Category: Cover Stories

Is Oregon cannabis “out of the closet”?

Seven months after the legalization of recreational marijuana, one would expect Oregonians to be open about their use of the drug. Nationally, the state is considered predominantly “blue” and cannabis-friendly. But many in Oregon still conceal pot use from partners, employers, friends and children. They say the drug has yet to become truly socially acceptable. “Lisa” (not her real name) has used marijuana “recreationally” to address anxiety and chronic pain for years. She says, “I hide the fact that I smoke, even though it is now legal.” Lisa lost her job because of cannabis; during a medical exam following...

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A slide toward extinction

by Helen Caswell As decisions about new logging operations are being considered in the state, conservationists are checking in on an infamous little owl. They’re finding that the news isn’t good. The northern spotted owl is in greater peril than ever, and evidence suggests that it will take a huge amount of will – public and legislative – and require significant changes in Oregon’s timber industry, to prevent the species from perishing. The owl in question is a nocturnal raptor that lives in the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, from northern California to lower British Columbia. It...

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End the Oligarchy -Salem Weekly Endorsements

Last year former President Jimmy Carter made headlines when he said the U.S. had become an “oligarchy” — a government run by a small group of wealthy and influential people. We believe this is what Salem has become in the past 14 years. Fourteen years ago, when progressive Mayor Mike Swaim decided not to run for reelection, the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, along with allied business groups like the Salem Association of Realtors and the Homebuilders Association of Marion & Polk Counties, saw an opening to install a more conservative City Council that would be much more friendly...

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Salem PACs -local money influences election

by Helen Caswell Political Action Committees (PACs) have existed in the United States since 1944, but have not come to the attention of most Americans until recently, when issues of campaign finance became central to public conversation. Here in Salem, they are a factor in local elections. Typically representing labor, business, trade union or ideological interests, PACs raise and spend funds to elect – or defeat – candidates for public office, ballot initiatives or legislation. Each PAC is allowed to give up to $5,000 to a candidate per election (primary and general elections are counted separately) up to $5,000...

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Poetry Has a New Name

Poetry is Art, although these days it feels more like the bastard stepchild of Art. It’s as if poets drew the short straw in the new-age creative community, and are now waiting in a long line for tickets to a show that’s gone on without them. But a quiet, underground revolution is occurring. Gone are the days of impenetrable metaphor, cryptic allusion, and lofty language. Poets are beginning to realize that in order for poetry to regain its former glory, they must redefine writing as a vernacular art form by becoming more “2016.” Whitman and Dickinson understood this more...

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