May 1, 201212:00 AMBlog

May 2012

06/05/12

Penn Cove shellfish tests allow some areas to reopen, others remain closed

Test results on shellfish samples will allow some parts of the Penn Cove growing area to re-open to harvest. Areas closest to where a sunken boat leaked fuel remain closed.

Posted at 04:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

Natural foods grocery coming to Point Ruston

06/05/12

Natural foods grocery coming to Point Ruston

Marlene’s Market & Deli is opening a 20,000-square-foot, full-service grocery store in the new mixed-use lifestyle center, The Waterwalk at Point Ruston. Marlene’s becomes the third anchor tenant to announce plans at The Waterwalk, joining a nine-screen Century Theatres Cinema and 175-room, 4-star Silver Cloud Hotel.

Posted at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/05/12

People on the Move 06/05/2012

Kuuipo Ceridon, Railin Peterson and Jason Robinson have joined Soundview Consultants LLC. Ceridon is office manager and has more than six years of experience. Peterson is an environmental scientist. She has experience in fisheries management, and assessing marine, shoreline, stream and wetland systems, and previously worked for NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. Robinson is a network specialist.

Posted at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/05/12

Construction spending rises in April

Construction spending during April was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $820.7 billion, 0.3 percent above the revised March estimate of $818.1 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. The April figure is 6.8 percent above the April 2011 estimate of $768.2 billion.

Posted at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/05/12

Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber scores City Council

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber today released its first quarterly scorecard evaluating recent votes taken by the Tacoma City Council.

Posted at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/05/12

Red Lion Hotels earn TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence

Four Red Lion Hotels in Washington have earned the 2012 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel website.  About 10 percent of accommodations listed on the site receive the award.

Posted at 08:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/05/12

Bates programs earn national accreditation

Two Bates Technical College career education programs have recently received national accreditation. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education has granted the college’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program accreditation. The college began the application process for accreditation in 2010, which included a self-study report and a three-day, on-site visit from ACOTE officials.

Posted at 08:18 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/05/12

Boeing delivers Air Lease Corp.'s first Next-Generation 737-800

Boeing has made the first new airplane delivery to Air Lease Corp. from its order placed during the 2010 Farnborough Air Show. The Los Angeles-based leasing company took delivery of a Next-Generation 737-800, which will be leased from ALC and operated by Korean Air.

Posted at 08:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/05/12

Eddie Bauer names Egeck as president and CEO

Michael R. Egeck has been named president and chief executive officer of Seattle-based Eddie Bauer. He most recently was CEO of Hurley International LLC, a marketer of action sports and youth lifestyle apparel, and a division of Nike Inc.

Posted at 08:11 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Home sales mostly higher during May

Home sales in the South Sound were mostly higher during May compared to a year ago, but median prices were mixed, according to the latest data from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Posted at 04:11 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

KBTC receives Emmy

The Northwest Region of the National Association Of Television Arts and Sciences has awarded KBTC public television an Emmy for its special promotional campaign about the station’s Friday night mystery programs.

Posted at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Around the Sound 06/04/2012

Thurston County Chamber is hosting Morning MIXXer from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. June 5 at Sound City Coffee, 125 Tumwater Blvd. SE, Suite 119. The cost is $5 for members and $10 general admission. Call (360) 357-3362 for more information.

Posted at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Ecology seeks comment on proposal to remove Hardel from Hazardous Sites List

The public is being invited to comment on a Department of Ecology proposal to deem cleanup of the Hardel Mutual Plywood site complete.Comments on the proposal to remove the Hardel site from Ecology’s Hazardous Sites List will be accepted until July 6. The site is at 1210 West Bay Drive N.W. Olympia, on the shore of Budd Inlet.

Posted at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Teen employment off to strong start this summer

Teen summer employment got off to its strongest start since 2006, as the number of 16- to 19-year-olds with jobs grew by nearly 160,000 in May, according to an analysis of the latest Labor Department figures by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.  

Posted at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Finance industry reports difficulty in recruiting for technical, managerial openings

About three-quarters of organizations in the finance industry were hiring last year, but about half of them were having difficulty recruiting for specific openings, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Posted at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Employment Trends Index increases in May

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index increased 0.29 percent during May to 108.34, up from the revised figure of 108.03 in April. The May figure is 7.6 percent higher than a year ago.

