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Life’s good with books, coffee and a parking space

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Now it’s easier and yummier than ever to grab the latest bestseller at A Book for All Seasons in Leavenworth.

The venerable bookstore, a favorite hangout for readers and writers, has taken steps to ensure customers will find two of life’s essentials: a nearby parking space and a good cup of coffee.

Owner Pat Rutledge has installed polite parking control signs to stress to interlopers that the parking lot is private, and that the dozen or so spaces are for customers of the bookstore and four other businesses located in the ABFAS building.

So far it’s worked out pretty well,” said Rutledge. “There’s usually a space for customers when they pull in — I’d say about 99 percent of the time.” That’s a true blessing on Leavenworth’s busy weekends, when parking spaces are at a premium. Even better, coffee is back in the bookstore building.

Java junkies will remember that last November the Starbucks outlet — which had been connected to the bookstore for 13 years — moved to a new location up the street. That left the bookstore’s cafe space empty for about five months, a horrendous situation for dedicated reader-sippers.

In stepped Sherry Schichi of East Wenatchee. On May 7, she opened Heidi’s Bun and Kaffe Haus, which serves espresso drinks, pastries and even a croissant sandwich. And get this: All the waitresses are named Heidi. Or have the pseudonym of Heidi. (Of course, “Heidi” is sort of Queen of Alps and heroine of the 1880 Swiss novel of the same name.)

The cafe, said Rutledge, “is a wonderful addition to our building.”

New bike repair station should have cyclists pumped

Those pesky Tribulus terrestris (goat’s head or puncturevine) can flatten bike tires — pshhhh! — on a Sunday afternoon and there’s no place to fix ’em so you’re stuck pushing that cheap piece of junk back to …

Relax, pedalers. Downtown Wenatchee’s Arlberg Sports has installed a bike repair station in the small-but-shady Hedeen Plaza, now re-purposed from itinerant hangout to bicyclist sanctuary (with sidewalk seating for the Owl Soda Fountain).

The plaza is handily located on the corner of First Street and Wenatchee Avenue, right at the base of the Riverwalk Crossing pedestrian bridge — which means you can easily coast or wobble your bike to the station from the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail.

Dan Baber, manager of Arlberg Sports’ bike shop, and staffers maintain the station, which which was installed June 13. It includes:

A vending machine packed with tubes, tools, patch kits, energy snacks and other bicycling necessities.

A repair stand on which to hoist your bike for some serious repairs using the station’s 10 tools — wrenches, screwdrivers, tire levers — attached to the stand with cables.

A hand-operated floor pump. After all, you just patched the tire, and now that sucker needs inflating. Maybe your ego does, too.

Baber said he believes this is the first bike repair station of its kind in the state, although a similar one is installed in Bend, Ore., which has more bike flats than you can shake an Allen wrench at.

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

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