business

More than two-thirds of voters in Oregon's Hood River County passed a local ban on commercial water bottling in Tuesday’s election.

The measure was designed to block Nestle’s plans to build a $50 million water bottling plant in the city of Cascade Locks.

Backers of the measure are calling their victory a landslide, and a triumph of David over Goliath. But so far, Nestle and its supporters say they're ready to accept that narrative.

Should we commercialize our state parks?

May 18, 2016
Lake Sammamish State Park
Flickr Photo/Jeff Sandquist (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/5dJnYj

Kim Malcolm speaks with Seattle Times reporter Lynn Thompson about the trend of state parks seeking investment and partnerships with private companies. Thompson recently wrote an article about a proposed partnership between Rent-based outdoor retailer REI and Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah. 

The statewide unemployment rate in Washington is not budging despite steady hiring by employers. It's stuck at 5.8 percent in the latest monthly jobs report released Wednesday by the Washington Employment Security Department.

As the population of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder keeps growing, so does the number of people with that diagnosis who aren't finding employment.

Though many young adults on the spectrum are considered high functioning, recent research shows 40 percent don't find work — a higher jobless rate than people with other developmental disabilities experience.

Joe Burnison works as a deckhand aboard Loki, a salmon gillnetting boat in Puget Sound. Loki is owned by one of his oldest friends, Jonah Knutson. Both men grew up in West Seattle. Joe Burnison works as a deckhand aboard Loki, a salmon gillnetting boat in
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

With his dark-rimmed glasses, Jonah Knutson doesn’t look like the salty fisherman.

But he smells like it.

Uber is built on the scourge of surge. When demand is high, the company charges two, three, even NINE-POINT-NINE times as much as normal for a ride. Riders hate it... but not so much that they stop riding. "Dynamic pricing" has helped the company to grow into one of the largest ride-booking services in the world. What's the psychology behind it? Shankar sits down with Uber's Head of Economic Research Keith Chen to talk about when we're most likely pay for surge, when we hate it the most, and why monkeys would probably act and feel the same way.

Starting today, small companies can raise up to $1 million from ordinary investors through what are called "crowdfunding portals." These portals are different from sites like Kickstarter. As one of the portal sites SeedInvest explains on its website:

"Kickstarter promises rewards for successful projects in the form of anything that is not monetary, whereas equity crowdfunding, as its name suggests, promises a financial slice of the pie when it comes to startup and small-business investment."

In recent years, there's been a no-tipping movement within the restaurant industry.

The idea has been to rectify a basic pay unfairness to even out the pay between tipped and untipped employees. Dishwashers and cooks at the back of the house don't earn as much money as waiters because they don't get tips.

So, do away with tipping, raise menu prices a little bit, and pay everyone a higher wage.

The mural at Hummus Cafe, at North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North. Across the street, a similar restaurant, Mr. Gyro, was demolished by the blast.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

It’s been two months since a gas explosion shook up Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. Most businesses have reopened.

At Rosewood Guitar on 85th, owner Bill Clements coaxed his golden retriever, Jack the shop greeter, to sit still. He remembered the days after the explosion in March.  

A few weekends ago, Texas entrepreneur Regina Vatterott stood in front of 50 people on the top floor of a startup hub in Austin. She was there to pitch her smart pillbox company, EllieGrid, to a panel of six judges.

Sugar, you might think, is just sugar, no matter where it comes from. But not anymore.

About half of all sugar in the U.S. comes from sugar beets, and the other half comes from sugar cane. Now, for the first time, sugar traders are treating these as two different commodities, with two different prices.

Courtesy of Kate Murphy

You probably already know this, but lunch these days is sad. This is especially true when it’s eaten during the workday. Frequently, it’s eaten alone, at the desk while answering emails.

There’s research to back lunch’s retreat into sadness.

If you're looking for fast cash, feel free to Google it. But if you're selling fast cash, the search giant might not be the place for you.

Starting this summer, Google will no longer allow payday lenders — companies offering short-term, high-interest loans — to buy advertising on Google ad systems.

Courtesy of New York Times/Evan McGlinn

Bill Radke speaks with Kirk Johnson, Seattle bureau chief at The New York Times, about the families he met while reporting a story on Mary's Place Guest Rooms, a new shelter for homeless families in South Lake Union.

All over eastern Kentucky, you see cars and pickup trucks with black license plates proclaiming the owner is a "friend of coal."

Even though the license plates are all over, it's getting harder to find actual coal miners here: Fewer than 6,000 remain in the state, where the coal industry is shrinking fast. More than 10,000 coal workers have been laid off since 2008.

Many have had to leave the area to find work, but a few have found employment in other — and sometime unexpected — fields, as businesses are innovating to use former coal workers in new ways.

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