Updates

  • Bend Business Roundup 3-1-19

    By on March 2, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Missed you last week, as our family was afflicted with a couple very sick toddlers (they’re fine now), and that’s why this email is weeky(ish)! Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Anyone who’s looked at developing or redeveloping property knows that the cost of installing sidewalks can be quite a lot. City of Bend rules require installation of sidewalks whenever property is significantly redeveloped. Sometimes the cost of installing the sidewalks makes the project not feasible. And some neighborhoods without sidewalks don’t want “sidewalks to nowhere.” Well, the City is considering exempting some neighborhoods from the sidewalk obligation.

    Law: Well, the Oregon legislature has now passed and the governor has now signed the country’s first statewide rent control law. Rent control is a component, but for many residential landlords, the significant changes to evictions will be the more drastic change. And the law has an emergency clause so it went into effect immediately because in Oregon destroying the ability of adults to contract with each other is an emergency. If you are a residential landlord you NEED to figure out what the law requires, immediately, or you could be facing claims for damages, penalties and attorney fees. This article is a good place to start.

    Politics: The Oregon legislature does a lot of bad things, but the House did a good thing this week by passing, unanimously, a bill to allow Redmond to develop 485 units of affordable housing. Local Rep Jack Zika (who lives in Redmond) spearheaded the bill. While this is the right move, it’s a reminder that one of the reasons Oregon has an affordable housing problem is that it takes an act of the legislature to allow for the development of more housing.

    Et cetera:  My senior year at Mountain View High School was 1992-93, when some old-timers may remember Bend got hammered with snow. The school held a snow sculpture contest on the football field and I and my fellow painfully dorky friends sculpted a miniature U.S. Capitol Building. We came in second place and were recognized at a school assembly so that everyone in school was reminded that we were nerds.

    Your friends can sign up to receive the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

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  • Bend Business Roundup 2-15-19

    By on February 15, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Pitchers and catchers have reported for Major League Baseball spring training, which means that warmer weather is coming (**looks at three-foot snow berm outside office window, sighs**). MLB teams are valuable things, with the New York Yankees, shockingly, the most valuable at $4 billion.  My Mariners are exactly middle of the pack at 15.

    Law: Oregon is, notoriously, likely to become the first state in the U.S. with statewide rent control. Less known is the fact that the rent control bill, SB 608, precludes landlords from terminating a month-to-month tenancy after the first year without cause, except under certain circumstances. The bill also, bizarrely, institutes notice requirements for termination of a fixed term tenancy. A landlord will need to give notice to a tenant who has signed a lease agreement stating that the tenancy terminates on X date notice that the tenancy actually really does terminate on X date or the tenancy doesn’t lawfully terminate on X date. This is crazy and suggests that the Oregon Senate (which has passed the bill) believes residential tenants are incapable of being party to binding legal agreements. What a complete mess.

    Politics: Bend City Council positions are, in theory, non-partisan. “Republican” or “Democrat” does not appear on the ballot next to Council candidates’ names. But, of course, the actual councilors who hold these positions typically are registered to vote in the primaries of one of those two major parties. Also, in practice, Bend City Council elections and many of the votes taken on Council are pretty partisan. The increasingly partisan nature of City Council politics was on display  Valentine’s evening when Mayor Sally Russell (a Democrat) spent an hour before an “aggressive, angry room” of apparently not romantically inclined Deschutes County Democrats who were mad at Russell for voting to appoint Chris Piper, a Republican, to a recent Council vacancy. Russell said she’s been “bullied” by people who were upset at her choice. The Council is non-partisan only to the degree that insiders and activists like those who spend their Valentine’s evening attending Deschutes Democrat meetings, and their mirror images on the other side, are the only ones who know it’s actually a really partisan game.

    Et cetera:  Yesterday was Oregon’s 160th birthday, and there were facts shared about Oregon, most of which were boring. One caught my eye, though. It turns out the largest living organism in the entire world (and I guess the entire known universe since we’ve not yet found life off this planet) is located right here in Oregon. It’s a giant fungus that occupies about four square miles (!) of the Blue Mountains in the Malheur National Forest east of Bend.

