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Archives: Jan. 2011


Port of Tacoma biggest loser among nation’s major ports

The Port of Tacoma was the biggest loser among the nation’s major ports in containerized cargo from mid-2008 to mid-2010, a new government study says.

The port’s volume of foreign containerized trade fell 36.3 percent in that two-year period, said the Federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That percentage decrease was greater than any of the 19 other ports in the new study.

Portland was in the second worst with a drop of 34.3 percent in the same period. Overall, the top 20 ports lost 6.8 percent of their business during that time frame.

The study counted only containers imported from

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Boeing received illegal subsidies, WTO says

The Boeing Co. received illegal aid from the U.S. government, and the states of Washington, Illinois and Kansas, the World Trade Organization has rule, the European Union said today.

The WTO ruling is part of a long-running battle between Boeing and its chief rival, Airbus, over research help and financing aid both planemakers have received.

The European Union in complaints to the WTO claims that free use of technology amounts to some $24 billion. The WTO report, to be published this spring, will decide how much of that aid was not allowed under international trade agreements.



Washington lost 3,300 construction jobs in 2010

Washington ranked 26th in the nation in construction job losses in 2010, new statistics from the Associated General Contractors of America show.

The state gained 800 construction jobs in December last year compared with November, but for the year the total was 3,300 less than in December 2009.

That’s a loss of 2.3 percent of the construction workforce for the year. Some 138,900 workers were employed in construction in Washington in December.

A band of states in the middle of the country, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, ranked at the top of the construction jobs list, actually gaining jobs over the

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Amtrak Northwest trains add free Wi-Fi

Amtrak’s Cascades trains between Vancouver, B.C. and Eugene, Ore., are adding free wireless connections for all passengers.

The free Wi-Fi is available to passengers both in business and coach classes aboard the trains, which call on Tacoma on their way to Portland and Seattle.

The new feature allows passengers to use their laptops, notepads, Wi-Fi-equipped cell phones and other portable devices to connect to the Internet for web browsing and phone calls at no cost.


L&I workers’ compensation premium-rate increases in ink at an average 12 percent

Employers of the 26 workers who manufacture explosives in Washington will pay a composite base rate of $1.7612 per hour for each employee in workers’ compensation premiums in 2011.

That’s up 12 percent from last year.

Greenhouse and mushroom farm workers, up 5 percent. Fish hatchery employees, up 8 percent.

The state Department of Labor & Industries announced Friday it had made permanent the emergency premium increases to workers’ compensation rates that took effect Jan. 1.

Bridge constructors; up 20 percent. Plumbers, up 18 percent.

Typically, in the 2011 premium list, the costs to full-time employees have gone down while

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Legislature hears bills to allow cigar smoking in Washington public places

Stogie smokers, your time may have come.

Bills were read Friday in both the State House and Senate that would allow cigar smoking in public places.

The bills, introduced on the cold ashes of the controversial closure of a cigar lounge at Tacoma’s El Gaucho steakhouse, stipulate that those establishments seeking a smoking license meet several requirements.

Among those, a proprietor would:
• Pay a fee of either $15,000 or $5,000;
• Construct a smoking facility that is separated from areas where smoking is prohibited;
• Provide proof of a ventilation system;
• Not allow cigarette

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Federal Way-based Forza to carry Spanaway bakery’s gluten-free products

Interesting news, in light of the spirited conversation going on lately about supporting local businesses:

A Spanaway bakery that specializes in gluten-free, vegan baked goods has added Forza Coffee Company to its list of Puget Sound retailers.

According to a news release today from Federal Way-based Forza, Granny Lala’s Baking Company will have its products in seven Pierce County stores and one in Silverdale.

“We understand a number of people have dietary restrictions and cannot consume certain foods found in popular coffeehouse food selections,” Brad Carpenter, Founder and CEO of Forza, said in the release. “Secondly, much

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Amazon announces profit, revenue jumps, investors punish the stock

When is a 36 percent quarterly revenue increase and a 7.1 profit jump that beats analysts’ predictions justification for a big fall in a company’s stock price/ When the company is Seattle’s

The company, the world’s largest Internet retailer, reported those favorable results after the closing bell Thursday, but investors punished the company by selling enough shares to cause a $16-plus decline in the company’s stock price in after-hours trading.

The decline was clearly a result of investors’ own inflated expectations of what Amazon would report for fourth quarter earnings Thursday afternoon. Investors had run up Amazon’s stock price

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