“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Mark Twain 
Clothing is part of the manufacturing sector and part of the economic environment. It is also a major issue in many communities. Why? In a way, the Mark Twain quote above hit on it.
Inadequate clothing is a humbling visual symptom of poverty that strikes both adults and children. This symptom belies the lack of adequate resources which is the definition of poverty.
It is hard to get a good job if all you have is rags to wear. If you wear rags to school or work, you might be teased, shunned, and bullied. You may be cold and not able to navigate inhospitable weather. You may get sick more often, skip medical care, and miss work and school because of inclement weather. Clothing, or the lack of it, affects our existing and future workforce in a real, negative way.
Inadequate clothing caused by poverty is not just something that happens somewhere else—it happens here too. It impacts our economy, current and future workers, education and health care systems, and our quality of life. Events like Second Adventures could be considered as a Business Recruitment, Retention, and Expansion (BRE) technique that can be used anywhere by any community to help boost the workforce.
It is an easy thing to do. Sharing un-needed clothing is an easy thing to do. Especially when you consider that the average American disposes of nearly 81 pounds of clothing every year. This adds up to approximately nine percent of the total refuse! By recycling this clothing we could reduce waste management costs, reduce pressure on the landfills, and just maybe give someone the best shirt or jacket they have ever had.
Is the Second Adventures clothing event on November 10 at the SDA Church on N Cedar Point Lane in Coquille important to our economy? More than you would ever guess.
1 Fashion (https://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag315.htm)
2 Tattered Clothes of Poverty Prove Costly in Classroom (https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2000-feb-20-me-739-story.html)
3 New Study Reveals Many American Families Struggle to Afford Basic Personal Care Items and Household Goods (https://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/press-room/new-study-reveals-many-american-families-struggle-to-afford-basic-personal-care-items-and-household-goods)
4 Weekly Updates, Best of the Saturday Evening Post (https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2018/01/ready-waste-americas-clothing-crisis/)
5 On the Road (https://childrenincorporated.org/understanding-child-poverty-facts-and-statistics/)
You might have noticed several small earthquakes in our area recently. If you could do one thing to prepare for an ‘event’, what would that be?
Two critical things to know in an emergency is how to get out and where to meet. A simple drill like this is useful for small businesses and even at home. Yes, schools do it all of the time. When was the last time you did it at home or at your business?
How about with your favorite club or business meeting? These two types of meetings could include people who might find conditions extra challenging and may need a helping hand. It would be useful to consider how many helpers might be needed and who might be willing to help in that role. Keep in mind that elevators in a real emergency will not be available, that quickly negotiating crowded stairs could also be difficult, and you still need a meet up location.
We talked about the need to schedule a fire drill at home. Finally, the day came for the drill. Looking back, it may have been just a bit early to bang large metal lids and yell “fire,” but it worked. In moments, everyone was at the designated meet-up space, bleary-eyed, wild hair, in pjs, and wishing we had slippers on. We got out alive, as one would expect from a drill.
If you can’t do anything else, know how to get out alive and where to meet-up. It is an easy thing to do and you can draw straws for who gets to bang the lids.
Can you answer these true or false questions about pumpkins? Answers are at the bottom--how did you do? A quick quiz about one of our favorite holiday crops!
1. Almost every State in the U.S. grows pumpkins.
Bonus: Can you name the state that grows the most?
2. Pumpkin leaves cannot be eaten.
3. Pumpkins can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
4. Pumpkins have more potassium than a banana.
5. The 2018 pumpkin crop in Oregon was valued at nearly $10 million.
6. Pumpkins like coffee grounds.
1 Pumpkins (https://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/vegetables/pumpkins)
2 Oregon pumpkin crop value up 50 percent (https://vegetablegrowersnews.com/news/oregon-pumpkin-crop-value-up-50-percent/)
3 How Pumpkins Grow with Coffee (https://groundtoground.org/2011/04/06/how-pumpkins-grow/)
ANSWERS: 1. True; Bonus: Illinois 2. False-they can! 3. True 4. True  5. True  6. True 
Retailers can celebrate Halloween sales. Even though less money is spent for Halloween compared to Christmas, the holiday brings in a whopping income with 2018 spending in the U.S. just short of the $9.1 billion record for 2017. 
People like to celebrate the holiday with nearly seven out of ten people participating in some way. The greatest expenses will be on costumes with nearly 70 percent of Americans spending $3.2 billion on witches, vampires, zombies, and pirates. 
But it is not just for the adults. Children will be dressed up as royalty, superheros, Star Wars characters, and witches. Even pets will get into the party dressed as a pumpkin, hot dog, bumble bee, devil, and cat (for dogs). 
Halloween encourages a few extra purchases, that might not necessarily occur, and seasonal employment that can give the economy a temporary one-two punch. Sure, not everyone buys a costume, but around 90 percent purchase candy to the tune of $2.6 billion. The real question might be just how much of that gets handed out? 
1 Halloween Spending Statistics, Facts and Trends (https://www.thebalance.com/halloween-spending-statistics-facts-and-trends-3305716)
2 Halloween's Effect on the Economy (www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/102714/how-does-halloween-affect-economy.asp)
Lakeside is somewhat like the wild, wild west. They are growing and need a way to pay for more law enforcement services.
Lakeside is the largest city in Oregon with no permanent tax income. There are 12 other Oregon cities that lack a permanent property tax (such as Depoe Bay, Dunes City, and Tangent) but none of them are as large as Lakeside. Lakeside depends on limited revenues generated by sewer payments, transient taxes, licenses, permits, grants, and fees to operate and maintain city services.
