Page 1


Bellingham’s Meridian Street area gets new stores, and more are coming BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal ugust was a month of new retail business in north Bellingham. At Sports Authority, which opened Aug. 2 at Bellis Fair Mall, the annual “back to school” shopping frenzy is contributing to strong initial sales, said Jeff Robertson, the store’s manager. But the late-summer sun is another, perhaps larger, business booster. “[Our] outdoors area is doing really well with the weather being the way it is,” Robertson said. Several large-scale stores in the busy commercial areas around Meridian Street have recently opened. And several others are expected to move in over the next few months. WinCo Foods, the discount grocer that operates more than 80 stores in the western U.S., opened Aug. 15 in the former location of Joe’s Sporting Goods at 300 E. Bellis Fair Parkway. Nearby, Carpet Liquidators is remodeling a nearly 20,000-square-foot location that was once home to a Good Guys electronics store. The carpet and flooring retailer has five locations in the Puget Sound area. Its future building on Meridian Street has been mostly empty since the California-based Good Guys chain closed its Bellingham store in 2005, several years after the company was purchased by CompUSA and eventually phased out entirely. A few blocks to the south, a building permit has been issued for a new Sears Hometown Store


See RETAIL, Page 22

Year 21 No. 9

SEPT 2013

See THE DIRT, Page 14

theBUZZ Semiahmoo Resort back in action The popular Blaine hotel and golf resort re-opened and began taking new reservations in August. Its new owners will continue making updates to the facility over the next several months.

Local home sales jumped in July Closed sales on singlefamily homes and condos in Whatcom County were up more than 44 percent, compared to the same month last year. Home prices, however, are falling slightly. (See p. 6)

Bellingham gives OK to marijuana retail


Addie Moss tests and adjusts the rear derailleur on a customer’s mountain bike at the new Sports Authority in Bellingham’s Bellis Fair Mall on Friday, Aug. 9.

BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal ost Cutter is closing its two grocery stores in Bellingham, one on Meridian Street and the other in the Sunset Square shopping center, later this year, according to the stores’ parent company, The Markets LLC. An Aug. 16 news release


Council hopefuls talk waterfront, economy

Local sales rising

Cost Cutter to close Bellingham stores

Whatcom County Q1 total retail, 2009-2013 2013: $757.1 million


2009: $624.4 million $600M $400M

Bellingham Non-Bellingham

Local election coverage continues with interviews with candidates running for the Bellingham City Council. What do the candidates think about the city’s future economic hopes? (See p. 8) See BUZZ, Page 3

Price: $1.00

SOURCE: Washington State Department of Revenue



City Council lifts moratorium on recreational marijuana business in city limits, just in time for state regulators to delay final action on a licensing and governing system for the new cannabis retail market. (See. p. 6)



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September 2013

CONTENTS September 2013

Feel confident with your home financing decision As a responsible lending leader, we work closely with you to help you understand your home financing options so you can make informed decisions. Whether you’re buying your first home, second home or refinancing your current home, we have the products and services to help you reach your homebuying goals. EVAN MARCZYNSKI PHOTO | THE BELLINGHAM BUSINESS JOURNAL

Call us to explore your options.

Clean hospital gowns move along an overhead conveyer system at Northwest Health Care Linen in Bellingham. (See p. 14) FEATURES

4) The Unity Group sells assets to global insurance firm

Local independent insurance brokerage grew to be one of Washington’s largest.

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Barry Weafer Home Mortgage Consultant ���-���-���� NMLSR ID ������

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6) Regulators delay decision on marijuana retail More time is needed to set rules and regulations, they say.

14) Inside the machines at Northwest Health Care Linen Part of “The Dirt,” a recurring series on Whatcom County’s dirty jobs. ELECTION Q&A

8) Candidates for the Bellingham City Council Continuing coverage of this year’s local elections.


This month’s contributors include Patti Rowlson (p. 15), Jennifer Shelton (p. 16), and Amanda Brock (p. 17).

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Michael Adams Home Mortgage Consultant ���-���-���� NMLSR ID �����

Scott Ask Home Mortgage Consultant ���-���-���� NMLSR ID ������


Market Indicators (p. 7), People (p.13) and Public Records (p. 18). The Planner section is omitted this month due to space constraints.

Connect with us online

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Brad Roen Home Mortgage Consultant ���-���-���� NMLSR ID ������

Susan Templeton Home Mortgage Consultant ���-���-���� NMLSR ID �����

���� Cornwall Ave, Suite ���, Bellingham, WA ����� Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. � ���� Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID ������. AS������ 3/13-6/13

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September 2013


Center for New Media to start local TV broadcasts A local media group, Center for New Media, has announced it is in talks to begin programming a broadcast television channel that will focus on Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties. The channel, KBCB 24.3, has a digital footprint spanning from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Snohomish County, south of Everett, but the group’s plans currently have a focus on Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties. The Center for New Media is detailing the technical needs of the new channel, according to the organization’s executive director, Suzanne Blais, and community talks have already begun with a Citizens’ Advisory Board, made up of key advisers and stakeholders to start gauging broader interest in the new project. The process is still in its early stages, but the organization has already begun gathering local programming. “We’re excited to have this kind of an opportunity, and we’re grateful that KBCB has a corporate vision that really includes the local community,” Blais said. “We currently have two FCC licensed TV channels in Bellingham, neither of which have local programming. We have an opportunity to see ourselves on this new channel. If you are a content creator, and you’d like viewers in our region to see your work, we’d like to talk to you.” Andy Wilcoxson, KBCB’s station manager, said KBCB strongly supports local programming, and the station is looking


BBJToday.com forward to seeing what can be created. According to the Center for New Media, the organization is “a unique public-private partnership formed to build community, provide media production education, research new media concepts, create vibrant programming, promote media literacy education, and distribute original voices through sustainable and exciting channels.”

Local photographer launches regional stock-image site A local professional photographer has launched a business that offers more than 5,000 stock images of northwest Washington landscapes, landmarks and lifestyles. NW Stock Photos, founded by Peter James, serves clients seeking professional photographs for editorial, marketing, corporate and fine-art uses. Clients will likely include businesses, publications, websites, local governments, interior designers, photography collectors and more, James said. With more than 20 years of professional photography experience, James curated more than 70,000 images he has taken throughout northwest Washington to create his company’s portfolio, which can be viewed online at www.NWStockPhotos. com. He also has hired models to appear in some images and can offer model releases that allow commercial use of these photos. All photos can be purchased online as royalty-free instant downloads, or as fineart prints. “I want to continually explore the entire state and work with other photographers to create a one-stop shop for beautiful images of Washington,” James said.

NW Stock Photos’ coverage includes Whatcom and Skagit counties, as well as a selection of photos from the San Juan Islands, Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula. James said he also plans to expand his website within a year to include images from Snohomish and King counties, as well as Eastern Washington.

Family Care Network signs letter of intent for new affiliation Bellingham’s Family Care Network is finalizing plans to integrate the Mount Vernon-based North Cascade Family Physicians into its network of family-practice health clinics. The two companies signed a formal letter of intent to the Washington State Department of Health regarding their affiliation on Aug. 2. The integration should take effect in December, according to a news release from Family Care Network. North Cascade will remain locally owned and independent. “The joy of family medicine comes from our partnership with those we serve. We are able to focus on what is best for each person, without regard to expectations imposed by large systems,” said Dr. David

Lynch, vice president and medical director for Family Care Network. “The team at NCFP has always understood that, and we look forward to working together.” The Whatcom County-based Family Care Network was founded in 1999 by a group of local family physicians. It currently has 59 family physicians, 14 mid-level practitioners and more than 300 employees located in 10 offices throughout the area. The organization’s offices include: Bellingham Bay Family Medicine, Birch Bay Family Medicine, Center for Medical Testing and After Hours Urgent Care, Everson Medical Clinic, Family Health Associates, Ferndale Family Medical Center, Lynden Family Medicine, North Sound Family Medicine, Squalicum Family Medicine, and Whatcom Family Medicine.

State offers new incentive for layoff avoidance Washington State’s Employment Security Department is offering employers a new special incentive to participate in a layoffavoidance program. Since 1983, Washington’s Shared-Work Program has allowed employers to temporarily reduce the hours of their workers, and the employees can claim partial See BUZZ, Page 19

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September 2013


The Unity Group sells off assets after decades of independent ownership in Bellingham


This historical photo shows the downtown Bellingham office of Griffin, Garrett, Johanson and Schacht, the insurance firm that would later rename itself as The Unity Group in the late 1980s. to major national and global firms, said Daniel Holst, executive vice president of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington, a trade group. Holst noted the 2011 sale of Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance, which has offices in Bellingham and Lynden, to a regional subsidiary of Brown & Brown Inc., a top national insurance intermediary organization based in Florida. Snapper Shuler Kenner, which was established locally in 1925, still operates under its original business name. Although firms with the backing of large, global companies offer strong competition for smaller, independently owned insurance brokerages, Holst said he doesn’t believe

these recent acquisitions will have a negative impact on business for small-scale operators. “Historically, small and independent agencies have done very well competing in the marketplace,” he said. Executives with The Unity Group and Hub Northwest said they expect their consolidation will strengthen their existing business in Washington state. “Hub and Unity share a common vision that is customer-centric,” said Barry Hanson, in the Aug. 2 news release. “With the addition of Hub’s value-added services, our team of professionals will be able to provide

See UNITY, Page 23

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ajor change came to one of Bellingham’s largest local insurance brokerages last month. The Unity Group, which was also one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Washington state, was acquired by a regional subsidiary of Hub International Limited, a firm with reach across the U.S, Canada and into South America. The acquisition, which was made by Hub International Northwest, was announced in an Aug. 2 news release. The Unity Group, founded in Bellingham in 1929, is a full-service insurance brokerage offering an array of products and services, including commercial and personal insurance. It specializes in large-group employee benefit programs, as well as in real-estate and education-related accounts, according to the company. With the move, The Unity Group’s president, Barry Hanson, will shift to an executive vice president position with Hub Northwest, whose main offices are in Bothell, Wash. Hanson will lead Hub’s Bellingham operations and report to Andy Prill, the regional subsidiary’s president and CEO.

A local representative with The Unity Group directed media inquiries to Hub’s main press office based in Chicago, Ill., where the company’s headquarters are located. Cara Siegel, Hub’s media relations director, who responded to questions via email, said The Unity Group’s current clients will likely see few changes with the transition. Unity’s existing sales and service staff will continue handling local accounts and client relationships, she said. Robert Dale, who served as CEO for The Unity Group, will continue with the company after the transition, Siegel said, although his new capacity with Hub was not made clear. Siegel said that, for now, The Unity Group will retain its company name and identity, operating as a division of Hub Northwest. “We will eventually make a phase-out of the name over time, as we think is right in the marketplace,” Siegel said. While company mergers and consolidations have been common in the insurance industry over the past few decades, a more unique trend has begun emerging in Whatcom County with long-established independent brokerages selling their assets

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Private-sector jobs growing Local jobless rate at 7.3 percent in July

BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal hatcom County’s economy continued to add private-sector jobs in July, while the local unemployment rate stayed below levels from 2012, according to recent estimates from the Washington State Employment Security Department. The county’s private sector added an estimated 1,900 jobs in July, compared to job totals from the same month one year ago. Year-over-year growth was particularly strong in local leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and retail industries. Initial estimates put Whatcom County’s unemployment rate at 7.3 percent in July, equaling a revised rate from June 2013 and below a 7.7 percent jobless rate in July 2012. Anneliese Vance-Sher-


man, a regional labor economist with the Employment Security Department, said the overall employment picture in Whatcom County showed a number of positive signs in July. But one caveat remains. Growth was sluggish in the county’s overall workforce, which measures the total number of people employed and unemployed in the area, according to the state’s recent estimates. Whatcom County lost an estimated 1,660 people from its workforce—an overall drop of 1.6 percent—between July 2013 and July 2012. From June to July of this year, the workforce shed 960 people. “That’s kind of been the concerning point for me,” Vance-Sherman said. “Fundamentally, we want to see more people entering the workforce.” Among local industries that added jobs in July,

COST CUTTER | FROM FRONT PAGE from The Markets said Cost Cutter is transitioning away from large-scale stores that were once mainstays of the supermarket company, citing a shift in customer preference toward smaller grocery locations that are easier to navigate. The Cost Cutters are two of Bellingham’s largest grocery stores, as well as the two largest in the Cost Cutter chain. The Meridian location comprises 73,000 square feet; the Sunset Square store is 67,000 square feet. Both were built more than 20 years ago. The stores will stay open while they sell off inventory. Their employees will

be placed in other stores, according to union contracts and job availability, The Markets said, although specific details were not made available. Cost Cutter has two other locations, one in Blaine and one in Ferndale. The Markets operates a variety of other grocery stores in Whatcom County and around western Washington, including three locations under The Markets name and a Food Pavilion in Lynden. A new retail tenant, whose identity was not disclosed, will move into the Meridian store once it closes, according to The Markets.

compared to employment statistics from one year ago, goods production added 900 (up 6 percent), leisure and hospitality added 700 (up 7.7 percent), manufacturing added 600 (up 6.7 percent), retail added 500 (up 4.7 percent), construction added 300 (up 5.1 percent) and professional and business services added 200 (up 2.9 percent). A significant drop in local government jobs, both on a state and municipal or county level, was reported between June 2013 and July 2013. Vance-Sherman attributed that to seasonal job losses in the education field, as local public schools, colleges and universities closed or scaled back for summer break. She said such a trend was typical in areas with a large number of education workers. While its month-to-

See JOBS, Page 23 Safeway Inc. will take over the Sunset Square location’s pharmacy. Cost Cutter’s current pharmacy customers will be able to transition to the Safeway pharmacy without service interruption, The Markets said. The current Cost Cutter pharmacy staff will remain with Safeway after the Sunset Square location closes. The Markets has no further comment on the closures at this time, according to the company’s news release.

