Author: Salem Weekly

LEGACY OF ANCIENT AMERICAN WOMEN LEADERS

By Leonide Martin Last weekend I declared freedom from I-5 by taking Amtrak to attend the Historical Novel Society conference in Portland. It was a banquet of delights for historical fiction lovers, where I rubbed elbows with famous and not so famous authors, joined spirited discussions of the art and content of writing, and spent far too much money buying books by inspiring writers. This international group is based in England, with U.S. and Australian branches. Naturally, there was a big focus on fiction set in Europe. I browsed the bookstores noting many titles featuring powerful European women: Victoria, Elizabeth I, the White Queen, Ann Boleyn, Tudor queens, Catherine the Great, Isabella of Spain. Where, I wondered, was historical fiction about women leaders in the Western Hemisphere? Important women from the Far and Middle East, Egypt, and Mediterranean regions were there. The Americas were represented by some sagas about women in the 18th-19th centuries, with more books on women during the world wars.  But the ancient Americas? Nothing. I was particularly struck by this omission, since my books are about powerful native women in ancient times. Although a few native women such as Pocahontas and Sacagawea have been portrayed, stories set in pre-European contact Americans are rare. Yet, it is exactly in these ancient eras when native women had the greatest influence upon their cultures, holding positions of highest...

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Note from the publisher  – A.P. Walther

We are gratified when our readers take the time to comment on the stories we work hard to bring you. Our last issue’s cover story, “Tales from the ER” generated a high level of feedback, and we appreciated every letter. We were, however, concerned by some comments in which readers took issue with the focus of our story. Let me be clear; we believe the staff at Salem Hospital go above and beyond to provide health services under very trying conditions. Our intention in writing this article was not to denigrate Salem Hospital’s overworked staff, but to start a conversation about how ER services might be improved. The negative experiences we described were, in our opinion, created by the combination of an overworked staff scheduled too thin by administrators focused on an inappropriate “bottom line” even though the institution is called nonprofit, and a health care system that forces millions of people to use the ER for their care because they cannot afford or access anything else. When life is on the line, front line staff should never be overworked or under-resourced. Over the years, we’ve heard many complaints about Salem Hospital’s ER, so many that we knew a story would one day be printed on our pages. After Kelly Williams Brown’s experience earlier this year, we knew the time had come. In putting the story together, we were...

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What it’s like to serve on Salem city council?

by Cara Kaser This 4th of July will mark exactly six months since I was sworn in as the Ward 1 Salem City Councilor. Serving as a councilor during these last few months has been an enlightening, challenging, and rewarding experience. It has also been eye-opening in that I’ve learned that many Salem residents are unaware of what serving on a volunteer city council is really like. To that end, I want to help demystify the council experience for you a bit. First off, I am not a career politician, nor do I have aspirations to be one. My...

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LET’S BUILD A COMMUNITY FRIENDLY POLICE FACILiTY, NOT A FORTRESS

by Geoffrey James, AIA The new police facility that Salem citizens approved in the May election will be the first public building built in Salem since 2005 when we cut the ribbon on our new convention center. The project has been controversial. I know. I served on the first Blue Ribbon Task Force appointed by Mayor Anna Peterson that came up with a plan that the city council rewrote and submitted to voters — that failed. The new plan for a smaller facility that voters approved is an improvement. But it is only that; a plan. It is not...

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Cherished nursery may be lost

If a buyer doesn’t appear soon, the oldest plant nursery in Salem may be gone forever. 13th St Nursery has been selling plants since 1920. Current owners, Karen and Glenn Maki have placed the business up for sale – but without a buyer committed to continuing the tradition, the future is uncertain. Karen Maki was drawn to the property, located at 13th St. SE and Wilbur St. SE, she says, because “we wanted to be our own boss as well as spend more time outdoors.” She was aware of 13th St Nursery’s history from the first. “In 2000, when...

