Aug 1, 201112:00 AMBlog

August 2011

08/31/11

Anchor Bancorp posts loss for Q4, year

Anchor Bancorp, the holding company for Anchor Bank reported a net loss of $4.7 million, or $1.92 per diluted share, for the fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30. That compares to a net loss of $1.1 million for the same period last year.For the year ended June 30, 2011, the company reported a net loss of $8.8 million, compared to net income of $420,000 for the year ended June 30, 2010.

Posted at 02:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Emergency Food Network receives $75,000 grant

Emergency Food Network has received $75,000 from The Gary E. Milgard Foundation. The gift came on the heals of a two-year, $30,000 annual gift from the Medina foundation as well as an anonymous gift of $50,000 to match $50,000 from the Murdock Charitable Trust. Milgard and Medina funding will help EFN distribute nearly three weeks worth of food throughout the community. The anonymous matching gift will be used to help pay for EFN's $300,000 roof replacement project.

Posted at 02:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Blog watch: myths, facts, roofs, ratings, lessons and GRuB

Sort out the myths from the facts about Tacoma's Shoreline Master Program at The Live Wire.Are you a green roofer? If so, you'll want to visit OlyBlog.

Posted at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

South Puget Sound Community College goes tobacco-free

South Puget Sound Community College is kicking the proverbial habit. Beginning Sept. 19, the campus will be tobacco-free. The new policy, approved by the board of trustees during July, began as a student initiative in 2008."The students had indicated an interest in changing the way we handled smoking on campus," said Shelia Emery, chief human relations officer. "It's also a huge workload for security and our custodians and groundskeepers. All those things came together."

Posted at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Kent changing online address

Starting tomorrow, the official City of Kent government website can be accessed at www.KentWA.gov. City email addresses will also change to the new domain. The current domain (ci.kent.wa.us) will work along with the new Web and e-mail addresses on a temporary basis. This will allow for the update of city documents, stationery, publications, web pages, and links to other websites. To report broken links on the city's website, e-mail webmaster@kentwa.gov or call (253) 856-4600.

Posted at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

MultiCare honored for innovative patient experience

MultiCare Regional Cancer Center has been recognized by the Association of Community Cancer Centers with the 2011 Innovation Award for improving the patient experience.The center has expanded from 25 treatment chairs at two locations to 90 chairs at five locations; added technology that makes treatment and office visits more relaxing; and developed a partnership with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Posted at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

'Shop small' resonating with consumers

Consumers are realizing the value small businesses bring to their communities and appear to be "shopping small" to support their local economies, according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Pulse from American Express OPEN. Based on data collected during July, 89 percent of consumers surveyed said they believe that small businesses contribute positively to their local communities. Ninety-three percent said they believed it's important for people to support the small businesses they value in their community. Additionally, 87 percent of respondents said that small business success is a critical element of overall U.S. economic health.

Posted at 11:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Reorganization of FTZ 
should benefit businesses, communities 


Gaining Foreign Trade Zone status is now faster and easier for businesses under regional Foreign Trade Zone No. 216's Alternative Site Framework, which was recently approved by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. The ASF allows businesses in the zone's area that are engaged in importing, exporting, assembly, warehousing and distribution to apply for expedited approval through the FTZ program. This means significantly less paperwork for a business's application process and only a 30-day wait to receive approval from the federal Foreign Trade Zone Board.

Posted at 09:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

University Place retains A+ rating

Standard & Poor's has conducted a periodic review in City of University Place's bond rating and affirmed the city's "A+" rating, with a "stable outlook." According to S&P, the rating reflects an established economic base, with strong wealth and income indicators; strong institutionalized policies and practices; and a record of maintaining very strong available balances in the past five years.

Posted at 09:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Lakewood retailer pleads guilty to filing false tax returns

A Lakewood business entered a guilty plea yesterday to filing false tax returns to cover up the theft of sales tax collected on cash sales, according to the Washington State Department of Revenue.Smoke and Beer and More had been charged in Pierce County Superior Court with reporting only 27 percent of the retail sales tax it collected from customers from 2006 through early 2009, defrauding the state of at least $92,543 in sales tax.

Posted at 09:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Online labor demand down in August

Online advertised vacancies were down 163,900 in August to 3.99 million, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series. The August drop follows a decline of 217,000 in July and a decrease of 100,000 in June. The supply/demand rate stands at 3.35, indicating there were just over 3 unemployed for every online advertised vacancy in July, the latest monthly data available for unemployment.

Posted at 09:17 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Job cuts drop 23 percent in August

U.S.-based employers announced plans to trim 51,114 workers from the payrolls in August, a 23-percent decline from July, when the number of job cuts hit a 16-month high of 66,414, according to the latest report from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.The August decline follows three consecutive increases in the monthly job-cut total that saw job cuts rise from 36,490 in April to the July peak.  The August total, however, was up 47 percent from a year ago, when employers announced just 34,768 job cuts during the month.

Posted at 09:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Private sector adds jobs

Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector rose 91,000 from July to August on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. The estimated advance in employment from June to July was revised downward modestly to 109,000, from the initially reported 114,000.The report suggests that the trend in employment moderated somewhat in August at a pace below what would be consistent with a stable unemployment rate.