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September 2013

Regulators delay action on state’s marijuana market rules After gathering public comments, officials say more time is needed


BY JERRY CORNFIELD The (Everett) Daily Herald

tate regulators are going to spend more time writing rules for a legal marijuana industry in order to answer questions such as how much pot will be grown and how many retailers may sell it in each county. Members of the Washington State Liquor Control Board have delayed final action by two months to make changes prompted by what they heard in public meetings in Everett and other cities in early August. That means those desiring a license to grow, process or sell pot will have to wait until November to apply. The state had been on track to approve the licensing rules today and start accepting applications in September. Even with the delay, the legal framework for taxing marijuana when it’s harvested, shipped to distributors and sold at licensed stores will be in place by Dec. 1, the deadline set by voters when they passed Initiative 502 last year. Another 60 days won’t upset the timetable for launching an industry next year to allow adults to legally buy pot for personal enjoyment. Agency director Rick Garza recommended taking extra time to get it as right as they can. “The process is working exactly as it should,” Garza said, in a statement. “Potential licensees, local governments,

law enforcement and the general public all deserve clarity and certainty in the rules.” “Our stakeholders are not telling us to hurry up. In fact, they are asking us to consider their comments for the proposed rules,” he said. “Their input now will only help strengthen and improve the rules that will govern Washington’s system of legal marijuana,” he said. Those closely tracking the process will notice several changes when the revised rules come out Sept. 4 for public comment. One of the most significant is the state will now set a cap on the total amount of marijuana to be grown in the state, said spokesman Brian Smith. The agency also is going to clarify how much product each licensee can have on hand at any time, he said. There will be clarity on the potential number of retailers to be licensed in Snohomish County, though their specific locations won’t be known, he said. Consultants are working through a slew of computations involving population density and various numbers of stores statewide to come up with those figures, he said. Under one scenario, if 330 stores are permitted—roughly the number of liquor stores operating before privatization—Snohomish County could be home to between 30 and 37 pot shops, according to a June report prepared by the state’s consultant, BOTEC. If only 200 are allowed statewide, the county could be home for between 19 and

Bellingham drops moratorium on pot retail BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal Bellingham City Council members voted unanimously on an emergency ordinance during their Aug. 12 meeting that lifted a moratorium on marijuana-retail businesses, leading the way for new cannabis-related enterprises to open in Bellingham after the state’s Liquor Control Board begins issuing licenses. Council member Jack Weiss was absent from the vote. With new interim rules regarding marijuana business in Bellingham, the ctiy will permit recreational pot producers to operate in industrial-zoned areas of the city. Retail operators will be allowed in both industrial and commercial areas.

22. For comparison, there were 25 stateowned and contract liquor stores in the county before privatization. The report also estimates how far someone might have to travel to find a pot store. With 200 stores, users would, on average, find themselves living within six miles of the nearest retailer. After the revised rules are filed, the state will hold a public hearing Oct. 9. Final approval would come a week later and the rules taking effect Nov. 18. That same day the state would begin accepting applications for three types of licenses — growing, processing into products like brownies, and selling through a

The city’s legal staff plans to begin immediately creating permanent rules to govern recreational marijuana business in Bellingham. Council members voted to approve the moratorium, also unanimously, in early July, on recommendation from a city attorney. The city’s legal team reasoned that such a move would have allowed city officials more time to decide how such an industry would be regulated locally. But the move sparked outcry from supporters of marijuana retail.

Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com. retail outlet. Applications for all three would be accepted for 30 days. The state is not setting a limit on licenses for producing and processing marijuana. “There should be room for everyone,” Smith said. The state doesn’t expect to limit the number of retail licenses, he said. If more people apply than the number of available locations in an area, the state would hold some form of a lottery to award licenses.

Jerry Cornfield is a staff writer for The Daily Herald in Everett, Wash., a partner publication of The Bellingham Business Journal.

Whatcom County home sales rose 44.2 percent in July BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal Sales of single-family homes and condominiums in Whatcom County are continuing to trend upward this summer, according to market statistics from July 2013 reported by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Local NMLS brokers reported 323 closed residential sales in July 2013, a 44.2 percent increase from 224 closings in July 2012. Pending sales in Whatcom County are also up, according to the NMLS. This July, brokers reported 365 pending sales, a 13.7 percent increase from 321 during the same month last year.

Whatcom’s residential sale prices, both average and median, drop slightly when figures from July 2013 are directly compared to those reported in July 2012, NMLS stats show. The median price on a residential sales in Whatcom County was $252,000 in July 2013, down from $254,800 during July 2012. The average price of a local home was $280,677 this July, a drop from $285,147 during the same month last year. But price averages from the beginning of 2013 through July are above those reported during the same time period in 2012. New active listings Whatcom County’s available residential properties rose sharply in July, according to the NMLS. Local

brokers reported 511 new active listings in July 2013, a 28.1 percent increase from 399 in July 2012. Yet the total inventory of available homes remains at about the same level as it did last year. The jump in sales activity was attributed in part to a recent rise in mortgage interest rates, according to a news release from the NMLS, as more buyers move to finalize home purchases quickly out of fear that rates might increase further as the year continues. The average fixed rate on a 30-year mortgage was 4.37 percent at the end of July 2013, up from a rate of 3.41 percent at the beginning of the year, according to

Freddie Mac. The supply of available homes remained thin across the region, particularly in job centers, according to the NMLS. Whatcom County has a 4.5-month supply of single-family homes and condos, according to the July 2013 statistics—above the regional average of 2.6 months. The NMLS says that in a normal market, a healthy supply level favoring neither buyers nor sellers is around six months. Across the 21 Washington state counties the NMLS serves, the median price on closed residential sales was $282,363 in July 2013; the average price was $348,291.

Sound Publishing ends rack distribution of Little Nickel BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal Sound Publishing Inc., parent company of The Bellingham Business Journal, has announced it will cease rack distribution of its Little Nickel classified publication, and instead offer the classified’s advertising inside select community newspapers around western Washington.

The change takes effect in September. According to the company, Sound Publishing has established five zones in King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties that feature newspapers that will carry Little Nickel ads. Each zone has a circulation between 50,000 and 80,000. Advertisers will be able to place ads in any or all zones or in individual Sound Publishing newspapers. “Our Nickel advertising clients will cer-

tainly see benefit of having their advertising message delivered directly to homes. And our readers will no longer have to remember to pick up a Little Nickel at a rack. This change just makes sense,” said Gloria Fletcher, Sound Publishing’s president, in an Aug. 8 news release. As part of the business change, the Little Nickel offices in Everett, Tacoma and Portland, Ore., will be closed. Many Little

Nickel employees will be retained and will move into other Sound Publishing offices throughout the Puget Sound area, according to the company. No other details were made publicly available. The Little Nickel was founded in Seattle in 1971. It has a weekly circulation of 166,747, according to Sound Publishing—16,372 in Whatcom County.

September 2013



MARKET INDICATORS Tracking the local economy

Jobs: Summer employment picture shows improvement from last year Jobless benefit claims

Unemployment rate

July 2012: 7.7% (revised) | July 2013: 7.3% (initial) Not seasonally adjusted

July 2012: 80,500 | July 2013: 82,500 (initial)

Includes continued benefit claims


9% 8.5 8% 7.5 7% 6.5 6% 5.5 5

90K 80K 70K 60K 50K 40K 30K 20K 10K 0

3000 2000 1000

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013



Total nonfarm employment

July 2012: 2,477 | July 2013: 2,036

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


July 2012: 47 | July 2013: 43

Not seasonally adjusted

Includes Chapters 7, 11, 13 60



J FMAM J J A S O N D J FMAM J J 2012 2013


J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


Spending: Vehicle registrations tick downward compared to last July Sales-tax distribution

July 2012: $1.5 million | July 2013: $1.7 million Includes basic and optional local sales tax to Bellingham $2M

Motor vehicle registrations





250 J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013






J F M A M J 2013



Border traffic

April 2012: 549,520 | April 2013: 545,964

July 2012: $0.97 | July 2013: $0.97 $1.10 $1.00 $0.90 $0.80 $0.70 $0.60 $0.50 $0.40 $0.30 $0.20 $0.10

1250 1000


Canadian dollar

July 2012: 1,202 | July 2013: 988

Includes monthly averages at market closing

Includes southbound passenger-vehicle crossings into Whatcom County 700K 600K 500K 400K 300K 200K 100K 0

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A 2012 2013


Housing: Home and condo sellers seeing burst of activity in 2013 Home sales prices

Average: July 2012: $285,187 | July 2013: $280,667 Median: July 2012: $254,800 | July 2013: $252,000 Average price


Closed residential sales

Pending residential sales

Includes single-family homes and condominiums

Includes single-family homes and condominiums

July 2012: 224 | July 2013: 323

350 300 250

$250K Median price








50 J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


July 2012: 321 | July 2013: 365

400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0

Foreclosures & delinquencies Delinquency rate: June 2012: 4.4% | June 2013: 3.6% Foreclosure rate: June 2012: 1.5% | June 2013: 1.4%

4.5% 4% 3.5% 3% 2.5% 2% 1.5% 1% 0.5% J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


Delinquency rate

Foreclosure rate

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J 2012 2013


Other factors: Unincorporated-county building activity on the rise Airport traffic

July 2012: 55,407 | July 2013: 56,992

Includes total enplanements at Bellingham International Airport 70K

Cruise terminal traffic July 2012: 3,699 | July 2013: 3,636

Includes inbound/outbound passengers at Bellingham Cruise Terminal 4500

60K 50K




30K 1500

20K 10K

500 J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


Bellingham permit values

July 2012: $44.8 million | July 2013: $8.8 million $45M $40M $35M $30M $25M $20M $15M $10M $5M

Includes total building-permit valuation in Bellingham

Whatcom permit values

July 2012: $6.7 million | July 2013: $12.8 million

Includes building-permit values in unincorporated areas of Whatcom County $25M $20M $15M $10M $5M

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013


J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J 2012 2013




September 2013

ELECTION Q&A The Bellingham City Council The Questions 1. With City Council now beginning its deliberations on plans for the Waterfront District, do you think the process is on the right track? What contributions do you want to make as the plans move forward? 2. What should the council’s strategy be when it comes to bolstering future economic development and vitality across Bellingham? 3. How would you describe the current relationship between the city’s government and local business owners and developers? And how do you plan to engage with the local business community?

The Candidates 4TH WARD

Clayton Petree


Pinky Vargas

Bob Burr

Roxanne Murphy


Michael Lilliquist 6th Ward

Clayton Petree (4th Ward)

www.claytonpetree.com facebook.com/claytonforcouncil

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Question 1 The process for deliberating the draft plans for the Waterfront District are beginning to be on track so long as the draft does not receive a rubber stamp of approval. The land is finally undergoing cleanup and there is finally a draft plan presented for public comment. It was important for both the city and port to hold public hearings, and now they both can incorporate the ideas presented to them

into the draft plan. At the city’s public hearing, I asked for the city and port to hold joint meetings so that the two jurisdictions could work collaboratively on this important redevelopment plan together at the same time in the same room. At the port’s hearing last month, it was announced that the city and port will hold at least one joint meeting. I believe this is a step in the right direction. There are several important changes I would like to make. The first is not

Gene Knutson 2nd Ward

a change. I would like to ensure that the cleanup remains to the “unrestricted” level on both port and city property, as currently planned for. Unrestricted level cleanup is a much more thorough cleanup level than “industrial,” and helps to ensure public and environmental health. The city and port should not stray from the unrestricted cleanup standard. In a similar vein, we must look for places to increase wildlife habitat where possible. The log pond, Cornwall Beach and the hard shore along the railway all offer

See Q&A, Page 9

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September 2013

Q&A | FROM 8

tremendous habitat opportunity. Second, I have strong concerns about industrial gentrification. This is where important living-wage jobs are displaced for other things like office buildings and meeting centers that can and should be located in the nearby downtown or Old Town areas. For this reason, the “downtown waterfront” zoned areas should be reduced to an area around the Granary Building with a reasonable amount of land to create a public space with limited mixed uses that are compatible with the nearby marine trades and industrial water uses. The proposed parkland can be reconfigured to provide a buffer between uses and potentially increase public

access to water. Along the same lines, the ASB pond should be examined for its highest and best use. If the highest and best use is as a marina, we should consider purposing the ASB marina, located next to the marine trades and waterfront industrial areas, to compatible uses such as the local fishing fleet to help reduce pressure to gentrify the marine trades area adjacent to the ASB. We can then use the existing marina for expanded recreational areas because it is close to the amenities recreational boaters want such as restaurants, salons, hotels, and general retail. Question 2 Bellingham must work to speed up the regulatory process to a reasonable length of time. Often, developers and expanding business

Pinky Vargas (4th Ward)

www.votepinkyvargas.com facebook.com/pinkyvargasforbellinghamcitycouncil Question 1 We have an extraordinary opportunity to reclaim and revitalize our waterfront. The journey thus far has been long and slow and the community is getting anxious and wants to start



seeing some action. Hard choices need to be made on cleanup and development while retaining the culture of our city. I have a lot of experience with large budgets and long, complicated projects, and I

owners spend inordinate amounts of time and money waiting for the city. One real-world example is a redevelopment project that recently occurred downtown, the very place we want to encourage growth to occur. The issue was street trees. One city department would only give approval with one type of tree and another city department with a different type of tree. This unnecessarily cost the project a significant amount of money in “engineering,” and an unreasonable amount of time to sort a simple issue out that should have not occurred in the first place. Other cities such as Ferndale and Tacoma have achieved this goal, and Bellingham can too. Another important strategy to bolstering future economic development is to allow the land planned for

city growth to be used in an efficient manner, when the market demands. About one half of Bellingham’s planned future job space is in the general area of the airport. Property owners, adjacent to the city limits and next to the airport, have been working for over a decade to be annexed into the city. Unfortunately, Bellingham has not acted, stunting economic development and harming those willing to invest in our community in a positive manner at the same time.

