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MultiCare finalizes purchase of local hospitals, and INBA Chamber Partner Rockwood Clinic

MultiCare Health System wrapped up the $425 million purchase of Deaconess and Valley hospitals and Rockwood Clinic on July 1, 2017, ushering in a new era for health care in the Spokane area. Rockwood Health Systems, which employs more than 3,600 people across all three of the included healthcare centers, has been an INBA Chamber Partner since 2015.

The deal returns the two local hospitals to ownership by a nonprofit organization with Washington roots. Community leaders have enthusiastically supported the sale, which was approved by the state Department of Health in June. Continue reading MultiCare finalizes purchase of local hospitals, and INBA Chamber Partner Rockwood Clinic

INBA Chamber Partner Spokane Empire Ceasing Operations

The Spokane Empire, formerly the Spokane Shock, is ceasing operations for 2018 season and probably for good. According to Seattle-based majority owner Nader Naini,  to continue operations would be “a money-losing proposition.”

According to the Spokesman-Review, attendance during the early years of Spokane’s indoor football team was consistently 10,000+, gradually slipping to around 8,000 in 2015. After switching from the Arena Football League to the Indoor Footall League and the corresponding name change, the Empire saw attendance drop by nearly half, averaging only 4,682 fans per game in the 2017 season.

Marvo Reguindin, INBA General Manager, said having the Empire cease operations is sad and  unfortunate. “We were excited to welcome a sports team as a member of our LGBT Chamber, our sister chamber in Seattle has several sports team supporting them including the Mariners and Sounders and professional women’s teams Seattle Reign (soccer) and Seattle Storm (basketball).

Continue reading INBA Chamber Partner Spokane Empire Ceasing Operations

IBM Steps Up Fight Against Texas Bathroom Bill

IBM, in a show of force against what it calls “discriminatory legislation,” is taking out full page ads in the upcoming Sunday editions of The Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express-News and Austin American-Statesmanprotesting the proposal, which would limit which restrooms transgender people can use.

In addition, the company is sending 20 employees, including senior vice president for human resources Diane Gherson and chief diversity officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, to the state capitol Tuesday to oppose the bill in person.

“As one of the largest technology employers in Texas, IBM firmly opposes any measure that would harm the state’s LGBT+ community and make it difficult for businesses to attract and retain talented Texans,” The Dallas Morning Newsquotes the ads as reading.

The bathroom bill didn’t make it through the state legislature earlier this year, but Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this month said he planned to call legislators back for a special session to address a number of issues, including the controversial bill.

IBM is just one of several tech giants who have opposed the bill. GoogleAppleand Facebook have all pushed against the bill, as well as other issues that targeted transgender people. The company was equally vocal in its opposition of North Carolina’s similar bill last year.

Pride Across Washington

Seattle Pride gets the most attention in the Northwest, and Spokane’s Pride claims the prize for largest in the Inland Northwest, but it’s the smaller pride celebrations that deserve the most praise. In traditionally conservative areas, with a smaller population and fewer resources to organise and execute Pride celebrations, cities like Yakima, Coeur d’Alene, Tri-Cites, and Vancouver, WA are making sure the voices of their LGBTQA community are speaking out. Many from Spokane make plans to visit Seattle pride 2 weeks after Spokane’s, and we encourage everyone to visit the smaller Pride celebrations, to make the most of Pride Month.

Shout out to the city of Yakima for declaring their first ever official Pride Week! Continue reading Pride Across Washington

Scenes from Seattle: Pride Parade and PrideFest 2017

A pride flag waves atop the Space Needle. (Kjell Redal / The Seattle Times)

Seattle Times Reporter  curated a series of pictures, tweets, and stories from Seattle’s Pride celebrations on Saturday, June 25th. Check out the story at SeattleTimes.com 

Another photo album (100+ images) from SeattleRefined really shows off the crowds, and the tens of thousands of supporters and parade participants celebrating in downtown Seattle on a beautiful sunny saturday.

Check out Danny Devito’s short film, featuring two grumpy old gay men

Danny DeVito’s latest short film, Curmudgeons, hopes to dispel some of the myths surrounding love, age and sexuality. It’s hilarious, heartbreaking and only 15 minutes long.

The film was directed by DeVito, and played at the Tribeca Film Festival, introducing audiences to two grumpy old gay men, who just happen to be head-over-heels in love.

Just a heads-up: copious amounts of cursing ahead!

Curmudgeons from Jersey 2nd Avenue on Vimeo.

Back by popular demand: Early Bird Karaoke during Pride week

Join INBA during Pride Week on Wednesday, June 7th, for another Early Bird Karaoke night starting at 6 pm. There will be prizes throughout the night from various INBA Members. All are welcome; guests, friends, family, etc. You don’t have to be a member to attend, but plenty of our members and Chamber Partners will be there to connect and network. Continue reading Back by popular demand: Early Bird Karaoke during Pride week

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Adoption Across State Lines

NPR.org – March 2016 – The U.S. Supreme Court, without hearing oral argument, has unanimously reversed an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that denied parental rights to a lesbian adoptive mother who had split with her partner. The decision is a direct repudiation of an Alabama Supreme Court decision that refused to recognize a Georgia adoption. Continue reading U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Adoption Across State Lines