Archive for December, 2009
Lynden Floor Design is opening a store in the former 23rd St. Interiors space at 4071 Hannegan Road.
Carol Starcher, one of the interior designers for the company, said they are planning for a soft opening on Tuesday, Jan. 5 and then have a grand opening once all the remodeling is complete. The store will have six employees with Owner Greg Neufeldt leading the Bellingham store.
The Bellingham location will be called Lynden Floor and Design Interiors. Along with floor products, the store will offer design services, countertops, cabinet lines, and installation services. The hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For details, call (360) 778-3105.
Here’s a press release from The Black Drop about upcoming changes (they are on Champion Street in Bellingham). They will be closed on Thursday and Friday for a kitchen remodel, then opening again on Saturday:
Award Winning Coffeehouse Changes Hands
December 27, 2009, Bellingham, WA – The owners of the Black Drop Coffeehouse in downtown Bellingham got an amazing gift on Christmas Eve at midnight when they sold their beloved coffeehouse to three of their long term employees, making the shop effectively an employee owned co-operative. Teri Bryant and Alexarc Mastema, founders of the Black Drop, wanted to pursue other interests, while assuring the spirit of the place they so painstakingly built would retain the quality and essence they worked so hard to create. The creative answer to the problem was to offer the shop to three of their long time employees, who would purchase the shop as a co-operative effort.
The new owners, Jonathan Lawson, Stephanie Oppelaar, and Katy Blizzard have all been the consistent faces behind the counter for years, and support the same vision of artisan coffee, lovingly crafted and prepared. Jonathan has been an employee for over seven years, Stephanie for over five, and Katy for over three, giving the new ownership team over 15 years combined experience specifically at the Black Drop. The diverse talents of each of the new owner/partners bring a fresh breath of life with a new attitude and a new twist to the same great coffee people have come to expect from the Black Drop.
The new face of the Black Drop will be unveiled at a special “Lights Out” reception and cocktail party from 5 p.m. To midnight on Saturday, January 2. The party will feature fancy dessert beverages, live local music, a show by local artists, and tasty treats. Event tickets are $5, and entitle the bearer to a drink of their choice, a selection of snacks, and a special surprise if you bring a friend! Tickets can be purchased at the Black Drop, December 28 through December 30th, or at the door. Same great coffee, new attitude, new look. Come join us and see for yourself!
Here’s something from my retail column that some might find interesting:
Most Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores will have new store hours effective Sunday, Jan. 10.
The Haggen Food & Pharmacy in Bellingham’s Barkley Village will remain open 24 hours a day. New hours are being implemented at the following stores:
- Sehome Village Haggen in Bellingham will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight daily.
- Haggen Fairhaven Market and Meridian Haggen Food & Pharmacy, both in Bellingham, will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
- The Haggen Food & Pharmacy in Ferndale will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
“We are adjusting our store hours to better reflect the shopping patterns of our guests, which have changed over the years,” said Haggen spokesperson Becky Skaggs in a press release. “The traffic count at night is very low in most of our stores and adjusting the hours allows us to become more efficient.”
For more information, visit www.Haggen.com.
This will get posted in the business section later today, but I thought I’d throw it here as well:
Whatcom County’s real estate market is still considered to be overvalued, but not nearly as much as a few years ago, according to a new national study.
IHS Global Insight recently released its “Home Prices in America: 3rd Quarter 2009 Update” report, which determined the Bellingham metro area (Whatcom County) was 20 percent overvalued last quarter, ranking it eighth highest among 330 metro areas.
However, that’s down from the previous quarter, when Whatcom County was considered 21.1 percent overvalued, and way down from three years ago, when this area was considered 41.3 percent overvalued.
Global Insight looks at a variety of factors beyond prices to determine home valuations, including household income, population densities and in-terest rates.
There are only 15 metro areas considered overvalued, which is any place above 14 percent. Eight of those 15 overvalued areas are in Washington and Oregon. Southern metros, especially in Texas, have remained undervalued, according to the report. In total there are 105 metro areas considered undervalued in the U.S. Taken as a whole, the report indicates the entire U.S. real estate market is now 8.6 percent undervalued.
