From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on October 13, 2008 - 10:39am - Add new comment

When Wachovia announced its quarterly earnings a few months ago and its was billions in the wrong direction, it was an eye-opener and produced some concerns in the community.
It is, after all, one of the nameplate companies here - though we wonder whether that nameplate on the side of the tall, black Broad Street tower will soon bear the name of Wells Fargo instead.
If you want to tell people about Augusta’s manufacturing base, the nameplate companies are the ones you bring up in that conversation to lift their eyebrows.

By: Damon Cline on June 29, 2008 - 9:30pm - Add new comment

He drove north on Interstate 15 until the stark Mojave Desert of Nevada gave way to the picturesque red rock vistas of southern Utah.

For a reason known only to him, he exited on State Highway 9 and pulled off onto a dirt road not far from the entrance to Zion National Park. He drove the Cadillac until the road ended at a meadow along the banks of the Virgin River.

By: Damon Cline on June 22, 2008 - 6:34pm - Add new comment

The Richmond County Board of Education is about to make a smart move.

To help offset its $13.4 million budget shortfall, the board is poised to give final approval to sell off more than $1.5 million in unused real estate, including the old John S. Davidson and Sue Reynolds schools.

By: Damon Cline on June 15, 2008 - 8:26pm - Add new comment

Economists are saying this is the worst summer job market in more than half a century.

Reading all the hubbub about how difficult it is for teens to find a summer job makes me thankful for the employment opportunity I had as a young’un.* I didn’t work at a fast-food joint, a movie theater or any of the other usual places.

My job was a really good one – I worked at a copper mine.

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?

Immigration.

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.


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