Visit Spokane and KXLY get punked

(Update: this post was originally posted on Dec 12 but the date was later set to Oct 1 to move it “out of order” in the list of posts to appear below “The X Report” post.)

TheChive list identifies Spokane as one of U.S. most underrated cities | Spokane/E. WA –  (screen snap shot)

Visit Spokane President says:

“What’s nice is underrated for us in our vernacular for us is undiscovered, so to have someone say, ‘You need to give them a look. They’re worth it’ Awesome! We love it,” Visit Spokane President Cheryl Kilday said.

Visit Spokane just got punked.

TheChive spreads viral photos, videos, and Internet memes, including hoaxes, with an emphasis on young female bodies. Here is a snapshot of their main page:


TheChive’s sidebar (oh, it gets better further down their page):


Why not check out the full list of hot girls?  More cleavage should push KXLY’s ratings up a bit!

Or may be this entire section of TheChive – devoted to “GIRLS CATEGORIES“:


Among the skimpy non-objective criteria are that Spokane has lots of beer and “alcoholic beverages”.

KXLY thinks the above is news you-need-to-know while they black out real news about local boobs.


Visit Spokane is proud of this endorsement from TheChive!

Visit Spokane, is the Convention Center sales department, and lies about Spokane weather too. There is more nonsense on their web site – like claiming 8 airlines serve Spokane while the airport itself counts 6. Granted, they are sales idiots but the on going lies are a little thick.

The above screen captures from TheChive are reproduced here under a Fair Use claim for the purpose of critique and commentary. This post will be moved out of the #1 post spot later.

Spokane Convention Center charges a fee to watch the 4th of July Fireworks

Riverfront Park fireworks display organizers charge to watch from PFD steps.

This is new

Organizers charged people who wanted to sit on the stairs behind the convention center.   It cost $5 to $10 for a seat on the stairs. It cost $20 for seats on the dock.


All of the money from the tickets goes to the convention center.

The most likely reason for the new fee is to inflate the attendance count at the underused Convention Center. You can be sure that those who paid the new fee will be counted as Convention Center attendees. In spite of 3 expansions, the facilities continue to have fewer attendees than they did 15 years ago.

New online game – spot the Spokane Convention Center expansion bump in local employment!

The Spokane Convention Center is building its 3rd expansion since the year 2000.

They promised us more jobs – can you spot the jobs increase in the City of Spokane?

Total jobs in the City of Spokane are now less than in 1996  (data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics):LAUCT536700000000005_742370_1398301192417

Good thing Spokane has such a booming economy with huge job growth typical of the State!  Oh wait, its once fast growing job market collapsed and has since flat lined.

Of course, they also promised more jobs and more visitors. Surely this shows up in the hotel industry employment, as a great proxy for visitors to Spokane? After all 54% of all money spent by convention center visitors, they say, goes to the hotel industry.

Hospitality (hotels) industry employment in the City of Spokane since 1993 (data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics):


Just eyeballing the chart the low point is about the high point in 1997. Hmmmm.

Well, at least they have increasing attendance at the PFD facilities, thanks to all those expansion projects!

The Spokesman-Review says the PFD is awesome and doing fantastic!  And we all know everything the Spokesman-Review publishes is highly accurate, never spun as a propaganda – of course!


Okay, so all those visitors are not hiding out at the Convention Center. Where could they possibly be?

They said expansion would produce more visitors so the airport surely shows lots more passengers?

SIA Jun 2013


Sure is a mystery to us. They promised more jobs and more visitors. They must be hiding here somewhere. May be selling prostitution on East Sprague or door-to-door meth sales?

They could not possibly have lied to us, could they? Could they? …

I know, let’s build a Spokane Field House downtown because that will surely increase visitors and jobs! Then add a heated pedestrian/bike bridge. But why stop there? Let’s build a downtown trolley! And then light rail to the airport! 

But whatever we do, don’t let the Spokane Indians build a casino/shopping/entertainment/convention center complex because the Spokane area doesn’t need more jobs. And besides, it would compete with the downtown business cartel. Oops. We were not supposed to say that.

Related: All those self promotion programs to attract tourists dollars  look to be a fraud too.

Keywords: Bloomsday Run, Lilac Festival, Parade, Marching Bands, Floats, Walk

Spokane Propaganda-Style

After an officer involved shooting, we should wait for the results of the investigation before passing judgement. 

Recently, an officer involved shooting took place in Spokane Valley. Sadly, it appeared to be “suicide by cop” by a heavily armed individual who had telephoned 9-1-1 with his intentions. Not much controversy there. We all have sympathy for the victim, the victim’s families, the deputies and their families. This must be awful for all involved.

Days after a shooting, law enforcement issues a press release with the names of the officers or deputies. These releases routinely list the training, commendations and awards, and sometimes past work experience of those involved.

Here’s the text of a local law enforcement press release – there is something odd here – see if you can spot which”one of these doesn’t go with the others”:

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the names of the deputies involved in the shooting incident that occurred at Sullivan and Indiana the night of February 11, 2014.

