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Vol. 21 No. 12

DEC 2013


Our year’s-end finance guide includes tips on taxes, retirement and cash flow [7]


Port considers potential developers as Waterfront District plan nears vote BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal ike Stoner had news the Port of Bellingham’s commissioners had been waiting to hear: The Bellingham City Council’s dissection of a complex master plan proposal to redevelop swaths of waterfront real estate could finish within weeks, clearing the way for the plan’s final approval. “I think we’re on track,” Stoner, the port’s environmental programs director, said Nov. 19. Stoner has worked with counterparts at the city deliberating over the master plan. “I think at this point, we’re pretty much at the end of changes to the documents.” City Council voted, 6-0, on Nov. 7 (Councilwoman Cathy Lehman was out of town and excused from the vote) to grant preliminary approval to the Waterfront District master plan, which will be a roadmap for future environmental cleanup and real-estate development on 237 acres of formerly industrial Bellingham waterfront. The vote allows the council to move toward a final vote on the plan, which has been a work-in-progress for nearly a decade. Port of Bellingham commissioners must also approve the plan before any development can begin. Stoner said he anticipates a final vote soon, perhaps by the City Council’s next meeting on Monday, Dec. 2. That would mean the port commission could have an approved plan ready for its deliberations by the next commission meeting, scheduled for the following day, Tuesday, Dec. 3.

theBUZZ Haggen looks at its future with fewer stores, new focus Competition and changing customer preferences have led the Bellingham-based regional grocer to retool its business model. [6]


Where GMO-label backers went wrong Money was a signifcant factor in Initiative 522’s defeat this year, but a $22 million opposing campaign wasn’t the only reason the measure went down. [Op-Ed on Page 3]

Banks, credit unions in a pickle with pot


Multiple proposals are on the table to restore Bellingham’s historic waterfront Granary Building.

Port of Bellingham’s 2014 budget funds several new capital projects, including environmental cleanup work along the city’s central waterfront; property-tax rates to the port will not change next year [PAGE 9] Port staff and commissioners have been active in the city’s review process, which has stretched for most of the latter half of 2013. The city and port are partnering on the redevelopment, as the port seeks private developers and tackles multimillion dollar environmental cleanup efforts, while the city focuses on building

new streets and public utilities.

Future steps Port officials issued an official request for proposals back in May offering 10.8 acres of property that surrounds the historic waterfront Granary Building, a section of land likely to be the first to see new building activity.

The port commission’s November work sessions on the waterfront proposal focused heavily on responses to the request. Rob Fix, the port’s executive director, said interviews have been completed with three companies expressing interest in taking on a master land developer role for the entire property. Interviews have also been completed with three other firms seeking standalone agreements to renovate the abandoned Granary Building, he added. The port revealed eight separate proposals to the official

Some Washington state financial institutions are eager to work with future cannabis entrepreneurs. But without an official nod from federal regulators, local bankers and lenders see too much risk . [9]

In this month’s Business Toolkit On management: Looking for workers’ capabilities when roles replace jobs. [21] On social media and marketing: Are you getting social-media engagement wrong? [22] See BUZZ, Page 4

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December 2013

CONTENTS December 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.

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[6] Haggen focusing on long-term growth, stability

A company executive says recent TOP Food closures have been difficult.

[9] Credit unions and banks see complex future with pot Federal restrictions could complicate financial business with new industry.

[9] Port of Bellingham approves 2014 strategic budget

The $24.9 million budget funds capital projects, keeps property tax unchanged.

Dixie Anndi Pena Branch Sales Manager 738-2363 NMSLRID 413608

Barry Weafer Home Mortgage Consultant 647-0897 NMLSR ID 420701

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[11] Heritage Flight Museum leaves Bellingham

Nonprofit aviation organization looks to new skies in Skagit County.

[17] Q&A with Alice Clark of the Pickford Film Center

Departing director of the nonprofit theater talks fundrasing, support for arts. YOUR MONEY MATTERS

Advice from local experts on: Retirement savings [7], tax planning [8], durable power of attorney [8] and small-business cash flow [12]. ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Market Indicators [10], Public Records [19], Business Toolkit [21-22] and People [23].

Connect with us online Brandon C. Mankle Home Mortgage Consultant 738-2362 NMLSR ID 634610

Reah Marie Dewell Home Mortgage Consultant 384-4975 NMLSR ID 156730

Brad Roen Home Mortgage Consultant 647-2342 NMLSR ID 408736

On Sign up for our free daily email and have the latest business news sent to your inbox every morning. On Facebook: On Twitter: @BBJToday On Google+: Bellingham Business Journal

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December 2013



Money was not the sole cause of Initiative 522’s defeat

nitiative 522 is failing to pass for more reasons than just the $22 million opponents shelled out to defeat it. All those bucks certainly made a difference; it was the most money ever spent against an initiative in state history, so far. Had those pushing the food Opinionlabeling initiative done a better job Editorial seeding their message throughout the state and tilling the fields of voters, they could have harvested victory. Rather, their pitch for requiring labels on foods with genetically-modified ingredients lacked urgency and their campaign inspired little excitement outside Seattle and urban pockets in Western Washington. At times, it seemed those running the Yes on 522 campaign had not learned many lessons from the defeat of a nearly identical food labeling initiative in California in 2012. As a result the ballot measure, which 66

percent of potential voters endorsed in a September Elway Poll, is on track to finish with only 49 percent voting for it. It is a startling but not shocking collapse of support, said political consultants, pollsters — and a noted chronicler of food labeling battles watching from the sidelines. “Initiative campaigns are successful when they offer a solution to something the public perceives as a significant problem,” said consultant Sandeep Kaushik, who had a busy fall helping state Sen. Ed Murray’s campaign for Seattle mayor. “I’m not sure this initiative passed that test.” While the public does see value in labels on food, they were not overwhelmingly worried about the presence of GMOs in what they eat, said Seattle pollster Stuart Elway. That made them persuadable. Advisers to the No on 522 campaign knew this too. They took a tack saying that, while there is nothing wrong with labeling food, Initiative 522 wasn’t the right way of doing it. They cited their reasons – higher costs, new regulations, confusing exemptions – and used gobs of money to make sure everyone in front of a television set

LETTERS Solar builder supports efforts to bolster industry We would like to thank The Bellingham Business Journal for the November feature story on Itekenergy and our solar-panel manufacturing business. We are proud to be part of the Whatcom County business community, and we truly appreciate the recognition. Of course the real success story is our customers—the forward-thinking Washington residents who are “going solar” in record numbers to power their homes and businesses. It is their passion for a greener state that drives demand for our Made in Washington solar products, which in turn allows Itekenergy to grow our manufacturing operations and add local jobs. As Washington turns to solar power, we all win. We would also like to thank Rep. Jeff Morris of the 40th Legislative District for his tireless support of our state’s solar

industry. As the story noted, we at Itekenergy hope to see the state Legislature extend current incentives that make solar the smart choice both environmentally and financially for consumers. We’re glad to have Rep. Morris as an ally; his support for “clean and green” solar power serves Washington citizens well. —John Flanagan, Bellingham Flanagan is president and founding principal of Itekenergy.

The Bellingham Business Journal welcomes letters from readers. Please see our guidelines online at BBJToday. com/contact. Views reflected in letters belong solely to the author(s), and they are not necessarily shared by The Bellingham Business Journal or Sound Publishing.

Had those pushing the food labeling initiative done a better job seeding their message throughout the state and tilling the fields of voters, they could have harvested victory. Supporters had money. They spent $8 million – an impressive sum and only slightly less than their friends expended in California – yet could not get their response out often enough on television and almost not at all in the mailboxes. Nor could they turn out their voters. Their plan called for winning at least 60 percent of the votes in King County, to pick up Snohomish County and to do respectably in the rural areas.

They are almost there in the state’s largest county. They barely got there in Snohomish County – 51.4 percent. But they are getting wiped out in the smaller counties of Eastern Washington. Dan Flynn, a Denver-based writer with Food Safety News, believes rural voters are the reason I-522 went down. “Indeed, the rural counties of Washington voted just like the rural counties of California did a year ago when they proved key to toppling Proposition 37,” Flynn wrote online. “When the medicine show behind the Prop. 37 campaign announced it was moving on to Washington state, I remember thinking, “Gee, a state with a larger rural vote than California.” As of Wednesday morning, Nov. 13, I-522 was getting rejected by 82 percent in Garfield County, 79 percent in Adams County, 75 percent in Grant and Franklin counties, 73 percent in Walla Walla County and 72 percent in Yakima County. Those are impressive numbers, and are as much a reason for why voters put the kibosh on food labeling as the $22 million of opposition spending.

Jerry Cornfield is a political reporter who covers Olympia for The Daily Herald in Everett, Wash., a partner publication of The Bellingham Business Journal. Cornfield’s blog, The Petri Dish, is available at Contact him at 360-352-8623 or

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in October got a taste. For good measure, they repeated it in a string of mailers sent to the homes of those who always vote. Of course this is pretty much how it played out in California. This is why those pols not involved in the campaign wonder why initiative supporters weren’t better prepared for the tactics they encountered. The Yes on 522 campaign lacked a convincing rebuttal on the need for labeling and how it wouldn’t bring a trove of troubles.

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Dissecting how the GMO-labeling measure failed to pass muster with Washington voters

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State job growth slows, unemployment rate stays flat A 22-month streak of job growth in Washington state ended in September and October, while statewide unemployment stayed flat through both months, according to the latest report from the Washington State Employment Security Department. The number of seasonally adjusted jobs in Washington fell by an estimated 1,400 in September and 8,100 in October, according to the new figures. Paul Turek, a state labor economist, noted that Washington actually saw job gains during both months, but not as many as normal, registering the final tallies as job losses once seasonable adjustments are made. Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained largely the same the past two months. From the 7 percent rate in August, it dipped slightly to 6.9 percent in September and returned to an estimated 7 percent in October. Due to the 16-day federal government shutdown in October, the September employment report was not issued that month. The data for both months were combined into a single report issued today by Washington’s Employment Security Department. Federal jobs furloughs did not affect the October job numbers, since those jobs were not eliminated, said Turek. However, the furloughs may have affected the estimated unemployment rate, which is based on a survey that asks individuals whether they were working during the second week of the month. Both the job numbers and the unemployment rate may be revised as more

information comes in. Industries with job gains in October wholesale trade, up 1,000; retail trade, up 400; other services, up 300; government, up 200 jobs, mostly in K-12 education and state higher education; and the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry, up 100. Industries that reported job losses included education and health services, down 2,800 jobs; construction, down 2,800; leisure and hospitality, down 2,700; manufacturing, down 1,300 jobs; professional and business services, down 300; financial activities, down 100; and information, down 100. In October, an estimated 241,300 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes 94,951 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.


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Interfaith breaks ground on “Our House” project

The Woods Coffee, Spice Hut enter tea collaboration The Woods Coffee has begun a new collaboration with the Bellingham-based tea retailer, The Spice Hut, through which the coffee chain has completely overhauled its tea offerings. Woods’ 14 locations in Whatcom County now sell new “pyramid” shaped tea bags developed through the partnership with Spice Hut, which the companies say offer improved design and better tea flavor. Woods plans to continue selling the same 10 tea variety familiar to its customers, along with a limited-time, holiday flavor. A news release from Woods notes the expanding retail tea market in North America, citing statistics from the Tea Association of the USA, a trade group, that show more than 3,500 tea stores now operate nationwide.

December 2013

Photo COURTESY TO The Bellingham Business Journal

Members of the Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County’s board of directors and staff during a ground-breaking celebration at the nonprofit’s Our House project in Ferndale. (From left) Mike Hess, Linda Anderson, Joel Langholz, Bobbi Virta, Andy Day, the Rev. Jon Hauerwas and Kara Hauerwas.


he Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County has begun construction on its “Our House” project, which will expand an existing single-family residence in Ferndale to enable it to provide emergency and transitional housing to three homeless families at once. When completed next spring, the three-unit complex will house around 12 families each year, who would otherwise be homeless. While living at the complex, families will receive case-management services in order to help develop skills critical to breaking the cycle of homelessness, according to Interfaith. Funding for the Our House campaign comes from monetary and in-kind contributions from more than 500 individuals, congregations, businesses and foundations, according to the nonprofit coalition, which supports a mission to provide health care and housing for all. More information is online at The Interfaith Coalition can also be reached at 360-734-3983.

Alpha Technologies acquires India-based solar firm Alpha Technologies Inc., a Bellinghambased company that designs and builds power systems for a variety of applications, has acquired a Bangalore, India-based firm called NavSemi Energy, which develops technology to make solar-power systems more productive and efficient. Alpha’s company leaders said that NavSemi’s customer base in India will expand Alpha’s reach into one of the world’s fastest growing and most progressive solar-power markets. The purchase should also complement Alpha’s existing renewable energy brand, OutBack Power. “Alpha has worked with NavSemi Energy for several years, and during that time we’ve collaborated well together,” said Drew Zogby, Alpha’s president. “NavSemi’s products and philosophy reflect our approach. Together, we expect to expand our market reach into regions such as India, where our joint technologies can have a real impact.” Alpha Technologies is a global designer and manufacturer of advanced power systems for renewable and other energy applications, as well as back-up power and industrial applications. It is among the top private employers in Whatcom County, reporting about 500 local employees in 2012, according to information provided to The Bellingham Business Journal.

