Page 1

Vol. 23 No. 12

Dec. 2015 Port of Bellingham negotiating with wood exporting companies [Page 14]

The Buzz Bellingham City Council will advocate for paid sick leave at the state level After months of exploring an ordinance to require Bellingham employers to provide paid sick leave, the council decided to ask state legislators to take on the issue. SICK LEAVE, 12

Business toolkit Are your employees held back by a lack of self-confidence? TOOLKIT, 20 Why economic indicators don’t jibe with economic reality TOOLKIT, 21

O’Connor named woman of the year

A log of aluminum in the cast house at Alcoa Intalco Works in Ferndale. [OLIVER LAZENBY PHOTO | THE BELLINGHAM BUSINESS JOURNAL]

Alcoa to idle smelter, lay off 465

Emily O’Connor of Lydia Place is the Whatcom Women in Business’ 2015 Professional Woman of the Year

Plant needs significantly higher aluminum prices to profitably restart When Marc Norman started working at Alcoa Intalco Works in 1994, the plant west of Ferndale was one of five major aluminum producers in Washington. The aluminum industry paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in wages in the state and employed more than 7,500 people. Norman, 45, bought a house soon after starting at Intalco Works and he thought he might stay at Alcoa until retirement. “It seemed like a job I could have for at

least 30 years,” he said. But the industry’s long term prospects changed. Since 2000, three smelters in the state have permanently closed. Aluminum’s long price drop reached a six-year low this fall, rendering smelting at Intalco Works unprofitable. In November, the company announced that it will idle smelting operations and lay off 465 at Intalco Works and 415 at its Wenatchee Works plant, the only other smelter left in the state. Alcoa could begin smelting again, but prices would need to rebound signifi-

cantly, Alcoa officials said. Meanwhile, the loss of 465 well-paying jobs will likely affect other sectors of Whatcom County’s economy, according to local economists. Some operations will continue at Intalco

Alcoa, PAGE 8


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The Bellingham Business Journal

December 2015


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Haggen took steps in November toward selling all its remaining assets, including its profitable Whatcom County stores.

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[6] Haggen auctions begin

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Haggen had a big month in November. The bankrupt Bellingham grocery chain sold 55 stores in an auction and asked the court for permission to sell all remaining assets.

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[14] Log exports?

On Google+ Bellingham Business Journal

Two forest product firms are interested in exporting logs and wood chips from the Bellingham Shipping Terminal.

NMLSR ID 404824

[12] Paid sick leave controversy The Bellingham City Council’s discussion of a paid sick leave ordinance drew a lot of interest from the business community. Last month the council voted to push for a statewide rule.

[15] Woods Coffee goes to Canada Barry Weafer

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December 2015


The Bellingham Business Journal

Business Briefs City seeks development proposals for Aloha Motel site and Army Street property The City of Bellingham is asking developers to make proposals for two cityowned properties: the site of the recently condemned Aloha Motel and a site across the street from the Old Town Cafe known as the Army Street Site. The city wants proposals from experienced developers who want to either buy or lease the properties by Dec. 18. Both properties present opportunity for large-scale mixed-use development within the city limits. The Army Street Site is at the corner of 315 W. Holly St. and the undeveloped Army Street. It’s a 24,000-square-foot property on a hillside between the Downtown Arts District and the future Waterfront District. The Aloha Motel Site is a 1.51-acre parcel located at 301 and 315 N. Samish Way, next to the Sehome

neighborhood and beneath the 180-acre Sehome Arboretum. The request for proposals and more information is on the city’s website.

Free holiday parking at downtown parkade starts Nov. 27 Free parking is returning to downtown Bellingham for the holidays, starting Nov. 27. This year, the City of Bellingham and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership will allow free parking for up to four hours on the first floor of the Commercial Street Parking Garage, at 1300 Commercial St. The promotion continues until Dec. 25. Regular rates will apply at all on-street parking meters throughout the holidays. In the past, the annual holiday promotion focused on free street parking. But this year the City of Bellingham and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership wanted to bring attention

to the underused Parking Garage, which is also known as the parkade. “The Commercial Street Parking Garage is often overlooked as a prime location to park in downtown Bellingham, yet it’s only two to four blocks from most restaurants, shops and businesses in downtown,” said Nick Hartrich, executive director of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, in the news release. “There are more than 70 spaces available on the first floor and offering four hours of free parking there will allow people to do their holiday shopping at their favorite local businesses and still have plenty of time to grab lunch and catch up with a friend.” The city’s 2016 budget includes more than $1 million in improvements to the parkade, including better lighting, a new camera system and improved entrance signage. Renovations should begin in March and take a year to complete. In November, the city activated a new security system in the parkade with

cameras that are monitored 24 hours a day.

Mi Shoes owner opens downtown clothing boutique Heroine Boutique, a downtown women’s clothing store, opened in November at 1328 Commercial St., next to Jake’s Barber Shop. Michelle Bouma, owner of Mi Shoes, opened the store after having success with a mobile mini boutique called Belle on Wheels. Bouma sold clothing from the back of a truck at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market and at the Commercial Street Night Market in September and October. The clothing carries moderately-priced, hip feminine clothing, Bouma said. “There’s a style. It’s the Mi Shoes style,” she said. “Women love Mi Shoes and I have a feeling that they’re going to love Heroine just as much.”

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store opening this winter next to future Whole Foods Mud Bay, an Olympiabased specialty cat and dog food retailer, is working toward opening a store at 1022 Lakeway Drive, next to the future Whole Foods Market in the Lakeway Center. Mud Bay company sells healthy food and treats for dogs and cats. Mud Bay is aiming for a mid-January opening, said Teresa Gindhart, an executive assistant for the company. Before then, they plan to have about $42,000 in tenant improvements done to the building, according permits filed with the City of Bellingham. Besides Whole Foods, the storefront is the only vacant space in the Lakeway Center.

Lynden construction firm opens King County office Lynden-based Faber Construction opened a King County office in

October to expand its presence in the Seattle area. The new office, at 18800 142nd Ave. N.E., in Woodinville, is part of a proactive approach to handling business in the area, Faber general manager Tom Landsberger said in a press release. The company has already completed multiple projects in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. They’re currently working on five projects in those counties, including a $4.6 million seismic renovation of Fire Station 18 in Ballard and a $1.5 million renovation of Henry Jackson Park in Everett. Todd Nyquist, a project manager with 26 years of experience in commercial, industrial and residential construction, leads the new office. Locally, Faber Construction is working on an addition to Parkview Elementary School in Bellingham. For more information, call Faber Construction at

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BRIEFS, FROM 3 Two local builders win statewide awards The Building Industry Association of Washington recognized leaders from two Whatcom County companies at its annual awards ceremony on Nov. 5. Roger Almskaar, of Almskaar Land Use & Consulting, took home the Associate of the Year award. Almskaar is a land use consultant based in Bellingham. He mainly works on short plats, zoning and environmental issues. Monty Smith, owner and president of M.C. Smith Construction, won the Co-Builder of the Year

award. Smith has held been a member of the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County (BIAWC) since 1993 and has held several leadership positions with the organization, including BIAWC president from 2006-2007.

Chamber announces annual award nominees and winners The Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced nominees for several of the yearly awards it presents to local companies, as well as the winners of the Nonprofit and Green Business of the Year awards. The Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County (DVSAS)



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won the chamber’s Nonprofit of the Year award, and Green House Data won Green Business of the Year. Winners of other awards the chamber presents — Small and Large Business of the Year, Man and Woman of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, Millie DeFord Chamber Ambassador of the Year, and Tourism Business of the Year — will be announced at the Chamber’s 11th Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, Dec. 3, at Silver Reef Hotel. The nominees for Small Business of the Year (20 or fewer employees) are: Bellingham Alive, Daylight Properties, PR Consulting and Radley Muller Photography. Nominees for Large Business of the Year (21 or more employees) are: Aslan Brewing Company, BioLife Plasma Services, Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. Businesses must be chamber members to qualify for the awards.

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O’Connor named Professional Woman of the Year The Whatcom Women in Business named Lydia Place executive director Emily O’Connor its 2015 Professional Woman of the Year at an annual awards banquet in October. O’Connor started as executive director of the nonprofit Lydia Place in March 2012. The organization works to provide housing, support services, advocacy and education for lowEmily O’Connor income and homeless people. They provide transitional housing for homeless women with children as well as permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals and families. The Whatcom Women in Business noted O’Connor’s success at fundraising and balancing the organization’s budget. When O’Connor took over in 2012 Lydia Place had a budget deficit. Ten months later, the organization ended the fiscal year with 20 percent of its annual budget in reserves. Also, the organization’s annual budget has increased from $450,000 when O’Connor started to $1 million this year, O’Connor said. She attributes that to increasing revenue from all channels, ranging from public contracts and grants to private donations.

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“In every sphere we’ve increased revenue and really it’s only possible because of this incredible community,” O'Connor said. Her other achievements include doubling revenue from the annual Hearts for Housing gala and auction in her first year and starting Handbags for Housing, a key fundraising event for the organization that raised $42,000 this year, O’Connor said. Whatcom Women in Business, 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 other finalists for this year’s Professional Woman of the Year award were Kim Feerer, founder and director of Cedar Tree Montessori School; Pam Reed, owner of Alicia’s Bridal and The Formal House; Carol Frazey, president of Fit School, Inc.; Siobhan Murphy, certified public accountant at Thrive Business Group; Becky Raney, COO of Print & Copy Factory and Pinky Vargas, Bellingham City Council member and energy efficiency outreach manager at Puget Sound Energy.

