May 2009

Wherefore art thou, dear consumer?

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Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSShakespeareFestivalAttendance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has dropped 6% from last year, as the weakened economy forces consumers to cut spending on luxuries like travel and the arts.

 

 

Building a legacy

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Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSJoanAustinJoan 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.

 

 

Digging deeper in Klamath Falls

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Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSChrisMaplesLast 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.

 

 

Portland's downtown downturn

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Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSDowntownLeaseIt 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.

 

 

Hip chicks sell out as urbanites flock to buy

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Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

Chicks.jpg

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.

 

 

Baby, you can drive my electric car

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Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSThinkcarThe 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.

 

 

Gilliam County jobs up in the dumps

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Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSLandfillsChart

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%

 
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Editor's Letter: Power Play

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There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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