Author: Salem Weekly

DYNAMIC NEW SHOW TO HIGHLIGHT LEGISLATURE

“There isn’t much that the Oregon Legislature does that doesn’t affect me personally,” says Jan Margosian, co-host of the new radio show, “Legislative Matters, Tune In and Take Part,” on KMUZ – Salem and Keizer’s community radio station. “Too often, ordinary citizens find out too late the effects of a new law on their personal lives. From tax increases, to availability of affordable health care, to insurance increases and having to obtain a certification in order to work… All of these could happen without any input from the citizenry.”  Legislative Matters kicks off on Monday, March 13 at 8...

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SALEM CITY CLUB INFORMS ON HOMELESS ISSUES

On Friday, March 17 and Friday April 7, Salem City Club will present programs to inform people about the challenges and issues of homelessness in our community. Meetings are open to everyone with an interest. Jimmy Jones, Ph.D of the Arches Project of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency and Ron Hays, Director of the Community Resource Trust will appear on March 17 to discuss, “A Profile of Salem’s Homeless Population.” Dr. Jones has conducted in-depth interviews with members of over 1,000 households living in Salem without housing, while Hays serves as the lead on the development of 180 low – income homes in North Salem. At the April 7 program, called, “Programs Actively Working to Help the Homeless: Housing and School,” attendees will hear from Andy Wilch, Head of the Salem Housing Authority and the lead on the redevelopment of Yaquina Hall into 50 low income housing units, as well as Kim Lemmon, Director of St. Francis Shelter for homeless families and Melissa Wisner, Director of Salem-Keizer Public Schools STEP program (Students in Transition Educational Program) which works with the hundreds of students known to be homeless. For more information, and to register, Salem Weekly readers should visit salemcityclub.com. 2017 Salem-Keizer Community Connect Resource and Health Fair Tuesday, March 28th 9:00am – 3:00pm Salem First Baptist Church 395 Marion St NE, Salem Community Connect is a one-day resource...

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Oh, how far we have come

In just an few short years, state legal cannabis has come a very long way, very quickly. It was just 2013 when the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 3460 to legalize medical cannabis dispensaries.Medical dispensaries began licensing in Oregon, in March of 2014. The legislature gave local government control, via Senate Bill 1531, over time, place and manner restrictions affecting how these businesses could operate within local municipalities. Here in Salem, a medical marijuana committee was formed, with representatives from the city council, neighborhood associations,the police department, Salem Keizer School District and industry stakeholders. The ink was barely dry on the new Salem medical marijuana ordinance when Measure 91 was passed  by 56% of the voters of Oregon in November 2014. This past March 13th, the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce held a Forum Speaker Series Luncheon at the downtown convention center, on “ Marijuana in Oregon”. A large turnout was present to hear Rob Bovett, Legal Counsel of the Association of Oregon Counties and Sam Chapman of New Economy Oregon Speak on the subject. The Salem Chamber’s host speaker used adjectives such as “confusing, amazing, and surreal” to describe our new industry. Trying to break through the stigma of the past, he endevored to “talk out loud” on the subject. In attendance was Dan Clem, Chamber President and also Chuck Bennett our new Salem Mayor. Both men sat...

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Sacred Waters

Poems by Franca Hernandez Poetry opened doors to me for political activism and lately activism brings me back to poetry. “Water Is Life”, a poem of protest, is my visceral reaction to a picture of teepees on the prairie against a relentless backdrop of miles of snow. The quiet reflection it communicates after a season of violence struck me deeply. Water is Life Frozen landscape of protest Brilliant in its seething purity A site on which outsiders have found meaning Like pilgrims we gather at this sacred spot Where our atavistic memory seeps under our skin And will not let us go Here seekers linger gazing on the white horizon Unmindful of the Artic breath that wants to kill us Here one is frozen with one’s thoughts Compelled to ponder Washing away hyperbole One focuses on what is important and fundamental Essential in its whiteness It strips the unessential Under the snow there is strength A muted time to contemplate one’s death Our bones under the virgin prairie Content to lie still Listening with gladness to the padding steps of children And the flow of sacred water In the Italian Alps, land of the ancient Celts prior to the settlement of the Lombard peoples, I discovered a small ancient temple within the halls of a monastery.  I saw this as a suppressed memory of the Celtic goddess Danu’ and...

