Business Page
 Oregon Magazine


Below, you will find some basic business links and dated articles.  Until further notice, this interior page will become an archive instead of a source of current news.  

Umpqua Bank Maintains Ambitious Game Plan 

         By Fred Delkin

     When we interviewed Ray Davis, President and CEO of Umpqua Holdings Corp.last October, he declared his goal for what had just become Oregon's largest home-based bank "to be in markets from Seattle to Sacramento."  It looks like he's almost there with his firm's latest expansion to the Seattle market with a Bellevue site.  This follows closely on the heels of a merger announcement with northern California's Humboldt Bank.  Umpqua will now operate from 93 branch locations in three states, all to carry the Umpqua name and logo.

Headline links to article.

Umpqua Bank celebrates
50th as Oregon’s Largest

   By Fred Delkin

 It was born in 1953 in the southern Oregon logging community of Canyonville as the South Umpqua community bank.  Four decades went by, and the bank remained a very modest entity, with four branches and a headquarters moved 25 miles up the road to Roseburg. 

Just 10 years later, Umpqua Bank reigns as the largest community bank based in Oregon, with 64 branches, headquarters in Portland, $2.6 billion in assets, some 1,000 employees and a modus operandi attracting international attention.

Headline links to article

Delkin Business Archives are father down this page.

Inc. to city: Thrill is gone  (Magazine ranks Portland 8th worst in U.S. for doing business )

By KRISTINA BRENNEMAN -- The Portland Tribune 

   City leaders, already feeling more heat than a teakettle to fix Portland's anti-business reputation,  have been handed the ranking of the nation's eighth worst metro area in which to do business.

   The March issue of Inc. magazine awarded the bottom 10 ranking, lumping Portland in with other high tech-dependent and high-jobless areas including Boston, New York, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.
   Atlanta -- with its hot economy, pro-business culture and relatively affordable housing -- ranked as the No. 1 city for doing business. San Jose, the once-hot Silicon Valley center, took the dubious honor of worst.
   To add insult to injury, the magazine said Portland has lost its sizzle as one of the "cities of the future."
   "High costs and the anti-business mood in Portland have hurt it," says the report, titled "The 25 Top Cities for Your Business." Portland also has an overreliance on single industries, the magazine notes, and "often poor quality of life for the middle class upon whom entrepreneurs rely."

OMED: We were shocked, shocked to learn about this.  Portland an anti-business city?  Why, that's like saying Oregon is an anti-business state.  What business doesn't thrive under high corporate and personal taxation? What business doesn't live to be shaken down by wierdo special interest groups and criticized for supporting the Boy Scouts?  What company doesn't thrill to job applications from recent highschool grads who can barely read, have been trained to despise profit and have purple Mohican haircuts?

Think of the good business sense of movng into a place where construction regulations and permit fees almost double the price of private housing for your employees.

And how can we express the corporate joy over choked freeways created by diversion of highway funds from building roads into light rail that doesn't pick up anybody you need picked up and doesn't deliver anybody to anywhere you need them delivered?

Yessir, Oregon.  Where smoking and eating a Big Mac are capital offenses, where complimenting a woman on her new hat gets you a trip to the sexual harrassment committee.  Where you are surrounded by a freaking army of PC prudes, affirmative action undercover investigators, feminist counterintelligence agents and environmental terrorists. (They burn SUV dealerships in Eugene, don't they?)

I mean, how could a business not want to pay a premium price to set up in a state that woud elect a flaming socialist like Ralph Nadir governor at the drop of a hat?

In our opinion, Inc. Magazine's staff should be canned for sloppy journalism.  If they had researched this piece properly, Portland would have been ranked below Pyongyang.

Headline links to article.

The Evil of the Minimum Wage

   The latest old, bad idea making the rounds:  raising the minimum wage.

   Too often we - who is we?  By "we" I mean people with a basic understanding of economics, of cause and effect, those of us who don't think the world is a make-believe place where we can wish real hard and thereby suspend the rules of nature.  By "we" I mean grown-ups.

