From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

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.

By: Damon Cline on July 8, 2007 - 6:40pm - Add new comment

Whenever I show visitors around downtown Augusta, there is almost always a question about why there are "so many vacant buildings."

To avoid giving a long, drawn-out answer that attempts to explain the last 30 years of downtown history, I usually just say something like “Well it’s a lot better than it was several years ago.”

By: Damon Cline on July 2, 2007 - 10:59am - Add new comment

I had to chuckle this week when driving down Bobby Jones Expressway.

No, I didn’t see one of those $750 Oldsmobuicks with the gigantic $3,000 rims . I just happened to glance at the Village Plaza shopping center.

By: Damon Cline on June 24, 2007 - 7:57pm - Add new comment

Cocaine’s one hell of a drug.
– Rick James

Where have you gone, Calvin Green? A hungry city turns its lonely eyes you. Woo, woo, woo.

The Augusta restaurateur’s wildly popular Hot Foods by Calvin restaurant remains closed three weeks after Mr. Green was sentenced to six years of probation for cocaine possession.

Hot Foods’ phone number has been disconnected, and its old Web site, is, well … let’s just say it’s no longer a restaurant site.

By: Damon Cline on June 17, 2007 - 4:37pm - Add new comment

Anybody out there need an engineer? I hear there are some at Kimberly-Clark who might be in the job market soon.

The Dallas-based company, which operates the massive tissue paper and diaper production plant in Beech Island, has notified its engineering staff that it will be outsourcing those duties to a foreign contractor, possibly a company with operations in India.

By: Damon Cline on June 10, 2007 - 6:21pm - Add new comment

It’s easy for area residents to forget just how huge an impact Fort Gordon has on the regional economy. That’s mainly because the Army post, which employs about one in five local residents, is in the defense business, not the self-promotion business.

By: Damon Cline on June 3, 2007 - 4:33pm - Add new comment

One thing the past week taught me is that the “word on the street” – which we all know contains a smidgen of truth – is sometimes right on the money.

On Day 1, we hear that Clay Boardman is planning to purchase the old Sibley Mill property. On Day 2, we make contact, and he says the equivalent of, “Well, I can’t talk about that right now.” On Day 3, he puts out a news release through Historic Augusta that says (drum­ roll, please) he is planning to purchase the old Sibley Mill.

By: Damon Cline on May 27, 2007 - 8:39pm - Add new comment

It was about seven years ago when I first met Steve Fishman, the subject of this week's cover story. I was at his gun shop, aka Sidney's Department Store, to interview him for a "firearms in the workplace" type of story.

The subject of carrying concealed weapons came up during the course of our talk. I made a comment to the effect that it would not be illegal to "walk down the street with a rifle" so long as it was not concealed.

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