Monday, September 25, 2006

Starbucks Accused of Abusing Monopoly Power in Violation of Sherman Act

Seattle Coffee-House Files Suit Which Could Have Impact Nationally

An independent specialty coffeehouse owner filed a proposed class action lawsuit today against Starbucks Corporation, claiming the company, from its monopoly position in the specialty coffee market, engages in a range of anti-competitive activities aimed at eliminating competition.

Filed in U.S. District Court, the suit alleges that Starbucks has exploited its monopoly power in the specialty coffee retail market to stifle competition through a series of predatory practices including exclusive lease agreements, "cluster bombing" of stores and competitor buy-outs.

Among the allegations leveled in the complaint, Penny Stafford -- an independent coffee-shop operator -- claims that Starbucks locks out competition through a series of exclusive lease agreements with property managers of Class A high-rises, preventing other specialty coffee shops from operating in the same building.

In this practice, Starbucks frequently offers to make lease payments higher than fair market value in exchange for a property owner's agreement to prevent competitors from leasing space in the same building, the complaint says.

In the Seattle and Bellevue markets, the majority of Class A space is controlled by a handful of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), making such agreements with Starbucks possible, the suit claims.

"We believe Starbucks has become such a dominating force in the coffee- house segment, it has become a monopolist," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and attorney for Stafford. "We intend to show that as a monopolist, Starbucks is abusing their market power to the detriment of its competitors, and to consumers."

"We contend that Starbucks' market practices are more about destroying competition than pouring a good cup of coffee," Berman added.

According to published reports, Starbucks controls 73 percent of the specialty coffeehouse market.

"Fair, even bare-knuckle competition is one thing, but we believe Starbucks has repeatedly crossed the line in denying competition the chance to go toe-to-toe with them," said Berman.

Stafford, owner of Belvi Coffee and Tea Exchange Inc., tried to enter the specialty coffeehouse business by seeking retail spaces located in Seattle and Bellevue's Class A high-rise office buildings, but her entry was repeatedly blocked despite consumer demand in these locations, the suit claims.

Berman says the lease agreement tactic is just one of a myriad of anti- competitive steps Starbucks uses to avoid fair competition.

According to the complaint, Starbucks also participated in predatory actions when Stafford was finally able to obtain Class A retail space in May 2005.

"Once I found a way into a Class A building, it was obvious to me that Starbucks decided I had to go," said Stafford. "The nearest Starbucks was around the corner, but they continually sent employees loaded with free drink samples to stand in front of my shop, drawing away customers."

Starbucks' campaign lasted for months, and eventually led to the store's closing, according to Stafford.

The complaint cites a number of other predatory tactics used by Starbucks, including reports in which Starbucks offers to buy out competitors at below- market prices, and threatens to open stores nearby if the offer is rejected.

The complaint also cites instances in which Starbucks uses its huge financial power to purchase other independent providers in an effort to squash any presence of independent coffee purveyors.

For example in 2003 Starbucks purchased Seattle Coffee Company acquiring Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia for $72 million, which boasted 22 Seattle's Best Coffee and five Torrefazione Italia stores in the greater Seattle area.

Starbucks then closed all the Torrefazione stores, and more than half of the SBC stores.

"It is clear to us that Starbucks' game plan is to completely dominate a market by forcing out competition, something they've done quite well in the Seattle area," Berman added. "We also believe that this scorched-earth approach is happening in many other major markets across the U.S."

The suit is asking the court to end what it claims are anti-competitive activities and seeks to represent coffee shop owners who seek to occupy retail space in commercial office buildings in Seattle or Bellevue.

According to Berman, he has heard from other coffeehouse owners across the country who are experiencing the same treatment, and could expand the suit to include them sometime in the near future.

Starbucks currently sells approximately four million coffee drinks daily in the U.S. alone. With more than 1,200 stores expected to open this year, the company continues to grow into a global empire. Its long-term goal is to have over 15,000 U.S. stores and 30,000 stores worldwide.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

MulvannyG2 Architecture Wins Award for Influential Design in China

Ming Zhang Recognized Among Top 20 Most Influential Designers
MulvannyG2 Architecture, based in Bellevue, was selected as one of the top 20 most influential architectural firms in China at the 2006 China Landmark Summit held at the China National Guest House Hotel in Beijing. Ming Zhang, Senior Partner, MulvannyG2, was also recognized among the top 20 most influential designers involved in projects in China.

Source: MulvannyG2 Architecture

· View Multimedia Gallery

The Chinese Research Center for Urban Development and Environment under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences sponsored the event, in cooperation with the World Landmark Association and the International Urban Cultural Association. Eleven Chinese firms and nine international firms were recognized for contributing to the development of landmark buildings in China in the past three decades.

In addition to MulvannyG2, SOM and KPF architectural firms were recognized from the U.S. Chinese firms selected include ECADI in Shanghai, China Architectural Design Institute and Co. in Beijing, and Beijing Architectural Design Institute and Co. Designers recognized were overseas and local Chinese including Cui Kai, Chin Taining, and Zhu Xiaodi, in addition to Ming Zhang.