Banner Bank picked to join federal export-aid program Banner Bank will be the first bank headquartered in Washington state to become a partner in the U.S. Global Business Solutions Program, a federal interagency

initiative designed to add 50,000 American small businesses to the nation’s exporter base by 2017. The pilot program aims to expand the base of financial institutions and service providers that facilitate exports, adding an anticipated 250 trade-finance sources by December 2015. The initiative is meant to make it easier and more cost-effective for exporters to use the programs and products of multiple federal agencies. It will “bundle” U.S. government tradefinance products for lenders and exporters. The programs and products will be combined into a single menu of options that will be tailored to the stage of the exporter’s development and the capacity of the financial institution or service provider. Leaders with the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which also participates in the program, said Banner Bank’s familiarity with the Pacific Northwest and its “demonstrated strength in [Small Business Administration] lending and its preferred lender status in the SBA’s Export Working Capital Program,” would enhance the capabilities of the Global Solutions Program. Banner Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Banner Corp., has 85 locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. It has four locations in Whatcom County; three in Bellingham, one in Ferndale. Debbie Gelbach, a vice president with the bank, will lead its international-trade services. Gelbach joined Banner to help establish its trade-finance operations. She has worked in international trade in Washington state since 1979. Walter McLaughlin, senior vice presi-

See BUZZ, Page 26

December 2013

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Top Haggen Inc. executive says closing the company’s TOP Food & Drug brand has been difficult, but necessary to stay competitive BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal


hen Haggen Inc.’s TOP Food & Drug stores first began opening in the 1980s, the focus of the new spinoff brand was right there in its name: TOP, Tough On Prices. But in the decades since, the grocery industry has evolved, new competitors have arrived and a retail company with a long history in the Pacific Northwest—

Haggen celebrated its 80th anniversary last month; the company was founded in Bellingham in 1933—has decided its TOP “tough” strategy is in need of change. Eight TOP Food stores have closed or are in the process of closing in 2013. The company continues to move forward with its “Northwest Fresh” rebrand initiative, first started in 2011. The effort will eventually place all Haggen stores under one, singular Northwest Fresh motif. Clement Stevens, Haggen’s senior vice



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The Ferndale Haggen location, after reopening under the company’s new “Northwest Fresh” store theme in February 2013. president of merchandising and a member of its three-person leadership team, spoke with The Bellingham Business Journal earlier this fall about the company’s future. On the recent closures of the company’s TOP Food & Drug stores: The closures have been driven by multiple factors, Stevens said, including greater competition from other bargain-brand retailers and changes in customers’ shopping preference. TOP Food & Drug, which was first introduced and developed in the 1980s, focused on bargain “price brand” products, he said. Today, Wal-Mart and WinCo Foods have emerged as very tough competitors in that arena, with what Stevens called “a very engineered approach to costs and distribution.” While it is tempting for the company to focus on meeting that level of competition, Stevens said current efforts are to focus on Haggen’s quality and customer service, which have been hallmarks of the company’s mission for decades—hence the end of the TOP brand. The closures are a culmination of work from various elements within the Haggen company, including landowners, stakeholders and members of the firm’s board of directors, Stevens said. To remain a competitive grocery outlet, Haggen needs to position itself for both long-term growth and long-term stability, he added. “It has been, over this past year, very difficult to close these stores,” Stevens said. “[The employees there] are members of our team. But as you look at running our business five years from now, these are opportunities we probably should have dealt with a long time ago.” On the remaining TOP stores:

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TOP Food stores remain viable in Woodinville, Puyallup and Edmonds. Stevens said the markets in those cities have are more stable for the TOP brand, and they have built loyal customers bases. The three stores that remain will each be renovated and reopened as Haggen Northwest Fresh stores over the next two years, Stevens said, as the company moves to complete its rebranding initiative. On markets where Haggen sees success: Stevens said Haggen stores’ success is not so much based on geographic loca-

tion. Instead, success depends a lot on how much competition stores face. It also has a lot to do with the customers they direct their marketing efforts toward, as well as the amount of available commercial real-estate space in their surrounding areas, which presents opportunities for new competitors to open stores, Stevens said. Haggen’s five Whatcom County stores, which have all been remodeled under the Northwest Fresh theme, are solid performers, and Stevens said Whatcom is “a strategic location for the company.” The company is currently focusing its remodeling efforts in Skagit County, including locations in Burlington and Mount Vernon, he said.

“It has been, over this past year, very difficult to close these stores. [The employees there] are members of our team.” —Clement Stevens, Haggen Inc.

On the company’s deadline for its Northwest Fresh rebranding: So far, 12 stores have received the rebranding treatment, and the completion of the project will be a major focus at Haggen in 2014, Stevens said. Due to the capital needed for the rebrands, ironclad deadlines can be difficult to predict, he added. “I know that we’re focused on next year,” Stevens said. “I would like to see it [finished] earlier than the end of the year. But I’m not sure how exactly that will pan out.” On the new WinCo store in Bellingham: Haggen’s leadership team had planned for WinCo opening its Bellingham location for several years. It was not a surprise, Stevens said. WinCo is a competitor with Haggen in a lot of its markets. They invested a lot of time into market impact and analysis of the WinCo addition, he said. Stevens believes Haggen has set themselves up well to face off with WinCo in Bellingham, though he admits it is a difficult competitor to have. “They are a great retailer. I’ve watched them over the years as they’ve grown,” Stevens said. “They are very focused on cost, and they own an area of the customer base that we’re not always capable of winning.”

December 2013


YOUR MONEY MATTERS Year’s end financial advice for business and personal life

Five ways to make your 401(k) work for you in 2014 1. Take the free money Make sure you are taking advantage of your employer match. They have been increasing, with most offering a dollarfor-dollar match for the first 6 percent of employee deferrals (up from $0.50 per $1), according to a 2013 survey from the AON Hewitt consultancy. If you aren’t participating in your employer’s retirement plan or maximizing the matching opportunities, you are drastically reducing your chances of success. Think of it this way: If an employee is making $50,000 per year, contributing 6 percent for 35 years, receiving a full match on the first 6 percent and earning a 6 percent annual return, then that employee is not only missing out on the $357,958 from their contributions, but they are also missing out on an additional $357,958 from the matching contributions for a total of $715,916. Not bad considering this employee only contributed $105,000 of their own money.

2. Increase your savings The 401(k) contribution limits are set to stay the same in 2014, allowing employees to contribute $17,500 annually with an additional $5,500 “catch up” contribution for those turning 50 or above in 2014. Not only will the increased savings increase your chances of retirement success, but qualified retirement plans receive tax deferral. This means that when you have dividends, interest and realized gains

in your retirement account, you don’t owe taxes in the current tax year. By deferring the taxes until later, the money you would have spent on taxes is put to work increasing your nest egg. It is always best W. Devin to make your savings automatic, Wolf and some plans allow you to set On up automatic annual increases Retirement to your contribuSavings tions as well. If you don’t have this luxury, make it a point to increase your contribution percentage every time you get a raise.

3. Save to the proper account According to AON Hewitt, half of all plans now include a Roth 401(k) option. With the Roth option, you forego the immediate tax savings of the traditional 401(k), but in return receive tax-free growth. The key to determining which account is right for you is understanding your taxes relative to the tiered-income tax brackets. If you think you will receive a greater tax deduction now relative to your tax bracket

in retirement, the traditional 401(k) may be best. Are you uncomfortable predicting future tax brackets? Me too. One strategy to combat this is to diversify between Roth and traditional 401(k) accounts. Let’s say you are in the 25 percent tax bracket by $10,000 of taxable income. In this case, you might want to save your first $10,000 to the traditional 401(k), locking in the immediate 25 percent tax savings, and the remaining $7,500 contribution to the Roth 401(k). By doing this, your tax rate on the Roth 401(k) contribution will be reduced to the 15 percent bracket. For those really excited about the Roth 401(k) option, the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 allows in-plan Roth conversions. Essentially, you are able to pay the tax and move assets from the traditional 401(k) to the Roth 401(k) if your plan supports this feature.

4. Reduce expenses Retirement-plan expenses have been a hot topic lately. 408(b)(2) regulations implemented in 2012 require that fee information be provided to each employee. While you may not be able to control plan expenses, you can review investment expenses and select more cost effective investments. Use a free service like Morningstar to view the fund expenses and avoid investments with loads, 12b-1 fees or high administrative fees. These expenses have nothing to do with the actual management

of the investment, and you may actually be paying for more of the plan level expenses by using these funds.

5. Diversify Too often, investors feel like they are diversified because they invest in multiple mutual funds. Diversification is about what you own inside of the mutual funds and how diversified these holdings are. You can use a free service like Morningstar’s portfolio x-ray to see how your portfolio looks as a whole. For stocks, review diversification between regions, market capitalization (Large Cap, Mid, and Small), valuations (growth versus value) and sectors. Review your portfolio to make sure you are taking an appropriate level of risk and you are fully diversified. Company stock can increase risk and reduce diversification. If you hold company stock and the company folds, you lose both your job and your retirement. Finally, once you have built the right portfolio, be sure to routinely rebalance the account. Many plans allow you to automatically rebalance, or buy and sell the funds in your portfolio to get back to your desired asset allocation, once per year.

W. Devin Wolf is a certified financial planner and a wealth manager at the fee-only firm Financial Plan Inc., in Bellingham. He leads the company’s 401(k) branch and serves as chief investment officer, helping families, corporations and foundations make smart financial decisions. Financial Plan Inc. is online at


December 2013


Tax planning tips to help ring in a successful new year As 2014 approaches, many focus on year-end tax planning strategies to reduce the taxes they’ll owe in April. This year many will find themselves paying more, so proper planning is even more critical. Let’s look at some strategies to consider.

For Individuals Most taxpayers will find their ordinary 2013 income tax rate similar to 2012’s. However, for those with taxable income exceeding $400,000 for single filers ($450,000 if married filing jointly), the top rate will increase to 39.6 percent. Furthermore, the phaseout of itemized deductions is back. To potentially reduce your tax exposure: ▶Time the payment of expenses to make the most of your deductions. ▶Pay your fourth-quarter estimated state tax or real-estate property tax in December 2013 or January 2014—whichever year provides the greatest benefit. ▶If you’re planning large donations, evaluate when to make the contribution in order to receive the best deduction. Additionally, review whether other charitable planning mechanisms, such as a charitable remainder trust or donor advised fund can provide additional benefit.

Many taxpayers will be subject to the net investment income tax (NIIT) and additional Medicare tax. The NIIT adds a 3.8 percent tax on the lesser of net investment income Kira or the amount that a taxpayer’s Bravo modified adjusted gross income On exceeds $200,000 Tax Planning for single filers ($250,000 if married filing jointly). The 0.9 percent Medicare tax applies to FICA wages and self-employment income exceeding that same threshold. The capital gains and dividends tax rate has also increased to 20 percent (23.8 percent with NIIT) for individuals whose taxable income exceeds $400,000 for single filers ($450,000 if married filing jointly). To potentially reduce your exposure: ▶Work with your tax adviser to evaluate your participation in business and rental activities. The NIIT applies only to income

classified as “passive,” so to the extent that you materially participate in the activity, you may be able to reduce your tax exposure. ▶Use like-kind exchanges or sell assets on the installment method to defer gains. ▶If you’re 70 1/2 or older, make a charitable distribution from your IRA to reduce your taxable income. ▶Gift income-producing assets to your children. ▶If you’re an LLC member or business owner with self-employment income, elect to be taxed as an S corporation. S corporation income isn’t considered net investment income. ▶Realize losses in investment portfolios. ▶Donate appreciated property (i.e. stock) to get a charitable deduction. This strategy allows for a deduction at the property’s fair market value while avoiding the capital gains tax and the NIIT.

For Businesses In 2013, the maximum Section 179 depreciation deduction is $500,000 and begins to phase out when assets placed in

service during the year exceed $2 million. Up to $250,000 of Section 179 expenses may apply to real property purchases. Effective in 2014, the Section 179 deduction reverts to only $25,000, with the real property provision expiring completely. Additionally, bonus depreciation of 50 percent of a qualifying asset’s cost can be deducted—a provision that expires at the end of 2013. Leasehold improvements may be depreciated over 15 years (in 2014 this increases to 39 years), and may also be eligible for Section 179 expensing or bonus depreciation. In light of these dramatic changes, note the timing of your significant asset purchases (and when assets are actually placed in service).

Think Ahead While it’s tempting to put off tax planning, now is the time to act. You can still implement many of these strategies before the year’s end to impact your tax bill. Consult a tax professional to best implement these strategies and achieve results that fit with your overall financial goals.

Kira Bravo, manager at Moss Adams LLP in Bellingham, has practiced public accounting since 2004. She focuses on tax planning, compliance and consulting for high net worth individuals and closely held businesses and their owners. You can reach her at 360-685-2223 or kira.bravo@mossadams. com.

Get the facts on durable power of attorney A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a valuable tool for almost everyone. It ensures the continuity of your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. It’s best to prepare your DPOA in advance, even though you may never need it, but there are a few caveats to keep in mind. Let’s take a look.

The choice is yours In essence, a DPOA is a legal document that gives a person of your choosing the authority to act on your behalf if you are

unable to take action on your own — if, for example, you experience a On Financial devastating illness, incapacity Well-being following a major surgery, a serious accident or the onset of dementia. Although these are

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December 2013


Local banks, credit unions in a pickle with pot business

Some eager to serve new cannabis industry, but with federal restrictions: “Our hands are tied”


BY JERRY CORNFIELD The (Everett) Daily Herald

ommunity banks and credit unions are ready and willing to provide financial services to entrepreneurs in the state’s new legal pot industry. But they aren’t able to, at least not yet. Marijuana businesses, even ones that will soon be legally licensed in this state, are considered criminal enterprises under federal law, which makes handling their money a crime in the eyes of the Department of Justice. Until the agency changes its outlook or Congress changes the law — and efforts are under way to do both — those getting into the pot business can’t open a bank account, secure a line of credit or obtain a loan from a federally insured financial institution in their neighborhood. For those who make a living doing those things, it’s frustrating. “We survive in our community and we prosper in our community by providing banking services,” said Denny Eliason, lobbyist for the Washington Bankers Association, which represents nearly all of the state’s 93 banks. “It is not a matter of do we want to offer these services. We’re eager to but we’re not willing because there is too much at stake.” The landscape is the same for credit unions. “Our hands are tied,” said David Curtis, director of compliance services for the Northwest Credit Union Association, which has 104 members in Washington. “Until we can get some official guidance, everybody is in a holding pattern.” Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is deemed a dangerous drug and it’s illegal to grow, distribute and sell it. In August, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said his department would not upend efforts of Washington and Colorado to implement regulated marijuana industries approved by their voters. The agency will steer clear as long as the states

run their systems in a way that prevents distribution to minors, keeps money from sales out of the coffers of gangs and prevents diversion of marijuana to other states where recreational use by adults remains illegal. But the feds didn’t green-light banking and financial services. The last time the department looked at the money side came in 2011 when it put out guidelines for how it would deal with medical marijuana businesses. The message to banks was clear: don’t do it. “Those who engage in transactions involving the proceeds of such activity may also be in violation of federal money laundering statutes and other federal financial laws,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote in the 2011 memo. A lack of banking options won’t impede those who apply for a producer, processor or retailer license in Washington starting Nov. 18. “We don’t require an applicant to have a business bank account,” said Brian Smith, communications director for the state Liquor Control Board. “During the investigation phase of their application, we may ask that they provide personal or business bank statements to verify source of funds.” Without banking services, it’s not farfetched to imagine retailers keeping large sums of money in safes and paying taxes with suitcases of cash. Gov. Jay Inslee and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper pointed out such concerns in an Oct. 2 letter to federal financial officials urging them to find a way to permit normal banking transactions, credit card services and other activities. “Our states will soon be licensing hundreds of retail stores, each of which will, without a normal banking relationship, be forced to conduct business on an all-cash basis,” the governors wrote in their Oct. 2 letter. “This creates an unnecessary inviting target for criminal activity.” Access to banking services and credit card processing is “a necessary component in ensuring a highly regulated marijuana

Window opens for state’s pot business licenses BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal Nearly 300 people completed applications, most online, to secure business licenses to either produce, process or retail marijuana, by mid-afternoon on Monday, Nov. 18, the first day applications were accepted through the Washington State Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service. Applicants can submit applications through the state’s Business Licensing Service until Thursday, Dec. 19. Those who plan to form a corporation or limited liability company must first establish them with the Washington Secretary of State’s office, according to revenue department officials. This is a required step before filing an application with the Business Licensing Service. The revenue department is accepting applications on behalf of the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which will approve licensees. The liquor board began processing applications on Wednesday, Nov 20. Officials with the revenue department system that will accurately track funds, prevent criminal involvement, and promote public safety,” they wrote. Among those receiving the letter were heads of the Treasury Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), National Credit Union Association and the Comptroller of the Currency. “We’re all talking. So much is in the hands of our federal counterparts,” said Scott Jarvis, director of the state’s Department of Financial Institutions. “Having all that cash running around doesn’t really provide the kind of safe environment the Attorney General has said he wants to see.” If Jarvis gets asked his advice from a banker, he can’t provide much guidance.

said the first day of marijuana business licensing went smoothly, thanks to many applicants using the state’s online application process. Applicants also applied in person at 12 revenue department offices across the state. According to statistics released by the revenue department, a total of 299 applications had been received by midafternoon on Nov. 18: 16 applications had been submitted for marijuana producers; 62 for processors; 70 for retailers; and 151 for both producer and processor, combined The state liquor board announced Sept. 4 that it would issue licenses for no more than 334 marijuana retail outlets statewide. Fifteen of those will be issued in Whatcom County; six in Bellingham. Should there be more applicants than available license allocations for a specific area, the board plans to use a lottery system to select licensees.

Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or “We’re not telling them ‘no.’ We’re not telling them ‘yes’. We’re telling them you have to make your own decision,” he said. “As a result I think everybody is sitting back and waiting.” Representatives of banks and credit unions said any rule changes must be crystal clear on what will, and will not, be allowed. “We are going to be cautious,” Eliason said. “It is an emerging industry. It is going to be a lucrative one. We want an ironclad assurance that we would not be putting charters at risk by banking this industry.”

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

Port’s 2014 budget includes flat taxes, new capital projects Environmental cleanup on Bellingham’s waterfront is one of several planned improvements BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal he Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners adopted its 2014 strategic budget Tuesday, Nov. 19, with a 3-0 vote. Budget items for next year include completion of a major expansion of the city’s airport, repairs to marine infrastructure and the start of environmental cleanup on sites in and around Bellingham’s central waterfront. The $24.9 million budget will also keep property tax unchanged next year, with rates just under 30 cents (.2861 cents, to be exact) per $1,000 of property value. The proposal means a resident owning a $275,000 home will continue paying about $82 in property taxes to the port, which funds about one quarter of its operating


budget with property tax. A multiyear, $38.5 million expansion of the Bellingham International Airport is on schedule to finish in 2014. When the expansion is complete, the airport’s commercial terminal will be about three times the size it was before, and will include new baggage carousels, ticketing and gate areas. The airport’s operational and capital expansion costs are supported by airport users, airlines and airport businesses. Environmental cleanup work will factor heavily into the port’s activity next year and likely further on into the future. The agency’s environmental division is set to begin cleanup actions along with the Washington Department of Ecology at the former Georgia-Pacific pulp and paper mill, the Cornwall Avenue Landfill and

Bellingham’s central waterfront. The port plans to also initiate cleanup activities in the Whatcom County that will focus first on shoreline restoration in the inner waterway and targeted dredging near the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. The budget allocates about $10 million in other capital projects, including money to build overnight parking sites for large commercial aircraft at the airport, make repairs and stormwater improvements to the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, replace a portion of the Fairhaven Shipyard Pier and install new fire sprinkler pressure lines, along with other upgrades, at Squalicum Harbor. The port’s “corporate goals” include: ▶Finalize the initial development agree-

ments for Bellingham’s future Waterfront District. ▶Complete a new master plan for the Bellingham International Airport while managing airport growth to gain new revenue. ▶Redevelop the Bellingham Shipping Terminal and adjacent Log Pond Area to prepare for new activity. ▶Restore local marine infrastructure in need of repairs. A full copy of the port’s 2014 budget is available for download in the online version of this article, which can be accessed at

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


December 2013

MARKET INDICATORS Tracking the local economy

Jobs: Employment reports delayed this month; bankruptcies rising Unemployment Rate

Aug. 2013: 7.7% Yearly change: �1.2% Monthly: �0.7% Includes non-seasonally adjusted figures in Whatcom County

Jobless benefit claims

Oct. 2013: 1,780 Yearly change: �17.09% Monthly: �1.37% Includes continued unemployment benefit claims in Whatcom County





6% 4%





Aug. 2013: 82.1K Yearly change: �3.01% Monthly: �0.48% Includes non-seasonally adjusted figures in Whatcom County

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



Total nonfarm employment

Oct. 2013: 51 Yearly change: �21.43% Monthly: �18.6% Includes Chapters 7, 11 and 13 in Whatcom County

70 60 50 40 30 20 10



Spending: Canadian dollar average down nearly 5 percent from last year Sales-tax distribution

Oct. 2013: $1.74M Yearly change: �8.75% Monthly: Negligible $2M

Includes basic and optional local sales tax to Bellingham

Motor-vehicle registrations Oct. 2013: 1,109 Yearly change: �5.62% Monthly: �4.33% Includes original registrations in Whatcom County


$1.75M $1.5M






$750K $500K




Canadian dollar

Oct. 2013: $0.96 Yearly change: �4.95% Monthly: �1.03% Includes monthly averages (Canada-to-U.S.) at market closing

Border traffic

Apr. 2013: 545,964 Yearly change: �0.65% Monthly: �6.62% Includes southbound passenger-vehicle crossings into Whatcom County

$1.10 $1.00 $0.90 $0.80 $0.70 $0.60 $0.50 $0.40 $0.30 $0.20 $0.10




600K 500K 400K 300K 200K 100K

Housing: Busy sales activity continues, but overall price increases slow Home sales prices

Average: Oct-13: $282,221 Yearly: �1.23% Monthly: �6.41% Median: Oct-13: $249,000 Yearly: �3.35% Monthly: �7.74% $350K Average price $300K $250K

Median price


Closed residential sales

Oct. 2013: 280 Yearly change: �15.7% Monthly: �8.11% Includes single-family homes and condos in Whatcom County

350 250 200 150






Includes single-family homes and condos in Whatcom County

400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50



Pending residential sales

Oct. 2013: 276 Yearly change: �11.54% Monthly: �8.91%


Foreclosures & delinquencies Delinquency: Aug-13: 3.33% Yearly: �0.99% Monthly: �0.18% Foreclosure: Aug-13: 1.17% Yearly: �0.3% Monthly: �0.11% 4.5% 4% 3.5% 3% 2.5% 2% 1.5% 1% 0.5%





Other factors: Airport, cruise terminal traffic below last year’s levels Airport traffic

Cruise terminal traffic

Bellingham permit values

Whatcom permit values

Oct. 2013: 42,533 Yearly change: �4.53% Monthly: �1.37%

Oct. 2013: 1,546 Yearly change: �18.46% Monthly: �15.19%

Oct. 2013: $13.9M Yearly change: �8.59% Monthly: �59.77%


4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500

$45M $40M $35M $30M $25M $20M $15M $10M $5M




Includes total enplanements at Bellingham International Airport


Includes inbound/outbound passengers at Bellingham Cruise Terminal


Includes total building-permit valuation in Bellingham

Oct. 2013: $7.9M Yearly change: �29.51% Monthly: �9.2% Includes total building-permit valuation in unincorporated county areas

$20M $15M $10M $5M

December 2013


UP AND AWAY Heritage Flight Museum announces move to new facility at Skagit Regional Airport BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal ith its final “Fly Day,” the Heritage Flight Museum’s days in Bellingham are numbered. Directors of the nonprofit museum, which is dedicated to preserving and flying historic military aircraft, announced on Thursday, Oct. 31, that they plan to move to the Skagit Regional Airport, in a hangar located at 15053 Crosswind Drive in Burlington. After a final Fly Day at the Bellingham International Airport on Saturday, Nov. 16—the museum uses the monthly events to showcase aircraft and other artifacts in its collection—the organization effectively


Local home sales continue rising; median price drops


his year’s lively activity in Whatcom County’s residential real-estate market looks to be continuing into the fall, as total closed sales in October rose 15.7 percent compared to last year, according to the latest stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The average sale price on homes also rose slightly from $278,791 in October 2012 to $282,221 in October 2013, an increase of 1.23 percent. However, the market’s median sale price dropped by 3.35 percent within the same time period, sliding from $257,625 in October 2012 to $249,000 in October of this year. Figures from the NMLS summarizing October’s activity across the 21 Washington state counties the organization serves showed year-over-year improvement in inventory (up 5.5 percent), double-digit increases in the volume of closed sales (up 12.5 percent), as well as moderate increases in selling prices

See HOUSING, Page 27

shut down as staff and volunteers began packing up and moving to their new home, said Kate Simmons, the museum’s director of programs. Land-lease negotiaHERITAGE FLIGHT MUSEUM PHOTO | COURTESY TO The Bellingham Business Journal tions last year between the Heritage museum and the The Heritage Flight Museum’s future home at the Skagit Regional Airport in Burlington. In front of the hangar Port of Bellingham, which sits two aircraft in the museum’s collection, an SNJ-4, left, and a Cessna O-2 Skymaster. operates the city’s airport, failed to reach agreeable firm owned by William Anders, an Apollo picnic area, as well as displays of decomterms on space for a new, larger museum astronaut and founder of the nonprofit missioned aircraft near the entrance to the facility that would be located just north of organization, as well as the father of its property. the airport’s runway. current executive director, Greg Anders. Heritage scrapped its plans late last year Since 2001, the museum has operated Conceptual plans for Heritage’s new after its directors said they received an out of an airplane hangar at the Bellingfacility included a permanent museum ham airport owned by Apogree LLC, a building, along with a library, cafe and See FLIGHT, Page 18

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Small businesses need a solid cash-flow model Most entrepreneurs know that ineffective cash management is one of the leading causes of business failure. It is also often the cause of hasty decisions regarding equity and debt — decisions they will often come to regret. In good economic times and bad, cash flow is almost always an issue with small to medium sized businesses. Recent changes in our economy — including collateral damage from the federal government budget battles — are raising it to major headache level. Beyond this temporary situation, though, smaller companies are routinely horsed around by big corporations and government when it comes to paying their bills on time. If you haven’t used your cash flow model recently, it should be dusted off, updated, and re-validated. If you don’t have a working cash flow model at all, this would be a great time to prepare one. There are two kinds of cash flow that you should know about; one deals with the past and the other with the future. The first, the Cash Flow Statement, is one of the three essential parts of your financial statement and addresses two questions about your business: Where did the money come from and what did you do with it? The other cash flow report is a model that addresses a different set of questions: how much money do we need to make

payroll and our other expenses next month? It allows you to forecast the cash On needs for your Business 101 company — daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on your requirement. Because of the coming economic pressures on cash, forecasting your future needs should be given a high priority on your “to do” list. The good news is that cash flow forecasts for smaller businesses are not that demanding in terms of accounting or math skills, and, even better, they are both informative and kind of fun. If you have never done one before, the Small Business Administration (SBA), through their Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), has some templates that you might find useful. Their 12-month cash flow forecast template may be found at sites/default/files/12_Month_Cash_Flow_0. xls . Also, most accounting software packages for smaller businesses have a cash forecast report already built into their system and provide instructions on how to set it up. The greatest value of a template, or a software package, is in getting you past the

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dreaded “Inertia of The Blank Page,” which often dooms projects undertaken by busy managers and entrepreneurs. As useful as they are, though, neither a template nor canned software will do your thinking for you. There is no substitute for your knowledge of the business when it comes to cash forecasting. It is probably best to start by taking a look at last month’s cash outlays. List the payments by type — suppliers, utilities, bank loans, taxes, payroll, and any other expenses that came up. You may find payments for non-expense items and for items paid for up front that are expensed over a longer time period. Use your common sense and your knowledge of the business when deciding which payments are onetime cash outflows and which ones come due periodically. Your check register can be used to ensure that the cash outlays for the month, less the one-time payments, equals the amount shown in your cash flow statement. This validates your model initially and gives you a starting place for the forecast. Using a spreadsheet such as Excel at this point will make the forecasting model easier to calculate as well as more useful. Last month’s cash outlays become the first data column in your spreadsheet. You can organize it to fit your business and your fore-

casting needs, but initially, at least, you will find it useful to group your outlays into recurrent and non-recurrent payments. You may find it useful to split up the recurrent expenses into monthly and nonmonthly. Some taxes, for example, are recurrent but come due quarterly rather than monthly. Others are due in a matter of days after payroll. Taxes are often the source of cash flow problems for businesses, and making sure that they are included in your forecasting system can avoid a situation where you cannot make a payment on time. Unless you have borrowed money from the mob and can’t pay it back, nothing will get you into trouble faster than missing a payroll tax payment to the Internal Revenue Service. Your knowledge of the business becomes they key to forecasting its cash needs. That, along with the monthly, quarterly, and seasonal cycle information you can calculate from your payments history, will form a solid cash flow forecast. It is an important step in managing your business instead of your letting your business manage you — and it’s well worth the effort.


Standing or springing DPOA

unpleasant circumstances to contemplate, it’s important to remember that the inability to pay bills or sell assets could undermine the wisest financial planning. While a court could appoint a guardian to act for you in the absence of a DPOA, that process can be costly, slow and traumatic. In most cases, creating a DPOA does not involve the courts at all. You can make your agent’s powers as limited or broad as you wish, including the authority to buy property, invest, sign contracts, engage in tax planning, make gifts and plan for government benefits. You may cancel or change your DPOA as long as you are not incapacitated, and you can even name the party or parties who will decide whether you are or not.

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Your agent — called an agent or attorney-in-fact, though they need not be an attorney — should be someone you trust to manage your affairs, protect your best interests, maintain accurate records and keep your property separate from his or her own. Some states allow multiple agents, but this can cause conflicts if they disagree. However, it is a good idea to name at least one alternate in case your first choice is unable to assume the role. Some states require your attorney-in-fact to be a state resident. Because your agent may not be recognized across state borders, you may wish to execute a DPOA in each state where you live or work.

James McCusker is a Bothell economist, educator and small-business consultant. He can be reached at otisrep@aol. com. His columns are also regularly featured in The Herald Business Journal in Everett, Wash., a partner publication of The Bellingham Business Journal.

A standing or standby DPOA becomes effective as soon as you sign it, which means that your agent has immediate power over your affairs. If you’re not comfortable with that, you may wish to create a springing DPOA, which “springs” into effect once you become incapacitated. This allows you to maintain control for as long as possible, but problems may arise if there is doubt or dispute about your incapacity. Neither type of DPOA substitutes for a will; in fact, any DPOA will terminate when you die.

Spelling out the details While there are do-it-yourself DPOA forms available, an effective DPOA requires a thorough understanding of your state’s laws and other factors. For example, authorizing an agent to give away your wealth before you die may create tax advantages for your estate, but it can also be an invitation to fraud. Additionally, some third parties such as banks or insurance companies may be reluctant to honor a DPOA or may require customized paperwork. For these and other reasons, it is advisable to consult an attorney and financial adviser when drawing up your DPOA.

Erin Eddins is a chartered financial consultant, a member of the Financial Planning Association and is a certified financial planner with StanCorp Investment Advisers Inc. She specializes in Social Security maximization, pre- and postretirement planning strategies and asset management. She can be reached at or 425-2125986. Her columns also appear in The Herald Business Journal in Everett, Wash., a partner publication of The Bellingham Business Journal.

H W December 2013









Bellingham / Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry : Representing Businesses Across Whatcom County


The Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry welcomes six new members to its Board of Directors with terms beginning in January 2014. “We took the opportunity with six vacancies to build a more economically diverse board,” said Tim Spink, Exxel Pacific and Chamber Board Development Chair. The Board of Directors believes that it still has work to do to build representation with other key sectors of Whatcom County’s economy and feels this list is a great start towards that goal. They are: Anne Bowen, Director, WCC Foundation Representing workforce development in Whatcom County. Whatcom Community College is innovating with its new state-ofthe-art Health Professions

Education Center and is now home to CyberWatch West, a prestigious cybersecurity education consortium.

