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Thursday, July 8, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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The Newsletter

The Newsletter

More details on our aging population, this time from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

In the four-county area of King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish, the population 65 or older nearly doubled in the past two decades, from 165,000 in 1970 to nearly 300,000 in 1990. Slowest growth was in King County. Snohomish County, one of the top counties in overall population growth in the 1980s, saw 59 percent growth between 1980 and 1992.

Another detail: The oldest age group in the senior ranks, those 85 or older, is growing the fastest. The proportion in that group grew from 0.5 percent in 1960 to 1.1 percent in 1990.

Still another: Although the numbers are increasing in King County, more people in this age group left King County than moved in.

Watch this trend. It will have an impact in such areas as governmental planning and health care reform. Business should not ignore it either - marketing to this population could prove beneficial.

Analysts' recommendations cut deeply into two local stocks this week:

-- Airborne Freight Corp. - The transportation company's stock was reduced to a short-term "hold" rating from "buy" by an analyst at Robinson-Humphrey Co. The stock was down $3.50 at $21.63 yesterday.

-- Microsoft - The software giant was off $2.63 yesterday to $83.38. Goldman Sachs analyst Richard Sherlund reduced his earnings estimate for the software company for fiscal 1994 to $3.80 a share from $3.90.

Microsoft is down more than 13 percent from a June 1 high of $96.25.

Jeff Jefferson headed Skipper's in 1988 and 1989 when National Pizza swept in and, after marathon negotiations, acquired it. Now he will head a company that sounds like a Starbucks wannabe.

InterWest Partners' new venture capital fund, InterWest Partners V, has $175 million and a first investment - La Petite Boulangerie. Leading in the acquisition with InterWest was a new management team headed by Jefferson.

Terms of the purchase weren't disclosed.

Jefferson and InterWest want to convert La Petite Boulangerie into a chain of gourmet coffee-bakery cafes. La Petite Boulangerie has annual revenues of about $25 million from 68 retail outlets, including 51 in California, 10 in Denver, four in Phoenix and three in Philadelphia, all company-owned.

At bilateral trade talks in June, U.S. officials charged that Japan's restrictive bidding system for public works excludes U.S. companies and encourages bid rigging. They threatened sanctions.

"Don't hold your breath" waiting for change would be the advice of reporters Atsushi Ozake and Kazuhiko Tamaki, in a series of articles in Mainiuchi Shimbun, a Japanese daily, exposing the corruption between politicians and construction companies.

Bribes are as common as hard hats, they say, and only a ban on corporate political contributions will change things.

"Politicians depend too heavily on money from businesses to give it up willingly," the two wrote, "but the way they use their influence on behalf of contributors blurs the line between legitimate donations and bribery."

Dave Barram, Apple Computer VP, best-known for arranging high-profile Silicon Valley endorsements for Bill Clinton last fall, is expected to be named to the No. 2 position in the Commerce Department, the San Jose Mercury News says.

Barram would replace John Rollwagen, former Cray Research president first named to the spot. Rollwagen withdrew in May after his confirmation was delayed by an investigation into alleged insider trading at Cray.

The person in the No. 2 spot at Commerce would have a major role in overseeing administration policy in areas of keen interest to the computer industry, especially technology policy. Someone for the software community here to watch.

Secretaries: Clip this item and send it to your boss. A survey done by the Roper Organization said that 61 percent of secretaries bring their lunch from home and that 82 percent of the executive secretaries surveyed do not leave their place of work. ------------------------------------------------------------------- There's been talk of logs from Russia's Far East coming to the Northwest for production. Another twist: The Weyerhaeuser Co. recently sent 800,000 seedlings to the area in an effort to help Russian foresters. It was part of the third shipment to Russia since renewed relations with the Russian Far Eastern Shipping Co. at the Port of Tacoma. ------------------------------------------------------------------- We bring you all the news. The Grateful Dead, helped by a new generation of deadheads, is leading the way in concert tours for 1993, reports Amusement Business, a trade weekly. Ranked by attendance, the Dead account for nine of the top 25 concerts for the first half of the year. The Dead are alive in revenues with nearly $19 million from 41 concerts. Take that, "Almost Live."

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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