Morning Roundup: Malheur strikes gold; Public corporation proposed for the Port

In today’s news, there’s gold in Malheur County, a new plan for the Port circulates and Nike’s activity data clause causes privacy concerns.

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1. Minerals in Malheur County muddy the waters

A new report has found gold, silver and uranium in Malheur County. As OPB reports, that mining potential is in an area conservationists and Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are trying to protect. It’s also the site of the proposed Owyhee National Monument. It’s not easy to designate a mining region and opposition to new mining will likely make that designation more difficult. 

2. Could a public corporation repair the Port of Portland?

When the Port of Portland shifted the Port’s terminal to a private operator in 2010, it caused no end of problems. The Oregonian reports that change, introduced by the port’s new director Bill Wyatt, stalled service at the terminal. Those who use the terminal to export goods, including farmers, are still struggling to repair the damage. Kevin Mannix, a well-known Republican who ran for Governor in 2002 and 2006, is calling for a new solution. Mannix wants to create the Oregon Shipping Authority, billed as a public corporation, that would take over the container terminal.

3. Nike is collecting activity data from its student athletes

Nike has increased its data collection from college athletes, the Portland Business Journal reports. Nike includes a data clause in its contracts with at least 11 schools, requiring schools to collect and report “activity-based information” that Nike can use to improve its products. Critics are worried about the potential to abuse the athletes’ privacy.

4. Intel shouldn’t shun the PC just yet

Intel had announced it intends to focus on emerging technologies, such as smartwatches and self driving cars, but the PC has actually boosted its third-quarter revenue by $700 million. The Oregonian reports the increase is likely short term but that Intel is seeing some indication of a rejuvenated demand for PC’s.

5. Can house calls solve costly medical care?

Providing patients with house calls has proved to be lucrative for healthcare providers. The Portland Business Journal reports that a two-year pilot project testing primary care via house calls saved $35 million. This finding could lead to a shift in Medicare patient treatment in the future. It’s something Sen. Ron Wyden is already considering.

6. Coworking in a box

The shared workspaces hosted by WeWork are a relatively popular concept. The company expanded to Portland just last year, and now offers its flexible offices in 113 locations. But Fast Company reports there’s something preventing the concept from spreading further: the cost to building owners. Two former WeWork employees have created a new business model to solve that problem by offering building owners “coworking in a box.” The service could allow owners to start their own flexible lease office spaces without losing out on the money WeWork makes from the building sublease.

7. Portland wants to retrofit its brick buildings

Responding to the threat of the Cascadia Earthquake, the city of Portland wants to retrofit brick buildings to better withstand the quake. As the Portland Tribune reports, the sheer number of buildings in need of seismic retrofitting — 1,800 in Portland — causes a logistical nightmare. The proposed policy gives building owners 25 years to complete the full retrofitting. A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Sept. 22.

8. On the scene: Made in Portland?

Portland has a burgeoning fashion industry, but what happens when companies want to manufacture their products in Portland?