Melissa Ethridge Returns to Spokane

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and LGBT activist Melissa Ethridge returns to Spokane to debut her new album MEmphis Rock and Soul. She will be appearing at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox,  Friday, August 4th at 8:00 PM.

INBA writer Stacey Sampson is interviewing Melissa this week for an exclusive article for next Week’s INBA Newsletter. Get your tickets for next week’s show, and keep your eyes peeled for Melissa’s interview.

Trump Announces Ban on Transgender Service Members

Taking to Twitter early Wednesday morning, Trump announced that Transgender individuals will no longer be accepted for service in the United States Military. This decision comes after a decade of sweeping reforms under the Obama administration that removed bias against LGBT individuals serving in the military.

Inland Northwest Business Alliance has not yet released a formal statement on the matter, as we are still gathering information about the ban, which has not been enacted as official policy.

The Spokesman-Review published a front page article on 7/27, quoting multiple INBA members on their personal reactions. The following are excerpts from the full article:

Robbi Anthony, vice president of the Inland Northwest Business Alliance that supports LGBT-friendly firms in the region, said Trump’s announcement continued a trend pushing back on hard-fought victories for the community.

“Right after the election, there was a lot of fear about how this community could be impacted,” said Anthony, a local tech business owner and transgender woman. “This is the manifestation of one of those fears.”

Marvin Reguindin, general manager of the Inland Northwest Business Alliance, questioned where such a policy could end.

“We don’t feel that this is moving forward in any way,” said Reguindin, who’s been with the organization for two decades. “Gays and lesbians could be next on the list, as well as bisexuals, saying they should not serve in the military because of one thing or another. Will they roll back the role of women in the military?”


From CNN.com:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday morning. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”


According to the New York Times, the announcement came amid a debate on Capitol Hill over the Obama-era practice of requiring the Pentagon to pay for medical treatment related to gender transition. The dispute has unfolded as Congress considers a nearly $700 billion spending bill to fund the Pentagon. Representative Vicky Hartzler, Republican of Missouri, has proposed an amendment that would bar the Pentagon from spending money on transition surgery or related hormone therapy, and other Republicans have pressed for similar provisions.

Estimates have placed the cost of gender-transition-related medical services for military personnel at .004% to .017% of all Department of Defense medical expenses. For clarification, that is only the percentage of the DoD medical expenses, not  the entire Department of Defense budget,  totaling $598 Billion in FY 2015. That places the cost of transgender service members’ medical costs at around  .000014% of all military spending.

August Networking Lunch: Jim Lusk – Savings 101

Speaker: Jim Lusk, Retirement Nationwide & retired Area Manager from NYLife.

Topic:“Savings 101…Paying yourself first”.

When/Where: August  9, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

A winning sports strategy involves a strong defense and a strategic offense. When both of these tactics are in place, the results can be far greater than one without the other. Think about it this way, how you earn your income is your offensive strategy and how you manage your risks is your defense. You can focus all your energy to make more money and build a strong offensive strategy, but if you ignore your risks they can quickly get out of control and exceed whatever income you bring in. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to concentrate more on one strategy than the other.

Register Here

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

Playfair Commerce Park donates Arterial to City

A new arterial through the Playfair Commerce Park was dedicated on July 11th drawing over 200 people and city officials to open the new road.

The Ferry/Altamont arterial ties the East Sprague Industrial Area to the Sprague Ave businesses and was paid for by the commerce park and donated to the city. Until the commerce park is fully developed, 95% of the arterial use will be unrelated to the Playfair Commerce Park and estimated that 5000 vehicles a day will use the new arterial route as a shortcut in their daily commute. The road and sidewalks were built above standard requirements to add strength and lifespan to the project. Continue reading Playfair Commerce Park donates Arterial to City

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.

SBA Office of Advocacy to host regulatory roundtable in Cd’A

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday July 13th, the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration will host a roundtable in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Best Western Plus.

The purpose of this event is to gain valuable insight into which specific federal regulatory burdens present the biggest barriers to small business growth. With these recommendations, Advocacy can better assist federal agencies in complying with President Trump’s directives to reduce burdensome regulations. Additionally, information compiled from this roundtable and others will help Advocacy generate a new report informing Congress and the public of the top regulatory issues for small businesses.  Continue reading SBA Office of Advocacy to host regulatory roundtable in Cd’A

Stories & Pictures from from Spokane’s Pride

By Paul Tiesse

Click here for the full photo album from Spokane Pride 2017

On June 10th, OutSpokane kicked off the 26th Pride parade in downtown Spokane with the theme of “May the Pride Be with You”. On a sunny day, more than 15,000 people enjoyed the parade, Rainbow Festival, an all-ages dance and ending the evening with fireworks.

At noon, the Spokane Dykes Who Bike kicked off the parade with a thunderous roar.

Following them, as has now become a tradition, was a military honor guard and what will become a new tradition a large rainbow flag carried by various community members.

The parade had the traditional entries such as various churches, social agencies, medical groups, Bears and Leather men, Spokane Lesbian group(FB) and politicians canvasing for votes. Entries that stood out included a LGBTA law section, Q-Law, LGBTQ Veterans and Active Duty Support, Veterans for Peace and the Salish School of Spokane.

The Spokane Fire Department was well represented as well as the Spokane Police Department, both showcasing their departments’ vehicle and equipment power. Reaching out for the LGBTA dollar were financial institutions and retailers JC Penny and Nordstrom.

Some of the largest groups that marched were from Planned Parenthood and Kaiser Permanente.

In this uncertain political environment, the Spokane Trans People group, N.O.W., NAACP were well represented. It would not be a parade without the Spokane Drag community and Royalty, and a large contingent from Nyne.

This year’s Community Grand Marshall was Jenny Seibert, Ally Grand Marshall Rose Wardian and Youth Grand Marshall Liam Boyd.

After the parade, there were large crowds at the Resource and Business Fair, the family friendly area, and the beer garden all located in the Lilac Meadow of Riverfront Park.

OutSpokane should be congratulated for all their hard work for another successful Pride Week.