Page 1


An interview with

Don Brigham

Owner of Don Brigham Plus Associates landscape architecture ~ PAGE 8



“Lynn Moss (director of the Lewiston Department of Parks and Recreation) and From page 9 the city can take tons of credit for their efforts on constructing and getting grant Month” sign featuring his daughter Felicity who helped money.” — DON BRIGHAM, ON LEWISTON’S MODIE PARK around the office while home from Whitworth University on Christmas vacation. “Everyone has their own style and management flavor,” he said, noting that many of his colleagues have firms of five to 10 people. “But … I found when I had employees all I was doing was marketing. I wasn’t doing the fun stuff that I like to do. I was working my butt off to keep them busy and not having the fun that I wanted.” Brigham said he wants to work on all aspects of the job. “I like diversity,” he said, joking about his dislike of concentrating on any one thing for very long. “Probably nowadays it would be (called) ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).” Working without employees doesn’t mean he always works alone. “I like to team up with other professionals,” he said. “When we’re going after certain projects, I’ll bring in engineers, architects, even other landscape architects on certain projects. When I was doing a lot of Lewis and Clark Bicentennial stuff I would bring in historians that would help on the research. There’s a good synergy with all that, too, which is what you miss out on when you’re just your own person.” He said the classic example of this teaming up is the Centennial Mall project at Lewis-Clark State College. The project involved waterworks, structural engineering, and other specialists. “They were all part of my team, and that’s what made it successful,” he said. It’s a project he feels has aged nicely and is one of which he is particularly proud. “I think when or if I ever retire there’ll be a dozen projects that really stand out, and that’s definitely go10

ing to be one of that dozen,” he said. As someone who cares deeply about the aesthetics of a place, what does Brigham think of Lewis-Clark State College’s decision to build its new 53,000-square-foot nursing building on the lawn north of Talkington Hall? He chuckles, choosing his words carefully. “I think L-C has always had great assets, and the landscape and the green spaces were part of that. It’s going to change the complexion,” he said. “It’s almost irreversible. You’re never going to claim it back.” He said he had expressed concerns one-on-one to some LCSC administrators about building the nursing school on the green, noting that a majority of college students — perhaps 80 percent, he said, including his own daughter — decide on a college based on the feel when they visit campus. And Brigham believes having a “major green space” is key to that campus feeling. “I think they’re foreclosing on the future potential,” he said. “I know there was criteria there that I’m not privy to. I just think that it’s more … short-term solutions instead of long-term planning.” His preference, since parking has been an issue at the college for years, would have been to “bite the bullet, build underground parking with the nursing building on top. Yes, it’s more expensive,” he said. “But somehow make it work.” Lewis-Clark State College announced its final decision about the nurse science building in November, so Brigham knows his ideas about other locations and underground parking won’t be realized this time. But he is

excited about other, different kinds of projects over which he has more influence. He is among the founding members of the conservancy board for Modie Park in Lewiston, a project he said is always evolving. “It’s really fun to see the work that has happened there,” he said of the wildlife conservation park. “Lynn Moss (director of the Lewiston Department of Parks and Recreation) and the city can take tons of credit for their efforts on constructing and getting grant money.” He likes it, he says, because it has a “different flavor;” it’s not a run-of-themill park. “It’s a surprise to people, when they visit, they go, ‘Whoa I never knew this was here.’ ” After sitting in limbo for about 12 years, the park is really taking off, he said. A lot of work was done last year, including the addition of a parking lot and a restroom building with a green roof, a feature Brigham says is probably a first for Lewiston. This year will bring the addition of trees and a sprinkler system. Asked whether it’s ever frustrating to work in a community where eco-friendly innovations such as green roofs have been slow to catch on, Brigham demurs. “Frustrating might be a bit too strong of a word,” he said. “How about slightly frustrating.” A “parallel and related” example, he said, has been his effort for nearly two decades to encourage a concept called Xeriscape. Coined by the Denver Water Board in the 1980s, the term, now a registered trademark of Denver Water, refers to wise use of water. “Which doesn’t mean rocks and cattle skulls


and cactus,” Brigham is quick to point out. He said many people have misconceptions about what Xeriscape is, picturing, for example, a bare yard covered in red lava rock. But conserving water doesn’t have to mean using only desert plants and rock, he said. “My office, out here in front, I haven’t watered that in five or 10 years and they’re not what people would call Xeriscape plants,” he said. “They’re typical plants, but it’s just you put down a lot of mulch, you water them deeply to get the roots down deep at the start, etcetera. “There’s a great little demonstration garden behind the county extension agent’s office off of Idaho (Street). It’s been going with minimal use of water for a couple summers and beautiful plants, and you know people just aren’t aware of these. And that’s kind of the chicken and egg; the nurseries aren’t going to sell them if there’s no demand.” “And that has been, again, slightly frustrating, that people just don’t get it. All the people in LOID (Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District) that have water rationing every summer, and still they think they need wall to wall lawn out there. That’s not the solution. You can have lawn for play and then other alternatives in other places,” he said. With that in mind, Brigham, along with Lewiston City Forester Phil Shinn and extension educator Mike Bauer from the UI Extension office, is working to create a Xeriscape council in the valley. They plan to have Xeriscape demonstrations at Modie Park, where valley residents can see different turf options. Lawn, or “turf ” as Brigham calls it, being the biggest water user in landscaping: “seventy percent of the typical water bill,” he said. In addition to his public projects, Brigham does some work for private businesses



