Business

NBA arena
5:55 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Should Seattle vote on NBA arena? Port calls it a 'job killer'

The proposed site for a new NBA arena in Seattle.

Port officials say placing a new sports arena in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood without significant transportation improvements would be a "job killer." And one King County councilman wondered if area residents shouldn't vote on the idea.

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Business
2:05 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Washington wages outpaced inflation last year

Brian Talbot flickr.com

The average annual wage in Washington grew by 3.6% in 2011. 

The state Employment Security Department says wages outpaced inflation by 0.9 percentage points.

The average annual salary in Washington was $49,894 last year, up from $48,162 in 2010.

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Business and labor
7:18 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Northwest farmers, shop-keeps wait anxiously for cherry workers

The first cherries of the season are coming off the trees in Northwest orchard country, but will there be enough workers to pick them? Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 2:51 pm

PASCO, Wash. – With lingering high unemployment and the endless talk of the down economy -– it’s hard to believe that there are some industries putting help-wanted signs out by the dozens. But that’s the case in Northwest orchard country where there appears to be a dwindling supply of migrant workers for cherry picking. Cherry season started this past week, and farmers and shop-keeps alike are anxiously waiting for more workers to arrive.

If you want to talk to cherry workers before they disappear into the jungle-dense canopies of trees, then you have to get up early.

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Microsoft plans
10:16 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Microsoft promises a 'major' announcement; What will it be?

Microsoft's Surface.
Microsoft

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 6:01 pm

Update at 7:23 p.m. ET. The Surface:

Saying that Microsoft wanted to give its new operating system "its own hardware," CEO Steve Ballmer announced "Surface," Microsoft's foray into the tablet world.

The Verge reports:

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Business
5:00 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Low interest rates: Who wins, who loses?

Preserving savings is hard for retirees with interest rates so low
Tax Credits

The interest rate on a 30-year mortgage recently dropped to a record low. That’s great news for people buying a home or refinancing. But not everyone is thrilled about low interest rates. For retirees, Bellevue financial advisor Michael Boone says low interest rates are "incredibly destructive."

Take David Lee. He's 59 years old, getting close to retirement. When he first set up his retirement plan decades ago, he says he was told he’d earn 10 percent interest and he’d have enough to buy another house when he retired. So much for that.

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Economy
4:49 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Washington jobs picture brightens, but unemployment up too

Washington state showed strong job growth in May in the private sector, but a slight increase in the unemployment rate. Image via Wash. ESD

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 3:16 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The latest jobs report for Washington state contains a paradox. It shows strong job growth in the private sector. But at the same time, the state unemployment rate also rose.

Washington's Employment Department Wednesday reported a May jobless rate of 8.3 percent, up slightly from the revised 8.2 percent rate of April.

State labor economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said in a conference call that the higher unemployment rate was caused primarily by once-discouraged workers resuming their job hunts.

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Tech news
12:09 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Apple integrates Facebook into iPhone software

SAN FRANCISCO — Fresh off a disappointing initial public offering, Facebook is getting a big boost from Apple, which is building the social network deep into its iPhone and iPad software.

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NPR Tech/Business
11:04 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Facebook's growth: A tale of two headlines

Are its days of "wild user growth" over, or is Facebook "eating the world"?
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 10:32 am

I love this. Here is a headline today at The Wall Street Journal's online edition: "Days of Wild User Growth Appear Over at Facebook."

And over at The Next Web: "Facebook is eating the world, except for China and Russia."

And the best part is the two sites really are telling the same story.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
4:21 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Officials break ground on Seattle's deep-bore tunnel

The excavator that will dig a hole for the world's largest-diameter tunnel boring machine
Ashley Gross KPLU

The long goodbye to Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct has begun.

With some ceremonial scoops of dirt, officials today began digging a pit for the giant machine that will chew up the earth under Seattle like a massive termite creating the deep-bore tunnel.

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News
5:01 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Fines for fatal mining accident less than predicted

The Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 4:38 pm

The federal government is fining a north Idaho mining company $360,000 for unsafe practices that killed a miner last year. That’s about a third of the penalties that were expected.

Last year federal inspectors said the Hecla Mining Company engaged in “aggravated conduct” when it allowed miners to extract silver ore from a mass of unstable rock. It happened about a mile underground at the Lucky Friday Mine near Mullan, Idaho.

The practices led to a tunnel collapse that killed 53-year-old Larry Marek, according to a investigation.

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Washington wines
4:44 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Gallo buys Columbia Winery and Covey Run Wine

Dan Klimpke Flickr

YAKIMA, Wash. — Washington's wine industry is marking a new milestone with word that the world's largest privately-owned winery has bought two longtime Washington brands.

E. & J. Gallo Winery announced the purchase of Columbia Winery and Covey Run Wine from Ascentia Wine Estates on Monday. The price was not disclosed.

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Business
4:02 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Sayonara, pumpkin scones? Starbucks buys San Francisco bakery chain

Pastries at a La Boulange bakery
AmyHH

Starbucks is thinking beyond cake pops and pumpkin scones. The coffee giant says it’s spending $100 million to buy a company called Bay Bread in San Francisco. It’s an acknowledgement that the company’s baked goods have lagged behind the quality of its coffee.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
7:15 am
Mon June 4, 2012

A Waiting Game For Homeowners Trying To Sell Short

Cathy Yamauchi has been waiting since Thanksgiving to hear from her mortgage lender regarding a short sale of her home in Ramsey, Minn. She is planning to move to a townhome, but is mostly living out of boxes while waiting on the short sale.
Jennifer Simonson MPR

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 8:10 am

Banks are often accused of dragging their feet when a homeowner wants to sell for less than the balance on the mortgage. A lot of those "short sales" might be better dubbed "really long and drawn out" sales. New federal guidelines, though, could now push lenders to approve short sales faster.

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Business
3:51 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

'It's a buying frenzy' - first day of private liquor sales

Alyssa Royse stocked up on tequila, vodka, gin, scotch and vermouth on the first day of private liquor sales.
Ashley Gross KPLU

"It's a buying frenzy. That's why I came - I wanted to see it on the first day. How could I miss it?" - Kyle Johnson outside a Costco in Seattle

The state of Washington has officially bid good riddance to its state-run liquor stores. About five times as many stores will now sell hard liquor, and the new law that went into effect today means shoppers can head to supermarkets to buy vodka or rum. It’s a welcome change for some people, like Alyssa Royse.

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Business
1:03 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Liquor in stores tomorrow; caps may thwart booze thieves

As the liquor privatization law goes into effect, many Washington state supermarkets will add security caps to bottles
Ashley Gross KPLU

A huge shift takes place tomorrow when we’ll be able to walk into a Fred Meyer or Safeway and walk out with a bottle of gin. But if you walk out without paying, beware. You may trigger an alarm. 

It's just like when you buy a pair of jeans and the clerk snaps off a security tag so you don’t beep when you exit the store. Now when you go buy a bottle of booze, you may see something similar. The device is like a thick plastic sheath that covers the top of the bottle, and it’s designed to make thieves think twice.

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