Business

real estate
9:40 am
Fri August 3, 2012

One Housing Sector That's Booming: Survival Realty

Years’ worth of dehydrated food, belonging to the original owner, was found in this underground home in north Idaho. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 4:14 pm

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The housing market in the Northwest is finally showing signs of recovery. But there’s one sector of real estate that never let up during the economic downturn. Real estate agents who sell what’s known as “survival realty” are experiencing boom times. A remote corner of the Northwest has become a hotspot for home buyers wanting to ride out disaster – natural or otherwise.

Realtor Michael White guides me from room to room in a spacious three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home. Let’s just say it’s somewhere in north Idaho.

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Business
8:25 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Replacement drivers in Seattle garbage strike

Waste Management has brought in replacement truck drivers to pick up garbage Friday in Renton and for some other customers in the Seattle-Everett area where trash has been piling up since a Teamsters strike started Wednesday.

Company spokeswoman Robin Freedman says drivers brought in from outside the state are picking up garbage at hospitals, clinics, nursing home and day cares.

Renton customers also are a priority because their pickups are once every two weeks, and waiting for the next pickup would leave some garbage sitting around for a month.

Business
4:22 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Garbage and recycling pickup disrupted by strike

Waste Management recycling drivers say there are a number of things they want the company to change
Ashley Gross KPLU

For many people in King and Snohomish counties, garbage and recycling are not getting picked up because of a strike that began Wednesday. Recycling drivers walked off the job over what they say are unfair labor practices by the company, Waste Management. Garbage haulers also stopped work today in solidarity.

Waste Management says about 220,000 households face disruptions if the strike continues. Parts of northern and central Seattle are not affected because another company, Cleanscapes, hauls garbage there.

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A list we’re not on
1:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Seattleites don’t swear (as much) at work, survey shows

Bill Barber Flickr

If you cuss at work, 57 percent of bosses say they are less likely to promote you and 64 percent will at best think less of you for it, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com.

So, Seattleites should be getting ahead in the world since we didn’t make the top ten cities in the U.S. for swearing at work.

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business
6:28 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Farewell, Buckyballs: Consumer agency files suit against magnetic toys

Buckyballs.
CPSC

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:58 pm

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued its first stop-sale order in 11 years, saying the magnetic toys called Buckyballs "pose a substantial risk of injury to the public," Reuters is reporting.

The CPSC has been trying to curb injuries with this toy since 2010, when it issued a recall of Buckyballs intended for those 14 years and younger. But those efforts haven't helped, the agency said when it announced that it has filed a complaint seeking to stop the company from selling the product.

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Business
5:00 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Why Amazon might make a smartphone

Neerav Bhatt

There’s been growing speculation lately that Amazon has a smartphone in the works. But why?

It’s a crowded market out there in smartphone land. There’s a whole bunch of phones based on Google’s Android software, there’s the Microsoft Windows phone, and of course, Apple’s iPhone.

Also, a small sampling of people on a downtown Seattle street didn't show a whole lot of interest in an Amazon phone.

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NPR tech news
4:39 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Apple just made $9 billion (and investors are mad)

Daniel Hennemand (photogestion) Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 7:30 am

Apple reported its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, and depending how you look at it, they're either amazing or disappointing.

The company says it made $8.8 billion in profits over the course of three months. That's more than enough to buy every share of Alcoa, the global aluminum giant, which was worth just under $8.6 billion when the stock market closed this afternoon.

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Business
11:10 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Cab ride to Sea-Tac will cost more

The rate for taking a taxi to Sea-Tac Airport from downtown Seattle is going up to $40.  That's an $8 increase from the previous flat rate of $32.

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data mining
11:05 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Seattle region's economy ranks over many countries

The metro area of Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma has many iconic attributes, and the size of our economy is one of them.
Sergio Bonachela Flickr

You know you’re in a first-world economy when … many of your metro areas have larger economies than whole countries.

The Wall Street Journal wanted to put into perspective just how big the gap is between the U.S. economy and much of the rest of the world and so created a ranked list.

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Business
2:55 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

African-American hair braiders want easing of state licensing rules

Traditional African-American hair-braiding doesn't use chemical and heat treatments. Photo by BBC World Service

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 9:15 am

Some African-American hair stylists are objecting to an Oregon licensing rule that means they can't braid hair without taking a two-year course. And they’re asking state lawmakers to take up the cause.

Amber Starks wants to put her braiding skills to work as a volunteer for African-American children in foster care. The Oregon Department of Human Services embraced the idea. But the Portland woman soon found that even a volunteer needs to get a cosmetology license.

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Business
4:45 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

A First As A Public Company, Microsoft Reports Quarterly Loss

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer comments on the Windows 8 operating system before unveiling Surface, a tablet computer to compete with Apple's iPad.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:18 pm

Microsoft made a $6.2 billion accounting adjustment this quarter that threw it into negative territory for the first time as a public company, the AP reports.

Microsoft took the charge mostly based on the acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company Microsoft acquired in 2007.

As MSNBC reports, the "charge was an acknowledgement that the company's struggling online services division — which lost about half a billion dollars in the previous quarter — is a significant financial drag on the company." Microsoft, remember, is the owner of the search engine Bing.

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Business
4:59 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Oregon, Wash. Truck Inspections Turn Up Weary Drivers

An Oregon Department of Transportation motor carrier enforcement officer weighs a truck as a it passes through a weigh station. Photo by ODOT via Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 4:51 pm

SALEM, Ore. – A joint effort in Oregon and Washington to make sure truckers are following safety rules turned up a higher than expected number of weary drivers. More than a quarter of drivers inspected in Oregon were found to be on the road when they shouldn't have been.

Truckers are required to take rest breaks every so often in order to ensure they're alert when they're behind the wheel. They have to keep track of those breaks in their logbook.

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Washington state investments
7:37 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Washington's pension owns resort in paradise, among far-flung investments

Marlon Brando’s private atoll Tetiaroa as seen from the air. Photo courtesy of Pacific Beachcomber

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:47 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – There’s a government office in Olympia where employees travel the globe and titans of Wall Street are regular visitors. The singer Bono even dropped in once, after a concert.

We’re talking about the Washington State Investment Board. Its job is to maximize returns on an $85 billion investment portfolio. To do that the Board invests in some very exotic places.

About the closest most of us will ever get to Tahiti is a Paul Gaughin painting or the beach image on our computer screensaver. But Steve Draper’s been there several times.

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Business
4:47 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

New program turns foreclosed homes into affordable housing

A foreclosed home in the South Beacon Hill neighborhood that Homestead plans to rehab
Ashley Gross KPLU

Home prices have dropped almost 30 percent from their peak in Seattle, but there are still a lot of people who can’t afford to buy a home in the city. Now, a new program is tackling that problem by converting foreclosed homes into affordable housing.

Under the program, you could buy a house for $85,000 less than what it’s worth - if you make below a certain income threshold.

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Business
5:00 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Ditch that memo, it's time to race tricycles! Office Olympics catch on

Troy Brockway throws a slingshot in Guidant Financial's office Olympics
Andy Karnopp Guidant Financial

The summer Olympics kick off in London on July 27th. But while the world’s best swimmers and sprinters get ready, office workers here are not to be outdone. They’re going for the gold in the name of that corporate buzzword – team-building.

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