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October 22, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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October 22, 2015
 

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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, October 22, 2015 blic safe We generally don't give public safety much thought, until we need it. Public safety is nothing that should be taken for granted. Its quality and quantity can deter- mine whether you are safe or at risk, whether you live or you die. But it is something that must be paid for, and that is why we are encouraging Cheney voters to say yes on the city's Proposition 1. Proposition 1, would, if passed, increase the property tax levy by 70 cents from its current $2.40 per $1,000 of assessed value to $3.10 per $1,000 of assessed value. This would be a one-time lift, and restore the city's property tax to the level allowed under law had previous city councils elected to take more than the I percent allowed for by passage of Initia- tive 747 in 2001. The lift Would provide an additional $410,975 to the city's general fund eachyear, money city officials have said would go towards meeting a long list of needs the police and fire departments have laid out. Police would be able to hire more fuU-time patrol officers, bringing its compliment closer to the average for cities Cheney's size, while also replacing worn out vehides, computer equipment and providing required officer training. Fire would be able to begin budgeting for a new main at- tack engine, with a very-little- frills price tag beginning around $500,000. Fire would also be able to buy new equipment, replacing existing hoses that date back to the early 1980s, worn out fie- fighter turnouts that protect them from the heat and upgrading air- packs with models that keep fire first responders safer longer. The owner of a $150,000 home, more typical for Cheney, would pay $105 more annually, $8.78 monthly. Es- sentially for the price of a Bellybuster with medium fries and drink, we can ensure we have enough first responders to safely meet our needs that are equipped with good, up- dated equipment. That makes a lot of sense because as Cheney grows, and Easterfi Washington Uni- versity grows, the demands on our first responders also grow, creating not only safety concerns for us, but also for them. According to the Cheney The city has provided some fig- Police Department's Septem- ures for what some of this would cost: air packs about $100,000 total, turnouts also $100,000 total, police car fully equipped $46,500 and new officers around $80,000 - $90,000 each. The city has also tossed out figures for what this would cost homeowners: the owner of a $250,000 house would pay $175 more annually, $14.58 monthly while the owner of a $200,000 house would pay $140 more an- nuaUy, $11.67 monthly. ber Monthly Accountability Report, patrol calls for service were 6,313, almost 400 more than at the same time last year and almost 1,000 more than through September 2013. Total calls to Cheney dis- patch have risen each year, topping 55,000 for the first time in 2014, while fire calls rose to 1,342. There are other numbers to consider, such as what it might mean to people's homeowners insurance should the Fire Department's aging equipment impact its ability to respond, and thus reduce the city's fire rating. Cheney has always supported its public safety personnel, and we would hope that goodwill shines through Nov. 3. But there also needs to be some trust in city officials to keep their word. As the ballot language states, the money from the levy lid lift goes to the city's general fund, which is also the fund that the ad- miru'stration, finance and munici- pal court departments pull from, along with some aspects of parks and recreation. They also have needs they would like met, and voters have a right to be leery that money supposed to go to hoses and radios might get siphoned off to pay for chairs and new copiers. Cheney officials from the mayor on down have pledged public safety needs will be the city's main priority should voters approve lifting the levy lid. We need to take them at their word, while also keeping a watchful eye. Because public safety, the safety of everyone, is nothing that anything should come in the way of being properly provided. Write to the Point Preventing high school football injuries through education BY AL STOVER Staff Reporter Football is a dangerous game - fans and athletes know that. It's been that way since its inception in 1869. Recently, the sport has been under a mictosco due to the member of injuries at the high school level. Even AI b-' o r Medical Lake High School had two players who were injured during games. Na onally, six high school players have died due to ufies lated to the game. I have heard some friends talk about not letting their sons play football, at least until they School Sports-Related Injury censed health care provider are older. Some writers and Surveillance Study, there were that is authorized to evaluate critics have advocated their more than 500,000 injuriespossible concussions on site. schools to ban it. In September, related to high school football If the answer is yes, the medi- Camden Hills Regional High just last year. While muscle cal personnel must be on site School, in Rockport, Maine, strains and sprains repre-and able to be summoned to canceled its football season sented just over one-third of all evaluate a potential concussion. after the team's third game. the injuries, concussions were If an official removes an athlete According to an article in the about one-quarter, from play for possible concus- Boston Globe, the School cited Schools and regulatory bud- sign signs or symptoms, that safety concerns and low num- ies do what they can to prevent player could return to play if bers as reasons to cancel the sea- and mitigate injuries. There are they are medically deared. If the son. There won't be a Camden athletic trainers at practices team does not have an approved Hills varsity football team next and medical personnel at the health care provider available year either, though the school games. The WIAA (Washing- and the official removes a player might allow a JV team. ton Interscholastic Activities for possible concussion signs or I don't think schools should Association) implemented asymptoms, tl at athlete will not ban the sport, but measures concussion policy in place for be allowed to return to play for should be in place to ensure the 2015:16 school year. the rest of the game. players are healthy and safe According to the WIAA Every year each school dis- before and after games. Ac- website, officials will ask the trict's board of directors work cording to the National High coach if he or she has a li- in concert with the WIAA to develop the guidelines and other information and forms to inform and educate coaches, athletes, and their parents and/or guardians of the ha- See Write to the Point page 5 FREE PRESS Vol. l19-No. 27 Press Production Manager Editor Randy Warwick John McCallum Pressman Reporters Mark Cordes Paul Delaney AI Stover Sales Steve Barge Graphics DeeAnn Gibb Brittani Montecucco John Myers Front Office Dawn Chernak Bookkeeper/ Rachel Stuart Office Manager Debi Labish Publisher Harlan Shellabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, AI Stover, Brittani Montecucco~ John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press is The Free Press re- 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. OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m.* 99004. Published at 1616 W. CHURCH. CLUB MEETINGS. ALL SOCIAL First Street, Cheney, Wash. NEWS -- Monday, noon* 99004. DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m.* POSTMASTER: Send LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m." CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 a.m.* address changes to: Cheney *Exc ho,days Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 nez m pulLli.ino inc 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. HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 email: cfp @ cheneyfreepress.com www.cheneyfreepress,com Cheney needs more cops on the street Our society has become far In the city of Cheney police mands? The honest answer too dangerous and complex officers routinely work alone is that they can't do it alone. to rely upon one police officer and this practice is no longer We need to staff the police per shift to sort through the acceptable, department to meet thechal- labyrinth of issues that arise Moreover, there are times lenges of modern policing each day. Not to mention when a Cheney police of- and the increased workload confronting those citizens ficer has multiple calls to demands that officers face that will not cooperate or respond to at the same time. each day. those that must be taken into How then can one or even custody for breaking the law. two officers meet these de- See Letters page 5 i. John McCalIum A1 Stover Paul Delaney Editor Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Main contact for all editorial content. Cov- Covers all Education (Cheney, Medical Covers all Business, Medical Lake ers Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Lake and Eastern Washington Univer- High School and Eastern Washing- Heights news as welles selected Cheney sity) as weft as selected Cheney High ton University sports. Contact for High School sports. School Sports. miscellaneous sports. jmac @~eneylreepress.com al @ cheneyfreepressx~m pdelaney@ cheneyffeep[~