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Archives: June 2012

June
28th

Ta-da! Ruston Way reopens, finally

UPDATED:You can forget the circuitous, hilly detour that took you from Tacoma’s Waterfront Ruston Way to Pearl Street for the last year.

Yes, Ruston Way at long last reopened to traffic Friday morning across the former Asarco smelter site now morphed into a growing mixed-use development called Point Ruston.

The gates blocking the long waterfront roadway from crossing onto Point Ruston’s property opened this morning and the construction barriers impeding Baltimore Street’s connection to Point Ruston will fall sometime Friday afternoon.

The newly realigned roadway replaces the century-old Ruston Tunnel with a treelined, bike and pedestrian-oriented boulevard that

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June
28th

California-based liquor chain BevMo opens first Washington store in Tacoma

The first of what could be half-a-dozen liquor superstores California liquor giant BevMo plans to operate in Washington quietly opened its doors today near the Tacoma Mall.

The store, which will carry some 8,000 different beer, wine and spirits products, is the 117th store in the BevMo chain, which operates outlets throughout California and Arizona.

The Tacoma store and another in Silverdale plan a formal public grand opening July 13. The first 500 shoppers at the grand opening will receive gift bags with merchandise $50, said the chain.

BevMo CEO Alan Johnson said the chain is planning four or five

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June
28th

Burien’s Highline Medical Center and Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System exploring a strategic alliance

Highline Medical Center in Burien and the Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System today announced they are exploring a strategic alliance.

The agreement is the latest move in a health care chess game in which the region’s large health care providers have purchased or formed partnerships with most of the region’s independent hospitals.

The competition has been particularly active between the two big Tacoma-based health care systems, MultiCare Health System and Franciscan.

MultiCare recently announced it is buying the Auburn Regional Medical Center.

The motivation for smaller hospitals such as Highline and Auburn is financial. The buying power, access to lower

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June
28th

Premera on Supreme Court ruling: we still need to address major issue of health care cost

Premera Blue Cross, a private health insurer, is out this morning with a statement on the Supreme Court. This is from Eric Earling, Premera senior manager for media, issues, and policy communications:

“The Supreme Court today ended months of speculation by ruling that the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) will stand. Premera will continue to be focused on implementing federal healthcare reform as smoothly as possible and delivering the products and services our customers value.

“Moving forward, federal healthcare reform will significantly expand access to coverage in 2014. We believe that’s a good thing. Yet, the law unfortunately does little

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June
28th

State Insurance Commissioner relieved after Supreme Court ruling on health care

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has issued a press release concerning this morning’s ruling from the Supreme Court upholding the health care mandate. Here’s what Kreidler said:

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler expressed great relief with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act and said Washington state is now well ahead of most states in reforming its health care system.

Many reforms are currently in place, but key benefits and programs take effect in 2014, including Washington’s new Health Exchange, federal subsidies to help 477,000 people afford health insurance, an expansion of Medicaid for 328,000

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June
27th

Dreamliner beating fuel-saving predictions

Despite fears that the first versions of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner wouldn’t meet Boeing’s promised fuel-saving predictions, early operators say the plane is performing better Boeing advertised.

All Nippon Airways, launch customer for the 787, is seeing a 21 percent improvement in fuel use over previous mid-sized long-range aircraft like the Boeing 767. And Japan Airlines says its fuel use figures are even better, said aerospace industry publication Aviation Week.

Boeing generally had predicted the composite-bodied Dreamliner would improve fuel burn figures by 20 percent.

Industry analysts had feared that the first Dreamliners off the prodution line wouldn’t meet Boeing’s promises

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June
27th

Alaska Air challenges competition in Bellingham-Hawaii routes

Alaska Airlines announced new four-times-weekly from Bellingham to Maui today. The new flights will begin Nov. 8.

In announcing the new route, Alaska will challenge Allegiant Airlines which announced Maui service from Bellingham in May. Allegiant’s service begins Nov. 14.

Alaska already flies from Bellingham to Honolulu. Allegiant plans to begin its Bellingham-Honolulu service in November.

The Bellingham market attracts passengers not only from northern Washington but also from the nearby Vancouver, B.C. area.

Alaska began its Bellingham-Honolulu service after it heard reports that Allegiant would begin a similar service once it acquired aircraft with the range necessary to fly

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June
27th

A year after sentencing for theft, Tacoma credit union employee barred from financial employment

The National Credit Union Administration – the federal regulatory agency that oversees credit unions – has prohibited Edgar Hugh Kelly from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution.

Last year, Kelly was convicted of theft from KBR Credit Union of Tacoma. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison, three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $440,000.

Kelly had been employed for nearly 13 years by KBR, a small Tacoma credit union originally incorporated to serve the needs of St. Regis workers, and later those at Simpson.

At sentencing last year, U.S. District Judge

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