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Biz Beat

July 3, 2014

Emerald Valley Weatherization is going through transition to new ownership. The Springfield business, founded in 1993 and now owned by Lonnie Lee Stringer and Carla Dee Stringer, canceled some of its pending work orders last week and shut down its website, but is back in business this week, according to Kristin Mason, who tells EW she and her husband are taking over and buying the business. Mason is the daughter of Carla Stringer and says Lonnie Stringer, her stepfather, was wanting to sell but a pending deal fell through.

June 19, 2014

Hard Times Distillery will be opening a tasting room at 547 Blair Blvd., across from Tacovore and next to Mame. “The neighborhood has become known for food, beer and wine, but now there are locally made distilled spirits as well,” says Ben Maude of Hard Times. Call him at 414-9752.

June 12, 2014

Holy Cow is permanently closing its campus location in the EMU on the UO campus as of June 30. “Deconstruction is in full swing and we cannot afford to keep it open after business went down 50 percent due to construction,” says Kathee Lavine of Holy Cow in an email. “We are open on Willamette and our catering and products are available as always.” Lavine adds, “It is perhaps fitting that we are going out with the OUS system, both of us ending our involvement with the UO on June 30.

June 5, 2014

The West Eugene EmX expansion is moving forward, despite vocal opposition and efforts to derail it. With this in mind, the nonprofit Better Eugene-Springfield Transit (BEST)  is holding a public forum to “share diverse views on why transit is, or isn’t important to our community” from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Tuesday, June 10, at the LCC Downtown Center, Room 105.

May 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.

May 22, 2014

Kush MMD and Reign Inc. have opened a state-licensed and regulated medical marijuana facility (MFF) and wellness center at 221 W. 10th Ave. in downtown Eugene. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house was held May 12. The business has a provisional MMF license and “will wait until receiving the official state registration from the state before engaging in cannabis commerce,” says General Manager Lisa Della Croce.

May 15, 2014

 Two Eugene law firms have filed a class action lawsuit against the owners of the Little Big Burger chain claiming the company does not pay employees for earned overtime wages. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene by Leiman & Johnson, LLC, and Andrew Lewinter, PC, and seeks an unspecified amount in actual damages, liquidated damages, penalties, interest, punitive damages and attorney fees. One of the plaintiffs is Logan Vance, the former manager of the Eugene location at 1404 Orchard St. near campus.

May 8, 2014

A couple of big plant sales are happening Saturday, May 10, just in time for Mother’s Day giving. The eighth annual Oregon Plant Fair will be from 9 am to 2 pm at the Alton Baker Park shelters, sponsored by Avid Gardeners Eugene District Garden Clubs and a benefit for the Master Gardener Extension Program. The 23rd annual Hardy Plant Sale will be from 9 am to 2 pm indoors at the Fairgrounds, a benefit for the nonprofit Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group. 

May 1, 2014

Whole Foods has its eyeballs on Eugene again, but no $8 million taxpayer-subsidized parking garage will be attached this time to get folks riled up. The Texas-based corporation tried to build at the same location just south of Ferry Street Bridge in 2006. We noted then that the chain averages $537,000 in sales per store each week. Even half that sales volume in Eugene would have an impact on established local stores, but Safeway, Albertson’s and Trader Joe’s are also chain stores, and the Natural Grocers chain is building on the north side of the bridge at the old Red Lion site.

April 24, 2014

Family physician Alison Erde, M.D., has practiced medicine in Springfield for 12 years and is now relocating her solo Prevention Plus Clinic practice to south Eugene to be closer to home. The clinic is now at 3225 Willamette, Suite 1. She tells us she trained at UCLA and completed a women’s health fellowship. “I am something of an anachronism,” she says. “I have a holistic approach to wellness.” Her “special interests” are in menopause, mood issues, sports medicine and preventive health care.

April 10, 2014

What’s happening with the LUCiA development on Friendly Street? Construction on the second row of townhouses is expected to wrap up by June 1 and one of the units has already been sold, says Mel Bankoff, who is in partnership with architect Jan Fillinger of studio-e architecture and  project manager Teri Reifer (see our 2013 story at wkly.ws/1q3). Bankoff says he plans to have open houses in mid-April. The third phase of residential development will begin in June with a completion target of March 2015.

April 3, 2014

Sustainable Cottage Grove and the Oregon Food Bank are holding a community event called FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions, Together) from 10 am to 4 pm Saturday, April 5, at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs. The event focuses on promoting and supporting local food systems.

March 27, 2014

Joanie Kleban tells us Greater Goods will be ending its regular hours after Saturday, March 29, and will be open off and on during April. Kleban is retiring after 23 years and is selling off her extensive inventory of hand-crafted, fair-trade goods from around the world. The store is on High Street across from Fifth Street Public Market. What’s next?

