Tag Archives: News

Rise for Justice results & more!

We are almost speechless! The Center for Justice hosted its very first Rise for Justice breakfast on May 19th at the Davenport Grand Hotel. The event results are above and beyond what we could have hoped for! Here is quick recap of the proceedings. The event began at 7:30 am with a welcome and thank you from Matt Santangelo. Matt is the Executive Director for Spokane Hoopfest Association and we were very grateful for his willingness to act as our Master of Ceremonies for this event. With 435 guests in attendance, the room was full of passionate community members who care about social justice issues in Spokane. Several elected officials and judges were also in attendance as well, each of whom were recognized during Matt’s introduction. Following the introduction, our Executive Director, Rick Eichstaedt, was introduced and then recognized the Board of Directors and table hosts for their efforts, concluding with an introduction of our notable keynote speaker, Justice Mary I. Yu. She spoke about the need for civil legal aid in Washington and the importance of organizations like the Center as key players in the community. She referred to Spokane as a “beacon of hope” for the rest of the state, and touched on the importance of the work being done by the center here in Spokane. Following her speech, Matt came back up to thank Justice Yu and then to introduce a video produced by Hamilton Studio that gave a wonderful synopsis of the work done at the Center. The 12 minute video featured attorneys and program staff members and demonstrated all of the ways the Center interacts in the community. Following the video, Sharon Smith took the stage and gave a compelling and heartfelt call to action. Once Sharon had finished and instructed table hosts on how to collect donations, Matt gave another thank you to all of the attendees and concluded the event with an inspirational quote from Dr. Cornell West: “Justice is what LOVE looks like in public.”

The event was an overwhelming success, with a net profit of approximately $43,500, exceeding the amount we had anticipated and the goal previously set. The 54 table hosts all did a fantastic job and filled their tables with generous and interested community members!

This event would not have been possible without our hard working event committee that consisted of Elsa Distelhorst, Patty Gates, Kim Harmson, Jake Krummel, and Lorna St. John. A special thank you as well to our table sponsors, Mary Alberts, Micheal Chappell, Elsa Distelhorst, Foster Pepper PLLC,  Kim and Jeff Harmson, Kalispel Tribe and Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Merriman Wealth Management, Neighborhood Alliance of Spokane County, Numerica Credit Union, and Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund. We would like to send a special shout out to our Media Partner, Don Hamilton and Lorna St. John from Hamilton Studio and our video host, Jake Krummel of Numerica, for the impressive video! We are also grateful to Robert Lee, Della Higgins, Bill Keizer, Dr. Darin Neven and Ben Stuckart for their openness to celebrate and share our work with the community. Finally, a huge thank you to our friend and sponsor, Sharon Smith, for leading the vital community call to action.

In case you missed it…check out the video below!

 

 

Press Release: Coalition of Conservation Groups, Industry, and Municipal Government Challenge Hatchery Permit for Impacts of PCBs to the Spokane River

For Immediate Release: January 19, 2016

Media Contacts:

Jerry White, Jr, Spokane Riverkeeper (509) 464-7614

Rick Eichstaedt, Center for Justice (509) 464-7607

Mike Petersen, The Lands Council (509) 838-4912

Adrienne Cronebaugh, Kootenai Environmental Alliance (208) 667-9093

Coalition of Conservation Groups, Industry, and Municipal Government Challenge Hatchery Permit for Impacts of PCBs to the Spokane River

Challenge seeks a permit that requires PCB testing and participating in regional PCB task force

SPOKANE, WA–Last week, a coalition of conservation groups consisting of the Spokane Riverkeeper, The Lands Council, the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, and the Lake Spokane Association, along with the Inland Empire Paper Company and the City of Coeur d’Alene filed a challenge to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board of a pollution discharge permit issued by the Washington Department of Ecology for the operation of a fish hatchery on the Little Spokane River.

The appeal raises concerns about the permit’s failure to adequately address impacts of the hatchery to water quality in the Spokane River, particularly impacts from toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  While hatcheries do not produce PCBs, a 2006 report raised concerns about the presence of PCBs in hatchery fish food, its impact on PCB levels in fish tissue, water quality impacts in the hatchery water discharge, and impacts to PCB levels in the Spokane River.

The appeal seeks measures that would require the hatchery to conduct the same type of monitoring and to participate in the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force (SRRTTF) in the same manner as other PCB dischargers, including Inland Empire Paper Company and the City of Coeur d’Alene.

“The Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency requires the cities and industries on the Spokane River to vigorously monitor their discharges for PCBs and to participate in a regional toxics task force,” said Jerry White, Jr., Spokane Riverkeeper.  “We don’t want to shut down the hatchery,” said White. “We just want to make sure that all dischargers follow the same rules.”

“What we are after is parity,” said Mike Petersen, director of The Lands Council.  “The other dischargers are spending a significant amount of money and time monitoring impacts and participating in the Toxics Task Force.  It is not unreasonable to expect that the Fish and Wildlife do the same.”

