Christensen Shipyards sold to part owner, will stay in Vancouver

By Aaron Corvin June 30, 2015 5:08 p.m.

Two things are clear about Christensen Shipyards, the builder of yachts in Vancouver that once appeared to be irreversably sliding into liquidation: The company now has a viable future, and it's fully in the hands of former part-owner Henry Luken, a deep-pocketed Tennessee businessman.

Tidewater christens new towboat

By Aaron Corvin and Tom Vogt June 28, 2015 3:59 p.m.

Tidewater Transportation and Terminals, the Vancouver-based marine transportation business, highlighted its new towboat, Crown Point, at a christening ceremony Saturday.

Can PeaceHealth cure its ills?

By Aaron Corvin and Marissa Harshman June 28, 2015 6 a.m.

Three weeks ago, PeaceHealth set out a belated welcome mat for hundreds of Clark County business leaders and elected officials. The operator of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and nine other medical centers in three states wanted to introduce itself to the community — something PeaceHealth leaders say they hadn't done since moving corporate offices here from Bellevue four years ago.

Port's oil-terminal lease focus of court hearing

By Aaron Corvin June 24, 2015 5:31 p.m.

A three-judge appeals court panel will hear oral arguments Thursday over whether the Port of Vancouver skirted the state's environmental rules in approving a lease for what would be the nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal.

May 'another strong month' for county job growth

By Aaron Corvin June 23, 2015 4:38 p.m.

Clark County's labor market posted "another strong month" in May, the region's labor economist reported Tuesday, with 1,800 jobs — unadjusted for seasonal factors — coming on line since April.

Tesoro, Savage can intervene in lawsuit

By Aaron Corvin June 19, 2015 5:29 p.m.

Proponents of building the nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver will be allowed to intervene in a lawsuit that accuses the port of unlawfully cloaking parts of the lease.

Ideas abound for Terminal 1

By Aaron Corvin June 18, 2015 4:25 p.m.

Consultants to the Port of Vancouver on Thursday rolled out numerous different design concepts for rejuvenating the port's 13-acre Terminal 1 waterfront property. The concepts ranged from putting green roofs on terraced buildings and installing a traffic-calming corridor to creating a specialized retail market and merging blocks to generate a campus setting.

Judge rules against recall for Vancouver port's Wolfe

By Aaron Corvin June 17, 2015 3:37 p.m.

A Clark County Superior Court judge has ruled against a petition to recall from office Port of Vancouver Commissioner Brian Wolfe, saying the charges leveled against Wolfe weren't enough to allow the petition to move forward.

Oil terminal foes ask judge to void port approval

By Aaron Corvin June 15, 2015 5:42 p.m.

Three environmental groups are asking Clark County Superior Court Judge David Gregerson to reconsider an earlier ruling and to wipe out the Port of Vancouver's lease for an oil terminal in light of "evidence of much more extensive" violations of Washington's open public meetings law. In their newly revised lawsuit filed on June 12, Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center allege the port unlawfully excluded the public from at least seven meetings. The port has acknowledged missteps but denied breaching the law.

County, state head to Paris Air Show

By Aaron Corvin June 14, 2015 6 a.m.

This week presents as grand a stage as any to burnish the state of Washington's global standing as an aerospace hub: the 51st International Paris Air Show. And Clark County, home to 84 companies tied to the aerospace and defense industries, isn't about to miss out on it.

Judge hears arguments on petition to recall Wolfe

By Aaron Corvin June 12, 2015 4:33 p.m.

A Clark County Superior Court judge heard arguments Friday over whether to allow to move forward a petition to recall from office Port of Vancouver Commissioner Brian Wolfe.

Port leaders issue warning to critics on public comments

By Aaron Corvin June 9, 2015 5:11 p.m.

After months of public criticism over approving a lease for an oil terminal, the Port of Vancouver's leaders on Tuesday showed a new sensitivity to barbs directed at the port by its critics.