Julian Greening, General Manager, Wilson Motors Representing a key retail sector in Whatcom County in automobile sales and service, a sector which has not been represented on the Chamber Board for some time. Jeff Callender, Regional Director, Public Affairs and Communications, Phillips 66 Refinery Continues the Chamber’s long relationship with Cherry Point industries. Jeff is also the President of the Board of Directors for the Economic Development Council. Anne Freeman Rasmussen, Director of Development -Major Gifts, PeaceHealth

Whatcom county was recently recognized as one of the healthiest communities in the United States. PeaceHealth, is one of Whatcom County’s largest employers and a significant community asset. Anne’s representation on the board connects the Chamber of Commerce to this important community asset. Renè Morris, Senior General Manager, General Growth Properties, Bellis Fair Mall Retail is one of the key drivers of Whatcom County’s economy. Renè, originally from Skagit County, brings 15 years of experience in mall management and understands the business from a local, regional and national perspective. Lydia Bennett, Broker and Consultant, CRE West

Coast Lydia brings to the board a unique perspective with experience working as a commercial real estate broker as well as a property manager for the Port of Bellingham. She is also a highly respected instructor for the commercial real estate industry. In addition, the Board is in the process of hiring a new President/CEO for the Chamber of Commerce. Applicants are being screened and the best candidates will be reviewed in the next two to three weeks. “Our plan is to build on our new Board with a new President/CEO ready to go in 2014,”said Kathy Herndon, Board CEO. We are excited to continue our second century as the Bellingham/ Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry.”

Bill Gorman Interim Executive Director, Bellingham/ Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry

2013 Current Board of Directors Co Chairs Jim Darling, Maul, Foster & Alongi Kathi Herndon, VSH CPA’s Past Chair Christine Palmerton, Nauti-Girl Brands Treasurer Peter Cutbill, Whidbey Island Bank Secretary Troy Wills, Peoples Bank Directors Susie Betts, Solutions Electrical Contracting, Inc Glen Groenig, The UPS Store Mike McEvoy, McEvoy Oil Company Jon Sitkin, Chmelik, Sitkin, Davis P.S. Tim Spink, Exxel Pacific Lori Reece, RE/MAX Whatcom County Ex-Officio Robert Fix, Port of Bellingham Cale Luna, Advanced Solutions Technologies Lori Rahm, Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism Robert Wilson, Whatcom Council of Governments Tyler Byrd, Red Rokk Interactive Bill Gorman, The Chamber

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ADDING TO THE VALUE OF THE REGION’S AGRICULTURE by Jeff Voltz, Project Manager at Northwest Agriculture Business Center

Value-added processing of grain into high quality poultry feed. Alex Ekins, Production Manager of Scratch and Peck Feeds, off-loading grain that will be milled into feed. Photo by Peter James Photography Studio


e, who live in Whatcom County, are blessed with beautiful landscapes and a bounty of wonderful farms and families that provide healthful food.

With sales of $326.5M in 2007 (the latest USDA Agricultural Census data currently available) our county ranked number seven in Washington State for the total value of commodity agricultural product sold, and number one in Western Washington. It is estimated that agriculture and related industries create well over $1B in economic activity and thousands of jobs in Whatcom County. Farming is not an easy business. There are plenty of risks including weather events, market and price



With offices in Skagit and Whatcom Counties, NABC is a private nonprofit that serves

pressures, rising fuel costs, the rising cost of land, and farm succession challenges. All of these can negatively impact the profitability of a family’s farm business. Much of the dollar increase that propels the $326.5M in the total value of commodity product to achieving more than $1B in economic activity comes from enterprises which are able to add value to their raw products. Helping farmers to capture more of that value can be one way to help to improve farm profitability and reduce risk. The Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC) is a regional private nonprofit that provides support in a number of ways to help local agricultural producers capture more value for the commodity products they produce. This support in-

cludes technical assistance for the preparation of strategic, market and business plans, and support to secure sources of capital necessary for business start-up and expansion. NABC currently works “hands-on” to make

farmers and agriculture-related businesses in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties. The nonprofit is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors. Each County appoints three directors with one director appointed from Wash-

ington State University. More than half of the Board consists of farmers. NABC has nine staff with a deep and diverse set of skills and experience including strategic and business planning, marketing, brand development, finance, facilities development,

December 2013 direct connections between value-added producers and the supermarkets, institutional food service providers, and restaurants that are seeking new and locally produced products. A very important need that NABC serves is to establish or reestablish the infrastructure necessary to increase the production of value-added food products. Some of our Whatcom County-oriented projects include business development support that helped with new infrastructure for the local processing and packaging of apple cider, certified organic and pasture-raised eggs, dairy products, distilled spirits, energy bars, fresh vegetables and poultry feed. And NABC is continuing to support local meat producers seeking expanded opportunities to access USDA-inspected meat processing through its work with the North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative.


The second largest saw blade manufacturer in North America is Cut Technologies in Bellingham.

The largest hemlock moulding manufacturing plant in the world is Sauder Moulding in Ferndale.

The largest manufacturer of ship anchors and marine chain in the U.S. is Lister Chain & Forge in Blaine. PHOTO: RANDEN PETERSON Twin Brook Creamery, a six-generation Whatcom County family farm, opened a small milk processing plant in 2008. Due to business growth the creamery has since tripled the size of the facility and automated its processing line.

food safety, project management and cooperative development. For more information please access; (360) 336-36727 (Skagit Office) or (360) 593-4744 (Whatcom Office).

In 1933, Bellingham had two hospitals - Saint Luke’s and Saint Joseph’s. PHOTO: WHATCOM MUSEUM OF HISTORY & ART

The third largest marine fuel tank manufacturer in the U.S. is Coastline Equipment in Bellingham.

December 2013



Bellis Fair Celebrates 25 Years in Grand Fashion by René Morris, Sr. General Manager at Bellis Fair / GGP

place with giant video wall is the new centerpiece in the Food Court. Charging stations and free Wi-Fi are now available throughout the mall.


f you haven’t been to Bellis Fair in the last few weeks, you are in for a big surprise! For the last eight months, Bellis Fair has been undergoing a dramat-

ic facelift. Contractors have been working around the clock replacing every tile in the mall to create a complementary tile pattern with altering marble and wood grain. They’ve been building new dramatic entrances at the front of the mall

and near Target. New restrooms have replaced the dated and a new Community Room will open in January! The new food court is filled with new tables and chairs and soft seating areas are surrounded with lush plants. A grand stone fire-

Where Our Family is Committed to Yours!

Common pitfalls when applying  Did you receive a notice of denial? ...Was it from Apple Health?

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 If a member of your home is mapped to Apple Health,

they are then removed from your census.

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“The transformation is unbelievable,” says Sr. General Manager René Morris. “We welcome the community to join in our celebration of the upcoming holiday season. New holiday décor will adorn the mall along with a new Santa set in our Center Court. Santa’s living room will be a welcoming site for children and adults alike. And we aren’t done yet. The next phase of our development is coming in 2014! In addition, we will be announcing our newest retailers soon! “

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December 2013

Navigating Obamacare without a Compass by Larry Thompson, Executive Director atWhatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (WAHA)

exchanges are also springing up – evidence that the distribution model for health insurance products is beginning to modernize. 4. As an inducement to get more people covered, many employers who don’t currently offer coverage can receive subsidies (also called tax credits) when offering coverage on the exchange.


y now you’ve undoubtedly heard many sound bites about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. Some of these are correct and some are slanted towards one political pole or another. Below are the five key impacts that WAHA would recommend business owners know going forward:

1. For all employers the nature of health insurance policies will be changing. The law has attempted to steer the market away from a number of coverage provisions that used to be routine policies. Examples include dollar caps on annual coverage and pre-existing condition clauses.

5. For all employer-offered coverage, as well as individual coverage, in 2014 there will be standards affecting all health in2. Large employers (over 50 surance policy cost sharing employees) may be subject to penalties starting in 2015 provisions. These provisions limit consumer out-ofif they do not offer qualifypocket costs. Additionally, ing coverage that contains a each policy must contain 10 standardized list of essential “essential health benefits”, benefits. such as mental health treatment or maternity care. 3. While it will continue Will these changes raise to be possible to buy your your costs? Answer: it employee’s health insurance depends on your individual the old-fashioned way, a new circumstances. For some, vehicle called “health insureffective total cost will be ance exchanges” will also lower. For others, it will be be available to you. These higher. exchanges, like online “big box” stores, will allow you To gain a better underto more quickly compare a standing of your unique wider variety of insurance situation, WAHA recomproducts. In addition to the mends that you consult with government-run exchange a trained insurance broker in Washington (wahealthor an impartial in-person, private assister.* Brokers and as-

sisters review hundreds of cases and can quickly size up your individual situation. In the best of circumstances, health insurance is a confusing product to buy. As this market undergoes its biggest change in at least 50 years, it won’t get easier to make decisions until this changing market stabilizes. The good news is that dozens of local brokers have been trained on these new realities. Add to that the available in-person-assister organizations like WAHA and you’ll never ever have to learn what a “bronze plan” is unless you want to.

* For a list of brokers and in-person assister organizations in Whatcom County go to

Larry Thompson Executive Director, WAHA Larry is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and the University of Oregon. His more than thirty year career has seen him touch in one way or another nearly every sector of the health and medical care world. Holding leadership and management roles in the public and private sectors, he has worked in public policy, in managing mainstream provider groups, in research and teaching, and in the health insurance sector.

Top Pitfalls & Trapdoors

About Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (WAHA), whatcomalliance. org Improving Lives, Transforming Care WAHA is a nonprofit organization with a mission that includes connecting people to health care and transforming our current health care system into one that honors and serves the entire community. To receive notifications on enrollment or educational opportunities: please sign up for WAHA’s e-newsletter, newsletter-signup/ Or like us on facebook, www.

What are members saying about the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber?

“There is no better place than the Chamber to meet today’s business leaders here in Whatcom County. The more you are involved with the Chamber, the more you will see the benefits the Chamber provides.” Scott Richardson President State Street Insurance Allstate on State Street 2009 Chamber Board Chairman

Join the Chamber Call Marvin Riggs 360-734-1330

when applying for health plans on Washington Healthplanfinder: 1. If your spouse is offered coverage through an employer, you will likely not qualify for a subsidy. 2. Marking YES when the application asks, ‘Do you have coverage?’ is actually asking – Do you already have coverage in place for 2014? You need to mark NO to receive a subsidy.

filing Separately.’ You must mark ‘Married, filing Jointly.’ 6. Not entering correct income information – need to enter information that is expected for 2014.

“Being involved with the Chamber has allowed me outstanding networking opportunities.

7. Clients have to notify their old carrier that they need to cancel their plan.

I’ve made contacts that simply wouldn’t have evolved without the chamber.

3. Receiving a Notice of Denial is often a notice of denial from Apple Health.

8. This IS happening, people think that it’s not final, but it is.

In the land of game shows, this would be a daily double.

4. If a member of your household is eligible for Apple Health, they will not be included in your household census that determines subsidy eligibility. If someone goes onto apple, your subsidy amount will adjust.

9. Recently President Obama stated that you could keep your old plan. Mike Kriedler says that’s a no go.

5. You won’t qualify for a subsidy if you mark ‘Married,

10. First premium is paid to Washington Healthplanfinder and subsequent payments go directly through the carrier. Written by Keith Wallace, Broker at Rice Insurance

In the land of sales, this is priceless!” Troy Wills Vice President/ Branch Manager Peoples Bank

December 2013


READY FOR THE WRAP PARTY Alice Clark reflects on fundraising and arts in Bellingham as she steps down from leading the Pickford Film Center BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal fter spending nearly 15 years filling key roles at the nonprofit Pickford Film Center, including more than a decade as its executive director, Alice Clark said there was some sadness in closing a rewarding chapter of her life. But taking into account how far the Pickford has come since its infancy in Bellingham, she leaves with a high level of job satisfaction. The popular downtown theater, which began as a small, 80-seat venue on Cornwall Avenue (which today continues as the Pickford’s Limelight Cinema), today has a bright, new home in Bellingham’s emerging Arts District and more that 85,000 annual ticket sales with revenues that reach $1 million. Clark will officially step down as the center’s leader on Dec. 31. The Pickford’s board of directors is in the process of finding a successor. As a driving force behind the center’s fundraising efforts, including a recent successful effort to raise $225,000 for necessary digital upgrades to the theater’s projection equipment, Clark is a proponent of greater collaboration between nonprofits, business owners and city leaders to bolster creative arts in Bellingham.



In your time at the Pickford, what accomplishment are you most proud of? Building the Pickford Film Center, itself, for sure. When we started the organization our sole operation was the old Pickford Cinema on Cornwall Avenue and, although blessed with many good attributes, it still suffered from limitations of space and inferior sight lines. I became a bit obsessed about figuring out how we could eventually find a better home base that would provide a better viewing experience and give us the space we needed to really become the community hub we knew our members would respond to. The journey there took most of my tenure at PFC to complete, but it was an amazing experience, and we accomplished what we set out to do. In fact, the PFC has turned out to have more of an impact than we realized in the beginning. For us, the main driver was about creating a better place to watch and enjoy movies, but the reality is that the film center also evolved into a major anchor in the Arts District and a real economic driver downtown. That has been very cool to see happen.

What do you wish you had more time to work on? I think I would have to say that would be in the programming aspect of PFC. We put the outdoor cinema on a bit of a hiatus during the capital campaign and building of the film center, and I think we now have the time to grow that program again, which allows us to serve children and families more than we typically do at our theaters. I also would like to see us do more for the local filmmakers in the area, from young adults to more accomplished professionals. I feel that as the regional film organization, it is something we should commit to on a higher level. But that is just my personal opinion. What’s the best piece of fundraising advice you’ve ever received?

