Railroad grants to help Rogue Valley

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Trains consistently moving freight over the Siskiyous will give Southern Oregon shippers a viable new option for reaching California markets and their own facilities there, which have been cut off from rail access for the past four years, stakeholders say.

A $7.09 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Tuesday to Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad for repairs to its 296-mile-long line between Eugene and Weed, Calif., should bring regular train traffic back to the Siskiyou Summit line, between Ashland and Weed, by the end of 2014, according to the Siskiyou Summit Railroad Revitalization grant application.

The rail company plans to add $2.4 million of its own money to restore the 80-mile stretch over Siskiyou Summit, according to a letter in the application to the department of transportation from Dave Arganbright, CORP Vice President.

Read more in today's Ashland Daily Tidings.

 

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Leading with the right brain

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120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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