THE HERALD BUSINESS JOURNAL    EVERETT, WASHINGTON

APRIL 23, 2014 Search 
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Bickford Motors photo 
(click to enlarge)
“Focus Rally: America” contest follower Navi Singh (right) picked up his new 2012 Ford Focus at Bickford Motors in Snohomish in July. The Mill Creek resident won the car by supporting a Seattle-based team that beat out five other national teams while traveling across the country in an interactive online road rally competition earlier this year. Shown live on Hulu.com, “Focus Rally: America” attracted more than 30,000 “Focus Followers” who supported and assisted their teams to complete tasks and challenges during the competition viewers watched online. By doing so, followers became eligible to win prizes, including vehicles and trips. Congratulating Singh is Bickford Motors general manager Mike Bickford.
Contributed photo 
(click to enlarge)
Staples general manager Greg Cranford (right) presented the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County’s Dan Curley with a $1,500 donation at the opening ceremony of the first Staples store in Lake Stevens on July 26. The club has been selected as the recipient of school supplies collected through Staples for Students, a back-to-school supply drive made possible by Staples and DoSomething.org.
Contributed photo 
(click to enlarge)
The sixth annual Previously Loved Art Sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at ArtWorks at Second Street and Dayton Avenue in Edmonds.

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Jim Davis, Editor
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Published: Thursday, July 28, 2011

Business Briefs

Opus Community Foundation gives grants

IRVINE, Calif. — Opus Bank and the Opus Community Foundation announced that the Foundation's Board of Directors approved grants for seven Snohomish County nonprofit organizations.

Bridgeways received a grant for their Supported Employment Program, which provides mental health services and programs in that help facilitate growth, employment and independence for those with mental illnesses.

Housing Hope received a grant to support their programs, which provide affordable housing, education and employment support, child care and development services and adult life skills education to low income or very low income individuals and families.

Imagine Children's Museum of Everett received a grant to support their free Friday night live nights, which gives low-income children and families the opportunity to visit the museum.

Kids Kloset received a grant to support their all-volunteer program, which provides new and quality used clothing, shoes and hygiene products for free twice yearly to children from low-income families in the Arlington, Darrington and Lakewood school districts.

Little Red School House received a grant to support their program that provides occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, special educators and counselors to families with developmentally delayed children up to age 3.

Village Theatre of Issaquah and Everett received a grant to support and fund scholarships for at-risk youth and children from low income families.

Volunteers of America-Western Washington received a grant to support their child-care and preschool programs, which help low-income parents currently enrolled in a school or work training program with child care so they can focus on improving their marketability in the workforce.

Make nominations by Aug. 8 for 2012 Schack Art Awards

EVERETT — The Arts Council of Snohomish County is accepting nominations for Artist of the Year and Art Advocate of the Year. Each recipient is honored with a Schack Art Center lifetime membership. Nominations are due at 5 p.m., Monday, Aug. 8.

Artist of the Year nominees must be accomplished artists working in Snohomish County who have achieved a major body of work. This professional artist is someone who is recognized by his or her peers for their considerable accomplishments and contributions to the visual arts.

Nominees for the Art Advocate of the Year Award must be a recognized leader in arts education or mentoring and community involvement who demonstrates forward thinking and enthusiasm for the visual arts.

Download a nomination form at www.schack.org/announcements/seeking-nominations-for-2012-schack-awards.

Staples opens store in Lake Stevens

LAKE STEVENS — Staples Inc., the world's largest office products company, opened its first store in Lake Stevens on July 26 with a $1,500 donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County.

Staples general manager Greg Cranford joined Lake Stevens Mayor Vern Little and representatives from Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County's Bargreen Boys & Girls Club in a unique ribbon-shredding ceremony to officially open the new store at 621 Highway 9 NE in the Frontier Village Shopping Center. Greater Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce representatives also attended.

Comments sought by Aug. 5 on Port Gardner cleanup

OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Ecology invites the public to review and comment on draft documents prepared by the Port of Everett for a proposed cleanup of the North Marina West End site on Port Gardner in Everett until Friday, Aug. 5.