EVAN MARCZYNSKI PHOTO | The Bellingham Business Journal

Alice Clark has led the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham since 2001, and has been involved with the center as a founding board member and volunteer since 1998. we are learning about how Shackleton made it to Antarctica or watching a kid survive poverty in India, like in “Slumdog Millionaire,” movies expand our understanding. When you couple that with our community’s desire to learn and share that experience with each other, then you have created something that does more than show movies—it is a community-building institution, which is a good thing. What can Bellingham business owners and city leaders can do to foster nonprofit

organizations like the Pickford, as well as other creative-arts groups? As far as business owners, I think that there are several things they can do that would really help and there are businesses out there that are already doing some of these. 1. Create a culture of giving back within your own company. All nonprofits are possible due in large part to the work of volunteers, so encourage your employees

See Q&A, Page 18

It was from Miriam Barnett, the powerhouse behind Allied Arts in the late 90s. She said: ‘’It’s all about relationships.’’ This seems like a no brainer, but in reality I think a lot of people underestimate this piece of the puzzle. You can do all of the planning and trainings you want, but without having formed relationships with those you plan to ask to begin with, you won’t get very far. In fundraising for the Pickford, what was your greatest challenge? I think that we started before all of our ducks were 100 percent in a row, and in some ways that may have heeded our progress. On the other hand, if we hadn’t started when we did, then we might have wound up having the economic downturn happen earlier in the campaign. It is easy to speculate about such things. The truth is that it took a long time, we weathered the rough years toward the end and were ultimately successful. Like raising a child, you do the best you can and you make some mistakes along the way. That’s part of life. What matters in the end is the final result. What’s the most important thing the Pickford brings to Bellingham? To me it is about bringing the stories from all over the country and the world to our community and giving people the space and time to understand the meaning of those stories. Understanding is a key component of this. We may not be hanging out around fires anymore listening to the tales of past defeats and victories, but we still have the desire for the story, as it tells us about ourselves and our place in the world. Whether

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offer for a $3,500-per-month lease from port officials, which would be too expensive for the museum to manage. They argued that when Heritage first moved to the Bellingham airport, former port executive Jim Darling had offered to lease land to the museum for a nominal annual rate of $1, with consideration to its nonprofit status and the potential tourism it could bring. Darling authored a port memorandum back in 2002 that said the port’s elected commission had found some support for allowing such leasing terms, as long as the museum met several conditions, including funding the project through a private foundation or state or federal grants and designing the facility so it could be converted for other commercial purposes should Heritage ever cease operations. However, the port commission, which must vote to authorize lease decisions, never officially offered land to the Heritage Flight Museum under those terms. Daniel Zenk, the port’s aviation director, said in a previous interview with The Bellingham Business Journal that the $1 lease offer was not something the port could offer, citing Federal Aviation Administration rules that require airports that accept FAA grant money (which Bellingham’s airport has done to fund upgrades to its runway and facilities) to charge uniform rates for any “fixed-base” operator. In followup comments last month, Zenk said the museum had been an asset in Bellingham, and he’s sure they will be an asset at the Skagit Regional Airport. “I wish them well. I hope they will thrive

in Skagit County,” Zenk said. Greg Anders said, in a statement released Oct. 31, that the museum’s directors and staff regretted having to leave Bellingham. “We are a small business that cannot survive in an infertile environment. … We must go where we are more likely to thrive,” Anders said. Simmons said that the museum’s staff hoped to hold a “soft” opening in its new Skagit County hangar space by February. Their target date for a grand opening would be in April, which would coincide with the region’s popular Tulip Festival, she said. “That would be our hope to do that,” Simmons said. “It might be a little ambitious.” Simmons said the museum’s directors and staff were excited about the possibilities of their new facility. The move to the NATE MCGREW PHOTO | COURTESY TO The Bellingham Business Journal Skagit Regional Airport will Greg Anders, right, Heritage Flight Museum’s executive director, talks with visitors at a Fly Day event in allow them to bring all of their 2011. collections and maintenance work under a single roof, conpassenger flight activity, has seen a recent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, tinue with monthly and annual uptick in business from corporate clients, Simmons said. events, develop a gift shop and provide who use the airport to station their compaShe added that any supporters who space for both corporate and private ny-owned jets. A nonprofit museum that wanted to lend a hand in the move should events, she said. can offer event space and bring in visitors contact the museum, which is online at Patsy Martin, the executive director and tourists should fit nicely, she said. of the Port of Skagit, said the addition of “We have a large and very underutilized the Heritage Flight Museum could bring facility,” Martin said. much-appreciated new activity to the Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Heritage will have to make several Skagit Regional Airport. Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. modifications to their new space, including 5052, or She said the regional aviation facility, updates that will bring it into compliance which has some cargo service but minimal

Q&A | FROM 17

German Auto Service, Sales, Trust

December 2013

to volunteer with nonprofits by serving as board members, participating in community projects or other ways. Encouraging this could mean giving paid time off while doing volunteer work, creating a way for employees to work together on a volunteer project and allowing time for employees to speak about the nonprofits they support and why. 2. Offer matching gift programs for your employees. It may not need to be a 50-50 match. If you can afford a flat amount or percentage, then do that. This encourages employees to give and creates goodwill all around in the process. 3. Allocate a percentage of your annual budget to nonprofit sponsorships. This is one of those win-win situations: You help a nonprofit make a program happen, and in return, you gain some positive exposure for your company. 4. Consider what else your business has that might be of use to nonprofits, which are always looking for donated services and equipment. Can you afford to donate something now and then to a nonprofit’s annual fundraiser? You don’t need to wait until they ask. Contact the nonprofits you are interested in, and offer them what you have. The same goes for cast-off equipment. As far as city leaders are concerned, I would like to see leadership on creating a fund for projects like the Pickford Film Center. Right now there are just a handful of avenues for funding, none of which are really designated for projects like ours. We were able to secure some funds from the local tourism commission, but typically applicants need to show they are drawing

tourists from outside of the city. Most local projects simply don’t fit that requirement. One idea could be to crowdsource the process. By this I mean groups with projects applying for funding could have them posted on a city-run website (maybe the Arts Commission could be the designated city avenue for these). The community could review the applications and commit individual funds to the projects they want to see happen. The city would then commit matching funds to those that garnered the most support. This way the city and the community are partnering together with nonprofit groups to make projects happen. After Dec. 31, what comes next for you? I think I am an entrepreneur at heart, so I look forward to throwing myself into my new pie business (Alice’s Pies) and taking on that new challenge. I am dabbling with other ideas, as well, including writing, maybe a little consulting and exploring other business ideas. Hopefully I will also find time to get back into art by painting and other cool projects, traveling and more hiking. I also look forward to having fun with the Sunnyland Stomp again next year with an even bigger chicken race. So much to do, so little time! The Pickford Film Center is hosting a three-week exhibit on the history of film theaters in Bellingham in honor of its 15th anniversary and its outgoing executive director, Alice Clark. The historical exhibit will be on display in the lobby of Pickford Film Center, located at 1318 Bay St. in downtown Bellingham, until Dec. 15.

December 2013


PUBLIC RECORDS Government information relevant to business

Business licenses

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

1123 Productions, 1123 Productions LLC, 2612 Alabama St. #A, Bellingham, WA 98229. A&K Services, Jon Robert Koker, 1131 Van Wyck Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Active Life Pilates, Cynthia Amy Gabriel, 3240 Cherrywood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Aerial Estates, Aerial Estates, 3001 Lindbergh Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Alaska Naturals, Trident Seafoods Corporation, 400 W. Orchard Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. Ashley Krebsbach Healing Touch, Ashley Charmayne Krebsbach, 4055 Gloria Lane, Bellingham, WA 98226. Barn Hunt Academy, Barn Hunt Academy LLC, 903 19th St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Bay City Construction Company, Bay City Construction Company, 2969 Plymouth Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. Bay City View 201 LLC, Bay City View 201 LLC, 729 High St., Apt. 201, Bellingham, WA 98225. Bellingham Aromatherapy, Karen Sue Jensen, 26 Inglewood Place, Bellingham, WA 98229. Bellingham Film Festivals, Avielle Rain Heath, 2626 Park St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Bellingham Jazzercise LLC, Bellingham Jazzercise LLC, 1517 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Big Moose Catering, Nathan Warner, 3728 Magrath Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Biomechanix, Greenlight Movement Education LLC, 1221 Fraser St. #102, Bellingham, WA 98229. Blam LLC, Blam LLC, 2118 I St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Blueprint Clinical Inc., BP Clinical Development Inc., 115 W. Magnolia St., Suite 209, Bellingham, WA 98225. Boz Hogg, Boz Hogg, 1114 Harris Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Bring The Pane, Jarrett Ashur Merl, 4236 Stone Crest Court, Bellingham, WA 98226. BT Davis Ventures Inc., BT Davis Ventures Inc., 913 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Cascade Culinary Consulting, Dillon Matthew Bissell, 2413 Ellis St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Chad Walker, Chad Walker, 2724 Utter St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Christine Harem, Christine Marie Harem, 27 Tumbling Water Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Chuy’s Auto Mechanic, Jesus A. Rivera, 1265 Kelly Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Coastal Regions LLC, Coastal Regions LLC, 4540 Cordata Parkway, Suite 101, Bellingham, WA 98226. Cobalt Mortgage Inc., Cobalt Mortgage Inc., 2200 Rimland Drive, Suite 110, Bellingham, WA 98226. Compass Christian Ministries, Compass Christian Ministries, 2220 Lynn St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Courtenay McFadden, Courtenay McFadden, 110 43rd St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Crooked Hill Cycles LLC, Crooked Hill Cycles LLC, 1819 Donovan Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Darkside Glassworks, TetraHealth Clothing And Gifts LLC, 1326 E. Laurel St. #200, Bellingham, WA 98225. David E. Bourlier, David E. Bourlier, 356 Viewcrest Road, Bellingham, WA 98229. Diablo Golf LLC, Diablo Golf LLC, 1200 Broad St. Bellingham, WA 98229. Electric Tree Media, Omar Jordan, 2206 D St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Endless Potential LLC, Endless Potential LLC, 3800 Byron Ave., Unit B, Bellingham, WA 98229. Essen, Essen, 402 Cedar St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Exceleration Driving Schools LLC, Exceleration Driving Schools LLC, 1308 Meador Ave., Suite C-8, Bellingham, WA 98229. Fairhaven Integrative Health PLLC, Fairhaven Integrative Health PLLC, 1224 Harris Ave., Suite 108, Bellingham, WA 98225. Flying Bird Botanicals, Flying Bird Botanicals LLC, 2812 Cedarwood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Forever Homes Concrete Inc., Forever Homes Concrete Inc., 835 Samish Way, Bellingham, WA 98229. Freedman & Associates Psychological Services, PLLC, Freedman & Associates Psychological Services PLLC, 2110 Iron St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Geezers Of America, Geezers Of America LLC, 3712 Seeley St., Bellingham, WA 98226. General Relevance, General Relevance, 1715 E. Sunset Drive, Apt.

3, Bellingham, WA 98226. Glama’s Estate Jewelry And Collectibles LLC, Glama’s Estate Jewelry And Collectibles LLC, 702 Kentucky St., Unit 421, Bellingham, WA 98225. Glass & Gourds By Matt, Matthew John Gregorich, 3802 James St., Unit 49, Bellingham, WA 98226. Global Marketing Strategies LLC, Global Marketing Strategies LLC, 2509 Cedarwood Ave., Suite 3, Bellingham, WA 98225. Green Truck I Limited Partnership, Green Truck I Limited Partnership, 1313 E. Maple St., Suite 217, Bellingham, WA 98225. Green. Fabric. Love., Chiane T. Bakke, 3557 Cedarville Road, Trailer 25, Bellingham, WA 98226. Hana Teriyaki, Yakim Company, 701 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Healing On The Sabbath Ministry, Healing On The Sabbath Ministry, 2105 Birch Circle, Bellingham, WA 98229. Henderson Lawn Care, Douglas Edward Henderson, 1688 Sapphire Trail, Bellingham, WA 98226. Houseware, Houseware, 3720 Woodside Way, Bellingham, WA 98226. Impossible Roads Foundation, Impossible Roads Foundation, 2515 Vining St., Bellingham, WA 98226. Insight Glassworks, Brian Isaac James, 1306 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Iron Street Printing LLC, Iron Street Printing LLC, 929 N. State St., Suite B, Bellingham, WA 98225. J. L. White, Jodi Tarvin White, 2833 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Jones Physical Therapy, Clare Monica Jones, 2321 Dean Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Joule Group LLC, Joule Group LLC, 1329 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225. KBK Cleaning, Colleen Komenda, 2374 Forest View Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Kelly Kenney, Kelly Kenney, 800 13th St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Kelly Rosebrock Photography, Kelly Lynne Rosebrock, 1015 Railroad Ave., Unit 308, Bellingham, WA 98225. Kountry Customz LLC, Kountry Customz LLC, 5930 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, WA 98226. Let’s Clean, Let’s Clean, 2920 Moore St., Bellingham, WA 98226. Licorice Fish, Licorice Fish, 1909 Donovan Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Little Bird Intuitive Arts, Erika Lucienne D. Rado, 1185 Lakewood Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. Luma Continuing Education, Robert F. Costello, 2330 Cherry St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Mac’s Quality Cleaning, William M. Boyce, 2251 Michigan St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Master Auto Detail LLC, Master Auto Detail LLC, 1204 Iowa St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Memo’s Auto & Carpet Cleaning, Guillermo Rosas, 1302 Birchwood Ave., Apt. B10, Bellingham, WA 98225. Michelle B. Dahlgren, Michelle B. Dahlgren, 4000 Flynn St., Spc. 96,Bellingham, WA 98229. Monica Elizabeth Latham, Monica Elizabeth Latham, 5728 Schickler Lane, Bellingham, WA 98226. Mt. Baker Powder Coating Inc., Mt. Baker Powder Coating Inc., 2023 Grant St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Norbert’s Home & Yard Maintenance, Norbert Zalabai, 149 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Northwest Straits Foundation, Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Foundation, 1155 N. State St., Suite 402, Bellingham, WA 98225. Packetkraft, Jared Andrew Hayward, 1000 High St., Unit 301, Bellingham, WA 98225. Rapid Response, Rapid Response, 4008 Northwest Ave., Apt. I-304, Bellingham, WA 98226. Ravenwood Advisors Inc., Ravenwood Advisors Inc., 2 Ravenwood Court, Bellingham, WA 98229. Redemptive Christian Counseling, Redemptive Christian Counseling, 103 E. Holly St., Suite 404, Bellingham, WA 98225. Relocate Northwest Inc., Relocate Northwest Inc., 1313 E. Maple St. #201-558, Bellingham, WA 98225. Reprise Hosting, Elliot Nelson Bradshaw, 1112 40th St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Rescare Homecare, Res-Care Washington Inc., 1337 Lincoln St., Suite 1, Bellingham, WA 98229. Richmond Corporation, Trans Techno Partners LLC, 3222 Eagleridge Way, Bellingham, WA 98226. Rock And Rye Oyster House, Algonquin Enterprises LLC, 1145 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Rose’s Home Solutions, Rosalie D. Foss, 713 Marine Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225.

Rosmari Gold Star Cleaning LLC, Rosmari Gold Star Cleaning LLC, 1200 Lincoln St., Unit 190, Bellingham, WA 98229. Security First Financial Services Inc., Security First Financial Services Inc., 2107 Birch Circle, Bellingham, WA 98229. Setting Sun Productions, Darrell Steven Hillaire, 102 E. Maple St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Shikany Technical Services Inc., Shikany Technical Services Inc., 3619 Northridge Pl., Bellingham, WA 98226. SJT Engineering LLC, SJT Engineering LLC, 1033 E. Laurel Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Sole Photography, Candace Allen, 1676 Summit Court, Bellingham, WA 98226. Spectrum Veterinary Care, Colleen E. Coyne, 3807 York St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Staci Littlefield, Staci Marie Littlefield, 2517 Humboldt St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Stephen A. Seymour, Stephen A. Seymour, 3725 Dana St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Stewart’s Internet Consignment Shop, Randolph Darrell Stewart, 1201 Cornwall Ave., Suite 102, Bellingham, WA 98225. Sunflower Co. Inc., Mason Investment Inc., 745 Cross St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Tera’s Adult Day Care, Tera D. Herting, 1154 Lakewood Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. The Sisterhood, Olivia B. Hanson-Hostetter, 1215 Kelly Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. The Starving Artist, Aerin A. Adrian, 1342 Orleans St., Bellingham, WA 98229. The Unity Group, Hub International Northwest LLC, 110 Unity St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Thinh Vk Nguyen, Thinh Vk Nguyen, 321 Telegraph Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Tracey Thuy Tran Vu, Tracey Thuy Tran Vu, 127 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Traditional Karate, Traditional Karate Of Bellingham LLC, 1027 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Trayvax Enterprises LLC, Trayvax Enterprises LLC, 2412 Queen St., Apt. 201, Bellingham, WA 98229. True Name Soap Company, True Name Soap Company LLC, 2929 Cedarwood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Uptown Art Studio, New Bellingham Corp., 23 Bellwether Way #101, Bellingham, WA 98225. Vantage Spot Photography, Angela Nicole Holloway, 2611 Moore St., Bellingham, WA 98226. Vital Produce, Vital Produce, 2925 Cottonwood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Westy Foot Spa/Massage, Shihua Xu, 436 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 107, Bellingham, WA 98226. Whispering Winds PLLC, Whispering Winds PLLC, 1506 F St., Bellingham, WA 98225.

