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Meg Lindsay, Not Riding to Work
It’s Bike to Work Week in Spokane, the annual celebration of two-wheel transportation and a healthy body and environment.
Meg Lindsay – GSI’s Program Coordinator – recently began pedaling her Trek mountain bike and her Bianchi commuter to work. She sat down to answer a few questions:
When did you start riding to work?
I started riding to work in April of this year because I was looking for a way to be more environmentally friendly as well as get a little exercise. Kind of a mix of both.
Have you noticed a lifestyle change?
I have noticed that I have spent less on gas – quite a bit less on gas, in fact – and I’m not paying as much for parking as I would have. I find that time wise, it’s the same amount of time getting to work. It does take me a little longer to get home in the afternoon because I live up on the South Hill. I really do enjoy that time between work and home. I kind of unwind on my bike on my way home.
What do you think the advantages are in riding your bike to work?
The exercise and the cost savings. I have to say that I feel better about my transportation choice as well. It’s just more sustainable in working toward having less of a footprint. (Biking to work is) just one of the ways I’ve been doing that.
Do you take the same route each day?
I do. I work in the core of downtown and there are certain roads with bike lanes that work better than others. For example, there’s a bike lane down Howard, which is nice. Going up the hill, I go a little bit west and then up because there’s a little less traffic.
What does it take to ditch the car keys and get on a bike?
It takes a little bit of pre-planning. You have to think about what your schedule for the day is. I don’t ride every day because if I have a meeting somewhere else that I can’t get to on my bike, then I don’t ride my bike that day. (You’ll also need) a little extra time, but not much, and a commitment to find a bicycle that works for you. With that, I mean if you’re not real comfortable on skinny tires then you’ve got to get yourself a commuter bike, one that is set up with the proper lights. It’s good to have your ‘blinkies’ on your front and back so the cars can see you. So, a little bit of commitment in getting your gear ready to go and coordinating your calendar. Really, truly – that’s about it.
Washington was recently named the most bicycle friendly state. Bike lanes in Spokane are starting to sprout as well, and new transportation projects tend to incorporate a bike component to them. Even the North Spokane Corridor has plans for a bicycle/pedestrian trail to connect the corridor to the Centennial Trail.
Bike to Work Week lasts all this week with a number of events, but you can ride your bike to work anytime you’d like.
Need a bike? Purchase one from Two Wheel Transit, a longtime GSI member.
Is your company prepared for a crisis? There are lots of crises that could arise, so being prepared is essential, and since we’re in 2013, you might want to be prepared for an electronic one.
We’re talking about e-warfare, which happens when your company’s electronic network is corrupted by an internal or external individual. Searching for the perpetrator and figuring out how to avoid this problem in the future takes a unique set of skills.
Thank goodness for Spokane’s Studio Forensics Academy.
With hackers out there looking to do bad things – the group “Anonymous” is most well-known – your company might consider assessing its IT security.
Raj Chauhan, an Air Force veteran, heads up the Academy, where he teaches classes for anybody who is interested in e-warfare solutions. He also contracts with companies looking to solve problems with corrupted networks (learn how Chauhan got started on the Spokane STEM blog).
For example, say someone within your company infected your network, harming its infrastructure and your company. Studio Forensics can work with your company’s IT folks to investigate what happened, find the employee at fault and help your company ensure security in the future.*
The education side of Studio Forensics aims to teach how e-warfare attacks occur, and will help people better prepare for a possible investigation into their company’s network. Classes also teach people how to prevent e-warfare.
With technology advancing at a rapid pace, it’s becoming much more difficult to defend against e-warfare. Computers nowadays can take down an entire network infrastructure. Just imagine the havoc that could create for your company.
Studio Forensics can help you defend your company.
*Studio Forensics does not make discipline recommendations. It is a fact-finding entity only.
Spring has sprung and that means it’s time to get outside.
Spring also means two of Spokane’s premier events are around the corner: Bloomsday and the Lilac Festival. Both are near and dear to Spokane’s heart, and both have an impact on the community and the economy.
Bloomsday has an economic impact estimated at $14 million. That includes money spent on travel, lodging, food, entertainment and other products (as illustrated on Bloomsday’s website). The business community joins in the fun with the Corporate Cup division – which sold out in 14 minutes this year, we’re told. Thousands of employees from various companies also serve as volunteers during the race.
(As an aside, Junior Bloomsday will make its return this year the day before Bloomsday for 3rd and 4th grade kids)
Businesses from throughout the region get involved in Bloomsday, whether it’s through a Corporate Cup team, sponsorships or other ways. This community event has grown since its inception in the 1970’s, and has put Spokane on the national map.
The Spokane Lilac Festival began in 1938 and is Spokane’s annual celebration of our Armed Forces, our youth and our region. It culminates with the Armed Forces Torch Light Parade the evening of May 18 in downtown Spokane. The Spokane Lilac Festival Association was a 2011 AGORA Award winner (video).
