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Published August 2006

Business Briefs

Hawthorn restaurant opens
at Smokey Point

The Restaurant at Hawthorn has opened at Hawthorn Inn & Suites at Smokey Point in Arlington, offering lunch and dinner menus in a remodeled, quality-dining venue that previously was O’Berg’s Restaurant at the hotel.

Unlike O’Berg’s, a private enterprise, the new facility is operated by the hotel, so it will be providing meals for chamber and service clubs, social groups, wedding receptions and other occasions at the hotel’s large conference center, as well as room service. The hotel also offers spa, salon and limousine services.

Arlington-Smokey Point chamber
prepares for new headquarters

The newly formed Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce is expected to announce the opening of its new headquarters soon in Pilchuck Plaza east of Smokey Point Boulevard, opposite the Smokey Point branch post office. The chamber office also will include a visitors’ information center.

Sharon Shaw, a prior member of the Smokey Point chamber, is the new — and first — executive director of the combined chambers. The chamber also will be electing a new president soon to replace Susan Nelson, former general manager of the Hawthorn Inn & Suites at Smokey Point, who previously was the first president of the new chamber group.

Skagit Valley Hospital takes over
cancer care at Arlington hospital

Skagit Valley Hospital assumed operations in mid-July of the cancer-care program at Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington.

“This is a formal extension of Skagit Valley Hospital’s cancer-care program, and we appreciate the opportunity to serve the people of our region,” said chief executive Gregg Davidson.

Dr. George Gjerset, an oncologist, will continue to see patients at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center at Arlington two days per week and three days a week in Mount Vernon. Skagit Valley Hospital also has hired the same certified oncology nurses who have staffed the Cascade Valley Hospital cancer-care clinic in recent years.

“I am very pleased we have been able to come to this agreement with Skagit Valley Hospital. It is important to us to be able to continue offering outpatient oncology treatments in Arlington,” said Cascade Valley Hospital Administrator Clark Jones.

The cancer-care program, located on the second floor of Cascade Valley Hospital, has exam rooms for patient appointments with physicians, a suite for chemotherapy treatment and other services.

Wicks Aircraft Supply opens
at Arlington Airport

The first branch office of Wicks Aircraft Supply of Highland, Ill., has opened at Arlington Airport, following a friendship that developed over the past two years between the owner of Wicks and Jim Scott, manager of the Arlington Fly-In and operator of an aircraft engine repair facility at the airport.

Scott and his wife, Denise, who’s also a pilot, opened the store at the 38th annual NWEAA Fly-In last month on the west side of the airport. Scott said the aircraft parts and service center received a warm welcome at the airfield and from the thousands of fly-in visitors, adding that he’s already discussing an expansion of the store to display and sell more of Wicks’ products.

“We were packed in here during the air show,” he said. “There’s no place close that carries the wide range of aircraft parts, flight instruments, manuals and other items available from the store or Wicks’ 450-page catalog.”

North county shopping centers
planning fall openings

In Marysville, construction is moving forward for the fall opening of Lakewood Crossing, the giant new shopping center being built at Smokey Point on the west side of I-5. Signs are now up on the front walls of its new Costco and Target stores, and site preparation for several smaller stores continues. Costco expects to open Sept. 21, while Target plans to open Oct. 1.

About the same time, Kohl’s department store should be opening as the anchor tenant for a sprawling retail center under construction at 116th Street in north Maryville. The Gateway Shopping Center property stretches between I-5 and SR 99.

State awards biogas power plant
$1.5 million loan

A biogas power plant proposed on a former prison farm south of Monroe locked in a $1.5 million loan from the state in July.

“We think it’s outstanding. We are certainly glad we are selected,” said Dale Reiner, who is leading the effort to build the plant.

Local dairy farmers, the Tulalip Tribes and Northwest Chinook Recovery, a Monroe-based environmental group, have formed Qualco Energy, a nonprofit partnership, to build the $3 million plant.

The plant would produce electricity by burning methane gas from decomposing cow manure. The plant also would produce fertilizer as a byproduct.

The project is among seven bioenergy projects that would receive a total of $6.75 million in loans from the state. The loans charge a 1 percent annual interest rate and need to be repaid within 10 years.

Qualco Energy hopes to sell electricity to the Snohomish County PUD from the biogas plant’s 277-acre parcel a few miles from Monroe. Reiner hopes the plant will begin producing electricity in early 2007.

