News Briefs

Casino comment period extended

The comment period for the proposed Cowlitz tribal casino Environmental Impact  Statement has been extended to Aug. 11.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs was to close the comment period June 30, but announced the extension after a request from Rep. Brian Baird of Washington’s Third Congressional District.

Comments can be submitted at www.cowlitzeis.com or be mailed to Stanley Speaks, Northwest regional director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, at 911 N.E. 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97232.

Excavators fined for unpaid back wages, premiums

Owners of Vancouver-based Schram’s Excavating agreed to pay $356,000 in a case involving unpaid overtime wages and workers’ compensation.

In a settlement approved July 8 in Clark County Superior Court, brothers and business partners Jerry and James Schram pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges for the unpaid wages. Jerry Schram pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor and will serve 30 days in jail. Both received two years’ probation and 240 hours of community service, according to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

The company also pleaded guilty, through Jerry Schram, to a felony for hiding information used to set workers’ compensation premiums.

Christensen Shipyards gets international award

A yacht by Vancouver-based Christensen Shipyards Ltd. received an international award for its interior work June 26 in Monaco.

The three-level Lady Joy vessel won Best Motor Yacht Interior at Showboats International magazine’s 19th annual rendezvous. Christensen’s engineering team partnered on the vessel with Portland-based interior design firm Carol Williamson and Assoc.

The ship was completed for New York-based singer-songwriter Denise Rich in August 2007. It includes six cabins, a formal dining room, outdoor dining for up to 50 guests, three large decks and a sky lounge with a sound studio and sunken bar.

WIA Foundation seeks nominations

The nomination window for the Women in Action Foundation’s Athena award opened July 1. The Vancouver-based foundation honors local female leaders in business and community involvement.

Nominations are due Sept. 15, and forms are available by emailing barbara.sheldon@wsbf1.org or linda.frischmeyer@landerholm.com.

The awards gala will be Oct. 23 at the Hilton Vancouver.

Independent business group endorses Dunn

The National Federation of Independent Business endorsed Rep. Jim Dunn for re-election in Washington’s 17th Legislative District.

The advocacy group endorsed Dunn for his stance on 15 recent legislative bills of importance to small businesses.

District 17 includes parts of Vancouver and Camas and extends as far north as Battle Ground.

BANKING+FINANCE

Pacific Continental reports loss

Net income for Eugene-based Pacific Continental Corp. was down 6.4 percent in the second quarter, which ended June 30.

The holding company of Pacific Continental Bank reported quarterly net income of $3 million, compared to $3.2 million in 2007.  Earnings per diluted share were worth 25 cents each, down 2 cents from the previous year.

For the first half of 2008, Pacific Continental’s net income was down 1.9 percent at $6.1 million, with earnings per diluted share, down a penny to 51 cents each.

The company had $7.6 million in non-performing assets as of June 30, up $1.6 million since March 31 and representing 0.74 percent of its total assets.  The company attributed the increase to a $1.7 million loan for a commercial real estate project.

Wells Fargo net income down, dividend up

San Francisco-based Well Fargo and Co. reported a second-quarter net income drop of half a billion dollars July 16, along with an increased quarterly stock dividend.

Net income for the quarter was $1.8 billion, or 53 cents per common diluted share, compared to $2.3 billion in 2007, or 67 cents per common diluted share.

Its quarterly common stock dividend was worth 34 cents per share, up 10 percent from the previous quarter. The company has increased its dividend for 21 consecutive years, according to Wells Fargo.

The company’s quarterly revenue was a record $11.5 billion, up 16 percent from the prior year. But non-performing assets also were up to $4 billion, or 1.02 percent of total loans, compared to 0.51 percent last year. The bank also had a $3 billion quarterly loan loss provision, including a credit reserve build of $1.5 billion.

Wells Fargo has $609 billion in assets and nearly 6,000 locations globally.

Key Corp. eyes mortgage opportunities

Cleveland-based KeyBank will double its mortgage lending capacity in Southwest Washington, Oregon and 11 other states, anticipating mortgage refinancing opportunities worth $1.3 trillion in 2008.

To assist in that effort, the bank has added six to its local mortgage team of 12, with plans to add as many as 20 more. Michael D. Taylor, previously of Seattle-based Washington Mutual, was hired as vice president and regional sales manager of the bank’s Northwest region. KeyBank is owned by Key Corp. and has four branches in Vancouver.

REAL ESTATE+DEVELOPMENT

BG parkway could get state funds

Battle Ground’s North Parkway improvement project could receive $500,000 through a proposed Senate spending bill.

The funds were included in the Transportation and Housing Appropriations bill that is awaiting consideration by the full Senate, most likely after this fall’s elections.

North Parkway, between Onsdorff Boulevard and North Sixth Street, links neighborhoods to schools and the downtown core area. The half-mile improvements would add sidewalks, bicycle lanes, median islands, turn lanes and street lighting.

Fairgate Inn finishes upgrade

Major additions to the Fairgate Inn in Camas were completed in July.

The facility now includes a 2,500-square foot event space with wall-to-wall windows and a 24-foot ceiling. The space will be available for events such as meetings, conferences and weddings.

Owners Jack and Christine Foyt began the $200,000 project May 20. Its completed value is $300,000. Camas contractor Jack Foyt Sr. was the project executive.

Bank of America lobby remodel complete

Portland-based Schlesinger Cos. has completed major renovation of its Bank of America Financial Center, 805 Broadway St. in Vancouver.

Renovation began in September 2007, and includes new flooring, paint, energy-efficient lighting and local artwork. Portland-based Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects designed the space and Portland-based CG Construction was the general contractor.