MTC opens new lab

Materials Testing & Consulting, Inc. (MTC) recently announced the opening of a full-service special inspection lab and geotechnical consulting office in Bellingham. The new lab is accredited by the Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) and American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for materials testing and special inspection. Jason Dearborn is the Bellingham regional manager, Alan Hale is the materials lab manager and Brian Steele is the licensed engineering geologist. The Bellingham office is located at 2126 E. Bakerview Rd. and can be reached at (360) 647-6061.
   Materials Testing & Consulting is a full-service corporation that performs geotechnical engineering, materials testing, special inspection, environmental consulting, and construction management. From three offices and three certified laboratories in Western Washington, MTC provides comprehensive investigation, design and construction monitoring services across all building and development sectors.

Local photographer’s image on new stamp
   Local photographer Brett Baunton’s image is featured on a new U.S. stamp. It is one of 40 images used on the new $0.39 stamps “Wonders of America, Land of Superlatives.”
   USPS purchased his image to feature on “Longest Hiking Trail, Pacific Crest Trail” stamp. Baunton created the image on The Pacific Crest Trail near Mt. Adams in Southern Washington showing the trail high on a ridge leading toward Mt. Rainier. Baunton’s work is featured in many national publications including Alaska, Audubon, Backpacker, Nature’s Best and National Geographic and can also be seen on the Web at www.brettbaunton.com.

Bode’s Precast wins exclusive contract
   Redi-Rock International recently awarded Bode’s Precast, Inc. the exclusive rights for Whatcom County and the Lower Mainland of B.C. to manufacture Redi-Rock, the world’s most innovative retaining wall system. The block Bode’s Precast manufactures features a cobblestone face available in customized colors with the ability to achieve 13.5 feet of height without using expensive geo-grid or tie- back systems, which saves valuable space because the wall can be built closer to the property line.
   One of the outstanding accessories is the garden block that allows the addition of flowers, hanging vines or small shrubs for an added flair. Operating in Lynden since 1973, Bode’s Precast, Inc. is a family-owned-and-operated precast concrete business.

Plans for possible Ferndale convention center nixed
   Emerald Bay Events and Faber Brothers Construction announced the decision not to move forward with a previously planned convention center in Ferndale. The decision was announced in a joint press release issued June 23.
   The press release cited the current rising cost of construction materials and property development as reasons for abandoning the project.

Two major ports adopt AudienceCentral’s PIER system
   The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Houston Authority recently announced the adoption of a Bellingham company’s emergency communication system.
   The company, AudienceCentral, made the announcement July 11. AudienceCentral’s premiere product, PIER, is a Web-based system designed to help communications professionals and senior management communicate faster, more efficiently, and more consistently.
   The two newest clients add to AudienceCentral’s customer list, which includes BP Worldwide, the U.S. Coast Guard, Shell, the USDA, and the University of Houston.
   By choosing AudienceCentral’s Web-based, secure PIER system, port communicators now will be able to effectively reach their co-workers and team members, public officials, the press corps, concerned citizens and other key stakeholders within moments and at any time, from any place in the world.
   “We applaud both the Port of Houston and Port of Los Angeles in their decision to implement PIER. These decisions benefit not only each port, but also their surrounding communities,” said Mike New, executive vice president of AudienceCentral.
   To learn more about AudienceCentral and the PIER system, visit www.audiencecentral.com.

New location set for Whatcom Volunteer Center
   The Whatcom Volunteer Center recently moved to a new location at 725 North State St. The centermoved from its previous location at 411 York St. on July 3 and settled into the new location in early July.
   “We’re excited about the move,” Whatcom Volunteer Center Executive Director Sue Ellen Hefflin said. “The new facility is nicer and more spacious, allowing us room to better serve the needs of the community.”
   The Whatcom Volunteer Center is a nonprofit organization connecting Whatcom County volunteers with volunteer opportunities for more than 350 participating nonprofit agencies in the county. For more information contact Whatcom Volunteer Center Executive Director Sue Ellen Hefflin at (360) 734-3055 or e-mail the center at info@whatcomvolunteer.org.

