Author

Tie Lemerond

Tie Lemerond has 12 articles published.

Tie Lemerond
Born and raised in Michigan, Tie is a descriptive writer with hundreds of articles published in multiple states. When she's not spending time with her family, you will find her with her husband on the lake, taking in a hockey game, or checking out community events.

Update on the Proposed Amendment to the Current Boating Safety Ordinance for Liberty Lake

in Featured/Other News
Wakesurfing

 

He stated the following, “There have been a lot of rumors lately about this. However, the fact is there is a proposed amendment in the very early stages of the drafting process being drafted by the prosecutor’s office. It hasn’t even gone in front of the board of commissioners yet.”

The backing forces behind this proposed amendment are the HOAs of Newman Lake and Liberty Lake, primarily Newman Lake. The main reason is shoreline erosion and a study they completed on the erosion. “The proposed amendment is not to ban wakeboarding/surfing altogether. It is to prevent wakeboarding boats from adding internal or external devices which purposely creates a larger wake,” he adds.

If the amendment passes, it will encompass all of the lakes in Spokane County except for Lake Spokane (Long Lake).

Liberty Lake – Home of the “Grilling Gods”

in Featured/Local Food
Grilling Gods bbq

Grilling Gods logoLiberty Lake couple, Casey McClarty and Cassie Molloy, are the real Grilling Gods. The couple began as sales reps for a food and spice related business, then consulted for a local spice company prior to beginning their own business. They reside in Liberty Lake and create their rubs in a commercial kitchen in Spokane Valley.

Grilling Gods was born after the couple received a phone call from a friend who worked at the Gozzer Ranch in Harrison, Idaho. He asked them to create a rub that the ranch could use for their pork ribs because the head chef wanted to support a local business. Hence the birth of “Sweet Backyard BBQ.” After learning the chef and their customers loved their BBQ rub, Casey and Cassie created three more blends and started their brand “Grilling Gods.”

They now have four flavors, all of which are Gluten Free and have no MSG. The first three below are also sugar free.

  1. “Steak & Bake” – Is their top selling flavor which takes the best parts of a Montreal style and incorporates California grown garlic and mustard seed.
  2. “Salt of the Gods” – Is their newest and has quickly become a top seller. This amazing all-purpose seasoning is loaded with tons of domestic garlic, fresh pepper, onion, sea salt and smoky hickory flavor, creating a Johnny’s style rub without any sugar, msg. or fillers!
  3. “Southern Heat” – If you like a little heat with a whole lot of flavor, this may be the one for you. It has a unique combination of Cajun and Hispanic flavors, creating an absolutely outstanding profile with just the right amount of heat.
  4. “Sweet Backyard BBQ” – This rub is the Grilling Gods take on a traditional sweet BBQ dry rub with the flavors of fresh chili powder (without any heat) and an amazing cinnamon sugar blend that has half the sugar of traditional brown sugar rubs.

Grilling Gods does not have a retail store, however you can purchase any of these online at Grillinggods.com, at Yoke’s Fresh Market, Sonnenbergs, Tim’s Meats and at FMI Equipment. Grilling Gods will also be at Fairwood on Tuesdays, Kendall Yards on Wednesdays, the Spokane Valley Farmers Market on Fridays and the Liberty Lake Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Grilling Gods is a small family business working hard to build a loyal following for their brand by focusing on customer service, amazing flavors and affordability for families. They also donate to Soldiers’ Angels through special sales throughout the year.

Grilling Gods rubs

Bear Spotted on the Liberty Lake Loop Trail

in Featured/Other News/Public Safety
Liberty Lake bear tips

Did you know that American black bears are common in this area and in most of Washington?

Some confusion comes from folks not realizing there is a lot of variability in the color of black bears—they can be a lighter “cinnamon” brown, dark brown, black, and even a combination of these.

Carrie Lowe, Assistant District Wildlife Biologist with the WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, states “We do have a couple of small populations of grizzly bear in Washington; the closest population to us is in the Selkirk Mountains in northeastern Pend Oreille County.  A few grizzlies have been observed in Stevens & Ferry counties as well.”

There are no known black bear population estimates for the area because the population naturally fluctuates with factors such as weather conditions and the resulting food availability. The WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife tend to get more reports of bear activity in the vicinity of people during periods of scarce natural food: early spring and late summer-fall, especially in years with drought conditions. This is sometimes perceived as an increase in the bear population.

