Business

Campaign Finance
11:03 am
Tue August 16, 2011

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz calls for a boycott on campaign contributions

Kin Cheung AP

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wants some change in Washington D.C. and the best way to get it, he says, is by boycotting donations to political campaigns. In an open letter sent to Starbucks on Monday, he urged other company heads to withholding campaign contribution until President Obama and Congress solve the nation’s financial woes.  

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Business
2:10 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

The changing face of Rotary

Erin Simkins, 29, Is thinking about joining the Fremont Club. Rotary clubs, including Fremont's, are making an effort to recruit women.
Vanessa Romo KPLU

Mention Rotarians and most people's thought bubble consists of this: A group of older white guys in suits meeting for breakfast. But that's changing. In fact, there's a Rotary club in Seattle that's working hard to buck that stereotype.

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Business & Finance
2:00 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

Harry & David close to emerging from bankruptcy

Harry & David's flagship store in Medford.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

One of the best-known Northwest brands is closer to getting out of bankruptcy. A federal judge has given a tentative okay to the recovery plan for Oregon gourmet food and gift retailer Harry & David.

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Real Estate
10:13 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Bargain basement mortgage rates get bank phones ringing

Mortgage rates fell to near-record lows this week: The nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 4.3% according to Freddie Mac.
David Zalubowski Associated Press

Mortgage rates fell to near-record lows this week: The nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 4.3% according to Freddie Mac. Rates that low are proving to be catnip to consumers in an otherwise dismal week.

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Apple Harvest
7:05 am
Fri August 12, 2011

NW apple harvest could yield smaller fruit this year

The latest estimate says Washington state is set to pick about 106 million boxes of fruit this year.
Washington Apple Commission

Washington State harvests about 65% of the nation's apples each fall. But this year, because of the chilly spring, those cheery orbs of goodness could be a bit smaller and possibly less sweet.

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Idaho Business
3:02 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Idaho touts its red state culture to attract gun manufacturing jobs

Idaho is among a handful of Western states using their gun-rights cred in this tough economy to attract jobs in the firearms industry.

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Economy
4:30 pm
Wed August 10, 2011

Follow-up: Economic troubles hitting home

There's room at the Inn, but can we afford it?
Brent Moore Flickr

On Tuesday when we started the conversation on our Facebook page about the real impact of the bad economy, the DOW was back on the mend and the fallout from S&P downgrades seemed to be moderate. In that calm before the storm, however, we still felt that the blows to the economy are adding up and causing real people real headaches.

Boy is it, and according to one expert the kind of economic recession we have had will take years to pull out of.

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Real estate
11:34 am
Wed August 10, 2011

WSU research: State home sales decline 4 percent

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University reports home sales and prices declined in the second quarter statewide.

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Credit ratings
4:36 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Update: Gregoire warns of more cuts to come; credit rating stable

Governor Chris Gregoire is telling state agencies to prepare for further budget cuts because of the faltering economy. Her budget office today asked agencies for ideas to reduce planned spending by 5 or 10 percent. 

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's downgrade of federal debt is unlikely to have much near term effect on the borrowing costs for the state. Although, S&P did deal the city of Tacoma a blow by downgrading it's credit rating on debt backed by the federal government.

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Credit ratings
3:56 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Update: S&P lowers Tacoma's rating on debt backed by fed

Soon after downgrading the credit rating of the United States, Standard & Poor’s has taken the city of Tacoma’s rating down a notch from AAA to AA+ on debt it has issued that is backed by the federal government, according to a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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Agriculture
1:41 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

New Wash. corn plant made to influence global crop

A new agricultural plant near Othello in Eastern Washington is breeding highly specialized corn for the huge world-wide seed company Monsanto. The laboratories and growing facilities are slated to help the company more quickly distil the genetics of corn to get top characteristics to market.

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Home Foreclosures
6:05 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Home listings fall in Seattle but worry remains

A decline in the number of homes for sale in the area has raised hopes the market is improving or at least stabilizing, but some analysts say it's actually proof of a bank foreclosure bottleneck.

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Earnings report
11:09 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Wealthy shoppers boost Blue Nile, but earnings less than dazzling

Even as the stock market takes stomach turning plunges this week, it’s still good to be a luxury item retailer.

Seattle’s online diamond jeweler, Blue Nile, put out its second quarter earnings report on Thursday. And though the numbers aren’t dazzling, they’re still on the rise.

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International trade
9:56 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Northwest highways await Mexican trucks

While Northwest farmers will benefit from the lifting of a tariff, the agreement between the United States and Mexico allowing Mexican trucks on U.S. roads has some worried.
cobalt123 Flikr

The next time you head down the interstate, that truck in the lane next to you could be from Mexico. That's because of a recent cross-border trucking accord between the United States and Mexico.

Opponents say putting Mexican trucks on U.S. roads is risky. But there's little evidence to show that Mexican trucks are actually a hazard on the highway.

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Business
2:35 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Farmer: Without illegal immigrants, strawberry farms fail

Per Ola Wiberg Flikr

A crackdown on illegal immigrants would put local strawberry farmers out of business.

That’s what one leading farmer in Skagit County told the Bellingham Herald

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