Archive for November, 2012
From Washington’s L&I:
TUMWATER —The Department of Labor & Industries announced there will be no overall increase in workers’ compensation insurance premiums in 2013. This is the second year in a row that L&I has held overall rates flat.
While there will be no overall rate increase in 2013, individual employers may see their rates go up or down, depending on their recent claims history and changes in the frequency and cost of claims in their industry. L&I has published a rate table online and will soon send all employers a rate notice. The new rates take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Earlier this year, when L&I proposed no increase for 2013, Director Judy Schurke credited the proposal to savings from the reforms passed during the 2011 legislative session and other factors projected to hold down costs next year.
The 2011 reforms will save $1.5 billion over four years, $300 million higher than originally estimated.
Allegiant Air had a tough start with its new flights to Hawaii, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Here’s a (link) to an article reporting that the airline had three of its five Boeing 757s grounded overnight due to mechanical problems. In three isolated incidents, two flights from Bellingham (one to Honolulu, one to Maui) and from Stockton were delayed, impacting 662 passengers. According to the article, passengers were given vouchers from the apologetic carrier. Nearly all chose to stick with the flights.
Below is a news release from GasBuddy.com, which analyzes gas prices across the country.
In Bellingham, the average price for a gallon of gas was $3.57 on Thursday, Nov. 29, down 12 cents from a year ago, according to AAA Washington.
CHICAGO (Nov. 29)– There’s no getting around it. As a nation we’ve never paid more at the pump than we did this year. The yearly national average is running at $3.63/gallon so far for 2012, and it’s all but guaranteed that 2012 will go down as the year with the highest average ever.
With one month left, yes, it’s mathematically possible that 2012 could close without becoming the most expensive year ever for American consumers at the gas pumps; but that would necessitate an unthinkable calamity.
“We did the math,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, “and the numbers don’t lie. Last year’s average price of gasoline nationwide was $3.51 per gallon. The national average price of gasoline in the U.S. would have to drop to $2.35 per gallon or lower for every day for the remainder of 2012 in order for the 2012 yearly average price to fall below last year’s level.
“There’s no question that the national numbers were elevated by major supply problems in California over the summer and more recently on the East Coast when Hurricane Sandy delivered major flood damage and power outages at northeastern refineries,” said GasBuddy’s Gregg Laskoski, also a GasBuddy analyst. “It reminds us exactly how vulnerable our nation’s fuel infrastructure is and why the U.S. should be looking to increase refining capacity where it is needed most.”
The first-ever Technology Alliance Group’s Tech Awards & Holiday Luncheon will be on Friday, Dec. 7 at Bellingham Technical College.
The event goes from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
This year, awards will be presented awards for Most Innovative New Technology, Product or Service; Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership; Rising Star and Technology Leader of Tomorrow.
Nominations are open to all individuals and businesses in Whatcom County and can be submitted on-line. For more information, click this (link)
The event will also feature networking, lunch prepared by BTC Culinary students and a tour of the new BTC facilities including the Computer Networking and Engineering departments.
Admission: TAG Members: $20 / Non-Members: $30
Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance, with offices in Lynden and Bellingham, recently hired Tom Dorr as a commercial sales producer.
Dorr is well known to many local owners and managers, helping more than 4,000 businesses as director of Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center for more than 11 years and then its Center for Economic Vitality another four years. He now is based at SSK Insurance’s Bellingham office, assisting business clients with property, casualty, liability and contractor’s insurance, plus bonding and other areas of commercial insurance.
Dorr resigned from the CEV in April 2012 and became the subject of an internal audit, which indicated that he violated ethical policies. At the time of the audit, Dorr admitted he made some mistakes with some expense reports, but also said some of the accusations were without foundation.
In a press release, Dorr said his new job has some similarities to his previous business counseling work.
“Helping business owners with insurance and risk-management issues is an extension of the business counseling I’ve been doing for the past 16 years,” Dorr said in the release. “I look forward to continuing to be a trusted advisor for my clients in my new role at SSK Insurance.”
It appears the sandwich shop Subway is interested in occupying a space on the new Barkley movie theater property.
A recent list of new Bellingham business licenses indicates that Subway is going into 3011 Cinema Place, right next to the Regal movie theater (at 3005 Cinema Place).
Other than the movie theater, the only other officially announced tenant is The Woods Coffee, which is planning to open on Monday, Dec. 10 in the new building in front of the theater.
Zen Sushi and Bar has applied for a liquor license for a space at 3101 Cinema Place.
Puget Sound Energy is giving away free energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) bulbs to some Black Friday shoppers.
On Friday, Nov. 23, the first 50 people at participating Best Buy and Fred Meyer stores will receive a free 40W equivalent LED bulb. In Bellingham, both Fred Meyer stores and the Best Buy store are participating.
LED bulbs use less energy than either incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs, last years longer and are dimmable, according to a news release from PSE.
Best Buy shoppers will receive a free Insignia 9W LED bulb, a $14 value; Fred Meyer shoppers will receive a free Tulip LED bulb, a $17 value.
Edaleen Dairy will be opening its new retail store and ice cream parlor at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The store is at 1011 E. Grover St in Lynden.
According to Scott Engels, Edaleen’s chief financial officer, the store will have a full line of dairy products and grocery items, along with a soup and sandwich bar. The ice cream parlor will feature old-fashioned sundaes, cones, milkshakes, Brain Freezes, and plenty of seating. A Brain Freeze is a cup of soft serve ice cream with a candy mix-in. The store plans on having a dozen different flavors.
Store hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, closed on Sunday.
After nearly 12 years in Lynden, Noisy Neighbor Music Inc. will be closing its storefront at the end of the year but will maintain a presence online.
The company will begin a storewide sale Friday, Nov. 23, that will continue until Dec. 31, said owner Larry Miller. While the store doesn’t have debts, Miller decided it was time to close the storefront and focus on being online.
“I have a great group of customers, but more often people are making their purchases online,” Miller said.
The business will hold many memories for Miller, including the fact he got married at the store — at the time in a different location — on Valentine’s Day 2003. As a small-business owner, he had trouble taking time off without closing the store, so he and Tami Wasson decided to get married behind the cash register.
The store is currently at 111 17th St., in the Fairway Center. The store is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. In December, Miller plans on having the store open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
For details, call 360-318-1441 or visit noisyneighbormusic.com.
The recent sale of the Tenaska Ferndale Cogeneration Station to Puget Sound Energy resulted in a significant chunk of tax revenue to the state and Whatcom County.
According to the Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office, the sale price for the facility was $79.9 million, with the excise tax totaling $1.4 million. Nearly $400,000 goes to Whatcom County in the form of a Real Estate Excise Tax. REET funding is restricted in terms of how it can be spent by the county.
Treasurer Steve Oliver said that while the money doesn’t go into the county’s general fund, it could help fund a number of capital projects and uses under consideration by the County Council.