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Cheney Free Press
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July 30, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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July 30, 2015
 

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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, July 30, 2015 There's a television ad these days that speaks to ceUphone users who decided to take the offer of a competitor only to find when all was said and done the service was just not as good as advertised. Those who left were offered a financial incentive, which the advertiser is willing to match should they return. The idea reminded the Cheney Free Press editorial board of the current tug-of-war between the city of Cheney and Eastern Washington University when it comes to police dispatch services. While it appears that the current $91,000 per year Eastern pays the Cheney PD for a wide array of services beyond the contracted monitoring of police radio activity is pretty small potatoes when one considers EWU will operate with a $272 million budget in the next year, the university seems to want to shop around for a different deal. And there's certainly no as- surance that it will be a better deal because in reality no one seems to know exactly what Eastern wants as they look to Spokane County to provide a bid. From the information we've been provided over the course of time, since the original con- tract expired in 2011, the con- tract Cheney continues to oper- ate under on a month-to-month basis with the university is a pretty screaming good deal. The money EWU pays Cheney equals about 16 percent of the city's budget for the dis- patch service, yet call volume has escalated over the years to where approximately 45 per- cent of the calls are university related. EWU police accounted for 24,511 of the 55,018 comput- er aided dispatch calls in 2015. If that amount of business were to be billed on a pro- rated basis it would be roughly $252,270 of the city's $560,600 communication budget for 2015. Cheney has made offers to Eastern in an attempt to close the gap. Negotiations had been ongoing but suddenly broke off this past October without rhyme or reason according to city officials. Reportedly the school does not want to pay more, so they continue to court Spokane County and its vast resources. But as with the case of the competing cell service provider, will EWU get a better deal and The money EWU pays Cheney equals about 16 percent of the city's budget for the dispatch service, yet call volume has escalated over the years to where approximately 45 percent of the calls are university related. still receive the same level of service? Because in addition to fielding tens of thousands of police calls, Cheney dispatch goes beyond and handles lock- outs, security alarms, people stuck in elevators and much more. Messages, some perhaps urgent, go directly to EWU of- ricers on patrol thanks in part to the purchase of $100,000 in ded- icated communication equip- ment the city provides. We're told that might not be the case in an arrangement with Spo- kane County where calls could have to go to voice messaging. With a Cheney dispatch operator just down the street in many cases, their response to EWU is not only nearly instan- taneous, but very much more personal. This is not to say that Spo- kane County would not be able to offer what Cheney does, but we wonder since no one seems to really know what is being presented. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said it was EWU that approached his office. It takes just a few seconds difference for a simple lockout to escalate into an assault on a dark street. The question then must be asked, "Would that have happened if Cheney dis- patch were fielding calls?" One of the other challenges Cheney faces in trying to seal a deal - or have EWU walk away - is that they face the need to budget either for the business, or not. That could mean the difference between hiring a new employee, having an existing one remain, or none of the above. The irony here is that in a matter where communication is vitally important, there appears to be none taking place that is meaningful between the negoti- ating parties. The two sides, with Eastern taking the lead, must get things started and need to engage in fruitful negotiations. Eastern must outline their needs and the city can then make an offer. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, then they part ways knowing each took their best shot. We prefer snake oil because scientific truth is not always so wonderful BY RICHARD BADALAMENTE Contributor The last time I checked you can still buy your POM Wonderful at our local super- markets. This despite the fact that a judge issued a "cease and de- sist," ordering POM to stop claiming its beverage benefits everything from your brain to your prostate (see www. sciencebasedmedicine.org/ pore-not-so-wonderful/). Distributors aren't go- ing to remove the stuff just because its maker's lied, not as long as people keep buy- ing it, and they do. POM's 8-ounce bottle is now the fastest selling, single-serve premium refrigerated juice. How to explain the fact that we Americans continue to believe our corporate snake oil salesmen but vociferously disbelieve scientists who warn us of global warming and its consequences? Well, I can think of several reasons for this. The first is that corpora- - tions are darned good at ad- vertising "good" in the sense that they know their audience FREE SS Vol. 119-No. 15 Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Mailroom Supervisor Bryce Ryen Pressman Mark Cordes Sales Steve Barge DeeAnn Gibb Front Office Dawn Chernak Rachel Stuart Editor John McCallum Reporters Paul Delaney AI Stover Graphics Brittani Montecucco John Myers Bookkeeper/Office Manager Debi Labish Publisher Harlan Shellabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, AI Stove, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press is published every Thursday by the Free Press Publish- ing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodical post- age paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. POSTMAsTER: Send address changes to: Cheney Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 The Free Press re- quests that contributors observe the following dead- lines, which will be strictly enforced: OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m. CHURCH. CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 a.m. 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 emelh cfp @cheneyfreepress.corn www.cheneyfreepress.com and their medium, not neces- sarily that they tell the truth. It's hard to imagine anyone who is unaware of some of corporate America's more scandalous lies, from tobacco executives swearing to Con- gress that nicotine wasn't addictive, to Goldman Sachs traders selling mortgage- backed securities they knew were junk. However, I would venture to guess that far fewer Americans are aware of the orchestrated disinfor- mation campaign that's been waged by corporations with an interest in retaining the status quo in fossil fuel use. Read the book, or see the documentary, "Merchants of Doubt" for information on this. The bottom line is that the fossil fuel industry has been very effective in pulling the wool (or more accurately, the smog) over Americans' eyes regarding the impact of CO2 on climate change. The second reason Ameri- cans accept snake oil and reject science is that snake oil is promoted as making us "all better" without our hav- ing to sacrifice by exercising more, or eating a better diet See Guest page 5 Thanks for Cheney High reunion support On behalf of the board of directors and all the mem- bers of the Cheney High School Alumni Association (CHSAA) kindly allow me to express our gratitude for your support of our annual All Class Reunion Picnic. We enjoyed one of the best re- union picnics we have had in recent years. The classes of '45, "55, '65, and '75 celebrated special milestones and everyone had a good time. The Free Press's support contributed a great deal to our success. The picnic is an exceptional event that occurs in very few com- munities, bringing together Cheney High School alumni from every era. I hope even more CHS al- ums can make it next year. Bob Crabb (Class of 1968) President, CHSAA West Plains busineses are amazing Earlier this month, my son's baseball team quali- fied for the 9/10 State Little League tournament, which was to be held in Cheney July 18 - 26. As most are aware, the tournament had to be moved to Montesano, Wash. at the last minute because of a watering issue here in town. Hosting this tournament would have brought a lot of revenue into the city. Despite this lost oppor- tunity, I am writing today to See Letters page 5 ii:iiiiiii liiii John McCallum A1 Stover Editor Staff Reporter Main contact for editorial coverage. Cov- Covers all Medical Lake government, ers all Cheney government, communi~, community and school district news, as school district news and events, as well well as Airway Heights news and Cheney as Cheney High School sports, High School sports. ynac@chenejff Paul De!aney Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washington University sports and news. Contact for miscellaneous sports. fld~a~epres,&com