Rural economy slow to recover, employees could use marijuana off-the-clock and residents ask legislators to complete Newberg-Dundee bypass.
While job market soars, rural Oregon slow to recover
Oregon recovered the 8% of jobs lost in the recession and has gained an additional 6.5% since. But rural Oregon hasn’t felt the same boost, the Portland Tribune reports. Gilliam County, for example, has only recovered 10% of lost jobs. Crook and Grant counties fare a little better with 30% of lost jobs recovered. A state economist said there’s good news behind the slow recovery — nearly all counties have shifted to gaining jobs instead of losing them.
Proposed bill would allow employees to use marijuana off-the-clock
The bill would prevent employers from offering employment on the condition that employees “refrain from using any substance that is legal in Oregon,” OPB reports. If approved, the bill would modify a state law about tobacco use to include marijuana.
Newberg-Dundee residents call on legislators to finish bypass
The first phase of the Newberg-Dundee bypass is underway, but residents want to see the three-phase project completed, the Newberg Graphic reports. The remaining cost of the project is near $332 million. But with budget cuts on legislators’ minds, future funding of the project is unclear. It’s up to state lawmakers to ensure funding is allocated to the project.
Tech industry flourishes in Eugene
Thanks to backing from Lane County tech leaders, Eugene is poised to benefit from successful initiaitves, including providing affordable high-speed internet in the downtown region. The local sector also plans to boost computer science programming in regional schools, the Register Guard reports.
Arlington landfill future uncertain as contract set to expire
For the past 30 years, Portland has sent 50 trucks full of garbage to the Columbia Ridge Landfill each day. But the contract is set to expire in 2019, and Portland is exploring alternative solid waste disposal methods, the East Oregonian reports. The landfill has capacity to operate for another 116 years and generates between $2 million and $3 million a year in county revenue. The site employs about 5% of the county’s population.
Site of historic Strohecker’s grocery for sale
The southwest Portland store, which first opened in 1902, closed last year. Property owners say there’s a lot of interest in the site from developers, the Oregonian reports. The site is currently listed without a price.
OB Original Blog: On the scene — Smart Cities
Civic and technology leaders gathered last week at the Oregon Convention Center for the two-day Global City Teams Challenge on Transportation.
Readers respond to articles about Portland’s housing crisis, a proposed import tax on Mexico and a battle over fossil fuels.