Must Reads

The OB Poll: Pronto Pup wins by a mile

It wasn’t much of a contest. The classic Pronto Pup corn dog whupped all other rivals for your favorite junk food at the Oregon State Fair.

The fair closes this weekend, so last chance to head to Salem to clog your arteries, and last chance to decide between the deep-fried Twinkie or the Monster Curly Fry Brick. Burp.

The OB Poll: Schools should get lottery priority

The majority of our voters in this week’s poll on video lottery profits say that the money made from the lottery should go to fund schools, period.

Lottery officials are debating whether to cut the share of money kept by establishments with video lottery. Last year, the lottery paid on average $71,000 to bars and taverns.

Some call the payout a tavern welfare program and want the money to go to schools, which are chronically underfunded in Oregon. Educations advocates say the proceeds going to bars and taverns should be reduced and that the retailers are being paid too much.

The OB Poll: Credit crunch, or not?

The thrifty will inherit the earth. According to our current poll asking how the credit crunch is affecting spending, almost half of the respondents say that they have survived the crunch by saving, and avoiding the pain of borrowing.

But the next largest group says just the opposite. Those saying getting credit is “Impossible. I’m bleeding and can’t get a bandage,” was the vote of 22 percent of the respondents.

Whichever way you handle it, the credit crunch is likely to persist, according to MarketWatch, saying that the Federal Reserve reported this week that with “delinquency rates rising to a record high, banks were still clamping down on lending to businesses and consumers over the past three months, and they said they planned to keep their credit standards tight for at least a year.”

The OB Poll: Clunkers program crashes

This week's poll asking about the cash for clunkers program closes out with the majority voting that the federal program is a waste of money. The second most-popular opinion is that the program at least is better than cash for bankers.

Seems the ire toward the financial sector hasn't cooled, even though pundits are saying they see the end of the recession.

Consumer groups are also on the case. They've called on the Department of Transportation to crack down on dealerships offering questionable sales terms to customers participating in the program.

The OB Poll: Tax credits get support

The results are in for our poll on the governor's support of Business Energy Tax Credits, and it looks like the majority of you think the governor is right on track for championing the program.

The tax credits are offered to those who invest in renewable energies, alternative fuels and conservation. The credit – 35 percent of the eligible project costs – can cover any costs directly related to the project, from equipment to installation. Gov. Kulongoski is a strong advocate of the program and today vetoed HB 2472, a piece of legislation that would cut down the credits. The governor believes rolling them back would hurt green-job creation, and a good amount of OB readers agreed.

Yet others cite the negatives of a program they perceive to be overly charitable and think Kulongoski should reconsider his veto. Some say the program's subsidizing of wind developments that sell power to California decreases Oregon's self-reliance and energy efficiency, for instance.

Portland shows love for sex toys

BY BRANDON SAWYER | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

09.11.13 Thumbnail PleasureCartHot on the heels of our September cover story spotlighting Oregon's thriving legal sex businesses, Trojan, the 90+ year-old condom brand, hosted an event in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square yesterday to give away thousands of its relatively new line of vibrators.

What women want — in a car

BY KRISTEN HALL-GEISLER | BEND CORRESPONDENT

06.05.13 Thumbnail JeepWhen it comes to cars, it’s a man’s world, and it has been for more than a century. But when it comes to household purchases, modern women hold the purse strings. Heels and Wheels, an annual women's automotive conference held in Bend this past week, spotlights industry trends for female consumers.

Real estate market adapts to rapidly changing economy

BY EMMA HALL | OB WEB EDITOR

04.11.13 Thumbnail CityPlanning“This will be the decade in which we find out who wants to live above a Walmart,” Uwe Brandes says. Environmental, financial and demographic trends have created a new economy that will radically change urban planning and development patterns through 2020.

On the scene: Emerging energy solutions

sceneblogbwIn the past, picturing alternative energy solutions might have conjured up images of a VW bus running on vegetable oil reclaimed from local fast food joints. Now, especially in the Northwest, new energy solutions are so much more.

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