Saturday, February 28, 2015

What is THE Best Gym in Bellevue?

It is that time of year when most of the people who started going to the gym in January for a New Year's Resolution have quit, making the local gyms less crowded for the rest of the year.  Personally, my health club membership expires in two weeks and I am looking to make a change.

[socialpoll id="2255737"]

National Film Festival for Talented Youth to Return for 9th Year

National Film Festival for Talented Youth NFFTY 2015The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), the world’s largest and most influential film festival for emerging directors, showcasing work by filmmakers 24 and younger from around the globe, will return for its ninth consecutive year this April (23-26) in Seattle, WA.

In an effort to address the issue of gender inequality in film, the 2014 festival included the launch of the “Best Emerging Female Filmmaker” award, which was presented on Closing Night. This year’s event will continue to create opportunities where emerging female filmmakers can feel supported to pursue their passions as part of its overall mission to encourage and promote the world’s best new filmmakers. “Femme Finale” will close out the festival on April 26, highlighting the best from NFFTY 2015 Female Filmmakers.

Said NFFTY Managing Director Stefanie Malone, “In an industry where only 9% of directors and 25% of producers are women, NFFTY wants to provide opportunities where emerging female filmmakers can feel supported to pursue their passions.” The 2014 festival boasted 40% of films coming from female directors, something Malone would love to meet or exceed in 2015.

Founded by three then-teenagers Jesse Harris, Jocelyn R.C., and Kyle Seago in 2007, NFFTY (pronounced “nifty”) has since expanded its reach to an ever-growing number of young artists and audiences (of all ages).

Harris wrote and directed the feature film “Living Life” when he was 17, obtaining distribution for the film shortly after his graduation from high school. His success resulted in young filmmakers around the globe seeking his advice, including R.C., who expressed interest in helping to form a socially responsible youth arts organization.  Harris and R.C. teamed up with Seago, establishing the non-profit and holding a one-night “Kick Off” festival April 26, 2007.

Last year, the 2014 festival received a record-breaking 800 submissions all over the world. 214 films that represented 30 U.S. states and 15 countries were showcased at the festival, which was attended by more than 12,000 filmgoers.Festival programmers anticipate an all-time high for the 2015 number of submissions as NFFTY continues to represent the voice of this generation, with films covering all topics and genres, from compelling and provocative, to hilarious and uplifting.

The full lineup of 2015 festival films, galas, and panels will be announced in late March 2015.

More About NFFTY

NFFTY is the largest and most influential film festival in the world for emerging directors. NFFTY occurs each spring in Seattle and includes over 200 film screenings, panels, contests, parties and networking opportunities for young filmmakers. Young filmmakers from around the world submit feature-length and short films in narrative, documentary, animation, music video, experimental and action sport categories. Since its launch in 2007, NFFTY has screened films from 1,244 filmmakers from 38 countries, ranging in age from 7 – 22 years.  For updates and news on NFFTY 2015, visit

Friday, February 27, 2015

The End of Houses in Bellevue Below $500k?

Is it possible that we have seen the end of houses in Bellevue priced at less than $500k?  This was the Bellevue Homes Report that I posted at A New Day Real Estate early this morning:


Bellevue Homes Report A New Day Real EstateIn the past couple of days, there has been 20 new single family residences in Bellevue listed for sale on the NWMLS used by local real estate professionals to market and sell properties.  This is good news and a short trend of increasing home inventory that I would like to see continue for awhile.  These 20 newly listed Bellevue homes range in price from $542k to $1,999,995, with the average asking price at $889,336 and median asking price of $775k.

While 20 new SFR were listed, 6 were sold (closings) and 6 others went 'Pending' or 'Pending Inspection'.   The sales that closed ranged in price from $466,200 to $972,526, with an average sales price of $755,621.

Out of the 111 Bellevue 'houses' on the market,

Bellevue College to Perform 'Carnival'

CarnivalBellevue College Theatre Arts, with support from the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts in Seattle, will thrill audiences with their production of Carnival, the 1962 Tony Award winner for Best Musical about a girl named Lilly who finds herself working in a traveling circus.  Lilly is excited by Marco, the Magician, charmed by the Puppets she works with and is fearful of Paul, the puppeteer she begins to love.

Carnival is based on the book by Michael Stewart, with music and lyrics by Bob Merrill. The BC Theatre Department purchased circus equipment for this thrilling production with assistance from a BC Foundation Mini-Grant.

WHAT: Carnival, performed by BC students, produced by BC’s Department of Theatre Arts and directed by Tammis Doyle.


WHO: Appropriate for adults and children 7 and older

WHEN: March 11 – 14, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: BC students will perform magic and circus skills under the big top in the Carlson Theater (Building E 200) on the Bellevue College campus, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE


COST: Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 students and BC Faculty and can be purchased through A limited number of leftover tickets may be available for sale beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the day of each show.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bellevue City Councilmember John Stokes Announces Re-Election Campaign

John Stokes Bellevue City CouncilBellevue City Council member John Stokes has announced he will run for re-election to the Bellevue City Council.   The former Bellevue Parks and Community Services Board Member, award-winning education advocate, and retired attorney kicks off his re-election with the support of Mayor Claudia Balducci, Council members Lynne Robinson and John Chelminiak and State Senator Cyrus Habib, plus many others in the community.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to have served this community for the last four years,” said Stokes.  “As your Council member, I will continue to work every day to ensure Bellevue remains the “City in a Park” as it continues its journey to be the urban and cultural center of the Eastside.”

Four years ago, Stokes ran on a platform to bring balanced, bipartisan leadership to the Council.  Since his election to the Council, Stokes has helped move Light Rail forward on time and within budget while incorporating the best elements for the route. He also helped the Council reach a fiscally responsible budget that invests in the city’s needs now and for the future. This meant supporting investments in infrastructure and public safety while encouraging sound, responsible development and embracing the diversity and strength of the City’s vibrant neighborhoods.

Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci said, “"John brings a great deal of positive energy and creativity to the council and has pushed is to think and dream big.  He has also been someone who works well across philosophical and political lines to get good things done."

As a strong education advocate and outdoorsman, Stokes has remained committed to Bellevue’s kids including supporting our great public schools and promoting resources including the new Boys and Girls Club and Kids Quest facilities, the Downtown Park and Meydenbauer Bay Park, plus the trails and neighborhood parks that keep Bellevue a great community.

“Since my family and I moved to Bellevue over 20 years ago,” said Stokes, “I have been committed to the people, places and community that make this city great.  With your support, I will work every day to keep Bellevue the best place to live.”

In addition to his work on the Council, Stokes has been serving Bellevue on the boards of Eastside Pathways (a co-founder), Bellevue Schools Foundation, Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, Bellevue and Washington State PTA, and numerous city and regional boards and commissions.  As a practicing attorney for many years, Stokes specialized in representing small businesses and ordinary people, after doing complex litigation and business representation early on in his career.  He lives with his wife Bettina in the Woodridge neighborhood.

For more information, visit

Bellevue Overlake Dental is on the Bellevue Business Directory

Dr Young Lee Bellevue DentistThe newest member of the Bellevue Business Directory is Bellevue Overlake Dental and Dr. Young Lee, who have been awarded a Gold Listing (and free publicity and social sharing) for a month!

Each patient at Overlake Dental’s Bellevue dentistry clinic receives a customized treatment plan. During your very first visit to Bellevue Overlake Dental, you will receive a completely personalized experience and a breakdown of all the treatments you need to achieve your oral health goals.

This treatment plan serves as a guide or blueprint for achieving optimal oral health and may include several treatments or services, such as laser gum disease treatment, deep cleanings, tooth extractions, crowns and bridges, or orthodontic care. Many or all of these procedures can be performed in-house, and Dr. Lee is among the few dentists in Bellevue to offer several types of minimally-invasive procedures for patient comfort.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Old Way or New Way? Only One Way Works. My Way.

Jeffrey Gitomer King of SalesThe old way of selling is dead.

The only people who don’t know that are other sales trainers, recently released old-world sales tactics books that are still trying to convey old messages, and several million salespeople still trying to cold call, pitch the product, overcome objections, and close the sale. Don’t forget their managers who force them to use an uncomfortable “system, “ a non-sales helpful CRM, and hold their salespeople accountable for their actions and numbers. It’s over. Dead and over.

What killed it?
Who killed it?

The internet and its immediate access to any information – including one’s reputation – the economy, Google and online searchability in general, social media, smart phones, one-click buying, Amazon feedback and other ratings sites, and smarter customers and consumers both B2B and B2C. WOW!

The online and smartphone evolution has become a sales and selling revolution.

The NEW big picture of selling is quite simple. Here’s what to train and teach your salespeople:
• Teach why people buy rather than how to sell. My mantra and trademarked phrase is, People don’t like to be sold, but they LOVE to buy.
• Teach customer loyalty, not customer satisfaction. Customers may never be satisfied but will continue to do business with you based on your perceived value.
• Teach salespeople to “ask” questions about the customer rather than “tell” about their product. The old way of selling doesn’t work anymore. And no one is more aware of that than an informed customer.
• Teach salespeople to be responsible for their actions instead of being accountable for their activity.