Posted at 09:14 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Jobless rates inch up in Olympia, Tacoma

Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 257 of the nation's 372 metropolitan areas, but higher in 94 areas, including Olympia and Tacoma, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobless rate rose in Olympia from 7.9 percent to 8.1 percent. Tacoma's rate ticked up from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent.

Posted at 09:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Deadline for small businesses to start 401(k) approaching

Small business owners looking for major tax relief in 2011 have about four weeks to get set-up with a 401(k) plan, according to ShareBuilder 401k.  The most popular type of this retirement savings plan for small business owners with employees is called a Safe Harbor 401(k).  The Safe Harbor deadline represents the last chance each calendar year for small businesses to start a 401(k) plan that lets owners contribute the maximum allowed and automatically satisfies common IRS tests associated with these plans.

Posted at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/31/11

Milgard shuts down Tacoma Tempering facility

Milgard Windows & Doors has decided to discontinue operations at its Tacoma glass Tempering facility.In a letter to customers dated today, David Nachreiner, regional general manager - PNW, said that decision was based on "the extended slowdown in the new construction and replacement window channel."

Posted at 09:10 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/30/11

Wesley Homes expands annual open house

Wesley Homes Des Moines retirement community is once again opening its campus for its annual Autumn Harvest Open House. This year, the campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24."We've found that guests couldn't see everything they wanted during our old open house hours because our campus is so spacious," said campus administrator Mark Gustafson. "The extended hours allow visitors more time to explore our campus, sample delicious food and participate in demonstrations."

Posted at 01:18 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/30/11

O Bee Credit Union adding branch in West Olympia

O Bee Credit Union plans to open its next branch in West Olympia, at the corner of Harrison and Cooper Point Road - the former location of First Citizens Bank. The building, which is scheduled to open during January, is adjacent to one of the busiest intersections in Olympia and will undergo an interior remodel. 

Posted at 01:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/30/11

People on the Move

Tacoma Executives' Association has selected new officers for its board of directors. They are: Mel Schuckenbrock, PNC Mortgage, president; Scott Matthew, Overhead Door of Tacoma, vice president; Jordan Ford, ABC Physical Therapy, secretary/treasurer; Chris Lucero, Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney Investments, past president; and Lianna Collinge, Association Management Inc., CEO. Trustees include: Tony Nausid, Columbia Bank; Don Doman, Public Doman; Kevin Sullivan, Sullivan Painting Service; Natalie Barnes, The Owners Alliance; Paul Nimmo, Jones Animal Hospital; and Curt Schmitz, City Glass & Upholstery.Stephen D. Neel has earned Fellow, Life Underwriters Training Council designation from The American College and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He is a Modern Woodmen of American representative in Puyallup.

Posted at 01:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/30/11

WGU Washington getting part of $4.5M grant

WGU Washington is one of three state subsidiaries that will be supported by a $4.5 million grant to Western Governors University from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The overall grant is aimed at leveraging Western Governors University's state subsidiaries in Indiana, Washington and Texas to expand the reach of affordable, competency-based higher education. The investment in Washington will help support development and outreach for WGU's new subsidiary, WGU Washington.

Posted at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

Fire damages Olympia restaurant

08/30/11

Fire damages Olympia restaurant

Just after midnight, the Olympia Fire Department responded to a commercial structure fire at 1200 Cooper Point SW., El Sarape Restaurant.  Callers to 9-1-1 reported seeing fire on the roof.   The blaze appeared to have started in the kitchen area of the restaurant, which was closed at the time.  Fire sprinklers kept the fire to the area of origin and fire did not spread to any other business in the strip mall complex.  Fire was reported out at about 12:30 a.m.

Posted at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/30/11

New alliance aims to help businesses become green

The Environmental Business Alliance of Tacoma-Pierce County has been formed to help businesses become green in two ways: by improving their environmental performance and increasing their profitability. EBA is a partnership of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Citizens for a Healthy Bay, Go Local and the City of Tacoma. The alliance provides businesses with access to resources and information about environmentally sustainable practices.

Posted at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/29/11

Should employers worry about fantasy football?

With less than two weeks to go before the opening kick-off in the National Football League season, fantasy football participants across the country are undoubtedly spending more time than usual fine-tuning their draft selections and rosters due to a lock-out shortened pre-season. Unfortunately for the nation's employers, some of the extra time spent on player research may come during business hours.However, even with an estimated 21.3 million full-time workers participating in fantasy sports each year, with some spending as much as nine hours per week managing their teams, the impact on overall workplace productivity is negligible, according to the workplace experts at global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Posted at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/29/11

Dealerships continue to battle for buyers

Car dealerships on Pacific Ave are seeing a mixed bag of results as they continue to fight for attention from perspective buyers."I don't care what the naysayers think. Things are getting better," said James Smith, special finance manager for Baydo Auto Center, adding that the company wants more people to start thinking about the Parkland/Spanaway area when they are looking to buy a car. "We are trying to get the word out there right now. We need to get big like Puyallup."

