Providence Hospitality Group Announces New Restaurant Opening at Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel & Conference Center

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Providence Hospitality Group has announced the opening of B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar, a new restaurant concept at the Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel & Conference Center, located in the former Poppes 360 space. B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar will offer the Bellingham community a fresh, fun, urban dining experience beginning May 5th, 2017. To celebrate the opening of Bellingham’s newest dining destination, B-Town will feature giveaways and an all-day happy hour including $1 oysters and signature cocktails on Friday, May 5th.  Celebratory $1 oysters and specials throughout the Grand Opening month of May.

Conveniently located near downtown Bellingham, B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar offers a fusion of familiar northwest coastal vibe and an innovative mod twist. One of the only raw bar destinations in the area will delight seafood lovers with oysters, clams, crab and other seasonal selections. With more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, John Burns, a Seattle native and General Manager of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, leads the restaurant’s opening together with Chef Evan Morrison.

“This project has been in development for the past fourteen months and we are thrilled to introduce B-Town to our community,” Burns says. “With close attention to detail and innovation, the design and creative culinary concept has culminated into a very unique, enticing restaurant, one that we feel offers Bellingham an enduring dining destination that is second to none!”

Inspired by the land and sea, B-Town sources sustainable seafood from both local and international waters, respecting seasonality and the natural essence of the sea. Featuring seafood, poultry, and beef from Pacific Seafood and Barlean’s Fisheries, as well as bread and pastries from Avenue Bread and fresh produce from Charlie’s Produce, B-Town celebrates local connections. Under the culinary direction of Chef Evan Morrison, the menu is a fusion of Pacific Northwest, Asian and Mediterranean influences, featuring fresh fish and shellfish harvested from the beds of Washington, California, British Columbia, and Alaska.

The emphasis on local offerings extends to an impressive local craft beer selection. Enjoy draft beer from Bellingham’s top craft breweries, including Aslan Brewing, Boundary Bay Brewery, Chuckanut Brewery, Kulshan Brewing and Wander Brewing. An extensive wine list includes vintages from Bellingham’s Vartanyan  Estate Winery. Add signature cocktails and you will see how B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar can promise a one-of-a-kind dining experience to Bellingham locals and beyond.

Starting May 5, B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel & Conference Center, managed by Providence Hospitality Partners, is a full-service property located at 714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, just off Interstate 5 at Exit 253. Four Points by Sheraton is a brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, part of Marriott International.

Four Points Bellingham is totally smoke-free throughout its 132 guest rooms, two restaurants (B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar and Chinuk), indoor pool, fitness area and 14,000 square feet of meeting-room space. For more information, call (360) 671-1011 or (888) 671-1011 or visit www.FourPointsBellingham.com.

For more information please visit: www.btownkitchen.com

B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar

714 Lakeway Drive

Bellingham, WA 98229

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BTownKitchen

Twitter: @BtownBellingham

Instagram: @btown_kitchen

Myth #2 – We can ban export of fossil fuels without harming current industries and jobs at Cherry Point

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This week’s Myth:
We can ban export of fossil fuels without harming
current industries and jobs at Cherry Point

This week’s Reality Check:
The attempt to pick and choose which parts of a company’s operations are allowed – even though those activities are legal under the current carefully regulated environment – hurts the value of those industries and handcuffs their ability to adapt to an ever-changing market.

The words of BP NW Government and Public Affairs Director and WBA Board member Pam Brady state the impact most clearly:

“The laws of supply and demand will always prevail, and our competitors in Skagit and Pierce counties and north to Burnaby B.C., who are not subject to these same restrictions, will gladly fill the void created by a development moratorium in Whatcom County. If we are restricted from pursuing business opportunities relative to our competitors, it will ultimately impact our businesses, our prospects for growth and ultimately jobs that would result from such business growth.”

**Full article linked here. Hiruko, Ashley. “County extends Cherry Point moratorium six months.” Lynden Tribune Online. March 29, 2017.

Imagine you were a pizza maker who was told that you could continue to make the same pizzas you make today for as long as you wanted, but you could not change anything about your business – you could not change your menu one ingredient or add delivery services – while your competitors were able to maintain their market flexibility? How long would you last?

PR Consulting adds team member, continues expansion

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BELLINGHAM, WASH.―PR Consulting, Inc. has hired a social media manager and now includes four professionals with a variety of public relations, marketing and design experience.

Sarah Goodin, PRC’s new social media manager, is a 2012 graduate of Western Washington University. She brings to PRC’s clients a passion for communication, sharing ideas and building community.

“Our aim at PR Consulting is to build a team of experienced communications pros to help Whatcom County companies speak to consumers across many channels,” said PRC founder Patti Rowlson. “With Sarah’s hire, we now have experts on social media, content marketing, graphic design, websites and business consulting on the team.”

