Archive for July, 2011
Lowe’s Home Improvement of Bellingham (on Sunset Drive) is having another Vendor Fair Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 6th.
Vendors will be located throughout the store in the appropriate departments. Frigidaire will be in Appliances: Rubbermaid in Tools, Tescan in Flooring, Milgard and Cascade in Windows, Cooper in Lighting, Yolocolorhouse and Vaslpar in Paint.
Three banks were shut down by government regulators on Friday afternoon and then taken over by other banks. The banks shut down were BankMeridian in Columbus, S.C., Virginia Business Bank in Richmond and Integra Bank in Evansville, Ind. The estimated cost to the FDIC on those three closures is $253.4 million. That makes 61 bank closures so far in 2011. I’ll update with a new post if there are other closures before I leave the office.
Here’s a press release from Appliance Depot about an interesting piece of art at its facility:
Local sculptor, arts educator, and recipient of the Mayor’s Arts Award, Thor Myhre, has installed a new piece of publicly accessible art on Bellingham’s Marine Drive at Appliance Depot. The 10-foot metal sculpture, titled “Burner Man,” incorporates stove burner grates and other appliance parts into the road-side spectacle.
The piece is vintage Myhre, who has built his reputation working with found objects and recycled materials. The artist considers himself a treasure hunter who visits trash sites, recycling centers, second-hand shops, and garage sales. In this case, he found his inspiration at Appliance Depot, who together with Z Recyclers, provided Myhre with the materials he needed for this work.
Appliance Depot is a nonprofit job training business that salvages appliances for reuse and also provides parts for artists and tinkerers. Their annual Appliance Art Revival features artists like Myhre who see infinite possibilities in junk.
Scott Watts and Corey Shek have lived and played music together in Bellingham for more than a decade, and that’s helped in getting their music store off to a good start.
Watts and Shek opened 3 SIX 0 Music at 1012 W. Holly St. in March, selling musical instruments and accessories as well as offering lessons and having a repair department. Watts said the business has received great support from local musicians, particularly with selling accessories, repairing instruments and teaching classes. The store currently sees about 40 students a week.
“With the way the economy is right now, we aren’t seeing a lot of big ticket sales, such as new instruments,” Watts said in an e-mail. “People are more likely to repair their old instrument over buying new.”
The company is planning a grand opening for Saturday, Aug. 27 which will include a barbecue and music in the parking lot. It’s open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, closed on Sunday. For further details about the store, click this (link) or call 360-756-6567.
– Over at Bellis Fair, the Build-a-Bear Workshop left earlier this month. It was in the center area of the mall, near Victoria’s Secret.
– In the Macy’s wing, the store Woolies is having a going-out-of-business sale.
– It appears the Auction Barn Cafe in Lynden has shut down. The phone isn’t being answered and a few readers have reported legal notices posted on the front of the cafe.
Below is a press release from the Washington State Employment Security Department about what’s happening to people who have exhausted their benefits. It’s not encouraging. What was surprising to me was the high number of people who said age was a major obstacle in getting a job.
Here’s the press release:
OLYMPIA – A recent survey of Washington workers who failed to find work before running out of unemployment benefits revealed that three out of every four of them were still out of work.
In April, the state’s Employment Security Department emailed a survey to individuals who had run out of unemployment benefits since November 2009, and 5,065 responded. The claimants had access to as many as 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.
Employment Security sought to find out if exhaustees have returned to work, the employment services they’re using and the barriers they’re running into while looking for new jobs. Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause said the survey findings shed valuable insight on what is happening to workers who run out of unemployment benefits.
Fred Meyer Stores and Barnes & Noble, Inc. announced in a press release that, beginning July 30, Fred Meyer will offer Barnes & Noble’s NOOK eReading devices in all of its 132 Fred Meyer stores. The $139 All-New NOOK, the Simple Touch Reader and the $249 NOOK Color Reader’s Tablet and accessories arrive at Fred Meyer just in time for back-to-school shopping.
“We are thrilled to bring our award-winning NOOK products to Fred Meyer customers,” said Chris Peifer, vice president, digital business development at Barnes & Noble in the press release. “The All-New NOOK offers a simple, easy-to-use, dedicated reading experience for readers of all ages and NOOK Color is the perfect sleek, sophisticated and reading-centric tablet device.”
Barnes & Noble’s NOOK product line uses the element of touch to achieve simplicity and ease of use. The All-New NOOK features extra-long battery life on the ultra-light, portable 6-inch eReader.
Here’s a list of companies that registered to do business in Bellingham July 21-25. Most are new businesses, but some are companies that have either changed ownership or addresses:
J Hughes Construction Inc., 312 173rd Pl SW, Bothell
Emerald Pool & Patio, 1885 Highway 99 N, Eugene, Ore.
Saw Service of Washington Inc., 1602 Carolina St #D9, Bellingham
Columbia Bank, which recently moved its Bellingham branch into the downtown area, announced its second quarter 2011 numbers. It was a busy quarter for the company, which acquired two banks. Here are its quarterly highlights:
– Net income increased to $8.6 million, more than double net income of
$3.9 million for the 2nd quarter 2010.
– Net income per diluted common share increased to $0.22, as compared to
$0.11 per common share for the 2nd quarter 2010.
– Declares cash dividend of $0.06 per common share, an increase of 20%
from prior quarter.
– Noncovered commercial business and real estate loans increase over 6%
from year-end 2010.
– Nonperforming noncovered assets decrease for third consecutive quarter.
– Assets and liabilities of Summit Bank, Burlington, Washington and First
Heritage Bank, Snohomish, Washington, both acquired in May 2011 in
– Retail network expands by 8 locations to 93 branches in Washington and
The percentage of Whatcom County mortgages more than 90 days late has steadily dropped this past spring, according to a new national report.
In May the percentage of Whatcom County mortgages more than 90 days delinquent was 4.31, down from 4.33 in April and down from the peak of 4.44 percent in February, according to CoreLogic, a provider of property information. The May rate is up from a year earlier, when the delinquency rate was 3.79 percent.
Whatcom’s delinquency rate in May was also lower than the state rate of 5.98 percent and the U.S. rate of 7.29 percent. The state rate is higher than a year ago, while the national rate is down from 8.13 percent in May 2010.
The percentage of Whatcom County mortgages in some stage of foreclosure was 1.6 percent in May, down from 1.69 in April and the peak of 1.71 percent in March. In May 2010, Whatcom’s foreclosure rate was 1.04 percent.
Washington state’s foreclosure rate was 2.17 percent in May, while the national rate was 3.45 percent.