Atlantic City, N.J. (30.2 percent overvalued) was considered the most overvalued real estate market in the nation, followed by Wenatchee (28.9 percent), Ocean City, N.J. (26.6 percent) and Longview (22.3 percent). The most undervalued metro area in the report was Las Vegas (41.4 percent undervalued).
Here’s a press release with all the details for those interested in being involved in the census in Whatcom County:
Census Tests Are Currently Being Scheduled throughout the Northern Puget Sound Region. Call 1-866-861-2010 to take a test in your area.
2010 Census Jobs: Earn Extra Money, Serving your Community
The Local Everett Census Office is now Accepting Applicants to Support U.S. Census Bureau’s Goal of a Complete Count. Testing is being conducted in Snohomish, Island, Skagit, Whatcom and San Juan Counties
With communities across the country reeling from job loss, the U.S. Census Bureau has its own way of providing a stimulus to local economies—hiring hundreds of thousands of temporary workers to ensure the 2010 Census is a success.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s goal is a complete and accurate count of each person residing in the United States, including all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. Conducting such a massive undertaking requires the Census Bureau hire for a wide variety of positions.
Specifically, census takers, also known as Enumerators, are needed to conduct in-person interviews with community residents who do not return census questionnaires. All “field” positions need to be filled by individuals with flexible schedules. Many temporary positions have been filled, but many more applicants are needed. Most positions require the ability to work a flexible schedule, which may include evenings and weekends. But some may involve shift work.
The Everett Local Census Office is now testing applicants in Snohomish, Skagit, Island, Whatcom and San Juan Counties…
Temporary Census Jobs Offer Good Pay, Variety
While the economy continues to create uncertainty, the U.S. Census Bureau is providing opportunities for individuals to supplement their incomes with flexible, good-paying jobs. In addition to weekly pay, census takers also receive paid training and reimbursement for authorized work-related expenses such as mileage.
Pay Rates for the Everett Local Census Office start at $13.25 per hour for Clerk Positions and $17.50 per hour for Field Positions.
Short-term 2010 Census jobs are ideal for retirees, college students, recent graduates, stay-at-home parents, those seeking a second job to earn extra cash, and others seeking temporary, part-time work.
2010 Census job applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, and be able to pass a background check and take a 30-minute, multiple-choice basic employment test that measures knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform a variety of census jobs.
In most cases, workers will also be required to possess a valid driver’s license and have use of a vehicle. U.S. citizenship is required to apply for census jobs, except in areas where a bilingual ability is necessary. However, non-citizens will only be hired for these positions if there are no qualified U.S. citizens available.
All temporary census employees must be able to commit to training, for which they will be compensated at their regular hourly rate. Trainings can be held on weekdays, evenings and weekends.
Get Paid to Make a Difference
The census takes a snapshot of the U.S. population, determining how many people reside within the nation’s borders, who they are and where they live. This includes individuals of all ages, races, ethnic groups—both citizens and non-citizens. Data about how communities are changing are crucial to many planning decisions—such as neighborhood improvements, emergency preparedness and disaster recovery, public health, education, transportation, senior services and much more.
Population data collected through the census is used, in part, to allocate billions of dollars in annual federal funding for states and communities. The census also determines how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives and the boundaries of congressional districts.
All personal information provided in the census form is kept private and is protected by federal law.
The 2010 Census questionnaire will be mailed or delivered to every U.S. household in March 2010, and the U.S. Census Bureau is aiming for a 100 percent response rate. Heads of households are required by law to accurately complete the short questionnaire that contains only a few simple questions regarding their residence.
For more information on temporary employment with the U.S. Census Bureau, or to schedule an appointment to take an employment test and submit an application, call the toll-free 2010 Census Jobs Line: 1-866-861-2010. TTY Callers: Please use the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
More information, including a practice test, is available at www.2010censusjobs.gov.