"To participate in China's incredible growth and modernization is a privilege and especially meaningful to me. As a youth growing up in Nanjing, I never imagined that I would be recognized for designing landmark buildings in China today," said Ming Zhang. "Designing buildings in China is an architect's dream, as developers seek high-imagery projects to fill skylines and make bold statements."

Ming Zhang is Design Director at MulvannyG2, responsible for projects in the U.S. and international markets such as China, Japan, Korea, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Some of his notable projects include: China Construction Bank, Xiamen; Shanghai Fudan University Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shanghai; Zhangjiang Semiconductor Research Park, Shanghai; Fujian Provincial Electric and Power Company, Fuzhou; Redmond City Hall, Washington; Towers on Capitol Mall, California.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Blog Business Summit in Seattle October 25-27

The next Blog Business Summit will be held at the beautiful Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle, WA and will be three days of business blogging mania. It's going to be a great one, and there are lots of new speakers and sessions lined up. Besides the "usual suspects" such as Robert Scoble, Buzz Bruggeman, Dave Taylor, Mary Hodder, and Halley Suitt, etc. there are several new presenters including: Jason Calacanis: CEO of Weblogs Inc. an AOL company Jory Des Jardins: Co-founder, BlogHer Ben Edwards: Manager of New Media Communications, IBM Andru Edwards: Entrepreneurial Blogger Maryam Scoble has been named conference co-chair. New sessions on Podcasting and video blogginghave been added. Special discounts to the event: Early bird pricing is available until September 22. Use the discount code "loyal" (lowercase) to save an additional $50 off any package. SPECIAL BLOGGER DISCOUNT: Bloggers who post about the event (and link back) prior to registering can save $100 off the current pricing by emailing us with a link to the post. We will respond by sending a discount code worth $100 off any package. Just email:

International Ballet Theatre Brings Dracula to Meydenbauer Center for Halloween

Giant Gargoyle heralds International Ballet Theatre’s

Halloween classic, Dracula!

Only West Coast production

October 27-31, 2006

The International Ballet Theatre (IBT), under the direction of Kirov Ballet dancer, master teacher, and world-renowned choreographer, Vera Altunina, will present the electrifying and passionate performance of Dracula, at Meydenbauer Theater October 27-31, 2006. Few dance companies in the world attempt to perform this macabre romantic thriller – IBT presents the only West Coast production of this classic love story.

A humongous, growling gargoyle (8’ tall, 12’ wingspan), with moving wings and a shroud of fog, will guard the entrance to Meydenbauer Theatre during the month of October, welcoming all arts patrons who dare to enter! The Gargoyle was built by Distortions Unlimited, and donated to IBT by Display and Costume (Seattle) to promote IBT’s annual cult classic, now in its third consecutive year.

Bram Stoker’s, gothic masterpiece, Dracula (1896) became a cultural phenomenon of the 20th Century, canvassing film, music, dance and virtually all mediums of pop culture. IBT’s dance extravaganza of this classic tale seduces the audience with a range of emotion, exploring the depths of good and evil through elegance, beauty, and heart-pounding energy.

IBT’s production of Dracula is filled with diverse artistic offerings from classical ballet to theater jazz and modern dance choreographed by master teachers Jerry Tassin and Eva Stone. Eastern European folk rhythms, magicians, acrobats, warlocks doing an Irish jig, and witches tap-dancing on coffins create an energetic production not performed anywhere else on the West Coast.

Guest Artist

Anton Pankevitch, IBT guest artist and dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), will perform the leading role of Jonathan. Mr. Pankevitch was last seen in PNB’s production of Jewels, May 2006.


IBT transforms Meydenbauer Center into Castle Dracula for Dractacular! – an electrifying masquerade party, dinner and auction, prior to the Sunday, October 29th performance. Tickets to the performance are included in the Dractacular! ticket price of $100 per person, $1000 per corporate table (10). Call 425.284.0444 for tickets.

Halloween Party

Dracula is entertaining for audiences of all ages, including children. Families are invited to bring children to the costume contest during the Saturday or Sunday matinee performances. All brave souls are encouraged dress up and join IBT for a very special performance on Halloween night where Dracula’s presence is sure to “touch” everyone in the theatre…

Tickets for Dracula are on sale beginning September 5th by calling 206.325.6500 or Tickets are: $35 – Adult, $25 for Senior/Student, and $15 – child (12 & under). Performances open at Meydenbauer Theater in Bellevue, Washington (11100 NE 6th Street, Bellevue, WA):

Friday, October 27 - 7:30pm

Saturday, October 28 – 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Sunday, October 29 – 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Tuesday, October 31 – 7:30pm

Sink your teeth into this intriguing drama of love, bloodlust, loss and redemption…of power and passion…of good and evil…and the search for immortality. “Long live Dracula. May he never rest in peace.”