can say that this is probably the hardest part. It’s when you’ve been looking at the problem for so long you can’t even tell if you have the answer or not anymore, and the community is on top of you, pressuring you to make a decision and to start taking action. It is very easy at this point to want to grab the closest answer and put it into

action. What I want to bring to the table is a clear head and a strong vision. I envision a waterfront for our community and guests with access to recreation, business and sunsets. A well-constructed waterfront can bring tourism, recreation and draw businesses. We want action now, but we also want to make sure that it is the right action. What

Question 3 First, I would like to take the opportunity to mention that if elected to Bellingham City Council, I would be the only self-employed business owner on the council. I believe that brings with it an important perspective that would otherwise be lacking

on council. The relationship between the city and local business has been very strained over the past few decades. Bellingham has lost a number of important businesses and opportunities to nearby cities and counties because of this. Mayor Linville has been diligently working to repair the relationship between Bellingham and the business community, and I applaud her efforts. There are several ways I will engage with the local business community. First, the most important thing local government can do is to listen to their local business and building community when they speak. I believe business knows their business, and while that may sound obvious to readers, I do not think our local government operates

with that attitude. I also believe most local business owners and builders are here by choice and want to keep the community healthy as they grow their businesses or build and redevelop in Bellingham. The second way I will engage with the local business community is with an open mind. As a local business owner myself, I understand that just because the city has always done things a certain way does not mean it is the best way to help our community thrive. Last, I will always keep my door open to new business that may want to locate in Bellingham. Economic growth is important to a healthy, stable city, and I will always make time to welcome potential new business in Bellingham.

is best for Bellingham? Not just today, but tomorrow, and for many tomorrows to come. Let’s build a strong, beautiful waterfront that we are proud of and that is accessible for everyone.

not take care of our own, then new businesses won’t come. We need to make sure that our local businesses can thrive and that they aren’t hindered or deterred in anyway by the city. Community prosperity means we encourage all types of businesses: manufacturing, artists,

Question 2 Our strategy should very simply be to support our local businesses. If we can-

See Q&A, Page 10


Q&A | FROM 9

agriculture, marine, technology, recreation and tourism. Through collaboration we can support economic development, entrepreneurship and big ideas. I will use my project management and problem solving skills to work in fostering economic vibrancy.

BBJToday.com When businesses don’t do well, the entire community suffers. When we nurture our businesses, it brings us all prosperity. Question 3 There has been a shift for the better in these relationships, but there is room for growth. Based on my experience working with the local businesses com-

Bob Burr (At Large)

facebook.com/bobburr4bellingham Question 1 Even though planning for the waterfront has been going on for a decade now, I believe the plan being deliberated upon by the council is seriously off track. The port and the City Planning Commission have not heeded the testimony given by the public. And, as testimony at recent City Council and port meetings indicates, the public is upset at having its input ignored. Having proceeded at a snail’s pace, things are now going too fast. Bids are being taken for sub-area development before the overall plan has been approved. An attempt is being made to amend the well-researched Shoreline Management Plan to conform to the Waterfront Plan, which has not yet passed public scrutiny.

The current plan is to have the Waterfront District Plan all signed off upon before the new council is sworn in. I hope that is not the case. As a council member, I will insist that the plan contain a community benefits agreement that would require those purchasing or leasing space to provide living wages and benefits to those they employ. Bellingham has a rate of poverty nearly double the statewide figure. The waterfront development must not exacerbate that situation. The waterfront needs to be a working waterfront that attracts primarily those businesses that depend on water access. Shipping opportunities abound. The EIS (environmental impact statement) for the

Roxanne Murphy (At Large) www.electroxanne.com facebook.com/electroxanne Question 1 I support the community input that’s being provided to the City Council and the Port Commission regarding ensuring that the environmental remediation of the

property is completed to the highest standard. I like the way the current plan works to balance various interests in terms of park development, open space, environmental pro-

September 2013

munity, they feel there is a lack of collaboration and an uncertainty in dealing with the city. I am currently very engaged with our business community in my professional role. I am a member of Sustainable Connections, the Bellingham Chamber, The Northwest Business Club, The Whatcom Business Alliance and The Bell-

ingham City Club. I also attend meetings with the Technology Alliance Group, Building Industry Association of Whatcom County and the Northwest Economic Council. I make it a priority to engage with as many business organizations as possible, regardless of political affiliation. We have many of the same concerns and

needs. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and engage in the courageous conversations and actions needed to engage City Council in the critical work needed to help our city thrive. My campaign is built on relationships and I pledge to be a liaison with the business community. I will bring my energy and action to

City Council, to help make it easier for businesses to do well and for our residents to find good jobs. I recently heard a vision statement for a community that I thought was very applicable to Bellingham: Beautiful, prosperous and neighborly for future generations. I am dedicated to finding solutions to live by that vision.

waterfront is outdated. Habitat and habitat connectivity have not been sufficiently considered. And, the cleanup is mostly a “cover up,” meeting minimum state standards but still bothersome to the community that wants hazardous materials removed rather than buried. My contribution would be to represent the public desires. These could be easily determined in a survey.

posal with potential participation by the city in a parking structure is precisely the type of development the city needs. The city’s permitting processes are burdensome. Until they are updated and reduced, business relocation and startups in Bellingham will be deterred. The new economic development chapter to the city’s comprehensive plan calls for more outreach by the city to business. That is, however, an executive rather than legislative function. The council sets the city budget, however, and is the group that must ultimately balance the dollars spent on various city functions. Promoting and incenting business interests must be done within the context of the community as a whole and its values. Vitality is the key word. Adding more poverty level jobs hurts vitality.

Question 3 I would characterize the relationship as improving for developers and large businesses and as sad for small business. Mayor Linville is clearly somebody the developers can work with. She is pro-growth— some would say too much so. There needs to be more sunlight on the deals she cuts, such as that with the new Costco site. Fortunately, once established, most small businesses in Bellingham do not have to deal often with the city. Those that must too often find the city non-user friendly. It is bureaucratic. It has too many and outdated regulations. Permitting has too many hurdles. Some city employees have attitude problems and are nonresponsive. My engagement with the local business community will be primarily of the listening mode. One of the few

things I pride myself upon is the ability to listen well to, and interact well with, different constituencies. My history as a corporate executive and entrepreneur will be very helpful. My professional background is in research and development. I will attempt to get the city to do more surveying of individuals and businesses, particularly of the posttransaction variety. The last survey conducted was in 2010, and it showed declining business owner satisfaction with the city. I believe the city was too quick to dismiss this result as a function of poor economic conditions at the time. Another program I would push would be a mystery shopper program, where professional researchers pose as those applying for permits and report back on the experience.

community. Lastly, after canvassing many neighborhoods in Bellingham as a part of my candidacy, I believe that it’s critical to turn plans into action regarding the waterfront redevelopment. So many Bellingham residents have said that they’d simply like to see some form

of action on the waterfront, which is why I think it’s important to open recreation trails as soon as possible. This could be just one way of thanking the community for their input, and showing that there will be the right kind of future redevelopment action in this area.

and retain development and businesses in Bellingham. I also have a background in creating the most effective community outreach to citizens so they can have the best input opportunities and understanding about current or future developments. I would ensure that this occurs so that economic development could happen with enhanced community understanding and involvement.

Question 2 The waterfront is critical for Bellingham’s future economic development. It can be a magnet for living wage jobs. It should not be a place for high-rise condos or office buildings. Bellingham needs more vertical growth, but that growth should be downtown. The urban village approach is sound on paper, but not practical when neighborhoods adopt “NIMBY” stances. The Logos Bible Software protection and maritime job development. Additional research should be done to see if the area is fit for residential development due to liquefaction considerations. I also support the waterfront redevelopment plans so our people can have the kind of living-wage jobs that are so needed in our

James R. Doran attorney at law

Question 2 I would like to see and would support the city of Bellingham creating sensible economic development. I’d work to make sure this economic development happens in the areas where it makes the most sense to grow, including the waterfront, downtown, Fairhaven, Barkley Village, Old Town, along the Guide, Sunset Square and so on. Focusing development in these areas will also help with the important task of preserving Bellingham’s amazing neighborhoods. I’m the candidate in this race with the strongest economic development background after working for the city of Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department. These experiences would be key in helping to attract

Question 3 I think the city could do more to improve its relationship with local business owners and developers, and I would love to assist in these areas. I’m the most poised to offer this support with my professional background and it’s an honor to report that I’ve been endorsed by the Whatcom County Association of Realtors, which includes developers. This organization validated my understanding of how these relationships can be improved in various ways, including better outreach to the business community, policy evaluations, zoning considerations, reliable per-

See Q&A, Page 11

September 2013

Q&A | FROM 10

mitting and more effective public-private partnerships. I’d also like to help the

city enhance its relationships and support of our small business community, which again, could occur through outreach and better policies, zoning and permit-

Michael Lilliquist (6th Ward) Current incumbent, running unopposed Question 1 I regret to say that the entire process has been flawed from the beginning, but I still hold out hope that the final result will be what Bellingham needs to move forward. To succeed, we need to get enough of the details right and keep the big picture in balance to provide for the many different (and sometimes competing) goals our community seeks. Under the latest plans, just over half of the 237 total acres will remain zoned for industrial and marine activities. That’s good. Those areas are vital to the “working waterfront” that we need to keep and create higher-wage, skilled jobs that have been the waterfront’s backbone. The “downtown” portion of the site, which has drawn the most speculation and debate, is only 15 percent of the total area, yet those 37 acres create the opportunity to expand downtown by half again as much. Again, that’s good. The central message of the Waterfront Futures Group is to reconnect Bellingham to the bay by providing enough public access to the shoreline, either visually through nearby development, or physically through parks and trails. The draft plans calls for dedication of up to 33 acres for public parks and trails, most of it on or near the shoreline. That’s also good. This is close to the balance we need: a working waterfront and downtown expansion and public access and a healthier shoreline. Problems remain, however. Here are some of the things I am looking at: - First, City Council has asked repeatedly for innovative approaches to transportation and public infrastructure—to build a 21st Century city that is not dominated by cars, streets, parking lots, and limited by outdated energy and stormwater systems, for example. I see very little of that in the plans, yet we have a blank slate before us that would make this easy and more affordable. - Second, we have heard contradictory calls for greater public access to the



water and also for restoration of the shoreline habitat. Those two are not truly compatible. Similarly, some people think it is good to put buildings right along the waterway, but this blocks other views, lowering property values, and puts healthier shorelines at risk. We should be prepared to separate uses with some distance, and give a little rather than try to “have it all.” - Third, although the final tally of public parks is large, only one-tenth of that will be dedicated for public use during the first two phases. The bulk of the parkland, ultimately, is not coming from the port, but is already under city ownership at the “Cornwall Beach” site. - I also remain skeptical about the level of review and thought that has gone into the port’s marina idea. Even more troubling for

ting. In closing, I will always encourage each of our residents to support our city in such a simple way: Buy locally! me, I don’t see an adequate review on the horizon. We need to know if this is still a good idea, not just a forgone conclusion. - I also remain concerned about financing the public investments from the city. Every single model I have seen since 2004 shows a troubling funding gap. The most recent version has $37.5 million of “new funding to be identified” that will be necessary to complete the $142 million build-out of phase three over the next 20 years. - Finally, everything depends upon a cleanup process that instills confidence in private investors and potential buyers, and that process is not under the city’s control. The port seems to believe that meeting required environmental standards is “good enough,” but I believe our future depends upon going beyond the minimum. If we are depending upon unprecedented levels of private investment to follow

To read last month’s election interviews with the four candidates running for the Port of Bellingham Commission, visit BBJ Today.com. our public commitments for infrastructure, it should be a sure bet and not a gamble. The Bellingham City Council actually has not one, but several documents that we must consider: the waterfront plan itself, plus development regulations, design standards, a planned action ordinance (for environmental review), a development agreement, and an inter-governmental agreement with the Port of Bellingham. All these pieces need to fit together. I have been waiting as long as everyone else for a chance to put in my own two cents, and I’d like to move ahead quickly. But given the complexity, size, and importance of the waterfront, I will resist urgings to simply pass what we have before us. My duty as City Council member is to ask questions, and to decide only when satisfactory answers have been provided and the public’s best interests have been served.