Posted at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Retailers say cash,  revenue headcount up over 2011

Retail executives have more cash, are adding employees and enjoying stronger revenue, but they remain quite guarded longer term, not seeing a complete economic recovery until 2014 or later, according to the 2012 Retail Outlook Survey conducted by KPMG LLP.

Posted at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Capitol Land Trust completes Black River Farm project

A four-year effort led by Capitol Land Trust has conserved the 721-acre Black River Farm south of Littlerock.  The project ensures that one of the region’s largest and strategically most important farms will remain in production, while conserving diverse wildlife habitat along the Black River.

Posted at 11:07 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Several local sales tax rate changes coming July 1

Many businesses will need to reprogram their cash registers to reflect changes in sales tax rates beginning July 1. Certain local sales tax rates in Chelan, Pierce, Walla Walla, and Whatcom counties will increase beginning with the third quarter of 2012.

Posted at 09:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Four indicted in mortgage fraud scheme

Four Seattle-area residents were arrested on a 21-count indictment charging them with conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  The mortgage fraud scheme ran from 2006-08 and defrauded more than 10 banks, financial institutions, and mortgage lenders, of more than $8.6 million.

Posted at 09:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/04/12

Kilroy Realty continues Seattle-area expansion

Kilroy Realty Corp. has completed the purchase of two office properties in the Lake Union submarket of Seattle and expects to complete the acquisition of a Bellevue property in the third quarter. These acquisitions will nearly double the Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust’s office portfolio in the Puget Sound region.

Posted at 09:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

DoJ settles employment discrimination suit with Pierce County

The Justice Department has entered into a consent decree with Pierce County, that, if approved by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, will resolve allegations that the county discriminated against a female employee by retaliating against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Posted at 02:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Around the Sound 06/01/2012

Kent is hosting a recycling event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 2 at Kent Phoenix Academy (the former Sequoia Middle School), 11000 SE 264th St. For a list of items accepted, visit www.KentRecycles.com or call (253) 856-5549. Thurston County Chamber is hosting Morning MIXXer from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. June 5 at Sound City Coffee, 125 Tumwater Blvd. SE, Suite 119. The cost is $5 for members and $10 general admission. Call (360) 357-3362 for more information. Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting "Connecting for Success" from 8 to 9 a.m. June 6 at 108 S. Division, Suite B. William Factory Small Business Incubator is hosting a forum about access to capital from 9 to 11 a.m. June 6 at 1423 E. 29th St., Tacoma. Information will be available about U.S. Small...

Posted at 02:18 PM | Permalink | Comments

Weyerhaeuser Hall wins Masonry Institute award

06/01/12

Weyerhaeuser Hall wins Masonry Institute award

Weyerhaeuser Hall, the new health sciences building at University of Puget Sound, has won a top award from the Masonry Institute of Washington.

Posted at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

 Family members sentenced to prison for disability fraud

Three members of one family were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to prison time for a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration and the State Department of Social and Health Services of more than $300,000, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

Posted at 01:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Unemployment rate for construction industry dips to 14.2%

The nation’s construction industry lost 28,000 jobs in May, yet the unemployment rate fell to 14.2 percent, according to the the U.S. Labor Department. That is down from 14.5 percent in April and down from 16.3 percent in May 2011.

Posted at 11:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Changes to roll-your-own cigarette laws take effect July 1

Beginning July 1, operators of roll-your-own commercial cigarette-making machines must abide by the provisions of a bill passed by the state Legislature this spring.

Posted at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Lakewood launching Farmers Market

Starting this summer, fresh locally grown produce, live entertainment and arts and crafts will be featured at Lakewood's first Farmers Market. From 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, from July 10 to Aug. 28, the Farmers Market will be open at City Hall plaza, 6000 Main St. SW.

Posted at 09:46 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Key Technology reducing work force

Key Technology Inc. is taking cost reduction initiatives during the third quarter of fiscal 2012 that include a planned reduction of about 11 percent of its global work force. Company earnings for the third quarter will be adversely affected by an estimated pre-tax charge of about $1 million related to the work force reduction.

