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October 22, 2009     Cheney Free Press
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October 22, 2009
 

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Page 4 Free Press Thursday, October 22, 2009 Plan B n for institutional vacuum ~:~1 Medical Lake dodged a double dose of worry last week when the state released the first draft of a report calling for Pine Lodge Corrections Center to stay open. Lakeland Village, however, wasn't so fortunate, with recommendations for massive reductions to take place over the next eight years that would leave the facility a husk of its former self. This isn't the first time either Lakeland or Pine Lodge has been on the chopping block. The capacity of the 30-year-old corrections center was halved early this year following a 2008 cost/ben- efit analysis that at first called for the prison to be shut down. Lakeland, a facility that opened its doors for the developmentally disabled in 1915, has a longer and more hassled history. Along with other Residential Habilitation Centers (RHCs), Lakeland's population decreased dramatically in the '70s after the govern- ment started rethinking how developmentally dis- abled people should be accommodated. Hundreds of residents were moved into state operated com- munity programs and further reductions have taken place since, leaving an institution that once housed thousands abridged to the current 240 residents. Many have been reminded recently of the early '90s when the state slowly phased out nearby Inter- lake School, resulting in 200 residents transferred to other RHC's and 400 jobs lost. That building is now a DOC storage unit. We don't want to be alarmist - legislators will have the final say on whether or not they'll accept a final version of these recommendations. But whatever the arguments - budgetary, geographical or philosophical - state leaders seem increasingly eager to consider "consolidation" of this area's in- sfitutions. Hopefully, while there's still time, the leaders of Medical Lake will discuss what the loss of a state institution would mean for the city and prepare worst case scenarios. While institutions like Lakeland add a moderate property tax income to the town treasury, their real worth doesn't center on tax revenue, but the jobs they create. If the current recommendations are adopted, more than 650 workers will be laid off at a time when unemployment is at its highest point in decades. Many of these people live in Medical Lake and will be forced to look elsewhere for work if they see the key in-city industry fading. Ever since Stanley Hallett used his political sway to bring Eastern State Hospital to town in 1891, Med- ical Lake has been known as a town built on state institutions. City leaders must guard against falling to the same fate as the Northwest "timber towns" of decades past which were left destitute after the collapse of public lands logging in the region. The city has to do more to attract alternate indus- tries for citizen employment in the unfortunate case of a loss of state facilities. Administrators may understandably be hesitant to consider a future without facilities like Lakeland before anything is certain. While we agree this is no time to go shopping for a casket, it's high time a living will was drafted. Write to the Point Controlling growth isn't about roadblocks, but vision Growth. It's a four-letter word to some folks. OK, it's actually a six-letter word, but you get my meaning. believe is safe, peaceful and invit- ing. People want to belong and be protected. And it's people that create years, long before Avalon Place, the Orchards or Golden Hills. It will continue to do so. That's where the land is. TO RE; mNrlON? Former council member supports Tom Trulove for mayor Please vote for Tom Trulove. a fabricated water moratorium, seek new money sources, reduce His leadership, qualifications, water and electric meter errors wasteful expenditures, implement experience and judgement are costing lost revenues of many sound budgeting processes with needed to get the city of Cher/ey thousands of dollars, potentially adequate reserves, hold employ- on track to meet the challenges costly inconsistencies in code ap- ees accountable and bring back now and in tl e future, plications and the need to more the stong community involve- Under the current administra- vigorously seek outside grants, ment we experienced during his tion there have been instances From my experience over previous service as mayor. of some lax spending controls, a the years and as a former City Join me in voting for Tom confusing budget process and a Council member, I know Tom Trulove. lack of direction. There have been understands these issues and has Tom Davis costly actions and errors such as a plan of action. He knows how to Cheney At last Wednesday's Cheney that environment. People creating There are steps the city takes to Councilman McKeehan will continue to serve city well FreePress CandidatesForumIbor- good neighborhoods through tak- control growth. Park impact fees, rowed a let- ing care of their homes and yards, consistent zoning, code enforce- ter to the edi- establishing friendships by talking ment and other measures place tor for some i1 over their fences, smiling greetings restrictions on some things while qu e s t i o n s as they take an evening stroll, giv- encouraging others. of our City ing up two cups of sugar when But as long as a developer's Council and only one is asked for. project is in compliance with the mayoral can- The work of people is what cre- codes, the city can't really say no, didates about ates neighborhood character, and we don't want it or need it. I'm no growth. I only in tu Ln,, Creates, a cir. Ifth f' ork lawyer, and I haven't stayed at mentioned is good, what s created is good, Holiday Inn Express lately, buff' the writer's John McCallum generally, that would seem to me to be an feelings that Developers notice this, and illegal taking of land. C h e n e y' s build accordingly. If they have Growth is going to take place, growth is too much, out of control residential land, they're going it always has. I'm sure 50 years ago and damaging to the small-town, to develop housing that fits the there were people who didn't like family character of the city. market and the character of nearby the way Cheney was growing, and If I paraphrased incorrectly neighborhoods. It may not look pined for less crowded days, days I apologize, but the author did the same as older homes, but if it's when you didn't have to watch for state that this growth was turning zoned a certain way it's generally traffic downtown but rather watch Cheney into a West Plains version developed to suit. where you stepped. of Liberty