Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Spokane County legal pot sales reach $3.2 million in April

This blog post has been updated with April sales numbers from Spokane County marijuana producers and processors. 

In a month that saw state legislators vote to blend medical and recreational marijuana laws, Spokane County retailers reported sales of more than $3 million, the largest monthly total since sales began last summer.

The 4/20 effect was noticeable for state recreational marijuana retailers, with the weekend of April 20th seeing the highest sales to date, according to statistics from the Washington Liquor Control Board (which will be renamed the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board under new state laws governing recreational and medical pot sales). State shops set a record on Friday, April 17, selling $1.76 million worth of legal marijuana.

But the counterculture holiday wasn't the game-changing day for recreational sales some made it out to be - this past Friday, shops sold $1.83 million worth of weed. If anything, the statistics show weekends are more important to cannabis users than pre-ordained celebrations.

In Spokane County, retailer Greenlight continued its pace of outselling all other shops authorized under Initiative-502, reaching a half million dollars in sales for the first time since opening in September.

April marijuana sales in Spokane County

Greenlight's sales total of $517,032 fell just shy of Spokane Green Leaf's record haul of $524,579 in August. Only three stores were selling legal marijuana when Green Leaf posted that total; Greenlight is competing against 13 other stores. If Greenlight's trend continues, it will break that record in May.

No new stores reported sales in April, but overall revenues still saw an increase of about 21 percent over March. 

Statewide, producers have been posting sales numbers much lower than retailers after concerns surfaced in January about a glut of product in the market. In Spokane County, growers struggled to post $31,762 in sales last month. Producers posted their highest sales total in November, with roughly $1.9 million sold statewide. 

Marijuana producers total sales in April

Processing continues to be the most popular part of the marijuana industry in Spokane County, based on the number of businesses reporting sales figures to the Washington Liquor Control Board. Thirty-nine processing businesses in Spokane County reported total sales of $2.2 million in April, with Grow Op Farms in Spokane Valley accounting for more than a quarter of those numbers at almost $950,000 in sales.

Spokane County marijuana processor sales totals

Legal marijuana sales see huge March bump in Spokane County

Spokane County legal marijuana sales continued their climb in March, as two new stores reported revenue and overall sales rose 30 percent over February totals. 

Fourteen shops reported $2.6 million in sales during the month of March, up from just a little over $2 million in February, according to figures reported by the Washington State Liquor Control Board on Tuesday. Greenlight, a shop that opened in September on Trent Avenue, once again led all area stores in sales, reporting revenues of $431,071 in March.

Two shops, Royal's Cannabis on Division Street and Smokane in East Central Spokane, opened in March and began reporting sales.

Here is a graph showing each shop's sales from July of last year, when the state first authorized legal sales, through last month's revenue figures:

Source: Washington State Liquor Control Board

This month saw the first reported armed robbery of a Spokane area marijuana store, as detectives obtained surveillance video of a masked man demanding cash at knifepoint at Spokane Green Leaf, the first retail store in Spokane to open its doors. In Olympia, lawmakers are debating how to distribute excise taxes collected from recreational marijuana sales. To date, retailers have collected more than $16.8 million in taxes statewide, according to the Liquor Control Board. That money is pooled at the state level for earmarked purposes, though local lawmakers have said they'd like to see portions of the money collected in taxes remaining in the counties where the sales took place.

Nintendo teams up with mobile gaming company DeNA

Nintendo's beloved stable of characters, such as Mario and Link, will soon be coming to your iPhone and Android device. 

But it's unlikely you'll be stomping Goombas in World 1-1 on your mobile phone any time soon.

Nintendo announced a partnership with fellow Japanese company DeNA in a news release Tuesday. DeNA launched in Tokyo in 1999 and has forged partnerships to develop and promote mobile games and e-commerce websites with several companies, the largest being Disney in 2012. DeNA has since brought mobile games based on Marvel superheroes and the Star Wars universe, both properties owned by Nintendo, to the mobile gaming marketplace.

The agreement, outlined in detail in the news release, does not include "porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system." So we won't see Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze or any of the recent Super Mario releases on mobile platforms. The news release also said the focus of the partnership will be on " new original games optimized for smart device functionality," which seems to suggest classic games are also not likely to be ported.