Posted at 09:38 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Costco expands restaurant product selection in Tukwila

Costco is expanding its offerings of food service and kitchen supplies in Tukwila.

Posted at 09:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Zillow completes acquisition of RentJuice

Zillow Inc. has completed the acquisition of San Francisco-based RentJuice Corp. for about $40 million in cash. The planned acquisition was announced last month.

Posted at 09:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

ABA makes additions to Community Bank Index

The American Bankers Association has added three banks to the ABA NASDAQ Community Bank Index. The index includes more than 400 community banks with a market capitalization of over $125 billion.

Posted at 09:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Thurston issues property valuations for 2013 taxes

Market analysis by appraisers within the Thurston County Assessor’s Office shows that the real estate market continued to decline during 2011, influencing the assessed values that will arrive in mailboxes this weekend or early next week. The new assessment notices will identify value assessments as of Jan. 1, 2012, for taxes to be billed in 2013.

Posted at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

06/01/12

Revenue returns unclaimed property to a record number of claimants

As part of its continuing effort to reunite residents with their lost property, the Washington State Department of Revenue will conduct radio, TV and Web advertising in Western Washington June 2 through June 17. Examples of unclaimed property include unclaimed paychecks, utility deposits, bank accounts, uncashed refunds, life insurance proceeds, stocks and bonds, and contents from safe deposit boxes.

Posted at 08:56 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Small business optimism remains high

  Small business owners' optimism is at 64 percent this month, with hiring and paychecks showing little change (both down 0.1 percent month over month), according to SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard. Compared to last month the survey said the metro area of Seattle was down 1.5 percent in small business hiring and up 0.3 percent in the pay per check category. The Scorecard optimism survey found 50 percent of respondents are experiencing increased revenue and growth in their businesses, but they say productivity is outpacing the need to hire. Month-over-month SurePayroll Scorecard data shows hiring and paychecks just barely negative (-0.1 for both). Month-over-month regional hiring was down except in the South, where it was up 0.2 percent. Month-over-month...

Posted at 04:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

State on track to meet February forecast

Washington is on track to meet the Economic & Revenue Forecast Council's February forecast. In the three months since the February forecast was adopted, the Washington economy added 11,000 jobs, slightly better than the 8,600 expected in the February forecast. As expected, manufacturing employment growth has been strong while construction employment remains flat and government employment continues to decline.

Posted at 03:23 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Astoria receives EPA redevelopment funding

Nine communities across America will share $3.8 million in new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding to help cleanup and redevelop local contaminated properties. The new pilot “Multi-Purpose” grants, funded by EPA’s Brownfields program, will help recipients conduct assessments and cleanups, eliminating delays. In the Pacific Northwest, EPA selected the City of Astoria for a Brownfields multi-purpose pilot grant.

Posted at 01:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

CPTC student wins national poster contest

Wil Houdeshell, a US Army Veteran and Graphic Technologies student at Clover Park Technical College, has won the 2012 Print and Graphics Scholarship College Poster Design Competition.

Posted at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Liquor privatization initiative upheld

The Washington State Supreme Court today rejected a lawsuit claiming that Initiative 1183, which privatized state liquor sales, violated the state constitution’s requirement that proposed laws only address a single subject. The court also rejected a claim that the description of the new law on voters’ ballots was misleading. The initiative includes a requirement that a portion of new revenue coming from liquor license fees be used to increase funding for local public safety programs, including police and emergency services. Plaintiffs claimed “fees” should be called “taxes” on the November, 2011 ballot – and that such language might have changed the outcome of the vote.

Posted at 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

MultiCare partners with Gilda's Club Seattle

MultiCare Regional Cancer Center and Gilda’s Club Seattle have partnered to bring cancer support programs and activities to Tacoma. The program, called Gilda’s on the Go, begins June 1 and will bring many of the activities and events offered by Gilda’s Club Seattle to MultiCare Regional Cancer Center’s Tacoma General Hospital location.

Posted at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Hiring pace expected to slow in June

Hiring by U.S. companies is expected to continue in June, although the pace will slow for the fifth time in the last six months when compared to the same month a year ago, according to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management.