Lowe states, “Bear can be active any time day or night.  During hot days they tend to be more active at dawn, dusk and at night when it is cool and rest during the day.  However, during the late summer and fall when they are packing on weight for the winter, they will be up feeding almost around the clock. Bear that get in to trash and other human food sources tend to do so at night, but can quickly get comfortable enough around people to do it during the day. Also during late spring and early summer, juvenile male bears may roam considerable distances looking for a territory and mature males will be roaming looking for mates, so people may be more likely to encounter a bear then.”

Bear usually avoid people as much as possible. If you see one while out hiking and it is unaware of you, it is recommended you just move away quietly. Lowe advises, “If it is aware of you or starts to approach, talk in a calm voice (don’t scream) and clap your hands. Keep your group together and back out of the area slowly—do not run. Usually the bear will run off. If the bear continues to approach, stand your ground and get your bear spray ready, use it when the bear is about 30 feet away. Do not climb a tree—black bear are excellent climbers. In the unlikely event of an attack, do not lay down and play dead but fight back and spray bear spray in the bear’s face. The exception to this is a defensive attack: a sow defending cubs, which is rare for a black bear. In that case, do not fight back but lay face down with your hands behind your neck and stay quiet until the bear leaves.”

Hikers should carry bear spray and have it easily accessible, such as on their waist belt or a chest harness. Do not leave it in your backpack, as you will not likely have time to dig it out when you need it.  Also, carrying bear spray doesn’t help if you don’t know how to use it. 

Lastly, Lowe states, “If you are recreating in bear habitat, which includes much of the natural areas surrounding Liberty Lake, it is inevitable that from time to time people will see a bear, and just seeing one is usually not a reason to report it.  If you have any encounter with a bear where it behaved aggressively or you felt threatened, whether at home or on the trail, you should report it to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Always report a bear that gets into your vehicle, home, building, pets or livestock to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife immediately.  In the case of an emergency or on weekends or outside normal business hours, call 911 and the appropriate personnel will be dispatched.”

Always keep this in mind: Ways for hikers to avoid an encounter with a bear include keeping their dog leashed at all times, hiking in groups, and making noise to avoid startling a bear.  

Fujiyama Adding Sushi Bar to Liberty Lake Location

in Featured/Local Food
Fujiyama sushi bar in Liberty Lake

The Liberty Lake community will soon have another opportunity to please their palate.

After receiving many requests, Fujiyama will be opening their new sushi bar on Thursday, May 16th.

General Manager, Laura Cael states, “We’ll be offering at least 15 specialty rolls plus many traditional rolls. Fujiyama is growing along with Liberty Lake and it’s exciting for us to be a part of it. We’re looking forward to bringing more sushi options to the community. We’ll also be opening our patio area with all new furniture on Thursday.”

Summer hours are currently:

  • Sunday Noon – 9 p.m.
  • Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

http://www.fujiyamawa.com/locations/liberty-lake/

Legacy Ridge Homeowners – What’s in your View?

in Featured/Other News
Legacy Ridge West new homes

Tremendous views, a gated community, parks, and trails are a few reasons many families paid a premium for their home and/or property on Legacy Ridge, but some of those views may soon be impacted with the upcoming construction of nearly 100 additional homes.

Jayson Hunnel, VP of Forward Planning, with Lexington Homes a D.R. Horton Company has confirmed Lexington Homes has recently listed one home on Legacy Ridge and will have an additional six homes on the market within the next 30 to 45 days. The company has a total of 83 lots on Legacy Ridge where they’ll be building homes ranging from 2100 to 3000 sq. ft. in size. The smallest home will be a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home and the largest will be a 5 bedroom 3 bathroom home. Approximately 60 percent of these homes will be ranch style homes and the remaining will be two-story homes. Hunnel states, “The lot sizes will range from 9000 sq. ft. to 11,000 sq. ft. and prices will start in the low $400,000 range.” The homes will include tankless gas water heaters, fireplaces, quartz countertops, smart home systems, plus much more.

Barbara Barker with the City of Liberty Lake Planning & Engineering Department, confirmed there are an additional 17 residential building permits which were obtained by private parties or builders other than Lexington Homes.