Here are 4.5 NEW ways of thinking, acting and selling responsibly:
1. FIND THEIR WHY. Uncover your customer’s intentions and motives for purchase before or during your sales presentation. Do online searches for why they might buy, and ask emotionally revealing questions. Their “why” is your order.
2. TALK ABOUT THEIR OUTCOME. Share with him or her how they produce more and profit more AFTER purchase. Explain what happens after they take ownership Talk about how they win, not a bunch of boring crap about you that the customer could have found in less than two seconds on Google.
3. PROVE YOUR VALUE. Get several of your existing (best) customers to do video testimonials to corroborate your claims. When you say it about yourself it’s bragging, when others say it about you it is proof. Voice of customer is the proof you need to convert selling to buying.
4. DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN A PRISTINE REPUTATION. Not just your company and your products – you personally. Information and reputation arrives before you do. Google yourself right now. That’s what your customer sees before you arrive.
4.5 BEWARE AND BE AWARE OF THE INTERNET. It has changed and continues to change the face of selling, and the lives (not to mention the incomes) of salespeople. EXAMPLES: Retail sales, banking, trading stocks, buying cars, traveling, and, most important, the ability to research the opinions and outcomes of others. Get internet savvy. Get internet fluent. Then stay there.

A few months ago I wrote about the difference between aggressive selling and assertive selling. That difference is pivotal in the company’s philosophy of selling, salesperson’s method of selling, and the customer’s decision to buy your product or service.

Here is the CliffsNotes™ version of the difference:
• Aggressive salespeople “tell.”
• Assertive salespeople “ask.”
• Aggressive salespeople “go for the sale.”
• Assertive salespeople “go for the customer.”

Aggressive salespeople sell the old way. They talk, they brag, they give a demo, they manipulate to close the sale, they send proposals, and in general they fight. They fight to get an appointment, they fight price, they fight competition, and they fight for the sale – a sale that even if they win they have lost profit.

The assertive presentation challenges you, the salesperson, to bring forth a combination of your knowledge and value as it relates to customer needs as well as a superior ability to connect both verbally and non-verbally with the person or the group you’re addressing.

You’ll know your assertive strategy is working when the customer or the prospective customer begins asking questions to get a deeper understanding about the value and difference your product or service offers. This changes monologue to dialogue and creates the power of engagement, or should I say assertive engagement.

A FEW MORE WORDS OF CAUTION: The new way of selling requires more work on the part of the salesperson. More research, more preparation, more knowledge, better presentation skills, more value differentiation, and more proof.

This accentuates my rule of, “the more the more.” The more research, preparation, knowledge, enthusiastic presentation skills, value differentiation, and proof you bring to the sales presentation, the more sales you will make.

Which type of salesperson are you?

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His books are now available as online courses at For information about training and seminars visit or, or email Jeffrey personally at

© 2015 All Rights Reserved - Don't even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

- See more at:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sue Lundquist and Her AwesomeSOXX to Represent Eastside at Oscars

AwesomeSOXX is Going to the OscarsCongratulations goes to Eastsider Sue Lundquist, whose AwesomeSOXX have been chosen to be part of swag bags at the Oscars after parties this year!!

According to a post on her blog, Lundquist plans to wear a pair of her inspirational socks on the red carpet while donning an evening gown for the night's events.  If all goes right, by the end of the night, she will have some A List celebs sporting AwesomeSOXX too!

Congratulations Sue!

Seahawks to Retain and Refocus Marshawn Lynch, Help Him Represent as NFL's All-Time Single Season Rusher in 2015

[caption id="attachment_9841" align="alignright" width="300"]Marshawn Lynch Goes Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch Goes Beast Mode[/caption]

Breaking News:  The back to back NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks are expected to retain and refocus outspoken and unspoken running back Marshawn Lynch, coming to an agreement in the next couple of weeks.  To lure Lynch back for another season and run to the Super Bowl (and make amends for the fatal play call in the Super Bowl), the Seahawks will pledge to give Beast Mode the ball at least 30 times per game - and pay for any fines levied by the NFL for not speaking to the media.

Lynch has never carried 20 times a game over the course of a season in his storied NFL career.  The Seahawks and the 12s all expect giving Lynch the ball 30 times a game will result in a NFL Single Season Rushing Record for Marshawn Lynch

Even though it is annually assumed that he is going to retire every year, Beast Mode has a mission to carry out:  Win another Super Bowl, while eclipsing the Single Season Rushing Record of 2105 yards set by the LA Rams Eric Dickerson in 1984.  Marshawn Lynch owes it to himself and his legacy to not only play for the Seattle Seahawks in 2015, but prove himself out as the best ever and end his career back on top as Super Bowl Champion.  Nobody, especially Beast Mode, wants to retire as #2 - or #55.  Besides, Lynch is All About That Action, Boss.

Friday, February 20, 2015

AWB Statement on Benefits of Aerospace in Washington

The Association of Washington Business, Washington state’s largest business organization representing small, medium and large employers, issued the following statement from AWB President Kris Johnson regarding the Legislature’s attempt, through yesterday’s introduction of House Bill 2147, to erode the state’s competitiveness by reducing successful incentives for aerospace companies:

“Washington state is an aerospace hub for hundreds of employers who employ thousands people, who supply parts and innovate to make the sector successful and make Washington a great place to live.

