Jun 1, 201012:00 AMBlog

June 2010

06/30/10

Blog watch: taxes, budgets, caravans and no free parking

WashACE Blog takes a look at what supporters are calling "progressive" taxation, and "Transforming the State Budget."The Live Wire has a wrap-up of the Spotlight! On Business Award event and information about the federal small business capital bill.

Posted at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/30/10

Office markets flat, industrial markets improving

The Pierce County office market has remained relatively flat for the last six months with little change in vacancy or absorption outside of its Class A buildings, according to Colliers International's second quarter 2010 Puget Sound Industrial Highlights report.Market vacancy currently sits at 13.01 percent, down 70 basis points from Q1. Pierce County experienced 43,000 square feet of positive office absorption during Q2 2010 contingent on a multitude of small leases.

Posted at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/30/10

Final phase of mental health parity law takes effect tomorrow

The third and final phase of Washington state's 2005 Mental Health Parity Law takes effect July 1.Starting tomorrow, any limits on the number of office visits or inpatient hospital days to treat mental disorders must be removed from all state-regulated health plans, unless the limits also apply to other health services.

Posted at 01:19 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/30/10

Licensing for body art, tattoo and body piercing starts July 1

Tattoo and body artists and body piercers across the state can begin applying for professional licenses starting tomorrow.The state legislature directed the Department of Licensing to create a tattoo, body piercing, and body art licensing program during 2009 as a measure to protect public health. The law requires tattoo artists, body piercers and permanent makeup cosmetic technicians to get and maintain a state license.

Posted at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/30/10

Online job demand holds steady

Online advertised vacancies inched up by 19,600 during June to 4.15 million following a small decline during May, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series released today.The gap between the number of unemployed and advertised vacancies (supply/demand rate) stood at 3.62 unemployed for every advertised vacancy during May (the last available unemployment data) but is down from 4.73 during October 2009.

Posted at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/30/10

85 percent of U.S. adults want to bag paper and go green

"Conserve paper and be green" is the mantra for the overwhelming majority (85 percent) of Americans, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for DocuSign, Inc. The survey also reveals that nearly three in four adults are frustrated with completing paper-based documents, and provides a compelling snapshot of consumer preferences and the growing role smartphones are having on the average person's daily activities.

Posted at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/30/10

Report shows importance of R&D investment to economy

U.S. Gross Domestic Product would have been, on average, 2.7 percent, or $301.5 billion higher between 1998 and 2007 if research and development spending was treated as investment in the U.S. national income and product accounts, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today.R&D accounted for about 6.3 percent of average annual growth in real GDP--that is, GDP adjusted for inflation--between 1998 and 2007, and 6.6 percent between 2002 and 2007.

Posted at 10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/30/10

Unemployment ticks higher

Unemployment rates were higher in May than a year earlier in 222 of the 372 metropolitan areas, lower in 141 areas, and unchanged in nine areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In Tacoma, the unemployment rate rose from 9.3 percent during April to 9.6 percent last month. For Olympia, the rate inched up from 7.6 percent to 7.7 percent. In both areas, the rate was slightly higher than a year ago.

Posted at 08:08 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/30/10

Goodwill opening 26th store next month

Tacoma Goodwill will open its 26th store on July 15 in Sequim.The store will be located in the former Rite Aid building, 680C W. Washington St., in the Safeway shopping center.

Posted at 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/29/10

People on the Move

Sara Wisely has joined the marketing team at Burkhart Dental Supply as a graphic designer. She works along side Brittany Staten, who also is a newcomer to Burkhart, producing catalogs, magazines, packaging, brochures and other marketing materials for the Tacoma-based company.A.J. Gordon has joined SiteCrafting as chief financial officer. He is president of Gordon Financial Group, a boutique financial services company headquartered in south King County.

Posted at 03:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/29/10

Pierce College military program ranked as one of nation's most popular

Pierce College has been recognized by Military Times Edge magazine as one of the 50 Most Popular Colleges in its June/July issue.  The school ranked 14th based on where active-duty military use their tuition assistance benefits. The data used in the ranking was provided by the Air Force, Army, Army National Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Posted at 01:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/29/10

Heritage Financial among 'Best Companies to Work For'

Heritage Financial Corp., the bank holding company for Heritage Bank and Central Valley Bank, has been recognized by Seattle Business Magazine as one of The 100 Best Companies to Work For, ranking second among midsized companies.

Posted at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/29/10

Federal passport fees going up July 13

The federal government is raising its fees for U.S. passport books, passport cards, additional visa pages and file searches July 13.  The fee for a first-time U.S. passport book, required for all air travel outside the United States, will now be $135 for adults (age 16 and older), a $35 increase; and $105 for minors (under age 16), a $20 increase.

