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  • Hundreds Expected At Olympia Oil Train Hearing

    OIl-Train-1Environmentalists planned to pack the Thursday night public hearing in Olympia on the safety of oil train shipments through Washington. The Washington Environmental Council told The Olympian more than 600 people indicated they planned to attend. About 200 people attended a… Read More +

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  • Seattle Trades Away Smoak

    smoak3312014Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today that first baseman Justin Smoak was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays. The Mariners Major League, 40-man roster is now at 39 players. Smoak, who turns 28 on Dec. 5, appeared in 496 games for the Mariners after joining the club on July 9, 2010.

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Tansler, Vacatia Shake Up Vacation Home Industry

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_8ad3ba5191.jpgVacatia (NEW YORK) -- Two new online resources have entered the vacation landscape, streamlining the process of both finding a home away from home, and getting the price you want for your home. The first, Tansler, is a new variation on the home-share model, allowing travelers to set a price for a short-term rental in a specific market and let multiple owners choose whether to accept it or not.

"We sought to create a real-time marketplace that is driven by the renter's price," said Tansler CEO Jeremy Bernard.  "It saves time for both sides and provides an opportunity to save money."

A renter can submit one offer to a handful of properties at once and the owners have 24 hours to accept or not.  The first property to do so effectively ends the offer and is entered into a binding agreement between the two parties.  In general, renters can expect a maximum discount of 60 percent off the stated rental price.

"We want to avoid giving the owner a ridiculously low offer," said Bernard, referencing various algorithms in place to prevent low-balling. "If you're offering $50, you won't see a property that is typically listed at $500."

Still the service is not limited to luxury abodes.

"We're catering to all ends of the spectrum, whether it be a walk-up studio in London or a luxury chateau in Aspen, consumers want to save money and owners would like to save time and streamline the process," he said.

Having just launched Tansler on Tuesday, the highest concentration of current listings are based in Orlando, Fla., London and Aspen, Colo.  But Bernard said he expected to expand quickly.  Properties are free to list, with Tansler charging a 3 percent service fee to owners only on successful transactions and a 6 percent fee to renters.

Vacatia, a new online marketplace for buying and selling timeshares, also has a large swath of properties based in Florida, according to Keith Cox, CEO of Vacatia.

"It's similar to a StubHub for timeshare, letting buyers and sellers come together with a guarantee in a trusted marketplace," he said, adding that many in the timeshare industry were initially reluctant to believe timeshares could even be sold online.

"People sort of have this belief that the product can't be sold that way," Cox said. "We started with a group of preferred brokers and for them it's been an eye opener.  Buyers are discovering the shares, discovering the price points, and then interacting online to go through inquiries and offers, acceptances and hand-offs to the resort without any phone calls."

With 13,000 listings currently in play, Orlando, Tahoe, Cabo, Hilton Head, and Hawaii are Vacatia's biggest markets at the moment.  But the company expects to expand internationally soon.

"The entire process can take anywhere from 14 to 16 days," he said.  "Some specific resorts may take longer.  But in cases with a Homeowners Association that has defaulting owners, they can take over and they can close properties in a matter of days."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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