“The fact is, aerospace incentives provide a significant return to Washington’s taxpayers. According to the state’s own estimate, the 2013 incentives will generate more than $21.3 billion in state and local tax revenue over 16 years —nearly three dollars in increased revenue for each dollar of incentives. This money will pay for vital public services including education, social services and infrastructure.

“Threatening to reduce the incentives is counterintuitive to the one sure-fire way to improve the state’s budget situation – get people back to work. These incentives not only encourage job growth in the aerospace industry, but they boost the whole economy.

“While it may be popular to focus on Boeing, hundreds of companies take advantage of the aerospace tax incentive, or other tax preferences, approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor. Reducing incentives sends the wrong message to current and potential employers about Washington’s business climate and severely harms the state’s competitiveness.

“AWB has a long history of advocating for job creation as a way to uplift communities and make the economy strong in every corner of the state. Unfortunately, this measure would do just the opposite. I urge the Legislature to put Washington’s competitive advantages above the fray. The many workers in all job sectors who depend on a strong aerospace industry need certainty that the jobs they have today will be heretomorrow.”

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,200 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit

Half of Condos For Sale in Bellevue at Washington Square

According to a post this morning on A New Day Real Estate's Bellevue Condo Report, half of the condos listed for sale in Bellevue are located at Washington Square in downtown Bellevue.

Although there are 140 condo properties in Bellevue listed for sale, a few of them are at 55+ communities and one of them is a boat slip in Newport Shores.  Listings at Washington Square account for 69 other properties, leaving the remainder condo inventory in Bellevue at super low levels.



Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Announces Annual Awards

WA Wine Grape GrowersThe Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers announced annual awards for Grower of the Year, Industry Service, Lifetime Achievement, Restaurant Appreciation and Posters at their convention which was held in Kennewick last week.

Awards were:


Robert Rivera, of Goose Ridge Winery received the Erick Hanson Memorial Wine Grape Grower Award for exceptional viticultural skills. Rivera is known for his wealth of experience in the wine industry and his tireless dedication to the betterment of vine structure, canopy management, and all the integral parts that keep a vineyard growing & thriving. Amongst his colleagues, he is recognized for his loyalty, wisdom, and commitment to quality.


Kevin Corliss, of St. Michelle Winery Estates received the Industry Service Award for his tireless dedication on behalf of and for the continual improvement and benefit of the wine grape industry. Since 1983 when he first began at St. Michelle as a lab assistant intern he is now Vice President of Vineyard Operations and his passion for the industry and years of experience has made him one of the most trusted people in the industry.


Rich Wheeler, of St. Michelle Winery Estates received a Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize his outstanding service to the Washington grape and wine industry. Wheeler started his career with St. Michelle in 1979 and retired in 2010 as Vice President of Vineyards. The development of vineyards especially in the Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain regions is just one of his accomplishments that he takes pride in especially because of the simple love for planting vines.

Each year a restaurant is selected that does an exceptional job of showcasing and educating diners about Washington wines. This year’s recipient was the Seaview restaurant, 42nd Street CafĂ© & Bistro. Serving food to residents, friends and visitors of Oregon’s north and Washington’s south coasts since 1994, the Seattle Times raves that it is “a casual restaurant that is serious about food”. The food is accompanied by an attentive staff and an impeccable wine list that features many of Washington’s best. 


Posters provide an opportunity for students, educators, researchers, and other professionals to present new information and discuss the work they are doing with wine and grape industry stakeholders. Displays provide information on a variety of topics including wine and grape research, wine marketing and promotion, extension and educational outreach, educational class projects, technology transfer, tax and/or assessment funded industry support, or institutional research funding.

Posters were judged by industry stakeholders and prizes were awarded in three categories: Graduate, Undergraduate and Professional.



1st Place:

Trent Ball1, Ray Folwell1, Doug Walsh2 and Naidu Rayapati3

1Agri-Business Consultants, LLC., Prosser, WA 98930, Departments of 2Entomology and 3Plant Pathology, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, Prosser, WA

TOPIC: Is ‘Grape Virus Tax’ hitting your Pocketbooks?


