Corvallis Business: Arts Cornerstone Moves, Who Will Own The GT, Benton Unemployment Creeps Up, New State Cannabis Rules, Bonnie Milletto at Women in Business 

After 45 years on SW Second Street, a cornerstone of Corvallis’ arts community has moved to more contemporaneous digs on Madison Avenue. Pegasus Frame Studio & Gallery is now located between Gretz Jewelers and the Book Bin, at 312 SW Madison Ave. 

Vibes from the new space are a clear departure from the old; medium gray walls meld with soft gray plank floors for a more cohesive meditative feel, which juxtaposes well with the corrugated metal wall and its large wooden barn doors toward the middle of the space. Beyond that wall, a work room for framing and restoration work, and to the rear and side of that, hallways and a tad more open space that one can see the gallery growing to use, as well. 

It all serves to offer visitors the sense of a new freshly voiced chapter for this stalwart of Corvallis’ arts community. It is worthwhile to note that in the last decade, gallery runner Paige Shumway took over from her father, Bill Shumway and the gallery’s founder, Jim Howland. Readers may recognize Howland’s name from CH2MHill and the Riverfront Restoration Project. 

Shumway sees the gallery as positioned to “showcase and preserve people’s evolution as artists, at the beginnings, junctures or even, at the end of their careers.”  

About the move, she says, “Change is a constant. The Art of transformation, community, history and caring preservation is what Pegasus is all about. You are Pegasus! Your stories, and your art remain our honor to care for. Let’s transform and move forward together. We continue to do custom framing, restoration and exhibit local, regional and international artists. Come see us as we re-invent, re-imagine and rise.”  

Who Will Own The Corvallis Gazette-Times: For the moment, recessionary fears have moved Alden Global Capital to quietly back away from its hostile takeover attempt on Lee Enterprises, current owner of The Corvallis Gazette-Times, a regional newspaper that circulates in Linn and Benton counties. 

Alden started its takeover bid with a 6.3% stake in Lee, now down to 4.7%. Alden’s $24 bid was, earlier this year, challenged by Lee’s board as too low. But with the stock now down to $18, the board may not be able to make that argument again in the future. Also, if a recession does come and then go, past performance from Alden suggests they’ll make another try later. 

Industrywide, most experts believe the decades-long decline of ad revenue will deepen next year, and that subscriptions may slow down until recession fears pass. 

New THC Testing Rules for Oregon Cannabis: Starting Jan. 1, labs testing the potency of cannabis products sold in Oregon will be required to hold onto the samples they’ve used, which in turn will allow state auditors to confirm the lab’s numbers. It’s a big deal because industry insiders have been accusing each other of seeking competitive advantage by gaming the potency numbers. 

Most consumers center on THC potency, and with intense competition for shelf space, there are industry insiders that believe some producers and processors may be doing some creative lab shopping. 

TJ Sheehy, OLCC director of analytics and research, said at a commissioners’ meeting earlier this month, “The laboratories do the sampling of material, but they’re also selected by the licensee to do testing,” adding, “So, that creates an incentive structure where licensees vote with their feet to get the highest results so that they can get the best shelf space.” 

Benton Unemployment Crept Upward: Benton County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3% in October, up from its revised rate of 3.1% in September. Oregon’s statewide unemployment rate in October was 4.1%, up from its revised September rate of 3.8%. Benton County’s employment gains in October were slightly more than normal; total nonfarm employment increased by 1,470 jobs, when an employment increase of 1,380 jobs would be expected. As a result, seasonally adjusted employment increased 90 jobs between September and October. Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment remains 1.0% below the level in February 2020, down 440 jobs after sharp job losses in the spring of 2020.  

Leisure and hospitality added 170 jobs in October. The sector added 350 jobs or 8.4% over the past year. The private sector overall added 310 jobs over the month. Trade, transportation, and utilities added 60 jobs and health care and social assistance also added 60 jobs in October. The public sector added 1,160 jobs in October. All of those gains were in local government education, which added 1,240 jobs. State government employment was unchanged over the month while federal government employment declined 30 in October. 

Chamber of Commerce Event: Women in Business with Bonnie Milletto, motivational speaker, youth advocate, and author. Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 12 – 1 pm at the Courtyard Marriott in Corvallis, located on 400 SW 1st Street.  

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