Motorola tries to redial success New CEO tries to end slump without a Razr-like hit By DAVE CARPENTER


CHICAGO — New Motorola Inc. CEO Greg Brown doesn’t have the secret weapon his predecessor Ed Zander possessed when he arrived at the cell p h o n e m a k e r four years ago — the Razr. But that could be a good thing — if Brown, Greg Brown who took over recently as chief executive, applies lessons learned from Motorola’s nasty fall last year. The then-up-and-coming Razr ultimately proved Zander’s undoing. It propelled the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company to lofty sales levels it couldn’t sustain without cutting prices aggressively, a decision that had harsh consequences. The once-soaring company is now thought to have only broken even for 2007. It pulled back from some developing markets and cut 7,500 jobs last year, creating a leaner company that analysts say has halted its free fall in market share and profitability, and laid the groundwork for a promised turnaround. “People might think Motorola’s out of the game entirely,” said Neil Strother, a wireless analyst in Seattle for Jupiter Research. “They’re not out of the game, they’ve just had a few bad quarters.” The Razr remains a solid seller, but rivals’ newer phones have taken away its TUESDAY, JAN 15, 2008

A Motorola Razr cell phone is seen at a consumer electronics store in Gloucester, Mass., in this Jan. 19, 2007, photograph. (Photo by The Associated Press)

buzz. And nothing the company is known to have in the pipeline seems likely to match the Razr’s popularity. While putting its financial and operational house back in order, Motorola must regain ground lost to industry leader Nokia Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., which overtook Motorola as the No. 2 cell phone manufacturer last year. “The challenges for Greg Brown are very similar to those that were faced by Ed Zander: to work on innova-

tion and new products,” said Hugues de la Vergne, principal analyst with market research firm Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn. “A more steady stream of innovative new products from the likes of Samsung and Nokia have allowed them to build nice market-share gains at Motorola’s expense.” The company’s share of the global market for mobile devices collapsed from 23 percent at the end of 2006 to 13 percent within six months and hasn’t moved signifi-


cantly since. Mobile devices account for two-thirds of Motorola’s sales. Motorola “milked the Razr phone cow for too long,” said Morningstar analyst Jordan Zounis, and it’s still paying the price. Zounis sees strength in the company’s mid-price products, including its revamped Razr line and new multimedia phones, but weakness on both the high end — with only the Motorola Q smart phone — and low end. That could mean Brown has to produce another hit soon. Stockholders may have been temporarily placated by the company’s shake-up but remain displeased by the roughly 40 percent drop in the stock’s value from its six-year high of $26.30 in October 2006. Carl Icahn, the billionaire financier who lost a bid in May for a board seat from which he wanted to force some changes, hailed Zander’s resignation in November but said then that Motorola still has “major problems.” “Brown has about nine months to show the new and improved Motorola,” Zounis said recently. “Otherwise, I think the callings of individuals such as Carl Icahn will perhaps have a little bit more weight next time around.” Brown is likely to be judged negatively unless he can improve results from its trademark handset business — even if Motorola’s emergency radios, TV set-top boxes, wireless network equipment and other lines show strength. “If Motorola stays with the same portfolio of handsets they’re going to have trouble, because the market is evolving,” said Standard & Poor’s analyst Todd Rosenbluth.  11

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A few of the best business books of 2007 By RICHARD PACHTER THE MIAMI HERALD.

I didn’t — and couldn’t — read every business book published in 2007, so it’s highly likely that something superb escaped my attention. But these titles are the best of those I read and reviewed. If I missed a favorite of yours, please let me know. Regardless, I’ll keep reading and I hope you will, too. Original reviews and links to purchasing information for each book can be found at “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip and Dan Heath; Random House, 291 pages ($24.95). Genuine or bogus, concepts and products resonate with authenticity and gain acceptance because of a perception of their legitimacy. The Heaths explain why emotion and simplicity are vital components of successful persuasion. “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams; Portfolio, 320 pages ($25.95). An interesting and compelling survey of successful collaborative ventures, including a look at how companies you’d least expect to play nice with others are doing so,

and benefiting from the experience. “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)” by Seth Godin; Portfolio, 88 pages ($12.95). Should you stay or should you go? There’s no correct — or easy — answer, but Godin helps readers assess the upside of each path, and provides tools to determine whether one is facing a wall or a door. “Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose” by Rajendra Sisodia, David Wolfe and Jagdish Sheth; Wharton School Publishing, 320 pages ($27.95). How companies that do good are also doing quite well; a strong antidote to incessant tales of venal executives and predatory enterprises. “Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits (Commemorative Edition)” by Robert L. Townsend; Wiley, 260 pages ($22.95). Forty years ago, an excerpt of this volume was published in Harper’s magazine and the next day, people appeared at the publisher’s reception desk looking for the book. This classic ought to be required reading for anyone entering the workforce. Period.