2nd Place:

Richard C. Larsen1 and Maria M. Mireles1 and James F. Harbertson1

1School of Food Science, Washington State University, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser, Washington

TOPIC: Impacts of Grape Maturity and Ethanol Concentration on Wine Tannin Concentration


3rd Place:

Markus Keller1, Laura S. Deyermond1,2, Sushan Ru3, Bhaskar R. Bondada3

1Washington State University, Prosser, Washington, 2Windsor Oaks Vineyards and Winery, Windsor, California, 3Washington State University, Richland, Washington

TOPIC: The ‘Big Vine’ Effect: Why Vigor Declines in Grapevines With High Shoot Numbers




1st Place:

Golnaz Badr and Gerrit Hoogenboom

AgWeatherNet, Washington State University, Prosser, Washington

TOPIC: Site Selection of Vineyards


2nd Place:

Leslie A. Holland1, Gary G. Grove2, Dean A. Glawe1

1Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 2Department of Plant Pathology, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser, Washington

TOPIC: A Reassessment of Grapevine Trunk Diseases in Washington State Vineyards


3rd Place:

Zachary M. Cartwright and Charles G. Edwards, School of Food Science, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

TOPIC: Evaluation of the Survival of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in Grape Pomace




1st Place:

Joe Sperry and Thomas Spotteck

TOPIC: Growth Characteristics, Fruit Composition and Wine Quality of Syrah as a Function of Trellis System


2nd Place (tie):

Leslie Walker1, Basavaraj Bagewadi2, Prashant Swamy2, Andrew Schultz3 and Naidu Rayapati2,*

1Undergraduate Student Intern, V&E Program, WSU-Tri-Cities, Richland, WA, 2Department of Plant Pathology, WSU-IAREC, Prosser, WA and 3Hattrup Farms Inc., Wapato, WA

TOPIC: A new soil-borne virus disease in Washington vineyards


2nd Place (tie):

Brooke Kietzman and Jameson Clark

TOPIC: Riesling - Fining Trials Pre-Fermentation vs Post-Fermentation

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Recreational Marijuana Retail Store Grand Opening in Kirkland

Higher Leaf, Kirkland’s premiere Recreational Marijuana Store has announced their official Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, which will be co-hosted by the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce is on Thursday, February 26th at 5:30 pm. Representatives from both the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and the Kirkland City Council will be in attendance.

They will have product specials and demonstrations at the main event and throughout the weekend of February 26th-March 1st. Representatives from Zoots, Craft Elixirs, Verdelux Chocolates, Liberty Reach, Confidence Labs, and several growers will be on hand for product demonstrations and some will provide non-infused samples of their products. Consumption of marijuana or marijuana infused products on the premises is not permitted so demonstrations will be done with non-infused products or household spices. Snacks will be available at the ribbon cutting event for anyone with a case of the munchies.

The event is happening at 12525 Willows Road NE, Suite 60, Kirkland, WA 98034 at 5:30 pm for the ribbon cutting event and throughout the weekend and the public (over 21) is invited.

Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra Presents Spring Concert: "Pictures at an Exhibition".

Lake Washington Symphony OrchestraThe Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra will give its spring concert on Sunday, March 8th at 3:00 PM at the Kirkland Performance Center. The program will include Weber's Euryanthe, the Bruch Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra featuring internationally acclaimed violinist Elisa Barston, and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

To complement Mussorgsky's great work, the Ryan James Fine Arts Gallery will host an exhibition of the paintings of contemporary artist Scott Wallin. The paintings are from his Particle Track Series, and were influenced by photographic images taken at particle accelerator facilities.

The Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra's "Pictures at an Exhibition"  is Sunday, March 8th at 3:00 pm at the Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033. Tickets are $30 General, $25 Seniors and $15 Students. Children aged 12 and under are free.  Spring concert tickets are available now through Kirkland Performance Center

Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci to Run Against Incumbent Jane Hague for King County Council

Bellevue Mayor and King County Council Candidate Claudia BalducciBellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci, a Sound Transit Board member and former director of the King County Jails, has announced that she will run for the King County Council.  She will seek the District 6 seat currently held by 20-year incumbent Jane Hague. As reported on February 10, 2015 by Rob Butcher of Kirkland Views, Hague is planning to run for re-election which will make for an interesting race here on the Eastside.  The district includes the cities of Bellevue, Mercer Island, Redmond and Kirkland among others.  In the first few days of the campaign, Balducci reports $15,000 raised.

“We live in a dynamic, diverse, and growing region.  It’s time for new leaders who reflect the priorities and potential of the Eastside,” said Balducci. “In my experience as a local official, transit leader and mom, I’ll bring new ideas and energy to the Council, helping to make sure our voices and values are reflected in critical areas of policy and planning.”

A proven problem solver and consensus builder, Balducci has helped lead Bellevue through contentious land use and transportation planning efforts to ensure planned light rail construction and continued downtown development.  In her former role as Director of King County Jails, she helped to preserve public safety and streamlined spending to address revenue shortfalls after the recession, maintaining needed staffing levels while improving safety and conditions for the mentally ill.

Reflecting this track record of building strong, constructive partnerships, Balducci enters the race with endorsements from U.S. Representative Adam Smith, State Senator Cyrus Habib, State Representatives Tana Senn and Ross Hunter, along with Bellevue Councilmembers Lynne Robinson and John Stokes, and former Mayor Connie Marshall.

“Claudia Balducci has a proven record bringing people together to get things done for Eastside families,” said State Representative and former Mercer Island Councilmember Tana Senn.  “Her style of leadership will be an asset on the County Council.”

