Biz Beat 12-12-2013

The campaign to raise state and federal minimum wages is going strong, and now Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler is calling for more transparency in corporate executive pay packages. Wheeler is the custodian of state funds and says the gap between the highest and lowest paid employees in a company is an indicator of that company’s long-term profitability. Such information can affect state investments in Oregon stocks, and Wheeler believes the public also has a right to know. Transparency might serve to pressure corporations to reexamine not only their executive pay but also what they pay their lowest wage earners. Some European countries help protect their middle classes by putting caps on how much executive pay companies can write off as business expenses. We’re not there yet, or even close.

Dozens of local businesses and organizations have been hurt a little or a lot by the snowstorm (see our Slant column this week). We hope customers will return and support our local economy and good causes. Aqua Serene’s big Founders Day party was snowed out last weekend and will happen instead from noon to 4 pm this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, at 2836 W. 11th Ave. Johnson Brothers nursery out in Coburg canceled its big Holiday Garden Party last weekend and it’s been moved to 4 to 7 pm Friday, Dec. 13 (Santa will be doing laps from 9 am to noon). Shelton McMurphey Johnson House has better luck with its timing. The historic building at the foot of Skinner Butte will have its annual Very Victorian Holiday Party and silent auction at 5:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 12, trying to raise the $40,000 it takes to keep the house open to the public. See for other events, such as evening candlelight tours.

The LGBT Allies annual show and toy drive for kids at Central Latino was canceled, but people can still donate dollars at paypal/ The Jazz Station’s last weekend events were bagged, along with the International Human Rights Day celebration and the Communities of Color event in Springfield. There are many others. Check business websites, our Calendar and blog or give ’em a call if you missed a special event. Not every venue was closed. We hear Sam Bond’s in the Whiteaker was busy as usual, along with some other pubs and restaurants easily accessible by foot. People actually enjoy going out in snowy weather if they don’t have to drive.

Reality Kitchen has been looking for a permanent home in Eugene and is now in its third location at 645 River Road, just off the bike path. The nonprofit, which provides various educational services, food and a gathering place for adults and families in transition, was originally on Van Buren in the Whiteaker, then shared space with Hodgepodge on West 11th and is now taking over the Not Just Breads bakery and all its equipment owned by John Roberts. Jim Evangelista, founder of Reality Kitchen, says Roberts donated his business to the nonprofit and will be “sticking around for a while, teaching us his recipes and procedures. It’s an amazing gesture.” The new location will include both a café and deli and will provide wholesale food items to local pubs and restaurants. Reality Kitchen will also operate its food cart out of the new site and, in partnership with FOOD for Lane County, will “serve meals every week to unhoused neighbors and families,” Evangelista says. See

Salon DeLange is in a new space and is holding an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 12, at 31 N. Delta Highway, Suite 110. Call 343-0520.

The first Winter Native American Arts & Crafts Market will be open from 11 am to 3 pm Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Amazon Community Center, 2700 Hilyard St. in Eugene. Native American artists and crafters will offer T-shirt designs, graphic arts, beadwork, fine art, Pendleton fabric jackets, wearable art, jewelry and more.

Lots of fundraisers and toy drives are going on and one that caught our attention this week is the Eugene Generals Teddy Bear Toss. What’s that all about? The local pro hockey team will be playing the West Sound Warriors at 3:35 pm Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Rink Exchange at the Fairgrounds. Admission is free if you bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal. During the intermission, hockey fans will toss their bears on the ice to be collected for the Pediatric and Adolescent Unit at Riverbend. Fans can also buy a teddy bear for $10 at the ticket office and get a free admission to the game. See or call 359-4154, ext. 207.

Music Masters is having its first holiday recital event at noon Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Edgewood Shopping Center on East 40th. The studio is celebrating its first anniversary and the recital is free. See