A Glowing Opportunity

An Australian company wants to reopen uranium mining in Oregon.

Most of the mine’s wealth won’t stay in Oregon, instead enriching corporate shareholders in Australia. Nor would the site, mostly on federal land, bring a dime in mineral royalties to the United States government or the state of Oregon.
“I can’t think of a clearer example of what’s wrong with federal mining law,” says Larry Tuttle, director of the Center for Environmental Equity. “No one was talking about nuclear weapons in 1872 when the law was passed.”

Willamette Week


Thanks to Julian Assange, we now know how Oregon’s top company fights corruption, counterfeiting and Croatian smugglers.

A November 2008 bust by Croatian customs officials, at the Adriatic Sea port of Rijeka, nabbed “20 shipping containers filled with thousands of pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes destined for markets throughout Europe.”

Not all such operations, although successful from Nike’s perspective, are strictly legal…

Willamette Week

War Bribes

An Oregon businessman wanted to get “filthy stinking rich.” Now he’s linked to a bribery case and risks losing his biggest customer: the U.S. Military.

“You’re screwing with your life blood,” Marak wrote to Cragg in an October 2005 email. “I’m all talked out and burnt out on BS promises. I make things happen.”

Willamette Week

The Other Portland

It’s poor, it’s dangerous, it’s growing like crazy—and it’s more important than ever.

It’s an expanse of the city without a single Zipcar spot or independent microbrewery, where you’ll see more pajama bottoms than skinny jeans. It’s a landscape of chain link and surface parking that, by contrast, makes 82nd Avenue look positively gentrified. It’s a cookie-cutter residential sprawl so devoid of landmarks, public spaces and commercial centers that some residents simply call it “The Numbers.”

Willamette Week

Outgreened and Uncounted

Oregon spent hundreds of millions to create “green” jobs, but it can’t say how many it got.

[T]he state has stretched its “green job” definition so broadly it includes such low-tech occupations as mowing lawns and shoveling manure. According to the Oregon Employment Department, the No. 1 “green job” in Oregon is “carpenter.” No. 2? Truck driver.

Willamette Week

Cheat Local!

Portland helped make Groupon a giant. Here’s how local businesses get crushed.

“Groupon and Google Offers have sold themselves as innovative new marketing companies. They’re not. The reality is, this is their business model: They are essentially loan-sharking companies,” Agrawal says. “People think I’m being hyperbolic, but I’m not. The core product is evil.”

Willamette Week

Wi-Fi Woo-Woo

Pseudo-science strikes again in a parent’s lawsuit against Portland Public Schools.

There’s virtually no scientific basis for the belief that Wi-Fi is a health threat. But the federal civil suit against PPS is the latest expression of anxiety by a growing community of Wi-Fi-phobic and self-diagnosed “electrosensitive” individuals who believe a laundry list of physical ailments can be traced to the proliferation of consumer electronics.

Willamette Week

Death of a Yogi

The battle for a corporate empire, hundreds of millions of dollars and the meaning of a faith.

The legal process has, for the first time, opened a window into opaque business dealings at the highest levels of their church.

“This is a huge corruption case. It really reads like a spy novel,” says Hari Nam Singh Khalsa, a longtime Portland Sikh convert now living in New York City.

“It’s like the Catholic Church,” Hari Nam adds. “My mother-in-law was an absolutely saintly person, but the people running her church were basically criminals.… They may look like they’re saints, and talk like they’re saints—but you dangle 5 cents in front of them, and what do you know?”

Willamette Week

Connections Pay For Special Ops Fuel Supplier

One of ‘the worst’ war profiteers keeps getting U.S. military contracts

Harry Sargeant III must be a pretty smart guy. After all, he’s not in jail. …

Today, the politically connected businessman lives in reclusive luxury in Boca Raton, Florida, thanks in part to the tens of millions of dollars he allegedly personally received from an ill-gotten US military supply contract.

War Is Business