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Biz Beat 5-29-2014

The Oregon Legislature last summer approved $3.75 million in seed funding for the South Willamette Valley Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network. RAIN’s goal is economic development for our region, which is slowly making the transition from a dependence on natural resources to a knowledge-based economy. RAIN is intended to help researchers at UO and OSU spin off private companies, provide mentors and create workspaces for tech start-ups. Mayors Kitty Piercy of Eugene and Julie Manning of Corvallis will talk about what this program means at noon Friday, May 30, at City Club of Eugene. The lunch meeting will be at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette St. $5 for non-members. Gov. John Kitzhaber was expected to be in Eugene this week (May 28) to sign a “declaration of cooperation” in support of RAIN at the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce where RAIN has an office.

Lane County Farmers Market is looking ahead to expansion, possibly to a new permanent and year-round space on the old “butterfly lot” across the street. A joint city/county public hearing on the proposed land swap that would make this possible is planned for 6 pm Tuesday, June 3, at Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave. The issues involved are complex, including financing, deed restrictions on the county-owned butterfly lot, traffic congestion, accessibility and collaboration with Saturday Market.

Bohemia Cafe and Apothecary is a new business started up by Serena Rebers, Felicia Colden and Andrea Garcia, at 383 W. 3rd Ave., next to Bounce gymnastics. The business serves organic coffee and espresso, hand-made artisan teas, elixirs, kombucha, herbal remedies and snacks, fruit smoothies and soon, paninis. Previously occupying the space was Sol Botanicals and before that Mama Rose’s Naturals and Living Earth Herbs. Colden was the owner of Sol Botanicals. Open 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and Saturdays. Call Rebers at (949) 291-1326 or find the business on Facebook. 

The Spencer Creek Growers’ Market opens from 10 am to 2 pm Saturday, May 31, out Lorane Highway at the Spencer Creek Grange. Something new this year will be a section where locals can show and sell their Nigerian dwarf goat kids. This miniature breed is now permitted within Eugene city limits. See spencercreekgrange.org or call 341-1709.

The nonprofit Mid Lane Cares is planning its annual fundraising event, “Benefits by the Glass,” from 1 to 4 pm Sunday, June 1, at Domaine Meriwether Wines, located off Highway 126 in Veneta. The event, now in its fifth year, will feature live and silent auctions, local wines, dinner, entertainment and more. Proceeds will support the numerous activities and programs housed in the new Fern Ridge Service Center. Visit midlanecares.org or call 935-4555.

Eugene Local Foods co-manager Leisha Wood will speak about her online farmers market service at noon Wednesday, June 4, at the Hilton downtown. Lunch is optional. The organization is “committed to creating a sustainable, local food system through offering locally sourced foods from small farmers while serving consumers with an easy, fun and convenient shopping model,” says Wood, who currently works for Willamette Farm and Food Coalition as the Buy Local Campaign coordinator. 

Dexter Lake Farmers Market starts up its new season from noon to 3 pm Sunday, June 1, at Dexter Lake State Park, 39011 Hwy. 58. The Fiddlin’ Big Sue Band will play and other musicians are wanted for more Sunday gigs. Call 937-3007. For selling produce or consignment crafts information call 937-3034. See also dexterlakefarmersmarket.org.

NumberShire is a new math video game developed in Eugene to help first grade students improve their math skills. The game has gained recognition by the U.S. Department of Education and shows early success in the educational technology sector. “We want to help as many students improve their math skills as possible,” says Marshall Gause, president of Thought Cycle, the company that developed the game in a joint venture with the UO Center on Teaching and Learning. “For every copy parents purchase, we will donate one to the school of your choice.” Camas Ridge Community Elementary in Eugene and La Pine Elementary School in La Pine have already received free copies. See numbershire.com or call 870-1390.