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Great Newsletter for Investing Your Retirement Plan

Guidant Financial in Bellevue puts out a monthly newsletter called Savvy Investor Newsletter that is full of information about putting your retirement plan to work for you. Check it out!

New Kiwanis Club in Redmond Seeks More Members

I recently received an email from Eastside Business reader Jen Heuer, who is involved in a Kiwanis Club that was started in Redmond about two months ago. She would like everyone to know that they have 25 members already and are looking to grow. The Redmond Kiwanis Club meets every Tuesday from noon to 1p.m. at the Marriott Redmond Town Center – Meritage Restaurant. All guests are welcome. Information: Jen Heuer 417-1686. Go check 'em out and lend a hand where you can. Kiwanis is a great service organization dedicated to helping children and young adults and can use your help.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Celebrity Chef For New Bellevue Japanese Fusion Restaurant Performs Galleria Summer Concert Series Cooking Demonstration

National award-winning Chef Warren Seta, assisted by Sushi Chef Sim Sung Honda will be performing a contemporary Japanese fusion cooking demonstration Thursday, September 14, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. as a highlight of the Bellevue Downtown Association’s Galleria summer concert series.

Seta will be chef at the new Yama Japanese fusion cuisine restaurant slated to open in late October on the third floor of the Galleria, 550 106th Ave. N.E..

The cooking demonstration will be interactive between the two nationally recognized chefs. Chef Seta will be preparing a dish that won several national accolades at his former restaurant.

Originally from Hawaii, Seta has over 25 years experience in the restaurant business. In 1981 he left Hawaii, and in 1996 acquired the well-known Las Vegas Japanese restaurant, Mizuno's Japanese Steak House, located at the Tropicana Resort & Casino. Under his direction Mizunos was voted “Best Restaurant in Las Vegas,” as well as one of the top ten in the U.S. by the National Restaurant and Hospitality Group.

Seta opened Malibu Chan's in November 1999. It soon became recognized as the hip restaurant in Las Vegas, with its signature menu focusing on comfort foods infused with the flavors of Asia and the Southwest. Since then Seta and the restaurant have received numerous awards and accolades, including the Millennium International Award of Excellence as one of America's great chefs.

Executive chef Warren Seta, former chef/owner of Mizuno’s and Malibu Chan's in Las Vegas was sought out by Yama Restaurant owner Alex Han. He wanted to ensure his restaurant would quickly gain regional and national attention as the “best of the best” in sushi and grilled fish infused with creative compliments, i.e. rock shrimp tempura fondue. The concept created by Han immediately captured the attention of the nationally recognized restaurant developer / renowned chef.

Yama Restaurant is slated to open in late October in Bellevue’s Galleria, 550-106th Avenue N.E., third floor. The Japanese restaurant, the Pearl of the Eastside will feature sushi and grilled seafood on the lunch and dinner menus. For or more information, contact (425) 453-4007 or

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

September Issue of Eastside Business is Out

The September issue of Eastside Business is out. Subscriptions have been mailed and over 10,000 copies are being distributed at over 300 locations on the Eastside. The lead article on the front page is about the Bellevue Entrepreneur Center's First Annual Fundraising luncheon that was held at Meydenbauer Center. Thank you to all that attended, the speakers, sponsors, volunteers and the businesses and individuals that donated items for the silent auction. Special thanks go to Carl Bortolami who took photo of the event (some of which grace the cover of the issue) and to BEC Executive Director Victoria Van Nguyen who orchestrated the entire event. In additon to news articles, columns and people in the news in the September issue of Eastside Business, be sure see the new ads from Bellevue Towers high-rise homes, Guidant Financial, Bellevue Arts Museum, Jeff Levy, the Entrepreneur's Source, and Cartridge World of Issaquah. Please support these and the other great advertisers that enjoy the benefits of an advertising partnership with Eastside Business. They make it possible for the Eastside Business team to provide the paper to 15,000 fantastic readers on the Eastside and beyond. Many of our readers are kind enough to pass along their issue to collegues or friends, which more than doubles our readership. Thank you all for your support of Eastside Business.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue #6 in Vehicle Theft Rates

Definitely not a top ten list to shoot for, the National Insurance Crime Bureau has released their list of the top ten metropolitan areas with the highest vehicle theft rates last year: The 10 metropolitan areas with the highest vehicle theft rates last year were: 1. Modesto, Calif. 2. Las Vegas/Paradise, Nev. 3. Stockton, Calif. 4. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Ariz. 5. Visalia/Porterville, Calif. 6. Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue, Wash. 7. Sacramento/Arden-Arcade/Roseville, Calif. 8. San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, Calif. 9. Fresno, Calif. 10. Yakima Wash. The NICB also names the "hottest cars" in the U.S. In its most recent study, the most stolen cars were: 1. 1995 Honda Civic 2. 1989 Toyota Camry 3. 1991 Honda Accord 4. 1994 Dodge Caravan 5. 1994 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup 6. 1997 Ford F150 Series 7. 2003 Dodge Ram Pickup 8. 1990 Acura Integra 9. 1988 Toyota Pickup 10. 1991 Nissan Sentra Which makes me think that these statistics are incorrect and/or confirms that people that who steal cars often are just trying to find a way to get to work.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Cjazz Benefit Jazz Weekend in Kauai