December 2015

The Bellingham Business Journal



The Bellingham Business Journal

December 2015

Port’s 2016 budget includes flat taxes, marine infrastructure updates Work on Granary Building to start in 2016; Irish developer must submit building permits by Feb. 19 BY OLIVER LAZENBY The Bellingham Business Journal Port of Bellingham commissioners approved a budget for 2016 on Tuesday, Nov. 17, with a 3-0 vote. The new port budget maintains the current property tax levy and shifts the focus of port capital projects from the airport to the waterfront and marine infrastructure. The port will collect roughly 28.22 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value for 2016, for a total of about $6.99 million. That’s roughly the same as 2015. Over the last 20 years, the port has decreased the levy rate by about 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, from a high of nearly 45 cents per $1,000 in 1994. Under the budget, the port will collect $71.8 million in revenue next year, spend $81.8 million, and end 2016 with about $18.6 million for future projects. The budget proposes $31.6 million in capital projects, with the most expensive being $9.4 million in work at the Fairhaven Shipyard that would include replacing a

wooden pier with a concrete pier that will be able to handle heavier loads, and constructing a new warehouse. The budget also includes a variety of updates at Blaine Harbor, including replacing a concrete float at the landing of gate 1 and replacing several warehouse roofs. The planned projects will cost about $1.2 million. The Squalicum Harbor Esplanade’s fire suppression system is scheduled for a $500,000 replacement. After several years of expensive capital projects, the port’s aviation department wants to keep costs low at the airport in 2016. The airport’s multiyear, $38.6 million expansion finished in 2014. Since then, a drop in the Canadian dollar and a corresponding drop in airport traffic has hurt the airport’s business model, as has Alaska Airlines moving flights to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to compete with Delta, and Allegiant Air cancelling service to Hawaii. The port forecasts that its aviation department will collect about $1 million less in revenue in 2016 compared to 2015,

but it will also reduce operating expenses by about $671,000 if things go as planned. The port budgeted $24.7 million for environmental cleanup and redevelopment costs in 2016. Phase 1 of cleanup and dredging for the Whatcom Waterway—the channel through the downtown waterfront at the mouth of Whatcom Creek—is on schedule to finish in March 2016. The $30.6 million contract that the port signed last year with American Construction Company of Tacoma for the project was the largest single contract ever issued by the port. A combination of state cleanup grants and the port’s prepaid environmental insurance policy is funding the work. The port’s Irish master developer is scheduled to start construction on the former Granary Building in 2016. The port signed a master development agreement with Dublin-based Harcourt Developments for 18 acres of former Georgia-Pacific waterfront in 2015. In November, the port gave Harcourt a three-month extension on its building per-

Albertsons is top bidder on 33 former Haggens BY OLIVER LAZENBY The Bellingham Business Journal Albertsons outbid competitors on 33 closing Haggen stores in an auction in November at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. But an agreement between Albertsons and the Federal Trade Commission casts doubt on whether the grocery giant will be able to go through with the purchases. Albertsons or Safeway used to own every one of those stores, but were forced by the FTC to sell them — along with 135 others — before the two companies could merge. The reason? The merger would have given Albertsons an unfair advantage in those market areas and potentially hurt consumers. After the order, Bellinghambased Haggen bought 146 stores from Albertsons and Safeway, and started losing money at nearly all of them within months. Haggen filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sept. 8, and this week’s auctions were part of Haggen’s ongoing bankruptcy process. The FTC’s agreement with Albertsons seemed to take into account the possibility of Albertsons buying back stores from Haggen. “For a period of 10 years, Albertsons is required to give the commission prior notice of plans to acquire any interest in a supermarket that has operated or is operating in the counties included in the relevant markets,” reads a proposed agreement published in the Federal Register on February

3, 2015, between Cerberus Capital Management — the private equity owner of Albertsons — and the FTC. Unless market conditions have changed in the areas where the FTC ordered Albertsons to divest stores, it seems the purchases would still result in an “anticompetitive” situation. The FTC wouldn’t comment on whether they would need to review or approve Albertsons’ purchases. An Albertsons spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment either. Two of the stores that Albertsons wants to buy from Haggen have back up bidders: Regency Centers, a commercial real estate developer, is listed as the back-up bidder on a Haggen store in Everett. Peckham Properties Inc., also a commercial real estate developer, is the back-up bidder on a La Mesa, California, store. The other 31 stores sought by Albertsons don’t have back-up bidders. The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents the majority of Haggen employees, announced their support for Albertsons in a press release on Nov. 13. The union also represents Albertsons employees. “We look forward to working with Albertsons to ensure that these stores are a success, and that the hard-working men and women are able to continue serving their communities and earning the wages and benefits they deserve,” the union said in a prepared statement. “For stores that were sold to other employers, we are actively seeking opportunities to negotiate

with new owners so that we can quickly secure jobs and peace of mind for our hard-working members.” In total, 95 closing Haggen stores were to be included in this week’s auction, according to court filings. Of those, documents show that 55 received bids. Albertsons placed the highest bid on 12 of 13 auctioned stores in Washington state. Albertsons plans to convert former Haggen stores in Milton, Puyallup, Renton, Monroe, and two stores in Burien to the Albertsons brand. Former Haggen stores in Gig Harbor, Spanaway, Port Orchard, Shoreline, Renton, and Everett, would be converted to Safeway. The one Washington store that Albertsons didn’t buy — a former Haggen in a Spokane suburb called Liberty Lake — went to Yoke’s Fresh Market, a grocery chain based in Spokane. Top bidders for Haggen stores outside the state include Smart & Final (four stores), Sprouts Farmers Market (four stores), and Tawa Supermarket (three stores). Court documents didn’t include prices for the auctioned stores. Interested parties have until 6 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, Nov. 19 to object to the proposed sales. A sale hearing is scheduled for Nov. 24. This week’s auction’s didn’t include any of Haggen’s Whatcom County locations. Those are scheduled to be auctioned Jan. 8.

Oliver Lazenby, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or olazenby@bbjtoday. com.

mit application for the Granary Building. Under the new schedule, Harcourt must submit a building permit for the work by Feb. 19, 2016 and start construction within 90 days after the permit is issued. The port’s “corporate goals” for 2016 include: ▶ Ongoing development in the Waterfront District ▶ Complete Whatcom Waterway phase 1 cleanup and plan other necessary cleanups ▶ Expansion of marine trades ▶ Strategic management of a growing airport ▶ Redevelopment of the Bellingham Shipping Terminal and Log Pond area ▶ Stimulate economic development and job creation ▶ Restoration and repair of aging infrastructure A full copy of the port’s 2016 budget is available on the port’s website: www.portofbellingham.com.

Haggen explores sales of all remaining assets BY OLIVER LAZENBY The Bellingham Business Journal Haggen Food & Pharmacy took steps toward selling every last one of its stores, including profitable stores it has owned for decades. The Bellingham-based grocer has asked for court approval to allow an auction even of its “core stores” — the 37 successful Northwest stores around which the bankrupt company had previously planned to reorganize. The auction would be Jan. 8. Haggen needs court approval for the auction since it is operating with financing from creditors. A company spokesperson said the motion to hold an auction is part of the bankruptcy process. “As part of the restructuring process, Haggen was required to explore potential outside opportunities for all of its operations, including the core stores which are performing well,” the company spokesperson said in an email. “The bid procedures filed today comply with those terms. Despite the filing, Haggen does not anticipate any changes to continuing operations at the core stores including regular payments to suppliers and partners.” She declined to explain further or clarify whether this

means the company plans to stay in the grocery business. The court will consider Haggen’s request at a Dec. 4 hearing at U.S. District Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Haggen has already began marketing the core stores, according to the court document. It’s looking for a stalking horse bidder for the stores but hasn’t found one yet. Stalking horse bids are common in bankruptcies and allow the seller to pick an initial bidder. The two parties agree to terms beforehand, keeping lowball bids off the table. The grocer closed 27 stores this fall. This week, Haggen is auctioning 100 stores from a second phase of store closures. Haggen has five stores and a pharmacy in Whatcom County. Haggen purchased 146 stores from Albertsons and Safeway earlier this year when those two chains merged. Haggen grew from 18 locations with 2,000 employees in the Northwest to 164 stores with more than 10,000 employees across the West Coast. But problems quickly popped up and, by this summer, the chain had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Oliver Lazenby, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or olazenby@ bbjtoday.com.

December 2015


The Bellingham Business Journal

Market Indicators

Jobs: Chapter 7 bankruptcies tick up in October Bankruptcies

Unemployment rate

September 2015: 5.4 % September 2014: 6.3 %

October 2015 total: 41 Annual change: - 4.88 %

Includes non-seasonally adjusted figures in Whatcom County

Includes filings for Chapters 7, 11 and 13 in Whatcom County



Chapters 11,13 Chapter 7

35 30


Labor force participation rate September 2015: 62.5% September 2014: 63.1%

Includes non-seasonally adjusted figures for Washington state

70% 67.5%

25 20





10 5
















Spending: Canadian dollar down 13 cents annually Sales-tax distribution


Includes monthly averages (Canada-to-U.S.) at market closing




October 2015: $31,360,597 October 2014: $18,258,942

October 2015: $0.76 October 2014: $0.89

Includes basic and optional local sales tax to Bellingham


Building-permit values

Canadian dollar

October 2015: $1,774,076.8 Annual change: - 2.14%

$50M $40M

































Housing: Houses keep getting more expensive Housing sale prices


Average price


Median price





Delinquency rate: August 2015: 1.76 % August 2014: 2.34% Foreclosure rate: August 2015: 0.65 % August 2014: 0.84%

Closed, October 2015: 290 Annual change: + 8.61 % Pending, October 2015: 333 Annual change: + 4.39 %



Foreclosures & delinquencies

Housing sales

Average: October 2015: $310,836 Octobrr 2014: $286,083 Median: October 2015: $278,750 October 2014: $260,000

Includes sales of single-family houses and condos in Whatcom County

Pending sales Closed sales







Delinquency rate










Foreclosure rate






Other factors: Border traffic down more than 25% Cruise terminal traffic

Airport traffic 5,000






50K 40K






1.25M 1M


0.75M 0.5M 0.25





















Includes southbound passengers crossings into Whatcom County





September 2015: 982,249 Year-over-year: ďż˝ 27.38 %

Includes inbound and outbound passengers at Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Includes total passengers flying from Bellingham International Airport


Border traffic

October 2015: 1,903 October 2014: 1,911

September 2015: 28,764 Annual change: - 25.22%












Notes: Graphs include the most recent data available at press time. Annual changes show cumulative difference from the same time period during the previous year. Data include raw numbers only and are not adjusted to account for any seasonal factors.