“From assuring light rail expansion to protecting great neighborhoods for our families, Claudia has the track record and vision we need,” said Representative Ross Hunter. “She has earned my vote and support in this important race.”

State Senator Cyrus Habib said, "I have immense respect for Mayor Balducci's track record of leadership on the Eastside. She has consistently worked to enhance public safety throughout our community, support a thriving business climate, and develop a transportation system that works for everyone."

Balducci lives in the Lake Hills neighborhood with her husband and 9 year-old son, a student at Puesta Del Sol Elementary School.  In addition to the Bellevue City Council and Sound Transit, she has served on the boards of the Puget Sound Regional Council, Eastside Transportation Partnership, Bellevue’s Wraparound Services Program, and Youth Link.

“I’m excited for this campaign and the tremendous support I have received so far,” said Balducci. “I look forward to meeting voters throughout the district over the next several months to help me be an effective County Council member for all Eastside families.”

For more information, please visit

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Low Rental Inventory, Strong Rents Good Signs for Landlords in Bellevue

A New Day Real Estate Bellevue WashingtonToday on the Bellevue Rental Report at A New Day Real Estate, I talk about the lack of properties in Bellevue being offered for lease on the NWMLS.

Low rental inventory and very strong and increasing rents makes it a good time to be a landlord in Bellevue.  If you are considering renting your investment property and would like some information about A New Day Real Estate's property management services, please let me know.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Marci Nakano Named New Executive Director of Executive Development Institute

[caption id="attachment_9812" align="alignright" width="214"]Marci Nakano Executive Director of Executive Development Institute Marci Nakano Executive Director of Executive Development Institute[/caption]

Bellevue-based Executive Development Institute (EDI) has announced that its Board of Directors appointed Marci Nakano as EDI's Executive Director. EDI is the only Pacific Northwest non-profit organization that focuses on leadership training for multiethnic professionals. Nakano will transition to Executive Director on March 1, 2015. EDI's current Executive Director, Alan Sugiyama, is retiring on February 28, 2015 for health reasons and will remain connected to EDI as Executive Director Emeritus. In this new role, he will mentor and transition Nakano to her new role and continue to represent EDI in the community.

[caption id="attachment_9813" align="alignleft" width="200"]Al Sugiyama Retiring Executive Director of Executive Development Institute Al Sugiyama Retiring Executive Director of Executive Development Institute[/caption]

"I am appreciative to the Board and Al for their trust, confidence and support as I take on this new role. As an EDI alumna, I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead an organization that has influenced my own leadership journey and look forward to continuing to strengthen and grow EDI’s programs,” said Nakano.

Nakano is currently the Director of Programs and Events for EDI and has been with the organization for nine years. She is a graduate of EDI’s 2005 Leadership Discovery program. Prior to EDI, Nakano was a Manager at Deloitte & Touche LLP, responsible for financial statement and internal control audits for manufacturing, construction and utility companies.

“The EDI Board of Directors is pleased that Marci has accepted the Executive Director position. She has the ability, knowledge, experience and most of all the passion to lead EDI. It is special to us that we are able to promote an alumna of our Leadership Discovery Program. We are also pleased that Al has accepted the Executive Director Emeritus position. He has made significant contributions to our organization and we wish him only the best as he continues to focus on his health,” said Mae Numata, co-chair EDI Board of Directors and Class of 1994.

EDI collaborates with over 50 Pacific Northwest corporations to provide business relevant, culturally tailored leadership training for Asian Pacific Islander and Hispanic participants. The leadership institute has built a community of over 800 alumni and is currently recruiting for its 2015 programs. Visit for more information

Thursday, February 12, 2015

AWB: Time for Washington Law Makers to Act on Transportation

Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, appealed to lawmakers in the state Senate to lend their support to a transportation funding proposal announced today in Olympia.

“It is past time to make critical investments in our state’s roads, bridges and highways. Transportation infrastructure is critical not only to our quality of life, but also to our state’s business climate and economic future. Employees need to get to work safely and in a reasonable amount of time, manufacturers need to get materials to and from ports, and farmers must be able to get their goods to market.

“Today, a bipartisan group of Senate transportation leaders took an important step by releasing a statewide revenue package proposal. We encourage the full Senate to support the proposal and pass a package — with needed reforms — over to the House soon. With tremendous infrastructure needs, we are optimistic the Legislature will find a compromise and approve a package this session. Postponing the investment will hurt Washington’s competitiveness and drive up project costs later. We need to invest in transportation now.”

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,300 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit

Average Asking Price of a Home in Bellevue: $2.2 million

Yesterday on the blog at A New Day Real Estate, I posted the most recent Bellevue Homes Report.  I pointed out that last week I had been prematurely optimistic about the number of homes coming on the market in Bellevue and that inventory had once again declined.