If DeNA's previous work is any indication, it's likely we'll see a Kirby's Dreamland-inspired tower defense game or The Legend of Zelda card battle.

But that's just one cynical gamer's impression of the deal. Are you excited to see Mario jump off the screens of first-party hardware and onto the phone in your pocket? What classic Nintendo games would make great mobile experiences? Tell us in the comments below.

Lawsuit dropped against Daiquiri Factory amid appeal of eviction

An Atlanta bar has dropped its lawsuit against the controversial (and closed) Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory, as the shuttered business fights its eviction in Washington's appellate courts.

Kechia Matadin, owner of "The Daiquiri Factory" in Atlanta, sued Spokane bar owner Jamie Pendleton last May for alleged copyright infringement following a national controversy over one of Pendleton's drink names. A cocktail called "Date Grape Kool-Aid" drew local and national protests over its connotations to sexual violence, and it was eventually changed before the bar shuttered in June following a court-ordered eviction sought by the property owner.

Matadin's attorney asked to be removed from the federal case in January. This week, U.S. District Court Judge Lonny Suko dismissed the case under federal court rules.

Matadin wasn't the only one miffed by the Date Grape Kool-Aid connotation. Gonzaga University also sued Pendleton, alleging illegal use of its trademarked mascot and logos in bar promotions. Gonzaga won a permanent restraining order against the bar from future use of its trademarks in a ruling issued earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Pendleton continues to fight to move back into his location on Wall Street. Briefs have been filed in the Washington Court of Appeals asking that a Spokane County judge's eviction order be overturned. Pendleton argues the building's owner, Delaware-based real estate agent FPA Crescent, did not provide the legally required notice that his rent was overdue before moving to evict him. The landlord says it demanded maintenance charges that weren't paid, so they acted within their legal authority to boot the business.

No argument date has been set in the case. The former site of The Daiquiri Factory remains vacant and is listed as available for rent. The business' neighbor, Madeline's, moved to a new location on Main Street earlier this year. Its former home is also vacant and available for rent.

Suspected smuggler caught at China border with iPhone ‘armor’

Many American consumers had to jump through hoops to buy a new iPhone 6 when the device was released in September.

But waiting in lines and paying huge no-contract penalties pale in comparison to the challenges faced by Chinese fans of Apple’s latest must-have phone.

The New York Times’ China reporter Chris Buckley and the Sina News service first reported yesterday the story of a man caught at the China/Hong Kong border with 94 of the phones taped to his body.

Initial reports indicate authorities were tipped off when the man approached a metal detector walking stiffly. The man reportedly made no attempt to avoid the detector before he walked through, tripping the alarm.

Sales of the new phones were delayed several weeks in China after first going on sale in America in September. A flourishing black market emerged, with some paying as much as $2,400 for the devices, according to technology news outlet CNet. Smugglers at one point even included schoolchildren.

Media reports have not identified the man or indicated what criminal charges, if any, he faces.

Is there any gotta-have-it device that you would tape to your body and risk arrest to own or sell? I’ve always wanted a mint condition Virtual Boy, but I don’t think it would fit inside my overcoat.

‘Green Friday’ sales flat, Green Leaf leads local sellers last month

"Green Friday" may have prompted a surge of sales at local marijuana retailers, but more revenue was reported the day before Thanksgiving and earnings modestly increased from prior Friday rushes in November, according to numbers reported by the state's Liquor Control Board.

Statewide, legal pot shops made $157,686 on Friday, down significantly from Wednesday's total of more than $251,000. It appears shoppers wanted to stock up for the long holiday weekend, rather than brave the retail lines on America's largest shopping day of the season.

Still, most local store owners said they opened with lines out the door Friday, and the Liquor Control Board only reports total sales numbers, not how much marijuana was sold. Some retailers were offering strands at up to 20 percent off all weekend.

The state Liquor Control Board also released this week the total sales numbers for Spokane County's eight retailers in November. The first shop to open, Spokane Green Leaf, led the way with $236,900 in sales last month. Up-and-comer Cannabis & Glass, which was not open when the month began, sold $13,355 worth of marijuana in November. That was good enough to beat seven other shops statewide that reported sales last month, but was the least among the county's eight operating businesses.

A total of 74 marijuana businesses reported sales to the state last month. Source: Washington State Liquor Control Board.

