Morning Roundup: Treehouse cuts staff; Measure 97 gains backers

In today’s news, Treehouse faces economic troubles, Oregon youth are enrolling in Medicaid and Measure 97 racks up more prominent supporters.

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1. Education startup mitigates economic struggles

It’s been a tough day for Portland’s online education startup Treehouse. The company cut 22 people from its 104-person workforce last month. The Portland Business Journal reports the layoffs were to help Treehouse reach profitability.

The startup also announced an end to its second workplace experiment: the four-day workweek. Treehouse had been experimenting with a no-boss initiative, but found employees didn’t manage themselves well enough and brought the boss back. With the layoffs in mind, The Oregonian reports the four-day workweek was no longer sustainable.

2. Oregon’s youth are taking advantage of Medicaid 

More than 400,000 youth and individuals have enrolled in Medicaid since the Jan. 2014 expansion — nearly doubling state estimates. The Statesman Journal reports after the Oregon Health Authority announced these numbers, it asked for more than 50% in additional funding to pay for the Oregon Health Plan. 

3. Short-term rentals add $128 million to Portland economy 

Airbnb projects an economic impact in Portland of more than $128 million. The Portland Business Journal reports about $30.5 million was earned in supplemental income by the 2,900 hosts in Portland, and the 191,000 guests spent $118 million at businesses. Many of these listed homes, however, might be illegal, as Willamette Week reports. Homeowners aren’t meeting the residency requirements. 

4. Measure 97 racks up additional supporters 

Former Govs. Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski join Gov. Kate Brown in endorsing the corporate tax measure. The governors released a joint statement, addressing the theory that additional taxes would be passed on to the consumer. “This is just a scare tactic. In fact, there wouldn’t even be a vote NO campaign if big corporations could just pass along the costs to consumers,” the statement reads. The Oregonian reports the governors also pointed out that less than 1% of Oregon businesses would face the tax increase.

5. Malheur ranchers face court today

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge trial begins today with jury selection in the case against Ammon Bundy and seven others who seized the refuge in January. The Bend Bulletin reports what Oregonians need to know as the trial begins. The defendants argue the takeover was a First Amendment right. 

6. In other ranching news, Oregon farmers want a more aggressive approach to wolf management.

In the wake of Washington’s decision to kill the Profanity Peak Pack, I spoke to ranchers about Oregon’s approach to managing the wolf population. 

7. Apple debuts the iPhone 7 today

Reuters reports consumers are already looking forward to the iPhone’s next generation release in 2017, even though the iPhone 7 has yet to be unveiled. Analysts believe the new phone design remains largely unchanged because some large changes are in the works for next year.