Posted at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/29/10

Consumer confidence takes nosedive

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had been on the rise for three consecutive months, declined sharply during June. The Index now stands at 52.9 (1985=100), down from 62.7 during May. The Present Situation Index decreased to 25.5 from 29.8. The Expectations Index declined to 71.2 from 84.6 last month.

Posted at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/29/10

Tacoma General recognized for top nursing care

The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and the Coronary Care Unit at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital have been recognized as among the top in the country by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. The nursing units and the 105 nurses who practice there received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. The award recognizes the nation's top pediatric, progressive, adult critical care and progressive care units.

Posted at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/28/10

No dream home for raffle winner

The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts' Tacoma Dream Home Raffle is over, but no one who purchased a ticket will be moving into new digs at 505 Broadway.Sandra Kennewick of Bellevue won the grand prize of $25,000.

Posted at 02:57 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/28/10

Around the Sound

The Thurston Economic Development Council is hosting "2010 Economic Update: What Shade of Green is the Economy?" from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. June 30 at the Red Lion, 2300 Evergreen park Drive SW, Olympia. Click here to register or contact Rachel Reischman at (360) 754-6320.The Thurston County Chamber is hosting "Desire - Success for Life and Business" from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 30 at the Lacey Community Center. The seminar will be presented by Brad Worthley, a consultant and behavior change specialist with more than 35 years of business management experience. The cost for a member is $50. Click here to register.

Posted at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/28/10

State, insurers to help Green River Valley businesses find flood coverage

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and more than two dozen insurance companies have launched a program to help Green River Valley businesses struggling to find flood coverage.The "Washington Flood Market Assistance Plan" will act as a matchmaker, pairing businesses needing coverage with insurers selling it. The Surplus Line Association of Washington has agreed to act as administrator of the plan.

Posted at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/28/10

Port of Tacoma earns 'Green 50' environmental honors

The Port of Tacoma has been named an Inbound Logistics "Green 50 Supply Chain Partner" in the magazine's annual list of 50 supply chain partners committed to sustainability.Tacoma is one of five U.S. ports -- and the only one in the Pacific Northwest to be honored.

Posted at 02:11 PM | Permalink | Comments

Goodwill launches 'Donate Movement'

06/28/10

Goodwill launches 'Donate Movement'

The 2010 national Delegate Assembly of Goodwill Industries, with representatives from more than 180 Goodwills across the country, gathered today at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center for the unveiling of Goodwill's new "Donation Movement."The launch event featured professional models on a runway making "donations" and displaying the "D" logo, which will be on new clothes starting with products from its partner Levi Strauss & Co. Jim Gibbons, Goodwill Industries International president and CEO, would like to see the logo placed on any item that can be donated and have it become as recognizable as the recycling logo.

Posted at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/28/10

Manufacturing sector should bounce back in 2011-12

Manufacturing will recover to pre-recession levels during the next two years in states with low tax rates, a diverse collection of industries and strong government services, according to a report from Ball State University.The 2010 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, prepared by Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research, grades all 50 states from A to F for manufacturing and logistics. Washington received a C for manufacturing, a C for logistics, an A for human capital, a C for tax climate and A for diversification.

Posted at 09:51 AM | Permalink | Comments

SBA highlights local success story

06/25/10

SBA highlights local success story

The U.S. Small Business Administration highlighted today the local success story of natural pet supply retailer, MudBay, to illustrate SBA's need for more American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds."Now is not the time to pull back," said Karen Mills, U.S. SBA Administrator. "It's the time to invest in small businesses."While the trickle down of Recovery Act money can sometimes be hard to track, SBA representatives said they have small business success stories around the nation that prove the money SBA received for its loan program was used to create new jobs.

Posted at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/25/10

Around the Sound

The Thurston Economic Development Council is hosting "2010 Economic Update: What Shade of Green is the Economy?" from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. June 30 at the Red Lion, 2300 Evergreen park Drive SW, Olympia. Click here to register or contact Rachel Reischman at (360) 754-6320.The Thurston County Chamber is hosting "Desire - Success for Life and Business" from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 30 at the Lacey Community Center. The seminar will be presented by Brad Worthley, a consultant and behavior change specialist with more than 35 years of business management experience. The cost for members is $50. Click here to register.

Posted at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/25/10

U.S. narrows net international investment postion

The value of foreign investments in the United States continues to exceed the value of U.S. investments abroad.The preliminary U.S. net international investment position at the end of 2009 was negative $2.7 billion, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. At the end of 2008, the deficit was $3.5 billion.

Posted at 10:08 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/25/10

Russell, Research Affiliates to launch Fundamental Index Series

Tacoma-based Russell Investments and Research Affiliates have agreed to launch a new index series based on Fundamental Index methodology.The new relationship aims to produce readily investable "strategy indexes," a category of indexes intended for investors who seek a more active investment approach.