Question 2 Several years ago, my colleagues on the City Council and I insisted upon creation of the city’s first-ever economic development chapter for Bellingham’s comprehensive plan. Our past efforts on economic development have been a bit too ad hoc and not always strategic. I felt we needed a clear foundation to let everyone know what the city does and does not do with regard to promoting local economic vitality. In my view, the private sector and government sector are distinctly different but complementary parts of our economy. It’s often just as important as know what your role is not, as to know what your role is. The document that came forward to the City Council last spring was good, but not good enough for me. I pushed hard and succeeded in several key additions. The plan originally lacked a clear commitment to the

local manufacturing sector for higher-wage jobs, nor did it make policy commitments to small businesses as a local economic driver, nor did it directly address the issue of worker education that has been an ongoing issue for employers. With the support of the council, the final draft was strengthened with my suggestions. Here’s what our economic policy says in a nutshell: The city’s job is not direct job creation, but rather the laying of the foundation for economic activity. We do this primarily by providing reliable, trouble-free infrastructure (roads, water supply, sewer treatment, etc., which is, after all, two-thirds of the city’s budget), and by insuring quality of life amenities that make Bellingham an attractive place to live and work. The same qualities thantare enjoyed by Bellingham’s residents also attract employers. Put simply, quality of life is an economic

See Q&A, Page 12

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Q&A | FROM 11

asset. Under our new economic policy, the city also committed to providing the right mix of zoning and land use, for a diverse economic base that includes professional, technical, industrial, as well as retail and service sectors. Bellingham is healthier than many communities, because we have avoided too much reliance on any one economic sector, and we need to keep it that way

BBJToday.com with good planning for our land supply. In the building boom years, Bellingham, like many other cities, grew too used to the steady stream of tax income from construction and real-estate transactions, and we felt the drop hard. The building industry is important, but one industry alone should not drive our economic policies, nor our tax policies. City government, in my view, needs to stick to our job of providing timely and professional government

Gene Knutson (2nd Ward)

Current incumbent, running unopposed Question 1 I think the city and port are on the right track. We

have to do this right, and over the next few months the council will be working

services, public amenities and infrastructure, and avoid chasing revenues or playing economic favorites. Question 3 To be honest, I would say the relationship is a bit like walking up a down escalator. I know we have been making good progress for several years under multiple administrations, but if we stop we would lose that progress. Complaints are fewer, but I still hear them. Personally, I stay in touch with the on the plan making sure we have the right mix down on the waterfront. Jobs, jobs, jobs will be my number one item as we work through this. The right overall master

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September 2013

Chamber and other groups, and I serve on the boards of Bellingham-Whatcom Tourism, Sustainable Connections and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership. The truth is that city government (thankfully) has very little to do with day-today private sector business, except in one particular area that gets most of the attention: building permits. Every city administration in recent memory has promised to improve the professionalism and predictability of the permitting

progress, and I think great strides forward have been taken. I urge the mayor to keep up the improvements, but the city charter is very clear that the City Council has no administrative role to play. We can’t hire, fire, or change practices that are under the mayor’s control. The City Council does have authority over city policies, however, and for several years I have been advocating for reforms to our building impact fee system. I believe we can and should adopt a fairer way

of assessing fees, to encourage smarter forms of growth that are less burdensome on taxpayers, and discourage sprawling expansion that costs taxpayers more to provide with services. The groundwork for these reforms has already been laid, and all that is needed is a committed majority on the City Council and the administration to move ahead.

plan is the future of this city and county, and I am optimistic the council and port will get it right.

need to do whatever it takes to make that part of town attractive to new businesses and anchor businesses that are already there. I think the permit department overhaul has been a great tool to help builders, homeowners and the community members in the trade make it easier to get projects started and completed. We have come a long way over the years it is starting to show in great ways.

ing permits that are in the news. New companies are locating here, anchor stores are investing in expansion and relocating to a better location. Again, I have to give kudos to Mayor Linville. She has reached out to the business community along with the council to say let’s work together, and it is working. Bellingham is getting on the “most popular” lists in the world, and it is not luck, it is hard work by the council and mayor and past councils and mayors that have made Bellingham a great place to do business.

Question 2 We have been working on this issue since Mayor Kelli Linville took office, and have made great strides. The Pacific Highway annexation and the property we bought for a regional stormwater facility will make it possible for more businesses to come to Bellingham, and the ones that are in that area could expand. Downtown also is important. There are plans for some new buildings downtown that has not happened for decades, and we

Question 3 I think over the last few years our relationship with the business community has improved very much. I hear it all the time. Just look at all the new build-

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September 2013




Who’s news in Bellingham & Whatcom business Templeton takes assistant manager position at WaFed Susan Templeton has been named assistant branch manager of Washington Federal’s Cornwall Avenue branch in Bellingham. Templeton has 10 years of mortgage lending experience, and most recently served as a mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo, where she led local homebuyer education seminars. A native of North CaroSusan Templeton lina, Templeton spent her early career as an advertising executive in Atlanta, Georgia. She has traveled extensively and lived in New Zealand for 10 years prior to moving to Bellingham in 2001.

Former Haggen executive joins Jóvan’s Pure Nutrition Brad Haggen, a longtime manager and executive at the Bellingham-based regional grocery chain founded by his family in 1933, has been appointed as an executive vice president of sales and marketing at Jóvan’s Pure Nutrition of Blaine, which sells natural grocery and food products. The company also announced plans to launch three new products this fall, including Brad Haggen a line of jams, jellies and mustards, made possible by its recent acquisition of Aldrich Farms of Bellingham in July. Haggen brings more than 20 years of

management experience to the company from his time with Haggen Inc. His achievements at his family’s regional grocery chain include the creation of two Haggen subsidiaries: the company’s Market Street Catering and TerraVida Coffee. He also spent six years as Haggen Inc.’s vice president of marketing. “Brad Haggen’s knowledge of what grocery stores want from manufacturers and his extensive contacts in the industry will help us immensely,” Jóvan Johnson, president of Jóvan’s Pure Nutrition, said.

WWU names Wochos, Higgins as new legal advisers Lisa Wochos has been named chief legal adviser for Western Washington University, succeeding Wendy Bohlke, who retired June 30. Wochos, an assistant attorney general, previously served as part-time legal counsel to WWU and now will serve the university on a full-time basis. Kerena Higgins, also an Lisa Wochos assistant attorney general, will succeed Wochos as part-time legal counsel to the university. As chief legal adviser, Wochos serves as legal counsel to WWU’s trustees and, through the trustees, President ShepaKerena Higgins rd. She is also responsible for a host of other legal duties on behalf of the university. Wochos received her law degree from the University of Santa Clara School of

Law, in Santa Clara, Calif. Since 2001, Wochos has served in the attorney general’s Bellingham office, providing legal counsel to WWU, Skagit Valley College and Whatcom Community College, as well as other state agencies. Wochos previously served in the Whatcom County Public Defender’s Office and, in California, as a superior court judge, pro tem, in the Santa Cruz County Public Defender Law Office and in private practice. Higgins received her law degree from the Seattle University School of Law. She has worked with the attorney general’s office since 2001; and in the Bellingham office since 2002, representing the Department of Social and Health Services, the Department of Early Learning, the Department of Labor and Industries, Educational Service District 189, and Bellingham Technical College.

Nagel joins The Woods Coffee as new creative director Lacey Nagel has joined The Woods Coffee as the company’s new creative director, where she will manage all company marketing, promotion and social media efforts, as well as serve as lead graphic designer. Nagel recently graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in graphic design. While at WWU, Lacey Nagel she worked as a graphic designer for the university’s associated students organization. She has also previously worked as a graphic designer with Mid River Commu-

nications in Montana, where she created advertisements, managed websites and helped create client newsletters. Nagel also owns and runs her own bow tie business called Charles Street Bow Tie Company. The Woods Coffee, which is based is Lynden, currently has more than 150 employees across its 14 Whatcom County retail locations, bakery and offices.

Mayes named director of Whatcom Symphony Orchestra Thom Mayes has joined the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra as its new executive director. Scott Henderson, the former director, is retiring from the position after leading the organization for the past two and a half years. “Thom brings a unique perspective on the orchestra, having first played played bass with us in 2003,” Bruce Cox, the orchestra board’s president. “In the following years, Thom completed his MFA in Arts Leadership at Seattle University, preparing him for a nonprofit arts management career. He went on to serve as Executive Director for two historic theaters, the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon and the Olympia Film Society, where he managed all aspects of fundraising, marketing, and operations. He even managed to keep up his bass performance with the WSO, as well as symphonies in Tacoma, Yakima, Everett and Olympia.” Thom Mayes joins the WSO’s new music director, Yaniv Attar, to launch the orchestra’s 38th concert season.

People is compiled from BBJ Staff reports.



September 2013

BEYOND STANDARD Bellingham medical laundry facility becomes industry pioneer with cleanliness accreditation

BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal he air inside the noisy and humid interior of Northwest Health Care Linen’s Bellingham facility smells thick with soap and cleaning agents—which is fitting, because although the plant operates on a grand and more complex scale, it is, in its most basic sense, a laundromat. Here, soiled bed sheets, lab coats and other linens are trucked to the factory floor from medical facilities, surgery centers and outpatient clinics around the region. Workers process, clean and package nearly 50,000 pounds of laundry per day, close to 16 million pounds each year. James Hall, the company’s founder and CEO, started the business in 1992 after word-of-mouth acclaim grew for an on-site laundry facility he operated as part of an extended-care center he owned at the time. “[The demand] was there, so we decided to give it a go,” Hall said. “Basically, our philosophy was to fol-


low the patients.” Hall said the steady growth of his company over the past 20 years has corresponded with regional growth in outpatient medical services.

THE DIRT On Whatcom County’s dirty jobs Northwest Health Care Linen started by building a local client base, initially working with PeaceHealth. It also established a strong relationship with Island Hospital in Anacortes. Bill Akers, the company’s director of customer service, said business really took off when Northwest Health Care Linen moved into south Seattle and the Puget Sound area. Today, outpatient medical centers make up a significant portion of the company’s customer base, but it also serves standalone doctors’ offices and smaller medical clinics, as well as larger health providers, including the Franciscan

Health System in Tacoma. And while the company’s business has always been to make soiled linens clean again, the process of doing so entails some dirty work.

Special attention to protect employees Northwest Health Care Linen’s facility is divided into two sections, one for intake and sorting soiled linen, the other for packaging and shipping cleaned material. The overriding rule on the production floor is to ensure there is no crosscontamination, Hall said. The company employs about 125 people all together, which includes workers on the floor and a sales and marketing staff. Nearly all of its employees work full-time, most of them in Bellingham, Hall said. The firm also operates a small transfer facility in Sumner, Wash., as well a fleet of about 15 vehicles, including small trucks, trailers and tractors. Among workers on the floor, the sorters, who pick out garbage and sort dirty


A worker at Northwest Health Care Linen in Bellingham adjusts a laundry bag carrying soiled medical linens about to be cleaned. linens from among incoming loads that move down a conveyor belt, must be particualrly diligent and attentive. They are exposed to a variety of health and safety risks, including bloodborne pathogens, infectious bacteria, bed bugs and— although Hall said it is a rare occurrence—errant needles, or “sharps,” as they are called in the medical world. The company has evolved its methods for sorting out soiled linens in order to avoid accidental jabs from needles, including updated procedures on checking and emptying pockets on lab coats. Workers on the floor wear medical scrubs, along with varying levels

of safety gear, including hair caps, face masks, booties and gloves. The company enforces a minimum requirement for on-the-job apparel, but added protection is left up to employees, Akers said. “They have options there, but there are certain, basic things that they have to wear,” Akers said. A major element of Northwest Health Care Linen, and the one the company is probably most proud of, is its adherence to a stringent set of cleanliness guidelines. Earlier this year, the company was one of the first three medical-laundry facilities in the nation to earn a “hygenically clean” certification from the Tex-

United Way of Whatcom County unitedwaywhatcom.org

tile Rental Services Association, a national trade group. The certification requires third-party biological testing and inspection of a facility’s cleaning process and end products at least twice per year. The fact that the new certification tests the clean linens that come out of the facility, and not just the various aspects of the cleaning process itself is unique among standards’ accreditations in the industry, Hall said. In addition to ensuring high standards, the certification acts as a marketing tool for the company, allowing it to build better trust with its clients. “They like that the process is correct, but they are also assured that what they are getting is hygienically cleaned,” Hall said.

Working with clients in cost-cutting mode While the company tries to keep its services both affordable and competitive within its field, the higher standards do mean services are more expensive. Sales staff tend to target clients that are willing to pay a little bit extra for quality. This presents challenges. In recent years, the consulting component of the Northwest Health Care Linen has seen greater demand, as more health providers look for ways to cut costs without having to sacrifice their quality. Kelsey Van Miert, who handles marketing and customer support for the company, said a lot of her attention out in the field these days is devoted to teaching customers how to use less linen as a costcutting measure. Cost-effectiveness is on

See DIRT, Page 16

September 2013



BUSINESS TOOLKIT Growing and maintaining your business


How to get more “likes” on your Facebook page

et’s face it, Facebook marketing is not going to work for every small business. But there are some industries for which it is a natural fit. Local restaurants, garden centers, entertainment venues, clothing stores and petcare service providers come to mind as ones that typically benefit. These industries often come in contact with a number of consumers every day, so there are many opportunities to meet new people and then build a community using social-media marketing. Sometimes, however, a company that should be a great match for Facebook struggles to build its community online. They just can’t seem to generate enough “likes” to make the page a solid marketing tool. In many cases this is because the company is not actively advertising its Facebook page or leveraging systems and tools already in place to promote the page. Facebook communities do not magically pop up overnight. They are cultivated over time. If your small business has struggled to build a Facebook community, there are some things you can do to maximize efforts and improve results. Here are eight tips to try today: 1) Share valuable information that is related to your industry. Content is king. Share relevant content on a consistent basis. Did you know that page followers are more likely to like, tag or share images of people, cute kids and even pets? Try posting photos of your employees. 2) Interact with followers. Facebook is not just about pushing out marketing messages. Efforts are maximized when companies interact with people who ask questions and leave comments on the page. Put a plan in place to respond to all interactions within 24 hours. 3) Promote, promote, promote. Help people find your business page by adding a Facebook widget to your website, or at least an image of Facebook’s logo hyperlinked to the page. Include a Facebook logo on busi-

Patti Rowlson

ness cards, brochures, flyers, etc., and remember to invite people to connect with your company’s page whenever possible. Facebook makes things easy for users by providing free downloadable graphic files.

4) Invite personal friends and family to connect with the company page. Friends and family can help get the ball rolling. Their likes and positive comments on the page can really help generate a buzz.

On Social Media & Marketing

5) Ask employees to “like” the page. Explain that social media is part of marketing and growing the business and that they can easily help by following the page and sharing information from time to time with their friends and family. 6) Pay to boost status updates. Did you know you can pay Facebook to put select status updates in front of a larger audience? Fees start at $5 and go up based on the number of people you want to reach. Boosting posts can lead to increased follower engagement and additional likes. But be selective. Boosting posts too frequently will quickly become annoying to Facebook users. It may even have a negative effect. 7) Promote Facebook at events. Post a QR code that event attendees can snap with a smartphone, or hand out affordable social media promotional cards at trade shows. 8) Engage with other business pages. When logged into Facebook on your business page, “like” other pages and comment on their status updates from time to time (friendly, relevant, encouraging comments only—no sales pitches). Doing so will put

your business name in front of that user and their page followers. Sometimes local businesses understand the value of Facebook marketing but they just don’t have the time or desire to try the tips above or consistently work the site. That’s when it’s time to consider partnering with a local copywriter or social media manager who can help generate meaningful status updates, engage with followers

on behalf of the business and work to grow the online community. There are affordable options out there, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Patti Rowlson of PR Consulting Services is a publicist and marketing consultant based in Whatcom County. Visit her website at www.pattirowlson.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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September 2013


Entrepreneur, small-business owner or self employed?


hen you hear the term “entrepreneur,” whom do you picture? Is it the person working on their laptop at the local coffee shop, the person making the “big pitch” to investors, the person behind the counter of their own shop or the person making their own widgets and selling them online? The general definition of entrepreneur is someone who organizes or operates a business. In my work through the Small Business Development Center, I’ve noticed that business owners fit into one of three categories: entrepreneur, small-business owner or self-employed. Although one person can fit all three categories, there are some distinct differences between them. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator of new ideas and business processes. Leadership, management ability and team building are essential qualities for an entrepreneur. One example is Steve Jobs of Apple.

