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May 2015 News Reports

Resource Directory updating underway

From now through early June, ad sales for the 2015-16 Resource Directory: Guide to Congregations and Community Resources will continue—with the goal of raising $28,000 in underwriting support. 

Malcolm Haworth, directory editor, is updating the data, so congregations and agencies may continue to send their addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, emails, websites, descriptions and names of leaders.

More volunteers are needed to assist with the project, he said.

The directory will be published and distributed during the summer. 

Meanwhile, The Fig Tree continues its pledge drive, seeking to reach a basic goal of $30,000 and then $50,000 to cover publication, media training, internships, writing, editing, mailing and other projects.

“We have a team working on nurturing major giving, constituency building, directory underwriting and the ongoing pledge drive,” said Mary Stamp, The Fig Tree editor.

For information, call 535-1813.

Gonzaga recognized for green practices

The 2015 Princeton Review Guide to 353 Green Colleges, published in April for Earth Day, named Gonzaga University among the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges.

It chose schools for its sixth “green guide” based on its 2014 survey of 347 U.S. and Canadian four-year colleges.  Gonzaga also was named in 2013.

Robert Franek, publisher, reports growing interest in green colleges among college-bound students with 61 percent of 10,000 surveyed in 2015 saying a school’s commitment to the environment influences their choice.

The guide lists Gonzaga’s sustainability efforts.

GU approved a comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2013. Having signed the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, it pledges to work for climate neutrality.  With a “green rating” score of 95 out of 99, GU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent of 2009 levels by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035. It hopes to reach climate neutrality by 2050 by having new campus construction to meet LEED Silver certifications.

GU supports renewable energy, purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates equal to 20 percent of its energy usage through Avista’s Buck-a-Block program.

It uses green practices in landscaping and lawn care, using computerized irrigation controllers to control water output campus-wide based on weather.

It also participates in Spokane’s “Clean Green” program, composting more than 35 tons of tree needles and leaves each year.

Its car sharing options and free bike rentals help students and faculty adopt green practices.

In fall 2014, Gonzaga hired Jim Simon as its first director of sustainability to help coordinate efforts.

For information, call 313-5571 or email

Whitworth builds music center addition

Whitworth University’s board of trustees voted to begin construction on the Cowles Music Center July 1, with completion scheduled August 2016, so the music department can move into the new space for the 2016-17 academic year.

The addition to the current music building will mean nearly 21,500 square feet of new teaching studios, practice rooms, rehearsal rooms and lobby space. The 15,625-square-foot existing building will be remodeled.

“I am excited for the new opportunities that the Cowles Music Center will provide Whitworth to serve the Spokane community through performances, master classes, music festivals and other educational programming,” said Ben Brody, associate professor of music.

Although the university has not yet reached the $13.5 million needed to fund the project, the administration decided delaying construction would mean higher costs.  Fund raising for the Cowles Music Center is part of The Campaign for Whitworth and will continue with its other fund raising initiatives of the campaign, which include adding to the university’s endowment and revamping Whitworth’s Core curriculum and honors program.

The Harriet Cheney Cowles Foundation pledged $2 million and Whitworth Trustee Walt Oliver and his wife, Kay, pledged $3.75 million.

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 2:15 p.m., Saturday, May 16, followed by the Senior Honors Recital at 3 p.m. in the Seeley Mudd Chapel.

For information, call 777-4401 or email

Second Harvest builds community kitchen

Second Harvest is building a community kitchen to help move people in poverty from hunger to health and improve their self-sufficiency.

With donations from the community, Second Harvest has raised close to half of the nearly $1 million needed for construction and the first three years of program costs.

A 1,700-square-foot corner of Second Harvest’s distribution center is being transformed into a teaching and production kitchen. Construction is underway and will be completed by the end of May. Classes will start this summer.

Second Harvest provides more than 2 million pounds of free food each month to a network of 250 food banks and meal programs that feed 55,000 people a week in the Inland Northwest.

The kitchen will help low-income people build scratch cooking, nutrition and food-budgeting skills needed for a healthier diet and more self-sufficiency.

“Second Harvest’s network is built on partnerships, which puts us in  position to reach low-income families with educational opportunities that focus on health as part of the solution to hunger,” said Jason Clark, president and CEO.

The kitchen’s education center will include a demonstration island and 12 workstations that accommodate up to 24 students.

An adjacent production facility will allow for preparation of sample meals that can be frozen and used for food distributions to promote healthy eating.

In addition, food prepared in the production facility will provide easy meals for people in crises.

Second Harvest hosted some community brainstorming sessions with health district, extension service, universities, Head Start and other organizations seeking to create a healthy eating culture for people who may need to overcome cooking challenges.

Classes, recipes and educational materials generated by the kitchen will give individuals and families tools to eat healthier meals and stretch limited food dollars, said Drew Meuer, director of kitchen programs. “A priority is to educate children to build basic skills, move families toward a better diet and reduce generational poverty.”

The kitchen will train leaders of partner food pantries, health care nonprofits, schools and other entities to educate clients.  Kitchen updates and classes will be posted at

Second Harvest provides 2 million pounds of free food each month to fill nutritional gaps for people in poverty, the working poor, elderly and disabled people on low fixed incomes, and children and families in temporary crisis.

Second Harvest distributes food in 21 counties in Eastern Washington and five in North Idaho.

For information, call 252-6284 or email

Spokane Veterans for Peace present Vet Lit for Memorial Day

Spokane Veterans for Peace will present its own literature, its own "VET LIT" for Memorial Day.

The presentation of Vet Lit: How We Remember War will include readings from the book and discussions of the topic by veterans at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 24, at The Community Building, 35 W. Main.

The book is a collection of poems, short fiction, and other writings by veterans. Most of the contributions are from members of Spokane Veterans for Peace Chapter #35, primarily Vietnam era vets, including a Marine who was badly wounded. A few other pieces have been included for their importance to local members. The impetus for the book and the reading came from earlier observations of Memorial Day and Veterans Day in Spokane.

“Veterans for Peace finds it offensive that veterans and military personnel can be honored for simply filling ranks, while others are vilified and prosecuted for trying to do the right thing,” said member Rusty Nelson, retired co-director of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane.  “Our chapter decided that an appropriate way to honor veterans is to listen to them and avoid painting all with the same brush. Veterans for Peace seeks to end war as this country's default response to conflict and educate the public about alternatives to war and the true cost of war,” he said.

The Spokane chapter, originally chartered in 1988, meets on second Wednesdays, and welcomes visitors and new members. Associate memberships are provided for those with no military experience.  For information, call 838-7870.

Temple Beth Shalom offers “Learn to read Hebrew” in one day class

Rabbi Tamar Malino will offer an intensive one day course in reading Hebrew from 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday, June 7, 2015.  The class is for those who never learned Hebrew as a child or need a refresher course. In the one day class participants will learn the alphabet and vocabulary for Jewish life and worship. The class fees will include lunch and text materials. Cost for TBS and CEE members $30; non-members $60. For information and registration:



Eastern Washington University (EWU), Gonzaga University (GU), Spokane Community College (SCC), Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC), Washington State University (WSU), Whitworth University (WU)