Posted at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

Emergency Food Network receives $100,000 grant

Washington Women's Foundation has selected the Emergency Food Network as one of five local nonprofit organizations receiving Pooled Grants totaling $475,000. Pierce County's EFN was selected in the human services category and will receive $100,000.

Posted at 05:49 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

Fitch, Standard & Poor's upgrade Tacoma Power bond ratings

An improved financial position, low rates and stable power supply are some of the reasons Tacoma Power received an AA- bond rating from Fitch, AA rating from Standard & Poor's and an Aa3 rating from Moody's.

Posted at 05:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

ITI Internet Services files for protection under Chapter 11

ITI Internet Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of HIMC Corp., has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Law."Filing for bankruptcy was necessitated by the unsuccessful appeal of the Durand vs. HIMC Corporation lawsuit and the need to protect merchant funds," said Jay Gurley, chairman of HIMC Corp.

Posted at 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

Lacey will continue Summer Lunch Program and Playground Pals

The City of Lacey Parks and Recreation Department's  "Save our Summer Food Service Program" campaign has met its goal of raising $12,000, so the program can continue uninterrupted and without a reduction in services.Since 1993, the Parks and Recreation Department has sponsored the summer lunch program in partnership with North Thurston Public Schools to assist low-income families who meet the eligibility requirements for free or reduced school meals.

Posted at 02:23 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

Boeing, FAA to team for cleaner skies, quieter airplanes

The Boeing Co. and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced today that they will work together to speed the development and application of environmentally progressive technologies for cleaner and quieter jet aircraft.As part of the FAA's Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise program, Boeing and the FAA each will contribute up to $25 million during the next five years to conduct flight demonstrations of emergent airframe and engine technologies that have the potential of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and community noise.

Posted at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

People on the Move

Four members of Washington State Attorney General's Office have received national awards for their public service. Solicitor General Marnie Hart and Deputy Solicitors General Bill Collins and Anne Egeler received National Association of Attorneys General Best Brief award for their work on the Doe v. Reed case. The case, pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, involves a challenge to the state's open records law. Hart has worked at the AG's office since 1978. Collins began in 1977 and Egeler joined in 1990. Chief Deputy Brian Moran was selected for NAAG's Marvin Award. The award is given to those who have notably furthered the goals of cooperation and coordination among NAAG members. Moran has served at the Attorney General's Office for 13 years.

Posted at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

State Parks seeks applications for advisory committees

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is inviting the public to nominate winter sports enthusiasts for the agency's snowmobile and non-motorized advisory committees. Three positions are available statewide to snowmobilers, and three are available statewide to individuals involved in non-motorized winter sports.

Posted at 01:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

Memory chip makers will pay $173 million for price-fixing

The Y2K bug was the big concern in the computer world when makers of DRAM computer memory conspired to raise prices. More than a decade later, the companies and a group of state attorneys general have negotiated a $173 million antitrust settlement in principle with six of the world's top manufacturers."This settlement will make up for some of the harm caused by memory chip manufacturers who conspired to drive up computer costs," Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said. "The agreement will also prohibit the companies from manipulating prices in the future."

Posted at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/24/10

Grant will provide energy efficiency upgrade funding for multifamily, nonprofits

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission and MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions have been awarded a $1 million energy efficiency grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce.The money will be leveraged toward the creation of a $10 million Sustainable Energy Trust to provide cost-effective financing for energy efficiency projects in nonprofit facilities and multifamily housing throughout the state.

Posted at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/23/10

Port of Tacoma cargo stats mixed

The Port of Tacoma's year-to-date trade stats through May show intermodal lifts up slightly, while international container volumes remain down.Domestic container volumes are up about 5 percent, 191,650 so far this year compared to 183,241 for the same time period last year. Foreign container volumes are 364,862 through May compared to 467,368 last year, a decrease of almost 22 percent.

Posted at 02:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/23/10

Blog watch: ballot initiatives, Chinese Reconciliation Park, commercial real estate

Check out WashACE Blog for a roundup of statewide ballot initiatives, and an interesting story about how I-1098 will hurt the economy and the state budget.The OlyBlog still has a few scholarships left for its nonprofit funding development seminar.

Posted at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/23/10

3 firms to repay state $417,000 for unauthorized use of public tidelands

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has reached settlements with three Washington shellfish companies to resolve their unauthorized use of state-owned tidelands to grow and harvest shellfish.Under the agreements, the three companies - Taylor Shellfish, Seattle Shellfish and Arcadia Point Seafood - will repay the state a total of $417,000 for allowing their operations to encroach on state-owned aquatic lands.

