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Archives: Oct. 2007

Oct.
31st

Dinner train demise update

Spirit of Washington Dinner Train customers who are wondering when and if they’ll get a refund for their tickets and gift certificates on the now-defunct train, here’s the latest from the train’s staff:



Look for a refund on your next credit card statement soon if you bought a ticket or gift certificate anytime between Sept. 1 and the train’s suspension of service Monday.


If the train staff didn’t have a credit card number or you paid in cash, the train is mailing refund checks to the person who bought the tickets.

Read more »

Oct.
31st

Vancouver pair pleads not guilty to state labor charges

The state Department of Labor and Industries reports that two Vancouver brothers – Jerry and James Schram, owners of an excavation business – pleaded not guilty today in Clark County Superior Court to 31 felony counts each for violating state labor laws.


Among the charges, the Schrams are accused of defrauding the L&I by not accurately reporting their employees’ hours worked and risk classifications. The information is used to determine premiums for workers’ compensation insurance. They are also accused of not paying overtime properly when employees worked more than 40 hours a week.


L&I has assessed a

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Oct.
31st

Martinac launches tug

Tacoma’s J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. this week launched the first of two tractor tugs it’s building for Florida-based Signet Maritime Corp.


The Signet America is powered by two MTU Detroit Diesel 16-cylinder engines producing 3,305 horsepower each.


Those diesels drive two propeller systems that can swivel in any direction to propel the ship assist tug backward, forward or sideways.


The new tug is 98 feet long and 40 feet wide. Company President Joe Martinac Jr. said he expects the new tug will be delivered in January.


Signet will use the America and a sister tug mainly

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Oct.
31st

Weyerhaeuser shares rise, despite third-quarter profit dip

This just in from The Associated Press:

Weyerhaeuser Co., one of the world’s largest lumber and packaging producers, said today its third-quarter profit dropped 55 percent as weakness in the housing construction market hurt its wood products and real estate businesses.

But excluding one-time items, the results beat Wall Street expectations, sending shares higher even as the company said it expects market conditions to remain challenging.

Despite forecasting some difficult quarters ahead, Chief Executive Steven Rogel said the company is well positioned to benefit significantly when the housing market eventually recovers.

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Oct.
31st

Apartment dwellers may get cable choice

People who live in apartments and condominiums and who have no choice among cable providers may soon get the ability to choose.


The Federal Communications Commission earlier today adopted a Report and Order banning the use of exclusivity clauses for the provision of video services to multiple dwelling units or other real estate developments.


The commission took the step to “foster greater competition in the market for the delivery of multichannel video programming.”


A spokesman for Tacoma’s Click! Network is pleased with the decision, as it may allow the utility access to apartments and condos unavailable under

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Oct.
31st

Even if it’s Halloween, do not be afraid

Early predictions for the state’s economy are out (or in), and the bloom remains off the rose. But there’s no cause to panic.


Chang Mook Sohn, executive director of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council has sent his preliminary forecast to members of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.


Among the prognostications (which members of the council may correct, as they see fit):


&bull Real personal income will fall 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter and rise 4.4 percent in 2008.

&bull Wage and salary employment will see 1.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter and

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Oct.
31st

Big new 737 order is waiting in the wings

The launch customer for Boeing’s enlarged 737-900ER, Indonesia’s Lion Air, will more than double its order for the aircraft, a media report from Indonesia says.


Lion Air has orders for 60 of the 737s. It plans to raise that order to 122 at an Indonesia air show in December, a Chinese paper says.



People’s Daily attributed the report of the doubled order to a Lion Air executive.


Lion Air is a low-cost carrier that is attempting to secure a dominant position in Indonesia’s airline industry.


The 737-900ER is a

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Oct.
31st

Bombardier crash landing has different cause

Danish authorities have blamed the crash-landing of an SAS Bombardier Q400 aircraft Saturday in Copenhagen on a landing gear problem different from one that caused two earlier crashes.


Last weekend’s crash along with two similar SAS incidents in September caused SAS to remove the Q400 from its fleet permanently. See the crash video here.


Authorities say that a preliminary investigation shows the landing gear failure in the most recent crash was not caused by the corrosion of a bolt that led to the September crashes.


That report shows a rubber O-ring blocked an orifice in the

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