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Avista Energy Fair next Thursday

Avista Energy Fair next Thursday

Avista is inviting the public to come learn about free energy-saving materials and meet with community partners at their Energy Fair next Thursday, September 25.

From 3-6 pm at the Northeast Community Center (4001 N. Cook) in Spokane, area residents will learn about energy efficiency, managing their home energy bills and more. The event includes demonstrations and free energy-saving materials to help keep your home comfortable and safe for the winter ahead.

“Each year our customers ask for help in managing their energy use and costs during the winter. It's never too early in the year for us to offer a broad range of ideas and demonstrations that will help residents keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside their homes,” said Ana Matthews, Avista's consumer affairs program manager. “This event provides a great way for customers to conveniently access Avista's many services. Information about payment options, energy assistance and energy efficiency will be especially helpful for those struggling to pay their bills.”

Avista hosting fall energy fairs

Avista hosting fall energy fairs

Avista is hosting a free energy fair to help homeowners manage their home energy bills, including demonstrations and free energy-saving materials to help keep homes comfortable and safe for the winter ahead.

It will be held Tuesday, August 26 from 3 pm until 6 pm at the Avista Pavilion in Coeur d'Alene's McEuen Park. People who attend the Avista Energy Fair will find the following benefits:

Demonstrations of how to install energy efficiency materials like rope caulk, window plastic and v-seal. Then receive free samples of these and other materials to install at home.

Complimentary food and beverages, door prizes and activities for the kids.

Speak with Avista staff and learn about low-cost and no-cost energy effiency tips.

Free storm debris disposal ends Sunday

Free storm debris disposal ends Sunday

The city's free green storm debris disposal program is ending Sunday after receiving more than 85 tons at two transfer stations.

Nearly 350 people have dropped off tree branches and other debris after last Saturday's storm moved through the area. Normally the cost for disposal is $5 for up to 220 pounds of material. The service does not include logs, roofing, vinyl fencing or similar materials, and is only available to individuals – not commercial landscaping or yard care businesses.

Small amounts of green debris can also be placed in personal green yard waste carts.

Yard debris will be accepted through Sunday from 7:30 am to 5 pm at the following facilities:

  • North County Transfer Station, 22123 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road
  • Waste to Energy Facility, 2900 S Geiger Blvd.

Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

In response to the recent wildfires in Washington and Oregon, Lowe's has activated its customer donation program in all Washington and Oregon stores to provide a convenient place for customers to make financial donations to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Donations enable to Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small, like the wildfires in several states.

In Washington, the Red Cross has served nearly 33,000 meals and snacks to affected residents and distributed more than 3,500 cleanup supplies. In Oregon, the Red Cross served more than 2,000 meals and snacks and opened four shelters in response to the wildfires.

As a member of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, Lowe's pledges donations on an ongoing basis in advance of disasters to help the Red Cross deliver immediate aid to communities in need.

Since partnering with Red Cross in 1999, Lowe's and its customers have contributed more than $25 million for disaster relief.

Could last week's storm lower your taxes?

Could last week's storm lower your taxes?

If your property took a big hit during last week's storm, did you know your federal taxes could be impacted?

The Spokane County Assessor's Office is responsible for administering a state program for property that has been destroyed by natural disasters called “Taxpayer’s Claim for Reduction of Assessments resulting from Destroyed Real or Personal Property or Loss of Value in a Declared Disaster Area.”

Qualifying property owners will receive an adjustment to the taxes due for 2014, depending on the value of the remaining property. If the property is a total loss, then abatement (tax reduction or exemption) will be done for the remainder of the year.

Anonymous artist(s) building cairns in Kendall Yards

Anonymous artist(s) building cairns in Kendall Yards

An art project has taken shape on the north side of the Monroe Street bridge, where someone is using fractured basalt to create several galleries of rock sculptures.

They are called cairns and throughout history have been used to mark hard to spot trails or hazards ahead. In this case they are more of an ad hoc expression of art but no one seems to know who the heavy lifting artist -- or artists -- is.

Kendall Yards is already home to a growing collection of outdoor art.

"We have some permanent art installations as well as some installations coming up in the future and we invite everyone to come down and enjoy the wonderful art we have on site," Cat Carrel with Greenstone Homes said.

Recently some unexpected art has showed up here as well, the cairns, carefully stacked towers of rock.

"Well the cairns are kind of an interesting phenomenon, they just kind of popped up and we're not sure who did them, or how long they'll stay but for now I think they're pretty cool," Carrel said.

Waspocalypse! How to protect your home against pests this summer

Waspocalypse! How to protect your home against pests this summer

A very nice looking forecast for the Memorial Day weekend but some uninvited guests could disrupt your party or picnic as yellow jackets are already showing up in record numbers.

Experts say there are an unprecedented number of yellow jacket queens flying around this spring and they threaten to breed clouds of offspring. If you don't like having your barbecue buzzed it's time to start your battle against yellow jackets now.

The people who put out their yellow jacket traps early this year are seeing some disturbing results.

Queens are emerging in record numbers after fattening up during a long and mild fall.

"Well the large number of queens that we're seeing right now kind of really adds up to a perfect storm for hornets and yellow jackets this summer," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Products said.

Right now queens are looking for nesting spots. If they find a suitable throne in your yard, your trouble with yellow jackets will multiply.

"Each yellow jacket queen can represent 200 to 2000 yellow jackets later on this summer depending on the colony size," Alyssa Ando with Rescue Pest Products said.