Morning Roundup: Eugene’s Olympic economy; New gas plant in future

Athletic companies partner with local businesses at Olympic Trials, while PGE’s new gas power plant is up and running.

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— At perhaps the biggest event in Eugene — the Olympic Trials — local businesses are partnering with companies shut out of the official games. With Nike owning merchandise and sponsorship for the 10-day event, The Register Guard reports many other footwear and fitness apparel companies are paying nearby businesses and property owners to sell their merchandise or display advertising. Hoka One One, a French shoe company, has paid Eugene Running Company and the Wild Duck Cafe to set up booths near Hayward Field in the hopes passersby will see its branding.

— Portland General Electric’s new natural gas power plant near Boardman was tested for the first time June 21. If testing over the next month goes well, PGE reportedly hopes to have the $635 million plan providing commercial services by Aug. 1. Named the Carty Generation Station, the plant is a long-term solution to growing demand. But shoddy work by Abeinsa, which was fired in December, may delay the plant’s opening. The project’s budget has already increased by more than $100 million. The East Oregonian has more.

— The Bend Venture Conference will return again for its 13th year. The October 13-14 conference will focus on three competition categories: social impact, early stage and growth stage. The social impact category is new this year. The conference is expected to sell out as companies get ready to compete for cash prizes. Read more here. 

— Agricultural groups are speaking out against Initiative Petition 28 by showcasing the taxes effect on farmers and individual companies. Wilco farms, for instance, would see a 1,388% increase to its corporate income tax [$168,000 to $2.5 million]. Ag groups are arguing while the petition targets companies with high sales, it doesn’t account for those with low profit margins. The Portland Tribune reports despite these arguments, IP28 supporters are unmoved.

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— The Port of Coos Bay received a federal grant for $11 million to repair nine rail line tunnels. The tunnels span the 134-mile line, and are nearly 100 years old. Coos Bay’s grant is one of 18, from an application pool of 212. Unlike the oil trains making news in Oregon, the Coos Bay Rail Link transports wood products. The Register Guard has more.



— Facebook is being examined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for transferring some rights for its worldwide business to an Irish holding company. A lawsuit field but he Justice Department question Facebook’s tax liability for 2010, when the transfer occurred. Read more from Reuters.

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— A study published yesterday shows that in states like Oregon, where medical marijuana is legalized, the number of prescription drugs for Medicare patients has declined. The reduced prescriptions are for drugs used to manage chronic pain, anxiety of depression. This is the first study, according to NPR, that examines if marijuana legalization could curb public health costs.