Oil terminal review process extended

By Aaron Corvin August 19, 2014 5:29 p.m.

The state panel reviewing a proposal for an oil-by-rail transfer terminal in Vancouver agreed Tuesday to extend to early next year the timeline for completing a review of the proposal and for making a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee.

County economy adds jobs, continues to strengthen

By Aaron Corvin August 19, 2014 4:26 p.m.

Clark County's economy expanded by 6,100 jobs in the 12 months ending in July, the region's labor economist reported Tuesday, posting a growth rate of 4.4 percent and plunging its preliminary unemployment rate to 6.3 percent, down from 9.5 percent a year ago.

Papa Murphy's sees second quarter loss

By Aaron Corvin August 13, 2014 5:02 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 second-quarter net loss of $1.6 million. That compares with a net loss of $6,000 in the same April-to-June period a year ago.

Pollard, other opponents again ask port to reconsider oil

By Aaron Corvin August 12, 2014 8:50 p.m.

Opponents of building the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver renewed their calls on the port Tuesday to re-open its lease for the project, approved in 2013, and to conduct a public hearing in light of new information about safety problems and other risks.

Tentative agreement reached in N.W. grain terminal dispute

By Aaron Corvin August 12, 2014 7:15 p.m.

A bitter two-year labor dispute that engulfed everyone from Vancouver police and Washington’s governor to state and federal agriculture officials may have ended, as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Northwest grain terminal operators have reached a tentative contract agreement.

Regional workforce council adds 12 members

By Aaron Corvin August 12, 2014 6 a.m.

The Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council said Monday it has added 12 members to boost its ability to collaborate with key growth industries and to further line up its training and employment services with industry needs.

Oil terminal backers seek documents of opponents

By Aaron Corvin August 8, 2014 7:38 p.m.

The companies proposing the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver are digging for information about two major roadblocks standing in their way: the Vancouver City Council's resolution opposing the oil terminal and the $1.3 billion plan to redevelop the city's former industrial waterfront.

Port of Vancouver faulted in grain-inspection dispute

By Aaron Corvin August 7, 2014 6:39 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says "the Port of Vancouver has not been enforcing its rules of conduct” to enable state or federal grain inspectors to safely move through a picketed gate to reach United Grain’s export facility.

Feds decline to take over grain inspections at Vancouver port

By Aaron Corvin August 5, 2014 7:24 p.m.

Add the federal government to the growing list of agencies that are staying out, for now, of a thorny situation in which a lack of inspections has forced United Grain Corp. — operator of the largest grain elevator on the West Coast — to largely halt its export operations.

Nautilus has unusually strong 2nd quarter

By Aaron Corvin August 4, 2014 5:19 p.m.

Nautilus Inc. on Monday reported something it doesn't usually report in the second quarter: robust sales, and a decent profit, too.

State panel reaffirms: Zoning permits oil terminal

By Aaron Corvin August 1, 2014 7:58 p.m.

The state panel reviewing a proposed oil transfer terminal in Vancouver issued an order Friday confirming that the site where it would be built is appropriately zoned for such a purpose.

State panel reaffirms zoning permits for proposed oil terminal

By Aaron Corvin August 1, 2014 6:13 p.m.

The state panel reviewing a proposed oil transfer terminal in Vancouver issued an order Friday confirming that the site where it would be built is appropriately zoned for such a purpose.

Barrett Business Services adds 187 clients

By Aaron Corvin July 30, 2014 4:31 p.m.

Barrett Business Services Inc., the Vancouver-based supplier of staffing and outsourced human resources services, said Wednesday it added 187 clients in the April-to-June period — the best second-quarter new-client haul in the company's history.

Sheriff explains grain inspector decision

By Aaron Corvin July 29, 2014 8:08 p.m.

Sheriff Garry Lucas says his position is "that the law enforcement role is a neutral enforcement role that preserves the peace, protects life and property, and protects the rights of the parties as it relates both to the law and the Constitution of the United States."

Papa Murphy's more than raising dough

By Aaron Corvin July 27, 2014 6 a.m.

The future of Papa Murphy's, the take-and-bake pizza chain, rides on CEO Ken Calwell's leadership, and it's difficult to think he won't succeed when you witness him deliver his plan to win the 21st-century pizza wars.

Sheriff's office won't escort grain inspectors past pickets

By Aaron Corvin and Tyler Graf July 25, 2014 9:55 p.m.

Offers by United Grain Corp. to pay the Clark County Sheriff's Office to escort grain inspectors past picket lines at its Port of Vancouver facility have fallen on deaf ears.

Environmental groups appeal decision on oil terminal

By Aaron Corvin July 25, 2014 6:10 p.m.

