Apr 2, 201212:00 AMBlog

April 2012


Port invests seed money in small cities’ projects

Three cities in Thurston County will receive an economic boost from the Port of Olympia in 2012. The commission will award Bucoda, Rainier and Yelm up to $10,000 each in matching funds for specific projects through the port’s pilot Small City Economic Development Program.

Posted at 04:03 PM | Permalink | Comments


WSDOT awards contract for I-5 congestion relief in Centralia

Interstate 5 drivers are one step closer to faster, safer trips through north Lewis County. The Washington State Department of Transportation has awarded a contract for the first stage of major improvements between Mellen Street and Blakeslee Junction in Centralia.

Posted at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

Kent chamber recognizes leadership excellence


Kent chamber recognizes leadership excellence

The crowd of professionals that turned out for the Kent Chamber of Commerce 2012 President's Gala & Business Leadership Excellence Awards on Saturday evening received a slight surprise.

Posted at 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments


Plum Creek reports drop in earnings, revenue

Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc.announced first quarter earnings of $29 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $337 million. Earnings for the first quarter of 2011 were $38 million, or 23 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $275 million.

Posted at 01:11 PM | Permalink | Comments


SHRM launches free military-veteran hiring toolkit

A free military-veteran hiring toolkit designed to guide civilian employers in recruiting veterans is now available from the Society for Human Resource Management. The 32-page toolkit details 10-steps to follow to effectively source, recruit and retain military veterans in the civilian workplace.

Posted at 01:02 PM | Permalink | Comments


Around the Sound 04/30/2012

Tacoma Goodwill Industries is hosting it's annual Ready to Work Breakfast from 7:15 to 9 a.m. May 1 at Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1500 Broadway. For more information, contact Elizabeth at (253) 573-6688.

Posted at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments


Heartwarming Care recognized for excellence

Heartwarming Care has received this year’s “Leader in Excellence” award from Home Care Pulse. The award was given to less than 20 private-duty home care agencies across the country that consistently ranked among the highest in 10 or more of 12 quality metrics assessed by Home Care Pulse.

Posted at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments


Aviation economic benefits soar

Washington’s 135 public airports are continuing to help local economies take flight, generating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars for cities and counties throughout the state. The findings are just a few of the highlights from the 2012 Aviation Economic Impact Study, which was conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division.

Posted at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments


Manson Construction fined for fuel spill into Blair Waterway

Seattle-based Manson Construction Co. has been fined $10,000 Washington State Department of Ecology for spilling about 177 gallons of diesel fuel from a 195-foot barge into the Port of Tacoma’s Blair Waterway.

Posted at 10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments


Fewer small business owners expect difficulty obtaining credit in the year ahead

Small business owners are finding it less difficult to obtain credit, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey. Since the last survey in January, the number of small business owners who found it difficult to obtain credit in the past 12 months declined by 3 percentage points (from 33 to 30 percent). The number of business owners expecting difficulty securing credit over the coming 12 months fell by 6 percentage points (from 38 to 32 percent).

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments


Two-thirds of U.S. companies planning significant recruiting in 2012

Corporate recruiting is moving into high gear, with two-thirds of HR professionals reporting that they have "extensive" or "moderate" plans for hiring in 2012, according to the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey. Larger companies – with more than 10,000 employees – are more bullish, with 80 percent planning for "extensive" or "moderate" recruiting.

Posted at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Comments


More employers offering flex time

The latest edition of the National Study of Employers finds that employers are increasing employees’ options for managing when and where they work, while reducing some options that affect how much they work.

Posted at 09:59 AM | Permalink | Comments


Learning executives more confident in Q1

Learning executives' optimism and confidence about the outlook and expectations for the learning function were higher in the first quarter of 2012 than the last three quarters of 2011, according to the latest measurement by the American Society for Training & Development.

Posted at 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments


Online labor demand rises in April

Online advertised vacancies rose 90,900 during April to 4,760,500, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series released today. The increase is the fifth consecutive monthly rise and has led to the series' highest level to date.

Posted at 09:42 AM | Permalink | Comments


Rental, homeownership vacancy rates fall

National vacancy rates in the first quarter 2012 were 8.8 percent for rental housing and 2.2 percent for homeowner housing, according to the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau.

