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Master compost at the 36th semi-annual Compost Fair

Master compost at the 36th semi-annual Compost Fair

From the City of Spokane:


The Spokane Master Composters/Recyclers will host the 36th semi-annual Compost Fair at the Finch Arboretum on Saturday, April 26. The Fair is being held as part of the Arbor Day Celebration and starts at 11 a.m. Attendees must arrive by 1:30 p.m. to complete all of the activities by the 2 p.m. end time.

Beware the swarm!

Beware the swarm!

Warmer temperatures next week are likely to wake up the area's first wave of yellow jackets, so here's what you need to know to help cut back their numbers before they invade your barbecue later this summer.

Right now it's only the queens that are coming out of hibernation and they're looking for a place to nest and start laying their eggs. If you can catch a queen with a trap now you can really cut back on the number of hornets you'll be battling in the warm weather ahead.

Late last summer a lot of us were at war with yellow jackets.

"They got up over the 90's and that allowed the yellow jacket nests to increase in size and then of course they got aggressive going after meat and food at your picnics," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Control Products said.

As it turns out we could have cut down the number of these pesty party crashers if we had gone after the queen.

"They've been hibernating all winter, they're ready to emerge right now and start finding a new nest location," Cates said.

Save big bucks in online auction

Save big bucks in online auction

KXLY Radio is partnering with businesses across the Inland Northwest to bring you an online auction that you won't want to miss.  Here are just a few of the deals you'll find on the Bid on Spokane website.

  • A McCulloch 27" Snow Blower, retail value $799, with a starting bid of $180
  • A $100 Blush Beauty Bar gift certificate with a starting bid of $20
  • A Flexsteel Sofa, retail price $2,190, with a starting bid of $440.

There are more than 50 items to bid on, including furniture, sporting goods, and family entertainment.  You can see pictures, descriptions, and bid on the items on bidonespokane.com.  

The auction closes on March 31st, so take advantage while you can!

New home construction continuing to rise across Spokane County

New home construction continuing to rise across Spokane County

Building permits in Spokane County are on the rise again after taking a big hit early in the recession, another sign the regional economy is slowly improving.

According to the Spokane Homebuilders Association, the area hit a low point in 2011 with only 664 permits issued for new home construction. That number climbed to 874 in 2012 and topped 1,100 last year.

From Kendall Yards to Liberty Lake, things seem to be looking up for Spokane County.

"Over the last couple of years there's been a really exciting time for this market let alone River District," Jeremy Nichols with Greenstone Corporation said.

Nichols handles River District developments in Liberty Lake and has experienced the housing market rollercoaster firsthand.

"Statistically over the last couple of years we have tripled our sales in the last two years. In 2011 we sold 17 homes, 2013 we handed off 48 keys to homeowners," he said.

This year alone they are going to build another 35 homes in the River District and hundreds more between Spokane and Kootenai County.

"We just plotted 225 more lots heading north towards the river," Nichols said.

Spokane officials considering bringing the country to the city

Spokane officials considering bringing the country to the city

Livestock isn't just for country living anymore, as the City of Spokane could soon allow small livestock livestock into its residents backyards.

A proposal from City Council President Ben Stuckart would allow certain type of livestock -- less than 150 pounds -- and smaller than 36-inches shoulder height, meaning you or your neighbors could have a farm animal living with them in the city.

In Spokane, country life can be so close. It's 1.5 miles from downtown close for Julie Henry, who lives on the South Hill, where she raises chickens for their eggs, and education for her children and neighbors alike.

"They'll eat anything and so the neighborhood shares the coop and the eggs," Henry said.

Soon she might get the opportunity to add to her coop if a new ordinance is approved by the city council people could have chickens, small sheep, pigs, or goats in their back yard.

"I would love to have a couple goats if this passes," Henry said.

It's based on square footage. On a 5,000 square foot lot you could have two small goats. On Henry's 25,000 square foot lot, she could have 10 goats or 25 chickens.

Yard and food waste carts return next week

Yard and food waste carts return next week

Never mind the snow, it's time to think spring cleaning!

City of Spokane news release:

Ready for spring yard cleanup or at least spring?  The City of Spokane is trying to urge Mother Nature along as it resumes curbside yard and food waste pickup on Monday, March 3.

 

The optional City service runs from March through November.  The 96-gallon green yard waste cart can be filled with all manner of yard waste—grass, leaves, pine needles, pine cones, weeds, vines, thatch, plant trimmings, and branches. Customers can even cut up and throw in the old Christmas tree that’s been parked along the side of the house for weeks.

 

Street crews switch gears from snow clearance to flood prevention

Street crews switch gears from snow clearance to flood prevention

On Monday, city crews were working round-the-clock to plow snow from the streets. By Wednesday, however, they were more concerned with urban flooding as warm temperatures defrosted the Inland Northwest.

"This is sort of typical winter weather. After the snow comes the melt," Marlene Feist with the City of Spokane said.

City crews were out Wednesday morning trying to clear storm drains and suck up as much water as possible to try and eliminate the flooding.

"Today we have wastewater crews out making sure that snow melt is going into the drains and not sitting on our streets," Feist said.

For the Thompson family in north Spokane, the snowmelt didn't end up in their street so much as it ended up down in their basement.

"I woke up and saw three inches of standing water outside my front window. My immediate thought was, 'I'm going to go down in the basement and make sure it's not in my basement.' I took a few steps into my finished basement and it was full of water," Genoa Thompson said.