Editor’s note

A roundup of articles posted on OregonBusiness.com this past week.

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China, buses and another small business closure dominate our coverage. Plus, a reader comment and 100 Best and OB events updates.

Reporter Caleb Diehl continues his excellent series on new bus projects around the state. In this article he trains his lens on auto-dependent Bend, one of the fastest growing cities in the country that nevertheless lacks a fully developed public transit system. Funds from the new state transportation package will help build out the bus network. After you read Caleb’s article, catch up on the rest of our “Bus is Back” coverage. 

In other Central Oregon news, Caleb reports on Sisters’ efforts to diversify beyond tourism. An ambitious albeit aspirational new economic development plan kicks things off.

Freelancer Amy Milshtein reports on China’s decision to stop accepting mixed paper and plastic recyclables from the U.S. The decision hits hard in Oregon, as China was once the largest importer of Beaver state plastics. But the world’s most populated country aims to clean up its act. Stung by criticism of its lax environmental practices, China has nixed co-mingled paper and plastic recyclables that were often contaminated by other materials. (The low cost of oil necessary to make virgin plastic also factor into the decision.) Oregon processors are looking to other countries as alternatives, but for now, consumers have nowhere to take their plastic bags and clamshells.

Research editor Kim Moore wrote a lovely, on point profile of Deborah Kane, a food and farming pioneer who is now running GoCamp, an Airbnb for camper vans.  Kane’s career trajectory mirrors changes underway in Portland’s sustainability economy, inasmuch as she moved from nonprofit and government leadership positions to the (for profit) sharing economy. Kane’s professional evolution reminds me of Patrick Quinton, the former executive director of the Portland Development Commission (recently rebranded as Prosper Portland) who now runs tiny house startup, Dweller.   

Freelance writer Megan McMorris chronicles the shuttering of yet another Portland small business: The Real Mother Goose Gallery.  The shop is under eviction notice pending a redevelopment of the building it occupies by the city of Portland and Prosper Portland.  But as Megan reports, the gallery closure is as much about the changing market for high end crafts as urban development trends. Read her article here.

OB reader Lee Coleman took issue with our story about the safety threats posed by consumer drones:

“Actually, there was more positive recon from UAVs during the Harvey tragedy. Never heard of a negative incident from the Coast Guard. I’m glad I could see videos from UAVs posted by officials from Fort Bend County while I was evacuated. Interesting Advertorial, but DJI is all over the issue working with the FAA.”

In other OB news:

Our 25th annual 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey has closed. Kim is hard at work crunching the data, and participants will be notified mid-December if they made the list.  The actual rankings will be revealed during our annual awards dinner in March 2018.

“They said what?” On December 11, I will be moderating a panel discussion about online reputation management. We held a similar forum last year, and the lively conversation yielded great insights about how to manage the bete noire for today’s consumer businesses: negative reviews and comments online. Register here.