Goodin’s primary professional experience is in marketing and sales analysis. She also serves on the board of a local company that uses walking tours to teach the history of Bellingham.

Goodin’s hire comes on the heels of two others in the past year:

Matthew Anderson, PRC’s content strategist and web developer, is a 2006 graduate of WWU’s Department of Journalism. He worked for nearly a decade in the University Communications and Marketing office at Western before leaving to pursue a master’s degree in communication and media studies.

 

Thomas Stoneham-Judge, PRC’s graphic designer, is a 2013 graduate of Washington State University. His background includes graphic design work for business of many sizes, including large corporate brands and small family-owned companies.

 

Since its launch in 2009, PRC’s primary role has been to help companies without a dedicated marketing team interact and engage with their customers, clients and communities. While the tools and best practices used to communicate with consumers keep changing; PRC’s human, personalized approach to their marketing efforts remains the same.

“Local companies are marketing to real people, and the work we do for them personalizes their brand,” Rowlson said. “Our engagement marketing work on social media, for example, shows that our clients are real people, not marketing automation robots ― and we believe real people experiences trump robot experiences every time.”

For more information about PR Consulting’s expansion and expertise in the Whatcom County business arena, contact marketing director Patti Rowlson at 360-325-3127 or pr@pattirowlson.com, or visit the company’s website at http://pattirowlson.com/.

Hirst Case Resources

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Fix Hirst is a website created by a broad group of folks who are concerned about the impact of the Hirst decision on the future of Whatcom County. The site contains news and information about the Hirst case.

Another website with Hirst information is the Save Family Farming site. The site is maintained by a group that describes itself as “farmers, farm supporters, environmentalists and concerned citizens who want to save family farming.”

The Whatcom Family Farmers have also created a video that highlights the impact of the Hirst case on small family farmers and the farm to table movement in Washington State and Whatcom County.

 

Myth #1-The time when we’ll no longer need fossil fuels is coming fast

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This week’s Myth:
The time when we’ll no longer need fossil fuels is coming fast so we should re-train workers at the Cherry Point refineries for the jobs of the future.

This week’s Reality Check!
There is no doubt that the global use of renewable energy sources is growing and will continue to grow in the coming years.  This is all good news! But there is a difference between that reality and the myth that we will soon be able to enjoy our current quality of life and continue economic growth without fossil fuels.

These two quotes make this point very clearly.

“The notion that we’re going to keep [fossil fuels] all in the ground is unrealistic. We are still a very heavily fossil-fuel dependent world…Natural gas will be a net positive, in terms of cutting emissions, for the next 30 or 40 years.”

John Holdren
President Obama’s Director of White House Office of Science and Technology
July, 2016

Here is a link to the whole article.

“…Energy efficiency and renewables are often positioned as the only solutions needed to meet climate goals in the energy system, but they are not enough…Renewables cannot be used uniformly across the energy system to replace the use of fossil fuels today.”

Excerpt from an article in UN Magazine
Scott Foster, Director of the Sustainable Energy Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
David Elzinga, Economic Affairs Officer of the Sustainable Energy Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
December, 2015

Here is a link to the whole article.

Conclusion
Though we can all agree that the use of fossil fuels will change in the coming years, there is no credible technology available to replace all the ways we use fossil fuels in our daily lives.  Remember, fossil fuels are used for transportation (cars, trucks, planes, ships) and heating, but they are also used in clothing, plastics, cosmetics and a myriad of other consumer products.  For a partial list, click here.

Refinery workers at Cherry Point will have plenty to do in the coming decades and more growth would be possible if the County Council would allow for it.  It is possible to balance the need for business development and environmental protection.

Update on Hirst from Sen. Doug Ericksen

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Hirst Fix in the legislature – Save Household Wells!
A Senate fix to the state’s household-well crisis failed to receive a vote in a House committee as a key deadline passed, but the issue remains alive as long as this year’s legislature remains in session.

Navigating water and property rights in the state of Washington

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“Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”

― Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Washington State can feel like this sometimes. Though it seems abundant, water isn’t necessarily always available for use ― even for those who own the property under which the water rests.

Imagine you’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on property for your family home, only to learn that you can’t build because the county won’t issue you a permit allowing you to build a well.

Many landowners ― as many as 1,000 in Whatcom County right now ― are stuck in this very position, unable to construct their dream homes because they can’t use the water under their own property.

Other landowners have been unable to sell their property ― which they’ve been relying on for retirement ― for the same reasons.

Washington law specifies that the state’s waters belong to the public and thus cannot be owned by any specific person or group. Instead, the state ― via the Department of Ecology, which manages Washington’s water supply ― parcels out access to water in the form of water rights.

Complicating matters is an October Washington State Supreme Court ruling, widely known as the Hirst decision, that Whatcom County had been running afoul of the state’s Growth Management Act by allowing homeowners to dig unregulated water wells on their properties. The ruling has left many homeowners unable to build homes for their families because they can’t get approval to dig wells on their land.

