In brief: Real estate economist to speak at forum

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28, 2009

Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist of the California Association of Realtors, will be the keynote speaker at 2009 Real Estate Research Forum Feb. 18 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Her topic, “The California Real Estate Market in 2009: Implications for the Inland Northwest & the Nation,” will be timely; sales in San Diego and Los Angeles led the December rebound in national existing home sales statistics.

Another speaker, Harry Jansen Kraemer Jr., Clinical Professor of Management & Strategy at Northwestern University, will also assess the year ahead in his address, “Economic Upheaval-Economic Possibilities.” Several local and regional speakers will also be on the program to report on Inland Northwest trends.

The program begins at 8 a.m. – registration opens at 7:15 a.m. – and concludes at 2 p.m.

For information on registration – $45 before noon Feb. 11, $60 after – call Debbie Crowder at the Spokane Association or Realtors, (509) 326-9222.


Discrimination bill ready for Obama’s signature

Congress sent the White House Tuesday what is expected to be the first legislation that President Barack Obama signs into law, a bill that makes it easier for women and others to sue for pay discrimination, even if the discrimination has prevailed for years, even decades.

The House on Tuesday passed the measure on a 250-177 vote. Idaho Democrat Walt Minnick voted for the measure; Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington voted against it.


Inaugural gown designer’s line available at Nordstrom

Few people were happier than Jennifer Wheeler to learn that first lady Michelle Obama had chosen a white chiffon one-shoulder gown by 26-year-old New York designer Jason Wu for last week’s inaugural balls.

Wheeler, a Nordstrom vice president who oversees women’s designer apparel, took a chance on Wu several months earlier when she struck a deal to carry his spring 2009 collection at select stores. Wu was then a virtual unknown, but his collection arrives today at the flagship Nordstrom store in downtown Seattle with the buzz that only a celebrity can generate.

The collection won’t include Obama’s inaugural gown: It’s a one-of-a-kind and headed for the Smithsonian. But Wu also made a sleeveless silk dress Obama wore for a TV interview with Barbara Walters last fall, and it’ll be available at the downtown Nordstrom for $3,510. The rest of the collection ranges in price from $1,000 to $6,000.

New York

Citigroup balks on new jet after Obama pressure

Citigroup won’t be getting a new corporate jet after all.

Under pressure from President Barack Obama, one of the nation’s largest banks reversed course, announcing that it will not take delivery of the jet it had planned to purchase before the credit crisis unfolded.

The canceled deal came as many politicians voiced concern about how banks are spending government bailout money.

From staff and wire reports


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