Building Dreams Fundraiser (May 9) for Local Community Centers

Three local community centers — namely, the West Central Community Center, the Northeast Youth Center and the Southwest (formerly Peaceful Valley) Community Center — are holding their third annual joint fundraiser for local at-risk youth programs. It’s called Building Dreams: Bright Futures for Our Kids.

The dinner and auction event will be held at the Spokane Convention Center starting at 6pm on Saturday, May 9. There are some amazing silent auction items lined up as well as a couple of larger custom-built structures — like this plush log cabin doghouse that’s currently being raffled off (tickets are only $1 and are available in River Park Square) — that will go to the highest bidder.

WCCC - Building Dreams 2015

The programs these centers provide are of immense importance to many families in Emerson-Garfield (and all over Spokane, for that matter), because they give kids a safe, supportive place where they can make friends, engage in healthy activities and learn from positive role models.

Individual tickets for the event are $45, and you can reserve a table of ten for $450. Click here to buy tickets online.

First Annual Neighborhood Extravaganza (May 9)

Knox Presbyterian Church in partnership with the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council, C.O.P.S. North Central and Spokane Hope Christian Reformed Church (스포켄 소망교회) is holding its first-ever Neighborhood Extravaganza on Saturday, May 9 from 9am to 2pm in the church parking lot (806 W Knox).

At this combined fundraiser event to benefit C.O.P.S. North Central and the two churches, you’ll find food, homemade soaps, plants and starts, crafts, jewelry, chair massage, vintage items — plus yard sale and secondhand items. It will be a great chance to shop for a unique Mother’s Day gift and meet your neighbors.

Neighborhood Extravaganza Vendor Flyer

Spokane Hope Christian Reformed Church, which shares a building with Knox Pres, will be selling their delicious Korean food alongside the event.

Want to buy a booth for your crafts or secondhand items? Just $10 gets you a 10′ x10′ space (BYO table or canopy). The deadline for reserving a booth space is MondayMay 4.

Call Nedra on (509) 328-7540 with questions or to reserve a spot. Be prepared to leave a message with your name and phone number.

Recap of the April E-G Neighborhood Council Meeting

Here’s a brief recap of what took place during the April 8, 2015 meeting of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council (EGNC).

In addition to the 26 voting members in attendance, five new voting members were confirmed at the start of the April meeting. The sign-in sheet showed around another 25 first-timers or guests.

A representative from Spokane Transit Authority spoke about the details of Prop 1, the sales tax referendum on the upcoming April 28 special ballot. More info about the scope and ramifications of Prop 1 can be found in this digital booklet (print copies of which were issued at the meeting). Basically, it would provide an estimated 25% increase in bus service, which is expected to accommodate a 30% increase in ridership over the next ten years. If the measure is approved, it would increase taxes by 3/10 of 1% — or 3¢ on every $10. The sunset clause would cause this tax to expire in 2025.

Officer elections for 2015-16 were held. Megan Kennedy, who announced that she would be stepping down from the vice chair position, explained her hopes to revive the North Monroe Business Association and her future participation in the West Quadrant Tax Increment Financing (WQ TIF) Committee. Kally Romjue and Steve Anderson were presented as candidates for vice chair. Both the current secretary and chair agreed to continue in their positions for another year with the EGNC’s consent. Two volunteers who were not up for election counted the 25 ballots submitted.

Judith Gilmore, representing the Fulcrum Institute, gave an update on on Ash Street Station, which will become a greenhouse facility and train former inmates with work skills. Its renovation was partly funded by the EGNC, and the Lands Council is encouraging the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market (among other organizations) to make use of its space. On TuesdayMay 19, Dave Dahl, founder of Dave’s Killer Bread, will be speaking at Ash Street Station (1926 N Ash).

Amy Dutton volunteered to head the ad hoc Greening Grants committee to plan future neighborhood plantings.

On a similar topic, Lois Musser discussed the Emerson Community Garden and invited new and existing attendees to the Spring Work Day on Sunday, April 19 at 2pm.