Posted at 09:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

More trucks eligible for Tacoma clean air program


Under new eligibility criteria, more diesel engine trucks qualify for a voluntary program offering truck owners a financial incentive to purchase newer, lower-emission trucks to improve regional air quality.

Posted at 09:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Planned layoffs surge 53% in May

The nation’s employers announced plans to cut 61,887 workers from their payrolls in May – the most since last September, when layoffs totaled 115,730, according to the latest job-cut report released by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Posted at 09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

People on the Move 05/31/2012

Healthy Communities has added three members to its board of directors. They include: Dick Pust, former broadcast personality at KGY radio; Sam Bovard, vice president, senior banking relationship manager at KeyBank; and and Dr. Adele Reese, a child and family psychiatrist.

Posted at 09:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Most executives plan to maintain current staff levels

Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) executives surveyed for the quarterly Robert Half Professional Employment Report said they anticipate no changes to the size of their teams in the next three months.

Posted at 08:56 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

ABA, Roundtable seeking top-level financial domains

The American Bankers Association and The Financial Services Roundtable have applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to operate two generic Top Level Domains, .bank and .insurance, on behalf of the financial services industry.

Posted at 08:51 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Private sector continues to add jobs

Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 133,000 from April to May on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated gain from March to April was revised down, from 119,000 to 113,000.

Posted at 08:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Teledyne to acquire BlueView Technologies

Teledyne RD Instruments Inc. has agreed to acquire BlueView Technologies Inc., a Seattle-based company that provides compact high-resolution acoustic imaging and measurement solutions.

Posted at 08:41 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

EvergreenHealth wins environmental award

EvergreenHealth was honored for the third year in a row with the 2012 Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, recognizing the organization for its environmental achievements and focus on sustainability.

Posted at 08:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/31/12

Boeing delivers 20th 747-8

Boeing today marked the 20th delivery of its new 747-8. The airplane, a 747-8 Freighter, was delivered to Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc.

Posted at 08:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

Congestion relief coming to I-5 in Centralia

Faster, safer trips are on the horizon for Interstate 5 drivers in Centralia. On June 4, the Washington State Department of Transportation will break ground on the first stage of a project to build $155 million in improvements along I-5.

Posted at 02:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

Scarff Ford earns President's Award

Scarff Ford is among a group of 313 Ford and Lincoln dealerships to be recognized with the 2011 President’s Award by Ford Motor Co. The award honors dealerships that provided exceptional customer service and satisfaction.

Posted at 01:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

Blog watch: Ex-Im Bank, cooperatives, Pac Ave. and health care repeal

The Live Wire Reports on the reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank.

Posted at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

AG will appeal ruling striking down supermajority vote requirement for tax increases

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office will continue to defend against a lawsuit challenging the state’s voter-approved law requiring a supermajority vote by legislators to raise taxes, and voter approval of tax increases that exceed the state spending limit.

Posted at 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

WSU launches online bachelor's degree in psychology

Washington State University is expanding its online degree program this fall with a new bachelor of science in psychology.

Posted at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

Kona Medical secures $30M in financing

Kona Medical Inc.has raised $30 million in Series C financing to advance its novel hypertension therapy. Existing investors Essex Woodlands, Domain Associates, Morgenthaler Ventures and BioStar Ventures participated and the financing was led by a large-cap medical technology company.

Posted at 10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

Small business indexes show tentative revenue, employment growth

Small business revenue and employment are slowly growing but more growth is needed to reach prerecession levels, according to the monthly Intuit Inc. Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes.

Posted at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

Online labor demand decreases in May

Online advertised vacancies dipped 45,700 in May to 4,714,800, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series released today. The supply/demand rate stands at 2.6 unemployed for every vacancy. In May the number of unemployed was 7.7 million above the number of advertised vacancies – compared to 10 million above in the fall of 2011.

Posted at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

Metro unemployment rates lower in April

Unemployment rates were lower during April compared to a year ago in 342 of the nation's 372 metropolitan areas, including Olympia and Tacoma, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Olympia's jobless rate fell from 8.1 percent to 7.7 percent. In Tacoma, the rate fell from 9.8 percent to 9 percent.

