The Buzz


Law firm moves to Fussner building

The law firm Brownlie Evans Wolf & Lee moved July 26 to its new home at 230 E. Champion St. on the corner of State and Champion streets.

Murphy Evans, one of the firm’s partners, said the firm is excited for its move to a 2,400-square-foot office within the 14,000-square-foot Fussner building, which was built in 1922.

Evans said the firm had outgrown its 1,800-square-foot space at 100 Central Ave. and the new space will have room for larger offices and an additional meeting room.

“The Fussner building is so distinct,” Evans said. “It will be nice to be a part of that building and that history.”

For more information, call 676-0306.


Gallery Walk expands format, goes monthly

Bellingham’s Downtown Gallery Walk, an event where art is displayed in several downtown businesses, is changing its name to include more art forms.

Kirsten Walker, executive director of the Downtown Renaissance Network, which runs the event, said the new Downtown Art Walk will add more types of art such as performance, design and culinary arts.

“It doesn’t just have to be paintings, drawings and sculptures,” Walker said. “This change gives us a chance to expand the definition of art for the event.”

The walk will also push the boundaries of how art is presented by including cooking classes, artist lectures and fashion shows, Walker said.

The Downtown Renaissance Network is also planning to increase the frequency of the walks from quarterly shows to shows on the first Friday of every month.

“It’s just a bit of consistency for those who attend the events,” Walker said. “The first Friday of every month is easy to mark on your calendar.”

The first walk will be from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 5 and will continue to be on the first Friday of every month, except October, which will be held on Oct. 10.

To become a participating business, contact Kirsten Walker at 527-8710.


Acupuncture center opening in Fairhaven

Chinese Medicine Center, which will be relocating to 1200 Old Fairhaven Parkway Suite 202 from Anchorage, Alaska, is planning to open in early September.

Owner and practitioner Ping Rice said she will offer traditional Chinese acupuncture in the 800-square-foot office. Rice has been practicing acupuncture since 1984 and has been located in Alaska for the past four years.

Rice said she and her husband chose to move to Bellingham because it is close to Vancouver, B.C., where they have family, and they enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Rice said she also feels that Bellingham residents are more open to alternative types of medicine.

For more information, call 907-301-2314 or visit


Signs By Tomorrow gets new owners

Signs By Tomorrow, located at 2001 Iowa St., has new owners.

Marc and Anna Youngberg purchased the business July 1 from David Wiggs and Teresa Schmidt. The Youngbergs said they were attracted to the business because it has been successful and stable.

Anna Youngberg said she is excited to grow the business and she has plans to expand into trade show displays as well as enter the Skagit County market.

For more information, call 676-7117.


Sustainable Connections to move offices

Sustainable Connections is moving Aug. 11 from its offices on the third floor of the Bellingham Towers at 119 N. Commercial St. to an office at 1701 Ellis St. Suite 235.

April Claxton, office and volunteer coordinator for Sustainable Connections, said the organization has been occupying four units totaling just less than 2,000 square feet in the Bellingham towers but the offices were not all connected.

Claxton said the larger office will unite Sustainable Connections into one large office that can be sectioned off for different departments.

“It will be nice because, right now, we don’t see everyone everyday,” Claxton said. “We hope the new office will contribute to the general team feeling.”

Claxton said the new office would be just less than 4,000 square feet, including a large meeting room where the organization can host its monthly member luncheons, new-member orientations and smaller workshops.

“We’re really excited about hosting our events on site,” Claxton said.

For more information about Sustainable Connections, call 647-7093 or visit


InfoCare plans for expansion

InfoCare, a commercial records storage center located at 3903 Spur Ridge Lane, is planning to build a 4,000-square-foot addition to its 10,000-square-foot facility.

The new space will be devoted entirely to records storage, said owner Howard Furst. The company has a three-level stacking system that stands 25 feet tall and allows the business to maximize its space.

“Business is going great and I’m almost out of space," Furst said.

InfoCare has been in Bellingham for 13 years and moved to its current location in 2004. For more information, call 676-4162 or visit


Help-U-Sell finds new office off Yew Street

Help-U-Sell Real Estate recently moved from its old office at 121 W. Kellogg Road to a new location at 2408 Yew St. next to Little Bugs Children’s Consignment.

The new office is slightly larger, about 1,000 square feet, but owner Dean Haskins said the location near Alabama Hill is much easier to get to and allows for better signage.

“Plus, this is walking distance from my house,” Haskins said, adding that traffic along Meridian Street was a hassle for customers. “Even my own parents wouldn’t come visit me in the office. Now my wife, kids, neighbors and clients can stop in easily at all hours.”

Help-U-Sell Real Estate sells residential properties and has been in Bellingham for two years. For more information, call 733-2800 or visit


Heating Green moves into storefront

Heating Green, an infrared radiant heating installation company, has moved from the Morse Square Condos to a 400-square-foot storefront at 1825 Franklin St.

Owner Jeff Caldwell said he is moving the business from his home in an effort to be more accessible for customers.