Construction begins on Bakerview Square
   Construction is now under way on Bakerview Square, a project designed to become the newest neighborhood retail center in set in the heart of Bellingham’s booming West Bakerview corridor. The Square, scheduled to open February 2007, will feature retail stores, restaurants, professional offices and more.
   Bakerview Square, located at the corner of West Bakerview and Eliza Avenue, will be constructed in two phases. Bakerview Square Phase I, Bellingham’s newest neighborhood retail shopping center, includes 42,000 feet of retail, 1,800 feet of second floor office, as well as a 22,000-sqaure-foot pad site fronting on W. Bakerview Road. Bakerview Square, designed and constructed by Faber Bros. Construction Corporation, will provide a neighborhood retail center in the rapidly growing West Bakerview area. Financing for the project is being provided by Horizon Bank.
   Madrona Bay President Morgan Bartlett believes Bakerview Square will be a tremendous community resource. Bartlett said, “The Bakerview area is experiencing a tremendous growth period and Bakerview Square represents an opportunity to centrally locate many neighborhood services and businesses for that area. We are excited to bring new businesses to the developing community.”
   Bakerview Square is now pre-leasing Phase I for February 2007 occupancy. For leasing information contact Troy Muljat at 820-2000 or Brian Finnegan at 739-9300..
   For additional information, visit Bakerview Square’s Web site at www.bakerviewsquare.com.

WWU offering project management certification program
   Western Washington University will offer a 10-session Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification course this fall, beginning Sept. 19.
   Participants in Western’s first-ever PMP certification course will learn project management skills at intermediate to advanced levels. This course will prepare participants to pass either the PMP or the Certified Associate in Project Management certification examinations. It will also fulfill 30 of the 35 training hours required by the Project Management Institute for Project Management Professionals.
   Project management is widely used in many fields and industries, ranging from aerospace to eBusiness, education and training, construction, engineering, financial services, government, information technology and manufacturing. 
   The course will be held at Western from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays. Cost for the course is $895, which includes both required textbooks.
   Course instructor Bill Warner has a doctorate degree and is a PMP. He has taught similar courses around the region, including at Capilano College and the McRae International Management Institute in British Columbia, as well as in Minnesota, Canada and China. Warner will soon teach two project management courses in Greece. 
   Warner has served as the Project Management Institute’s Mentor for the region including Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Alberta and British Columbia. Warner has specialized in information technology project leadership in health care and finance. He is now on staff at Western Washington University.
   Potential participants may attend an information session at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2 or Sept. 6, at 405 – 32nd Street, Room 342, in Bellingham. For more information, please phone at 650-3650 or e-mail ilearn@wwu.edu.

Fairhaven company charts course for success
   Trading high-tech for the high seas was easy for Hamilton Hayes, owner of the new Valhalla Marine Adventures based in Fairhaven.
   After graduating with a bachelor’s of science degree in geophysics, Hayes worked for major corporations all over the United States, including Polaroid, GTE, Computer Associates and Sylvania. He changed jobs and locations when he discovered the Pacific Northwest.
   A long time boater, Hayes now offers charter tours to the San Juan Islands on his two boats. The 30-foot, high-speed Wahoo can transport six people to the islands for catered day outings to hike, beachcomb or prawn fish. His 32-foot sailboat, the S/V Piquero, also holds six people. He will offer sunset, full-and half-day as well as hourly charters. Hayes is a USCG Licensed Captain.
   Although Hayes doesn’t specifically offer whale-watch tours, he said that it’s not unusual to see whales on trips around the San Juans.
   Hayes said he hopes to offer corporate team-building trips to the islands for small groups, along with his regular charters. For more information, call Hamilton Hayes at 671-0646, or go to www.valhallamarine.com.

Sports apparel and equipment store opens near Cost Cutter
   Sports Unlimited, a sports apparel and equipment store selling everything from shoes and balls to sports pads and sweatshirts, plans to open its doors by Aug. 1, said Kristin Clausen, store manager.
   The store, at 1685 H Street, No. B in Blaine, will offer merchandise serving a wide variety of sports for high school athletes, adults and youth, Clausen said — as well as referee and official wear.
   “I just saw there was a demand for this,” Clausen said of the new, 3,000-square-foot facility, which includes office space. “A lot of people are starting to work out.”
   The store is in the Cost Cutter shopping center, and is owned by Thoai Tran of Blaine — who owns Mail Boxes International next door to the new store — and TJ Johal, a Canadian resident.
   Clausen said the store currently has a contract with Reebok, and is working on other contracts as well. For more information, call Sports Unlimited at 332-1628.