ASK IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Q: I am a valley business owner and I had an employee give two weeks notice of their intent to quit. I decided to let them leave before the two weeks notice date arrived. Do I have to pay them for the full two week notice period? A: Idaho and Washington laws do not require an employer to pay an employee for any time that the em14

ployee doesn’t work. If your company has a policy that states you will pay full wages for the full notice period, then your policy must be followed even though the law does not require it. For more information on wage and hour laws, please contact your nearest Idaho Dept. of Labor office or visit these Web sites www.idaho.labor. gov or

“The Leadership Challenge” by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner; John Wiley, 416 pages ($29.95). A newly revised edition of a business classic provides a solid set of empirical standards based on observation and analysis of the key behaviors demonstrated by genuine leaders. “Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-ofMouth Marketing” by Lois Kelly; AMACON, 228 pages ($24.95). How conversational hooks and themes can be used for marketing. Kelly brings the proverbial Cluetrain into the station and unpacks several carloads-full of its bounty. “No Man’s Land: What to Do When Your Company Is Too Big to Be Small but Too Small to Be Big” by Doug Tatum; Portfolio, 256 pages ($24.95). Getting through the treacherous territory between big and small is a killer. Tatum provides an interesting and insightful discussion that also demonstrates his understanding of

the personal toll that growing a business often takes. “Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules” by Mike Moran; IBM Press, 408 pages ($24.99). The Internet is indisputably a powerful catalyst for the rapid spread of ideas, memes, cultural tics — and commerce. Moran shows how to harness this power by fearlessly allowing mistakes and rapidly learning from them. “Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day” by Gina Trapani; Wiley, 300 pages ($24.99) and “Rule the Web: How to Do Anything and Everything on the Internet — Better, Faster, Easier” by Mark Frauenfelder; St. Martin’s Press, 416 pages ($14.95). With these books, you’ll have almost everything you need to help you use technology to live and work smarter.  Richard Pachter is the business book columnist for the Miami Herald.

State advises checking lender’s license ASSOCIATED PRESS

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Financial Institutions says only 66 percent of previously licensed mortgage brokers and 42 percent of loan originators have had their licenses renewed this year. The director, Scott Jarvis, says the drop reflects a drop in loan activity due to the downturn in the mortgage inLook for the next issue of

dustry, but it’s also a concern for borrowers to verify that lenders are licensed. Last year the department licensed 1,261 mortgage brokers and 13,722 loan originators, who act as broker agents. You can verify licenses online at the department’s Web page.  htm

Business Profile


Tuesday, February 19

Complete and compelling. All the news you need. TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2008




 ANYTIME FITNESS — Real Fit Inc, 102 Thain Rd. Ste. G, Lewiston (208) 8743341

Homes on the market as of Jan. 3: 278 Number of homes sold in the last six months (July 1 to Dec. 31): 356 Average sales price of homes sold in last six months: $169, 991 Average days on the market: 98

 AUTO-RAIN SUPPLY INC. — sprinklers, ponds, lighting, stoves, Todd Watson, 206 22nd St. N, Lewiston, 7983115  AQUA SOURCE INC. — water pumps, 1087 Hwy. 13, Grangeville (208) 983-1599

MOSCOW Homes on the market as of Jan. 3: 112 Number of homes sold in the last six months (July 1 to Dec. 31: 268 Average sales price of homes sold in last six months: $229,767 Average days on the market: 128 Source: Multiple Listing Service


 BIG DOG HOTDOG — Chicago style hot dog cart, Bill Thomas, 1250 Bridge St., Clarkston (509) 552-1240  BRANDEE’S BUSY BEE Daycare —

SUN and a small percentage of residential work. “I like to have a real mixed bag of things,” he said. “I’ve got usually two dozen projects going on at various phases.” Typical landscape planting plans, he said, are ones such as those he’s done for Syringa Bank’s new location and the recently announced IHOP to be built in Lewiston. “I much prefer doing parks,” he said. “Or where there’s more involved, especially when you can have an impact upon the com-


Brandee Moore, 2124 Ripon, Lewiston, 743-5227  CORNERSTONE ANESTHESIA — Cornerstone Anesthesia PA, 2841 Juniper Dr., Lewiston, 743-9712  EMPAC FAMILY RESOURCE Center — counseling service and training, Denise M. Villa, 621 Main St., Ste. F,  746-1982  FRANS CONSTRUCTION INC. — commercial general contractor, Frans T. Verheijen, Eagle, Idaho, (208) 573-7537  HANSEN-RICE — CONSTRUCTION, general contracting, Burke Hansen, 1717 Chisholm Dr., Nampa (208) 465-0200  HELLS CANYON

From page 10 munity as opposed to just one client.” The entry project in front of the new Bank of Whitman building in Clarkston will be one such project. Brigham is donating his services to help create a public work of art that he said will complement the entry art across the river in Lewiston and give people something beautiful and meaningful to see as they enter the city. “It’s not just coming into Clarkston,” he said. “It’s coming into the state of WashBUSINESS PROFILE

AUDIO/VIDEO — installation of audio-video equipment, Todd Clovis, 4027 Asotin Cr. Rd., 243-4027

 SANDI’S INTERIOR DESIGN — Sandi Weaver, 1622 Powers Ave., 746-2879

 JACQUELINE’S CREATIVE DESIGNS — photography services, Jacqueline Aldrich, 525 Warner Dr., Lewiston (208) 790-0132

