It is time to submit nominations for the 2014 Edmonds Chamber Arts Awards. Visit the chamber website, www.edmondswa.com/awards, for descriptions of each category and an online nomination form to nominate your favorite partners and volunteers. Hard copies are available at the Chamber office at 121 5th Ave. N. in Edmonds. Nominations are due by Feb. 18. Selected arts heroes will be honored at a public awards ceremony on March 20.
MRSC Rosters, a program of the Seattle-based non-profit Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington, is making construction and consulting businesses aware of small government projects through a free online roster application. Washington cities, counties, and special purpose districts statewide use MRSC Rosters to connect with businesses, including 45 Snohomish County public agencies. For more information, visit the website at www.mrscrosters.org
Washington State Department of Revenue has started an education effort about the taxability of medical marijuana. Several hundred businesses and organizations that provide medical marijuana, “medibles,” and related products, should receive letters explaining the taxes that apply to their transactions. The letters were mailed Friday. Businesses should comply by Jan. 24.
The State Auditor’s Office published a performance audit on improving the timeliness of state agency business permits, their second in a series of audits on state regulatory reform. This performance audit finds agencies and businesses don’t always know how long processes take because not all agencies measure permitting times or provide that information online. The full report is available at http://www.sao.wa.gov/AuditReports/AuditReportFiles/ar1010778.pdf
Community Health Center of Snohomish County, a nonprofit primary health care provider, will again offer pharmacy services to the Arlington community beginning Jan. 2. The center provides its medical and dental patients with low-cost and discount programs for prescriptions. New patients for medical, dental and pharmacy services are welcome to call and make an appointment.
Spokane-based Zaycon Foods will now deliver milk directly to customers in Everett and other select local cities every two weeks. The company offers minimally processed, non-homogenized milk that is said to maintain the benefits of raw milk while still offering protection from possible effects of contamination. The dairy also uses breeds of cows which produce more easily absorbed A2 beta casein protein.
Snohomish County lodging numbers were slightly lower in November 2013 than in November 2012. The county was down 1.7 percent in occupancy, up 0.5 percent in average daily rate and down 1.2 percent in revenue per available room for the month. Snohomish County finished second compared to other counties in occupancy, fourth in average daily rate and second in revenue per available room.
In a survey last spring, Washington employers reported they expect to nearly double their job openings by spring 2014. According to the Employment Security Department’s “2013 Spring Job-Vacancy and Hiring Survey Report,” job vacancies in Washington already increased by 63 percent, from nearly 52,000 in spring 2012 to more than 85,000 in spring 2013.
County unemployment rates and employment data for November 2013 have been posted online at www.esd.wa.gov/employmentdata. Click “Statewide and county detail” in the “Current unemployment rate” box. Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted so should not be compared directly to the seasonally adjusted statewide rate. December county numbers for 2013 will be released Jan. 28 2014.
The Washington Department of Ecology issued $283,166 in penalties of $1,000 or more in the third quarter of 2013. Penalties are issued in cases where non-compliance continues after the Department of Ecology has provided technical assistance or warnings, or for particularly serious violations. Collected penalty monies are placed in special accounts to help fund environmental restoration, research, education and related programs.
USDA Rural Development in Washington state is accepting applications for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program, which provides funds to finance and facilitate development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas of the state. Those applications received at USDA Rural Development State Office in Olympia by the close of business on Jan. 31 will be considered for Fiscal Year 2014 funding.