business

It’s a dilemma many American families confront: when to ask mom or pop if they’re ready to move into an old folks’ home. For newer Americans, the very idea often clashes with cultural expectations.

Flickr Photo/Amancay Maahs (CC BY-NC-ND)

Drivers-for hire are being given a Lyft. You might even say they could soon be Uber-powerful.

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien says he’ll introduce legislation to give them the right to bargain for better pay.

Operators of some hookah lounges in Seattle say the city's crackdown unfairly targets them. This hookah lounge is on Roosevelt Way Northeast in the University District.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Seattle’s hookah lounges got a little reprieve. The city had planned on closing down the smoking lounges on Monday, but now officials are backing off.

Earlier this month Seattle Mayor Ed Murray took hard a stance against local hookah lounges, citing public safety concerns associated with the businesses. But the city eased off after business owners and supporters pushed back.

Last week, city officials and hookah lounge owners met. Both sides say they’re pleased with the initial conversation.

A new report Thursday from the Oregon Secretary of State says lax enforcement has allowed hundreds of de facto casinos across the state. Non-tribal casinos are banned by the state constitution.

Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen traveled to China last year and touted a company that’s now at the center of a federal fraud investigation.

Mud Bay workers sign a 'declaration' of worker ownership during a company meeting on Thursday, Aug. 20.
Mud Bay

Ross Reynolds asks the co-CEOs of Mud Bay pet stores why they decided to turn a chunk of the company over to their employees. Last week at the company’s annual Mudstock meeting, employees signed a "declaration" of ownership.

The inside of the elevators at Amazon headquarters in Seattle. People who work at Amazon refer to themselves as Amazonians.
Flickr File Photo/cheukiecfu CC BY-NC-ND: http://bit.ly/1MUXs0y

After a New York Times' expose on exacting worker conditions at Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos said he was shocked -- and then asked for direct feedback from workers. 

Julia Cheiffetz, an executive editor at HarperCollins, took Bezos at his word. 

The state of Oregon has stopped taking applications for permits to grow industrial hemp. The Oregon Department of Agriculture said the suspension will last until at least next spring.

This photo at the Nordic Heritage Museum exhibit shows Ivar Haglund 'surrounded by acres of clams,' a reference to his resaturant theme song.
Courtesy of Ivar’s

Think of a simpler Seattle in 1938: No Jeff Bezos, no Bill Gates, no dawn to dusk traffic jams. Instead there was Ivar Haglund, restaurateur and showman with a penchant for the preposterous.

Knute Berger told KUOW’s David Hyde that a new exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum tells Ivar’s story. It’s “part of that Northwest sensibility that leads you to grunge, leads you to … who wants to be New York? You know, we came here for other reasons,” Berger said. “And he really got that.”

People apply for jobs at Coca-Cola at a jobs fair hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus in Miami, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Blacks – especially black women – working in the public sector were disproportionately laid off during the recession, according to a new study by the University of Washington.

The study is being presented this week at a conference of the American Sociological Association. It found that white workers appear to have been better protected from financial shocks to government budgets.

Led by an 8.5 percent drop in China's Shanghai composite index, U.S. and global stock markets took a dive Monday. Shortly after opening, the Dow Jones index fell by more than 1,000 points, or 5 percent. The Dow then zigzagged to close at 15,871, losing about 3.6 percent of its value.

The ACLU placed a full-page ad in the Seattle TImes.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Friday's Seattle Times newspaper contains a full-page ad from the American Civil Liberties Union. It’s an open letter to Amazon employees, offering to help sue the company if they believe their rights have been violated.  

The Portland Development Commission this week launched a $3 million fund to invest in startups founded by women and minorities.

File photo of softball and mitt
Flickr Photo/Hillarie (CC BY NC ND 2.0)

Why should the rest of us care whether Amazon employees love or hate their jobs? How can we make wildfires less destructive? What are we teaching our kids when we tell them to throw a little league game to win a tournament?

Bill Radke debates the week’s news with New York Times writer David Streitfeld, Geekwire's Todd Bishop, former GOP leader Bill Finkbeiner, state Senator Michael Baumgartner, former firefighter Kyle Dickman and journalist Erica C. Barnett.

A recent New York Times article about harsh workplace culture at Amazon called attention to how the online retailer handles evaluations: Any co-worker can critique another any time, anonymously. Less exhaustive versions of the peer performance review — or 360 review as they're often known — have been popular for several years.

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