Archive for August, 2012
With all the hubbub about the Bellingham Costco in past two weeks, it’s great to see some Canadians are handling it with a sense of humor.
In The Province’s online site (link) is a story about a Canadian design studio took one of the insults mentioned on one of the Facebook pages – Milk Piranha – and turned it into a humorous t-shirt, showing a big jug of milk with that phrase.
If you missed last week’s Bellingham Costco flap, here’s the (link)
According to The Province, the Richmond group Creative Apparatus is selling the t-shirts for $20 in the hope of “(adding) to the nonsense.”
Whatcom County’s unemployment rate rose in July as summer break got into full swing.
The local unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in July, up compared to June’s revised estimate of 7.3 percent, according to data from the Washington State Employment Security Department.
While up from June, last month’s unemployment numbers were down from July 2011, when the rate was 8.3 percent.
Most of the job losses between June and July came in the public sector. According to the ESD, 1,900 government jobs were shed in that time period, including those related to schools. There was no change in the number of private sector jobs between June and July. Broken down by industries, construction (up 200 jobs) and manufacturing (up 100) posted month-to-month gains, while the private service sector shed 300 jobs.
The number of people actively seeking work in Whatcom County rose by 170 between June and July, to 8,210. However, that’s down 460 compared to last July.
Whatcom’s unemployment rate remained lower than several nearby counties in July, including Skagit (9.2 percent) and Snohomish (8.3 percent). Grays Harbor County had the highest unemployment rate in the state last month at 13 percent, while San Juan had the lowest, at 5.6 percent.
Here’s the latest batch of interesting City of Bellingham building permit applications (accepted and issued):
Applications accepted, but not yet issued:
– An application to do about $450,000 in remodeling work at 3891 Northwest Ave. (Chambers Chevrolet Cadillac).
– At 2210 Rimland Drive (in the Barkley office district), a tenant improvement permit to put in a fitness studio.
– At 611 E. Holly, an application to demolish the former Shangri-La hotel and build a parking lot.
– At 3200 Squalicum Parkway (near the hospital), an application to build a single-story, 7,100 square foot medical office building.
– A permit was issued to remodel 108 W. Stuart Road (in the retail center that has United Furniture) to put in a Big 5 Sporting Goods store.
IMCO General Construction of Ferndale received approval to proceed on a $16.3 million sewage treatment plant project in Port Angeles.
Phase 1 includes work that will increase capacity to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, according to a company press release. The project also constructs a 105 foot bridge over Ennis Creek.
The Phase 1 Combined Sewage Overflow Project is part of the city’s approved program that aims to reduce stormwater and raw sewage from releasing into Port Angeles Harbor and Peabody Creek. Currently, the city dumps approximately 32 million gallons of raw sewage and stormwater into the harbor each year, according to the news release.
IMCO submitted the lowest bid among seven other general contractors. Crews expect to break ground on the project in the last week of August and have it to be completed by fall of 2013. The two-phase project is valued at over $40 million and is the city’s largest public works construction project to date.
IMCO General Construction focuses on heavy civil construction. For more information, visit this (link).
Apple Yarns, a Bellingham yarn and knitting supply store in the Barkley Village shopping center, is moving into a bigger space on Iowa Street in September.
According to its Facebook page, the new space at 1780 Iowa St. (In the Iowa Business Center) will add about 800 square feet to the store’s current size. The business plans on being in the new space on Saturday, Sept. 1.
FERNDALE – A new restaurant opened last week, but it will have a familiar menu to Whatcom County residents.
A Que Tacos opened on Thursday, Aug. 16 and will have an official celebration on Saturday, Aug. 25. The new restaurant is at 2012 Main St., in the former Las Cazuelas space. Co-owners Joaquin Martinez and Jesus Alejandro purchased the restaurant after previously serving from food trucks in this region. Martinez said they plan on offering the same fresh dishes they served in the trucks.
Menu items include carne asada, burritos and tacos on fresh-made tortillas.
The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The owners are also considering the idea of being open on Sundays. For details, call the restaurant at 360-312-1383.
Awards for top food samples were handed out to local businesses during the seventh annual Bite of Bellingham event.
Over the course of four hours on Saturday, Aug. 18, about 5,000 attendees browsed through vendor tents and sampled dozens of flavors from 16 local restaurants and cafes, according to a news release from the Downtown Business Partnership.
Bellingham restaurant Bayou on Bay won the overall Best Bite award with a smoked tasso ham stuffed rosemary biscuit.
The people’s choice award for Best Local Bite went to Cheese Meat(s) Beer with its tartine, a house smoked pork. Pure Bliss Desserts earned the Best Gluten Free Bite with its Belgium chocolate torte. The Dreamiest Drink award went to Diego’s Mexican Grill with its cherry limeade. Sweetest Sweet went to the Mount Bakery cafe for its vanilla bean crème brulee.
Changes are coming to the luggage system at the Bellingham International Airport:
The Port of Bellingham is seeking bids for its automated baggage conveyor system. Sealed bids are due by 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 27 to the Port of Bellingham. The project will including putting in a 600-foot conveyor and two 200-foot baggage carousels.
The estimated cost for the project is $4.4 million.
The Facebook page that created a wave of international media scrutiny is apparently being shut down.
The administrator of the page “Bellingham Costco needs a special time just for Americans” wrote a post stating it was time to take the post down. The page, put up in July, has garnered attention from media outlets around the world, particularly in Canada.
Here’s a (link) to the Facebook page that stirred up the controversy (link may not work if the page is taken down).
Below is the unedited post on Facebook:
Well. this has raised the awareness of the problem. hopefully city/county officials see its a problem and will allow Costco and other companys to expand if needed. Really bad this turned into a bashing of Canadians and Americans. Some of you Americans should be ashamed of yourselves with the really bad things you have said, along with you Canadians saying some way off topic very hatefull things. Americans I think would be more receptive to this and Canadians I would think you were more loving and empt to help our problem of just trying to live life, but I guess im naive in the fact. To the hoards of radio/tv stations trying to contact me, sorry all I have to say is that I just want a better quality of life for everyone, including our wonderful Canadians visiting our very beautiful city. What really gets me is that there hasnt been any city/county officials on this page making actual facts or offering any reinsurance that they are working on trying to solve this issue. I am shutting this page down for many reasons. No, its not legal reasons, for I live in a country that protects my freedoms. I am shutting it down primarily because of the ignorant press/canadian/american negative connotations it has received. It has done what it was intended for but some people took it way overboard. By the way, yes the title was offensive, it was meant to get your attention, but don’t judge the book by its cover please.
Here’s a look at some commercial projects recently submitted to the City of Bellingham:
Building permits issued by the city:
– At 220 Unity St., (Interfaith Community Health Center) a permit was issued for a $1.3 million remodel.
– At 1201 11th St., Suite 100 in Fairhaven, a permit was issued to combine two space for a business called Fairhaven Antique Mall.
– At 19 Bellwether Way, Suite 201, a tenant improvement permit for a company called Westower Communications.
–At 4140 Meridian St. (La Gloria Market), a permit to convert part of the butcher shop area into more seating for the restaurant.
Permits accepted by the city, but not yet issued:
– At 1255 Barkley Blvd. #109, a tenant improvement application for a new liquor store. This is in the space that was formerly home to the state liquor store.
– At 475 W. Stuart Road, a permit to build a two-story commercial building.
– At 1 Bellis Fair Parkway, No. 113, a permit to remodel the retail space (no announced tenant yet).