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Archives: July 2007

July
31st

Puget Sound Energy ranks low in customer satisfaction

The Puget Sound area’s largest investor-owned utility, Puget Sound Energy, ranks second from the bottom in a new customer satisfaction survey of 13 Western utilities.


The J.D. Power and Associates study ranked PSE 12th of 13 power providers it studied in the West. Only Sierra Pacific Resources ranked below PSE. At the top of the list was Arizona’s Salt River Project with a satisfaction score of 772 of 1,000. PSE earned a score of 651. The regional average score was 673.


PSE’s score was below the national average score of 661. J.D. Power rated 76 utilities nationwide, but

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July
31st

Horizon Air wants to fly south of the border

Sea-Tac-based Horizon Air has applied to the Mexican government for its first route to Mexico.


The regional airline has asked permission to fly between Los Angeles and Loreto on the Baja Peninsula.


Horizon is contemplating flying the route using its Bombardier CRJ-70 jets, said Horizon spokeswoman Jen Boyer.


Horizon’s sister airliner, Alaska Airlines, pioneered the route from LA to the small Mexican town on the Gulf of Cortes. Under a plan Horizon is considering, it would fly its 70-seat jets to Loreto on days when demand is too light for Alaska’s 737s.


Meanwhile, the federal Department

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July
31st

Labor warming up push to pass organizing bill

The International Association Machinists and Aerospace Workers launched its campaign for passage of new union organizing legislation today with a rally outside the Frederickson headquarters of Toray Composites America.


The union, the largest at The Boeing Co., used the rally to promote what it calls the Worker Freedom of Choice Act.


“Essentially, this piece of legislation will prohibit employers from requiring workers’ attendance at any meeting where religion, politics or union membership is the main subject,” said Larry Brown, the Machinists’ District 751 legislative director.


The new legislative proposal is an altered version of a bill

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July
31st

Venture posts solid earnings, growth and loan quality

Venture Financial Group, parent of DuPont’s Venture Bank, today reported second-quarter earnings up 23.1 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings were $3.2 million, or 44 cents per share. A year ago, per-share earnings stood at 36 cents.


Loan quality continued to improve, with nonperforming loans at 0.09 percent of total loans, down from 0.32 percent a year ago and 0.10 percent at the end of 2006.


Total assets at the end of the quarter came in at $1.083 billion. The bank rose above $1 billion in the first quarter, when earnings also hit $3.2 million,

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July
31st

I want to be a software engineer when I grow up

You don’t hear a lot of kids say this. But maybe they should.


The Employment Security Department released a report today on skills that will pay the bills in upcoming years.


It forecasts that people interested in nursing, landscaping and computer-related occupations may find more jobs available to them through 2014.


Here’s a few of the details:


- State economists predict an estimated 53,155 people will be employed as registered nurses in 2009. That number will rise by 11 percent to 59,002 by 2014, according to the report.


- Jobs for

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July
31st

Boeing’s 757 get new lives as transoceanic aircraft

Boeing’s 757, now out of production, seems to be enjoying a revival as the stand-in for Boeing’s upcoming 787 Dreamliner on transoceanic routes.


Delta, Northwest, US Airways and Continental are using their 757s in smaller international markets. Fortunately for those of us on the West Coast, the 757 doesn’t have the range to fly the nine and ten-hour routes from here to Europe.


But from the East Coast, airlines are increasingly putting 757s into service to cross the Atlantic.


The addition of blended winglets from Aviation Partners Boeing gives the 757 the extra range and fuel economy

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July
31st

Cost of port expansion nearing $1 billion?

In today’s legal notices, the Port of Tacoma is soliciting a surveying firm for its expansion projects on the east side of the Blair Waterway.


The notice puts the preliminary construction budget for the associated marine terminals, road and rail infrastructure at $900 million.


The terminal for NYK Line will cost $300 million, the port said. And moving the TOTE terminal to make room for NYK will cost another $160 million.


That leaves $440 million for the rest of the work.


Quite a pricey project.


I’ve got a call into Port officials

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July
31st

LeMay car show approaches as museum effort continues

For those of you who can’t wait for the LeMay Musuem to open near the Tacoma Dome, you can take a good long look at the collection – of some 800 vintage, classic and specialty automobiles – at the 30th annual LeMay Car Show and Auction on August 25.


The show, which will include hundreds of cars from local collectors, will begin at 9 a.m. at the museum’s current location, Marymount Academy, and at the LeMay family homestead. It’s a fundraiser for the museum, and costs run $10 for adults, $5 for active military and $20 for families. Call

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