High Noon for Marijuana

Is marijuana medicine? And what would legalized recreational sales look like in Corvallis? Three dispensaries have opened in the past several months, currently selling medicinal marijuana. The passage of Measure 91 could mean that recreational marijuana will also go retail.  

Brock Binder and Kayla Dunham own two of the recently opened dispensaries in town. Binder owns High Quality Compassion and Dunham owns The Agrestic. At the Sept. 8 Corvallis City Club meeting, they will join Corvallis Police Chief Jonathon Sassaman and Seth Crawford from the OSU Department of Sociology and School of Public Policy to discuss marijuana use, health impacts and law enforcement.

They will discuss outcomes that can be expected given Colorado’s experience and the contrasts between dispensaries versus the traditional black market, as well as their effects on one another.  Criminality associated with medical legalization and the possible effects on children and teens will also be discussed.


City Club meets in the Les Schwab Gym at the Boys & Girls Club, 1112 NW Circle. The meeting will begin at 12 noon, and doors will open at 11:30. As always, attendance is free. Lunch catered by a local restaurant (TBD) is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. To register, send e-mail to info@cityclubofcorvallis.org, with "City Club September 8" in the subject line, by September 4. Please indicate if you are having lunch.

Business in Corvallis: Opportunities and Obstacles


Corvallis’ Vision 20/20 statement (1997) calls for “a vibrant economy that is anchored by key strategic industries and complemented by a wealth of diverse, environmentally-friendly businesses.” While a key indicator, the city’s unemployment rate, remains among the lowest in Oregon, the employment mix has changed dramatically over the last decade. Manufacturing accounts for less than half the jobs in March 2014 (2,980) that it did in 2002 (6,010), according to the Oregon Employment Department. Moreover, total private sector jobs have slightly declined over that period. Growth in the public sector, principally at Oregon State University, has resulted in about 5 percent more total jobs in 2014 than in 2010.

Although the City of Corvallis has established an Economic Development office, there may be other steps we can take to achieve a nearly 20-year-old economic vision. What are the persistent challenges facing Corvallis in creating a “vibrant economy anchored by key strategic industries”? Is the city business friendly? Through its policies and practices, how can it nurture and retain new businesses and foster the success of those already located here? What are the major challenges and how should we address them?

Tom Nelson
At the June 9 Corvallis City Club meeting, four speakers — Tom Nelson, Skip Run, Jack Wolcott and Kevin Dwyer — will discuss the city’s business climate. Since 2012, Nelson has managed the Corvallis Economic Development office. A graduate of Oregon State, Nelson served seven years with the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department and four years with the City of Sherwood, Oregon, as the economic development manager, before he came to Corvallis.

Skip Rung
Skip Rung is the president and executive director of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), which grows research volume and commercialization in the broad area of nano- and micro-scale science and engineering. Prior to accepting his current post, Rung was director of research and developed at HP’s Corvallis campus. He has BS and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford.

Jack Wolcott
Jack Wolcott is the owner and founder of Grass Roots Books and Music, which he started in 1971. He is also a co-founder of the Corvallis Independent Business Alliance, which builds support for local businesses. He graduated from Oregon State with a degree in psychology.







Kevin Dwyer
Kevin Dwyer is the Executive Director of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce. He has spent the past 16-plus years in the Chamber and Economic Development fields. Prior to coming to Corvallis, he ran chambers of commerce in Washington State, including 10 years at the helm of the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce.


The City Club meets in the Les Schwab Gym at the Boys & Girls Club, 1112 NW Circle. The meeting will begin at 12 noon, and doors will open at 11:30. As always, attendance is free. Lunch is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. To register, send e-mail to nickhoutman8@aol.com with "City Club June 9" in the subject line by June 6. Please indicate if you are having lunch.

Drought on the Horizon: Where will you get your water?


When: Monday, May 12, 12 noon
Where: Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis

"Summer time, and the living is easy." Or so the song goes. Changing water availability is already making things less easy for our neighbors in southern Oregon and California. Willamette Valley residents could be in for similar experiences. Storing more of what falls or what we now send down our drains might help alleviate future shortages. Rainwater storage systems are already becoming a sight in Corvallis gardens. Gray-water systems are less common.

Two speakers — Dave Eckert and Lisa Franklin — will address the practical and regulatory aspects of rain and gray-water storage and use for businesses and homeowners. You may be surprised at what's possible, what's legal and what some of our neighbors are doing.

For more than 20 years, Dave Eckert has been helping people install these systems. He has made films about rainwater collection and initiated local projects that led to the first Corvallis permits for such systems in 2008 and graywater in 2012. He currently teaches free public workshops on rainwater collection and raingarden systems. He is also the Water Action Team Leader of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, which installed the Three Waters Project at the South Co-op to prove that businesses can reduce their water consumption and stormwater runoff. The Team is currently working with engineering students at OSU on OSU stormwater controls.”

Lisa Franklin is an engineer for the city of Corvallis and oversees the city's rainwater collection permitting process. She reviews site engineering and right-of-way matters associated with development. She is the primary contact for floodplain and private drainage questions and has been on the Development Services team since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University. During college, she worked for the Industrial Assessment Center assisting industries in processes to reduce energy usage, increase productivity, recycle bi-products and reduce waste. She spent seven years in private practice as a civil engineer.

The City Club meets in the Les Schwab Gym at the Boys & Girls Club, 1112 NW Circle. The meeting will begin at 12 noon, and doors will open at 11:30. As always, attendance is free. A buffet lunch will be catered by Nearly Normal's. The cost is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. To register, send e-mail to nickhoutman8@aol.com with "City Club May 12" in the subject line by May 9.

Neighborhood Activism and the Planning Commission


This artist's rendering shows the proposed Campus Crest student housing development in the Witham Oaks area of Corvallis, as designed in 2013. (Provided by Campus Crest Development LLC)

Development may change the look and feel of our neighborhoods, but proposals must first pass muster with the City of Corvallis, specifically the Corvallis Planning Commission. What exactly is this commission and what does it do? How can you work with it to achieve better outcomes in your neighborhood?

To explore these questions and get guidance in working with the commission, plan to attend the Corvallis City Club on April 14th at Boys & Girls Club. Effective participation in the planning commission process requires an understanding of the commission, its composition, operating requirements and what it can and can’t do. Speakers Julie Hansen and Jennifer Gervais will address the ongoing needs of neighborhoods and how to “navigate the system” in the best way possible to meet those needs. Hansen is a member of the Cougar Hill Neighborhood Organization in northwest Corvallis, and Gervais is the chair of the Corvallis Planning Commission. 

Hansen has worked with the commission on two recent issues. She will describe the methods used by her group to insure the most positive outcomes possible in the process of working with local government. 

Gervais will address Oregon's land use planning process, what issues come to the commission and why, and the process for citizen participation.

The City Club meets in the Les Schwab Gym at the Boys & Girls Club, 1112 NW Circle. The meeting will begin at 12 noon, and doors will open at 11:30. As always, attendance is free. A buffet lunch will be catered by Kimhoa's Kitchen. The cost is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. To register, send e-mail to nickhoutman8@aol.com with "City Club April 14" in the subject line by April 11.