Posted by G. Stowe Talbot on Jun 12, 2018
Flag Salute & Invocation by John Templeton
Visiting Rotarians: Jennifer Moehl
Guests: John Bosch
AnnualChanging of the Guard” Party will be the evening of Tuesday July 10th, 4-8pm at Stew Ellison’s hose on Lake Whatcom.  It will be family friendly event (bring swimwear!), a crab feed, and brauts on the grill.  Please RSVP to Sean Cool ( if you will be attending or not. 
Rotary fellowship event on Thursday June 21, 5:30pm, at Hotel Bellwether “Blues, Brews and BBQ”, tickets for entry and burger only $10!  It will be a fun evening of socializing, music and great food: 
Brewers by the Bay will be Sunday, July 29th. 
Business Bucket by Phil X talked about his new venture, offering construction-related consulting services.  One of his first projects will be the Barkley Medical Center expansion for Jeff Kochman.
Bucks in the Bay
  • Curtis and family visited Deming Log Show with his Mexican exchange student;
  • Phil X Hageman vacation in Europe, jet lagged, wedding anniversary;
  • John Purdie’s daughter graduation, and a surprise birthday party for his nephew;
  • Tim Krell’s daughter Ally graduation, his father came out to Bellingham to attend, Ally’s dance team, and hockey news of course.
  • Debbie Kiene missed meetings, Viking River cruise Northern Europe - an awesome trip;
  • Dr. Curtis Smith said the end of the brothel era in Bellingham was in 1948 after the war;
  • Stew Ellison lots of graduations, he also let us know that the Food Bank currently has a dollar for dollar matching gift program;
Sergeant at Arms by Flo
Fines for miscellaneous sins.
Mike Bates introduced Alice Clark, executive director of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP).  Prior to 2016 Alice was director of the Pickford Film Center for 13 years. Before that, she was a master pie maker.  She moved to Bellingham in 1980, has two kids and a grandson.  She is very excited about the new businesses and activity in the downtown core, counteracting the negative aspects of downtown.
The DBP has a board of 10 people, including members from the City and the Port.
Their fiction is to promote downtown businesses and events, and foster economic development downtown.
Some of the events DBP helps organize:
• Downtown Sounds concerts in July and August.
• Commercial Street Night Market (every third Friday).
• Downtown Artwalk gallery and museums first Friday of every month.
• Wine Walk, in May and November, mainly for women.
• Speaker series for downtown creatives.
• Halloween in downtown.
• Tree lighting ceremony every December - things for kids to do.
Marketing downtown (Website, social media, creative content, and public relations - getting people excited about coming downtown).  The DBP also spearheads the public realm enhancements: placemaking, landscaping, beautification, maintenance & cleaning.  Their Ecomonic initiatives includes providing resources to businesses, where to find help and advocacy.
Growing strong retail core  / working with City on strategy, where to focus their efforts.  Instead of just letting the leasing happen, BDP tries to curate the tenant mix. Very good start at intersection of Bay and Holly, now trying to expand that success. Alice hired a retailing recruiter.   They also conduct workshops to get retailers to thrive, how to present themselves more successfully.  The Association meets quarterly, next time there will be a presentation by WTA on the planned transit center improvements.
The DBP gives an annual “Scepter Award” for new businesses that go “above and beyond” to help downtown.  Community engagement - enhance the lighting downtown.  “B Kind Campaign”:Representing the values our downtown believes in; safety, inclusion and compassion.
New downtown retail tenant updates: Camber, the Cidery, Sylvan Arts Center, Saltine, Quinn & Foster, Black Sheep, the (new) Greenhouse, Red Rum tiki bar, Chuckanut Bay Distillery on Cornwall, and a new vegan restaurant next door. 
What’s next: retail focus, but expanded support to entrepreneurs in general. Encourage better signage and storefronts and street presence. Make downtown look better.
She is honest about the need for more market-rate housing, even high-end housing types (apartments and condos) in downtown.  A new residential development planned out on State Street:  Spectrum Development (workforce and student housing) will have educed parking requirement to encourage alternative transport options.  She is optimistic about this project.
DBP funding: 40% from City, but going forward they would like to get more funding from the businesses. Also funding from events and fundraising. 
Respectfully submitted,
Stowe Talbot