New repair shop is ready to lift off (and land in Irongate)
   Northwest Heli Structures, a new helicopter repair shop, has signed a lease to move into the Irongate area.
   Tony Suter and his partner, John Wilfong, hope to move into the more than 3,000-square foot-space at 3911 Spur Ridge Lane this month, he said. The company will repair helicopter parts.
   Suter said they hope to hire two more employees in the near future.
   Originally from the U.K., Suter has lived in Bellingham for 14 years and worked for Helipro, a helicopter repair company that closed last year.

Pacific Health moves to new 11th Street location
   A vitamin supplement company recently moved its operations.
   Pacific Health, which sells vitamin supplements and provides comprehensive health products and information for consumers, retailers, physicians, nurses, and educators, moved its operations to 1312 11th Street, Ste. 200 from its old address at 1200 Dupont Street in Bellingham, said Shelly Stone, the company sales manager.
   In addition, Stone said, the company has rented a space at 1305 11th Street, Ste. 202 to house its executive suites.
   Pacific Health has been in Bellingham the past three years, and does business around the country and internationally, primarily through magazine advertising — as well as radio, television and online marketing. For more information, go online at www.pachealth.com.

Arrest made in T.D. Curran theft case
   Dung Vu Nguyen, 21, of Auburn was arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail June 29 for trafficking in stolen property in the first degree. Nguyen was allegedly selling merchandise stolen from T.D. Curran Inc., a Bellingham computer store at 115 Kellogg Road.
   The computer store suffered thefts on two separate occasions in late April and early May, when about $240,000 worth of Macintosh computers, iPods and printers were taken.
   Detectives discovered that Nguyen had been selling stolen property on the Internet. Two warrants were executed by police, the first at Nguyen’s residence, and the other at a storage facility. Stolen items were recovered from the T.D. Curran case, as well as from crimes that occurred in other jurisdictions. The case is still under investigation.

Pole-dancing gym for women now open
   Fitness Exotica, a gym that offers pole dancing and alternative cardio exercise classes, opened at 1400 N. State St., Suite 103 on July 8.
   Owner Yolanda Heying said the gym would offer a wide assortment of classes with colorful names, including “Cardio Strip Tease,” “Sexy Flexy,” “Booty Camp,” and “Booty-Liscious Boogie.” The gym is open to female members only.
   Heying, a personalized trainer who has been a Bellingham resident the past 12 years, said she became interested in starting the gym after taking a pole-dancing class in Los Angles four years ago.
   “It’s about getting in touch with your sensual side, and having fun while you do it.” For more information, call 647-1777.

Greenhouse to expand showroom space downtown
   Greenhouse, a Bellingham home- furnishings shop at 1235 Cornwall Ave., is renovating to expand its showroom space by 1,000 square feet on its mezzanine level. The Greenhouse business office that once occupied the space was moved up to the second floor in the Mt. Baker Building.
   Renovation of the old office space into retail will allow the store to hang new rug lines for better viewing. In addition, the space will allow the company to display more furniture lines.
   “We had long awaited an opportunity to expand our rug and furniture collection,” said Greenhouse co-owner Chris Foss. “When the office above us moved out, we grabbed the space.”
   The showroom renovation is expected to be completed early August and will be celebrated during the store’s anniversary sale in mid-August. Working on the project are Moceri Construction, as well as Chris Jones and Jeff McClure at RMC Architects. Flax Properties and Dave Hovde, owners of the Mt. Baker Building, are assisting in the expansion.
   For more information, contact the company at 676-1161.

Testing labs open on Spur Ridge Lane
   Exact Scientific Services, an environmental and food-testing lab, opened for business July 5 at 3929 Spur Ridge Lane, Suite 101, said co-owner Travis Walkup.
   The lab does a variety of microbiological work, including water testing for property owners, milk testing for dairies, and product testing for local food manufacturers. Walkup, an organic chemist who grew up in Bellingham, is opening the facility with co-owner Kent Oostra, a microbiologist who grew up in Lynden.
   “Everything is going great,” Walkup said. “We are very excited.”
   The pair plans to provide service to clients around the region, including Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island and San Juan counties, Walkup said. For more information, check out the company Web site at www.exactscientific.com.