Posted at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/29/11

BE Twitter chat

Business Examiner is hosting a Twitter chat (hashtag: #BEchat) from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow to help connect people within the South Sound business community.The focus of the conversation will be current topics and trends, and ideas for how to improve marketing efforts, networking, etc. - all structured with a focus on the business world.BE Twitter chats will be held weekly on Tuesday afternoons. Click here for more information.

Posted at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/29/11

Around the Sound

Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce is hosting Business After Hours from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 31 at Merrill Gardens, 3213 45th St. Court NW. RSVP to membership@gigharborchamber.com.South Sound Regional Business Incubator is hosting a profit and loss and cash flow workshop from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at 402 S. 333rd St., Federal Way. The presenters are Rich Shockley and Jim Strehlow. The cost is free for SSRBI members. Federal Way Chamber members can purchase a punch card for four classes for $40. Non-members can purchase four classes for $80. Visit www.ssrbi.com for more information.

Posted at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/29/11

Franciscan physician appointed to state health care panel

Tony Haftel M.D., vice president for quality and the associate chief medical officer for the Franciscan Health System, has been appointed to a new state collaborative created to explore strategies for controlling health care costs and improving care quality. The Bree Collaborative, which has 20 members and was created earlier this year by the state legislature, brings together providers, purchasers and commercial payers to discuss evidence-based strategies for improving health care.

Posted at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/29/11

Washington employment up 0.7% in August

The nation's small businesses created 35,000 new jobs during August, according to the latest Intuit Small Business Employment Index. Hiring in Washington grew by 0.7 percent.Compensation, however, decreased by 0.08 percent in August and stands at $2,649 per month, compared to the revised July figure of $2,651 per month. Monthly hours worked also decreased by 0.3 percent to 108 hours.

Posted at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

Military families slim back-to-school plans

It cannot be good news for South Sound retail merchants, but a consumer study of military-related families finds active plans to reduce their spending this late summer.Roughly half of military families making at least $50,000 a year will be in the market for school clothes and supplies this year. And 32 percent of them say they plan to spend less during the traditional back-to-school shopping season, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index.

Posted at 02:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

Finance execs face recruiting, retention challenges

The accounting and finance employment market in many parts of the world may be in a state of transition, a new study suggests. Financial leaders surveyed for the fifth annual Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor reported difficulties finding skilled staff and growing concern about their ability to hold on to their best employees.

Posted at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

Waterfront happenings in Tacoma

The 19th Annual Maritime Fest will take from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this weekend at Thea's Park and the Foss Waterway Seaport, both of which are accessible from Dock Street directly below downtown Tacoma at the water's edge.The Clean Green Boating Festival has now merged with Maritime Fest, bringing more awareness to "green boating" and involvement with the "Youth on Board, Clean Green Boating Scholarship."

Posted at 02:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

Downtown Centralia hosts Saturday car show

Hub City Car Show will fill the streets of downtown Centralia from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow with classic and restored automobiles.Sponsoring organization, Lewis County Quarter Milers, said Tower Avenue will be lined with cars for several blocks. Members will be gathering for a barbeque this evening at Ken's Service Station on Main Street.

Posted at 01:54 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

State sets another meeting on Lakewood rail

Washington State Department of Transportation is inviting the community to an open house Aug. 31 to learn about progress by the project team and to discuss potential impacts of changing the Amtrak Cascades route.State officials claim the rerouting of Amtrak Cascades trains from a waterfront Point Defiance route to a lesser-used inland route will improve reliability and lead to faster, more frequent service. Many Lakewood residents, business and city leaders have expressed misgivings over safety concerns and the expected traffic disruptions.

Posted at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Boeing 787 cleared for service

08/26/11

Boeing 787 cleared for service

Boeing received certification for the all-new 787 Dreamliner from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency during a ceremony at the company's Everett facility this morning. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt presented the U.S. Type Certificate, which verifies that the 787 has been tested and found to be in compliance with all federal regulations. Boeing's Frederickson manufacturing facility in Pierce County contributes significantly to this new model, which extends composite materials manufacturing to the entire airframe.

Posted at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

Fall term starts today at St. Martin's

For more than 200 new Saint Martin's University students, today is the day to begin one of the most exciting and challenging chapters of their lives - their undergraduate education.A contingent of current students, faculty and staff volunteers, including university President Roy F. Heynderickx Ph.D. and Board of Trustees Chair A. Richard "Rick" Panowicz, were on hand this morning to greet new students and their families.

Posted at 01:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

'Nice guys' earn less, study found

People who are disagreeable earn more than people who are agreeable, and the gap is biggest among men, according to an analysis of four surveys spanning almost 20 years.Harvard Business Review reported this morning on a study led by Cornell University professor Beth A. Livingston that was delivered to a recent meeting of the Academy of Management.

Posted at 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

Lakewood man in national union leadership

Ron Piksa, a native of Tacoma and current resident of Lakewood, has been elected ninth general vice president of The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers union.He also serves as president of the Pacific Northwest District Council and chairman of the Pacific Northwest Retirement, Annuity and Apprenticeship Trust Funds.

