Slide Show Of Jon Snyder

Upcoming Events: December 24th through 30th

Lilac Services for the Blind

We wanted to write a card to a blind gentleman in Spokane this week and wished we could send it in Braille to ensure that he gets our message. Luckily, in Spokane we have a wonderful organization called Lilac Services for the Blind which could help us with this.

Father Palmer Memorial Braille Service is a division of Lilac Services For The Blind. Staffed by volunteers, its purpose is to transcribe materials into Braille at no charge. We provide this service not just for the Inland Northwest but for all blind and visually impaired who have a need. We annually print an overage of 15,000 pages; with over a million pages in the past 25 years.
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Now is the time to make your home more energy efficient:

Spokane residents have one month left to receive a subsidized home energy audit with local non-profit general contractor SustainableWorks. With stimulus funds running out, the price of home energy audits will increase to $195 at the first of the year. This is the final opportunity for Spokane residents to find out how to make their homes more energy efficient this winter at a greatly reduced cost. The purpose of the SustainableWorks program is to help homeowners make home improvements that reduce their energy use and energy bills. In additional to receiving a low cost home energy audit, participants can save on items like furnaces, air sealing, insulation, and hot water heaters that reduce their energy costs. To learn more about the program, or to sign-up, please visit or call 509-532-1688. You must sign-up by midnight of December 31st to qualify for the $95 home energy audit. New clients must pay for their audit by January 31, 2012.
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Interview on KYRS about Transportation For Washington

Check out my interview on KYRS -Thin Air Community Radio by news reporter Jamez Ziegler about Transportation for Washington, a statewide, multi-year campaign led by the smart growth organizations Futurewise and Transportation Choices Coalition and more than 65 other groups, businesses, and public officials to set a new vision for transportation.

The group has three core principles to reform state transportation policy and funding which include prioritize fixing broken infrastructure to save lives; expand transit choices; and build great, healthy communities.

It’s the first story in the newscast. The audio file is available via KYRS by clicking HERE. The podcast should be up until Aug. 14th but it can also be downloaded by right clicking the link and selecting “save link as.”

Upcoming Events: June 6th-June 13th

Image of NAC Architecture courtesy of Seattle Daily-Journal.

Mayor Mary Verner announced last week that the City is seeking applications for the 2011 Mayor’s Urban Design Awards. The program began in 2007 and is intended to recognize and thank people who contribute to Spokane’s quality of life and help implement the City’s Comprehensive Plan through good urban design. Award applications are due by noon on Monday, Aug. 1. Projects submitted for consideration must be completed between Jan. 1, 2005, and Aug. 1, 2011. They will be judged against 15 qualities of good urban design in Spokane that are consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan objectives. (View the Comprehensive Plan HERE.) Spokane’s Design Review Board will do the initial screening of award applications and make recommendations to the Mayor, who will make the final selections for recipients of a Mayor’s Choice Award—the highest honor—and an Urban Design Merit Award. All entries will be on display in the River Park Square shopping center from Monday, Aug. 29, through Wednesday, Sept. 21, and citizens will be able to vote for their favorite submitted design. Award winners will be announced by the Mayor and Design Review Board Chair at the September 26 City Council Meeting. A call for entries and a sheet explaining the 15 qualities of good urban design in Spokane are available HERE.

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Upcoming Events: March 21st-28th

Photo of Martin Luther King Way Jr Way, courtesy of EWU.

Business owners and managers located along the sites of planned local street and utility construction projects are invited to a workshop designed to help them cope with these projects on Thursday, March 24, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the City Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. The free workshop, titled “Open For Business: Making the Best of Rough Road Construction,” is intended to help businesses plan for and manage the disruptive impacts of local street construction. The workshop is a partnership between the City and the Greater Spokane Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). PRSA members are volunteering their time and expertise to help interested businesses. In addition to the presentations at the workshop, participants will receive a “Surviving Construction Toolkit” that will provide specific, detailed and relevant information to surviving construction. The “Open for Business” workshop is part of the Mayor Mary Verner’s “Seven in Eleven” program. For more information about the event, please check the Developing Spokane website.