The documents include a draft remedial investigation and feasibility study for the site, a draft cleanup action plan and a draft consent decree that details the legal agreement made between Ecology and the port regarding actions needed to protect human health and the environment at the site, located between 11th and 14th streets off W. Marine View Drive.

View copies of the draft documents at the Everett Public Library, 2702 Hoyt Ave., or online at tinyurl.com/SCBJGardner.

Send comments on the draft documents through Aug. 5 to Andy Kallus, site manager, Washington Department of Ecology, Toxics Cleanup Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, or email them to Andrew.Kallus@ecy.wa.gov.

Monroe Chamber seeks fair booth volunteers

MONROE — The Monroe Chamber of Commerce needs volunteers for 30 four-hour shifts in the chamber's booth at the Evergreen State Fair.

Shifts run the duration of the fair through Sept. 5. The chamber provides a parking and entry pass to the fair the day each volunteer is scheduled to work the booth.

Volunteers will be invited to an appreciation dinner on Aug. 31 and get concert tickets to see Cheap Trick that night.

Call 360-794-5488 to sign up.

Jack & Jill sale set in Lynnwood

LYNNWOOD — The Lynnwood Convention Center will host the Jack & Jill Sale on Aug. 5 and 6.

The Jack & Jill Sale is the region's premier resale children's clothing event and will focus on fall and winter items for its back to school sale. Jack & Jill organizes more than 125 local consignors, vendors and sponsors, bringing anything and everything for children up to age 12 and maternity items. The event provides the community access to a broad selection of high-quality items at great prices, helping families stretch their dollars.

Events are open to the public from 10 a.m to 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6. Early admission is at 9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 5 with a donation to the baby food and diaper drive.

For more information, go to www.thejackandjillsale.com.

New Urban Centers Design Review Board seeks members

EVERETT -- Snohomish County is seeking well-informed citizens with a passion for neighborhood land-use issues, design standards and design review to serve as members of a newly created Urban Centers Design Review Board.

The Urban Centers Design Review Board was created as part of the adoption of the Urban Center Development Code, chapter 30.34A of the Snohomish County Code. The board is authorized under SCC 30.34A.175 and serves in an advisory role for urban center development applications.

Proposed projects will be reviewed by the new board only when an applicant fails to reach a design agreement with the city or town in whose urban growth area the project is located or borders. The board’s responsibility then is to hold a public meeting and provide recommendations to Snohomish County’s Department of Planning and Development Services and the applicant.

To apply, go to www.snoco.org and search “Urban Centers Design Review Board.” Applications will be accepted until Aug. 19.

For more information, contact David Killingstad at 425-388-3311 or d.killingstad@snoco.org.

‘Tour de Poker' aids Heart Association

EVERETT — For this poker run, you'll have to get your heart pumping.

Shawn O'Donnell's American Grill & Irish Pub is hosting a novel poker run geared for bicycles at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. And the idea is fitting because the event was organized to help raise money for the local American Heart Association chapter. All of the $25 registration fee will be donated to the AHA.

Cyclists can choose a 26- or 44-mile loop, all of which begin at O'Donnell's at 122 128th St. SE. The short route loops into Everett and Snohomish. The longer route also includes Monroe before heading back to O'Donnell's. Riders visit checkpoints along the designated route to draw a “poker card,” and the object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the ride to win the grand prize. There will also be a prize for the best “heart” poker hand, in the spirit of supporting the AHA.

Find registration information and maps at www.bicyclepokerrun.com. Online registration is now open or cyclists can register at the event. The ride will be held rain or shine. Helmets are required. Refreshments will be available along the routes.

Department of Revenue to move Everett office's work to Bothell

EVERETT — The state Department of Revenue will close its Everett field office Aug. 26 and begin providing taxpayer assistance from its Bothell office Aug. 30.

The Bothell office, located at 19800 North Creek Parkway, Suite 101, will have a customer service counter where taxpayers can file returns, make payments and receive business tax help.

