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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
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August 19, 1982     Cheney Free Press
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August 19, 1982
 

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11 II trims rate increase in the City of increasing again not quite as much as Administra- wholesale power announced that in the cost of the will be held to 60 this year, esti- high as 80 percent. Direc- Men- new figure, said he that the Tuesday even- increase for all of the including collecting its new the city on Oct. 1. this Tuesday so that legal publica- tion requirements could be met in time for the city to begin its own collection by mid-September. Some local residents will be affected before others, depending upon which of the three billing cycles they are under. Richardson explained that 33 percent of the 48 percent increase to local customers would be attri- buted directly to the increased cost of wholesale power to the city, while the remaining 15 percent would be attributed to increase in wages within the Light Depart- ment and other money needed to meet capital and other budgetary requirements. "We have tried to do what we can to cut expenses," said Richardson, who has previously impressed on the council the need to operate a aid he hoped the -* safe and reliable service to the take final action on community. ordinance Bonneville Power Administrator Peter T. Johnson said the overall increase in all rates is $230 million less than was estimated in March. "The most important factors affecting this significant reduction were a slowdown in the construc- tion of the Washington Public Power Supply System project No. 1, a drop in the load forecast and cost-cutting measures suggested by our customers," Johnson said. "These factors enabled us to hold the increase in priority firm to 60 percent." Richardson said BPA's cuts in- cluded spending $105 million less on the WPPSS No. 1 nuclear plant, as well as a cut of $40 million in its Energy Conservation Program. (See related story this page.) About 74 percent of the increase for priority firm power is due to BPA's obligation to pay costs of Washington Public Power Supply System plants 1, 2 and 3. H arvest time Wheat ha,eat has begun in the Cheney area, and another record harvest is predicted. Above, a harvester cuts the opening round through a field along Salnave Road. Dry weather is predicted for the rest of this week. (See weather report this page.) 14 Thursday, August 19, 1982 UPS 102-240 Cheney, Washington 99004 25 Serving the Communities of Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Heights .... Energy conservation programs catch on in Cheney Interest in the Home Energy Conser- vation Program being offered to Che- ney Light Department customers is running high. A total of 81 local home owners signed up during the month of July for a "home energy audit", noted Cheney Light Department Director 'I'om Rich- ardson. Currently, the City of Cheney is receiving funds from the Bonneville Power Administration to contract with a private firm to inspect local homes. Auditors check to see what kind of insulation may be needed in the floors, walls and ceilings. Local residents then contract with other insulation firms to have the needed work done in their homes. The bill fo this work is turned over to the Cheney Light Department, which in turn hands it to BPA. Local residents usually receive reimburse- ment for most, if not all of the improvements made. Of the 81 homes audited in July, 20 completed needed insulation work and turned in a total bill of $14,000 to BPA, said Richardson. The Cheney Light Department also is sponsoring a number of other energy conservation projects under BPA direc- tion. Last spring, the department began handing out free water heater insula- tion wraps. Richardson noted, though, that many residents still have not put the insulation blankets around their heaters. Residents having such wraps are urged to put them on and to call the department at 235-8431 as soon as passible so that a final inspection can be made. Wraps need to be inspected before the city can receive any reim- bursement on its expenses with the program. An energy conservation program to be directed at the city's commercial businesses will be started this fall, said Richardson, noting that business per- sons will be urged to convert current lighting with energy-efficient lighting Business persons will be able to realize a savings of up to 40 percent in the cost of new lights, he said. Cheney Grain Growers have been busy prepadng for the grain season by building a new temporary stor. age bin. According to Manager Gordon Young, the ,new bin will hold up to 75,000 bushels of wheat. The Grain Growers presently is trying to move supplies of old wheat still In storage, but reports very few sales at this time. bill warning issued Customers for "phony power Director Tom many persons Northwest recently from Congress- )f Oregon, who has as part of a for a "Rate Payers Defense Fund". According to the Northwest Public Power Associa- tion, some 20,000 to 30,000 such bills were mailed out in Oregon and Wash- ington. The association has been working with the U.S. Postal Inspectors' Office in their investigation into the matter and is seeking an opinion from legal counsel as to what redress may be available for the affected consumers. Judge Ennis makes appointment to decide promotion Former Judge Richard Guy was appointed Monday by Judge Richard Ennis in Spokane Superior Court to review the personnel files of three Cheney police officers in order to select one to be promoted to sergeant. At a hearing earlier in the day, Judge Ennis upheld his memorandum deci, sion of July 16 in connection with an appeal by Police Officer Kenneth Side. Side was appealing a decision made Feb. 16 by the Cheney Civil Service Commission, which upheld Cheney Mayor Tom Trulove's appointment of Terry Rocky to the sergeant's position over Side. Prior to the appointment, however, Side had announced his candi- dacy against Trulove. Side noted he was first on the Cheney Civil Service Commission's list of three possible officers to qualify for the promotion. Last month, Judge Ennis stated that the Cheney Civil Service Commission committed an "error" when it "ignored appearances:" He further said that the, committee erred in not allowin another party to review personnel files of the other two possibles for the promotion. Monday, Attorney Steve