Building permits

Includes commercial building activity with an estimated valuation listed at $10,000 or more. Records are obtained from the City of Bellingham’s Permit Center. Status updates on permits are available on on the city’s website at

11/12/13 to 11/18/13 Issued permits 905 Darby Drive, $415,000 for foundation only for new bloodcollection medical facility: Biolife Plasma Services. Applicant and contractor: Oracle Contracting Services. Permit No.: BLD2013-00522. 11/12/13. 811 Harris Ave., $80,952 for new commercial: install new and used pallet racking system: LFS. Applicant and contractor: Northwest Handling Systems. Permit No.: BLD2013-00515. 11/15/13. 202 Ohio St., $50,000 for commercial: remove and replace metal roofing and install new fascia boards (no insulation or structural work proposed). Contractor: Eagle Contracting/STL Building Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00547. 11/15/13. Pending applications 1029 22nd St., $1,864,400 for new four-story, 16-unit multifamily building. Permit No.: BLD2013-00389. 11/15/13. 155 E. Kellogg Road, $185,000 for commercial addition and alterations: construct addition between two existing senior-care facilities and combine the two into one building: Highgate House. Permit No.: BLD2013-00344. 11/13/13. 519 E. Maple St., $25,000 for commercial: repair structure hit by vehicle, install retaining wall and reinforce interior balcony where portion removed. Permit No.: BLD2013-00534. 11/14/13. 1014 N. Garden St., $15,000 for commercial: replace exterior wood front-entry stair with new concrete stair and metal railing. Permit No.: BLD2013-00545. 11/14/13. 1020 Garden St., $10,000 for commercial: replacement of exterior stairway and second floor deck. Permit No.: BLD2013-00546.

11/14/13. 11/4/13 to 11/12/13 Issued permits 910 W. Holly St., $200,000 for commercial addition/alteration: elevator constructed on exterior of building: Lighthouse Mission. Contractor: Colacurcio Bros. Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00520. 11/8/13. 1001 Meador Ave. 108 (tool storage), $121,000 for commercial: demolish and replace existing storage building with post-frame building. Contractor: Alvord & Richardson Construction Co. Permit No.: BLD2013-00458. 11/5/13. 700 W. Holly St., $100,000 for commercial: repair and restoration of south facade of building from second floor to parapet. Contractor: Pearson Construction Corp. Permit No.: BLD2013-00510. 11/4/13. 2950 Newmarket St. 104, $50,000 for commercial: new prefabricated walk-up, thru-the-wall ATM and machinery room; modification of existing storefront system. Contractor: Westmark Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00532. 11/7/13. Pending applications 913 Lakeway Drive, $45,000 for commercial: remodel of ground floor and second floor bathrooms: RE/MAX. Contractor: Hjelmseth Construction. Permit No.: BLD2013-00539. 11/7/13. 10/28/13 to 11/4/13 Issued permits 2945 Newmarket St., $32,799 for commercial re-roof: re-cover over one layer of existing “tourchdown” roofing with 60 mil. TPO roof membrane system. Applicant and contractor: Hytech Roofing Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00291. 10/30/13. 1305 Fraser St. 101, [no valuation listed] for commercial alterations and occupancy change: new fitness studio in previous office/warehouse space: Pro Fitness Northwest. Contractor: Kulshan Builders. Permit No.: BLD2013-00476. 11/1/13. Pending applications 2500 Squalicum Parkway, $890,299 for commercial: phase one (9,960 square feet) of new 21,000-square-foot, one-story medical office building with associated, on-site parking (shell only). Permit No.: BLD2013-00535. 10/31/13. 2014 C St., $144,000 for commercial alterations: re-roof and repair finishes of judicial-services office area, new HVAC unit and interior security improvements. Contractor: Faber Construction Corp. Permit No.: BLD2013-00507. 10/29/13. 3824 Hammer Drive, $130,000 for new commercial: preengineered, open steel RV storage building. Permit No.: BLD201300463. 11/1/13. 1001 Meador Ave. 101 (Tool Storage), $121,000 for commercial: demolish and replace existing storage building with post-frame building. Permit No.: BLD2013-00458. 10/30/13. 2901 Squalicum Parkway CN (ground floor), $118,000 for tenant improvement: remodel of nonpatient support spaces on ground floor. Permit No.: BLD2013-00536. 11/1/13. 3826 Hammer Drive, $100,000 for new commercial: preengineered, open steel RV storage building. Permit No.: BLD201300464. 11/1/13. 3820 Hammer Drive, $90,000 for new commercial: office building for RV storage site. Permit No.: BLD2013-00462. 11/1/13. 3822 Hammer Drive, $80,000 for new commercial: pre-engineered, open steel RV storage building. Permit No.: BLD2013-00461. 11/1/13. 23 Bellwether Way 101, $50,000 for tenant improvement: Suite 101 to be an art studio. Permit No.: BLD2013-00533. 10/31/13. 2950 Newmarket St. 104, $50,000 for commercial: new prefabricated walk-up, “thru-the-wall” ATM and machinery rooms and modification of existing storefront system. Permit No.: BLD201300532. 10/30/13. 1100 Railroad Ave., $34,000 for commercial: add a service platform within the clock tower. Permit No.: BLD2013-00528. 10/28/13. 519 E. Maple St., $25,000 for commercial: repair structure hit by vehicle, install retaining wall and reinforce interior balcony where portion was removed. Permit No.: BLD2013-00534. 10/31/13. 10/21/13 to 10/28/13 Issued permits 1115 E. Sunset Drive 100, $810,000 for commercial alterations: reconstruction and enlargement of Goodwill facility; includes remodel of adjacent theater building for classrooms and warehouse/ production; remodel sales area; preparation for covered loading. Application: PKJB Architectural Group. Contractor: Foushee & Associations Co. Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00433. 10/25/2013. 119 N. Commercial St., $22,000 for commercial alteration: extend exterior exit stairway to roof of building; add service-equipment ladder to access equipment areas behind parapet walls: Bellingham Towers. Applicant: Susie Landsem. Contractor: Sea Con LLC. Permit No.: BLD2013-00265. 10/23/2013. 1600 Kentucky St. B4, $10,000 for tenant improvement: remodel to convert/expand warehouse for karate studio (includes firewall construction and stairway/landing): Pacific NW Karate LLC. Contractor: tenant (with affidavit). Permit No.: BLD2013-00483. 10/23/2013.

See RECORDS, Page 20



Pending applications 561 W. Bakerview Road, $863,600 for commercial: new emergency animal care clinic. Contractor: Moceri Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00229. 10/21/2013. 905 Darby Drive, $415,000 for foundation-only for new 16,694-square-foot medical facility: Biolife Plasma Services. Applicant and contractor: Oracle Contracting Services. Permit No.: BLD201300522. 10/23/2013. 4051 Meridian St., $200,000 for commercial: construction of retaining walls for hotel development. Contractor: Colacurcio Bros Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00526. 10/25/2013. 1304 F St., $200,000 for commercial: addition of elevator at northeast corner of building to provide ADA access. Contractor: Colacurcio Bros Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00520. 10/21/2013.

Liquor licenses

Records include license activity in Whatcom County. They are obtained from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which is online at

10/30/13 to 11/13/13 New license applications BevMo!; Beverages & More Inc. applied for changes on an existing license to be a direct-shipment receiver (in/out of WA), sell beer/wine/spirits in a specialty shop, make growler and keg sales and offer samples of spirits at 114 W. Stuart Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. License No.: 410145. 11/12/13. Taqueria Tecalitlan; Juan V. Carrillo and Olivia R. Carrillo applied for a new license to see beer/wine in a restaurant at 1263 Barkley Blvd., Suite 101, Bellingham, WA 98226. License No.: 409866. 11/8/13. Birch Bay Liquor Store; Terra Lynn Zuidmeer applied to assume an existing license held by Birch Bay Liquor Store, John Everett Zuidmeer and Terra Lynn Zuidmeer, to sell beer/wine in a specialty shop and be a CLS spirits retailer at 7832 Birch Bay Drive, Blaine, WA 98230. License No.: 079756. 10/30/13. Recently approved licenses None reported. Discontinued licenses Old Fairhaven Wines at 1106 Harris Ave., Suite 4, Bellingham, WA 98225, had a license to be a direct-shipment receiver (in/out of WA) discontinued. License No.: 085928. 11/12/13. 10/16/13 to 10/30/13 New license applications BevX360 Bellingham Beverage Express, Bellingham Beverage Express LLC; Craig Michael Mullarky, Laurie E. Mullarky, Mark E. Shintaffer, Amy M. Shintaffer, Dean Phillip Shintaffer and Joyce A. Shintaffer applied for changes on an existing license to sell beer/ wine in a restaurant and for off-premises consumption at 2001 Iowa St., Suite A, Bellingham, WA 98229. License No.: 409956. 10/23/13. Bellingham Lake Grocery Outlet; Grocery Outlet Inc. and BGO Inc. applied for changes on an existing license to be a directshipment receiver (in/out of WA), sell beer/wine in a grocery store and offer beer/wine tastings at 1600 Ellis Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 08328. 10/18/13. Jofish Seafood; Deana Elizabeth Haworth and David Dale Haworth applied for a new application to sell beer/wine in a restaurant at 312 Front St., Lynden, WA 98264. License No.: 355146. 10/18/13. Recently approved licenses Rite Aid #5241 at 1195 Boblett St., Blaine, WA 98230, had a change of location approved on an existing license to sell beer/wine in a grocery store. License No.: 411899. 10/24/13. Discontinued licenses Stone Pot at 113 E. Magnolia St., Bellingham, WA 98225, had a license to sell beer/wine in a restaurant discontinued. License No.: 355711. 10/17/13.


Business-related debts only. Listings feature debtor name(s), case number and filing date. Records are obtained from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Washington.

Chapter 7 Straight bankruptcy; debtor gives up non-exempt property and debts are discharged. None reported. Chapter 11 Business reorganization; protection from creditors while business devises plan of reorganization. Income/expense reports must be filed monthly. Konil Hwang, 13-20022-TWD, 11/14/2013. Chapter 13 Plan devised by individual to pay a percentage of debts, based on ability to pay. All disposable income must be used to pay. Patti M. Umland, 13-19625-KAO. 10/31/2013.

Federal tax liens

Tax liens of $5,000 or more issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Listings include taxpayer name(s), lien amount, document number and filing date. Records are obtained locally from the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office.

William C. Wibby, $27,712.71, 2131100819, 11/8/2013. Shannon R. Gobbato, $14,350.85, 2131100818, 11/8/2013.

William C. Wibby, $7,886.96, 2131100817, 11/8/2013. Wayne N. Frye III and Jenaea Langnese, $45,982.87, 2131100267, 11/4/2013. Parkway Chevron LLC, Gablehouse, Brad G. MBR, $9,151.86, 2131100089, 11/1/2013. Birch Bay Cab Company Inc., $5,565.05, 2131100088, 11/1/2013. Robert W. Kness, $166,882.59, 2131100087, 11/1/2013. Rutledge Embroidery Corp. RECO, $9,233.07, 2131100086, 11/1/2013. B&B Paint Co. Inc., $75,075.28, 2131100085, 11/1/2013. Ryan Caillier, Arlis’s Restaurant, $16,080.20, 2131100084, 11/1/2013. Douglas O. Benton, $9,927.14, 2131100082, 11/1/2013. Timothy Scott Moore, Slide Mountain Bar & Grill, $17,907.69, 2131100081, 11/1/2013. Van Hofwegen Family Dairy, $31,842.59, 2131002756, 10/25/2013. Robert W. Kness, $24,683.75, 2131002755, 10/25/2013. Wendy S. Heatherly, $17,768.29, 2131002334, 10/22/2013. Robert W. Kness, $22,178.41, 2131002333, 10/22/2013.

Releases of federal tax lienS Bellingham Whatcom Radiator & Battery, $33,058.59, 2131100834, 11/8/2013. Bellingham Whatcom Radiator & Battery, $8,434.17, 2131100823, 11/8/2013. Shayne C. Simpson, $11,097.10, 2131100822, 11/8/2013. Bella Marina LLC, Gillian Scianna MBR, $9,728.93, 2131100821, 11/8/2013. Bryan Corp., Quincy Inn, $245,748.02, 2131100820, 11/8/2013. Andrew S. Hernandez and Ruth Hernandez, $10,192.02, 2131100080, 11/1/2013. William E. Findley and Julia L. Findley, $23,909.79, 2131002754, 10/25/2013. Allen D. Bellingar, $6,376.26, 2131002753, 10/25/2013. Harkness Contracting Inc., $7,152.41, 2131002317, 10/22/2013. Harkness Contracting Inc., $18,866.20, 2131002324, 10/22/2013. Harkness Contracting Inc., $29,444.44, 2131002323, 10/22/2013. Harkness Contracting Inc., $47,226.69, 2131002321, 10/22/2013. Mile Keser and Carole Keser, $21,619.56, 2131002320, 10/22/2013.

December 2013 government agencies and filed locally in Whatcom County Superior Court. Listings include taxpayer name(s), judgment amount, the state agency filing the judgment, case number and filing date. Records are obtained from the Whatcom County Superior Court Clerk’s Office.

Chazzzam Signs & Graphics LLC, $9,636.88, Revenue, 13-202872-3, 11/18/2013. Heritage Building Company LLC, $22,596.03, Revenue, 13-202858-8, 11/14/2013. Platinum Builders Inc. dba Platinum Homes, $11,920.37, Revenue, 13-2-02857-0, 11/14/2013. Yara Barrera dba Northwest Spectacular Events, $23,149.46, Revenue, 13-2-02855-3, 11/14/2013. American Logistics LLC, $8,072.26, L&I, 13-2-02781-6, 11/5/2013. More Carts LLC, $14,350.34 (overpaid benefits), Employment Security, 13-2-02774-3, 11/4/2013. Big Tiny Unlimited, $9,917.76, Revenue, 13-2-02750-6, 10/31/2013. Claassen Enterprises LLC, $5,248.27, Revenue, 13-2-02751-4, 10/31/2013. Kent G. Kok, $5,295.87, Revenue, 13-2-02752-2, 10/31/2013. John Cantelini, $18,517.48, L&I, 13-2-02765-4, 10/31/2013.

Satisfactions of state tax judgments

Harkness Contracting Inc., $97,253.78, 2131002319, 10/22/2013.

Big Sky Industries Ltd., L&I, 08-2-03296-1, 11/19/2013. Big Sky Industries Ltd., L&I, 11-2-01911-6, 11/19/2013. Grondin Construction, L&I, 12-2-01596-8, 11/19/2013. Grondin Construction, L&I, 12-2-02019-8, 11/19/2013. Pacific Northwest Karate LLC, Revenue, 12-2-02319-7, 11/14/2013. La Cantina Birch Bay LLC, Revenue, 13-2-01075-1, 11/14/2013. GNA LLC, Revenue, 13-2-01440-4, 11/14/2013. Stauffer Stains LLC, Revenue, 13-2-01596-6, 11/14/2013. Gabe 5 LLC, Revenue, 13-2-02210-5, 11/14/2013. The Ridge Wine Bar LLC, Revenue, 13-2-00630-4, 11/5/2013. Harkness Contracting Inc., Revenue, 13-2-00742-4, 11/5/2013. Bellingham Whatcom Radiator & Battery, Revenue, 13-200113-4, 11/5/2013. The Cat Clinic LLC, Revenue, 13-2-02025-1, 11/5/2013. Nebula Glass Studios I, L&I, 13-2-01504-4, 10/31/2013. Premier Packing LLC, Revenue, 13-2-01597-4, 11/1/2013.