Port of Vancouver seat candidates share views

By Aaron Corvin June 8, 2015 5:26 p.m.

Six of seven candidates for Port of Vancouver commissioner weighed in on Monday on everything from a proposed oil transfer terminal and the contract that underpins it to public transparency and accountability in the port's approach to making decisions.

Strictly Business: Location drives your bottom line

By Aaron Corvin June 7, 2015 6 a.m.

When we think about economic mobility — our capacity to improve our economic status by pumping up our paychecks — a college education, job training and hard work are among the winning ingredients that likely come to mind.

Port accused of violating public records laws in new lawsuit

By Aaron Corvin June 2, 2015 4:38 p.m.

A local environmental group and one of its members have sued the Port of Vancouver, alleging it's violating the state's public records law by redacting parts of a lease it signed with two companies for what would be the nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal.

Christensen Shipyards likely to be sold to part-owner

By Aaron Corvin May 27, 2015 5:41 p.m.

The court-appointed receiver handling Christensen Shipyards, the financially troubled builder of yachts in Vancouver, wants to sell all or "substantially all" of the company's assets to Henry Luken, the deep-pocketed Tennessee businessman who owns 50 percent of the company.

Clark County's labor picture 'remains very positive'

By Aaron Corvin May 26, 2015 5:22 p.m.

The overall picture of Clark County's labor market "remains very positive," the region's labor economist reported Tuesday, with "rapid employment growth, falling unemployment, and low levels of job losses, as measured by unemployment claims."

Port sets meeting on plans for waterfront

By Aaron Corvin May 22, 2015 4:35 p.m.

The Port of Vancouver and Seattle consultant NBBJ will gather Tuesday for a public meeting to discuss components of the port's effort to craft a master plan for revitalizing its Terminal 1 waterfront property. The port's board of commissioners and NBBJ will discuss the planning process and initial concepts for the waterfront project during the workshop, to be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the port's office, 3103 N.W. Lower River Road, Vancouver.

Port commissioner 'disappointed' by newspaper investigation

By Aaron Corvin and Amy M.E. Fischer May 21, 2015 5:43 p.m.

After nearly a full week of intense public reaction to a series of newspaper stories critical of the Port of Vancouver's practices under the state's open public meetings and records laws, one port commissioner called The Columbian's investigation a disappointment, while another shrugged it off as a rerun of past articles.

Petitions filed to recall Vancouver port commissioners Oliver, Wolfe

By Aaron Corvin May 20, 2015 5:53 p.m.

A Vancouver resident has filed two petitions with the Clark County elections office seeking to recall from office Port of Vancouver commissioners Jerry Oliver and Brian Wolfe.

Group: Port must make decision on oil terminal lease at public meeting

By Aaron Corvin May 19, 2015 5:37 p.m.

In its lease for what would be the nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal, the Port of Vancouver has not disclosed the deadline for two companies to secure permit approvals to build the project. But if the companies don't obtain the necessary state and federal permits on time, it would create an opportunity for the port to opt out of the contract.

Oil terminal lease unleashes a gusher of backlash

By Aaron Corvin May 19, 2015 6 a.m.

The Port of Vancouver's tight lid on the public's business may be coming off. Sparked by the port's insular handling of a lease for what would be the nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal, reform-minded critics are pushing the port to embrace a more transparent approach to making decisions. Some are jumping into the race for an open seat on the port commission, hoping to change the organization from within.

Tesoro to upgrade its fleet of oil rail cars

By Aaron Corvin May 18, 2015 4:57 p.m.

Tesoro Corp. said Monday it's upgrading its crude oil rail car fleet by adding 210 enhanced tank cars that exceed new standards issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation earlier this month.

Skids greased for oil terminal behind closed doors

By Aaron Corvin May 18, 2015 6 a.m.