Posted at 09:38 AM | Permalink | Comments


Nonresidential fixed investment in structures falls 12%

Nonresidential fixed investment in structures dropped 12 percent in the first quarter of 2012, following a 0.9 percent decrease in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Gross Domestic Product. Nonresidential fixed investment in equipment and software increased 1.7 percent for the quarter after a 7.5 percent increase in the previous quarter. Overall, nonresidential fixed investment fell 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 following a revised 5.2 percent increase in the previous quarter.

Posted at 09:02 AM | Permalink | Comments


Most employees say their workplace is stressful

Two-out-of-three people say the stress level in their workplace is high, according to a survey of more than 450 North American employees by Right Management, the talent and career management experts within ManpowerGroup.

Posted at 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments


Evergreen gala raises nearly $1.1M to benefit Breast Health Center

The Evergreen Healthcare Foundation raised nearly $1.1 million for Women's Health Services at Evergreen during its 11th annual gala.  The proceeds will support the organization's commitment to provide women with breakthrough technology, education, diagnosis and quality care.

Posted at 08:52 AM | Permalink | Comments


Opus Community Foundation makes grants to Washington charities

Opus Community Foundation has approved grant awards to charitable organizations that Irvine, Calif.-based Opus Bank and the foundation believe will have an immediate and long lasting impact on efforts to rebuild communities.

Posted at 08:46 AM | Permalink | Comments


Zillow launches first mobile app for rentals

Zillow Inc. has its first dedicated rentals app, optimized for renters who need to make decisions quickly.

Posted at 08:37 AM | Permalink | Comments


Amerishore expands into Pacific Northwest

Amerishore is establishing a presence in Seattle. The technology company is wholly owned subsidiary of Irvine, Calif.-based Neudesic, a Microsoft National Systems Integrator and Gold ISV Partner.

Posted at 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments


Around the Sound 04/27/2012

The Lewis County Chapter of Olympia Master Builders will be presenting the 2012 Lewis County Home & Remodel Show on April 28 and 29 at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds in Chehalis. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m .Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and admission is free ...

Posted at 01:48 PM | Permalink | Comments


Washington Roundtable updates benchmarks

The Washington Roundtable today released updated “Benchmarks for a Better Washington,” an evaluation of the state’s economic vitality measured against 12 key indicators. The Benchmarks were introduced in 2011 as part of an effort, in the wake of the Great Recession, to define a positive long-term vision for Washington state.

Posted at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments


Taxable retail sales increased 3%

Taxable retail sales increased 3 percent to $103.8 billion in calendar year 2011, the Washington State Department of Revenue reported today. But while Pierce County's trade sector saw a slight uptick, its total taxable retail sales from 2010 to 2011 dropped by about 1 percent to roughly $10.5 billion. Thurston County taxable retail sales decreased by 1.23 percent to about $3.75 billion.

Posted at 08:54 AM | Permalink | Comments


Weyerhaeuser earnings lower

Weyerhaeuser Co. reported net earnings of $41 million for the first quarter, or 8 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.5 billion. This compares with net earnings of $99 million on net sales from continuing operations of $1.4 billion for the same period last year.

Posted at 08:28 AM | Permalink | Comments


Heritage Financial posts profit increase

Heritage Financial Corp. reported net income for the quarter ended March 31of $4.2 million, compared to net income of $764,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, and $2.2 million for the linked-quarter ended December 31, 2011.

Posted at 08:23 AM | Permalink | Comments


Quadrant Homes completes Northwest Landing in DuPont

After nearly two decades of building, Quadrant Homes has completed Northwest Landing in DuPont. Quadrant designed and built the 3,000-acre master planned community that supports nearly 4,000 multi- and single-family custom homes; the Home Course 18-hole golf course; more than 1,000 acres of parks, trails and open spaces; DuPont Station retail area; and parcels for future business park.

Posted at 08:16 AM | Permalink | Comments


Employment Cost Index up nearly half a point during Q1

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the three-month period ending March 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.5 percent and benefits (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) also increased 0.5 percent.

Posted at 08:09 AM | Permalink | Comments


SBA names Shahani state’s 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year

As a $4,000 start-up in 2007, Appature was profitable in its first year and became a multi-million dollar health care technology company in a matter of two years. That’s just one reason why the U.S. Small Business Administration has named the company’s CEO, Kabir Shahani, as its 2012 Washington Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Posted at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments


HEC Board approves bachelor's degree for Centralia College

The state Higher Education Coordinating Board has given its approval to Centralia College's efforts to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science in Management Degree.