Consolidating the two offices will reduce the agency's operating costs, while allowing continued face-to-face assistance to taxpayers north of Seattle, said agency director Suzan DelBene.

The Bothell office will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The telephone number will be 425-984-6400. Taxpayers also can call the department at 800-647-7706 or go to www.dor.wa.gov.

Try online export assistance portal

PULLMAN — The Washington SBDC has launched an online export assistance portal for Washington small-business owners who want to explore and expand their international trade.

The no-cost portal includes an export readiness assessment, export resources, an interactive tool defining the trade process and online training. This guide is a great resource for business owners doing some initial exploration, as well as business owners committed to moving forward in international markets.

Find the portal at export.wsbdc.org. It can be used independently or as part of one-on-one consultations with a Washington SBDC international trade specialist.

Free performance sports screening for student athletes

ARLINGTON — From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 23, Arlington Physical Therapy and Sports Performance Center at 7728 204th St. NE invites all student athletes to visit for free maximum performance sports screenings.

The screening includes a functional assessment, exercises to help overcome deficits, talking to a physical therapist and nutritional advice. The goal is to help student athletes perform to their maximum capacity. Marge Taylor will coordinate the screening.

For information or to register, call 360-403-8250.

Gas station, parking lot expansion at Angel of the Winds Casino

ARLINGTON — Stillaguamish Tribal elders broke ground for a new gas station and parking lot expansion at Arlington's Angel of the Winds Casino in a ceremony on July 6. The gas station, to be built on the southeast corner of the property, will consist of eight pumps and provide unleaded, mid-grade and premium gas and diesel.

Angel of the Winds has continued to grow since it opened in October 2004. In 2009, space for new food and entertainment options totaling 84,000 square feet were added to the casino along with a second entrance.

The casino is located at 3438 Stoluckquamish Lane, east of I-5 exit 210.

PUD asks for eyes on potential wire thieves

EVERETT — Snohomish County Public Utility District asks customers that if they see suspicious activity around utility poles, substations or transformers, they should call 911 to report it. With rising prices for metals, particularly copper, utilities are seeing more and more cases of wire theft.

Each theft can cost the PUD hundreds or thousands of dollars since the utility not only has to replace the metal, but must make repairs to damaged equipment. The property damage by thieves stealing wire and metal often exceeds by 10 times or more the value of the materials stolen as they break into vehicles, supply yards and substations.

United Way seeks Days of Caring volunteers

EVERETT — Volunteer registration is now open for United Way's Days of Caring, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23 and 24 at sites around Snohomish County.

Teams and individuals can go to www.uwsc.org and click on Days of Caring or Volunteer to find projects, which are being added daily. They include painting, building, cleaning, environmental rehabilitation and reading to kids.

Agencies can register their 2011 Days of Caring projects through Aug. 31. Volunteers may register through Sept. 12. Last year, there were 950 Days of Caring volunteers at 50 projects giving more than 5,225 hours valued at $108,000.

For more information, call 425-374-5549 or email volunteer@uwsc.org.

Get mortgage help at free event Aug. 20

EVERETT — For those struggling to pay a mortgage because of a subprime loan, a job loss or a one-time financial crisis such as an illness or divorce can get help at a free foreclosure prevention event.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at Cascade High School, 801 E. Casino Road, Everett.

Sponsored by the Snohomish County Asset Building Coalition, workshops will offer homeowners information on modifying their loans and monthly mortgage payments, mediation laws and rebuilding their financial life if foreclosure results. Counselors from Parkview Services, ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, American Financial Solutions and Apprisen will assist. Workshops on the foreclosure process, avoiding foreclosure scams, repairing credit scores and budgeting are also offered.

Bring a detailed list of all household expenses and all household income, documentation for any other income (i.e. rental income or unemployment), any recent correspondence related to your home and your most current mortgage statement.

The event is sponsored by United Way of Snohomish County, Snohomish County Asset Building Coalition, and the state Department of Financial Services. The Northwest Justice Project will provide on-site resources.