Posted at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/30/12

West Coast Electric Highway now extends to Canadian border

The border-to-border vision of the West Coast Electric Highway moved closer to becoming a reality today with the opening of new electric vehicle charging sites, extending the highway to the Canadian border and opening it to EV drivers from both countries. The Washington State Department of Transportation and electric charging station partner AeroVironment opened 10 public charging stations – seven along Interstate 5 and three along U.S. Route 2 in northern Washington – that provide EV drivers the ability to travel emission-free from Seattle to the Canadian border.

Posted at 10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/29/12

Report shows restrained import/export growth

A return to spending by American consumers helped fuel 2011 increases in imports and exports, The Journal of Commerce reports in its annual Top 100 Importers and Exporters edition this week.

Posted at 03:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/29/12

Around the Sound 05/29/2012

Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce is hosting Business After Hours from 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 30 at Urvina Insurance Agency, 3206 50th St. Court, Suite D105. RSVP to tskanes@gigharborchamber.com.

Posted at 02:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/29/12

State board invests $1.6M to help grow local economies

The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board has made $1.6 million in public investments targeting business growth and job creation in three Western Washington counties.

Posted at 01:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/29/12

The incredible disappearing office

The proportion of employees who work predominately from home or another remote location has, over the last decade, more than tripled in many industries, while nearly doubling nationwide among all full-time non–self-employed U.S. workers, according to a new report from The Conference Board.

Posted at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/29/12

Franciscan receives grant to purchase bladder scanners

The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound has awarded a $30,172 grant to Franciscan Hospice and Palliative Care. The grant will pay for two Verathon bladder scanners that will benefit hospice patients. The scanners will prevent unnecessary catheterizations, decreasing hospice patients’ discomfort and medical complications, and saving time and money. Bladder scans also can detect bladder obstructions, enabling improved clinical care planning for optimal treatment and quality of life.

Posted at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/29/12

Tecplot wins Red Herring award

Tecplot Inc. has won the 2012 Red Herring Top 100 Americas Award.

Posted at 08:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/25/12

‘Skimmer’ sentenced to 4 years in prison

A Sammamish man who installed "skimming" devices on bank ATM machines and raided 255 victim bank accounts for more than $176,000, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to four years in prison and $177,278 in restitution, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. 

Posted at 03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/25/12

Seattle business owner sentenced to 33 months in prison

A Seattle business owner who directed a teen-age employee to illegally dispose of hazardous chemicals was sentenced today to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. 

Posted at 02:42 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/25/12

State liquor store re-auction totals $5.9M

The Washington State Liquor Control Board successfully re-auctioned the rights to apply for a spirits retail liquor license at 18 state-run liquor stores statewide. The sum of individual bids totaled $5.57 million, with rights awarded to 14 successful bidders. The WSLCB ran the auction to resell locations whose original winners had failed, for whatever reason, to complete the purchase process.

Posted at 02:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/25/12

Around the Sound 05/25/2012

Tacoma Business Connections is scheduled to meet from noon to 1 p.m. May 29 at Elmer's Restaurant, 7427 S. Hosmer St. For more information, call (253) 228-1200. Puyallup-Sumner Chamber of Commerce is hosting "Coffee and Donuts with the Chamber" from 9 to 10 a.m. May 31 at Charlie's Restaurnt, 113 E. Main, Puyallup. Call (253) 845-6755 for more information. MDC Entrepreneurial Assistance Program is hosting "The Why's, How's and What-to-Avoid's of Social Media" from 9 to 11 a.m. May 31 at 721 S. Fawcett, Suite 201, Tacoma. Registration is required. Call (253) 591-7026 for more information. Graham Business Association is hosting Business After Hours at 5:30 p.m. May 31 at the Graham Fire & Rescue Headquarters, 70th Avenue East....

Posted at 02:03 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/25/12

Washington No. 1 ‘Bicycle-Friendly State’ – again

For the fifth consecutive year, the League of American Bicyclists named Washington No. 1 “Bicycle-Friendly State” in the country. The announcement comes as Washington celebrates National Bike Month in May and encourages bicycling to work, on errands and for recreation.

