Statesman Journal from Salem, Oregon on May 26, 2009 · Page 6
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Statesman Journal from Salem, Oregon · Page 6

Salem, Oregon
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Page 6
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6A Statesman Journal Tuesday, May 26, 2009 Business Online For more business news, stocks and mutual funds information, go to Business editor. Don Currie (503) 399-6677, dcurrie(u Many prepare for worst amid downturn Americans are stockpiling hardcore survivalist items By Gillian Flacctjs The Associated Press SAN DIEGO Six months ago, Jim Wiseman didn't even have a spare nutrition bar in his kitchen cabinet. Now, the 54-year-old businessman and father of five has a backup generator, a water filter, a grain mill and a 4-foot-tall pile of emergency food tucked in his home in the expensive San Diego suburb of La Jolla. Wiseman isn't alone. Emergency supply retailers and military surplus stores nationwide have seen business boom in the past few months as an increasing number of Americans spooked by the economy rush to stock up on gear that was once the domain of hardcore sur-vivalists. These people snapping up everything from water purification tablets to thermal blankets shatter the survivalist stereotype: they are mostly urban professionals with mortgages, SUVs, solid jobs and a twinge of embarrassment about their newfound hobby From teachers to real estate agents, these budding emergency gurus say the dismal economy has made them prepare for financial collapse as if it were an oncoming Category 5 hurricane. They worry about rampant inflation, runs on banks, bare grocery shelves and widespread power failures that could make taps run dry For Wiseman, a fire protection contractor, that's meant spending about $20,000 since September on survival gear and trying to persuade others to do the same. "The UPS guy drops things off and he sees my 4-by-8-by-6-foot pile of food and I say 'What are you doing to prepare, buddy?'" he said. "Because there won't be a thing left on any shelf of any supermarket in the country if people's confidence wavers." The surge in interest in emergency stockpiling has been a bonanza for camping supply companies and military surplus vendors, some of whom report sales increases of as much as UUHHW . ,IIWWMIIMMMMM'V'II.'MI, "U1 SW-P T S : . in a THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Jim Wiseman leans on a bin of wheat in front of food stores in his garage in La Jolla, Calif Wiseman has a back-up generator, a water filter, a grain mill and a 4-foot-tall pile of emergency food tucked in his home in an upscale San Diego suburb. 50 percent. These companies usually cater to people preparing for earthquakes or hurricanes, but informal customer surveys now indicate the bump is from first-time shoppers who cite financial, not natural, disaster as their primary concern, they say Top sellers include 55-gallon water jugs, waterproof containers, freeze-dried foods, water filters, water purification tablets, glow sticks, lamp oil, thermal blankets, dust masks, first-aid kits and inexpensive tents. Joe Branin, owner of the online emergency supply store Living Fresh, . said he's seen a 700 percent increase in orders for water purification tablets in the past month and a similar increase in orders for sterile water pouches. He is shipping meals ready to eat and food bars by the case to residential addresses nationwide. "You're hearing from the people you will always hear from, who will build their own bunkers and stuff," he said. "But then you're hearing from people who usually wouldn't think about this, but now it's in their heads: 'What if something comes to the worst?" Online interest in survivalism has increased too. The niche Web site has seen its page views triple in the past 14 months to nearly 137,000 unique visitors a week. Jim Rawles, a self-described survivalist who runs the site, calls the newcomers "11th hour believers." He charges $100 an hour for phone consulting on emergency preparedness and says that business also has tripled. "There's so many people who are concerned about the economy that there's a huge interest in preparedness, and it pretty much crosses all lines, social, economic, political and religious," he said. "There's a steep learning curve going on right now." Art Markman, a cognitive psychologist, said he's not surprised by the reaction to the nation's financial woes even though it may seem irrational. In an increasingly global and automated society, most people are dependent on strangers and systems they don't understand and the human brain isn't programmed to work that way "We have no real causal understanding of the way our world works at all," said Markman, a professor at the University of Texas, Austin. "When times are good, you trust that things are working, but when times are bad you realize you don't have a clue what you would do if the supermarket didn't have goods on the shelves and that if the banks disappear, you have no idea where your money is." Business Briefs Arkansas Missouri Publishers consider Internet fees Milk-price disparities creating frustrations The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is a rarity among large U.S. newspapers it's selling more weekday copies than a decade ago. In Idaho, the Post Register's circulation has remained stable, while many other print publications have lost readers to the Internet. How can this be? The executives behind the Arkansas and Idaho newspapers think it's because they've been giving free access to their Web sites only to people who subscribe to the printed edition. Everyone else has to pay to read the Democrat-Gazette and the Post Register online. Meanwhile, most publishers have been giving away their stories and photos to all comers on the Internet. "To me, an online subscription is just the common-sense thing to do," said Roger Plothow, editor and publisher of the Post Register in Idaho Falls, Idaho. "To just give it all away on a Web site is completely and blindly idiotic." The blunt logic is starting to resonate with many newspaper publishers, who are preparing to erect toll booths on parts, if not all, of their Web sites. They hope the switch brings in more online revenue and gives print subscribers another reason to keep buying the newspaper. If it works, it would provide a sorely needed boost for an industry that has seen $11.6 billion, or nearly one-fourth, of its annual