From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Damon Cline on September 16, 2007 - 6:41pm - Add new comment

What’s going on with Mullins Crossing Phase II? Zilch.

What’s going on with the Village at Riverwatch? Zip.

What’s going on at the Forum site: Nada.

What’s going on at Marshall Square: Bupkis.

The lack of (visible) activity in many of the market’s major retail projects* has many people wondering whether the developments are in a holding pattern because the huge buildup at Augusta Mall has temporarily rendered the market “overretailed.”

By: Damon Cline on September 9, 2007 - 6:58pm - Add new comment

This week, I have more questions than answers. That’s just how it goes sometimes – some days are diamonds, some days are stones.

Although this week’s musings lack utility, they are consistent in that they all involve Columbia County (except for the pork brain recipe at the end).

So, without further adieu, it’s time to let the Scuttlebiz flow. Like a mountain stream.

GOODBYE, RUBY TUESDAY? A reader recently asked whether I knew what’s going on at the Ruby Tuesday site at the southeast corner of the Interstate 20-Belair Road interchange.

By: Damon Cline on September 2, 2007 - 5:44pm - Add new comment

A canal on Ellis Street – that’s a bold proposition. I like bold propositions. Augusta Commissioner Andy Cheek’s idea to turn the downtown street into a tourist-attracting waterway is perhaps the most audacious public works pipe dream to come down the, uh, pipe, since I advocated the construction of a Seattle-style space needle along the riverfront in the late 1990s.

By: Damon Cline on August 26, 2007 - 5:44pm - Add new comment

The (somewhat) official Augusta Chronicle Pork Brain Recipe Contest I launched last week is, so far, a dud.

My musings on canned pork brains in the previous installment of Scuttlebiz has yielded no recipes. At this point, I can only assume that a) The prospect of a free Augusta Chronicle golf shirt is not enough swag on which to base a recipe contest, or b) There really are no actual “recipes” for pork brains.

By: Damon Cline on August 19, 2007 - 5:31pm - Add new comment

It's been more than a month since Castleberry's Food Co. products have been off store shelves because of a botulism scare linked to its 450-employee Augusta plant.

When the plant reopens – which won't be until October at the earliest, according to the company's Canadian owner – the cans it churns out will not have the stodgy labels you have been accustomed to seeing .

By: Damon Cline on August 12, 2007 - 7:20pm - Add new comment

Milk from rBST-treated cows is safe for human consumption and has not been found to be different from milk from non-treated cows.
– U.S. Food and Drug Administration position
statement of March 16, 1994

You might have heard about the recent decision by Kroger Co. to stop selling milk produced by dairies that use the hormone rBST on their cows.

Let me rephrase that: You must have heard about the recent decision, because Kroger said it was you, the consumer, who motivated it to become “rBST-free” by February 2008.

By: Damon Cline on August 5, 2007 - 4:58pm - Add new comment

Locals often lament the exodus of corporate headquarters from the area during the corporate consolidation waves of the 1980s and 1990s.

Many look back on the 1960s and 1970s as the golden era of Augusta business because of the clout wielded by locally based companies such as Georgia Railroad Bank, The Graniteville Co., Lily-Tulip Inc., Greenfield Industries and Bankers First Corp. The list goes on and on.

By: Damon Cline on July 29, 2007 - 8:18pm - Add new comment

For almost 80 years, customers have trusted Castleberry’s as a high-quality, value-added manufacturer and now so can you. What’s our secret? We strive for perfection.
– Castleberry Food Co.

Major business news breaks every time I leave town on vacation, and it’s rarely good news. My last getaway, less than two weeks ago, happened to coincide with the Castleberry Food Co. recall of 90 types of canned chili, beef stew, corned beef hash and other meat products produced at its downtown Augusta cannery.


By: Damon Cline on July 22, 2007 - 4:51pm - Add new comment

One of the things I’ve learned writing about business over the years is that the owners of successful companies tend to fall into a few general categories.

Here’s a handful of them.

- The Hobby Entrepreneur: Spouse of a wealthy professional (doctor, lawyer, etc.) in need of a tax writeoff and something to do.

- The Inheritor: Runs parents’ or grandparents’ business; last name often followed by a Roman numeral.

By: Damon Cline on July 15, 2007 - 4:29pm - Add new comment

Here’s an ethics question: Would you rather A) make a bad decision in order to look cool to a small group of friends, or B) make a wise decision and look cool to everyone but your small group of friends?

If you chose option A, congratulations! You might have a future on the Augusta Commission.

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