Posted at 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

State's construction fatalities drop more than U.S. trends

The number of construction fatalities nationwide declined by nearly 10 percent between 2009 and 2010 and by almost 40 percent during the past five years, according to an analysis of federal data prepared by Associated General Contractors of America. But the numbers were even better for Washington."What we see is that we're performing significantly better than the national average," said Mandi Kime, safety director for AGC of Washington.  "From our peak construction employment year of 2007 through 2010, we've achieved a 63 percent reduction in the number of construction industry fatalities, even though construction employment fell only 35 percent during that time period."

Posted at 08:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

Around the Sound

Columbia Bank and Lacey Chamber of Commerce are hosting a "Shredfest" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. August 27 at 655 Golf Club Place SE. Attendees will be able to safely dispose of sensitive documents, including bank statements, tax documents and other documents with personal identifying information. Shredding services are being provided by Recall, which will have a shredding truck on-site Click here or call (360) 459-3344 for more information.South Sound Regional Business Incubator is hosting Premuim PR from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at 402 S. 333rd St., Federal Way. The presenter is Rudy Garza. The cost is free for SSRBI members. Federal Way Chamber members can purchase a punch card for four classes for $80. Non-members can purchase four classes for $160. Visit www.ssrbi.com for more information.

Posted at 12:25 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/26/11

Women making marks in construction industry

Builder Tessa Smith was walking toward one of her project sites when a worker on the roof whistled at her in admiration. Surprised, she looked up at him. And then she laughed."I asked him, 'Do you know who I am?'" she said. "He shook his head. So, I said, 'I suggest you find out.'"

Posted at 12:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/25/11

Thurston County seeking volunteers for boards, committees

Thurston County is looking for volunteers to serve on several advisory boards, committees and commissions. The groups meet on a regular basis and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.Current vacancies include positions on the Agriculture Advisory Board, Area Agency on Aging, Thurston County Fair Board, Noxious Weed Control Board, Parks Board, Storm and Surface Water Advisory Board, and the Water Conservancy Board.

Posted at 04:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/25/11

Swipe-fee changes challenging bank budgets

Whether you spend $30 for gas or $300 for groceries, if you used a debit card, the bank is getting a cut of that money. Banks currently charge vendors about 1 percent for every transaction, or an average "interchange fee" of 44 cents on each purchase.However, debit card swipe-fees are dropping to 12 cents as part of the Dodd-Frank Act's Durbin amendment. And while the change is viewed as a big win for businesses small and large, it's also an annual loss of $10 billion or more that the banking industry is scrambling to make up for.

Posted at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/25/11

People on the Move

Mike Menen M.D. has been named chief medical officer of Providence St. Peter Hospital. He most recently served as chief of staff at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Ore., and held many medical staff leadership positions, including the role of an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Oregon Health Science University. Menen completed his medical training at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Marquette University, along with an Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiovascular Fellowship at the University of New Mexico. He is board certified in internal medicine, general and nuclear cardiology.Angela Janssen has joined Laser Hair and Skin Center. She is a licensed medical esthetician and has more than a decade of experience providing patient care in a medical practice.

Posted at 02:06 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/25/11

LTC welcomes Class of 2012

Thirty-three business and community leaders will make up the 2012 class of Thurston County Chamber Foundation's Leadership Thurston County.

Posted at 01:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/25/11

Washington job vacancies reach three-year high

In April, job vacancies in Washington reached their highest point in three years, according to the Employment Security Department.An estimated 60,087 vacant jobs were available, an increase of 55 percent compared to a year earlier and nearly double the number that existed during spring 2009. The last time the survey showed a larger number of vacancies was in spring 2008, when there were nearly 75,000 job vacancies.

Posted at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/25/11

Paul Davis Restoration under new ownership

Paul Davis Restoration in Lacey has a new ownership group and management team.The franchise is now owned by current PDR office owners Greg and Kelli Thode (Lynnwood and Mill Creek), Ray and Tammy Heauser (Bremerton) and Rich Clark, former construction manager at PDR in Tacoma.

Posted at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/25/11

Credit quality of large loan commitments continues to improve

The credit quality of large loan commitments owned by U.S. banking organizations, foreign banking organizations and nonbanks improved during 2011 for the second consecutive year, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Shared National Credits Review for 2011.A loan commitment is the obligation of a lender to make loans or issue letters of credit pursuant to a formal loan agreement.

Posted at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/25/11

Economic forecast dims a bit

The recession was much more severe than the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council had believed in June, according to the group's preliminary September forecast memo.The annual revision to the national income and product accounts shows that the peak-to trough decline in real GDP was actually 5.1 percent, not 4.1 percent. Personal income was also revised much lower. The peak to trough drop in nominal income is now 5.6 percent compared to 3 percent. The council says there is no reason not to expect a similar downward revision to Washington personal income when the comparable data for the states are released next month.

Posted at 10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/24/11

Lemay, Kansas college join forces to promote auto preservation

LeMay - America's Car Museum has established a partnership with McPherson College to promote both institutions and their work in automotive preservation and education.Through the alliance, ACM, which is scheduled to open in June 2012, will provide vehicles and educational opportunities for McPherson College, a liberal arts college located in McPherson, Kan., that offers the country's only four-year degree program in automotive restoration.

