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Wondering what’s going on in Spokane this week? We round up all the latest interesting news in Spokane here – chat about the latest Spokane news over at our new Facebook group here!
Miss out on our previous news stories? You can find all the news you missed here!
Downtown Spokane police precinct will open at Umpqua Bank building in July [KREM2]
Summary: Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward announced on Monday that the new downtown Spokane police precinct will be ready to occupy in July 2020.
The 6,800-square-foot precinct will be located at Riverside Avenue and Wall Street in the former Umqua Bank building…The building is right next to the Spokane Transit Authority bus plaza and the Spokane Library.
The new police precinct will replace a much smaller downtown police location at the Spokane Intermodal Center that had about half the officers…
Woodward added that five additional officers with the Spokane Police Department, a detective and a sergeant will join 16 personnel already assigned to the downtown core…
Five members of the police department's Behavioral Health Unit will also join two already working downtown, said Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl…
ES Analysis: Overall, this news seemed to be fairly well-received by Spokane City Council as well as the police department. This also, interestingly, isn't a City of Spokane-initiative only: Spokane Transit Authority and the Downtown Spokane Partnership also are working together on the lease, furnishings and parking.
As positive as we here at Everyday Spokane are about the safety of downtown, we'd be remiss to say it feels safe there all the time. If we want to build downtown Spokane into the type of place that everyone feels welcome (including downtown workers, families, etc.), we may need more police presence downtown.
We're glad to see this police precinct will have a total of 7 officers from the Behavioral Health Unit – we don't want to see people arrested without addressing the root causes of what's going on, so this is a good step in the right direction to not just policing, but getting to the root of the issues for downtown Spokane.
10 Best States for Older Americans [U.S. News]
Summary: Six of the 10 best states for Americans at least 65 years old sit on the East Coast…
The report scored states' viability for seniors based on income, health, education and environment, and accessibility. Variables included violent crime rates, the percentage of states' seniors with supplemental retirement incomes such as 401(k)s and pensions, life expectancy after the age of 65, and the share of older Americans with a bachelor's degree or higher, among others. Data were pulled from the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…
A group of mostly East Coast states, however, ranked among the best for America's seniors, with Mountain states such as Colorado and Utah also performing well.
ES Analysis: So six of the 10 best states for seniors are in the East Coast, but at #8, I wouldn't say Washington is doing too shabby!
US News says part of the reason Washington state did so well was due to life expectancy (10th highest in the nation) and median income for seniors (9th highest in the nation). But look around Spokane: have you noticed the number of senior facilities and lovely-looking retirement communities around here? There are quite a number!
I have to say, there have been times when we're driving around Spokane looking at places to live, see a gorgeous community and then… realize we can't live there yet because it's 55+! And if we drive around admiring these communities, imagine what it could be like to live there yourself.
Add all of these facilities and communities to the endless number of things to do here, like joining gardening groups, volunteering with the Friends of Manito, hitting the golf course, walking Centennial Trail and so much more – it shows you that seniors in Spokane can stay active, which is a key component to longevity. We're not surprised that Washington ranks so highly!
NOAA Predicts A Warmer Spring In Western Washington [Patch]
Summary: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its annual spring outlook Thursday, with the odds favoring a warmer-than-normal March through May in the Pacific Northwest.
The three-month outlook shows a higher probability of above-normal temperatures in the months ahead, with equal chances for a wetter or drier spring…
ES Analysis: According to NOAA's official forecast map for March-May, almost all of Washington state can expect warmer than average temperatures. Interestingly, Spokane is not in this mix – we're projected to be relatively normal in the coming months.
However, it's interesting news if you're planning any spring break trips over to Seattle or plan on traveling in the lower half of the US at all from March through May. Expect warmer than average temperatures, and in some cases, like Texas and New Mexico, considerably warmer.
New cable provider approved to bring fiber to Spokane [KREM2]
Summary: A new cable provider will soon come to Spokane.
On Monday night, Spokane City Council unanimously approved an ordinance allowing TDS Metrocom to offer fiber in the city.
The fiber will carry cable TV, internet, and phone.
Comcast is currently the only cable provider in Spokane… “They go into locations where they feel like Comcast isn't serving its customers that well, and they offer faster speeds at lower prices. That's their business model,” said Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs…
Many companies advertise fiber, but unless the entire grid actually uses that technology, speeds can be compromised. The agreement approved with TDS specifically states the full system must be fiber, all the way up to customers' homes.
“It's going to increase speeds, it's going to increase competition,” said Beggs.
ES Analysis: This is great news! Overall, internet speed and cost have been considerably cheaper here in Spokane than where we came from (Phoenix), so we don't have a lot to complain about…
Although, when we moved here and purchased internet from Xfinity/Comcast, we were sold gigabit, paid for it, realized we weren't getting it, and then called them – only to be told they didn't really offer internet that fast. It was disappointing to say the very least.
So while internet speeds and prices may be relatively good here in Spokane, we are always in favor of more competition spurring companies to invest in infrastructure and make prices competitive for customers! TDS Metrocom will be investing $100 million plus to cover 70% of Spokane's residents within 5 years – another good sign to see Spokane receiving more investment, too.
Readers, what did you think of this week’s news update? What do you think about the new police precinct? Share your thoughts and opinions at our free, private Facebook group ‘Getting to Know Spokane’ here!