Posted at 03:23 PM | Permalink | Comments


Volunteer needed for Lodging Tax Advisory Committee

Pierce County is seeking a volunteer to serve a four-year term on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, which meets several times a year to make a recommendation to the county executive and County Council regarding the allocation of taxes collected by the excise tax on lodging.

Posted at 02:25 PM | Permalink | Comments


Thurston County surplus items on sale online

Thurston County will be holding an auction, selling surplus office equipment on-line starting at 9 a.m. April 27. Bidding will close at 9 a.m. May 4. Those interested in viewing the items or bidding should go to www.publicsurplus.com to register as a buyer. There is no cost to register. Condition of the items varies and they are sold on an “as-is” basis.

Posted at 02:17 PM | Permalink | Comments


Wage growth will feel effects of Great Recession for years to come

The Great Recession has confronted U.S. workers with an extended buyer’s market in jobs, according to a new Executive Action Report from The Conference Board, leading to overall wage growth between 2008 and 2010 that was the weakest since the 1960s.

Posted at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments


Washington Banking Company income up in Q1

Washington Banking Co. reported net income increased to $4.8 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter ended March 31, up 13 percent from $4.2 million, or 28 cents per diluted share in the preceding quarter.

Posted at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments

TPCAR rallies in advance of National Open House weekend


TPCAR rallies in advance of National Open House weekend

As the National Open House weekend quickly approaches, the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of Realtors kicked off the festivities with its 2012 Sales Rally today.

Posted at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Comments


Barnes named Veteran Champion of the Year

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2012 Washington Veteran Champion of the Year is Natalie Barnes, owner of The Owners Alliance. As a franchise consultant and coach, she works one-on-one with individuals to find franchise business opportunities that fit their personal, professional and financials goals.

Posted at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments


PopCap Games receives SBA’s Entrepreneurial Success Award

The U.S. Small Business Administration has selected PopCap Games as the 2012 Washington Entrepreneurial Success Award winner.

Posted at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments


People on the Move 04/26/2012

Tina Noelle and Michelle Murray have joined Funeral Alternatives. Noelle has five years of experience in the funeral industry.

Posted at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Comments


Thurston commissioners approve boat restrictions for Lake St. Claire

Thurston County commissioners have approved an emergency resolution temporarily lowering the maximum speed that a boat can travel on Lake St. Claire to 5 miles per hour.

Posted at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


BNSF Railway settles contaminated soil case

BNSF Railway Co. has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for mishandling and transportation of contaminated soil from a construction project near the McCormick & Baxter Superfund site on the banks of the Willamette River near Portland, Ore.

Posted at 09:08 AM | Permalink | Comments


PCTV’s “Rainier Country” earns Emmy nomination

A Pierce County TV video production has been nominated for a Northwest Regional Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Posted at 09:05 AM | Permalink | Comments


NWMS honored for work in clinical trials

Northwest Medical Specialties was one of only six community oncology practices in the country to be recognized by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology for work in improving cancer care through clinical trials programs.

Posted at 09:02 AM | Permalink | Comments


State takes action against health care providers (04/26/2012)

The Washington State Department of Health has taken disciplinary actions or withdrawn charges against the following South Sound health care providers.

Posted at 08:57 AM | Permalink | Comments


Lack of communication top management mistake

The most common management mistake has an easy remedy: don't keep employees in the dark. In a new Accountemps survey, 41 percent of chief financial officers interviewed said lack of communication between staff and management is the most frequent misstep companies make in managing their teams. Lack of recognition and praise was cited by 28 percent of respondents.

Posted at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments


Man charged with stealing nearly $107K from Medicaid

A Thurston County Superior Court judge has issued an arrest warrant for the owner of medical supply company accused of Medicaid fraud. The warrant was requested so that the defendant can be arrested should he return to the United States.

Posted at 08:45 AM | Permalink | Comments


ChemPoint.com expands into Asia

ChemPoint.com has opened an Asia Pacific sales headquarters in Singapore.

Posted at 08:40 AM | Permalink | Comments


Cadence Biomedical closes $1.1M in financing

Cadence Biomedical, a provider of medical devices that help people with severe disabilities walk, has closed an oversubscribed $1.1 million Series A2 financing led by HealthTech Capital.