A couple of interesting statistics about single family homes in Bellevue:

1) yesterday there were only 3 homes in all of Bellevue that are listed for sale at less than $500,000 - today there is only 1.  Will we be soon seeing the last sales for less than half a million in Bellevue?

2) As of yesterday, the average asking price of the 87 Bellevue houses on the market was $2.2 million.

Read the rest of the post and watch the video here.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

HIIT The Game is So Much Fun, You Won’t Realize You’re Exercising

Santa Rosa, CA, 08 February 2015: STACK 52, creator of competitive fitness products, has launched on Kickstarter its new game called HIIT the Game, which incorporates a competitive game into the scientifically proven High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) method of exercising

Mike Volkin, Inventor of HIIT the Game and owner of Stack 52, said, "I've worked hard to develop a very unique and fun game that not only brings out players competitive side, but also gets you fit."

In scientific circles, HIIT with HIIT The Game by STACK 52 commonly incorporates hard and fast cardio and bodyweight exercises with a 2:1 ratio of work to rest. The most interesting and attractive part of HIIT workouts is that the workouts are short but intense.  Numerous scientific studies have shown that HIIT style workouts burns more calories than a traditional workout.  HIIT the Game takes HIIT to another level and incorporates a competitive gaming environment to this already effective method of working out.  Whats more, is you don’t need a gym to play the game. HIIT the Game can be played anywhere as the bodyweight fitness cards require no equipment other than your arms and legs.  HIIT The Game by STACK 52 has garnered in a great deal of enthusiasm from its test groups.

Backing the Kickstarter campaign comes with a variety of attractive rewards:

  • Digital thanks and good karma - $1

  • HIIT The Game - $25

  • 2x HIIT The Game - $39

  • HIIT The Game + Strength Stack 52 Tri Pack - $49

  • HIIT The Game + Strength Stack 52 Tri Pack + Weight Loss Stack 52 + Quick Sweat Dice - $97

  • HIIT The Game with Skype fitness consulting - $500

Brandon, a playtester, comments, "HIIT is intense, and this game makes working out fun, be prepared to sweat and be prepared to be sore, this isn’t a casual workout."

Please visit and for more details on this fitness game.


Contact Information

Contact Person: Mike Volkin

Contact Number:



Listen to Science, HIIT Will Transform Your Body

Fitness fads come and go, but this new fad called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) might be here to stay.

HIIT uses a combination of quick intervals of intense exercise and short recovery periods to increase your heart rate, burn fat and work muscles in a short amount of time. In fact, HIIT is becoming the go-to training method for many professional fitness instructors. The allure lies in the ability to complete an entire workout in less than 20 minutes and burn fat. In fact, this type of training burns more fat than a regular 45 minute cardio session since it keeps your heart rate up and gives your metabolic rate a boost.

Mike Volkin, creator of HIIT the Game, now on Kickstarter states “HIIT is just fun, it’s a fun way to mix up any routine and it can be done by just about anyone, and anywhere.”

A study performed at Laval University in Canada used two groups of participants. One group followed a 15-week program using HIIT while the other group performed only steady-state cardio for 20 weeks. The steady-state cardio group actually burned 15,000 calories more than the HIIT group.  But, the HIIT group lost significantly more body fat. There are many scientific studies with similar results.

Aside from being quick and very effective at both burning fat and increasing metabolism, HIIT is appealing to many because no equipment is required. This training method uses bodyweight exercises so a workout can be done anywhere from a gym to a living room.

Another great aspect of high intensity interval training is variety. Everyone has complained that their workout routine gets boring and stale after a while, but with HIIT it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change things up and try something new every week if you want. Variety not only maintains enthusiasm during training but it will benefit the body immensely through a process called muscle confusion. Targeting a wide array of muscle groups and performing different exercises regularly is going produce results fast.

Lastly, even though HIIT workouts are short, usually 20 minutes, they actually improve endurance. HIIT works, if you’re skeptical, give it a try for a week and see how you feel, at the very least, it is a great plateau breaker of your current routine.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Good News for Bellevue Home Buyers? Bellevue Homes Report February 5, 2015

I've got exciting news for people looking to buy houses in Bellevue!  Despite the recently lack of inventory on the market to choose from over the past few months, it looks like there may be some changes coming around.  The inventory numbers are still low - there are only 99 single family homes listed for sale in Bellevue.  The good news is that there have been 12 new listings of homes for sale in Bellevue added over the last day.  That is a significant percentage of increase in listings by itself, but it is my belief that this is just a sign that the local Bellevue real estate market is really going to start moving.  I expect that we will continue to see a good number of home owners put their houses in Bellevue up for sale in the next few months - offering home buyers a much better selection from which to choose.

