This is a recap of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting that took place on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.
The guest speakers for the month were Julie Oliver and Lisa Woodard of the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency. The agency has been around since 1967. It is responsible for issuing permits, performing on-site inspections, responding to citizen complaints regarding issues such as outdoor burning, and regulating asbestos safety.
Julie and Lisa reported that the main air pollutants in Spokane are particulate matter (PM) and ozone. Inhalable coarse particles are found near roadways and in dust storms, whereas fine particles are a result of outdoor burning. To reduce PM, they incentivize the removal of old woodstoves. Ground-level ozone is commonly referred to as smog, and can give your lungs the equivalent of a sunburn. One method to reduce ozone is vapor recovery at gas stations that have a high throughput and are close to residential areas, such as Safeway on NW Blvd. Ozone can be at its highest on hot days (over 90°), so it’s best to switch to an electric or battery-powered mover or cut your grass on cooler days.
You can check whether outdoor burning is permitted on the agency’s website (linked above).
Jonathan Martinez volunteered to represent the neighborhood on the Public Safety Committee as part of their initiative to address landlord and tenant issues. Almost 50% of the population of Emerson-Garfield rents, which makes it all the more important to have a neighborhood voice on this committee.
Al Steuart highlighted the events that will be featured at the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market throughout the summer, starting on Friday, June 5. If you have any clean compost, including leaves, Al would like to use it. You can reach him on (760) 223-0161. Any extra compost will be used for the Emerson Community Garden.
At the market, the KERNAL program proposed by Catholic Charities is looking for sponsors to help them cover the cost of materials. Kids will be taught fun skills such as how to compost, how to make their own jump-ropes, and will receive tokens to exchange for vegetables. The South Perry Farmers Market found this program to be very successful last year. If you’d like to help Steve Anderson campaign for business sponsors, which will receive recognition and advertising, please contact him.
The Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market also recently announced the winners of its annual poster competition. This year’s participating neighborhood schools were Trinity Catholic School and Spokane Public Montessori.
If you are interested in forming a group to advocate for events and improvements on behalf of Emerson Park, contact Steve Anderson (e-mail linked above).
Amy Dutton reported that the Greening Grant Committee will meet on Friday, May 29 at 6pm at Emerson Park. Anyone interested in selecting locations for future tree plantings and beautification efforts is encouraged to attend.
Steve Anderson has arranged a 10% discount at Gibson’s Nursery & Landscape (1401 S Pines) for all Emerson-Garfield residents. Proof of ID is required to receive the discount. Bulk purchases could receive as high as a 15% discount. He is working on coordinating similar discounts for E-G residents at other area nurseries.
Candace Mumm offered a report from the Spokane City Council. The revitalization of N Monroe Street has seen some additional progress as well as challenges. In addition to the surface-level improvements, there are 106-year-old utility pipes under the street that need to be replaced. However, certain businesses appear to be more concerned about the through-traffic count than the benefits to safety, infrastructure and storefronts.
As a resident and patron of those businesses, you can inform them why it is important to have a walkable environment, and why cars that obey the speed limit can be a boon to business. Residents who are in favor of N Monroe revitalization can counter vocal naysayers by contacting the City Council as well as writing letters to the editor and to the mayor in support of the road diet (more info on that is here).
Councilwoman Mumm also noted that complaints have arisen over 60-foot cell towers being placed in two back yards, and a six-month moratorium was placed on installing them. Regulations are being proposed that could limit those towers to commercial zones.
Laura Schlangen reported on the Corbin Senior Activity Center. Their Madhatter’s Tea Party is on Friday, May 22 at 1:30pm. The annual Golf Scramble will be held on Friday, June 5. The Munch and Mingle Auction is on Saturday, September 19.
Karl Boldt reported on the recent Spring Cleanup. This year there were over 60 volunteers, 140 participating residents, 21.2 tons of refuse and 1.92 tons of recyclable material. The event is already scheduled for next year: Saturday, May 21, 2016. Since we only used $3,957.50 of the allotted $6,500 budget, additional dump passes will be given to residents throughout the year.
Jay Cousins reported on the Community Assembly. As part of its renewal, the CA will try to be an equal partner to neighborhoods and the local government, balancing the two groups.
The CA is also currently working on ordinances regarding outdoor storage and vehicles. One issue was whether to allow 1 to 4 cars per residence in addition to the four (4) cars that each residence is allowed to have legally. The final decision was to allow two (2) additional cars that are not visible from the street. There is already an ordinance against parking on the front lawn, so Code Enforcement should be contacted at (509) 625-6083 for relevant violations.
After final announcements about upcoming neighborhood events, the meeting adjourned just after 7:30pm.