Judging from what has Corvallis social media most abuzz this week, our shared community is downright freakishly hungry – so let us satiate you. The opening of Khalo Naser was this week’s headliner, and local foodie community stalwarts have had their first tastes and are enthusiastically recommending this new downtown Arabic cuisine addition to our fair burgh’s rapidly shifting dining scene.
In Even More Restaurant News: You may also recall us reporting that both No Nations and Szechuan Cafe would be no more. This week it was revealed the Bodhi Bakery would open a second Corvallis location where No Nations once resided, and that Szechuan Cafe’s space in the Bimart Center had been filled with a new Chinese cuisine offering called Uncle Sun.
Bodhi Ambitions: This well loved oasis of baked goods and caffeinated deliciousness in downtown Corvallis – also has an outlet location in Albany. Anticipated opening for this third location is sometime in June, and it will at times boast an expanded menu, said company leader Cody Utzman.
“We are bringing the most popular menu items over, but adding a greatly expanded weekend brunch menu with OLCC license, live music, extended hours and Pop-Up chef dinners”
“So, let’s talk about the patio at Bodhi on 1st, 70 plus seats outside along the water-front!”
“That’s gonna make for some amazing Farmers Market pick me ups and dreamy summer days chilling out downtown. Heated covered patio in the winters, lush garden vibe in the Summer,” said Utzman.
Utzman also speaks to both the history of the Mid-Valley coffee and culinary market, and the future of his own company, disclosing, “The Beanery had 3 locations in town, 4 in Eugene and 3 in Salem, that is our growth goal. We plan to bring the same “Corvallis Living Room” vibe to this new location.”
Utzman has had prior successes competing on the Food Network’s show, Chopped, and as the head Chef at Frankie’s. Before all that, he ran multiple restaurants in New York City.
Comcast Gives KGW the Boot: When characterizing the relationship between television broadcasters and cable companies, one could fairly say it’s complicated, if not somewhat fraught. So, there’s laws, and Comcast recently decided that because they’ve never really been required to carry Portland stations here in Corvallis, they would drop KGW. Here in Corvallis, Comcast delivers NBC’s affiliate from Eugene.
By the way, the regulatory vehicle requiring broadcast stations within a Designated Market Area be delivered to cable customers is called the Must-Carry Rule. We share this because we think it will make you sound cool at parties.
And Now, We’ll Editorialize: If anybody would’ve had the brainstorm to apply things like the Must-Carry Rule to other platforms, like, let’s say Google and Facebook, things would likely look brighter for local newspapers.
Instead, lawmakers tell themselves it’s too complicated, which it isn’t. These platforms have actively sought to kill newspapers just because they want to monopolize advertising revenue rather than compete for it. Now, these platforms are after our subscription dollars, and neither your state or federal legislators are likely to do anything about that, either.
On another note, there’s no reason that some basic regulations can’t be applied to the algorithms these platforms use, and given what’s happening to interests as disparate as local news, the wellbeing of our teenagers, and our national security – it’s past high time. If you disagree, hit us with a quick email.
Now, back to the news, sans any further opinions from us…
Power Lunch: Gov. Tina Kotek visited our fair burgh this last week, making rounds that included the Philomath School District and a meeting with local homelessness service providers and advocates. For the business leg of her visit, the governor visited the local outpost for Hewlett-Packard.
The tour of the HP campus was followed by a lunch with HP executives, Oregon State University President Jayathi Murthy and Benton County Commissioner Xan Augerot.
“Today was inspiring, starting with an incredibly impressive group of high school students in Philomath who are getting hands-on career and technical learning experience that is putting them on the path for long-term success,” Gov. Kotek said. “My trip to Hewlett Packard in Corvallis showcased a company that is ready to grow, innovate, and bring more good-paying jobs that will build our economic future. And I valued my conversation with local housing and behavioral health providers. Direct communication like we had today with advocates on the ground is invaluable to tackle challenges of statewide concern.”
Kotek’s goal is to visit every county in Oregon within her first year in office through what she calls her “One Oregon Listening Tour.” According to a release, the purpose of these visits is, “…to foster trust and build strong partnerships across the state to get results for Oregonians, with a focus on housing and homelessness, mental health and recovery, and early learning and education.”
Local Robotics Firm Swings Big: Corvallis based Agility Robotics has unveiled its next generation of Digit, a human-centric, multi-purpose robot made for logistics work. Redesigned from the ground up, this latest iteration has been developed to go where people go and do useful work safely in spaces designed for people.
For instance, think about bulk material handling at a warehouse or distribution center.
Warehouse work is process oriented by nature, it’s about repetitive tasks that all too often lead to injury and high turnover, which has both human and dollar costs.
“We designed the next generation of Digit with those customer use cases in mind,” said Damion Shelton, co-founder and CEO of Agility Robotics, “Three years ago, we introduced the first commercially available bi-pedal robot with a human form factor made for work. “
Since then, the robot has spurred tremendous interest from multinational logistics companies, and In turn, the team at Agility started working closely with the sectors they see as future customers, gaining a deeper understanding of just how those companies want to use Digit.
Existing automation solutions have drawbacks, they’re typically single purpose, which means companies have to onboard and maintain dozens of different solutions for different tasks, or they require expensive workspace customization.
