Followup from 2011: City gets funding for “City Line” bus service

The six mile route will be an electric bus that runs a fixed six mile route from west edge of downtown to Spokane Community College. Based on bus technology, this makes more sense than the far more expensive and inflexible light rail that was sought a decade ago (even two decades ago!)

Being Spokane, this $92 million investment is a bit of a subsidy to land owners in this corridor and especially in downtown. Spokane’s history is long associated with pouring money into downtown to benefit the central core’s landowners/businesses.

I just rode one of these fixed bus route lines in another city 2 days ago. The goal in that city was to create economic activity in the fading downtown and corridors leading into downtown. Drawbacks include that since it runs down the center of parts of the route, the city had to eliminate over 100 left turns for motorists, harming access to many small businesses. Construction of the system was plagued by failure to adhere to ADA requirements and significant quality issues with the electric battery powered buses purchased to run the system (they did not achieve the required range, and many had such serious defects they had to be sent back to the factory).

While convenient to use, it was not yet seeing a lot of passengers but we did enjoy using it ourselves. I can see the value of this fixed bus route concept – but with multiple goals – economic revitalization of dead zones, unproven battery powered buses, uncertain real world demand and both positive and negative impacts on local businesses – time will only tell if it is a benefit or boondoggle. We noticed that its an “honor system”. You buy your fare at a kiosk and board – no ever checks if you paid. Systems like this in some areas have become what some call “mobile homeless shelters”.

Let’s hope this works out well for Spokane. Again, this final design makes much more sense than the expensive light rail concepts of the recent past.

Spokane Better Business Bureau office shuts down

Based on personal experience with a consumer complaint, the BBB was a scam. They closed the complaint, falsely saying the complainant’s issue was resolved, without ever contacting the complainant. The complaint was pursued elsewhere and led not only to an insurance settlement but to changes in state regulations. The BBB (this was not the Spokane office) not only dropped the ball, they lied about it. And gave the offending business an “A” rating.

Based on experience with a small business, the BBB seemed primarily interested in shaking down businesses into becoming members and sending them money.  Presumably to get a better business rating. Others have said the BBB is a scam and does just that as those news reports from 2010 discussed. Our experience was before that date.

Better Business Bureau closes Spokane office

Spokane Mayor pitches Spokane as great alternative to Seattle for businesses and jobs

This is good – and it is a clear, effective message – Seattle is a bit of mess in terms of horrible traffic and exorbitant housing costs. Even better, its getting press coverage in Seattle 🙂 Spokane mayor seeking to lure jobs and residents to city

Updated – A Seattle Times columnist, however, strikes back and discusses the crime problem, low wages and insufficient research university presence to land high tech companies.

It’s 2018 and it’s still business as usual in Spokane

Despite an overwhelming verdict, the Spokane Public Schools board should ignore the results of Tuesday’s advisory vote on the location of a new football stadium and build it downtown anyway.

….

The stadium needs to go downtown. Period. We shouldn’t let a misinformed advisory vote impact a project that would positively affect the city and benefit the youth sporting community for the next 30 years.

Source: Dave Nichols: Board should ignore advisory vote, build stadium downtown | The Spokesman-Review

Democracy sucks, doesn’t it? If you don’t get what you want, then the voters are obviously stupid so the elite should just over rule those stupid peons.

Big downtown landowners deserve subsidy programs and every one knows they are so much smarter than you! The newspaper publisher is the largest landholder downtown but … oh never mind that!

Nothing has changed in Spokane. It’s still the same old powerful elite pulling the strings. This one is just so obvious and embarrassing.

EXCLUSIVE: They can publish a Mohammed cartoon, but not these charts

Free speech, sensitivity clash in media outlets – Spokesman.com – Jan. 15, 2015.

The Spokesman-Review published an image of Mohammed (also known as Muhammad) that offends many, with editor Gary Graham saying

The cover illustration itself is a significant news development and I believe we have an obligation to our readers to let them see it for themselves and form their own opinions about it.”

The “Mohammed” charts of Spokane: the charts that must not be seen!

The Spokesman-Review believes it is not important for readers to form their own opinions about the airport and Public Facilities District usage trends.

