Bend takes on climate change and affordable housing, Oregon tackles Zika virus.
— Bend’s City Council is discussing a proposal to make all city facilities and operations carbon neutral, as well as reducing fossil fuel use by 40% by 2030, and 70% by 2050. A discussion left some business owners frustrated, as the rules would also apply to local businesses. Many were concerned with how the change would be funded. The Bend Bulletin has more.
— In other Bend news, the City Council approved $5 million in funding to construct 160 affordable housing units. Bend has had 1% vacancy rate for the last four years. The $5 million comes in the form of loans and system development charge exemptions for developers building affordable housing. Bend has also sold two properties to housing organizations to build affordable units. Read more from the Bend Bulletin.
— Boardman’s Upper Columbia Mill will close Sept. 19, laying off 67 employees. The Oregonian reports a few jobs may be retained for operations continuing through October. The mill is closing because the adjacent tree farm was sold recently and will be replaced with agricultural crops and a dairy. With the tree farm closed, there are no other sources of logs for the mill.
— Nike’s workforce has expanded to 70,700 — the first time employment topped 70,000. That’s up from 62,600 last year. To compare, Intel is Oregon’s largest private employer with 19,500 workers. The Portland Business Journal reports Nike has 137 job openings still available online.
— Oregon has been awarded $632,654 to fight the Zika virus. The funding comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which awarded $60 million total to assist states fight the virus. In theory, the funding will support public health, including improving mosquito control. Read more from the Portland Business Journal.
— Jim Williams, head of Oregon’s Elections Division, resigned suddenly this week. Williams resigned July 19 citing personal reasons. With elections just three months away, Deputy Elections Director Brenda Bayes has been tapped to lead the department until a permanent division had can be found. OPB has more.
— I talked with Grand Ronde Tribal Chairman Reyn Leno on plans for the Multnomah Greyhound Park, economic diversification projects and why the tribe disenrolled more than 100 members.
— Yahoo will reportedly sell the bulk of its business to Verizon. Verizon purchased AOL last year for $4.4 billion, which would be boosted by Yahoo. If finalized, the sale would mark the end of Yahoo, Reuters reports.
— Hugo, Colo. warned its residents not to drink, cook with or bathe in the local water. Why? It’s contaminated with THC. Although marijuana is legal in Colorado, NPR reports there aren’t any growers or sellers in the town, or in Lincoln County where production and retail are banned. It’s unlikely effects would be noticed, but the Department of Public Health is looking into the situation.