Joan Austin is sitting in an office a stone’s throw from her Allison Inn & Spa that’s under construction. And yes, it is her project.
Last year, the Oregon Institute of Technology became the first university in the nation to award degrees in renewable energy engineering. Now the Klamath Falls-based school is on its way to becoming the world’s first geothermal-powered campus, with a 1.5-megawatt geothermal power plant due to be completed by the spring of 2010.
It was the 25th anniversary of Pioneer Courthouse Square. The early April weather was brilliant, the cake was free, and the center was humming with visitors and workers soaking up sun and ambience.
The Urban Farm Store’s main business was supposed to be edible plants and gardening supplies, with baby chickens available for the more ambitious urban farmer. But almost immediately after the store opened in February, the chickens took over.
The prospect of replacing soon-to-be-lost Freightliner jobs with a forward-thinking, emissions-free hub of electric vehicle manufacturing centered in Portland is certainly a tantalizing scenario to consider.
When the unemployment figures came out in March, 35 Oregon counties were stricken by double-digit rates. But in rural Gilliam County, where the population is just 1,868, unemployment was the fifth lowest in the state: 9.8%