Author: Salem Weekly

Theatre extravaganza hits Salem

There has never been an event like it in Salem. Nor, in almost any other city. From March 17 – 19, the Salem Theatre Network will host a unique cultural event where the public can take in as many as 20 theatrical performances, exhibitions and workshops across 6 venues in Salem’s downtown core. It will be a weekend of live-performances, from one-acts to one-woman shows, musicals, staged readings, stand-up, live music and dance, as well as all-access educational programming. The Cherry Blossom Theatre Festival will expose audiences to the work, creativity  and diverse visions of the 14 member theatre...

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America Was Never Great

By Kendra Moe    The night of the election, my three roommates and I sat in our living room, our hearts beating and eyes glued to our phones. We checked the polls excessively, barely speaking, waiting and watching in horror as our worst nightmare became more and more real.    Through false or grossly biased news outlets, it seemed that more of the country’s youth were deciding who to vote for based on their facebook newsfeed. Trump’s crude and discriminatory behavior towards women, the mentally ill, people of color, and religions other than Christianity, has sparked a resurrection of hate that eliminates the time and effort that went into some of the most powerful social justice movements in our history.    Being in Oakland during the time of election made the fear of the future so much more real. Oakland is very diverse and social justice oriented, and the despair and rage is obvious in every despondent face I see. The night of the election, I was so sure that the future was female, that Trump’s campaign was too ridiculous to even consider, that I was utterly shocked and offended when the results were finalized. My roommates cried together, I wasn’t able to sleep. I could hear the riots already starting in the streets of Oakland, and I knew something had to be done. I have attended a few...

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The Immigration Issue

Immigration was a hot issue during the recent election campaign for US presidency. A wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, registry of Muslims, and extreme vetting of Muslim refugees were offered as solutions to the problem.  Border walls, including Roman England’s Hadrian Wall and the ancient China’s Great Wall, have rarely obstructed determined individuals. Also erecting and maintaining them can be extremely expensive. Muslim registry harkens back to Nazi Germany. It seems inappropriate for a multiracial, democratic society that America is. Besides millions of Muslims are law-abiding residents of the United States. Refugees vetting is already strict, prolonged...

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PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Hillary won Salem big

Salem is becoming a blue island in a red sea. As we have reported before, Salem is becoming more and more of a Democratic stronghold, not unlike other major Oregon cities like Eugene and Portland. Tina Calos, the Chair of Progressive Salem, has analyzed the results of the latest Presidential election and found that Hillary Clinton won Salem easily, by 11%. She won almost half the votes — 49% to 38% for Donald Trump. Perhaps even more significant is the fact that Clinton won all eight City Council wards in Salem, even the traditionally conservative Ward 4 in far...

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Salem City Councilor Brad Nanke criticized for making excuses

All but one attending member of the Salem City Council expressed absolute condemnation of the actions of former Ward 6 councilor Daniel Benjamin at the November 28 meeting. At that meeting, council accepted Benjamin’s resignation and ‘censured,’ (expressed disapproval about and an official reprimand concerning) his posting of a video showing cars running into African Americans. Ward 7’s Warren Bednarz said censuring “expressed our severe disapproval of someone, and that’s what this needs to do.” Ward 2’s Tom Andersen reported receiving 130 emails from residents “expressing their disgust” and called the posting “a reprehensible act.” Ward 1 Councilor Chuck...

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Buy groceries, electricity? Your making a political contribution

Visitors to Fred Meyer, the beloved grocery story begun in Portland in 1908, or Target, one of the country’s largest merchandise discounters, may assume that the stores have the interest of the average Oregonian at heart. But both spent huge amounts to defeat Measure 97, the November corporate tax measure that would have removed the cap on corporate gross sales tax in the state and would have raised about $550 million in its first 6 months with negligible impact on the population. But in the final single month before the November 8 election, according to Orestar, the database provided by the Oregon Secretary of State, Fred Meyer contributed $1,483,000 to the “Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales” PAC that successfully shot down the Measure. Target spent nearly $9 million in 16 contributions in that same one month. Utilities contributed as well; PGE with $50,000 and Northwest Natural with $50,000, using customer’s payments for a necessity to advocate against revenue for state projects. Those who might wish to avoid Fred Meyer for its contribution should be aware that Albertsons/Safeway Portland Division contributed more than $1.2 million in that same 30 days. Others who contributed to oppose Measure 97 include Campbell’s Soup, Gap, Anheiser-Busch, Costco, McDonalds, Upmqua Dairy, Coca-Cola and Pepsi – brands that may be difficult to avoid for those that protest with their pocketbooks. Another PAC, under the flag...

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Oregon Board of Forestry decides to protect bird

The Oregon Board of Forestry has reversed its decision to deny a petition from conservation groups that called for the identification and protection of sites used by a threatened Pacific Northwest seabird, the marbled murrelet, on state and private forest lands. The Board is now coordinating with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to identify and protect important old-growth forest areas for the bird, which is threatened with extinction. “It is reassuring to see the Board reverse course on this issue, especially given Oregon’s current efforts to sell off the Elliott State Forest,” said Nick Cady, legal director...