Posted at 02:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/24/11

UWT launching contract management program

University of Washington Tacoma's KeyBank Professional Development Center will begin offering a contract management certificate program next month.The program will cover all aspects of procurement, development, monitoring and negotiation of contracts, and includes an examination of issues related to international contracting.

Posted at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/24/11

Blog watch: Headliner, recap, no double-dip and earthquake insurance

Check The Live Wire to find out who is headlining the Transportation Club of Tacoma's luncheon on Sept. 12.OlyBlog has a video recapping Peace Vigil 2011.

Posted at 02:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/24/11

MultiCare East Pierce receives accreditation, planning residency program

MultiCare Health System's newest clinic will soon be recruiting physicians who have recently completed their degrees for a new Family Medicine residency training program. MultiCare East Pierce Family Medicine, which opened Aug. 1 at 1322 Third St. SE, Suite 240, on the campus of Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association.

Posted at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/24/11

Whistling a bit more while they work

The still uncertain economy hasn't kept some workers from smiling a little more at the office. Four in 10 (42 percent) chief financial officers interviewed for an Accountemps survey said employee morale has improved at least somewhat in the last 12 months. Fifty-three percent of respondents said the mood among their teams is unchanged from a year ago."Companies have been taking steps to increase job satisfaction and boost employee motivation among teams that have been through a difficult few years," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of "Motivating Employees For Dummies." "Businesses that recognize and address the concerns of staff members during the extended recovery can instill greater loyalty over the long term. Managers play a key role in ensuring workers stay productive and do not become overburdened by providing the necessary resources, from technology to additional personnel."

Posted at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/24/11

HCC Foundation gets $10K donation for whale bones display

Highline Community College Foundation has received a $10,000 donation from KeyBank for the installation of gray whale bones at the college's Marine Science and Technology Center later this year.The MaST Center received permission from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to obtain the 37-foot gray whale after it died on Arroyo Beach in southwest Seattle last year.

Posted at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/24/11

Heritage Financial authorizes stock repurchase

Heritage Financial Corp.'s board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 5 percent of the company's outstanding shares, or about 782,000 shares.The purchases will take place over the next 12 months. The number, timing and price of shares repurchased will depend on business and market conditions and other factors, including opportunities to deploy the company's capital.

Posted at 09:18 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

New bicycle parking cage opening next week

Tacoma's newest bike parking facility, the Park Plaza North Bike Cage, is scheduled to open Aug. 31. The cage is on the fifth floor of the garage at 923 Commerce, directly across from the skybridge to Broadway.The parking cage was a collaboration of Downtown On the Go and City of Tacoma staff. Studies found that many buildings in downtown do not allow bicycles to sit in offices and do not provide bicycle parking, yet there are many downtown employees who like to commute by bike.

Posted at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

People on the Move

Calvin Pearson has been re-appointed to the Board of Trustees of Bates Technical College. He is a commercial banking officer and vice president at Columbia Bank. Pearson also is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum and a past board member of South Sound Outreach Services and Communities in Schools.Mark Rentfrow has joined Thurston Energy as an energy services specialist. He received a master's degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University in 2010 and has experience in customer service and support, project management, strategic forecasting and relationship building.

Posted at 01:42 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

BE Twitter chat

Business Examiner is hosting a Twitter chat (hashtag: #BEchat) from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. today to help connect people within the South Sound business community.The focus of the conversation will be current topics and trends, and ideas for how to improve marketing efforts, networking, etc. - all structured with a focus on the business world.BE Twitter chats will be held weekly on Tuesday afternoons. Click here for more information.

Posted at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

Sportsman's Warehouse opens in Puyallup

Sportsman's Warehouse has opened its newest retail location at 120 31st Ave. SE in Puyallup. The store, led by manager Brad Hodl, currently employs 10 full-time and 46 part-time associates.

Posted at 01:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

Feds honor Sound Transit for utilizing small and disadvantaged businesses

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization has recognized Sound Transit for its exemplary work in utilizing small and disadvantaged businesses in its construction projects.One example of the agency's efforts to create opportunities for disadvantaged business enterprises is the University Link project, of which $30 million, or 28 percent, was performed by DBE firms. Another $14 million - 13 percent - was performed by small businesses.

Posted at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

TV repair company puts the 'boo' in boob tube

A failure to respond to 27 of 29 consumer complaints has earned All Tec Services an "F" rating with Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.Also going by names like Mr. TV and Alltec, the South Sound-area electronics repair shop captured BBB's attention with its high volume of unanswered product and service complaints.

Posted at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

Port of Tacoma volumes up

Port of Tacoma's container volumes for July were up nearly 4 percent compared to last year. Year to date, the port has handled 842,500 20-foot equivalent units, a 2.6 percent increase.The weak dollar continues to fuel exports, with the port marking a 15 percent increase in full export containers through July. Full import containers were down 3 percent as persistent economic uncertainty tempers consumer demand and retailers remain reluctant to add inventory.

