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For Play it Again Sports, flexibility is key to their success

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Play it Again 7-5-13 002Photo by Derek Johnson. Play it Again Sports owner Rick Bauman (right) scrutinizes a bike brought in by a customer with the hopes of selling it.As I entered Play it Again Sports for the first time and waited while owner Rick Bauman handled a customer, I wandered toward the bicycle section. As I’m thinking of getting one sometime, my eyes feasted on a couple models. While kibitzing with one of the assistants, I realized the bikes were brand new and not used.

Suddenly, Bauman appeared and shook my hand. We walked to his office and I expressed surprise at seeing new products.     

"Probably 30 percent of our sales are used," he said. "If we could get everything we wanted used, that would be great. But the reality is we can sell way more than we can (buy from the public). So we supplement our inventory with new products. Since we’ve been in business so long, we’ve developed relationships with a lot of different vendors, so we can be very competitive on the new items as well. It gives the  customers choices; if we have what they want in used, great. If not, no reason to go to another store — hopefully we have what they want new."

Play it Again Sports is a national franchise, and Bauman owns two locations. He opened his Lynnwood store in 1990 and the Woodinville location in 1992. "We tend to be a community, family-oriented store," he said. "We try to cater to all the team sports, as well as bikes and scooters and whatever the community would like us to offer."

If one word sums up Bauman’s business philosophy, it seems to be "flexibility."

"We’re definitely very in tune with what’s going on and what sports are on the rise and what customers want," he said. "We tend to react pretty quickly. For example, lacrosse has grown tremendously in the last few years. We jumped on board right from the beginning. It’s been doubling for us every year for the last four or five years.

"Another example is scooters. It’s an area that’s growing like crazy. A lot of stores think scooters are what kids were doing 10 years ago and that it has gone away. But it’s totally changed. It’s high performance scooters now. And we’re right in the ground floor of that. We’re one of the biggest shops in the country for scooter work."

Having been in business for more than two decades, Bauman’s industry succeeds in booming economic times as well as painful recessions. 

"We’ve had very consistent growth from the beginning," he said. "It seems the economy doesn’t affect us as much as maybe other types of shops. A good economy is always the best, of course. But even in a down economy, we seem to do well because we’re a value oriented store."

I referenced again my misconception that they sold nothing but used items.

"For people who have never been in our store before, sometimes they think it’s all old equipment, collector items and novelty or nostalgia type items. We’re usable equipment, current type models. You won’t see 30-year-old baseball bats here; you’ll see one-year- old baseball bats. We’re not going after the collectors, we’re going after people who will use the gear. We’re used, we’re new, we’re service as far as bike and ski tune-ups.  We lease ski equipment and do bike rentals as well.

"We just keep expanding," he said. "Whatever it seems like the customers want, we think ‘oh we can do that,’ and we jump into it."

Local artist’s garden featured on WGC Tour of Gardens

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

from Woodinville Garden Club

Orvidas garden sculptureCourtesy Photo. The gardens of illustrator/artist Ken Orvidas and Pat Orvidas are featured in the Woodinville Garden Club’s Tour of Gardens.Ordinarily, if you want to see and appreciate an artist’s work, your choices would include visiting a gallery or a museum. In the case of these Woodinville artists, their garden is their gallery! Over a dozen of Ken Orvidas’ sculptures reside throughout their garden. They range from a few pounds to almost a ton.  Made from welded steel, some have been allowed to rust naturally, while others have been powder coated or painted with automotive enamel.

Illustrator/artist Ken Orvidas and Pat Orvidas live and work on their 1.3 acre property. In the 23 years since they purchased it in 1990, they have planned and developed all of the present garden areas.

Some of the garden design and most of the hardscape was done by landscape architect David Berleth from Vashon Island. As the garden emerged, the homeowners added windows, decks and gabled roofs to capture their new views.

Like many homeowners in Woodinville, when the Orvidas moved in they began by clearing blackberries, trash, old tires and alders. Today, fenced raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and vegetables co-exist with ornamental trees, shrubs and grasses. A black bamboo-shaded garden of perennials chosen for seasonal bloom nestles in stone terraces beside the house.  Hundreds of dahlias bloom throughout the sunniest beds.

