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Archives: May 2008

May
29th

Weyerhaeuser might sell shipping lines, railroads

Weyerhaeuser says it may sell its Westwood Shipping Line and four regional railroads, according to News Tribune news services.


The Westwood Shipping Line has four ships that carry forest products and containers to ports in Japan, Korea, China and North America, the Associated Press reports.


The railroads serve mills in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Washington.


In a statement Thursday, the company said it had not confirmed a timetable for completing what it calls an exploration of strategic alternatives as part of its asset restructuring, The Associated Press reports.


Bloomberg News says that Weyerhaeuser’s sales of

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May
29th

Not the best quarter state banks ever saw…in fact, it hurt

The proof of the profit-pudding has arrived and those monetary chickens have come home to roost – as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. releases its first-quarter numbers on state banks.


The January-March figures, out today, offer data from 82 FDIC-insured institutions in Washington. Among the numbers (compared to the first quarter of 2007:


&bull Total assets rose to $59.57 billion from $53.41 million.

&bull Total loans and leases rose to $48.07 billion from $42.60 billion.

&bull Total deposits rose to $43.82 billion from $40.73 billion.


Which looks fairly good. But consider:

&bull Net interest

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May
29th

For Qwest cell phone users change is in the air

If you’re a Qwest mobile phone customer, count on a lot of change in the next couple of months.


Qwest is ending its longtime association with Sprint and hooking up with Verizon to provide cell phone service to Qwest customers. Qwest wireless calls now are handled on Sprint’s cell network. Beginning in mid-summer, those calls will be handled on Verizon’s network for Qwest customers who have arranged to move their service.


Just how the transition will happen is still developing, but the change has great possibilities for improving selection and service, but also great possibilities for chaos

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May
29th

Point Ruston construction begins

Construction of the first major building in the billion-dollar Point Ruston development near Point Defiance Park is finally underway.


Seventy-two concrete trucks poured the foundation for the eight-story, 143-unit Copperline condominium building beginning Wednesday.


Excavation had been going on for that foundation for several weeks, said developer Mike Cohen.


“We didn’t want to make a big deal of the digging because we’ve been moving dirt around on the site for months,” Cohen said.


The building is the first to rise on the former site of the Asarco copper smelter at the north end of

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May
29th

Costco reports profits up

The manager of the Tacoma Costco told me recently that the warehouse store does well during times of economic downturn because shoppers come looking for deals.


Looks like he was right.


Costco reported a 32 percent increase in its fiscal third quarter profits today, according to The Associated Press.


Here’s the story:


Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 32 percent jump in its fiscal third-quarter profit Thursday, topping Wall Street expectations, as cash-squeezed customers flocked to its warehouse clubs in search of bargains on food and toiletries.


But shares sank $1.48, or

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May
29th

Tacoma Dome District Foremost Dairy site nears renovation


Don’t look for any official announcements until early this summer – but the Seattle owners of the Foremost Dairy complex at South 25th Street and Pacific Avenue have met with city officials concerning permits for renovation.


Word is that the owners will be looking for tenants to occupy both retail and office space.


The purchase of the ca. 1927, 60,000-square-foot, four-building complex was announced a year ago. Powder Coating Systems Inc. continues to occupy 16,000 square feet of the site.

May
28th

More signs of airline distress

Airlines are announcing ever more sweeping changes daily to cut costs in the face of huge fuel price increases.


American Airlines, which just last week announced a $15 fee on the first checked bag, announced this week it is cutting more flights from its schedule including flights from Chicago to Buenos Aires and from Boston to San Diego.


Meanwhile in Minneapolis, Sun Country Airlines today announced 10 percent pay cuts for managers. That move comes just six weeks after the airline laid off 125 workers.


And Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines said in a court filing that it

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May
28th

Tumwater brewery broker looking for proposals


The Olympia Brewery is once again for sale. Well, sort of.


Rather than post a set asking price, broker Colliers International in Olympia is asking for proposals for the Tumwater site, which comprises 890,000 square feet.


Schmidt, Pabst, Miller – several beers beyond the Olympia brand have been bottled at this Thurston County brewery, and so has the artesian water itself. The main building was built in 1903, and Troy W. Dana, Colliers senior vice president and managing director, says the site, with its "rich history and economic potential, has a

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