Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

Vicki Walker may be a city girl from Eugene.  But her current job calls on her to help Oregon's rural communities prosper.  Since 2009, Walker has been the U.S. Department of Agriculture's State Director for Rural Development.  In an audio report, Walker explains her agency's role.

Cave Junction: A Town Making Do

Dec 3, 2013
Lucy Ohlsen

Cave Junction is a small town struggling to support itself. It is one of two incorporated cities in once Timber-rich Josephine county. In Southern Oregon, residents are coping.

On the Friday before Veterans’ Day. The mayor of Cave Junction and some volunteers are unloading trucks full of army surplus clothing to give away the next morning. 

This is the second “Stand Down” breakfast mayor Carl Jacobsen has hosted. At 69, he’s been mayor for 3 years.

WA Fish & Wildlife

Oregon's Dungeness crab season has been delayed until December 16th. The season normally starts around the first of the month, but the crustaceans don't have enough meat yet.

Hugh Link is Executive Director of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. He says it's disappointing to crab fishermen to start the season late.

City of Woodburn

Twenty years ago this month President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law.  Few foresaw that it would change the face of Oregon.


Downtown Woodburn seems to be in good economic shape. Anthony Veliz, who owns a marketing firm here, shows us around:

"All of these businesses here, as we're walking are Latino-owned businesses. King's Den barbershop and we have these little tienditas, little stores, shops, zapateria y joyeria.   We have a Mexican grocery store....we can go in...."

Rachael McDonald

The big box stores and malls are hoping you'll go shopping on Black Friday. Some even pushed their sales back to Thanksgiving night. Small local businesses are doing their own marketing for this Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is a national event with businesses participating throughout Oregon. In downtown Eugene, Toby Sovak, owner of Noisette Pastry Kitchen has joined with neighboring businesses to encourage people to join in.

Amelia Templeton

Over the last five years, shipping logs from the Northwest to China has grown into a 4 billion dollar business. Ports along the Oregon and Washington coast are looking to reopen log yards that shut down years ago and provide the raw material to feed China’s construction boom. But some residents in Newport Oregon say a proposal to export logs there isn’t good for the community, and will hurt Northwest mills.

Rachael McDonald

Nearly half a million Oregonians were considered food insecure in the latest federal survey. Members of the Oregon Hunger Task Force were in Eugene today for a listening session.

The Oregon Hunger Task Force was established by the legislature in 1989.

Director Patti Whitney-Wise is with Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon. She says the state has made great strides but that the recession was a huge setback.

Residents of Newport fighting the reopening of a log export terminal received a reprieve late last week.  The state land use board has upheld an objection by a local condo association.

Residents at The Landing at Newport condominiums are opposing the reopening of the log export terminal by the Teevin Brothers company – citing noise and log truck traffic concerns.   They appealed the company’s traffic impact analysis to the state land use board.  LUBA upheld one of the appeals and sent the study back to the city for revision. 

Austin Jenkins

The state of Washington is about to make a major real estate decision that supporters say will transform healthcare training for the next generation. The deal has also been called “a nightmare.” We’re talking about a proposed lease of Seattle’s Pacific Tower - former headquarters of Amazon dot com. Powerful interests – including Washington’s Speaker of the House – want to turn the Seattle  landmark into a training center for future health care workers and a hub for non-profits. But internal state agency documents raise serious questions about the terms and cost of the deal.

EWEB Proposes Rate Increases

Nov 5, 2013

Come February, Eugene Water and Electric Board customers will be paying more for their utilities, if the board approves proposed rate increases.

EWEB’s management has recommended increases of 4.5% for electricity and 3% for water. For a single-family home, that’s about $6 more per month for electricity and $1 more for water. Spokesman Joe Harwood explains one reason for the rate hike:

Harwood: “EWEB continues to face diminishing revenues due to the continuing low prices that we receive for selling surplus power to other utilities.”