Posted at 08:35 AM | Permalink | Comments


Boeing to acquire Inmedius

Boeing has signed an agreement to acquire Inmedius, a provider of software applications and services for managing and sharing information and learning content. Inmedius will be integrated into Boeing subsidiary Continental DataGraphics in support of Boeing's Digital Airline strategy.

Posted at 08:29 AM | Permalink | Comments


Columbia Banking System post earnings increase for Q1

Columbia Banking System Inc. reported net income of $8.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, an increase of 54 percent compared to net income of $5.8 million for the same quarter of 2011.  Earnings per diluted common share rose 47 percent to 22 cents for the first quarter, compared with earnings of 15 cents per diluted common share a year earlier.

Posted at 08:23 AM | Permalink | Comments


NAWBONW named Women in Business Champion

The National Association of Women Business Owners NW is the U.S. Small Business Administration 2012 Washington Women in Business Champion of the Year.

Posted at 01:55 PM | Permalink | Comments


SBA names Godwin Financial Services Champion of the Year

In this down economy, some businesses are getting a hand up, thanks to Audrey L. Godwin. Since forming the Godwin Group in 2003, she has helped start-ups to multi-million dollar companies achieve financial goals that improve access to funding and ultimately enhance the quality of individual business owner’s lives to help improve their communities.

Posted at 01:50 PM | Permalink | Comments


Sterling Financial earnings slip from previous quarter

Sterling Financial Corp. reported net income of $13.3 million, or 21 cents per diluted common share, for the quarter ended March 31. That compares to $14.8 million, or 24 cents per diluted common share, for the linked quarter, and $5.4 million, or 9 cents per diluted common share, for the first quarter of 2011.

Posted at 01:46 PM | Permalink | Comments


Symetra profits up during Q1

Symetra Financial Corp. reported first quarter 2012 net income of $75.4 million, or 55 cents per diluted share. This compares with $53.5 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, in first quarter 2011.

Posted at 01:37 PM | Permalink | Comments


Clearwater Paper posts lower net earnings for Q1

Clearwater Paper Corp reported net earnings of $3.7 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012, compared to net earnings of $5.6 million, or $24 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2011.

Posted at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments


TrueBlue profit up during first quarter

TrueBlue Inc. reported revenue for the first quarter of 2012 of $311 million, an increase of 13 percent compared to revenue of $274 million for the first quarter of 2011. Net income for the quarter was $1.5 million, or 4 cents, per diluted share, compared to net income of $800,000, or 2 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2011.

Posted at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments


Blog watch: Meyer, Watch List, economy, cherry blossoms and advice

OlyBlog has all the information you'll need about Bernie Meyer's upcoming visit to Olympia Timberland Library. Nominate a site for the Historic Tacoma Watch List at Exit 133. Olympia Business Watch reports that the economy is recovering slowly – very slowly. Stop by From our Corner for a look at cherry blossoms on the Capitol Campus. Ear to the Ground reports that Washington is among the top state planning to adapt to climate change impacts on water. And Washington State Insurance Update has some advice for what do do if your car is burglarized.

Posted at 12:22 PM | Permalink | Comments


Columbia Sportswear reaches settlement with EPA

Columbia Sportswear Co. sold and distributed mislabeled pesticide-treated clothing in violation of federal pesticide rules, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Posted at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Comments


EMB Management adds to portfolio

EMB Management has added two communities – Camden at Harbour Pointe and Bayview Court – to its client portfolio.

Posted at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Comments


Supreme Court invites public to college sessions

The state Supreme Court will hold court at Centralia College during a two-day visit scheduled for May 9 and 10. The nine justices will meet with students, lead classes and hold official court sessions.

Posted at 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments


Boeing delivers first Lufthansa 747-8 Intercontinental

Boeing has delivered the first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airliner to Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Posted at 11:41 AM | Permalink | Comments


Federal Way unveils "Think" ad campaign

Former Seattle Sounders player Lamar Neagle and local entrepreneur Jeff Stock are teaming up to promote Federal Way for businesses on the move. The Federal Way natives are featured in a new TV ad as part of the "Think Smart. Move Fast. Think Federal Way" campaign.

Posted at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments


More jobs, but more teens don't want them

The job market is starting to improve around the country, albeit faster in some areas than others. The accelerating recovery should prove beneficial to teenagers seeking employment this summer, as they are likely to face less competition from older, more experienced job hunters.

