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Archives: 2012


The holidays of 2012: By the Numbers

$1.03 billion: Value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2012.
$9.6 billion: Value of toy imports from China during that period.
$227 million: Value of athletic shoe imports from China.
$31.8 million: Value of imports of roller skates.
$1.38 billion: Value of candles shipped by U.S. manufacturers in 2011.
73: Manufacturers of dolls and stuffed toys in the United States in 2010.
525: Manufacturers of games, toys and children’s vehicles.
625,000: Highest estimate of the number of people retailers are expected to hire this year during

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October hotel occupancy increase in Tacoma leads state; average cost of a room up 3.2 percent

Hotel occupancy in Pierce County rose 13.8 percent in October, the highest increase recorded in any region in the state. The Tacoma area showed 68.4 percent of its rooms taken, up from 60.1 percent in October 2011.

Statewide, the occupancy rate rose 8.9 percent over the year before, reported Bellevue hospitality consultant Wolfgang Rood in his monthly report. Two of the state’s eight regions, Northwest and Southwest Washington, reported declines of 3 percent and 2.4 percent respectively.

The average daily room rate in Pierce County, $93.90, was up 3.2 percent over 2011, Rood said. The statewide average rate, $127.75, was

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Port signs new, more lucrative lease extension for grain terminal

A new lease approved by Port of Tacoma commissioners Thursday ensures the port’s nearly 40-year-old Schuster Parkway grain terminal will remain an active export facility until at least 2040.

The lease approved Thursday afternoon also contains two five-year optional extensions that could lengthen the lease’s expiration until 2050.

That lease, a modified extension of the existing lease with Cargill Inc., will substantially increase the port’s income from the facility.

The port, which has leased the grain terminal for a nominal $50,000 a year to Minnesota-based Cargill, will receive $460,000 a year rent from 2013 through 2025. Beginning in 2026, the

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Sea-Tac flights to Midwest feel storm’s effects

If you were planning to fly from Sea-Tac Airport to Chicago today, count on your flight being canceled or at least being dealt a long delay.

Airlines serving the Windy City’s two airports are canceling flights in anticipation of the city’s first major snowstorm of the winter.

Southwest Airlines, which serves the Sea-Tac to Midway International Airport route says it is canceling all departures from that smaller Chicago Airport after 2 p.m. Pacific Time today.

“We don’t want people traveling to the airport to stand in line, when we know that we’re probably not going to be able to provide

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FedEx orders four more 767 freighters from Boeing

A Boeing plane whose basic design is 30 years old, continues to tote up orders.
Package delivery giant FedEx today announced orders for four more of the twin-jet, wide-bodied freighter aircraft.

That order raises FedEx’s outstanding orders for the 767-300F to 46. The Memphis-based express company ordered 27 of the planes a year ago and then added 15 more in July.

The company also has 11 orders on the books for Boeing 777 freighters.

In the passenger business, Boeing last year delivered its first 787 Dreamliner, a same-sized plane as the 767 that was designed to be some 20

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TriWest will lay off 127 Pierce County employees; TRICARE contract will be administered by a new provider

The state Employment Security Department announced Wednesday that the Pierce County office of TriWest Healthcare Alliance will lay off 127 employees effective on Feb. 15.

TriWest administers TRICARE benefits for military personnel. The company announced last month that as of April 1, 2013, the TRICARE West Region contract will transition to and be managed by United Healthcare Military & Veterans.

George Cargill, TriWest vice president of operations for the Northwest, said Wednesday that “the Triwest contract was awarded to another provider.”

The transition should have no effect on TRICARE clients, he said.

Some TriWest employees have been offered positions with

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Boeing worker dies after fall

A Boeing worker died last weekend at Harborview Medical Center after he reportedly fell from a scaffold while painting a plane, KIRO-TV reports.

Boeing Tuesday acknowledged the industrial accident, but declined to name the victim or to give many details of the accident.

The company said Boeing medical personnel and paramedics responded to the accident scene, and the man was transported to Harborview.

The man’s family has requested that Boeing release no more details, the company said.

The accident happened Thursday, the company said.

The Machinist Union said the company needs to renew its safety emphasis as production rates

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South Sound gas prices lowest since winter of 2011

Gas prices in the South Sound continued inching lower this week hitting an average of $3.311 a gallon, the lowest prices since February 2011.

Those prices were more than 7 cents lower than the average prices in the South Sound a year ago. Today’s average prices were almost exactly a dollar less than the 2012 South Sound high on Mememorial Day weekend.

The average was still being driven lower by an active price war in the Bonney Lake area where an Arco station there was the price leader at $3.12 a gallon according to The News Tribune’s Gas Deal

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