Archive for June, 2010
Just in case you missed the Wednesday afternoon developements, a Skagit County Superior Court judge has put a temporary block to the Washington state sales tax exemption for British Columbia residents that was supposed to begin on Thursday, July 1. Here’s a (Link) to John Stark’s article with the details.
It’s a significant last-minute development, and it’ll be interesting to see if the word gets out so Whatcom County retailers can adjust if they had already planned for the exemption. It could be tough getting the word out to all the retail employees, as well as making changes to the cash registers. It would be a shame if a business gives the exemption to B.C. residents, then finds it has to pay it out of pocket to the state.
Sportsworld, a Lynden sporting goods store, will be moving into a new space over the weekend.
The store, currently at 1738 Front St., will close on Saturday, July 3 in preparation for the move to the Bender Plaza, near The Nuthouse Grill and Lynden Bender Fields. The store is scheduled to re-open on Tuesday, July 6 at 8874 Bender Road, unit 108, said Jesse Weg, co-owner of Sportsworld.
The move will be into a smaller space, allowing the company to focus on sporting equipment as well as uniforms and custom apparel for local teams. The store had offered general sports apparel, something they plan to get away from, Weg said.
Sportsworld is also merging with Cloud 9 Sports, which also offered custom apparel. Cloud 9 Owner Roger DeBoer and Weg will be co-owners of Sportsworld. DeBoer is also the boys basketball coach at Lynden Christian High School.
“For a few years we were competing against each other; we decided becoming business partners would make us stronger,” Weg said. “This will really give us a chance to focus on working with teams to provide what they need.”
Once in the new space, Sportsworld will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. The store is currently having a sale to clear out inventory. For further information, call the store at 354-3682.
The Washington Department of Labor and Industries came out with its top 10 tips on hiring a contractor. Here they are:
10 tips for hiring the best contractor for remodels or repairs
1. Plan your project. The more clearly you can describe what you want done, the less chance there is for miscommunication or cost overruns.
2. Interview several qualified registered contractors/remodelers and solicit multiple written bids. Evaluate all aspects of the bids, including scope of work, warranties, references, time frames and price.
3. Make sure a contractor is registered, with a bond and insurance. Ask for their identification and contractor registration, then verify potential contractors at this (Link) . The “Look Up: Contractors or Tradespeople” link will show how long a contractor has been registered, if they have lawsuits against their bond and if they have been cited for violations.
4. Check whether a contractor is paying workers’ comp. If someone is hurt on your property, you can be held liable. Make sure your contractor is up to date on workers’ compensation insurance if they will have workers on the job site.
6. Check references. Verify references by visiting a job site in progress and interviewing the homeowner.
7. Ask for a disclosure statement before work begins. A disclosure statement clearly states the contractor’s registration and bond information.
8. Watch for signs of a scam. High-pressure sales techniques, asking for all cash, or working on just weekends can be signs you’re dealing with a shady character. Remember: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is.
9. Pay for work as it is completed. Beware of contractors asking for large deposits or entire costs upfront. You want to pay for progress on the project as it is completed.
10. Get lien releases from subcontractors. Prior to making final payment, make sure your subcontractors aren’t owed any money. Unpaid subcontractors can hold you responsible for their work by putting liens on your home.
Tully’s Coffee will be offering free drip coffee from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday, July 2 as part of an Independence Day celebration at participating locations.
It will also offer a buy-one-get-one-free barista drink to customers from Friday, July 2 to Monday July 5.
In Bellingham, the second Tully’s store opened Friday, June 25. It’s a standalone building on Meridian Street, in the retail center that has United Furniture (across from Wal-Mart). It has a drive-through option as well as a sit-down area.
The other Bellingham Tully’s opened last summer inside the Sehome Haggen store.
The hours at the Meridian cafe are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5 a.m to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
According to a report in The Seattle Times, Haggen will be closing its Top Food & Drug store at the Redmond Town Center on Saturday, July 31. Here’s a (link) to the article. Formerly a Larry’s Market, the store has been operating as a Top Food & Drug store for about two years.
Spokeswoman Becky Skaggs said in the article there are no plans to close other stores.
No. 86 of 2010: High Desert State Bank of Alburquerque, N.M. was shut down, then taken over by First American Bank of Artesia, N.M. High Desert had two branches. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $20.9 million.
According to an Associated Press brief, Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. is considering further growth as a company through the acquistion of other grocery stores. Here’s a (link) to the story.
Kroger owns a variety of grocery store chains across the U.S., including Fred Meyer. The chairman and CEO of the company, David Dillon, said at a shareholders meeting that it would add stores in or near its existing markets in 31 states.
Government regulators have stepped in to shut down two banks this afternoon in places that seem to be ground zero for bank closures the past 18 months: Georgia and Florida. Details below. I’ll update with new posts if there are any more closures today:
No. 85 in 2010: First National Bank of Savannah, Ga., was shut down, then taken over by The Savannah Bank. First National had four branches. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $68.9 million.
No. 84: Peninsula Bank of Englewood, Fla., was shut down, then taken over by Premier American Bank of Miami. Peninsula had 13 branches. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $194.8 million.
There are several new restaurants either getting ready or are already open at Whatcom Plaza, the retail center on W. Kellogg Road near Whatcom Community College, next to the roundabout. Here’s an update from Keith Troske, one of the leasing agents for the center:
Maine Coon restaurant: In the process of getting open. Troske believes they will be serving perogies and dumplings.
Westside Pizza: Open for business.
Asian restaurant: Official name yet to be announced, but in the process of tenant improvements.
Lotus Coffee: A new local coffee shop, going through the permit process.
That leaves three available spaces for the retail center, he said.
According to a survey by CheapFlights.com, Bellingham International Airport has the cheapest airline tickets in the U.S. Here’s a (link) to the study.
While Bellingham topped the list, with an average ticket price of $256, Anchorage, Alaska was the most expensive, averaging $863 a ticket. Seattle was also closer to the bottom of the list, averaging $588 a ticket.
The website doesn’t mention what data/methods they used, but no doubt having a low fare airline like Allegiant handling most of the flights out of Bellingham helped. I would guess we wouldn’t be on top if Bellingham had flights to further destinations like Hawaii or the East Coast, but it’s still interesting to compare to other airports like Spokane ($485) or Boise ($476). I didn’t see Medford on there, which might be the best apples-to-apples comparison.