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Public broadcasting viewers feeling cheated by Comcast

This January, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), Oregon’s non-profit, publicly funded television, changed the way it transmitted one of its two adult broadcasting channels. Some local Comcast customers feel that the way the cable provider has handled the matter is unfair. OPB has transmitted its primary television channel in high definition (HD) since 2011, but has transmitted it in both HD and standard definition (SD). This continues to be the case, so customers who have SD service have been able to receive OPB programs in their homes. In January, OPB began to offer its second channel, OPB Plus, in HD only. Although cable provider Comcast could continue to make OPB Plus programming available in SD for its SD customers, it has elected not to, forcing these customers to pay an extra $10 charge for HD service if they want to continue to see these programs. Comcast is the largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue. All OPB programming and channels are supplied to Comcast at no charge. No monies collected from Comcast customers for HD are remitted to the non-profit. In January an OPB spokesman said, “The fact that we began transmitting OPB Plus in HD did not require cable providers to drop that channel from their SD channel lineup. We transmit regular OPB TV in HD also, and all cable providers have the capability to...

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City introduces community-centric website 

On March 1, the City of Salem will “soft launch” a new website it hopes will be more straightforward and clear, as well as mobile-responsive, for people accessing it by phone or tablet. “We’ve even rewritten the content,” says Kenny Larson, Communications & Community Engagement Manager for the City of Salem, removing “jargon wherever possible to make things easier to understand.” The “soft launch” means that, for the month of March, visitors will see a button in the corner of the current website, inviting them to preview the new site. During this ‘beta-test’ period, Larson says City staff will...

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City of Salem out of touch with identifying stakeholders

As part of its Salem Strategic Plan process, the City of Salem held a stakeholder “charrette,” or solution-mapping meeting, on January 31. Its strategic plan was a process, according to the city, “to get feedback on key issues in our community” and to develop strategies to address them. The problem-solvers selected by City of Salem staff did not meet the city’s stated goal for diversity and inclusion. “Stakeholders,” according to a statement released on February 7 titled “Stakeholder Engagement” are people “able to represent the interests and opinions” of those with a specific interest in the work the city does. “Our goal,” the statement said, “is to achieve a balanced and broad range of community perspectives, with an emphasis on the community’s diversity (gender, age, ethnicity and a mix of business and neighborhood voices).” For the January 31 meeting, the city invited 32 people it felt met this definition to participate. • Nearly half (47%) were Republican (and 33% Democrat) in a town where Democrats hold a 9-point registration advantage over Republicans (40% to 31%) and Hillary beat Trump by 11 points (49% to 38%) • 27% did not live in Salem but instead in Keizer, near Independence, Canby, Turner, Aurora and rural locations outside of Salem • 43% had strong affiliations with the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce • 30% (9 of 32) have held present or past...

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SALEM OREGON VALUES

Many downtown Salem businesses have begun to display a sign proclaiming inclusion for all members of the community. The signs state, “We welcome ALL races, ALL religions, ALL countries of origin, ALL sexual orientations, ALL genders. We stand with you, you are safe here.” They are a work of personal advocacy by a local man disturbed by the country’s division and the demonifying of certain groups since the Trump election. His work reflects, on a small scale, potentially far-reaching decisions made on a larger scale at the Capitol building, where Governor Kate Brown showed Oregon’s priorities on February 2....

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17TH ANNUAL SILVERTON POETRY FESTIVAL

Silverton Poetry Festival Schedule of Events: Friday through Sunday February 24-26, 2017 On the spring-anticipating last weekend of February, the Silverton Poetry Association (SPA) hosts its yearly festival. The events are various and the venues are scattered through the art-drenched town of Silverton and at the Mt. Angel Abbey. All events (except the workshop) are free and open to the public. FEATURED POETS READING: Friday 7pm  Oregon Gardens Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon House Poets Marjorie Powers, Annie Lighthart, and Joanna Rose open this year’s festival with readings in the woodsy and atmospheric Gordon House.  Food and wine, gratis. FAVORITE POEM PROJECT & OPEN MIC:  Saturday, 11am-12:30 pm Silver Falls Library Auditorium 410 S Water St, Silverton This 21st year of Robert Pinsky’s National Favorite Poem Project, we invite you to listen in and to share a favorite poem. MUSIC AND POETRY: Saturday 3 – 5 pm Main Street Bistro Mezzanine 201 Main St (at Water St), Silverton Frost, Machado, Langston Hughes, Stafford and Szymborska set to original music by Jon Young and Vere McCarty.  Sing along and discuss the marriage of two arts.             WABI-SABI WRITING WORKSHOP Saturday, 1 – 4 pm Borland Gallery, Silverton Arts Assoc’n “Big” City Park, 303 Coolidge St. Wabi-sabi, an inspiration of Leonard Cohen, is the Japanese aesthetic of transient moments. Write in a circle of poets, share transient poetic...

