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8 • April 13, 2011 • Snoqualmie Valley Record

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Go Green

Electric ride

Recycle event returns to SMS

The city of North Bend is hosting a special recycling event, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Snoqualmie Middle School, 9200 Railroad Ave., Snoqualmie. This event is open to all King County residents. This program accepts for recycling only household materials. Service providers at the event have the right to refuse any material they deem unacceptable. Some fees may apply. Participants must pay in cash. Do not bring paints, pesticides or household chemicals. A Hazardous Wastemobile event will accept these items, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 22 to 24, at Snoqualmie Elementary School. For information about household hazardous waste, call 206-2964692 or visit www.lhwmp.org. The event is sponsored by Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, King County Solid Waste Division, Washington State Department of Ecology, and Snoqualmie School District No. 410. Directions: Driving on Hwy 202 from North Bend towards Snoqualmie, turn right into school parking lot before Meadowbrook Way. For more information, call (425)-888-7651.

Volt is innovative, environmental and in the Valley BY CAROL LADWIG Staff Reporter

• Professional Dry Cleaning with Organic Solvents • Same Day Service Available • New Equipment • All Cleaning done on-site If you’re too busy, register for our Free Pick Up & Delivery Service

425.888.6246

476242

458 SW Mt Si Blvd. • North Bend

The electronic music that plays when you slide behind the wheel, and the animations on the multi-screen display, are in direct contrast with the machine muscle of this car. But then, so is the label, “electric car.” Chevrolet’s entry into the “green” car market, the new Volt on display at Chaplins Chevrolet in North Bend, is not at all what you might expect to find in an electric car. It’s black, solidly built and sized like a car, with four doors, and seating for four adults. It looked nothing like the eco-friendly go-carts that many (or maybe it’s just me) mentally associate with the label “electric car.” Best of all, it drives like a car. “A lot of the first ones that came out with the electric motor, there wasn’t a lot of get up and go to them,” said Chaplins’ finance and insurance manager Michelle Protzman.

Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Michelle Protzman of Chaplins Chevrolet inspects a 2011 Volt, a fully loaded electric car offered at the Valley dealership. Chaplins is one of the first dealerships in the Northwest to offer the car. “This one, you step on it, and it takes off.” It really does. Acceleration is quick and steady, hills are no problem, the freeway is smooth (and quiet) sailing. “We’re on the crummiest part of the freeway right now and the road noise still isn’t burning your ears out,” Protzman points out during a test drive. The car is so quiet, it’s hard to tell whether it’s running or not. To save power, it actually stops running at stoplights, but starts right up again when you step on the gas. The Volt can travel 35 to 50 miles on a fully-charged battery. Once the electric power is

gone, a traditional gas engine, averaging about 35 miles per gallon, powers the car. An owner can charge the car with a traditional 110 household outlet in about 10 hours, or on a 220 outlet in about four hours. The car tells you what time it will be ready, and how far you can go on an existing charge. Inside, “it’s beautiful,” says Protzman. Many of the controls are touch-activated, and everything is within easy reach. The design is very intuitive, Protzman says. As an example, she described one of her employee’s reactions to the car. “He got in it Monday night when it got here, and then he got out and said, ‘Oh, my gosh, did I just get into a Mac?’” But, the coolest thing about this car is that it’s right here in the Valley at least a full year before Washington dealerships are scheduled to officially start getting the car. Chaplins, Protzman said, is committed to having a Volt on the lot for people to check out from now on, even if they

have to buy them from out-ofstate dealers for more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. They’ve already done it twice. The first Volt, a fully-loaded white version, was on the lot four hours before it sold to a couple in Sammamish. The car is in demand, not just because it’s the next cool thing. “I think people are beginning to take notice as to what we’ve done to our air, and all that other stuff. They’re being more responsible with their choices,” said Protzman. It took Chaplins about a week to get Volt number two, which arrived mid-March. Why go to such trouble? “Because it’s such a special car, and we were just as curious as everyone else and we wanted one up here,” Protzman said. Also, she wanted to demonstrate her staff’s ingenuity in serving customers. “There’s a perception that because we’re a small dealership that we don’t get the cool things,” Protzman said. Not any more.

Yard waste begins in North Bend

478766

Mon-Fri 7am-7pm • Sat 9am-5pm

(Next to North Bend Safeway)

If you have Go Green news, tell the Valley. Submit ideas to editor@valleyrecord.com

The city of North Bend is hosting the 2011 Yard Waste Recycling Program, which runs through October 22. North Bend residents may bring their yard waste to the North Bend Public Works Shop at 1155 E. North Bend Way, 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, April 16, 23, May 7, 21, and June 4 and 18. Residents must show their city utility bills to participate. Yard waste accepted for recycling includes grass, leaves, weeds, and branches and limbs up to three inches in diameter, no longer than three feet. Items not accepted include large branches, sod, dirt, rocks, concrete, asphalt, wood, stumps, trash, construction debris, manure and plastic bags. The yard waste recycling program is sponsored by the Washington Department of Ecology. For additional information, contact Public Works Office Coordinator Barbara Greenwalt at bgreenwalt@northbendwa.gov or (425) 888-7651.


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