In total, Spokane County's pot shops earned more than $1 million in sales, roughly 1/8 of the revenue statewide. Sales activity generated more than $252,000 in excise tax revenue for the state. Currently, tax funds from marijuana sales are pooled and spent throughout the state, a process some lawmakers and shop owners would like to see changed to keep tax money closer to home.

Saturday marks two years since the voter-approved Initiative-502 became law, kickstarting the legal marijuana industry in Washington state. Look for an overview of the nascent industry in this weekend's Spokesman-Review.

Results from Spokane Teachers Credit Union e-statement challenge

You may recall that Spokane Teachers Credit Union invited members
, from Earth Day (April 22) to June 30, to change their paper statements to fast e-statements. The hitch was that for every paper statement members converted to e-statements, STCU promised to buy a tree for a local reforestation project.

The results came back and they are pretty impressive. In less than 10 weeks, members switched more 1,708 month-end statements.

- 1,708 new trees ready to be planted along local waterways.

- Reduction of 41,000 sheets of paper, enough to form a ribbon seven miles long.

- Nearly $1,000 saved on stamps, envelopes, and printing of paper statements.

Spokane Teachers Credit Union helps tree planting effort with the Lands Council

I'm a little late in reporting this Earth Day news but last Monday the Spokane Teachers Credit Union launched a cool campaign for members who want to switch to paper-saving electronic account statements. Why is it so cool other than simply saving paper?  It will actually help plant trees. 

From STCU: For every member who makes the switch from paper statements to e-statements between April 22 and June 30, STCU will donate the money to plant one tree along Deep Creek, Coulee Creek and Hangman Creek (also called Latah Creek). Work will be done in North Idaho, as well, although exact locations have not been selected.

The work is being organized by the Lands Council, which hopes to plant 5,000 trees through its Project SUSTAIN. STCU hopes enough members make the switch to e-statements by June 30 to provide at least 1,000 of those trees.

Up to 400 Inland Northwest high school students will help plant the trees, said Amanda Swan, Lands Council director of development and communications. Students from Mead Alternative School, The Community School, On Track Academy, Lewis and Clark High School, Coeur d’Alene High School and Post Falls High School and St. Maries High School will participate.

Su​n People Dry Goods Launches Sunshine Dollars

Good news from Sun People Dry Goods Co.: They are announcing the launch of one of Spokane’s first complementary currencies, Sunshine Dollars. The term complementary currency describes a currency that exists as a supplement to our national money. According to the International Journal of Community Currency Research, community and complementary currency systems have four main purposes: 1) To promote local economic development; 2) To build social capital; 3) To nurture more sustainable lifestyles; and 4) To meet needs that mainstream money does not. Presently, there are over 200 complementary or local currencies in circulation around the country. Sunshine Dollars are now available for purchase.

“We are excited to launch Sunshine Dollars this month! I recently returned from the national BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was energizing to meet with so many mission-driven businesses from around the country. Folks working hard to build their local economies. Complementary currencies are a tool regularly employed throughout the country by small businesses,” says Juliet Sinisterra, Co-Owner and General Manager for Sun People.

Join One World Spokane during their last week

Sad news: Janice and Keith Raschko said they will close One World, located at 1804 E. Sprague Ave., after lunch on Saturday.

It took a lot of courage to bring this movement to Spokane. For the last four years, you could pay what you want and pick your portion. The food was local and organic. You could volunteer hours instead of paying. Despite that, not enough customers came through to keep things afloat. The owners have stated there are some folks willing to takeover at a new location so stay tuned for that.


Image courtesy of Barry Moses.

Check this story Julie Schaeffer wrote for Down To Earth on One World back in August.

But I hope you can swing by to join them before the doors close. Janice said "We thought it only fitting that we bring Chef Daniel back to One World Cafe for our final week. Chef Daniel from Salt Lake City brings his amazing culinary talent to our kitchen from Nov 1st to the 5th. He will be cooking lunches on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 to 3 and dinners on Thursday and Friday from 5 to 8."

After the jump is the statement from Janice.

Spot the irrelevant question

Who are our customers and potential customers?

What do they want? (And how do we know that?)

What's the best way to deliver that?

What will our customers want tomorrow?

What do we offer that distinguishes us from our competition?