In November, the citizens of Lakeside will be asked to vote in favor of a dedicated five-year single-item tax levy to cover the development of a Lakeside Law Enforcement Account. This levy will increase property owner taxes by $1.25 per thousand dollars of their Coos County assessed value. For instance, a $150,000 home would experience a modest increase of $187.50 in their property taxes.
If approved, the City would begin receiving tax monies in January which would be placed in a law enforcement savings account. They hope to have enough in that account by 2020 to implement the contract. By 2021, Lakeside would have Coos County Sheriff Deputies on the streets of Lakeside. The contract would provide 32 hours of additional and dedicated coverage (in addition to what the county deputies already provide) each week, plus 8 administrative hours, and create a dedicated police presence in the city limits which includes patrolling, investigating, and deterring crime and other nuisance violations.
“It is important to me, as an elected official,” said James Edwards Lakeside mayor “to provide public health, safety, and welfare.” Edwards indicated that they have made an “all out” effort to educate people in the community on the issue” by creating an educational brochure. The brochure was developed by a committee to help answer anticipated questions and distributed to local citizens. Edwards even spent some of his own monies to mail the levy’s brochure.
The modest tax increase will give the city the option to contract additional law enforcement services from the Coos County Sheriff’s Office in 2020. Estimates top $189,000 for the first year (which includes a vehicle, equipment/maintenance, fuel, overtime, normal hours/benefits, etc.) and reduce in subsequent years.
“It is strictly up to the citizens,” Edwards noted explaining that this levy is “the best way to go about getting what we can and see if it [the levy idea] works.” Lakeside residents reported 324 cases of crime for the first six months of 2019 based on the Coos County Sheriff’s Office of Public Information. The list shows a mix of relatively minor crimes (such as assault, burglary/theft, traffic/vehicles, trespass, animal complaints, etc.).
Law enforcement is considered a critical infrastructure element for community development. The development of a safe and orderly community was recognized by the Lakeside City Council as the first principle for the future city. Hopefully, this levy will help them begin to achieve that goal.
REFERENCE: Law Enforcement for Lakeside? Brochure and interview with James Edwards
The Southern Oregon Trade Careers Expo on Sept 26 has wrapped up another successful event.
The purpose of this event was to introduce high school Juniors and Seniors, Veterans, currently serving Military Personnel, and referred public and private agencies to exciting career opportunities.
Student attendance has almost doubled (1436) compared to 2017 (771). Students came from Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, Coos, and Curry counties. They were able to experience hands-on activities and interact with 113 businesses staffed by 339 people.
Why we need this event? Skilled trade workers are needed across the country in many fields including high tech, trade, and industrial sectors. Estimates of current need indicates that over 2 million skilled trade professions are needed now. Baby boomer retirements will continue to fuel this need for several years. The average age of these workers is currently 55 nationally, and 50 in Oregon.
Why we want these skills? The wages and benefits are good and the work plentiful. Skills and certifications are often obtained through industry specific training and certification programs. Most of these careers do not require a college education, but having some college can demonstrate your potential and strengths and help you move up the career ladder and wage levels faster.
Trades represented in the 2019 expo included: Aviation and Rail; Archaeology; Architecture; Engineering; Geology; Survey; Public Safety Carpentry; Cement Masonry; Heavy Equipment Operation; Welding; Diesel Engine Repair; Manufacturing; Mechanics; Military; Plumbing; Pipefitting; Steamfitting; Iron Working Skilled Labor; Wildland Fire Fighting; and others.
This is a very important event that can change lives and build careers. Let’s make our youth and veterans know about this event and take the time to attend the next session! For more information see www.empowerthepossible.org and www.facebook.com/southernoregontradecareers/. Photos and quotes from www.empowerthepossible.org.
Have you ever considered mushroom farming as a career? Like any other business it takes attention to detail, dedication, and a pretty healthy start up period to get your crop established. But the potential riches are there and some countries like Spain are using mushrooms as a way to revitalize their countryside. 
Spain has become the world’s truffle capital. The black truffle (tuber melanosporum) is being used to regenerate a region in Spain that has suffered from depopulation and lack of investment. The region’s soils and weather are not particularly wonderful. Fortunately, the mushrooms don’t care.
They do care about where they grow and other conditions such as elevation, soil conditions, and more. Truffles grow on the roots of certain Oak and hazel nut trees that have been inoculated with a specific mycorrhizae. One can buy inoculated seedlings fairly easily and our Mediterranean environment is quite mushroom friendly.
Why go to the bother? The black truffle is a culinary treasure often called “Black diamonds.” They are considered to be worth their weight in gold (almost literally). There is something appealing about holding a single fist-sized mushroom worth over $300.00 and know there is an almost insatiable market. The potential pay back for the investment has been described by some as if ‘your community won the lottery.’ 
While truffles might not be the answer for everyone, there are different types of mushrooms, each with different characteristics, markets, and associated values. Mushrooms are even being grown in urban environments. Portland Mushroom Company, for instance, was started back in 2012 and grows world-class oyster mushrooms for local restaurants.
Lucky for us Oregon is a paradise for mushrooms where the largest living organism—a honey mushroom—was found. This beast is 3.5 miles across and over 2,400 years old. 
To find out more about starting a mushroom farm see: https://howtostartanllc.com/business-ideas/mushroom-farm
To read more about how Truffles are revitalizing communities in Spain see Black diamonds: How Spain became world's truffle capital.
1 Black diamonds: How Spain became world's truffle capital (https://www.thelocal.es/20181107/black-diamonds-how-a-corner-of-spain-became-truffle-capital-of-the-world)
2 Oregon Mushrooms (https://www.oregonmushrooms.com/)
Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) comes in many flavors. Making sure there is a workforce available to help support your industry is critical and often tough. Log truck driving careers can be a fast transition compared to other trades and pay very well!