“The new location will give me a more professional, public presence,” Caldwell said.

For more information, call 715-4328 or visit


Drug and alcohol treatment center opens

Bellingham has a new drug and alcohol outpatient treatment center.

Bridges Treatment and Recovery received its state certification and opened its 2,300-square-foot office for business on July 10 at 1221 Fraser St., Suite E1 in the Haskell Business Center.

Administrator Dylan Brashear said he used to own part of a treatment center and had fond memories of working there.

“I just really missed it so I decided to start my own treatment center,” Brashear said.

Before opening Bridges, Brashear said he spent time refinishing countertops and running a day spa in Seattle, but he wanted to return to working in drug and alcohol treatment and counseling.

“It’s something I am passionate about, I guess,” Brashear said.

Bridges Treatment and Recovery offers intensive outpatient treatment, relapse prevention, DUI treatment and individual counseling.

For more information, call 714-8180 or visit


Boundary Bay to add panels to quiet taproom

Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro, located at 1107 Railroad Ave., is in the process of constructing 24 sound-dampening panels for its taproom, which hosts live music on most nights.

“Even when we don’t have music in there it gets loud with just people talking,” said owner Ed Bennett.

Most of the panels will be placed on the ceiling and will improve the general sound quality of the room, said general manager Janet Lightner. The company is constructing the panels itself and expects to have them all in place by October.

For more information, call 647-5593 or visit


RELectronics returns, will start new non-profit

RELectronics, a Bellingham-based electronics recycler, has a new 5,000-square-foot location at 1000 C St.

RELectronics collects electronics and either repairs them for re-sale in the business’ new retail area or dismantles them for recycling for a fee.

Greg Waters, board president for RELectronics, said the non-profit began as a RE Sources program in the basement of the old RE Store location at 600 W. Holly St. in 2004. But when the RE Store moved to its new location in the Fountain District, RELectronics moved above ground to take up 6,000 square feet of the building.

“No one was really doing electronics recycling,” Waters said. “So it just grew and grew.”

But as the program grew, its focus on electronics and sustainable technology led the program to part ways with RE Sources in late 2007 and to start looking for a new location.

“We wanted to create our own focus on advancing sustainable technology particularly,” Waters said.

RELectronics is in the process of starting its own non-profit, Community for the Advancement of Sustainable Technology (CAST), which is a volunteer effort designed to promote community-centered programs that pioneer sustainable technology or work to make existing technologies sustainable.

For more information about RELectronics, call 734-1235.


Port of Bellingham plans for 18-month wind power experiment

The Port of Bellingham, in partnership with Western Washington University and Bellingham Technical College, is planning to install a meteorological tower at 300 W. Laurel St. to collect wind data for 18 months.

Adam Fulton, a project engineer for the Port of Bellingham, said the 160-foot-tall, 6-inch-wide wind tower with 8-inch turbines could be installed on the former Georgia-Pacific property as soon as September.

Fulton said the tower will take wind measurement at three or four places along its elevation, then it will send that data to a computer program, which will be monitored by port officials.

“We are investigating the feasibility of wind power in our area,” Fulton said.

According to building permit data, the cost of the project is estimated at $5,000.

For more information, contact the Port of Bellingham at 676-2500.


Family Care Network moves HQ to Bellingham

Family Care Network (FCN), the largest provider of primary medical care services in Whatcom County, has moved its administrative offices and patient accounts center from Lynden to an 8,500-square-foot office at 709 W. Orchard Drive, Suite 4 in Bellingham.

Dr. David Lynch, FCN’s vice president for clinical-process improvement and business development, said FCN moved from its nearly 7,000-square-foot office at 873 Hinotes Court because it needed more space.

“Now we have three meeting rooms, which means we can get more work done,” Lynch said.

Initially, Lynch said, FCN moved to Lynden to be more centrally located among its 12 family medicine offices, which are spread out across Whatcom County in Bellingham, Birch Bay, Everson, Ferndale and Lynden. But Lynch said patients and employees will appreciate the move to Bellingham.

“Now we are in a location that will help us to service the greatest number of people,” Lynch said. “Plus, it will be more convenient for some of our employees to bike to work.”

FCN is an independent family practice founded in 1999 by local family physicians. It has 270 employees, 51 family doctors and nine mid-level practitioners working throughout its 12 offices.

For more information, call 318-8800 or visit


Java Town Espresso licenses Ferndale shop

Java Town Espresso now has a new Ferndale location at 5715 Barrett Road.

The new location is a two-window drive-through with some outdoor seating. The stand will sell coffee drinks, smoothies, pastries and breakfast sandwiches.

The owners of the new Ferndale Java Town Espresso, Kim and Lynda Alfreds, do not own the Bellingham location, but instead have a licensing agreement with Java Town founders Eric and Pamela Larson. The Larsons opened the first Java Town at 2715 Meridian St. in 1998.