He started out with an idea and turned it into a leading global company. A self-employed person is defined as one who gets their income directly from a consumer rather Jennifer than being the employee of a Shelton business. Think of a masOn Smallsage therapist who operates as a solo Business The Development practitioner. amount of income the therapist generates is directly related to how many clients he or she is able to work with. A small-business owner is someone who

has a business entity and decision-making ability toward growing profits. The president of a “brick and mortar” retail store would be a good example. The similarities are that all are running businesses and have direct influence on them. They all expect to generate an income from their businesses. They all know their industries and products or services well. Some differences I see are in character traits and business goals. Small-business owners want to “feed the family,” not necessarily become billionaires. They can work in a business, but are able to take time off and still generate income because of the systems or employees they have in place. Self-employed people typically don’t have employees. Their income is limited because it depends on how many hours they personally can work in their businesses. They enjoy providing a service or product and are content with the jobs they

have created for themselves. Entrepreneurs are known for certain capabilities such as vision, optimism, risk tolerance, drive and persistence, negotiation, critical and creative thinking and recognizing opportunities. They are good at moving a business idea forward. Often, employees are called on to have more entrepreneurial thinking. A small-business owner or someone that is self-employed can both be considered entrepreneurs. The main difference may be the desire and ability for growth. The bottom line is that no matter where you fall in the spectrum, you make up the majority of our local and U.S. economies. We are thankful for your leadership and contribution to our community.


steady supply of dirty linens to wash. But Hall said the business strategy is to stay focused on long-term customer service and development, with strong attention to cleanliness. Akers said they want to look for a “winwin” situation for everyone. “If you deal straight with people and you truly show them that you’re a partner and

you want to manage their linen with them, they buy into that,” Akers said. Being so closely tied to the health care world does mean that, as is the case with pretty much every business connected to medicine, the future has uncertainties. With increasing consolidation among health providers, Hall said Northwest Health Care Linen must continue to prove its worth to its larger clients to survive. The company must show it can offer not

just cleanliness and safety to clients, but also make impacts to their bottom lines, he said. “The market is changing,” Hall said, “and there’s going to be fewer customers.”

the mind of many of Northwest Health Care Linen’s clients, Van Miert said. “We’re trying to teach people how to use less,” Van Miert said. The strategy seems counter-productive, as the company’s success depends on a

Jennifer Shelton is the director of the Small Business Development Center, part of Western Washington University. The SBDC is part of a nationwide network and provides no cost, confidential advising, technical assistance, and research to business owners and managers in an effort to help businesses thrive throughout Whatcom County.

Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com. “The Dirt,” a recurring series, looks at people and companies who do dirty jobs in Whatcom County.


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September 2013





Workplace wellness can be well within your grasp

ith the cost of health care continuing to rise, employers are seeking creative ways to reduce their cost of benefits while preserving their abilities to appeal to the workforce. “Wellness” is now the health care industry’s buzz word. The advantages of implementing a wellness program are possibly reducing health care costs, while providing a tangible program that becomes an added benefit. Some of Whatcom County’s largest employers have pioneered the wellness frontier, developing programs that excite their employees and ultimately improve their well-being. By changing their employees lifestyles to include healthy habits, these employers can potentially see a decrease in doctor visits, medication usage and absenteeism. Additional gains could be higher productivity and fewer workers’ compensation claims.

Amanda Brock On Workplace Wellness So what are they doing? One Ferndale-based company provides its employees with healthy snacks every day, including fruits, vegetables and an assortment of cheeses. They hold company-wide activity days with a structured run or walk and also provide on-site areas to exercise. Participation in healthy eating and physical fitness challenges are rewarded with prizes, and personal

improvement goals are celebrated with positive recognition. Wellness fairs have also become more popular in recent years. These fairs can include education on a variety of topics such as healthy eating or fitness. Vendors such as local chiropractors, gyms, dentists, and insurance companies can also be asked to participate. Some companies are even extending the invitation to their fairs to their employees’ spouses, as more studies are showing that healthy habits start a home. For smaller companies, it may seem cumbersome to implement programs of the same caliber as companies with more than 100 employees. Although the available resources may be more restrictive, it is still possible for a small company to have an effective wellness program. Companies of any size can take advantage of data provided by biometric test-

ing. This type of screening is offered by a third party administrator and individual results are kept completely confidential. A common misconception by employers is that the information from these tests will be shared with their health insurance provider. But this is not the case. Unless an employer specifically shares the data with a carrier, they are not notified of the results. The purpose of biometric testing is to give the employer a reference point to what health issues are affecting their employees, so a plan can be crafted to address them. Some employers offer a discount on an employee’s insurance premium as an incentive to participate in testing since it is completely voluntary. Although individual data is confidential, an employer may also consider sharing the aggregate data with their employees as a positive reinforcement should statistics improve year to year.

Giving is great business


ou’ve heard the phrase: “Business is business.” True, it’s certainly possible to turn a profit by simply manufacturing a product or delivering a service without regard for much beyond the basics. Great business is more. The standouts, the accomplished business leaders that we aspire to emulate, understand that it takes more than mere transactions to reach a company’s potential. They know that attracting and retaining quality staff who are personally and professionally invested in the business is vital to their financial success as well as to keeping the road ahead smooth and clear. What does all this have to do with philanthropy? Everything. Two local businesses are being honored for their giving at the 2013 National Philanthropy Day Awards in Seattle on Nov. 14: RAM Construction and Phillips

66. The Association for Fundraising Professionals’ annual Philanthropy Day celebrates individuals and organizations in Washington state that give in many ways to make our communities and the world a better place. “There are not too many community needs that get met without the hands, hammer or gentle encouragement of Mike Hammes and his team at RAM Construction,” noted Sue Sharpe, executive director of the St. Luke’s Foundation. “Mike, his wife Wendy, and the business are generous with all their resources whether it is working with the local Rotary Clubs to build a new food bank or school restrooms in Guatemala.” “RAM is committed to making things better at all levels: personal, professional and community. Mike and RAM Construction set a high bar for giving.” Phillips 66 is a large corporation with operations all across the nation and beyond. Whatcom County is one dot on an expansive corporate map. From here,

it certainly doesn’t feel that way. The personal investment of staff at every level of the business is impressive. Phillips matches employee volunteer hours with grants to local organizations. The company helped to build a new Ferndale Boys & Girls Club and the new Ferndale Library is about to break ground thanks to their generosity. That’s dedication to this place and to community. RAM and Phillips 66 are outstanding examples of how business leadership, fundraising and good old fashioned elbow grease improve our community for everyone, including their employees. At the Whatcom Community Foundation, we’re in the philanthropy business. One of our strategic goals is to help local nonprofits do what they do best. We offer educational opportunities and share best practices, as well as make grants. Our focus on a strong nonprofit sector is the reason we are proud to have the Whatcom Council of

benefit consultants are a great contact to find local resources or to explore what is available through a specific carrier. New information continues to emerge on how effective these programs are in retention and recruitment strategies. Whether a business follows in the footsteps of the local pioneers or takes advantage of the resources that have been highlighted, wellness programs are well within grasp for any business.

Amanda Brock is the marketing and events coordinator for The Unity Group in Bellingham.

we’re Celebrating we’re Celebrating our our we’re Celebrating n e ne ew naM wour Me

ne w n a M e na

is now… is now… is now…


BY KIRK ROBERTS AND MAURI INGRAM Courtesy to The Bellingham Business Journal

Once a company has the biometric data as a reference point, a customized plan can be put in place. Current programs can also be modified, even on a budget. Wellness resources are available online including free webinars, campaign ideas, budget calculators, implementation guides, health and wellness observances calendars and employee communication materials. Employers should always check for free or reduced cost services that are available through their health care insurance provider. Additionally, employee

Nonprofits as one of our programs. The council strengthens local organizations by building relationships, sharing resources, providing free trainings and communicating the vital role of these organizations in our community. Recently, Alcoa Intalco Works (a 2011 Philanthropy Day honoree) and the Whatcom Educational Credit Union invested in the council’s work. The council’s popular newsletter, which is sponsored by Alcoa, brings information about training events, sector trends and employment opportunities to more than 2,000 local nonprofit staff and volunteers. WECU is the 2013 sponsor of the council’s free monthly brown-bag lunch discussions on topics such as fundraising, cloud computing and board development. So far this year, more than 150 people have exchanged information and ideas with their peers. RAM Construction, Phil-

See NOTES, Page 23

Thanks to the support of our loyal members, we’re growing. We’ve changed our name to reflect our membership, our community and our future!

Thank you Whatcom County! Look for our Open House in early October!

www.westedgeCU.org Federally Insured by NCUA



September 2013

PUBLIC RECORDS Government information relevant to business

Business licenses Listings, which feature both new and renewed licenses, include business name, licensee name and business’ physical address. Records are obtained from the city of Bellingham.

5 Star Painting And Building Services LLC, 5 Star Painting And Building Services LLC, 2010 Huron St., Bellingham, WA 98229. A Child’s Calendar, Carolyn Wildman Mcgown, 631 Briar Road, Bellingham, WA 98225. Agile Climbing, Calvin Lawrence Laatsch, 1457 Iron St. # 101, Bellingham, WA 98225. Alpenglow Sound Studios, William Thomas Simpkins, 1230 Kenoyer Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Amy Vance, Amy R. Bitzer, 3583 Ridgemont Way, Bellingham, WA 98229. Another Castle Video Games, P. Matthew Artim, 1255 Barkley Blvd., Bellingham, WA 98226. Awe$Ome Deals, Adam Wayne Eldridge, 344 E Bellis Fair Parkway, Apt. 101, Bellingham, WA 98226. Barking Fig Urban Farm, Barking Fig Urban Farm, 3218 Firwood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Bellcrest Company LLC, Bellcrest Company LLC, 2651 E. Crestline Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226. Bellingham Music Coalition, Bellingham Music Coalition, 600 Boulevard, Apt. 302, Bellingham, WA 98225. Bellingham RV Park, BRV Park LLC, 3939 Bennett Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. Bluebelle Gardens LLC, Bluebelle Gardens LLC, 2616 Eldridge Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Calendar Club & Go! Games, Daba Cashflow Solutions LLC, 1225 E Sunset Drive, Suite 145 #426, Bellingham, WA 98226. Chris Webb And Associates, Inc. P.S., Chris Webb And Associates Inc. P.S., 424 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Cobalt Mortgage Inc., Cobalt Mortgage, Inc., 2915 Newmarket St., Suite 104, Bellingham, WA 98226. Creations Photography, Michelle Laraine Harnden, 917 31st Pl., Bellingham, WA 98225. Crystal Reef Aquatics LLC, Crystal Reef Aquatics LLC, 4159 Hannegan Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Denae Lynell Johnson, Denae Lynell Johnson, 215 W. Holly St., Suite G10, Bellingham, WA 98225. Dr. Bridget Cantrell LLC, Dr. Bridget Cantrell LLC, 1000 Mckenzie Ave., Suite 26, Bellingham, WA 98225. Drayton Archaeological Research LLC, Drayton Archaeological Research LLC, 2621 Franklin St. Bellingham, WA 98225. Erinn Elhardt Ms Otr/L, Erinn Lorraine Elhardt, 248 W. King Tut Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Even Keel Media, Carter Alexander Smith, 922 N. Shore Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226. Fairhaven Specialty Garden Supply Inc.,Fairhaven Specialty Garden Supply Inc., 1130 Finnegan Way, Bellingham, WA 98225. Four Trees Therapy, Sheryl Lynn Haynes, 2819 Lafayette St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Fuller Homes LLC, Fuller Homes LLC, 1206 Woburn St. Bellingham, WA 98229. Garman Herigstad, Garman Christian Herigstad, 112 Ohio St., Suite 113, Bellingham, WA 98225. Glen Robert Berry, Glen Robert Berry, 1310 Mckenzie Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Goodfella Construction, Bryan Keith Vaughn, 5271 Blake Lane, Bellingham, WA 98226. Grey, Grey LLC, 2540 Vining St. Bellingham, WA 98226. Hair By Andria, Andria Raye Martin, 4260 Cordata Parkway, Suite 102, Bellingham, WA 98226. Henderson Lawn Care, Douglas Edward Henderson, 1688 Sapphire Trail, Bellingham, WA 98226. Henry Hair Industries, John Henry Gilbert, 1128 Finnagen Way #1, Bellingham, WA 98225. Home Lane Lodging Investors LLC, Home Lane Lodging Investors LLC, 805 Home Lane, Bellingham, WA 98226. Indian Art, Rajwant K. Chauhan, Bellis Fair Mall Pkwy Spc. 5533, Bellingham, WA 98226. Ingenuity Designs, Robert Michael Shaw, 2723 W. Maplewood Ave., Apt. 109, Bellingham, WA 98225. Inner Landscape Acupuncture, Inner Landscape Acupuncture, 851 Coho Way, Bellingham, WA 98225. Interventional Medical Associates Of Bellingham Pc, Bellingham Spine Pain Specialists P.S., 2075 Barkley Blvd., Suite 250, Bellingham, WA 98226. Jeep Treats, Daniel R, Labrie, 2200 J St., Apt. 3, Bellingham, WA 98225. Jennifer Brown Msw, Jennifer Anne Brown, 1337 Lincoln St., Suite

