." Medical Lake Fire Chief Jeff Estes I how the Sheriff's Office handled his daughter's traffic accident a few months ago and Council- woman Brenda Redell said she's been pleased to see familiar depu- ties in town. "Now if we can just get you to buy the firing range we'll be very happy," Ross said, referring to his hope that the Sheriff's Depart- ment will exchange services for a city=owned flri.g range. Ross said he still needs to come up With an asking price on the range, but KnezoVich seemed interested. "We do need a shooting range," Knezovich said. "The city of Spokane is the only agency in this region that has one which, when you add all of us up includ- ing your federal partners you're almost at 1,000 law enforcement officers and one range." After discussion a proposal to move forward on an activity points program for the Medical Lake Fire Department was passed. The pro- posal awards activity points worth $10 to volunteers for being avail- able at certain times, responding to emergency calls or being on duty during special events. The annual cost to the city is estimated to be roughly $38,520. Questions on the plan includ- ed whether Fire Chief Jeff Estes had a contingency plan for going over budget. "I tried to give high estimates on what I thought our yearly (call) averages are going to be," he said. "This is something new that we're trying out. If we run over I think it only makes sense to put a cap that you'll spend on an annual basis." Ross said he was happy with the result of months of work. "I think from whel:e we started this, I hope, gets what the council is after," he said. "Time will tell if it actually accomplishes everything we're trying to do but as far as where we started from I think this is a good proposal and I want to thank (Estes) for that." An ordinance will now be drawn up including proposal details and will brought before council for two readings before the plan is implemented some- time in March. Ryan Lancaster can be reached at ML Founder's Day meetings planned There are two upcoming meetings regarding preparations for the next Medical Lake Founder's Day. On Monday, Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. interested volunteers are welcome to come to LinDeBee's Diner on Lefevre Street to start discussing plans for the annual community event. Also, the next scheduled meeting of the Founder's Day committee is Wednes- day, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at LinDeBee's. , .,,, ,For, mQre information, calI.Ashlee King ,at (509) 565-5007. continued from page 1 for Wildlife and recreation proj- ects, but the projects all must be related to potecting and en- hancing the Puget Sound, one of Gregoire's campaign priorities. "She hand-selected projects," Simmons said. "As you can imagine, we were a little frustrated by that." Since the governor presented her budget in December, Sim- mons and representatives from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, which handles the grants, have been lobbying the Legislature to return to the ranked lists of statewide projects that were approved by the coalition's board. "It's not to say that we don't recognize the need of the Sound," WWRC marketing and commu- nications assistant Tom Bugert said. "We don't want to create an east versus west conflict. We just want to have the integrity of the process be respected." While the first draft of the Legislature's budget won't likely appear until March, Simmons File photo City of Cheney officials' plans to have this field developed into a large com- munity park are now threatened by the state's budget deficit and desire by Gov. Christine Gregoire to fund westside projects. and WWRC representatives have been lobbying legislators for the past month to retain at least some of the grant funds. "We are responsive to the fact that the budget is in dire shape this year, so we're asking that they fund as high as they can," Bugert said. The biennial WWRP grants Drug bust continued from page 1 ington State Gambling Com- mission and Northern Quest Casino, discovered information that Collins and his associ- ates appear to have laundered more than $380,000 through the casino during the last three years. The Spokane Regional Drug Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Spo- kane County Sheriff's Office, Spokane Police and Spokane Valley Police Departments, Washington State Patrol, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Investigation into the Col- lins organization continues. , ------ ------ ] , , ' 9f10/0 MILITARY [ _qFREI00 ' I DISCOUNT I I L_ With Coupon * I Igl 3-MIL SAMPLES I I I I 509-244-2330 13218 Hwy. 2, Airway Heights I (Next to Sue's Hair) I. 1 1 ll I, ll m 1 1 ll 1 1 1 1 1 ll J Spokane - North 4805 N. IHvislon St.. Spokane, WA 99207 Near Red Lobster, Next: to Starbucks (SOg) 624-2404   I I 1 I I l I ll I I i I I I  ' FREE ' PmstcoullKut.iwldtdlhrtohrolr.Clnm 1 1 I (OlN, Erred, t ld. lk ody at .dc - Nor Itxai. I EXPIRES 3/I 5/! ] BEN: 2097 BOYS: 2098 I Ik = = ,,,, = 1 ,,., 1 ,,,. ,=, ,,,, .. 1 1 =,, =,= 1, I : 1/'t1 : : ,4t.,, : , . It po bee lmt.  ld h a't otk, r olkr. ouo t 1. I btte, ogled, ttadl, 0r s01d. lld ]y at tane l(rlh 10<all. I 1 EXPIRES 3/15/!! " CODE: 2099 ' l ! ! ! i i ! i i l i i ! l i i  received $70 million in state bond funds in 2009. The program began over 20 years ago and has traditionally offered $50 million in funds every two years. The amount was bumped to $100 mil- lion before reducing to $70 mil- lion due to budget constraints. Bugert said he worried about the future of the program, which he said is highly trusted by the public for its fair assessment of grant applications. "Every single community has gone through the heartache of trying to raise these matching funds," he said. "We're very con- cerned with maintaining the in- tegrity and maintaining people's confidence in the program." Simmons said if Cheney doesn't receive the funding this year, a large part of the city's match cannot be used in the fu- ture. The EaglePoint apartment complex owner had agreed to pay for infrastructure, includ- ing water, sewer and electricity, "We don't want to create an east versus west conflict. We just want to have the integrity of the process be respected." WWRC marketing and communications assistant Tom Bugert to be extended to the park in place of park mitigation fees. The $190,000 project must be completed this year and cannot be retroactively applied if funds are issued later. Simmons said he would con- tinue lobbying legislators and encouraged the public to write in support of the project. Contact the parks and recreation department at 498-9250 for more information. Becky Thomas can be reached at GALLAGHER LAW OFFICE Focusing on Family Law CHRISTINE L. GALLAGHER CH RISTIN E@S POKAN E-FAMILYLAW.COM WWW.S POKAN E -FAMILYLAW.COM 221 Main Street, Suite Z00, Spokane, WA 909201 Phone: 509-838-2628 Fax: 509-747-5692 Garden