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|Articles - June 2010|
|Thursday, May 27, 2010|
ASTORIA Once upon a time, Astoria was the largest log exporter on the West Coast. But boatloads of Douglas fir haven’t steamed for Asia from Northwest Oregon in 14 years. That’s expected to change this summer as Westerlund Log Handlers, based in Bremerton, Wash., sets up a log-exporting facility on Port of Astoria property.
Some major players in Astoria have lined up against a return to log exports, including Mayor Willis Van Dusen and the Bornstein Seafood Company. Tourism-dependent businesses also are warning about heavy truck traffic and noise. But the port has approved the deal to generate shipping revenues and jobs. Westerlund vice president and general manager Roger Nance expects to start exporting this summer.
Nance says the market for Oregon soft wood timber is strong in China and expected to get even better because of new tariffs on log exports proposed by Russia. He says timber companies are already exploiting that market through Washington ports such as Longview and Tacoma, but northwest Oregon has missed out on the bounty. Westerlund exports from Tacoma and Bremerton already, and Nance says moving into Oregon makes sense. “I don’t get the opposition,” Nance says. “We’re putting people back to work.”
The Westerlund operation will employ about 35 people once it’s running at full speed, but Nance says its impact will reach “up to 1,000 jobs” ranging from loggers and truckers to longshore workers. The facility could also prove a key supplier of wood scraps for the biomass co-generation planned for nearby Tongue Point.
Log export docks also impact mill jobs — but not for the better. Russia is slapping a tariff on log exports for the same reason Oregon moved away from them: They shift mill jobs overseas.
But the market for building materials is a lot stronger overseas, especially in China, than it is domestically. With the U.S. housing market still flooded with foreclosure specials, exporting is crucial. “If it weren’t for exports there wouldn’t be any timber being harvested,” says Nance.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Friday, June 13, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER
This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT
Tillamook expands its tourism niche.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
How serious a problem is climate change? Readers want to have their cake and eat it, too.
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.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE
I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.
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