The year 2011 began with gasoline prices at just above $3.00 a gallon in Corvallis and most of the mid-Willamette Valley area. The economy was still soft with the jobless rate in Benton County being better than anywhere in Oregon. This is mostly due to Corvallis being the home of Oregon State University and Good Samaritan Regional Medical center and what jobs still remain at Hewlett Packard.
Corvallis was also getting a new Mayor since Mayor Charlie Tomlinson did not seek another term. New Mayor Julie Manning received the "Oath of Office" from Kathy Louie in January after defeating Rob Gandara in November 2010.
The Corvallis Public library and the Benton County Master Gardners Association put together an eight week "Gearing up for Gardening" series, which was outstanding. I am a graduate of the program!
What would winter be without fresh veggies, wonderful fresh bread and all sorts of other goodies at the Corvallis Winter Farmers Market at the Benton County Fairgrounds.
The rains of December 2010 & January 2011 resulted in the Willamette River nearly passing over the measuring gauge in downtown Corvallis.
United States Senator Ron Wyden (D) held a Town Hall in January in Corvallis at the Corvallis Public Library.
In concert with the Gearing Up for Gardners Series I tried my hand at attempting to plant and grow potatoes during the winter, results later.
Walking each week with the "walkers" from the Corvallis Senior Center was a wonderful way to spend time each Monday during the winter months.
What would Corvallis be without a Town Hall Series sponsored by The League of Women Voters in Corvallis. Oregon State Senator Frank Morse, Represenative Sara Gelser and Representative Andy Olson are always interesting.
Science Pub at the Old World Deli is a must every second Monday of the month! Ted Cox is a great host at the Old World Deli and Nick Houtman from OSU and Joan Wessell from the Downtown Corvallis Association always have an interesting program. Do not miss it!
Oregon United States Senator Jeff Merkley (D) was also in the area in February 2011 in a Town Hall in Philomath.
Corvallis received a 4" snow in February, unusual for snow to reach the valley floor. This photo was taken near the National Guard Armory on a walkabout around Grant & Kings to Fred Meyer. Schools were closed and trafiic was understandably slow.
A "Meet & Greet" of the three finalists for Corvallis School Superintendent in February at Linus Pauling Middle School.
Oregon State Beaver Baseball is always a big deal in Corvallis. After two consecutive NCAA Championships much is expected each year from the OSU Beaver Baseball Program & Coach Casey!
Corvallis has a new School Superintendent, Erin Prince, from Sherwood, Oregon. Dr. Prince has many challenges and is eminently qualified to meet those challenges.
After completing eight weeks of intense gardening information at the Gearing up for Gardening Series I was eager to plant some lettuce and broccoli in my garden in March.
Several hundred people were present at the "Sustainability Town Hall" at LaSells in March to listen to speakers and brainstorm ways to be "Greener".
Joan Wessell, Executive Director of the Downtown Corvallis Association, is indispensable as she coordinates multiple events sponsored by the DCA. The Rhapsody in the Vineyard held in March & September each year is a highlight for many Corvallis residents and visitors.
Always exciting, the "Model Railroad Exhibit" annually in the Community Room of the Corvallis Benton County Public library. Never too old to be a train engineer.
The Kiwanis Club of Corvallis is one of the most important "service clubs" in town. Countless volunteer hours each year by the membership including the annual Pancake Breakfast, which is as much a part of Corvallis as the venerable Benton County Courthouse. Proceeds from the Pancake Breakfast and all other Kiwanis events go back to the community in many ways.
The Corvallis Senior Center sponsors many trips each year including a visit to Newport, Oregon to tour the Tall Ships in April 2011.
Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning and Oregon State University President Dr. Ed Ray were on hand April 10th to get the Inaugural Half Marathon off to a rousing start. Several hundred runners competed and next year's event is anxiously anticipated.
Gasoline prices rose rapidly from January to April 2011 , 22% increase unabated until most recently. As of December 11th Regular gas is as low as $3.25 a gallon. Still more than the $3.07 in January 2011.
Springtime on the OSU Campus and the ROTC program was in fine fiddle.
A tour of the Historic Whiteside Theater is worth it. The 90 year old movie theater is on its way back thanks to the many volunteers of the Whiteside Theater Foundation.
Corvallis residents want to make certain our troops know they are appreciated. Photo was taken in front of the Oregon National Guard Armory on Armed Forces Day in May.
Memorial Day in Corvallis is always special. Kiwanis member Les Whittle has been instrumental in organizing the Memorial Day Tribute to Veterans yearly. In 2011 many World War ll Vets were present. The special point of the day was the fly over of the F-15's right on cue!
The Corvallis Knights Baseball Team has become a must to see each summer. In 2011 the Corvallis Knights had a significant increase in average game attendance and went on to win the West Coast League Championship!
Corvallis also said goodbye to retiring City Manager Jon Nelson. Nelson served as City Manager for 18 years.
So much has happened in the first half of 2011 that it was imperative that I break the year in review into two stories. Look for July to December in the near future.
Corvallis is a very special place. Many people work very hard to keep it this way!