Seaport to end service to Pangborn
SeaPort Airlines will discontinue its short-lived East Wenatchee-Yakima-Portland flights effective Dec. 15 for lack of travelers, mostly on the Yakima leg of the flight.
“The Wenatchee market did as well as we thought it would, but the Yakima market way underperformed,” said Tim Sieber, vice president of the company’s commercial operation.
Yakima is about a three-hour drive to Portland, compared to about five hours from Wenatchee.
Sieber said that closer proximity likely made SeaPort’s fares of $59 to $119 not attractive enough to entice travelers to fly instead of drive. Fares out of East Wenatchee’s Pangborn Memorial Airport were only slightly higher for the 95-minute flight.
Wenatchee travelers, alone, weren’t enough to sustain the flight, he said, and with sales to other destinations, particularly Alaska, entering the company’s typical winter slump, SeaPort officials decided they couldn’t keep the underperforming route going.
Ron Russ, Pangborn’s interim manager, said figures supplied by SeaPort show that flights that left Wenatchee were an average of 26 percent to 33 percent full.
He said airlines normally like to see this “load factor” in the 65-percent to 75-percent range.
The Portland-based airline flies the route with a nine-seat, single-engine Cessna 208 Caravan. It arrives and departs twice daily, Monday through Friday, with some service on Saturday.
Service to Pangborn began amid much fanfare in March, marking the first time since February 1998, when United Express stopped local service, that Pangborn has been served by two commercial airlines with regularly scheduled flights.
Ticket sales exceeded expectations in the early months, but had slumped by August, leading the airline to eliminate one of its morning departures.
“We believe that Wenatchee will be a functioning market, eventually” Sieber said, saying the company could one day revisit service to Pangborn, but he declined to say when.
Nor, he said, would the airline consider creating a route from Wenatchee to Portland via the busy Spokane International Airport, because it would draw business away from Alaska Airlines, the carrier that has flown the Pangborn to Seattle route for years.
Mark Urdahl, director of the Port of Chelan County, said the company’s decision was a disappointment but not a shock.
“The success or failure of any air carrier is how they perform in the market,” he said. “It’s important to remind people that they were not paid to serve the market here. The were given no subsidies and were paying the same rates and charges as Alaska.”
He added, “This was a stand-alone market deal and, unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”
Skin care with a luxury-spa touch
A lot of local salons offer a spa atmosphere — soft lighting, soothing music, scents wafting — but Seasons Skin Care Studio comes by it rightly.
Studio owner Debbie Mayer, formerly the lead esthetician (skin care specialist) at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort & Spa near Palm Springs, offers all the luxury touches plus 30 years experience in a wide range of skin care processes and makeup techniques.
That means about a half-dozen different kinds of facials, tints for lashes and brows and hair removal from face to feet and everything (ahem) in between. “Clients recommend me to friends for Brazilian and bikini waxes,” she said. “That takes special care, and I’ve been doing them for many years.”
She adds, “I like to bring the spa experience to everyone who comes here, to provide absolutely total relaxation and rejuvenation.” That includes accupressure massage using pressure points in the upper body and face. “You can feel youself melt,” she says.
Mayer also offers microcurrent facials, a kind of non-invasive facelift, which uses low-level electrical current and light therapy to firm skin tone and improve texture, reduce puffiness and smooth fine lines.
An on-site hair stylist also offers cutting and coloring at the studio.
Mayer, 57, born and raised in Tonasket, moved to Wenatchee two years ago when her husband had a job offer here. In January, she bought the Seasons studio from former owner Michelle Rosvold.
“It’s such a pleasure to leave the busy, hectic world of a huge resort and open a smaller, more intimate studio,” said Mayer. “I love the one-on-one relationships with clients.”
In September, Mayer began carrying bareMinerals makeup, a cosmetics line offered in only upscale salons and department stores.
“The line has a crystal mineral base that provides flawless application,” she said. “Plus, it’s good for your skin.” She also offers clients lessons in proper application and color matching.
“Everything we do here makes you feel good,” said Mayer. “And even better — it makes you look good, too.”
Details: Seasons Skin Care Studio, in the Exchange Building, 6 First St., Suite 8. 433-4889.
Goodfellow Bros. buys California company
One of the Northwest’s top construction companies has expanded into California with the recent purchase there of a major engineering construction firm.
Goodfellow Bros., based in Wenatchee with additional offices in Hawaii, announced Oct. 25 it had bought Top Grade Construction of Livermore, Calif. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Buying Top Grade was “quite attractive when it became evident they were exactly what we were looking for,” said Steve Goodfellow, CEO of Goodfellow Bros. “High-performing employees, a respected name with strong community relationships and similar values and corporate cultures.”