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18TH ANNUAL CLAY BALL: MASTERPIECES February 25

Clay Ball at the Salem Convention Center includes both silent and live auctions featuring original works of art from some our community’s most talented, and generous, artists. For this year’s Masterpieces theme, guests are encouraged to transform into an iconic work of art, take cues from an artistic movement, channel their favorite artist’s wardrobe, or simply dress to impress. An inspiration list is available online for anyone looking to get ideas, from intricate to simple. Ticket includes appetizers, a catered dinner and dessert, beverages. Date: Feb 25 Time: 5:30-10 pm Cost:  Tickets: $95 February 16-24. Information: 503-581-2228  Online:  www....

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It’s hackneyed because it’s true: If the people lead; the leaders will follow

by Greg Wasson How convenient that the Oregon Constitution gives us a way to lead the city council away from the fiscal precipice that is the “Third Bridge.” On December 5, 2016, the city council approved Ordinance # 14-16, keeping the half-billion dollar “Third Bridge” monstrosity alive.  The signatures of 2,500 Salem electors are enough to demand a vote on this decision. A website – www.NoThirdBridge.org – provides down-loadable signature sheets, instructions on how to collect and certify signatures, and, an address. If 500 people send 5 certified signatures, we make the ballot.  If 1,000 circulators return an average...

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Salem is “growing”

As an advocate of cannabis, over the years we have often spoken of the jobs and revenues that will come from legalized  cannabis businesses. Here’s a look into a few of our locally owned new OLCC licensed cannabis businesses and how they  are contributing to the area economy and community. First up is Avitas, manufacturer of CO2 vapable oil and oil cartridge products. Avitas got it’s start in  Washington state and in  August of 2016, expanded by opening its facility in Salem. Sales Executive, Sheena Hickerson tells us that the company chose Salem because “ it’s centrally located”. “Avitas...

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NEW BIKE LANES BISECT DOWNTOWN

Since early fall drivers heading east on Trade street. who turn north on Church street. are confronted with vivid markings on the east side of the street. At first they look like hieroglyphs but eventually drivers realize the hash lines mark the new bike lane that runs along the east side of the street from Trade St. to Union St.  A similar bike lane now runs along the west side of High St. from Marion St. on the north to Trade St. on the south. The new lanes reduced the vehicular traffic lanes on each street from three to...

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LOCAL TRAINING TO ADDRESS RACISM

It is impossible to grow up in this country without being affected by racism, so deeply is it embedded in our culture. Nevertheless, many of us wish to free ourselves of the hold racism has over us and learn to ally ourselves effectively with people of color. An upcoming pair of trainings entitled “How to be an Ally with People of Color,” led by educator/activist Dr. Johnny Lake, will help us develop key knowledge and skills to work effectively across racial and cultural boundaries, as well as showing us how to actively address racism. The two half-day trainings, sponsored by the First Congregational Church and Oregon PeaceWorks, and co-sponsored by Oregonians for Peace, will be held from 1-5 p.m. on February 11 & 25, 2017 at the church, 700 Marion St. NE. Participants will get the most benefit from attending both. Thus, in case there is greater demand than can be accommodated, preference will be given to people who register for both sessions. A $10 donation is requested for each session, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Although pre-registration is not required, organizers expect high demand for these workshops so pre-registering, by visiting http://bit.ly/2iaLlE6, is highly recommended. For more information, visit:...

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Breaking Through, with Inspiration from William Stafford

by Kelley Morehouse    William Stafford’s writings speak more deeply and clearly with every passing year.  And every year there are more celebrations of the poet, with readings of his poems.  He was born January 17, 1914, and grew up on the Kansas prairie.  A conscientious objector, he was a pacifist but not passive, according to his son, poet Kim Stafford.  He moved to Oregon in 1948 and taught at Lewis and Clark College. Nearly every morning of his writing life, until his passing in 1993, he got up early, sat down with pencil and paper and started a new poem. Kelley Morehouse describes her experience reading William Stafford’s poem “You and Art,” and writing a poem in response: “I didn’t study the poem in depth and I didn’t fully understand what he was doing with it.  He talks about mistakes in life.  There is a forgiving tone from the very beginning, ‘Your exact errors make a music’….”    Breaking Through by Kelley Morehouse You’ve walked the tightrope. Sliding between order and chaos, the movement was smoother some days and other days arrived like a cyclone beating at your feet. You’ve slipped down those narrow passages and still emerged an outlined shape in the haze. Clues were few  of the spring- green side of things. Stones you followed led to peace-filled trees, to dimensions ever-present, finding a way of...

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Salem Marches with the World

The Women’s March on Washington had its beginnings the day after the Presidential election, as a reaction against what diverse women in different parts of the country experienced as divisive, misogynistic, anti-immigrant and racist campaign rhetoric. As the weeks passed, hundreds of “sister” marches sprang up, entirely generated on a volunteer, grassroots basis, until now, multiple marches are planned in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Planned for January 21, the day after the Trump Inauguration, more than 600 marches will be held in 40 countries. Marchers will take to the streets in 18 Oregon locations, including...

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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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