Tag Archives: neighborhood

“Think Local First” in Leavenworth

Leavenworth, Washington, is a great little town of about 2,000 full time residents, but draws just over one million visitors every year.  The Bavarian theme town has a healthy economy, a thriving downtown and abundant recreational and tourist attractions.  Last week Rebecca attended a reception for local independent business owners called “Think Local First.”  While our home inspection company advertises service from Seattle to Wenatchee our office is based out of Leavenworth for the wonderful reasons listed above.

The mission of Think Local First in Leavenworth & the Upper Wenatchee Valley is “to build a sustainable economy by increasing awareness about the personal, community and economic benefits of choosing local, independently-owned businesses first.”  After seeing many familiar faces and sipping on donated local wine in the Barn Beach Reserve River Haus we watched a Bellingham based short docu-film highlighting the processes and successes of supporting locally owned businesses by purchasing their goods and services.  The room was packed!

Next, the group was introduced to the board of advisers that were behind the night’s event.  We were encouraged to “Think Local First” with each purchase.  The idea is that money stays where you spend it.  According a handout from the evening, a consulting firm (Civic Economics) found that “when West Michigan consumers choose a locally owned business over a non-local alternative, $68 of every $100 spent stays in the community.”  It went on to describe that only $43 stays in the community if spent non-locally and $0 remains when choosing to spend online.  Of course, the bottom line here is growth:  in activity, jobs, income and community.

The Call To Action!  Everyone was encouraged to sign a “10% Shift” pledge by the end of the evening.  If you could pledge to spend 10% more of your normal purchases locally then signing the dotted line was not too hard.  Living in a small town you’ll find that you can’t get everything in your neighborhood.  I happen to know that you can’t process film or purchase a car in Leavenworth, but daily tasks and common services are very easy to manage.  The aforementioned handout referenced the same 2008 Kent County, Michigan, study when discussing the power of the 10% shift.  Their study estimated that the “10% shift would result in $140 million in new economic activity; 1,600 new jobs, and $50 millions in new wages.”  In Chelan County that would mean “$16.8 million in new economic activity; 192 new jobs; and $6 million in new wages.”

I’m up for the challenge!  We’re going to make the 10% Shift.  I know that whatever we can’t find from local business owners in Leavenworth we can certainly find within Chelan County in Wenatchee.  How about you?  Can you make the pledge in your town?

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Wenatchee Fire Chief Applies For Smoke Detector Grants

This week I attended a North Central Home Builders Association dinner in Wenatchee, Washington.  One of the speakers was Mark Yaple, the Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Wenatchee.  He talked about the number one problem that causes a total loss in a house fire– a faulty or absent smoke detector.  Since 1995 building code has required homes to have hardwired smoke detector alarms with battery backup.  Yaple is concerned about the homes built before 1995.  He has taken it upon himself to provide smoke detectors to any home in the city of Wenatchee that needs one.

State Farm Insurance gave him a $5,000 grant to purchase battery operated smoke detectors.  With the help of a Red Cross volunteer and driving his fire truck he went door to door inspecting smoke detectors and installing  new ones where needed.  He advertised his free service to the public and received many calls from elderly people that were not able to deal with the problem themselves.  His goal is to receive more money and continue his good work.  He has applied for more grants from State Farm and the Federal Government and hopes to receive up to $27,000  to purchase detectors.  Obviously, new construction homes are not entitled to his program because they would not meet the code adopted in 1995.  If you would like to volunteer with Yaple to install smoke detectors contact him at the City of Wenatchee.  He could use our help!

Home Show in Wenatchee: Feb. 11-13th

Home Show Wenatchee Town Toyota CenterEvery year the NCHBA or North Central Home Builders Association produces a spectacular home show in Wenatchee, Washington.  There’s a little something for everyone whether you are interested in remodeling, decorating, building, buying or selling a home…they’ve got all the experts there for your questions!  Here’s some info from their website.  Download this COUPON for $1 off admission:

This year, we have a lot of new things going on and are very excited to “get the Show on the road”! The Kid’s Zone by Lowe’s is going to be fantastic this year. Not only will the kids be able to build their own project with a professional from Lowe’s, they can go on a scavenger hunt with their parents or enjoy FREE ice skating on Friday and Saturday. So, if you have kids that are 12 and under, make sure to take them to the Kids Zone by Lowe’s, located in the Crunch-Pak Hospitality Room on the the main floor of the Town Toyota Center!  Workshops and How-to’s that you WON’T want to miss! Come and see what the Master Gardeners have to demonstrate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the show!   Be one of the first 250 attendees on Saturday and Sunday and receive a special Home Show Entrance Bag! These bags will be filled with small gifts, specials and discount coupons from participating sponsors and vendors! These bags will also come in very handy when you need a place to stow away other information and items you gather!  There will be additional event parking available for attendees across the street at Walla Walla Point Park, both parking lots, as well as at Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. Many thanks to Lowe’s for generously allowing our Home Show attendees to use half of their parking lot for our event!

Wenatchee – Leavenworth Tour of Homes Sept. 16-19

wenatchee home inspectionTomorrow will start the North Central Home Builder Association’s annual Tour of Homes with 8 homes throughout Leavenworth, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. You’ll get a little bit of everything in Central Washington from a grand home in the heart of the Bavarian-themed ski retreat town to an energy-efficient Energy Star home in the Apple Capital. AMS Inspection Services is a member of the NCHBA and will be helping on the tour so stop by and see us!

Details and Tickets HERE

Neighborhood Stabilization Summit

Foreclosures are a huge issue in the United States right now. After July resulted in the worst month in real estate history, the feds are starting to take notice. Today many important professionals met to talk about the compounded problems with foreclosed, abandoned and vacant properties. Read on…

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/09022010_neighborhood_stabiization_reo.asp
by Jann Swanson
Community organizers, state and federal government officials, and representatives from banking, research and educations institutions are currently meeting in Washington at a REO and Vacant Properties Summit sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank.  The two day conference is focused on examining the problems associated with vacant and abandoned property and to explore approaches to neighborhood stabilization.
Governor Elizabeth Duke, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve pointed out that the impact of each foreclosure goes far beyond that one home; a conference participant estimated that every blighted home negatively impacts five or six nearby homes.  Therefore, in Cleveland for example, where 11,500 homes have been foreclosed, 60,000 others can lose value which leads to lower taxes to support schools and other community services. The residents who remain in a community suffer social losses as well as their communities decline.