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Archives: July 2011

July
27th

Foreign tourism grew by 33 percent last year in Puget Sound area

New federal figures show the growth in foreign tourism to the Puget Sound area grew by one third last year, making this area one of the fastest-growing magnets for tourism among the nation’s largest tourist areas.

But the Seattle area still has a long way to go to match the traditional foreign tourist destinations of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando and San Francisco.

U.S. Department of Commerce figures show some 475,000 foreign visitors came to this area last year. That put the Seattle area 15th among the top 20 U.S. foreign tourist destinations in the country. New York had

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July
27th

Auto, credit and debt issues remain top gripes for consumers

Auto-related consumer complaints followed closely by complaints about credit card and debt collection practices, topped the list of buyer gripes nationwide this year, a new survey shows.

The survey by the Consumer Protection Federation of America, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the North Amercian Consumer Protection Investigators, said consumer complaints were aggravated by the nation’s continued economic malaise.

At the top of the list was the perennial issue — auto-related complaints about new and used car sales practices, faulty repairs and leasing and towing disputes.

Billing and fee disputes, mortgage frauds, credit repair schemes, abusive debt collection

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July
27th

TrueBlue revenue, profits up for second quarter

Tacoma-based temporary labor provider TrueBlue Inc. today reported both higher revenues and profits for the second quarter.

Revenues rose by 12 percent to $320 million, and profits jumped from $7.9 million in the second quarter of 2010 to $8.5 million in the quarter just concluded.

“”Operating income grew 30 percent this quarter on continue demand for our services across most of the industry groups we serve,” said TrueBlue chief executive Steve Cooper.

The company, whose brands include Labor Ready, Spartan Staffing, Plane Techs, CLP Resources and Centerline, estimated revenues in the third quarter will increase to $360 to $370

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July
26th

Judge sides with Port of Tacoma on Maytown permit; Thurston County group vows appeal

A Lewis County judge has sided with the new owners of a Thurston County industrial site and the Port of Tacoma in granting a summary judgment allowing gravel mining to begin there.

Superior Court Richard L. Brosey granted the summary judgment late last week to Maytown Sand & Gravel LLC and the port. That ruling reverses the Thurston County Board of Commissioners’ decision to require new environmental studies on the gravel mining site.

The judge’s ruling also reinstates a finding by Thurston County hearings examiner Sharon Rice that the sand and gravel company holds a valid special use permit

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July
26th

Puyallup Fair will be looking for workers: 3,000 jobs open for online-only applications on Aug. 1

There will be no more standing in line for a job at the Puyallup Fair. This year, it’s all online.

If you’re looking for a job come September, 3,000 positions are about to open up. On Aug. 1 at 8 a.m., the Puyallup Fair will begin accepting applications online – and online only – for jobs that run from Sept. 9 – 25.

Look for competition for positions again this year. According to Fair spokeswoman Karen LaFlamme, “I have a feeling that the economy is still wavering. We should still see a large number of people applying.”

Available job categories

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July
26th

Housing prices rise nationwide and locally in May

Housing prices in most of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas — including Seattle — rose modestly in May, but those prices remained below last year’s, a new survey shows.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of home prices, released today shows house prices rising about one percent overall among those cities in May over April. But those prices remained about 4.5 percent below May of last year nationwide.

Nineteen of the 20 cities showed declines in prices over May 2010, when the housing market was still being buoyed by federal first-time homebuyer tax credits. Only Washington, D.C., showed a price

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July
25th

Alaska Airlines customers continue to benefit from tax holiday

Alaska Airlines today remains one of two major U.S. airlines that continues to hold the line on its fares during an aviation tax holiday created by a Congressional stalemate.

That means that customers of the SeaTac-based carrier can continue to buy tickets online without paying federal tax on those purchases at least until Congress solves its disagreement over an FAA authorization bill.

That holiday translates to about a 15 percent discount on the full tax-included tickets prices available on the airline. Virgin America is also not raising its fares to take advantage of the tax holiday.

Airlines quit collecting federal

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July
25th

Port opens habitat site to public viewing

A 26-acre former gravel pit now reconstructed as a fisheries and wildlife habitat at the mouth of Hylebos Creek on the Tacoma Tideflats is now open for public viewing.

The site, named Twulshootseed in the Puyallup Tribe’s native language, in English is called the “Place of Circling Waters.”

The site features an intertidal marsh, stream channels that rise and fall with tidal activity and forested creek banks and slopes.

The Port of Tacoma spent some $13.6 million recreating the natural habitat from the remains of a former gravel mine at 1621 Marine View Drive. Much of the site is fenced

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