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ALCOA, FROM 1 Works, and the plant will keep 118 of its 583 employees. The part of the facility that is closing is called the potlines. In the potlines, electrical current runs through aluminum ore (which arrives monthly from Australia), breaking molecular bonds and producing refined molten aluminum. The potlines will close in the first quarter of 2016 but work will continue in the cast house, where molten aluminum is cast into blocks and logs of refined aluminum that gets shipped all over the western U.S., Canada and Mexico to be used for manufacturing. Once the potlines are closed, the cast houses won’t work with aluminum refined on-site, but will instead produce aluminum alloys from metal smelted elsewhere.

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The price of Aluminum dropped more than 30 percent in the past year to about $1,475 per ton in November on the London Metal Exchange. Most U.S. smelters can’t make

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money unless prices are well above $1,500, according to a report by Harbor Intelligence, an aluminum industry analyst. Harbor researchers predict that almost all U.S. smelting plants will close next year if prices don’t recover, Bloomberg News reported in November. A variety of factors have pushed aluminum prices down from a high of more than $2,500 per ton in 2011. China, Russia and the Middle East ramped up production in recent years, and now China’s recession has helped cause a global oversupply in the lightweight metal, according to the Bloomberg report. Some industry leaders suspect China of illegally subsidizing its state-owned aluminum producers. “Illegal Chinese subsidies — such as direct grants, interest free loans, transfers of low cost state-owned land, and preferential regulatory treatment — have collapsed the global price of aluminum,” the China Trade Task Force, an aluminum industry coalition, said in a prepared state-

“For each job at Intalco that goes away, we can imagine that two other jobs in the county are at risk.” HART HODGES DIRECTOR WWU CENTER FOR BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Alcoa, PAGE 9

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Curtailed or permanent? Alcoa has curtailed operations in the past. Most recently, the facility cut production in 2007 and 2008, laying off about 170 full-time employees. In 2011, Intalco Works increased production and added 60 jobs. John Martin vice president of operations for United States and Brazil Alcoa GPP, visited Intalco Works in November and held a town hall meeting with smelter employees, according to the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers website. The union represents most Alcoa workers. He told workers that Intalco Works had a better chance of restarting than the other smelters, but the price of aluminum will have to get significantly higher. Norman, a supervisor in the potlines who expects to lose his job, hopes that Alcoa’s curtailments will help raise the price of aluminum. Once the cuts

Blocks of aluminum, called ingot, stacked in the cast house at Alcoa Intalco Works in Ferndale. The cast house will continue to produce aluminum alloys and retain 118 employees. [OLIVER LAZENBY PHOTO | THE BBJ]

announced in November are complete, Alcoa will have closed, divested or curtailed 45 percent of its total smelting operating capacity since 2007, according to a company news release.

High wage jobs Since Alcoa’s announcement, Norman has seen other employees go

through the five stages of grief, he said. And in a period of weeks, Norman went from thinking the plant could avoid shutting down if only they could work harder and make it profitable, to accepting the curtailment and looking into other careers. Some employees have quit already, Norman said. Workers moving away could make it harder to

restart operations, but Intalco Works public relations manager Raina Clark said the company is used to training new employees; since there are so few aluminum smelters left in the U.S. virtually no new hires have any experience at the job, she said. Employees at Intalco Works made an average of $105,000 annually in 2013. The loss of 465 highwage jobs will reverberate through the county’s economy, Western Washington University economist Hart Hodges said. Hodges’ economic modeling software found one job at Alcoa indirectly supports an estimated two other jobs in the county through consumer spending and other economic activity. “For each job at Intalco that goes away, we can imagine that two other jobs in the county are at risk,” Hodges said in an email. “Equivalently, if we lose 400 jobs at Intalco, we might lose 1200 jobs in total.” That’s the worst case scenario. The impact goes down if Alcoa continues to pay wages or benefits in some form to the laid-off workers. At press time, the company hadn’t said anything about employee benefit packages. In a 2000 study, economic forecaster Dick Conway calculated that jobs at Intalco Works had a jobs multiplier value of 2.8. That is, for every job lost at Alcoa, 1.8 other jobs may be lost in the county — similar to what Hodges found. Conway chronicled the demise of Washington’s aluminum industry through a series of studies in the 1990s up until 2005, covering a period in which

smelters in Longview, Goldendale and Spokane closed. The aluminum industry commissioned the studies to make a case that smelters should continue to receive subsidized power from the Bonneville Power Administration. It’s been years since Conway studied the industry, but he expects Whatcom County will deal with the curtailments better than Wenatchee, he said. “The loss of Wenatchee Works — they’re going to

feel it,” he said. “Whatcom, not so much because of the university, the proximity to Canada, even the proximity to the Puget Sound region.”

Oliver Lazenby, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or olazenby@bbjtoday.com.



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ment for the president in November. Alcoa has dealt with the price decline by cutting unprofitable smelters. The company will idle refining and smelting at a facility in New York called Massena West early next year. Another New York facility, Massena East, will permanently close. Portions of that plant were closed in March 2014. Also, Alcoa is splitting in two. In the second half of 2016 Alcoa’s traditional aluminum producing and refining business will become separate from its more profitable parts and metal alloys business.

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December 2015







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

An Update from the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Chamber Rolls Out the Red Carpet

By: Shelli Jones Every December, the Bellingham/ Whatcom Chamber of Commerce recognizes member businesses and individuals for their achievements in our Annual Awards Dinner. It’s an opportunity to celebrate with members and underscore successes of the past year. This year’s Annual Awards Dinner will be held on Thursday, December 3rd at Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa and will host nearly 500 chamber members. The highlight of the evening is the awards ceremony as we honor the Man and Woman of the Year, the Small and Large Business of the Year, the Nonprofit and Green Business of the Year, and the Young Professional and Chamber Ambassador of the Year. This year we will introduce a new award—the CEO of the Year. CEO of the Year award is given to a CEO, President, Chairman or General Manager who demonstrates a clear, consistent vision for their company, has proven sound professional judgment and ethics, is highly respected among peer and competitors, and is trusted by investors and the community. The CEO of the Year empowers his/her employees and is a steady employer in our community.  He/she is able to balance the needs of consumers, employees and investors and is a positive influence on his/her industry. The Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors nominate and vote on the recipient of this award. The small and large businesses of the year are evaluated based on: company management, community service and contribution exceeding the scope of the company’s mission, economic stability of the business, ethics and integrity, growth of company, new jobs created for the community, upward mobility for employees. Companies considered will be those who put resources and energy back into Bellingham and Whatcom County The 2015 Large Business of the Year finalists are: Aslan Brewing Co.

BioLife Plasma Services PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance The 2015 Small Business of the Year finalists are: Bellingham Alive Daylight Properties PR Consulting Radley Muller Photography “This is the highlight of the year for the Chamber. It’s our chance to roll out the red carpet and shine a light on some of the amazing local businesses in the Chamber and inspirational leaders in our community,” said Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce Present & CEO Guy Occhiogrosso, who will be serving as the emcee for the awards ceremony. The Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all of the sponsors of the Annual Awards Dinner who generously sponsored the awards, reception, wine, photography and flowers for the event. They are: VSH CPAs First Federal Alaska Airlines BP Cherry Point Banner Bank Peoples Bank Alcoa Intalco Works Signs Plus Skagit Bank Print & Copy factory Radley Muller Photography US Bank Bluebird Social Media Key Bank Laserpoint Awards & Promotional Solutions Heritage Bank Pozie by Natalie The event is almost sold out. Anyone planning to attend should call the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber at 360-734-1330 to reserve a seat. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a reception followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the awards ceremony from 7:30-9:00 p.m. at Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa. The cost for members is $65 per seat. Non-members pay $75 and table sponsors are charged $750 for a table of eight.

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Where: Silver ReefHotel Hotel Casino Where: Silver Reef CasinoSpa Spa 4876 Haxton Road, Ferndale 4876 Haxton When: Road, 5:30—9Ferndale p.m. When: 5:30—9 p.m. Cost: $65 for members, $75 for non-members sponsors$75 (seats 8) non-members members only Cost:$750 $65 for fortable members, for RSVP at bellingham.com $750 for table sponsors (seats 8) members only RSVP at bellingham.com 12/9—New Member Orientation Where: Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber

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December 2015

City council to advocate for statewide paid sick leave After months of discussing a city ordinance, council changed course last month BY OLIVER LAZENBY The Bellingham Business Journal Bellingham City Council changed course after months of exploring a city mandate requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to the estimated 21,000 Bellingham workers who don’t already have it. The council voted unanimously on Nov. 6 to take on an advocacy role at the state level, putting on hold action at the city level. Business owners and citizens were deeply divided on the topic — councilmember Pinky Vargas said she heard from more people about the issue than about everything else combined in her nearly two years on city council. Council will ask the governor and state legislators to take on the issue of paid sick leave, which is required on a national level in most countries. The U.S. is the only developed country where workers aren’t guaranteed some form of paid sick leave, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “I think this is a bigger issue than just Bellingham can take on

and should be implemented at the state level,” said council member Pinky Vargas, who proposed the resolution to take a statewide advocacy role. “I want us to be active participants and cheerleaders to make sure this gets the voice it deserves at the state level.” The council made the decision after hearing from countless small business owners who opposed a city ordinance. But many who opposed a city ordinance said they would support a state law, Vargas said. The topic brought many business owners to council meetings who had never been before, as a show of hands at council committee listening session demonstrated. City council outreach on the topic culminated in a public listening session in November where opponents and advocates packed council chambers to speak about what paid sick leave would mean for them. The discussion wasn’t about a specific ordinance, but the general idea of the city requiring paid sick leave, said council member Michael Lilliquist.

Ryan Siu, co-owner of Black Drop Coffee House, making an espresso shot in January 2015. Black Drop started giving paid sick leave to employees this year. [OLIVER LAZENBY PHOTO | THE BELLINGHAM BUSINESS JOURNAL]

What Vargas heard at that listening session and during the last

few months convinced her that a city ordinance would have an

outsized impact on small businesses and have other downsides, she said. “With the city trying to do an ordinance in isolation, it would cause a lot of unintended circumstances that most people were not aware of,” she said. Council first discussed paid sick and safe leave in July, after an advocacy group called Healthy Bellingham presented a draft ordinance that would have required employers to give workers one hour of paid sick time per every 30 hours worked, or seven days a year for full-time workers. At listening sessions, paid sick leave supporters told about sick children having to go to school because their parents can’t take time off to care for them, grocery store clerks who couldn’t afford to take a day off attempting to hide coughing or sniffling from customers. Others commented about how paid safe leave allowed them to escape domestic abuse or stalkers without worrying about how to pay rent.