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An online clearinghouse for progressives

For years, forward-thinking locals have desired an informational hub for progressive groups, an online resource that would combine information on many different organizations and their visions, meetings and events. Perhaps a calendar – all in a one-stop location on the internet. According to Keith Quick, this concept is being realized on the Facebook page of the Salem Solidarity Network, SSN. “A group of us came together last November,” Quick says of SSN, “with the goal of being a coalition of local groups in order to better coordinate local actions and event. At our first meeting, we had representatives from about 14 different groups.” Still in its infancy, SSN already includes organizations such as SEIU, 350 Salem, Latinos Unidos Siempre and Oregon PeaceWorks. Recent postings advertise a square dance benefit for Friends of Family Farmers, a Salem Says Act on Climate Now event and a public conversation on Standing Rock. SSN is currently inviting more organizations to formally join the coalition. “In the beginning,” Quick says, “we were a loose knit group and everyone who attended our meetings was involved in the direction of the organization. We found that a lot of people were attending who were upset at the election of Trump and wanted to do something.” SSN is now focusing on coalition building. It is working on two projects, the first of which is to build a comprehensive...

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CITY AND ROTARY TO IMPROVE RIVERFRONT PARK’S AMPHITHEATER

Just as the City finishes Peter Courtney Bridge at Riverfront Park, it recently acted to permit further improvements to the Park. The City designated the 2.2 acres currently occupied by the amphitheater as a performance facility in advance of completing a full master plan for the Park. This decision allows The Rotary Club of Salem to begin fundraising for a new covered stage and supports for lighting, rigging sound systems and other features. Depending on the total amount of funds raised by Rotary and the City’s ability to secure additional funding from other sources, the project may also include...

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UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION OF SALEM (UUCS) VOTES TO BECOME A SANCTUARY

As the Trump administration ramps up deportations and fuels fear among undocumented residents, a Salem congregation takes a bold stand for love and justice. With many Salem and Mid-Willamette Valley families living amid suspicion and fears of deportation, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem (UUCS) voted to become a sanctuary congregation.  The sanctuary vote is a strong stand against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests that have led to separated families, and men, women and children living in perpetual fear of being stopped, jailed and then deported.  In becoming a sanctuary congregation, UUCS follows a long faith tradition of churches and religious communities serving as places of refuge for those in need, and those fleeing violence, slavery and persecution. The congregation voted May 21 after three months of deliberation conducted by the church’s Sanctuary Discernment Task Force. More than 75 percent of the congregation cast votes and well over 90 percent voted in favor of the sanctuary resolution. Rev. Richard Davis (Rev. Rick), who became UUCS senior minister in 1993, served on the task force.  The UUCS congregation and sanctuary task force are currently working on all aspects of becoming a physical sanctuary so that the church will be ready. The UUCS is also making connections with immigrant groups and other churches and faith communities intent on helping undocumented residents in this community. In our outreach the UUCS has learned about...

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THE FIRST ENGLEWOOD FOREST FESTIVAL IN ENGLEWOOD PARK WILL HIGHLIGHT ART, MUSIC, COMMUNITY, ENVIRONMENTAL AND ART WORKSHOPS

A new celebration is being held this summer. The Englewood Forest Festival will highlight local artists and musicians in Northeast Salem with 40 arts, environmental and educational booths in beautiful, heavily wooded Englewood Park. Activities will include workshops by the Willamette Art Center, Salem Audubon Society, Straub Environmental Center, Marion County Environmental Services and Marion County Master Gardeners with themes related to the park environment. Family-friendly art activities will include printing making, paper crafts, drawing and clay. Children can try playing musical instruments and participate in relay races. Musicians and dancers will perform throughout the day. The festival wants...

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Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966-71

June 3 – August 27, 2017 Hallie Ford Museum of Art Willamette University Gary Westford – Organizer and Guest Curator By Steve Slemenda When the music’s over, don’t turn out the light; just paint it black to see behind the beyond. In the summer of 1967, when I was 15 years old, I bought Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for $2.98 (monaural—stereo was a buck more). It was a little store off Melrose in Hollywood crammed with boxes of vinyl LPs. One of the great “underground” FM stations was on—KMET with legendary disc jockey B.Mitchell Reed (“You gotta dig this new cut from Procol Harum called ‘Whiter Shade of Pale.’ Stop and listen to the lyrics; it’s poetry, man, and and it will send you”). Wedged between records in one of the boxes was a square of cardboard with the handwritten “Stealing is Bad Karma.” Behind a counter slouched a skinny kid with stringy spills of hair parted in the middle. Just the point of his nose peeked through as if from between curtains, catching the sweet pungent waft of patchouli oil from a browsing girl in a gypsy skirt. On the walls were posters promoting area rock concerts. These were singular  works of art—loud and colorful, outrageous and flamboyant expressions of a countercultural phenomenon called The 60s. In the cooler parts of town these posters were everywhere:...

