Slide Show Of Jon Snyder

Upcoming Events: March 7th-March 14th

The City of Spokane is encouraging citizens to get involved in the 2011 Big Read for the Inland Northwest. The Spokane Public Library and the City’s Arts Department are participating in the program, which is part of the Eastern Washington University’s Get Lit! Programs. From March 4 through April 16, EWU’s Get Lit! Programs is hosting The 2011 Big Read for the Inland Northwest. In addition to the Spokane Public Library, the Spokane County Library and Fairchild Air Force Base Library have gotten involved, too. The point of the Big Read is to draw communities together around a single book through a month of related literary events. Get Lit! Programs selected Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried because it exemplified this year’s festival theme of “Telling the American Story.” This award-winning book is not just about the Vietnam War, although it is considered one of the finest books ever written about combat and its consequences.

The Big Read will officially kick-off tonight with a reception in the Chase Gallery in the lower level of Spokane City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., from 5 to 8 p.m. Veterans Gary Duvall, David Baird, Suzanne Williams and others will share their stories. Free books will be handed out as part of the Book Crossing read and release program where copies of The Things They Carried will be left around town for people to pick up and read. On this same night, the Chase Gallery will also open a related exhibition entitled “Telling the American Story: History. Memory. Place. Story. Picture. Space.”

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NAACP hosts forum at East Central Community Center

Last Tuesday night, you might’ve caught City Hall’s crime prevention summit with Mayor Mary Verner, Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Sherrif Ozzie Knezovich. Be sure to attend the follow-up hosted by the NAACP. This community meeting will be at the East Central Community Center (500 S. Stone) on Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. to continue the conversation about the bomb found prior to the Martin Luther King Day March, race relations, policing and other issues.

Upcoming Events: January 31st-February 7th

N/A by Amber Kohal
N/A by Amber Kohal of North Idaho College

The Spokane Arts Commission announces “Explorations XII,” a group exhibit of artwork by students from Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, North Idaho College, Spokane Falls Community College, and Whitworth University will be held in the Chase Gallery, through February 25, 2011. The Chase Gallery is located in City Hall at 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. in Spokane. An artist reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, 5 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with Visual Arts Tour. Gallery hours are Monday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The students work in a wide variety of media. This artwork represents some of the best work by younger artists from the region. Hope you get a chance to see this exciting student exhibit.

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“Taking Back Our Voice: The Future of Campaign Finance Reform.”

This Thursday at 6pm in City Council Chambers, I’m introducing an open forum called “Taking Back Our Voice: The Future of Campaign Finance Reform.” Panelists will discuss present activities in legislature, local activism and the actualization of comprehensive campaign and election reform. The purpose of this event is to create a clear perception that campaign reform is everyone’s issue, not partisan, and provide much-needed information about the state of campaign finance, public disclosure, national and state-level efforts, where to get more information and how to get involved.

Panelists are:

Marcus Ricelli–Political Advisor to Washington State Sen. Lisa Brown
Craig Salins–State Director of Washington Public Campaigns
Kirk Smith–Tea Party Consultant
John Waite–Radio Host, Independant Political Activist
Breean Beggs–Center For Justice
Bonnie Mager–Democratic Spokane County Commissioner 2006-2010
Ginger Kelsh–League of Women Voters
Randall Yearout–Former Constitutionalist Party Congressional Candidate
Julian Hale–Republican Party

You can RSVP on facebook here.

Two accidents highlight council priorities

Yesterday there was a couple of incidents that drew my attention. First, the awful news a Gonzaga University student was hit by a minivan as she crossed Mission Avenue at Astor Street. The car in the right lane stopped to let her cross but the minivan did not. The Spokesman reported she suffered serious injuries and no citations have been issued. Could a Pedestrian Master Plan prevent this from occurring? Maybe not. But it’s worth looking into as a plan would increase safety and funding for pedestrian improvements.

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Upcoming Events: November 15th-22nd

Along with community partners, the city is gathering information on pedestrian and bicyclist mobility in the University District. Public input is an important part of the process to select an option that will be moved forward to design and environmental review. What do you think about the idea to provide a safe connection across the BNSF rail corridor for pedestrians and bicyclists in the University District? To learn more about the options being considered and submit your feedback, visit University District Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge Study.

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Ask Your Councilman: Adams St. Parking Meters

This post will kick-off a new periodic entry where I highlight responses to citizen inquiries. Not only are City Councilmembers the legislative branch but we also strive to be the citizens’ eyes and ears in the city, representing various concerns in our districts. Below is an email exchange regarding new parking meters on Adams St:

I am a resident of Cornerstone Courtyard on Adams. Cornerstone and The Pearl are government subsidized housing. In these buildings live a substantial number of physically and mentally impaired people, as well as people who are on SSI or are impoverished in other ways (I am a student with no income for example). I was, frankly, shocked to see that the city put in parking meters in our neighborhood during the recent construction efforts there, without giving notice that they would do so.

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Tuesday AM Recap 11/9/10: Budget Hearings & Unemployment Insurance

Jon and Louise McGrody of the Bicycle Alliance help plant tree #111 of the Suzy forest on Friday.

Last night we had and Emergency Budget Ordinance to allocate more money to our unemployment insurance fund. Our budget director Tim Dunivant speculated that many of the City’s seasonal worker may be having a hard time in the off-season finding other work. This, like everything last night, passed unanimously. The other two actions we took were a resolution to set the a hearing for the downtown business improvement district (or B.I.D.–so many City government acronyms), and an action to set the City’s 2011 property tax levy, which will adjusted up 1% in aggregate as it has been for a number of years.

Last night was also our first hearing on City budget expenses. If you haven’t had a chance already I strongly urge you to look at the Mayor’s 2011 budget presentation. It’s a great summary of the budget that can be digested in just a couple minutes. We heard public testimony from Louise Chadez in opposition to the proposed closure of the Eastside Library. Louise’s contention, which I support, is that even though the Eastside Branch trails other small branches in some performance measures it should not be closed because it is in the heart of one of the City’s poorest neighborhoods. She made the point that it is much more difficult for East Central residents to access other library branches because fewer of them have access to vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming Events: October 25th-November 1st

On Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Riverpoint Campus’ South Campus Facility, 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd, next to the WSU Bookie, come to the open house and forum on the Central City Transit Alternatives Analysis (formerly the Downtown Transit Alternatives Analysis). The discussion will cover mobility focused projects planned for the Central City area, including the East Sprague Redevelopment Plan and the University District Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge. Arrive at 3:30pm to hear opening remarks from Mayor Verner. Visit the project website at for more information or contact Melissa Wittstruck at 625-6069.
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Upcoming Events: September 27th-October 3rd

Last night I hosted Council Connection, a cable television program featuring Spokane City Council members as hosts shown live on CityCable 5. The two topics covered were the City budget and service reductions at the Spokane Transit Authority (STA). For the City budget discussion, I was joined by the City’s Chief Financial Officer, Gavin Cooley, and Rick Boutz, a member of the Citizens Financial Advisory Council to the Mayor. (Boutz will talk about the CFAC discussions on the budget and outline the pros and cons of different revenue raising options at Monday’s council meeting.) For the STA discussion, guests were Steve Blaska, STA’s Director of Operations, and Susanne Croft, a STA bus rider. If you missed it, the show will play throughout the month of October and you can check the schedule HERE. CityCable 5 is the City of Spokane’s government-access cable station and it’s found on channel 5 on the Comcast cable system in Spokane or go to and click on “City Council Connection” to reach the archived programs.
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