Digit is multi-purpose, so it can execute a variety of tasks and adapt to many different workflows; a fleet of Digits is able to switch between applications depending on current warehouse needs and seasonal shifts. Because Digit is also human-centric, meaning it is the size and shape of a human and is built to work in spaces designed for humans, it is easy to deploy into existing warehouse operations and as-built infrastructure without costly retrofitting.
“Supply chains are still feeling the aftereffects of the pandemic, and the demand for warehouse labor far exceeds available talent. Companies are turning to automation now more than ever to help mitigate future disruptions. With logistics labor issues such as high turnover, burnout, and injury continuing to rise, we believe Digit to be the future of work,” said Shelton. “We look forward to Digit augmenting workforces, taking on the ‘dull, dirty, and dangerous’ tasks, and allowing people to focus on more creative and complex work. We like to think of Digit as enabling humans to be more human.”
Agility is opening up a limited number of spots in what they call their Agility Partner Program – for forward-thinking companies, it’s an opportunity to deploy Digit before it’s commercially available.
Through on-site visits and dedicated engineering resources, Agility will work closely with these corporate partners to understand their warehouse workflows and pain points, and demonstrate how Digit can alleviate those issues beginning with tote movement and manipulation. Partner participants will have the opportunity to influence the development of new skills and capabilities for Digit based on their real-world use cases.
Digit incorporates decades of research, development, and scientific breakthroughs in dynamic mobility and manipulation from Agility’s team, allowing it to navigate obstacles with ease and walk on uneven surfaces in different human environments, all while handling and moving objects.
Among the updates in the next generation of Digit are newly designed end effectors, or hands, that are optimized for grabbing and moving plastic totes commonly found in e-commerce and shipping warehouses, as well as a head and eyes to improve human robot interaction.
“We’ve learned so much about how robots can partner with the human workforce and work naturally in human environments, and we can’t wait to see the positive impact that the new Digit will have in the world,” said Jonathan Hurst, co-founder and CTO of Agility Robotics. “When people and robots work together in logistics operations, working conditions improve for people, warehouse efficiency improves overall, the supply chain moves more smoothly – everybody wins.”
For more information or to apply for the Partner Program, visit https://agilityrobotics.com/partners.
And now, your business events calendar…
Chamber of Commerce Success Events Series: Third in a series three standalone classes, so you won’t have needed to have attended the prior classes to benefit from this last one – April 12 brings a class focused on building a conscious company culture. The fee is $110.
Class will be at the Chamber of Commerce office, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. This is a Chamber member event, click here to register.
Real Estate Broker Pre-License Class: Have you been thinking about a career as a real estate agent? This class is the first step. An accelerated pre-license hybrid weekly class, self-study, and a 9-5 pre-test cram session on Saturday, June 10th will get you ready for the Oregon Real Estate Broker’s License Exam. You will have to attend all class sessions through Zoom or in person – much of the self-study portion of the class is online. The class is offered by the Small Business Development Center at Linn-Benton Community College.
The course contains 11 sessions, the fee is $695. First session runs from 6 to 9 pm, Tuesday, April 4, and the sessions conclude Saturday, June 10. Class meets at Coldwell Banker Valley Broker’s North Albany Branch. Click here to register.
How to Negotiate Your Salary: Interactive session for tips on how to negotiate your offer after landing a job. Presented by Vamos OSU, an alumni network for all graduates and friends who identify with and support OSU’s Latinx and Chicanx communities. Ask Alumni is an opportunity to meet OSU alumni who have been where you currently are, ask questions and learn from their experiences.
Hybrid event, in-person or online. Wednesday, April 5, from 5 to 6 pm, at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center, 725 SW 26th Street, Corvallis. Click here for more info or two register for online attendance.
OSU Non-Profit & Public Service Fair: The March 1 date was postponed due to inclement weather – the new tentative date is April 11. Explore service. Better the world. Discover your passion.
Meet representatives from over 50 nonprofit and local government organizations representing a wide variety of fields who are seeking OSU volunteers, interns, and employees. The 17th annual Non-Profit and Public Service Fair offers the chance to network with people who share your interests and passions and learn more about the many opportunities available in the nonprofit field. The entire OSU community, including alumni, and the public are encouraged to attend this event!
Tuesday, April 11, from 11 am to 3 pm, at the Memorial Union Building (MU), Ballroom, 2501 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis. Register here.
Property Manager Pre-License: If you love problem solving, working with people and multitasking, then this in-demand property management class is for you. This course prepares you for the State of Oregon Property Manager License Exam and covers the role of property managers, tenant relations, fair housing, lease agreements, and more. You must attend all class sessions through Zoom and have online access to complete the self-study portion of this course.
$600 fee. Offered through Zoom video conferencing. Seven sessions staring Tuesday, April 11, 6 to 8 pm. Click here for more information and to register.
Going Into Business Class: In just one session, you’ll get all the basic information you will need to begin planning your successful business. Rules, regulations, financing, customers, markets, and feasibility will all be discussed in this free seminar.
Free, this class offered through the Linn-Benton Community College Small Business Development Center. Tuesday, April 11, from 6:30 to 7:20 pm. This seminar is offered through Zoom video conferencing. Click here to register.