Even the most vigilant of Port of Vancouver watchers couldn't have foreseen how the port and two private companies were paving the way behind closed doors for quick local approval of what would be the nation's largest oil-to-marine transfer terminal.

Culture of secrecy shrouds Port of Vancouver

By Aaron Corvin May 17, 2015 5:59 a.m.

The Port of Vancouver is a government body that's beholden to its voters and taxpayers. Yet its elected officials embrace a culture of secrecy, meeting behind closed doors "about 95 percent of the time," as one commissioner put it in a court deposition, and making decisions inside a bubble of deference to the port administration and the private industries it courts. As a result, the powerful port often sidesteps full public accountability, which is one reason why it faces impassioned political and legal challenges to its decision to approve what would be the nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal.

Analyst: Oil terminal has less than 50% chance of approval

By Aaron Corvin May 14, 2015 5:39 p.m.

It's anybody's guess as to whether Vancouver will become home to the nation's largest rail-to-marine oil-transfer terminal.

Bleu Door Bakery opens wider in Vancouver

By Aaron Corvin May 14, 2015 6 a.m.

Bonnie Brasure, owner of Bleu Door Bakery on Main Street in Vancouver, has a coffee mug emblazoned with words that nicely sum up her success in business: "She believed she could so she did."

Barrett Business Services faces SEC probe

By Aaron Corvin May 12, 2015 4:18 p.m.

Vancouver-based Barrett Business Services Inc. is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a case involving the company’s workers’ compensation reserves.

Baker won't seek re-election to Vancouver port board

By Aaron Corvin May 8, 2015 4:16 p.m.

“I feel good about it,” Baker, first elected to the District 2 position in 2003, said of her decision.

nLight to spend $25M in investment funding on factory, more

By Aaron Corvin May 7, 2015 8:59 p.m.

Driven by the speed of technology and bracketed by global trade, industrial laser manufacturer nLight Corp. of Vancouver is deepening its role as an anchor of Clark County’s cluster of high-tech employers.

Papa Murphy's parent posts $2.6M profit

By Aaron Corvin May 6, 2015 4:59 p.m.

Papa Murphy's Holdings Inc., the Vancouver-based parent of Papa Murphy's take-and-bake pizza chain, said Wednesday it recorded a first-quarter profit of $2.6 million. That compares with a profit of $819,000 in the same January-to-March period in 2014.

Study focuses on bolstering regional economy

By Aaron Corvin May 5, 2015 3:07 p.m.

A new study of the Portland-Vancouver region's economy spells out strategies for strengthening high-tech manufacturers, increasing supply chain opportunities and boosting exports. The study, announced by two regional economic development agencies Tuesday, calls for everything from more early-stage investment capital and state-funded development initiatives to an emphasis on workforce training.

Nautilus profits up sharply from year ago

By Aaron Corvin May 4, 2015 4:13 p.m.

Nautilus, the Vancouver-based manufacturer of fitness machines, said Monday it recorded a first-quarter profit of $10.73 million. That compares with a profit of $5.73 million in the January-to-March period of 2014.

Tidewater adds 3 towboats to fleet

By Aaron Corvin April 30, 2015 2:45 p.m.

Tidewater Transportation and Terminals, the Vancouver-based marine transportation business, is adding three towboats to its fleet of 16 vessels and 160 barges as part of its larger effort to move cargo along the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Barrett Business Services adds 229 clients

By Aaron Corvin April 29, 2015 4:24 p.m.

Barrett Business Services Inc., the Vancouver-based supplier of staffing and outsourced human resources services, said Wednesday it added 229 new clients in the first quarter and that it will continue to monitor its workers' compensation costs.

Port of Vancouver calls for stricter oil-train safety rules

By Aaron Corvin April 28, 2015 5:09 p.m.

Opponents of proposed oil transfer terminal at the port say resolution comes long after initial concerns were raised

Panelists tackle wealth inequality

By Aaron Corvin April 24, 2015 5:35 p.m.