Deputy Brett Hubbell-14 year Sheriff’s Office veteran and SWAT Team Leader

Received a Certificate of Appreciation in 2010 for his professional work with a bank robbery investigation Sheriff’s Office Patrol Procedures lead instructor He’s received over 10 letters internally documenting his good work and professionalism. 3 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO

Deputy Jeff Thurman- 12 year Sheriff’s Office veteran and K9 handler with Laslo

Emergency Vehicle Operations and Control (EVOC) Lead Instructor and Subject Matter Expert for Pursuit Review Sheriff’s Office Field Training Officer Patrol Procedures Instructor Chief Tactical Flight Officer for SCSO Air 1 Received the 2013 National Tactical Flight Officer of the Year Award by the Airborne Law Enforcement Association Received a Certificate of Appreciation in 2010 for his professionalism and patience Received Certificates of Commendation in 2011 and 2012 for his excellent work. He’s received over 15 letters internally documenting his good work and professionalism 6 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO

Deputy Dale Moyer-7 year Sheriff’s Office veteran and SWAT Team member

In 2011 he received the Sheriff’s Star Award for his excellent work and professionalism. Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Patrol Procedures Instructor He’s received 3 letters internally documenting his good work and professionalism. 12 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO Received a Life Saving Award for helping a suicidal female in Kootenai County Previous law enforcement instructor at North Idaho College Joint Agency Drug Task Force detective, Field Training Officer, Patrol Procedures Instructor and Citizens on Patrol Instructor for Kootenai County Veteran-U.S Army Active Duty/Reserve

Deputy Ryan Walter-7 year Sheriff’s Office veteran and SWAT Team member

He’s received over 10 letters internally documenting his good work and professionalism 2 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO

Deputy Brian Hirzel-5 year Sheriff’s Office veteran

17 years of previous law enforcement experience before joining SCSO

Deputy Randy Watts has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 10 months

Prior to joining SCSO, he served in the U.S. Navy Helicopter Systems Operator-Search and Rescue Swimmer Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) instructor with the Join Personnel Recover Agency

The SIRR Team’s investigation of the incident is ongoing. No additional information is available at this time.

Did you spot the single line on Deputy Brian Hirzel? That is odd for a deputy that has his very own topic page at the local newspaper!

From public records, Deputy Hirzel has been involved in three officer involved killings (2 by gun fire, one by hand). While the investigating agency announced he would be interviewed 3 days after the Creach shooting, the deputy was on vacation to Las Vegas, one of many factors that created controversy and cynicism.  There is a Mr. Hirzel that is also founder and principle investigator at Critical Investigations, LLC, a private investigation service in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (See additional footnote below as the web site appears to have been taken offline after this post).

Another of the deputies was involved in a previous shooting too, and this is not mentioned.

The Spokesman-Review read their own archives and pulled up the missing details.

Leaving out inconvenient detail is called “lying by omission. No one actually lied, no one said anything that was not true. But the intent is to influence by giving part of the story in a way to intentionally misrepresent- in other words, it is propaganda. The recent news story about the Spokane Arena left out the most important metric of all – the long term downward attendance trend and that attendance for 2012 is almost 1/3 less than the peak.  Dissembling is where true facts are presented in a way or in an ordering intended to lead one to an untruthful conclusion and is a common method used in propaganda.

This is what we call  Spokane Propaganda-Style!

This blog post is not about the officers involved or whether the shooting was justified or not – this story is about Spokane Propaganda-Style. Propaganda leads directly to cynicism and a loss of trust in local institutions and leaders. 


Footnote update:

Just wanted to clarify that we did not haphazardly link to a random web site.

 Deputy Hirzel’s LinkedIn page has a link on it to the Critical Investigations web site – see “Websites Company Website“. Portions of Deputy Hirzel’s LinkedIn page have almost identical wording to that used on the Critical Investigations web site.   The Critical Investigations web site appears to have been taken offline after this post was made here on this blog.  

An Internet Archive copy of the page is here

Screen shot of the main page is here: image capture

Spokane’s Potemkin Village Marketing Program

Years ago some one told me the Spokane Visitors Bureau put together a special map to avoid showing key visitors the run down appearance of much of Spokane. I thought he was joking.

He wasn’t joking – the map is for real and it’s called “Spokane City Drive“. The map weaves a path around the problems, potholes and empty buildings:

“We’re really concentrating, though, on how we pick the routes that we take them,” Kilday said. “Because there are days that traffic or construction or potholes all play a part into what we’re showing a meeting planner.”

Spokane develops strategy to sell itself to big conventions | Spokane.

In the future they will show off the heated pedestrian/bike bridge as the centerpiece of Spokane’s economic prosperity and city of the future!

Because the link to the VisitSpokane’s City Drive map sure as hell goes no where (its’a dead link – ain’t our marketing grand?)

LaunchPad INW Weekly Newsletter on local innovation and entrepreneurship

Check out LaunchPad INW – the original, local social networking (and in person networking) group has transitioned to a weekly newsletter sharing information on local innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

To learn more, read “Welcome to LaunchPad“.

Hoopfest’s Social Media Ambassadors

This year, Hoopfest features a new online presence with two social media ambassadors. They seem to be everywhere at Hoopfest 🙂

Erica is a recent WSU advertising graduate who now works in Los Angeles.  Amanda is a recent Ohio State economics graduate and is working in Colorado. She is known locally for her participation in the 2012 Olympics in the sharp shooting competition.

Both are accomplished young people and worthy of our admiration. But both left Spokane. Outsourcing our local promotional efforts to ex-residents who now live out of state might not be sending the right message!

Why do so many accomplished young people leave town for better opportunities?