Author: Salem Weekly

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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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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