How can we communicate that?

Do our employees care about/believe in our product/service?

For us, is quality just a slogan?

Will the office Christmas party be another cheapo affair?

Solution Stories

This is an optimistic way to begin the week. (Just you wait.)  Climate Solutions has an awesome video series documenting real, local examples of businesses incorporating sustainability into their practices.  But from french fries to irrigation check these examples of sustainability solutions.

Check these examples. First up, food processing is the Northwest's 2nd largest industrial consumer of energy. So how does one of the largest french fry producers cut energy use without cutting profits? Watch for yourself:


Freeze Fries from Climate Solutions on Vimeo.

An amnesty for tax deadbeats?

OLYMPIA – Business organizations regularly bemoan how little recognition, respect and support they get from the state. But evidence to the contrary was clear last week, when the state announced a “windfall” of some $321 million from a tax amnesty program.
It showed that when there’s something fishy about what they’ve been doing, businesses get the benefit of the doubt that poor people don’t.
Cheers for the money were second only to Mariner’s improving win-loss record, and with good reason. The state originally thought it might pick up about $24 million by offering businesses a chance to clear up their tax debts without penalties or interest. It got $321 million – $264 million of which the state keeps after sending local governments their share – which is real money in anyone’s book. It offers the Legislature, in the words of Gov. Chris Gregoire, a chance to balance the state’s biennial budget and “go home.”
No one seemed concerned, however, about the reason for the unexpected bonanza….

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Army to Test New ‘Green’ Bullets

Greenwashing is defined as the practice where a business tries to make it seem like it’s greener than it really is. For consumers to post and rank environmental advertisements in the hope of differentiating the misleading ones from the honest, we suggest The Greenwashing Index which recently refreshed it’s website.

Site Goal #1: Help consumers become more savvy about evaluating environmental marketing claims of advertisers. Site Goal #2: Hold businesses accountable to their environmental marketing claims. Site Goal #3:Stimulate the market and demand for sustainable business practices that truly reduce the impact on the environment.

I'm always testing it out and I urge you to as well. Try this one on for size from Fox News about greener bullets:

The M855 bullet was designed in the 70s — and has been in use since then, despite some complaints from soldiers that it's often less than effective .The new M855A1, which the Army will be demonstrating Wednesday at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, is deadlier, faster, and may soon replace its older cousin.




Disney Institute brings Walt’s ways to Spokane

   Think back to a soul-sucking work day in an environment that didn’t value the individual and corporate creative process, or at least give you the freedom to explore a new way of doing things. Most of us experience that at one time or another in our professional lives: The internship that asks only that you show up and do as you are told. The mid-level management morass that never rewards - and occasionally punishes - innovation. The checklist performance review.

    While plenty of us still struggle to find a method for interacting, performing and thriving in the workplace, others are studying the art of creativity with the masters: Disney.

    Since its opening in 1986, the Disney Institute has provided tutorials for business leaders who are seeking to change - from the inside out - the way they deal with both employees and consumers.

    I’d heard about the Disney Institute but had no real idea of what exactly it is the Institute does. I assumed the programing fell somewhere between basketry classes and trust-building ropes courses, with a little imagineering thrown into the mix. I mean, I get Disney. I just didn’t get how the fantasy translated into the boardroom and more importantly, the cubicle down the hall from the boardroom.

    So, during a family trip to Disney World last September, I asked for more information. I met and was able to spend some time with Disney Institute facilitator Jack Santiago.  When I asked Santiago, the first DI facilitator to present in Spanish, what the basic, consumable, byproduct of the institute is, he waived an arm.

   “Look around,” he said. “We’re in the most creative place in the world. A creative place that runs and grows on a system of best practices. That’s what you get to take home with you.”

    I asked Santiago for an example of a business that had made significant systemic changes after attending the institute. He pointed to the Disney Institute’s work with the healthcare industry.

   “Think of the basic operation of a large hospital or medical center,” he said. “They are there to serve people, to treat people, but it’s easy for that mission to get lost in the bureaucracy or day-to-day business of running the place.”

   By adapting Walt Disney’s business beliefs and passion for creating a positive experience for all “cast members” (employees) hospitals were able to change the way they interacted with “guests” (patients and other visitors.)
    “ The idea is to take our best practices and use them to improve an organization,” Santiago told me.  “We specialize in leadership, service, people management, brand loyalty and creativity training.”

