October Neighborhood Council Meeting Recap
Mere days before the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council convenes for its meeting on Wednesday, November 13 at 7pm in the Corbin Senior Center, we thought it a good time to bring everyone up to speed on what the EGNC did last month.
After the meeting kicked off in the usual manner shortly after 7pm, Matt West of the Lands Council gave a presentation about Spokane River toxins and eating fish caught there. One of the two more common toxins is PCBs/PBDEs (flame retardants). Exposure to these chemicals comes from eating fish caught in the river. The other toxin is heavy metals, which are remnants of a century of mining upstream. Exposure to heavy metals comes from ingesting dirt or contact with broken skin. More information is available through the Lands Council.
Garbage Czar Karl Boldt noted that dump passes would be available after the meeting and on October 26 at the Corbin Senior Center.
Information concerning Photo Red funds was discussed next. Up until a recent decision by the City Council, all profits derived from red light fines — for context, $437,000 was raised in 2012 — were used to fund traffic-calming improvements like traffic circles and curb bump-outs. The recent vote by the City Council changed this allocation so that in the future, $100,000 of the total funds will go to the Spokane Police, $50,000 will go to the COPS program, and $20,000 will go to graffiti abatement. The rest will go for traffic calming. It should be noted that the EGNC, along with the Community Assembly and many other neighborhood councils voted (in an advisory capacity) to keep all funds collected through the Photo Red program strictly for traffic calming projects.
It was announced that Christ Clinic had successfully applied for a permit to allow them to use a house adjacent to their property for commercial use. It was previously zoned residential and a minor zone change was allowed.
Corbin Senior Center reported a successful Walk-Along at Corbin Park, which brought out more people than last year and raised $1,000. Harvard Park sponsored a Spaghetti Fundraiser, which brought in another $1,000. The Munch and Mingle Auction sold out the day before the event. Unfortunately, the Parks Department did not increase the contract funding amount for Corbin, even though a number of people (including representatives of the EGNC) wrote letters. Senator Andy Billig has offered to guide Corbin towards the possibility of maybe getting a grant for a new elevator. Corbin’s name will appear next month as we dole out Community Development Block Grant funds with a request for funds for a variety of needs.
The Emerson Community Garden is wrapping up its season, and there is a cleanup day scheduled for Sunday, October 20. Membership is just $20 a season and everyone shares in the harvest.
As of this meeting, there were two remaining Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Markets for the season. Four raffles are set for the final gathering on Friday, October 18, and you must be present to win.
Megan Kennedy, who heads the Neighborhood Planning Committee, announced there is a big planning workshop meeting scheduled for the next evening (Thursday, October 10) from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 14 at the same place and time. The more people who attend, the better and more inclusive the planning effort will be.
Lt. Dean Sprague gave the monthly crime report. Statistics show that neighborhood crime rates are down. Starting on the first of the year, the Spokane Police Department will be surveying itself regarding racial profiling. Currently, 88% of those arrested are white males. Officers will be filling out information detailing demographics after every arrest that will then a collated, synthesized and processed to see how they are doing.
The Community Assembly has a retreat scheduled for Saturday, October 12 where the focus will be reinventing Community Assembly and Neighborhood Councils. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich will be the keynote speaker.
New playground equipment for Emerson Park was installed in July. Sidewalks are also complete for this year and many of the projects are just now being wrapped up.
Training seminars for Building Stronger Neighborhoods have been going on, and the next one will be on October 21 at Corbin Senior Center. It will address the pros, cons and how-tos of neighborhood councils forming nonprofit organizations
The meeting was adjourned at 8:12pm.