Posted at 09:44 AM | Permalink | Comments


'Lock down' drills will impact Thurston County facilities next week

Some offices of Thurston County government will be briefly closed at times the first four days of May for emergency preparedness drills. County employees at the main courthouse campus on Lakeridge Drive in Olympia will be asked to briefly “lock down” the buildings on May 1, 2, 3 and 4. The first three drills will be held in the morning hours, the fourth drill could come any time on Friday.

Posted at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments


Timberland Bancorp posts drop in income for Q2

Timberland Bancorp Inc. reported fiscal 2012 second quarter net income of $808,000. Net income available to common shareholders, after adjusting for the preferred stock dividend and the preferred stock discount accretion was $540,000, or 8 cents per diluted common share.

Posted at 09:34 AM | Permalink | Comments


Durable goods orders fall during March

New orders for manufactured durable goods in March decreased $8.8 billion, or 4.2 percent, to $202.6 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This decrease followed a 1.9 percent increase in February. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 1.1 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 4.6 percent. Transportation equipment had the largest decrease, $7.1 billion, or 12.5 percent, to $49.7 billion. This was due to nondefense aircraft and parts, which decreased $7.7 billion.

Posted at 09:32 AM | Permalink | Comments


U.S. home values post largest monthly gain since 2006

Home values in the United States increased 0.5 percent from February to March, according to Zillow's first quarter Real Estate Market Reports. This marks the largest monthly increase in the Zillow Home Value Index since May 2006, when home values also rose 0.5 percent. The ZHVI fell 3.1 percent year-over-year to $146,200.

Posted at 09:30 AM | Permalink | Comments


Spacelabs Healthcare rated No. 1 for third consecutive quarter

Spacelabs Healthcare has earned MD Buyline’s No. 1 rating in all categories, including performance, reliability, installation, implementation and applications training, as well as service response time and service repair quality – as related to Holter Monitoring solutions. This marks the third consecutive quarter that Spacelabs Healthcare has achieved the top honor in overall customer satisfaction.

Posted at 09:26 AM | Permalink | Comments


Twitter Chat Archives for 04/24/2012

A local business chat held on Twitter every week from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Join us using hashtag #BEchat!

Posted at 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments


SBA names Shen Minority Champion of the Year

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2012 Washington state Minority Champion of the Year is Albert Shen, owner of Shen Consulting Inc., a project planning, design, and construction management company.

Posted at 04:03 PM | Permalink | Comments


WSLCB to close 14 state liquor stores Thursday

The Washington State Liquor Control Board will shut down 14 state liquor stores statewide to compensate for store employees leaving for new jobs. The WSLCB analyzed market-areas where closings would occur and identified only stores where there would be minimal disruption.

Posted at 02:25 PM | Permalink | Comments


SeaBright Holdings posts Q1 rebound

SeaBright Holdings Inc. recorded net income of $8.1 million or 37 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, compared to a net loss of $100,00 or 1 cent per diluted share for the same period in 2011.

Posted at 01:36 PM | Permalink | Comments


New app enables Northwest MLS brokers to access data, services from mobile devices

Northwest Multiple Listing Service has unveiled its first mobile application, enabling brokers to quickly navigate the MLS system software using their iPad, iPhone and Android devices, with BlackBerries expected to be added soon.

Posted at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments


Single-family home sales up in March compared to 2011

Sales of new single-family houses during March totaled 328,000, 7.1 percent below the revised February rate of 353,000 but 7.5 percent above the March 2011 estimate of 305,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Posted at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments


SBA names Lasater as state’s 
Small Business Exporter of the Year

The U.S. Small Business Administration's 2012 Washington state Exporter of the Year is Liz Lasater, CEO of Red Arrow Logistics.

Posted at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments


People on the Move 04/24/2012

Chad Clement has joined John L Scott Tacoma-North. He has more than 22 years of sales and marketing experience, and has been ranked in the top 5 percent of all real estate brokers nationally.

Posted at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments


Jobless rates mixed during March

Unemployment rates were mixed last month compared to February throughout the South Sound, according to the latest data from the state Employment Security Department.

Posted at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

Port of Tacoma sets stage for next decade


Port of Tacoma sets stage for next decade

From a new brand to a plan for the future of Tacoma to a discussion about West Coast competitiveness, many revelations were made today at the sold out Port of Tacoma Annual Breakfast.