Posted at 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/23/10

Friday is 'Take Your Dog to Work Day'

The Humane Society of the United States and pet insurance provider Petplan are teaming up for the 2010 Take Your Dog to Work Day.The two organizations are asking businesses to consider programs permitting employees to bring dogs in the workplace this Friday.

Posted at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/23/10

South Sound gains doctors

The United States could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors during the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. But Thurston County will continue to benefit from Providence St. Peter Hospital's Family Medicine Residency program.

Posted at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/23/10

Nearly half of money managers say market is undervalued

Forty-seven percent of professional money managers responding to the latest Russell Investments Investment Manager Outlook survey believe the market is undervalued, a substantial rise from the 28 percent in the March 2010 survey.Only 9 percent of managers believe the markets to be overvalued. The survey also reveals that managers see opportunity in the market's current valuation levels, but are also on heightened alert for the downside of risk.

Posted at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/22/10

Spotlight! On Business winners

Six Spotlight! On Business award winners, including the newly added category, "Veteran-Owned," and a community award were announced at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber's awards luncheon today. Winners were selected from a pool of 18 finalists (who were all recognized at the celebration). Also new this year is the re-naming of the awards with recent and/or popular movie titles.

Posted at 02:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/22/10

Port of Tacoma earns national award

The Government Finance Officers Association has awarded the Port of Tacoma its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the Port's 2010 budget document.To qualify for the award, the port "had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation," according to the association's award announcement. "It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting."

Posted at 01:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/22/10

President meets with Kreidler to discuss health care reform

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler attended a White House meeting between President Barack Obama, cabinet members and about a dozen insurance company CEOs this morning. "President Obama certainly made one thing clear: Regardless of what you may hear from some people, the federal health care reform law will not be repealed," said Kreidler.

Posted at 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/22/10

People on the Move

Clinton Griffee and Mike Scott have been honored as Educators of the Year by the Washington Association of Vocational Education. Both are instructors at Bates Technical College. Griffee teaches welding and Scott teaches broadcasting and video production.Dick Bower building and fire safety director for the City of Gig Harbor has received the Washington State Building Official of the Year award. He was recognized for his dedication to safety and emergency management in Gig Harbor and throughout the state.

Posted at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/22/10

Telly Awards to local city, firm

For the fourth consecutive year, Federal Way Television has been honored with a Telly award for an original cable television segment.Federal Way scored a Bronze Telly for its video about the Police Department's dual sport vehicles, which were introduced in 2008 as a tool for improving patrols, visibility and response time in the city's major parks and along the BPA Trail.The segment can be viewed on-demand at www.cityoffederalway.com/fwtv.

Posted at 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/22/10

Weyerhaeuser accepts $584 million in tender offer

Weyerhaeuser Co. has accepted for purchase the principal amount of $584 million as part of its tender offer to purchase any and all of its outstanding 6.75 percent notes due March 15, 2012.The principal amount remaining outstanding is $517.9 million.

Posted at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Comments

HATC adds 24-units in Olympia

06/22/10

HATC adds 24-units in Olympia

The Housing Authority of Thurston County will officially open its newest  apartment complex in Olympia on Thursday.The 24-unit Olympia Crest Phase II development at 206 Lilly Road will serve six homeless families with children, six veterans and 12 working families of low income.

Posted at 09:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/22/10

Franciscan Health System receives 2010 Achievement Citation

Franciscan Health System has received the Catholic Health Association's 2010 Achievement Citation for excellence, effectiveness and innovation in hospice and palliative care.Tacoma-based Franciscan also received a $10,000 grant from the Catholic Health Association to support its comprehensive hospice and palliative services.

Posted at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/21/10

Rushforth begins work on YMCA facility in Silverdale

Rushforth Construction has kicked off construction on the 85,784-square-foot Haselwood Family YMCA in Silverdale.With completion expected next summer, the YMCA will be the first component of the 12-acre Central Kitsap Community Campus.

Posted at 02:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/21/10

Heritage Financial selected as one of the 'Best of the Northwest'

Heritage Financial Corp., the bank holding company for Heritage Bank and Central Valley Bank, has been recognized by The Seattle Times as one of the Best of the Northwest for 2009.There were two categories in which Heritage Financial was honored: "Top 20 Companies of the Decade" and one of only 23 companies that were debt-free.

Posted at 01:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/21/10

Around the Sound

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber's Spotlight! On Business Awards is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 22 at the Hotel Murano, Venice Ballroom, 1320 Broadway. The cost is $65. Non-members and walk-ins are $75. Corporate sponsorship for a table of 10 is $800. Contact Janice Hutchins at (253) 627-2175 for more information.The Washington Department of Ecology is holding an open house at 6 p.m. June 22 at Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 'C' Street South, Tacoma, to gather input about what works and doesn't work with the state's current aquatic plants and algae permit. Click here for a copy of the current permit.