   Too often, we give the benefit of the doubt to folks who support a higher minimum wage.  We shouldn't.  There are only two reasons someone would support so bad an idea:  either they don't realize the economic harm it causes, or they want the harm.

   We know that the minimum wage is a bad idea, like Nixon's wage and price controls were bad, like socialism is bad.  A minimum wage destroys jobs, and not just any jobs, but entry level jobs - the kind of jobs that the most vulnerable people most need.

Headline links to article.

China wheat purchase buoys port 

Northwest grain shippers, farmers get a break with big buy 
By JEANIE SENIOR --   The Portland Tribune 

   A Chinese trade delegation's announcement that the country will buy 1.7 million metric tons of Northwest wheat this year could boost grain shipments out of the Port of Portland to a level not seen since the 1990s.
   The news caused a surge in the price of soft white wheat; the price hit $4.20 per bushel on Feb. 25, up  from $3.88 a year earlier.

Headline links to article

Portland Property Owner Revitalizes Old Town
By Fred Delkin

     Downtown Portland after dark has been transformed within the classic 
structures that comprise the Old Town historic district.  The area’s principal 
property owner, Naito Corporation, has revitalized the scene in the past year
with leases to some very contemporary and imaginative operators. 

Our recent visit revealed a level of Old Town nightlife that must rival the 19th century goings-on here when this was the  prime waterfront watering hole for the North Pacific sailing trade.

Headline links to article.

Pole Position
By ANDY GIEGERICH  --  The Portland Tribune 
As the popularity of NASCAR racing surges, area cities vie for a Northwest track A Florida-based developer is seeking a site on which to build a NASCAR-sized facility like the
Homestead Miami Speedway.

Portland is gearing up for an emerging contest with Seattle for a track that would bring NASCAR racing, billed as America's fastest-growing sport, to the Northwest. However, the lack of an immediately viable site and sources of funding could handicap Portland, local observers say. Still, local boosters plan to pursue the venture because of its revenue potential. A track in the Portland area that could accommodate as many as 80,000 NASCAR fans -- many of whom travel long distances and camp out for days in advance -- could inject millions of dollars into the region's economy.

Headline links to article

Some cattle farmers not worried about mad cow

By Mike  Cronin for The Bend  Bulletin

BROTHERS —  Cattle ranchers Doc and Connie Hatfield of Brothers might very well represent  the future of the beef  industry.

In 1987, the  Brothers couple founded Oregon Country Beef, a cooperative consisting of 14 families  dedicated to  ecologically and humanely raising healthy cattle.

 "We're managing our businesses so they're sustainable," Connie Hatfield said. "They'll always be there."

In Bend, Randy Yochum, manager of Newport Avenue Market's meat department, made a prediction based on Tuesday's announcement by federal officials that a Mabton, Wash., dairy cow had contracted mad cow disease.

Headline links to article.

McCormick Chain Adds 3 East Coast Links

 Portland-based restaurant chain McCormick & Schmick  has announced acquisition of three prominent East Coast steakhouses which are being converted into traditional McCormick formats.  This raises the national total of the chain’s restaurant operations to 42, sited in 20 markets.

Conversion locations are in Manhattan, Washington D.C. (both will be seafood operations as typified by Portland’s Jake’s Crawfish) and in D.C. suburb Reston, VA, which will be patterned after Portland’s Jake’s Grill, with an emphasis on meat items.  This expansion is a rebuke to the commonly held economic maxim that the restaurant industry is atop the “high risk” business categories. 

Oregon Magazine readers are referred to the “Archives” link at the bottom of this issue’s cover page.  Click here and then select the December 2002 cover link that leads to the headline Portland Pair Rules Restaurant Empire.

 (NOTE:  Oregon Magazine Editor Fred Delkin sold JAKE’S CRAWFISH to Bill McCormick, who brought in Doug Schmick as partner, and thus a fine dining phenomenon was born)

 The Delkin Business Archives:

Pair Forge Four-Way
Connections Enterprise
  Any self-help guru will tell you that “getting connected” is a key to business success.  Two former grade school classmates have taken that advice to a literal extreme, selling hookups that cover home, work and play. 