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Upcoming Events: January 24th-31st

The City of Spokane is continuing its recognition and certification program to encourage local businesses to adopt sustainable policies and practices, called Sustainable Management of Assets, Resources, and Technology (SMART). Businesses can apply to be recognized at two different levels. The levels of recognition are participant, for businesses that commit to make a change, and certified, for businesses that demonstrate they have and will continue to make changes.

A new category has been added and changes have been made to existing categories to allow even more businesses to qualify for recognition. The categories include energy efficiency; renewable energy; waste reduction/recycling; water conservation; pollution prevention; transportation; green building; historic preservation (new); innovation (for outstanding achievement within one of the previous eight categories). Businesses have until next Monday, Jan. 31st to apply for 2010 recognition. Here’s the link for application materials and a more detailed program description.

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Upcoming Events: August 23rd-30th

Good news: The City Of Spokane was recognized for its planning work to lessen its impact on climate change and encourage sustainable practices. The city received a 2010 American Planning Association (APA) and Planning Association Of Washington (PAW) Joint Planning award for its greenhouse gas inventory reports and Sustainability Action Plan. This award will be featured by PAW in the Western Planner Journal and APA Washington in the Washington Planner.

The City has done a great job to become more sustainable in recent years. Couple items we’re currently working on:

* Promoting the use of alternative transportation options and complete streets.
* Using re-refined motor oil and adding all-electric vehicles for the City fleet.
* Adding community gardens throughout the City.
* Finding new uses for recycled products, including using recycled glass in street projects.
* Encouraging people to conserve water and offering rebates for making good water choices.
* Adding educational materials at City Hall and our libraries.
*Implementing the latest in technology to save energy, including a new program that turns off our computers when they’re not in use.
* Accepting food scraps in our yard waste carts for composting in the middle of July. For more information about Spokane’s sustainability efforts or to read the greenhouse gas inventory reports, visit

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Change Of Use online survey

When a property or business owner proposes a new use in an existing building substantially different from the previous use, a Change Of Use permit is required. Now, in an effort to assist citizens and local businesses when seeking such permits, a couple actions are in place to solicit feedback: Convening the internal work group tasked with identifying specific administrative and policy barriers, commissioning a formal, internal process and efficiency review, posting an online survey and developing a citizen focus group. From now through Labor Day, citizens can be involved by completing the online survey HERE, contacting the Business and Development Services Department to leave feedback, or indicate interest in participating in a focus group. For more information, please contact Business and Development Services at(509) 625-6983.

Tuesday AM Recap 5/11/10: International Trade Alliance

What do PCS Utilidata, Rings and Things, and Dry Fly Distillery all have in common? They are all local companies–founded in Spokane not recruited from elsewhere–working with the International Trade Alliance (ITA) to increase their export business. The International Trade Alliance is a local economic development non-profit that helps Spokane-area businesses develop international markets for their locally manufactured or locally distributed products. Last night the council had a really interesting presentation from ITA executive director Mark Peterson detailing their efforts boost local business and create jobs through exports. According to Mr. Peterson the exports business in Washington state is rebounding ahead of the national trend and is not just dependent on the aerospace industry. The ITA is working to help our businesses crack the tough but lucrative BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) by utilizing local business folks with language expertise related to these countries. Read the rest of this entry »

“Hey Google, Pick Spokane!”

Hey Google, Pick Spokane!
This is a great opportunity for Spokane: Google is asking communities to apply for their Google Fiber for Communities project, which would include deployment of fiber to make Internet speeds delivered more than 100 times faster than what most Americans currently have access to—more than 1 gigabit per second.

We’ve made impressive technological accomplishments like the nation’s largest municipal wi-fi network deployment and a Stimulus Award in December 2009 for our Tincan program to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities. This addition will help us attact jobs and stay a competetive city.

You can provide comments during the Town Hall City Council meeting on Monday, March 22, at the East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone, when we’ll consider a resolution in support of this application. Please show support via letters and emails to or You can fill out a citizen application for Spokane at and become a Facebook fan at “Hey Google, Pick Spokane.”

And check out the website that just launched: