September 2010

The state we're in: Lumber improves

0910_TSWI03

Western softwood lumber production, including 27 Oregon mills, toppled to 10.7 billion board feet in 2009, down 44.6% compared to 2005 with 19.3 billion. However, 8.7% more board feet were produced year-to-date in June than last year.

Casino worries lottery retailers

0910_ATS17As proponents of a private casino in Wood Village continue their fight to get an amendment on this fall’s ballot, video lottery retailers in Wood Village fear for their futures.

The Amazon data center dance

0910_ATS16Boardman didn’t get a prison, it lost out on a Procter & Gamble plant to Utah and the $35 million Amazon data center at the Port of Morrow has been empty and half-finished for almost a year. It’s tough times for the small town. Yet now the port is preparing a site for another data center off Tower Road, six miles west of town that’s potentially an expansion of Amazon’s port site.

Electric vehicle hype bigger than investment

0910_ATS15Oregon has a lot of interest in electric vehicles, but lacks enough early-stage investment.

The Dalles buys historic theater

0910_ATS14The ultimate resurrection of the historic Granada Theater in The Dalles, built in 1929 as the first place to see a talkie west of the Mississippi, has been wobbly for many years.  So after years of trying to find the right buyer for the theater, the city has bought the theater for $387,000 in a negotiated deal with a developer.

Turning old mills into new money

0910_ATS13The old Bright Wood lumber mill in Bend is the latest former mill to be redeveloped into something completely different. Gone are the blue-collar jobs, replaced by a fitness studio, a salon and a coffee shop. It’s the third former mill site in Bend to be reinvented in this manner, and developers and public officials are entertaining similar plans all over Oregon.