Michele Abrams of CJazz is putting together a great benefit Jazz Weekend in Kauai. If you're a jazz fan and are looking to get out of town, I'm fairly certain you'll enjoy Kauai. Here's the details: TWO HOT NIGHTS OF JAZZ ON KAUAI TO BENEFIT YWCA OF KAUAI Reduced Room Rates at both Grand Hyatt Kauai and Princeville Resorts The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, and Princeville Resort, are teaming up with the YWCA of Kauai and Cjazz Productions, to host the most prestigious jazz concert ever held on Kauai. The event, produced by Cjazz, is generously and jointly supported by Diamond sponsors, The Garden Island news and Road Runner High Speed Internet. The concert, billed as JAZZ ON THE SHORES, is being held on Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28 at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and Princeville resorts respectively, as a benefit for the YWCA of Kauai to help continue much needed operations of the YWCA’s Family Violence Shelter. The concerts will begin at approximately 7:30 PM. Cjazz, a jazz music promotions company based in Seattle, WA, and headed by Michele Abrams and Jeff Christensen, has more than 12 years of experience as promoters of Jazz artists and producers of live concerts, featuring the top stars of Smooth Jazz. General admission tickets are $40 per person when obtained in advance. The cost will be $50 per person at the door. VIP tables selling for $700, ten to a table, at the Grand Hyatt Kauai will also be available on a limited basis. Both Princeville and Grand Hyatt Kauai resorts have reduced their room rates by more than 50% between the dates of October 25th and 29th for those who want to stay at the resorts before and/or after the event. Reservations for these special rates are based on availability and must be booked no later than October 6 by calling special toll-free numbers set up for concert attendees. Both resorts encourage those interested in attending to book early as seating is limited. Tables of ten seats each at the Grand Hyatt Kauai will be sold to private groups and companies for $700 for up-front seating and comfort. All tables include souvenir gift bags. Approximately twelve tables are available at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and half have already been sold. Tables must be purchased by September 15 and are available by calling or e-mailing the YWCA. Special arrangements will be made to deliver these VIP tickets to a designated member of the group. There will be theater style seating only at the Princeville Resort. Headlining the event will be international jazz saxophonist, Jeff Kashiwa, saxophonist, Euge Groove, and keyboardist, Gregg Karukas, with a full back-up band. Also included is a special guest appearance by vocalist, Raz Kennedy. All are mainland artists with international acclaim. Kashiwa, who studied jazz at Berkley College for two years, was the featured saxophonist of the popular contemporary jazz group, The Rippingtons, for seven years and is featured on six of their chart topping releases. In addition to recording with the Rippingtons, Jeff has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. For Jazz on the Shores, he will be backed by an ensemble of talented musicians including Dave Hooper on drums, Cornelius Mims on bass, and guitarist, Ray Fuller. While working on his Bachelors of Music at Cal State Long Beach, Kashiwa took to the road for a while with the ska/reggae/R&B outfit The Untouchables, which played MTV's first Spring Break. Jazz- Page 3 Kashiwa appeared on Ripps' recordings such as "Welcome to the St. James Club," "Curves Ahead," "Weekend in Monaco," "Sahara," "Black Diamond," and "Live in L.A." He can also be heard on a number of soundtracks for movies and television, including the main theme for ABC's All My Children. Euge Groove (born Steven Eugene Grove) is an American smooth jazz saxophonist with a strong Top 40 background that reviewers describe as smooth and sexy—music that makes you want to turn up the volume. If you have not heard him before, you’ll go to all lengths to find out more about where to buy his music. Fans say they play his albums over and over and never get bored. Groove replaced Richard Elliott in the still-popular group, Tower of Power when Elliot decided to pursue a solo career. After a four year run with “Tower”, he freelanced doing sessions and working in backup bands for clients such as Joe Cocker, Elton John, The Eurythmics, the Gap Band and Huey Lewis and the News, as well as Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt and Richard Marx. When his debut album was released in May of 2000, he toured with Tina Turner and was named R&R’s breakout artist of the year, Jazz Trax Debut Artist and earned a Prism Award nomination. In 1987 Groove released his first solo album, The Nightowl, which quickly became a Quiet Storm radio staple. That same year he became the original keyboardist with the Rippingtons, recording the classic Moonlighting project with Kenny G and David Benoit. Gregg Karukas is a talented, smooth jazz keyboardist, pianist and songwriter, originally from the Washington, DC-Maryland area where he was one of the top fusion and studio players in town. He experimented with keyboards as early as the age of six, but it was not until his teens that he pursued music professionally. Gradually, he developed a relaxing smooth jazz style of music that made him a mainstay on smooth jazz radio stations. He has also been a popular guest artist on tours with Boney James, Peter White, Eric Marienthal, Ricardo Silveira and Larry Carlton and has produced a vast array of artists at his own Nightowl Studios, including Peter White, Craig Chaquico, and The Pointer Sisters. As a songwriter, his tunes have been recorded by Richard Eliott, George Benson, Deniece Williams and a host of other well-known recording artists. Raz Kennedy has been performing and recording in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two decades. A founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s “Voicetra”, he has also worked on projects with the June Watanabe Performance Ensemble, Toni Childs, and Oberlin Dance Collective. He has toured nationally and internationally and has recorded numerous radio, TV, and film projects including the Academy Award winning documentary, “Common Threads.” His recording credits include vocals with Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Loggins, Narada Michael Walden, Todd Rundgren, Jason Becker and others. As a vocal coach and producer, Raz has an impressive client list including Adam Duritz and other members of The Counting Crows; Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band; Brenda Holloway; Grammy award winning artists, Los Tigres; and Narada Michael Walden. Raz served on the Board of Governors at the Recording Academy's San Francisco Chapter, organizing local seminars and clinics with an emphasis on vocal production. As a music educator, he is a long-time faculty member at three leading community musical institutions; Blue Bear School of American Music, Jazzschool, and The East Bay Center for The Performing Arts. “Jazz On The Shores promises to be a stellar production with all the bells and whistles of a concert you would see on the mainland,” says Leila Fuller who is the main contact for the YWCA. “We’ve pulled out all the stops to ensure a professional production and we hope Kauai jazz lovers and newcomers to the jazz genre will be talking about this event for months to come. It’s a win-win event because Kauai will be entertained for at least two hours while their attendance will help keep our Family Violence Shelter for women and children in operation. We also owe a lot of the success of this event to the United Way, of which we are proud to be a participating member.” Leila points out that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “What a great way to draw attention to the need to stop the violence and raise the consciences of our community about domestic violence,” she says. Cjazz, which is solely a for-profit company, has agreed to render its promotion and production services at no charge, to demonstrate its Aloha spirit and love for Kauai. “We fell in love with Kauai and its friendly people on our first visit,” says Michele Abrams, “and realized immediately that it was a special place. Our purpose in acting as producers and promoters for this benefit is to assist the YWCA in continuing its operations of the Women’s Shelter; a cause that we feel very passionate about. We felt compelled to participate in some way, and given our expertise in concert production, we felt this was an area where we could best contribute.” For room reservations at either resort, mention the “Cjazz concert” to receive reduced rates between October 25 and 29 (based on availability) by calling the following toll-free numbers: • Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa- 800-742-2353. Room rates at the Hyatt will be offered at $195 per night, plus applicable taxes, for double occupancy. • Princeville Resort - 800-826-4400 Princeville is offering rooms rates of $235 per night, plus applicable taxes for double occupancy. Tickets will be available in early September at the following outlets: • Scotty’s Music located in Kalaheo at 2-2436 Kaumualii Highway near the Shell Gas Station • Bounty Music at 4-991 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa • Photo Spectrum at 2987 Umi Street in Lihue • Borders Books and Music at Kukui Grove Shopping Center in Lihue • Princeville Resort in Princeville • Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Poipu. Tickets may also be purchased through the YWCA using either cash, credit card (VISA or Master Card) or check made payable to YWCA of Kauai. Call Debi Bird at 808 245-5959 , EXT 226 for ticket information or send your check ($40 per person) to the YWCA at 3094 Elua Street, Lihue, Kauai, 96766.

