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|Articles - October 2011|
|Thursday, September 22, 2011|
Page 2 of 15
Raise that wall
On a cool, rainy morning in late June, about 80 people — townspeople, local and state officials, Portland business leaders, philanthropists, teachers, and students — gathered on a hill overlooking the construction of Vernonia’s new $39.3 million K-12 school.
Getting to this day took Herculean efforts. The town had to identify a workable site out of the flood plain, navigate a rat’s nest of land-use and zoning regulations, upgrade roads and infrastructure, and find the money to begin. All this while painfully watching families, students, businesses and opportunity seep from the town. For three and a half years, the town held together its existing schools with band-aids and hope while the world moved on and largely forgot that Vernonia had almost been lost to the 2007 flood, the second — and more damaging — of two 500-year floods in 11 years.
“It’s a long time for people to be patient,” says Dan Brown, the town’s planning commission chair, flood recovery manager and owner of the downtown Grey Dawn Gallery.
But on this day, it was time to gather and celebrate the new 135,000-square-foot school taking shape on land 50 feet higher than where the current schools now sit.
As the construction crew worked below at the 32-acre site, kids gobbled donuts and townspeople and visiting dignitaries joined Vernonia school superintendent Ken Cox as he led the crowd in a whoop of “Raise that wall!” With that first wall it became certain that a new school — and a new idea about the town’s future — would open its doors next September. More than just a cool sustainable school being built to LEED platinum standards, this school is envisioned as a building block in the town’s economic future with ideas such as a natural resources curriculum, university partnerships, using locally purchased biomass, and training students and the community to be part of a green economy workforce — the hopeful triumph of the flywheel effect over the doom loop.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
BY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS
The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.
Friday, August 15, 2014
In this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.
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