Entrepreneur Rides Coffee Craze
Digitizer Practicing ‘Black Art’

Unique Trash Process Gives Dirt New Life   by Fred Delkin

 She’s the definition of “sweet young thing,” but Melissa Finn, a winsome 27-year-old blond, declares “I’m not afraid to get dirty!”  And proves it daily while managing a unique recycling facility, “Nature’s Needs,” in North Plains.  Here, food waste (primarily vegetables and fruits discarded by grocers prior to sale), yard debris and wood fiber are processed to give birth to what is proclaimed as “living soil”…an organic soil amendment classified as humus, with the ability to both restore and enhance the fertility of agricultural sites.

Portland Pair Rules Restaurant Empire
 by Fred Delkin

 Thirty two years ago, Bill McCormick saw the future when he walked into the past at Jake’s Famous Crawfish, a Portland dining institution since 1894. A year later, he owned the joint and began a restaurant empire now including 38 locations in 29 cities in 19 states.  Doug Schmick, a former waiter, soon partnered with McCormick and the pair opened their first expansion beyond Jake’s with a McCormick & Schmick’s in Seattle.

Global Marketing Force Headquartered in Tualatin
By Fred Delkin

And you thought Oregon’s economy had almost dropped into obscurity.  You won’t find that attitude shared in an office complex on the back side of a contemporary industrial park in Tualatin. 

Here the headquarters of Oregon Scientific directs a marketing empire that last year generated almost $900 million in global sales of leading edge technology products in four electronic categories (LCD consumer electronics, telecommunications, personal information and learning products)

Ashland Firm Defies 
Economic Doldrums
by Fred Delkin

  Oregon’s economy has gained international note for its suffering, but a dedicated group in Ashland has defied this gloom with creation of technology that is building one of the healthcare industry’s fastest growing firms.

Plexis Healthcare Systems now employs 62 people occupying five large buildings in a town first attracting attention as the home of the Shakespearean Festival. 

This booming enterprise was begun in a garage nine years ago by Jorge Yant, who immigrated from Mexico at age 13.  Yant chose computer technology as his educational emphasis while attending the Universities of New Mexico and Southern California.  He began designing and building information technology systems in California and became chief information officer for one of the largest law firms in the nation before tiring of the urban rat race.  He moved his young family to Ashland, known for tourism, not technology.  Working as a self-employed tech consultant, Yant spawned an idea that has turned into a multimillion-dollar business..

Headline links to full story

2001 Feature Articles

13 Apr 2004 23:52:57 GMT
Iraq's postwar oil exports exceed $7.5 billion
UNITED NATIONS, April 13 (Reuters) - Baghdad has exported more than $7.5 billion in crude oil since last year's invasion of Iraq, the U.S.-led authority governing Iraq said on  Tuesday.  (OMED: It's all going into a fund to rebuild the nation.  Somebody alert Viggo and Charlie Rose.)

Physicists smash internet speed record 

GENEVA - Researchers have more than doubled the world speed record for internet data transfer.  Scientists at the CERN particle physics laboratory in Switzerland sent the equivalent of a full-length DVD movie in about seven seconds. 

OMED: This is a new newslink source for us.  We don't know about its durability.  Just in case it disappears, the story was about a transatlantic fiber optic data transfer experiment between the super-collider installation at CERN (in Switzerland) and America. 

The scientists need to achieve this level of speed because they are working on developing theories about the Big Bang, and the computer models demand computer speed and capacity that is, appropriately enough, simply  astronomical.

Headline links to article (probably)

  Recent Articles
       (External links may be out of date.)

Nuclear university promotes atom power

Wobbling wire defies gravity
Engineers could learn from motions that stand curtain cable upright.

The Great Railroad Race
A crowd of 2,000 people gathered in Bend on Oct. 5, 1911, to watch an event that would place the city at the center of expansion and development in Central Oregon. 