Galaxy Monroe 12 installs
digital projectors

Galaxy Monroe 12 recently expanded its digital cinema options with its installation of DLP Cinema projectors, making all 12 of the auditoriums fully digital, said Galaxy Theatres LLC.

Using digital projection and drawing from a palette of 35 trillion color combinations, Digital Light Processing technology reproduces the exact image of the digital master, according to the movie theater.

For its conversion to digital cinema, Galaxy Theatres contracted with Christie/AIX, a subsidiary of Access Integrated Technologies Inc. partnered with Christie Digital.

FDA rejects Nastech’s application
for osteoporosis treatment

Bothell-based Nastech Pharmaceutical Co. said in July that the Food and Drug Administration has rejected its application for a nasal spray aimed at treating osteoporosis.

The FDA’s letter to Nastech expressed concern that the interaction between the drug, calcitonin-salmon, and a preservative in the nasal spray could produce an immune response or allergic reaction in some people.

Nastech indicated no such reactions were observed during its clinical trials for the drug.

“But we weren’t specifically looking at that,” said Steven Quay, Nastech’s chief executive officer.

Calcitonin is not a new drug. Novartis Pharmaceuticals has sold it in nasal spray form under the Miacalcin brand name since it was approved more than a decade ago.

Because of that history, Nastech’s generic form of the drug was submitted to the FDA with an abbreviated new drug application in early 2004. The abbreviated application usually requires less time and fewer clinical trials than a typical new drug application.

But the shorter application process for a generic drug regulates how much clinical research a company can do.

Quay said Nastech is looking for studies and information that addresses the FDA’s concerns. However, the longer — and more expensive — application process may be required to gain approval for the drug. If that’s the case, Quay said, Nastech has to review its options.

Big Lots opens in Lynnwood
A new store, Lynnwood Big Lots, held a grand-opening celebration in July. The chain, based in Columbus, Ohio, features heavily discounted, name-brand merchandise.

The manager of the new Lynnwood store, located at 5710 196th St. SW., is Theresa Holman.

During the grand-opening festivities, the company donated $2,500 to the Lynnwood library.

Bothell’s SonoSite wins
design award

SonoSite Inc., the Bothell-based maker of hand-carried ultrasound machines, said that its MicroMaxx system was a winner at this year’s Industrial Design Excellence Awards.

The MicroMaxx was one of 106 award winners out of 1,494 applicants. This was SonoSite’s third IDEA winner. SonoSite’s original model, the 180, won in 2000, and the company’s iLook won in 2003. The new MicroMaxx weighs only 8 pounds.

Sterling acquires Lynnwood Financial
Spokane-based Sterling Financial Corp. has completed its acquisition of Lynnwood Financial Group. Lynnwood Financial is the parent corporation of Golf Savings Bank.

Lynnwood shareholders recently approved the acquisition, which calls for Golf to merge into Sterling, leaving it as the surviving entity. Golf Savings and Golf Escrow Co. will become Sterling subsidiaries.

Sterling offered $15.75 million and 1.8 million shares of Sterling stock in exchange for all Lynnwood Financial shares.

Urban Outfitters joins Alderwood mall
Alderwood mall in Lynnwood said a new Urban Outfitters store, the chain’s first Snohomish County location, will open in August near the Terraces food court. The 10,800-square-foot store will feature men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and gifts.

Five other new stores have opened this summer at Alderwood, including For Love 21, Romy, Vertigo, BoLoco and Little Tokyo. Wet Seal relocated close to JC Penney, while Champs and FYE relocated nearby to make room for Urban Outfitters. Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker and Panda Express recently remodeled.

Fiber-optic network
available in Bothell

Verizon said its new FiOS fiber-optic network for residential customers is now available to about 3,000 customers in the Kirkland and Bothell areas.

The network, which brings fiber-optic lines to customers’ doorsteps, eventually will offer high-speed Internet access, as well as video, data and voice services.

The telecommunications company plans to make the network available to more than 60,000 customers in south Snohomish County and parts of King County by the end of 2006. Residential customers who want to determine whether they can get the service can go to www.verizonfios.com.

Tailgater Joe’s Sports Bar opens
Local restaurateur Joel Starr, owner of The Flying Pig Food and Beverage Co., recently opened Tailgater Joe’s Sports Bar: “A sports bar like no other — period.”