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/25/12

State considers raising threshold requirements for water company regulation

State regulators are seeking comments on a proposal to change the threshold requirements for determining whether a water company falls under their jurisdiction.

Posted at 09:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/25/12

Riverview Bancorp revises Q4 and year-end results

Riverview Bancorp Inc. has increased its provision for loan losses an additional $3.2 million for its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended March 31. As a result, the company’s net loss was $16 million, or 71 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $16.6 million, or 74 cents per share in the preceding quarter and net income of $854,000, or 4 cents per share, in the fourth fiscal quarter a year earlier.

Posted at 09:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/25/12

Home values climb nationally, fall in South Sound

National home values rose for the second month in a row, climbing 0.7 percent from March to a Zillow Home Value Index of $147,300. This is the largest monthly increase in home values since January 2006, when they rose 0.8 percent, according to the April Zillow Real Estate Market Reports.

Posted at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

Salmon to get a 'rest stop' on the Green River

In an effort to restore salmon habitat and reduce potential flooding on the Green River, the City of Kent and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have begun construction of a side channel at Riverview Park. 

Posted at 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

Bremerton, Kent share $600,000 in latest round of EPA Brownfields funding

Bremerton and Kent will receive $600,000 in Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields funding to help breathe new life into contaminated properties and revitalize former industrial sites.

Posted at 02:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

Bates trustees select three presidential finalists

Bates Technical College Board of Trustees has announced a schedule of community forums for three presidential finalists that will take place May 29. Each finalist will visit the South and Downtown Tacoma campuses for a community forum. The public forums take place in the campus auditoriums.

Posted at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

People on the Move 05/24/2012

Michael Audas and Stanley Chapin have been appointed to Bethel School Board. Audas will represent District 4. Chapin will represent District 3.

Posted at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

RealNetworks’ not-so-free trials result in $2.4M settlement

Over the last seven years, more than 500 complaints flowed into the Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau regarding Seattle-based digital media provider RealNetworks Inc. Consumers spoke of “odd charges” appearing on their credit cards, complaining of bills for monthly subscriptions for premium television, sports or game content that they never ordered.

Posted at 10:51 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

Financial stress levels decreasing

Employees’ financial stress levels continue to decline, with only 16 percent of employees reporting “high” or “overwhelming” financial stress levels during the first quarter of —a decrease from Q1 2011 when 21 percent of employees reported “high” or “overwhelming” stress, and a significant decrease from Q1 2010 when these levels were at 30 percent. according to Financial Finesse.

Posted at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

Durable goods orders rise

New orders for manufactured durable goods in April increased $300 million, or 0.2 percent, to $215.5 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase followed a 3.7 percent March decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.6 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 1.2 percent.

Posted at 10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

State economic forecast holds steady

The preliminary June economic forecast for Washington is very similar to the forecast adopted in February by the state's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. Employment growth forecasts for 2012, 2013 and 2014 remain unchanged at 1.7 percent, 2 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. In 2015, the council now expect employment to grow 1.7 percent, compared to 1.8 percent in the February forecast.

Posted at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

Java & Clay Café receives 'Excellence on Main Award'

Java & Clay Café in Gig Harbor has been recognized as a “Business Success Story” by Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards.

Posted at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

McAdams Wright Ragen opens office in Spokane

McAdams Wright Ragen Inc. has opened a full-service branch in Spokane in the Bank of America Financial Center.

Posted at 08:49 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

FDIC-insured institutions earn $35.3B in Q1

Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported an aggregate profit of $35.3 billion during the first quarter of 2012, a $6.6 billion improvement from the $28.8 billion in net income the industry reported in the first quarter of 2011. This is the 11th consecutive quarter that earnings have registered a year-over-year increase. However, loan balances declined by $56.3 billion (0.8 percent) after three consecutive quarterly increases.

Posted at 08:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

Underwater homeowners owe $1.2T more than homes' worth

Nearly one-third (31.4 percent) of U.S. homeowners – or 15.7 million – were underwater on their mortgage in the first quarter of 2012, despite rising home values, according to the first quarter Zillow® Negative Equity Report. Collectively, underwater homeowners owed $1.2 trillion more than their homes were worth. Negative equity rose slightly from 31.1 percent during the fourth quarter, but declined from 32.4 percent a year ago.