I asked some Parkside at Legacy Ridge residents if the additional number of new homes being built gave them any concerns. A couple of people expressed their curiosity about color schemes, while another mentioned a concern of possible phone issues when more people are being added to the current cell towers, but the vast majority expressed concerns about traffic and obstructed views.

Current Legacy Ridge resident Kirk Fisher commented, “We love our view and will continue to live here, but I am expecting a negative impact on traffic in the general area and especially at the Henry gate… Main issue for us personally is the view being blocked.”

Another resident, Patci Ryan, states, “Our view will be somewhat impacted, but I feel very bad for the homeowners whose views will be considerably blocked, especially after they paid premiums for their view lots. I think traffic on Country Vista and Henry Road will increase considerably.”

Cathy Prichard writes, “I have concerns about traffic and hope that the new residents in the newly constructed homes will take the same pride and sense of how beautiful and great this little hilltop is – Up to this point, it has been a wonderful neighborhood with all the neighbors showing pride and consideration for following the rules. I am hoping this continues…I would hate to see the quiet and beauty of this neighborhood go away due to overpopulation and general increase in traffic on So Legacy Ridge Drive.”

The population in Legacy Ridge and in Liberty Lake in general is expected to continue rising over the next several years. Prichard says it best in her final statement, “Time will tell how the neighborhood might change.”

For more information about the new homes in Legacy Ridge West and D.R. Horton visit: https://www.drhorton.com/washington/spokane/liberty-lake/legacy-ridge-west

Liberty Lake’s Mobile Concession Stand (“Food Truck”) Regulations

in Featured/Government and Politics/Local Food
Liberty Lake Planning Commission

The Liberty Lake Planning Commission met on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 in the City Hall Council Chambers and passed a motion to approve the following proposed amendment:

  • Allow “Food Trucks” on private property as an accessory use in the “I” zone by temporary use permit when associated with an existing business.
    • Require site plan to address location on private property, traffic circulation, refuse disposal, fire extinguisher, seating (if applicable);
    • Require City of Liberty Lake Business License and Health Department Food Vendor Permit.
    • Limit the hours of operation for food truck to the hours of operation of the principal use on the subject property.
  • Incorporate “Director’s interpretation” from Policy Bulletin No. 21 into code related to “temporary use permits”:
    • Waive permit requirement for individual vendor booths within a larger non-profit special event permit provided the vendor has been included in the site plan for the event.

A secondary motion was made and passed to recommend the City Council review implementation of allowing Food Trucks as an accessory to a business or event at 1 year and to consider expanding Food Truck use for a non-accessory business.

The above amendment will now go in front of the Liberty Lake City Council which will meet on Tuesday, May 07, 2019 at 7 pm.

Liberty Lake Sales Tax Increased to 8.9%

in Featured/Government and Politics
Liberty Lake sales tax breakdown

Are you curious as to how the local sales tax increase affects the budget for the City of Liberty Lake?

Basically, it does not as the .1% increase is related to the Spokane Transit Authority (STA).

When asked if this small increase may send local residents across the Idaho line to shop where sales tax is only 6%, city Finance Manager, RJ Stevenson replied, “It will not change for purchases of items like cars, RV’s and boats. You have to register those here in the state and that is typically where the sales tax will go… We have seen increases in online purchases over the last few years with companies like Amazon and the sales tax follows the destination.”

Brandon Rapez-Betty, Director of Communications & Customer Service at the STA, states, “This increase was a voter-approved increase of .2% for the STA Moving Forward 10-year plan which took place in 2017. .1% of that approved increase went into effect on April 01, 2017 and the final .1% went into effect on April 01, 2019. It is designed to maintain, improve and expand transit service throughout the region.”

If you’d like more information on the projects funded by this increase, go to http://stamovingforward.com/

Liberty Lake Wine Cellars: Where great wine and good friends meet!

in Community Spotlight/Featured/Local Food
Liberty Lake Wine Cellars building

Since meeting in 2005, Mark and Sarah have dreamed of entrepreneurship and owning and operating a winery. That dream became reality in January 2016 when they purchased the Liberty Lake Wine Cellars (LLWC) from Doug and Shelly Smith.

In 2017 the couple moved the winery from its original home overlooking Liberty Lake to their newly built winery located in the heart of Liberty Lake. The new winery allows them to produce approximately 1500 more cases of wine than the previous location. It boasts a larger tasting room, production space, and barrel storage area.

