The Biz Buzz

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Archives: Dec. 2007

Dec.
31st

New rules for spare batteries in luggage

First it was sharp objects, then liquids and gels and now it’s lithium batteries that are gaining the scrutiny of airport screeners.


A new federal regulation, prompted by fires caused by overheated lithium batteries in laptop computers, prohibits airline passengers from packing spare lithium batteries in their checked luggage. The rule is effective Jan. 1.


The new rules allow two spare batteries either carried in their original retail packaging or in a zip top plastic bag inside a carry-on bag.


Lithium batteries are typically found in electronic devices such as laptops and video cameras. Batteries stored

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Dec.
31st

Boeing $5.8 billion fighter contract in jeopardy

The Australian government says it wants to take a second look at a $5.8 billion contract to buy 24 FA-18 Super Hornet jets from Boeing.



Super Hornet


The contract re-examination came after the Labor Party defeated the Liberal-National coalition in elections last month.


Former Australian defense minister Brendan Nelson had approved the contract, but his political opponents contend he failed to consult his military advisors before picking Boeing.


The Boeing contract’s critics contend that the Super Hornet is outclassed by the latest Russian fighters that it contends are faster,

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Dec.
31st

Looking for solutions means a trip online

Got a problem? If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’ll go to the Internet for a solution.


In a report out this week, the Pew Internet & American Life Project says that for help with a variety of common problems, "more people turn to the Internet than consult experts or family members to provide information and resources."


Among the 10 possible problems: dealing with a serious illness or health concern; making a decision about financing school or upgrading work skills; dealing with a tax matter; and changing a job or starting a business.


Those who had

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Dec.
31st

Top ten Biz Buzz blog posts of 2007

These were the most-read business blog posts of 2007:


1. Ameriquest settlement claims due

2. Locomotive will take a Tideflats roadtrip Friday

3. New shops at Gig Harbor’s Uptown

4. I-5 closed near Chehalis for at least 36 hours

5. Alaska’s strategic retreat

6. Church’s chicken draws crowds

7. Uptown Gig Harbor’s first store opening

8. Cabela’s: Been there, done that, no need to go back

9. Starbucks recall coffee mugs

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Dec.
31st

Update on tribe’s plans for Portland Avenue site

Okay, here’s the deal. I spoke today with John Weymer, spokesman for the Puyallup Tribe, and he tells me the original press release was incorrect. WH Pacific, the Anchorage firm, has been hired to prepare a master plan. The firm is not doing the the specific design work for the site – on 50 acres of tribal land between Portland Avenue and the current casino along I-5 and the beginning of River Road.


Weymer said the agreement with WH Pacific is only about "how to utilize the property. They are not contracted to do design – it’s just

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Dec.
31st

Ruston Way waterfront losing an icon

The doors close today for the last time at what’s the oldest continually operating business on the Ruston Way waterfront, Johnny’s Ocean Fish Co.



Johnny’s


Pacific Seafood Group, the Portland-based seafood giant that bought the Johnny’s operation two years ago, is pulling the plug on the Old Town fish market after 74 years in business.


The Old Town store manager, Debbie Goss, said the three-member staff is being transferred to Johnny’s Dock Street store.



Johnny’s manager Debbie Goss and employee Joey Fote

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Dec.
29th

150,000-sq.-ft. tribal casino on 50-acre Tacoma site

The Anchorage Daily News reported yesterday that an Anchorage company – WH Pacific – has "won a contract with the Puyallup Tribe to work on the tribe’s new casino in Tacoma, Wash."


Under the contract, the story said, the company will provide master planning and architectural/engineering design services for "a 150,000-square-foot casino on a 50-acre site along Interstate 5."


A 150,000-square-foot casino on a 50-acre site is a big deal. In fact, I received a press release on this a week ago and called Puyallup Tribe spokesman John Weymer. He said there were errors in the report, and

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Dec.
28th

New homes sales dip alongside prices

The Associated Press reported today that the housing market “plunged deeper into despair in November,” with sales of new homes falling to their lowest level in more than 12 years.


The wire story, quoting a Commerce Department report issued today,says new-home sales tumbled 9 percent in November from October to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 647,000.


That’s the worst sales pace since April 1995.


We wrote Wednesday on a report – the S&P /Case-Shiller Home Price Index – that said home prices across the country had fallen, and that prices in Seattle were down 0.9

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