Eastside Business Welcomes Bellevue Towers

I'd like to welcome Bellevue Towers as one of our newest advertisers at Eastside Business. The new condo towers are going to be 42 stories and are being built at the site of the old Puget Power building in Bellevue: NE Corner of 4th and 106th Ave NE. There are a lot of cool features about the project including that it will include Urban Gardens and that it is being built with sustainable building practices. Check out their website at

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Business Newspaper War is On!

Lately there has been a business publication from south King County that has expanded to start an Eastside edition - trying to break into a great market. As you probably know, Eastside Business is locally owned and operated and made it's debut in March of 2005. This other publication is published by a Renton City Councilman who knows Renton very well. Out of respect to Denis Law (and mostly to focus entirely on the Eastside), we had previously chosen to stay out of the Renton and the south countymarket. This was before their salespeople started contacting our advertisers. We will now be spreading the word throughout the land about the affordable advertising opportunities provided by Eastside Business. We will continue to focus our news on the great businesses and people on the Eastside, but will allow business to take advantage of our ad rates that are about 1/2 the cost of those in the other paper from Renton. Our readers and advertisers are the best and thanks to all of you, Eastside Business continues to thrive! Thank you for your support of Eastside Business. War has been declared on us - and you can be certain that we will respond appropriately. We already fended off advances of one outsider trying to put the local business publication out of business. Let's see them start to promote some great local organizations like the Bellevue Entreprenuer Center, Eastside Heritage Society, The Trade Fair, The 24 Hour Relay, Hopelink, Kirkland Boys and Girls Club, and many more fantastic Eastside groups.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bellevue Entrepreur Center Has First Annual Fundraising Luncheon