    It made sense, but I asked Santiago for another example. I wanted to talk to someone in a field that it would be hard to imagine benefitting from Disneyisms. That’s how I was introduced to Tom Broussard.

    Broussard, a gregarious, motorcycle-riding, guitar-playing texan is fifth-generation mortician in Beaumont, Texas. He is also a Disney Institute apostle after attending a short presentation at an association annual meeting at DisneyWorld in 2000.
    “I sat there and it was like a lightbulb came on,” he told me during a long phone conversation. “They talked about personalization, making a real connection to others.  Well, what we do is intimately personal.”

    Broussard came away convinced the skills and techniques taught by Disney Institute facilitators could make a difference in the way he and the other funeral service workers in his network interacted with and served clients. He realized that some of the techniques used by Disney enterprises would help him create an experience for those who’d come to say goodbye to a friend or family member that would deepen their bond with the deceased.

    “There’s a move in our industry to celebrate the lives of the deceased. You see slideshows and things like that. But I realized that if we reached out to the people who attended services and helped them create a memorial or a keepsake, we would give them a deeper sense of connection,” Broussard says.  “It didn’t have to mean big changes in the way we do things, just more effective changes.”

    Broussard admits he has the right kind of personality to respond to the Disney Institute message.
        “Some of us expect to find some kind of creative reward or experience in everything we do,” he says. “We look for it. We expect it. We seek it. And we’re compelled to share that, to take that message to others.”

   In other words, he wasn’t hard to sell on the concept. Others, he admits, might not be so comfortable with the idea of personalizing, and in some ways “informalizing” the unique constraints of the funeral service industry.

    “I think the main thing he Institute gives us - as an industry - are the tools to bring back new concepts and ideas,” he says “They give us the skills to be creative and to make changes in a way that makes people comfortable. It’s ingenious.”

   There are the expected contemporary leadership and corporate lessons in Disney Institute programs but Broussard says the first time he met with DI facilitators, the creative process was reduced to an elementary level.

    “They had everyone at the table pass out crayons. ‘Now smell the crayon’ they told us.  There was an immediate reaction. That smell is unique. You get a whiff of it and you’re a kid again,” Broussard says. “It really opened my eyes. I took notes with the crayons. I highlighted with crayon. It was one small way of doing things but I could sense the change immediately.”

   Broussard’s enthusiasm is palpable when he talks about his experience.

   “They talk about structure, but about creative structure," he says. "Like the way you draw the circles when you draw Mickey Mouse. Creative but with structure.”


The Disney Institute is coming to Spokane. Facilitators will be presenting a one-day program geared for local healthcare professionals.
Where:The Lincoln Center
When: April 12,
Details: For more information on registering for the Disney Institute program hosted by the Human Capital Academy in Spokane call (877) 544-2384, ext. 1.



Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review. She can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com


It’s time to toot the neighborhood horn

Alright, those of us who live here already know that South Perry is a cool neighborhood, but would you check this out: the local blog SpoCOOL had it’s own ‘best of Spokane’ contest and South Perry was a big winner.

In the category best pizza, Veraci took number one and South Perry Pizza placed second.
South Perry Farmers Market won for best Farmers Market.
Best bar went to The Lantern Tavern.
That’s one heck of a great showing for one neighborhood - congratulations to all.

SPBNA is gaining momentum

The South Perry Business and Neighborhood Association decided to start a boot, sock, hats, mitten and scarf drive to benefit students at Grant Elementary School. The blog agreed to help out setting this up.

About 90 percent of kids at Grant qualify for free or reduced lunch, and there is a huge need for winter clothing – especially boots, socks, mittens and hats. Watch for collection bins to appear at Perry businesses soon – contact the blog at piah@spokesman.com if you have larger donations of new or slightly used winter boots, socks/tights, hats, mittens and scarves.
There was a long discussion about the need to update bylaws for the South Perry Business and Neighbor Association. A membership fee hasn’t been charged for four or five years.

Many businesses don’t attend on a regular basis, and the SPBNA doesn’t have any representation at the city’s business center meetings. Those meetings are the first Friday every month at 7 a.m. Krista from South Perry Pizza agreed to take contact to the city and try to make the meetings, so she can report back to the group. A work group of three people will look at the bylaws and propose updates to the group as soon as possible.

