Downtown Spokane now under continuous police video surveillance

Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport. ...

Image via Wikipedia

Local News | Much of downtown Spokane under surveillance | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Yes, we have to catch those dangerous photographers using – horrors – tripods!

Hard to believe but in Spokane, you must apply for and obtain a permit before anyone, including students and individuals doing non-commercial still or video photography, may use a tripod upon any sidewalk or street in the City of Spokane. Read more of this post

Spokane’s low wage problem noted again

The Spokesman Review’s business blog notes:

“Cost of business in Spokane was 81 percent of the national average, Coeur d’Alene’s was 76 percent.

In cost of living, Spokane was 97 percent of the national average, Coeur d’Alene was 96 percent.

Among Spokane strengths, Moody’s says, are the diversity of industries and stable military and health care sectors. A negative is the unfavorable cost-to-income balance.”

via Spokane recovering, Kootenai County still in recession – Office Hours – – Aug. 31, 2010.

The cost of doing business in Spokane is low due to the low wage problem of the area. That is a benefit to a business but a cost to workers.

T-Mobile expands high speed wireless to Spokane

Via Twitter:
techsavvy: T-Mobile expanded its HSPA+ to Boston, MA; Erie, PA; Fresno, Palm Springs, San Diego, CA; Miami, FL; Richmond, VA; Spokane, WA.; Topeka, KS.

The HSPA+ technology is about one order of magnitude faster wireless data than commonly available today and is also known as “4G” technology. According to T-Mobile, the new services is available immediately.

Spokane’s First Apple Store takes shape

Source: Yfrog Image : – Uploaded by mtigas.

Apple began opening retail stores 9 years ago, in 2001. Their first store is slated to open in Spokane in the Fall of 2010.

Economic development experts say Missoula efforts deficient, need reorganization

From the Missoulian newspaper:

Missoula’s economic development efforts are woefully deficient, dysfunctional, ineffective and without direction or leadership, a pair of economic development experts from Atlanta told local business leaders Tuesday.

via Economic development experts say Missoula efforts deficient, need reorganization.

An outside group of consultants reviewed the city’s economic development agencies by pretending to be looking for a site to open a business in Missoula. They learned that economic development in Missoula is a mess.

I wonder if we’ve ever done a review like that here in Spokane?

This is pretty neat

Spokane – Interceder: real time news. It’s a web site that displays a list of headlines in near “real time” from multiple sources in the Spokane area, and beyond, if the story has some connection to Spokane.

National name-brands in Spokane?

Spokane has more of a small town economy feel.. not up to date with corporate america, seems to be primarily divised up of private owned small business, it just doesnt have many large employers.. looking at boise you have Micron, Hewlett Packard, URS, Winco Foods, Simplot, New Albertsons, etc. Ugobe, a robotics resaerch company based out of the bay area california just built a facility near boise. many silicon valley high tech firms are considering relocationg here, there are no nationally recognized companies in spokane.

via City-Data Forum – View Single Post – Boise vs. Spokane.

Actually, there are a few name brand companies in Spokane, but they are not well known consumer brands. Itron, which builds electric power meters, and Hollister-Stiers, which does contract pharmaceutical manufacturing used to make the Ana-Kit, similar to the Epi-Pen (they sold the manufacturing rights to another company). Or Telect, which makes communications industry products – although both Telect and Itron have most of their employees located elsewhere. Sterling Savings has banks along the west coast and just completed a successful de facto bankruptcy, raising $730 m and nearly wiping out existing shareholders. DISH Network runs a satellite uplink outside of Spokane, but its only about a dozen workers. B.F. Goodrich makes commercial airplane tires, also just outside Spokane. Kaiser Aluminum still runs the rolling mill in Trentwood. PAML, a medical lab, is in the midst of a major expansion into other states. (I am not including firms like Avista or Qwest because every place has a utility and a phone company.  Gonzaga University is also a bit of a “name brand”, certainly in the Northwest. and Purcell Systems are two more. Red Lion Hotels is based out of Spokane.

Sterling International’s RESCUE -brand insect traps (around here, think yellow jackets) are made in the Spokane Valley.

The really large employers are government (lots!), health care, especially Sacred Heart Medical Center, Inland Northwest Health Services, Deaconess Medical Center, … well, government and health care.

Beyond Itron and the above, its mostly lots of small to mid-sized businesses. Which the locals will spin as a benefit of a “diversified economy“. We wouldn’t want to have large employers like, say, Boeing, Paccar, Safeco, Microsoft, Amazon – wouldn’t be diversified!

Some well known name brand companies that left Spokane recently – Kaiser’s Mead Smelter (bankruptcy/closure), Agilent (closed), General Dynamics/Itronix (closed), Egghead Software (bankrupt), Metropolitan Financial (bankrupt), ISC/Getronics (bought out, later offshored, now gone).