Oregon Health & Science University announced July 28 the receipt of an anonymous $100 million donation to the Knight Cancer Institute, part of an effort launched by Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, to raise $1 billion for the center. WW has learned that the donor is a well-known figure in OregonâColumbia Sportswear chairwoman Gert Boyle, who for years starred in the companyâs âOne Tough Motherâ ad campaign. Boyle, 90, owns shares of Columbia worth about $413 million at current market prices. Boyle could not be reached; her son, Columbia CEO Tim Boyle, declined to comment.
Dr. Bronnerâs Magic Soaps has poured $350,000 into Oregon GMO Right to Know, the campaign for Measure 92, which would require warning labels on genetically modified foods. Thatâs nearly a quarter of the $1.5 million the campaign has raised so far. Ironically, the federal Food and Drug Administration issued Dr. Bronnerâs a warning letter July 8, saying the companyâs âAll-One!â Fresh-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil is improperly labeled. âThe therapeutic claims on your label establish that the product is a drug,â the FDA wrote. âEven if [it] was not an unapproved new drug, it would be a misbranded food.â âWeâve told the FDA weâre complying,â CEO David Bronner tells WW. âWe always want to act with the highest ethical standards.â
Portland Bottling Co. had vowed to fight $449,916 in fines levied by the city Bureau of Environmental Services for allegedly dumping millions of gallons of wastewater illegally to avoid paying higher sewer bills (âBusted Bottles,â WW, July 2, 2014). Portland Bottlingâa major backer of the failed ballot measure in May to wrest control of water and sewer utilities from City Hallâblamed mechanical problems for the dumping and now appears deferential. At an Aug. 6 appeals hearing, company president Tom Keenan offered to make necessary fixes in exchange for lowering the civil penalties. Keenan declined to discuss his companyâs response by press deadlines.
In his race for re-election, Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) has taken heat from his opponent for his push to proceed with a $252 million seismic upgrade and renovation of the Oregon Capitol. As WW has reported, Courtneyâs plans could come at the expense of making more than 1,000 high-risk schools safe from earthquakes (âOn Shaky Ground,â WW, July 30, 2014). Since that story, his opponent, former Marion County Commissioner Patti Milne, has criticized Courtneyâs priorities. In response, Courtney, who is seeking his seventh term in November, called for $200 million Aug. 19 to upgrade schools. The two plans would eat up more than half of the stateâs debt capacity.