Paid sick leave, PAGE 13

December 2015

PAID SICK LEAVE, FROM 12 Business owners opposed to an ordinance worried that it would make them unable to compete with businesses outside of Bellingham, that employees would abuse the policy, or that they would have to lay off employees to absorb the cost of providing paid sick time. Businesses with multiple offices in the county would have different policies for their employees in Bellingham than employees at offices in Lynden and Ferndale. Many business owners who spoke at the listening session said they already offered paid sick leave, but didn’t think it was the city’s place to mandate paid sick leave. “The general objective of this, I am not against,” said Bob Diehl, owner of Diehl Ford, at the listening session. “If it were legislated statewide or nationwide that would be fine.”

It’s worked elsewhere So far, those concerns haven’t been an issue in U.S. cities and states that recently implemented paid sick leave laws, at least not according to the limited studies on those cities. Seattle began requiring employers to give workers paid sick and safe leave on Sept. 1, 2012. After the policy had been in effect for a full year, 70 percent of employers supported it, according to a 2014 University of Washington study. The study was based on a survey of 300 randomly sampled employers. Businesses dealt with the ordinance in a variety of ways: 8.2 percent of businesses in the study had raised prices to pass on costs, 6.4 percent had


The Bellingham Business Journal

decreased employee pay raises or bonuses and 5.3 percent reduced paid vacation time. About 17 percent of employers said providing paid sick leave made them less profitable. Overall, costs and impacts to employers were smaller than anticipated, according to the study. Businesses surveyed reported that providing paid sick leave cost on averaged about four-tenths of one percent of total revenue. “The majority of employers have seen no effect of the ordinance on customer service, employee morale, predictability of employee absenteeism, or profitability,” the study said. “There is no evidence that the ordinance caused employers to go out of business or leave Seattle.” In general, workers used less paid leave than employers expected. On the question of abusing the policy, 86 percent of employers reported no known cases of abuse and 6 percent reported 1-3 cases in the year after the ordinance started. A less detailed study in Connecticut, which began guaranteeing sick leave to workers on Jan. 1, 2012, found similar results. Tacoma also has a paid sick ordinance. Other cities across the county with ordinances include San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and the small New Jersey towns Trenton and Montclair. The policies they adopted vary. Some jurisdictions don’t require businesses with less than four employees to pay for sick leave, and part-time workers are exempt in others, for example. Bellingham is smaller than most of the U.S. cities that have mandated paid

“With nine years of local chamber experience in this community and county this is probably the first time that I’ve seen this much of a unified business concern.” GUY OCCHIOGROSSO PRESIDENT AND CEO BELLINGHAM/WHATCOM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

“I think a state level law would be amazing, but I don’t think it’s going to happen on a state level.” STEPHANIE OPPELAAR OWNER BLACK DROP COFFEE HOUSE

sick leave.

Bellingham isn’t Seattle Bellingham isn’t Seattle. That was Bellingham/ Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry president and CEO Guy Occhiogrosso’s message to city council at the listening session. “Seattle is an economic magnet. If you’re in Seattle, you have such a large consumer and population base,” Occhiogrosso said. “Bellingham is certainly the regional hub, but it’s just as easy for a business to locate outside of Bellingham.” In other words, it’s harder for Seattle businesses to move outside the city and escape the regulation, because if they do that they distance themselves

from their customers. If a Bellingham business moves five miles up the freeway, employees will likely stay with the business and customers will continue to

come, Occhiogrosso said. Occhiogrosso has also heard from a lot of people about the issue in the last six months, he said, and they mostly say the same thing. Chamber members and other local business owners are very unified in opposing a city ordinance for sick leave, he said. “With nine years of local chamber experience in this community and county this is probably the first time that I’ve seen this much of a unified business concern,” he said. About 70 percent of chamber members are small businesses with 20 or fewer employees, and many of them think the ordinance will impact them significantly. Many of the business owners who spoke at the public listening session had 20 or fewer employees, and no one showed up representing a business based outside Whatcom County. The majority of businesses that Occhiogrosso has heard from already offer paid sick leave, he said. “A lot of people are saying it’s just increasing the perception that Bellingham is bad for business,” he said.

“A large percentage feel that it’s not the city’s authority to implement this type of an ordinance.” But is a state level decision more appropriate? “It doesn’t make it a business friendly decision. It makes it more palatable to businesses,” Occhiogrosso said. “We’re not going to lose business to Skagit, or anywhere up and down I-5.” Council could still pursue city ordinance City Council’s resolution to advocate for paid sick leave at the state level doesn’t preclude the council from implementing a local law, but some council members worried that it would put an end to the council’s action on paid sick leave, at least until after the upcoming legislative session. “I support this level of outreach, absolutely, but I don’t want this to put an end to the dialogue here in Bellingham,” council member Roxanne Murphy said. “We had such a 50/50 split, it felt like, at our listening session and I want to get more feedback on that

Paid sick leave, PAGE 17

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The Bellingham Business Journal

December 2015

Port could bring log, wood chip exporters to shipping terminal Proposal to ship forest products to Asia would transform shipping terminal, but has drawn criticism BY OLIVER LAZENBY The Bellingham Business Journal Logs and other forest products could soon be shipped from the Bellingham Shipping Terminal for the first time since the late 1990s. The Port of Belling-

ham is negotiating with companies that want to export logs and timber products to Asia from a 20-acre site at the log pond area of the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, near the Whatcom Waterway. At a Nov. 10 meeting, port commissioners

voted to enter an exclusive negotiating period with two companies: DKoram, a Hong Kong log exporting company with an Aberdeen location; and British Columbia-based Bio-Fibre Manufacturing (BFM). Under the agreement, the port can’t negotiate

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with other forest-product companies until the due diligence period ends on April 29, 2016. The port agreement doesn’t prevent the port from negotiating with firms in other industries. The proposed project could employ 50 workers and bring 50 to 150 trucks a day to the waterfront. It would be a big step in the transformation of the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, but a local environmental group has criticized the project, saying that it could lead to intensified logging in local forests and increased carbon emissions in Asia. DKoram and BFM proposed the project together and are working jointly on it. DKoram would ship logs and BFM would ship biofuels — wood chips and wood pellets that would be burned to produce ener-

Under a proposed deal, two companies would lease about 20 acres near the Whatcom Waterway for shipping forest products to Asia. [OLIVER LAZENBY PHOTO | THE BELLINGHAM BUSINESS JOURNAL]

gy. The companies would source logs and scrap wood from Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties, and ship to China, South Korea and

Japan, company leaders said. Steve Grandorff, DKoram general man-

Export, PAGE 22



December 2015

The Bellingham Business Journal

Woods Coffee is preparing to open its first Canadian shop next year BY OLIVER LAZENBY The Bellingham Business Journal Many Whatcom County retailers market to Canadians, but Woods Coffee is taking it to another level. The Lynden-based chain’s first Canadian shop is under construction in Tsawwassen, just north of Point Roberts, Washington. The store, which will be the company’s 18th, should open in the first quarter of next year in the Tsawwassen Springs Golf Club. Woods Coffee partnered on the location with Shato Holdings, a Canadian commercial and residential real estate developer. Shato Holdings will do all the groundwork and manage day-to-day operations at the coffee shop, said Wes Herman, owner of Woods Coffee. Herman has been interested in opening a Canadian Woods Coffee location for several years, and has considered working with other partners. “We are honored to be working with Ron and his associates, who have a proven track record and know hospitality,” Herman said about Ron Toigo, managing director of Shato Holdings. “There’s no doubt they will be able to carry on the much-loved Woods culture in B.C.” Shato Holdings, based in Vancouver, B.C., currently manages more than 200 White Spot and Triple O’s restaurants, popular Canadian hamburger chains. Woods’ Tsawwassen shop, in a community of about 17,000, will have a drive-thru and a similar look to Woods’ Whatcom locations with a fireplace and a similar interior. This store will be a test; Herman would like to open many more Canadian shops if the Tsawwassen location works, he said.

Helping our community comes with the territory. Beans roasting at Woods Coffee headquarters in Lynden. Woods Coffee plans to open its first Canadian location in Tsawwassen next year. If it’s a success, owner Wes Herman hopes to continue expanding into Canada. Woods Coffee will continue to roast all its coffee in Whatcom County, Herman said. [OLIVER LAZENBY PHOTO | THE BBJ] Woods expanding to Canada could eventually bring more jobs to Whatcom County, as all the coffee sold in the Canadian location will be roasted in Whatcom County. There’s no lack of java north of the border, but Woods Coffee already has loyal Canadian customers. “There’s not a week that goes by where a Canadian customer doesn’t email and say ‘would you please open a store in Canada,’” Herman said.

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Airporter Shuttle to add WWU stop for holidays BY OLIVER LAZENBY The Bellingham Business Journal Holiday bus travel could be a little easier for Western Washington Students this year. The Airporter Shuttle/Bellair Charters is adding an on-campus pickup spot for travel between Nov. 23 2015 to Jan. 6, 2016, and again from March 9-19, 2016. Those dates will cover the university’s Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks. “Our recent move from McDonald’s in Bellingham to our new office on Iowa Street left students without an easy way to get to us,” said Joel Litwin, marketing manager for the company. “Our new

stop at the Performing Arts Center on campus will allow students and others easy access to our service.” Liwin said the shuttle service may make the stop permanent if it’s well-used during the holidays. The ride service is available to everyone. It costs $37 for a one way ride from Bellingham to Sea-Tac Airport, or $68 for a round-trip. The shuttle will make 10 round-trips a day to Sea-Tac during the specified travel dates. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance. Learn more at www.airporter.com/ wwu or by calling Airporter Shuttle at 866-235-5247.

The Bellingham Business Journal In print monthly, online all the time at BBJToday.com.

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PAID SICK LEAVE, FROM 13 and see if we can come up with something with a little more middle ground.” The state House in 2015 passed a bill to require paid sick leave for most companies with more than five employees, but the bill didn’t pass the Senate.