The wave of public discussion triggered by a French economist's best-selling treatise on the dangers of global wealth inequality made its way to Vancouver this week, with members of Clark College's faculty and area residents grappling with the book's ramifications.

Washougal Waterfront Park has a name

By Aaron Corvin April 24, 2015 6 a.m.

It hasn't been built yet, but it has a name.

Clark County job growth remains 'very strong'

By Aaron Corvin April 21, 2015 4:20 p.m.

Clark County's employment growth "remained very strong" in the 12 months ending in March, the region's labor economist reported Tuesday, adding 6,700 jobs and posting an annualized growth rate of 4.8 percent.

Papa Murphy's balances success, controversy

By Aaron Corvin April 19, 2015 6 a.m.

As Papa Murphy's prepares to mark a successful first anniversary as a publicly traded corporation, current and former franchisees have updated their lawsuit against the Vancouver-based company. The new claims beef up an initial complaint filed last April, around the same time Papa Murphy's conducted its initial public offering of stock, that the company misled them about the challenges of getting into the take-and-bake pizza business.

Increase in oil trains heightens awareness of safety record

By Aaron Corvin and Eric Florip April 19, 2015 6 a.m.

Rail accidents happen in Clark County, and they happen regularly. Most go unnoticed by the public.

Port of Longview shows interest in siting oil refinery

By Aaron Corvin April 15, 2015 7:11 p.m.

Public records show the Port of Longview has discussed a 30,000-barrel-per-day oil refinery project with Riverside Energy, Inc.

Vancouver port OKs creation of plan for Terminal 1 site

By Aaron Corvin April 14, 2015 5:01 p.m.

Port of Vancouver commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to hire a global urban planning firm to craft a master plan for revitalizing the port's Terminal 1 waterfront property.

Christensen Shipyard shutdown a hard hit

By Aaron Corvin April 9, 2015 6 a.m.

For months, Christensen Shipyards, the financially troubled builder of yachts in Vancouver, left 38-year-old employee Matt James in the dark about its future, not to mention his.

Oil terminal foes set public forum for April 1

By Aaron Corvin March 26, 2015 2:57 p.m.

Opponents of a plan to build the nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver are inviting the public to a forum aimed at detailing what they see as the project's threats to public safety and spelling out how people can help defeat it.

Vancouver yacht builder loses control of its assets

By Aaron Corvin March 24, 2015 5:10 p.m.

A Clark County Superior Court judge has appointed a receiver to assume control of the assets of Christensen Shipyards, a move that ultimately could lead to liquidation of the financially troubled yacht building company.

Clark County job growth remains 'very strong'

By Aaron Corvin March 24, 2015 4:59 p.m.

Clark County's employment growth "remained very strong" in the 12 months ending in February, the region's labor economist reported Tuesday, adding 6,900 jobs and posting an annualized growth rate of 4.9 percent.

Strictly Business: Will jobs fall into tech gap?

By Aaron Corvin March 22, 2015 6 a.m.

I'm stuck. Stuck between two schools of thought about the inexorable shift toward higher levels of technology, toward the further distillation of automatic, mobile, social, virtual — everywhere, at all times.

Papa Murphy's posts 4Q profit of $2.8M

By Aaron Corvin March 17, 2015 4:50 p.m.

Papa Murphy's Holdings Inc., the Vancouver-based parent of Papa Murphy's take-and-bake pizza chain, said Tuesday it posted a fourth-quarter profit of $2.8 million. That compares with a net loss of $2.9 million in the same October-to-December period a year earlier.

Co-owner sues Christensen Shipyards

By Aaron Corvin March 13, 2015 4:06 p.m.

Christensen Shipyards, the financially troubled builder of yachts in Vancouver, now faces a total of five lawsuits, including one leveled by Henry Luken, the deep-pocketed Tennessee businessman who owns 50 percent of the company.