For more information or to speak with a housing counselor before the event, go to www.homeownership.wa.gov or call 877-894-HOME.

Lynnwood bank gets capital infusion

WASHINGTON — The first wave of capital has been released to six community banks nationwide, including one in Lynnwood, from the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF).

U&I Financial Corp. of Lynnwood is receiving $5.5 million from the fund.

Under the SBLF, community banks with assets of $10 billion and under were able to apply for financing from the Treasury at attractive rates, bolstering community bank capital levels so that they can increase lending to small businesses. Banks that show significant increases in small business lending — loans of $10 million or less to businesses with revenues of $50 million or less — can access SBLF funding at rates as low as one percent.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., was instrumental in winning passage of the fund. The fund became law last September as part of the Small Business Jobs Act.

Computer and electronics donations are sought for rehab

LAKE STEVENS — Sherwood Community Services and Hawks IT Solutions have joined forces to develop a computer restoration training program to benefit people with autism, developmental delays and cerebral palsy. They are accepting donations of electronic devices such as computers, phones, iPads, iPods and more.

Sherwood is a nonprofit that provides services to people with disabilities throughout Snohomish County.

Through the computer restoration training program, donated devices provide technological training and education for clients with disabilities in the Career Connection program. The knowledge and experience they gain will enhance their job qualifications and provide independence.

Refurbished computers are sold at below-market prices. Proceeds are used to support Sherwood and their clients.

They accept working and nonworking electronics. The drop-off location is at Sherwood Community Services, 402 91st Ave. NE, Lake Stevens. For more information, call 425-334-4071.

Hobby Lobby to open store in Lynnwood

LYNNWOOD — Hobby Lobby Stores, a privately held national retail chain of arts and crafts stores, has signed a lease to open a new store in Lynnwood.

The 56,000-square-foot retail facility is located at 60th Avenue W. and Highway 99 near the Lynnwood Shopping Center. It's expected to open this year and will employ 35 to 50 people. Other Hobby Lobby stores in Washington are located in Spokane Valley and Kennewick. At least two other new locations in the state are under consideration.

A Taste of Edmonds to celebrate 29th year

EDMONDS — A Taste of Edmonds is celebrating its 29th birthday Aug. 12-14 at Civic Playfield.

The event, presented by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, will feature dozens of food vendors, live music and entertainment, arts and crafts booths, beer and wine gardens and kids' activities. The Smithereens, the New Jersey rock band that had a string of hits in the late 1980s, will headline on the Main Stage at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12.

Last year's festival generated $19,000 for local service clubs.

Free parking and a free shuttle service will be offered from Edmonds-Woodway High School.

For more information, call 425-670-1496 or go to www.atasteofedmonds.org or www.facebook.com/atasteofedmonds.

Sculpture exhibit features NW artists

EVERETT — Artworks representing a variety of styles from seven Puget Sound-area artists are being installed as part of a temporary sculpture exhibit at the Snohomish County Courthouse Plaza.

The sculpture exhibition will include “The Dancing Bears” by James Madison, Jim Shields' “The Ant,” Lance Carleton's “Seeds of Change,” “3,600 Flags” by Aaron Haba, “Elwha Tears” by Al Adams, “George and his Curious Courthouse Adventure” by Debbi Rhodes and James Lapp's “Adam and Eve.”

For information, call 425-388-3186 or go to www.snocoarts.org.

Commercial driver license fees double

OLYMPIA — Fees for new or renewed commercial driver licenses increased from $30 to $61 on July 22.

This change was a result of the state budget that the Legislature adopted in May. The fees will continue to be deposited in the state highway safety fund.

There are about 200,000 commercial drivers or commercial permit holders in Washington. Typically, drivers operating buses, single vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or more, truck and trailer combinations or vehicles transporting hazardous materials must hold a commercial driver license.

For more information, go to www.dol.wa.gov.

