Economy

Economy
7:12 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Fair Trade Retailer Greater Goods Closing After 23 Years In Eugene

Joanie Kleban, owner of Greater Goods, stands with a few of the items in her store. She's closing shop after 23 years in business.
Credit Angela Kellner

One of downtown Eugene’s unique retailers is going out of business after 23 years of selling mostly fair trade products. KLCC’s Angela Kellner stopped by Greater Goods to find out how the business got started…and why it’s shutting down.

Across from the trendy 5th Street Public Market is a thrift store and Greater Goods.

Step inside and you’re transported to myriad cultures and crafts. Owner Joanie Kleban explains how it all began.

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Agriculture
4:00 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Farmers Recover After Cold Winter Weather

Lane County Farmer's Market
Credit Amanda Butt

Vendors at the Lane County Farmer’s Market say their crops are recovering after the snow and below zero temperatures that hit their fields this winter.

Booths are filled with kale, carrots, and potatoes at the Lane County Farmer’s Market. It’s hard to see that farmers suffered any losses after the winter’s harsh and unusual weather. But the farmers behind the tables and baskets of produce say the cold conditions came with a price.

Richardson: “We had some issues. The cold was harsh on us.”

Says Jack Richardson, the manager of Organic Redneck farm.

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Eugene Downtown
12:49 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Eugene's Downtown Makes Top Ten List

The Barnlight is one of the many new businesses in Eugene's downtown.
Credit Eugene Cascades and Coast Blog

Eugene has made Livability-dot-com's top ten list of Best Downtowns for 2014.

The website points to the transformation of Eugene's center over the past several years from a place with empty pits and vacant buildings to one with housing, theaters, and lots of restaurants and offices. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy credits the efforts of city staff, residents and a 200 million dollar investment. Piercy says being on a list with cities such as Alexandria, Virginia and Fort Worth, Texas is a nice recognition.

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Child Care
7:12 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Child Care: The Affordability Trap

With stay-at-home parents increasingly rare, finding high quality, affordable child care has become a major challenge for many families. A recent report found Oregon has the least-affordable child care in the nation. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty takes a look at the hurdles parents face and how some are coping with the squeeze.

In the predawn dark on a weekday morning, Natasha Hale hustles to get her two rambunctious sons ready for their day. As she pours milk and cereal in the kitchen, Hale talks about her daily schedule, which starts at 5 a.m.

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Sports
3:53 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Track Town On Track For World Junior Championships

Abby Hoffman speaks Thursday at Hayward Field.
Credit Karen Richards

This week, Eugene is hosting representatives from the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field's governing body. They are reviewing progress for July's World Junior Championships, being held in the United States for the first time.

Abby Hoffman is a four-time Olympian and a member of the IAAF Council. She says this visit is focused on logistics, such as coordinating with the U of O to house and feed an estimated 1,600 athletes.

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Timber industry
6:41 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Why Northwest Lumber Mills Want China To Buy Lumber Instead Of Logs

Research shows milling lumber in the Northwest creates more local jobs than exporting logs.
Credit Cassandra Profita

At Hampton Lumber's Tillamook sawmill on the North Coast of Oregon, workers are packaging a bundle of freshly milled lumber with plastic and staple guns. The boards look a lot like the rest of the lumber the the mill makes. But they represent a bright spot on an otherwise dismal landscape.

They've been measured and cut specifically for a customer in China. And mill manager Mark Elston says they could be the key not only to keeping the mill open but may even get the mill back up to full capacity for the first time since the U.S. housing market collapsed in 2008.

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Economy
12:11 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Sports Tourism Brings Millions Into Lane County Economy

Credit Jes Burns

Sports tourism is a big economic generator in Lane County - with fans staying at hotels, eating at restaurants and shopping at local retailers.  A new report estimates sporting events generated $32 million in 2013 - and that's not counting the economic impact of sports at the University of Oregon.

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Economy
2:54 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Employers Struggle To Fill Vacant Positions

Credit Oregon Employment Department

Employers in Northwest Oregon and the Willamette Valley had a difficult time filling vacant positions in 2013. At any given time there were 8,000 vacancies, according to an Oregon Employment Department survey.

More than two-thirds of these vacancies did not require more than a high school education and offered an hourly wage of more than ten dollars. Many of these vacancies were for farm workers, meat and fish cutters, and home health care aides.

Regional Labor Economist Brian Rooney:

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Lumber Industry
12:07 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Southern Oregon Sawmill To Reopen Thanks to State Help

Lumber stacked in the yard at Rough and Ready before it closed about a year ago.
Credit Amelia Templeton / Earthfix

Governor John Kitzhaber Friday announced a $5 million funding package that will allow Josephine County's last sawmill to re-open.
 
The Rough & Ready Sawmill in O'Brien closed a year ago. It will now be able to open with upgraded equipment thanks to a combination of tax credits and a state loan. At a press conference in White City, Owner Link Phillipi said he expects the mill will be able to hire more than 60 people.

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Medical Marijuana
7:53 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Out of the Shadows: An Emerging Cannabis Industry Seeks Respectability

The Oregon Health Authority is accepting license applications for the first state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries. The law’s supporters hope to assure patients safe access to their medicine. But as a rapidly-expanding list of states allows medical marijuana – and with Washington and Colorado legalizing recreational use of pot – a growing cohort of entrepreneurs hears opportunity knocking.

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