2, Bellingham, WA 98229. Kabob Addictions, Ahmad Mahmoudian, 3022 Pacific St., Bellingham, WA 98226. La Patisserie Cafe And Bistro, La Patisserie LLC, 2430 James St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Law Offices Of Ziad I. Youssef PLLC, Law Offices Of Ziad I. Youssef PLLC, 1828 Franklin St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Lehman Mcshane Strategies LLC, Lehman Mcshane Strategies LLC, 119 N. Commercial St., Suite 235, Bellingham, WA 98225. Lexor Games LLC, Lexor Games LLC, 509 N. Garden St., Apt. 3, Bellingham, WA 98225. Lippun, Louis Grombacher Lippman, 606 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Logan Pelerin Lmp., Logan Pelerin, 33 Grand View Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. Lynda L. Lott, Lynda L. Lott, 416 Ridgeway Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. Mad Cat Salsa, Rodney Lyon Reynolds, 1 Granite Circle, Bellingham, WA 98229. Malone Holdings LLC, Malone Holdings LLC, 2719 Eldridge Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Matson’s General Maintenance, Gabriel David Matson, 2505 Taylor Ave., Apt. 101, Bellingham, WA 98225. Matsunami Glass USA Corporation, Matsunami Glass USA Corporation, 1971 Midway Lane, Suite K, Bellingham, WA 98226. Matthew F. Christy Attorney At Law PLLC, Matthew F. Christy Attorney At Law PLLC, 1155 N. State St., Suite 608, Bellingham, WA 98225. Matthew Richard Hudson, Matthew Richard Hudson, 2321 Iron St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Mcgowan And Hope Connection Therapeutic Services, Natasha Rachel Mcgowan, 1031 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Microcleaning Services Int’l, Brad Nelson Whitsett, 301 W. Holly St., Suite D22, Bellingham, WA 98225. Mission Critical Technologies Inc., Mission Critical Technologies Inc., 915 Highland Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. NDS Transport LLC, NDS Transport LLC, 4732 Bedford Ave., Bellingham, WA 98226. Nhan Tung Vo, Nhan Tung Vo, 4440 Meridian StNorm Ferretti Upholstery, Norman Allan Ferretti, 665 Marine Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. North Sky Excavating, Derek Michael Bronson, 4042 Kramer Lane, Bellingham, WA 98226. Northwest Behavioral, Ane Berrett, 3031 Orleans St. Suite 101, Bellingham, WA 98226. Northwest Wellness Massage, Rhea Danielle Vega, 912 Orchid Pl., Unit 102, Bellingham, WA 98226. Nw Muscle Mechanics, April A. Barker, 1102 E. Victor St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Off By One Studios LLC, Off By One Studios LLC, 330 N. State St. #B, Bellingham, WA 98225. Phoenix Linen, New Bellingham Corp., 259 W. Bakerview Road, Apt. 108, Bellingham, WA 98226. Piano Music Experience, Jessica L. Hensey, 690 32nd St., Apt. 403, Bellingham, WA 98225. Potter Street Property LLC, Potter St. Property LLC, 3031 Orleans St., Suite 201, Bellingham, WA 98226. Precision Tree Service Inc., Precision Tree Service Inc., 2628 Woburn St., Bellingham, WA 98226. Prographics, Michael Thomas Bennett, 4131 Hannegan Road, Suite 103, Bellingham, WA 98226. R. Lamb Art, Roger Leon Lamb, 1503 4th St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Resick Hansen Fryer Hall And Heinz PLLC, Resick Hansen Fryer Hall And Heinz PLLC, 412 N. Commercial St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Ryan Christensen Consulting, Ryan Patrick Christensen, 1973 Dumar Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. Sapphire Bookkeeping LLC, Sapphire Bookkeeping LLC, 1213 Whatcom St., Apt. 45, Bellingham, WA 98229. Sara Hill Graphic Design, Sara S. Hill, 238 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Seymour & Sons, Jonathan P. Seymour, 109 Acacia Pl., Bellingham, WA 98225. Sirke Salminen CPA PLLC, Sirke Salminen CPA PLLC, 3790 Greenville St., Bellingham, WA 98226. SJN Service Enterprise, Scott Jackson Nichols, 5171 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, WA 98226. Sound Wise Audio Solutions, Travis Jordan, 1645 Jills Court, Bellingham, WA 98226. Special Programs Consulting, Irene Emelen Mullan, 255 W. Bakerview Road, Apt. 206, Bellingham, WA 98226. Starbucks Coffee #19205, Starbucks Corporation, 1 Bellis Fair Parkway # 3215, Bellingham, WA 98226. Studio 7 NW LLC, Studio 7 NW LLC, 725 Sunset Pond Lane # E7

Bellingham, WA 98226. Stuen Law P.S., Stuen Law P.S., 1503 E. St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Summit Painting, Byron O. Bagwell, 1474 James St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Susie Cole Lmp., Susanne B. Cole, 1513 E. St., Suite 201, Bellingham, WA 98225. Talbot Solutions, Matthew James Talbot, 3707 N. Heather Pl., Bellingham, WA 98226. Talhon LLC, Talhon LLC, 5846 Laurel Ridge Way, Bellingham, WA 98226. Team Rock Solid Association, Team Rock Solid Association, 1382 N. Parkstone Court, Bellingham, WA 98229. Teri Macphee Design And Decorate LLC, Teri Macphee Design & Decorate, 715 Linden Road, Bellingham, WA 98229. Terra Communities SPC, Terra Communities SPC, 210 Chuckanut Point Road, Bellingham, WA 98229. The Local, Menace Industries LLC, 1427 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. This Is Now Productions, This Is Now Productions, 135 S. 44th St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Timothy Lann Project, Timothy Lann Project, 1536 Lakewood Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. Tiny Mo Pros, Dave Tomassen, 1636 Iron St., Apt. B, Bellingham, WA 98225. Tony’s Jumpers, Antonio Jimenez, 2284 Yew Street Road, Trlr. E4, Bellingham, WA 98229. Top Notch Towers, Osvaldo Euceda, 90 Grand View Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. Ultra Boss Warlock Space Ninja Wizard Enterprises, Aaron Patrick Goude, 4290 Stoney Brook Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. Vocare Pilates, Vocare Pilates, LLC, 905 Squalicum Way, Suite 107, Bellingham, WA 98225. Waltzing Mumford LLC, Waltzing Mumford LLC,905 Squalicum Way, Suite 107, Bellingham, WA 98225. Western Financial Consulting, Aubrey Murphy Western, 675 W. Horton Way, Apt. 150, Bellingham, WA 98226. Whatcom Boat Canvas, Philip Moran Rodriguez, 1902 Midway Lane, Suite 103, Bellingham, WA 98226. Whatcom County Investigation, Tatiana A. Dillard, 4008 Northwest Ave., Apt. 306, Bellingham, 98226. Whatcom Pak LLC, Whatcom Pak LLC, 4152 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98226.

Building permits Includes commercial building activity with an estimated valuation of $10,000 or more. Records are obtained from the city of Bellingham. 8/12/2013 to 8/19/2013 Issued 2075 Barkley Blvd. 101, $580,000 for tenant improvement: interior renovations to an existing medical office/outpatient facility: Bellingham Ambulatory Surgery. Contractor: Allied Clinic Builders LLC. Permit No.: BLD2013-00239. Issued Aug. 12. 3548 Meridian St. 101, $93,307 for tenant improvement: interior remodel and new exterior loading dock canopy: Sears New Home Store. Permit No.: BLD2013-00375. Issued Aug. 16. 905 Squalicum Way 107, $55,000 for tenant improvement: construct stairs, restroom and offices for new pilates studio. Contractor: Chuckanut Builders LLC. Permit No.: BLD2013-00380. Issued Aug. 16. Pending 2901 Squalicum Parkway (north tower), $518,000 for commercial: kitchen remodel and installation of new exterior grease trap. Permit No.: BLD2013-00421. Accepted Aug. 14. 1204 Cornwall Ave., $86,000 for tenant improvement: convert office space to restaurant (no exterior work proposed or permitted). Permit No.: BLD2013-00279. Accepted Aug. 13. 113 N. Samish Way, $55,000 for tenant improvement: existing Subway deli remodeled for new tenant, also deli. Permit No.: BLD2013-00310. Accepted Aug. 13. 2200 Queen St. 16, $15,000 for commercial tenant improvement to create new distillery, enclosing doors and installing distilling equipment. Permit No.: BLD2013-00186. Accepted Aug. 16. 1427 Railroad Ave., $15,000 for tenant improvement: interior alterations for new tenant in existing restaurant space: The Local. Permit No.: BLD2013-00415. Accepted Aug. 12. 255 N. Forest St., $10,000 for commercial alteration: improvements to office area within multifamily building. Permit No.: BLD201300428. Accepted Aug. 16. 2652 S. Harbor Loop Drive, $10,000 for commercial: new steelframed structure for boat repair. Permit No.: BLD2013-00425. Accepted Aug. 15. 8/5/2013 to 8/12/2013

Issued 1020 Railroad Ave., $5,539,766 for new 60-unit multifamily building (partially over new parking garage): Phase two of Morse Square Development. Contractor: Dawson Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00014. Issued Aug. 8. 4229 Meridian St., $71,000 for tenant improvement: interior renovation of existing retail store: Sleep Country USA. Contractor: Horizon Retail Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00367. Issued Aug. 5. 1355 Civic Field Way, $20,000 for telecommunications tower alteration: replacement of top equipment shroud on existing tower, replacement of three antennas and addition of six more within shroud: T-Mobile at Civic Field baseball field site. Contractor: Legacy Telecommunications Inc. Permit No.: SGN2013-00074. Issued Aug. 8 Pending 516 High St. (WWU Nash Hall), $4.2 million for commercial alterations: renovations/upgrades to dorm. Permit No.: BLD201300404. Accepted Aug. 5. 119 W. Chestnut St., $1.35 million for new mixed-use building (above existing altered basement) attached to existing multifamily mixed-use building: Chestnut Flats II. Permit No.: BLD2013-00285. Accepted Aug. 6. 950 Lincoln St. 101-106, $250,000 for tenant improvement: finish main floor shell spacee and construct loft for residential use. Applicant: Oracle Contracting Services. Permit No.: BLD2013-00356. Accepted Aug. 6. 3548 Meridian St. 101, $93,307 for tenant improvement: interior remodel and new exterior loading dock canopy: Sears New Home Store. Permit No.: BLD2013-00375. Accepted Aug. 5. 7/29 to 8/5/2013 Issued 3005 Cinema Pl., $162,000 for commercial alteration: construct new roof system above auditorium 7 and 8 to provide sound remediation: Regal Cinema. Contractor: Robinson Construction. Permit No.: BLD2013-00366. Issued Aug. 1. 400 W. Orchard Drive, $50,000 for tenant improvement: interior remodel on two levels for pet food production: Alaska Natural Pet Food. Permit No.: BLD2013-00280. Issued July 30. Pending 2075 Barkley Blvd. 101, $580,000 for tenant improvement: interior renovations to an existing medical office/outpatient facility: Bellingham Ambulatory Surgery. Contractor: Allied Clinic Builders LLC. Permit No.: BLD2013-00239. Accepted July 29. 1700 Carolina St., $451,543 for new commercial storage facility. Permit No.: BLD2013-00393. Accepted July 29. 2938 Lindbergh Ave., $65,000 for commercial alterations: upgrades to existing classrooms for nursing simulation control room. Permit No.: BLD2013-00387. Accepted July 31. 905 Squalicum Way 107, $55,000 for tenant improvement: construct stairs, restroom and offices for new Pilates studio. Permit No.: BLD2013-00380. Accepted July 30. 2430 James St., $55,000 tenant improvement: new restaurant in existing tenant space: La Patissiere. Permit No.: BLD2013-00392. Accepted July 29.

Liquor licenseS Records are obtained from the Washington State Liquor Control Board. New license applications Fred Meyer #025, Fred Meyer Stores Inc. applied for a license change to be a direct shipment receiver (in/out of WA), sell beer/wine/spirits in a grocery store, be a wine reseller and offer beer/wine tastings at 800 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226. License No.: 359846. Filed Aug. 16. The Rustic Coffee & Wine Bar, The Rustic Coffee Bar Inc.; Donna Jean Heerspink and Norman Joel Heerspink applied for a license change to be a direct shipment receiver (in WA only) and sell beer/ wine in a restaurant and for off-premises consumption at 1319 11th St., Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 408514. Filed Aug. 14. Aslan Brewing Company, Aslan Brewing Company LLC; Jack Lamb applied for a new license to operate a microbrewery, be a direct shipment receiver (in WA only) and sell beer/wine in a restaurant with a taproom at 1330 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 411480. Filed Aug. 8. Little Cheerful Cafe, Mr. Doodles Corporation; Joshua Jude Magnes, Stuart Yale Magnes and Christine Marie applied for a new license to sell beer/wine in a restaurant at 133 E. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 411589. Filed Aug. 8. Maple Fuel and Deli, JNY Holdings Inc.; Eunhong Jeong and Choonja Jeong applied to assume a license from Maple Fuels WashA-Ton; Bethanie Ann Morrison and Jeffery Scott Morrison, to sell beer/ wine in a grocery store, be a direct shipment receiver (in WA only) and be a CLS spirits retailer at 7797 Silver Lake Road, Maple Falls, WA 98226. License No.: 079627. Filed Aug. 1.