Snohomish Health District's H1N1 response gets national award

The Snohomish Health District was honored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials at its annual conference in Hartford, Conn., on July 21 for developing and implementing a unique H1N1 vaccination delivery program with community partners during the 2009-2010 influenza season.

“Public-private Partnership to Deliver H1N1 Vaccinations in Snohomish County, Washington” was one of 41 programs developed by a local health department selected from across the nation to receive NACCHO's Model Practice Award. Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer and director of Snohomish Health District, received the award on behalf of his agency.

Vern Fonk Insurance adds more offices

SEATTLE — Vern Fonk Insurance, a rapidly growing provider of auto, home and business insurance with a location in Everett, is expanding.

Vern Fonk acquired American Insurance Services in Port Angeles and Specialty Auto Insurance in Lynnwood while also opening new locations in Silverdale, Lacey and Burlington.

Contract awarded to Senior Services

MUKILTEO — Senior Services of Snohomish County was recently awarded the ADA service contract by Community Transit to continue operation of the DART service. Senior Services has been the only service provider for Community Transit in the history of the DART program.

Darren Brugmann, director of transportation for Senior Services, said he was proud of what they do for Community Transit and for the disabled of Snohomish County and equally proud of the other services the agency does for the community. He said it was tremendous for a private nonprofit and a government entity to work so well together for so many years.

Previously Loved Art Sale set for Sept. 10

EDMONDS — The sixth annual Previously Loved Art Sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10 at ArtWorks on Second Avenue and Dayton Street in Edmonds.

This popular event provides a great opportunity to find previously loved paintings, drawings, sculpture, art posters, crafts, art books or periodicals, art supplies, frames or almost any type of art — everything from blank canvases to higher-end art.

Organizers are accepting donations of art any time up to and including the day of the sale. Bring donations to ArtWorks any Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. or call 425-774-6049 to make an appointment for drop off or for more information. Donations are tax deductible.

County benefits from states' drug settlement

OLYMPIA — Attorneys general reached a $33 million multistate settlement with Pfizer Inc. in September 2009 related to the drug company's alleged improper marketing of the antipsychotic drug, Geodon.

Washington received $790,000, of which Snohomish County Human Services will get $84,700 to support the Chemical Dependency Service Components program. Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington State will get $140,300 to fund youth mental health initiatives.

Amtrak Cascades ridership soars

OLYMPIA — With chronic mudslides and disruptions in the rearview mirror, Amtrak Cascades rebounded in the second quarter of 2011, surpassing both monthly and quarterly ridership records reached in 2010.

After an unusually rough start in the first three months of this year, ridership for April, May and June between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Ore., soared to 231,194 passengers, the highest second-quarter totals since the service started in 1994. Second-quarter ridership numbers increased 8 percent, compared with the second quarter of 2010, with 16,550 new passengers. June had the highest ridership increase of the three months with 78,839 passengers, up 10 percent over the previous June.

Taxable retail sales increase 1.5 percent

OLYMPIA — Taxable retail sales increased 1.5 percent to $23 billion during the first quarter of 2011 over year-earlier results, the Department of Revenue reported last month.

Retail trade increased 4.2 percent to $10.7 billion compared to the first quarter of 2010. Retail trade is a subset of all taxable retail sales that includes retailers but excludes other industries such as services and construction.

Among major industries, the construction sector was down 9.8 percent to $3.2 billion, but sales by new and used car dealers jumped 11.9 percent to $1.9 billion. Accommodations and food services rose 4.6 percent to $2.6 billion, while building materials, garden equipment and supplies sales dropped 8.6 percent to $842 million. Despite positive numbers in most retail sectors, sales by general merchandise stores dropped 0.3 percent to $2.2 billion.

Taxable retail sales and retail trade by county and city, and a breakdown of sales statewide by industry are available at dor.wa.gov/Content/AboutUs/StatisticsAndReports/2011/qbr111/Default.aspx.

Interactive system tracks campus' utility usage

BOTHELL — Real-time utility dashboard displays have been installed on the campus shared by University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia Community College to raise awareness of energy usage.