Food Co-op launches member-loan program
   The Community Food Co-op is launching its member-loan program as part of the finance package for its second same-size store, which will be located at the corner of Cordata and Westerly. The store will open in the fall of 2007.
   This is an opportunity for Co-op members in good standing to invest in the Community Food Co-op.
   “Member economic participation is one of the seven principles that guide all cooperatives,” explained Marketing Manager Ginger Oppenheimer. “This member-loan program is exactly that.”
   The Community Food Co-op has more than 11,000 members, many of whom have participated in a variety of forums to give input on the look and feel of the Co-op’s new store.
   “Now we look forward to having our members participating further in the process through this member-loan program,” Oppenheimer said.
   Interest rates begin at 5.5 percent for investments between $1,000 and $24,999 and climb for larger investments. The note comes due in 2013. For those interested in investing, please contact General Manager and Co-op President Jim Ashby or Finance Manager and Co-op Treasurer Jon Edholm at 734-8158.

Positive psychology counselor opens office at Gateway Centre
   Gateway Centre Executive Suites recently welcomed their newest tenant to the building, Melanie Springer, with Melanie Lynn Counseling Services. Springer is a positive psychology counselor and provides seminars/coaching for individuals and corporations, individual counseling, and patient advocacy. Positive psychology focuses on developing one’s strengths to increase the level of happiness in one’s life.
   Her office in Gateway Centre is located at 1313 E. Maple St., Suite #235.

New gallery offers unique options for dining in style
   Dine On Art, at 1201 Cornwall Ave., recently opened for business.
   The gallery sells custom, handcrafted “distressed” tile dining tables — new tables with an aged, weathered look — as well as tableware and decorative items. The tableware and decorative items are directly imported from the Philippines and made from Capiz shells — which are unique to that country — while the dining tables are designed and built in Birch Bay.
   Lamont Lavert, 48, who is a co-owner along with Robb Pfeil, 48, said he’s happy to be in Bellingham after moving here last summer from California.
   “We love it in Bellingham,” he said. “We relocated here because it’s a beautiful place.” Rob’s wife, Kelly, and Lamont’s wife, Victoria, also work at the store.
   Lavert said the company plans to launch a Web site, www.dineonart.com, in mid-July to help his Web-based business grow. He added that his gallery is open anytime by appointment, in addition to its regular business hours. For more information, call the business at 756-0000 or e-mail info@dineonart.com.

Lynden company opening a new office in Bellingham
   Due to its recent growth and increase in Bellingham customers, Vanderpol Building Components — a Lynden-based manufacturing company — is opening a new sales office in Bellingham.
   The office will be located in the building owned by Jaime and Lynne Henifin at 3863 Hannegan Road, said Chuck Shipp, Vanderpol sales manager. The two, 2,000-square- foot-office spaces will staff two of the company’s 25 employees.
   Vanderpol has manufactured roof trusses and wall panels at its Lynden location at 841 E. Badger Road since 1988.
   Shipp said they hope to open the office by the beginning of July, as soon as the city approves the building’s occupancy use and Vanderpol’s application for commercial alterations.
   For more information call (360) 354-5883.

Family-friendly sports grill scores north-side location
   A new family-oriented sports grill — Extremes Sports Grill — will replace the Meridian Grill at 4156 Meridian St. Carl Schuessler and his wife, Patty, hope to sign the lease for the space in the next few weeks and open by the beginning of August, he said.
   Schuessler said he wanted to provide a place that was family-and sports team-friendly. In addition to traditional sports such as football, basketball and baseball, the grill will extend its theme to include more extreme sports such as snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, wake boarding and motorcycle riding.
   The grill already has seven satellite feeds and Schuessler said he will attach seven high-definition and LCD screens to those satellites, playing different sporting events. Sports teams will also be able to rent spaces in the grill to watch their team’s events on the screens.
   “There is no place in town now where families feel safe bringing their kids to watch sports,” Schuessler said of his decision to move away from the sports bar concept.
   The grill’s new menu will include gourmet pizza, calzones, burgers, chili, nachos and chicken wings, all with mid-range prices, Schuessler said.
   While he will change the décor, Schuessler said he wouldn’t do a major remodel of the space.
   The current owners of Meridian Grill — Caitac USA — could not be reached for comment.
   For more information on Extremes Sports Grill, call 647-7066 or e-mail Schuessler at extremessportsgrill@yahoo.com.

