Avista pushing for conservation

Avista Utilities is seeking energy conservation ideas to help it offset the need for power generation.

The Spokane company hopes to achieve 69 megawatts of electricity conservation within a decade. A megawatt is enough power to serve 650 Inland Northwest homes.

The conservation push is part of an overall resources plan that also calls for an additional 400 megawatts of wind generation, 250 megawatts of electricity from burning coal, 80 megawatts of other renewable resource and 52 megawatts from upgrades to existing power plants.

The company is expected to file a separate plan for conserving natural gas.

Spokane Valley

Business fair set for Wednesday

Nearly every table will be full as companies throughout Spokane Valley convene for the fourth annual business fair Wednesday.

The event will feature at least 90 exhibitors, said Eldonna Gossett, president of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event.

Clothing companies, importers, car dealerships and even carpet cleaning businesses will be featured at the fair, Gossett said.

The event will be held in the Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center, at 1100 N. Sullivan Road. It’s free and open to the public from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

Framingham, Mass.

PC sales growth to slow, firm says

The personal computer market’s rapid growth will slow in the next few years because a recent rebound in computer replacements has left many customers with systems that won’t soon need replacing, according to a forecast Monday from a technology research firm.

Framingham-based IDC said it expected a shift from a 15 percent annual growth rate in the past two years to around 10 percent over the next few years.

Loren Loverde, an IDC research director, said the cyclical slowdown in replacements will be partially offset by three recent trends that are expected to continue the next few years: greater adoption of increasingly sophisticated portable computers, reduced computer prices, and market growth in developing countries.

Microsoft Corp.’s announcement last week that it would delay the release of a consumer version of its new Windows Vista operating system could cause some buyers to put off PC purchases from late this year to next year, Loverde said.

San Jose, Calif.

Jobs uses shares to pay taxes

Apple Computer Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs used almost half of his 10 million restricted shares that vested this month to pay for applicable taxes, according to a regulatory filing.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Apple said it withheld more than 4.5 million of the top executive’s restricted shares, worth $295.7 million at $64.66 a share, to meet the tax obligations on the 10 million in restricted shares the company gave Jobs in March 2003. Now Jobs is left with 5.4 million of those shares, worth about $323 million.

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