Business

Boeing
6:50 am
Fri January 21, 2011

Senator Cantwell demanding answers in tanker competition after latest Air Force blunder

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., (right) talks with Boeing 767 employees Anna Karsky (left) and Maeghan Smith Hudon below the wing of a 767 at Boeing's plant in Everett.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

US Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) says the US Air Force contract for the next generation of refueling tankers should not be awarded until questions are answered about the military's latest snafu. 

A decision on who wins the $35-billion contract is expected as early as next month. 

In November, the Air Force admitted that it had inadvertently mixed up two packages of information.  It sent details of Boeing's bid to Airbus-parent EADS and of EADS's bid to Boeing. 

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Business Technology
8:04 am
Wed January 19, 2011

No cash, no card, no problem with Starbucks smartphone app

Customers across the country will soon be able to use smartphones to buy coffee and snacks at Starbucks.
Starbucks

Technology-savvy consumers could soon be able to leave their wallets behind when picking up a cup of Joe at Starbucks.  

The Seattle retailer is expected to announce Wednesday that customers will be able to use smartphones to pay for goodies at 6,800 stores the company operates in the United States and 1,000 that are in Target stores, according to Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times. 

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Tourism
1:32 pm
Tue January 18, 2011

The economy may be down, but tourism is up

Tourism sign at the vampire-infested town of Forks, May 29, 2009
debcha flickr.com

Tourists spent an estimated $15.2 billion last year in Washington. A new report by the state Commerce Department and Washington State Tourism says 2010 was the second best year on record, up 7.4% from 2009. But it's below last year's nation-wide increase of 8.5%.

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State Data Center
8:02 am
Mon January 17, 2011

Rents cause sticker shock at new state data center

Steep rents at Washington’s new data center complex are causing some sticker shock in Olympia
Austin Jenkins N3

Construction of Washington's new $300 million data center complex is expected to wrap-up this summer. But as state agencies prepare to move in, the rent per square foot is causing some sticker shock.

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Telephone Merger
3:47 pm
Thu January 6, 2011

Telephone company merger generates little static

The Qwest company logo adorns the side of a repair truck. CenturyLink appears likely to gain cleareance to take over Qwest.
David Zalubowski AP Photo

The merger of two of our region’s biggest telephone companies is generating relatively little static. CenturyLink appears likely to get regulatory clearance soon to take over Qwest Communications. But the merger comes with conditions.

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Business
6:46 am
Thu January 6, 2011

Home sales send mixed message

Home sales bumped up in December, in King County.  Analysts disagree over whether it’s sign of an important trend or not.  The Seattle Times calls it the biggest month for home sales since a federal tax credit expired last summer. 

But the Seattle P-I quotes Glenn Crellin of Washington State University as saying the real estate market is likely to stay sluggish for several months or longer:

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Coal Terminal
6:10 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Montana governor presses state to okay coal shipments

The coal export terminal would utilize the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter property in Longview, WA
Tom Banse N3

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is trying to clear the way for coal exports through the Pacific Northwest. He’s worried Washington state will block a proposed Columbia River shipping terminal for Montana and Wyoming coal. Schweitzer is making a hastily scheduled trip to southwest Washington Wednesday.

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Business
9:48 am
Tue January 4, 2011

Sports car company may build new Washington factory

Shelby Super Cars, of West Richland, Wash., is vying for a state loan for economic development that would help the company build a production facility and create nearly 50 new jobs.
Shelby SuperCars

A company that designs super-fast cars is hoping to build a new factory in the state. Shelby SuperCars is eyeing a site in south-central Washington, in the city of West Richland.

Until recently, Shelby held the record for the making the fastest production car on earth: an average of about 256 miles per hour. Now the company working on their next generation speed demon. Shelby has applied for an $800,000 state loan to buy property and build a new manufacturing facility.

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Philanthropy
12:04 am
Mon December 27, 2010

Next year's resolution? Make a personal giving plan

queen of subtle/via Flickr

As 2010 comes to an end, many people are looking at a pile of requests for year-end donations.  We know it's wise to set a budget for personal giving to worthy causes – but how much is the right amount? 

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Boeing
4:32 pm
Thu December 23, 2010

Dreamliner test flights resuming

The first production Boeing 787 is seen on the tarmac after its first flight in Seattle, on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009. After delays, testing resumes again, a year after first flight.
AP

Most of the Boeing Company is taking a break  for the holidays.  But, not crews involved in test flight activities for the 787 Dreamliner.  The new jet is resuming test flights after a six-week grounding because of an electrical fire.

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Managing Growth
9:02 pm
Tue December 21, 2010

Lakewood releases Lewis-McChord growth coordination plans

Traffic along I-5 in the area of Joint Base Lewis-McChord often looks like this, and is getting worse a the base's population booms.
NorthwestMilitary.com

When 17-thousand troops returned from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan this past fall, Joint Base Lewis McChord became the 3rd largest employer in the state. 

That's according to the City of Lakewood, which has released a plan to accommodate the rapid population growth in the communities around the base. 

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Commercial Airplanes
6:10 am
Tue December 21, 2010

Boeing Increasing Output of Popular 777 Jets

The news of increased production comes despite an announcement from Boeing last week that customers canceled orders for three 777s and one of its 787s.
Courtesy of Boeing

Boeing is still struggling to iron out kinks in the production of its new 787 Dreamliner.  The company is expected to announce the latest delay for that program this week. 

Meantime, it says demand is so great for its tried and true 777 that it will be increasing output of that jet.

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Business
6:21 am
Mon December 20, 2010

Schedule set for vote on Seattle skyscraper signs

An artist's redering shows the sign Russell Investments (at center) wants to put at the top of its new address, the former WaMu Tower. A proposed city ordinance would limit its size and scope, but is cause for concern among many architects and others.
Courtesy City of Seattle

A controversial proposal that would allow major employers in Seattle to put signs at the tops of their skyscrapers will be decided in March.  City Council President Richard Conlin says he delayed the vote to give the city time to respond to a number of concerns.

Russell Investments requested the change, to help them re-brand their tower, which is the former home of Washington Mutual Bank.  The company moved to their new 2nd Avenue address from Tacoma this fall.

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Holiday Season
7:18 am
Sat December 18, 2010

Last-minute gift ideas for aviation buffs

The 787 Dreamliner in flight, from Edgar Turner's book, "The Birth of the 787 Dreamliner."
© Edgar Turner

Three books by Pacific Northwest authors have come to my attention this season that would please airplane aficionados of many persuasions. 

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Northwest Entrepreneurs
9:12 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Slow Money: Pairing investors with food businesses

Liquid investment dividends? Investors are making connections that benefit local farmers.
Tom Banse N3

Forget Wall Street. One way some well-off Northwesterners avoided steep losses in the stock market in recent years was by making unusual alternative investments: in small farms and food businesses. These “angel investors” are organizing loose networks to match their money with cash-hungry local producers. Think of it as slow-food meets slow money.

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