Category: Guest Opinion

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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The City Within a City

There are still a number of neighborhoods that are completely new to me.  I catch sight of the place The Ventures played, or the childhood home of Herbert Hoover, and I’m fascinated.  That fountain sculpture in front of the Capitol Building?  A hundred times more interesting than that gold statue.  Even The Carousel – a landmark that is known to most people outside of Salem – even that holds quite a bit of charm to this outsider’s heart.  I didn’t grow up in Salem.  But in the two years that I’ve lived here, I find something new to love...

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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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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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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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