“The Hirst decision is causing harm to small business builders, families and rural towns and counties,” said Ted Clifton, president of the Building Industry Association of Washington, in a press release. “Without water, there are no homes that can be built in these areas.”

At issue is whether there’s enough water available. The assertion by environmental advocates is that when wells remove groundwater for personal use, nearby streams and rivers can be negatively affected. According to Ecology, the recent court decision requires counties to decide for themselves whether there is enough water to approve building permits that would rely on wells. Whatcom County has implemented an interim ordinance that requires the county’s Health Department to do just that.

The upcoming Leaders of Industry Issues Forum in Bellingham, presented by Whatcom Business Alliance, will cover the issues of water and personal property rights as well as employer mandates which are areas of critical importance in this County Council election year. The event, set for 4 to 6 p.m. May 18 at the Hotel Bellwether, is sponsored by Washington Federal. Registration is now open online.

The panel for the May 18 forum includes several local experts on water use and state policy:

  • Paul Guppy is the vice president for research at Washington Policy Center.
  • Lesa Starkenburg-Kroontje is a Lynden land-use and zoning attorney with broad experience in land-use cases.
  • Marty Maberry is a longtime Whatcom County berry farmer and processor. He is one of the founding members of Whatcom Family Farmers and the current vice president of the county’s Ag Water Board.
  • Wes Herman, founder of Woods Coffee, has with his family opened 19 locations, supported by their own bakery and coffee roasting plant.
  • Brad Goode, forum moderator, spent 30 years at KOMO News in Seattle before joining Washington Federal as its senior vice president for communications.

Register online to attend the forum.

Recent Decisions Severely Impact Property Owners

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By: Jim McKinney, Executive Director, Common Threads Northwest

The WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL moratoriums on Cherry Point industrial growth and drilling previously exempt home-use wells have a dramatic impact on our economy and tax base.  They cost businesses and individual property owners hundreds of millions of dollars.  Because of the Council decisions, our quality of life is at risk.

Petrogas Energy Inc. requested to reduce Cherry Point property values from $262M to $42M, a $220M loss, due to Council imposed regulations.  Ironically, the County Assessor had to ask the Council for $150,000 of taxpayer funds to fight the request.  Other Cherry Point industries are preparing similar requests. These devaluations create a massive tax revenue shortfall.

The value of property without access to existing water service is drastically reduced with the moratorium on domestic well-drilling.  Taxes must be reduced to reflect the lower values.  The County Assessor estimates between 1,000 and 1,500 properties are immediately affected. Over 5,000 properties may be impacted over 3 years – with 75% devaluations or greater.

The Assessor is forced to redistribute the revenue losses. Tax needs are fixed, or services are reduced – County property owners WILL PAY MORE IN TAXES to offset the devaluations.

By a significant margin, the County’s largest tax contributors and top paying employers are Cherry Point heavy industries.  Their taxes provide the highest percentage for schools, roads, services and safety in our community.  Those same revenues protect our precious environment, parks and trails.

Our primary industries, rural property owners and our tax base are under attack.  Life savings, long held investments and dreams of building in the country are ruined.  New businesses don’t move to over-regulated and anti-growth communities.  No new business, no new revenues.  No new revenues, bankruptcy often follows.

How will local government pay for inevitable inflation and deteriorating infrastructure – raise taxes, again?  The math doesn’t work.  No-growth may be idealistically appealing, but it is economically ruinous.

Whatcom County Council decisions are unfairly punishing all our citizens and undermining our economic future.  We cherish our unique environment, but the Council must protect our economy too.  Hold elected officials accountable – we elect them to work for us, not against us.

Emergency Reporting Moves to Barkley Area of Bellingham

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Fast Company Growth Means Larger Space Requirements

Emergency Reporting, a leading provider of Fire & EMS records management software headquartered in Bellingham, WA, is pleased to announce it has moved to 2200 Rimland Drive, Suite 305, Bellingham, WA 98226.

“The growth in our customer base and desire to produce more advanced solutions for our Fire and EMS customers meant we had to hire developers and other staff at a very fast pace, resulting in a 122% increase in employees in just 15 months,” said executive director Ed O’Neill. “That also meant we outgrew our space,” he said.

“Now that we have 71 employees we can more easily continue our push to take over the Fire & EMS Cloud-based records management market on a global basis,” he continued.

About Emergency Reporting

Emergency Reporting is a privately held Washington State corporation specializing in secure, Cloud-based records and reporting management software solutions for Fire/Rescue and EMS agencies of all sizes, DoD/military branches worldwide, and large entities with self-contained Fire & EMS services like NASA, nuclear power plants, hospitals and oil refineries. With more than 100,000 users around the globe, Emergency Reporting is considered the most trusted provider of Fire & EMS records and reporting management software. For more information, see www.emergencyreporting.com.