Today, Saturday August 12th at Meydenbauer Center, the Bellevue Entrepreneur Center, BEC, held their First Annual Fundraising Luncheon and Silent Auction. The keynote speaker was Tom O'Keefe, Chairman and Founder of Tully's Coffee, who was a very entertaining speaker with great insights on what it takes to be an Entrepreneur in today's business climate. The MC for the Event was George Northcroft, Chairman of the Board for BEC and the Director of the King County Office of Business Relations & Economic Development. Other speakers included John Valaas, President and CEO of First Mutual Bank, Victoria Van-Nguyen, the Executive Director and CEO of BEC and Corey Hansen a Certified Business Counselor for the Washington Small Business Development Center. I would like to personally thank Carl Bortolami of who volunteered his time to take photos of the event. Please look for Carl's photos in the September edition of Eastside Business. The Bellevue Entrepreneur Center is a great organzation, and I encourage all those involved in Business on the Eastside to become involved and support their find work.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Eric Gorrell of HomeTeam on the Final Panel at Inman SF Real Estate Connect

Eric Gorrell, President and CEO of, Inc. was on the final panel at the Inman SF Real Estate Connect conference last week. Here he is making a point to Brad Inman (r), Joel Singer, President, Real Estate Business Services (REBS), California Association of Realtors, on his left.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lennox Scott of John L. Scott at Inman Real Estate Connect in San Francisco

Here at the second day of the Inman SF Real Estate Connect conference, Lennox Scott (on the left) from John L. Scott Real Estate is on a panel with the subject being “Fight, Flight or Partner?” He is sharing the stage with Steve Ozonian, the new CEO of Help-U-Sell and they both have very different view points on the services (and commissions) that real estate buyers really need. Also on stage is Dottie Herman, CEO of Prudential Douglas Elliman in NYC, Justin McCarthy, Strategic Partner Development Manager of Real Estate at Google. The session is being moderated by Brad Inman himself.

Eastside Business Publisher Joe Kennedy with Craig Newmark of Craigslist

Friday, May 05, 2006

Expedia's Chairman Barry Diller Nets $464 Million

An article the other day in the Seattle P-I talked about Barry Diller, who is the Chairman of Bellevue-based Expedia netting a paltry $464 million from exercising stock options from both Expedia and IAC/InterActiveCorp last year. I guess you could live on that and not have to worry too much about a $726,115 salary, $3.25 million bonus and $955,769 in various benefits. Hey Barry - Have you considered investing some of that cash back into the local Eastside community?

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Washington State Challenges World’s Premier Wine Regions

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate Awards Washington First “Perfect” 100-point Wine Scores The current issue of legendary wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr.’s Wine Advocate features a record-breaking review of Washington state’s wine industry, including the first 100-point scores in the state’s history. The April 24 review, written by Parker associate Pierre-Antoine Rovani, rated 86 Washington wines 90-points (“outstanding”) or higher, underscoring that Washington state has the ability to meet or exceed quality standards established by the finest wine regions in the world. Making industry history, Quilceda Creek of Snohomish, Wash. secured 100-points for both its 2002 and 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. Only 15 other U.S. wines have received 100-point ratings from the Wine Advocate, and only five 100-point ratings have been awarded to consecutive vintages by the publication since its inception in 1978. "Receiving not one, but two 'perfect' 100-point scores is a tremendous achievement and demonstrates the quality vineyards and wines of Washington state,” said Robin Pollard, Executive Director of the Washington Wine Commission. "We’re extremely proud of Quilceda Creek’s historic recognition, as it reinforces our assertion that Washington is the ‘perfect climate for wine’ and can compete with the finest wine producing regions in the world.” In the Wine Advocate report, Rovani delivers praise for Washington’s vineyards and wine producers, stating that “Washington state’s Columbia Valley, long described as having great potential, has fulfilled many expectations and its future is as bright today as any viticultural region’s on Earth.” Rovani also asserts that “the future is indeed bright for Washington’s wine industry!” “This outstanding review is further proof that Washington state is now one of the premier wine regions in the world,” said Jeff Gordon, owner of Gordon Brothers Family Vineyards and chairman of the Washington Wine Commission. “We know this is just the first of more great accolades to come, and expect to see similar recognition for other Washington wineries soon.” Rovani also affirms the Washington wine industry’s newly-launched brand positioning, Washington State – the Perfect Climate for Wine™, calling out Washington’s inexpensive and plentiful land, ideal weather and “top-flight” knowledge base as key advantages for the region. He adds that during the ten years he has reviewed the Washington wine industry, “winemaking knowledge has been honed, and lessons learned, so that today Washington is home to some of the most astute winemakers in the world.” “The Wine Advocate report is a testament to the talented winemakers and world-class vineyards in Washington state,” said Ted Baseler, president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and a member of the Washington Wine Commission. “These are historic scores for a wine region that is making history." Washington state is the second largest producer of wine in the nation, contributing $3 billion annually to the state economy and employing 14,000 people.

