Spokane Crime, Employment, Airport Usage, Office Vacancy Rates and some “just WTF?”

Spokane Crime

Spokane is one great big crime hot spot: Spokane GIS – Crime Map.

Not sure why they bother to highlight some areas on the map – looks like most of the map is a hot spot. Ouch!


Non-Farm Jobs in Spokane Continues to Slide in 2012

Worst July since pre-historic times. And the January 2012 number was revised way downward.

Mentally draw a trend line through the downturn side of the chart – yeah, the situation is getting worse year over year. We’ve seen the first of two annual employment peaks and the first 2012 peak is lower than it was in 2010 and 2011. This is not good. In fact, this really, really bad.

Update: What is the State doing with the data?

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Spokane Employment/Unemployment, Real Estate and Airport Usage Trends

Spokane Unemployment

Unemployment rises to 9.1% in May.

Total non-farm employed improves slightly but remains on par with year 2005 levels – while the overall population has increased.

Data source for charts

Real Estate and More after the break

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Spokane: When news breaks, not much happens

An incident occurred Saturday night that shows the impact of local news room cut backs.

The Incident

Around 9 pm on Saturday, there was a murder, followed by a suicide during the night. Police, sheriff’s deputies, State patrol, SWAT team equivalent, negotiators, K-9 teams, police reserves, an armored vehicle all arrived and the sheriff’s helicopter circled over head for hours. Nearby apartments were evacuated and streets were closed off much of the night. Dozens of officers were involved. This is a big deal in Spokane.

Local News Coverage

Let’s look at how this was covered by the news media in Spokane …

Saturday

  • 9 pm: Shooting occurs, police respond.
  • 11 pm: KXLY – zero coverage.
    11 pm: KHQ and KREM have short phone calls with their photographer on scene.
    11 pm: The Spokesman-Review tweets that a shooting occurred.
  • 12 Midnight: KHQ and KREM add six sentence stories to their web sites.
  • (Update: As added in a comment to this post, KHQ and KREM did “okay” – not great, but okay. See the comments for more information.)
Sunday

Was this an important story in Spokane? As of Monday, this was the #1 most viewed story at the local TV station web sites.

Does Spokane’s news media lack resources to cover urgent, breaking news outside of regular business hours?  Looks that way.  They may want to take an introspective look at how they could do better.

What impact will the lack of news resources have on a community in terms of losing coverage of urgent news events, local government initiatives, education, business activities, economic development, and projects pushed by local developers?

Update: One week later, here’s an example of a smaller deal that was reported and online quickly, rather than 18 hours later. Hopefully the event above led to some new ideas for covering timely news.