The festival is one way Spokane shows its appreciation for our armed forces. The Torch Light Parade on Armed Forces Day is the nation’s largest of its kind. Members of our military in the area march in the parade to standing ovations along the entire route.
These two events are staples of Spokane’s spring season. The impact they have on our economy and our community is immense. If you haven’t witnessed these events, it’s never too late!
The AGORA Awards – our annual recognition of business excellence in the region – are June 5 at The Davenport Hotel. We’ve been hard at work gathering nominations and our volunteer judges (bless their hearts) are hard at work studying each nominee and deciphering who is worthy of an AGORA Award.
The first step, though, is to narrow the list of nominees down to semi-finalists. Here they are, in no particular order:
Small Business Category
Signs For Success
The Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center
American Van Service, Inc.
Two Wheel Transit
Nystrom Olson Architecture
Let it Shine, LLC
Nectar Tasting Room
Medium Business Category
VEBA Service Group
Hydrafab Northwest, Inc.
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
Large Business Category
Rosauers Supermarkets, Inc.
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.
Haskins Steel Co., Inc.
Small Nonprofit Category
Mid-City Concerns/Meals on Wheels Spokane
Communities in Schools
Spokane Public Market
Large Nonprofit Category
Christ Clinic/Christ Kitchen
Spokane County United Way
Catholic Charities of Spokane
Mobius Science Center
Boys and Girls Club of Spokane County
One company or organization from each category is awarded an AGORA Award. Additionally, all nominees are eligible for the Community Service and Entrepreneurial Spirit awards (here’s more information on the AGORA Awards process).
Finalists will be determined soon. See you June 5!
It seems that everyone has a list this time of year, so why not us?
In a piece of shameless self-promotion, we give you our top five blog posts of 2012:
The Future of Health Care
What was a basic recap of our “Future of Health Care” event back in February became our most read blog of 2012, which, looking back, isn’t a surprise. Health care reform was an enormous issue for the business community this year, with the new health care reform law largely surviving a Supreme Court challenge.
The North Spokane Corridor: Moving Ahead
The first of two blogs North Spokane Corridor-related blogs on our list, this blog was actually written at the beginning of 2011 and touted the corridor’s benefits. A blog that is nearly two years old and it was still among the most read blogs of 2012 – the North Spokane Corridor must be an important project in our region.
Protecting Fairchild Air Force Base
Our region’s top employer was in the news this year. Our community took steps to protect the base from encroachment to ensure its future.
North Spokane Corridor Reaches Major Milestone
This North Spokane Corridor blog was indeed written in 2012. We wrote it when the corridor’s connection to Highway 395 opened, giving commuters more than five miles of drivable road.
What They’re Saying About Spokane
Who doesn’t like positive things said about them? This blog highlighted a few kudos our community received earlier this year, such as Spokane being named a low-risk area for natural disasters, a top place to retire to, and more.
So there you go. If you missed those posts this year, you can read them again. Happy New Year and here’s to a great 2013!
Many of us make them. Some of us keep them. And some of us can’t stand them. What are they?
Christmas cards from relatives.
Actually no, they’re resolutions, and just like many of you, we’re making a few as 2013 approaches. After a great 2012, we’re eager to see where 2013 takes us. (more…)
Photo courtesy of STCU
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..
That line – written by Edward Pola and George Wyle and sung by Andy Williams – rings true for the Spokane area this time of year. There are lots of things to do to celebrate the holidays and the season, while supporting your local businesses and organizations in the process. (more…)
We’ve been big supporters of and partners with The United Way of Spokane County for a long time. We believe in what it is doing for our community.
The United Way focuses on education, income and health – three areas that we’re involved in. Contributing to the Live United Campaign helps the United Way reach its goal of building a strong community.
October 1 marked the beginning of our fiscal year. That means we have a new Board of Trustees and a full year ahead of us.
In addition to the work we already do on behalf of the business community, our Board of Trustees has identified five key projects at a high level that it will focus on for the region this year:
- Fairchild Air Force Base and New Tankers
- Academic Health Science Center
- Aerospace Initiative for Recruitment (AIR) Spokane
- North Spokane Corridor
- Port District Exploration
Brad Skalstad is an 18-year-old intern here at Greater Spokane Incorporated. He recently graduated high school in Spokane with the hopes of possibly entering the medical field after college. Once he began his internship, he soon learned Spokane has a lot to offer to students like him. These are his words:
My family has coined the phrase “pulling a Bradley,” which essentially means not seeing what is directly in front of your eyes. Though usually referring to a pair of socks or a jug of milk in the fridge, I’ve come to see that I “pulled a Bradley” on one of the greatest towns in the west, and the one I more proudly call home: Spokane. (more…)