Business in brief: City to urge sustainable practices

The city of Spokane and a group of local companies have formed a group to promote awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of adopting sustainable energy practices.

The Consortium of Leading Energy Efficiency Northwest Companies, or CLEEN, will try to accelerate what Mayor Mary Verner said has been called the transition from “the economy of our grandfathers to the economy of our grandchildren.”

The city is pursuing several initiatives – a single-stream recycling center, for example – and is looking for more ways to conserve energy and promote recycling, she said.

A CLEEN website,, has been launched to encourage the exchange of information about best practices and raise Spokane’s profile as a center for technologies like “smart grid,” which boosts the transmission capacity of the nation’s electricity grid.

Bert Caldwell

SEC proposes new disclosure rules

WASHINGTON – Federal regulators on Wednesday proposed new disclosure rules for target-date retirement funds that would require sponsors to spell out how they are investing the money and to warn about risks.

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 5-0 to propose that marketing materials for target-date funds include how investments are being allocated among stocks, bonds, cash and such.

The proposed rules could be formally adopted sometime after a 60-day public comment period, possibly with changes.

Associated Press

LimeWire faces more legal claims

LOS ANGELES – On the heels of a major court win by the recording companies against file-sharing software company LimeWire, eight major music publishers said they filed their own suit on Wednesday.

The publishers are seeking relief and damages from LimeWire for facilitating copyright infringement.

Last month, a U.S. District judge in New York ruled that LimeWire and its chairman, Mark Gorton, were liable for inducing copyright infringement.

Associated Press

Fannie, Freddie to delist shares

NEW YORK – Government-sponsored mortgage purchasers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plan to delist their shares from the New York Stock Exchange after their stocks had trouble meeting listing requirements.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares will trade on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board starting July 8.

Associated Press


From wire reports

•The United Auto Workers union elected a lawyer and longtime union negotiator as its new president Wednesday. More than 2,000 UAW members supported Bob King in an hour-long roll-call vote Wednesday at the union’s convention in Detroit. He replaces Ron Gettelfinger, 65, who is stepping down after eight years as president because of an age limit set by the union.

•Poland’s finance minister says the country has asked the International Monetary Fund to renew a flexible credit line of $20 billion dollars for his country. Jacek Rostowski said Wednesday that Poland sees no need now for the funds.

•Britain’s Treasury chief announced an overhaul of his country’s financial regulatory system Wednesday, one which dissolves the country’s finance watchdog and hands broad new powers to its central bank.

•Nokia Corp. warned Wednesday that its earnings this year will be hit by tough competition from rivals in the smart phone market. The news sent its stock down 9 percent.

•Federal regulators are investigating generic drugmaker Mylan Inc. over whether it disclosed confidential earnings information to a group of investors last September, according to The Wall Street Journal.

•Petroleum refiner Sunoco said it plans to spin off its metallurgical coke manufacturing operations as part of a plan to boost the value of its shares. Sunoco said SunCoke Energy will be split from the company in the first half of 2011.

•Spirit Airlines made a deal with its pilots on Wednesday that will end their five-day-old walkout, the union said. The airline said it will resume flights on Friday.

•The number of customers applying for mortgages jumped 18 percent last week, a sign that the market could be stabilizing after dropping off sharply.

•Boeing workers in St. Louis say they could walk out in as little as one week under a strike notice they plan to deliver to the company on Wednesday. The workers voted down Boeing’s latest offer on Sunday. The notice says they could strike as soon as June 23.


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