September 2011

Questions linger on pricey toxic cleanup

0911_PriceyCleanupEnvironmental officials are quick to assert that Oregon’s most expensive publicly funded cleanup is not failing from an environmental perspective. But from a real estate perspective, the $55 million cleanup of the former McCormick & Baxter creosote factory in North Portland has created complications.

Made-in-Oregon grills gain popularity

0911_MakGrillsBob and Kerrie Tucker expanded their precision metal shop, MAK Metals, from 6,000 to 30,000 square feet as the recession spread in 2008. They launched their first consumer product, MAK grills, in July 2009. Next they had to convince people to spend $2,000 on a barbecue in a terrible economy. It worked.

Bioplastic businesses grow

0911_BioBusinessPortland’s upcoming ban on single-use plastic bags, which goes into effect in October, is one sign cities — and consumers — are moving away from petroleum-based plastic bags and food packaging. Growth in Oregon’s “biobased” food packaging industry — companies that use plant-based starches to manufacture bags, food containers, and tableware — is another.

Pendleton launches Portland collection

0911_PendletonPendleton Woolen Mills launches its Portland Collection in September. The Oregon business is steeped in tradition and rich in heritage but for decades their clothes missed the mark with fashion-conscious consumers.

Oregon City revitalizes despite mill closure

0911_OregonCity_02The bridge leading into downtown Oregon City is closed for repairs, and the city’s largest employer, the Blue Heron paper mill, is history. So why are downtown boosters here so optimistic?

Windells sports academy flourishes

0911_Tactics_03Tim Windell has built a growing action sports wonderland where champions train and wannabes have fun.

Gap between optimists and pessimists widens

0911_InputGraph_03The mood remains gloomy for the 606 respondents in our survey this month. By a large majority, they say things are headed in the wrong direction, with the gap between the optimists and the pessimists widening since 2008.