Morning Roundup: Hydro Flask funds degree program; Portland workers earn more

Portland, Corvallis workers earn above national average, and Hydro Flask funds new degree program at OSU.

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— Bend company Hydro Flask donated $250,000 to Oregon State University to develop a new degree program focused on outdoor products. The donation comes just before a new building opens at OSU’s Cascades campus this fall, and four more buildings are expected to open in January.  The Oregonian reports the donation will fund an outdoor products expert to develop the Bachelor’s degree program.

— A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found Portland workers earn at more than 8% above the national average. While the national wage average is $23.23, Portland workers made closer to $25.07. OPB reports this is likely due to the influx of workers joining professions like software development and engineering. Corvallis nearly matched Portland’s above average wages coming in at $25.06 an hour.

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— Oregon business groups have already raised more than $5.5 million to fight Initiative Petition 28. A Better Oregon, which supports the corporate tax, has only raised about $450,000. OPB has more.

Meanwhile, state budget problems are mounting. The Statesman Journal reports that even if IP28 passes, the state could face a deficit. Without the tax — estimated to bring in $6 billion every biennium — Oregon has a projected $1.4 billion deficit. 


St. Charles Bend will spend $66 million to construct a new patient tower, doubling the number of intensive care beds. This will reduce the need for the Bend hospital to send patients to Portland. The project will also add jobs to the hospital. The Bend Bulletin reports between 30 and 40 nurses will be hired in addition to more physicians. Construction is expected to begin later this summer.

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— Two more cross-laminated timber projects are moving forward, as Oregon BEST announced its design contest winners this morning. Read more here.


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— Editor Linda Baker talks to British-born Oreogn executives about Brexit here.  Meanwhile: Theresa May will take over as Britain’s Prime Minister tomorrow. This announcement has sent the British pound on a rebound, as the markets continue to respond positively. As of this morning, the pound was trading at $1.33 to the dollar. Business Insider has more.

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— Just last year, biomass was the fuel of the future. But now, experts are questioning how green this “green power” truly is. 65 scientists are fighting an amendment in an energy bill that calls biomass “carbon neutral.” Read more from NPR.