Port of Seattle
Will the Port spend $95 million for renovations at two marine terminals—one for cruise ships and the other for container cargo? SoDo's Terminal 30 currently houses a temporary cruise ship terminal but could be renovated to handle container cargo as the seaport's industrial business continues to expand due to congestion at other West Coast ports. Cruise ships would then move to Interbay's Terminal 91, which cannot accommodate container cargo due to poor land access and neighborhood objections. On Friday, Nov. 11, for the first time, Port staff estimated the cost of renovating both facilities and came up with the eye-popping $95 million figure. Says Port Commissioner Alec Fisken: "It seems a startling number." Details on how that figure breaks down are not yet available, and no decision has yet been made to proceed. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.
Happy days in the Commercial Airplanes division, with announcement this week that the company will take the perfectly good, 35-year-old 747 fuselage design and turn it into a modernized, efficient derivative for cargo and people. And orders for the competing whale that is the Airbus A380 are stalled. But Boeing's military side is still trying to shake bad headlines. Boeing has tried hard to show it has been scared straight after scandals such as the sacking of a CEO for an office affair, the alleged pirating of rivals' secrets, and the inflating of lease prices for an arguably unneeded fleet of Air Force refueling tankers. But a new questionable military plane deal has surfaced that allows the Air Force to annually purchase six C-17 cargo jets worth up to $1 billion from Boeing. The deal was approved 89-8 last week by the Senate, even though the Senate's own study says the planes aren't needed. Senators fixed that by adding an amendment saying no need has to be shown. Boeing lobbied hard for passage to bail out 6,500 jobs in Southern California—the Long Beach C-17 Globemaster III factory was going to run out of orders in 2008. Says Eric Miller of the D.C. watchdog Project on Government Oversight: "Another gift to a defense contractor, the latest attempt by Congress to force the military to purchase weapons it doesn't even need." RICK ANDERSON
"Allow me to restate that my agenda is for a leaner, meaner, agile, efficient, exciting Microsoft that can swiftly deliver remarkable software products to our customers and provide great value to our shareholders. . . . At a rather base level, I believe that Microsoft needs an explosive enema to flush it free of the process, bureaucracy, and low-quality personnel. Microsoft needs a disruptive defrag." —The anonymous blogger who writes Mini-Microsoft (minimsft.blogspot.com)