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Archives: Oct. 2011

Oct.
31st

New contract talks set at SCS Refrigerated Services as strike ends

Contract talks are due to restart Tuesday between the Teamsters Union and SCS Refrigerated Services after the union called off a week-long strike Sunday night.

Teamsters Local 117 said it agreed to halt picketing after the company agreed to resume bargaining in good faith. The union had claimed SCS had not been bargaining earnestly.

But the company said it had always bargained in good faith.

Forty-one union members, 15 at the SCS cold storage warehouse in Tacoma and 26 at its facility in Algona, were idled last week because of the picketing.

Meanwhile, at Pierce County’s Community Health Care, no

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Oct.
31st

Seattle 2011 cruise season counts 196 ship calls, 885,000 passengers

The Port of Seattle’s 2011 cruise season numbers are in, and the port is reporting numbers more robust than expected.

The port’s two cruise terminals, one on the waterfront near the Pike Place Market and the other near Magnolia, counted 885,949 cruise passengers among 196 ship calls in the late-April-through-early-October cruise season.

Ten ships were homeported in Seattle this season.

The port expects even more ship calls next season as the Disney Wonder cruise ship moves to Seattle from Vancouver where it operated this season.

The great majority of cruises starting and ending in Seattle cruise to southeast Alaska.

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Oct.
31st

Port of Tacoma commission opposing tolling initiative

Port of Tacoma commissioners, concerned about future funding for road projects serving the port, have voted to express opposition to Initiative 1125.

I-1125 would shift responsibility for setting tolls from an appointed commission to the Legislature, ban variable tolls and require that tolls charged on a road or bridge only be used to build that road or bridge.

Commission members, voting unanimously at their meeting last week, feared that changing the authority to set tolls to the Legislature would raise the cost of interest on bonds paid with toll revenues and cut the available money to build and maintain

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Oct.
28th

Weyerhaeuser says wood products market remains difficult

Federal Way’s Weyerhaeuser Co., which reported declining earnings for the third quarter today, says the market for its timber and wood products is weak at home and softening overseas even in such relatively robust markets as China.

The company predicted lower earnings in the fourth quarter as the price of logs declines and the costs of operating escalates during the fall and early winter because of deteriorating weather.

The forest products company reported earning of $66 million or 12 cents a share excluding special items. That compares with $81 million in the third quarter of last year on the same

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Oct.
28th

Sea-Tac Airport may see record year for passengers

While much of the economy still struggles with high unemployment and tepid housing sales, at least one local institution may count 2011 as the year it put the recession in the rearview mirror.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today reported its busiest September ever last month. September was the fourth consecutive month that the airport had reported best-ever passenger traffic.

Based on that trend, the airport is predicting that 2011 will be its busiest year ever with 32.6 million or more passengers. That figure would beat the previous record of 32.2 million set in 2008.

September passengers at the airport totaled 2.84

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Oct.
27th

Port taxes may drop slightly in 2012

New projections from the Port of Tacoma show the average Pierce County homeowner may save about enough to buy a latte in port taxes next year if local property values continue to fall.

If the port keeps its tax rate at 18.365 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, the average homeowner will pay a total of $44.14 in port taxes next year, the port predicted in budget hearings today.

That compares with $47.47 this year and $53.69 in 2010. The taxes keep falling as the average value of homes in Pierce County continues to decline. That average value was $229,333

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Oct.
27th

Columbia Banking System profits up steeply

Bank acquisitions and a growing loan portfolio drove Tacoma’s Columbia Banking System Inc.’s net income in the third quarter to more than seven times what the bank earned in the third quarter of 2010, the bank holding company announced today

Those earnings totaled $18.9 million for this year’s third quarter compared with $2.5 million for the same quarter in 2010. Net income per share increased to 48 cents compared with 6 cents a share in 2010’s third quarter.

Melanie Dressel, the banking company’s chief executive, said the company’s acquisition of The Bank of Whitman, Summit Bank and First Heritage Bank

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Oct.
26th

TrueBlue’s profits up 36 percent in third quarter

Profits at Tacoma-based temporary labor provider TrueBlue Inc. rose 36.2 percent in the third quarter compared with the same quarter last year, the company announced today.

Revenues were up 19 percent to $371 million for the three month period ending in September. In 2010, third quarter revenues were $313 million.

“We are pleased with our results, particularly the strong revenue growth we delivered this quarter,” said TrueBlue CEO Steve Cooper. “Operating income grew 50 percent compared to the same quarter last year. . . . This demonstrates the powerful operating leverage that exists in our business,” he said.

The company

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