Together the gardens and sculptures create a park-like setting where paths, stairs and rock walls connect a combination of mature and new plantings arranged on large terraces. The feeling is informal, peaceful and reflective.

The Woodinville Garden Club’s 14th annual Tour of Gardens will be held on Saturday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This self-drive tour features five stunning private gardens in the Woodinville area.

Tickets are $20 per person. Tickets can be purchased online via the club’s website: http://woodinvillegardenclub.org/how-purchase-tickets. 

As a bonus, orders placed online will ship with a voucher for a free 2013 tour poster per ticket while supplies last. Tickets sold online after July 12 will be available for pickup at garden number one on the day of the Tour.Tickets are also available at Molbak’s, Classic Nursery (Woodinville), Boxhill Farm Nursery (Duvall), Wells Medina Nursery (Medina) and Ravenna Gardens (Seattle). Your ticket is a brochure that includes garden descriptions and driving directions to all the properties.The Woodinville Garden Club would like to acknowledge the businesses and patrons in our community who have helped support our Tour of Gardens. Your financial support and contributions to the tour are greatly appreciated and allow us to fund our ongoing civic programs and special projects.

Customer demand leads to Kenmore Camera expansion  

  • Written by Shannon Michael, Features Writer

Kenmore Camera Family PhotoKenmore Camera owner Jim Donovan, center, has three children who are members of the company leadership team. Shown in the store with Donovan are daughter Mary Panichi, who manages administrative work, Bob Donovan, who manages the technical responsibilities, Donovan’s grandson and Scott’s son, Michael Donovan, who operates the photo lab, and Scott Donovan, who manages the technical responsibilities for the store. Photo by Shannon MichaelKENMORE–Despite the downturn in the economy the past several years, and the growth of easy to use digital cameras on cell phones, Kenmore Camera has worked hard to maintain demand for its store’s products and growing line-up of services.
The company’s persistence in anticipating and meeting customers’ evolving needs not only helped them weather the current recession, it has allowed the company to expand.
 

Customers are turning to the specialty camera retailer for more than products; they are seeking hands-on classes, unique products and lab service.
 

Jim Donovan, who founded Kenmore Camera in 1974, is moving his business located at 18031 67th Ave. NE in Kenmore, to a bigger location across the street in response to customer demand.
 

Donovan purchased the retail space, which used to be a grocery store, from the City of Kenmore in Kenmore Village, a redeveloping downtown commercial area.
 

“An expanded service mix requires more space,” Donovan said.
 

The new location is 17,000 square feet, more than tripling the space from the 4,600 square feet at the current location.
 

Kenmore Camera hopes to occupy the space by early September. A grand opening date has yet to be set, though. The store’s construction is ahead of schedule. The contractor, Dewalt Commercial LLC, expects the remodel to be complete by the end of August.
 

Building renovations are underway including a major exterior facelift. The finished space includes two classrooms, customer lounge, expansive retail space and custom lighting displays.
 

OAC Services, Inc. is providing construction and project management and the architecture firm is ORB Architects.
 

Despite the shrinking specialty camera market that has forced many competitors to close their doors, the multi-generational, family business is growing due to constant improvements. It features lab services and classes that accommodate all experience levels, attracting customers from as far north as Bellingham and as far south as Tacoma.
 

Customers can register online or by phone for classes on topics ranging from a crash course on digital photography, travel photography and night photography, to classes on specific types of cameras.
 

As a King County Executive’s Small Business Awards finalist, Donovan attributes a part of the company’s success to the niche Digital Photo Expo that Kenmore Camera hosts annually the first weekend in November at the Lynnwood Convention Center. The Expo offers product demonstrations and 32 classes covering a wide variety of photo related subjects.
 

Kenmore Camera RenderingArchitect’s rendering of the new Kenmore Camera building.The recently negotiated purchase made it possible for the company to stay in Kenmore, a city that the Donovan family calls home. Donovan and his wife, Martha, live just up the hill from the business.
 

