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Archive for April 11, 2011

LaunchPad lines up a long list of medical, professional leaders for Tuesday session

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Tuesday's LaunchPad event, starting at 1 p.m. at the Riverpoint Higher Education campus, offers a cross-section of area researchers and business people talking about Spokane's health sciences sector.

Around 1:15 p.m., Seattle journalist Luke Timmerman will talk about biotech prospects for the region.

Following his remarks, a number of breakout sessions will be offered, from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., and 3:15 to 4 p.m. The full day's agenda will be at Washington State University's South Campus Facility Court, 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Who's going to be on deck for those breakout sessions? Here's some of the lineup: Howard Grimes, WSU dean of the graduate school and VP of research; Steve Neff, CEO of Revita Rehab; Dave Vachon, of Iasis Molecular Sciences; Jon Copeland, CEO of Inland Imaging; Buck Somes of GenPrime; Paul Domitor of Rehab Logic, and Dr. Patrick Tennican, of Hyprotek. 

To register, use this link.

Average price of gas in Washington hits $3.88, according to AAA

The price of gas continues rising and the busiest driving season is a few months away.

The Associated Press reports the average price of gas in Washington has reached $3.88 per gallon of regular gas.

Prices quoted rely on a AAA auto club survey of stations and dealers across the state. The $3.88 figure is 6 cents more than last week and 24 cents up from a month ago.

And it's 11 cents higher than the national average.

The AP reports these average prices for cities:

  • Spokane $3.78
  • Bellingham $3.98
  • Bremerton $3.90
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $3.89
  • Tacoma $3.88
  • Olympia $3.91
  • Vancouver $3.81
  • Yakima $3.84

Pay for Washington, Idaho women lags

Women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and women in Washington and Idaho get an even smaller share, according to a study released today by the National Partnership for Women & Families.

In Washington, a woman working full-time is paid $38,521, a man $51,305. The 25 percent gap creates a $11.1 billion difference in total wages for all women.

If pay were equal, women would be able to buy almost two years worth of food, make seven more monthly mortgage payments, or 14 more months of rent.. The Partnership said eliminating the pay gap would boost the incomes of 65,577 Washington households living in poverty that are headed by women.

Idaho women earn $29,122, men $40,440, creating a 26 percent gap and total differential of $2.1 billion.

The gap represents 85 more weeks of food, nine months of mortgage payments, or 16 months of rent. Slightly more than 15,500 families living in poverty would benefit if pay was equal.

The statistics were released the day before Equal Pay Day, the end of the period women must work in 2011 to catch up with compensation earned by men in 2010.

The gap has closed at a rate of one-half cent per year since passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act. At that rate, the Partnership says, pay for women will not match that for men until 2958.


Say it ain’t so, Joe. Trader Joe’s recalls mislabeled pizzas

While Spokane-area foodies await the much-heralded arrival this year of a new Trader Joe’s, here's a touch of reality, although the news is hardly anything approaching serious.

The California-based food market chain has voluntarily ordered nearly 131,000 pounds of frozen pizzas to be recalled.

It did so in response to a notice by the United States Department of Agriculture that the chain's “Pizza Al Pollo Asado” product failed to mention it contains wheat. Since some people are allergic to wheat, with symptoms ranging from nausea and hives and breathing problems, the company faced possible lawsuits by neglecting to pull the bad packages.

Those pizzas were produced between Jan. 27 and March 27 by Completely Fresh Foods in Montebello, Calif.

Work has begun on the new Trader Joe's on Spokane's South Hill. A fall opening is expected.

Can you really get an iPad for $5 at those penny auction sites?

You all see those ads saying you can win an auction for an iPad for $5.

Does anyone really win something at those prices?

We'll follow up here after talking later today with Nick Darveau-Garneau, the CEO of, one auction site that claims to be doing straight-up auctions for honestly low prices.  We'll be doing a Q and A that we'll record, so you can listen to the key parts, if you wish. 

And we'll post a quick summary of the points made during that interview. 

If you have any suggested questions, email them to

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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