 SNAKE RIVER AUTO RV and Marine — retail auto RV and marine service and repair, Richard C. Rogers, 2304 16th Ave., Lewiston, 7435577

 LITTLE TYKES DAYCARE — Courtney Anderson, 1145 Riverview St., Lewiston, (208) 4136019

 SOCKEYE CONST. LLC — Curtis Clayton, 2616 Harrier Dr., Eagle, Idaho (208) 571-0335

 MOBILITY CONCEPTS — elevators, mobility devices, Lyall Wohlschlager, P.O. Box 311, Sandpoint, Idaho (208)762-3632

 THE PUMPKIN PATCH — family child care facility, Cori J. Leiterman, 3709 14th St. C., Lewiston, 746-5082

 NAE NAE’S LITTLE Angels — family child care facility, Renee Wright, 1322 Grelle Ave., Lewiston, 7437933

 Z/BOATS SERVICE AND Repair — Douglas E. & Nancy J. Zachow, 1140 36th St. N Lewiston, 746-1582

“Something that my parents taught me from the get-go is that one of the best things you can do is leave a place better than the way you found it.” — DON BRIGHAM ington across the blue bridge.” With fundraising for the project well underway, Brigham hopes it will be something people can look to with a sense of pride. “The support has been really great,” he said. For him, a project like the Clarkston entry reflects both the

value he places on community service and the concept perhaps most at the heart of his love for landscape architecture. “Something that my parents taught me from the get-go,” he said. “Is that one of the best things you can do is leave a place better than the way you found it.” 15




CALENDAR  TODAY — Lewis-Clark Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, noon, Elk’s Temple, Al Reagan, 743-5441.  WEDNESDAY — Orofino Chamber of Commerce, noon, Ponderosa, (208) 476-4335.  WEDNESDAY — Lewis-Clark Association of Realtors, noon, Red Lion, 746-2019.  THURSDAY — Lewiston Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m.  THURSDAY — Port of Whitman County, 10 a.m. (509) 397-3791.  JAN. 24 — Port of Clarkston, 1 p.m., 758-5272.  FEB. 1 — Lewiston Chamber of Commerce general membership, 7 a.m., Old Country Buffet, 743-3531.  FEB. 6 — Grangeville Chamber of Commerce, 1:30 p.m., Oscar’s, (208) 983-0460.  FEB. 6 — Orofino Chamber of Commerce, noon, Ponderosa, (208) 476-4335.  FEB. 6 — Kamiah Chamber of Commerce, 7 p.m., chamber building, (208) 935-2290.  FEB. 7 — Port of Whitman County, 10 a.m. (509) 3973791.  FEB. 11 — Grangeville GEM Team, 7 a.m., Oscar’s, (208) 983-0460.  FEB. 12 — Port of Lewiston, 1:30 p.m., 743-5531.  FEB. 12 — Pullman Chamber of Commerce, noon, location TBA, (509) 334-3565.  FEB. 13 — Clarkston Chamber of Commerce general membership, noon, Quality Inn.  FEB. 13 — American Business Woman’s Association, 6 p.m., Rowdy’s Steakhouse, Charlene Shuping, 798-9579.  FEB. 14 — Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, 8 a.m., Coffee Mill Creations. 2


Do your homework before you hit the gym Complaints received by BBB nationwide for fitness clubs have increased more than 90 percent in the last five years. According to a new analysis conducted by the BBB, the most common complaints consumers have about fitness clubs focus on two related areas, contract disputes (41.5 percent) and billing issues (31.7 percent). BBB has also seen a rise in complaints about fitness centers that sold memberships, only to go out of business a few weeks later (15.1 percent), leaving disgruntled customers behind trying to recoup their advance payments. The main reason — contracts. The second? Continuing to be charged once your contract expires. These reasons require a bit of accountability on the part of the consumer, and input and proactivity by the gym user. For instance, some people verbalize their cancellations over the phone and don’t follow up with the request in writing, which creates a paper trail and proof that you did, indeed request a cancellation. Or people with contracts take off for some other geographic location, perhaps, or move, and the gym merely continues to bill you because you haven’t followed the proper procedures for cancellation. Once a contract expires and you’ve moved on, if you don’t follow the rules of the gym and place your cancellation in writing, or contact them in the amount of time required by your contract, they can and do tend to continue to charge your checking account every month for that same fee. Also, unless


Zan Deery you catch this discrepancy on your statements and be proactive to dispute your case, the unwanted billing is going to continue to happen. This is what can happen when people are not aware of the terms and conditions of their contracts. Many people simply don’t read their contracts with gyms before signing, or read them quickly when they sign up, and never revisit the contract at a later time when they are able to take time to read and understand what their obligations are if they need to cancel, or what to do when the contract expires. But, don’t let these potential snafus stop you from pursuing the perfect gym experience. A big priority in choosing a gym seems to be location, location, location. Find a gym environment that is comfortable and appealing to your eyes and taste, a place where you feel welcome, one that suits your particular needs. If you are a person who really needs to be motivated to go work out, then it is crucial that you find a work out place that’s close to home or