“Kenmore is where we belong. The city leadership wants us here, and our customers know where we are located,” said Donovan.
The Donovans’ three children are members of the company leadership team. Bob Donovan, the eldest son, handles management and operations; Scott Donovan manages the technical responsibilities; and Mary Panichi, their daughter, manages the administrative work. The Donovans’ grandson (Scott’s son), Michael Donovan, operates the photo lab.
 

“Retaining Kenmore Camera as a local business was a priority for us at the city,” said City of Kenmore’s city manager, Rob Karlinsey. “We support our homegrown businesses and worked hard to make sure Jim and his team had what they need.”

Safe Kids Eastside offers essential safety tips for summer

  • Written by Shannon Michael, Features Writer

Did you know preventable injury is the leading cause of death to children in the United States? Each year, 9,000 families lose a child from a preventable injury.
 

Safe Kids Eastside, a newly established coalition for child safety and injury prevention, was recently formed in partnership with several trusted community organizations to help educate the public in its efforts to protect children.

The group is a local coalition of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization based in Washington, D.C. Since the group’s founding in 1988, there has been a 55 percent decline in the unintentional injury rate in children aged 19 and under.
 

As a local resource for parents, Safe Kids Eastside strives to reach families with information and programs that help protect kids by working in partnership with safety-focused organizations and sharing information across the non-profit’s network of national and global coalitions.
 

Safe Kids Eastside will focus primarily on preventing pedestrian, child passenger and sports related injuries, which are all leading causes of emergency room visits among children in East King County.

“We’re in the beginning stages of our local program. We’re very excited about the many opportunities we’ll be sharing with the community in the near future,” said Kristen Thorstenson, Safe Kids Eastside coordinator.
 

As the summer trauma season approaches, now is the perfect time for families to review their safety plans to protect kids from injuries, beyond the inevitable scrapes, bruises and bumps brought on by summer activities.
 

Safe Kids Eastside recommends following these “Safer in Seven” tips:
 • Nationally, about 73 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly. Jiggle your kids’ car seat, and tighten it up if it moves more than one inch at the base.
Locally, Evergreen Health offers car seat safety classes as part of their childbirth education program offered to expectant parents.
Also upcoming is the Healthiest Best Fair at EvergreenHealth Medical Center on June 21-22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A complete schedule of activities, which will include car seat checks, is available at www.evergreenhealth/fair.
• Every week, a child dies from toppling furniture. Secure TVs and furniture that could tip over.
• Make sure to replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every year, and replace these devices every 10 years.
Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they can be heard, and ensure everyone in the home recognizes them and knows what to do when they sound.
“Most people don’t know that the current recommendation is to replace every smoke alarm unit in a home every 10 years, not just the batteries,” explained Thorstenson.”
• Every eight minutes, a child goes to the ER for medicine poisoning.
Keep an eye on more than just medicine cabinets. Are there pills in your purse or is medication sitting on countertops?
• Poison control centers receive daily calls about children popping easy-to-swallow batteries in their mouths.
Search for coin-sized battery buttons, like the ones that come in musical greeting cards or remote controls and remove them from children’s reach.
• Sports are a great way for kids to keep healthy, but there’s always a risk of injury. Make sure your kids’ coaches have concussion or safety training.
• Make note of when you’re most likely to be distracted and challenge yourself to keep focus.Take action against distraction. Distraction impacts driving, walking, bath time and just about everything else.
 

While these seven tips are offered here, parents can visit www.safekids.org to find preventable injury safety information on 30 topics ranging from bicycle safety to water safety and drowning prevention.  
 

Members of the Safe Kids Eastside coalition include the Brain Injury Association of Washington State, Olympic Physical Therapy, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigations, King County Fire District 45, King County Emergency Medical Services, Kirkland Police Department, Car Safe Kids and Northshore School District.
 

Partners include the Redmond Police Department, Pediatric Associates, Virginia Mason, Snohomish County Fire District 7 and more.
 

Safe Kids Eastside is led by EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, which acts as the coalition’s lead agency. EvergreenHealth’s primary mission is to advance the health of the communities it serves, through high quality, safe, compassionate and cost-effective health care, making it an ideal partner for Safe Kids Eastside.
 