Click on any chart for the full size version. See previous posts on this blog for additional information, sources, other confirmations of the data, and the raw data

AirVsConvention

AllFacilities

SIA

FeltsField

Propaganda

“In this sense, propaganda serves as a corollary to censorship, in which the same purpose is achieved, not by filling people’s heads with false information, but by preventing people from knowing true information. What sets propaganda apart from other forms of advocacy is the willingness of the propagandist to change people’s understanding through deception and confusion, rather than persuasion and understanding.” SourceWatch.

The Spokesman-Review has demonstrated its inability to report on important local issues by “preventing people from knowing true information” – the definition of a propaganda outlet.

Local media completely missed – and in fact, enabled – Rachel Dolezal’s long term deceptions – a story better reported in the national and UK press than local Spokane media which has reached a new low since then. Under the circumstances, Spokane and Rachel Dolezal were a match made in, well, the scam and fraud capitol of America. Update Sep 2015: The nonsense just goes on and on.

What has ailed Spokane for the long term is now quite apparent.

There is no longer much purpose for this blog.  The problems are apparent: lies, the liars that tell them (see this blog for a long list of tall tales, lies and local myths and exaggerations), deception, fraud, and the propaganda industry that enables this culture (and the latest set of lies).  No one gives a shit that everyone here lies all the time. Indeed, bull shit is the area’s leading economic output.

That is the end of the story. Our questions have been answered.

From “The X Report”, good bye.

Continue on to re-read our final words reprinted from an earlier post.

Read more of this post

EXCLUSIVE: No correlation between Convention Center and Airport usage

The Convention Center is said to be an economic driver that brings in outside visitors to Spokane, and this is the justification for continually expanding the facilities.  In just a few years, the PFD will seek additional taxes to expand again.

Does this economic driver work? Here is a comparison of airport usage versus convention center usage. Visually, there is no correlation; statistically, the R-squared value of the correlation is 1.6% (meaning zilch correlation).

AirVsConvention

If the Convention Center brings in outside visitors, they do not arrive by air or the number is so insignificant as to have no impact.

The air passenger data was scaled to a similar range to the Convention Center attendance for the purpose of comparison. In the chart above, the Y-axis shows convention center attendance; multiply by 10 for the air passenger number.

There is no correlation with jobs, either.

The top 2 largest events account for more than 25% of all usage:

  • Bloomsday, 47,346 people
  • PNQ Volleyball, 44,461 people

Outside of those two events, the remaining events average less than 700 people per day, the rest of the year. 

The Convention Center was just expanded so it can accommodate large events. Unfortunately, for a facility designed to accommodate up to 6,500 people, actual utilization is closer to 10% of best case, most of the year.

Spokane Convention Center Usage By Month

SpokaneCCByMonth

Spokane Arena By Month

For many months, the facility is almost unused.

SpokaneArenaByMonth

Spokane INB Performing Arts Center

The INB Performing Arts Center is barely used for several months of the year.

SpokaneINBByMonthAll charts come from the SpokanePFD.org web site and the 2014 end of year annual report produced by the Spokane PFD.

Keep this in mind when in 2 or 3 more years, the Spokane PFD comes asking for more money for yet another expansion of their empty facilities.

Hoopfest Ironman

EXCLUSIVE: Spokane Public Facilities District (PFD) Attendance thru 2014

The following charts show the attendance trend through the end of 2014 for Spokane PFD facilities.

The upward growth at the right of the combined “all facilities” attendance is due almost entirely to a sharp upwards trend at the Convention Center in 2014. Combined facilities attendance trend still remains slightly down over the 15 year period since 2000.

AllFacilities

image (1)

image (2)

The Convention Center experienced its first significant increase in attendance in a decade. Two events accounted for nearly 30% of all usage during the entire year. (Most of the year, the facility is used sparsely with small meetings of 100 or so people each day.)

image

This increase occurred prior to the completion of the third expansion of the Convention Center facilities, which opened in early 2015.  After more than a dozen years of flat to downward usage, and three taxpayer funded expansion projects, the CC has broken through its past “no growth” ceiling.

The above charts have never appeared in any Spokane media outlets – the attendance figures are intended to be top secret, apparently. All data comes from the Spokane PFD.