The touch-screen displays provide data on the campus's consumption of natural gas and electricity, and on the energy generated by the campus's solar arrays. A unique feature of the dashboard is its ability to compare consumption between buildings on campus. The comparison feature enables the system to serve as a platform for energy-savings competitions between campuses or buildings.

Tony Guerrero, assistant vice chancellor for facilities services, said the university will evaluate the project's success in terms of how well it reinforces awareness and utility conservation behaviors on campus. If successful, more monitors may be installed. Currently there are three dashboard monitors in use.

The campus is also purchasing special water meters in order to view water use on the dashboard.

Boeing EA-18G Growlers complete combat deployment

Boeing EA-18G Growlers operated by U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron VAQ-132 safely returned to their home base at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island last month after completing an eight-month deployment that included combat operations in the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility.

Additional EA-18Gs are deployed with electronic attack squadron VAQ-141 aboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, marking the aircraft's first sea-based deployment. VAQ-141 is expected to conduct support missions as part of Carrier Air Wing Eight in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions.

A third electronic attack squadron, VAQ-138, recently deployed to a land-based location.

Fluke's Network Time Machine IDs problems

EVERETT — Fluke Networks has announced a new version of its leading Network Time Machine, with new capabilities that make it an all-in-one, plug-and-play appliance that provides both instant identification of network versus server problems and root cause analysis of network and application problems.

The new features incorporate the company's proprietary visual fault domain isolation technology that graphically identifies where problems exist. The software, a free upgrade for customers with an active support agreement, is available now. For more information, go to www.flukenetworks.com/ntminfo.

Cardiac Science gains Japanese approval

BOTHELL— Cardiac Science Corp., a global leader in automated external defibrillators and diagnostic cardiac monitoring devices, said the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has approved a new model of its Powerheart G3 AED.

The company is partnering with Omron Healthcare to distribute its AEDs in Japan. Japan-based Omron is a leading health-care company dedicated to prevention of heart disease.

Japan is the second largest AED market in the world with 65,000 AEDs sold annually. Cardiac Science and Omron Healthcare are currently engaged in market launch preparations, with commercial release and first revenue sales expected in August.

BioLife Solutions has record revenue

BOTHELL — BioLife Solutions Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of clinical grade biopreservation media products for cells and tissues, has announced preliminary revenue of $623,000 for its second quarter that ended June 30. This was an increase of 33 percent compared to revenue of $467,771 reported in the same period last year.

Founded in 1998, BioLife Solutions develops, manufactures and markets patented hypothermic storage-transport and cryopreservation (freeze) media products for cells, tissues and organs. The company also performs contract media manufacturing and contract research and development. BioLife Solutions' proprietary HypoThermosol and CryoStor platform of biopreservation media products are marketed to academic research institutions, hospitals and commercial companies involved in cell therapy, tissue engineering, cord blood banking, drug discovery and toxicology testing.

Consumer protection case settlements boost nonprofits

SEATTLE — Programs to help Washington homeowners avoid foreclosure and improve the lives of mental health patients and those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases were among those recently awarded grants by the state Attorney General's Office. The money was paid by defendants in consumer protection cases.

Funds from an October 2010 settlement agreement with Wells Fargo will help the Washington State Bar Association's Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project. A settlement with Pfizer Inc. will benefit Snohomish County Human Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington State, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's Northwest Chapter and others.

A $1.57 million settlement with Seroquel manufacturer AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals is to benefit public mental health programs while a settlement with Intelius was paid into the state's general fund.

SBA and Red Cross unite for business disaster preparation

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration and the American Red Cross have joined forces to intensify outreach efforts to educate the public about the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place.

Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, said that between 15 to 40 percent of businesses fail following a natural or man-made disaster.

The core of the SBA-Red Cross agreement is a plan to work with SBA District Offices and its resource partners such as SCORE, Small Business Development Centers and Women's Business Development Centers to promote and sponsor preparedness training workshops with local Red Cross chapters.