With the limited inventory we've been seeing, buyers just have not had a lot to choose from - and properly priced and prepared for market homes have been commanding high prices and often multiple offers.  More inventory usually means less competition, so this may be a good time for Bellevue home buyers to be working with a good broker who will make sure they see all the new listings in their target area the same day they hit the market.  Even if you are not quite ready to purchase a home, it never hurts to start doing your research early.

Bellevue neighborhoods with new home listings in the last day include a few in Somerset, Forest Ridge, Microsoft, Newport Hills, Cougar Mountain, Newport Shores, a bankruptcy house in Surrey Downs, Enatai, Beaux Arts and West Bellevue.  If you would like to be notified when new homes go on the market in a certain part of Bellevue or the Eastside, please give me a call at 425-429-8590 or send me an email at Joe(at)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Matthew’s Fresh Market purchased by Town & Country Markets

Town & Country Markets Inc., a local family-owned grocery retail company, has purchased Matthew’s Fresh Market from Craig Mavis. Ownership of the Lakemont store will transfer on Feb. 1, 2015. Mavis, who opened the market in the Lakemont neighborhood of Bellevue in 1998, has retired.

Most of the 51 staff members employed by Mavis will continue in their positions as employees of Town & Country Markets. The new owners will make minimal changes to the store’s operations during the first few months as they get to know the staff, customers and community. A new name for the market has not yet been decided.

“We are delighted to welcome Matthew’s Fresh Market to our family of stores,” said Bill Weymer, CEO of Town & Country Markets. “It’s an honor to have this opportunity to build on Craig and Carrie’s legacy, work with the market’s team and become part of the Lakemont community. This is a great fit for us all.”

Steve Snyder, Store Director of Matthew’s Fresh Market, concurs. “All of us at Matthew’s are excited to be joining the Town & Country. T&C shares similar values to Matthew’s with regards to caring for people, contributing to community and acting with integrity. This is indeed a win-win all the way around.”

Town & Country Markets owns and operates five other stores in the Puget Sound area – Central Markets in Poulsbo, Shoreline and Mill Creek; Ballard Market; and Town & Country Market on Bainbridge Island.

Dates Are Set for National Drive Electric Week 2015

Plug In America Logo with TaglineDates have been set for the fifth annual National Drive Electric Week: Sat., Sept. 12 through Sun., Sept. 20, 2015. Events will encompass two weekends to give planners maximum flexibility and consumers plenty of opportunity to attend.

“Last year we saw U.S. plug-in vehicles sales grow 23 percent, lead by the Nissan Leaf growing at 34 percent, while the overall U.S. market grew at about 6 percent,” said Tom Saxton, Plug In America’s chief science officer. "This year, 2015, promises to be even more electrifying. The BMW i3 will be on the road for the first full year, we expect deliveries of the Tesla Model X, an updated Chevy Volt, and greater overall sales growth than we saw last year. We’ll have lots to celebrate and to share with new EV audiences.”

National Drive Electric Week is a grassroots observance designed to accelerate adoption of plug-in vehicles through hands-on experiences with electric cars and motorcycles. Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association are national organizers teaming up with local groups across the country and abroad to organize events.

"Electric cars are a key part of our country's clean energy future, and they're a lot of fun to drive," said Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of the Sierra Club's Electric Vehicles Initiative."We're revved up for National Drive Electric Week 2015, which will offer the public, the media, and policymakers a great opportunity to come check out many of the 20-plus plug-in vehicles on the market."

Drive Electric Week attendance in 2014 more than doubled that of the previous year’s celebration with over 90,000 people participating in 152 events across the country and abroad. The event was launched in 2011 in 29 cities.

About Plug In America: Plug In America, a San Francisco-based national nonprofit organization, works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. The organization conceived National Drive Electric Week (formerly National Plug In Day) and has advanced workplace charging by pioneering regular ride-and-drive events at such leading corporations as Google, Mattel and Paramount Pictures. It developed the world’s largest, most dedicated network of plug-in vehicle owners and drivers, many of whom have driven EVs for well over a decade. We drive electric. You can, too.

About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club’s national electric vehicles initiative advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut our addiction to oil.

About the Electric Auto Association: The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 75 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Seattle Seahawks Still Champions

Seattle Seahawks Back2Back NFC ChampionsDespite falling 1 yard short from winning their 2nd consecutive Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks are still Champions.  They entertained us all season, they give back to the community in BIG ways - and they are still the Champions of the NFC.  They prepared well, they fought, they clawed and they scratched, coming up with amazing play after awesome play to get to the final minute of the big game.

What was amazing was how many of the Seahawks took the loss.  Sure it hurt - it wouldn't be right if it didn't.  Each guy took responsibility, placed no blame and it was really nobody's fault.  They all fought together the entire season.
They played for each other.  We were treated to a great game and a great season.

Thank you to the Seattle Seahawks - America's Favorite Team.

They will again have a great group of players next season, a super positive coach and are already favored to win the Super Bowl in 2016.  You know they will be prepared.  Just wait until next year ....