somewhere in your footprint of travel, or experience dictates that you’ll never go. Here are some more tips to help you make an informed decision:  Check with BBB first. Not only can you go to www. to find a list of fitness clubs in your area that are accredited by BBB, but you can also find out what kind of a track record the company has for keeping customers satisfied.  Determine your fitness goals. What are your fitness goals (build endurance, increase strength, become a better tennis player?) and how will you accomplish them (swimming, weight-training, yoga?). Considering these issues in advance will help you select a facility that is most appropriate for you. If you have a serious health condition, consult with a medical professional when setting your fitness goals.  Consider your budget. Most facilities charge an up-front membership fee to join and a monthly fee thereafter. What amount can you comfortably devote to physical fitness?  Check out the facilities. Visit several different clubs on days and at times that you plan to exercise to see how crowded they are. Do the facilities offer the equipment, classes, amenities (child care, personal trainers) and hours of operation you require? Note the cleanliness and condition of the equipment, workout area and locker room, as well as staff member availability.  Ask around. Check


January 2008


Trade deficit hits highest level in 14 months


Business Profile is compiled by Target Publications of The Lewiston Tribune. Business Profile is inserted in The Lewiston Tribune the third Tuesday of every month.

 Editors MART TATKO 743-9600 Ext. 244 ROBERT C. JOHNSON 743-9600 Ext. 243

 Advertising Contact your Lewiston Tribune sales representative or call (208) 743-9411 for advertising information

 Your comments Please write to us at: Business Profile, Target Publications, Lewiston Tribune, 505 C St Lewiston ID 83501 or e-mail us at: businessprofile@

Is anyone out there? After Razr, Motorola’s new CEO has daunting challenge  PAGE 11

 On the cover Don Brigham of Don Brigham Plus Associates landscape architectural firm By KYLE MILLS of the Lewiston Tribune

 Our favorite quote “Find something you love to do and then find someone who will pay you to do it. What could be a better key to happiness? — Don Brigham (story Page 8)


 Regular departments

2 BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU: Think before you sign 4 BUSINESS ANSWERS: What a blog can mean to business 5 BUSINESS ON THE GO: Who’s doing what 6 SMALL TALK: Time to tackle HR issues 14 ASK IDAHO DEPT. OF LABOR: To pay or not to pay BUSINESS PROFILE

WASHINGTON — The U.S. trade deficit in November rose to the highest level in 14 months, reflecting record foreign crude oil prices. The deficit with China declined slightly while the weak dollar boosted exports to another record high. The Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit, the gap between imports and exports, jumped by 9.3 percent, to $63.1 billion. The imbalance was much larger than the $60 billion that had been expected. The increase was driven by a 16.3 percent increase in America’s foreign oil bill. Associated Press


not 5That’s grouper Best 14 business books



A primer on ‘bloggers’ for the business person

Queston: I’ve heard a lot about businesses who use “bloggers” and “blog sites” to market their products. Exactly what do these terms mean, and how can they be used to market products? Blog (short for Weblog) sites are online sites that provide individuals, businesses, communities or other organizations a place to post messages, photos, product information and links to other sites. Some popular blog sites include:, facebook. com,, and Setting up your own blog page is fairly quick and easy, and you can consistently update your site with new information. Bloggers, on the other hand, are simply individuals who frequent these sites and communicate with other consumers in an online environment. One advantage to using blogs is cost efficiency. These sites allow businesses to communicate directly with their target audience for a fraction of the cost of other forms of promotion. Blogs have proven to be a particularly useful communication/networking tool



Bob Thorson for small niche marketers with limited promotional budgets. Another strength of blogs is their ability to stimulate publicity and word-ofmouth (WOM) communication (often regarded as being more credible than mass media advertising.) Bloggers visit these sites and communicate with each other, often in real time, sharing information, opinions and advice about various companies and their products. The marketers’ goal is to have these bloggers create a “buzz” about the product that is often seen as more objective than company-controlled promotion. Businesses will often

provide free samples of their products to influential consumers known as “opinion leaders,” in order to generate this “buzz.” For example, Nokia phones recently gave free “Nphones” to 50 tech savvy bloggers. These bloggers quickly spread the word via online WOM (aka “viral” marketing) to other consumers who continued to spread the information to additional consumers. Again, not only was this method more cost efficient than a multi-million dollar advertising campaign, it was also more effective in many ways because the information came from other consumers instead of company-sponsored advertising. Marketers are also using


From page 2

with friends and family for recommendations. And when visiting fitness clubs, ask members about their experiences — are they satisfied?  Don’t give in to pressure. Many clubs will be offering “New Year’s specials” — walk away from clubs that pressure you to sign a contract on the spot. In fact, take a sample contract home to read it thoroughly.  Read the entire contract. Does it list all services and facilities and the hours of operation? Is everything that the salesperson promised in the contract? What is included in the monthly fee and what’s going to cost you extra? What’s the total cost and payment schedule, including enrollment fees and finance charges?  Know the membership


sites such as “YouTube” (a site that allows individuals and businesses to upload videos) to post commercials or other short films about products. Again, this method is very cost efficient and also stimulates other previously mentioned promotional activity. On the flip side, there are several disadvantages associated with blogs. As with other forms of e-commerce, consumers have had problems with dishonest sellers (e.g., lost orders, credit card security issues, product misrepresentation, etc.) In addition, the publicity or word-of-mouth generated by blog-sites and bloggers is frequently negative, in-

