Archive for August, 2009
Here is what appears to be the final bank closure of the night:
Affinity Bank of Ventura, Calif. was closed by the FDIC and taken over by Pacific Western Bank. Cost to the FDIC: $254 million.
Mainstreet Bank of Forest Lake, Minn. was closed by the FDIC, then taken over by Central Bank in Stillwater, Minn. Cost to the FDIC: $95 million. I’ll update if there are any other closures today.
It’s Friday afternoon, the traditional time for the FDIC to step in and shut down faltering banks. So far this afternoon (4 p.m) there’s been one bank closure for the day, making it 82 for the year. I’ll update with a another post if others are shut down today. Here are the details on No. 82:
Bradford Bank of Baltimore shut down and then taken over by Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company of Buffalo, N.Y. Cost to the FDIC: $97 million.
Here’s an interesting snippet about increased stock activity Monday at two regional banks from BizJournals.com:
At the Bellingham-based bank holding company for Horizon Bank, more than four times the normal trading volume was reported, with nearly 160,000 shares trading hands Monday, compared with average volume of only 37,500. Shares in Horizon Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: HRZB) shot up nearly 35 percent Monday, rising 24 cents to close at 93 cents.
At Banner Corp. of Walla Walla, the parent company of Banner Bank (NASDAQ: BANR), nearly 700,000 shares were traded Monday, compared with an average day of only 175,000. Shares in Banner rose more than 15 percent in Monday trading, rising 49 cents to close at $3.72.
So far this morning, both banks are also seeing high trade volumes, with both up significantly. As of 9:30 a.m., Horiozn was up over $1, while Banner Bank was closing in on $4. Any thoughts about what’s happening?
As of late Friday afternoon the FDIC had shut down four banks, bringing the total to 81 this year. The biggest was Guaranty Bank of Austin, Texas, which had 162 branches and about $13 billion in assets. None of the bank closures have been on the West Coast at this point. Here are the details of the closures:
#78: ebank of Atlanta, Ga. was closed and taken over by Stearns Bank of St. Cloud, Minn. Cost to the FDIC: $63 million.
#79: First Coweta of Newman, Ga. was closed, then taken over by United Bank of Zebulon, Ga. Cost to the FDIC: $48 million.
#80: CapitalSouth Bank of Birmingham, Ala. was closed and taken over by IBERIABANK of Layfayette, La. Cost to the FDIC: $151 million.
#81: Guaranty Bank of Austin, Texas, was closed and taken over by BBVA Compass of Birmingham, Ala. Cost to the FDIC: $3 billion.
Here’s a press release from Skylarks of Fairhaven, which recently got a nice mention in a major newspaper:
Skylarks Hidden Cafe and Wine Parlour in Fairhaven made the Los Angeles Times on August 9th as one of the 5 best meals writer Christopher Reynolds found while touring the Northwest for 7 days. He drove the coasts of Washington and Oregon covering over 1,149 miles and taking photos along the way. Only one other restaurant in Washington
state was included in his “Best Meals”. For a link to the story, click here
“This was a complete surprise for us, and a pleasant one at that,” said Skylarks owner, Don White. “We didn’t know he had dropped in.”
Skylark’s is located at 1308 11th St in Fairhaven. They are open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner and until midnight with indoor and cobblestone dining, cafe and wine parlour. For more information, call 715-3642 or visit www.skylarkshiddencafe.com.
A local resident has started a grocery delivery business for the Bellingham area.
This week Julie Paylor started Grocery Express, where customers can phone, e-mail or fax in their grocery list and she’ll take care of getting and delivering the products. She said she got the idea from her grandparents.
“They’re both 90 years old and they surf the Internet and e-mail me every week,” Paylor said in a press release. “They have been very active throughout their lives, but age and medical problems can get in the way of a normal routine. That’s where my business comes in. People who need extra help don’t always have a family member around.”
Paylor said she charges a single flat fee on top of the cost of buying the groceries and will deliver anywhere in the Bellingham area. She carries store club cards to get the best prices and customers can be specific about brands.
Along with seniors, Paylor believes there is also a market for businesses and mooring boaters who need provisions.
Grocery Express also delivers for parties, picnics and events, with operating hours 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. To place an order or for more information, call (360) 303-7093, fax 715-1208 or e-mail email@example.com.
All-American Marine was among 10 Washington boatyards to receive funding for infrastructure improvements, according to U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who made the announcement this morning. The funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
All American Marine will get $297,827 for infrastructure improvements, which includes upgrading welding equipment and improving workspace areas at the facility, said Matt Mullett, president and CEO of the company.
All American Marine was the only Whatcom County shipyard to receive funding. Others in Western Washington to receive funding include Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle ($1.9 million), Kvichak Marine Industries in Seattle ($1.1 million) and Everett Shipyard ($439,497).
Here’s a press release from the Habitat for Humanity folks about a new retail store. For details, call 393-4352.
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County will open the doors to its new 12,500 sq. ft. retail outlet called the Habitat HomeStore this coming September at 1385 Admiral Place in Ferndale. Proceeds from the resale of donated new and gently used building materials and household items at the HomeStore will significantly increase the affiliate’s capacity to build more homes for local families in need. Merchandise will be offered at 50 percent or less of retail.
Habitat staff anticipate the store will generate $2 million for HFH in Whatcom County within the first 5 years to support all overhead costs, such as administration, program support, and fundraising, so that every dollar donated from the community will go straight to building new Habitat homes in Whatcom County.
The HomeStore is now accepting donations of items in good condition ranging from lumber, doors, windows, lighting and plumbing fixtures to household items including appliances, electronics and furniture.
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County has also moved its administrative and program offices to the HomeStore location (between Smith and Slater Roads on Pacific Highway).
Habitat for Humanity International is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing. Habitat constructs houses using as much volunteer labor and donated material as possible, then sells these homes to qualified low-income families at no profit and no interest, and uses the payments to construct more homes. Participating homeowners are required to help build their own homes. Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.
I strolled into the re-vamped Anker Cafe on Friday, which looks nice. One good sign for Owners Bill and Katy Anker is that it was very busy during the lunch hour despite doing a quiet, soft opening a few days earlier. They didn’t have time to chat so I’ll try to get some details from them this week.
The Ankers originally took over the lease at the former Fantasia space on Cornwall Avenue last August, but then discovered it was a temporary situation and had to leave in October when The Assistance League moved in. So basically they’ve spent the past year finding and remodeling a new space.
The new Anker Cafe is at 1424 Cornwall Ave., near the Pickford Cinema. The cafe’s phone number is 318-7515.