Morning Roundup: Coolest Cooler not cool; Astoria shipyard gets cleanup reprieve from DEQ

In today’s news, Portland’s beloved Kickstarter project under investigation, Astoria’s shipyard has 5 more years and Oregon cannabis users really like edibles. 

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1. Coolest Cooler not so cool

In 2014, Portland’s Coolest Cooler was the most popular Kickstarter project. Popularity has quickly gone downhill as backers continue to wait for product delivery two years later. Most recently, the Oregon Department of Justice’s consumer protection division opened an investigation into the company after it received 315 complaints. Coolest Cooler creator Ryan Grepper says he has done nothing wrong, the Oregonian reports. The cooler is available for sale on Amazon, even though thousands of backers are still waiting for their coolers. 

2. Astoria’s shipyard gets a 5-year reprieve

The Astoria Marine Construction Co. was cited by the Department of Environmental Quality in 2012 to clean up the polluted shipyard. As a result of the $2 million price tag and cleanup plan, the shipyard will likely close. This reprieve will give the region time to plan for a new shipyard and reduce the economic impact, the Daily Astorian reports. Most of the site’s contamination stems from World War II when the yard was used to construct wooden minesweepers.

3. Oregon cannabis market strays from recreational market trends

Marijuana edibles and concentrates have only been available in Oregon for three months, but the products now make up more than a quarter of the cannabis market. This shift was immediate, unlike Washington and Colorado where the trend toward concentrates and edibles was a slow process, Willamette Week reports. The most popular product is pre-filled concentrate cartridges. 

4. Portland rent is finally falling

Or at least it seems that way, according to Zumper’s National Rent report. The median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,390, a 0.71% drop from last month, while a two-bedroom rests at $1,600, down 4.1%, Willamette Week reports. This shift bumped Portland from the 15th most expensive city for renters to the 16th. Rent decreases are reportedly part of a nationwide trend, even in the state’s most expensive cities. 

5. A Beaverton student won $15,000 from Google’s international science contest

Anushka Naiknaware, 13, invented a bandage that uses sensors to inform doctors when it needs to be changed. Her invention placed her in the top eight internationally. The Oregonian reports Naiknaware is the youngest contest award winner.

6. As state pension costs rise, the Public Employees Retirement System board considers a bond

The board and Oregon Investment Council considered the possibility of a $20 billion low-interest bond, the Bend Bulletin reports. That money would be put in the PERS system where it could earn returns higher than the cost of the bond and alleviate budget pressure for local governments. 

7. Nike shares fall despite above-expected earnings

The Portland Business Journal reports the fall is likely because of Nike coming up short on future orders. This shortfall could be a sign that pressure from competitors like Adidas and Under Armor is taking a toll. 

8. Generation Diner

OB reporter Hannah Wallace explores why everyone you know is eating out.