RECORDS | Page 19

September 2013


Swillery, Swillery LLC; William James Lohse applied for a new license to be a direct shipment receiver (in WA only) and sell alcohol in a nightclub at 118 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 408697. Filed July 26. Chandara House, Chandara House LLC; Wankanok Hurd applied for a new license to sell beer/wine in a restaurant at 655 Front St., Suite 10, Lynden, WA 98264. License No.: 407137. Filed July 25. Aslan Brewing Company, Aslan Brewing Company LLC; Patrick Haynes, Jack Lamb and Frank Trosset applied for a new license to operate a microbrewery and sell beer/wine in a restaurant at 1208 Bay St., Suite 102, Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 411480. Filed July 24. Recently approved licenses Soy House Restaurant, at 400 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225, was approved for a new license to sell beer/wine in a restaurant. License No.: 369850. Filed Aug. 16. El Agave #2, at 4 Clubhouse Circle, Bellingham, WA 98229, was approved for a new license to sell beer/wine/spirits in a restaurant lounge. License No.: 358042. Filed Aug. 9. Schooner Zodiac, at Bellingham Ferry Terminal, Bellingham, WA 98225, was approved for a new application to be an interstate common carrier. License No.: 411237. Filed Aug. 9. The Guide Hilltop Restaurant, at 5645 Guide Meridian Road, Bellingham, WA 98226, had changes approved on a license to sell beer/wine/spirits in a restaurant lounge. License No.: 086839. Filed Aug. 9. Bob’s Burgers & Brew, at 8120 Birch Bay Square St., Blaine, WA 98230, had changes approved on an existing license to sell beer/ wine/spirits in a restaurant lounge. License No.: 401095. Filed July 30. Starvin’ Sam’s XIX, at 3310 Slater Road, Ferndale, WA 98248, has changes approved on an existing license to sell beer/wine in a specialty shop. License No.: 365675. Filed July 29. Discontinued licenses Loomis Trail Golf Club, at 4342 Loomis Trail Road, Blaine, WA 98230, has a license to be a direct shipment receiver (in WA only) discontinued. Filed Aug. 18.

Bankruptcies Note to readers: The Bellingham Business Journal has updated its policy on publishing bankruptcies. From now on, only bankruptcies involving business-related debt will be included in public-record listings. No bankrupcties involving businessrelated debt were filed in the regional district office of the U.S. bankruptcy court last month.

Federal tax liens Tax liens are issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Records are obtained locally from the Whatcom County Auditor’s office. Marsi Danielsen, $6,268.25 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 16. Neil Downard Jr., $54,095.71 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 16. Jeremy J. Karst, $29,450.67 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 16. Laurence M. Senzer, $13,222.71 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 16. C&H Management Services Inc., $57,860.30 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 12.

BUZZ | FROM 3 unemployment benefits to help bridge the difference. The new incentive allows employers to participate in the program through June 2015 with virtually no effect on their unemployment taxes, according to state officials. “Shared Work was already a good deal, but the incentive really sweetens the pot,” said Employment Security Commissioner Dale Peinecke. “Any employer that is struggling to meet its payroll without losing valuable workers should give it a try.” Employers can find more information at www.esd.wa.gov (enter “Shared Work” in the search box and select the first option on the results screen) or by calling 800752-2500.

Whatcom CC gets $400K grant to support nursing education A nearly $400,000 state grant will provide continued funding of a Whatcom Community College project designed to fill a critical training gap for nursing students. The Hospital Employee Education and Training Innovation grant supports the creation of medical surgery ward simula-


BBJToday.com Robert D. Shelton Jr., $15,865.15 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 12. Gabriel McFadden, McFadden Framing, $3,474.55 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 12. Robert D. Shelton Jr. and Colleen F. Shelton, $23,018.76 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 12. James Place Child Development Center LLC, Kathleen M. Westover sole MBR, $2,548.04 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 12. Charles Eldon Rier, $10,239.48 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 5. Aaron N. Adams, $69168.02 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed Aug. 2. Jay P. Hebert and Jenny K. Hebert, $74,085.59 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed July 29. Jon A. Peterson and Rebecca M. Peterson, $18,797.85 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed July 29. George P. Trummeter, $15,866.02 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed July 29. Bellingham Whatcom Radiator & Battery, $4,192.50 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed July 29. Rollan Woodward and Edith Woodward, Classic Cleaners, $2,943.11 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed July 29. Patricia L. Reynolds, $14,304.11 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed July 22. Roose and Kelstrup Ptrs., $5,935.84 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed July 22. Southside Chiropractic Inc., $2,642 in unpaid IRS taxes. Filed July 22.

Releases of federal tax liens Releases indicate liens that have been lifted or paid. Records include the taxpayer’s name, the total amount of the lien and the date the lien release was filed in the Whatcom County Auditor’s office. E. Jeanne Roussellot, $366,981.67, Aug. 16. Arlene J. Doeden, Golden Dreams Adult Family Home, $3,462.34, Aug. 16. James Ryan Wuihun Ho, $65,234.91, Aug. 16. Superior Slabjacking Inc., $14,359.48, Aug. 16. Scott E. Hillman, $2,860.48, Aug. 16. Bella Marina LLC, Gillian Scianna MBR, $1,750, Aug. 12. Bella Marina LLC, Gillian Scianna MBR, $1,192.60, Aug. 12. Joel B. Millman, $1,741.28, Aug. 5. Joel B. Millman, $113,709.78, Aug. 5. Joel B. Millman, $10,138.42, Aug. 5. Johnsons J.B. Investments USA Ltd., $348,637.71, Aug. 2. Monkeyn Around Inc., $8,925.54, Aug. 2. Joel M. Roberts and Vida C. Robert, $40,426.02, Aug. 2. Carl M. Bjorklund, $59,353.28, July 29. Ian C. Bennett, $11,053.88, July 29. Harkness Contracting Inc., $8,423.30, July 29. Cinco De Mayo, $6,675.88, July 29. Rosalio Ibarra, $5,862.44, July 29.

State tax judgments Tax judgments are issued by Washington state government agencies and filed locally in Whatcom County Superior Court.

tion curriculum. The coursework will replicate real-world patient care experiences traditionally found in clinical placements. WCC is the lead agency on the collaborative project that includes Bellingham Technical College, Skagit Valley College, SEIU Healthcare 1199, NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund, the Northwest Workforce Council, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Advancement. The project, which last year received $189,000 in state funding, will leverage the colleges’ current and expanding simulation labs, equipment and faculty expertise. State-of-the-art simulation labs are a highlight of Whatcom’s new Health Professions Education Center, which will open for classes in September.

City wants public comments on housing-levy funds Bellingham city officials are evaluating eight proposals seeking housing-levy funds, all designed to address housing needs for low-income people in our community. The proposals and their preliminary rankings for funding are posted on the city’s website for public review, with public

Records are obtained from the Superior Court clerk’s offics. Daniel J. Rodiguez, $2,915.83 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 22. David M. Bolden and Connie L. Bolden, $3,350.74 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 19. Ryan L. Duclos, $4,373.26 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 19. Cheese Meats Beer, $162.31 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries taxes. Filed Aug. 16. Gabe 5 LLC, $1,937.39 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries taxes. Filed Aug. 14. Mt. Baker Powder Coating Inc., $254.24 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries taxes. Filed Aug. 14. Janet M. Zaddack, $3,680.32 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 14. Little Lou’s Construction LLC, $725.36 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries taxes. Filed Aug. 13. Altero LLC, $6,948.51 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries taxes. Filed Aug. 13. Northwestern Interiors LLC, $15,453.31 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries taxes. Filed Aug. 13. Heritage Building Company LLC, $15,439.32 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries taxes. Filed Aug. 13. James Michael Griffin, $1,877.62 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 13. Lourdes A. Medina, $4,624.71 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 13. Maryanne Mills, $302.82 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 13. Spur Trucking Inc., $254.45 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 13. Hans S. Kleinknecht, $4,209.21 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 9. Claassen Enterprises LLC, $6,313.56 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 9. Denise C. George, $1,519.53 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 9. The Cat Clinic LLC, $6,401.06 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 9. Kyle F. Jackson, $4,529.35 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 8. Lancer L. Martin, $1,147.20 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 8. Nadine M. Nutting and Zachariah N. Nutting, $32,187.09 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 8. Altus Industries Inc., $1,400.77 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries taxes. Filed Aug. 6. Growing Washington, $8,301.83 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed Aug. 5. Cicchitti’s Pizza Inc., $3,019.64 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed July 31. Bellingham Whatcom Radiator & Battery Repair, $6,763.15 in unpaid Department of Revenue taxes. Filed July 31. Altus Industries Inc., $1,727.51 in unpaid Employment Security Department taxes. Filed July 29.

comments accepted through Sept. 12. The proposals are being reviewed by the city’s Community Development Advisory Board, which is expected to make recommendations to Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville in mid-September. Final awards are expected to be announced by the end of September. The city solicited applications earlier this summer for projects to be funded by the Bellingham Home Fund levy, which was approved by voters in November 2012 and is expected to generate $3 million per year for seven years.

WFC to acquire Fairway True Value Hardware in Lynden Whatcom Farmers Co-op will acquire Fairway True Value Hardware in Lynden, after longtime owner Irv Timmermans retires at the end of August. The store, located at 119 17th St., will begin operating in September as WFC Fairway True Value. Timmermans has been in the hardware business for 30 years. “I wanted to turn over the store to a company with the same values who would appreciate our employees and customers and continue our service to the community,” Timmermans said. “I have confidence

Larry H. Montgomery, $1,444.96 in unpaid Employment Security Department taxes. Filed July 29. Pioneer Trucking Co., $4,279.51 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries. Filed July 29. La Vie En Rose Bellingham LLC, $662.14 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries. Filed July 29. River Run School LLC, $854.67 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries. Filed July 29. Mirela Giaconi, $249.77 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries. Filed July 29. Modern Interior Inc., $12,638.63 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries. Filed July 29. Milt’s Pizza Place LLC, $1,280.01 in unpaid Department of Labor & Industries. Filed July 29.

Satisfactions of state tax judgments Satifsfactions indicate judgments that have been lifted or paid. Records include the taxpayer’s name, the state government agency the judgment was issued by and the date the satisfaction was filed in Whatcom County Superior Court. Ryan Shane Stauffer (et al.), Department of Labor & Industries, Aug. 16. Juan Martinez (et ux.), Department of Labor & Industries. Aug. 12. Leona M. Mount and Larry C. Mount, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. (x2) Carol L. Ortiz and Gilbert R. Ortiz, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Supreme Bean Coffee Cafe LLC, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Van Zanten & Son LLC, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. (x2) Inocencio P.A. Valderrama, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Terry L. Redden, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Darin J. Holman, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Mexico Tipico Inc., Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Downtown Bob’s LLC, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Janet M. Zaddack (et ux.), Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. B&J Fiberglass, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Amigo Mexican Restaurant Inc., Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Captain Jack Jr.’s Family Entertainment, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Newbatts Fashion LLC, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Kelly A. Sullivan, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Claassen Enterprises LLC, Department of Revenue, Aug. 5. Whatcom Territory Aero, Department of Labor & Industries, Aug. 1. (x2) Stanley H. Calhoon (et ux.), Department of Labor & Industries, July 24. Randy Evan Pheifer, Department of Labor & Industries, July 24. 5th on 6th Inc., Department of Labor & Industries, July 22. Al’s Mower & Saw Inc., Department of Labor & Industries, July 22.

that WFC is the best choice. I know the WFC team will continue with my philosophy of great customer service and excellent product knowledge. Jane and I want to thank the community for the support over the years.” All of Fairway True Value employees will remain at the store after the ownership change, according to Don Eucker, WFC’s CEO and general manager. “Mr. Timmermans’ store has a reputation for treating customers and employees with respect,” Eucker said. “Integrating his team into the WFC family strengthens our commitment to provide only the best service and products.” WFC’s retail division operates in Lynden, Bellingham, Fairhaven, Ferndale, Blaine and Nooksack. The organization also provides agronomy and energy services throughout Whatcom County.

The Buzz is compiled from BBJ Staff reports.

The Bellingham Business Journal: In print monthly, online all the time.



September 2013

September 2013


Waterfront Redevelopment Focuses on Jobs and Community Sponsored content provided by Port of Bellingham


Contact: Port Administrative Offices 360-676-2500 info@portofbellingham.com www.portofbellingham.com 1801 Roeder Ave. Bellingham, WA 98225 Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Board of Commissioners Scott Walker, District One Michael McAuley, District Two Jim Jorgensen, District Three Meetings: 3 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. Agendas are on the Port website. The Port operates: Bellingham International Airport Bellingham Cruise Terminal Squalicum Harbor Blaine Harbor Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park Bellwether on the Bay Shipping Terminal Airport Industrial Park Sumas Industrial Park


edevelopment of the Bellingham waterfront is on center stage this fall as elected officials consider adoption of the long-range plan for 237 acres. The plan and its related agreements and regulations have evolved over a decade in response to a changing local economy and community feedback. It began back in 2003 when the citizen-led Waterfront Futures Group led a broad community visioning process to map out the future of all 11 miles of Bellingham shoreline. That broad vision took on urgency when Georgia Pacific closed its pulp and

paper mill leaving 137 acres of idled industrial land, much of it contaminated, adjacent to downtown Bellingham. The Port acquired the GP property in 2005 and the Port and City began a comprehensive planning effort to map out the necessary public investments, regulations and redevelopment strategy necessary to ensure that this property and an additional 100 acres of waterfront could be productive again. Officials at the Port of Bellingham and City of Bellingham, who both must adopt the proposed plan, agree that there has never been a plan that underwent the same amount of public involvement and public process as this one. And that makes sense when one considers the likely redevelopment timeframe (several decades), the amount of public investment (over $100 million) and the predicted new jobs at full build out (6,500). If the plan is approved, the Waterfront District (the official name of the former GP plant and adjacent properties) would eventually included 33 acres of new parks, six acres of new public beaches and a network of new trails. And that’s just the pub-

lic access element of the plan. The proposal includes a 37-acre Downtown Waterfront Area for commercial, institutional and mixed use. And it has a major focus on new family-wage jobs in the 52-acre Log Pond Area (zoned industrial/mixed use) and a 58-acre Marine Trades Area that will be filled with marine trades jobs. These businesses will be bolstered by the future redevelopment of the 36-acre former wastewater treatment lagoon into a new marina. Creating jobs and providing pubic waterfront access are the focus of this redevelopment effort. This summer more than 500 people in the community

took part in walking tours, boat tours and a community open house to learn more about the proposed master plan and related agreements. People packed public hearings in front of the City Council and Port Commission this summer to share their ideas about the redevelopment plan. All of the proposed plans and regulations are available at the Port and City websites and both the Port Commission and City Council are encouraging people to submit their comments before they take action in November. Check them out at www.portofbellingham.com and www. cob.org.

