The Biz Buzz

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Category: Your View


Tacoma housing market cheered on CNN Money — but is it true?

CNN Money’s Les Christie has a flashy report out today that Tacoma is one of “10 large metro areas” that will record the biggest housing price gains in 2012.

Specifically he predicts Tacoma home prices will gain 11.8 percent by September of 2012.

While all of us hope for good residential real estate news, it’s unclear how he arrived at that conclusion. The gallery says in very small type at the end that the source of data is “Fiserv, based on cities with a population of 500,000 or more.”

First thought: Tacoma has about 200,000 people; Pierce County has

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My near-miss parking ticket in downtown Tacoma: Is a ticket possible as soon as you put the car in park?

I almost got a parking ticket yesterday in downtown Tacoma while sitting in my running car for five minutes while I sent an e-mail.

First, let me state unequivocally: I violated the law. My running car was in park along the curb at South 9th Street and Pacific Avenue, which is in the paid parking zone. I had an expired parking sticker from earlier in the afternoon on my window, and I did not even think to get out and pay 25 cents for a new one because I planned to sit there for less than five minutes while

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Re-engined 737 even more unlikely and other items from the Boeing earnings call

Boeing has made no secret that it’s unlikely to develop a re-engined version of its most popular airliner the 737. And Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney added strongly to that message today in the company’s fourth quarter earnings call.

“I personally feel that the market will wait for us,” said McNerney talking about whether developing a totally new replacement aircraft for the 737 is the way Boeing should proceed.

Boeing rival Airbus has recently announced it will re-engine its competitor to the 737, the A320. That announcement has triggered several big commitments and orders from airlines for the updated plane called

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A twin-aisle 737?

Reports are surfacing again that Boeing will depart from the traditional aluminum tube design for a new version of its most popular model, the 737.

A new patent obtained by Boeing engineers shows an elliptical composite fuselage that accommodates passengers in a twin-aisle configuration with two seats on the outboard sides of the two aisles with three seats between.

The elliptical fuselage, made possible by composite’s ability to be tailored precisely for strength in the proper places, supposedly produces no more aerodynamic drag than the present round aluminum fuselage with three seats on each side of a single aisle.


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You design downtown post office’s future

Most of the downtown post office building hasn’t been used by anyone for almost 20 years. New owner George Heidgerken plans to bring in tenants for the historic building, which has unique characteristics including old courtrooms, holding cells and walk-in vaults.

What, and who, do you think should move in? What services does the neighborhood need? How would you use some of the outside lawn space?

We want to hear your ideas for a story we’re publishing Sunday. Share them by posting a comment on this blog, or following

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Job seekers, we want to hear from you

I’m working on a story about finding a job in this tough economic climate.

Are you looking for work? For how long? What has that been like?

Or are you unemployed and have you stopped looking for work? Why?

And employers, are you hiring but not finding what you need?

E-mail me at by the end of the day with your story. Please include your full name, your hometown and a daytime phone number for possible follow-up questions.


Calling all bargain food shoppers

With food prices escalating over the past year, I’m looking for a few good bargain shoppers.

Specifically I’m working on a story about surplus, salvage and discount grocery stores, what they carry, how they work and the deals the shoppers find there.

Do you shop at Grocery Outlet or a similar store? Or are you finding ways to cut back on your grocery bill?

I’d love to interview you about where and how you shop for food.

E-mail me at or call 253-597-8573.


What do you think? This week: inflation

Is your budget being squeezed with the rising cost of milk, bread and gas? Are you making choices about what to buy and passing on extra items?

We want to hear from you. C.R. posted a story this morning about inflation here in Pierce County and surrounding areas.

It said that overall inflation was up but grocery prices are down.

This weekend I paid more than $50 to fill up my wagon, the first time I had topped that mark. And while grocery shopping, I found that many of the items I buy weekly were up 20

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