Two environmental groups on Friday filed an appeal seeking to overturn a lower court's decision that the Port of Vancouver complied with state environmental laws when it approved a lease for the Northwest's largest oil transfer terminal.

United Grain shuts down elevator as dispute escalates

By Aaron Corvin July 24, 2014 8:27 p.m.

Citing threats from union pickets, state grain inspectors are refusing to enter United Grain Corp.'s export facility at the Port of Vancouver, prompting the company to shut down the largest grain elevator on the West Coast. The latest development in the bitter, 17-month-long standoff between United Grain, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has triggered a new round of finger-pointing, with no solution in sight.

Payroll in Clark County grows at 'warp speed'

By Aaron Corvin July 22, 2014 7:40 p.m.

Payrolls in Clark County enjoyed "warp speed" growth in the 12 months ending in June, the region's labor economist reported Tuesday, adding 5,800 jobs and posting an annualized growth rate that tops 4 percent.

Opponents of oil terminal raise new concerns

By Aaron Corvin July 22, 2014 4:42 p.m.

An attorney for the nonprofit Clark County Natural Resources Council today raised several concerns about how the Port of Vancouver decided to approve a lease for a proposed oil transfer terminal.

3 challenge Hanke for utility board job

By Aaron Corvin July 19, 2014 6 a.m.

When asked to judge Clark Public Utilities as a provider of power and water, customers annually rank the agency the highest in service among midsize utilities in the Western U.S.

State energy panel: Land-use zone allows oil terminal

By Aaron Corvin July 15, 2014 7:14 p.m.

Approval of a narrow land-use consistency matter does not mean Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies will be allowed to handle as much as 380,000 barrels of crude per day at the Port of Vancouver, according to the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.

Analysis: Oil plan: Could city gain upper hand?

By Aaron Corvin July 14, 2014 7:07 p.m.

Could the city of Vancouver, which opposes having the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail terminal built in its backyard, wrest control of the project's fate from state regulators?

2nd thoughts on 3 oil terminals

By Aaron Corvin July 13, 2014 6 a.m.

With promises of economic development in tow, Westway Group LLC, Imperium Renewables and U.S. Development Group LLC want to build three oil-by-rail terminals on Grays Harbor that would all together bring more than 175,000 barrels of crude oil per day into the region.

Panel shares vision, update on waterfront

By Aaron Corvin July 10, 2014 5:44 p.m.

Backers of a plan to transform Vancouver's former industrial waterfront into a place to live, work and play said Thursday they're making progress on multiple fronts, including negotiating the construction of restaurants, advancing key road improvements and planning a public park studded with attractions.

Rulings a mixed bag for Papa Murphy's

By Aaron Corvin July 9, 2014 5:48 p.m.

Papa Murphy's franchise owners who accuse the corporation of deceptive actions will be allowed to pursue some claims in their lawsuit against the take-and-bake pizza chain, a Clark County Superior Court judge decided Wednesday.

Foes of oil terminal proposal voice concerns

By Aaron Corvin July 8, 2014 5:02 p.m.

Opponents of a proposal to build the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail facility at the Port of Vancouver on Tuesday pressed their safety concerns and peppered commissioners with questions in light of the one-year anniversary of the deadly oil-train explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

Maritime union radio ads take on lockout

By Aaron Corvin July 7, 2014 6 p.m.

Two maritime unions said Monday they've launched a radio ad campaign to focus attention on what they say are safety and environmental risks to the Columbia and Willamette rivers brought on by a lockout of union dockworkers by two grain companies.

Maneuvering over Pearson

By Aaron Corvin , Tyler Graf and Stephanie Rice July 3, 2014 10:13 p.m.

Another potential player has been identified in the continuing saga of the Pearson Air Museum.

Arguments heard in Papa Murphy's lawsuit

By Aaron Corvin July 1, 2014 7:31 p.m.

A Clark County Superior Court judge on Tuesday heard arguments in a lawsuit pitting Vancouver-based Papa Murphy's International against franchise owners who accuse the company of failing to disclose accurate financial information and of engaging in "other deceptive acts."

Railroads release new oil train data

By Aaron Corvin and Eric Florip June 24, 2014 8:27 p.m.

Data released Tuesday show that 18 loaded BNSF oil trains can roll through Clark County in a single week — a figure shedding new light on a subject that railroads and regulators have been reluctant to discuss publicly.

Clark County's economy added 5,100 jobs over the year

By Aaron Corvin June 24, 2014 6:56 p.m.

