Author: Salem Weekly

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  Medicinal cannabis reduces addiction, death from opiates by Salem Weekly | Jul 22, 2015 | Cannabis, News | 1 CommentThis month the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER,) an non-partisan think tank, published a working paper showing that states who allow patients to access medicinal marijuana through dispensaries have fewer rates of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. The... Cannabis sales tax by Salem Weekly | Jul 9, 2015 | Cannabis, News | 0 CommentsA number of issues complicate the taxation of...

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Repeated favoritism claimed for local developer

According to community observer E.M. Easterly, the City of Salem has consistently given preferential treatment to developer Richard Fry, who has served on the City of Salem Planning Commission since 2011. The favorable treatment documented by Easterly occurred at and near the River Valley subdivision on Wallace Road in West Salem, in an area of town that might be in the direct path of the 3rd Bridge being considered this winter by Salem City Council. The approximately 10.3-acre property is owned by Fry and his wife, Stephanie, of Stephanie Fry Construction.  At the October 10 Salem City Council meeting,...

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Working with her neighbors

Sally Cook is one of three rookie city councilors elected to office in the May 17 local election. She is the third that Salem Weekly has interviewed in the months since then. We asked Sally about her hopes for her term and for the future of Salem. SW: In a few months you will be serving as the new Ward 7 City Councilor. What thoughts do you have about that? Sally: We only have so many moments to spend on this earth. I want to make sure the time I spend, especially in these meetings, is as productive as...

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President Obama endorses local candidate

On October 25, President Barack Obama endorsed Teresa Alonso Leon in her race for Oregon House District 22. Alonso Leon is among a select group of state legislative candidates from around the country to be endorsed by the President. House District 22 encompasses Woodburn, Gervais and North Salem. The contest has caught national attention due to Alonso Leon’s unique profile in the state’s only minority-majority district. Alonso Leon, the state’s GED and high school equivalency administrator, has focused her campaign on a reinvestment in schools, putting working families and small businesses ahead of corporate special interests and protecting seniors. “We are thrilled that President Obama is endorsing our candidates in some of the most competitive races across the country,” said Jessica Post, Executive Director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. “His endorsement highlights how crucial state legislative elections are to building on the progress the President has achieved and to continuing to move our nation forward.” Earlier this month, Nike co-founder Phil Knight contributed $50,000 to Alsono-Leon’s competitor, Republican Patti Milne. The gift was part of $380,000 in contributions Knight made to eight Republicans from around the state who are running for Oregon legislative...

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Salem Hospital CEO salary still a mystery

Following Salem Weekly’s August 4 article, “The Economics of Salem Hospital; Measuring ‘Community Benefits,” Salem Hospital CEO Cheryl R. Nester Wolfe sent a letter to all Salem Health staff, disputing Salem Weekly’s  figure for her compensation and providing her own. Her figures show a 16.6% increase, at most, from when she was Cheif operating officer (COO), and a CEO reimbursement of far less than her predecessor. The facts will not be made public for at least 10 more months. “It’s my goal that Salem Health be transparent about what we do, why we do it and how we do it,” Nester Wolfe wrote on September 19. “Contrary to what the article stated, I don’t earn $1.4 million. My salary is significantly less than that: I receive $553,600 in base pay, with a potential incentive increase of up to 25 percent that is approved by the board and based on meeting specific goals.” Salem Weekly calculates that this would provide a maximum compensation of $692,400. The most current 990 tax form available for Salem Health is for 2014, beginning on October 1, 2014 and running through September 30, 2015. On this form, which covers time prior to Nester Wolfe becoming Chief Executive Officer in fall 2015, she is still listed as Chief Operating Officer, her previous position. Her compensation for that period is given as having a base of $464,828...

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No Constant Hues – poems by Eleanor Berry

Review by Steve Slemenda    Shortly after Eleanor Berry’s most recent volume of poetry, No Constant Hues was published last year, I commented to her that I was reading the poems slowly, one at a time, relishing and digesting each as a richly flavorful confection. The poems in Hues beg for slow savoring. Berry is a writer of exceptional observation and insight, which she renders into dense and complex gems.    Hues runs through several themes familiar to her work: Marriage, family, cycles of life and death, art, perceptive narratives of life’s small and wondrous moments. Yet it is her awe and reverence for the natural world that is always forefront, whether in marveling at the intricacies of a flower petal or the vastness of a starry desert sky.    Berry and her husband Richard are longtime residents of secluded land far up the Santiam Canyon, where they raise llamas, garden, living attuned to the rhythms of seasons, celebrating the natural world.    One senses that for Berry, as with many fine poets, the wonder and even veneration of the organic world extends to language itself. She is a masterful crafter of the word, the phrase, the line—the marriage of sounds, the nuances of rhythm, the shaping of stanza, the deft and light touch of tropes. As blackberry canes sag with clusters of swollen/purple globules—with the same wild excess,...

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Why is a proposal to save North Campus and its trees being ignored by Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS)?

By Gene Pfeifer On Monday, October 24, a tear in the civilized fabric of Salem-Oregon began. After meeting with the Governor last Friday, inspection of four historic buildings reveals that internal demolition has begun without proper vetting of the proposal. Remember the original downtown Salem City Hall, its wonderful cornices and period architecture? Despite possibilities to repurpose and sustain this noble building – it was demolished. Remember the more recent DAS sale of the Oregon School for the Blind property, after which 40 neighborhood trees were “clear cut”? Contrary to those sad recollections, a group of 14 local businessmen and...