 SEE THORSON, PAGE 5 details. How long is the membership term and is there an automatic renewal? Can you go month-to-month? Some facilities give customers several days to reconsider after signing the contract; if so, get it in writing. What are your cancellation rights if you move to another area, are injured, or the club closes or is taken over by new management? Will the unused portion of your membership be refunded, and if so, how and when? These details should all be in the contract. For more advice from BBB on finding reliable companies and businesses, start your search with trust at  Zan Deery is a communications/investigations specialist with the Better Business Bureau serving eastern Washington and northern Idaho. She may be contacted at: or (800) 248-2356 TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2008


If it’s not grouper, what the heck is it? Florida restaurant owner gives up on grouper because he can’t gaurantee it By BRENDAN FARRINGTON OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TAMPA, Fla. — At many restaurants around Florida, the specialty of the house is a slab of grouper, blackened, grilled, stuffed or encrusted with pecans, sometimes on a roll, maybe with a slice of Bermuda onion. But not at Richard Gonzmart’s place. Gonzmart, whose family has owned the Columbia restaurant in Tampa’s Cuban-American Ybor City section for four generations, won’t serve grouper, because he can’t be sure he is getting the real thing from his suppliers. Many restaurants in Florida have been caught passing off Asian catfish, tilapia or other cheaper species as grouper. Fake grouper is by far the biggest food-misrepresentation problem Florida inspectors handle, and it has


From page 4

accurate and/or difficult to control. Several companies have even complained about negative word-of-mouth campaigns initiated by competing firms. While many marketers remain excited about the long-term potential of blog sites, others are TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2008

turned up in all corners of the state — even at the Capitol cafeteria. “I’m not going to take that chance because my reputation is more important than keeping grouper on the menu,” Gonzmart said. “It’s not worth it to take a short cut. If grouper is $20 a pound, so be it, but if we buy it for $20 a pound and it’s not grouper, that’s a problem.” The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, which regulates restaurants, found 139 cases of something other than grouper being sold as the fish between January 2006 through the end of last October — more than half of all food misrepresentation cases statewide during that time. The runners-up were 75 cases of fake crab and 34 cases of fake tuna. “I had no idea. It’s just a huge amount,” said Department Secretary Holly Benson. The problem has gone on for years but is receiving more attention lately.

 SEE GROUPER, PAGE 7 less optimistic, viewing the use of these sites as a passing fad. There is evidence that suggests that some sites, like myspace, may have already peaked in popularity. However, it appears that blog sites will continue to be an important promotional tool for many marketers in the foreseeable future.  Bob Thorson is an assistant professor in the Business Division at Lewis-Clark State College

Michele and Joe Arellano are the owners of Quad Cities Realty, which has just moved to a larger office.

Quad Cities Realty opens new Lewiston office After 3½ years of operating a home-based business, Joe and Michele Arellano, have moved their office to 721 Seventh Ave. in Lewiston.The new office boasts

1,800 square feet and includes a conference room. Linda Joyner-Jones, Justin Adams, and Jessi Smith are now a part of the Quad Cities Realty team.

Banking magazine recognizes Clarkston advisor Tim Lynch, a financial advisor for Smith Barney in the Sterling Savings Bank in Clarkston, has been ranked as a top banking representatives in the nation by Bank Investment Consultant magazine. The ranking identifies the

best in the branch system in regard to superior customer service, professionalism and success among their peers in industry. Lynch placed second nationwide. Lynch has been with Smith Barney for six years.

Local Assist-2-Sell franchise wins award Lewiston’s Assist-2-Sell Discovery Real Estate of Idaho won the company’s Top 10 award for October. The office competed against more than 600 other franchises through out the country to win this award. Offices are ranked by the number of homes sold in a given month.


Assist-2-Sell Discovery Real Estate of Idaho opened in 2003, and is owned and operated by Joe and Debbie Lee and Paul and Leslie Schrette. Assist-2-Sell provides home sellers with full brokerage services for a low, flat fee. The offices is at 1630 23rd Ave., Suite 301A in Lewiston. 5


New year gives small business owners an opportunity to tackle human resources issues

NEW YORK — The arrival of a new year gives small business owners a great opportunity to look at a variety of human resources issues and decide what changes they should make. January can be a fresh start for everyone in a company. So owners should think about sitting down with employees to discuss what’s expected of them in the coming year. They should also take the time to create or re-evaluate policies for vacation and other time off, and re-examine the benefits they offer. “Do an overall check of your HR procedures” in


Joyce Rosenberg January, suggests Rob Wil-


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son, president of Employco, a Chicago-based human resources firm. He noted that during the course of the year, “when you’re trying to run a business, sometimes the last thing you think of is HR.” Many companies are setting their annual budgets in January, and determining what staffing levels they’ll need should be an integral part of that process. But owners should be looking at more than numbers — they need to think about whether they have the right people in the right jobs. That’s where meeting with workers one by one is critical, looking at their performance over the past year and discussing the future with them. “Help them set goals individually and parlay them into corporate goals. How can they coincide with your corporate goals?” Wilson said. Conversations with workers should be two-way, with an owner open to hearing what staffers have to say — good and bad. “Take a survey of employees about what they think of things,” said Rick Gibbs, a senior human resources specialist with Administaff, a Houston-based company that provides human resources outsourcing. But, he warned, “it’s important not to do that unless there’s an intention to act” in response to staffers’ concerns. While owners need to meet with employees individually — of course, if there are many employees, other managers will need to help out — it’s a good idea to hold group staff meetings as well. And think about a schedule of meetings throughout the year; setting that now will make it less likely that


