Category: Cover Stories

Tales from the ER

When Kelly Williams Brown was driven to Salem Hospital Emergency Room one cold night in January 2017, she expected to find relief from excruciating pain. The New York Times bestselling author and former Statesman Journal columnist was visiting Salem, and had woken up disoriented and confused, and with intense pain radiating from her arm. She had had a seizure, dislocated her shoulder and cracked her humerus nearly in half. But the emergency department staff at Salem Health only ordered an elbow x-ray and an ultrasound, and discharged her with a prescription for 600mg of Ibuprofen. They suggested she follow...

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Make Music Day Salem 2017

After experiencing Make Music Salem 2016 last year, I could not wait for the next one to come around. And here we are – Make Music Salem 2017 is upon us. If you were downtown for last year’s event, you know what a magical and community-building event it was. Salem broke all the records for participation with over 70 bands and 15 venues, and we’re on track to shatter those numbers this year. But first, a little background. HISTORY “Make Music Day” is an all-day music festival that always occurs on June 21st – the Summer Solstice. It started...

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Is the City wrongly attempting to influence police bond vote?

Citizens currently visiting the City of Salem website are greeted with an artist’s rendering of an attractive new police facility and the text, “May 2017 Police Facility Bond Frequently Asked Questions.” There is an invitation to click on a button to learn more. Some locals object to the advocacy they perceive on the site, as well as to the $50,000 the City is spending to educate voters about the bond. “The City should be ashamed of how they have acted in such a brazenly political manner during this election campaign,” says Salem political activist, Alex Kohan. The first image...

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Another Salem Downtown Organization

A private corporation has been formed to promote Salem’s downtown district. The entity, Salem Main Street Association (SMSA) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit that follows a downtown revitalization model called Oregon Main Street. SMSA hosted a public event on April 20 where it shared its vision with local people. “I believe our downtown is the heart of our community and represents who we are and historically who we were,” says Salem’s Hazel Patton, a historic preservationist and spokesperson for the group. SMSA will have no members, meaning that all significant decisions will be made exclusively by its board. The...

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Living with dread

As fears of deportation have shot up in undocumented immigrant communities since the Trump inauguration, thousands of local people have begun to take new steps to protect their families. The effects can be seen in the Marion County Clerk’s office where requests for passports for the children of undocumented people are on their way to being twelve times what they were last year. Passports are purchased to allow children born in the United States – who are documented – to travel to the country where an undocumented family member may have been returned. In Marion County, passports are issued...

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