business

Microsoft CEO Rumors
11:30 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Microsoft May Be Considering 'Epic Change'

Satya Nadella has been at Microsoft since 1992.
Wikipedia Photo/ Le Web Paris 2013 (CC BY)

Published reports have recently speculated that long-time Microsoft executive Satya Nadella is about to be named the company's new CEO.

But who is this man, and why is the Microsoft board of directors so interested in him?

KUOW's Lisa Brooks spoke with Geekwire co-founder Todd Bishop about Nadella and other rumors around Bill Gates' status as board chair.

Government
8:43 am
Fri January 31, 2014

What The Farm Bill Tucked Beneath Northwest Christmas Trees

Congress is on the verge of approving a surcharge on Christmas trees to pay for a national board's promotion of this leading Northwest crop.
Ian Sane/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/5850816091/in/photolist-9V1XMv

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:03 pm

A once-stalled plan to support Christmas tree growers nationwide could be on its way to winning congressional approval as part of the new Farm Bill.

A provision in the bill adds a 15-cent surcharge on the cost of Christmas trees sold by larger farms. The revenue would help market those trees -- a potential boon for growers in Oregon, which leads the country in Christmas tree production.

You’ve likely heard of the dairy industry’s famous "Got Milk?" campaign but you’ve probably never heard an ad that asks, "Got Christmas Trees?"

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2010 Anacortes Explosion
7:35 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Tesoro Refinery Blast Reflects Industry-Wide Problems

The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., with Mount Baker in the background.
Credit Flickr Photo/Scott Butner

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included the Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals’ mistaken assertion that Tesoro’s fines had been reduced to $858,500. The correct figure is $658,500.

Safer practices and better steel could have prevented a deadly explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., in 2010, according to a new report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.  

The blast killed seven workers.

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Income Equality
11:06 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Are Wealthy Americans In Danger?

The country's wealth gap has gotten the country's high earners worried, POLITICO's Ben White said.
Flickr Photo/Nicholas Bonanno

David Hyde talks with Ben White, chief economic correspondent for POLITICO, about the wealthiest Americans' fears over their future stability.

Business
9:08 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Tri-Cities Lands New National Energy Lab, Growing Cleanup Firm

A new 22,000-square-foot energy research lab will break ground in the spring. It’s part of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.
Meier Architecture Engineering

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:12 pm

Southeast Washington is getting an economic boost after two announcements were made on Wednesday that are expected to lead to new jobs in the region.

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Food Labeling
8:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Grade Inflation In The Maple Syrup Aisle: Now Everything Is An 'A'

The old and new maple syrup grading systems compared.
Courtesy of Butternut Mountain Farm

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:03 pm

Why would you choose a B grade if you can get an A?

Ask a baker. They'll tell you that if you like richer, darker, more intense maple syrup, you should pick Grade B.

But the idea that B beats A seems counterintuitive to lots of consumers who are just looking for something sweet to pour on their morning pancakes.

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Oil Boom
12:27 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:44 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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Tech News
3:26 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Seattle Tops Denver In 'Startup Bowl'

Seattle area's technology community is much stronger than Colorado, Geekwire's Todd Bishop says.
Flickr Photo/UK Ministry of Defence

Steve Scher compares the strength of the technology communities in Colorado and Seattle with Todd Bishop of Geekwire.

Labor
1:33 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

After The Machinists Vote, Labor Seeks New Directions

Seattle's Labor Temple, with its distinctive neon sign
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The idea of coming together in common cause is woven into Washington’s social fabric, especially into its union history. But labor has suffered reversals before, and it suffered a large one on Jan. 3, when the Machinists union voted by a narrow margin to abandon the Boeing pension plan. At stake was a key production line.

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Marijuana Retail
10:44 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Banks Remain Cautious, Washington Pot Entrepreneurs Turn To Cash, Bitcoin

Marijuana business owners say they frequently lose their bank accounts or operate entirely with cash.
Flickr Photo/401(K) 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder recently said that legal marijuana businesses need access to bank accounts as a public safety issue. Bankers and pot entrepreneurs hailed those comments as an important step. But they said it will take a change in federal law to make banks truly open their doors.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:22 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Hundreds Of Expected Layoffs At Hanford Canceled

File photo of a crew working on a waste tank at Hanford in 2010.
U.S. Department of Energy

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:23 pm

About 300 people will keep their jobs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

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News From Canada
4:09 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Harper Abroad, Dollar Woes, And Another Rob Ford Event

A controversial video with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford surfaces, yet again.
Flickr Photo/West Annex News

David Hyde talks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent trip to Israel, troubles for the Canadian dollar and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's latest video.

Unemployment
3:30 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Two Years Later: A Layoff Survivor Describes The New Atmosphere

Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk

Back in May 2011, Laura was in the habit of whispering at work – even when talking about the weather. She was a manager at T-Mobile at a time when the company was suffering deep layoffs.

She was a “layoff survivor” – her colleagues were losing their jobs, workloads were shifting, and she was in fear of her own position. She declined to release her full name.

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Politics
10:09 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Minimum Wage Fight May Heat Up In Olympia

Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 5:18 am

The battle over Washington’s minimum wage could soon heat up at the Capitol. House Democrats may roll out a proposal as early as this week to increase the state’s base wage.

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Wage Theft
9:24 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Workers' Rights Groups Want Penalties For Unlawful Employers

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:14 am

Workers' rights groups have a term for cases of withheld pay, denied breaks, and unnecessary deductions. They call it “wage theft.”

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