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Archives: Oct. 2009

Oct.
27th

Construction employment down 14 percent in Tacoma, Seattle

Construction jobs fell by nearly 17,000 between September last year and September this year in the Seattle-Tacoma area according to a new study released today by Associated General Contractors of America.

That’s a 14 percent reduction in filled construction positions in Western Washington’s two largest cities. According to the survey, Tacoma lost 3,300 construction jobs and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett’s construction force dropped by 13,600 during the last year.

That percentage job loss ranked the two cities 215th on the list of 337 U.S. metropolitan areas. Only 12 metro areas in the country reported construction job gains in that period.

Columbus, Ind.,

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Oct.
27th

Paccar profits plunge but beat expectations

Bellevue’s Paccar today reported profits declined to $13 million or 4 cents a share in the third quarter, 96 percent down from the same quarter in 2008.

But despite the decline, the maker of Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF heavy-duty trucks beat Wall Street’s profit expectations. Analysts survey by Thomson Reuters had predicted on average earnings of just 2 cents a share.

The company said the worldwide economic slowdown continues to depress the market for new trucks. The company expects only 110,000 to 140,000 will be sold nationwide this year compared with a normal level of 225,000 new vehicles.

The company’s

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Oct.
27th

Students at failed helicopter school will get loan forgiveness

Students who borrowed money from Student Loan Express for flight training at the now-defunct Silver State Helicopters could see part of their loans forgiven.

Under an agreement with a dozen states including Washington, Student Loan Express will forgive a total of $112.7 million in debts for students of the failed flight school.

More than 100 Washington residents attended the flight school, said Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna. Thirty-four of those students filed complaints with McKenna’s office.

The students paid $69,900 for a flight instruction package that promised them a commercial pilot’s license and a flight instructor rating, the attorney general’s

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Oct.
27th

Southwest launches $25. $50, $75, $100 fare sale

Looking to fill seats in the low demand weeks between and after the holidays, Southwest Airlines offered new fares today as low as $25 each way.

The mileage-based fares are good for travel between Dec. 2 and Dec. 16 and from Jan. 5 through Feb. 10.

The fares are available on Southwest’s Web site only for the next three days.

Example one-way fares: Seattle-Spokane, $25, Seattle-Denver, $50, Seattle-Minneapolis, $100, Seattle-Las Vegas, $75, Seattle-Birmingham, $100, Seattle-San Antonio, $100.

These fares don’t include taxes and security fees and aren’t available on all flights or for Sunday departures.

Southwest’s competitors are likely

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Oct.
26th

Tacoma gas prices mirror nationwide rise

Rising Tacoma gas prices matched a nationwide trend with more than a 10-cent-a-gallon gain in the last week.

But at an average of $2.798 a gallon for regular, Tacoma petrol prices remain below the average price of $2.872 of a month ago.

Nationally, gas prices jumped about 10 cents a gallon during the last week according to TacomaGasPrices.com. The nationwide average gas price for regular today was $2.677.

Regular was available at less than $2.60 a gallon at several Safeway, Costco, Fred Meyer and Arco stations in Pierce County according to the gas price Web site.

Oct.
26th

Self-destructing DVDs for sale at Sea-Tac

Hudson News at Sea-Tac Airport is now selling DVDs for in-flight use for just $5.99.

There’s a catch, however. The DVDs become unplayable 48 hours after they’re opened. So the movie you’ve bought is playable in your laptop, portable DVD player or in your home or hotel DVD player for two days, then it’s gone.

The used discs can be recycled at Hudson stores in any airport nationwide.

Oct.
26th

Boeing contributing stock to pension plan

The Boeing Co. will contribute $1.5 billion worth of company stock to its defined benefit pension plan, the aircraft maker said today.

The contribution will be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

Boeing is contributing stock instead of cash to give it better financial flexibility in the future.

Oct.
26th

Sea-Tac begins flood preparations

Though Sea-Tac Airport’s elevation makes it almost impossible to experience Green River flooding, the airport is already taking measures to ensure it’s unaffected by any overflows in the nearby river valley.

The Port of Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport’s owner, is leasing backup generators, securing fuel and stockpiling necessities that could be cut off if the river floods.

A Puget Sound Energy substation that supplies the airport with power is located in the potential flood area, and a release of floodwaters from the weakened Howard Hanson dam could inundate that substation, the port said.

The dam’s embankment developed a leak last January during heavy rains.  The Army Corps of Engineers has

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