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CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO MAKE D STREET FIELD A CITY PARK ON JUNE 12

After almost four years of advocacy by the neighbors of the Northeast Salem Community Association (NESCA), Salem city council will consider purchasing the D Street Field for a city park. The property is located at the northwest corner of the former North Campus of the Oregon State Hospital, and is bound by D Street NE to the north and 23rd Street NE to the east. City Council will vote on the sale at its regular meeting in Council Chambers at City Hall on Monday, June 12. NESCA first identified the purchase the D Street Field as a city park as a priority in December 2013. Neighbors worked with Senator Peter Courtney, State Representative Brian Clem, and the state to advocate for the property to be purchased at a fair price for public use. The purchase is supported by the Salem Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, Friends of D Street Field, Oregon State Employees Softball League, Salem Spartans Rugby Team, and many neighborhood associations and community members. The D Street Field is a traditional gathering place and recreation area for the broader community because of its central location, available parking, level topography, and square shape that makes it an ideal location for the Salem Spartans Rugby team to practice, the State Softball League to play games, and other organizations and friends and families to gather. This green space will offer...

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COMMUNITY TO LEARN ABOUT SANCTUARY AT MEETING

Sanctuary is more than providing a physical space for someone at risk of deportation. A Sanctuary Info Session for Marion County churches to learn more about sanctuary will take place 6-8:30 p.m., Thursday, June 22nd at McKay High School 2440 Lancaster Drive NE in Salem.    Church representatives will meet to hear from representatives of the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ), and local faith leaders. Together churches will explore how to participate in the broader movement for immigrant justice and accompaniment in Marion County.    Participants will be joined by Pastor Mark Knutson from Augustana Lutheran Church (Portland, Oregon) who will share about Augustana’s experience of becoming and being a sanctuary church.    In addition, Pedro Sosa from American Friends Service Committee who will talk about the current situation facing immigrant communities in Marion County.    The team planning this meeting is a group of volunteers from the Willamette Valley Resistance Collective that work together for social justice for Hispanic immigrants and people from other nationalities.    Congregations and faith communities are encouraged to come in teams of 2-3.  RSVP Requested: http://bit.ly/2r95KMZ/ willamettevalleyrapidresponse@ gmail.com or...

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THEATER33 EXPLORES GENDER IN RADICAL WAY

On the Willamette campus, Theatre 33’s first show this summer begins June 17th and 18th.  It’s a brand new comedy by a young, successful Portland playwright, Brianna Barrett.  The play is 36 Perfectly Appropriate Mealtime Conversations. Apart from being a premiere – which all Theater33 plays are – one of the things that makes this play unique is the roles are gender neutral. The play was purposefully written that way so any gender could be cast in any role.  Working with the author, Theatre 33 thought it would be cool to switch the roles at each performance, says Tom...

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WHO’S AFRAID OF EDWARD ALBEE? A tribute and recollection

by R. S. Stewart   Broadway producers, directors, actors, fellow playwrights, and audiences, that’s who–at least during the early years of his success and fame, marked by the two-year run of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 1962. Three years earlier the unknown Edward Albee had to go to Berlin, Germany, to get his first play produced, the one-act “Zoo Story”, still an unnerving perennial classic of compression, character, narrative, and shock. After its European success, it returned to New York for a long run at the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village, ushering in a new theatre movement called “Off-Broadway.”    Albee, who died on September 16th at the age of 88, was one of the most controversial of American playwrights, bringing new themes, stories, and language to the stage where Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams dominated. His public and private quarrels with directors and actors are legend, as well as his anger over the changes made in the film version of “Virginia Woolf”, much of it shot outside the claustrophobic setting of the play and casting an Elizabeth Taylor 20 years too young for her role as Martha, although Albee praised her performance as her best ever. His increasingly bad reviews from theatre critics in the 70s led them to turn one of his own titles, “All Over”, into the watchword for his career.    A...

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Everyone’s input helps build a great community

by Sally Cook Given the opportunity to reflect on my short time on the Salem City Council, I want to begin by thanking my friends and neighbors in Ward 7. I am humbled by the support, insight and perspective of the working families that take time out of their day to call, write, email, or attend a meeting to make their voices heard. As busy as I feel, at times, I know plenty of people in my ward are managing 30-50 hour weeks, juggling family life with parents and kids, struggling to make ends meet, and working hard to...