Paid safe leave The discussion held by the city wasn’t about a specific ordinance and the city didn’t create a draft of an ordinance, but the council expressed an interest in requiring paid safe leave as part of any specific rule. Seattle’s ordinance allows paid safe leave to be used for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking that affect the employee or their family members. Employees can also use paid safe leave if a public official closes their workplace or their child’s school closes because of a toxin or hazard. Adrianna Sharp, an advocate with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County, said paid safe leave is a huge advantage


to people suffering from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. A paid day off allows time to move out, set up a new bank account or take other action when an abuser isn’t expecting them at home. “One thing that would be helpful for a large number of people in those situations would be to take a day off and not have to worry about housing or food, and to go get help, lean on family members, rebuild a support network for themselves, or move out of the situation that is dangerous and often violent,” Sharp said.

Not all business owners oppose it Inspired by the City Council’s discussion, Black Drop Coffee, a downtown coffee shop with 10 employees, implemented a paid sick policy early this year after six months of discussing it. Under the policy, employees accrue sick pay at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked. If employees use all their sick pay, which owner Stephanie Oppelaar

doesn’t expect, the policy will cost $200 a month. An employee would need to work 240 hours to earn a paid sick day. “I can’t look employees in the face and say the 240 hours they’ve worked is not enough for them to be able to be sick for one day without having to worry about paying rent,” Oppelaar said. Oppelaar thinks her policy will result in less employee turnover. And it could even reduce the number of days that employees call in sick, which is rare already, she said. Sick employees can get other employees sick, and with a staff of 10, that’s tough for the shop to handle, Oppelaar said. Though Black Drop’s policy hasn’t made the shop less competitive, Oppelaar would still prefer a statewide rule, she said. “I think a state level law would be amazing, but I don’t think it’s going to happen on a state level,” she said.



Oliver Lazenby, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or olazenby@bbjtoday.com.

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The Bellingham Business Journal

December 2015

Public Records BUSINESS LICENSES Listings, which feature both new and renewed licenses in Bellingham, include business name, licensee name and the business’ physical address. Records are obtained from the City of Bellingham. October licenses 1848 Envelope Design, Llc, 1848 Envelope Design, Llc, 1206 Woburn St., Bellingham. 2tracks Therapeutic Massage, Ruth Irene Hesse, 21 Bellwether Way Ste 103-1, Bellingham. Aaron’s A-Plus Janitorial Services, Aaron Randal Reed, 444 S State St., Bellingham. B&B Enterprises Llc, B&B Enterprises Llc, 2225 W Birch St., Bellingham. Ballroom Events Llc, Ballroom Events Llc, 317 Kentucky St., Bellingham. Bark & Son’s Gourmet Doggie Bakery Llc, Bark & Son’s Gourmet Doggie Bakery Llc, 1474 Greenville Dr., Bellingham. Bellingham Coin Shop, Bellingham Coin Shop, Llc, 1806 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham. Bellingham Real Estate Company, Bellingham Real Estate Company, 4220 Springland Ln., Bellingham. Bellinghome Builders Llc, Bellinghome Builders, Llc, 1612 E. Maplewood Ave., Bellingham. Beth Stickley, Beth Stickley, 3100 Brandywine Way, Bellingham. Blvckthorne Manufacturing, Rita A Garcia, 1222 N. State St., Bellingham. Bob H, Corp., Bob H, Corp., 2284 E Hemmi Rd., Bellingham. Brain Kandy, Brain Kandy, 1200 10th Ave., Bellingham. Breeze Trees, Breeze Trees Llc, 4833 Guide Meridian, Bellingham. Bye A Bay Llc, Bye A Bay Llc, 2663 Haxton Way, Bellingham. Carolyn Stewart, Carolyn Stewart, 4806 Lost Creek Ln, Bellingham. Cheong Engineering & Design, Edwin Cheong, 336 36th St., Bellingham. Children’s Creativity Center, Painting Party Productions, Inc., 1 Bellis Fair Pkwy Ste 434, Bellingham. Cj’s Window Cleaning Llc, Cj’s Window Cleaning Llc, 1970 Fraser St., Bellingham. Cks Communities Llc, Cks Communities Llc, 323 Telegraph Rd, Bellingham. Connelly Ave Llc., Connelly Ave Llc., 2477 Erie Ter., Bellingham. Creative Results Media, Llc, Creative Results Media, Llc, 1535 Toledo Ct, Bellingham. Crushmore Connections, Casey Jenkins, 1402 Toledo St., Bellingham. Dibble Consulting, Kevin Scott Dibble, 2607 16th St., Bellingham. Drew Bailey Consulting, Drew James Bailey, 444 Highland Dr., Bellingham. E&M Inc., Anna Mescheryakova, 1655 Summit Ct., Bellingham. Essential Massage And Bodywork, Llc, Essential Massage And Bodywork, Llc, 1344 King St, Bellingham. Evolving Woman: Wellness And Support Center, Evolving Woman: Wellness And Resource Center, 1020 11th St., Bellingham. Famous Footwear #2466, Bg Retail, Llc, 1 Bellis Fair Pkwy Ste 310, Bellingham. Flow Financial Planning Llc, Flow Financial Planning L.L.C., 1326 Grant St., Bellingham. Folsom Music, Folsom Music Llc, 3118 Mcleod Rd., Bellingham. Footprint Awareness Llc, Footprint Awareness Llc, 717 N. Forest St., Bellingham. Free Air Life Co, Free Air Life Co Llc, 2321 Happy Ct., Bellingham. Frontier Painting/Cleaning Services, Julio C Reyes, 4104 Kramer Ln, Bellingham. Fundamental Accounting – Consulting & Bookkeeping, Denise A Easton, 3304 Cedarside Ct., Bellingham. Ginkgo Bioidentical Hormone Institute Pllc,

Ginkgo Bioidentical Hormone Institute Pllc, 1100 Larrabee Ave. Ste 100, Bellingham. Grant Driver Photography, Grant Lemarr Driver, 2629 Nevada St., Bellingham. Green Stop Cannabis Llc, Green Stop Cannabis Llc, 1410 Iowa St., Bellingham. Grigsby, Joseph Smyth, 107 Grand Ave., Bellingham. Hannegan Seafoods Llc, Hannegan Seafoods Llc, 6069 Hannegan Rd, Bellingham. Happy Trails Horseback Riding Llc, Happy Trails Horseback Riding, Llc, 3809 Alabama St., Bellingham. Harmony Taxi, Harmonious Ventures Llc, 4625 Cordata Pkwy Apt. 231, Bellingham. Heroine, Mi Shoes, Llc, 1328 Commercial St., Bellingham. Highline Interiors, Highline Interiors Llc, 1420 Meador Ave. Ste K105, Bellingham. Indimoonrose, Indimoonrose, 925 15th St., Bellingham. Ivoirej, Ivoirej Inc.,358 E Bellis Fair Pkwy., Bellingham. J & B Woodworking And Metalworks Llc, J & B Woodworking And Metalworks Llc, 1410 Iowa St., Bellingham. J & U Construction, Jamilu Umar, 1400 Moore St., Bellingham. J&J Precious Metals, James Clair Crisp, 3333 Hollywood Ave., Bellingham. Jagwinder Singh Gill, Jagwinder Singh Gill, 3528 Northwest Ave., Bellingham. James Velez Charter Llc, James Velez Charter Llc, 2615 S Harbor Loop Dr., Bellingham. Jennifer Arm, Jennifer Arm, 2216 Victor St., Bellingham. Jessica De Boer, Jessica Dawn De Boer, 4414 Alice St., Bellingham. Jetcor, Inc., Jetcor, Inc., 720 Sunset Pond Ln, Bellingham. Jill Culver Events Llc, Jill Culver Events Llc, 611 15th St., Bellingham. Jrs Operations Llc, Jrs Operations Llc, 2119 Lincoln St., Bellingham. Kbx Enterprises, Kbx Enterprises, 2600 Cherry St., Bellingham. Klallam Controls Company, Klallam Controls Company, 1313 E Maple St. Ste 201, Bellingham. Konocti Enterprises Llc, Konocti Enterprises Llc, 2623 S Harbor Loop Dr., Bellingham. Kwkly Inc., Kwkly, Inc., 2211 Rimland Dr. Ste 124, Bellingham. Latino Advocacy Llc, Latino Advocacy, Llc, 203 W. Holly St. Ste 328, Bellingham. Linse Enterprises, Linse Enterprises Inc., 1840 James St., Bellingham. Lyn’s Draperies, Jennifer Toni Enterprises Llc, 4058 Hammer Dr. Ste 104, Bellingham. Maa Transport, Algirdas Mikolaitis, 1655 Summit Ct., Bellingham. Maidenhair Hormone Clinic For Women Pllc, Maidenhair Hormone Clinic For Women Pllc, 1100 Larrabee Ave., Bellingham. Makerneer, Nathan Bishop, 1401 Welling Rd., Bellingham. Megan Lewis Law Pllc, Megan Lewis Law Pllc, 93 Hawthorne Rd., Bellingham. Melrose, Virginia King Lee, 1 Bellis Fair Mall Pkwy #1111, Bellingham. Mfml Publishing, Matthew Adam Mcrae, 1423 Toledo St., Bellingham. Mojitos And Moves, Stephanie Joy Miller, 3903 Flynn St. Apt., Bellingham. Nb Wallace Holding Company Llc, Nb Wallace Holding Company Llc, 3115 Alderwood Ave., Bellingham. New York Pizza And Bar, New York Pizza And Bar Llc, 902 S. State St. Ste 106, Bellingham. Newhelm Management Solutions Inc., Newhelm Management Solutions Inc., 114 W. Magnolia St. Ste 505, Bellingham. Nextphase Ventures Llc, Nextphase Ventures Llc, 1301 W. Bakerview Rd, Bellingham. Northwest Dog Walkers, Elizabeth Marie Globensky, 965 N. Garden St. Apt 315, Bellingham.