The Market Went Down, But the Hussman Went Up   Most everybody went south but the Hussman.  It is, at present up 13%  Run by a fellow who left a university to see if his theories worked, the company has used hedging to keep from participating in the recent fundicides. Look over his site by clicking on the headline.

Death Tax Repeal Will Be Introduced Again In Congress

Grass Seed Industry 
Unready for Roundup

Seaswirl fights its way back to top 10 in boat industry

Power plant still on track despite industry problems   by Carie L. Call of the Pendleton East Oregonian HERMISTON — In the wake of energy giant Enron’s collapse, the Williams company still plans to build a natural gas-fired energy plant in Umatilla County.

Corporate chiefs told to follow animal urges
Archaeologists advise on nuclear waste disposal
Sugar turns plastics biodegradable
Teat-seeking robot to help cows milk themselves
Source of crop-destroying
chemical spill a mystery
Quantum leap for secret codes
Geometry keeps new building blocks together
Public takeover of PGE endorsed
City looks toward the sun  (Portland)
Help Wanted: Squirrel
Timber was king on river’s bend
WWII Memorial: The Joseph Connection
Resorts sold in $894 million deal
Qwest must pay franchise fees
Factory sites: Short list shrinks
Baker's Preeminent Swine Farmer
Thomason ads have a lot of Nerve
Job Application Secret
CPA returns to roots
Growers seeking weed-free certification
Construction Unaffected by Steel Tariffs

Carnegie Mellon Develops New Sensor To Detect Computer Hard Drive Failures

The Coastal Cottage Industry    See the vacation rental business from both sides, now.

To Stop Credit Thieves  Whereby you can do a few simple things to reduce tthe mess and perhaps even help catch the bad guys

Business Page Archives

  Fact: Over the last two decades, the DOW has grown at an average of 11.5% per year.

After all the panning of the market by today's press, here's a little truth for you.  Had you simply created a DOW index of your own in 1982, investing $5,000, and merely kept it up to date in terms of the stocks listed, you would today have a portfolio valuation of $39,554. 

(Along with reinvesting dividends, had you  added a few bucks each month to the stock pot, you would be an even happier camper, today. A new paid-for Dodge diesel pickup would be sitting in your garage, awaiting your return from a long vacation in Europe.)

Moral: Pay no attention to the media. Buy good stocks and keep them, and you will end up laughing at the gloomy headlines.

Selecting the Right Mutual Fund  by Mark Neil

The mutual fund companies have provided investors with a large basket of funds to pick from.  However they have only complicated the task an individual investor faces in building an investment portfolio.  The number of funds has been growing every year since the first mutual fund was started in 1924 by Massachusetts Investors Trust.  From that simple start the industry experienced slow growth up through the 1940’s and into the 1960’s.  By then there were still only 160 funds holding a combined $17 billion in assets.

Headline links to full column

The Markives   (most recent at top)

Be Careful About Your Retirement Plans
More Bad News for the Mutual Fund Industry
Can You Beat the Market?
Spiders, Diamonds and Cubes, Oh My!!!!
You Are Running Out of Time!
Have you been tricked or treated this year?
College Sticker Shock: Part II
Are You Ready for College Sticker Shock?
Are you "loss averse?" Trouble awaits!
All Aboard the Hope Express!
How to Start a Fight with a Portfolio Manager
Are You Looking for Investment Happiness?
 Are You Frustrated with Your Portfolio?
The Tortoise and the Hare (WWII to the BB's)
Lemmings and Investors
The Fantasy of Wealth
Financial Goals: Who Needs Them!
Is This Economy in Trouble?
Happy Anniversary Harry!
Are You a Nervous Investor?

   Hollak's Archives

Joe, our former financial advisor, has been informed by his employer that the company does not approve of certain classifications of employees writing for internet publications.  His column will no longer appear in Oregon Magazine. For those who have enjoyed his work, we'll keep the archives going a few months.

