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Archives: Sep. 2007


Four years after it was first proposed, a new Foss Hotel is a go.

Construction on Tacoma’s long-awaited Thea Foss Waterway hotel will begin within 60 days, a partner in the project said today.

Dave Murphy, the mixed-use project’s architect, said the project finally has the green light.

“Papers have been filed,” he said today.

Today was the deadline the Foss Waterway Development Authority had given the prospective hotel owners to obtain the financing to build the project.

That deadline had been extended many times over the last four years as the project’s developers reworked the project concept and sought financing.


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Get a taste of Sweet Victory or Dirt from Jones Soda

Ever wondered what “perspiration” or “natural field turf” tastes like?

If you pick up a pack of the new Seahawks drinks from Jones Soda, you can find out.

The company started taking pre-orders Thursday for a five-pack of sodas with flavors it says reflect the hard work of professional football players, according to The Associated Press.

Clare Bowles, a company spokeswoman, said the four literally named flavors — Dirt, Sports Cream, Perspiration, Natural Field Turf — are "pretty lifelike."

"Perspiration Soda is kind of salty tasting," she said, with a slightly higher sodium content than the

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Biofuels aren’t just for Priuses anymore

Boeing and Air New Zealand have announced they’ll conduct a demonstration flight next year with a 747 burning biofuels.

The demonstration is planned for the second half of 2008 using an Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 burning second generation bio-fuels.

The airline and the plane maker want to demonstrate the feasibility of using non-petroleum fuels to reduce the dependence on oil reserves to power aircraft.


Renew your Do Not Call registration

Pining for the days when mortgage sales people called you during 60 Minutes or siding solictors interrupted your family dinner?

Then let your registration on the national Do Not Call Registry expire and you’re sure to once more become the object of their attentions.

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today reminded consumers that their registration on that list automatically expires after five years.

That means that those who signed up for the list when it was new in 2003 must renew their registrations by June 2008 or risk once again being called unsolicited by sales people.

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Boeing orders nearing 900

Boeing’s official tally of 2007 orders hit 858 this week without the 24 orders announced Thursday by British Airways.

When those orders are signed and sealed, Boeing will have won 882 orders for the year.

On the company’s official order tally sheet this week, the company booked three new orders, one 737 Boeing Business Jet for an unnamed client and two unidentified airline 737s.

In other news of note, an unidentified customer cancelled two 747 orders and substituted 777s in their place.

One 787 order previously listed at unidentified was attributed to Sky Peace

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Christmas already?

It may be Sept. 27 but signs of the holiday season are everywhere. At the Tacoma Mall last weekend I saw that Macy’s already had its holiday shop up outside the mall entrance with Christmas music playing.

At Target and Fred Meyer, Christmas lights and large animated figures share space with Halloween costumes and pre-carved pumpkins. Do people actually put up lights this time of year?

When do you start buying holiday decorations? I’m pretty sure you are supposed to wait until after you compost the Halloween pumpkins.


Sea-Tac wins one, loses one

New service to Shanghai from Sea-Tac by premium-class airline MaxJet won’t be happening anytime soon.

The federal government this week announced new routes between the U.S. and China, and the MaxJet proposal was not among them.

MaxJet had proposed flying an all-business-class Boeing 767 from Seattle to Shanghai beginning in 2009. The flight would have continued to Los Angeles from Seattle.

In better news of overseas connections, however, British Airways will increase weekly flights from Sea-Tac to London beginning next March to 13 flights a week from the present 10 flights a week.

British now flies

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Tacoma Rail tests “green” locomotive

Tacoma’s municipally owned short line railroad, Tacoma Rail, wants to be the first railroad in Washington to put into service a new generation of fuel-efficient, ultra-low emissions locomotives.

Paula Henry, Tacoma rail superintendent, said the railroad just completed a week-long test on a new breed of locomotive with exceptional results.

The new locomotive, built by National Railway Equipment Co. of Mount Vernon, Ill., cut fuel consumption and pollution dramatically compared with Tacoma Rail’s older conventional locomotives.

Here are the test results provided by NRE:

*For over 90% of the in-service time, only one of the two GenSets was needed.
*Idle time was reduced by 80%.
*Estimated fuel consumption was reduced by 70%.
*Estimated emissions were significantly reduced by up to 85%.
*Due to tractive effort improvement, sand use was reduced by over 80%.
*Due to improved tractive effort only a single unit was used vs. two units on certain operations.
*Crew comfort improvements included dramatically reduced noise levels, a significant reduction in smoke. emissions, and better visibility due to the lower long hood and the inclusion of more rear cab windows.
*On railroads where NREC GenSets are used, maintenance costs have been reduced by over 50%.

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