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|Articles - May 2011|
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
The quiet resurgence of the wood export market from Oregon to Japan is about to get a lot noisier in the wake of the devastating tsunami of March 11.
Oregon was a leader in log and lumber exports to Japan in the 1980s and 1990s. The business dropped off due to environmental restrictions on the logging of public lands, but it has rebounded powerfully since the recession ended. Log and lumber exports from the U.S. to Japan were up 21% to $694 million in 2010. Vanport International president Paul Owen, a long-time lumber exporter, says Douglas fir component shipments from the Northwest into Japan have been even stronger, growing by nearly 50% in 2010.
Vanport has exported to Japan since the 1970s and has been scrambling lately to keep up with Japanese demand. Owen says local mills that sell to Japan are “sold out months ahead.”
In 2010 there were 813,000 housing starts in Japan, compared to 587,000 in the U.S. The forecast for 2011 called for 870,000 new homes in Japan. That was before the tsunami hit, killing tens of thousands of people and destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings. The tragedy has resulted in a short-term need for plywood and a long-term opportunity for mills able to meet Japan’s high standards for quality.
Oregon’s largest lumber producer for Japan is the 140-employee Warm Springs Forest Products mill on tribal land west of Madras. Operated by Vanport since 2008, the Warm Springs mill ships about 3 million board feet per month into Japan. Other companies around the state poised to supply Japan’s rebuilding effort are Starfire Lumber of Cottage Grove, Zip-O-Log Mills of Eugene and Portland-based Stimson Lumber. “Anyone who manufactures Douglas fir products for export will be in a strong position,” says Owen.
SDS Lumber of Bingen, Wash., in the Columbia River Gorge, recently resumed plywood shipments to Japan after a 15-year dry spell. Other timber companies still reeling from the collapse of the domestic housing market are eyeing the Japanese market with renewed interest. This includes businesses growing weary of exporting high volumes of wood at low prices into resource-hungry China. Japanese buyers pay a higher price because their building codes are strict and their needs are specific. The Japanese economy is in deep trouble, but this is a nation with a long history of recovering powerfully from catastrophes.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA
Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?
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The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GINA BINOLE
Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?
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BY BRIAN LIBBY
Ben Kaiser holds his ground.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Live, Work, Play wit the CEO of Ruby Receptionists.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER
Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.
Forty-eight Lane Powell lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (Best Lawyers) 2016; of those selected, 21 are from the Firm’s office in Portland, Oregon.