Business

guns & businesses
12:38 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Advocates of Tougher Gun Laws Call for Starbucks Boycott

Advocates of stricter gun laws are targeting Starbucks over its policy to allow customers to openly carry firearms, where it's legal.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

A group urging more restrictive gun laws is calling for a national boycott of Starbucks Saturday. The group is upset over Starbucks’ policy of letting customers bring firearms into stores in states that allow it. 

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Microsoft
8:03 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Resign within 12 Months

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who succeeded founder Bill Gates as CEO, will retire within the next 12 months. The world's biggest software company did not name a successor, but one long-time Microsoft watcher says he expects the company to hire its next chief from within.

Microsoft Corp.'s stock rose more than 7 percent after the news. 

Just last month, Ballmer reorganized the company to emphasize hardware devices and services, rather than just software.

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Business
5:21 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Ports of Seattle and Tacoma Invest for Growth—But Will it Come?

FILE - The heavy lift ship Zhenhua 23 delivers three 267-foot tall cranes to a Port of Seattle terminal Wednesday, July 25, 2012.
Chris Grygiel Associated Press

Container volume is down more than 8 percent at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma in July, most likely a reflection of the weak economy. But the ports also face longer-term challenges.

Competition from Canadian ports is fierce. Then there’s the widening of the Panama Canal, set to be done in 2015, which some people say could divert ships away from the Pacific Northwest. And then there’s the Chinese economy to think about.

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Business
5:07 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Analyst Says Amazon Prices No Longer the Cheapest

AP Photo

Seattle’s online retail giant Amazon has built its reputation on low prices. But now an analyst says Amazon is no longer the thriftiest retailer out there. 

Amazon offers more stuff than most big-box retailers, but if you want a food processor or a knife set, Bed Bath & Beyond is now cheaper, according to a new report by Anthony Chukumba, an analyst with BB&T Capital Markets.

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Business
5:05 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Labor Dispute Halts Some Work on Seattle's Tunnel Project

Longshoremen picket at the site of Seattle's deep-bore tunnel project
Ashley Gross KPLU

Seattle's waterfront tunnel project is huge. At its height, it's supposed to create almost 3,900 jobs. In a move that shows how important each one of those jobs is, longshoremen headed out to a picket line to protect four of them. 

And that labor dispute over those four jobs has caused some work on the project to grind to a halt. 

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Business
1:56 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Murray, Cantwell Want to Change Tax on Cargo Coming to U.S. Ports

Mr T in DC

Washington’s senators say they want to change the tax that applies to cargo coming into U.S. ports. They say the tax, as it stands right now, is pushing shipping companies to divert containers to Canada and Mexico. 

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Social responsibility
4:49 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Seattle to Require its Bank to be Socially Responsible

Ted S. Warren Associated Press

The Occupy Wall Street movement has faded from the news, but the Seattle City Council invoked its memory Monday with the passing of a banking ordinance. 

The city council wants the bank where it deposits money to reinvest back into the community. 

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south lake union development
5:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Center for Wooden Boats Expands in Bustling South Lake Union

A rendering of the Center for Wooden Boats' new education center
Center for Wooden Boats

Another new building is coming to South Lake Union, but this one will not be a workspace for Amazon techies—unless, that is, they like to build wooden boats.

The Center for Wooden Boats plans to start constructing its new education center in Lake Union Park this winter.  

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Business
5:02 am
Tue August 6, 2013

After More Than a Century, Sherman Clay Store Closing Doors

It’s been the go-to music store in Seattle since the 1870s. But Sherman Clay is packing up its grand pianos and shutting down its iconic downtown store on Fourth Avenue.

In the 1980s, anyone in search of a used or new Steinway grand piano could turn to the  Seattle store as well as some 60 other Sherman Clay stores around the country. 

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waterfront development
5:00 am
Mon August 5, 2013

New Building, Promenade Planned for Pike Place Market

What the new promenade might look like
Miller Hull Partnership

The city of Seattle and Pike Place Market are planning a new building and walkway that will snake down to the waterfront. They’re hoping to begin construction as soon as next summer and have it done before the viaduct comes down.

Right now, if you’re down at the Ferris wheel and you want to get up to Pike Place Market, you have to find the elevator or go up a long set of stairs. It’s confusing.

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real estate
4:47 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Seattle Home Prices Post Highest Monthly Jump Since April 1990

Elaine Thompson Associated Press

Home prices in the Seattle metro area in May showed their biggest monthly gain in more than 20 years, as a tight supply of homes and low interest rates drive values higher.

Until recently, interest rates were at record lows, and that’s been spurring people to jump back into the housing market after the 2008 crash. Home prices in the Seattle metro area climbed more than 3 percent in May compared with April. That’s according to the Standard and Poor’s Case Shiller Home Price Index. 

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Boeing Dreamliner
3:06 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Boeing Reassigns Chief Project Engineer for 787 Dreamliner

The 787 Dreamliner assembly line in Everett
Ashley Gross KPLU

Boeing’s chief project engineer for the 787 Dreamliner, Mike Sinnett, has been reassigned to a new job. Sinnett shepherded the Dreamliner through the battery crisis earlier this year.

He will become a vice president of product development, in charge of preliminary airplane design. He will also head research and development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. 

Bob Whittington is shifting from his current position as chief project engineer of the 777 to replace Sinnett on the 787. Larry Schneider will replace Whittington on the 777 program.

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Business
3:50 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Amazon.com Posts 2Q Loss, Higher Revenue

FILE
Ross D. Franklin Associated Press

Amazon.com is reporting a loss in the second quarter as higher revenue was not enough to make up for rising operating expenses.

Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that its loss was $7 million, or 2 cents per share, in the April-June quarter. That's down from earnings of $7 million, or 1 cent per share, a year ago.

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Boeing
12:57 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Boeing Raises Profit Outlook, Says It Will Keep Cutting Costs

Boeing's 787 production line in Everett
Ashley Gross KPLU

Boeing raised its earnings and revenue forecasts for this year, reflecting strong demand in both the commercial airplane and defense businesses. But company executives say they plan to continue cutting costs. 

Boeing has announced a series of layoffs in Washington state this year, and its local headcount has shrunk by more than a thousand since the end of January. CEO Jim McNerney says the company is operating in a “more-for-less world,” and that’s what’s driving the focus on reducing costs.

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berry pickers on strike
5:22 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Berry Pickers on Strike Again in Burlington

Workers at Sakuma Brothers Farms say they make less than minimum wage on the rates they earn picking berries by the flat.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

For the second time this month, about 200 berry pickers at a Skagit Valley farm have walked off the job.

The workers are striking over pay for the boxes of blueberries and strawberries they harvest at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington. Many of those berries are sold to Haagen-Dazs for ice cream. The workers in question have been earning $3.50 per a flat of blueberries, which is about 12 pints. They say they can’t pick them fast enough to earn a fair wage.

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