June 2009

Interesting bedfellows in Baker County

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

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

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

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.

 

The harder they fall

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

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.