Make Your Cash Work Harder
Year-end Planning Checklist | Key Provisions of Tax Relief Act Take Effect  |
College Savings Plans | Long Term Care Insurance | Choosing a Professional Trustee
Business Succession Planning  |
2001 (in reverse order)
December | November | October | September
Tax Relief Act: Estate Planning  | 
Aftermath: What Investors Should Do Now  | 
New IRA Distribution Rules  |  Simple Strategies for Today’s Market


American Dream Conference Reported Successful

          By Fred Delkin

     Randal O'Toole of Bandon, a prime organizer of the American Dream Conference we announced in our April issue ("Portland Growth Planning Draws International Panel") reports the event "a great show," leading to formation of the American Dream Coalition 

Headline links to article.

Portland Growth Planning Draws International Panel

 By Fred Delkin

        Portland has been credited far and wide for “smart growth planning” covering the past four decades.  This reputation will receive a  thorough examination at a conference entitled “Preserving the American Dream”, April 16-18 at Portland’s Airport Shilo Inn.  Speakers represent Great Britain, New Zealand and all regions of the United States.  The public is invited.

Headline links to article

Honesty: A lonely word in some corporations

The Bend Bulletin --  Bob Phillips of Bend is the co-author of "Absolute Honesty," published last June by the American Management Association (AMA) of New York City. He has more than 30 years of experience as a human resources professional with companies including  Intel, AT&T, U-haul, Sequent Computers, Tektronix, and  Digital Equipment Corporation. Phillips is also president of RW & Associates, Inc., of Bend, a management consulting firm that offers executive coaching, organizational development and human resources assistance. 

In an interview last week, Phillips talked about his book and how it relates to the latest business scandals, from Martha Stewart to Enron, and about business in Bend. 

Headline links to article.

Study Gives Lowdown On High-temperature Superconductivity

  A new study by theoretical physicists at the University of Toronto and the University   of California at Los Angeles (ULCA) could bring scientists one step closer to the dream of a superconductor that functions at room temperature, rather than the frigid  temperatures more commonly found in deep space.

OMED: This is advanced stuff, but interesting. There are portents of obvious benefits in medical and scientific instrumentation, of course, but eventually this research could lead to dramatic achievements in more mundane areas.  Combined with coming memory storage techniques, this would revolutionize the computer graphic design area. (Vast amounts of data manipulation at ripping velocities.) 

There isn't a commercial artist on the planet who wouldn't sell his soul for a machine like that. Those who make film commercials and industrial films would be pleased, as well.  We know of one such shop in Oregon which had a superconducting computer at one time.  John Wilder Mincey's studio had a Cray, which at the time cost in the million dollar range.

And, though we are not competant to confirm the following, it may be that room temperature superconducters could revolutonize the power transmission field. To give one example, early power transmission was direct current in nature. It is safer by far than alternative current, but suffers tremendous losses over short wire spans.

A room temperature superconducting transmission line might allow the return of DC to the picture.  If just utilized in the distributed power area (mostly small home energy setups that make a residence independent of the power grid), it would offer some spectacular advantages.

Headline links to article

Public retirees excused from tax 
Income tax loophole puts PERS benefits off-limits to county 
By DON HAMILTON  --   The Portland Tribune 

Many retired public employees won't be required to pay Multnomah County's new income tax on their pension benefits, county officials discovered recently.  A little-known 1989 state law exempts Public Employees Retirement System benefits from being taxed by local government. Federal pensions won't face the county tax, either, because a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requires jurisdictions to tax state and federal pensions the same way.

Headline links to article

Oregon Couple Goes Global With Bamboo   By Fred Delkin

 Seems fitting that a pair of entrepreneurs raised in once logging-dependent Oregon are launching an enterprise based upon bamboo, one of nature’s most renewable forest resources.

This month “bambu, LLC” launches a line of contemporary homeware at the international Gourmet Products Show in San Francisco.   Jeff Delkin, his wife Rachel Speth and a college cohort of Jeff, Chris Kidwell, are co-founders of a company with a mission to design, manufacture and market on a wholesale basis to homeware and gift retailers worldwide.

Headline links to article.

How it got there         a personal memoir by Larry Leonard

Headline links to full story


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