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The Way I Talk

By Sarah Rohrs    People who stutter are generally not known for being garrulous, and what so many don’t like to talk about is, in fact, stuttering. Take it from me. I’ve been stuttering since the second grade. I’ve spent nearly fifty years confounded by my speech, trying to keep my stutter a secret, and berating myself when it pushes its way to the surface. On particularly bad days when my voice seems to squeeze through a crack in my throat I despair. Those are the days I long to know what it’s like to speak without thinking first. Those are the days I really wish I didn’t stutter.    But those thoughts pass quickly now that I moved to Salem and opened the drapes onto my speech. That happened after I saw “The Way We Talk,” a documentary feature about stuttering by local filmmaker Michael Turner. As the lights dimmed and Turner’s stutter filled the Salem Cinema theatre on Broadway, something broke free in me. It felt and sounded so familiar. He spoke of feeling like something was wrong with him each time he opened his mouth. When he said his family never spoke about stuttering, I realized neither did mine.    Stuttering Awareness Week, the second week of May, gave me a chance to do just that. It was a great week for me, a time for...

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How many pot shops is too many?

Few people nowadays would have difficulty finding a local pot shop. If you drive along Highway 101, you will see store after store. It may even seem like there’s one on every street corner. In Salem, South Commercial is being called The Green Mile. Another Green Mile exists along River Road in Keizer. This abundance of shops begs the question: how many is too many? Initially the OLCC estimated issuing about 850 licenses. As of May 19th, OLCC has issued 1186 licenses, with 446 retail store licenses issued. Applications currently total 2560. With an unlimited number of licenses on the market, competition has become very stiff. Marion and Polk County support 9 liquor stores. When Salem City lifted their 1000 foot rule for cannabis stores, the number went from 16 in the Fall of 2016 to 33 and counting today. These numbers would seem unsustainable. Salem, for instance, has a certain number of potential customers for cannabis stores. As more and more stores open, the potential market share for each store diminishes. An over saturated market can become a concern for state and local governments wishing to collect taxes, as well as business entrepreneurs trying to follow a business plan.  As more stores open, that pool of tax money is split amongst more businesses. The potential risk to government lies in the fact that smaller or mismanaged stores that...

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Salem Climate Action Plan

By Laurie Dougherty Portland; Beaverton; Corvallis; Eugene; Ashland, Spokane; Boise; Tacoma; Boulder; Salem, Massachusetts – and on across the country and around the world. Where is Salem, Oregon? What these cities and others have that Salem lacks is a well-defined plan for dealing with the crisis of climate change. Climate change is real and already disrupting natural systems and cycles that we depend on for life and livelihood and the stability of our society. It will only get worse unless we take solutions into our own hands. Salem, Oregon needs to be on this list.  Why bring it up now?...

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Love and death, death and love

If the most powerful theatre concerns the fact that we die or that what we love dies (or simply that we love,) then local theatergoers have two excellent productions to consider this week. In one, Keizer Homegrown Theatre’s production of “Hearts Like Fists” a rock ‘em sock ‘em band of female crimefighters take the stage at Chemeketa Community College Auditorium to solve the mystery of a spate of murders of lovers while they sleep. Play written by Adam Szymkowicz, directed by Jay Gipson-King, the comedy thriller spans two rotating stages, 10 locations, numerous fight scenes and multiple simultaneous goings...

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Somewhere Else Memories of Dad on his 100th

This is for my late father, on what would have been his 100th birthday, and for the many folks here in the valley who have childhood memories of somewhere else. My first memory of dad takes place in the cab of a truck at the grain elevator in Condon on a hot summer day in 1950 or ‘51.  Dougy and I sit restlessly on the slippery black passenger seat. The cab is superheated and smells like tar.  The windshield is streaked and the sun is so bright that it is hard to even see the building.  We wait awhile and then pull into the shade where dad has a jocose conversation with a man named Slim.  I can’t see well enough to know whether he really is slim.  With a haarooom! we go into the sun again and stop.  We pile out and dad boosts us into the back of the truck onto the load of wheat.  The wheat is warm on top and cool underneath.  We flail on the surface, like swimming.  The wheat promptly spills into the holes we dig. This folkloric kind of memory, related to weather and work life, sticks with me like the spindly roots of winter wheat in the clumped soil.  It is what I mean when I hear myself telling someone, Well, I am originally from eastern Oregon. Don’t eat the wheat,...

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