Miller, coun- sel for the city, asked Judge Eunis to amend his memorandum decision so as to allow Cheney Mayor Pro Tern Fred Johns to make the decision as to who should make the appointment. Miller further alledged that the Judge Eunis was in error when he considered the fairness doctrine. "It is certainly true that the Civil Service Commission did not address the issue of violation of the appearness of fairness doctrine as it related to the appointment," said Miller. "That issue was never raised by the commission, and, in fact, was not raised before this court." Miller further stated that the issue of "fairneSs" first was raised by the court in the memorandum decision and not by Side. "When the appellant chose not to raise the issue of appearance of fair- ness doctrine, he waived his right to do so at a later date," said Miller. In his brief, Miller also alleged that Medical Lake opening decision due Once again, city officials are hoping to receive today the "all clear" sign to reopen Medical Lake, closed Aug: 5 after a breakdown in the city's sewage system. Last Thursday, Spokane County Health District personnel notified the city that three out of four areas tested Aug. 9 indicated positive counts of coliform bacteria. Areas tested in- cluded the area near the sewage treatment plant at Peper Park where the overflow occurred, areas 90 yards north and south of that point and the ' swimming area at Waterfront Park. The current closure is the result of a compressor failure in the Peper Park sewage treatment facility. When the compressor failed, the alarm system was inactivated. As a result, 80,000 gallons of untreated sewage were dumped into the lake. While early tests did not show contamination in the swimming area, the most recent tests indicate the sewage is being dispersed throughout the lake. Environmental Health Director Law- rence Chadzynski said the dispersal process is part of the lake's natural cleansing process. The director ex- plained that coliform requires warm- blooded hosts to survive. The natural processes of wind and rain disperse the bacteria throughout the lake and ex- pose it to oxygen which discourages coliform growth. By banning swim- ming, the bacteria are deprived of any host material and eventually die in the unsuitable environment. The director said the upcoming fishing season would not be affected by the sewage mishap as fish are cold-blooded animals not affected by coliform. Chadzynski said the four sites tested last week were re-tested Monday after- noon and results are expected in today: The director said the,extensive amount of testing underway at Medical Lake should provide some information con- cerning coliform counts in lakes which may be valuable in future situations. Because coliform is always present in a lake to some degree, district officials hope to establish some baseline levels with the results from the Medical Lake tests. The director also said that if funding is available, the district hopes to conduct similar tests next June at all county lakes open for swimming. the decision by Judge Ennis threatens the workings of local government that could set a precedent for the whole state. "Is this court now ruling that the mayor may not decide disciplinary or promotional matters in the various departments because of his close, professional, and, in some instances, social ties to department heads?" asked Miller. "If he goes hunting with the city administrator or meets weekly with the pubic works director, is he then barred to consider disciplinary matters... ?" Miller also objected to Side's being given access to personnel files of the other candidates, first saying it is illegal and second that this practice also set a precedent throughout the state in that department heads would have to be more careful about any information which went into a person- nel file. "There is no authority which would place the personnel file of every appli- cant for a civil service protected position into the hands of every other applicant or to make that applicant's personnel file a public "record," said Miller. "The Freedom Of Information Act specifically exempts personnel files from disclosure." Miller also maintained that any consultation between Mayor Trulove and Police Chief Jerome Gardner was justified, in addition to any material in the personnel files, for the purpose of collecting "data" on which to base the final promotion decision. "I'm not going to reconsider," said Judge Ennis. "I put considerable time "in writing the decision, and I'm going to stand by it. I think, when a case like this has gone to trial, that positions become more or less polarized...and that we will have to appoint someone from out of town." The judge and both attorneys then agreed on a list of three possible persons to make the decision, with the one charging a fair and reasonable amount to begiven the task. The judge also awarded Side $1,000 in attorney's fees and another $113.30 in appeal costs. Miller gave notice to the court that the city likely would pursue the matter in the Court of Appeals. Afterwards, Attorney Miller said he felt confident that matters would be reversed. Businesses told 'hire interns' Weather W(xds By Bob Quirm Cheney and Spokane-area businesses currently are being asked to give serious thought to helping to reduce the number of unemployed by hiring in- terns through Eastern Washington University's Center for Extended Learning. Eastern's Isabelle Green, who works as a site developer, notes that many small businesses don't know that they can provide valuable on-the-job train- ing for students, especially for those who are seeking basic, entry-level skills. She noted that besides finding jobs for juniors and seiners in career- oriented positions, the center also works to find part-time employment for younger studeJlt. Often, said Green, small businesses may need specific help for a special project, such as a public or consumer survey. Local businesses interested in further information can contact the office at 209 Hargraves Hall or Green on the seventh floor of the Ben Marche Building in Spokane. The campus number is 359-2402, and the Spokane number is 456-4402 or 458-6221. Date: Aug. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Max. Temp.: 70 72 72 76 71 76 84 -- MIn. Temp.: 54 49 48 50 48 52 50 50 Warm summer weather will return by today, with high temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s. Overnight lows will remain In the 50s. A slight cooling trend will develop through the weekend, but no preciplta- tlon is expected.