Salem's Hispanic economy grows

robin-BLOGThe number crunchers in the research division at the state’s employment department have come up with a very interesting snapshot of the growing Hispanic population in the Salem metro area, and its economic impact. Read more by Editor Robin Doussard.

Editor's Notes: resort group thinks small

robin-BLOGEarlier this month I wrote a 4,000-word story on the shaky future of large destination resorts in Oregon. Here’s the abridged version: The housing collapse, over-saturation and public outcry has stalled any new big resorts, those given an exemption to build outside urban growth boundaries in hopes of spurring tourism for rural economies.

Editor's Notes: Thinking big in Baker

robin-BLOGTiny, beautiful Baker City has, like most rural Oregon towns, long struggled to create new business and jobs out of the ashes of its natural resources industry. The seat of a remote county with a population of only 16,000, Baker suffers from high unemployment but it does not suffer from a lack of trying.

Editor's Notes: Closing the poverty gap

robin-BLOGThe recession destroyed more than 8 million jobs. And while a federal report issued last week showed that the nation gained back 290,000 of those jobs in April, it will be a long time before the economy will be able to soak up the millions who are unemployed.

Editor's Notes: The Rural Economy Project

robin-BLOGIt’s unusual for Oregon’s rural communities to get the spotlight. With most of the population of the state living in the Portland Metro area, rural towns are out of sight and generally out of mind. Rural leaders for years have told me that they figure they are pretty much on their own to reinvent their depressed economies, and unfortunately I have to agree with them.

Editor's Notes: All the news that's ... free

This year’s Pulitzer Prizes were distinguished by a new-generation nonprofit newsroom sharing a prize with an old-generation newspaper newsroom. And while the prize duly rewards remarkable work and shows that a new content model clearly produces outstanding journalism, it doesn’t prove a financial solution for the distressed industry.

This week, ProPublica shared the Pulitzer for investigative work with The New York Times for the astounding story that a ProPublica reporter did about a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina, which ran in The New York Times Magazine. ProPublica has been up and running for only a little more than two years. Based in Manhattan, it is focused on investigations in the public interest and is primarily funded by Bay Area billionaires Herbert and Marion Sandler, whose Sandler Foundation gave $10 million to start the nonprofit. ProPublica’s stories are offered free to traditional news organizations and also published on its website.

Paul Steiger, ProPublica’s editor-in-chief, told Joe Strupp of Media Matters after the prizes were announced Monday that winning the Pulitzer “suggests that our nonpartisan, nonprofit model can serve a role in this time of expanding change in the media.”

Editor's Notes: Lottery winners, losers

I’ve never bought a single lottery ticket in my life. Not even a single scratch-off. But if women who live in Lake Oswego (I am, I do) keep winning the $1 million raffle, I might have to rethink my investment strategy.

The latest winner could have been me. Sandy Hendricks last week was the second woman from Lake Oswego in three years to win the million-dollar Oregon Lottery Raffle. Hendricks, who won the St. Patrick’s Day Raffle, told reporters she is in her early 50s (I am) and has Irish grandparents (I do). "You know, I've never played a raffle before," Hendricks told the Oregonian (ditto). "I bought a ticket because I like leprechauns, I guess."

Well, I don’t like leprechauns (frankly, they creep me out). I don’t believe in luck, or at least I don’t believe that I’m lucky, so I’ve never seen the purpose in buying games of chance.

Editor's Notes: Getting Google's attention

Mayors across the country have been throwing themselves in icy waters and shark tanks and renaming their cities, children and ice cream after Google, all in the hopes of getting a free super high-speed broadband network. Portland over the weekend staged a game of Telephone.

This really can’t compete with babies named Google Fiber, though it does have its charms in a PDX geeky kind of way (it was dubbed “Woo the Goog”). The city hoped it would be the world's longest game of Telephone, where a sentence is whispered from one player to the next until the end, when the beginning and ending phrases are compared. Alas, it was nowhere near the crowd needed to break the 2004 record of 614 people. (Official crowd estimates are still to be released, but one early attendee said maybe 50 were there at the start.) At the Saturday event, the first Telephone sentence uttered was: "PDX has the brains and nerve to welcome Google high speed.” The last one, received by an 8-year-old (and who better, I say): "The Internet place is really great."

Who can argue with that, Mr. Google?

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