Posted at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments


Funding for UWT and WSU labs to fuel economic development

The state will fund science labs designed to drive economic development in the South Sound by supporting the new Urban Clean Water Innovation Partnership Zone.

Posted at 09:21 AM | Permalink | Comments


Port of Tacoma honors Summit Award winners

Port of Tacoma revealed the recipients of the inaugural Summit Awards this morning during its annual breakfast.

Posted at 08:53 AM | Permalink | Comments


Microsoft waives Windows Azure bandwidth fees for university researchers

Microsoft Corp. and Internet2 have reached an agreement enabling member universities to take advantage of Windows Azure to open up additional collaborative, instructional and research opportunities in the cloud.

Posted at 08:44 AM | Permalink | Comments


PACCAR posts gain in Q1 revenue, earnings

PACCAR reported earnings of $327.3 million (91 cents per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2012 compared to $193.3 million (53 cents per diluted share) in the first quarter last year.

Posted at 08:38 AM | Permalink | Comments


Top Pot Doughnuts expanding to Ballard

Top Pot Doughnuts is is scheduled to open a new cafe at the Ballard Blocks in June.

Posted at 08:28 AM | Permalink | Comments


FDIC, SBA offering new education support for entrepreneurs

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and U.S. Small Business Administration have added new resources to support small businesses across the nation.

Posted at 08:22 AM | Permalink | Comments


New daily e-mail – please check your spam filter and whitelist us

As part of a variety of changes here at Business Examiner Media Group, we've switched the server that sends your daily news e-mail - and it appears that change is causing a few technical difficulties on the receiving end. To ensure you continue to receive the daily e-mail, now called Daily Biz Briefs, check your spam filter and whitelist our new server. If you haven't seen the updated e-mail, click here. Of course, if you received Monday's e-mail without any problems, you're good to go. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Tessa Miller, our in-house expert on everything technical. You can reach her at (253) 404-0891, ext. 33, or tmiller@BusinessExaminer.com.

Posted at 09:21 PM | Permalink | Comments


Health insurer to issue refunds after billing error

KPS Health Plans, a Bremerton-based health insurer, has agreed to refund thousands of dollars to customers who were overcharged due to a billing system error. About 235 customers are believed to have been billed at incorrect rates. Of those, 61 had the incorrect amount deducted from their bank accounts. Others received incorrect billing statements. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has requested the company issue refunds and notify customers about the problem. KPS has said it will issue refunds right away with letters of apology to customers. The company has agreed to pay for any insufficient funds charges incurred by customers as a result of these overcharges. KPS will also post on its website a notice to customers about the problem. KPS customers with questions...

Posted at 02:59 PM | Permalink | Comments


Anchor Bancorp posts Q3 profit

Anchor Bancorp, the holding company for Anchor Bank, reported net income of $223,000, or 9 cents per diluted share, for the fiscal quarter ended March 31. That compares to a net loss of $3.4 million, or $1.36 per diluted share, for the same period last year. The Lacey-based company completed its initial public offering on Jan. 25, 2011, with the issuance of 2,550,000 shares of its common stock, which generated net proceeds of $23.2 million. Therefore, operating results before that date pertain to the bank only.

Posted at 02:24 PM | Permalink | Comments


Around the Sound 04/23/2012

Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is hosting a legislative update with Sen. Mike Carrell at 7:30 a.m. April 24 at Great American Casino. RSVP to (253) 582-9400. Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce is hosting Business After Hours from 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 25 at The Inn at Gig Harbor, 3211 56th St. NW. Click here to RSVP. Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting an after-hours mixer from 4:30 to 7 p.m. April 26 at Washington National Golf Courses, 14330 SE Husky Way. RSVP by April 24 to Rolly Leonard at (253) 333-5000.

Posted at 01:57 PM | Permalink | Comments


New flood rating reduces Pierce insurance premiums

Pierce County has earned a new flood rating from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a result of its floodplain management activities. The new rating means that unincorporated Pierce County residents living in a mapped floodplain will enjoy lower flood insurance premiums effective May 1. Pierce County is now the third community in the United States with a Class 2 rating under the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System, which recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities.

Posted at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments


State liquor store auction totals $30.75 million

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has successfully auctioned the rights to apply for a spirits retail liquor license at 167 state-run liquor stores statewide. The sum of individual bids totaled $30.75 million, with rights awarded to 121 successful bidders. Initiative 1183 directed the WSLCB to auction the state store properties at their current location. However, the state leases the properties, not owns, creating a unique circumstance for the auction.

