Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrating Earth Day!

Student John Morgan Cornish plays Plinko as Kim Harrington
from the city's engineering department looks on.
City representatives joined a host of volunteers to celebrate Earth Day last Saturday at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. Hundreds of people participated in activities designed to inspire and promote practices that support a healthy environment.
Committees and departments present included the Tubbs Hill Foundation, wastewater and stormwater utilities, Parks Department, Centennial Trail Foundation and Ped-Bike Committee.
Of particular interest, especially to the younger crowd, was an interactive approach to stormwater education using a scaled down version of the popular game Plinko, seen on the TV game show Price Is Right. Players would drop a ping pong ball down the Plinko board. If it landed in a grassy swale or lawn, they got a free turn.
However, if it landed in environmentally sensitive areas, the player would we asked to explain ways to be eco-friendly in that particular situation. Players gained insight as to where stormwater goes, for example swales, grass, lake, river, drywells and the aquifer. The Plinko board was built by Shane Roberts of the city’s engineering department.
Another interactive display a 3-D model town with streams and lakes. Droplets of colored water representing various potentially harmful substances was placed into various areas of town. Next, a spray bottle with clear water was used to exemplify rain. Participants watched as the colored water patches flowed into nearby waterways.
While today, April 22, is Earth Day, make an effort to support the environment year around!

Mayor Widmyer launches Mayor’s Hotline

Following through on a commitment to be readily accessible to all citizens, Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer has established a direct telephone line for callers to leave a comment, idea or concern.
“I value input from the public on all city matters,” Widmyer said. “I believe access to my office should be as straightforward and simple as possible.”
To leave a message 24/7 with the mayor, call 769-2220, extension 503. The mayor will check messages frequently.
“I maintain an open-door policy at City Hall and that philosophy extends to the entire community,” Widmyer said.
Citizens may also leave a message for the city after hours by calling 769-2300. These messages are reviewed each weekday morning. Additionally, on our website at cdaid.org, there is a link on the homepage that allows users to leave an email message. Just click on “Email Problems or Comments.”

Monday, April 21, 2014

Seedlings for students: Arbor Day program enters its 28th year

Twenty-five students from Venture High School in Coeur d’Alene volunteered part of the Monday to bag and individually wrap seedlings to be distributed to fourth grade students across Kootenai County this week.
In all, 2,700 seedlings were individually tagged and bagged, according to John Schwandt, a retired U.S. Forest Service employee and member of the city’s Urban Forestry Commission.
Since the seedling program was started in 1987, Schwandt estimates that more than 63,000 seedlings have been given to local fourth graders. The volunteers prepared the seedlings for delivery at the Idaho Department of Lands office in the Coeur d’Alene Industrial Park.
Trees being given away include River Birch, Western Larch, Western White Pine, Flowering Dogwood, Eastern Redbud, and European Beech. The seedlings were purchased from donations made by Specialty Tree Service, Stimson Lumber Company, and Idaho Forest Group, Idaho Veneer, Potlatch Corp., Inland Empire Paper Co., Out on a Limb Landscaping, Grace Tree Service, and Northland Nursery.
Along with the seedlings, the Fourth Grade students will receive an Arbor Day button.  The designer of this year’s button, and winner of the Arbor Day Button Art Contest, is Savannah Hansen of Coeur d’Alene High School.
Tree seedlings will also be given out at the children's programs at the Coeur d'Alene Library throughout the week. On Wednesday, April 23, Urban Forester Katie Kosanke will be giving a special presentations about Arbor Day and the benefits of trees. The pre-school program will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the school-aged program starts at 4 p.m.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Library to Host Wildernes Reading Series

A reading and discussion series marking the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act will be hosted by the library in May and June in a five-part program sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council.
Up to 25 participants in the series – “Wilderness Considered” – will be able to borrow copies of two books and a binder of other readings prior to the start of the scholar-led discussions scheduled for Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Community Room on May 14 and 21, and June 4, 11, and 18.
There is no charge to participate and discussions will be open to the public whether or not attendees have read the books and essays. The books for the series include: “American Wilderness: A New History,” edited by Michael Lewis, Oxford University Press, 2007, and “Indian Creek Chronicles: A Winter Alone in the Wilderness, by Pete Fromm, Picador Press, 2003.
The books and binders will be available at the library on May 1. The deadline to register as an active participant – those committed to attending all five discussions – is May 9.
This program is made possible in part by the Idaho Humanities Council, the state based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For more information contact David Townsend, Library Communications Coordinator, at 208-769-2315 Ext. 426 or by e-mail at dtownsend@cdalibrary.org.

Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315. For more library information visit cdalibrary.org. The library is a department of the City of Coeur d’Alene and a member of the Cooperative Information Network, cinlibraries.org. Library Director, Bette Ammon. Library hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m./Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For regular updates

McEuen Park getting greener

Hundreds of trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses and ground covers (the lowest growing layer of vegetation below shrubs) continue to be trucked into McEuen Park as landscapers plant the greenery at a feverish pace.
“We have significantly increased the number of trees in the downtown with this project,” said landscape architect Dell Hatch of Welch Comer Engineers. “Obviously, McEuen Park is going to have a much more lush appearance than previously at McEuen Field.”
Upon completion, the park will be home to 202 trees, 2,350 shrubs, 1,922 ornamental grasses, and 366 ground covers, Hatch said.
Landscape architects worked closely with the city’s parks department on the selection of vegetation to ensure optimum survivability and minimal maintenance, Hatch said.
Additionally, bark blowers have been spreading large volumes of the woodchips around the plants. Beyond the aesthetic bonus of bark, the material acts as a blanket to retain moisture for the plants. “That’s a real advantage,” he said.
Earthmovers are also busy on the west end of the park, grading trails that will soon be paved and altering topography as outlined in the landscape design.
And by taking the parking lot out of the middle of the park and moving it northward and putting about half the parking below Front Avenue, the park gained nearly 3 acres of green space, Hatch said.
With the exception of the east end, the park has been in a constant state of construction since ground was broken in September 2012. Huge changes are on the horizon.
“Once we seed the west side, the impact of green throughout the park is going to be incredible,” Hatch said.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boat launch remains open; new pavement coming soon

Despite all the work on the west end of McEuen Park, the boat launch has remained open. City street crews will soon begin removing asphalt from the area leading to the ramp, but the facility will not be closed during demolition. After new curb is installed, the ramp may be closed temporarily while new asphalt is put down. Coeur d’Alene street superintendent Tim Martin said he will work with his crews to keep the launch at least partially open during paving. If complete closure is necessary, Martin said it would like be brief and attempts will be made to notify the public.

Water works!

An otherwise gray and drizzly day was dealt a splash of satisfaction on Thursday when Patrick Cancilla of NW Playground Equipment flipped a multitude of gauges that brought the new splash pad at McEuen Park to life.  “Working with water can be tricky,” Cancilla said as he adjusted pressure to the water park.
After a couple hours of testing, the splash pad was deemed ready for use. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate. The east end of the park—including the 12,000-square-foot splash pad, is scheduled to open on Friday, May 2. It will be up to the city’s Parks Department to determine if weather is nice enough to turn on the eight water features. Other areas of the park are expected to open in phases throughout the month of May.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Novel Destinations Travels to China

Ron Deady Helps  Students There to Go to School, Get Books

Deanne and Ron Deady at the Great Wall of China.
The next “Novel Destinations” program at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library,  Friday, April 25, at 7 p.m., will take its audience to China where a local man’s foundation is helping young students to get an education and create a library.
“The Chinese Kids Project,” a slideshow by Ron Deady, will be presented on the big screen in the Community Room at the library, 702 E. Front Ave.
Deady is a retired military and commercial pilot. He started a Foundation in China in 2006 called The Chinese Kids Project in Yunnan Province, in the town of Xundian.
He travels to China each year, selects recipients for a “scholarship,” and awards 20 children with a red envelope to assist them financially. Another effort buys books to build a library for grade-schoolers. The story and photos relate how the projects started and progress is an interesting one, full of Chinese intrigue, humor, and hope for better detente.
Sponsored by the Affinity Living Community in Coeur d’Alene, this will be an after-hours library program with refreshments.
The free “Novel Destinations” programs were created by the Library Foundation to give people in the community an opportunity to share their travel stories and photos. Anyone with a potential slideshow for the series is asked to call the Foundation office at 208-769-2380 or to e-mail libfdn@gmail.com.

Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315. For more library information visit cdalibrary.org. The library is a department of the City of Coeur d’Alene and a member of the Cooperative Information Network, cinlibraries.org. Library Director, Bette Ammon. Library hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m./Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For regular updates follow the library on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Specialized Needs Recreation Hawaiian Luau Dance is Friday!

