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Sunday, November 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago today in Spokane: Voters narrowly reject public power

From the Nov. 5, 1919 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)
From the Nov. 5, 1919 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)

Spokane voters said no to public power in an advisory vote, and the head of The Washington Water Power Co. (today’s Avista) considered it a victory for his private company.

D.L. Huntington said it was first time “in the history of public service organizations that a municipal project was defeated at the polls.”

“Of course, similar proposed measures have been defeated in city council, but never when the people have been asked to express their choice at the polls,” said Huntington. “The Washington Water Power Company feels that the vote Tuesday expressed the confidence which the people have in the company. We feel also that the vote is a reward for good service which the company has rendered, and for the decent relations which we have at all times maintained with the public.”

Huntington did not mention, however, how close the vote was. The municipal power advisory vote was defeated by a vote of 7,632 to 7,473.

From the movie beat: Spokane movie audiences saw, for the first time, footage of Spokane shot from an airplane. Cameraman A.L Trada filmed Spokane in a Curtiss Liberty plane piloted by Lt. Bill Barnard.

“One of the best shots was taken at a time when the machine was directly over Mount Spokane,” said the Chronicle.

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