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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.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Thursday, July 31, 2014
BY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.
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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.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
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BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.
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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.
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.
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