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Archives: Aug. 2008

Aug.
29th

Report says trucking is among state’s most dangerous jobs

Truck driving is one of Washington’s most dangerous professions, accounting for 10 percent of the state’s work related fatalities and $265 million in injury claims each year, according to a new state labor report.

The state Department of Labor and Industries released the Preventing Injuries in the Trucking Industry Focus Report on Thursday. The report, which covers 1997-2005, is an attempt to help employers reduce the hazards through detailing the dangers drivers face.

“Given the importance of trucking to our economy, everyone in the industry needs to be working to prevent workplace injuries,” said Barbara Silverstein, the

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Aug.
29th

Insurance deductibles not going up with economy going down

Ask a question, get an answer.


Thinking about how people are handling the nervous economy, I wondered if perhaps there’s been an increase in insurance deductibles. If a policyholder increases the deductible amount, then the premium would go down – and I figured people might be looking for ways to lower premiums.


Not so – at least not yet.


I spoke with Karl Newman recently – he’s president of the Northwest Insurance Council – and he said he’d poll his member companies in the state.


I heard back today. Newman’s answer: “Our member company survey found

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Aug.
29th

Machinists closer to strike

Leaders of Boeing Co.’s Machinists union called for a strike today after deciding a proposed labor contract the aerospace company called its "best and final" offer wasn’t good enough, The Associated Press reports.

They urged members to reject the offer in an upcoming vote.

Boeing had hoped the proposal, which provides added pay and incentives to workers over three years, would help it avert a labor standoff. The talks come as Boeing tries to keep up with a backlog of plane orders and avoid more penalties caused by production delays of its next-generation passenger jet, the AP reports.

The union has planned a news conference later Friday to explain details of the decision, said Connie Kelliher, a spokeswoman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 751.

A Boeing spokesman said the company was "extremely disappointed" by the union’s response.

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Aug.
29th

Thun Field improvements due with work beginning next week

Michael D. Esher, airport and ferry administrator for Pierce County, reported today that work will begin Tuesday to realign the taxiway at Thun field.


Looker and Associates of Puyallup was awarded the $616,342 contract and expects to complete work by Oct. 15, the county said in a press release today.


The airport runway will remain in use for all but a short interval required to match asphalt in new sections of the taxiway.


Esher said the project will improve safety at the airport by creating more distance between the runway and taxiway at the north

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Aug.
28th

Foss Waterway hotel development granted another extension

The marathon Foss Waterway hotel project, which was originally proposed in 2003, was granted yet another extension and the developer says it has to be reinvented.

Now construction has been put off to May 20, 2009, more than six years, three extensions and multiple blueprint changes since the initial proposal. Under the new extension, the project needs to "optimize economic returns through needed redesign all within the context of an envelope that has existing permits and approvals."

The Foss Waterway Development Authority granted the extension at a meeting Thursday evening.

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Aug.
28th

Coming soon to a theater near you: Facebook, the movie

For those of you who can’t get enough Facebook (including me), here’s good news: Facebook, the movie, is in the works.


Aaron Sorkin, creator of television show "The West Wing," will develop the project for Sony Corp., Bloomberg News reports.


Scott Rudin, whose past work includes Oscar-winning film "No Country for Old Men," will produce the film, Sony Pictures spokesman Steve Elzer said in an e-mailed message.


The movie will focus on the early days of Facebook, a network that allows users to exchange pictures and messages, Elzer said.


Bloomberg reports that closely held Facebook

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Aug.
28th

Enforcement actions from the State Insurance Commissioner (and untrustworthy is a real word)

The office of State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is out today with a release noting various recent enforcement actions.


At the top – it turns out that "untrustworthy" is a real word.


In an unpublished Court of Appeals case from last year against insurance agent Jack Chandler, the court has ruled that Kreidler was correct to revoke Chandler’s license based on the fact that, according to the commissioner, Chandler "had shown himself to be untrustworthy in his sales conduct with elderly consumers."


The court also agreed that Kreidler was correct in saying that Chandler "attempted to

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Aug.
28th

Sonic: America’s Drive-In picks its first place – South Hill

Let the lip-smacking anticipation begin. Sonic’s first Puget Sound region drive-in restaurant will go up at the corner of 136th Street East and Meridian Avenue on South Hill.

Location of future Sonic Drive-in

This vacant corner at 136th Street East and Meridian Avenue will serve as the home for Sonic’s first drive-in restaurant in the Puget Sound region.

J. David Orem, who owns the franchise rights in the region, said he will sign the lease agreement Friday.

When will it open? That will depend largely on how fast Pierce County approves the permits, said Orem, who plans to file his application as early as next week.

“We’re readying all our drawings,” said Orem this week while on the road to visit the new Sonic in Vancouver. “Once we get the permit, we’ll be under construction for 90 days, then we’ll open. (When the application’s filed with) the folks at Pierce County who make the decisions with regard to building permits, it’s out of my hands. If there was any way I could speed the process up, I’d like to open by Christmastime.

Otherwise, plan for early 2009.

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