The two agencies will also work to increase awareness in the business community about the Red Cross Ready Rating program. Ready Rating is a free, self-paced, web-based membership program that helps a business measure its ability to deal with emergencies, and gives customized feedback on how to improve those efforts.

Clearwire expands local 4G wireless coverage area

Clearwire, Comcast and Sprint announced an expansion of the Clearwire 4G network footprint and key capacity upgrades for mobile broadband customers in the greater Puget Sound area.

The regional Clear, Xfinity Internet 2go and Sprint 4G service area has added coverage for an additional 240,000 people. Now, nearly 3 million Puget Sound area residents have access to Clearwire's 4G mobile broadband network.

Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville and the Seattle Hill-Silver Firs area in Snohomish County now have enhanced capacity and expanded coverage.

PUD offers free home energy assessments

EVERETT — For a limited time, when five Snohomish County households team up — family, friends and neighbors — the utility will offer free energy assessments for each home, which would normally cost up to $500. With the personalized reports from the PUD, customers are better able to prioritize energy saving measures in their homes.

Assessments examine a range of energy-related components, including insulation, windows, heating systems and ductwork, appliances, electronics, thermostats and lighting. The report recommends simple, free and low-cost actions as well as efficiency investments.

As an added benefit, participating customers will be eligible to receive an enhanced $125 rebate for purchasing qualifying Energy Star refrigerators. Customers with electrically heated homes can qualify for insulation incentives that are 25 percent higher than the PUD normally offers.

To participate, five or more households need to team up and submit application documents together. Detailed program instructions and application documents are available at www.snopud.com/cpassessment or by calling the PUD Energy Hotline at 425-783-1700. The free energy assessments are available for a limited time only on a first-come, first-served basis.

The home energy assessments are part of the Community Power! program, a partnership between the PUD and Snohomish County. Funding also comes from federal stimulus grants to help bring energy efficiency to communities.

Boeing delivers first 777-300ER to Air China

EVERETT — Boeing delivered the first 777-300ER (extended range) to Air China, the flag carrier of the People's Republic of China. The new airplane is the first of 19 777-300ERs Air China has on order with Boeing and Air China becomes the first airline on the Chinese mainland to operate the new generation 777 family member.

“The introduction of this brand new aircraft is not only a milestone in the cooperation history between Boeing and Air China, but also an important symbol to deepen our relationship,” said He Li, vice president of Air China.

With this delivery, Boeing is scheduled to deliver an additional three 777-300ERs to Air China by the end of 2011. Air China will use the airplanes for route expansion including direct routes to Frankfurt, London and Paris, as well as for gradual replacement of the Boeing 747-400s currently serving North American routes.

Air China, a member of the Star Alliance, is the most profitable airline in world as well as the world's largest carrier by market value. Air China owns 158 Boeing aircraft, making up 60 percent of its fleet.

PUD customers embrace CFL bulbs

EVERETT — Snohomish County Public Utility District customers have purchased more than 4 million compact fluorescent light bulbs in the past decade. The PUD launched a CFL program in 2000 and now manages a network of more than 50 local retailers to offer discounts on the energy-saving bulbs.

These energy efficient lights come in all shapes and sizes to fit almost any type of indoor and outdoor lighting fixture. Switching to CFLs saves consumers money since lighting accounts for about 20 percent of electricity use in an average home and CFLs use one-fourth the energy of a standard incandescent bulb.

CFLs need to be safely disposed when they've burned out. Drop off old bulbs at any of the PUD's six offices, local Bartell Drugs stores, Home Depot stores and Snohomish County Solid Waste facilities.

UW president pays first Bothell campus visit

BOTHELL — University of Washington President Michael Young met with students, faculty, campus administration and community and business leaders during his first visit to UW Bothell July 18.

Young, whose university presidency began July 1, spent the day learning about the Bothell campus, which has more than doubled its enrollment over the last five years.

He said he was impressed with the campus and how well it has handled its tremendous growth. He also praised the complementary relationship that exists between the campuses at Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma.

From SCBJ staff reports