Here is some news from Everett-based Frontier Bank:
EVERETT, WA–(Marketwire – December 21, 2009) – Frontier Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: FTBKD) (NASDAQ: FTBK), the financial holding company for Frontier Bank, has announced that Michael J. Clementz is retiring, effective December 31, 2009, from his position as President of Frontier Financial Corporation, CEO of Frontier Bank, and as a director of both companies. Mr. Clementz had previously served as President and CEO of Frontier Financial Corporation from 2003 to 2005, and was appointed to his current position last December, 2008. Patrick M. Fahey, currently Chairman and CEO of Frontier Financial Corporation and Chairman of Frontier Bank, will assume the roles held by Mr. Clementz.
Commenting on Mr. Clementz’s service to the company, Fahey said, “Mike has been a longtime friend, and I appreciated his willingness to step up last December to assist in the significant changes that were necessary in light of the deteriorating economy and Frontier’s credit issues. Mike has made a significant contribution toward our recovery, especially in the leadership he provided in the development and success of our Special Assets Group and the revamping of our credit review process. There has been tremendous progress in identification and resolution of problem loans and a reduction of nearly $1.3 billion in our construction and development loan exposure in the past year-and-a-half.”
Frontier Financial Corporation is a Washington-based financial holding company, providing financial services through its commercial bank subsidiary, Frontier Bank, since 1978. Frontier Bank offers a wide range of banking and financial services to businesses and individuals in its market area, including trust, cash management, and investment and insurance products. Frontier operates 47 offices in Clallam, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties in Washington and 3 offices in Oregon. Additional information regarding Frontier Bank and its services can be found at the bank’s website: www.frontierbank.com.
A couple of California banks are closed, making it seven bank closures today and 140 this year. Here are the details:
No. 139: Imperial Bank of La Jolla, Calif. was closed, taken over by City National Bank of Los Angeles. Imperial had nine branches. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $619.2 million.
No. 140: First Federal Bank of Santa Monica, Calif. was closed, taken over by OneWest Bank of Pasadena. First Federal had 39 branches. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $146.3 million.
Banner Bank, based in Walla Walla, has decided to terminate the stock offering it had planned earlier this year. Here are the details in the company press release:
Banner Corporation Announces Termination Of Common Stock Offering And Expected Fourth Quarter Improvement In Certain Key Operating Areas
Walla Walla, Washington (December 18, 2009) Banner Corporation (NASDAQ GMS: BANR), today announced that it has decided to terminate its previously announced common stock offering in light of current market conditions. The Company plans to commence a new offering in 2010 after market conditions become more favorable and after it has released its operating results for the fourth quarter of 2009.
While its operating environment has continued to be challenging, the Company currently believes that its fourth quarter results will represent an improvement over its third quarter results. Some of the key areas expected to improve include a higher net interest margin, lower provision for loan losses, lower loan write-offs, reduced operating expenses, a flattening of the level of non-performing assets and increased levels of core deposits. This belief is based on management’s current assessment only and, as a result, the Company’s actual reported results could differ materially from the anticipated results reflected in the immediately preceding statement. The Company cannot predict the level of its net income at this time because net income is subject to fair value and other year-end adjustments. The Company expects to report fourth quarter and annual results for 2009 on or about January 27, 2010.
A flurry of activity this afternoon, with some new wrinkles as the FDIC creates a couple of “bridge” banks. Details below:
No. 135: Peoples First Community Bank of Panama City, Fla. is closed, taken over by Hancock Bank of Gulfport, Miss. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $556.7 million. Peoples First had 29 branches (It is not related to Peoples Bank in Lynden).
No. 136: Citizens State Bank of New Baltimore, Maryland, was closed and will be run by the FDIC for 45 days to allow depositors to get their money back and conclude transactions. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $76.6 million.
No. 137: New South Federal Savings Bank, Irondale, Ala. was closed, then taken over by Beal Bank of Plano, Texas. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $212.3 million. New South had one branch.
No. 138: Independent Bankers Bank of Springfield, Ill. was closed, but will continue to be operated by the government as Independent Bankers Bridge Bank. It is not a consumer bank, it works with other banks. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $68.4 million.