The Biz Buzz

Get the most up-to-date news, insights and analysis of Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound business.

NOTICE: The Biz Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved The Biz Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Archives: March 2008

March
31st

Finalized agenda for joint Port of Tacoma and Seattle meeting

The commissions of the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle are scheduled to meet tomorrow in Kent.

The port just released the finalized agenda for the 2-plus hour event.

Here it is:

Phase I: Opening & Overview Session

12:30 p.m. Pledge of Allegiance— Commissioner Creighton, Port of Seattle

Welcome to the City of Kent— Mayor Suzette Cooke

Opening Remarks— Commissioner Marzano, Port of Tacoma

Opening Remarks— Commissioner Creighton, Port of Seattle

12:45 p.m. Two World Class Maritime Ports, One Region: Recognizing Our Strengths

· Port of Seattle Overview— Tay Yoshitani, Port of Seattle

· Port of Tacoma Overview— Timothy Farrell, Port of Tacoma

· Global Trade Forecast & Competitive Threats— Timothy Farrell & Tay Yoshitani

Phase II: What critical issues must be addressed for the two ports to grow and prosper as economic engines for Washington State?

1:15 p.m. Environment: Air Quality Cooperation —
Lou Paulson, Port of Tacoma
Stephanie Jones Stebbins, Port of Seattle

1:35 p.m. Commission discussion of key policy issues— Moderated by Commissioners Creighton and Marzano

Read more »

March
31st

Do you care about PSE rate increases for electricity and gas?

Even if you don’t care, the state Attorney General’s office does.


Puget Sound Energy wants to raise the rates customers pay for electricity, up an estimated 12 percent, and natural gas, up 6 percent.


The utility filed a request with the Utilities and Transportation Commission in December 2007 to take in an additional $174.5 million in revenues from electric customers and $56.7 million from gas customers. In addition, PSE has requested to raise the monthly base charge, which all customers pay regardless of usage, by nearly $3 for electric customers and $10 for gas customers.


"We’re

Read more »

March
31st

Tacoma rail superintendent now in Utah

Paula Henry, former superintendent of Tacoma Rail, is now the president of the Utah Railway Company and a senior vice president with Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

Utah Railway is owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc., a Conneticut-based company that owns and operates 48 short line and regional freight railroads.

Henry’s first day was today. She succeeded Jim Davis, who retired from the Utah railroad after 40 years in the industry.

Read more »

March
31st

Weyerhaeuser considers selling technology unit

Weyerhaeuser Co. is considering selling off more of its company.


The Federal Way company said today it may sell its Oriented Polymer Composites technology, which is based in Kent.


OPC technology creates wood-plastic composites for exterior building products.


“We are considering selling it because we determined this particular technology is not a strategic fit for us,” spokesman Bruce Amundson said in an e-mail.


This technology is used to generate an oriented, low density product with wood-like appearance from virgin and recycled plastics.


Weyerhaeuser’s initial business plan for the technology platform focused on the high

Read more »

March
28th

Burger King’s new restaurant for small spaces: Whopper Bar

For those of you who love Whoppers, soon you’ll be able to get them in unlikely places.


Bloomberg News reports that Burger King Holdings Inc., the second-largest U.S. hamburger chain, plans to start a new restaurant called the Whopper Bar that will be focused on its top-selling sandwich.


The Whopper Bar will have a smaller menu than regular Burger King locations and will be located in areas with little space such as airports and casinos, Russ Klein, Burger King’s president of global marketing, strategy and innovation, said in a telephone interview today.


Burger King will show

Read more »

March
28th

Population quiz: New Census figures spawn unexpected answers

The Census Bureau earlier this week released its latest estimates of the population of metropolitan areas around the country.

I’ve drawn up a little quiz based on those new figures. See how well you score. Some answers could be surprising:

1. What metropolitan area is now the nation’s fourth largest after New York, Los Angeles and Chicago?

2. Which of these metropolitan areas’ populations are larger than the 3.3 million the Census Bureau estimates live in the Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma area? Baltimore, Denver, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St. Paul or San Diego?

3. Of the following communities whose names begin with T, are smaller than Tacoma? Toledo, Ohio; Tuscon, Ariz.; Topeka, Kan.; or Tallassee, Fla.?

4. Rank these Washington metro areas from largest to smallest. Seattle-Bellevue, Tri-Cities, Yakima, Tacoma, Spokane, Olympia, Bremerton-Silverdale and Bellingham.

And the answers are:

Read more »

March
28th

Northwest Airlines joins in charging $25 for a second checked bag

Major domestic airlines have found a new source to tap to help pay their growing fuel bills.


Northwest Airlines today became the fourth major U.S. carrier to adopt a plan to charge most of its customers an extra $25 for checking a second bag. The fees become effective May 6.


United began the trend and was followed by US Airways and Delta.


American Airlines Thursday filed paperwork in Canada to begin charging for a second checked bag, but has yet to implement that policy either in Canada or the U.S.


An American spokesman said

Read more »

March
28th

Boeing 2008 orders hit 286

The Boeing Co. chalked up five new airliner orders this week, three from Turkmenistan Airlines and two from unidentified buyers. All orders were for 737s.


At the same time, another unidentified buyer canceled an order for one 737.


Those orders and cancellation bring Boeing’s total orders for the year to a net of 286.


So far net orders for the 737 are 184. For the 787, the total is 75. The 777 has garnered 26 orders. The 747 has only one 2008 order, and the 767 has none.