State tax judgments

Public records are also available online at

Tax judgments of $5,000 or more issued by Washington state

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December 2013


BUSINESS TOOLKIT Growing and maintaining your business


Looking for workers’ capabilities when roles replace jobs

f you are the owner of a business, you likely know that the idea of jobs bounded by strict descriptions has begun to make little or no sense unless you are involved in providing a service that involves a high degree of repetitive activity. The smaller the business, the more evident this truth becomes.

tionship. Your business, that is to say the flow of products or services that is generated by you and your employees is founded on a set of expectations based on past experiences and anticipated future exchanges. You might refer to some employees as responsible for customer service, but in actuality, the smaller the business, the more likely that every employee has responsibility for the customer relationship. The dentist might be out

on a given day, but some sort of value needs to be delivered to insure that the customer will patiently await the return of the specialist. Back in September 2012, I wrote a piece about this issue that spoke of an employee’s willingness to make a decision to satisfy the customer (me!) in a situation where that employee could have easily have said they did not have the authority to honor my request. I will grant you that I was not asking the

employee to perform oral surgery when the dentist was out, but a risk was involved and the employee stepped up. Ultimately, it is how you perform when you are at your worst that determines whether your business is sustainable. Anyone can perform when everything is working. How will you find the employees that will honor the customer relationship when the going gets tough? Recently an associate of mine, Steve Roberts,

wrote a brief post at his site,, titled “What our resume will look like in the next life.” Steve is a deeply thoughtful man and frequently inspires me to think differently about familiar issues.

In the piece, he suggests that the capabilities we might need to interview for now, and the questions we need to develop our children to answer, look something like these (italics

See COOK, Page 22

Mike Cook On Management Every employee is too large a part of the productive capacity and capability of the business to be bound by a simple description of tasks to be performed. Whoever shows up on a given day needs to be accountable to the customers for doing everything possible to meet their expectations. As “work” has evolved, so have our businesses. We are all working with fewer employees than we would have in the absence of current technology. Employees now perform roles on behalf of the business, rather than merely a set of tasks neatly bundled into a “job description.” Before you offer any argument to the statement I just made, let me acknowledge that there are businesses—dental offices come to mind—where specific, technical knowledge is not completely replaceable by responsibility and hard work. When the specialist who performs the root canals is out sick on Tuesday, no one is going to get a root canal that day. But what about the relationship with the disappointed patients? Who will manage that, and how will they proceed? Not by performing the root canal, but by managing the rela-

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December 2013


Is your business getting social-media engagement wrong?


o your small business is “doing” social media, but not seeing results. It could be because you’re actually doing it wrong. The reality is that if you are only generating outbound messages and not interacting with others, you are missing important opportunities. It would be like sitting in a room with your brand advocates, but you’re doing all the talking and ignoring everything they are saying. The good news is that there is a way to improve your results by learning about the benefit of engaging with others. As you read this article, keep in mind that social media is supposed to be social. It is not about posting marketing-related messages on your Facebook page and waiting to see if anyone responds.

What is social-media engagement? Social-media engagement is defined as communicating with an audience using tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Those who use social-media engagement as a marketing tool are able to build a meaningful community, turn customers (and business peers) into brand advocates and even help other local companies succeed. Businesses that succeed with socialmedia marketing have found a way to use engagement to give consumers what they

COOK | FROM 21 are my additions): How well can you recognize and act in accordance with timeless, universal principals of health? Not just physical health, but

want. With that in mind, we know that consumers: 1. Want to do business with those they know, like and trust. Engaging with others can help build meaningPatti ful relationships; when people like Rowlson a business, they are far more willOn Social ing to become Media & an advocate (and share info with Marketing their friends and family). 2. Respond positively when they feel like they are heard. Word spreads quickly online when people have positive experiences with a brand. Word can also spread quickly when people feel ignored. Engagement gives companies an opportunity to listen and provide solutions as well as tune in to important conversations taking place online. 3. Appreciate special discounts and rewards. More and more businesses are using social media to find and reward those who advocate for their business (watch for this trend in 2014).

emotional and psychological too. —How well can you manage fear? Again, not necessarily physical but emotional. — How well can you learn from your experience and share what you’re

learning with others? Are you a collaborator? —How well can you gain ever-deeper understanding of what you cannot live without––in a given situation, and in your life in general? Really, aside from a paycheck, why does

Engagement: It’s the difference between robotic and interactive We’ve all seen a social-media page that appears to be made by marketing robots. They crank out post after post about their own products and services without responding, interacting or supporting others. Nothing social or engaging happens. Consumers soon understand that the business is only using social media to try and sell them stuff. These businesses are doing social media wrong. On the other hand, there are socialmedia pages that are obviously interactive and alive. We see consumers replying and liking status updates, asking questions or leaving feedback and the business responding to interactions. We also see the business interacting with other local business pages to help build an online community. This is an example of doing social media right.

Two simple tips on getting started with engagement It may seem obvious, but the first tip is to review your pages and respond in a positive, friendly manner to any comments, replies or feedback already on the page. Then from this point forward, make sure you respond to each interaction in a timely manner (within 24 hours). Try to personalize messages by using working here make sense in your life? —How well can you align commitments with action and action with commitments? Do you understand that our promises to customers are yours too?

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first names in the response, like “Thank you, Pam, for helping spread the word about our local business, we appreciate the support,” or “We always love hearing new ideas from customers, thank you for the suggestion, Don.” Another tip is to be a positive presence in the local online community. Start by connecting your business with local companies (make sure you are logged into your business page when connecting, not your personal profile). Look for opportunities to like, comment, share or retweet relevant information they are posting. You will stand out and they will definitely be more likely connect with your business and return the favor. The main takeaway from this article is to understand that if people are not interacting with your social-media pages you can change that by being proactive and encouraging to others. Log on to your business page today, and start engaging with your online community!

Patti Rowlson is a marketing consultant and social media manager at PR Consulting, Inc. She helps Whatcom County small businesses identify, implement and consistently maintain marketing-related programs. Learn more about small-business marketing by connecting with PR Consulting on social media sites or by visiting

—How well can you turn conflict into a bridge to greater understanding? The customer may not always be right, but they have a right to their point of view. Get interested. Ask yourself this: How would you answer these

questions? And how comfortable would you feel asking them to potential employees? You may initially look at this list of questions and judge that not all of them are relevant to you or your business. OK, you can pare down the list or create your own. But let me ask you this: Has there ever been a time when you wished you had asked some of these questions, or all of them, or even similar ones? If you haven’t been asking questions like these, then you have been interviewing for employees who can perform when everything is going well. You may want to think about changing your approach.

Mike Cook is a management developer who lives in Anacortes, Wash. He publishes a weekly blog at CONNECT ONLINE Visit for daily business news and breaking reports. Sign up for our free email newsletter. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

December 2013



Who’s news in Bellingham & Whatcom business Banking Steve Hatfield has been named Wells Fargo’s new northwest Washington area president. Hatfield will oversee four Wells Fargo retail banking districts (from north Seattle up to the Canadian border), 40 stores and about 400 team members. The Seattle-area native earned a bachelor’s degree in ecoSteve Hatfield nomics and communications from University of Washington. He has been with Wells Fargo for 11 years. Russ Lee will join the leadership team at Skagit State Bank as president and chief operating offices on Nov. 5. He will handle the day-to-day operations for the bank, while Skagit State’s current CEO, Cheryl Bishop, will focus more on developing new opportunities for business growth.Lee received MBA from Western Washington University, and a bachelor’s degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Financial services Larson Gross PLLC has announced two new partners on its ownership team: Josh Turrell and Kelli Visser, both certified public accountants. They will begin as partners on Jan. 1. Turrell joined the firm in 2005 after spending four years with a public accounting firm in Tacoma. He has expertise in public accounting, specializing in both audit and attest services, as well as tax planning and preparation for corporations and individuals. He is a graduate of St. Martin’s University Josh Turrell in Lacey, Wash. Visser has been with Larson Gross since 2008, and previously spent eight years with another public accounting firm in Bellingham. Her experience is in complex tax compliance and consulting, with Kelli Visser

a specialization in serving individuals and businesses in the manufacturing, agriculture and food processing industries. Visser hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Western Washington University and a master’s in taxation from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Sara Greenleaf, owner and primary accountant of Greenleaf Bookkeeping & Accounting Services in Bellingham, has been named to Intuit Inc.’s Accountant and Advisor Customer Council. Greenleaf is one of 18 council members who will share their insights, experience and expertise to help Intuit develop new products and services for accounting professionals and small business owners. Greenleaf has more than 14 years’ experience in accounting and information systems. The council meets periodically at Intuit’s Silicon Valley headquarters, getting an inside look at the company’s strategy and products in development. Members participate for two years, sharing their thoughts on critical accountant and small business tools, such as new online and mobile-based solutions. Israel Thomas Jacob has been promoted to LPL manager for Peoples Investments, a division of Peoples Bank in Bellingham. In this new role, he will lead the investments team to grow and develop the investment services line of business around Washington state. Jacob studied at Northwestern College in Israel Thomas Jacob Iowa earned a bachelor’s degree in finance. He has been in the financial services industry for more than 19 years. Irene Lee-Sluys has joined Waddell & Reed in Bellingham as a certified financial planner and financial adviser. Lee-Sluys previously held a similar position for nearly five year with LPL Financial, located at Peoples Bank. Jordan Mahoney has joined Waddell & Reed in Bellingham as a financial adviser. Mahoney was previously an adviser’s assistant with the company. In her new role,

It’s Time To Warm Up Your Day



aren Barlean, the chief financial officer of Barlean’s Organic Oils LLC in Ferndale, has been named the 2013 Professional Woman of the Year by Whatcom Women in Business, which presented the award during a banquet in October. Barlean joined her family’s company, which produces and sells organic oil products, in February 1995. She oversees accounting and finance, along with Karen Barlean other duties. Barlean was previously a branch manager for Whatcom Educational Credit Union’s Birchwood Branch in Bellingham. In her community, Barlean is a volunteer track and basketball coach for the Ferndale School District, a member of the Ferndale School District Advisory Committee and previous board president for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Washington. Whatcom Women in Business,

Mahoney will help develop customized financial plans, recommend investment strategies and counsel clients. Mahoney earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University and graduated from Ecola Bible School. Rick Rosbach has been promoted to resident director of Merrill Lynch’s Bellingham office. Rosbach has been with Merrill Lynch since 2002, and is currently a wealth management adviser with the firm. He is a partner on the Kehoe Rosbach Group, a family team specializing in wealth management solutions for individuals and families.

Health and wellness Murry Chiropractic & Associates in Bellingham has added three new team members. Chad Faaborg joins as the third chiropractor in the practice. He received his doctorate of chiropractic from the University of Western States in Portland, Ore.,

which was established in 1978, serves as a networking and mentorship group for local business women. The organization also funds scholarships for young women about to graduate high school and planning to further their education through a university, community or technical college or trade school. The finalists for this year’s Professional Woman of the Year award included Randi Axelsson, hotel sales manager of Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa and tournament director for the Ryan Stiles Golf Classic; Bridget C. Cantrell, author, speaker and founder of Hearts Toward Home International; Anny Havland, co-founder of Neighborhood Mortgage and executive producer of Talk It Up TV; Cheri Kilty, executive director of the YWCA; and Michelle Kuss-Cybula, principal of Fairhaven Middle School. The Bellingham Business Journal is a media sponsor for Whatcom Women in Business’ Professional Women of Year awards.

in 2012. Renee Caldwell has been hired as a as a licensed massage practitioner. She has 17 years’ experience with injury work, and prior to working as a massage practitioner, she was a physical therapy assistant. Shasonta Delmage, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit coach, will facilitate exercise therapy. Delmage has an MBA in marketing and communications.

Nonprofits Peggy Zoro has been hired as interim executive director for the Whatcom Center for Early Learning. Sandy Berner, who has served as the agency’s executive for the past nine years, has assumed a new parttime role as fund development coordinator. Zoro will lead the agency as it searches for a new permanent executive director. he organization plans to host an community event from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23,

See PEOPLE, Page 26

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December 2013

December 2013


Port Welcomes Visitors Through Transportation Hubs, Marinas Sponsored content provided by Port of Bellingham nearly 30,000 passengers will arrive or depart aboard the Alaska State Ferry through our local Cruise Terminal. Of course those numbers include both local residents and visitors. The Port understands that our staff and our facilities directly impact visitors’ Whatcom County experience.


ourists have discovered Whatcom County and each year more visitors choose to spend their time and money here. Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism (BWCT) noted that in 2012 visitors added about $600 million to our local economy. They may be drawn here because of the amazing outdoor recreation. Or they could be coming because of our diversity of museums and theaters. Certainly a lot of people are coming here to take part in the growing number of marathons, triathlons, bike races and of course, the biggest of all – Ski to Sea. Shopping also is a big draw and our community has a lot to offer in this arena as well.

on transportation? The Port recognizes that operating our transportation terminals in a way that exceeds visitors’ expectations helps bring them here and, more importantly, brings them back again. The Port is charged with operating the Bellingham International Airport, the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, the Fairhaven Transportation Station

(Amtrak and Greyhound) and marinas in Bellingham and Blaine with over 2,000 moorage slips. Unless a visitor arrives by car, they will pass through a Port-operated transportation terminal. In 2013, over 1 million passengers will fly into or out of the Bellingham Airport, nearly 60,000 passengers will climb aboard Amtrak in Fairhaven and

Why would the Port of Bellingham care about tourism? Isn’t the Port’s role job creation and economic development? Doesn’t the Port focus

Bellingham’s Best Marine Store Pacific Northwest cards, books, & gifts Outdoor clothing, TEVA & Merrell shoes Toys for kids & adults

851 Coho Way, Bellingham, WA • 734-3336 or 800-426-8860 Shop anytime online at:

That is one of the reasons the Port has invested over $38 million in the ongoing expansion of the Bellingham Airport. It is also why our staff works to make sure the marina facilities and surrounding parks are top notch both for our regular customers and for our visitors. So far this year visiting boaters have spent 1,341 nights at the Squalicum Harbor and 509 nights at Blaine Harbor. Even those visiting boaters add to our economy. A recent study by a nearby port found that visiting boaters spend an average of $250 per night in the community. That means those visiting boaters likely added $462,500 to our local economy. BWCT estimates that overnight guests staying in hotels spend about $320 per day. The Port works closely with BWCT to do our part to attract and serve tourists. That includes encouraging regional boaters to visit our marinas and reaching out to communities served by direct flights to Bellingham to make

PORT OF BELLINGHAM CONTACT: Port Administrative Offices 360-676-2500

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

sure those people know what our community has to offer. We have about a dozen different destinations offered at our airport and, in 2014, we will be working even harder to make sure residents in those cities are hearing about

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

Whatcom County by joining BWCT in their trade show visits to those areas. The numbers demonstrate the value of overnight visitors to our economy and the Port will continue to partner

December 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.

