Morning Roundup

Photo Credit: Oregonlive

China revealed as stakeholder in Lattice sale, Oregon official misuses state funds and Comcast extends state tax fight. 

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1. Chinese backing poses another problem for Lattice sale

Portland’s largest tech company announced its sale last month to an unknown investment firm to the tune of $1.3 billion. Corporate filings show the firm purchasing Lattice is partially funded by the Chinese government, the Oregonian reports. Investors were already skeptical that the sale would close, as reflected in the company’s stock (down 2.2% Monday). The sale requires approval by the federal government.

2. Oregon official misused funds, accepted gifts

James Raussen ran the Oregon Educators Benefit Board until he resigned earlier this month. The Oregon Health Authority found he had conflicts of interest with insurers seeking state contracts and misused state resources for personal purposes, reports the Statesman Journal. Raussen has denied wrongdoing.

3. Comcast extends tax battle with Oregon

For the last seven years, Comcast has been fighting the state to reduce its tax liability. In May, the Oregon Department of Revenue declined to give Comcast a tax break for its new gigabit services. Now the internet provider is asking the state tax court to approve a tax break, the Oregonian reports. Comcast is fighting about $170 million in taxes that would go to Oregon schools and local governments.

4. Salem dumps 22 million gallons of sewage into Willamette River

The city released diluted raw sewage into the river on Thanksgiving after heavy rains overwhelmed the sewer system, the Statesman Journal reports. The release was allowed because the 24-hour rainfall level surpassed the 2.61 inch threshold set by the state. It also kept sewage from backing up into the streets and basements.

5. An alternative to alternative building products

The latest alternative building material, cross-laminated timber, has become all the rage in the construction community. But the Portland Business Journal reports, Oregon’s Freres Lumber Company has developed its own wood product: mass plywood panel. The main difference? MPP uses veneer instead of lumber for the base.

6. Portland’s jazz club will close New Year’s Eve

Jimmy Mak’s was planning to relocate after its current building in the Pearl was sold to developers. But owner Jimmy Makarounis is suffering from cancer, OPB reports, so relocation plans are cancelled while the family focuses on his health. Makarounis said he is hopeful a buyer will step up to take over the jazz club and move forward with the relocation plans.

7. Cybersleuthing: A peek at Oregon’s new security breach database

Cache problems, phishing and malicious code plague Oregon businesses and consumers.