December 1, 2014
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It's time! The lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree is this Friday

The 26th annual AWB Holiday Kids' Tree Project will culminate this Friday with the tree-lighting ceremony under the Capitol rotunda.

Fundraising is well underway for this festive tradition, but AWB is still accepting donations. As part of this tradition, AWB raises money and collects toys to help needy, deserving families in rural communities in all corners of the state.

The 2014 Holiday Kids' Tree lighting ceremony will take place Friday at 6 p.m. in the Capitol building.

Catch the spirit with this highlight video from years past and learn more about the program, including how to donate, by visiting AWB’s website.

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Port slowdown's potential devastating impacts on Washington businesses

By AWB President Kris Johnson and Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association

The contract dispute between West Coast dockworkers unions and the Pacific Maritime Association has nearly ground Seattle and Tacoma port traffic to a halt at the worst possible time. In our trade-heavy state, businesses are rightly worried this contract standstill could lead to a complete work stoppage.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), when a breakdown in contract negotiations resulted in a 10-day lockout in 2002, it cost the U.S. economy an estimated $1 billion a day, and took half a year to clear the backlog. A shutdown now could be even more costly, an estimated $2 billion each day, according to a study conducted by NAM and the National Retail Federation.

Given our dependence on ports for nearly all industries -- imports and exports --  the slowdown could ultimately impact already-stressed state and local budgets.

The timing is devastating for agriculturists and retailers...

READ MORE: Click here for the full op-ed column from Kris Johnson and Jon DeVaney in The Seattle Times
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