advertising revenue dry up during the past three years. BARNHART A collapse in milk prices has wiped away the profits of dairy farmers, driving many out of business while forcing others to slaughter their herds or dump milk on the ground in protest. But nine months after prices began falling on the farm, consumers aren't seeing the full benefits of the crash. The average price for a gallon of milk at grocery stores last month is down just 19 percent from its peak of $3.83 in July. Farmers, on the other hand, got $1.04 a gallon in April 35 percent less than they were paid last fall. This winter, wholesale prices were down as much as 45 percent. Price disparities are a fact of life both for farmers and anyone who shops at a supermarket, but the nature of milk how it's stored, priced and sold around the world makes the gap all the more dramatic. In fact, the price that farmers get has been wildly volatile for years, creating a succession of booms and busts felt from pastures to the grocery store. With each turn, proposals are floated to end the pric- -ing seesaw, which at one extreme squeezes the profits of farmers and the other squeezes dairy processors. Any fix that boosts the price of milk runs the risk of bumping up how much consumers pay, too. Today, frustrations are spilling over as the price crash creates widely divergent fortunes within the milk industry, boosting profits for the middlemen like dairy processors while pushing farmers to the edge of bankruptcy. The Associated Press The Ticker Railroad wins top safety award The Ticker Blog For comings, goings and updates about Mid-Valley business events and people, go to Statesman Journal.comticker. Willamette & Pacific Railroad, a short line freight railroad based in Salem, has won one of the transportation industry's top safety awards. The company won the E.H. Harriman Gold Award for the best employee safety record among railroads working less than four million employee-hours in 2008, said officials with Genesee & Wyoming Inc., its parent company. Willamette & Pacific had zero Federal Railroad Administration reportable injuries or train derailments in 2008. Harriman Award win ners are selected based on a formula that accounts for volume of work performed as well as the number of fatalities and occupational illnesses. Last month, Willamette & Pacific also earned two President's Awards from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association for having the best safety performance in 2008. This "marks only the second time that a railroad has won two of the President's Awards. Michael Rose Submitting items To submit Ticker items to the Statesman Journal, you may send them by e-mail to or by fax to (503) 399-6706, attention Don Currie. Questions may be directed to Currie at (503) 399-6677. The deadline for submissions is noon Thursday the week before publication. Agenda TODAY ACTIVE BUSINESS PROMOTERS: 7 a.m., JJ's Deli, 4683 Commercial St. SE. Contact: (503) 510-3016. BNI SALEM PARTNERS FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER MEETING: 7 to 8:30 a.m., Events at Copper Hill, Lower level, 3170 Commercial St. SE. Visitors may attend two meetings at no charge. Contact: STATEHOUSE TOASTMASTERS MEETING: Visitors welcome, noon, DAS Executive Building, Conference Room A, 155 Cottage St. NE. Free to visitors. Members pay a onetime membership fee of $20 plus biyearly dues of $39 in April and October. Contact: (503) 986-1732. WEDNESDAY LEADERSHIP YOUTH: Theme is "Making It Happen." Community Project Day, 7:30 a.m., Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, 1110 Commercial St. NE. Contact: (503) 581-1466. NORTH SALEM BUSINESS ASSOCIATION: Speaker is Terry Cole of ODOT and Angie Morris of Travel Salem, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hee Hee lllahe RV Resort, 4751 Astoria St. NE. Contact: (503) 931-7710. ENTERPRISE FOR EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION EXECUTIVE MEETING: Dislocated-worker transfer; youth-contract renewal; budget-allocation update, 3 to 5 p.m., Roth's, Glen Creek Room, 1130 Wallace Road NW. Contact: (503) 581-4120. THURSDAY LETIP OF SALEM BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS NETWORKING AND REFERRAL GROUP: 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Events at Copper Hill, 3170 Commercial St. SE. Cost: First visit is free for qualified guests. Contact: (503) 991-6228. SALEM DOWNTOWN NETWORKERS: 7 to 8:30 a.m., McGrath's Fish House, 350 Chemeketa St. NE. Contact: (503) 559-1748. SALEMKEIZER LETIP BUSINESS NETWORKING BREAKFAST AND MEETING: 7 to 8:30 a.m., Rudy's At Salem Golf Club, upstairs, 2025 Golf Course Road S. Contact: (503) 856-4109. MY REFERRAL CLUB: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mission Mill Museum, Dye House, 1313 Mill St. SE. Contact: (503) 409-5861. TJn SERVICE LfTl CENTER Chevrolet Cadillac Subaru Real People Real Service. pi fU . rA iiUf STEP INTO SUMMER SERVICE SPECIALS! JpartsTseIwicepecial! WJrZJ I i AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE! I I I I I I Any parts, repair or maintenance. I Drive Belt Adjustment, Tighten all Fittings i I 1 I Clean Condenser Fins, Inspect for Leaks 1 Expires June 30th, 2009. Up to $200 Discounted. Not valid I Expires June 30th, 2009. Up to 1 lbs R134 freon. Not valid I with any other otter Please call tor appolnment. Must present with any other otter Please call tor appolnment. Must present . coupon at time ot write up. Ask your servioe advisor for details I coupon at time of write up. Ask your service advisor tor details I Monday - Friday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm Saturday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm i 25th & Mission SE Salem 503-316-4250 PLEASE. Leave pipe finding to the professionals. pi.(in.i.fy if " -'.. i. f 1 i. ? i i', ; r . Vi - l . v f ' - V- V'. w : . ,.,- ' , - . I CALL BEFORE YOU DIG. Whether you're planting or installing a fence, it's important to call the 1 utility notification center before you dig. In fact, it's the law. Call two business days before digging, and your utility lines will be located at no charge. For your safety, also contact NW Natural if you observe any natural gas pipeline problem (such as unauthorized digging or vandalism), or if you smell a strong gas odor (like rotten eggs or sulfur). Call our 24-hour emergency line at 800.882.3377. TO HAVE YOUR UTILITIES LOCATED CALL m m ninn wniai wqiwwIi am it w natural

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