Posted at 01:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/21/10

TransAlta agrees to cut emissions of mercury, visibility-limiting gases

TransAlta has reached an agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology to reduce mercury and visibility-limiting emissions from its Centralia-area coal-fired power plant.Under the agreement, TransAlta will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides that cause visibility-limiting haze in national parks and wilderness areas, and reduce mercury emissions.

Posted at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/21/10

Alternative investments making comeback

Institutional investors across the world, including pension funds, endowments, foundations and insurance providers, expect to re-commit to alternative investments despite the market stresses experienced during 2008 and 2009, according to the ninth global survey on alternative investing released today by Russell Investments.The Russell Investments 2010 Global Survey on Alternative Investing found institutional investors expecting an increase of over a third (from 14 percent to 19 percent) in their allocation to alternatives during the next two to three years.

Posted at 08:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/19/10

Umpqua acquires Reno-based bank

Umpqua Bank has acquired the banking operations of Nevada Security Bank of Reno and its California division, Silverado Bank, in a purchase and assumption agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.This is the third FDIC-assisted transaction for Umpqua Bank this year and the fourth since 2009. Umpqua acquired Tacoma-based Rainier Pacific earlier this year.

Posted at 04:41 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/18/10

KVTI signing on with new format June 21

When Washington State University's Northwest Public Radio assumes management of Clover Park Technical College's radio station KVTI, 90.9 FM, on Monday, the format will shift from Contemporary Top 40 to classical and NPR News.While WSU will operate the station, Clover Park will retain the license and ownership.

Posted at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/18/10

Commercial real estate market remains muted

Commercial real estate investors reveal both frustration and disappointment at the lack of quality buying opportunities that many expected would have materialized by now, according to the second quarter 2010 findings of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Korpacz Real Estate Investor Survey.The report notes that the unknown speed and strength of the economic recovery has many investors anxious, with the uncertainty surrounding the large debt volume coming due during 2011 and 2012 amplifying the angst.

Posted at 03:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/18/10

Around the Sound

The south Tacoma Farmers Market opens June 20 at the corner of 56th and Washington streets in the Heritage Bank parking lot. Metro Parks is kicking off opening day at 8 a.m. with a Family Fun Run at it South Park location, with an award ceremony at the new market directly following. The space for the Farmers Market was donated by Heritage Bank, along with a $10,000 contribution to help revitalize community health in this district.Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is hosting Extreme Networking 101: How to use Facebook to promote your business from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 21 at the Business Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4650 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Building 19. The cost is $99. RSVP to (253) 582-9400 or scottj@lakewood-wa.com.

Posted at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/18/10

Tell Dad to take a hike for Father's Day

We've all heard the stereotype of a man who never goes to the doctor. That might be a factor in women outliving men. The state Department of Health is urging men to get a fresh start on their health for Father's Day by getting regular checkups, being active and eating better."Men can really benefit from a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables," said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. "When I was growing up I remember the men in my community saying, 'I'm a meat and potatoes kind of guy,' but adding a salad and a vegetable will help balance that meal and provide the nutrition men need."

Posted at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/18/10

I-5 concrete work will delay traffic Friday and Saturday nights in Pierce County

Dowel-bar retrofit and grinding work continues for the stimulus-funded Interstate 5 concrete rehabilitation project in Thurston and Pierce counties, which means motorists can expect delays within the project limits weeknights and Saturday evenings until project completion.Tonight, crews will close three lanes in both directions of I-5 in from Lakewood to Tacoma, beginning with a single-lane closure at 7 p.m. and three of four northbound and southbound lanes closing at 11 p.m. and midnight respectively. All lanes will reopen by 7 a.m. Saturday.

Posted at 01:23 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/18/10

WTBBL receives national library award

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library has received the 2009 national Network Library of the Year award from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Network, part of the Library of Congress. The service is part of the Washington State Library within the Office of Secretary of State.

Posted at 01:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/18/10

TCC receives $100,000 to fund UWT scholarships

Tacoma Community College has received a matching grant of $100,000 to fund scholarships for students who transfer to the University of Washington Tacoma.The Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation awarded the grant and local businesses and individuals contributed $50,000 in matching funds.

Posted at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/18/10

Olympia seeking civil service commissioner

The City of Olympia is accepting applications for civil service commissioner, a non-paid position appointed by the city manager.The Olympia Civil Service Commission is a quasi-judicial body that hears and rules on appeals by employees of the Olympia Police and Fire Departments or the general public on a variety of personnel/human resource issues including methods of examination, appointment or promotion, and disciplinary actions.

Posted at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/17/10

Federal Way awards emergency preparation grants

The City of Federal Way has awarded $27,640 in matching funds to assist three local organizations to better prepare their facilities and staffs - and ultimately the city - for emergencies or major disasters.The money came from $100,000 set aside during 2008 by the City Council for emergency management activities in three areas: emergency power for possible shelter facilities, emergency communications or notification systems, and general emergency preparedness activities.

Posted at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/17/10

People on the Move

Eric Apfelstadt has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Martin's University. He has more than 20 years of experience in Catholic higher education, including dean positions at Santa Clara University and Loyola University Chicago. He currently serves as vice president of The Institute for Greater Roman Education, a private company that provides consulting, custom design and management services for study abroad programs in Italy.Nancy Bishop has joined the Tumwater public accounting firm of Armour Vickerman PLLC as a small business manager. She has been in the accounting industry for 25 years and in public accounting for 20 of those years. Bishop operated her own accounting and tax business for five years before joining Knight Vale & Gregory, which later became RSM McGladrey. She managed the small business department in their Olympia office for the majority of the 15 years she was with the firm.

Posted at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/17/10

Hearing set on insurance coverage of chemotherapy treatment

State health officials are looking for ways to assure comparable access to different types of chemotherapy. A proposal, now under review, would require insurance companies to provide comparable benefits for oral and injected or intravenous anti-cancer medication. Public comment will be taken during a hearing at 1 p.m. June 28 in Tumwater.

Posted at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/17/10

Economic indicators point to slow, continued growth

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the United States increased 0.4 percent during May, following no change in April, and a 1.4 percent rise during March.    "The index points to continued, though slower, U.S. growth for the rest of this year," said Bart van Ark, chief economist of The Conference Board. "Public debt and deficits weigh heavily on growth prospects on both sides of the Atlantic. We project a serious slowdown in European growth in 2011, which could further weaken the U.S. outlook."

Posted at 11:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/17/10

Text message phishing attacks drop significantly

Text-to-phone phishing attacks (often called "smishing") dropped dramatically during the first quarter of 2010, according to a report released today by Internet Identity.The Tacoma-based company's first quarter Phishing Trends Report shows that smishing attacks were down 62 percent from January to March, compared to the previous quarter. Despite the drop, however, the number of credit unions being impersonated in text-to-phone cases stayed the same, meaning these organizations were the most targeted by industry.

Posted at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/17/10

Real average earnings up half a percent

Real average hourly earnings for all U.S. employees rose 0.5 percent from April to May, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  This increase stems from a 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings and a 0.2 percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/17/10

Increase in 2009 wages brings small bump in jobless benefits

The loss of thousands of low-paying jobs helped to increase the average wage in Washington during 2009 to $47,153, according to the Employment Security Department. The 1.9 percent increase was the smallest since 2004. The average weekly wage was $906.Among other things, the average wage is used to compute unemployment-insurance benefits for jobless workers. Because the average wage increased, minimum and maximum unemployment benefits will go up for new unemployment claims beginning next month.

Posted at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/16/10

Tacoma tiger kittens get national exposure

The two Siberian Tiger kittens born May 25 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium were featured this morning on the "Today" show.If you missed the program, there are plenty of pictures and links to videos on the zoo's Web site.

Posted at 03:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/16/10

Blog watch: Education reform, politics, migration and street vendors

WashACE Blog looks at whether education reform must tie teacher pay to performance and whether liquor privatization is moving forward.The Live Wire provides an overview of candidate filings and provides the latest in the Shoreline saga.

Posted at 01:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/16/10

Systems Consulting part of team that will build $2 billion DIA project

Systems Consulting LLC of Tacoma is part of a consortium that has received the single largest FasTracks contract from Denver's Regional Transportation District to build and operate commuter rail lines to Denver International Airport, Arvada-Wheat Ridge and south Westminster.Denver Transit Partners' proposal was $300 million lower than RTD's budget estimate and it plans to open the line to DIA by January 2016, which is 11 months ahead of RTD's deadline.

Posted at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/16/10

KBTC wins two Emmy Awards

KBTC, a service of Bates Technical College, has received Emmy Awards for "Full Focus" and "Purdy" from the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.Now in its fourth season, documentary series "Full Focus" won Best Arts/Entertainment Program Special for the episode "Ideas." Daniel Kopec, KBTC's manager of program production, wrote, directed and produced the episode with videographer/editor Christopher Sherlock.

Posted at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/16/10

State takes disciplinary action against health care providers

The Washington State Department of Health has revoked or suspended the licenses, certifications or registrations of several South Sound health care providers.

Posted at 09:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/16/10

Compact development key to lowering greenhouse gas emissions

Compact development is a key component in efforts to mitigate climate change, according to a  report from the Urban Land Institute.Given that the United States will grow by more than 130 million people by 2050, with research showing the majority will continue to choose living in metropolitan areas, land use will continue to be critical to lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions by reducing driving and energy consumption.

