Happy Holidays!!
North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club Bulletin
December 12, 2022
            Dec. 16 (Friday): Club holiday gathering at Sandy Fink’s house. Begins at 5 p.m.
            Dec. 19 (Bark closed), Dec. 26 and Jan. 2: No regular Monday luncheons during the holidays.
Happy Bucks:
            John Mailliard was happy to share a special framed family Christmas card written in 1969 by writer and lithographer Bob Raymond.  John’s grandfather created the Christmas card letters 12 War II years, until Mr. Raymond died in 1970.
            Also, we welcomed guests Bob Mailliard, John’s brother, and Ben Cleveland, opera singer and prospective member. 
            Bill   Simer gave a celebratory farewell to Robert Herold, a prolific writer and longtime political science professor at Eastern Washington and Gonzaga University, and, as Bill added, a terrific fan of GU women’s basketball program.
            Ron Noble was welcome to get home after a snow-challenged weekend trip to Bremerton.  With Snoqualmie and Stevens passes closed by weather, Ron took the white-knuckle route to White Pass, with a constant line of huge semis hugging the narrow route.  At least on his return trip, Snoqualmie’s pass finally opened.
            Guest speaker Karl Otterstrom added some dollars after a returning a trip to see his brother in Utah who is facing difficulties.
            Party time: For the Dec.16 holiday gathering, Sandy Fink commended her neighbor who cleared the deep berms in front of the two houses across from her home (to the east side) of Drumheller St.  Pending any more snow, the way is clear for about 22 club members, spouses and guests to enjoy the evening.
            “Dress comfortably and (for club members) bring a nice gift, but small,” Sandy said.
Gifts from Rotary Magi
            Holmes Elementary staff and administrators were thrilled about the huge assortment of gifts for the neediest students in our club’s “40 for $60” project.
            Coordinator Lenore Romney and husband Bob helped sort out the bags of gifts stowed in a classroom for distribution as the holiday break begins.
Bus travel gets into higher gear
            Next July, if development schedules are on time, Spokane can try the “Central Line” bus route which connects stop from Browne’s Addition past Gonzaga University to Spokane Community College.
             That route has been in the planning stage since 2009, said Karl Otterstrom, chief planning and development officer for Spokane Transit.  At the Dec. 12 club luncheon, he said development for the 6,2-mile route started in 2015.
            Karl joined the Spokane Transit Authority in 2009.  He graduated from EWU and then the UW with a master’s degree in urban planning.
             A $55-million federal grant in 2020 helped spur the City Line project.  Adding state and local funding, the total cost may reach $92 million, but, with 90 percent of the project done, some money may be returned to various agencies, Otterstrom said.
            The purple-colored, battery-powered bus line includes 32 stations.  Charging stations at each the end line will provide new power in about 15 minutes, he said.
            Each double-length, 60-foot-long bus, including standing room for patrons, could carry 100 people, with five exits each and boarding on both sides, he said.  That capacity might help parking challenges for events from the Fox Theater, the University District and GU, and the Spokane Arena, Podium and downtown stadium.  Shuttle buses along Route 11 will help travelers to the venues near the arena, with extended hours for night and weekend events.
            Asked about bus service to hillside neighborhoods, such as Eagle Ridge and Five Mile Prairie, Otterstrom said there are a number of traffic and terrain challenges, especially in Eagle Ridge, but route possibilities will be discussed.  
            But while you are waiting for the City Line bus, you also can think about the expanded lines that could eventually serve riders from the West Plains and the Spokane International Airport to Coeur d’Alene.
            Early on the STA wish lists are the Division Corridor from the Central Line to Wandermere, and the Liberty Lake Commuter Express.
            All are part of the discussion in the 10-year “Moving Forward” long-range plan.
            Otterstrom noted that “Spokane has grown and it has changed” and so have transit needs.
            And the array of transportation modes likely will change as well, he said, especially if STA can find enough bus drivers to fill all the routes.
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink