Education department drafts Measure 98 plans, Portland commissioner approves Wall Street Journal criticism, and Roseburg sawmill demands apology from Department of Energy auditor.
1. Implementation timeline drafted for Measure 98
The Department of Education is preparing to implement the state initiative to fund dropout prevention and college readiness programs, according to the Bend Bulletin. The proposed plans and timeline are scheduled for review Dec. 8 by the State Board of Education. The deadline for finalized rules is March 1. Although school districts are not required to seek funding from the program, local school officials have already begun planning how to address graduation rates, additional education programming and dropout prevention.
2. Novick pleased by Wall Street Journal criticism
Outgoing Portland Commissioner Steve Novick proposed a city tax increase on companies that pay CEOs more than 100 times that of the average employee. The council is scheduled to vote on the proposal Dec. 7. Novick’s proposal, which could bring in $3 million a year, received harsh criticism from the Wall Street Journal last week for giving companies incentive to reduce its low-income workers. Novick told the Portland Tribune he approves the editorial, because it brought the issue to a national audience.
3. Roseburg sawmill fights back against energy tax credit allegations
Roseburg’s Douglas County Forest Products is demanding a written apology from the state’s program auditor for an alleged error that harmed the sawmill’s reputation, the Oregonian reports. An audit of Oregon’s energy tax credit program found problems with more than 14,000 tax credits taken from 2006 to 2014, including $5.1 million in credit taken by the sawmill between 2006 and 2012. Mill representatives say the auditor’s conduct was negligent. Auditor Marsh Minick stands by his findings.
4. Meyer Memorial awards $17.3 million to nonprofits
Meyer Memorial Trust took a two-year hiatus from grant funding while it reorganized. Meyer will now focus more on housing, the environment and community building, reports the Portland Business Journal. Muslim Educational Trust, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives and Bonneville Environmental Foundation (Our 2016 No. 1 Small Nonprofit) received awards above $200,000.
5. Nike losing ground in athletic company battle
Although Nike is continuing to grow toward its goal of $50 billion in revenue by 2020, competitors Adidas and Under Armour are growing faster, according to the Oregonian. Consumers view Nike as a stagnant brand while Adidas and Under Armor continue to utilize pop culture to increase revenues.
6. Two Oregon companies fined for water discharging
McMenamins and Willamette & Pacific Railroad were cited by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for issues related to water discharge, according to the Statesman Journal. McMenamins was discharging wastewater from its Edgefield property without a permit and was fined $62,553. Willamette & Pacific Railroad failed to properly monitor its stormwater discharge earning a smaller fine at $7,280.
7. California wine maker extends Oregon presence
Jackson Family Wines is opening a 68,000-square-foot production facility in McMinnville. The company has purchased four Oregon vineyards since 2013. Jackson Family bought two buildings on the Evergreen International Aviation campus, Capital Press reports, to house its facility.