Posted at 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/16/10

Producer Price Index inches down

The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods moved down 0.3 percent during May, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This decline followed a 0.1 percent decrease during April and a 0.7 percent increase in March. At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by producers of intermediate goods advanced 0.4 percent and the crude goods index fell 2.8 percent. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods rose 5.3 percent for the 12 months ended May 2010.

Posted at 08:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/15/10

People on the Move

Susan Moblo has joined TAPCO Credit Union as vice president and chief credit officer.  She is a graduate of West Point and served in the Army as a transportation officer for five years before beginning her career in banking. She has 21 years of retail and commercial banking experience in the Pierce County and Puget Sound area.Adam Ward has joined Gateway Real Estate in Puyallup. He is a veteran real estate agent with an Internet marketing designation and will focus on social media and short sales.

Posted at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/15/10

Nexxpost acquires mailing division of Excel Business Systems

Nexxpost LLC has acquired the mailing division of Excel Business Systems Inc. of Tacoma.Seattle-based Nexxpost is an independent mailing and imaging systems company which provides shipping and printing services.

Posted at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/15/10

GDP, disposable personal income up during Q1

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3 percent during the first quarter of 2010, according to the second estimates of the national income and product accounts compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.The estimate was revised down 0.2 percentage points from the advance estimate. During the fourth quarter of 2009, real GDP increased 5.6 percent.

Posted at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/15/10

Jobless rate drops for second straight month

Washington's unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent during May, the lowest level since the same month a year ago.The state economy also picked up an estimated 8,600 jobs last month, the bulk of which were federal Census jobs. With the May job gains, Washington has added jobs in four of the first five months of 2010, for a net gain of 25,800 so far this year.

Posted at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/15/10

Pierce Commercial Bank receives capital directive

Pierce Commercial Bank has received a Prompt Corrective Action directive to improve its capital position from the Federal Reserve. Gary Gahan, president and CEO of Pierce Commercial Bank, said the Board of Directors and senior management invested more than $2.5 million during the first quarter of 2010 into its parent company Pierce County Bancorp, which was injected into the bank and will be investing additional funds by the end of June.

Posted at 11:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/15/10

Consumers see light at end of recession tunnel

Even though many economists have stated the recession is over, a majority of consumers surveyed by PriceGrabber.com are optimistic but still wary.Fifty-two percent of respondents to the Shopping Behavior in this Economic Climate report said they believe the recession will end before January 2012.

Posted at 09:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/15/10

Historic sites awarded preservation grants

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have selected several South Sound historic and culturally significant sites to receive a portion of $1 million being given away in preservation grants.

Posted at 09:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/15/10

Financial planners worried about clients' strategies

Financial advisers appear to be worried that a significant number of their clients are at risk of falling short of their financial goals.According to the latest Financial Professional Outlook, a quarterly survey performed by Tacoma-based Russell Investments, 44 percent of advisers considered up to a quarter of their client base to be at "significant risk" and an additional 36 percent considered a quarter to half of their client base to be at "significant risk."

Posted at 08:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/14/10

Tacoma among 2010 Smart Communities honorees

Tacoma has been selected by Gov. Chris Gregoire to receive a 2010 Smart Communities Award for creating livable communities in Washington.
The city was recognized for its Neighborhood Centers project and will receive its award at the Association of Washington Cities annual conference in Vancouver on June 24.

Posted at 03:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/14/10

Facebook fans and ROI

How much is a Facebook friend worth to your business?According to research conducted by Syncapse, the average annualized value of an individual fan is $136.38.

Posted at 02:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/14/10

Around the Sound

The City of Gig Harbor will host a public open house from 4 to 7 p.m. June 15 at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St., for review and comment on the upcoming Marine Outfall Project. The open house will be staffed by City of Gig Harbor Engineers, Advanced American Construction and Cosmopolitan Engineering and will provide the public an opportunity to view plans and ask questions. Click here for project updates and notices.If diabetes is a part of your life, plan to attend Mason General Hospital's next three-day session entitled, "Living Well With Diabetes." The class will be held from 6 to 9 p.m.  June 15, 16 and 17 at the hospital in the Ellinor Room. Content includes diabetes diagnosis, proper meal planning, diabetes medications, exercise, prevention and treatment of complications, stress management, living with diabetes, and the use of support people and a healthcare team. Because of space limitations, advanced registration is required. Call Sue Barwick (360) 426-1611, ext. 3301.

Posted at 01:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/14/10

USCIS launches redesigned E-Verify employer Web interface

After a year-long overhaul, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched a completely redesigned Web interface for employers using the agency's E-Verify Program.The new interface includes improved navigational tools to enhance ease-of-use, minimize errors, support compliance with the terms of use and enable real-time validation of employers enrolling in E-Verify against commercial data.