Mark and Sarah have embraced an interactive winery with all wine production taking place on-site. Grapes are harvested in September and October, pressed in October and November and every bottle of wine is bottled by hand during the spring and summer months.

Since purchasing the winery, the couple has invested into upgrading their barrel program to primarily American made barrels with a very tight grain which act like French barrels. They’ve also made some changes to their Wine Club. Speaking of which, if you are interested in joining one of their three Wine Clubs, don’t hesitate. The Wine Clubs are approximately 150 people away from having a waiting list. Each Wine Club was named after the community: Lake Club, Eagle Club, and Pavillion Park Club.

Since opening, Mark and Sarah have enjoyed making big bold reds and have added a second label, Tahija, introducing whites, rosés, and other reds. Recently released and very well received are the 2016 Bud Burst Reserve Red Blend, 2014 Heritage Reserve Red Blend and the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. Upcoming releases include: 2016 Petit Verdot, 2016 Syrah, 2018 Tahija Dry Riesling, and 2018 Tahija Sangiovese Rose’

“Because we buy great Red Mountain fruit we can take a hands-off approach to winemaking, let the grapes do most of the talking, and focus on having a little fun,” comments Mark. “All of our wines (except one) are fermented to dryness (i.e. no residual sugar.) They are also vegan because we don’t find them with additives.”

Both Mark and Sarah love being a part of the community and enjoy offering and introducing extraordinary wines to inspire the palate of all who walk through their doors. Sarah states, “Liberty Lake is such a great community, so supportive of its citizens that we’ve had a lot of fun creating events for the community and partnering with various local organizations. We’re excited to do more.”

In addition to being a great place to enjoy a savory glass of wine and antipasto plate with friends and neighbors, the Liberty Lake Wine Cellars is also a fantastic place to hold private events: Milestone birthday parties, bridal showers, business meetings, etc. Mark and Sarah hold various events at the LLWC including Bottle Painting, Sign Making, an annual Liberty Lake Library Fundraiser, a Mother’s Day event, plus many more. You can view their scheduled events under the event tab on their webpage https://www.libertylakewinecellars.com.

As of April 01, 2019, Mark and Sarah expanded their hours to:

  • Wed, Thurs & Fri: 1pm-8pm
  • Sat & Sun: Noon – 5pm

Stop by and tastes the new releases or enjoy a glass of an old favorite.

Orchard Park Splash Pad Update

in Featured/Parks and Arts/Things to Do in Liberty Lake
Orchard Park March 2019

Harvest and Indiana SignThe Orchard Park Splash Pad is located just west of Harvest Parkway, between Mission Ave. and Indiana Ave. in the River District of Liberty Lake. It is approximately 90’ in diameter and features multi-colored concrete. It is comprised of numerous water features including a dragonfly, a tree with squirrels, a baby long-legs spider, a 6’ diameter water web, a tree with apples, a water spout, and a dumping water bucket along with other fun features.

Construction began last summer and is expected to be complete and in full operation by mid-June. The Splash Pad is located adjacent to the new playground currently under construction and promises to bring many hours of enjoyment to local families.
 

Splash Pad Rendering

InteGRITTY Fitness: “Changing lives, 45 minutes at a time!”

in Community Spotlight/Featured
InteGRITTY Fitness logo

Have you ever faced a task that seemed unmanageable or a point in your life where you just knew in your heart you couldn’t go on even one more step?

Business owner, Paul Miethe, is no stranger to feelings and situations that seemed insurmountable. At the age of 25, Paul had back surgery, which was almost the beginning of the end for him. He became horribly addicted to pain medications. Up until this point in his life he had never experimented with any type of drugs or marijuana. One could barely call him a casual or social drinker.

In no time at all, Paul fell deeper and deeper into addiction. He had worked at the URM for several years, had a solid work ethic and a great rapport with his employer. It wasn’t long before his employer became aware of his addiction and paid for him to enter into a treatment program after he was caught stealing pain killers out of a co-workers lunch box. He returned to work after completing the treatment program but his sobriety was short lived. Once again they sent him into a treatment center but Paul just couldn’t stay sober.

Pain medications were no longer giving him the feelings he was looking for. Pain medication turned into heroin, heroin to meth, and so on. He was now addicted to intravenous drugs. His addiction went on for approximately ten years.