Located at 1805 Hewitt Ave. in Everett, the location has been home to four different restaurants and bars over the past eight years, according to Tailgater Joe’s.

In February, Starr and business partners Dan Campbell and Joe Johnson took possession of the building and began a remodel that includes 17 televisions, seven of which are high definition, and a custom-built bar poured of concrete with a stainless-steel chill plate.

Other renovation includes extensive metal work throughout. Upstairs, there are darts, video games and “a pool table with a view,” according to Tailgater Joe’s. The sports bar has a seating capacity of at least 150 and a menu filled with “tailgate’n grub.”

Two new community banks
enter Everett market

After months of planning and raising startup funding, Mountain Pacific Bank and the Bank of Everett are open for business.

Mountain Pacific opened in late July in the new Everett Gateway Center at 3732 Broadway, while the Bank of Everett opened in late June at 2722 Colby Ave. in downtown Everett. The building, which formerly was the Everett Professional Center, has been renamed the Bank of Everett Tower.

“The positive response from the community has been overwhelming,” said Mike Deller, chief executive of the Bank of Everett. “We have a local shareholder base; a staff of experienced bankers that, combined, have more than 200 years’ banking experience; and an outstanding board of directors composed of community business and civic leaders. I believe that is reflected in the brisk deposit and loan activity we have had in the few days we have been open. ”

Mark Duffy, chief executive of Mountain Pacific Bank, also is pleased with the community support his bank has received and the quality of its management team, which includes three former presidents of local banks. Among them are Duffy, former president and chief operating officer of Coastal Community Bank; Graham Haight, Mountain Pacific’s executive vice president and chief lending officer and former president, chief operating officer and chief lending officer for The Bank of Washington; and Dale Lyski, chairman of Mountain Pacific’s board and former president of the Commercial Bank of Everett.

Regal Cinemas opens
16-screen theater at Everett Mall

Regal Cinemas’ Everett Mall Stadium 16 opened in July, with 16 screens, stadium seating and digital sound systems. With the opening of Regal’s new cinema, the Everett Mall 3 theater inside the shopping center and the nearby Everett 9 theater on Everett Mall Way were shut down.

Qdoba Mexican Grill opens
Qdoba Mexican Grill recently opened its 10th location in the Puget Sound area, at 909 SE Everett Mall Way in Everett

As part of the grand-opening celebration, Qdoba has teamed up with KJR-FM to give away a September cruise to Mexico. The contest, running through Aug. 6, requires entrants to complete an entry form at any of its area Qdoba restaurants, with no purchase necessary.

The new Everett store is under the direction of Armando Resendiz, a current member of the Qdoba family, who managed the Oak Tree location in Washington for the past five years.

The new store will seat a total of 87 people and employ 14.

Alliance awarded $616,500 grant
to improve health care

The Puget Sound Health Alliance recently was awarded a three-year grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to engage patients and physicians to improve health care in Washington state, with particular focus on King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

Only three other communities across the nation — Memphis, Minneapolis/St.Paul and Detroit — received similar pilot grants, according to the nonprofit alliance.

The group said it plans to use the $616,500 grant in two specific areas: to boost progress in aligning incentives for physicians and other providers to improve quality and affordability of care and to encourage consumers to seek out care based on what is effective and affordable.

Studio H Filmworks changing name
Snohomish County-based Studio H Filmworks is changing its name to Tall Taurus Media as of Aug. 1 and providing a wider range of multimedia.

The company will specialize in all multimedia production needs including commercials, corporate videos, custom projects, cartoon/3-D animation and Web design, according to Tall Taurus.

For more information, contact Jonathan Holbrook by sending e-mail to talltaurusmedia@gmail.com.

County, Port of Everett win
grants to decrease diesel emissions

Snohomish County and the Port of Everett recently were awarded grants from Washington state’s Department of Ecology to install diesel emission control devices on their existing diesel-powered vehicles and equipment.

“This grant of approximately $127,500 will allow us to dramatically lower toxic emissions from at least another 85 diesel vehicles,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

As part of the grant, DOE will visit the Port of Everett in August to inspect the port’s marine terminal equipment and determine which specific marine terminal yard equipment best suits the retrofit.

“This grant will allow us the opportunity to reduce diesel emissions at our marine terminals and help improve the air quality for port district residents,” said John Mohr, executive director for the Port of Everett.

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© 2006 The Daily Herald Co., Everett, WA