    Your friends can sign up to receive the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

    Read more
  • Bend Business Roundup 2-8-19

    By on February 8, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Longtime readers know that we sometimes like to remind ourselves that, economically speaking, these are the good old days in Bend. Another entry: the Milken Institute for the third year in a row named Bend the (economically) best-performing small city in America. Strong job and wage growth as well as progress in tech and biotech entrepreneurship kept Bend in the top spot.

    Law: Maybe nothing typifies the transition of Bend from a mill town to a tourist and lifestyle city than the dispute relating to events held at the Century Center on the west side of town. The Century Center used to be a mill, and now it houses Good Life Brewing and a host of other eating, drinking and retail establishments. Century Center (or its tenants) hold quite a few events, like concerts, and homeowners around the Center appealed to the City Council to limit the number of special events there. The Council obliged, on a 4-3 vote, and Century Center sued the city, asking the court to overturn the city’s decision (on interesting legal grounds I won’t get into here). Anyway, the judge this week dismissed the suit, which means the city’s limit on special events stands.

    Politics:  Local politics in Bend tend to swing between “My God we have no jobs and everyone is moving out of town we need a more vibrant economy” (see, e.g., 2008-2012) and “My God who are all these people moving here who don’t know how to drive in roundabouts” (see, e.g., now). Hubbell Communications and the Bend Chamber recently released a report about Bend residents’ views about growth, and it turns out 56% of respondents said that “Bend is attracting the wrong people, ideas and vision – and that newcomers will only make the problem worse.”  The kicker? That view was held by all demographic groups, including residents who had moved to Bend in the last year who apparently believe THEY are the wrong people which makes us wonder just who are the right people?

    Et cetera:  Portland is forecast to receive 1 – 3 inches of snow this weekend and while no shelter in place order has (yet) been issued, area drivers are urged to prepare for the oncoming apocalypse. Drivers should stock an emergency kit in their cars  that includes a small shovel, a “warming device” (?) and an ice scraper. Drivers are urged to “dress warm,” because when it’s snowing outside that’s important, and to “gather momentum” before driving up a hill. Our thoughts and prayers are with the good people of Portland.

    Your friends can sign up to receive the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

    Read more
  • Bend Business Roundup 2-1-19

    By on February 1, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Believe it or not, entrepreneurs registered 3,530 new businesses in Bend in 2018, an 8% increase over 2017.  That’s more businesses registered than in any other city in the state other than Portland. More impressively, it’s one new business registered in 2018 for every 26 residents of Bend, including children and people morally opposed to starting businesses. The per capita registration rate is by far the highest in Oregon among at least decent-sized cities. Bend really has become the entrepreneurial epicenter of Oregon.

    Law: A conversation I’ve had a lot with business clients lately: if you have an employee handbook, you better make sure that you are following it or amend it so that it’s something you can/will follow. For example, if the handbook says that you will give an employee a warning before terminating for poor performance, and you terminate her for poor performance without such a warning, and she ends up alleging that you terminated her for an unlawful, discriminatory reason, you’ve handed her attorney a very significant weapon in the forthcoming litigation. Also, it hopefully goes without saying, don’t terminate someone for an unlawful, discriminatory reason!

    Politics: So, I try to keep things non-partisan around here. I’m a Republican but I like Democrats and others too, and in our current political environment anything remotely partisan can really cause a mess. Nonetheless, I think I should share an op-ed I wrote in the Bend Bulletin this week, in which I compare being an Oregon Republican to being a Seattle Mariners fan (hint, they both lose a lot), and urge my fellow Republicans to focus on solving Oregonians’ real problems as a way out of the political wilderness.

