Business

Business of the Environment
5:25 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Alaska Air demonstrating aviation biofuels

It’s a big week for aviation biofuels.

A United flight took off Monday from Houston, for the first time burning jet fuel that was made from algae-based oil. And Alaska Air begins its demonstration flights from Seattle tomorrow (Wednesday, 2 p.m.)  – with fuel made from used cooking oil. 

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Technology
4:10 pm
Fri November 4, 2011

Northwest chip maker to tap demand for smartphone memory

Consumers are using their phones to do what their computers once did. And that's prompting a major technology company in the Northwest to shift its focus too.

The bread and butter of Micron Technology has been memory for PCs. But the CEO of the Boise chip maker told Bloomberg BusinessWeek the company will expand its base of products for mobile devices.

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Economic downturn
2:25 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Cost of living jump in Northwest challenging worker paychecks

Even workers with the same job and same wage are finding it harder and harder to get along in Seattle and other parts of Washington.
Chris Devers Flickr

It isn't just the poor and unemployed who are suffering in Seattle and Washington, but people who ten years ago were living comfortably on their wages are now living with a paycheck that doesn't seem to go far enough.

A new study from the University of Washington has found that the cost of living in Seattle and Washington State has risen significantly while worker wages have remained the same.

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Business
3:46 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Even in a recession, Halloween means cash for retailers

Keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters as you head out on the roads this evening Despite the down economy, retailers expect Halloween spending will rise this year.

The National Retail Federation's annual Halloween spending survey found that the average person plans to spend about $72 on costumes, candy and decorations. That's a jump of more than $15 over the past two years.

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Economy
10:50 am
Thu October 27, 2011

Canadian electricity giant opens U.S. headquarters in Olympia

Governor Chris Gregoire at TransAlta's ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new US headquarters in Olympia

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 11:05 am

Canadian electricity giant TransAlta has already agreed to shut down its coal-fired power plant in southwest Washington by 2025. But the company isn’t packing up and leaving. In fact, Wednesday the Alberta-based company opened its first US headquarters in Olympia.

Paul Taylor will head TransAlta’s US operations. He calls Washington’s capital city a “sweet spot” location for the company.

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Recreation
11:25 am
Thu October 20, 2011

Washington ski areas may expand recreation opportunities

Crystal Mountain could benefit from the new federal rules.
clappstar Flickr

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Congress has approved more summer activities at ski areas on federal lands.

The Bellingham Herald reports the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act the cleared the Senate Tuesday will allow ski areas to be used for more than winter sports.

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Business
5:53 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Occupy Seattle, get free pizza; protests cost city $105,000 so far

Big Mario's Pizza delivers hot pies to Seattle's Occupy Wall Street protesters.
David Meinert

As the Occupy Wall Street Movement snowballs, small business owners, who employ just over half of all private sector employees in the nation, say they’re a part of the 99%, too.

It’s 5 o’clock in Seattle’s Westlake Park – the beating heart of the local Occupy Wall Street movement—and Jennifer Fox and some fellow teenage occupiers are smoking hand rolled cigarettes. They’re waiting for the free pizza.

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Agriculture
4:10 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Worker shortage may force apple growers to leave some fruit behind

Apples going in want of pickers in Washington state.
Andrea Parrish Flickr

Across the Northwest, apple growers are having a hard time bringing in their harvest because of a worker shortage. The result may mean certain lower-priced varieties of apples don’t get picked at all.

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Election 2011
5:41 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Costco's support tops $11M on liquor initiative

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Costco has given more than $11 million to support an initiative campaign that would privatize Washington's liquor distribution and sales.

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Economy
9:26 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Forecasters predict ho-hum holiday hiring in Northwest

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 11:05 am

SALEM, Ore. - It's the time of year that retailers think about hiring extra help for the holidays. Labor experts in Oregon and Washington say job prospects for seasonal hires are ho-hum in the jolly ho-ho-ho season.

Washington state's Employment Department is predicting about 13,000 holiday jobs will materialize in the state through the end of the year. If true, that would fall short of last year's numbers.

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Steve Jobs
4:54 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Tributes Pour Forth For Steve Jobs; Apple Co-Founder Was 56

A screengrab shows the Boing Boing website, restyled to resemble one of an early Mac operating system in honor of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

NPR

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 7:07 pm

Tributes are pouring forth in honor of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday at age 56. He is being remembered as a visionary who co-founded Apple, left the company, and then returned to build it into a global powerhouse.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
4:12 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Layoffs add up to a sober week for Hanford workers

More than 1,000 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are getting layoff notices. This latest round of downsizing started this week due to reduced federal funding in 2012.

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Business
8:11 pm
Sun October 2, 2011

Minimum wage in Washington will rise to $9.04 in January

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Despite a slow economic recovery, inflation is up. That means Washington’s minimum wage will increase to more than $9 an hour starting in January.

That was the announcement Friday from the state. The wage hike is based on a voter approved initiative that links the minimum wage to inflation.

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Drug control
12:20 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

To fight meth, new system will track your purchases of cold-meds

The fight against meth takes many forms, one of which is a new tracking system that will limit how much cold medicine you can buy.
Eric Chan Flickr

If you’re a fan of the television series "Breaking Bad" then you know, in the words of Walter White,  that making methamphetamines "is just basic chemistry."

And some of the key chemical ingredients of meth are found in over the counter cold, flu and allergy medications which contain pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. That’s why the Washington State Board of Pharmacy is implementing a new electronic reporting system that will monitor purchases of these medications in real time.

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Economy
10:58 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Agriculture Secretary promotes jobs plan in NW

PORTLAND – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Portland Tuesday to promote President Obama's American Jobs Act.

The bill aims to spur job growth by cutting payroll taxes for employers and investing in school and transportation infrastructure.

"All of these steps have been proposed in the past by Republicans and Democrats, so there is no reason why we can't get bipartisan support for these programs," Vilsack said.

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