Come out for a night of fun! Special Needs Recreation (SNR) will hold a Hawaiian Luau Dance Friday, April 18, from 6-8 p.m. at Prairie View Elementary School, 2478 E. Poleline, in Post Falls.
Admission is $5 per person. Prizes will be awarded and there will be a live D.J. For information or to volunteer, contact Angie Goucher at 755-6781. Or visit us on our website @ snridaho.org.

Specialized Needs Recreation is a non-profit organization that provides recreational opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities.

Cd’A building department will not perform inspections on Friday, April 18

The city of Coeur d’Alene Building Services Department would like to inform contractors and homeowners that there will be no building, mechanical, or plumbing inspections performed on Friday, April 18, due to required staff training.

Staff training involves continuing education credits on the 2012 International Building Code Means of Egress Requirements.  Staff will be available to assist the public during regular office hours on April 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to accept and issue building permits.  Please call 769-2267 for more information.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Final STCU Workshop April 17 at Library

The last workshop in a series offered by the Spokane Teachers Credit Union focusing on personal finances will be offered Thursday, April 17, at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
Also sponsored by the Library Foundation, ‘Become Debt Free’ will be presented from noon to 1 p.m. in the Community Room at the library at 702 E. Front Ave. The free program includes a light lunch.
The workshop includes information about:
  ► Determing where your finances are now and where you want them to be.
  ► Tools to make debt-free living possible.
  ► The importance of celebrating milestones.
To register for the workshop, visit www.stcu.org/workshops or call 855-753-0317.

Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315. For more library information visit cdalibrary.org. The library is a department of the City of Coeur d’Alene and a member of the Cooperative Information Network, cinlibraries.org. Library Director, Bette Ammon. Library hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m./Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For regular updates follow the library on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Volunteers plant White Pine seedlings in near Fernan Lake

Coeur d’Alene Parks Department employees teamed up with volunteers last weekend to plant 400 White Pine seedlings in the Fernan Lake Natural Area.

White Pine is our state tree and was very prevalent in Idaho until a disease called White Pine Blister Rust wiped out the vast majority of the nation’s White Pines. The disease was brought over from Europe around 1900 and proceeded across the country killing off the native species that had no resistance to the disease.

The US Forest Service created a Blister Rust resistant species and has been working to re-establish the tree for quite some time. Replanting these trees in our natural areas is helping to re-establish these trees in Cd’A.

The group plans on planting 200 more in other city natural areas soon.

Online parking ticket appeal form now available

Residents attempting to file an online parking ticket appeal were unable to do so between April 3 and April 11 due to a problem with the link to that site. The form is now available. To file an appeal online, visit our website then click on the "I want to ..." tab and then to the appeal a parking ticket.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fugitive surrenders following 4-hour standoff near downtown Coeur d’Alene

A suspect on Kootenai County’s most wanted list was taken into custody without incident on Saturday afternoon following a standoff near downtown Coeur d’Alene that lasted several hours and involved multiple law enforcement agencies.
Nathan Todd Bussell, 21, was taken into custody about 5 p.m. He was wanted on a $75,000 felony warrant for aggravated battery.
Coeur d’Alene Police Captain Steve Childers said a cooperative effort involving about 30 law enforcement officials from the city, Kootenai County and Post Falls responded to the incident. Responders included members of the SWAT team comprised of officers from the city and county. Officers had been informed Bussell was possibly armed.
A remote robot was used during the standoff to enter the home and capture pictures for authorities to aid in the apprehension of the suspect. Childers said it was the second successful use of the robot, obtained recently by the city.
Officials were alerted around 11:30 a.m. that the fugitive was at a residence on the 500 block of Foster Avenue. A one-block area of that neighborhood was blocked off as officers attempted to get Bussell out of the one-story home.
Bussell refused repeated commands to exit the home and was holed up for about four hours before peacefully surrendering about 5 p.m., Childers said.

Friday, April 11, 2014

McEuen Park splash pad pieces in place

The final colorful splash pad features at McEuen Park were set up on Friday and crews are expected to turn on the water Monday for testing and to adjust the water pressure of hundreds of sprayers that will cool off park visitors of all ages beginning later this spring.
In all, there are eight water features, including a giant sailboat that will spray a large wake as if it were plying through the water, a 10-foot tall Barney Rubble cave, a rainbow-colored three-pronged “water whoopee,” a bear climbing a tree, a water pole, large arches, and two small beavers.
Water from the splash pad will be recycled through a 60,000 holding tank situated below the Harbor House and used to irrigate the park, said acting parks director Bill Greenwood.
With a surface area of 12,000, the McEuen Park splash pad is twice the size of the second largest splash pad at Landings Park, Greenwood said.