Ferndale manager Denise Adams said the coffee stand will feature espresso roasts from Olympia’s Batdorf & Bronson. “It was designed to be bright and cheery,” Adams said. “So this will be a nice, fun place to work even in the winter months.”

For more information, call 383-0700.


DVD kiosks now in two local markets

Bellingham could see an influx of new DVD rental kiosks.

One Stop Movie Rental LLC, a licensed dealer of DVDNow kiosks, opened early last month with its first movie rental kiosks at Silver Beach Grocery in the Silver Beach neighborhood and Yorky’s Market in Fairhaven.

Co-owner James Rowe started the business with his wife, Andrea, and his father, former Bellingham City Councilman and former development director for the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, Pat Rowe.

James Rowe grew up in Bellingham but recently moved back from Arizona where he said the DVD kiosks are very popular.

“We came back here and saw that there were a few kiosks but it really hadn’t hit the way it has down there,” James said. “This is where we see the world going in terms of the one-stop convenience factor,” said.

James said he would like to see kiosks all over Bellingham but will wait to open in more locations after a 90-day trial run at its current two locations.

For more information about One Stop Movie Rental and movie availabilities, visit


Sound Plumbing & Heating closes

Sound Plumbing & Heating located at 2119 Lincoln St. closed last month.

Owner Mike Matheny said a combination of the economic downturn, issues with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, and outstanding debtors who went bankrupt led him to close his doors.

Matheny started as a one-man operation, then expanded to more than 15 employees. Matheny said May 1 was the business’s last day and he has been tying up loose ends.

“The phone just quit ringing,” Matheny said.

Sound Plumbing & Heating had offered plumbing, heating and air-conditioning installation and repairs since 1999.


QQ Li Restaurant to open in August

Bellingham will soon have a new Chinese restaurant.

QQ Li Restaurant, located at 505 32nd St. Suite 107 near Starvin Sam’s Mini Mart, is set to open in early August. The 2,200-square-foot space will include restaurant seating and a to-go counter for ready-made lunch entrees similar to a grocery deli, said owner QQ Li.

This is Li’s first time opening a restaurant, but she already has a strong following of students who stop by her lunch stand outside the Viking Union Building at Western Washington University, where she has been serving popular dishes such as pineapple chicken for two years.

Li said she likes the restaurant’s location in Happy Valley because it is close to campus and she said is hoping to capitalize on her well-known presence among the college crowd.

For more information, call 671-3540.


RH2 Engineering expanding

RH2 Engineering, located at 454 W. Horton Road, is planning to double its office space by the first quarter of 2009.

With the expansion, the firm will jump from five offices to 11 offices, said principlal Ken Thomas.

“We’ll be adding two positions immediately and then slowly filling the rest,” Thomas said. He said he expects to have a staff of 12 by the end of next year.

RH2 Engineering is a full-service civil engineering firm with six offices, all in Washington. For more information, call 676-0836 or visit


Escape Day Spa moves to Birch Bay

Escape Day Spa has moved into the Sandcastle resort in Birch Bay at 7862 Birch Bay Drive in the 3,200-square-foot location previously occupied by another day spa, Whisper on the Bay.

Owner Ulrike Bartlett said the business moved from its former location at 1344 King St. on June 15 and opened inside Sandcastle on June 27.

Bartlett likes the new location because clients will have access to the resort’s fitness room and pool. Plus, she said, the location has a view of the bay and is more accessible for county clientele.

“We have a lot of customers that come down from Lynden, Ferndale and Semiahmoo, so this will be closer for them,” she said. “I think it’s a step up.”

Escape Day Spa offers facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, waxing and other cosmetic services. Bartlett said the move won’t affect most services; however, certain laser medical services will not come online until September.

For more information, call 371-3660 or visit


Barron Heating moving to Ferndale

Barron Heating and Air Conditioning began construction last week on a new facility located at 5100 Pacific Highway in Ferndale.

The new facility will include a 19,000-square-foot retail building for both Barron Heating and Backyards, a subsidiary that focuses on spas and patio furniture, as well as an adjacent 16,000-square-foot building that will serve as a fabrication shop and warehouse.

The $5 million project is expected to be completed by spring of 2009. Barron Heating then will move from its Bellingham location at 4176 Meridian St.

“We’ve just totally outgrown this facility since it was built in 1975,” said Bill Pinkey, co-owner with John Barron of Barron Heating. “Also, access is becoming an issue for our customers due to the high traffic volume on Meridian Street.”

Barron Heating, founded in 1972, specializes in heating and air-conditioning systems, serving residential and commercial clients in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish counties. For more information, call (800) 328-7774 or visit


RBC Wealth Management moves to Barkley

RBC Wealth Management is planning to move from its current location on 515 Lakeway Drive to 3101 Newmarket St. Suite 101 in the Laurel Building by mid-October.

The new 4,300-square-foot space is more conveniently located for both clients and customers, said branch manager Scott Hume.

“It’s going to be a nice, comfortable environment to expand our presence in Bellingham,” Hume said.

For more information, call 671-5900.

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