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Business & Ag Life

Succession planning workshop topic

‘Ties to the Land’ targets farm and ranch families who want to preserve their legacy

Succession planning is the subject of a two-part workshop scheduled in Enterprise in November and December. 

Impacts minimal as Big H project winds down

The City of La Grande said this week that the Big H streetscape project downtown is winding down and that project impacts are minimal now.

In its update for Oct. 29-Nov. 2, the city said the most significant impact area for the next two or three weeks will be the sidewalk on the east side of Elm Street between Adams Avenue and the alley south of Adams. This area is being reconstructed.

Small-business Happenings for October 24, 2012

David, Taylor Moore; OTEC

Baker City site for Oregon Cattlemen’s conference

BAKER CITY — Wolves, water rights and wildfires are hot topics in today’s beef producing industry. 

The issues were much the same in 1913 when a group of 51 cattle ranchers got together in Baker City and formed the Oregon Cattle & Horse Raisers Association, now called the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

Main Street stumps for bigger budget

The La Grande Main Street Program was a key player in the design of the “Big H” downtown improvement project that includes a rebuild of sidewalks and alley accesses, installation of street furniture, and more. The photo above reflects some of the upgrades. Main Street is looking to keep downtown revitalization going with the establishment of an economic improvement district. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH - The Observer

Non-profit group lays out its proposal to city council for creation of economic improvement district downtown 

Members of La Grande Main Street appeared at a La Grande City Council work session Monday night, presenting a case for an economic improvement district to help pay the costs of making downtown a vibrant place for retailers and shoppers. 

Individual Development Account program helps open doors

Community Bank awarded $5,000 to the Individual Development Account that helps moderate income individuals save money for investment in a business or post-secondary education.

The Northeast Oregon Economic District has been offering the development account in Union, Baker and Wallowa counties since the fall of 2007. Since then, the program has graduated 37 participants who saved more than $80,000 and received more than $240,000 in matching funds for business or education.

La Grande’s ‘Big H’ project progresses

“Big H” construction workers smooth out asphalt near the newly installed accent wall at Sterling Bank Tuesday. Finish work on the wall is continuing through this week. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH - The Observer

“Big H” construction impacts in downtown La Grande will be similar this week as in previous weeks, according to the City of La Grande’s latest project update.

The city said the alley between Elm and Depot streets behind Sterling Bank will be partially closed for a least a portion of this week. The concrete there is slow to dry and cure due to temperature and shade.

Incentive to go solar

Homeowners in Union County take advantage of  low-interest loans to finance solar-powered hot water systems through a program spearheaded by Oregon Rural Action

The sun’s got some extra work to do in Union County, now that Oregon Rural Action’s first Solarize Union County project is nearing completion. 

Small-business Happenings

Nanotechnology - 'All about doing more with less'

David Johnson, a chemistry professor and nanotechnology expert with the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry, displays a mobile communications device that has more information stored on it than some computers on college campuses in the 1980s. With Johnson is Andy Bedingfield, the center’s director of outreach and education. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH - The Observer

Professor visits region in effort to help Ore. companies create better products for digital marketplace  

Struggling to explain the science of nanotechnology for a completely science-ignorant newspaper reporter last week, David Johnson held up a mobile communications device that fit neatly in the palm of his hand.

Combustion chambers arrive at Wallowa biomass mill

Three combustion chambers were delivered to the Integrated Biomass campus Friday afternoon that will help power the mill and run a kiln that creates pest-free wood products. KATY NESBITT - The Observer

Long-awaited combustion chambers arrived last week that will power the Integrated Biomass mill in Wallowa.

Wallowa Resources of Enterprise raised more than $1 million in federal, state and private money to build a power plant at the Integrated Biomass campus in Wallowa. The power generated will offset the mill’s power needs and run its kiln.

The chambers were expected in to arrive in February, but the delivery date was pushed into March because of a production delay, said Nils Christoffersen, Wallowa Resources executive director. The kiln was built last winter and has been running off a wood-fired box that needed tending every six hours. 

Small-business Happenings for October 3, 2012

Local Walmart marks 20th year

Island City Walmart associates take a big pair of scissors and cut through a red ribbon during the grand re-opening event Friday that marked the store’s 20th year of business. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer

Walmart on Island Avenue in Island City uncorked a celebration Friday, observing its 20th birthday with a “grand re-opening” ribbon cutting in front of the store.

Walmart started out in Union County as a small store, but a major expansion in the summer and fall of 2006 turned it into a supercenter. With the addition of a full service grocery section and expansion of departments throughout the store, the local outlet grew from 73,000 square feet to 179,000. 

Field Burning: Less smoke with propane

Trish Yerges photo Conditions were just right Aug. 15 for several field burnings, including one on Courtney Lane in the Grande Ronde Valley.

In the past three years, propane burning has nearly replaced open burning by the majority of farmers in Union County. 

Small business happenings for Aug. 22

Boardman to Hemingway: Citizens attend meeting to share concerns about potential routes of proposed

Bill Rautenstrauch / The Observer Medical Springs resident Lyle Swartz confers over a map with Melissa Thom, a project coordinator for Enviroissues, an environmental consulting company working with Idaho Power on the siting of the B2H transmission line. Swartz and other Medical Springs-area residents are concerned about the proposed Timber Canyon route that would bring the line through their rural and picturesque neighborhood.

People concerned about Idaho Power’s plans to build a 500 kilovolt electric transmission line across eastern Oregon and into Idaho showed up in force at the Blue Mountain Conference Center Monday, trying to determine just how the project will affect their way of life.

Small business happenings for Aug. 15

Goats take bite out of leafy spurge

Read more... 

Leafy spurge has been one of the scourges of Wallowa County for decades. The noxious weed, with its 30-foot-plus roots is as difficult to remove as it is speedy to dominate a landscape.

Goats take bite out of leafy spurge

Read more... 

Leafy spurge has been one of the scourges of Wallowa County for decades. The noxious weed, with its 30-foot-plus roots is as difficult to remove as it is speedy to dominate a landscape.

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