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PENINSULA DAILY NEWS for Tuesday, December 25, 2012 PAGE

B4 Last-minute gift shoppers are rewarded THE ASSOCIATED PRESS



Swain’s General Store recently raised $238 for the Port Angeles Food Bank. Employees’ pledges ensured that store manager Don Droz would have to wear a special hat. In front row are, from left, Pam Aunspach, Bob Aunspach, Rick Umbarger, Droz and Glen Stovall. In back row are Kathy Stilts, Kim Wahto and Toni Harvey.

NEW YORK — Shoppers who waited until the final days before Christmas were rewarded with big bargains and thinner crowds. Analysts expect growth from last year to be relatively modest. Several factors have dampened shoppers’ spirits, including fears that the economy could fall off the “fiscal cliff,� triggering tax increases and spending cuts early next year. On Christmas Eve, Taubman Centers, which operates 28 malls across the country, reported a “very strong weekend,� with shoppers taking advantage of all the sales. But many last-minute shoppers across the nation in cities such as New York, Atlanta and Indianapolis said they were spending less than they did last year and taking advantage of big discounts ranging from 30 percent to 70 percent off.

Wash. electric-car owners to get hit with a $100 fee Tesla Roadster, according to the state licensing department. Hybrid vehicles that use electricity and gasoline, such as the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt, are excluded. Starting Feb. 1, electric-car owners THE ASSOCIATED PRESS must pay the fee at the time of their SEATTLE — Owners of electric annual vehicle registration renewal — cars in Washington state don’t pay in addition to standard vehicle registragasoline or gas taxes, but they’re soon tion fees owed each year. going to be hit with a fee to own the battery-operated cars. Wear and tear on roads A section of state law that takes Supporters of the fee said electric effect in February will require electric- car owners to pay a $100 annual cars are good for the environment, but fee for road and highway improve- they put the same wear and tear on ments intended to compensate for the the state’s roads that gas vehicles do and should pay their share for the lack of gas taxes they pay. The law does not apply to hybrid road’s upkeep. Fred Nelson of Spokan owns an vehicles or to those that don’t exceed all-electric Nissan Leaf and has mixed 35 mph. About 1,600 cars registered in the feelings about the new law, which state would likely be subject to the passed as part of House Bill 2660. fee, including the Nissan Leaf, and “I do understand the logic behind it

Law won’t apply to hybrid vehicles

because we don’t pay gas taxes,� he said, but he doesn’t like that the fee is more than double what he was paying. On the other hand, he said he has saved thousands of dollars in state sales tax and federal tax credits. “I think it’s wrong,� said Joe Lambrix of Olympia, who owns two electric cars. “You’re trying to do something good, and they still find a way to get revenue. It’s unfortunate.� Washington’s gas tax stands at 37.5 cents per gallon, and is the state’s largest source of transportation dollars. It costs the average motorist, driving roughly 12,000 miles in a vehicle that gets 23 mpg, about $200 a year. Jay Friedland, legislative director for Plug In America, a Californiabased electric car advocacy group, said “$100 isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s not well-balanced policy.�

$ Briefly . . . PA ranked 3rd in the West for seniors BUFFALO, N.Y. — G. Scott Thomas of The Business Journals, a group of weekly business newspapers, has ranked Port Angeles as No. 3 among areas in Western states and No. 13 out of 604 markets in the country as being attractive to seniors. Thomas used Census Bureau data to rank metropolitan areas in terms of median age, seniors as share of total population, seniors born out of state and the percentage of seniors who moved to their current county from another county. Though Port Angeles wass named in his survey, Thomas said he used numbers from all of Clallam County. No. 1 in the survey was Sebring, Fla. The top two cities in the West were Prescott, Ariz., and Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz.

Ambassadors busy PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Ambassadors attended 36 ribbon-cuttings for businesses’ grand openings, ground-breaking ceremonies and other business milestones in 2012, and 12 of these events were held in downtown. A committee of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, also known as the “Red Coats� because of their red sports coats, the Ambassadors were busiest in April, May and September, with five ribboncuttings each month. Eight new Ambassadors joined the volunteer group in 2012. For more information, visit PortAngelesAmbassadors.

Real-time stock quotations at

2nd Space Needle? PHOENIX — A development company hopes to bring an updated version of Seattle’s Space Needle to downtown Phoenix, but the idea is in its early stages and an executive said securing funding will be the biggest challenge. Novawest LLC wants to break ground downtown on a 420-foot-tall observation tower this summer. The proposed $60 million project would be built in the interior courtyard of the Arizona Science Center.

Gold and silver Gold futures for February delivery fell 60 cents to settle at $1,659.50 an ounce Monday. Silver for March delivery fell 31 cents, or 1 percent, to finish at $29.90 an ounce, extending last week’s decline. Peninsula Daily News and The Associated Press



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