Al Steuart reported in absentia that he has lined up several demonstrations and educational events at this year’s farmers’ market. He is looking for additional volunteers to lead other events such as cooking demos, beekeeping seminars, and tips on garden gadgets. Please contact him at alsteuart@gmail.com if you are interested.

Jackie Caro with the Office of Neighborhood Services announced three upcoming locations for the speed signs as part of the traffic calming program. Her office is currently waiting for bids for planting the shrubbery in the traffic circles on W Montgomery. Later in the year the City Council will decide on the funding for the traffic-calming proposals approved by the EGNC in February.

Laura Schlangen reported for the Corbin Senior Activity Center. Friday, May 22 is their Mad Hatter’s Tea Party; June 5 is their Golf Scramble. An anonymous donor as well as Hoffman Music contributed to the replacement of the stolen sound system. Another anonymous donor replaced the stolen Wii Bowling controls. If you are interested in becoming a CSAC board member, contact Christa Richardson at (509) 327-1584.

Karl Boldt gave a final reminder about the upcoming Spring Cleanup, which will take place from 9am to 12:30pm on Saturday, April 18 at Faith Bible Church. Volunteers are needed to help with the unloading as well as some light-duty tasks — and they’ll be rewarded with a pizza party afterwards. Call Karl at (509) 325-3031 to volunteer or ask questions.

Steve Anderson invited an additional volunteer for the Pedestrian Traffic and Transportation (PeTT) Committee. Contact Steve at slightlyuninteresting@gmail.com to lend a hand or discuss PeTT-related topics such as Safe Routes to School or missing parking signs.

Tim Musser reported that it looks as though Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding will prioritize poorer neighborhoods in 2016. The City hopes that neighborhoods will pool their money to realize larger projects.

Timothy Diko, who is co-organizing the neighborhood’s Concerts in the Park this year with Melissa Parker, attended a Summer Parkways meeting to see if the concert could coincide with the Summer Parkways event like last year. Unfortunately, the Summer Parkways group is not planning an event for Corbin Park this season. He and Melissa will update the neighborhood on progress in choosing a date and booking a band. If you are interested or donating time or money to assist in this, please contact Tim (dikota1@gmail.com) or Melissa (melissap838@gmail.com).

With the votes tallied, the meeting closed shortly after 7pm with the announcement that Steve Anderson had been elected to serve as vice chair of the EGNC.

Materials for the Apr 8 E-G Neighborhood Council Meeting

The Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meets tomorrow (April 8) starting at 6pm in the Corbin Senior Center (827 W Cleveland).

Please note that E-G residents interested in claiming their two free tree vouchers as part of the City’s Free Tree Weekend (April 17 and 18) can do so at this meeting.

This month’s guest speaker is the STA. They’ll be addressing Prop 1, the sales tax funding measure on the upcoming special election ballot. This digital booklet has more info so you can come prepared with questions.

Judith Gilmore will also be stopping by to apprise the group of progress on Ash Street Station, the Fulcrum Institute’s newly renovated work-training site. The E-G Neighborhood Council voted last November to allocate a portion of its Community Development dollars to this facility.

We’ll hear a quick recap of last weekend’s Greening Grant plantings here in E-G as well as what’s in store for this year’s Emerson Community Garden. Voting members will elect the council’s officer slate for 2015-16.

As always, you can download the materials beforehand as PDFs:

If you live, work or own property in Emerson-Garfield, you’re invited and encouraged to come to these meetings. We regularly see attendance of 40+ people from all over the neighborhood, and there are no dues, fees or other obligations to participate. It’s a great way to stay informed, meet your neighbors and take an active, grassroots role in shaping your neighborhood for the better!

Photos from the April 2015 Greening Grant Plantings

Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood held two simultaneous Greening Grant plantings on April 4, 2015.

One took place on the traffic median near 3114 N Maple, where trees had already been installed as part of the 2014 Greening Grant plantings. The year volunteers planted yucca and horizontal juniper bushes as ground cover, leaving enough room for the sidewalk to be laid later this year.