they’ll fall through the cracks later on. Along that line, Gibbs likes the idea of creating a human resources calendar at the start of the year, and planning for employee-related events or issues likely to come up. “Put in things that will happen — busy times, vacations, holidays,” he said. With these events in mind, take a look at your time-off policies. If you ran into vacation crunches in 2007, with everyone wanting the same days or weeks off, it’s time to create a policy that spells out how many people can be off at the same time, and how conflicts will be resolved. It’s probably a good idea to bring staffers into the process, hearing their ideas before you create a system. That way, while you might not be able to keep everyone happy, at least employees won’t feel as if rules were imposed on them unilaterally. You might want to start thinking now about bringing in extra help for peak vacation or busy times. Knowing in advance what your needs are likely to be will make it easier to get temporary workers in July, December or whenever. Your policies need to be written down, too, ideally as part of an employee handbook. These are important documents that detail for workers not just vacation time, but sick and disability time, leave for jury duty or military service, disciplinary procedures, dress codes and other HR matters. If you’re not sure what should go into a handbook, you can search online for “employee handbook” and find several sites that offer




From page 5

About a year ago, an owner of two Florida Panhandle seafood companies was sentenced to prison after federal authorities caught him selling more than a million pounds of Asian catfish labeled as grouper. In the Miami area, inspectors walked into a food processing plant and found workers taking 6,000 pounds of Vietnamese catfish that sells wholesale for about $2.50 a pound and repackaging it as grouper, which goes for about $6 wholesale. And that hurts fishermen like Michael Athorn. He and his three-man crew spend up to 12 days 60 to 70 miles from shore in the Gulf of Mexico, trying to reach the 6,000-pound catch limit for grouper, which has to be caught on individual hooks. Back on shore he has often found restaurants advertising grouper and putting something else on a plate. “It’s something that’s aggravated us for a long time,” he said. “I’ve embarrassed girlfriends and wives in the past by making a big point of it in a grocery store, letting them know it wasn’t what it was. I’ve embarrassed people that I’ve taken out to dinner by refusing a meal that wasn’t really grouper.” State officials are be-

ROSENBERG From page 6 suggestions. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a good overview at www.sba. gov/gopher/Business-Development/Success-Series/ TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2008

Richard Gonzmart (right) whose family has owned the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City for four generations, poses with his daughter Andrea in Tampa, Fla. Gonzmart is concerned he might unwittingly be sold a cheap substitute for the large, sweet filets. Associated Press coming more aware of the problem. Benson’s agency has doubled the fine for restaurants from $250 to $500 for a first offense. Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson has posted a Web page with full-color, highresolution photos that can show people how to distinguish real grouper — lean, thick, firm flesh — from thinner, darker fillets of Asian catfish. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum hired a lab to perform DNA tests on grouper — or what was advertised as grouper — that investigators bought at 24 Tampa Bay-area restaurants. More than 17 of them were selling other types of

fish, and McCollum reached settlements with all but one of them. Among the substitutes were emperor fish, hake, sutchi, bream and green weakfish. The lab was not asked to test grouper from grocery stores. But the wife of a lab scientist brought home some fillets a supermarket was selling as grouper, and the scientist took the fish to the lab and tested it. “I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t grouper, that’s all I do know,” said scientist David Price. Now Florida is going after bigger fish: distributors. The attorney general has subpoenaed records of sev-

Vol10/handbook.txt There are also books that can help you create a handbook, and you can get advice from a retired HR executive for free by contacting SCORE, an organization of retired business people, at or by calling 1 800 634-0245. The start of the year is

also a good time to review your benefits, and think about what changes you want to make. HR professionals and accountants alike urge small business owners to set up retirement plans early in the year if they don’t already offer this benefit, which can be a powerful employee recruiting


“It’s something that’s aggravated us for a long time. I’ve embarrassed girlfriends and wives in the past by making a big point of it in a grocery store, letting them know it wasn’t what is was. I’ve embarrassed people that I’ve taken to dinner by refusing a meal that wasn’t really grouper” — MICHAEL ATHORN, GROUPER FISHERMAN

eral, including the biggest distributor, Sysco Food Services of West Coast Florida Inc. “We’ve been asked to participate with cleaning up the industry and we have complied,” said President Carl Cannova. “Quite frankly, we agree with the attorney general.” Sysco began its own random testing program about a year and a half ago. Cannova said a few shipments received shortly after testing began turned out to be other fish, and they were immediately kicked back to the supplier. “Never, never, did we ever knowingly sell something as grouper that wasn’t grouper,” Cannova said. and retention tool. Setting up a plan now will make you competitive right away. And, the sooner you create a plan, the sooner everyone, including you and your company, can start saving.  Rosenberg covers business for the Associated Press 7


Lewis-Clark State Colleges’ Centennial Mall is one of the many projects Brigham has designed in the area. And, he says, one of his favorites. (Photo by Kyle Mills)

