Business: Disclaimer: people who want to understand the economy get an economics degree; people who double major in Politics and History realize they don’t want to be a congressional staffer forever – have you been in DC in the summer? – get a law degree. I got a law degree. With that in mind, the evidence for at least a slowing of the breakneck rate of growth in the Central Oregon economy is mounting. Deschutes County job growth in June was the slowest since June 2012. As previously reported, the Bulletin’s Central Oregon Business Index for the first quarter of 2019 turned significantly negative for the first time since 2011. In the first linked article, Damon Runberg, who got an economics and not a law degree, points out that the county’s job growth couldn’t continue at its previous pace and is likely to track more or less with population growth in the next year or so.
Law: Have you tried goat yoga yet? Well, you might not get a chance in Oregon because the state’s land use law’s seemingly infinite tentacles of unintended consequences reach even into this, uh, practice. That law generally requires that a majority of income derived from farmland come from traditional agricultural activities. Those activities do not include goat yoga, but they do include slaughtering the goats. Why oh why does the State of Oregon hate cute baby goats so much?
Politics: If you know anything about government infrastructure projects, you know that they are unbelievably expensive (even when abandoned midway and torn down). One of the biggest price tags locally is the $324 million reroute and interchange improvements on Highway 97 at the north end of Bend. The project, which has been in planning for a very long time, would address one of the biggest traffic snares in town, speed the arrival of southbound Sprinter vans to Bend’s man-made surf park, and ease development of industrial land in the Juniper Ridge area. That project got a big boost this week with the announcement of a $60 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Bend City Councilor Justin Livingston, Congressman Greg Walden and a host of other local and state officials lobbied hard for the grant, which is the largest federal grant coming to Central Oregon that I can remember.
Et cetera: May I tell you the story of the Tree? When I moved from Washington, D.C. to Eugene in August 2001 to attend law school, I did so in a forest green 1991 Ford Ranger pickup truck with a red canopy, which I had purchased from a coworker, who rarely used it, for $1. The stylish red and green color scheme had earned the pickup – it was too small and wimpy to be called a truck – the nickname “The Tree,” i.e. Christmas Tree, while still in the ownership of my coworker. The Tree had a vinyl bench seat and no air conditioning and, my friends, August in the Midwest is not without heat and humidity. I drove all the way across the country with both windows down and all of my possessions in the back. I blew a tire in Kearney, Nebraska (which I learned from the guys at the tire shop is pronounced “Carney” for some reason), but otherwise the Tree performed admirably, if a bit sluggishly climbing the Rockies in Wyoming. I drove the Tree as my primary vehicle throughout law school and as a practicing attorney who obviously wasn’t impressing chicks with his car until around 2006. I kept it as a secondary vehicle/decoration until around 2010, when I sold it for $200, realizing what I think is a 19,900% gain that I’m not sure I ever told the IRS about.
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Jeff started EagerLaw PC to help Oregon entrepreneurs succeed in business. Jeff worked in Washington, D.C. for Oregon Congressman Greg Walden, served as Mayor of the City of Bend, and has been practicing law in Oregon for over a decade. Jeff believes strongly in entrepreneurship and enjoys making the legal side of business transparent and easy for his clients.