Posted at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

South Sound unemployment rates inch lower in July

Jobless rates fell throughout the South Sound during July compared to a month earlier, according to the latest numbers from the state Employment Security Department.Unemployment in Mason County fell from 10.6 percent during June to 10.3 percent last month. The jobless rate in Lewis County fell from 12.8 percent to 12.6 percent.

Posted at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/23/11

FDIC-insured institutions earned $28.8B Q2

Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported an aggregate profit of $28.8 billion during the second quarter of 2011, a $7.9 billion improvement from the $20.9 billion in net income the industry reported in the second quarter of 2010.This is the eighth consecutive quarter that earnings registered a year-over-year increase. As has been the case in each of the last seven quarters, lower provisions for loan losses were responsible for most of the year-over-year improvement in earnings.

Posted at 08:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/22/11

Lower prices help boost housing market

The steady stream of foreclosures being released on the market continues to deflate home values throughout Pierce County. But this pricing situation has created an opportunity, especially in the Parkland/Spanaway area, for first-time homebuyers and investors. "A lot of first-time homebuyers are buying in our area because you can get a lot more home for your money," said Julie Collison, owner and designated broker of Collison Realty LLC. "Also there are opportunities for investors to pick up rental properties very cheap. Some of them may require work, but once you do the work on them, it will bring the value right back up."

Posted at 01:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/22/11

Around the Sound

Sound Business Assistance is hosting "Social Media and Marketing" from 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 25 at Metropolitan Development Council, 721 S. Fawcett, Suite 201, Tacoma. Attendees will learn the importance of owning and managing their online identity, the techniques that make it easy and the pitfalls to be avoided to maintain a professional image. The instructor is Patrick Williams of You Rock! Visit www.soundbusinessassistance.com for more information.South Sound Regional Business Incubator is hosting Payroll 101: Demystifying Payroll, Taxes & Reporting Requirements from noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 25 at 402 S. 333rd St., Federal Way. The cost is free for members. Federal Way Chamber members can purchase a punch card for four classes for $40. The cost for non-members is $80 for four classes. Visit www.ssrbi.com for more information.

Posted at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/22/11

Majority of consumers, investors say economy getting worse

The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, fell more than two points today to 66.4. Consumer confidence is up three points from a week ago, down a point from a month ago and is down 12 points from three months ago.Just 13 percent of consumers believe the economy is getting better, while 71 percent say it is getting worse.

Posted at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/22/11

Highline Community College receives major geoscience grants

Highline Community College has been awarded nearly $225,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation in support of geoscience education.Highline has played a role in trying to create and organize a national community of geoscience faculty at community colleges and to increase enrollment of underrepresented students in geoscience programs.

Posted at 10:09 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/22/11

Smelter Plume update leads a full study session agenda

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to receive a briefing tomorrow from Washington State Department of Ecology staff about the Tacoma Smelter Plume Cleanup Plan, which will be released later this year.The plan's four main components are a proposed residential Sampling and Remediation Program, continuing the Soil Safety Program, ongoing education and outreach, and encouraging sampling and cleanup during development.

Posted at 09:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/19/11

Around the Sound

Centro Latino is hosting a Latino Business Fair from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at 1208 S. 10th St., Tacoma. For more information, click here or contact Martha at (253) 503-6212.Sound Business Assistance is hosting "Social Media and Marketing" from 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 25 at Metropolitan Development Council, 721 S. Fawcett, Suite 201, Tacoma. Attendees will learn the importance of owning and managing their online identity, the techniques that make it easy and the pitfalls to be avoided to maintain a professional image. The instructor is Patrick Williams of You Rock! Visit www.soundbusinessassistance.com for more information.

Posted at 01:18 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/19/11

EFN's McGovern recognized as a Community Hero

Safeco Insurance has named Helen McGovern a Community Hero for her work with the Emergency Food Network of Pierce County and Tacoma, which will receive a $5,000 donation from Safeco on behalf of McGovern and McKendry Insurance. Each year Safeco celebrates local heroes who make a positive difference through its Agent Giving Program, which is designed to focus on three areas: education, health and safety, and civic engagement.

Posted at 01:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/19/11

FHC seeks 'secret shoppers' to test housing practices

The Fair Housing Center of Washington is hiring testers to help it determine whether there are differences in treatment for individuals seeking to rent or buy a house based upon protected class.One of the federal, state and local protected bases for discrimination is national origin. The agency is seeking men and women of different nationalities, particularly Hispanic and Asian. The agency also needs control testers (Caucasian).

Posted at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/19/11

BoA cuts push financial sector job reductions past 2010 levels

The 3,500 planned job cuts at Bank of America reported this morning will push financial sector layoffs past 2010 levels, according to data from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.Through July of this year, firms in the financial sector announced 14,752 planned job cuts, 4.2 percent fewer than the 15,399 at the same point a year ago. The 3,500 job cuts announced by Bank of America  brings the 2011 year-to-date total to 18,252, surpassing the 2010 eight-month total of 17,220.

Posted at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/18/11

People on the Move

Marianne Barkman has joined Windermere Real Estate South as branch manager. She has more than 25 years of experience in real estate sales and organizational development. Barkman previously worked at John L. Scott, most recently as manager and business coach at the Puyallup main branch.  Dr. John Kuczynski has joined Olympia Multi-Specialty Clinic. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Ill., and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Arizona. During academic years 2006-08, he was selected as Resident of the Year and served as chief resident.