Northwest Jewelry Designs, Mary B Wilder, 1470 Chuckanut Dr., Bellingham. One Stop Head Shop, Darin Schrammeck, Inc., 1269 Xenia St., Bellingham. Paper Compass Cards & Gifts, Nancy Jeanne Hill, 860 Coho Way Slip 3, Bellingham. Patricia Thomas, Patricia Thomas, 3119 Bennett Dr., Bellingham. Patti Varner, Patricia Ann Varner, 902 N. State St., Bellingham. Pawsitivity, Cyndal Gambini, 5243 Graveline Rd., Bellingham. Pep Imagery, Haleigh Adkins, 3103 Cherrywood Ave., Bellingham. Peter Kenneth Settles, Peter Kenneth Settles, 3770 Canterbury Ln., Bellingham. Picture Life Now Photography, Leilani Christina Sheetz, 389 31st St., Bellingham. Power Fitness, Llc, Power Fitness, Llc, 414 W. Bakerview Road, Bellingham. Radiance Hair And Beauty, Jessica Michelle Wright, 321 Telegraph Rd, Bellingham. Sangam Studio Llc, Sangam Studio Llc, 1316 Barkley Blvd., Bellingham. Select Comfort Retail Corporation, Select Comfort Retail Corporation, 4210 Meridian St., Bellingham. Simply Clean Cleaning Services, Simply Clean Cleaning Services Lllp, 246 Kelly Rd., Bellingham. Soundbooth, Jonathan Butler, 2643 W. Maplewood Ave., Bellingham. Steady Trucking, Norveycorp, 528 Northwest Dr., Bellingham. Tague Llc, Tague Llc, 2202 Wilson Ave., Bellingham. Tapping Into Natural Wisdom, Rene Olive Laventure, 1313 E. Maple St., Bellingham. Taxi Jessie 33, Jessie James Robertson, 4111 York St., Bellingham. Ten Books A Month, Sarah Michell Lunde, 24 Jasper Ridge Ln, Bellingham. The Bagelry Llc, New Bagelry Llc, 1319 Railroad Ave., Bellingham. The Joint, wc Enterprises Llc, 1840 James St., Bellingham. The Sherwin-Williams Company, The SherwinWilliams Company, 714 Ohio St., Bellingham. The Woods Coffee, Inc., The Woods Coffee, Inc., 2900 Woburn St., Bellingham. The Woods Coffee, Inc., The Woods Coffee, Inc., 813 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham. Thenticate, Llc, Thenticate, Llc, 314 E. Holly St., Bellingham. Trayvax Enterprises Llc, Trayvax Enterprises Llc, 4001 Irongate Rd. Ste 102, Bellingham. Trilogy Pacific, Roger Dennis Brock, 3124 Cherrywood Ave., Bellingham. Turn It Up Dance Fit, Rhonda Faith Saunders, 521 40th St., Bellingham. Uber Hawk, Aaron Thomas, 1429 Fruitland Dr., Bellingham. Uber Technologies Partner, David Debruler, 3309 Sussex Dr., Bellingham. Victoria Hope Werby, Victoria Hope Werby, 546 Cedar Acres, Bellingham. Weather Plus Insulators, Troy L Braley, 2041 Yew Street Rd Unit N, Bellingham. Whatcom Parks & Recreation Foundation, Whatcom Parks And Recreation Foundation, 1200 Harris Ave. Ste 408, Bellingham. Wood Truss Review Service Llc, Wood Truss Review Service Llc, 3816 Taylor Ave., Bellingham. Worldwithwings Counseling, Alana Ruth Karsch, 1116 Key St., Bellingham. Wyn Distribution, Wyn Distribution L.L.C., 1255 Toledo St., Bellingham. Ziggys Auto Design., Ziggys Auto Design., Ziggys 2227 Queen St., Bellingham.

BUILDING PERMITS Includes commercial building activity in Bellingham 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 the city’s website at http://pnw.cc/sVCen. 10/5/15 to 10/9/15 Permits issued 1155 E Sunset Drive 105, $28,000 for tenant improvement: renovate existing suite for new restaurant. Contractor: Braam Construction. Permit No.: BLD2015-00402. 10/5/15. 1301 W Holly St., $23,000 for multifamily: remove and replace entry portico (water damaged). Contractor: C H Hudson Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00417. 10/8/15. 2209 G St., $10,000 for multifamily: repairs to existing second floor decks and replace one door and one window each on two units. Contractor: Grummel Construction. Permit No.: BLD2015-00407. 10/8/15. 2219 Rimland Drive third floor, $14,000 for tenant improvement: modification to elevator lobby area on third floor. Contractor: Scoboria Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00404. 10/8/15. 805 Viking Circle, $1,496,190 for new 16-unit multifamily building (building type E). Contractor: Dawson Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00245. 10/8/15. 807 Viking Circle, $4,307,747 for new 32-unit multifamily building (building type C). Contractor: Dawson Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00245. 10/8/15. Pending applications 1225 W Bakerview Road, $138,670 for replacement of walk-in cooler and freezer. Permit No.: BLD201500413. 10/6/15. 3930 Meridian St. 104, $20,000 for tenant improvement for new cellphone repair and sales location. Contractor: Scoboria Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00434. 10/7/15. 4400 Columbine Drive, $3,454,157 for new 41,206 square-foot memory care facility: Silverado Care. Contractor: Dawson Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00255. 10/7/15. 1300 Commercial St., $350,000 for tenant improvement: creating office in existing space. Permit No.: BLD2015-00435. 10/9/15. ES Western Washington University, $13,900 for alteration: add walls and door to create new office on sixth floor. Permit No.: BLD2015-00433. 10/9/2015. 115 W Kellogg Road, $100,000 for tenant improvement: combine multiple suites for new fitness center. Permit No.: BLD2015-00436. 10/9/15. 615 N Forest St., $410,980 for three new 1,000 square-foot townhouses with garages, front porches and rear decks. Permit No.: CMB2015-00273. 10/9/15. 10/12/15 to 10/16/15 Permits issued 794 Kentucky St., $38,780 for tenant improvement: new retail marijuana sales in previous restaurant space. Contractor: Hindman Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00406. 10/12/15. 1225 W Bakerview Road, $138,670 for commercial: replacement of walk-in cooler and freezer. Contractor: McCleery Construction LLC. Permit No.: BLD201500413. 10/14/15. 3930 Meridian St. 104, $20,000 for tenant improvement for new cellphone repair and sales location. Contractor: Scoboria Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2014-00434. 10/15/15. 2980 Squalicum Parkway 101-102, $450,000 for tenant improvement: interior remodel of existing offices spaces, bathrooms, and break room. Permit No.: BLD2015-00419. 10/15/15. Pending applications 1231 N. Garden St., $45,000 for commercial: new canopy at entrance to building. Contractor: The Franklin Corporation. Permit No.: BLD2015-00437. 10/12/15. 800 Harris Ave., $2,500,000 for new mixed use building with nine townhouses and commercial shell. Permit No.: BLD2015-00430. 10/13/15. 801 Samish Way, $278,000 for tenant improvement: conversion of existing church building into an office building. Contractor: Scoboria Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00439. 10/14/15. 4233 Meridian St. 101, $15,000 for tenant improvement: new tenant space in existing building. Permit No.: BLD2015-00371. 10/15/15. 3969 Hammer Drive, $22,000 for tenant improvement: adding nonstructural partition walls, replace doors and minor work for marijuana facility.

Permit No.: BLD2015-00441. 10/16/15. 1030 Lakeway Drive, $4,000,000 for tenant improvement: new grocery retailer within existing shell. Permit No.: BLD2015-00334. 10/16/15. Demolition permits None with a value of more than $10,000 for this date range. 10/19/15 to 10/23/15 Permits issued 1231 N. Garden St., $45,000 for commercial: new canopy at entrance to building. Contractor: The Franklin Corporation. Permit No.: BLD2015-00437. 10/20/15. 1145 E. Sunset Drive 105, $200,000 for tenant improvement: Remodel vacant space for new retail store. Contractor: Engineered Structures Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00416. 10/23/15. 4400 Columbine Drive, $4,816,237 for new 41,206-square-foot memory care facility: Silverado Care. Contractor: Dawson Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00255. 10/23/15. 4117 Stonecrest Court 101 & 102, $197,860 for new two-story duplex. Contractor: Robinson Hardwood & Homes LLC. Permit No.: CMB2014-00304. 10/23/15. 4121 Stonecrest Court 101 & 102, $201,169 for new two-story duplex. Contractor: Robinson Hardwood & Homes LLC. Permit No.: CMB2014-00303. 10/23/15. 4123 Stonecrest Court 101 & 102, $201,169 for new two-story duplex. Contractor: Robinson Hardwood & Homes LLC. Permit No.: CMB2014-00302. 10/23/15. 4119 Stonecrest Court 101 & 102, $201,169 for new two-story duplex. Contractor: Robinson Hardwood & Homes LLC. Permit No.: CMB2014-00297. 10/23/15. Pending applications 1022 Lakeway Drive, $41,600 for tenant improvement: remodel of existing retail space for new retail tenant: Mud Bay. Permit No.: BLD2015-00444. 10/20/15. 500 W. Orchard Drive, $800,000 for tenant improvement: interior remodel for fresh fruit processor. Permit No.: BLD2015-00440. 10/20/15. 1151 Ellis St., $731,850 for tenant improvement: remodel of existing office building. Addition of new two-story entry and elevator. Permit No.: BLD201500414. 10/20/15. 207 Unity St., $210,000 for commercial: conversion of existing upper floor to banquet room, addition of 126-square-foot mens restroom and 133-square-foot walk-in cooler and minor interior remodel. Contractor: Summit Framing Company. Permit No.: BLD201500443. 10/20/15. 2707 Connelly Ave., $2,532,102 for new three-story 20-unit multifamily building. Permit No.: BLD201500350. 10/20/15. 3217 Squalicum Parkway, $1,400,000 for tenant improvement: remodel of one-story building. Addition of approximately 2,000 square feet to include classroom, therapeutic pool, and associated patient changing/shower areas. Permit No.: BLD2015-00273. 10/21/15. 2162 Midway Lane, $4,000,000 for commercial: expansion of an existing pre-engineered metal building from 11,000- to 23,000-square-foot and development of the remaining 1.5 acres. Permit No.: BLD2015-00351. 10/21/15. 865 Viking Circle, $20,000 for recycle enclosure for multifamily housing: Viking Circle. Contractor: Dawson Construction Inc., Permit No.: BLD2015-00449. 10/23/15. Demolition permits 301 N. Samish Way, no calculated value given for demolition and disposal of motel units: Aloha Motel, Contractor: J.T. Muenscher General Contractor Inc. Permit No.: DEM2015-00054. 10/23/15. 315 N Samish Way, no calculated value given for demolition and disposal of motel units: Aloha Motel, Contractor: J.T. Muenscher General Contractor Inc. Permit No.: DEM2015-00053. 10/23/15. 10/25/15 to 10/31/15 Permits issued


December 2015


The Bellingham Business Journal

RECORDS, FROM 18 1313 N. State St., $52,000 for tenant improvement: demo of existing failing concrete, reconstruction and infill of existing openings and supporting walls. Contractor: The Franklin Corporation. Permit No.: BLD2015-00442. 10/27/15. 1030 Lakeway Drive, $4,000,000 for tenant improvement: new grocery retailer within existing shell. Contractor: J.R. Abbott Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00334. 10/30/15. Pending applications 4265 Meridian St. 103, $270,000 for tenant improvement: new sandwich shop in existing building. Contractor: Act Construction. Permit No.: BLD201500450. 10/26/15. 3969 Hammer Drive, $22,000 for adding nonstructural partition walls, replace doors and minor work for marijuana facility. Contractor: Faber Construction Corp. Permit No.: BLD2015-00441. 10/28/15. 2832 Cottonwood Ave., $10,000 for new 16×33foot roof structure attached to existing detached building to accommodate solar panels. Contractor: Alvord & Richardson Construction Co. Permit No.: BLD2015-00457. 10/29/15. 4051 Hammer Drive, no calculated value given for phase 2 of new cannabis growing facility. Permit No.: BLD2015-00424. 10/29/15. Demolition permits None issued with a value exceeding $10,000 for this time period. 11/2/15 to 11/6/15 Permits issued 4008 Northwest Ave., $50,000 for repair with like for materials areas of rot and/or defective materials in center walkways and stairwells as needed. Contractor: Bell Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00454. 11/2/15. 4000 Northwest Ave., $10,000 for repair with like for like materials of rot and defective materials at exterior walkway on southeast side of building as needed. Contractor: Bell Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00453. 11/2/15. 3920 Meridian St., $12,500 for commercial: repair to damaged loading dock. Contractor: Cool Runnings Construction LLC, Permit No.: BLD2015-00462. 11/3/15. ES Western Washington University, $13,900 for alteration: add walls and door to create new office on sixth floor. Permit No.: BLD2015-00433. 11/3/15.

3969 Hammer Drive, $22,000 for tenant improvement: adding nonstructural partition walls, replace doors and minor work for marijuana facility. Contractor: Faber Construction Corp. Permit No.: BLD2015-00441. 11/5/15. 1022 Lakeway Drive, $41,600 for tenant improvement: remodel of existing retail space for new retail tenant: Mud Bay. Permit No.: BLD201500444. 11/6/15. 1151 Ellis St., $731,850 for tenant improvement: remodel of existing office building. Addition of new two-story entry and elevator. Permit No.: BLD201500414. 11/6/15. Pending applications 811 Lakeway Drive, $60,000 for tenant improvement: new coffee roaster operation with adjacent coffee drinking area. Permit No.: BLD201500460. 11/2/15. 4163 Meridian St. 200, $78,750 for tenant improvement: Expansion of suite 200 to occupy the entire second floor with office space. Permit No.: BLD2015-00459. 11/4/15. 2219 Rimland Drive 301, $524,000 for tenant improvement: remodel space for business offices: Regus. Permit No.: BLD2015-00426. 11/4/15. 2901 Squalicum Parkway HP, $60,000 for commercial: re-roof and interior remodel of helipad support building for St. Joseph’s Hospital. Permit No.: BLD2015-00451. 11/5/15. 3610 Iron Gate Road, $2,586,000 for new heated commercial storage building: provided for storage of personal or commercial product. Permit No.: BLD201500388. 11/5/15. 2211 Rimland Drive 116, $107,000 for tenant improvement: remodel and re-configuration of existing suite on first floor of Dorothy Haggen Building. Contractor: Scoboria Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00465. 11/6/15. 1800 Iowa St., $2,100,000 for commercial: Construct new 51,490-square-foot car dealership. Contractor: Z Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2015-00375. 11/6/15. Demolition permits 2219 Rimland Drive 301, $13,500 for interior demolition of non-structural partition walls, ACT, flooring and fixtures. Permit No.: DEM2015-00060. 11/3/15.


Records include license activity in Whatcom County. They are obtained from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, online at www.liq. wa.gov. Issued licenses Dancing Gypsies, at 794 Kentucky St., Bellingham, WA 98225, received approval for an addition/change of class/in lieu to a license to operate as a marijuana retailer. License No.: 413529. 11/17/15. Milano’s Restaurant, at 9990 Mt. Baker Highway, Deming, WA 98224, received approval on a change of corporate officer to a license to serve spirits/beer/wine in a restaurant/lounge. License No.: 076246. 11/12/15. Wild Buffalo House of Music, at 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225, received approval on a change of corporate officer to a license to serve spirits/beer/ wine in a restaurant/lounge. License No.: 080319. 11/5/15. Amber Brick, at 5473 Guide Meridian St. Suite B & C, received approval on a change of corporate officer on a license to operate as a marijuana processor. License No.: 416929. 11/4/15. Drizzle Tasting Room, at 420 Front St., Lynden, WA 98264, received approval on a new license to operate as a direct shipment receiver-in/out. License No.: 420233. 10/30/15. Milano’s Restaurant, at 9990 Mt. Baker Highway, Deming, WA 98244, received approval on an addition/ change of trade name to a license to operate as a direct shipment receiver-in/out. License No.: 076246, 10/29/15. Trove Cannabis, at 218 N. Samish Way Suite #103, Bellingham, WA 98225, received approval on a new license to operate as a marijuana retailer. License No.: 414871. 10/27/15. Twin Sisters Creamery, at 6202 Portal Way, Ferndale, WA 98248, received approval on a new license to serve beer/wine in a specialty shop. License No.: 420241. 10/27/15. Barlean’s Fishery Inc., at 3660 Slater Road, Ferndale, WA 98248, received approval on a new license to operate as a direct shipment receiver. License No.: 419601. 10/23/15. Pending applications Distillers Way, Distillers Way LLC; Robert Seidel, Jerry Thon, Truc Do Thon, applied for a new license to distill at 5235 Industrial Place, Ferndale, WA 98248. License No.: 420276. 11/18/15. Ridemind, Ridemind LLC; Kevin Menard, Kelley Menard, Kyle Young and Kari Young applied for a new

license to operate as a direct shipment receiver (in Washington only) and sell beer/wine at 1600 Carolina St., Bellingham, WA 98229. License No.: 421198. 11/18/15. Jap, Jap Inc.; Japstreet Khera applied for a new license to sell beer/wine in a grocery store at 4564 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98226. License No.: 413772. 11/16/15. The Filling Station, Jdubs Filling Station LLC; John and Wendy Defreest, applied for a new license to sell beer/spirits/wine and kegs to go from a restaurant/ lounge at 1138 Finnegan Way Suite 311, Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 420153. 11/13/15. Meridian Superstore, Meridian Super Store Incorporated; Karmjeet Kaur, Bajinder Singh, applied for a new license to sell beer/wine/spirits in a grocery store at 1873 Main St. Suite 5, Ferndale, WA 98248. License No.: 410023. 11/9/15 Recently discontinued licenses There were no recent discontinued licenses.

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. Cornerstone Auto Care Inc., $27,588.78, 20151002710, 10/26/15. Accelitec Inc., $141,378.19, 2015-1002714, 10/26/15. Robert Temans, $318,295.00, 2015-1002716, 10/26/15. Herman & Betty Douma, $468,934.94, 20151100482, 11/5/15. Beauty Nails, $34,393.71, 2015-1101204, 11/12/15. Blaine Seafoods Inc., $16,209.61, 2015-1101591, 11/16/15. JFB Inc., $6,612.91, 2015-1101592, 11/16/15.

Release of federal tax liens Edward Glaser, $43,313.05, 2015-1100484, 11/5/15. Dee Inman & Anne Van Matre-Inman, $13,177, 2015-1100485, 11/5/15. Taylor Disch, $18,210.08, 2015-1100486, 11/5/15. Leeanne Baldwin, $227,445.98, 2015-1100848,


STATE TAX JUDGMENTS Tax judgments of $5, 000 or more issued by Washington state government agencies and filed locally in Whatcom County Superior Court. Listings include taxpayer name(s), judgment amount, the state agency filing the judgment, originating case number and filing date. Judgments can later be lifted or paid; listings are only current as of their filing dates. Records are obtained from the Whatcom County Superior Court Clerk’s Office. Otis Tree Service, $61,682.68, Labor and Industries, 15-2-02125-3, 11/16/15. Gathering Glass Designs, $6,179.87, Revenue, 15-2-02126-1, 11/16/15. Dykstra Construction Services, $12,787.25, Revenue, 15-2-0209301, 11/10/15. Mehar Express LLC, $13,700.65, Labor and Industries, 15-2-02098-2, 11/10/15. Vibe LLC, $10,791.42, Labor and Industries, 15-202099-1, 11/10/15. Heritage Renovations, $7,473.01, Revenue, 15-202083-4, 11/6/15. Saints Trim & Paint Inc., $6,073.21, Revenue, 15-202072-9, 11/5/15. Rutledge Embroidery Corp., $21,012.31, Revenue, 15-2-02076-1, 11/5/15. The Copper Hog, $29,488.03, Revenue, 15-2-020451, 11/4/15. Fishwerks Home Services, $9,471.49, Revenue, 15-2-02047-8, 11/4/15. Bob’s Burgers & Brew, $10,076.11, Revenue, 15-20204806, 11/4/15. Direct Connections Inc., $7,615.56, Labor and Industries, 15-2-02042-7, 11/3/15. Mary Crug, $7,615.56, Labor & Industries, 15-202043-5, 10/30/15.

BUSINESS BANKRUPTCIES Whatcom County business bankruptcies filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Washington. None filed in the last month.

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The Bellingham Business Journal

December 2015

Business Toolkit

Are your employees held back by a lack of self-confidence? As an employer for 25 years I had many occasions to counsel employees and clients on the merits of being their own biggest fan. There probably wasn’t a week during my 25 years of business ownership that some issue involving confidence didn’t come up. Many times these issues were disguised as something else but after a while you get pretty good at sniffing out people’s concerns about their own abilities. And these are very talented people I am talking about! Self-doubt, lack of confidence, chalking it up to luck, knowing that eventually you’ll be found out—at one time or another almost all successful, capable people have had moments of self-doubt. And if you’re reading this, you know you can relate. But here’s what you may not know: Those feelings that you’re not good enough or you are going to be found out and all the others may not be as negative as you think. If anything, they are signs that you have an ability to honestly analyze your own shortcomings. That’s a good thing! Unfortunately, if those moments of self-doubt are more than an occasional experience, you may be dealing with something called Imposter Syndrome. It may be that you cannot internalize your own competency and that’s not so good, not just for you but often for those around you. It’s not that you can’t see your

successes, you are just emotionally disconnected from them and that means: a) You’re probably anxious a lot b) You cannot experience the full ownership of your success and Mike c) You have a hard time feeling Cook that you can contribute what you On know to others Managers & because you feel they’ll see through Employees you. In my own experience I have often found self-doubt and education tied together in people’s minds. When we were just getting started with our consulting practice we were fortunate to land a couple of big contracts early on. The amount of work necessitated hiring some administrative staff and through an agency we quickly found a couple of people, in this case women, who were just what we were looking for. They both had exceptional keyboard skills and working knowledge of

the basic administrative software we hoped to use as well as certifications from local business programs. We were very happy with our new employees but within a very short period of time we recognized that both these women were much more talented than they realized. In fact, I eventually came to refer to one as the smartest person I knew, and I meant it. The challenge we saw was their own self-image. In their minds they were “office workers” and had educated themselves to fit their self-image. Within a short period of time and a number of counseling conversations we were able to have both these employees recognize that they were capable of much higher level functions than they had ever imagined. Not that they didn’t have their doubts, but in time they began to see that if they trusted the potential we saw in them eventually their own experience of competence would catch up with them. This actually became a pattern in our business and we took a great deal of pride in having new employees come to us with the understanding that their only limitations in our company were their own imaginations and willingness to learn. What we experienced with our employees over the years was different than Imposter Syndrome but nonetheless just as limiting. While the imposter never gets

to experience the full joy of their competence those limited by self-image never get to experience the full range of their talents and subject themselves to, more or less, a life sentence to live within their selfimposed boundaries. As employers we owe it to ourselves to be on the lookout for symptoms of these limiting conditions in our employees. This may sound like I’m suggesting you become a social worker in your own business, but it’s far from that I can assure you. There has been more than one time in my life when I was slowed by self-doubt and someone I trusted stepped in and offered to believe in me when I was having trouble believing in myself. Were they social workers? Hardly. They were coaches, teachers, employers, people who recognized that by investing something of themselves in me they would win as well. And not in some intangible sense either. Take a look tomorrow, you’ll find one or maybe two employees that are waiting to be discovered. They don’t know it yet. That’s your job, to let them know you can see they are capable of much more than they imagine.

Mike Cook lives in Anacortes. His columns appear on BBJToday.com every other Tuesday. He teaches in the MBA program at Western Washington University and also runs a CEO peer advisory group in the Bellingham area.

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Economic indicators don’t jibe with economic reality stock market gains on a Friday, and later blamed for the stock market’s decline the following Monday. This report obviously has powers. The Wall Street explanation for the upward and downward moveJames ment is that the McCusker employment report “number” — the 271,000 On new jobs that Economics were filled during October — encouraged optimism, but after investors actually read the report later their mood changed. In one important respect, the attitudechanging power of the employment report was less about reading than about remembering. It is difficult for investors to reflect or remember much of anything in the fastmoving environment of today’s financial markets, and a report can portray a very different picture from its headline number. That is especially true of the monthly jobs report, which suffers from a split personality problem of long standing. The BLS obtains the data for its employ-

ment situation report in two ways: the establishment survey and the household survey. Both are sample-based and they are independently carried out— so independent, in fact, that they can show opposite results in a particular month. That kind of direct contradiction isn’t common, but appears often enough to remind us that we are dealing with sample data from two distinct and different sources. In general, the household survey data tends to be more volatile than the establishment survey. On the other hand, the household survey provides a part of the employment picture that is unavailable from employers’ payrolls. Volatility of the data, however, is endemic to both surveys. The result is that month-to-month changes are often difficult to interpret. The BLS notes that, “An over-the-month employment change of about 100,000 is statistically significant in the establishment survey, while the threshold for a statistically significant change in the household survey is about 500,000.” The “number” that set off the Wall Street optimism last month was the 271,000 new jobs added to payrolls in October. That was higher than the experts had predicted and sounded like the economy was rebounding. Remembering volatility and looking at the three-month average of 137,000, though, prompts less exuberance. A look at the Household Survey side of the report also draws out less exuber-

ance. There, the number of new part-time jobs was greater than the number of new full-time positions — suggesting that the rebound might turn out to be temporary. This data also fits into our anecdotal evidence of Internet retailers hiring especially large numbers of workers early for the holiday season due to the scarcity of logistics workers to handle order fulfillment. The possibility that the improved jobs picture is temporary is very troublesome to the Federal Reserve, whose policy decision to raise interest rates hinges on improvements in the jobs environment. Almost all Wall Street economists interviewed last Friday believed that the latest jobs report meant an interest rate increase in December. The higher rate would start affecting the economy, though, just as the temporary, seasonal workers were being laid off — imperfect monetary policy timing at best. Our economy, our workplaces, and our labor force are all going through significant structural changes as we search for ways to compete successfully in a global economy. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that our economic forecasting models are unconvincing — making our policy decision-makers uneasy. They should be.

James McCusker is a Bothell economist, educator and consultant. He also writes a column for the monthly Everett Herald Business Journal.

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Some years ago Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, admitted that he wasn’t satisfied with the clarity of the economic picture drawn by the available data. To get a better handle on what was actually happening in the economy, he was relying more heavily on anecdotal information he obtained by talking with people across the country. Today’s economists are faced with a similar problem. It isn’t that the economic data is of poor quality. If anything, its quality is probably as high as it has ever been — higher, in fact, in many cases. What has happened, though, is that the data does not seem to match the reality of what we see, hear, and talk about in our daily lives. This creates a lingering uneasiness, for it limits our ability to recognize good news, or bad, in the economic data. Few people find joy in the low unemployment rate, for example, because in their minds it no longer reflects the kind of economic reality it once did. On Wall Street, of course, they enjoy a different sense of reality. The importance of a number doesn’t stem from its accuracy but from how “other people” are likely to react to it. It’s a human version of the thought process governing the actions of a steer that isn’t afraid of thunder but knows it is likely to spook the herd. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published its Employment Situation Report for October and it was quickly credited for


EXPORT, FROM 14 ager, said it’s too early to tell how many logs his company would need to export for the project to be profitable. At full capacity, BFM could ship 60,000 tons of wood pellets a month, according to its website.

Environmental concerns That sounds like a lot of wood to local environmental advocacy group ForestEthics. Jim Ace, campaigner for ForestEthics, suspects logging would have to intensify to supply 50 to 150 trucks a day. Ace said in a prepared statement that the project could devastate local forests, as well as salmon and marine life. “The damage to salmon streams and destabilization of slopes will be permanent, or take decades or centuries to recover,” he said. “Bellingham’s forests provide jobs (and quality of life) here in Washington. Cutting and sending them overseas will send good jobs with them.” Much of Ace’s concern comes from the explosion of the wood pellet businesses in the southeastern United States. That part of the country currently has 24 wood pellet mills, and companies have proposed 27 additional mills, according to an October 2015 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. U.S. wood pellet exports doubled from 1.6 million tons annually in 2012 to 3.2 million tons in 2013. They increased again by nearly 40 percent from 2013 to 2014 and are expected to reach 5.7 million tons this year, according to the report. The growth is due to a market for wood pellets in Europe, where some energy companies have converted coal-fired plants to wood-fired to meet new European Union greenhouse gas emissions standards. But if wood chips and pellets used for energy production are produced from whole trees, rather than scrap material, their carbon emissions can be greater than coal, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Bellingham Business Journal Carbon regulations are also driving demand for wood pellets in Japan, South Korea and China, according to a 2012 study by the U.S. Forest Service. BFM would source wood chips and pellets from waste wood such as wood chips, bark, dirty chips and pulp logs, Sebel said. The company would also allow tree farmers and contractors to sell wood products to the facility.

Renewed interest in shipping termi-

The proposed project could employ 50 workers and bring 50 to 150 trucks a day to the waterfront

nal The port’s cleanup and dredging project has attracted attention to the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, Stahl told Port of Bellingham commissioners on Nov. 10. American Construction is currently working on the first phase of a $35 million cleanup in the Whatcom Waterway and should finish in March. The project will increase the depth of the waterway to 35-40 feet at low tide. DKoram and BFM

December 2015 would ship their forest products on vessels with a capacity of about 35,000 tons, Sebel said. Ships with that capacity are typically just under 600 feet long—slightly smaller than the Horizon Fairbanks ship currently moored at the port, Stahl said. Stahl didn’t have an estimate for how much the port would charge the companies to lease the space or whether ship mooring charges would apply. Both Sebel and Grandorff said the site is

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well-suited to their business. Their due diligence is focused on market factors and securing a supply of logs and forest products. “[The site] has everything you need to facilitate exporting logs or other types of forest resources. It’s a good set up for that particular function.” Grandorff said.

Oliver Lazenby, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or olazenby@bbjtoday. com.

December 2015

The Bellingham Business Journal


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December 2015

Profile for Sound Publishing

Bellingham Business Journal, December 07, 2015  

December 07, 2015 edition of the Bellingham Business Journal

Bellingham Business Journal, December 07, 2015  

December 07, 2015 edition of the Bellingham Business Journal