Lake or Spokane Valley, Commercial developers tailor If you don't like Cheney's and that was not a gooc thing, their land or structures to accom- growth, well, perhaps you should You'll have to read our forum modate businesses that feel they look in the mirror because your recap to find out how candidates have something to provide to the manicured yard/nicely painted responded to the questions, but nearby clientele. They may fill house probably helped contribute the debate got me thinking about gaps, or they may just offer more to it. But you can't simply put a why people choose to live where choices, roadblock on SR-904 and say none they do. Cheney is growing because its shallpass. In fact, restricting growth I'm speaking aboutwhy some- residents have made it a desirable ' can have its detriments, onebeinga one who works in Spokane or else- place to live. To be sure, Cheney reduction in services provided by a where chooses to live inCheney or has some unique influences on large, prosperous tax base. Medical Lake and commute each how it grows, such as EasternGrowth can be good, if it's day. Affordable and available Washington University, directly controlled. That requires vision, housing is one reason. A good and indirectly. A university town and vision comes only from the school system is another reason, means apartments and businesses people who know how they want if they have children or are in like fast food restaurants and hair their homes, sidewalks, streets, the market for such in the near salons, trees, lawns and storefronts to look future. Cheney is growing northward - and want to be part of the process But one reason that transcends because that's where the available in saying so. all demographics is that people land is for growth, which again is And that process doesn't have want to live somewhere they residential. It's been doing that for to include four letter words. FREE PRESS Vol. 113 - No. 27 Publisher Editor Press Production Manager Harlan Shellabarger John McCallum Randy Warwick Sales Reporters Pressmen Steve Barge Paul Delaney Mark Cordes Carol Campbell Ryan Lancaster Ed Geary DeeAnn Gibb Becky Thomas Sergio Reynaga Graphics John Myers Karen Robinette Bookkeeper Front Office Debi Labish Rubi Geary Circulation Manager Wendy Westby Sharon Tennison The Editorial Board is The Cheney Free Press is published every Thursday by the Free Press Publishing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodical postage 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 composed of Paul Delaney, John McCallum, Harlan Shellabarger The Free Press requests that contributors observe the following deadlines, which will be strictly en- forced: OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES -- Tuesday, 10 a.m. CHURCH, WEDDINGS, CLUB MEETINGS. ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 D.rn. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 a.m. Rates: Addresses in Spokane County,. $24 per year within Spokane County; $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 Letters We welcome letters to the editor of 300 words or less. Deadline is Monday at 4 p.m. Letters must be signed and include a- daytime phone number. We reserve the right to edit for length, style, policy and libel laws. Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235,2887 emaih cfp@cheneyfreepress.com online at www.cheneyfreepress.com When I was a child, the subject a business and you had an em- to all discussion, make an hon- of our conversations at the dinner ployee who was honest, came to est decision independent of the table was often political. I was work on time and did a good job, trend, and vote to support what the youngest, and one evening would you fire that employee and he feels is best for the residents - eager to contribute rather than hire someone else simply to have of Cheney. What more could we listen - I repeated something I a change?" want in a council member? Please had read that day about"needing Mike McReehan has served join me in reelecting Mike McK- a change." I have never forgotten our city well asCouncilman,eehan to our City Council. my father's response. I don't always agree with his Bonnie Eccles He asked me, "If you owned vote, but he does listen carefully Cheney Rep. Judy Warnick endorses Pat Hailey for 9th District We need common sense in ee, community leader and elected She is a person who knows Olympia! school board director, among the value of a dollar, how to I am confident that Pat Hailey other life experiences, has pre- make it stretch and how to set will bring that common sense we pared her to easily move into the priorities; all necessary assets so desperately need in the Wash- position of representative for the for representing the agricultural ington State Legislature. 9th District in Olympia. community, small businesses Pat has been involved with She has worked on a local level and our schools during this enough diverse groups in her life to follow the sometimes onerous financially challenging time pe- to understand how to work with state mandates sent down by legis- riod in our state. all manner of people. Her quiet lative directives; one such example I'm asking you to support Pat nature and willingness to look at is her experience working for alo- Hailey for House of Representa- all sides of an issue without com- cal school district to implement the fives, Position 1, 9th District. She promising her values is exactly Becca Bill requirements. Pat has is an excellent, common sense what the district and our state also had experience with the regu- choice for your district and our need to help solve the critical is- latory and financial requirements state. sues facing our state, imposed on our small and agricul- Rep. Judy Warnick, Pat's experience as a wife, rural related businesses throught 13th District mother, rancher, school employ- her own family business. Moses Lake See Letters on page 5 A vibrant opinion page leads to a vibrant community ii ;:;~!;%%!~i:ii:i;S~;i;:iiii2;~:ifi;;i:i:5:i:i:;:~2!;: ............................. ~i:!;i:!~i:i;:i::i~:il;;;~ii:~:~:.: Your Cheney Free Press editorial staff John McCallum Becky Thomas Ryan Lancaster Editor Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Main contact for anything re- Covers all Cheney govern- Covers all Medical Lake garding Cheney Free Press ment, community and school government, community editorial coverage, district news and events, and school district news and Covers all Cheney Highbecky@cheneyfreepress~events. School sports, Eastem com rvan@cheneyfreepress.com Washington University news. jmac~cbenejdreepress.com Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washing- ton University sports. Contact for miscellaneous sports. pdelanev @ cheneyfreepress,