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Washington: Ad flurry over liquor measure 1183

October 31, 2011 --

Business News Note: This Tuesday Washington voters will vote on Measure 1183 which changes the state liquor laws. Measure 1183 would close state liquor stores and allow private stores licensed through the state. These private stores would have 10,000 square feet or more of retail space to sell and distribute liquor. Measure 1183 has a 17 percent fee from retailers on all liquor sales and on other fees from distributors. Below are some four of the ads from both sides.

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Restaurants hit with robo-ADA lawsuits

October 30, 2011 --

The Faces of Lawsuit has put out a great video of a small business Mexican restaurant in California that was hit with a legal threat about their bathrooms not being ADA compliant. It turns out that the handicap person never visited the restaurant as stated . Even worse, their were multiple restaurants hit with the same letter.

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Video: Steve Jobs slamed competitors

October 29, 2011 --

MSNBC goes through the book and the book’s author and looks at some of the tough statements Steve Jobs said about competitors Bill Gates of Microsoft and Google’s Android phone (see video below). On another front, Jobs criticized Michael Dell saying, “CEOs are supposed to have class […] I can see that isn’t an opinion you hold.” Steve Jobs was kinder to Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Steve Jobs said “You know we talk about social networks in the plural but I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there. It’s just Facebook. They’re dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg. I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out. For wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot.”

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Which states are most vulnerable to Europe crisis?

October 28, 2011 --

State Risk of Recession from Europe’s Financial Crisis
By Bill Conerly, Businomics, Conerly Consulting

The greatest risk to the United States economy right now is a recession triggered by the European financial crisis. Even though my best estimate is that we will avoid a recession, the risk is certainly high.

I’m writing an article for bankers on this topic, and I wondered how much states varied in their exports to Europe. My own state of Oregon has a fairly high level of exports relative to GDP, but a relatively light share of its exports head to Europe. As a data guy, I did the obvious: grab some numbers and command Excel to do the long division. (Exports are from http://tse.export.gov/TSE/TSEHome.aspx, and GDP comes from http://www.bea.gov/)

Exports to Europe

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Ruling: Data breach open to class action liability

October 27, 2011 --

First Circuit Case Becomes One of First Successful Attempts to Assert Data Breach Class Action Liability
By Erin Nedenia Reid
Davis Wright & Tremaine LLP
Oregon law firm

In a departure from the recent trend of courts refusing to allow data breach claimants to seek mitigation damages, the First Circuit recently held in Anderson v. Hannaford Bros. Co. that credit and debit card payment processors may be held liable for mitigation damages in the wake of targeted card-number theft by a criminal enterprise. In Hannaford, the appeals court reversed a decision below that dismissed negligence and implied contract claims arising out of a 2007 breach of grocer Hannaford’s electronic payment processing system, which resulted in the theft of 4.2 million credit and debit card numbers. The First Circuit’s decision suggests credit and debit card payment processors may be at a higher risk than previously thought of facing viable class action claims in the wake of data breaches.

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State vs. State on future job growth

October 26, 2011 --

Business News Note:

An IHS Global Insight analysis showed projected annual employment growth for the period 2011 to 2017.  The West is home to some of the largest projected employment gains with Arizona, Utah and Idaho in the top 5 growth states.  The North East dominates much of the weakest project employment growth with Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut among the weakest five states.  Oregon and Washington are projected to grow on average 1.8% through 2017.

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Wyden pushes GPS privacy bill

October 25, 2011 --

Senator Wyden is cosponsor of Digital Surveillance Legislation
Press Release of Senator Wyden , Oregon

Washington, D.C. – Surrounded by technology that was considered cutting edge when major digital surveillance laws were written, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) welcomed U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R- Ill.) as a cosponsor of the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (GPS) which provides sorely needed legal clarity for the use of electronically-obtained location data that can be used to track and log the location and movements of individual Americans. The GPS Act was introduced in June by Wyden and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

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Portland mayor candidates respond to business questions

October 24, 2011 --

Business News update: Last week the Portland Business Alliance recently released responses to its first round of candidate questionnaires. We list two key small business questions from the questionnaire to show how the candidates responded. Please view the whole report and all questions here

BUSINESS LICENSE TAX: The City of Portland and Multnomah County are two of only a small number of communities nationally that have a local business income tax. The Alliance has been working for years to reduce the burden of this tax on small, owner-operated businesses that are particularly hard hit. While some progress has been made, the conversation has stalled during the recession.

Business Tax Question: Do you support reducing the impact of the business license tax on small businesses by increasing the Owners Compensation Deduction to $125,000?

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Oregon makes $392 million unemployment error

October 23, 2011 --

By Cascade Policy Institute

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, almost $19 billion in state unemployment benefits were paid in error over the last three years. Oregon paid an estimated $392 million in error ― about 12.2% of all state unemployment benefits paid during that period.

The Labor Department’s report only examined the mispayments within state programs, which usually last up to 26 weeks. These figures do not include the federal unemployment benefit extensions that allow many workers to claim up to 99 weeks (almost two years) of unemployment benefits.

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New camera allows you focus after picture is taken

October 22, 2011 --

New camera allows you focus after picture taken

Business News Note: California camera company Lytro has introduced a new camera that allows you to adjust the focus after you have taken the picture. Interestingly, Lytro is not rolling this out as a new feature but as a new camera to compete equally with the other major camera manufacturers. Some of these cameras hold up to 16GB worth of memory. CNN does a short interview and demonstration of the new Lytro camera.

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