The other planting took place on the eastern side of Garfield Elementary. Spokane Urban Forestry had actually installed the trees a few days prior, so volunteers carried out some light dirt and sod removal followed by mulching.

Residents interested in the free trees that the City of Spokane is giving away over the weekend of April 17 and 18 as part of the Residential Tree Program were able to claim up to two vouchers at either of these events.

If you missed the plantings, there’s still another chance to claim your vouchers at the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting on Wednesday, April 8 at the Corbin Senior Center (827 W Cleveland). It starts at 6pm.

Spring Cleanup 2015 (April 18)

Emerson-Garfield will be holding its 2015 neighborhood-wide Spring Cleanup on Saturday, April 18 between 9am and 12:30pm.

The waiting room

This popular annual event organized by the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council is designed to help you get rid of all the junk that’s been cluttering your garage, backyard or basement — as much as you’ve got, and it’s all for free.

Just like in years past, there will be a roll-off container site at Faith Bible Church (600 W Cora) where you can pull up in your car or truck and dispose of the following:

  • “Clean green” and general refuse. This includes untainted green waste (e.g., leaves, grass cuttings) and everyday trash.
  • The Salvation Army collects reusable goods and e-cycle items — functional, gently used electronics such TVs, digital cameras and printers.
  • Metal recycling. Under this category falls microwaves, stoves, small lawn mowers — that is, any 99% metal items with a few tiny non-metal tidbits (but no items that contain freon or liquids).

A couple of caveats to keep in mind:

  • Household hazardous waste (e.g., paints, solvents) will not be accepted this year. Ours was the only neighborhood to make regular use of that offering, so it got cut from the program. Bummer.
  • No construction items like concrete and drywall. There are a variety of reasons for this, one of them being that they disproportionately inflate the container weight.
  • Emerson-Garfield residents only. If you don’t actually live in the neighborhood, you can’t offload your stuff.

If you appreciate or make use of this free event, you can give back by volunteering. Just send an e-mail to Karl Boldt and request either a loading or non-loading task. Loading requires someone strong and physically fit. Non-loading includes responsibilities like traffic control, ID check, or conducting the annual “wants and needs” survey.

Volunteers will need to be onsite from 8am to 1pm. Oh, and they’ll get treated to a pancake breakfast free pizza afterwards.

Social media buffs can RSVP to Spring Cleanup on Facebook or on Nextdoor.

Free Tree Vouchers for E-G Residents

By now you might have heard that the City of Spokane is giving away 2,000 trees. For free. Under this citywide initiative, Spokane residents will be eligible to receive up to two trees each. A variety of tree species are available between the sizes of four to seven gallons.

Free residential trees 2015

The Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council has received a limited number of vouchers for these trees to distribute to E-G residents on a first-come, first-served basis and as long as supplies last. Please read that last sentence again to ensure there’s no confusion or disappointment.

To claim their vouchers, Emerson-Garfield residents have two options:

  1. Attend one of the neighborhood’s Greening Grant plantings on Saturday, April 4. More info on that event is here.
  2. Attend the E-G Neighborhood Council meeting on Wednesday, April 8. That runs from 6 to 7:30pm at the Corbin Senior Center (827 W Cleveland).

Your vouchers will entitle you to pre-select your tree species and then pick them up on April 17 and 18 from three local nurseries that have partnered with the City’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

Check the free tree species list (PDF link) to see which species are offered at which location.

To have more mature trees delivered right to your door, Greenleaf Landscaping & Nursery is offering an additional deal as part of the Residential Tree Program. Greenleaf has reserved 300 deciduous and coniferous tree species for residents to purchase at $95 per tree, and Spokane residents are eligible for up to two of these trees. With your purchase Greenleaf will deliver and install your new tree(s) directly on to your property at a time convenient for you.

View the Greenleaf tree flyer (PDF link) to view a list of trees that are being offered.

Not in Emerson-Garfield? We feel your pain. To find out which neighborhood you live in, visit the City’s neighborhoods page.