The 380-employee Top Grade specializes in heavy highway and civil engineering construction. Clients include major contractors and developers in the San Francisco area. The company is the civil contractor for a new football stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., for the San Francisco 49ers.
Established in 1921, Goodfellow Bros. is a fourth-generation, family-owned business with 100 office and supervisory staff members and 450 union trade employees. It has clients throughout the Pacific Northwest, Canada and Hawaii.
Beware of storm-damaged vehicles
A wave of flood-damaged vehicles from Hurricane Sandy could sweep soon through the national auto market, AAA Washington warned last month.
Damage to the vehicles could include the obvious water-wrecked upholstery and carpet, but also not-so-noticeable corrosion, water and dirt in engines, transmissions and drive trains, said John Milbrath, a AAA spokesman.
Used-car buyers should check a vehicle’s title history and have the purchase inspected by a qualified auto technician, said Milbrath.
Signs of a flood-damaged vehicle include damp or musty odors, carpet or upholstery recently replaced, mud or water stains hidden under the dashboard, rusted door frames and hinges and malfunctioning electric windows or lights.
For more info, visit aaa.com.
New expert joins Tree Fruit Research Center
A leading expert in tree fruit research and education has joined the faculty of Washington State University and the staff here of the WSU Tree Fruit Research Center.
Desmond R. Layne, an extension fruit specialist and program leader at Clemson University in South Carolina, will begin here in February to deliver horticultural information to growers through online technology and face-to-face presentations and consultations.
“Desmond Layne literally sets the national bar for how to deliver scientific information to producers through extension,” said Dan Bernardo, vice president for WSU’s Department of Agriculture. He has an “international reputation for both developing and delivering the results of cutting-edge research to the tree fruit industry, especially in peaches.”
Born in Canada, Layne worked in fruit crops as a teenager and, later, in tree fruit breeding and management at Agriculture Canada. He did research at several U.S. universities with a focus on developing the pawpaw, an American native plant, as a new fruit crop.
Layne has been on the horticulture faculty at Clemson since 1997, where he specialized in peach cultivation, educational programs and on-site consultations.
In 2008, he was named Outstanding Extension Educator of the Year and, that same year, co-edited the textbook “The Peach: Botany, Production and Uses.”
This year, he received a national communication award for an interview broadcast on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Over the years, he has given 17 interviews on national radio and 180 in print. He has also given more than 170 educational presentations on fruit horticulture around the country.
Have you heard … ?
• That upstairs bonus room is ugly as sin. So what can you do to spruce it up that’s cheap and easy? Flooring retailer Inside Design Carpet One Floor & Home in Wenatchee has begun offering a bunch of online podcasts (produced by the Carpet One national co-op) with design tips and advice to make your home more comfortable and beautiful. “We’re excited to provide this resource to customers that gives them credible design advice from veterans of the style industry,” said Joel McDonald, owner of Inside Design. Check out videos at youtube.com/carpetonefh, or call Inside Design at 662-9500.
• Wenatchee-based Stemilt Growers, one of the largest fruit companies in the world, was honored Nov. 9 by the state Commission on Hispanic Affairs for its support and involvement with the local Hispanic community. The company received a Community Collaboration Award at CHA’s 40th annual fundraising dinner in Seattle for a long list of projects, including offering employees on-site English and Spanish classes, sponsoring Fiestas Mexicanas and Fiesta de Mariachi, offering $15,000 in scholarships through the Wenatchee Apple Education Foundation and supporting the Wenatchee Youth Soccer League.
• Amy Lewis has returned as program director for GWATA, the Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance. Prior director Molly Steere left the post for other duties, including being a full-time mom. Lewis is already reminding us about GWATA’s Tech Tour at 10 a.m. Dec. 11 at Verizon Wireless and the group’s Holiday Social at 5 p.m. Dec. 12 (location to be announced).
• Dave Graybill, the Fishin’ Magician, produces fun and interesting videos on not only how and where to hook fish, but also on cooking your catch and a range of other dishes. You can now view those videos directly on Graybill’s website (fishingmagician.com), which is a wealth of angling info. Check out his separate shows on cooking paella and tips for preparing and cooking spring salmon.
• The Community Foundation of North Central Washington has given out about $380,000 since July to support all sorts of nonprofits and projects, including ski and hiking trails in the Methow Valley, sprucing up Wenatchee’s outdoor art, picnic tables in Pateros, recording memoirs of longtime Entiat residents, renovation of the Mansfield Museum, a washer and dryer for Wenatchee’s Shalom Church to launder clothing for the poor and ongoing work by dozens of regional nonprofit groups.
