Local eateries focus of new blog, web page


Have an appetite for local fare? So do three foodies who recently launched a Facebook page dedicated to dining.
"Eating Walla Walla" is not only a conversation piece about food in general and showcasing what's offered throughout the Walla Walla Valley specifically, it also aspires to be a place where those who follow can find sweet deals around town. Restaurants and other eateries are encouraged to post specials on the home wall.

Launched just last week, the page is serving as both an educational tool and interactive discussion board. Topics so far have included a rundown of "13 Cheeses Everyone Should Know," favorite game-day grub and preferred cooking shows, to name a few.

So who's behind the movement? The page and a blog identify the operators as "Paula Bean," "Betty Butters" and "Gracie Grapefield," three wild girls crazy about local food. A few more credentials: Paula Bean is apparently the "bon vivant" and "boss." She is usually on the road or in the sky seeking the best food and drink. Betty Butters is a cookbook author and baker. Gracie Grapefield is the trio's food-and-wine-pairing expert.

Their posts are available via the Eating Walla Walla Facebook page, on Twitter @EatingWalla2 and at eatingwallawalla.blogspot.com. Bon appetit!

Mark Kajita, the head of wealth management services for Walla Walla-based Baker Boyer Bank has been promoted to executive vice president, Wealth Management Division and Chief Investment Officer, according to an announcement from the bank.

Kajita leads the division that includes Investment Management and Trust Services, Baker Boyer Investor Services and the Investment Group.
He began his portfolio manager duties with the bank in July 2003.

Since then he's become an economic spokesman and chief investment strategist for the operation's fiduciary portfolios. He is on the bank's executive committee and is a frequent commentator on Bloomberg, FOX News and CNBC financial television programs.

Born and raised in Walla Walla, Kajita earned his bachelor's in business and accounting at the University of Washington. He is a certified public accountant with 20 years of experience in trust and estate planning, tax and financial planning and wealth management.

"I have high confidence in Mark's continued success in leading our clients through one of the most volatile economic cycles of my career," said Megan Clubb, the bank's president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.

How about a merlot with that mani/pedi?
A new bill floated in the Legislature would allow day spas to serve a gratis glass of beer or wine to guests.
Details about Senate Bill 6060 were posted in The Seattle Times late last week. A hearing on the matter - specifically on training and licensing requirements - was slated for today, according to the piece.

According to The Times: The bill is sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent. Customers would have to be in the spa for at least an hour inorder to be treated to the free drink. To qualify as a "day spa" and thus be allowed to serve beer or wine under the bill's guidelines the businesses have to offer at least three services. Those include hair shampooing, cutting, styling and dying, manicures, pedicures, facials and massages.

A little pampering through refreshments is not a new concept at spas.

Many already offer beverages to their clients. This would be an extension of that, the piece explained.

A similar bill had reportedly been introduced in 2006 by Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville. It didn't pass.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.


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