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Archives: May 2009

May
29th

DaVita will stay in Tacoma

Here’s the full story from C.R. Roberts:


DaVita will remain in downtown Tacoma.


With some 900 employees at its Tacoma support center, the kidney-care service company is the city’s second-largest private employer and over the past year had considered moving its operations elsewhere.


Full details of the deal, signed Thursday, have not been released. The company did offer a statement late Friday afternoon saying it "has completed negotiations to extend its lease on office space at 1423 Pacific Ave. as well as at the Columbia Bank Center."


Jim Hilger, DaVita vice president and controller, said in

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May
28th

Even Costco doesn’t dodge the recession

Washington’s largest publicly traded company, Costco, reported lower earnings today as weaker consumer demand made itself felt even at the discount retailer.


The warehouse retailer posted third quarter income of $209.6 million or 48 cents a share down from $295.1 million or 67 cents a share in the same quarter last year.


That income was less than analysts had predicted. The average of analysts’ predictions was 53 cents a share.


Revenues decreased 4.8 percent to $15.48 billion.


Some of those decreases were the result of lower gas prices and a $34 million charge the company

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May
28th

Tacoma gas prices still rising, but pace not matching last year’s

Average Tacoma gasoline prices continued their steady ascent this week rising 6.4 cents since last week, but prices still look reasonable compared with this week last year.


Prices then were $4.054 for a gallon of unleaded regular gas and rising rapidly. Those prices would peak in mid-July 2008 at more than $4.34 a gallon.


Fuel prices then fell below $2 a gallon in mid-December.


While Tacomagasprices.com reports the average price for unleaded is more than $2.60 a gallon in Tacoma today, gas is still available for as low as $2.41 a gallon at a Puyallup ARCO station

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May
28th

Puyallup names Voelpel economic development director

News Tribune business columnist Dan Voelpel will become Puyallup’s new economic development director beginning June 15.


Voelpel’s thrice-weekly column has appeared in The News Tribune since May 2003.


“Writing this business column was the best job I’ve ever had,” said Voelpel in explaining his move to the city job. “But Puyallup’s offer to do something different and challenging was too attractive to pass up.”


Puyallup City Manager Gary McLean said the city hopes to tap Voelpel’s extensive knowledge of the business community and development issues.


“Dan’s regional contacts, insight, background and energy make him the right

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May
28th

Alaska Air partners with Fiji airline

Alaska Airlines has added Fiji-based Air Pacific to its stable of airline partners, the two airlines announced today.


The partnership will allow the two airlines to grant mileage credit to each others’ frequent flier program members and to offer codeshare flights.


Codeshare flights are flights that appear on one airline’s schedule but are flown by another airline.


Travelers will be able to receive Alaska Mileage Plan miles for flights they take on Air Pacific.


The first fruit of the new collaboration will be an arrangement under which Vancouver, B.C. travelers can book a flight to Fiji

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May
28th

Port commisson to discuss director’s performance, petition

The Port of Tacoma Commission plans to meet Friday in executive session to discuss the performance of the port’s Executive Director Tim Farrell, according to port commissioners.


The meeting follows a tense past two weeks that resulted in the commissioners receiving a petition — signed by about a third of the port’s staff — declaring a “no confidence vote” in Farrell.


The petition began circulating shortly after the port notified 47 of its 256 employees that their jobs had been eliminated.


Commission President Clare Petrich said today that Friday’s meeting is “a review of the performance

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May
27th

Costco: Will new customers’ spending counter existing customers’ belt-tightening

Issaquah-based Costco will report third quarter earnings Thursday, but analysts are unsure whether the wholesale warehouse company’s results will benefit from the recession.


Costco, on one hand, has seen shoppers migrating from other stores in search of lower prices, but even its affluent customers are being conservative with their outlays.


The company’s gross sales are also expected to decline because of lower gas prices than at this time last year. Costco sells gas at most of its stores.


The average of analysts’ predictions is that the company will report a profit of 53 cents a share. That

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May
27th

Discount airline takes same name as carrier now part of Alaska Airlines

A new airline bearing the same name of a California carrier purchased by SeaTac’s Alaska Airlines a quarter century ago will begin flying in mid-July.

That low-cost, no-frills airline, JetAmerica, won’t have any connection with Alaska.

The new airline, modeling itself after the now-defunct Skybus Airlines, is scheduled to launch service in July 13 from the New York area’s Newark Liberty Airport.

The old Jet America was a carrier based at Long Beach Airport in Southern California. Jet America’s fleet of 10 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets connected Long Beach with a network of cities throughout the country including Chicago and Minneapolis.

Alaska absorbed that fleet and Jet America’s personnel

Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Eagan said Alaska is aware that the new carrier is using the name, but has no plans to challenge their right to do so.

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