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People who know him say Jon Eliassen is the busiest retired person they know. After working for Washington Water Power, and then Avista Utilities, for 33 years, Eliassen retired in 2002 and went off in a new direction.
For an hour Saturday, millions of people and thousands of businesses around the world shut off their lights in recognition of Earth Hour. Landmarks around the world went dark for the hour: the Space Needle, Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, Empire State Building and more. The lights at one Spokane landmark, the Riverfront Park Pavilion, were shut off for the hour, which began at 8:30 p.m.
It started in February 2009 when General Dynamics announced it would lay off about 320 well-paid Spokane Valley tech workers later that year. It was closing down General Dynamics Itronix, a profitable manufacturer of ruggedized computers that it acquired in 2005. Around the same time, Agilent Technologies company officers began planning a series of layoffs at its Liberty Lake operation. By the end of 2010 Agilent would let go about 200 highly paid engineers, technicians, programmers, managers and marketing specialists.
Avista Corp. Chairman and CEO Scott Morris earned $3.25 million in total compensation last year, the utility reported Wednesday. Morris’ salary was unchanged from 2009, but a bigger bonus and an increase in the value of his pension plan pushed his total compensation up from $3 million two years ago.
Avista customers lost electrical power and a number of businesses lost Internet service Tuesday morning after a car smashed into a utility pole in Otis Orchards. About 700 homes were without power for more than 90 minutes after the 4:30 a.m. incident at the intersection of Starr Road and Wellesley Avenue.
Power is out on a portion of the South Hill this afternoon as Avista Utilities crews replace a pole at Ninth Avenue and Monroe Street destroyed in a motor vehicle accident about 10 a.m.
A power outage caused by basement flooding at Geiger Corrections Center on Sunday, "reflects the challenges of keeping the pre-World War II facility operational," the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said today.
Energy conservation efforts by local governments and businesses could be an example for cities across the United States, Sen. Patty Murray said after a Wednesday briefing. Officials convened by Spokane Mayor Mary Verner discussed the early results of an energy audit program launched last spring, and pending changes in the city’s recycling program.
With thousands of Spokane County families needing help with their heating bills this winter, federal assistance is expected, but it’s up to the new Congress to decide how much. “We know there will be more money, we just don’t know how much more,” said Ron Hardin, spokesman for SNAP.
A major snowstorm that swept across the Inland Northwest on Wednesday triggered widespread accidents, closed major highways and knocked out power to thousands. At one point Wednesday night, Avista Utilities had 6,600 customers without power. The outages affected customers as far west as Davenport, Wash., and as far east as Kellogg, and from Sandpoint to Deary, Idaho.
In part, John Adrain bought his house in northwest Spokane for the great views of forests and peaks. But those views came at a premium. In the winter, the windows in his two-level home accounted for 80 percent of heat loss. The 3,100-square-foot house, built in the 1990s, primarily relied on two oil furnaces for heat.
Staff from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission will hold a Dec. 20 workshop on unresolved issues from the last Avista Utilities rate case.
Reservoir levels behind Nine Mile Dam will be fluctuating in the next few weeks as dam operators test new spillway gates, Avista said Tuesday.
When Jim DeWalt decided to spend $30,000 to convert all the interior and exterior lights at Associated Industries, he did it to save money. DeWalt is the president of Spokane-based AI, a for-profit provider of assorted services to area businesses. Like many businesses that are customers of Associated Industries, DeWalt and his executive team felt forced by the economy to find ways to save money.
A powerful burst of wind, possibly in excess of 80 mph, knocked down a string of Avista transmission poles near Potlatch, Idaho, at the height of Tuesday morning’s storm that darkened thousands of homes in the Palouse and across the region. “The poles just broke like toothpicks,” said Debbie Simock, communications manager for Avista Utilities.