Updates

  • Bend Business Roundup 1-18-19

    By on January 18, 2019

    Neil Goldschmidt

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Back in 1986, Gov. Neil Goldschmidt called Bend “the middle of nowhere.” One reason Bend feels less nowhere (more somewhere?) than it did back then is because the internet allows people to work remotely from the middle of nowhere. According to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, the Bend Metropolitan Statistical Area (which is all of Deschutes County) is the “work from home capitol of America,” with the highest rate of working from home of any MSA in the country.

    Law: Oregon’s new Pay Equity Act mostly went into effect on January 1. If you employ people in Oregon, it’s a really good idea to check out this BOLI site to learn what is required under the law. The Act’s requirements are somewhat onerous and there’s significant liability for not following them.

    Politics: Liberal/progressive candidates swept Bend City Council elections last November. Newly elected Mayor Sally Russell vacated her Council seat to become mayor, so the Council needed to appoint someone to take that seat. With a 4-2 left-leaning majority, the expectation was that they’d appoint another progressive. Well, for reasons I have yet to fully understand, they instead appointed Republican Chris Piper. It’s hard to believe that some people pay me to do political stuff given how often I’m surprised by political events.

    Et cetera:  Local newspapers are, slowly, dying. Western Communications, the parent company for the Bend Bulletin and six other newspapers in mostly more middle of nowhere places throughout the West, is struggling to pay its property tax obligations. This reportedly follows paying employees late and other indicators of financial trouble. I hope Western Communications and other local newspaper owners are able to figure out how to make it financially in the internet age. They’re the only ones who reliably cover local government activity, which over Western’s service area must equate to well over a billion dollars of tax revenue and enormous regulatory authority. If the newspapers go, the public will be even more poorly informed about local goings on than they are already.

    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 1-11-19

    By on January 11, 2019

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Would you live in 1916 America for $1 billion? An economist reasoned that he would not, because in 1916 there just wasn’t many of the things that we now take for granted, like anitbiotics, air conditioning, good dental care, and if you happen to be a woman or a minority, unfettered or in some cases any right to vote. Accordingly, the economist reasoned that he, as a middle class American in modern times, is actually wealthier than J.D. Rockefeller, the early 20th century and very wealthy oil baron.

    Law: Oregon has a whole lot of state licensure boards that regulate certain professions from licensed professional counselors to engineers. Among other things, these boards try to keep people who aren’t licensed from holding themselves out as being licensed. Well, Allen Alley, a Republican, described himself as an engineer in his short-lived gubernatorial candidacy in 2016. Alley has an engineering degree and was an accomplished practicing engineer for companies like Ford and Boeing, but he is not a licensed engineer in Oregon. Someone complained, and the board investigated. In the meantime, a separate federal case came out against the board taking this kind of enforcement action, at least in part on the grounds that the board is infringing on the free speech rights of people to say they’re engineers when they are in fact at least arguably engineers. Despite the ruling, a board employee earlier this week sent Alley an email indicating the investigation was pushing forward. Alley objected, and the board has now dropped the investigation and put the employee on leave.

    Politics: One of the reasons housing is expensive in certain parts of Oregon, including Bend, is that our land use laws are favorable to those who object to building stuff. Neighbors object to projects, and sometimes those projects don’t get built, and we have less housing than we otherwise would, and what housing we do have is therefore more expensive. Someone’s proposed an apartment building near the river in Bend, and the usual cast of opponents came out to pack a hearing room. But something that’s new is a group that calls themselves YIMBYs (Yes in My Back Yard); they showed up to argue in favor of the development, for the reason that it would help reduce rent prices in Bend. Usually these disputes are developer vs. everyone else, but the YIMBYs change that dynamic a bit.

    Et cetera:  Between 1939 and 1942 the Portland waterfront was home to a huge and strangely Soviet-looking memorial to Teddy Roosevelt. Critics at the time thought it looked fascist, and with World War II underway, the statue just kind of went away. The statue, which looks like something one might find in Pyongyang, North Korea, also shared a certain early 20th century authoritarian aesthetic with the Oregon Capitol Building, which was built around the same time and of course still stands.

    Do you want the weekly-ish Bend Business Roundup delivered to your inbox on Fridays? Sign up here. No sales, no spam. Just a weekly roundup of business, law, and politics in Bend.

    Have a great weekend!

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  • Bend Business Roundup 1-4-19

    By on January 4, 2019

    Your weekly(ish) update on business, law and politics from Bend, Oregon.