The officers remain mostly the same for another year, in order to secure that bylaws are updated and structure of SPBNA is solidified. Only changes are that Spencer Grainger agreed to help secretary Heidi Hash – she is very active with Grant Elementary and may miss a meeting once in a while - and Marshall Powell is the new vice president.

Waldref hosts Council Connection

Am sharing this here, too, though it has an East Central focus. Check out the Neighborhood Business Center Advisory Board.

Tune in to City Cable 5 on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. when council member Amber Waldref hosts the “Council Connection.” During the first half hour, Waldref is joined by LaVerne Biel, President of the East Spokane Business Association and owner of Access Telecom, as well as Sue Bradley, past chair of the Garland Busienss Association and owner of Tinman Gallery on Garland.

The second half hour will feature Biel and Boris Borisnov, program officer for community building at Impact Capital, and focus on teh newly released neighborhood Action Plan for Spokane’s International District, on East Sprague.

The show’s focus is on how the city and local businesses can better work together and it also features the formation of the Neighborhood Business Center Advisory Board.

Waldref will take calls during the show. The number to reach the show is: (509) 625-6337.

The blog has arrived

… and hey, it’s feeling welcome, too. My office away from the office is The Outlaw Cafe and I had barely sat down before Richard Burris of Hillyard Community Futures came in and said hello. Burris is ready to approach his city council members and the police chief about getting some better neighborhood patrols up here. “What we need is police in plain vehicles and plain clothes,” Burris said. “Those who cause trouble can spot a marked police car from a mile away.”
A local bar owner stopped in, too, and agreed wholeheartedly with Burris. He also shared that bars are in a tight spot when it comes to keeping the good customers around while running troublemakers off their property.
Conveniently council member Bob Apple, who represents Hillyard together with Amber Waldref, showed up, too. Apple listened carefully and encouraged Burris to contact the COPS Shop and the Neighborhood’s resource officer. “It’s important to report these things,” Apple said.
Burris is going to present a letter at the Hillyard Merchants Committee meeting Wednesday morning, hoping the group will support him and agree to approach city hall.
However, everyone present agreed that a lot of good things are happening in Hillyard and that the neighborhood is doing its best to get rid of a bad reputation and replace it with a much more positive image. Look for upcoming Halloween events and a Girls Day Out coming real soon.

It’s time for the annual meeting…

…. introductions begin in a minute followed by reports from neighborhood organizations like the Farmers Market and COPS. Mayor Mary Verner is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. followed by council members Richard Rush and Jon Snyder. The South Perry Neighborhood and Business Association’s annual meeting runs through 8:15 p.m. at the Emmaunel Life Center (631 S. Richard Allen Court) - come over and say hi.

Annual neighborhood meeting next week

The South Perry Neighborhood and Business Association is having its annual meeting on Tuesday, October 12, at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Emmanuel Family Life Center located at 631 S. Richard Allen Court.
Neighbors and businesses in the area are all invited to attend. The SPNBA is not the same as a neighborhood council, rather it was formed by volunteers who began gathering on a regular basis around 10 years ago when the Perry Street restoration project began to change the face of the neighborhood.
SPNBA would like to hear what residents would like to see happen in the neighborhood in 2011 as well as give an update on what has already been accomplished.

What’s in a name?

Look at any map of Spokane and you will not find the words “South Perry.” Yet in the local (and national) media you hear a lot about Spokane’s “revitalized” South Perry neighborhood. Real estate agents refer to the South Perry neighborhood when listing the amenities of a property. I’d like to engage you in a conversation about this emerging identity. What is causing our neighborhood’s positive evolution? We’ll explore this question for a while, and then look ahead toward a shared vision for this community. But first I want to set the stage:

Business and neighborhood association update

The South Perry Business and Neighborhood Association meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Perry Street Cafe - and it needs your help and input. The organization formed years ago when businesses were first moving into the district, and it falls under the East Central Neighborhood Council. Business oweners, neighbors, teachers, anyone with a connection to South Perry is welcome to attend the meetings.

The annual meeting is coming up on October 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Emmanuel Life Center - Mayor Mary Verner has been invited, and so has city council menbers Jon Snyder and Richard Rush. Brian Estes will give an update about the Farmers Market and there will be a sign up sheet for volunteer positions - or just volunteers.

No meeting tomorrow

This just in from the South Perry Business and Neigborhood Association:
the SPBNA has traditionally taken off the month of August. Our current executive committee decided to continue that tradition as three of our four officers are out of town this week. We will be sending out minutes and an agenda for September shortly. And please put October 12th on your calendar for our annual meeting!
For those we were at the Fair debriefing and we talked about our next meeting being this Tuesday, I apologize.
See you on the second Tuesday of September… unless we see each other sooner at the Farmers Market …. the South Perry blog…. or ……
Pastor Deb
President of the South Perry Business and Neighbor Association

T-N: Why Idaho Can’t Attract Biz

Electricity costs a manufacturer 4.48 cents per kilowatt hour in Idaho. The same company would pay 26.05 cents per kilowatt hour in Hawaii. In Connecticut, it’s 14.93 cents. In Alaska, it’s 14.17 cents. The average worker in Idaho earns $647 a week. Next door in Washington state it’s $906 a week. So why aren’t companies standing in line to move here? Three reasons: Our schools aren’t good enough, our business taxes are too high, and, except for Boise, our transportation infrastructure is lousy/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Does the Twin Falls editorial assessment apply to North Idaho —  “our schools aren’t good enough, our business taxes are too high, and our transportation infrastructure is basically lousy?

Business and Neighborhood Association update

The South Perry Business and Neighborhood Association met at the Perry Street Cafe last night. The business district is part of the East Central Neighborhood Council, yet years ago broke out a smaller business and neighborhood association to better be able to deal with South Perry issues and topics.


New life in the old Altamont Pharmacy building?

The Altamont Pharmacy building has been sitting empty for some time now, and while there has been some possible buyers nothing has panned out for the old building. Now Mark Camp - one of the current owners of the building - is ready to do something about that. Camp says he plans to purchase the entire building and divide it into three small retail spaces.

“There will be two spaces facing Perry, and one toward the back that will be more like an office space,” Camp said this morning. One tenant is ready to move in - though Camp won’t say who it is - and depending on financing he hopes the building will open in Fall.

Vintage clothing on South Perry

There’s a new shop on South Perry. Summer Hightower has opened Veda Lux Boutique in the tiny little white house located right next to Lorien’s windmill - the address is 1006 South Perry Street, and the hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“I’ve been looking at this space for years,” Hightower said. “I grew up in the neighborhood, I went to Grant, and I still have my family living here.”

Hightower’s shop features an eclectic mix of vintage dresses, shoes and purses, as well as hair accessories and jewelry that she designs. “I’ve made jewelry for the past 12 years, everything I do is one of a kind,” Hightower said, holding up a bridal veil.

Hightower will be at the Perry Street Farmers’ Market this afternoon and she’s got many plans for getting more artists into the neighborhood.

“I’d love to have First Friday come up here,” said Hightower. “I’ll host a garden party July 2, that’s the next time there’s First Friday. I’d love to have some artists here in my alley. It would be great.”

Odds, ends and this week’s blog alert

By Thursday, the Lantern has been closed for vacation for one week - it will be closed for one more week. Yes, some of us are counting the days.

Across the street, South Perry Pizza has changed its summer hours: Still closed on Mondays, but now open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

A new shop has joined the line up on South Perry: Summer Hightower has opened The Veda Lux Boutique in the little white house next to Lorien’s windmill (1106 S. Perry). She sells vintage clothing, jewelry and handmade hair accessories - the South Perry Blog can’t wait to visit.

Thursday morning, the blog will be at The Shop from 9 a.m. to noon - come in and say hello. As always, there will be a stack of free newspapers.

Missing business?

I ran into Mark Mayers of One World Spokane Cafe at a function yesterday. We chatted for a bit, the cafe is going great and somehow that got me thinking of which businesses we are missing on South Perry Street. I stopped by the gas station the other day and was surprised to find pretty much a full-size grocery store inside (I usually just get gas and go) On my way home, I often stop at Hai’s to pick up that one thing I don’t want to drive another three miles to get at Safeway. There are still some empty store fronts on our little street - so tell me, what do you miss? What would you like to see in the old Altamont Pharmacy?