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Business Briefs for March 2018

Published on March 21, 2018 10:20AM

David Merrell

David Merrell

Linda Sadewasser

Linda Sadewasser

Sue Freese

Sue Freese

Casey Wood Harrell

Casey Wood Harrell

CEDR hosting March 21 event

ASTORIA — Clatsop Economic Development Resources is hosting its 6th Annual Business Awards for Clatsop County on March 21 in Clatsop Community College’s Patriot Hall.

The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and the program will be from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

CEDR directors and staff will celebrate National Small Buisness Administration Center Day and recognize Clatsop County outstanding businesses of the year. State Sen. Betsy Johnson, the Clatsop County business community, elected officials, CEDR supporters and interested citizens will hear remarks from this year’s keynote speaker, Clatsop Community College President Chris Breitmeyer.

There will be an hors d’oeuvres buffet, complimentary wine, beer and other beverages, followed by the program and award presentations.

Pre-registration is required by Friday, March 17. Cost is $25 per person, payable at the event.

Registration link: Email for more information.

Wauna CFO marks decade of service

CLATSKANIE — Wauna Credit Union recently announced the 10-year anniversary of Chief Financial Officer David Merrell. WCU said it recognizes Merrell’s dedication to the credit union, noting his valuable contributions to the growth of WCU over the past decade.

“David has vastly improved our financial management of the credit union’s money, which allows Wauna to return to our members increased value of products and services,” said Robert Blumberg, chief executive officer at WCU.

“David’s knowledge in economics and strategic initiatives is top-notch. He is committed to the financial well-being of Wauna Credit Union and we would not be as financially sound without him as a part of the management team,” said Blumberg before adding, “We look forward to many more years with David on our team.”

As CFO, Merrell is primarily responsible for managing the financial risks of the credit union but he also oversees the financial planning, record keeping, and analysis of financial data. Merrell has been working with finances for 24 years.

“I worked for Gibraltar Savings, Commerce Union, US Bank, World Savings, Federal Home Loan Bank Seattle and PeopleSoft before coming to Wauna as CFO in 2008. I sincerely believe in the importance of teamwork and commitment to an organization and especially the team and I’m proud to a part of the Wauna family,” says Merrell.

On top of his financial responsibilities with WCU, Merrell has two sons, two daughters, two daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren. He currently lives in Kelso, Washington with his wife and youngest daughter.

Both states off to a promising jobs year

OLYMPIA and SALEM — Washington’s economy added 6,800 jobs in January and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate came in at 4.7 percent, according to the Employment Security Department.

Oregon’s unemployment rate has been at an historical low and stable for more than a year, remaining at 4.1 percent in January and December. Annual revisions to labor force data show Oregon’s unemployment rate between 4.1 percent and 4.2 percent for all 13 months between January 2017 and January 2018. Oregon’s unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is the lowest unemployment rate in the comparable historical series which dates back to 1976.

“Signs point to a strong labor market even as annual data revisions provided a dose of restraint,” said Paul Turek of Washington Employment Security. “Unemployment remains extremely low and wage growth looks to be accelerating.”

Both states reported strong gains for the construction industry.

Washington’s labor force was 3,757,900 — an increase of 3,000 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 8,500 over the same period.

From January 2017 through January 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 82,400 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 42,700.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

In January, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 5,000 jobs, following a revised gain of 9,800 jobs in December. Three major industries each added close to 1,000 jobs: private educational services (plus 1,100 jobs), construction (plus 1,000), and manufacturing (plus 800). These gains were partially offset by a loss of 700 jobs in leisure and hospitality. Health care and social assistance added 2,300 jobs above the gain due to a reclassification of home care workers.

Oregon payroll employment grew by 2.7 percent in the most recent 12 months. Between January 2017 and January 2018 Oregon added 50,600 jobs.

Milestones marked at Peninsula Pharmacies

PENINSULA — In February, pharmacy technician Linda Sadewasser celebrated 40 years of years with Peninsula Pharmacies. She currently works at the Ilwaco branch. In July 2017 Pharmacist Sue Freese celebrated her 40th anniversary with Peninsula Pharmacies.

Casey Wood Harrell, co-owner of Peninsula Pharmacies, recently completed the C4 Hormone Specialist Program through Professional Compounding Centers of America. Harrell performed a home study program and attended a hormone replacement symposium.

Peninsula Pharmacies operates pharmacies in Ilwaco, Long Beach, Ocean Park, Raymond, Southgate Drug in Tumwater and Centralia Pharmacy.

Washington commission considers fishing rules

OLYMPIA — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider Columbia River fisheries policy and other issues during a public meeting March 15-17 in Wenatchee.

In February the commission directed WDFW staff to review the Columbia River policy, adopted in 2013 in collaboration with Oregon to guide management of commercial and recreational salmon fisheries in the Lower Columbia River. The policy is designed to promote conservation of salmon and steelhead, prioritize recreational salmon fishing, and shift gillnet fisheries away from the river’s main channel.

The current Washington policy also calls for increasing hatchery releases in the lower Columbia, expanding the use of alternative fishing gear by commercial fishers, and implementing strategies to reduce the number of gillnet permits. The commission will be briefed, take public comment, and possibly make decisions at the March meeting.

Don’t fall for utility phone scams

PORTLAND — Pacific Power is reminding customers to be aware of phone scams that target utility customers.

Customers in several areas the company serves have reported receiving fraudulent calls from scammers posing as utility representatives. The callers, who at this time seem to targeting small businesses and time their calls for the weekend, insist that the customer is behind on payments. They then threaten that, without an immediate payment, service will be disconnected.

Customers can protect themselves from these types of schemes by being aware of the following signs that indicate fraudulent calls:

• If the caller says he is with the “Pacific Power Disconnection Department.” No such department exists.

• If the caller asks for your credit card number or advises you to purchase a pre-paid card from a store and to call back with the code. Pacific Power will not ask for this information. We can facilitate credit card payments through our vendor upon request, but our employees don’t handle these payments directly.

• If the caller claims your electric service will be disconnected if you don’t make a payment immediately, particularly if you haven’t received any prior notice about late payments or a potential disconnection. Pacific Power doesn’t threaten our customers. “Instead, we work with customers who are behind on their payments to help them get back on track. Generally, notices about past due bills are sent to customers in the mail or delivered to their home, or they receive an automated phone message,” the utility said.

If you receive one of these scam calls, ask the caller to state your account number and compare it with the number listed on your bill. Pacific Power customer service employees will always have your account number.

If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a call, hang up on the suspected scammer and call Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070.

Herrera encourages look at murrelet protections

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler on March 5 urged U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to back off in protecting the marbled murrelet, an endangered seabird that nests in mature forests along the Washington and Oregon coast.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requiring rural counties like Pacific and Wahkiakum to set aside additional state trust land from possible timber harvests to protect the species, thereby jeopardizing the counties’ ability to provide basic services to their residents. Clatsop County also faces forest-harvest changes relating to protecting the birds.

Herrera told Zinke in a letter, “The decision by the agency to jeopardize the economic foundation of Pacific and Wahkiakum counties while essentially ignoring the Puget Sound — with all of its wealth and influence — and that region’s impact on the species begs the question: are the agency’s decisions regarding the Murrelet based on science, or politics?”

Below is the full text of Jaime’s letter to Secretary Zinke or you can read it here.

In addition to 583,000 acres of state trust land previously been set aside from any possible timber harvests to protect the species, the USFWS is requiring additional set asides for the Habitat Conservation Plan that is being developed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

“Prohibiting any potential timber management on an additional 37,000 acres of land that is in trust for our counties and schools will jeopardize their ability to provide even vital services to their residents,” Herrera said.


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