North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club
Oct. 16, 2023
           Oct. 23: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speakers: Spokane City Council president candidates.
           Oct. 30: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Spokane Sheriff John Nowels on the new jail proposal.
            Nov. 6: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Molly Allen, Safety Net Inland NW.
            Nov. 13: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Spokane Fire District 10 Chief Ken Johnson on the Medical Lake fire.
Happy Buck$:
            Bill Simer, noting the date, was happy he now longer had to file six-month federal tax data for clients, so he could pick apples instead.
            Nancy Hanson was happy for the continuing success of WSU’s women’s volleyball team.
            Michelle Fossum was happy for husband Terry’s success in an important program.
A Paul Harris moment
            At the Oct. 16 meeting, Club President Nancy Hanson proudly presented a saffire pin to Lenore Romney denoting Lenore’s sixth Paul Harris Fellow award.
            Each Harris award celebrates $1,000 donated to the Rotary International Foundation, a program begun in 1957 to fund a wide range of programs and activities worldwide, including Polio Plus.
            Lenore, current club treasurer, has served as club president at least three times and in many other leadership capacities.
Brown: ‘Put people together’
                 At the Oct. 16 club meeting, Brown said working on major issues like homelessness and public safety “should be transparent from downtown to the neighborhoods. We need to pull people together.”
                 She said one important initiative, working with the school districts, is to strengthen programs for the youngest students.  Brown said 30 percent of youngsters are not yet ready for kindergarten, with the rate 35 percent for girls and just 25 percent for boys.
                 The 50th anniversary of Expo ’74 next year would be a good target to boost quality for an improved quality early learning program.
                 Asked about policy and program splits among the mayor and council members, Brown said “in the State Legislature, I worked both sides of the aisle.”  One example, she said was creating a “rainy day fund,” where some of her fellow Democrats opposed, but was established with bipartisan support.
                 “Potholes are not partisan,” Brown said.
                 As Chancellor of WSU Spokane, she also noted that taking just four years to create a medical school from inception to launch was amazing.
                 Asked about dealing with homelessness in Spokane, Brown said there are about 2,000 people on the streets now and the total is growing.
                 Of the current number, she said “we can handle that” with a variety of sources, but more effective outreach is needed.  “What do we do upstream?” she asked.
                 “We can’t turn around the issue in four years, but we can make a big dent in the problem,” Brown said, adding, “It’s not just a law response.”
                 “It’s tricky, but we have to get to people before they are evicted,” she said.
                 Brown mentioned using “a network of neighborhoods,” plus more programs for food banks, food stamps, and reaching young people earlier, like Crosswalk.
                 Asked about the new jail, she said the details “are not yet ready and it’s too expensive.”  Brown questioned about funds to staff three facilities – the current jail, a new jail and a behavior health facility.  (The current plan would eliminate the Geiger Corrections Center.)
                 “The city and county have not had effective dialog on the jail issue,” Brown said.
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink