Walla Walla Trends e-Newsletter

Issue #31

NEWS FROM THE PORT

PATRICK H. REAY - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PORT OF WALLA WALLA


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As summer begins, the construction season is in full swing in Walla Walla County. This year, the Port of Walla Walla has many construction projects that will be initiated or continued from the prior construction season. All the projects, except for the Wallula Dodd Water System, will be completed by year end. The Port construction projects include the following:

Taxiway Project - Phase 3 & 4 (North half of the Taxiway): This project is in the second and final construction season. Phases 1 & 2 (South half of the Taxiway) were completed last summer and this summer we expect the completion of the remainder of the project. This will result in a new taxiway system to serve the main Runway 2/20. This is a $15+ million investment to meet the FAA standards and replace the existing taxiway system.

Gateway Water and Sewer Improvement Project: Water and sewer line extensions to serve the future home of Northwest Equipment (Volvo/Mack Dealership). This project allows for the development of 10+ acres west of Fifth Avenue within the Burbank Business Park. This was a $170,000…


INDICATOR NEWS

HOW MUCH IS WASHINGTON STATE TAXING AND SPENDING?

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Curious to know how much the state is spending on college education? Parks? Public health and safety? State and local governments have responded to the demand for transparency by posting more and more information online; however, people with a strong background in internet research were the only ones able to find that information - until now.

The State and Local Government Snapshot is the most comprehensive and compact view of local government data spanning across the U.S. The tool, created by the U.S. Census Bureau, is a nifty innovation…


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMERICANS - THIS IS HOW AMERICA RUNS

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Apart from the lengthy and detailed scientific method, it is still part of the human experience to try and simplify complicated things in order to help make sense of them. Simplifying the complicated is part of the beauty of data visualizations.

One informative and fun example shows what Americans are doing at any given time throughout a standard 24-hour day. What are typically considered standard working hours from 8am to 5pm are also the best time for leisure and sleep activities for many people, but for how many people in America and exactly at what time are…

INCARCERATION RATES FOR EACH U.S. STATE - COMPARED TO OTHER COUNTRIES

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Crime statistics, by nature, can be a little fuzzy, since they are based on crimes that law enforcement know about. To "know" of a crime, the crime needs to receive an official response from law enforcement. In the minimum, law enforcement must acknowledge it having occurred to officially count in crime statistics.

There are crimes that are almost always reported, like motor vehicle theft and arson, as well as crimes like arson that the authorities will discover on their own as part of an overall public safety response…

INDICATORS IN ACTION

TANF ENROLLMENT DECREASING -

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Often heard is the claim that spending for public benefits have increased and are unsustainable long-term into the future. Less often heard are the payments into these programs or how many people receiving public benefits had previously paid into them at some point such as part of employment taxes paid. The Center for American Progress estimates about 39% of people receiving public benefits had paid into the programs for which they were receiving benefits.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)…


LOCAL EXPENDITURES ON LAW ENFORCEMENT - EFFECTIVE AND COST-EFFICIENT -

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Publicly funding for government services walks a fine line between the cost of services and the quality and positive effect of the services rendered. Costs of services for police and fire services are commonly the two largest items in any local government's budget - and for good reason. This holds true for the recent disbursement budget for the City of Walla Walla (see: page 38), as well as for Walla Walla County (see: page 4).

Walla Walla Police Department's Chief Scott Bieber said "population, demographics, crime levels, types of crimes, traffic patterns, number of calls for service, geographic size, make up of…


RATE OF COLLEGE DEGREES GRANTED IN COUNTY HIGHER THAN STATE -

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Get a 2- or a 4-year degree? There are advantages to either path taken. Earning an associate's degree implies less time, which also translates into to fewer foregone years earning and lower educational costs, but the income potential of a 4-year degree is more than that of a 2-year degree. Yet, both offer something different to the student plotting their academic course.

According to Community College Review, across the nation, the "average two-year educational instate costs [are] approximately $3,347 each year. On the other hand, an average four-year university costs more than twice as much, with an average tuition expense of…


TRAVEL AND TOURISM SPENDING: IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT WINE -

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Tourism spending is great for most any community. This type of spending, as opposed to everyday spending done by residents, injects outside money into the economy, As such, it contributes to growth more so than local spending, because it isn't subjected to the economics behind the "substitution effect."

This effect states that within a fixed budget household members must allocate their funds to discrete categories. So spending in one sector of the economy essentially reduces one's ability to spend that money elsewhere. . For example, a person may go to a movie but forego going to out to dinner with friends. The theater is better off…