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Everett Residents Can Give A Friend or Relative Electricity For Christmas

November 21, 2014

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PUD

Need a gift idea? Give a PUD gift certificate.

Snohomish County PUD has come up with a unique gift for the Holidays. Give the gift of electricity. Well, its more like a PUD gift certificate but its still an unusual idea. You can get a gift certificate at any PUD payment office. Pay one of their cashiers the amount you want to give, and the PUD will credit that customer’s account with your payment and provide you with a certificate you can use to tell the lucky person about your gift.

Here are a few other Holiday season money saving ideas passed along by Neil Neroutsos at Snohomish PUD…

 

Energy Saving Holiday Lights

This holiday season turn to energy-efficient LED lights. They use 1/100th of the energy of a C7 holiday bulb and 1/10th of the energy of a holiday mini-light. Plus, they last up to 20 years and are safer since they burn cooler. The bulbs’ epoxy lenses make them more durable, and their low wattage lets you connect up to 20 strings end-to-end without fear of overloading a circuit.

 

LED Night Lights

LED Night Lights have an extremely long life – up to 100,000 hours – and are inexpensive to operate. Annual operating costs are 50 cents per year or less. Many also contain a dusk to dawn photocell that automatically turns off lights during daylight hours.

 

Energy Smart Gadgets

Programmable and smart thermostats automatically lower your heat when you’re asleep or away and/or allow you to control your home’s temperature remotely. Use smart power strips eliminate phantom power drains from electronics when they’re not in use. Or try out a variety of energy monitors, which show you which appliances are using the most energy in your home.


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Volunteers Needed in Everett For 2015 Free Tax Preparation Program

November 8, 2014

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UWSC tax volunteers

Some of the previous United Way Free Tax Preparation Volunteers. Photo credit United Way

United Way of Snohomish County is continuing to help people in Everett and beyond in innovative ways. One of which is the free tax preparation program. Now through the end of November sign ups are underway for volunteers in the 2015 program. Training classes will begin in December. Here’s a little more of what you need to know…

The Free Tax Preparation Program:
United Way of Snohomish County provides free tax preparation and access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits to help working families increase their incomes and create savings. The Tax Program allows low-income people to keep more of their hard-earned money and avoid paying unnecessary fees for commercial tax preparation and also helps connect taxpayers to vital social programs. Being financially stable reduces the risk of becoming homeless, and strengthens our community.
Every year, this work is made possible by the commitment of dedicated volunteers who learn and apply tax law. In 2014:
  • 100 volunteers dedicated 4,000 hours to the Free Tax Prep Program.
  • Volunteers prepared 3,489 tax returns and helped return more than $5.8 million in Federal Refunds to the community, including $1.9 million in Earned Income Tax Credits.
  • Volunteer time and knowledge saved customers over $575,000 in tax preparation fees.
  • Our on-site Asset Specialists screened nearly 600 taxpayers for affordable health care, and another 500 taxpayers for basic food assistance.
Now is your chance to get involved!
We are currently recruiting volunteers for the 2015 tax season!
By volunteering with our program, you will help working families keep more of what they earn and save for the future! You will provide free tax return preparation to taxpayers in the community, including persons with a low to limited income, persons with disabilities, the non-English speaking and the elderly.
If you are having any difficulties registering to volunteer, please contact Funto Balogun at Funto.Balogun@uwsc.org to arrange for volunteer registration.
Who are we looking for?
Volunteers with previous tax preparation experience are always needed, but we are also looking for people who have:
  • Computer experience, including data entry and/or tax preparation software.
  • An eye for detail.
  • A passion for learning and applying new skills to help others.
  • The ability to work as part of a team.
  • Any foreign language skills.
  • A great attitude, patience, and general commitment to this volunteer role.

We also have positions available for people who don’t want to prepare taxes!
We need friendly, helpful people to look over taxpayer documents and make sure people are ready to receive tax preparation assistance. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, consider the Intake Volunteer position.