Posted at 12:23 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/14/10

Clean Cart Challenge coming to south King County

This summer, Waste Management's new Clean Cart Challenge Prize Patrol will be rewarding top-notch recyclers for their green habits.If the prize patrol finds a business or residential customer's recycling cart or container contains only acceptable recyclable materials they'll win a gift card valued up to $150.

Posted at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/14/10

Weyerhaeuser makes cash tender offer for notes

Weyerhaeuser Co. has begun a cash tender offer to purchase any and all of its outstanding 6.75 percent notes due March 15, 2012.The purchase price is $1,080 per $1,000 principal amount accepted for purchase. The offer will expire at 5 p.m. EST on June 21, unless extended.

Posted at 09:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/11/10

Capital Medical Center helped provide free physicals

Capital Medical Center teamed up with local physicians, TOPS (Team of Providers for Students) to provide 407 free comprehensive sports physicals to students of Capital and Olympia High Schools. In its third year, the sports physical clinic that was held June 5 this year has tripled in the number of physicals provided with over 100 the first year to over 300 last year. 

Posted at 02:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/11/10

Lacey ordinance allows for bigger industrial facilities

The Lacey City Council passed last night an ordinance that modified the regulations applicable to the light industrial zoned districts of the city.Perhaps most notably, the amendments changed the maximum size of a building's footprint on a 40 or more acre site from 200,000 square feet to 500,000 square feet.

Posted at 02:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/11/10

Port of Tacoma commissioners name Wolfe top candidate

Commissioners today selected interim Executive Director John Wolfe as their top candidate from among five finalists for the permanent job to lead the Port of Tacoma.  Wolfe has served as the deputy executive director of the Port of Tacoma since June 2005. Prior to joining the Port of Tacoma, he served for two years as the executive director of the Port of Olympia, and before that as Olympia's director of operations and marine terminal general manager.

Posted at 02:37 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/11/10

Around the Sound

BW Custom Log & Timer Home Construction is hosting a Log Home Dream on the Greens Tour at 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 12 and 13 at Alderbrook Golf & Yacht Club in Union. Mini-seminars are scheduled for both days at 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Click here for more information, or to register.The Transportation Club of Tacoma is hosting a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. June 14 at CI Shenanigan's on Ruston Way. The guest speaker is Neal D. Fried, economist, State of Alaska. The cost is $20 with an RSVP by today and $25 without an RSVP. For more information, e-mail TCTacoma@comcast.net.

Posted at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/11/10

U.S. retail sales declined in May

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that retail sales in May 2010 declined from April. Retail sales have grown 6.4 percent overall this quarter, following an increase of 8.2 percent in the first quarter.The Bureau reported that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $362.5 billion.

Posted at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/11/10

Washington, Oregon credit union organizations to merge

The Washington Credit Union League and Credit Union Association of Oregon's respective boards of directors have signed a letter of intent to merge.Pending independent votes of the two states' memberships and their boards' joint approval of the final business plan, the Northwest-focused credit union trade association will begin operations on Jan. 1, 2011.

Posted at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/10/10

Study identifies motives for consumer online behavior

Fifty-eight percent of U.S. online consumers begin their day interacting with companies on e-mail, compared to 20 percent who start their day on search engines and 11 percent on Facebook, according to a study released by ExactTarget.Based on more than 1,500 consumer interviews and surveys, the research brief, Digital Morning, found that consumers' early morning online preferences reflect key differences in their motivations for interacting with companies across e-mail and social media.

Posted at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/10/10

Department of Revenue posts online tax exempt instructions

The Department of Revenue has posted instructions on its Web site for retailers who may be selling goods tax-free to British Columbia residents beginning July 1. British Columbia residents will become eligible for the tax break because the province is shifting from a Provincial Sales Tax to a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on July 1. Despite the name, the combined federal-provincial HST is a value-added tax and not a sales tax.

Posted at 03:03 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/10/10

People on the move

Richard Beer Ph.D. has been named dean of the School of Business at Saint Martin's University. He has more than 20 years of experience in academia, business and information technology -- the last 10 years as a faculty member and senior administrator in business and professional studies. He succeeds Haldon Wilson, who served as dean for four years. Beer previously was at the University of San Francisco, where he was associate dean in the School of Business.Karen Naro has joined Superior Vision as regional sales manager for the Northwest. She will be responsible for group sales in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana, as well as Hawaii. Naro has more than 20 years of sales experience, most recently in the office product solutions arena.

Posted at 02:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/10/10

U.S. trade deficit increases

Total April exports of $148.8 billion and imports of $189.1 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $40.3 billion, up from $40 billion in March, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce.April exports were $1 billion less than March exports of $149.8 billion. April imports were $0.8 billion less than March imports of $189.9 billion.

Posted at 02:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

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