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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
April 23, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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April 23, 2015

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Page 4 Free Press Thursday, April 23, 2015 Eastern Washington Uni- versity's fast approaching commencement exercises June 13 will be the last to be held in Cheney on the Red Turf at Rugs Field. In.a press release, the university announced it had signed a multi-year agree- ment with the Spokane Vet- erans Memorial Arena to begin holding commencement exercises at the Spokane facil- ity beginning in 2016. With over 2,000 undergraduate and hundreds of graduate stu- dents receiving their degrees, and many more of their fam- ily members and friends in at- tendance to watch them walk, holding the ceremonies in Cheney has become a logistics challenge. Part of that has always been that one element diffi- cult to predict - the weather. While there have been those picture perfect "chamber of commerce" days of bright sunshine and mild tempera- tures, ceremonies are just as likely to see the extremes of rain, wind, or scorching heat. While the students might be able to endure this, family members, particularly the youngest and the oldest, will likely find it difficult. Word of Eastern's decision leaked out two weeks ago, and the reaction from some of Cheney's business com- munity has been less than favorable. In an email inform- ing its members about the possibility of such a decision, the Cheney Merchants As- sociation asked its members to contact the office of EWU President Dr. Mary Cullinan and explain how the decision will impact their businesses. It should be noted that the decision did not come from the Office of the President, but rather from Student Af- fairs. Moving com.mencement is something that department has been studying for several years and is based upon feed- back received from graduates and their families. Moving commencement from the Cheney campus to Spokane will remove some of that collegiate feel the current ceremonies have - the chim- ing of bells across the morn- ing air as graduates gather by their departments one last time to walk as a students past the commons and across Washington Street to Rugs. But from a practical stand- point, Eastern's decision makes sense, and we hope city of Cheney officials and merchants will look at this not as a loss of revenue but as an opportunity to turn gradu- ation into something unique. Eastern said it would still walking up College Avenue and entering campus to be- gin their college experience through the pillars at Showal- ter Hall. Perhaps a reverse of this - with graduates walk- ing out of the pillars down College Avenue lined with cheering friends and family - might be considered. Families whose students live in Cheney will likely find accommodations nearby, either with the student or at local hotels, as they do now, so local businesses shouldn't see any loss of business. But families of students who live hold other commencement-re- in Spokane, and there are still lated activities on the Cheney campus, such as department ceremonies and receptions. The city and Cheney mer- chants could band together and hold similar events hon- oring the soon-to-be gradu- ates that showcase the best qualities of the community. Sutton Park would be a great place to stage a barbe- cue, with entertainment and food provided by local ven- ues. Incoming freshmen go through an annual ritual of many as Spokane Transit Au- thority ridership figures at- test to, don't stay in Cheney, but rather drive out for the ceremonies and then leave - spending little time and even fewer dimes locally. By creating commencement activities celebrating and hon- oring the graduates, Cheney businesses stand a better chance of attracting both sets of families to the community. That's a win-win situation for everyone involved. Write to the Point More to consider when it comes to the Cheney High School bond By JOHN McCALLUM Editor There are a lot of issues sur- rounding the Cheney School District's proposed $44.8 mil- lion bond to expand and reno- vate Cheney High School. Pro- ponents and opponents of the bond have lined out some of these through letters to the editor, adver- John MoP, lure tisements and other methods. As someone who vis- its the high school fairly regularly, I've witnessed the overcrowding. Over the years, I've nearly been tram- I had to scramble through forum or debate. At just pled during class changes,our archives to see if I had about every school board and I've tripped over stu-any photos of the cafe'teria, meeting since the directors the proposal by legal coun- sel, expressing concerns about what they could and dents eating in the hallways Sure enough, I had one from. agreed to put the'bo:nd on couldn't do regarding pro- at lunch. I've listened to this fall; and therewere four a ballot, Johns has stood up muting the bond. Unfortu- coaches and administrators chairs per table, and challenged the district nately, holiday schedules vent about practice sched- When West Plains Little to a debate, got in the way, and it wasn't ulesbecause of lack of space, League began in 2004, we Back in December, the until their first meeting in even before the gym at the often met in the cafeteria, Cheney Free Press put to- January that they responded, Fisher Building was taken and it seems there were gether a proposal to hold a declining the offer by cit- out of use and surplused, more chairs around each public forum much like ouring the need to be neutral I've also seen a half emp- table then. candidate forums from sev-about promoting the bond ty cafeteria during lunch, But evenwith four chairs eral years ago. I presented including not using district which left me wondering per table, I've still noticed a the proposal to the schoolresources to do so. why students were eating in cafeteria that's maybe half board at a meeting Dec. 17, By that time we had pret- theha!lways. Whenbond up- full. Granted, I'm not there suggesting it be held at the ty much tabled the idea as ponent BillJohns mentioned every day. Wren Pierson Community well, and we respect the the cafeteria's capacity of 320 What this bond issue re- Center. board's diligence in making could be met if district of- ally screams for is a publicThe board wanted to run ficial put more chairs at the See Write to the Point page 6 table than the current four, FREE SS Vol. 119-No. 1 Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Pressman Mark Cordos Sales Stove Barge DeeAnn Gibb Front Office Venus Bratsvoon Dawn Chernak Editor John McCallum Reporters Paul Delaney AI Stover Graphics Brittani Montecucco John Myers Bookkeeper/Office Managel Debi Labish Publisher Harlan Shollabarger The Editorial Board is composed c/Paul Delaney, AI Stover, Brittani Montecucco, Bill lift, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press isT h e F r e e P r e s s r e- published every Thursday quests that contributors by the Free Press Publish- observe the following dead- ing Company, William Ifft, lines, which will be strictly president. Periodical post- enforced: age paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT First Street, Cheney, Wash. AGENCIES -- Tuesday, 10 a.m. 99004. CHURCH, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon POSTMASTER; Send DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m. address changes to: Cheney LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m. Free Press, P.O. Box 218, CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING--Tuesday, 11 Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. a.r,. ID PUBLICATION # 1O224O Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235- 6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable! HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emell: cfp @ Vote 'yes' for the high school bond measure I've lived in Cheney forspace is really essential. It's a But when we think about more than a decade, I work'at good question, and one thatwhat matters to kids - what Eastern Washington Univer- deserves our careful consid- gets them in the building sity, and I have two kids in eration as we cast our votes, so those teachers can work the Cheney School District. As adults of voting age, their magic - a lot more As we consider whether we know it's the knowledge elements of this bond project or not to approve a bond and skills that students gain start to become equally es- to renovate Cheney High in the classroom that sets sential: an auditoriumspace, School, I think many of us them up for succe#s. We're for example, for those stu- find ourselves wondering lucky to have award-win dents Whose passions are the whether anything more than ning teachers in our schools performing arts; additional improved building secu- that do a wonderful job sup- rity and additional classroom porting our kids' learning.See Letters page 5 John McCallum Editor Main contact for editotfal coverage. Cov- ers all Cheney government, cornmuni~, school district news'and events, as well as Cheney High School sports. jmac @ A1 Stover Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Covers alI Medical Lake government, Covers all Medical Lake High School and community and school district news, as Eastern Washington University sports well as Airway Heights news and Cheney and news. Contact for miscellaneous High School sports, sports. al@ctl~a2Yme/~as,~m i l lili!li!li! ii ii ii!l ]lilli i !/ I I I illll iii i li!! ill i iiliilt/i I ....... iil