Allow me to introduce our new web reporter, Jessica Hoch. Her first news story for Oregon Business looks at a fresh piece of federal legislation with unusually strong bipartisan support, the Green Railcar Enhancement Act. This bill could be just what Portland-based railcar manufacturer Gunderson needs after more than two years of cutbacks.
Congressman David Wu has been working behind the scenes for more than a year with utility executives, green building experts and university leaders to boost federal support for green building innovations in Oregon. The $129 million proposal that has emerged from that work could build a sustainable foundation for an industry that stands out as one of the state’s few bright spots.
Amber Case and Aaron Parecki are from the future—or, at the very least, they are a bit ahead of their time. They are creating a new software product that will track users' locations and give them updates, send SMS messages to their friends and colleagues, and do more things that we might not understand. Case and Parecki presented their project, "Geoloqi," this week at Open Source Bridge.
Between the endless Oregon drizzle, the unpredictable financial markets and the seemingly unstoppable flood of crude oil gushing forth from the ocean floor, it’s been a rough month for morale — and for the planet. So it’s refreshing to step back from the headlines and pay respect to some forward-thinking businesses and nonprofits that are doing things right.
Google made a rare and very un-Google-like public appearance yesterday in Southeast Portland. It was interesting to see a company that has brilliantly reinvented so many things over the past decade playing the role of a typical business, hobnobbing with economic development officials, handing out free pens and notebooks and boasting about economic impact. Then again, $512 million worth of economic impact in Oregon is a phenomenon worth boasting about.
China has been in the black and growing while the rest of the world falls further into the red. There are economic opportunities in our relationship with China, but where are they? The World Affairs Council held a panel discussion last week on "The China Opportunity."
Tuesday evening while other politicians watched returns and rehearsed election party speeches, Portland’s well-regarded former mayor Bud Clark was waxing eloquent on another subject: “Industrial hemp is not marijuana,” he declared. “You can’t smoke hemp. It’s like smoking rope… It’s a good thing and it can be made here in America.” Clark was enumerating the economic virtues of industrial hemp as co-emcee of the first annual Hemp History Week, marked by almost 200 events in 31 states and the nation’s capital.
Ever since I was a kid calculating my batting average in between pitches, I’ve always loved numbers. I relish a fresh stack of statistics, and that’s exactly what we have between the new jobs figures and the election results. Are there lessons to be learned from these numbers? I believe there are.