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Spokane Shock reach multi-year lease agreement with arena

Spokane Shock reach multi-year lease agreement with arena

The Spokane Shock announced this week they have reached an agreement for a three-year lease with the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

“I am absolutely delighted to announce that the Spokane Shock have entered into a three-year lease agreement with the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena,” said Nader Naini, the Chairman of Arena Football Partners. “Since acquiring the team in January, we have held steadfast to our commitment to keep this civic asset and its rich tradition in Spokane. This agreement with the Spokane Public Facilities District is consistent with our unwavering responsibility to our loyal fans and our supportive business partners to continue providing a fan friendly, first class sports entertainment experience.”

The 2015 season will mark the Shock's 10th season as a franchise. They kicked off their inaugural season in 2006 as a member of the af2 (arenafootball2) and after ArenaCup wins in 2006 and 2009, the team made the jump to the Arena Football League in 2010 where they won their first ArenaBowl Championship in their first season.

Public comment needed on Mt. Spokane State Park expansion

Public comment needed on Mt. Spokane State Park expansion

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is inviting the public to comment on two proposals for Mount Spokane State Park.

The following are combined under one draft environmental impact statement which considers the potential impact of:

  • The expansion of Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard park, adding one ski lift and seven ski trails in a 279-acre area.
  • A formal land classification and reclassification of a portion of the state park known as the Potential Alpine Ski Expansion Area (PASEA).

The deadline for comments is September 15.

You can find more information on the proposals, the draft environmental impact statement documents and a link to submit your comments here.

Fire restrictions lifted in Colville Nat'l Forest

Fire restrictions lifted in Colville Nat'l Forest

Just in time for the holiday weekend, fire restrictions have been lifted for the Colville National Forest.

“With the wetting rains and cooler daytime temperatures we have been experiencing in the Colville National Forest, the anticipated fire danger is reduced enough to allow visitors to once again enjoy campfires in the forest,” said Fire Management Officer Tim Sampson. “Firewood cutters are also able to run chainsaws after 1 pm.”

Forest visitors must still use caution and exercise sound fire precautions, however, on National forest System Lands. Good fire building and extinguishing practices are advised such as:

  • Keeping campfires small
  • Using existing fire rings
  • Have a bucket, shovel, water and fire extinguisher readily available
  • Attend and fully extinguish all fires

Leave the firewood at home to keep forests safe

Leave the firewood at home to keep forests safe

The Idaho Department of Lands is reminding outdoor enthusiasts who are planning to camp this Labor Day weekend to leave the firewood at home!

As millions of Americans head into the wilderness for a weekend of fun, many bring their own firewood, not realizing that they put the nation's forests at risk by potentially spreading tree-killing pests. While most of these pests can't travel far on their own, many can hitchhike undetected on firewood, later emerging and starting infestations in new locations hundreds of miles away.

The Don't Move Firewood campaign began in 2007 as a response to the rapid spread of the emerald ash borer, an Asian beetle brought to the US in pre-packaged wood and responsible for killing 100 million ash trees since the early 1990's.

More than 450 other non-native forest insects and diseases are also established in the United States, many spread the same way.

Washington state parks free to visit Monday

Washington state parks free to visit Monday

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission wants the public to know that Monday, August 25 is a state parks “free day,” Visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks.

The free day is in honor of the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established on August 25, 1916.

State free days are part of the legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual of $10 one-day permit required on lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington departments of Natural Resources and Fish & Wildlife. The Discover Pass legislation provided that state parks could designate up to 12 free days each year when the pass would not be required. The pass is still required to access lands managed by DNR and Fish and Wildlife.

The free days apply only to day use, and not to overnight stays or rental facilities.

The next free days coming up on September 27 for National Public Lands Day and November 11 for Veterans Day.

Special Days for Special Needs at Sky High Sports

Special Days for Special Needs at Sky High Sports

Keeping your kids entertained during the summer can be difficult for parents, sometimes more-so if they have a child with special needs. That's why Sky High Sports in Spokane hosts their Special Days for Special Needs on the first Tuesday of every month.

“It allows them to have a special time,” said manager Mikayla Lysek. “We turn down the music and the lights and try to keep it from being overwhelming so they can enjoy their time here.”

From 2-5 pm, special needs kids are invited to come and enjoy the trampolines at a discounted rate ($5 an hour instead of $10) and can be accompanied by a parent or therapist for free.

“We also section off an area for them if they're comfortable being more secluded,” said Lysek.

In addition to the general trampoline courts, Sky High also features specialized courts for dodge ball and basketball, a giant foam pit to bounce yourself into and a wide variety of arcade games.

Local game designer looking for success with Kingdoms in Peril

If you're a board game enthusiast who's always on the lookout for a new addition, you may want to check out local Spokane designer Thomas Kaufman and his fast-paced, highly competitive card game Kingdoms in Peril.

I had the chance to sit down and learn Kingdoms recently, and picked it up almost immediately. Set in the ancient middle east (the cards themselves designed with historical carvings from 700 BC, featured in the British museum), each player builds their own kingdom of villages and towns with their capital as the crowning jewel.

Once set-up is complete, players then go to work building a hand of cards that houses their armies, equipment and defensive tactics before turning on each other in an ancient battle royal. To the victor go the spoils, and with a two-hour time limit the winner is declared by either a tally of points (each village, town and city has a numbered value when captured) or when one kingdom emerges victorious.