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February 7, 2013     Cheney Free Press
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February 7, 2013
 

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Thursday, February 7, 2013 Free Press Page 11 continued from page 1 into an organization that has helped over 12,000 people in nine states. The organization has had a Spokane chapter for seven years, working mainly with area shelters and domestic violence organizations. The rela- tionship with Cheney is a somewhat new direction. "This is more broad work than we've put to- gether," Spokane associate director Ginger Johnson said. Cheney Municipal Court Administrator Tern" Cooper said they've been looking for a domestic vio- lence advocate program for about four years, but it's been cost prohibitive and attempts at grant fund- ing have failed. The agree- ment with ARMS involves no city expenditures, and helps address recent state requirements to provide victim resources. "The problem we have is we rarely see the vic- tims," Cooper said. "We see the defendants, but the victims stay away for various reasons. We've sent information through the mail, but we're never sure if they got it or if it was helpful or more harmful." Records covering 2008- 2012 indicate Cheney's court processes on average about 56 domestic violence cases each year. Those can According to the con- involve multiple charges tract information, ARMS and multiple aggressors, will provide victims in- and range from disorderly formation about their conduct to protection or- rights, legal proceedings, der violations to fourth-de- evaluate safety needs and gree assaults, and include provide service referrals a 2008 case of stalking and support. Johnson and cyber stalking where said the five advocates at the victim's own email ARMS help victims with account was used to send safety and planning, un- threatening messages, derstanding the ins and "It was more strange outs of the court system than usual," Cooper said. and how to fill out legal "Pretty scary for her." documents. "When you have someone who's fearful, to have someone stand up and do the talking for you is impor- tant." Cheney Municipal Court Administrator Terri Cooper In many of these cases "That'swherewecome the greatest danger for in, in the middle and say the victim is at the point 'what would you like to of separation where the see here? What can we do aggressor is removed from to help?" Johnson said. the household or from "It's important to let the contact. Cooper said vic- victims have a loud, dear tims are the safest in the voice in this." first 24-48 hours after the ARMS can also provide incidents, and that's where information about shelter ARMS trained volunteers options if needed, food come in. and dothing resources and Information about the support and/or recovery incident - a police report groups. But both Johnson - is sent to the prosecuting and Cooper said one of the attorney and the victim's biggest services is being a advocate. Johnson said vocal advocate for the vic- they make every available tim in the courl~oom. effort to contact victims While not legal coun- to help them understand sel, ARMS advocates can many things about the represent victims in the process, courtroom by recording and reading the victim's statement as part of legal proceedings. "That's huge," Cooper said. "When you have someone who's fearful, to have someone stand up and do the talking for you is important." Johnson said ARMS volunteers go through training that includes a seven-hour state course on domestic violence, a full day in court observing procedures, talking with police officers as well as hours of familiarity with the Washington Admin- istrative Codes, confiden- tiality issues and one-on- one training. And while ARMS is a faith-based organization, Johnson said their mis- sion in domestic violence advocacy isn't about pros- elytizing. Faith-based organizations such as the yWCA, Lutheran Services and Catholic Charities have assisted courts with these issues for years while remain- ing neutral, and while there is a component for further faith exploration with ARMS, Johnson said that's not an issue. "That's not a piece of what goes on in the advo- cacy program," she said. "It's more centered on victims and their needs." John McCal- lum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com. Council continued from page 1 project contract price is $6O9,668.90. "This is probably the best $609,000 we've spent," Mayor Patrick Rushing said, noting that statements, goals and a vice organizations within preliminary design for Airway Heights. The res- the project. The contract olution applies to council for this phase is not to members and select city exceed $43,225. employees, at the city Also at the meeting, manager's discretion, re- the City Council held the imbursing them for dues first reading of a salary paid to the organization, ~s ~t~#y ,w, ould 1~, jg"ining lateral move for city plan- on behalf of the city. ner Derrick Braaten, who Civic and service or- would become the city's ganizations mentioned Development Services included the Lions Club, pacity is a big step for wa- ter stability in the city. Among the upgrades in the project include work on the well house building, piping, general electrical, the pump con- trol panel and power gen: eration, alongside other site improvements. Also at the meeting, the City Council ap- proved the re-appoint- ment of Vincent Williams to the Planning Com- mission. Williams' term expired at the end of last month, and is now ex- tended to Jan. 31, 2017. "I just try to help out where I can and do what I can," Williams said at the meeting. The City Council also approved a contract for architectural services for its planned multi-use building. After review- ing 12 companies that submitted bids, the city chose Group Mackenzie from Portland, Ore. The company will work on "This is probably the best $609,000 we've spent." Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing Director. The position is Kiwanis and the Rotary. a modification of a previ- Some annual dues are in ous one that was cut in excess of $100. 2009 due to the economic Those serving with downturn, the organizations would City Manager Albert send a quarterly report Tripp said the position's to the City Council, in- salary reflects what it forming them of what previously was, and is has recently happened comparable to other cit- and other events tak- ies like Airway Heights ing place in the group. with a similar position. Initially, the resolution The monthly wage has a draft only mentioned the base pay of $5,397. City Council. Delibera- "We're right in the tions during the meeting middle," he said. eventually turned to giv- The City Council also ing Tripp discretion over approved a resolution who from the city, if they that reimbursed some were interested, could city employees who were represent the city in the involved in civic and ser- groups. "I don't see why the city administration po- sitions couldn't be in- volved," Deputy Mayor Kevin Richey said. Parks, Recreation and Community Services Di- rector J.C. Kennedy is g~a~l, Y, ,9 X~.~gf~l?Py~ 9~,the Kiwanis group in, the city, which is in the final stages of officially be- ing recognized as a non- profit group in the state of Washington. Tripp said a meeting regarding the Fairchild Preservation and Com- munity Empowerment project would take place in the coming weeks. The project is attempt- ing to reduce the den- sity in Accident Potential Zone Two, leading up to Fairchild Air Force Base, by offering alternative housing to residents in that area. Residents will receive an invitation in the near future for the meeting, which has yet to receive a final date. Residents can also take advantage of a free seminar on fair lending for loans Tuesday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the coun- cil chambers. James Eik can be reached at james@chenevfreepress. com. Schmick holds telephone town hall for Ninth District residents Ninth Legislative District Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, is inviting all district residents to partici- pate in an upcoming telephone town hall Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Citizens wishing to join the hour-long community conversation can do so by calling toll-free, 1-877-229-8493 and entering pin number 15440 when prompted. Schmick, who has hosted telephone town halls in the past, said the format works well for legisla- tors from large, rural districts. "The Ninth District is one of the largest legisla- tive districts in the state," Schmick said. "It's not really conducive to your typical town hall format. We'd have to host eight or nine in-person town hall meetings around the district to get the same level and variety of participation as we do with one telephone town hall." With the 2013 legislative session about one-fifth of the way through its scheduled 105 days, Schmick said now is a perfect time to gauge citizen interest on the many issues facing Washington state. "I'm looking forward to hearing some thought- ful ideas and, hopefully, we can turn some of those ideas and solutions into legislation in the future, Schmick said. For more information, visit www.houserepub- licans.wa.gov. 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