From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Damon Cline on June 8, 2008 - 7:20pm - Add new comment

When I think of hostile takeovers, I think of board rooms, billionaire investors and hordes of execs in dark suits and power ties.

I also think of Michael Douglas.

What doesn’t come to mind is construction sites, guys in tool belts and pickup trucks.

That’s why I find the current proxy battle between the Home Builders Association of Georgia and the builders who sit on the  board of the state’s largest workers compensation insurer  interesting.

By: Damon Cline on June 1, 2008 - 6:11pm - Add new comment

Did you hear about the Augusta-Aiken area getting ranked No. 8 on Throwin’ Bones magazine’s “Best Place to Play Dominoes” list?

No? That’s probably because you’re still trying to digest the city’s honor of ranking No. 3 on Fragrant Times’ “Smelliest Cities in America” list, or its mention in Tweaker Weekly’s “50 Places to Watch” feature on up-and-coming methamphetamine markets, or its honorable mention on Destitute Destination’s “100 Best Soup Kitchens in America?”

By: Damon Cline on May 25, 2008 - 7:20pm - Add new comment

What’s was the top concern of local small business owners attending last week’s National Federation of Independent Business?


Specifically, they want a federal employer verification law that doesn’t put the burden of proof on them. In other words, if they hire an illegal immigrant who gets the job by producing phony documents and paperwork, they don’t want to take the heat.

By: Damon Cline on May 18, 2008 - 6:25pm - Add new comment

The most clever television commercial I’ve seen lately is for an online job search company for upper-income professionals.

Two guys playing a spirited game of tennis get swarmed by hundreds of other “players.” The match is disrupted by everyone running around the court, swinging wildly at hundreds of tennis balls falling from the sky.

By: Damon Cline on May 11, 2008 - 7:11pm - Add new comment

Times like these (as in “so-so”) make me glad to live here. Although the recent economic downturn (no one is using the R-word yet) has business and industry in many parts of the nation pulling on the emergency brake, the Augusta-Aiken metro area has simply eased off on the gas pedal.

By: Damon Cline on May 4, 2008 - 7:40pm - Add new comment

When I heard that Hurricane Katrina was going to damage refineries and offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, I quickly left work and filled the tank of my Bonneville in anticipation of a shortage that never came.

By: Damon Cline on April 27, 2008 - 5:46pm - Add new comment

In last week’s Scuttlebiz, I declared I was finished commenting on the Masters Tournament for the year, but that was before I heard a tidbit about a new food-service company vying for the tournament’s concession business.
It appears a Chicago-basedcatering company Levy Restau­rants is moving into the role of concession manager for Augusta National Golf Club’s tournament. For years the job belonged to a local company, Collie Concessions.

By: Damon Cline on April 20, 2008 - 9:47pm - Add new comment

Well, well, well.

I guess developers of the stalled Village at Riverwatch had an ace up their sleeves after all.

After nearly three years of on-again off-again (mostly off) activity at the proposed retail site near River Watch Parkway and Interstate 20, project backers have secured the holy grail of outdoor retail: Bass Pro Shops.

But is it enough to save the 170-acre tract?

Of course it is. Duuuuh.

By: Damon Cline on April 19, 2008 - 4:28pm - Add new comment

A few weeks back I visited my hometown for the first time in nearly a decade. I decided to write about the trip because, quite frankly, being away from Augusta for 10 days left me little else to write about.

In case you missed it, the piece focused on the socio-economic changes that followed the loss of the town’s sole industry several years ago.

By: Damon Cline on April 14, 2008 - 10:58am - Add new comment

The hotels are empty. The street vendors are gone. The limos and vans are back in their garages. The golf fans have all gone home.

All that remains of the 2008 Masters Tournament is the money still circulating around the Augusta economy. How much money?

That’s a common question, but one that’s tricky to answer.

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