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Where have all the products gone?

Have you been to your favorite cannabis store lately to find that your favorite cannabis product is out of stock?  Well, you are not alone. Many cannabis consumers, especially medical patients, have been seriously challenged to find the products they have come to rely on. The reason is that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Oregon Health Authority initiated new rules on October 1st for marijuana testing, labeling, and packaging, that have thrown our new industry into a tailspin and an industry wide crisis. Although most cannabis business owners support testing that provides safe cannabis, some of the recent changes were overly onerous. What used to cost $100 for lab conducted potency and purity test, can now run into the thousands. Many business owners have been unable to get their product into labs for testing, even once they negotiate the new fees. To date the OLCC has only 4 fully licensed labs. This low number of labs available simply doesn’t meet the demand of the new market. Some businesses, unable to plan for such unforeseen obstacles, are in serious trouble. May processors have a warehouse full of product that hasn’t been able to be moved to market due to this bottlenecking at the labs. Some have already opted to forego moving forward into the  legal recreational market, while others have hunkered down by laying off staff and cutting...

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Buenos tiempos para la lírica -Good Times for the Lyricist    

                               by Matías Trejo De Dios El miedo, la intolerancia, el revanchismo y el autoritarismo parecen triunfar en estos tiempos que vivimos. Son momentos de inflexión histórica; incierto se presenta el mañana. En esta encrucijada de caminos que tenemos enfrente, tenemos que elegir bien. Nos jugamos lo que nos queda del alma colectiva, la democracia y la unión.  Siento que las tres van a ser probadas de forma decisiva en los próximos meses. Hay que imaginar y poner en práctica nuevas formas de mejorar nuestra realidad.  Necesitamos la ayuda y la dirección de personas que saben crear puentes y espacios comunes donde las gentes de buena voluntad puedan desarrollar un mundo sostenible. Tenemos que celebrar que por encima de todo somos hermanos y estamos juntos en esta aventura del vivir. Poetas y músicos, cuando se recobran de este dolor existencial, y quizás gracias al mismo, son capaces de crear las más finas formas de expresión que definen la grandeza de nuestra humanidad.  La historia enseña que los versos y las melodías infunden valor en el corazón de los mortales. Los ayudan a resistir los embates del destino, y a combatir las fuerzas de la opresión. Las obras de arte crean lugares de refugio intelectual y espiritual donde perduran pasados añorados, y donde se conciben mejores...

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Art and Advocacy

During the holidays, when family and giving are on many minds, a local painter Dago Benavidez wants to bring attention to children in the court system who might not have a family, and who lack that most basic of supports, an advocate to speak for them.  The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program is set up to provide this support.  CASA advocates, volunteers who are appointed by a judge, watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children to make sure they don’t get lost in the legal and social service system and are placed in appropriate foster homes. ...

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Touching Bellies, Touching Lives: Midwives in Southern Mexico Tell Their Stories

by Judy Gabriel              Book review by Vere McCarty    Judy Gabriel, one of those sixties kids who marched to a different drummer, volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee and spent a summer in a Mexican pueblo.  Her book is an in-depth look at the education and fulfillment that stemmed from that early experience.    It was only after raising her own children that Judy discovered her true calling as a doula – a supporter of women in pregnancy, childbirth and infant care.  Here in the Willamette Valley her ability with Spanish naturally put her in contact with Mexican women, and eventually brought her back to Mexico.  Taking her notebook and camera along, she went to the source—the midwives themselves.    Her book is dedicated, personally and specifically, to each of the women she visits and interviews.  Next to their intriguing names are pictures of midwives whose pride in their work shines right through their material poverty.    In these dozens of intensely personal stories, the women talk about their pathways to becoming midwives, sometimes a calling, more often a response to the urgent need of a neighbor.  They tell of assisting women through long hours of labor, with little payment, sometimes in the most challenging of circumstances.    A midwife named Delfina says, “Giving encouragement is the most important thing a midwife...

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A tale of two families

Two very different families and the store that connects them lie at the heart of Shattered, a documentary that features Salem’s Britta Franz. The film is being shown as a one-night fundriser at Salem Cinema, to benefit The Center for Hope and Safety. (Formerly the Mid-valley Women’s Crisis Center). The first family is Franz’s own, the Lions, who owned the Appelrath Cuepper store in Aachen, Germany. In 1937, Appelrath Cuepper was a well-established, substantial company, known for quality clothing. It was the place Britta’s parents, Curt and Else Lion spent their days making decisions about fashion and engaging with...

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Straub Environmental Center relocates to Willamette Heritage Center and announces Eco Hub, a new green coalition

Since its organization in 2004 the Straub Environmental Center (SEC) has occupied space at North Salem High School, most recently in a special science building on the southern part of the campus. Last week, this arrangement ended for the Salem-based non-profit, which teaches, presents and arranges environmental classes, talks, workshops and exhibits for students and the general public. As of November 1st, SEC is located in office space on the first floor of the Wool Warehouse at the Willamette Heritage Center (WHC), 1313 Mill St. SE., Salem. The WHC, one of Salem’s leading tourist sites, provides SEC with a...