Posted at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/18/11

Real GDP up 1.3% in Q2

Real gross domestic product increased 1.3 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2011, according to the advance estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2011, real GDP increased 0.4 percent (revised).The acceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected a deceleration in imports, an upturn in federal government spending and an acceleration in nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by a sharp deceleration in consumer spending.

Posted at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/18/11

Property tax revenue up 4% percent in 2011

Property tax revenue increased 4 percent to $9.2 billion in 2011, with some of the increase stemming from new construction and higher voter-approved levies, the Washington State Department of Revenue reported today.Voters approved 39.7 percent of property taxes through school levies and bonds, levy lid lifts for fire districts and other junior taxing districts, and funding for emergency medical services. This was up 1.1 percent from 38.6 percent of property taxes due in 2010.

Posted at 01:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/18/11

State makes changes to vehicle emissions testing program

The Washington Department of Ecology has adopted a new updated motor vehicle emissions testing program rule. The changes take effect in July 2012.All 2009 and newer model year vehicles will not require testing and additional businesses may be authorized to conduct tests. Other changes include:

Posted at 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/18/11

Real earnings off slightly

Real average hourly earnings for all employees fell 0.1 percent from June to July, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A 0.4 percent increase in average hourly earnings was more than offset by a 0.5 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.Real average weekly earnings fell 0.1 percent over the month as a result of the decrease in real average hourly earnings, while average weekly hours remained unchanged. Since reaching a recent peak in October 2010, real average weekly earnings have fallen 1.3 percent.

Posted at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/18/11

Consumer Price Index inches up

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased  0.5 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau  of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all  items index increased 3.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.The gasoline index rebounded from previous declines and rose sharply in July, accounting for about half of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index. The food at home index accelerated in July and also contributed to the increase, as dairy and fruit  indexes posted notable increases and five of the six major grocery store food groups rose.

Posted at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Tacoma seeking input in search for new city manager

The City of Tacoma has launched its search for a new city manager and residents can take part in the selection process by taking an online survey that will run through Sept. 12."Tacoma is a diverse community and we want the process to be open and inclusive," said Mayor Marilyn Strickland. "We look forward to hearing what skills and attributes the community would like to see in the next city manager."

Posted at 02:54 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Blog watch: Duos, incentives, uncertainty and economics

Visit The Live Wire for more information about Two (senators, that is) in One Day.OlyBlog turns 6. Don't miss "Home, sweet home."

Posted at 02:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

The Evergreen State College named one of America's 'coolest' schools

The Evergreen State College has placed ninth on Sierra magazine's fifth annual ranking of the nation's "Coolest Schools."A salute to the efforts of colleges around the country helping to solve climate issues and operate sustainably, the cover feature spotlights the schools that are making a true impact for the planet.

Posted at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Construction materials prices 8.9% higher than last year

Construction materials prices are 8.9 percent higher than they were a year ago, according to the Producer Price Index report by the Department of Labor. Prices rose 0.3 percent in July.Two segments of construction inputs were associated with particularly large changes in prices for the month. Asphalt, tar roofing and siding prices rose 2.4 percent in July and were up 4.8 percent year over year. Nonferrous wire and cable prices increased 2.3 percent for the month and are 16.6 percent higher than the same time last year.

Posted at 02:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Fragile economy deterring entrepreneurism

Start-up activity among unemployed managers and executives during the first half of 2011 fell to its lowest level in the history of tracking, according to survey results from outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.  The results reflect the harsh conditions that currently exist for would-be entrepreneurs, whose biggest obstacle may be securing the funds to undertake such an endeavor.

Posted at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Job increase fails to budge July unemployment rate

Despite an estimated increase of 5,700 jobs last month, Washington's unemployment rate in July remained unchanged at 9.3 percent, according to the Employment Security Department.The holding pattern occurred after June's unemployment rate was revised upward from an original estimate of 9.2 percent. Job growth in June also was revised upward, from 3,600 to 4,700.

Posted at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Deadline approaching for state civics award nominations

Thee are only two weeks left to nominate community-centric corporations for Washington's highest civics honor, the Corporations for Communities Award. The deadline is Aug. 31.Secretary of State Sam Reed launched the Corporations for Communities program in 2009 as a way to recognize exceptional Washington businesses that demonstrate a commitment to giving in order to improve local or regional social and environmental conditions.

Posted at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Job losses cause workers' compensation coverage, costs to fall

The number of workers covered by workers' compensation dropped by 4.4 percent in 2009, the biggest decrease in two decades, according to a report by the National Academy of Social Insurance.Employer costs for benefits fell by 7.6 percent to $73.9 billion in 2009 (the most recent year with complete data), reflecting the overall decline in employment.

Posted at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Producer Price Index up slightly in July

The Producer Price Index for finished goods rose 0.2 percent during July, seasonally adjusted, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This advance followed a 0.4 percent decrease in June and a 0.2 percent rise in May.At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods moved up 0.2 percent in July, and the crude goods index declined 1.2 percent. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods moved up 7.2 percent for the 12 months ended July 2011.