What do you need to do to volunteer?
Volunteering with the tax program is a substantial commitment compared to many other volunteer postings. Our program operates on a schedule, at assigned times and locations, and requires a considerable amount of training and knowledge. Requirements to volunteer include:
  1. Choose which role is best for you: Tax Preparer, or Intake Volunteer.
  2. Commit to volunteer for at least one shift per week, from January 20 until April 14, 2015.
    • Shifts last between 3-5 hours.
    • Volunteer opportunities are organized by location and shift times, daytime, evening and weekend shifts are available!
  3. Attend volunteer training, and/or passing the IRS VITA certification tests
    • Tax preparing volunteers attend three training dates, over one week in December (see below for training dates, times and locations). Tax preparing volunteers must pass the IRS Standards of Conduct and Basic tax law certification tests.
    • Intake volunteers attend one training date (January 3, 2015, time/location below) and must pass the IRS Standards of Conduct test.
  4. Have a great attitude, and a high degree of honesty.
    • Volunteering with the tax program is fun because volunteers bring a positive attitude – this makes all the difference during a highly stressful time for the taxpayers we serve!
    • The average tax refund claimed by one of our taxpayers last season was over $1,600 – through honest tax preparation our volunteers have the opportunity to give thousands back to those who work hard and need the money most!
    • Click here for additional details, schedules and complete information.


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Everett’s 2nd Retail Marijuana Store To Open On Evergreen Way Across From Value Village

November 1, 2014

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Kush Mart

No word yet on the official opening day.

Kush Mart

The store is across from Value Village on Evergreen Way

On Thursday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board approved the 2nd retail marijuana license in the city of Everett, Washington. Kush Mart already has signs up and has posted that they will be open soon. They follow High Society which opened on north Broadway at the end of September. Everett is scheduled to get three more retail licenses. There are dozens of applicants. On October 15th the Everett City Council extended its temporary rules on recreational marijuana until more stores have opened and the city is able to track data on crime, revenue and impacts on the neighborhoods. This store is located at 6309 Evergreen Way across from Value Village.


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Everett Clinic Proudly Posting Prices Publicly

October 30, 2014

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Everett Clinic prices

The Everett Clinic is bringing price shopping to health care.

Yes the headline is a tongue twister but the story is pretty simple. The Everett Clinic has begun posting prices for those who self pay or choose not to use their insurance. In their press release The Everett Clinic is calling it “a bold and important step toward greater healthcare transparency.” Currently there are more than 30 categories from which you can see the full cost of service. Here are the details from April Zepada at the Everett Clinic…

The Everett Clinic is again leading the way in demystifying healthcare pricing for patients as one of the first large healthcare systems in the Pacific Northwest to post prices for all of its most frequently used services.

As of November 1st, The Everett Clinic will make price lists available in all departments in which patients make appointments, enabling patients to know in advance how much services will cost prior to insurance adjustments.

“The Everett Clinic will continue to champion transparency and healthcare reform efforts that keep costs down while ensuring high quality care,” said Rick Cooper, CEO of The Everett Clinic.

The Clinic, which began listing prices for its most commonly used imaging services in May, has added pricing in other departments since then. The addition on Nov. 1 of the Clinic’s Sleep Center, Hearing Aid Center and Vision Centers means that all departments that offer appointments now list prices for the most used services.

Dr. Al Fisk, Chief Medical Officer, said the Clinic is posting prices because patients deserve to know how much their cost will be prior to receiving treatment, especially now that many are paying a greater percentage of their healthcare costs.

“Higher deductibles and larger co-pays are requiring patients to pay more out-of-pocket for their healthcare,” Dr. Fisk said. “Listing prices helps patients make informed decisions and helps us determine whether the Clinic is providing effective and appropriate care at reasonable prices.”

The price lists, which can be found at www.everettclinic.com/price, reflect self-pay or uninsured rates. Patients can find out prices for services not listed on the website by calling the Clinic directly at 425-258-3900.

More healthcare transparency should enable patients to work with their healthcare provider to determine their best medical options. Medical services costs can vary greatly among providers in the same geographic region. In many situations, the quality of care and outcomes are unrelated to costs, meaning patients may be paying more but not necessarily receiving better care.

The Clinic has long supported efforts that promote greater transparency for patients. A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report issued this spring praised the Clinic for its efforts to lower healthcare costs and for supporting steps to increase healthcare transparency such as an all-payer claims database that would enable anyone to compare the cost of healthcare services from any provider.

