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Biz Beat

September 18, 2014

StoveTec, a local for-profit stove enterprise, is pledging financial support for StoveTeam International, a nonprofit organization that brings safe, fuel-efficient and low-emission stoves to communities in Mexico and Central America. Under the new sponsorship, StoveTec — which markets wood cook stoves developed at Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove — will donate a portion of its domestic for-profit sales to support StoveTeam International.

September 11, 2014

About $24 million in federal funding for the West Eugene EmX project passed the Metropolitan Policy Committee unanimously last week, according to Rob Zako, executive director of Better Eugene-Springfield Transit (BEST). “We are looking forward to work proceeding efficiently with minimal impacts, and to seeing the new EmX line open in just over two years,” he says. BEST has been holding “listening sessions” with the community over recent months and plans to release a report next month. An online survey is at best-oregon.org. 

September 4, 2014

We hear that nearly 90 percent of the 1,300 beds at the Capstone housing project called 13th & Olive are leased and new leases are expected to be signed through September. The construction work that remains will be completed by move-in around Sept. 23.

August 28, 2014

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon are rallying to support the measure on the November ballot that would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana use by adults in the state. Lane County dispensaries are sending representatives north to a kick-off event for the group Dispensaries for Measure 91 at 5:30 pm Thursday, Aug. 28, at Opal 28, 510 NE 28th Ave. in Portland. See voteyeson91.com to get involved. Why are dispensaries supporting “competition” from legalized pot?

August 20, 2014

Join the Eugene SLUG Queens as they slime around downtown Eugene visiting local businesses. The SLUG Crawl departs Kesey Square at 4 pm, but you can stop by participating businesses any time on Aug. 23 and use the secret code “SLUG Queen” to enjoy a special discount. Participating businesses include: Townshend’s Tea, MECCA, Harlequin Beads, Heritage Drygoods, Party Downtown, Out on a Limb Gallery and more. 

August 13, 2014

Traditional glassblowing is returning to the Whit. The Gudger Hot Shop announced this week the opening of a studio in the Cornerstone Art Studios, 1068 W. 2nd Ave. Andrew Glenn Gudger and his fellow hot glass artists will be on the First Friday ArtWalk and the public will be able to watch them work.

August 6, 2014

Dramatic circulation drops in nearly all Oregon newspapers are documented in the new Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association directory. Looking at weekday subscriptions and weekday single-copy sales, The Register-Guard went from 51,040 last year to 43,663 this year.  The Oregonian went from 228,599 last year to 162,599 this year — what’s shocking is the stalwart Oregonian had weekday numbers approaching half a million in the 1990s. The Corvallis Gazette-Times went from 9,815 last year to 8,607 this year.

July 30, 2014

Kaiser Permanente announced this week that it will open a medical office in Eugene in late 2015, according to a press release. Medical office sites are being evaluated to accommodate at least four primary care physicians and their staff. Kaiser Permanente is a nonprofit provider of integrated health care services and insurance plans, serving 9.3 million members, including about 495,000 members in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

July 23, 2014

The local real estate market appears to be doing well with residential sale prices improving in all areas, many by double digits, according to a flyer sent out last week by broker Sally Nunn. Nunn’s numbers compare June 2013 with June 2014 and show the biggest gains in the McKenzie Valley (16.9 percent) and Springfield (13.4 percent). West Eugene home sales went up 10 percent with other parts of Eugene showing single-digit growth. The number of closed sales in the metro area increased 3.7 percent and the number of new listings grew by 6.5 percent. 

July 9, 2014

Most contractors in Lane County are happy to provide would-be customers with their license number from the Construction Contractors Board (CCB), and many contractors even include it on their business cards. But that information might be out of date or just wrong. If you hire a contractor who is unlicensed and things go wrong, it can get very expensive. See our 2008 cover story “Cutting Corners” in our archives at wkly.ws/1s9. You can check the CCB website and see the status of contractors, but now it’s even easier.

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.