Posted at 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/17/11

Recovery Act weatherization work in Washington sets annual record

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding helped weatherize a record number of housing units and deliver energy-and-cost savings for low-income Washington families, according to a newly released report.The Washington State Department of Commerce Weatherization program, in partnership with 25 local agencies, weatherized 7,474 homes from July 2009 through June 2010 - double the state's historical annual average, according to an evaluation by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program.

Posted at 11:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

08/16/11

Tacoma launching prescription discount card program

Tacoma residents who are without health insurance, a traditional pharmacy benefit plan or have prescriptions not covered by insurance can now benefit from a prescription discount card thanks to a program offered by the National League of Cities.The NLC Prescription Discount Card program, administered by CVS Caremark, can save an average of 20 percent off the full retail cost of prescription medication. There is no enrollment form, no membership fee and no restrictions or limits on the frequency of use for Tacoma residents.

Posted at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/16/11

People on the Move

Amy Adkins-Dwivedi M.S., CPNP, ARNP, has joined Healthy Future Pediatrics, an Olympia pediatric office focused on prevention. She received a master's degree from Ohio State University's Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program.Bruce W. Hart and Lyle Quasim have joined the board of trustees at University of Puget Sound. Hart is a senior associate developer at Parsons in San Francisco and Quasim is president of Bates Technical College in Tacoma.

Posted at 02:15 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/16/11

Olympia optometrist settles overbilling claims

The U.S. Department of Justice today finalized a $253,784 civil settlement with optometrist Craig F. Rouse, who operated eye clinics on military bases in Washington, Alaska, Texas and Florida.The clinics primarily provided services to active duty and retired military personnel and their dependents, many of whom received health benefits from the Department of Defense TRICARE program.

Posted at 01:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/16/11

OMB Tour of Homes offers mix of new construction, remodels

Olympia Master Builders 2011 Tour of Homes will feature 13 residences - nine new construction and four remodels.The tour, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 20-21 and 27-28, includes homes from Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater and will highlight cost-saving energy and "green-building" trends. It is self-guided and admission is free.

Posted at 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/16/11

Workers' compensation benefits increase

Workers' compensation benefits for Washington workers injured on the job increased by 5.4 percent to $2.3 billion in 2009, according to a study released today by the National Academy of Social Insurance.The number of covered workers in Washington fell to 2.7 million in 2009 (the most recent year with complete data), a 4.3 percent drop from the previous year, due in large part to the economic downturn.

Posted at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/16/11

Construction backlog up 10% in Q2

Associated Builders and Contractors' Construction Backlog Indicator increased 10 percent during the second quarter of 2011 to an average of 8.1 months, up from 7.3 months the previous quarter. The West experienced a modest construction backlog increase of .61 months from one year ago, rising from 7.33 to 7.94.The CBI, which  is a forward-looking indicator that measures the amount of construction work under contract to be completed in the future, is 12 percent higher than a year ago.

Posted at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/15/11

Hylebos Bridge rehabilitation project reaches milestone

For the first time in a decade, the Hylebos Bridge in Tacoma is being lowered by its own power.The bridge was damaged in 2001 during an emergency stop that broke the drive shaft. Since then, it has been locked in the upright position to allow for ship traffic. The project has had many challenges including permitting, funding and vandalism.

Posted at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/15/11

Around the Sound

Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Military Affairs meeting from 8 to 9 a.m. Aug. 16 at Burs Restaurant, 6151 Steilacoom Blvd. SW. Click here or call (253) 582-9400 for more information.Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is hosting a loan briefing in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Key Bank from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Simpson Community Room, 950 Pacific Ave., Suite 300. Information will be available about how the SBA loan program works, eligibility and credit requirements, what lenders are looking for when approving loans, who can help with a business plan or loan proposal, what other financing options are available and the 5 Cs of credit. RSVP to cathyt@tacomachamber.org or call (253) 627-2175.

Posted at 02:23 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/15/11

Gateway-North Thurston Rotary launches

The Rotary Club of Gateway-North Thurston County conducted its initial meeting last week at the Hawks Prairie Restaurant in Lacey.The club, which had 23 prospective members in attendance, also elected its inaugural board of directors. They include: Tom Carroll, president; Mike Beehler, vice president; Mike Robbins, secretary; Jerry Wilkins, treasurer; and Kelli Hegsted, director.

Posted at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/15/11

I-5 paving near JBLM means overnight delays for drivers

A paving project on a busy stretch of Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord will impact drivers overnight this week. Motorists can expect lane and ramp closures beginning tonight while Washington State Department of Transportation's contractor, Tucci and Sons, repaves a two-mile stretch of I-5 between Berkeley and Gravelly Lake Drive.

Posted at 01:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

08/15/11

Regence BlueShield fined $100,000 for denying contraceptive coverage

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has fined Regence BlueShield $100,000 for denying contraceptive coverage to 984 women.Kreidler learned about the violation from a consumer who contacted his office to complain. Regence covered her choice of prescription contraceptive - the intrauterine contraceptive device - but denied coverage for its removal.

Posted at 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

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