    Et cetera (and an ask):  There’s a category of long-term social or cultural trends that I occasionally worry about, but usually don’t believe I can do much to help address. For example, the growing prevalence of man buns. A more serious trend that I’ve decided to try to do my small bit to reverse is the withering of citizens’ connection with local institutions and governance. The national, federal and sensational is replacing the local and tangible in the minds of many voters. This, coupled with the withering of local newspapers, which provide the bulk of in-depth local coverage in many communities has created a vicious cycle of diminishing civic engagement. So, I started a nonprofit called Local Voter Project that will buy Bend Bulletin subscriptions for newly registered Bend voters. The goal is to help connect these folks with local issues and drive better participation in local government, politics and civic organizations while supporting local journalism. If contributing to the cause is of interest to you, please check out this donation page, and of course feel free to email me back if you have any questions. Thank you!

    Your friends can sign up to receive the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

    Read more
  • Bend Entrepreneur Report – 2018 Annual Report

    By on January 31, 2019

    Bend Entrepreneur Report – 2018 Annual Report

    2018 Bend Business Registrations Up 8 % Over 2017

    Bend Leads Large Oregon Cities in Registrations Per Population

    In 2018, Bend, Oregon entrepreneurs continued to register businesses at a breakneck pace. Oregon Secretary of State records compiled by Bend business law firm, EagerLaw PC, throughout 2018 show that entrepreneurs registered 3,530 new businesses in Bend during the year, up from 3,267 in 2017 – an 8% increase.

    There were more businesses registered in Bend in 2018 than in any city in Oregon, other than Portland. More businesses were registered in Bend than in Salem, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro, and Beaverton, all of which have larger populations than Bend. Entrepreneurs registered one business for every 26 residents of Bend during 2018, the most registrations per capita of any medium or large city in the state.

    Bend is truly the shining jewel of entrepreneurism in Oregon. It is enjoying a period of economic growth unseen in recent memory. The registration of so many new businesses, and of many different types, should help to continue to diversify the local economy.

    EagerLaw PC compiles new Secretary of State new business registrations and issues the monthly Bend Entrepreneur Report.

    Read more
  • Bend Business Roundup 1-25-19

    By on January 25, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: If you’re looking for a new and, ah, unique beach vacation spot, Kim Jong-Un’s got just the place. North Korea is planning a new beach resort, and we’ll just let CNN sum things up for you: “The tourist zone is in an area that’s simultaneously been used for ballistic missile launches and, in April 2017, what state media describes as North Korea’s largest ever artillery drill.” Sounds nice.

    Law: Sexual harassment claims are very serious and expensive things for employers and horrendous for the harassment victims. It’s important for employers to remember that they may be liable for employee-to-employee harassment, i.e. not by ownership or management, if the employer knew or should have known about the harassment. My law school classmate Diane Buisman has a helpful piece in Oregon Business describing some steps for employers to help stop harassment and to minimize their liability.

    Politics: If aliens landed in Oregon and inquired as to the state’s finances, they would learn that Oregon’s strong economy is throwing off more state tax revenue than ever before. They would also learn, to their surprise and confusion, that Oregon at the same time is challenged to balance its budget in this biennium, and is likely to seek yet more tax revenue to do so. Then they would see that Oregon might do away with the recently enacted and money-saving prohibition on the state paying for more than one employee insurance policy covering the same family and they would shake their heads and promptly get back in their space ship and go someplace more sane.

    Et cetera aka Portland’s sometimes fascination with authoritarian regimes and art reminiscent of authoritarian regimes:  A couple weeks ago, we reported on a really weird Pyongyangesque memorial to Teddy Roosevelt that graced Portland’s waterfront in the 1930s. This week, we couldn’t pass up a report from the Oregon Historical Society of the widespread (though not quite unanimous) support from the Portland public and city government for German sailors visiting the Rose City aboard the Nazi cruiser Emden in 1936. The sailors paraded through downtown Portland. Some of the human rights atrocities of the Nazis was known at the time, and five years later, of course, the U.S. was at war with Nazi Germany (Thanks to BBR reader Kurt Bennett for this tip).

    Your friends can sign up to receive the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

    Read more