To learn more about Safe Kids Eastside write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Seattle Science Festival promises to be ‘the bumbershoot of science’

  • Written by Deborah Stone

Mark your calendars for the second annual Seattle Science Festival, an 11-day extravaganza celebrating the work that is being done in our region within the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The event features luminaries from the science world, a free Science EXPO Day with hands-on activities and special stage programs, and a variety of Signature Programs at venues around the region.
 

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get people excited about science,” says Crystal Clarity, V.P. of Marketing and Communications for Pacific Science Center.
 

The museum is organizing the festival in collaboration with dozens of partners, including research organizations, businesses, other museums and educational institutions. “It’s all about showcasing the innovation and research in the region, as well as providing a platform for people to see how they can get involved in these fields,” adds Clarity. The festival gets started with an opening night event at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre.
 

“Beyond Infinity? The Search for Understanding at the Limits of Space & Time” will explore the question of the origins of the universe and its implications for time travel. It will feature three of the country’s greatest physicists, including Dr. Brian Green, Dr. Sean Carroll and Dr. Adam Frank, as well as the performance of an exciting new multi-media work. Dr. Green is recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in the field of superstring theory, and is the author of several books. His most recent, The Hidden Reality, delves into the issue of whether ours is the only universe. Dr. Carroll’s research focuses on theoretical physics and cosmology, especially the origin and constituents of the universe. Also a prolific author, Dr. Carroll has appeared on several TV shows such as “The Colbert Report” and “Through the Wormhole,” and frequently serves as a science consultant for film and television. Dr. Adam Frank’s work is on star formation and stellar evolution. His popular writing concentrates on issues of science in its cultural context and the role of technology in the human experience of time. Another of the evening’s highlights is the West Coast premiere of “Icarus at the Edge of Time,” a stunning multimedia show about a boy who challenges the formidable power of a black hole. Based on Dr. Greene’s book, the piece features an original orchestral score by Philip Glass, which will be performed by the Garfield Orchestra.
 

Science EXPO Day follows with a full line-up of free activities, demonstrations and performances at Seattle Center that show how integral science, technology, engineering and math are to the region’s culture and prosperity.
 

Organizations from across the state such as NOAA, UW, NatureBridge, Aerojet, Lockheed Martin, EMP Museum, Boeing, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle University , PSE, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, KOMO 4 and more will be on site to show visitors how these fields contribute to their work.
Throughout the 11-day festival, the public will get the chance to attend over a hundred events, programs and tours of labs and research facilities throughout the region. Participants can explore watersheds with Salish Sea Expeditions, sail Puget Sound with Sound Experience, build and fly a remotely operated vehicle with Atlantis Inc. ROV Team, star gaze at various planetariums around the state, learn how to tune their bikes with West Seattle Fixers’ Collective, enjoy an architectural tour of EMP and design and produce a video game at various Microsoft stores, among other fun and educational activities. The festival will close with a special event dedicated to the important issue of climate change.
 

“Our 11th Hour: Straight Talk on Climate Change from People Who Know” will feature engaging multimedia presentations by world-leading climate scientists Dr. Kevin Trenberth and Dr. Richard Alley, as well as by award-winning New York Times journalist Andrew Revkin. Dr. Trenberth is a Distinguished Senior Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Dr. Alley, a professor at Pennsylvania State, is an author and recipient of many top awards, as well as the host of the cent PBS miniseries,“Earth: The Operators’ Manual.” Revkin, a Senior Fellow For Environmental Understanding at Pace University, writes the award-winning “Dot Earth” blog for the Op-Ed section of the New York Times. A veteran journalist, he has covered the assault on the Amazon rainforest, changing conditions around the Arctic and the troubled politics of climate science. An uplifting 30-minute opera about environmental stewardship, set in the Pacific Northwest, will conclude the evening. Titled, “Heron and the Salmon Girl, the piece is the first of three new half-hour operas in the “Our Earth” cycle recently commissioned by Seattle Opera. It will be performed by Seattle Opera and Seattle Opera’s Youth Chorus.
 

“We are very excited about the festival this year,” comments Clarity. “It has something for everyone. It is like the Bumbershoot of science!”
 

What: Seattle Science Festival
When: June 6th – 16th
Where: Various venues in the region
For more information: www.seattlesciencefestival.org