Morning Roundup


Photo credit: Oregonian

SolarWorld factory fate uncertain, rural economy stagnates and PDC is now Prosper Portland.

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SolarWorld to file for insolvency

SolarWorld AG — the German parent of Hillsboro’s solar factory — says it cannot pay its debts, the Oregonian reports. SolarWorld has a 103-acre campus in Hillsboro and employs about 800. The fate of that campus is unclear. The company nearly filed for insolvency in 2013 but put off the inevitable by reorganizing the company to swap its debt for equity.

Economic recovery stagnant in rural Oregon

A new report by the Oregon Employment Department found 20 of Oregon’s 36 counties haven’t recovered from the recession, and 17 of those counties are rural, the Bend Bulletin reports. The report found jobs are mostly low-wage and much of the working-age population has declined. (Check out our story, Searching for Context, for more on this issue.)

The city of Portland has officially escalated its fight with Uber

The council unanimously voted to issue a legislative subpoena for documents related to Greyball, and the software itself, which the ride hailing company used to evade regulators in 2014.

PDC unveils new name, new strategy

The Portland Development Commission is now known as Prosper Portland. The change is meant to emphasize the agency’s new focus on inclusive economic development. “Achieving widely shared prosperity would mean dramatic increases in the number of Portland households that can make ends meet,” executive director Kimberly Branam says.

Washington governor revives I-5 bridge replacement

Gov. Jay Insee signed a bill Wednesday to move the bridge replacement process forward, OPB reports. The bill asks the Department of Transportation to gather all prior work preparing to replace the bridge and submit the inventory to the Legislature. Washington lawmakers acknowledge Oregon is hesitant to sign on the the project once again, but say they will spend the next few months reaching across the Columbia River to find common ground.

Portland council officially supports Providence Park expansion

The council showed its support by waiving ticket taxes on the additional 4,000 seats gained by the $50 million park expansion, the Oregonian reports. The stadium is city owned, but the Timbers/Thorns have proposed funding the expansion through private financing. The city’s waiver forfeits about $2 million in tax in the next 10 years.

Puppet is expanding to Seattle, Singapore

The software company announced two new offices as it expands its product portfolio, the Oregonian reports. Puppet’s CEO Sanjay Mirchandani says the Seattle office was chosen because the city is a mecca for cloud talent. One of two new products announced today is Puppet Cloud Discovery, which manages cloud networks for data center companies — Amazon Web Services, for example.

Kroger launches its own meal delivery service

Kroger, the grocery chain that owns Fred Meyer, wants to compete with Blue Apron, Business Insider reports. Kroger’s meal kits will cost about $14 for a two-person meal, as compared to Blue Apron which rings in at $20 a meal. The kits also boasts a 20 minute prep time.