Painting company to move into new site by end of year
   Advanced Powder Coating NW Inc. is in the process of moving. The business, currently operating at 5421 Guide Meridian, will be breaking ground on a new facility at 3910 Spur Ridge Lane in Bellingham in the next few weeks, said owner Quentin Chambers.
   The company, which has been in Bellingham the past four years, plans to leave its 6,000-square-foot Guide Meridian home and move into a new 25,000-square-foot building by the end of the year, Chambers said.
   “We don’t have any room and can’t expand the business any further,” Chambers said. “(The new building) is going to be great.” The official ground-breaking won’t occur until all the permits go through, he said.
   For more information, contact Advanced Powder Coating at 398-1460.

Allegiant Air to add twice-a-day flights to Vegas
   Allegiant Air, LLC, has announced twice-a-day flights to Las Vegas from Bellingham beginning Sept. 20. To celebrate, the airline will offer a limited time $99 one-way fare on the new service.
   “We are very pleased with the continued performance of the Bellingham market,” said Maurice J. Gallagher, the airline’s president and CEO. “This expansion in service will help more Whatcom county and British Columbia customers get to the fun and excitement of Las Vegas. We are confident this schedule will have great appeal.”
   Allegiant Air will offer flights twice a day on Sunday and Thursday, complementing the existing six-day-a-week schedule. This is the second addition of nonstop flights to Las Vegas this year. The carrier inaugurated Wednesday and Saturday flights April 5. Allegiant began the nonstop service from Bellingham International Airport to McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas) on Aug. 5, 2004.
   Allegiant Air now operates eight flights weekly, with once-a-day flights Wednesday through Monday and twice-a-day flights Sunday and Thursday. Flights depart Bellingham at 7:50 p.m., arriving in Las Vegas at 10:20 p.m. Flights leaving Las Vegas depart at 4:30 p.m., arriving in Bellingham at 7:10 p.m. The new Sunday and Thursday flights depart Bellingham at 11:55 a.m., arriving in Las Vegas at 2:35 p.m. Flights leaving Las Vegas depart at 8:45 a.m., arriving in Bellingham at 11:15 a.m.
   Reservations can be made on the airline’s Web site www.allegiantair.com, or by calling (800) 432-3810.

Two local businesses close up shop in town and hit the road
   After eight years, West Coast Bargain Books will close its Irongate-area doors this fall.
   All 20 employees of the wholesale book dealership, located at 2005 Alpine Way, have been laid off, but will continue work until September, said warehouse manager Carrie Coleman.
   Owner Mitch Press is downsizing the company and moving it to Boston. There, his brother owns a publishing company where Press will operate the book distribution center out of, Coleman said. Press will continue to maintain a small Bellingham office.
   The company sells books to bookstores throughout the United States as well as to online retailers such as amazon.com, Coleman said.
   Elsewhere, Colligo — a software company that creates programs for people with learning and reading disabilities — has moved from its 1304 Meador Ave. space in the Haskell Business Center to Spokane.
   Owner Doug Powles said while he liked his landlords at the Haskell Business Center, he felt Spokane had a better business climate and a better reception for his products.
   Colligo’s former space is still vacant.

Web developers move into new office space on Ohio Street
   WEBEFX, a Bellingham-based firm specializing in the development of Web sites and applications, recently announced a move to a new office location.
   The company, which was started five years ago and has been in Bellingham the past three years, recently moved from a suite at 851 Coho Way to a new space at 112 Ohio St., said Zi Krostag, the company’s production manager.
   The business was sharing space with Emergency Reporting, a company that provides software to emergency responders — such as firefighters — but the two businesses have grown to a point where they both needed more space, Krostag said.
   See www.webefx.com for more information.

