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Points of the Day

May 11, 2010

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OSU plans $50 million business building

Oregon State University will construct a new business building over the next five years, thanks to substantial alumni donations.

The five-story building, which will cost $50 million to build, will double the business school's space.

The project was announced at the college's annual Alumni and Business Partner Awards dinner in Portland after a $10 million commitment from Joan and Ken Austin Jr. of Newberg, and a $6 million pledge from longtime donor, Al Reser, a 1960 alumnus who died last month, and his wife Pat Reser of Beaverton.

The building will be named after the Austins, co-founders and owners of A-dec, Inc., one of the largest dental equipment manufacturers in the world. In addition, Joan Austin is president of Springbrook Properties, which developed The Allison Inn & Spa. The Austins have made previous donations to the university, including gifts that launched the business college's Austin Entrepreneurship Program and the Austin Family Business Program.

Read the whole story at OregonLive.com.

Alley's goal: "own budget on an atomic level"

Republican candidate for governor Allen Alley can often be found sketching his analysis of the Oregon budget in diagrams and graphs.

Alley, who has a background in high-tech business, believes that Oregon should pay closer attention to the scope and detail of its spending.

The larger part of state spending is an agglomeration of federal funds for health care, food stamps and jobless benefits and state programs paid for by dedicated fees such as gasoline and hunting fees.

The consequence of putting so much of the government on automatic pilot, Alley says, are higher taxes and fees, not enough money for schools and public safety, a pension program that can't be sustained, dependence on unsteady federal dollars, and a state economy whose recovery is impeded by its government.

Read the whole story at the Statesman Journal.

Grasshopper swarms expected this summer

2010 could be the worst grasshopper year in several decades, say experts, who predict that 140,000 acres of Harney County could be destroyed by insects this summer.

Grasshoppers thrive in drought conditions, which are widespread this year, leading to the anticipated glut.

Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and the Dakotas are forecast to feel the brunt, with lesser clouds of grasshoppers expected across Oregon, Washington, Texas, Utah, Colorado and Nevada, said [U.S. Department of Agriculture expert Charles Brown], who oversees the USDA's national grasshopper suppression program.

Of several hundred types of grasshoppers, ranchers and farmers throughout the West are likely to encounter up to 15 hungry "pest species" this summer, he said. In Oregon, a clear-winged grasshopper called Camnula pellucida  and possibly a flightless variety called the Mormon cricket are the culprits.

Read the whole story at OregonLive.com.

Financial problems close charter schools

Clackamas-based AllPrep charter school network has closed schools in Sisters and Marcola due to serious financial problems.

Teachers and staff have lost jobs and students have been required to relocate or pay community college tuition the charter schools were unable to cover.

Nearly a decade ago, [Educational entrepreneur Tim King] founded three charter schools: New Urban High, Clackamas Middle College and Clackamas Web Academy. In 2008, he left to start the AllPrep and other charter schools in a half-dozen small districts across the state, from Sheridan to Estacada to Sisters to Burns.

After he left, serious financial problems were discovered at the Clackamas charters, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in questioned expenditures. The three schools were ordered to repay the district almost $400,000, a debt load that has crimped their operations.

Read the whole story at OregonLive.com.

Crawdad Festival draws crowd to Lakeside

10,000 people made their way to the coast this weekend for the second annual Lakeside Crawdad Festival, an event organizers hope will continue to grow.

The festival, which saw hundreds of attendees in its inaugural season, featured crawdads flown in from Louisiana.

In just its second year, Lakeside Mayor Rod Shilling couldn’t believe what a success the three-day festival turned out to be. He didn’t anticipate it, either. By 3 p.m. Saturday, organizers had run out of the bottom feeders. That’s 1,200 pounds of Louisiana crawdads sold in less than a day...

It wasn’t just about food, though. Bands played past dark, while kids rode carnival rides and local nonprofits promoted their causes. The Lakeside Fire Department set up a barbecued oyster stand, which made $1,500 in profit toward uniforms and other necessities.

Read the whole story at The World Link.

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