June 2009

Interesting bedfellows in Baker County

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

ATSAshGroveCementThe Ash Grove cement plant in Baker County is the biggest source of airborne mercury in the country, churning out 900,000 tons of cement and emitting about 2,500 pounds of mercury every year. But when the federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules last month that would cut the plant’s mercury emissions by 99%, Ash Grove had a surprising defender: Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.

 

Crying wolf as the predator returns

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

ATSGrayWolfAdmit it: We’re all a little afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. But after wolves killed 24 lambs and a calf in Baker County in April, ranchers in Eastern Oregon are more than a little afraid.

 

 

Tribal casinos feel the pinch

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

ATSMIllCasinoRevenue slightly decreased at some casinos last year and flatlined at others, according to Bob Whelan of ECONorthwest, which analyzes the revenue figures of the state’s nine tribal casinos for a study commissioned by the tribes.

 

Cooling tourism trends at the coast

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

ATSBeachCoastal businesses are hunkering down, lowering prices and trying to stay optimistic as they predict the same number of visitors will be filling Oregon beaches this summer but spending less money or shortening their vacations.

 

 

Graphic: Global semiconductor sales

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
 

The harder they fall

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

Do you like riddles? Try this one: "Why do they need Jon Harder's $3 million share in order to find $7 million when he's holding $21 milion?

 

Fields of few dreams

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

ATSWheatWhat will prices be at harvest this year? "That's literally the million dollar question," says Tammy Dennee, executive director of the Oregon Wheat Growers League.

 
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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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