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Spokane River
Nov 07 , 2011
red cart slide show
Avista employees rescue stranded shopping cart, remove rusted blight from Spokane River
Post by Dan Kolbet

When Avista’s Ben McArthur saw an unsightly blight in the middle of the Spokane River, near the Hamilton Street Bridge, he didn’t ignore it like the thousands of others who passed by it every day. He and his co-workers took action. A red grocery store shopping cart had found its way onto a small island in the middle of the river. No one is sure exactly how it got there. Low water levels made it stand out.

McArthur and friends would have none of it. McArthur contacted fellow employee Celene Olgeirsson who just happens to be the President of the Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club. As an experienced kayaker Olgeirsson had the right equipment and knowledge to do the heavy lifting in the water and ensure the safety of all involved.

McArthur and Olgeirsson, with the help of another Avista employee, Ray Burnham, spent a lunch hour near the end of October on the project. On a crisp, clear day, Olgeirsson glided out to the island and attached a rope to the cart, while those on shore pulled it in. The whole deal took only 45 minutes.

Avista employees do an annual volunteer river clean up near the Mission Campus and regularly find large discarded items on Avista’s adopted mile of the Centennial Trail – shopping carts, tires and furniture included. Rarely do items make it so far into the river.

McArthur returned the cart to store employees, who promised to properly dispose of the wreckage.

Kudos to McArthur, Olgeirsson and Burnham for bettering the Spokane River for the community.

*Editors note: River users should be sure to follow all posted safety warning and closure signs on the water and especially near hydroelectric facilities. For more information about safety in the river and near dams, click here.
Published: 11/7/2011  3:13 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 04 , 2011
Post by Dan Kolbet
Last evening more than 350 individuals stopped by Avista’s Energy Fair at the West Central Community Center in Spokane. Fairgoers were treated to energy efficiency demonstrations and provided free samples to get their home projects underway this heating season. It’s time to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
Community agencies: SNAP, Second Harvest Food Bank, Money Management Int. and WorkSource were on hand to provide information.
Avista customer service representatives met with customers on site and discussed any account or billing questions.
Kids of all ages learned about energy, energy efficiency and safety from Wattson, Avista’s Energy Watchdog, who sang and danced his way into their hearts.
A hearty meal was also provided through Christ Kitchen. 
Events like this are free to the community, but often are invaluable for our customers.  Similar events, which are staffed by Avista employees, have been held previously in Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Clarkston. Stay tuned to the blog for the next event in early 2012.
If you attended the event last night, let us know what you thought about it here.
Published: 11/4/2011  1:33 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 01 , 2011


Post by Dan Kolbet
If you're a customer in Eastern Washington (like me), you may have recieved the following invitation to the Avista Energy Fair at the West Central Community Center. Just in case, I thought I'd re-post the invite here.
Dear Avista Customer,
We would like to invite you to the Avista Energy Fair at the West Central Community Center located at 1603 N. Belt, Spokane, WA on Thursday, November 3, 2011, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.
Avista employees and community service providers will be on hand to answer questions about the following: 
• Bill Assistance – Avista customer service representatives can answer billing questions, provide information about payment options and refer to energy assistance programs. You can also learn how to use Avista’s free online Bill Analyzer.
• Energy Efficiency – See low-cost and no-cost efficiency demonstrations to help keep your home warm like rope caulking, door sweeps and window plastic. Free samples will be handed out.
• Community Assistance – Avista and community service providers will be on hand to answer questions about energy assistance, weatherization and other topics.
• Kids Meet Wattson – Stop by and see Wattson the Energy Watchdog! Kids' activities include crafts, dancing and interactive games
Parking is free and there will be complimentary food and beverages, door prizes and activities for the kids.
Avista will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations requested for individuals with disabilities.  Please contact Lisa at Avista, (509) 495-8024 or email if accommodations are needed.
Avista Utilities
Published: 11/1/2011  3:01 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

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