Spokane Community Indicators e-Newsletter

Issue #32

INDICATOR NEWS

SEARCH FUNCTION IS NOW LIVE -

Search graphic

Located in the top right corner of the Spokane Community Indicators website, you will find a completely new feature: a search function. Entering a keyword into the search bar gives quick results on the topic of interest. The feature searches in-site only, and the results show the indicators in which the keyword, or similar terminology was found. For example, typing "air quality" into the search bar results in one indicator found: 4.1.1 Air Quality Days by Severity Level. This new feature is very useful to those who have a specific measure in mind, or when lack of time doesn't allow for a leisurely stroll through the Spokane Community Indicators website.

2017 GROWTH MANAGEMENT ACT SPOKANE COUNTY POPULATION PROJECTIONS RELEASED -

People Community graphic

The Growth Management Act was adopted in 1990 to help manage and accommodate growth and development in all counties across the state of Washington. Under this act, the Office of Financial Management (OFM) develops population projections for each county in Washington, and the counties use these projections to make decisions on growth and development. The population projections and more information can be accessed here.

When the OFM calculates population projections, they use the most recent census data, in this case, they used the 2010 census and they calculate…

AFTER PROCESS, NEW INDICATORS ADDED TO SITE -

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Every four years, Priority Spokane, various community leaders, and EWU's Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis gather for a series of meetings to discuss the new priorities for Spokane County. Priority Spokane is a unique collaboration of organizations working to create a vibrant future for Spokane County. As a result of the recent meetings, there are 69 new indicators on the Spokane Community Indicators website, making a total of 207 indicators. The new indicators are in the following categories: 10 in health, 10 in economic vitality, 8 in public safety, 13 in environment, 4 in housing, 3 in transportation, and 9 in education. There are also 12 new indicators included…

INDICATORS IN ACTION

COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RATE HIGHER THAN STATE

7.3.1 Graph

Violence from one human toward another justifiably generates disapproval and concern. Violence within families or former family members generates outrage. This facet of life has received increasing attention, for good reason.

Domestic violence is defined as violence from any family member toward another, often to exhibit power and control over the victim. In the eyes of the law, family members include (but are not limited to): spouses, former spouses, grandparents, parents who have children in common regardless of marital status, adults who live in the same household, as well as parents and children. As in the case of former spouses, people do not necessarily need to live in the same home to experience domestic…

OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS AND PRESCRIPTIONS HIGHER IN COUNTY THAN THE STATE

5.1.7 Graph

Opioid related deaths have been a growing concern of health officials, medical providers and families. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the opioid-related drug poisoning (overdose) rate nationwide nearly quadrupled from 1999-2011, moving from 1.4 deaths per 100,000 residents to 5.4. In fact, 2016 marks the second consecutive year in a row where life expectancy for the total U.S. population has decreased, due in large part to drug overdose deaths. These are classified as "unintentional injuries" and have become the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2016.

Spokane County is not immune to the national trends. Examining the opioid-related deaths indicator, we see during…

THE TALE OF TWO MARKETS: MULTI-FAMILY BUILDING PERMITS ON THE RISE BUT SOME HOUSEHOLDS MAY STILL BE LEFT BEHIND

2.3.4 Graph

It's easy to see when taking a drive through Spokane that residential development is happening. From the rise of Kendall Yards, the renovation of iconic downtown buildings such as the M and the Ridpath, or to the multitude of apartments going up in the Southgate area, it is easy to understand why recent, multi-family residential building permits are now on a growth path unseen in over 10 years. In 2016, these permits hit a level not experienced since the beginning of the trend in 2000.

Several explanations for this jump are likely in order. The permits predict future economic growth and development. Spokane's economy has definitely improved. They could also simply be depicting a generational shift of attitude toward…

5-QUESTIONS WITH:

DR. ROBERT LUTZ - SPOKANE REGIONAL HEALTH DISTRICT'S HEALTH OFFICER

Dr. Robert Lutz Photo
 

Q: You have been in your role as chief health officer at Spokane Regional Health for a little less than a year. Before that, you were on the board. What looks different, now that you're on the "inside"?
A: The two most apparent differences for me have been a more in-depth understanding of the agency's programs and priorities and expanded set of relationships with SRHD's staff. While I believe I was an involved board member, there was never enough time outside of my other obligations to learn about all the great work being done by SRHD. And of course, the great work is being done by great…