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April 23, 2010

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Chinook run looking big

Columbia River chinook salmon appear to be rebounding powerfully from past abuses, bringing new opportunities for Oregon's sport, commercial and tribal fishermen.

Biologists have predicted a healthy run, and early indicators show it may prove even larger than expected.

State and tribal officials say they think the monster run of spring chinook salmon forecasted for the upper Columbia River actually will be big this year.

A huge run of 470,000 upper Columbia spring chinook is predicted to enter the river in 2010, but projections of the run have been far off the mark in recent years.

Read more at the Daily News Online.

UO's top lawyer is out

UO President Richard Lariviere announced that he will not renew the contract of Melinda Grier, the university's general counsel.

Lariviere has been working to clean house after a slew of improprieties involving the university's athletic programs, capped by a deal to pay former athletic director $2.3 million.

Bellotti’s lack of a contract and the haggling over his departure payout has cast a shadow on the UO’s reputation, particularly business practices in the athletic department. Those are the focus of two investigations, one by the Oregon University System and secretary of state’s office and another by the attorney general’s office.

Lariviere said he has begun a search for a new general counsel and is working with Attorney General John Kroger to find someone to fill the position until the selection is made. Law school dean Margie Paris will lead the search committee.

Read more at the Register-Guard.

Panel opens 600,000 acres to logging

The Oregon Board of Forestry voted 5-2 to ramp up logging in state forests from Tillamook to Santiam.

The plan would boost logging in state forests to 200 million board feet, raising money for schools and services, but conservation groups are not happy.

"There are a lot of species that require complex forest stands, and this plan reduces the number of acres that are complex," said Brian Pasko of the Sierra Club. "This board, as a whole, is so out of touch with what the public really wants to see in their public lands.

"It's not good for the economy. It's not good for tourism. It's not good for wildlife."

Read more at Business Week.

Umpqua pays back TARP

Umpqua's parent company, Portland-based Umpqua Holdings, has announced $9.7 million in profits for the first quarter, full repayment of its TARP money and an improved credit position.

But Umpqua still has some work ahead to recover fully from the downturn, the Oregonian reports.

After paying preferred stock dividends of $12.2 million, the net loss attributable to common shareholders in the period was $2.5 million, or 3 cents a share.

About $10 million of that $12.2 million preferred stock payout was to the U.S. Treasury, interest on the $214 million it had borrowed from the government as part of the TARP program, said Ron Farnsworth, Umpqua's chief financial officer.

Read more at Oregon Live.

Lattice nets $11 million

Lattice Semiconductor, which failed to make a profit for years, has announced first quarter revenues of $70 million and $11 million in profits.

President and CEO Bruno Guilmart, who took over the formerly troubled company in June 2008, says bookings are holding strong and he expects a good 2010.

(The company's) shares reached a new 52-week high in after-hours trading Thursday after the company posted a 63 percent increase in first quarter sales.

The Hillsboro-based manufacturer of programmable logic chips (NASDAQ: LSCC) also posted its second straight profitable quarter after nearly nine years of quarterly losses.

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