“Communities on both side of the state are taking the problem of PCBs in the Spokane River seriously,” Adrienne Cronebaugh, director of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  “That means every potential source of PCBs needs to take action to reduce and, if possible, eliminate PCBs.”

Once widely used in everything from electrical insulators to underwater paint, PCBs are now considered a long-lived pollutant associated with increased risk of cancer, reduction of immune function and impairment of the neurological development of fetuses.  The family of chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyls, lasts for years in the environment. PCBs can concentrate in fat, and are passed along through the food chain when one animal eats another.  PCBs are toxic in extremely small quantities.  Current regulations prohibit PCB dischargers in quantities measured in the parts per quadrillion.

The Spokane Hatchery operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was built in 1934 and is one of the State’s original hatcheries. It is one of the major Rainbow Trout facilities in the state. The facility also raises German Brown Trout, Eastern Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Tiger Trout, and Kokanee Salmon.

The Pollution Control Hearings Board hears appeals from orders and decisions made by the Department of Ecology. The Board consists of three members, who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate for staggered six-year terms.

Dave Dahl of Dave’s Killer Bread heading to Spokane to accept mayoral proclamation, talk second chances

by Mitch Ryals, Inlander blog 5/14/15

COURTESY OF DAVE DAHL
Dave Dahl, of Dave’s Killer Bread fame, will be in Spokane next week to promote the opening of the Fulcrum Institute’s new Ash Street Workforce Studio and accept a mayoral proclamation.

Dahl, cofounder of the Milwaukie, Oregon-based organic bread company, is known for his story of a second (and now third) chance after spending 15 years in and out of jail up until 2004. When he was released, he joined his family’s bread-making business, and with a renewed outlook on life and tons of ideas pinging around in his head, he opened Dave’s Killer Bread in August of 2005.

DKB is now sold in all 50 states and very financially successful. The company has grown to about 300 employees, about 100 of which are formerly incarcerated individuals like Dahl. He says he didn’t start the company with the intention of hiring ex-cons, but he was so grateful to the second chance his family gave him, that he felt he should do something for others in a similar situation.

Dahl will attend next Monday’s City Council meeting (6 p.m., Council chambers), during which Mayor Condon will announce Second Chance Week to promote the city’s new “ban the box” policy. It will be the first time Dahl will speak publicly since his most recent arrest after a mental breakdown in November 2013 in which he rammed a couple police cruisers with a black Cadillac Escalade.

Tuesday, Dahl will speak at a luncheon hosted by the Fulcrum Institute to promote the opening of the new Ash Street Workforce Training Station, a place where ex-cons can learn employable jobs skills and get low-income housing.

Judith Gilmore, community resources analyst for the Fulcrum Institute, says the station will host a silk-screen business and a greenhouse as well.

“If we’re going to provide second chances, we’ve got to do more than say ‘OK, you can wash dishes, flip burgers or spin a sign in front of my building,'” she says.

To that end, in addition to their focus on hiring convicted felons, DKB provides its employees with leadership training that would make them hirable elsewhere.

“The company has put a lot of money and resources into the continued growth of individuals who work here,” Dahl says. “We’re trying to find ways to give people opportunities to be better employees and have better lives, and not just felons, but whoever can use them.”

Gilmore says the Tuesday luncheon is filled up, but Dahl will also participate in a panel discussion Tuesday night in the City Council chambers (6 p.m.) to address how Spokane can best offer second chances to people trying to rebuild their lives after a felony conviction. Other panelists include Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Breean Beggs, Rick Eichstaedt, Clyde Haase, Ron Anderson, Mary Logan, Layne Pavey, Vance Peterson and Kari Reardon.
Dahl will speak about the benefits of hiring felons and giving second chances, but he also points out that there are certain characteristics to look for. His message isn’t “you should hire all felons,” it’s more like “you shouldn’t exclude them from the job pool.” The most successful ex-con hires, he says, are the folks who have been working to improve themselves while they’re in prison and who’ve become active members of the community.

Dahl will also speak about mental health. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and says admitting it to himself and learning how to treat it changed his life.

“People with mental illnesses are not f——- up people.” he says. “They have a personality train that can be weakness, but a lot of times it can be a strength.”

He gives an example from his own life: When he first started taking antidepressants, his entire worldview changed. He was still in prison, but he didn’t want to kill himself anymore. He was happy and had a lot of energy and ideas. It was almost like a mania, he says, which can be very constructive and creative, “you just have to be aware of it and control it.”

Dahl says he’s turned down other offers to speak since his 2013 arrest, but he’s excited to be back in Spokane — he spoke at a business roundtable here about three years ago — and is proud of the work the Fulcrum Institute is doing. He doesn’t do it for the money (he certainly doesn’t need to), rather he does it as a part of his own healing.

“I’m selfish. There’s other ways to get paid besides money,” he says. “I get paid every time I feel the warm rush from people who tell me their lives were transformed because of my inspiration.”