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Everyday Business | Kids can find more fun at eastside mall

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When it comes to attracting the youth market, Wenatchee Valley Mall doesn’t kid around. Wait a minute … they ARE kiddin’ around.

The mall kicks off its new Kids Club from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday with a live appearance by Radio Disney and characters Princess Sophia and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. (Spoiler: They’re really actors dressed like Sophia and Jake, who are characters in a couple of animated TV series.)

The mall plans to hold Kids Club every third Saturday of the month and feature a mix of activities — from arts and crafts to L-Bow the Clown to fun winter exercise classes, such as kids-level Zumba. And it’s all free.

The club is designed for kids age 3 to 11. They can register at wenatcheevalleymall.com or in person at the mall’s customer service counter. Then they’ll get email alerts about upcoming activities and a Kids Club passport book which, when stamped, could earn prizes and gifts.

Or, if a kid’s just wandering the mall and spots a pirate … well, he or she can spontaneously join in Kids Club with none of that pesky paperwork.

Comment now — shhhh! — anonymously

Want to complain anonymously about your boss? Give the cops an anonymous tip? Provide a bit of, ahem, constructive criticism to a favorite restaurant and keep your name out of it?

Wenatchee resident Gary Kamen has what you need. The home-based web and software developer has created a company, a service and a website called Corpell Anonymous Box that allows not only anonymous comments to be posted (on the topic of your choice), but also back-and-forth conversations without any names attached.

Best of all, the “online feedback collection and communication tool” is free to users while its in beta form — probably for the next six to 12 months.

There are other websites that provide this service,” said Kamen, “but I’ve reduced the barriers for users down to entering an email address and asking a question. It’s pretty simple.”

That’s true. In a recent test of the service, a response box was set up in about 10 seconds.

Kamen and his family moved to Wenatchee about a year ago when his wife got a job at Confluence Health. Being a stay-at-home dad gave him the time and opportunity to use his software skills to develop Anonymous Box. Three months ago, he got the business to a point where he was ready to go public.

The developer said he’s taken steps to ensure users’ anonymity by routing queries and responses through secure connections that encrypt contact info. For good measure, server log files are dumped within 24 hours. Think: clean slate.

I’ve tried my best to present a service that makes users feel comfortable,” said Kamen. “I think this is it.”

Details: Learn more about Corpell Anonymous Box at corpell.com, visit their Facebook page or email Kamen at gary@corpell.com.

Engineering firm growing fast

SCJ Alliance, the consulting outfit that engineered the recent street improvements in downtown Wenatchee, has been named as one of the nation’s fastest growing architectural and engineering firms.

Yawn. Again? Yep, they were named this year to the annual ZweigWhite Hot Firm list for the fourth time (also in 2010, 2011 and 2012). ZweigWhite has compiled the list every year since 2000 and includes firms from the U.S. and Canada.

SCJ was 94th on the 100-firm list, which in total showed a median growth rate of 72 percent — up significantly from 44 percent in 2013. Every year, getting named to the list gets harder, said SCJ President Perry Shea. “The goal post is getting higher all the time.”

So what’s a ZweigWhite? We think it’s a beautiful crystalline creature that lives in coral reefs off the coast of … no, that’s not right. It’s an Arkansas-based consulting firm that provides services to architectural and engineering firms.

SCJ is based in Lacey and has offices in Wenatchee, Seattle, Vancouver, Boise, Idaho, and Westminster, Colo.

This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or irwin@wenatcheeworld.com.

 

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business or follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.

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