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Archives: May 2011

May
31st

Remember: To collect Washington state unemployment benefits, job-searching is a must

The folks over at Washington State Employment Security sent out a news release this morning to remind everyone that unemployment benefits aren’t free money.

“Congrats on your wedding, but we’re going to need our money back” starts the release, noting that was the state’s response to a woman who was billed $1,400 in benefits she shouldn’t have received, including one week when she was getting married out of state. “The woman said she fulfilled her job-search requirement on the way to the church by stopping off at an El Paso movie theater to inquire about a job.”

The state identified

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May
31st

Pew reports Internet phone calls increase from 2007

Looks like Microsoft was right with its $8.5 billion purchase of Skype.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reports this week that 24 percent of American adult Internet users have placed phone calls online.

That’s 19 percent of all American adults.

On any given day, the Pew says, 5 percent of Internet users are going online to make phone calls.

In 2007, the Pew found that 8 percent of Internet users (6 percent of all adults) had placed calls online, and 2 percent of Internet users were making calls on any one day, according to Project

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May
31st

Foss Waterway Seaport schedules celebration for first display of Bill Somers’ Mosquito Fleet collection: June 11

As promised, the Foss Waterway Seaport will open its “Wheels, Whistles and Wonder: the Extraordinary Maritime Collection of Bill Somers” beginning on June 11.

The exhibit is taken from the extensive hoard of maritime artifacts assembled by Bill Somers, a local winemaker who saw the historic value of artifacts that once were destined for the wrecking yard.

The exhibit comprises some 1,500 items – from ships wheels to photographs, from life rings to binnacles – that primarily tell the steam-powered story of Puget Sound’s Mosquito Fleet.

The collection was purchased thanks to donations from South Sound philanthropists Jim Milgard and

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May
27th

Bellevue-based company that failed to deliver will pay settlement

Nineteen consumers who complained they never received the merchandise they ordered from a Bellevue-based company will receive refunds under an agreement reached last week with the Washington Attorney General’s Office.

The company, Sole Inc., sold merchandise on several websites including TheFactoryOutlet.com, MyBidets.com, RangehoodsMall.com and GoodChairs.com.

The Attorney General’s Office alleged that the company repeatedly failed to deliver goods ordered and paid for by consumers or shipped merchandise much later than it had promised.

In a number of instances, the consumers involved convinced their credit card companies to reverse the charges because the merchandise never appeared.

In one case cited by

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May
27th

Washington among states recognized for fuel saving efforts

A new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council ranks Washington among the top 10 states in taking measures to promote alternate energy and to reduce their dependence on oil.

The NRDC study ranked Washington ninth among the states just ahead of Vermont. The study put California in first place followed by Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

At the other end of the spectrum was Nebraska, ranked 50th. North Dakota was 49th. Alaska was 48th. Iowa was 47th, and Arkansas 46th.

The study also studied which states are most vulnerable to oil price

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May
27th

Boeing begins mock airline service with Dreamliner

Boeing will begin testing in July its new 787 Dreamliner in conditions that mimic the conditions it will encounter in real airline service.

The second 787 test aircraft, ZA002, will begin operating between several Japanese airports the week of July 4 on airline-style schedules, but without passengers. The flying will test the plane’s reliability in airline service and the ability of All Nippon Airways personnel to deal with maintenance and operational issue for the new plane.

ANA is the lead customer for the 787, a long-range twin-engine aircraft expected to be delivered to the Japanese carrier in September.

That delivery

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May
27th

Drug company settlement funds will augment state mental health programs

The lion’s share of a $1.6 million state settlement with drug maker AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals will be allocated to support state mental health programs hit by state budget shortfalls, the Washington Attorney General’s Office said Friday.

The settlement funds were Washington’s share of a $68.5 million multi-state settlement with AstraZeneca over the company’s alleged marketing of the antipsychotic drug Seroquel to treat unapproved conditions in children and elderly patients.

The court settlement allows the Attorney General’s Office to distribute the funds, minus a small amount for litigation costs, to programs that support mental health or which address the proper use

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May
26th

Spokane-based AmericanWest Bank announces offer to acquire Bank of the Northwest; deal includes downtown Tacoma branch

Spokane-based AmericanWest Bank announced today that it has offered buy Bank of the Northwest.

Bank of the Northwest – under the cloud of a regulatory consent order nearly one year old – is based in Bellevue and counts four branches, including the former Bank of Tacoma downtown at 1015 A St.

The deal will require formal approval by shareholders and by state and federal regulators, and could be closed as early as the third quarter.

AmericanWest will pay a premium over the current book value of the bank, which did mark a profit of $80,000 in the first quarter.

“There’s

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