The road may be closed for construction, but wineries in the area of 13th Avenue and Pine Street are still open for business, operators say.
Construction under way by the city will improve the roadway in that area. In the meantime, winery operators say they hope customers aren't deterred by the detours and roadwork.
Whitman Cellars, 1015 W. Pine St., is offering complimentary tasting. That winery is accessible only from Pine Street east of 13th Avenue. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Canoe Ridge, 1102 W. Cherry St., and Amavi, 635 N. 13th Ave., can be accessed via Cherry Street. Hours for Canoe Ridge are 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Amavi operates 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Welcome Table Farm LLC is inviting new customers to the table.
Community Supported Agriculture shares are available for new members, according to an announcement from operators Emily Dietzman and Andy Asmus. The program is a link between farms and customers. "Members" purchase "shares" in the spring when the farm incurs the bulk of its costs, according to the Welcome Table Farm Web site. In exchange for "seed" money, members get fresh packed boxes of farm produce every week from mid-May through the start of October.
This year the operation will also offer extended season boxes October through December.
Boxes are available for pickup on Tuesdays at three drop sites. Each one includes salad and cooking greens, berries, culinary herbs, roots and other seasonal vegetables. The cost of each boxe averages $24.
For more information call 529-0772 or visit: www.welcometablefarm.com.
If you thought it was a tough time to find a job right now, try landing one that has medical benefits.
According to a report from the Employment Security Department, the number of Washington employers offering medical insurance dropped last year for the fifth consecutive year.
The number of employers offering the benefit decreased by 1.6 percentage points in 2009, from 56.5 percent to 54.9 percent. The data came from an annual employee-benefits report. The numbers come on the heels of a 10 percentage point drop in 2008 and smaller drops in the previous three years.
The study also showed that those who get insurance are paying more: Premiums for employees increased from $358 per month to $366. Employers covered 83 percent of that cost in 2009. That number was down from 86.4 percent in 2009.
On the other hand, the number of firms offering a retirement plan climbed from 37.7 percent in 2008 to 44.6 percent in 2009.
Employers also offered more paid days off in 2009.
Firms offering paid vacation increased from 63 percent to 65 percent.
Employment Security has produced the benefits report annually since 2003.
Approximately 10,000 Washington businesses responded to the survey.
Kyle Williams, a Realtor at WilliamsTeamHomes.com, is the latest member of the team to earn the Short Sales and Foreclosures Certification.
The certification demonstrates his training in assisting clients maneuver through short sales, which take place when the seller's mortgage lender agrees to accept less than the balance on the mortgage.
He will also be able to help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities.
The timing also comes as the government begins a new program encouraging more short sales. In a move to end the nationwide foreclosure crisis, the Obama administration has created a program that will provide incentives for home owners who have defaulted on their loans to sell.
The program launched this week.
Williams can be reached at 240-2800.
Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8321.