Oregon in State of Emergency, winter storm takes toll on small businesses and Sen. Wyden pushes for Trump investigation.
1. Winter storm leads to State of Emergency declaration
Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency as severe winter conditions continued yesterday across the state, the Oregonian reports. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler made the same call about the Rose City. Crook County also declared an emergency after weeks of snow fall. The declarations open up emergency funding to pay for additional transportation needs, snow removal, utility repairs and emergency shelters.
2. Storm causes dilemma for small businesses
As the city was blanketed with snow, local business owners had to decide if opening shop was feasible. For many, that decision was no. Roads were hazardous and many employees couldn’t make it to work anyway. The unusual winter weather is beginning to take a toll on these businesses, the Oregonian reports. Many hope for the best as forecasts predict sunshine in coming days. Others are finding creative ways, such as online discounts, to keep sales coming in.
3. Wyden takes on Trump
Sen. Ron Wyden has questions for the President-elect. Wyden pushed FBI Director James Comey to reveal if the agency had investigated, or will investigate, Trump’s connections to Russia during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Tuesday, Willamette Week reports. That same day a dossier was published that held multiple allegations to Trump’s involvement with Russia and the Kremlin. When Wyden didn’t receive answers he took to Twitter to ask the President-elect his questions.
4. Another Union Pacific train derailed this week
Eleven Union Pacific railroad cars derailed on the Umatilla Indian Reservation Monday. Unlike the last derailment in Mosier which spilled 42,000 gallons of crude oil, this accident resulted in no injuries or spills, the East Oregonian reports. The news comes as the railroad company announced it is suing Wasco County for the right to expand its line in Mosier.
5. Federal agencies and environmentalists mull Snake River options
Federal agencies held the last of 16 scoping meetings designed to gather public comment before implementing new salmon recovery plans within the Snake River power and dam system, the Daily Astorian reports. A federal court rejected five previous salmon recovery plans, claiming they do not meet standards of the Endangered Species Act. Environmentalists at the meeting argued for the dismantling of four dams along the Snake River, which provide about 5% of the Northwest’s hydroelectric power and agricultural barge transportation.
6. Portland gets new reclaimed wood showroom
Medford’s TerraMai announced today it will open TerraMai PDX, a retail showroom filled with reclaimed wood flooring, decking, paneling and siding. TerraMai operates a mill in Medford to finish reclaimed wood and ready it for sale. The showroom — aimed at woodworkers, homeowners and the DIY enthusiast — opens Feb. 4 in the Eastside Industrial District.
7. OB Original Blog: Behind the Scenes — Creating the Power Book
If you haven’t noticed already, the January issue of Oregon Business is a bit of a different animal to the rest of our monthly magazines.