September 2013



Serving: Bellingham, Blaine, Birch Bay, Ferndale, Lynden, Lummi Island, and all of Whatcom County.

Arts & Culture • Dining Bicycling • Fishing • Wildlife Water Adventures• Casinos Lodging• Winter Activities Shopping • Spas • Health

A Refreshing Change

MORE... to explore.

Looking for a job? Consider Tourism! Sponsored content provided by Loni Rahm, and Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.


he tourism and hospitality industry offers a myriad of job opportunities that range from entry level to lifelong career. In fact, according to research gathered by Washington State Department of Commerce, tourism directly supports over 6,200 jobs in Whatcom County alone. Although tourism is often maligned for the sheer number

of “first time, part time or seasonal” employment it generates, these are often the very positions that provide new workers or transitioning workers with the opportunity to gain experience and learn new skill sets that open the door for additional workforce options. Many of the positions in travel and tourism require little more than a good attitude and willing-

ness to learn. Others require formal training – whether specialized certification, technical training, 2 year or 4 year degrees. We are fortunate in Whatcom County to have an excellent balance of education and training alternatives that prepare students of all ages for tourism and hospitality related jobs. Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College, Charter College, and Western Washington University offer a diverse mix of necessary classroom training, along with hands on experiences, and intern/extern options. For example, the hospitality sector of tourism needs employees and contractors proficient in accounting, marketing, business management, computer technology, graphic arts, data entry, maintenance, instrumentation, grounds keeping and landscape, analytics, customer service, event management, catering, culinary arts, pastry arts, bartending, sales, housekeeping, and much, much more. Tourism related attractions need many of the same

The Power of Travel The of Travel HowPower Travel Dollars Support America How Travel Dollars Support America

job skills as hotels/motels and, in many cases, specialized skills unique to their business such as boat repair, diesel mechanics, carpentry, computer animation, public speaking, photography, publicity, tour guides and more. In many areas across the country, there are a number of local, state and federal agencies who are also in the tourism industry. Park rangers, RV hosts, interpretive guides, environmental education, trail construction and maintenance, recreation managers and so on. Heritage and cultural arts make an important contribution to the tourism product too! Museums, performing arts, musicians, curators, marine biologists, artists, craftsmen, researchers, and documentarians to name a few. Tourists have been known to appreciate a good meal, locally grown foods and finely crafted beverages as well. Which means that restaurants, deli’s, food trucks, breweries, wineries, distilleries, food growers and producers, and their suppliers all have jobs. Recreationalists reflect another essential arm of tourism. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are necessary to develop the gear, apparel, and equipment used by runners, bikers, hikers, walkers, fishermen, skiers, kayakers, boaters, and…well, you get the point. Sometimes a travel experience goes slightly awry, requiring the services of doctors, nurses,

dentists, veterinarians, or other medical professionals. Transportation plays a huge role in tourism…after all, the official definition of a tourist is “someone who travels at least 50 miles, or across an international border, for the purpose of business or leisure activities”. That means that people involved in transportation – including airlines, trains, buses, boats, shuttles, fuel, maintenance, roads, signage, and other transportation aspects are, in a very real sense, in the tourism industry. Space limitations prevent me from continuing with the tourism related employment analysis. However, when you really start breaking out the vital role of tourism in our community, I have to question the 6,200 jobs statistic. I think it’s much, much higher!


(all data 2011, unless otherwise indicated)

14.4 million: total number of American jobs supported by travel 1 in 8: American jobs

(private sector) supported by travel

1.1 million: American

jobs directly supported by travel exports

#6: where travel ranks in terms of total U.S. employment 48: number of states where travel is a top ten employer (2010) 29%: pace that travel jobs have been created — faster than the rest of the economy (March 2010–July 2012) 1 in 7: ratio of projected growth of travel jobs (3.3 million) to total U.S. job growth by 2020 44 of 50: number of states where small businesses in travel employ a higher percentage of workers than the private sector (2007) 33: number of overseas visitors that create one American job

September Events Visit our website or call for more details: www.bellingham.org  (360) 671-3990

September 7-8 Rare Ornamental Plant Benefit Sale Saint Sofia Greek Festival Bellwether Jazz Festival September 14 Fairhaven Runners 15K Quilt Show Whatcom County Farm Tour

September 21 Annual Fairhaven Sidewalk Sale September 21-29 Bellingham Beer Week September 28 Oktoberfest at Chuckanut Brewery

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism 904 Potter Street | Bellingham, WA 98229 360-671-3990 | 800-487-2032 www.Bellingham.org




in a currently vacant building at 3548 Meridian St., across the street from the Bellingham Golf and Country Club and next to Whatcom Farmers Co-Op’s Bellingham Country Store. That building has not had a year-round tenant for several years. In the past, it has been home to a furniture store and the original location of Bellingham’s Michaels arts and crafts store, before Michaels moved to the north end of Meridian Street about a decade ago. With the Sears development still in its initial stages, further details, including an expected opening date, are not yet known, according to a company spokesperson. Sears Hometown Stores, which are spinoffs of the full-line Sears department stores and operate separately from Sears Holdings Co., focus on smaller specialty markets and retail merchandise including hardware, appliances and lawn-andgarden supplies.

County’s retail growth continues The arrival of new stores around Meridian Street comes as Bellingham and Whatcom County continue to post strong retail numbers, according to the latest statistics from the Washington State Department of Revenue. Whatcom County had total retail sales of more than $757 million in the

first business quarter of 2013, according to the Department of Revenue—a 5.72 percent from sales during the first quarter of 2012. Sales in the county’s retail-trade sector, a subset that focuses on goods and excludes industries such as construction, wholesale trade and services, rose 8.1 percent to more than $373 million in the first quarter of 2013. Bellingham, which carries the bulk of overall sales for the county, posted more than $501 million in total retail sales during the first quarter of 2013. That’s up 5.83 percent from the year before. The retail-trade sector in Bellingham also increased by 7.81 percent to more than $285 million. Outside the county’s population and commercial core, Whatcom’s border towns are maintaining strong retail growth as well, according to the Department of Revenue statistics. Sumas has the greatest year-over-year growth rates out of all locales in the county. The town, with a population of about 1,300 people, saw total retail sales increase by 21.37 percent to more than $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2013. Sumas’ retail-trade subset rose by 36.68 percent to more than $3.4 million. Blaine also had a firstquarter increase of 18.2 percent in its retail-trade

Whatcom County retail sales Q1, 2013 Entire county Total retail sales: $757,058,714 (up 5.72 percent compared to Q1, 2012) Retail-trade subset: $373,591,155 (up 8.1 percent) Bellingham Total retail sales: $501,901,972 (up 5.83 percent) Retail-trade subset: 285,193,753 (up 7.81 percent) Blaine Total retail sales: $28,669,781 (up 5.78 percent) Retail-trade subset: $12,495,103 (up 18.2 percent) Everson Total retail sales: $4,889,302 (up 6.5 percent) Retail-trade subset: $1,730,423 (up 4.07 percent) Ferndale Total retail sales: $37,388,347 (up 3.87 percent) Retail-trade subset: $14,242,686 (up 4.32 percent) Lynden Total retail sales: $45,355,592 (up 2.53 percent) Retail-trade subset: $19,323,955 (down 1.57 percent) Nooksack Total retail sales: $1,605,999 (up 0.89 percent) Retail-trade subset: $794,467 (up 8.65 percent) Sumas Total retail sales: $5,602,489 (up 21.37 percent) Retail-trade subset: $3,442,631 (up 36.68 percent) Unincorporated areas Total retail sales: $17,646,205 (up 47.44 percent) Retail-trade subset: $4,524,192 (up 9.48 percent) SOURCE: WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

sector. Among specific retailtrade industries in Whatcom County, general merchandise stores brought in the most money, with more than $69 million in sales in the first quarter of 2013, according to the Department of Revenue. New and used cars and auto parts followed, posting a little more than $61 million in sales.

Testing a new format The new Sports Authority in Bellis Fair Mall utilizes a store layout the Englewood, Colo.-based company adopted in 2012, and has since been rolling out in several of its new and existing locations. Meant to be more intuitive for customers, the layout groups merchandise

September 2013 based on sports or activities instead of specific products. All equipment and apparel related to football, for example, can be found in the same general area of the store, instead of having separate sections used to display footwear, clothing or gear. “The store is just set up in a different way that’s easier for customers to navigate,” said Patricia Jimenez, a company spokesperson. Jeff Robertson said the layout is designed to help customers find items for specific sports and activities without having to make several laps around the store. Bellingham’s Sports Authority takes up 48,000 square feet of a nearly 80,000-square-foot retail space once home to a fullline Sears department store, which closed in January after liquidating its stock. Robertson said several customers have already commented on the sheer size of the new store. Sports Authority also owns the unoccupied area of the space, which is divided into two sections. The company plans to eventually sublease those to other businesses, Robertson said. The Bellingham location currently employs 50 people, Robertson said. The majority of its staff are parttime sales associates, he added. Many are local college students. The store focuses its retail operation on team sports equipment and apparel, with footwear as a major component, Robertson said.

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Sports Authority also sells equipment for water sports and camping. It has an equipment repair department, which works on bikes, skis and snowboards. It rents out skis and snowboards, as well. The store will also start selling fishing licenses within the next few weeks, Robertson said. Yet it has no plans to stock fishing or hunting gear. Robertson said there are already plenty of other stores in the area that sell that type of merchandise, and cutting them out allows more floor space for other products.

A new mall anchor Jean Marohn, marketing coordinator for Bellis Fair Mall, said mall management was excited to have Sports Authority take over the anchor space vacated by Sears seven months ago. With the popularity of sports and outdoor activities in Whatcom County, the new addition should be a good fit, she said. Other changes are underway at Bellis Fair. The mall is in the middle of its first major remodel in 10 years. Renovations to the 773,000-square-foot mall, which is owned by General Growth Properties, include new main entrances, signage, flooring, public restrooms and children’s play area. The food court is also getting a facelift, which includes a new fireplace and a wall of television monitors. Culp Construction Co., which has main offices in Utah and California, is the project’s contractor. The mall last underwent major renovation in 2003, when upgrades were made to the facility’s lighting, paint, signs and seating areas. Marohn said the new restrooms and children’s play area just opened to mall shoppers, and work is beginning on the food court additions. The remodeling is on track to be complete by Nov. 22, she said, just before the holiday shopping season picks up.

Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com.

Follow daily Bellingham business news at BBJToday.com.

September 2013




month loss totaled an estimated 2,300 jobs, Whatcom County’s government sector actually added 100 jobs in July 2013, compared to July 2012. Job losses were also seen in the local trade, transportation and utilities sector, which shed 400 jobs in July 2013, compared to one year ago, according to the state’s estimates. Whatcom County had 2,036 continued jobless benefit claims in July, according to the Employment Security Department. That’s down from 2,477 continued claims during the same month last year. Elsewhere in northwest Washington, Skagit County had an initial unemployment estimate of 8.4 percent in July. Island County was at 8 percent. San Juan County posted an initial jobless estimate of 4.9 percent, which was the lowest estimate across the state in July. Out of Washington’s 39 counties, eight saw jobless estimates under 7 percent in July. Only three counties had estimates that remained above 11 percent. In the Puget Sound area, King County was at 5.1 percent. Snohomish County was at 5.6 percent. Ferry County, in northeast Washington, had the highest unemployment estimate, at 11.9 percent.

our clients with the many offerings of a top global brokerage firm.” Siegel said that Hub believes The Unity Group’s strong reputation in the regional insurance business will help create new synergies between the companies in markets north of Seattle. In addition to its Bellingham office, The Unity

Group also operates a location in Everett. Siegel added that The Unity Group and Hub share complementary expertise in several areas, including employee benefits and surety services. No information was made available on whether the acquisition might lead to staff cuts or new staff additions. The terms of the deal were also not disclosed.

The Unity Group has traditionally declined to offer The Bellingham Business Journal information on its annual premium value. According to the last available records from the BBJ’s annual Book of Lists, the company reported having 49 employees. Siegel declined to provide updated information, saying that Hub generally does not disclose such data.

The Unity Group has a long history in Bellingham and Whatcom County. The firm was originally founded by Earl Griffin in 1929, who opened an office in downtown Bellingham at the corner of Commercial and Magnolia streets, according to company history posted on The Unity Group’s website. In the 1970s, the Griffin agency merged with several

of its local competitors to form a single business called Griffin, Garrett, Johanson and Schacht, or GGJ&S. That company was renamed The Unity Group in the late 80s. After additional buyouts and expansions, The Unity Group consolidated some of its offices in the 1990s, solidifying its base in Bellingham and maintaining a second office in Everett.

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Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com.

NOTES | FROM 17 ips 66, Alcoa and WECU’s leadership in philanthropy and investments in the nonprofit sector is an impressive glimpse into the many ways that business and nonprofit partnerships build vibrant communities. It’s just great business.

Kirk Roberts is chair of the Whatcom Council of Nonprofits’ Steering Committee. Mauri Ingram is president and CEO of the Whatcom Community Foundation. This is the first installment of a recurring series of columns from the Whatcom Council of Nonprofits that will be featured in The Bellingham Business Journal.

Look for the next print edition of the BBJ on Oct. 7.


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September 2013

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Profile for Sound Publishing

Bellingham Business Journal, September 02, 2013  

September 02, 2013 edition of the Bellingham Business Journal

Bellingham Business Journal, September 02, 2013  

September 02, 2013 edition of the Bellingham Business Journal