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Archives: 2011

Dec.
30th

Tacoma gas prices stop falling

After long descent from May’s over $4 prices, Tacoma’s retail gas prices appear to have hit the bottom for the year and have stabilized there.

According to TacomaGasPrices.com, the average price for a gallon of regular today was $3.387 a gallon, just .1 cent greater than on Friday last week. A month ago, gas was averaging $3.525 a gallon locally.

Two Costco stores and two Arco stations were selling gas for $3.25 a gallon or less today making them the lowest price stations in the Tacoma area.

Nationwide, the average price for gas was $3.258 a gallon. Washington prices

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Dec.
30th

Why Kansas fears Washington will steal Boeing’s tanker work

A recent article in the KansasReporter.org speculates that Kansas is fighting an uphill battle with Washington to become site for Boeing’s airborne tanker construction program.

Boeing is considering whether to close its Wichita plant and move the tanker completion program planned for Wichita to the Puget Sound area.

The reason for that Kansas’ concern? Washington is more business-friendly than Kansas.

Washington business-friendly? Yes, the article cites Washington’s lower taxes and higher ranking in a nationwide study of states’ taxation policy.

But isn’t it a well-established mantra uttered by the business lobby that Washington is uncompetitive because of burdensome taxes?

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Dec.
30th

‘Tis the season to be fleeced: Beware of loan scams

Here’s a financial tip for the New Year: If you’re going to take out a loan online, check the company sending the money.

The state Department of Financial Institutions has issued an alert concerning an outfit called Action Payday, which uses the website actionpayday.com.

A state consumer alleged that Action Payday withdrew excess fees from his account. That’s how it works. You ask for some money, the company asks for access to your checking account. The company sends money and then withdraws the loan repayment.

And sometimes the company withdraws more than you expected.

Action Payday is not licensed by

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Dec.
30th

What do “The Help”, the Timex T5J151 and Classic Crocs have in common?

Amazon.com, Seattle-based Internet retailer, is out today with its annual list of best sellers.

Some of the hit items such as Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” book and Amazon’s own Kindle Fire tablet computer aren’t big surprises in their categories.

But others, perhaps because the diversity of products in their specialized categories, aren’t exactly familiar in most households.

Take the Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether. I wouldn’t know one if I bit one. But this infant accessory was the best seller among Amazon’s baby products.

Then there’s the Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme 300-Lumen LED Lantern, best seller in the home improvement

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Dec.
29th

Amazon sells more than a million Kindles a week in December

Seattle’s Amazon.com says it sold more than a million Kindle e-book readers and tablet computers a week in December, making three versions of the Kindle the top sellers on the e-commerce site.

Those sales figures didn’t reveal specifics among the several versions of the Kindle, but analysts say they believe the new $199 Kindle Fire tablet computer has sold millions of copies itself, eclipsing sales of Apple’s iPad2 when it debuted.

The Kindle Fire was not only the best selling item on Amazon’s U.S. web site, it won that title on Amazon’s German, British, French and Italian sites.

Amazon not

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Dec.
29th

Downtown Tacoma’s ice rink to stay open an extra week, probably return next year

Downtown Tacoma’s holiday ice rink has been such a success that organizers plan to keep it open an extra week, and to bring it back next year.

“We’re meeting target numbers right now,” Tacoma Art Museum’s Cameron Fellows said Wednesday. “We’re definitely going to make the goal where the operator wants to do it again, and we want to do it again.”

The museum and Texas-based Ice Rink Events opened a temporary rink in downtown’s Tollefson Plaza. Franciscan Health System has been the lead sponsor and gave it its name: Franciscan Polar Plaza. The museum guaranteed it

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Dec.
28th

Highest of any state but not the highest in the U.S. – Washington minimum wage goes up to $9.04 beginning Sunday

When it comes to the minimum wage for workers in Washington, we are no longer No. 1.

The minimum wage for all workers in the state – except those 14 and 15 years old – will increase by 37 cents to $9.04 beginning Jan. 1. That is the highest state wage in the country.

But in San Francisco, workers will begin the year earning $10.24, up from $9.92. The makes the City by the Bay the first place in the nation where workers will earn a minimum double-digit hourly wage.

In Oregon, workers will earn a minimum of $8.80.

The

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Dec.
28th

Amazon tops customer satisfaction index

Seattle’s Amazon.com once again has emerged at the top of a nationwide survey of customer satisfaction among customers of on-line merchants.

The survey, released today by ForSee, gave Amazon an 88 score, up two points from last year. Amazon now has recorded the highest customer satisfaction on the survey for 14 consecutive times. Forsee runs the survey twice yearly.

Overstock.com was last on the list of the 40 largest on-line retailers with a score of 72 out of 100 points. That score was down four points from the last survey.

Netflix Inc. and Gap Inc. were among the worst performers

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