Business

Economics and recovery
2:15 pm
Wed March 30, 2011

Housing prices falling around the nation, including the Seattle area

A sign advertises a new price on a home for sale in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009.
Ted S. Warren AP

A "...boatload of loans, sitting in foreclosure," or on the verge of being taken back by the banks. Those are the words of one economist, talking about what's happening in the real estate markets of major cities, nation-wide. The greater Seattle area is no exception.

The numbers come from the Case-Schiller index and they're not pretty.

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Business & Finance
6:03 am
Tue March 29, 2011

Retailer Harry & David file "pre-arranged" bankruptcy but stays open

Harry & David headquarters in Medford, Oregon.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Gourmet food company Harry & David hopes to make a quick trip through bankruptcy reorganization. The legendary Northwest retailer filed a “pre-arranged restructuring” plan with a Delaware court.

The struggling retailer will use the bankruptcy process to shed its heavy debt load and repair its balance sheet. The century-old Medford, Oregon icon filed papers saying the majority of its bond holders have agreed to swap their debt for equity in a restructured company.

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Transportation Policy
11:30 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Restaurateur Tom Douglas vs. Mayor Mike McGinn on changes to Seattle parking rates

Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas says changes in transportation policy are making it hard for him and others in the business community to know what to expect.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Seattle's downtown restaurant owners are still grumbling about rate hikes for metered street parking.

The city's new scheme has been in place for a little over a month. But the controversy hasn't gone away. One of the city's most famous restaurant owners is going public with his concerns.

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Video Games
9:06 pm
Fri March 25, 2011

Nintendo 3DS launch could be good for local headquarters

Analysts expect the new Nintendo 3DS to help the company rebound to highs of a couple of years ago.
Jon Jordan Flickr image

Nintendo’s handheld 3D game player hits shelves this weekend. Analysts expect it to mean big things for the company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Redmond.

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Coffee Culture
10:38 am
Fri March 25, 2011

Still no IPO, but another new CEO for Seattle's second largest coffee enterprise

Tully's Coffee prides itself on providing the feel of "a family room - not a living room" says a spokesman about Starbucks biggest rival's approach to coffeehouse culture.
Flickr photo courtesy dontthink.feel

Tully's Coffee has lost yet another CEO. Seattle's second biggest coffee enterprise has announced that Carl Pennington will retire at the end of this month. 

According to the Seattle Times, he is the seventh CEO to cycle through the company since founder Tom O'Keefe stepped down from the post a decade ago. 

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Seafood Business
6:59 am
Fri March 25, 2011

Eco-label pays quick dividend for Dungeness crab fishers

Crab pots on the docks at Newport, Oregon
Tom Banse N3

To consumers, the welter of eco-labels on various food products can be nebulous or confusing. But the first crab fishery on the West Coast to get a green friendly label says it is seeing a really quick payoff.

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Coffee Culture
5:39 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Stock price surges as Starbucks annual meeting presents another starstruck affair

Starbucks baristas who the company calls "partners" dole out coffee and memoires at the 2011 Annual Meeting, outside Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU

Starbucks stocks have surged. That's thanks in part to the German financial company Deutsche Bank, which has resumed its coverage of the Seattle coffee giant and is saying investors should buy the stock. 

It's just one sign of confidence in the rebound of the company, as its executives outlined its latest growth strategies.

An annual love affair with coffee and other addictive treats

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Jobs
11:51 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Boeing Company hiring 100 people a week

Boeing workers wait on lifts and platforms for a look at Boeing's new 747-8 passenger airplane prior to the plane's first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP

Here's some good news in a down economy.  Michelle Dunlop writes in The Herald of Everett that Boeing is hiring 100 people a week and has been doing it for the past several months.

Dunlop writes:

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Economic Development
5:00 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Seattle celebrates Amazon.com's new headquarters in South Lake Union neighborhood

Ada Healey, Vice President of Real Estate for Vulcan Inc., thanking Amazon.com for bringing jobs to the new neighborhood her company is building on the south shore of Lake Union, west of I-5 in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU

One of Seattle's most famous employers is moving. City leaders are celebrating…because online-retailing giant Amazon.com is only moving a few miles across town. 

The new headquarters complex is large enough to house several thousand employees.

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Nuclear Waste Business
3:40 am
Tue March 22, 2011

Hanford whistleblower case raises questions for Feds about worker's demotion

Documents surfacing from an ongoing lawsuit are raising questions about the demotion of a Hanford whistleblower and whether a top manager with the Department of Energy was involved.

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Business
8:25 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Bellevue-based T-Mobile and AT&T agree to merger

Deutsche Telekom Chairman and CEO Rene Obermann, left, and AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson pose for photos in New York. AT&T Inc. said Sunday it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion

AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile want to merge. Boards of the mobile giants agreed to a $39 billion deal, announced Sunday, according to TechFlash reporter Greg Lamm:

The purchase, still subject to approval by regulatory boards, would create the largest mobile phone company in theU.S. If the deal closes, it would combine the nation's second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers, creating a company with nearly 130 million subscribers, and could lead to higher rates for consumers, experts said.

Lamm writes that until quite recently T-Mobile, the Seattle area's remaining major wireless firm, was considered to be in merger talks with Sprint Nextel. 

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Clean Energy
6:57 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Puget Sound waters test wave energy prototype buoy

A prototype of a wave-energy buoy
Columbia Power Technologies

An Oregon-based alternative energy company is one step closer to generating electricity from the ocean's waves. The company has launched a prototype wave energy buoy. For testing, the startup chose the gentler waters of Puget Sound.

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Nuclear Waste
3:01 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Washington to argue for Yucca Mountain waste storage project

Japan's nuclear reactor crisis has sharpened the debate over where the U.S. will store its radioactive waste in the long-term. Tuesday the State of Washington and other plaintiffs will argue in federal court that the Obama administration should not abandon the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.

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Business
5:18 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Seafood industry braces for Japan crisis impact

The earthquake, tsunami and radiation leaks in Japan are having a ripple effect on the trans-Pacific seafood trade.

In Seattle, Sushi Kappo Tamura chef and owner Taichi Kitamura is worried now that a big chunk of the Japanese fishing industry damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. Along with sushi, Kitamura's menu also features some traditional recipes that use Japanese fish.

"Consistency in availability is very important because you have a menu and you have to keep certain items on the menu," Kitamura says.

Kitamura is also worried about the safety of the seafood he imports. South Korea, Singapore and other Asian countries are already testing Japanese food imports for radiation. Japanese authorities say the levels of radiation released from the crippled nuclear reactors don't pose a public health risk. But Kitamura says skittish customers might decide to stay away.

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Nuclear Power
1:17 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Crisis in Japan could affect Northwest nuclear project

The nuclear crisis in Japan could have repercussions for a proposed nuclear enrichment plant in Idaho. A Congressional subcommittee will hear testimony on nuclear safety, just as other countries re-examine their policies on nuclear power.

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