“The Business Case for Diversity” Panel Discussion, May 2 in Bellevue

Why is diversity vitally important to the success of businesses and organizations today? That is just one question that will be answered at Business Case for Diversity, a panel discussion featuring top industry experts on May 2, 5:30 – 7:30 PM at City University, 150 120th Ave NE, Bellevue, Building F, Room 1029; telephone: 800-426-5596, TTY: 425-450-4660, This event is sponsored by City University, That Brown Girl Catering, and the City of Bellevue Parks & Community Services Cultural Diversity Program. This event is free and open to the community. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to the Cultural Diversity Office at 425-452-2835 or to Kevin Henry at Seating is limited. Topics covered will include workforce diversity recruitment and retention, resolving internal workplace issues, diversity trends in business, marketing to diverse audiences and diversity as a creative force in organization. A 30-minute question and answer session will follow the panel presentation and discussion. Confirmed panelists to date are: George Northcroft – Business and civic leader with experience in financial management, marketing and operations in Fortune 500 companies, and the Director of Business Relations & Economic Development for King County Executive Ron Sims. Kirk Adams - General Manager of Administration for Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, a private, not-for-profit agency providing employment, support, and training opportunities for people who are blind, deaf-blind, and blind with other disabilities. Jacqueline Hill - President of Pathways Human Development Group, a training and consulting firm specializing in developing high performance in organizations and enhancing personal development. Michael E. Sotelo - President of Approach Management Systems, President of the Washington State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Vice President and partner at WG Clark Construction Co. Also featured will be a panelist from the Greater Seattle Business Association, an organization dedicated to expanding business opportunities for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered populations. “Valuing diversity and demonstrating commitment to intercultural competence are necessities for any successful business or organization in today’s multi-cultural and interconnected world. The creativity of a diverse workforce contributes to an organization’s ability to meet the needs of the global marketplace.” Lee Gorsuch, President, City University., Inc. Acquires Encounter Technologies as Company Moves to Expand Site and Offer New Services, Inc., recently announced the acquisition of Encounter Technologies as company moves to expand the MyFamily web service. On this day, Encounter is one of three companies to graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) in 2006. ATDC is a nationally recognized science and technology incubator that helps Georgia entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. The acquisition of Encounter Technologies is another strategic step MyFamily is making to grow their team and develop technology that will give families innovative ways to connect and share on the Web. Other strategic steps include a new generation of executive talent that Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of, Inc. has attracted to pioneer the next wave of the company's growth and innovation. Michael Graff, a former Microsoft executive, is chief among them and recently joined MyFamily as a Senior Vice President and General Manager of the MyFamily business unit. With the acquisition of Encounter Technologies, MyFamily appoints Encounter Technologies' founder Hoyt Prisock to Vice President of Strategy and Business Development of the MyFamily web service. "The decision to acquire Encounter was centered on the new valuable Web experiences they have been developing as well as the expertise and passion that Hoyt Prisock and his team bring to our organization," said Graff. "We believe that this winning combination will complement our vision for what we will deliver in the near future." MyFamily has more than 3 millions members and is one of the first, and still one of the largest, family-oriented providers of private family web spaces on the internet. However, Graff noted, "Three million members is just the beginning. With the aggressive plans we have in place to improve the site and expand services, families have a lot to look forward to. As a result, we believe that many more families will choose MyFamily as their online gathering place to stay connected. Stay tuned."

Group Health Breaking New Ground in Bellevue

Specialty Center Set to Open 2008 Group Health Cooperative ( recently celebrated the groundbreaking of its new $125 million specialty center at the corner of NE 8th and 116th Ave. NE in Bellevue, Wash. The nearly 200,000-square-foot specialty center will serve more than 95,000 Group Health patients who live and work along the I-405 corridor. The center will house physician offices in 20 different specialties, including primary care, and will feature operating rooms for day surgery, diagnostic imaging, and 24-hour services for acute care and most emergencies. "This project is extremely important in terms of providing expanded, state-of-the-art health care access to the people of Bellevue and the region, and to our city's continued economic development and growth," said Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger. "Great cities need great medical facilities. This new facility will ensure that remains a reality here in Bellevue and takes us to the next level." Group Health patients will have access to more than 20 specialty areas and additional services including: -- Outpatient surgery -- Women's health care -- Cardiology -- Sports medicine and orthopedics -- Cancer treatment center -- Imaging services (CT, X-ray, MRI, and more) -- Pharmacy -- Lab -- Retail stores for hearing aids, eyewear, and health and wellness products "This is a great step forward for Group Health staff and the patients we serve in East King County," said Scott Armstrong, president and CEO of Group Health. "It's so rare to be able to start from scratch and build a new medical center designed specifically around what patients need and houses the latest in technology and medical equipment." Group Health's specialty center will be adjacent and connected by a passageway to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue. In 2008, Group Health's Eastside patients requiring inpatient care will be admitted to Overlake Hospital, where their Group Health physician will be on staff. "This highly visible, easy-to-find location next to Overlake Hospital will give Group Health's patients convenient access to their medical care in a new facility designed around their needs," said Jill Ostrem, vice president of Eastside for Group Health. The architects for the Group Health specialty center are Ellerbe Becket and Northwest Architectural Company. The general contractor is M.A. Mortenson. The principles of the Green Guide for Health Care(TM) are being incorporated in the building design. The guide supports eco-friendly construction including use of high performing, renewable resources, and energy-efficient operations in health care facilities.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Luncheon guests donate $191,000 to support BCC students, programs