Andy Dumaine Helps To Break Collaborative Barriers Sponsored content provided by Loni Rahm, and Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. daughters…Thanksgiving used to be an all day ordeal for me. Now, we recognize that my older daughter is a vegetable diva, and my younger daughter has the mashed potatoes and gravy down pat. By handing these tasks off, I freed up time to perfect my turkey and wild rice stuffing! Everyone wins. And we’re having a ball working together in the kitchen.


ur community was fortunate to welcome Andy Dumaine from Shrinking Footprints, a communications and collaboration strategist, late last month. He works with governments and businesses to open minds, broaden perspectives, and stimulate the search for more productive paths to sustainable and collaborative prosperity. Sponsored by Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism and the Mt. Baker Foothills Chamber of Commerce, Andy conducted a large group, 3-hour presentation

on Wednesday the 20th, where a number of barriers to stronger collaboration were identified by community members and tourism partners from throughout Whatcom County. The next day, a small work group spent an entire day blasting through the concerns and beliefs that keep us in an “isolation” mind set. I guess the first “aha” moment was the realization that although there is great interest in collaborative opportunities, there isn’t a great deal of motivation to follow through. Primarily because people are too darn busy, and

see working together as more time consuming than just doing it yourself. True confession: this is why neither of my daughters learned to cook until they moved out on their own. The second “aha” moment was recognizing that eventually much more can get done when we work together — as soon as we identify our strengths and weaknesses and collectively assign pieces of the overall tasks to those who have the skills. And ask for help in the areas where individuals are perhaps a little weaker. Back to the

Erasing the pre-conceived boundaries and barriers to collaborative destination marketing isn’t easy. What we achieved in six hours, though, was a remarkable first step. We defined commonalities and points of pride that bring us together. We started working on “our story” as it relates to the entire destination, providing a foundation for the interesting, individual and personal moments that transform a visitor experience. We came with crazy, creative ideas that made us laugh uncontrollably… some of which we will probably incorporate into “our story”. The goal is simple: economic vitality. The steps to achieve it are difficult. But the 58 people who started the process in the large group presentation, and the 15 who invested their time to move it forward — found that collaboration was way more fun than they expected. Just like cooking Thanksgiving dinner with my daughters! We plan to invite Andy back

next year to check on our progress. In the meantime, if you’d like to be part of the collaborative discussion, please contact or Additional information about Andy Dumaine can be found at www.

hands you a stuffed orca and asks you to pass it along. Loni Rahm, President & CEO Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism 904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229 360-671-3990 or 800-487-2032

And don’t be surprised if someone, somewhere, sometime,

December Events

Visit our website or call for more details: (360) 671-3990 December 4-8, 11-15, 18-22 Allied Arts - Holiday Festival of the Arts

December 14-15 Village Books Santa Meet and Greet

December 5 Red Cross Real Heros Dinner

December 14 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

December 6-8 Holiday Port Festival December 7 Pioneer Park: Olde Fashioned Christmas Lynden's Lighted Parade

December 20-21 Dancing for Joy Presents: We Danced Our Best For Him Every Thursday-Sunday Improv Comedy - Upfront Theatre, 8:00 & 10:00 pm

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism 904 Potter Street | Bellingham, WA 98229 360-671-3990 | 800-487-2032 Open 7 days, 9 a.m



dent and SBA manager at Banner, believes the bank’s participation in the program has the potential to contribute to economic growth in the Pacific Northwest. “Banner’s proven SBA-lending capability, coupled with our selection as a pilot bank for Ex-Im’s Global Business Solutions Program, will certainly enable us to help more small businesses export their goods from the Northwest to other countries through-

PEOPLE | FROM 23 at the Squalicum Boathouse, to honor and celebrate Berner’s work as executive director and to thank its loyal supporters. http://

Public Sector Marvin Waschke, a newly-retired former manager and software architect at CA Technologies, has been appointed to the Whatcom County Library System’s board of trustees. Waschke joins the five-member volunteer board that is appointed by the Whatcom County Marvin Waschke Executive. The trustees are responsible for budget oversight and setting policy for the county’s library system.

Real estate and property sales Loralei Denton recently accepted a position as an escrow closer with Whatcom Land Title in Bellingham, after serving as an escrow assistant since 2001. Denton also recently passed her licensing exam to become a limited practice officer. She is now licensed by the Washington State Bar Association and authorized to select, prepare and complete form documents for use in closing loans, sales or other transfers of real and personal property. Brandon Nelson has joined Keller Williams Western Realty in Bellingham as a residential real-estate broker. Nelson previously spent seven years with RE/MAX.

Sports The Bellingham Bells have hired Jeff James as its new head coach. James joins Dane Siegfried, assistant coach and Jim Clem, pitching coach and recruiting coor- out the world,” McLaughlin said.

New primary health care office opens in Fairhaven A new medical office focused on alternative approaches to primary health care has opened in Bellingham’s Fairhaven District. Fairhaven Integrative Health is located in 1224 Harris Ave., Suite 108, in the Fairhaven Square. Dr. Joseph Garrett operates the practice with his wife, Dr. Sarah Garrett. He said their goal is to integrate natural and condinator. James, has extensive playing and coaching experience throughout the Pacific Northwest, including time spent in the Division I college ranks and in summer leagues. Previously, James served as the director of baseball operations for Seattle University, and has also held coaching roles at Everett Community College and the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Darcee, where they are able to stay in close contact with his father and his grandmother, Carol James, wife of the late Don James, the legendary head football coach for the University of Washington.

Technology and Web design Kastle Huffaker has joined Litzia LLC in Bellingham as a marketing specialist. Huffaker will develop and execute marketing campaigns to expand Litzia’s reach in the community, and support sales and administrative staff with business development initiatives, including social media and Web presence. She is currently finishing a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in internet resource and creKastle Huffaker ation management, combined with a certificate in Web content development. Litzia provides a range of businesstechnology services. Big Fresh, a Web design and development firm in Bellingham, has hired Chris Clizbe as a technician in its Tech Help divison. Clizbe is the former owner of Lynden IT, which he closed last year. Clizbe has more than 17 years of experience in the information-technology industry, and also has a background in quality control, logistics, communications, and security in the U.S. Army National Guard. Big Fresh has also hired Jordan Ander-

December 2013

Assistance League of Bellingham opens new thrift store

Meridian St. It sells men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, household and decorative items, books and new office supplies. The new location is currently carrying a large number of Christmas and holiday items, along with winter clothing. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the shop is an important revenue source to fund philanthropic programs operated by the Assistance League. More information is online at

The Assistance League of Bellingham’s new Thrift & Gift has opened at 2817

The Buzz is compiled from daily news reports posted on

sen as graphic designer at Big Fresh. Anderson graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in design. He has previous experience as a graphic designer in WWU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts.

porter of The Firs campground, and provided a large percentage of its donations and gifts to that organization, as well.

ventional medicine with diet and lifestyle, allowing for more personalized treatment for individual patients. They treat a wide range of ailments and accept patients of all ages, he added. More information can be found at www. The office can also be contacted at 360-990-6266.

Kudos The Best Western Plus Heritage Inn in on McLeod Road Bellingham recently received the hotel chain’s “Green Award” during a Best Western International Convention held in San Antonio, Texas. The honor is given to Best Western hotels that demonstrate a commitment to sustaining resources and reducing their carbon footprints. Hotels receiving this award comply with “green” guidelines from the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and meet other quality and service standards. Birch Equipment of Bellingham is encouraging its customers to support a company-wide food bank drive that will run until Monday, Nov. 25. Customers can drop off cash or check donations or nonperishable food items at any Birch Equipment store; they will be given 5 percent off of any rental or retail purchase for their donations. Donations will be accepted at Birch Equipment stores in Bellingham, Anacortes, Mount Vernon and Sitka, Alaska. The company is online at www. Bob Wallin Insurance in Bellingham is collecting nonperishable items and monetary donations for the Bellingham Food Bank’s Milk Money program. The company’s goal is to raise $1,500 to provide fresh milk to almost 4,000 kids for two months. Donations can be dropped off in the lobby of Bob Wallin Insurance’s office 1844 Iron St. Those interested in making larger donations can contact Suzanne Taylor at 360-734-5204, Ext.218, or suzanne@ ClearView Eyecare in Bellingham, will be collecting used eyeglasses to donate to the Lions Club, in conjunction with a first anniversary open house. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. ClearView Eyecare is located at 410 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 107, in Bakerview Square. Launching Success Learning Store in Bellingham reports it has been able to make $6,150 in donations in the past year to 56 schools and nonprofit groups that help children. Donations focused on organizations that have direct impact on needy children, such as Agape House with Lighthouse Mission Ministries. Launching Success is also a business partner and sup-

Craig Cole, president of Brown & Cole Inc. in Bellingham, has been named a “Fellow” by the National Association of Corporate Directors. It is the highest level of credentialing for corporate directors and corporate-governance professionals. Cole has an extensive background of board service. He currently serves as a director on the boards of Pioneer Human Services Inc., Brown & Cole Inc., and affiliated companies. He and his wife, Sue Cole, are the owners of Straight Talk Consulting LLC, a consultancy on corporate public affairs, strategy, and governance. Recently, Cole has served as a consultant and spokesperson for the Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point in Whatcom County, proposed by SSA Marine of Seattle. He is also a former Whatcom County Councilmember. Michael Jay, president of Educational Systemics Inc. in Bellingham, has received the inaugural Lamplighter Ambassador Award, presented by the Association of American Publisher’s PreK-12 Learning Group, which supports content creators that serve the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education community with quality content for students and educators. Kristiana Kahakauwila, an assistant professor of English at Western Washington University, was selected last summer to be part of the Barnes and Noble Summer Discover Great New Writers program and the Target Emerging Author program for her literary short story collection, “This is Paradise.” The collection depicts the daily lives of Hawaiian natives, relationships between locals and tourists and the struggle between the traditional Hawaiian culture and the modern world encroaching on its shores. Benjamin Miner, as associate professor of biology at Western Washington University, has received, along with his colleague Ian Hewson, a geneticist at Cornell University, a one-year research grant from the National Science Foundation to begin to explore the potential reasons for the region’s dramatic loss of sea stars due to what is known as Sea Star Wasting Disease. Miner will be sampling both intertidal areas on foot and near-shore sites by diving in both the Pacific Ocean and inside the Salish Sea, and he will compare the populations he finds there with historical records.

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December 2013


request in mid-July, with six split between the entire property and the Granary Building joined by two smaller, self-contained proposals: one from the Bellingham Housing Authority for a 100-unit affordable housing complex; the other from an Oregon-based partnership seeking to build a waterfront hotel. Proposal reviews have been taken up by a partnership of local government leaders and others, including Fix, Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws and Steve Swan, the vice president of university relations at Western Washington University. The group will make recommendations to the port commission, which will make the ultimate decisions. Initially, port commissioners were told they could have recommendations by early fall 2013. However, Fix said the acceptance of a late entrant to the pool of potential master developers delayed the process. That entrant, a global partnership with the name Uniting Creatives LLC, has proposed a broad scheme called the Four Pillars Development. The proposal features a wide array of possible projects, with heavy focus on environmental sustainability and partnerships with local government agencies, schools and other organizations. Along with the Four Pillars Development’s backers, other firms in the running for the master developer role include: - Harcourt Developments Limited of Ireland, along with local partner Tin Rock Development Inc. One of Harcourt’s notable projects is the Titanic Quarter on the site of the former Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, Ireland, where the famous yet ill-fated ocean liner was built in the early 20th Century. - Williams/Dame and Associates of Portland, Ore., with partner Loci Inc. This group’s past work includes several redevelopment projects in Portland, including in the city’s Pearl District and South Waterfront District. An early proposal submitted by Bellingham developer David Ebenal, under the company name Viking Development LLC, has been withdrawn. The list of proposed developers for the 1920s-era Granary Building remains the

same: - Quay Property Management, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, seeks to create a public market in the building, along with restaurants and office space. Quay has developed similar markets in B.C. - Tollhouse Energy Company, along with Zervas Group Architects, both from Bellingham. Their plan features a fish market, in addition to restaurants, offices and residential units. Tollhouse would move its offices into the building, Fix said, becoming an anchor tenant. - A Bellingham-based group led by developers James Willson and John Blethen, whose plan emphasizes office and business use over residential units in the Granary. This proposal was made public last year, Blethen presented an architectural illustration of the plans during a port commission meeting in fall 2012.

Holding on the Granary The Granary Building proposals were the subject of debate among port commissioners last month. Commissioner Michael McAuley said, during a Nov. 5 work session, that the commission should make a decision on the Granary Building now. “I don’t want to delay any longer on what we decide to do with that building,” McAuley said. Yet Fix said the port staff ’s recommendation to the commission is to choose a master developer for the site first, adding that a master developer would not be the one making a decision on the Granary, but should provide input to commissioners. Fix said that two of the three firms have expressed reservations about plans to restore the Granary Building, mainly due to the fact that the building’s location will serve as a prominent entry point to their developments in the Waterfront District, should they be approved. Commissioner Scott Walker said he thinks the master developer should have a say in what happens to the Granary Building, due to the grand scale of the development and the amount of money the master developer will need to spend on any project. He doesn’t want to start breaking up the development of the site before a master developer is chosen, he said. He worried

that the companies vying to take the master developer role would be scared off if the port starts making decisions on the property, especially such an important piece. “If you don’t let the master developer have a say in this, you’re going to lose some of them right off the bat, for sure,” Walker said. McAuley pressed his argument, saying the port needs to act on the building now. He said the Granary Building represents an asset that can be put to effective use, and one which the community has made clear it wants brought back to life. Once marked for demolition due to its decrepit state, the Granary Building was saved last year after port commissioners reversed course following public outcry to keep the building. The building is seen by many to be a historical icon of Bellingham’s waterfront. Despite the debate last month, the port commission did not make a decision on the building. Fix further defended the choice to hold on the Granary until a master developer

(up 7.7 percent). Whatcom County’s 5.33 months of home inventory was above a regional average of 3.02 months. Home inventories between four and six months generally indicate a balanced market, according to the NMLS. Whatcom real-estate data, October 2013 Includes single-family homes and condos Total closed sales October 2013: 280; October 2012: 242 Change: 15.7 percent increase Closed sales, average price October 2013: $282,221 October 2012: $278,791 Change: 1.23 percent increase Closed sales, median price October 2013: $249,000 October 2012: $257,625 Change: 3.35 percent decrease

was picked during comments he made Nov. 7 during a waterfront work session of City Council’s Committee of the Whole. “I think it is out of sequence to start doing the Granary Building now when its the grand entrance to the 10 acres,” Fix said. Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, who has taken part in the master-developer review process, said she is inclined to prefer a developer that wants to have a close relationship with the city and port. “Certainly, we want a master developer who wants to be a partner,” Linville said Nov. 7. Fix also gave a message of approval on the waterfront plans to City Council members. “We’ve got a great project here. I think it has a lot of potential to go forward,” he said. “It has some momentum right now, so I’m excited for the next couple of years.”

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

Barkley 360-714-5080

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Dave Schwab

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Total pending sales October 2013: 276; October 2012: 312 Change: 11.54 percent decrease Pending sales, average list price October 2013: $270,577 October 2012: $266,837 Change: 1.4 percent increase Pending sales, median list price October 2013: $250,000 October 2012: $235,000 Change: 6.38 percent increase

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Total active listings October 2013: 1,440 October 2012: 1,353 Change: 6.43 percent increase Active listings, average list price October 2013: $365,047 October 2012: $383,853 Change: 4.65 percent decrease Active listings, median list price October 2013: $283,500 October 2012: $278,500 Change: 1.8 percent increase

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December 2013

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Bellingham Business Journal, December 02, 2013  

December 02, 2013 edition of the Bellingham Business Journal