The Clinic has been a leader in other healthcare reforms efforts that reduce patient care costs while maintaining quality.

For example, the Clinic developed an evidence-based guide for advanced imaging, cutting down on needless diagnostic tests. Physicians now order CT and MRI scans only when certain criteria are met. The effort has resulted in a reduction of unnecessary use of imaging services by 39 percent, saving patients, health plans and the Clinic more than $3.2 million each year.


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Price Of Gas In Everett Drops Below $3.00 A Gallon

October 25, 2014

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Gas price in Everett, WA

At General Brushless on Evergreen Way not only is gas under $3.00 a gallon but they’ll pump it for you…

It’s taken a while to catch up with most of the country but the price of regular unleaded gas is now under $3.00 a gallon at several stations in Everett, WA. No idea how long it will stay like this but any relief on the average expense for a household in Everett is always welcome.


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Woman Owned Everett Business Wins National Award

October 18, 2014

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Shirley Allen

Shirley Allen, owner Mercy Transportation

Shirley Allen, owner of Mercy Transportation recently received national recognition for her Everett, WA based company. Here’s the press release announcing the award…

The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) is pleased to announce it has named Shirley Allen as the 2014 Paratransit and Contracting Operator of the Year.

Shirley Allen and her husband of twenty years, Les Allen, started Mercy Transportation in Everett, Washington in 2006. They decided to get involved with the transportation industry seeing it as a rewarding opportunity that would allow them to give back to the community.

“I am humbled and honored,” Shirley said.W “To be given this honor feels like validation for all the hard work I’ve put in learning this industry and building our company.”

Alfred LaGasse, Chief Executive Officer of the TLPA, said Allen was selected for this award because of her progressive attitude and dedication to expanding all facets of her business.

“Shirley is a true innovator in the field of paratransit transportation,” LaGasse said. “Her eagerness to implement technological advancements within her business is a true inspiration for transportation leaders everywhere.”

Allen says utilizing real-time vehicle tracking, integrated GPS dispatch and reporting software has helped distinguish Mercy Transportation as such a successful company. She also attributes the success of Mercy Transportation on its focus of treating clients as if they are family and providing an environment where employees can take pride in their work.

In her spare time, Allen volunteers with the American Cancer Society and a philanthropic organization that provides educational assistance for women.

Allen was presented with the award on October 16th at the TLPA’s annual convention. This year marks the TLPA’s 96th Annual Convention & Trade Show, the world’s largest gathering of for-hire fleet executives.


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Everett City Council Votes To Extend Ban On Major Marijuana Growing Operations

October 16, 2014

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mj leaf

Rules for recreational marijuana in Everett, WA will remain the same for another 6 months.

The Everett City Council Wednesday night voted to extend the city’s ban on major marijuana growing operations within the city limits for another six months. Citing a lack of available data and no funding source from the State to regulate, inspect or enforce the operations, city council members agreed to keep the current rules for recreational marijuana in place. Currently the rules prohibit Tier 2 and Tier 3 large-scale production and processing facilities from opening and also limit the distance one marijuana retailer can be from another to 2500 feet. Last October the city passed the temporary rules to allow time for evaluation of how retail marijuana would work in Everett. Since that time, there have been no Tier 1 producers or processors open within the city limits and the only retailer granted a license…High Society, just opened two weeks ago. City Council member Brenda Stonecipher said she would agree to the six month extension this time but wants to move forward to making permanent rules. “We have to remember that 57% of voters in Everett approved legal marijuana,” said Stonecipher. “We also need to address any concerns about odors or other impacts that large-scale processors may bring to the neighborhoods.” Other council members spoke out about the need to respect the voters wishes while weighing the financial impact that leaves the State getting the money from recreational marijuana while the city has to deal with the local impacts. Jessica Jordan, addressed the city council saying she hopes to open her retail marijuana store, MariJ’s Highway Pot Shop, in the old Orchid Thai Restaurant/JR’s Sports Bar in the Eastmont neighborhood by the end of the year. Jordan told the council she wants to keep her money in Everett but can’t if she has to turn outside of the city limits to buy enough product to keep her doors open. The current rules will stay in place through April.


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