“Riverfront Park face-lift seen as legacy project”

Riverfront Park face-lift seen as legacy project – Spokesman.com – Sept. 28, 2014.

It’s unsigned – no reporter has their name on this free political advertisement.

Update: The reporter’s name did appear in the printed version (which I did not see) but did not appear in the online version of the story that I read on two different computers. Nicholas Dashais’ name now shows on the online version of the story. He contacted me to let me know that he is the author – thank you.

I had saved a screen capture of the original showing the missing name – here is the original and my original post was because the name really was missing from the online version. Note also the “Tags” list has been changed from the original story:


Here is the revised version that now appears (via TOR browser, of course):


 I assume the missing information was due to a software problem or software usage issue at the paper.

There is no mention of the publisher’s ownership of land across the street from the park. Conflicts of interest do not matter in fake news stories promotional stories (updated Oct 3).

The Park needs to be fixed up. But can Spokane rely on the largest downtown landholder and beneficiary of public spending to write unsigned news stories about these activities?

These public projects benefit downtown landowners, of which the paper’s owner, is one of the largest. Amid declining circulation, the Spokesman-Review has devolved into real estate investment promotions.  That’s sad.

(Hey, this blog is unsigned too – but we can disclose we do not own any land that benefits yay or nay on these projects)

STA – “savings on fuel and maintenance would more than pay for the added cost up-front”

The $800,000 sticker price on the 41-foot model is high compared with the Gillig buses currently in the STA fleet. A conventional Gillig diesel bus costs $378,000 and a Gillig electric hybrid diesel is $550,000.

However, savings on fuel and maintenance would more than pay for the added cost up-front over the expected 12-year-life of the Proterra, said Dale Hill, company founder.

via STA officials view company’s latest electric bus model – Spokesman.com – Sept. 17, 2014.

Hmmmm…. that sounds familiar.  Here is what the STA said about the discredited electric hybrid diesels on March 24, 2009:

The acquisition of new buses, including the hybrids, will reduce ongoing maintenance costs for older buses as well as save on fuel costs.

In reality, “Spokane Transit Authority squandered taxpayer money on expensive buses” as the savings never came.

Typical of Spokane institutions, no one was held accountable for bad decisions, hence, it remains business as usual. And probably more squandered money, more puffy press releases and then a hidden reference years later to the program being abandoned.

STA buses to join 21st century

“Talking bus” route and stop announcements are being added to STA buses. Many other cities have had these “smart bus” systems for some time – audible announcements are required by the Americans with Disability Act: STA Begins “Smart Bus” Initiative – Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com.

King County began experimenting with smart bus and automated stop announcements in 2001. Pierce (County) Transit added these features in 2009.  Los Angeles began adding this in 2006. Spokane is just starting to build out its Smart Bus Initiative in 2014 as part of a ten year upgrade project. The Federal government allocated taxpayer funding for the Smart Bus Technology Modernization program in 2008. Funding for Spokane was buried in a bill by Senator Patty Murray in 2007. More information about the “intelligent” transportation system for the area is in this SRTC document.

As usual, Spokane is years behind but pretends its hip and cool when its merely catching up.  Businesses looking to be on the forward edge are not going to locate in a community that is perpetually years behind. It’s nice that STA is catching up but let’s not pretend we are the “bus of the future”.


Spokane Medical School: UW says WSU feasibility study is badly flawed

WSU hired a national consulting firm named MGT of America to produce a feasibility study for a WSU medical school. MGT’s report says Washington needs a WSU medical school.

The University of Washington responds that the consultant’s study done for WSU “contains a number of deep flaws”.

Many of the key justifications cited for starting, funding, and accrediting a second public medical school in Washington are based upon faulty assumptions, omissions, and erroneous data that draw into question many of the report’s central conclusions. These flaws raise significant concern about the actual feasibility of a WSU medical school and are important questions that require answers.

Local Spokane promoters and politicians previously relied on a consultant’s report on the economic impacts of the Spokane Medical School. However, that report was essentially a work of fiction, as pointed out in this blog’s analysis – “Forecast Economic Impacts of the Spokane Medical School“.

This blog would like to see a med school in Spokane and is supportive of WSU running such a med school. But both parties have engaged in flaky promotional efforts.

Update: WSU’s study may have left out the fully accredited Pacific Northwest University of Health Science’s, College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Washington, with another 140 or so medical students beyond those at the UW.