    Business: If you own residential rental property in Oregon and you sometimes feel like the state looks poorly upon your ilk, you’re right. And it’s likely to get a lot worse. Faced with a severe rental housing shortage and rising prices in some parts of the state (including Bend), Democrats in Salem want the country’s first statewide rent control law, and they are likely to get it.

    Law: Guy gets stuck in a really smelly Burger King bathroom for a while and eventually gets out. Manager verbally promises the guy free meals for life. Guy proceeds to eat at Burger King for the next 13 days straight (!) and BK thought this a bit much and told him it would no longer honor the free meal promise. Guy sues BK, seeking damages equating one Whopper meal per week until he reaches 72 years of age. This fact pattern will be on countless law school final exams come Spring.

    Politics: Former Bend mayor, and good friend of BBR, Casey Roats talked to the Bulletin about his struggles with anxiety and depression while in office. It’s a rare glimpse of a politician as a human being, struggling with some of the same issues many others also struggle with. It took a lot of courage for Casey to talk about this, and we’re all better for his having done so.

    Et cetera:  Even while Oregon seeks to further regulate the housing market, it is at long last deregulating the practice of eating roadkill, at least (1) when that roadkill is deer or elk; (2) when eater is also the person who hit said deer or elk, (3) when you apply for a permit to eat the deer or elk, and (4) when you provide the head of the deer or elk to the state. Something tells me this is several steps too many for roadkill-eating scofflaws and illicit roadkill eating will continue unimpeded. Yes, we’re talking about you, Coos County.

    You can receive the Bend Business Roundup in your email inbox each Friday by going  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 Entrepreneur Report: November Comparison

    By on January 1, 2019

    Registrations Up Over November 2017

    Bend, OR – Entrepreneurs registered 277 new businesses in Bend, Oregon, in November, compared with 216 in November 2017.

    So far in 2018, Bend entrepreneurs have registered 3,275 businesses, versus 3,056 through November in 2017.

    “It looks like business registrations may be closing the year continuing with a strong pace,” Bend business attorney Jeff Eager of EagerLaw PC said.

    Each month, EagerLaw carefully analyzes Oregon Secretary of State’s business registration data to prepare the Bend Entrepreneur Report. The Report is released monthly to local media and on the EagerLaw PC Facebook page, where the firm also spotlights local business achievements and provides information of use to Bend businesses.

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  • Bend Business Roundup 12-21-18

    By on December 21, 2018

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Construction activity has leveled off in Bend, as measured by single-family home building permits. This combined with the news that the City of Portland is laying off four staff from its development department because of a sharp decline in applications indicates a slowdown in the breakneck residential construction market, at least in two of the pricier cities in Oregon.

    Law: Get this: Local painting business accuses former bookkeeper of embezzling $200,000. DA brings charges against the bookeeper. Bookkeeper says that the money was actually in the form of gifts because she was having an affair with the owner of the painting business. Bookeeper’s attorney uncovers evidence that the owner of the painting business allegedly “tampered” with a member of the grand jury that indicted the bookkeeper. Bookkeeper is now suing the DA and Bend police. The Lifetime movie will be out in late 2019 (I made that last part up).

    Politics: There are 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, allocated by population. Oregon has had five House seats since after the 1980 census, but it’s on pace to get one more seat following the 2020 census. Currently, Democrats hold four seats, with Greg Walden being the lone Republican, representing everything east of the Cascades (including Bend) as well as southern Oregon. Democrats are likely to be in charge of drawing the boundaries for the newly configured districts, but they will have a hard time avoiding creating another Republican-leaning seat without some pretty significant gerrymandering. There aren’t that many Republicans in Oregon, but there’s probably enough for two out of six seats.

    Et cetera: The Oregon Ducks football team plays in something called the Redbox Bowl on Christmas Eve. I’m a pretty ardent Ducks fan and reasonably informed college football follower and I admit I had never heard of this bowl before the Ducks were picked to play in it. Turns out for a while this bowl was called the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl, which my God in 2002-2003 was the walnut market big enough to justify a bowl? No matter, it’s better than the Beavers’ bowl game…

    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 and Merry Christmas! We here at BBR will take next week off and then be back better than ever for 2019.

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  • Bend Business Roundup 12-14-18

    By on December 14, 2018

    Your weekly(ish) update on business, law and politics from Bend, Oregon.

     

    Business:

     One quarter (!) of Bend residents are considered “rent-burdened,” which means they spend more than 50% of their income on housing. The city’s Affordable Housing Committee held a hearing this…

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