The Biz Buzz

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Archives: Feb. 2009

Feb.
27th

Two banks fail in Nevada and Illinois; the FDIC has stepped in to protect depositors

In what has become a predictable event come Friday, regulators closed a pair of banks today – one each in Nevada and Illinois.


The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced this afternoon that Security Savings Bank of Henderson, Nev. and Heritage Community Bank, of Glenwood, Ill. were shuttered by local regulators and the federal agency.


In Nevada, the FDIC has entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Bank of Nevada in Las Vegas to assume all deposits of Security Savings.


The two offices of Security Savings Bank will reopen on Monday as branches of Bank of

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Feb.
27th

Sea-Tac Airport traffic falls nearly 6 percent in January

The business slowdown has finally touched traffic at Sea-Tac Airport.


The airport this week reported its January passenger traffic was down 5.86 percent in January compared with the same month in 2008. Some 2.15 million passengers passed through the airport last month.


The traffic decline comes after Sea-Tac set a new record of passenger traffic last year, more than 32 million passengers.


International passenger traffic was down considerably more than domestic with international traffic dropping 10.88 percent. Domestic traffic fell 5.27 percent.


Still, Sea-Tac traffic reductions are less than some U.S. airports. Traffic at

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Feb.
27th

Martinac will launch new tug Saturday

Tacoma’s J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. will launch a new tugboat from its construction ways on the Thea Foss Waterway early Saturday morning.


The 98-foot-long tug, built for Vancouver, B.C.’s Seaspan International Ltd., is powered by two 3,000-horsepower diesel engines driving two swiveling thrusters.


The tug, the M/V Seaspan Resolution, will carry 45,000 gallons of fuel and nearly 3,600 gallons of water.


The launch is scheduled at 6 a.m. to take advantage of favorable tide conditions. Martinac’s shipyard is located on the east side of the Foss Waterway, just north of South 15th Street.


The

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Feb.
27th

Alaska Air replaces Southwest as SeaFair parade sponsor

Hometown carrier Alaska Airlines will be the principal sponsor of the Seafair Torchlight Parade this summer, replacing rival Southwest Airlines, which had held the title spot for several years.


The 2-mile parade, now called “Alaska Airlines Torchlight Parade at Seafair,” will be held July 25 in downtown Seattle.


The parade, the largest nighttime event in the Northwest, is expected to draw about 300,000 spectators.


Alaska and its partner airline, Horizon Air, are headquartered in the city of SeaTac, just south of Sea-Tac Airport.

Feb.
27th

Irish discount airline considering pay toilets

Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Europe’s biggest discount airline, Ryanair, says the carrier is considering charging passengers for restroom access while flying.


But a company spokesman discounted the possibility saying O’Leary, a plain-speaking, fun-loving manager, sometimes just makes things up.


The airline has no firm plans to put coin slots in airliner restroom doors, said the spokesman.


Ryanair derives much of its income from sales of extra services. The airline, for instance, sells transportation from its sometimes distant airports to city centers. It charges extra from desirable seats, and on-board refreshment.


The company sells

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Feb.
26th

Plastics firm bringing 115 jobs to Puyallup

A French-owned high-technology plastics company will soon move its Washington plant and its 115 jobs from Seattle’s Rainier Valley to Puyallup.


Roy Teter, facilities manager for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, said the phased move will begin in about three weeks and conclude in June or July.


Saint-Gobain produces high performance plastics and composite parts mostly for the aerospace industry.


The company had been searching for a new home for about 18 months, said Teter, when the former idX Corporation woodworking plant at 507 Levee Road became available.


The plastics firm had been working with the Economic Development

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Feb.
26th

Alaska Air testing airborne Internet

Alaska Airlines has begun testing a new airborne Internet system on one of its 737-700 aircraft on flights between Seattle and San Jose, Calif.


The tests will occur on one daily afternoon flight between the two cities, the SeaTac-based airline said.


During the test period, access to the Internet will be free. passengers with Wi-fi connections on their laptop computers, cell phones, personal digital assistants and other devices will be able to connection with the airborne system.


Alaska is using a satellite-based system developed by California’s Row 44. A small antenna mounted on the plane feeds signals

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Feb.
26th

Boeing won’t build military transports in Florida

Boeing has dropped plans to collaborate with an Italian aerospace firm to build a military transport aircraft at a new plant in Jacksonville, Fla.


Boeing, who’s been an on-again, off-again partner with Italy’s Finmeccanica in plans to build the C-27J transport plane for the U.S. military, said it has abandoned efforts to reach a production agreement with the Italian plane maker.


“For us, it wasn’t about the airplane. It wasn’t about the team,” William Barksdale, a Boeing spokesman, told Reuters. “It’s purely the economic climate.”


The Army and the Air Force together have ordered 145 of the

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