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City communications research completed, put into action

In July 2015, Salem City Council set a goal and assigned funding for the City to do communications research so it might update its communications strategies. Council said that the City should seek community feedback with the goal of learning how to help citizens provide more input to the city, and how the City itself might more actively share information with the community. “We were very pleased with the amount of feedback,” says Courtney Knox Busch, Strategic Initiatives Manager for City Manager Steve Powers. “[We] incorporated it into the resulting plan, and are working it.” In the months of October to December 2015, the City began its research. It conducted more than 60 interviews and 500 surveys, aiming to gauge perceptions of the City’s communications and engagement. Staff also investigated best practices in the communications literature and reviewed the City’s materials (print, web, and social media). From January to March, 2016, city staff developed a strategic plan, with actions the City could take to improve communications with the community. From July to August the city hired a Communications and Engagement Manager, and, as a whole, began incorporating current best practice into internal processes and procedures and training. Knox Busch says the City Council’s 2015-16 (fiscal year) budget included funds for the work.  “The resulting contract with EnviroIssues was for $74,314 for the communications plan,” she says. The contract is...

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Election 2016; What just happened!?

For those still reeling from the general election on Tuesday, clarity may be offered on Friday, November 11, when popular Salem City Club election analyst, Ed Dover, returns to explain it all. Dover, Professor of Political Science at Western Oregon University, will analyze the results of the 2016 general election, focusing on: • The outcome, meaning, and long term significance of the presidential election. • Congressional elections and their relationship to the presidential outcome. • The independence of the Oregon elections from national patterns. Dover has taught political science for 39 years, with the last 29 having been at Western Oregon University. Some of his relevant classes are, Presidential Elections, Political Parties and Pressure Groups, Congress and the Presidency and Constitutional Law. The analysis of American presidential elections has been Dover’s primary research area for many years. He has written six books on this topic since coming to Oregon. The most recent, On Message: Television Advertising by the Presidential Candidates in Election 2008, focuses on the personal and political narratives the various candidates employed in their advertising during the nomination and general election campaigns. In 2014, his research paper on the narratives used by the presidential candidates in televised advertising in 2012 was selected as the best paper of 2014 annual meeting of the Northwest Communication Association. City Club members can expect a lively and informed discussion this Friday....

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Three Thoughts on Open Mic Poetry

by Marc Janssen Next up… Hands shaking, a voice that is searching for heart-hurt words, eyes listing from the screen of a dying cell phone. Next up… A slight senior woman, in precise staccato, tours her springtime garden. Next a man praises his first car, next a mother explores her youth, next the reader strikes a pose and moves into a sing-song voice, next another voice and another voice. It is open mic poetry in Salem. Thought #1:  I don’t want to go to a poetry reading because I don’t have a tight black sweater and beret. Because I don’t like to snap instead of clap. Because I don’t want to be bored. Neither do we. See, you are just like us. Poetry readings are a horse of a different color, that is for sure. It is very strange that someone would seek out unpaid public speaking engagements. But that is what a poetry reading is like, with all the variety and depth you can find at a TED talk, and all the silliness of a night of improv. A poetry event is unpredictable, and that is part of the attraction. Thought #2:  It is rare to hear the writer of a newspaper article read it aloud. You would not expect an essayist or a short story author to read to you from his book. Poetry however has always...

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Tragedy in our forest

The potential privatization of the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest located just east of Coos Bay will be remembered as one of the greatest public lands mistakes ever made by the state of Oregon. With privatization proposals of this remarkable forest looming, the Elliott must be saved by Governor Kate Brown and kept in public ownership for its incredible values. Treasured for its salmon and wildlife habitat, clean water and recreation opportunities, the Elliott’s contiguous rainforests stand out in an otherwise heavily cut-over Oregon Coast Range. Privatizing the Elliott jeopardizes these values and will lock Oregonians out of a favorite...

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The Holistic Choice

The Holistic Choice 1045 Commercial St. SE Salem 503-990-7312 M-S 11-8, Sun 11-5 TheHolisticChoice.org facebook The Holistic Choice Oregon tax on recreational marijuana by Salem Weekly | Oct 14, 2015 | Cannabis, News | 0 CommentsThe state of Oregon will tax ‘recreational’ marijuana sold through licensed dispensaries in the state.  ‘Recreational’ can be purchased through medical dispensaries from now through December 31, 2016.  After that, ‘recreational’ will be available through recreational... Fewer teens using marijuana by Salem Weekly | Oct 14, 2015 | Cannabis, News | 0 CommentsUse of recreational marijuana by teens has dropped in the years between...

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The Joint

The Joint 3270 Market St NE Salem 971-304-7131 Mon-Wed 10-9, Thur-Sun 10-10 thejointsalem.com facebook The Joint TLC Medical 0 CommentsTLC Medical 4550 Commercial St. SE Salem 503-339-7158 Mon-10-8  tlccanna.com... West Salem Cannabis 0 CommentsWest Salem Cannabis 2625 Salem Dallas Hwy. NW, Salem 503-837-9398 12-8 7days WESTSALEMCANNABIS.COM... Next...

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