His place in the sun

Landscape architect “Find something that you love to do and then find someone Don Brigham finds willing to pay you to do it. What could be a better key to there’s no line happiness?” — DON BRIGHAM between his job something that you love to do can’t imagine where people reflection of Brigham’s sense and his life and then find someone will- mark off on the calendar the of humor, but perhaps not enBy MARY TATKO


Whether he’s talking to middle school students at a career fair or college students in one of the classes he teaches, Don Brigham has a bit of advice for those seeking their life’s work: “Find 8

ing to pay you to do it.” It’s not an original idea, he said, but it’s worth repeating. And Brigham, a Clarkston landscape architect, backs up this counsel with his own example. For him, there’s no dividing line between work and life. “What could be a better key to happiness?” he said. “I

days until their next vacation. I’ve never said I have to go to work. I have to go to the office, I have to make clients happy, but I don’t go to work. It’s fun.” The voice mail greeting on his office phone announces that a caller has reached the “world headquarters” of Don Brigham Plus Associates, a


tirely tongue-in-cheek as he takes inspiration for his work from travels both domestic and international. He and his family toured the Southwest last year and will travel to China in March. It’s an example of how recreation and work are intertwined in


COVER STORY From page 8

Brigham’s life as he gathers ideas for future projects while enjoying time away with his family. “In my field, you bring back these ideas and you adapt them to the local situation,” he explained. Brigham arrived at this career he loves when he found a profession that matched his interests and passions. “I think it’s a genetic predisposition to this,” he said of landscape architecture. “I’ve always loved plants and growing plants and seeing what the effect of them can be.” He described a watershed moment he had as a boy, riding in his family’s “trusty station wagon” near Idaho City, a remote area of sagebrush and cheat grass. Without air conditioning it was hot and dusty, but Brigham was enjoying sightseeing on the back roads. “And all of a sudden, Dad turns this corner and it must have been on the other side of the hill or something so there was water and there were pine trees, you know 70-feet-tall pine trees. It’s shaded, it’s cool, it’s verdant. And I know that made an impact, because I remember actually writing a letter to my grandparents about that incident.” He said it wasn’t until college that he discovered what this appreciation for contrasts in vegetation meant for his future. “I realized that what was significant is that I could see how plants create moods, create feelings, create spaces, which is all the things a landscape architect does,” he said. “Landscape architecture is this perfect marriage of art and science. It’s all the disciplines pulled together; it’s a real renaissance type discipline.” Even with this seemingly perfect fit, Brigham said there was a moment when his affinity for the outdoors nearly derailed his career TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2008

Don Brigham, Jr. Age: 51 Occupation: landscape architect; adjunct professor, department of landscape architecture, University of Idaho Residence: Clarkston Education: bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, University of Idaho, 1979 Family: wife Wanda Keefer, Port of Clarkston manager; daughter Felicity, freshman at Whitworth University; two grown stepsons, Nicholas and Nathan Civic: St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Foundation board, Dogwood Festival of the L-C Valley founding member, Asotin County Library board of directors, Rotary Club board of directors, Modie Park Conservancy board of directors and charter member path. Between his junior and senior years of college, he interned with the United States Forest Service in Coeur d’Alene and loved it. He said he might never have completed college and become a landscape architect if not for the nation’s economic recession and subsequent hiring freeze at the Forest Service. “Not a good time to jump out of school,” he said. Brigham grew up in the Boise valley, attended the University of Idaho, and then began his career in Clarkston. “I came up to Moscow to school and just rolled down the hill from there,” he said. While at the UI, he had done some planning work with Asotin County, so looking to the valley for work after he graduated was a natural move. “It wasn’t like it was a strategic action plan,” he said of starting his business in the valley. “It was more this is what was there.” Not that he has any complaints about landing where he did. “Even though there was no deliberate plan at the time, it’s been very deliberate to stay here,” he said. “Because I love the valley and the people and the amenities that are here.” He wasn’t the only landscape architect in the valley when he started his business in Clarkston. “There were a

couple at the time, and I like to say I chased them away,” he said, laughing. “I think it was more attrition or something. It’s not like there wasn’t room for all of us, but they’re no longer in the picture and I just toughed it out.” Brigham established his business by himself, fresh out of college, which is not the way he suggests anyone begin a career. “Stupid,” he said of the way he got started. “The school of hard knocks. “I actually teach professional office practice up at Idaho (UI) and that’s the first thing I say: ‘Go intern with somebody. Learn from another firm. Don’t just start your own firm right out of school,’ ” he said. “So it’s the classic ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ ”

Don Brigham Plus Associates Location: 928 6th St., Clarkston Founded: 1979 Services: Landscape architectural and land use planning firm Sixty percent to 70 percent of Brigham’s clients are public entities, he said, including cities, counties, schools and universities. About one quarter to one third of his work is in the valley, where his biggest long-term client is the city of Lewiston. He’s worked with the city on community development and with the parks and recreation department. Beyond the valley, his work mainly is land use planning with various government entities in eastern Washington and north central Idaho. Brigham worked alone for about 10 years, then had a number of employees, but he said when the last one left he did some soul searching and decided he was more comfortable working by himself. “It just worked out better that way,” he said. “There’s many times I’d love to have employees,” he said, pointing out a handlettered “Employee of the


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