Local bank VP heads out on his own
   After three years as vice president and commercial loan officer at Frontier Bank, Adam Finfer is leaving his job there to start his own company, Brentwood Capital Group.
   The business-purpose finance company will offer commercial lending, project financing, land development and construction financing and equity capital assistance, Finfer said.
   Finfer is still trying to locate office space, he said. He won’t be hiring any employees yet, but likely will later on.
   For more information call 224-3870, or visit his web site at www.brentwoodcapitalgroup.com.

Dog spas: The next big thing in puppy pampering?
   Michiko Johnson has opened Happy Pooch Styling & Spa at 7342 Ritter Road in Ferndale.
    The dog spa provides grooming services such as breed-specific haircuts, custom dog looks, special shampoos and remoisturizers, and aromatherapy with soft music.
    Johnson said she has gone through a comprehensive training program to become certified in dog care.
    For more information call (360) 393-7488.

Home lifestyles store opens on Kellogg Road
   Lighting. Home accents. Furniture. My Northwest Home, a new company opening at 155 W. Kellogg Road, has it all.
   Company owner Jeff Chance recently moved into a 2,000-square-foot facility and opened up for business in early July. Chance has lived in Bellingham for about a decade, and he said he’s excited about the future.
   “I’m hoping it will give people a market that’s not being met,” he said. “It’s a total home-living store.” For more information, contact the business at (360) 647-1227, or via e-mail at mynorthwesthome@gmail.com.

Fairhaven’s getting pet-crazy
   Boo’s Parlour, a pet grooming service, recently expanded to add Boo’s Boutique at 1207 Harris Ave.
   Located in the red train on the corner of 12th Street and Harris Avenue, Boo’s Boutique will be the retail end of the business in suite 101, co-owner Michelle Mousseau said. The store will sell pet clothes, toys, accessories, beds, collars, leashes and jewelry. Boo’s Parlour is located in suite 102.
   Mousseau said she also hopes to install a self-serve tub in the parlour for customers to bathe their pets.
   Originally from Alaska, Mousseau moved to Bellingham in 1998 from Eastern Washington and opened Boo’s Parlour with her husband, Jon Grover, in 1999.
   For more information call 650-1664.

Local company moves to the Bellwether Peninsula
   Goodrich and Associates, an investment advisory company, recently moved into the Paulsen Building at 12 Bellwether Way, Ste. 215 from their current space at 851 Coho Way.
   Co-owner Larry Goodrich said he, his partner and wife, Lee, and their son, Matt — also a co-owner — wanted to be closer to the water. The new location on the Bellwether Peninsula will also be more convenient for their clients, with free underground parking and a nearby restaurant and deli, he said.
   For more information call 671-0226.

Glowgolf lights up Bellis Fair
   Glowgolf is the latest company to call Bellis Fair home.
   The company opened for business June 10, said owner/operator John Wright. The game, which is played in the dark, is essentially miniature golf — but with glowing balls, glowing scorecards, glowing putters and glowing signs.
   “Everything glows in here,” Wright said. The course is based on an underwater ocean theme, complete with fish, sharks and sea turtles, among other things.
   Glowgolf has branches around the country, including Vancouver, Wash., and Springfield, Ore., Wright said. For more information, call Glowgolf at 714-8477.

Local company bringing more power to the people
   Northwest Energy Systems will be moving from its current Lincoln Street location to the Bakerview area in September.
   The 36-year-old company is building a new 5,000-square-foot space there at 4110 Marblemount Lane, which is near the intersection of East Bakerview and Hannegan Roads.
   Co-owner Dan Olson said he and his partner, Greg Gillespie, wanted a larger space for their heating and air conditioning installation business, as well as a nicer show room for their equipment. The company is currently located at 2119 Lincoln St.
   For more information call 734-7013.

Dentists taking a bite out of J Street
   Bellingham Pediatric Dentistry will move from the clinic’s 1315 Girard St. location to a new building down the street at 1301 J St., after the new building is completed this winter.
   Owner and pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Bisese, decided her current clinic, where she has practiced since 1995, was too small, said office manager Carol Garguile.
   DKA Architects, a Seattle firm, designed the one-story building and Constantine Builders, Inc., is the contractor, Garguile said. For more information call 676-7130.

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