Clark County’s economy remains on a path of brisk growth, the region’s labor economist reported Tuesday, generating 5,100 jobs year over year and posting an annualized growth rate of 3.7 percent.

Port of Vancouver says potash export deal is off

By Aaron Corvin June 20, 2014 6:06 p.m.

A lucrative lease deal at the Port of Vancouver that would have triggered thousands of temporary construction jobs and garnered at least $250 million in private capital investment is off, at least for now.

Camas-Washougal port eyes waterfront options

By Aaron Corvin June 18, 2014 4:21 p.m.

If they wait a while, carefully pick the right strategy and if they hit the right market conditions, the Port of Camas-Washougal and a private developer may be able to transform 40 acres of waterfront property into a profitable destination point that draws visitors from the Portland-Vancouver region.

Counts on oil trains dribble out

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood June 17, 2014 7:58 p.m.

About 7.2 million barrels of crude oil traveled by rail through Clark County in the year between July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, according to information newly released to The Columbian by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency.

Strictly Business: Sharing baseball, business

By Aaron Corvin June 15, 2014 6 a.m.

When I think about my dad, I think about baseball and business.

Smith-Root breaks ground on new, larger complex

By Aaron Corvin June 13, 2014 6 a.m.

Rising global demand for high-tech equipment that enables scientists to study fish is prompting the local expansion of Smith-Root, Inc., a manufacturer of electro-fishing devices.

Riverview Bank parent settles lawsuit by former employee

By Aaron Corvin June 10, 2014 5:11 p.m.

A former employee of Vancouver-based Riverview Bancorp Inc. has accepted the company's offer to resolve a 2012 lawsuit she filed alleging that she was retaliated against and wrongfully fired for uncovering and reporting fraudulent activity at the bank.

States, railroads at odds over oil-train information

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood June 6, 2014 6:44 p.m.

Anyone with time, patience and a sharp enough eye to make out the number 1267 on a small placard can spot a crude oil train rolling through town.

Kaiser will no longer buy furniture treated with chemicals

By Aaron Corvin June 3, 2014 5:27 p.m.

Aiming to make its hospitals and medical offices healthier for people, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, the nonprofit health care consortium, said Tuesday it will no longer buy furniture treated with flame-retardant chemicals.

Supreme Court decision gives Nautilus a boost

By Aaron Corvin June 2, 2014 4:47 p.m.

Nautilus, Inc., the Vancouver-based manufacturer of fitness equipment, is posting profits, girding to expand and riding a higher stock price. Now, it’s got the U.S. Supreme Court on its side.

Strictly Business: A chance for creative solutions

By Aaron Corvin June 1, 2014 6 a.m.

It's no stuffy document.

New website aims to lure firms to east Clark County

By Aaron Corvin May 30, 2014 6 a.m.

The Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association has launched a new website ­ — www.cweda.org — aimed at catching the eye of prospective employers, immersing them in videos about the region’s attractions and offering a searchable property database.

CWEDA closer to tax credits for investment

By Aaron Corvin May 28, 2014 6 a.m.

East Clark County leaders are closer to tapping a federal program to spur private investment and to generate jobs. They’ve secured funding for a consultant’s advice and hope to establish a new agency to manage the economic-development tool by the end of June.

Online map shows rail lines, oil facilities

By Aaron Corvin May 21, 2014 5:48 p.m.

Keeping tabs on all of the oil-by-rail projects cropping up in the Northwest just got easier.

April sees jobs scene blossom in Clark County

By Aaron Corvin May 20, 2014 6:40 p.m.

Clark County revved its economy in April, the region's labor economist reported Tuesday, expanding by 5,400 jobs year-over-year and posting an annualized growth rate of nearly 4 percent.

Proposed oil terminal focus of forum

By Aaron Corvin May 20, 2014 5:11 p.m.

Vancouver's East Old Evergreen Highway Neighborhood Association, with residents living near BNSF Railway tracks, wants information about a proposal to build the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver. To that end, the association will convene a forum from 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way in Vancouver.

Tank cars carry concerns

By Aaron Corvin May 11, 2014 6 a.m.

For the oil transport industry, disasters keep getting in the way of their reassuring messages about the safety of shipping crude by rail.

New training, new workforce

By Aaron Corvin May 9, 2014 7:21 p.m.

Out with grades and standardized testing, and school and workplace bell-ringing and clock-punching — the fuddy-duddy remnants of the Industrial Age/Education Complex.

Northwest Pipe posts loss in first quarter

By Aaron Corvin May 8, 2014 3:38 p.m.

After selling off some assets and making recent acquisitions, Vancouver-based Northwest Pipe Co. said Thursday it’s poised to improve its financial results in the months ahead.