• Want to help storm-tossed East Coast residents? You can donate directly to the American Red Cross through Wells Fargo bank’s thousands of ATMs, including those at branches in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Chelan, Manson, Brewster and Omak. It’s part of Wells Fargo’s efforts to help victims of Hurricane Sandy that also includes the bank’s own donation of $1 million to relief agencies in the stricken states.
Keep gifts under wraps at EZ Access Storage
Ray and Dan Wilson, co-owners of EZ Access Storage, have been in the holiday spirit since mid-October.
The brothers were sitting around six weeks ago wondering how they could thank the local community for its support of their 24-year-old business, when it dawned on them: “Hey, we own a storage company. Maybe we can do something with storage. Hmmm.”
So on Nov. 14, EZ Access began hosting a free Santa’s Closet, a space for anyone to store holiday gifts out-of-sight from prying eyes and facile fingers. This will be especially helpful for families with curious kids who know all the Christmas-gift hiding places around the house, says Ray. The service runs through Dec. 24.
On top of that, EZ Access has plans to become a donation collection point for those in need in the Wenatchee Valley. Until Dec. 24, the storage company will accept unwrapped gifts during regular business hours for pre-Christmas distribution to a local charity or nonprofit group.
And, while giving is certainly good for the soul, Ray and Dan are tossing in an extra bonus for anyone who donates a gift. Folks who donate will be eligible to receive 30 days of storage free of charge (a $35 to $239 value) at the East Wenatchee location.
“The free storage and gift collection are our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the community that we love,” says Ray. “It’s all in hopes that we can make someone else’s holiday season a little more special as a result.”
Details: EZ Access Storage, 7 Riverside Place. Phone: 886-3216. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Local auto club begins drive for toiletries
AAA hopes to clean up this year when it comes to holiday donations.
Last month, the national automobile club’s local office kicked off its fifth annual Soap for Hope donation drive to collect toiletry items for local shelters, food banks and other charitable organizations.
Donations of new, full- and sample-sized soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and other items can be dropped off at the Wenatchee AAA office at 221 N. Mission St.
This year, collected items will benefit Serve Wenatchee Valley, an umbrella support group for local churches.
“We’re asking our neighbors for help again this year,” said Tamera West, manager of AAA Wenatchee. “More than ever, families in our community need help with basic everyday necessities.”
She said toiletry items, which cannot be purchased with food stamps, are in high demand at charities around the region.
For more information, call 662-8550 or visit aaa.com/soapforhope.
Holiday jobs listed on state website
• Still need a temp job for the holidays? Maybe at the local Big Lots or Safeway?
• WorkSource, the jobs division of the state Employment Security Department, has set up online holiday job listings for a couple of dozen cities across Washington, including Wenatchee, Ephrata, Moses Lake, Grand Coulee and Yakima. Find those holiday positions at wa.gov/esd/holidayjobs.
• Find even more jobs (about 300 listings) in Chelan and Douglas counties at fortress.wa.gov/esd/worksource.
Credit union to help fund vintage carousel
Gesa Credit Union, with an office in Wenatchee, isn’t horsing around when it comes to carousels.
The Richland-based credit union announced last
month that it will commit
$1 million to help fund installation and upkeep of The Carousel of Dreams, a vintage 1910 merry-go-round which is set to open in summer 2013 in Kennewick.
The donation is a 12-year-long “presenting partnership,” according to a Gesa press release, and means the facility will officially be named “The Carousel of Dreams presented by Gesa Credit Union.”
Gesa is “helping to bring a world-class piece of art to life in the Tri-Cities,” said credit union spokesman Dwight Marquart. “Carousel of Dreams will become a destination for all generations, young and old, to enjoy.”
Farm loans available for women, minorities
Women and minorities can receive government loans to buy or operate farms, orchards or ranches in Chelan and Douglas counties, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced.
The loans, funded by the USDA Farm Service Agency, can be used to puchase farms, livestock or equipment, build or repair buildings, pay for soil and water conservation and, in some cases, refinance debt.
“Setting aside funds specifically for women and minorities ensures that they will receive a portion of our available funds,” said Judy Olson, FSA’s state director.
Terms for direct loans made by the FSA may extend to 40 years with a current interest rate of 3 percent, said Olson. Operating loans for one to seven years will have a current interest rate of 1.125 percent, subject to change.
For more info, call José Limon, senior farm loan officer for Chelan and Douglas counties, at 664-9385.