March 20, 2014

Core Campus is planning to open its 512-bed, 183-unit student luxury housing project in August 2015, but will “The Hub” at 515 E. Broadway be able to compete with the glut of cheaper student housing already being built, particularly at a time when college enrollment is dropping? At other Core projects, monthly rent for studios runs about $1,000 and five-bedroom apartments go for about $3,000. Penthouse units and those with their own hot tubs are more.

March 13, 2014

Last week in this column we wrote about a late-night flight coming into Eugene Feb. 23 that was diverted to Portland. It took a few tries before we found someone to talk to at the Eugene Airport, but it appears we talked to a fellow who was ill-informed. The flight did not arrive after midnight so the tower was still open, there actually was a malfunction of the Automated Surface Observing System at the airport. ASOS is owned and operated by the Federal Aviation Administration, not the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

March 6, 2014

We heard a late-night flight coming into Eugene Sunday, Feb. 23, was unable to land and was diverted to Portland. Grumpy Eugene passengers had to rent cars and make the early morning drive home. The pilot told passengers that he was unable to get ground wind speed information from the Eugene tower and so he could not land. What happened? We checked with Eugene Airport officials and learned that all pilots have discretion when it comes to safety and it appears some malfunction occured with the FAA equipment, which was quickly repaired. 

February 27, 2014

Cascade Raptor Center on Fox Hollow Road took a big hit in the recent snow and ice storm, says Louise Shimmel of the center. She says volunteers wore hard hats as they were feeding the birds and checking on them amid crashing branches and even falling trees. The birds survived despite damage to their aviaries, though a couple of traumatized owls and a kite needed to come inside for the weekend. A supply shed was damaged, along with the mouse barn and a car. The center was closed for two weeks and is now fundraising to help pay for the damage and lost revenue.

February 20, 2014

SheerID has grown to 21 employees and has moved from 1175 Charnelton to a larger building at 2451 Willamette St. The now vacant Charnelton building was previously occupied by the nonprofit Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics. SheerID specializes in verifying valid customers for businesses, nonprofits and other organizations that do targeted marketing. The business grew out of concern for fake IDs and coupons being used for discounts and special offers by military vets, students, alumni, etc. The company has seen major growth since launching in early 2013.

February 13, 2014

The annual KLCC Microbrew Festival carried on at the Fairgrounds last weekend despite the snow and ice, and “this was the first time we’ve had ever had people arrive by ski, sled and snowshoes,” says Cheryl Crumbley of KLCC. She says proceeds were down about 50 percent due to the weather, but only six out of 65 breweries didn’t make it. “For the attendees, this year’s brewfest was excellent because the music was great and the crowds were small (no lines).” The low attendance was “a big blow,” but Crumbley says there are no plans for a make-up event.

February 6, 2014

Greater Goods is closing after 23 years in Eugene. Joan Kleban is retiring and she has been a good friend to EW and a consistent advertiser all these years. We wish her well and expect she will continue to be a positive force in our community. We also appreciate her dedication to offering fair trade, hand-made products and folk art from around the world. Fair trade goods promote social and environmental sustainability, rare qualities in developing countries and even here at home.

January 30, 2014

Sponsors, Inc. is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 pm Thursday, Jan. 30, at its new Bothy Cottage/RISE (Reunite in a Supportive Environment) home. The five-bedroom, 3,200-sq.-ft. house is the first of its kind in Oregon and unique nationally. Its mission is to help mothers who are returning home from prison. Services include parenting classes, cognitive behavioral therapy, drug treatment and more. RSVP to tdejohn@sponsorsinc.org or call 505-5687. 

January 23, 2014

Rental owners in Eugene can take advantage of EWEB’s renewed zero-interest loans and rebates for ductless heat pumps and other upgrades. A lot of older rental units have electric ceiling heat, baseboard heat or wall units that suck a lot of juice. Renters usually get stuck with the high EWEB bills, but we know some rental owners who approached their tenants and asked them if they would be willing to pay more rent in exchange for cheaper, better heat and air conditioning. The deal can pencil out well and add property value.

January 16, 2014

The David Minor Theater at 180 E. 5th Ave. is expanding and showing $3 matinees now that Ronny Goldfarb of Ronny’s Audio Vision next door retired the first of the year, according to Josh Goldfarb, Ronny’s son and the owner of DMT. “We are also in the process of expanding and maximizing the space now available to us. So stay tuned for updates!” he says. The DMT has been in business for the past four years. See davidminortheater.com or call 762-1700.

January 9, 2014

Scams inspired by our popular Best of Eugene Awards are evolving. Not only are businesses and groups being offered fake Best of Eugene plaques for $150 (the real ones are free), but local businesses are now getting pitched for “Dental Office of the Year” or “Salon of the Year” and other fake accolades. These so-called awards are touted as “free” but the scammers charge big bucks for making the plaques and shipping them, if in fact they ever make and ship them at all after they take your Visa number.