Posted at 10:37 AM | Permalink | Comments


Forza Coffee in South Hill to become Volcano Coffee

On May 1, Forza Coffee at 9909 168th St East in South Hill will become Volcano Coffee. After 5 years, owners Casey and Kyla Heyer have decided to forego a new franchise agreement with Forza Coffee Co. and did not renew their contract. "Becoming independent will allow (us) to creatively build an exciting brand," Casey said.

Posted at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments


Ecology starts review of Tacoma shoreline program update

The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public comment on Tacoma's updated shoreline master program. Tacoma's proposed shoreline program will guide construction and development along nearly 46 miles of shoreline, including 37 miles along Commencement Bay and Puget Sound, the shores of Wapato Lake and portions of the Puyallup River and Hylebos Creek. The program combines local plans for future development and preservation with new development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

Posted at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments


State takes action against health care providers 04/20/2012

The Washington State Department of Health has taken disciplinary actions or withdrawn charges against the following South Sound health care providers. Lewis County In March, the Dental Hygiene Program charged Karen A. Lockhart with unprofessional conduct. She allegedly billed for services not provided, resulting in an overpayment of at least $14,500.

Posted at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments


Around the Sound 04/20/2012

Better Business Bureau is hosting a free document shred event, Secure Your ID Day, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 21 at America's Credit Union, 1495 Wilmington Drive, DuPont. The event will feature free document shredding and free cell phone recycling. For more information, call (206) 431-2222.Olympia-Thurston County CrimeStoppers is hosting a shred event from 9 a.m. to noon April 21 at Saint Martins University, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey. Click here for more information.Tacoma Rotary No. 8 and Timberland Bank are hosting a free shred event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 21 at 7805 S. Hosmer St. Call (253) 472-4465 for more information.

Posted at 02:30 PM | Permalink | Comments


Evergreen State honored as top green power purchaser

The Evergreen State College has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2011-12 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.Since April 2006, EPA's Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.

Posted at 02:26 PM | Permalink | Comments


Plan to reduce inappropriate use of ERs taking shape

The Health Care Authority is working with the Washington State Hospital Association and physicians on a legislative mandate to reduce non-emergency use of hospital emergency departments, as well as over-utilization of emergency services. The plan - included in the Supplemental Budget passed April 11 by the legislature - replaces earlier state proposals that would have limited the annual number of non-emergency visits by a client to an emergency department and to stop
 reimbursing hospitals and physicians for treatments and services that are not medically necessary in the setting of an 
emergency department.

Posted at 02:23 PM | Permalink | Comments


Point Ruston marks major project milestone

Point Ruston LLC, the company behind the redevelopment of the former Asarco Superfund site, will launch the grand re-opening of the new and improved Ruston Way on Saturday.The Point Ruston site has undergone dramatic changes, the most recent being completion of the new Ruston Way public infrastructure improvements. The project was funded through a $28.7 million Local Improvement District bond sale by the City of Tacoma, which will be repaid by Point Ruston.

Posted at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments


Thurston property tax payments due Monday

The deadline for Thurston County residents to pay their 2012 first half property taxes is April 30.Payments can be made through the Thurston County Treasurer's website. There is no additional charge for the electronic check payment option but there is a 2.75 percent fee for the credit/debit card payment option.

Posted at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments


Dickey's expanding into Olympia

The world's largest barbecue franchise is coming to Olympia."After visiting Texas and eating at Dickey's Barbecue we knew that we wanted to own our own," said franchise owner Gina Young. "We're excited to be bringing authentic barbecue to Washington."

Posted at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments


Tacoma Dodge dealership among Chrysler's best

Tacoma Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram has received the 2011 Walter P. Chrysler Ward.The achievement recognizes performance in sales, service, part and dealer standards excellence. Tacoma Dodge was one of 38 first-time winers in the United States among nearly 2,400 Chrysler dealers.

Posted at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments


Pierce County's sustainability efforts save $1.3 million

Pierce County saved more than $1.3 million in 2010 and 2011 by reducing its use of energy, water, fuel and office supplies, according to its second Annual Sustainability Index. The report, issued by the Pierce County Office of Sustainability, shows the county made significant progress during the second year of its five-year effort. Highlights from the report show that Pierce County:

Posted at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments

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