CHEERS & JEERS: Government Giveths and Takeths

CHEERS for a forecasted 112 Fahrenheit come Sunday. The deniers were right, global warming isn’t a thing, it’s only our 10 square miles of utopia taking on the wrath of Hades this weekend, it’s like the gods pointed a laser beam our direction, and said…HA! HA! HA! [they thinks it’s a lot funnier than we do] 

CHEERS again that everyone that wants a house, now has one. To celebrate this progress, one of the last homeless camps in Corvallis was swept away by ODOT on Wednesday. It was a jubilant atmosphere, with strains of the critically well received soundtrack from the 1993 hit movie Dave offering a background that made this writer wonder if Verdi’s Triumphal March from Aida would have been fitting as well. Good job everyone! Now with homelessness solved… 

CHEERS for 1,000 to 2,000 new housing units planned for the corner of 53rd and West Hills. Inevitably, these will be fancy-schmancy overpriced ticky-tacks that further gentrify Corvallis. WISHFUL THINKING: those units will disincentivize the flipping of old crappy houses the rest of us can afford, or at least the gentrification of neighboring communities, meaning we — the unmoneyed — will find affordable refuge that’s close-ish. 

JEERS that neighboring Linn and Polk Counties are Corvallis’ only real affordable housing plan. At least highways 20, 34 and 99 will see some increased use, because that’s a goal, right? Mmm, increased emissions… tasty. 

PLOT NOTE: Could City leaders and developers maybe have a sitdown, and IDK, see if some affordable housing expediency could be had? Maybe, incentives for the developer in exchange for actual affordable houses for us lesser humans? Like, when you negotiate for broccoli instead of brussels sprouts with your partner, because your partner is wrong about brussels sprouts being edible, but they are the one doing the cooking that night, so yeah…. you strike a bargain, running out to get said partner a really expensive bottle of beer, because it’s worth it. Brussels sprouts, they even sound like an abomination, can I get an amen!! [Copy Editor Here: Brussel sprouts are delicious — cooked or raw, and the rest of us will be locking OP up in a minute. No worries. We got your back on this one.] 

CHEERS to Ed Junkins, former School Board Member and current City Councilor, and a pediatrician to boot. Anyhoo, he’s scored himself a prime new gig at the University of Notre Dame in its health services unit, which is unfortunately in Indiana…. so he’s resigned his seat on the City Council. We’ll miss your contributions Ed, best wishes on the new adventure. 

JEERS that Corvallis’ Ward 8 will be without representation on the City Council until a special midterm election in November. At press time, nobody at The Advocate checked to see if the City’s charter permits the Mayor to appoint an interim Councilor — mainly because none of us has time, because we’re understaffed and underfunded, and yeah, you get it… and man, that escalated quickly… am now backing away from the laptop for a minute… and said laptop is dragging me back… NOOO!  

PLOT NOTE: You can help support your Advocate workers, subscriptions levels are $5 for thems that’s economically strained, and $10 for everyone else. JEERS to The Advocate for shamelessly schilling during an opinion piece, and having way too much fun with the grammar while doing so. Moving on… 

WE WAIT WITH BATED BREATH to see if you’ll help out the local wildlife. Corvallis’ Chintimini Wildlife Center is out of dollars and at capacity, and you can help, so pretty please with sugar on top, do that. Literally, one of our reporter’s cats started purring as we penned that last part, meaning our sentiment has been meow approved. This same feline, however, becomes feral when it doesn’t get its way, so you should probably click on the Chintimini donation page… quickly… the cat is getting out of…  

JEERS to an overworn plot, in this instance the City of Corvallis proudly announcing the IRS refunded them $190,117 in penalties. The original amount was $243,000 for, as the City put it, “late tax payments or incomplete tax forms that were filed by the City to the IRS. In all cases, the tax payments were made, but some payments arrived a few days late.” We’re just guessing the City didn’t mean to evade anything, and the IRS knows that, but they’ve still levied $53,444 in penalties that are not being refunded.  

PLOT NOTE: One could put up three homeless families for a year with that money, and we’re talking a 3bd/2ba on Witham Hill, and you’d even have $3,746 left over. So really… Come on fed finance-y folk, slide your locally yokel bureaucrat brethren a break here — they didn’t mean anything by it, and we have mouths to house. Seriously, this manufactured friction between governmental parts is dumber than ketchup on a hotdog. [Copy Editor Again: We do know that ketchup is a hot dog approved condiment, and apologize for the nasty track this has taken; it’s not like y’all want to put peanut butter on the things.] 

CHEERS to rebates for local E-bike buyers — up to $1,200. If you’re lower income, like making 80% of our area’s average income, you can qualify — here’s the chart for qualifying incomes. And, here’s the press release with a link to easily apply online. PLOT NOTE: We now shamelessly point out you can use your rebate at one of our sponsor’s shops, Peak Sports. Look, they’re awesome people, and the owner there feels quite strongly that local journalism needs to be supported, and he’s been putting his money where his mouth is for a long time now, so swing on by to check ’em out. 

CHEERS (again) to the Corvallis Benton County Economic Development Office that put together those E-bike rebates we were just talking about. They have a boring name, but as our regular readers know, they do many an awesomeness ’round these-here parts. 

SHRUGS to boring things, like employment stats. Benton County’s May unemployment rate was 4.6%, it was 4.7%the month before. Leisure and hospitality jobs were up compared to 2020, but government education jobs were down. Oregon’s overall unemployment rate was 5.9% for May, same as in April. CHEERS to employment stats being back to boring. 

JEERS to an Oregon recycler that doesn’t care about the environment. Since 2004, Owens-Brockway has been busted 50 times for exceeding air opacity limits, and now they’ve been cited again, this time being fined $1 million. Just for fun, they’re Oregon’s only glass recycler. It would sure be awesome if the state, or just about anyone else, got into the same business, hopefully driving this terminally dirty corporate spew outta here. 

CHEERS we guess… Sooo, you can score yourself a sweet little $25 gift card for a local restaurant if you’ll finally get off your butt and take a jab in the arm next Tuesday at the Linus Pauling Middle School vaccination clinic. But, really, should anyone need the gift certificate… really? Folks, please do the right thing, if not for yourself, do it for us… Insert stupid cliché joke here about how we can’t afford to lose anymore readers, and if you’re not jabbed, please consider that we like having you on the planet, and healthy. [Copy Editor Once Again: We’re not inserting a joke. I mean, go get your vaccination already.]