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Some community resolutions for us all to ponder in 2014

In our opinion


It’s that time of year again when we all make those New Year’s resolutions, most of which we have a hard time following through with.

So instead of suggesting that you, our readers, quit smoking, lose weight, be better stewards of finances or an endless list of other “To-Do’s,” the Cheney Free Press editorial board thought we’d take a different approach.

That would be a series things our community might consider to tackle in 2014.

First off the challenge goes out to the city of Cheney, which should be resolute in 2014 to put at the top of one of their lists to have some business, any business be the first in the largely vacant acreage in the Cheney Commerce and Industrial Park.

As neighbors, the Free Press and Allpack Containers are a little lonely out here on SR 904. So we’d love to see the effort jump-started, even if that first business might be Cheney Hydroponics, a business seeking to receive a marijuana processing license from the state and build a facility.

News that this business was interested in locating in the business park came in a staff report to the Cheney Planning Commission a couple of weeks ago. Public Works Director Todd Ableman informed the commission the city had received a conditional use application from this business.

The park meets all the criteria for such a business since the 2012 passage by a significant margin – 56 percent – of Initiative 502, which legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Now to you, the residents of Cheney. How about doing your best in 2014 to go the extra mile in town, not the extra 20 miles to go to Spokane, and support local businesses? Remember, they are the ones who employ many of your neighbors and pay taxes that fund the city services we all depend on and expect. You know, the police when you need them to investigate a problem; a fire department to bring aid or the instantaneous lights that illuminate a room when you flick the switch?

For 33 years up until mid-2012, the Ben Franklin variety store was one of Cheney’s iconic businesses, but its loss not only cost this community’s residents more choices, but a piece of Americana as the withering roster of five-and-dime merchants lost yet another.

In traveling to Spokane to shop, have you taken into consideration the time lost, not to mention the gas, wear and tear and elevated blood pressure that comes when one deals with the legion of loons with steering wheels in their hands and gas pedals under their feet?

And finally to our friends at Eastern Washington University, we see the effort through clever billboards and those INCREDIBLE print ads to build a relationship with Spokane. How about looking at making your real neighbors on the West Plains your customers?

We think the people of Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Heights are more inclined to drive 5-10 miles to fill seats in Reese Court, Roos Field – and maybe down the road the proposed Gateway project – which will certainly need local support.

Of course there’s no harm in trying to make the 300,000-plus Spokane residents Eastern fans, too, but they are already pretty well connected to the Zags, Cougs, Chiefs and Shock.

A recent encounter with a local business may have best illustrated our point that Cheney support for Eastern events certainly isn’t a given.

Small talk at the service counter eventually led to the subject of EWU’s opening-round playoff game, Dec. 7 versus South Dakota State. When the generic mention of a football game that day was brought up, the reply was, “What football game?”

There you are, a list of things to resolve to accomplish in 2014. Not too big, not too small, but just right for starters we think.

We wish you a slightly belated Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.


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