Posted at 08:40 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/24/12

Gates Foundation launches initiative to expand local philanthropy

SEATTLE – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing funding to nine community philanthropic partners in the Pacific Northwest to re-grant foundation money to reduce intergenerational poverty. Local partners will allocate the money through community defined strategies, including education supports for children and youth, assistance in reaching self-sufficiency for families and other strategies that build stronger communities.

Posted at 08:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Leadership Thurston County honors graduates June 13

Leadership Thurston County and the Thurston County Chamber Foundation will celebrate the Class of 2012 on June 13. The event is part of the monthly Chamber Forum, which begins at 11:30 a.m. at Saint Martin’s University Norman Worthington Center, 5000 Abbey Way, Lacey.

Posted at 03:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Puyallup Fair among 'best commercials ever'

A Puyallup Fair television commercial from more than three decades ago took second place honors as one of “Seattle’s Best Commercials Ever” during the inaugural Marketing Awards Reception.

Posted at 03:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Doctor surrenders license to practice medicine

Pacific County physician Brandon Adams has surrendered his medical license in Washington. He previously surrendered his federal registration to prescribe controlled substances. Adams is unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety due to a mental or physical condition.

Posted at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Blog Watch: 48 hours, Smith Building, extension, regulations and initiatives

Learn more about Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber's 48 house in D.C. at The Live Wire.

Posted at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

SBA, AARP team up to help 'encore entrepreneurs'

The U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are launching a strategic alliance to provide counseling and training to entrepreneurs over the age of 50 who want to start or grow a small business. Through SBA’s online training courses and its nationwide network of business mentors and counselors, the two organizations expect to train 100,000 “encore entrepreneurs,” men and women over 50 who are starting or running a small business.

Posted at 11:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Tacoma General earns 'Gold Plus' for stroke care

MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital has received the 2012 "Get With The Guidelines" StrokeGold Plus Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Posted at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Sound Brewery comes out on top at Gig Harbor Beer Festival

Sound Brewery Co's Dubbel Entendre won "Favorite Brew Award" at the inaugural Gig Harbor Beer Festival.

 Votes were submitted the day of the festival by attendees marking their favorite brew on a section of the event program. Votes were cast anonymously and secured by volunteers at the festival. 

 The festival, which drew more than 1,200 people to the Uptown Gig Harbor Pavilion, was a fund-raiser for the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation.


Posted at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Home sales up in April

Sales of new single-family houses in April totaled a seasonally adjusted 343,000, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.3 percent above the revised March rate of 332,000 and 9.9 percent higher than the April 2011 estimate of 312,000.

Posted at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Study makes case for Summer Friday

Starting in the 1960s, New York advertising agencies began to realize that employee productivity on Fridays was close to zero when the summer sun was shining and beach houses beckoned. And so the unofficial weekly "Summer Friday" holiday was born, and soon quickly spread to other industries in offices across the country.

Posted at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Master Builders Association honors remodeling excellence

Master Builders Association of Pierce County has selected recipients of its 2012 Remodeling Excellence Awards, which salute the best craftsmanship, innovation and attention to detail for remodeling projects throughout the county.

Posted at 09:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

6 charged with theft of unemployment benefits

Six individuals from across Western Washington have been charged in U.S. District Court with theft of government funds for illegally collecting thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits while they were gainfully employed, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

Posted at 09:17 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

AWOB recognizes 'stars'

The Alliance of Women Owned Businesses has recognized two entrepreneurs for their business acumen and community leadership. Lisa Chissus was presented the Crystal Star award and Terese Garrett-Miller received the Rising Star award.

Posted at 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

05/23/12

Juggling work and personal demands greatest workplace stressor

What's stressing out everyone at the office? Apparently, making work – and everything else – work. In a new Accountemps survey, 41 percent of chief financial officers interviewed said trying to balance work and personal responsibilities is the greatest source of workplace stress for accounting and finance professionals. Office politics or conflicts with coworkers was cited by 28 percent of respondents.

Posted at 08:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

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