Thanks for the quick reply/support - yes, i renamed the .db file and the program opened right up - i didn't even realize i had a sync account, but after resetting the password- got in and it recovered my printer settings, all is back to normal. How the .db got corrupt is concerning.... be nice if MatterControl could recognize the db is corrupt and tell you and ask to restore the settings, etc, rather than simply refusing to launch.
There's nothing in your settings that stands out to me. Just to be sure, though, I think you should try doing the same print in Cura with Ultimaker's defaults. If that doesn't work then I would try increasing your extruder temperature in 5 degree increments. I've noticed that Ultimakers like to run hotter than most other printers. We have an article coming out soon on the relationship between temperature and speed, so keep an eye out for that. I think it will be helpful to you. Also, have you tried adjusting the tension on the feeder?
This is normal. It is because of the first layer thickness setting. Since your first layer is 0.25 mm thick, the printer moves to 0.25 mm above 0.
If your printer is printing too high for things to stick to the bed, then you should not adjust this setting. Instead, you should either relevel the bed or use the baby stepping controls to adjust the printing height on the fly.