Paul lost everything in his life that meant anything to him: his marriage and career of 13 years, his relationship with his children, every element of trust with every person in his life prior to his addiction and every moral and ethical belief he had. He lied, cheated and stole so much that even his closest family and friends were afraid to be around him. He became suicidal and hopeless.

Paul wasn’t able to keep a job because he was consistently fired for stealing. He slept in his 1996 Ford Explorer until he signed it over to his drug dealer for drugs. Then, a family member allowed him to sleep in their pop-up camper on the property of a close family friend, but that didn’t last long. He broke into their home and stole from them while they were out of town and was kicked out of the camper and off of their property. At this point, he was truly homeless and spent a few weeks on the streets sleeping in parking lots and under trees.

During this time, Paul made several attempts at recovery and had brief stints of sobriety. He continued to car prowl and steal in order to stay loaded. At this point, he was wallowing in self-pity and had given up on himself. He didn’t believe in his heart he’d ever change and he truly thought he’d die a drug addict. Each time he’d enter treatment his body would go through physical withdrawals. “I felt like my skin was crawling. I was puking. I had uncontrollable sweats and terrible body aches,” said Miethe. “Meth cured me from opiate withdrawals but now I had that monkey on my back.”

Paul’s family stopped enabling him early on, but they never gave up on him. After completing his 8th round of treatment, Paul moved into the Oxford House in Spokane, WA, a home for “clean and sober living, ” where he resided for 6 months. During this time he was able to stay off drugs but was still drinking and pretending to be fully sober for the people who ran the house. During this same time, he met his now wife, Krystal. He fell in love with her immediately. Within a few short months, the power of addiction had hijacked him again. Krystal begged him to go back into treatment. He doubted himself and the ability of the treatment center to help him, after all, he’d been in 8 times before. This time something different happened.

On March 28, 2013, Paul entered his 9th and final treatment center. Upon entering the center, he met a counselor who talked straight to him, “You are an addict and will die an addict. You want somebody else to fix you,” said the little older gentleman. Those words hit Paul deep inside. He went through their 30-day program and immediately went to an AA meeting the day he was released. He found a sponsor, became very active in the program, worked the 12 steps to the best of his ability and has continued ever since. To this day, he still attends weekly meetings.

Shortly afterward, Paul found a newfound strength in fitness. He lost over 130 pounds and has kept it off for over four years. He and Krystal were married, they adopted a child and had a child of their own. He sponsors several men and supports them on their journey of sobriety.

In 2017 Paul opened InteGRITTY Fitness in Liberty Lake. While waiting for his gym to open, Paul taught fitness lessons in the park free of charge for nearly 3 months. Since the doors opened in November 2017, enrollment has exceeded 300 members. “InteGRITTY Fitness is unlike any other gym out there. We have created a unique environment. It’s like one big family. We are the “Cheers” of gyms, where everybody knows your name…We have fun and truly enjoy our workouts but we also produce results unlike any other gym out there. It’s a special thing,” states Paul. “Whether you are a 19-year-old Rugby player getting ready for the season or a 74-year-old grandmother trying to lose 10 pounds, you will feel just as comfortable.”

InteGritty Fitness is quickly becoming known to many as “a place of healing.” They offer 45-minute classes every hour. Additionally, they have a staffed, beautifully decorated and well stocked Kids Zone. “We wanted to provide a gym where parents could bring their children and be able to get an awesome workout without having to worry about their kiddos!”

Paul states, “Hitting rock bottom forced me to a level of self-examination that I don’t believe most people have the privilege of seeing. I had to tear apart every old idea, every belief, every value and every single element of who I am. There was not one relationship that I didn’t do damage to. I’ve since gotten to make amends thanks to the miraculous teachings of the 12 steps of AA. But the fact of the matter is that I will be repairing broken relationships until I draw my last breath.” He wants every person struggling with any type of addiction to know, “You can’t do it alone…It’s a cunning, baffling and powerful disease and you have to find a higher power. Something or someone bigger than you. You have to work at it every day.”

The staff at InteGRITTY Fitness can’t say enough great things about Paul and what he’s brought to the community. One member of the coaching staff states, “You have to watch him coach. He is truly amazing!” Another states, “Where he’s been, what he’s accomplished and what he does for people is so inspiring.”

InteGRITTY Fitness offers a one week free trial to everybody. They are located at 22820 E Appleway Ave STE B in Liberty Lake. You can also follow them on Facebook.

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