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Changes at Salem’s Statesman Journal

In recent weeks Salem’s daily newspaper, the Statesman Journal, a subsidiary of the Gannett Company, Inc., has seen significant changes. On August 23, the paper’s 87,000 square foot building at 280 Church St. NE, was sold to News LLC of Keizer for $2.6 million. Nearby parking lots were reportedly included in the transaction. News LLC was registered with the Oregon Secretary of State in July in the name of Eric Meurer, former spokesman for the Home Builders Association of Marion and Polk Counties, and a leader in the Courthouse Square Solutions Task Force. On October 25, Meurer told Salem...

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PENTACLE’S INAUGURAL BOOK CLUB October 19 2016

Tickets available by calling Pentacle Theatre’s Ticket Office: 503-485-4300. Limited to 20 patrons! $45 includes a copy of the novella “Of Mice and Men,” dinner and a ticket to the performance. Copies of “Of Mice and Men,” by John Steinbeck, provided by The Book Bin. Itinerary: 5:30 p.m. – Dinner at Taproot Lounge & Café. (Please submit your order to Pentacle Theatre’s office by Oct. 18; taproot-order-form). 5:30 p.m. – Discussion led by author and Willamette University Professor Emeritus Michael Strelow. 7:30 p.m. – Attend performance of “Of Mice and Men” at Pentacle Theatre. 10:30 p.m. – Talk-back with...

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How to Bring a Dead Poet to Life

by Vere McCarty    It starts with having a favorite poet.  It may be anyone, from any land and any century – as long as, regrettably, this poet has passed on.  If your love for the poet is so great that you would actually like to be him or her, then you are ready to be a Dead Poet.         You choose your favorite poems, study your poet’s life, and write a script explaining how this life led to these poems.  You practice and you practice, leaving room for spontaneity, because it will all be different when your poet comes to the microphone and you feel the anticipation of friendly listeners, and you take a deep breath and say, “Good evening, I am…”    The Dead Poets Reading, in its 26th spring-and-fall reincarnation, will materialize on Saturday October 29th, 7:00 pm, at the Creekside Grill in Silverton.  It is free (though there is a lonely donation jar that needs attention).  All ages are welcome (though there is a bar a few steps away).     Rainer Maria Rilke will be there with his mystique and his rose garden of poems in French.  Robert Frost is expected also, having gone his miles and then slept for many snowy evenings.  Marosa di Giorgio will take us to the fields of violets of her childhood in Uruguay.    Robin Williams unfortunately...

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Vote wisely on cannabis and make your community better

by Margo Lucas Well, there’s a whole lot of cannabis on the ballot this November. Starting with Marion County ballot Measure 24-404. Voters will decide whether to allow the operation of Medical Marijuana Processing sites and Dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of the county. Also, in Marion County, Measure 24-405 will ask voters to decide whether to allow the operation of recreational marijuana businesses, including producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers, in the unincorporated areas of the county or outside city limits. Voters should consider what positive effects these businesses operating will have on the county. Voting yes to allow...

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Inaction on gun control provokes frustration -Salem Progressive Film Series

“We cannot wait one moment longer to address the unacceptable fact that on average, 91 Americans are killed by gun violence every day,” says Zicra Lukin, of Moms Demand Action in Oregon. “Hundreds more are injured. As we’ve seen all too often, gun violence can occur anywhere. We know what the common-sense solutions are, and we must implement them to save lives.” Lukin will be one of the speakers at the first presentation of the 2016-17 season of the Salem Progressive Film Series. The film being shown, Under The Gun, 2016, directed by Stephanie Soechtig and produced and narrated...

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Mayor determined to force bridge down taxpayer’s throats

One of the most wasteful, harmful, unnecessary projects in Salem’s history will be ‘greenlighted’ in a few weeks, say local observers that include a leader of the ‘NO 3rd Bridge’ group, Jim Sheppke. With little public notice and little public knowledge, the hearing on October 12 will likely mean a swift city council endorsement of the largest and most expensive public works project ever planned in Salem. “The mayor has the votes on the Salem City Council, so the public hearing is meaningless,” Sheppke says. The vote will give a go-ahead to burden taxpayers and the ecological jewel that...

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First responders lost on 9/11 – Keizer Homegrown Theatre

If 9/11 is stale for you, or too sad for you or too politically charged for you – this play may open your heart to the pain of real people experiencing loss again. Despite the years that have passed, the sense of shock and unreality that shook the nation on September 11th is palpable again in The Guys. The impulse towards altruism, the difficulty grasping mass death and the value of individual lives are large topics, but they all come to the fore in this 2-person play written in the months immediately after the 9/11 attack.  In the 15th...

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A Bridge Too Far and Too Much

I have served the people of Ward 2 and of Salem since January of 2015. Council service is a real pleasure and an honor. Thanks to Salem Weekly for offering me this platform. In my campaign for Council I strongly opposed the 4th bridge (not the 3rd bridge, as we already have three bridges in Salem). I proposed that we fix the current bridges and address any traffic problems in achievable ways other than a nearly half billion dollar project within no realistic funding mechanism. Please visit my Facebook page, Tom  Andersen – A Progressive Voice for Salem, to...

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Ongoing investigative journalism has a home at Salem Weekly

Salem Hospital making big profits? Police station projections based on faulty data? Willamette University facing uncomfortable challenges? Special interests contributing surprising amounts to local elections? Cannabis users still feeling the stigma? For more than 10 years, Salem Weekly has worked on a shoestring to bring you the in-depth coverage you’ll get nowhere else in town. Be a part of it! Send us your news tips and we’ll take them seriously. Send a donation and we’ll use it wisely. Be a part of making the next 10 years even better. Support your local...

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