Guests at the Bellevue Community College Foundation’s Creating Opportunities Luncheon April 26 have contributed a total of $191,185 so far to support student scholarships and extraordinary programs at the college. The total is expected to rise in coming days as contributions and matching gifts from donors and their employers continue to be received. The gift total is 6 percent higher than the results from last year’s luncheon. More than 460 guests attended the event at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue. Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna emceed the program, and former Western Wireless Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Stanton gave the keynote address, discussing the economic opportunities in store for the Eastside. Led by Wells Fargo Bank as premier corporate sponsor, a total of 30 local businesses underwrote the entire luncheon, so that every dollar given by guests would go to support students and programs. “The outpouring of gifts at our luncheon yesterday will help us keep the doors of opportunity open to students for whom higher education would otherwise be just a dream,” said Gaynor Hills, BCC Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the BCC Foundation. “All of us at BCC and the BCC Foundation are extremely grateful for the generous and growing support of the community.” Since its inception the BCC Foundation has raised more than $20 million on behalf of Bellevue Community College. Through a combination of individual, foundation and corporate donations, the Foundation provides funding for scholarships, program enhancements and mini-grants for faculty and staff projects.

How to Cancel AOL

My mom finally made it to the "future" - an upgrade to Cable from AOL. (She's actually still missing her old friend AOL). I don't understand how she was able to keep them for so many years. I tried very hard to get her off of it. Read what others at Digg say about how they were able to cancel aol: <

Eastside Heritage Center's New Book at Amazon

Lake Washington: the Eastside by Eastside Heritage Center is not due out until June 7th, but is now taking orders here. Order yours today! They will go fast. Support the Eastside Heritage Center - Get Involved with the EHC Bellevue Strawberry Festival. Sponsors, venders and volunteers needed.

MSN Video to Exclusively Stream the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

MSN Video to Exclusively Stream the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Live Webcast and Video Highlights on Demand Will Bring the Festival and Soul of New Orleans Into Households Around the World Who: Jazz Fest scheduled performances by Bruce Springsteen, The Dave Matthews Band, Dr. John, Keb' Mo', Elvis Costello, Herbie Hancock, Allen Toussaint, Galactic, the subdudes, Sonny Landreth, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with special guests begin airing live on MSN(R) Video April 30, 2006. What: MSN Video will offer an exclusive live Internet stream of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival performances this Sunday, April 30, from 3 to 8 p.m. EDT at . However, starting April 28, MSN is also offering interactive artist downloads and photos, interviews, original feature stories, news, playlists, New Orleans travel guides, and other dynamic content from the festival, bringing to life the next generation of online entertainment. MSN will donate all advertising proceeds from the show to New Orleans Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The second installment of the festival will be streamed live on MSN beginning the following weekend, May 7, 2006. When: The first live broadcast airs Sunday, April 30, 2006, from 3 to 8 p.m. EDT. (The second live broadcast airs live on MSN May 7, 2006.) Where: The exclusive content can be seen now at

"New" Website Had Benefits, Pitfalls

As I was going through files on the current website, I saw a post that I made here in November that said the "new" website was almost ready. It was a lot of fun and took a lot of time. People really enjoyed it and we got over 1200 page views a day. In the end, the open-source software and the servers that hosted it, did not prove to be reliable. The site(s) would often go down and more often, we would not be able to have access to edit it as needed. I have decided that reliability is more important than flash - although over time, we hope to have both. At any rate, this blog will probably now be used to post a lot more news about Eastside businesses.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Photo of Bellevue in 1969

Can anyone guess what intersection in Bellevue this is? The photo was taken in 1969 and is from the huge photo collection at the Eastside Heritage Center. Did you know you can buy prints of this and thousands of other photos? Great for home and impressive at the office. Support Eastside Heritage Center. Become a member herePosted by Picasa

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy 2006 - January issue of Eastside Business Monthly is out now

It's 2006 and I'm looking for great things to happen this year for Eastside Business. We plan on becoming even more involved in the community, helping more organizations and continuing to promote business on the Eastside. The January issue is out now - if you're not already a subscriber, pick up a copy at over 300 locations on the Eastside or subscribe here. If you ever have any comments, rants or raves we love to hear them all - especially the suggestions and criticisms. We sincerely want to make Eastside Business a news organization that the entire Eastside can be proud of. Simply write an email to