Category: news2

Controversy continues over government notice

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has extended its deadline for public comment about impacts that a 3rd Bridge would have on three local natural areas, until August 11. However, the controversy surrounding the public notice itself continues. The stated purpose of the most recent public notice published on July 26, is for ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to learn what citizens feel about how the proposed “3rd Bridge” or Salem River Crossing would impact the three natural resources that are, Wallace Marine Park, Wallace Natural Area and the Willamette River Water Trail. Although the notice extends...

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The ARCHES Project Relocates

The ARCHES Project, an operating division of Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, Inc., (MWVCAA) recently moved from its old site on Madison St. NE to a much larger building at 615 Commercial St. NE at the northwest corner of the intersection of Union and Commercial streets. ARCHES is a center to provide services such as meals, day room, emergency supplies and telephone to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Planned renovations will allow the center to add laundry and showers to its services. The project also has a housing program which includes placement, support and education. The two-story building is...

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NASA says wear safe eclipse glasses

More than 300 million people in the United States may be watching on August 21 when the total solar eclipse occurs. In Oregon, 4 million residents and an estimated 1 million visitors will watch the moon pass in front of the sun in what NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, calls “a spectacular sky show.” Eclipse glasses are being sold in nearly every Salem venue imaginable – including fast food restaurants – because serious retinal damage can result when people look at even the smallest area of the sun during the eclipse process. NASA issued info on what to look for in eclipse glasses in late July. “Only with special-purpose solar filters,” NASA says, “such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the Sun.“ NASA recommends that anyone viewing the eclipse should check their viewing glasses ahead of time. Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria: · Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard · Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product · Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses · Not use homemade filters · Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers....

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More than $31,000 per month for ‘consultants’

New data shows that taxpayers finance thousands of dollars per month for consultants to study an unbuilt, controversial bridge. In July, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) released figures showing that taxpayers currently pay more than $31 thousand per month, on average, for consultants who regularly bill hours related to a possible 3rd Bridge across the Willamette River. In 2016, taxpayers paid $78,548 per month, on average, in consulting fees. In 2017 – although the process is waiting for a decision from the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals since a December 2016 Salem City Council vote – (see, LUBA case...

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FHWA and ODOT Public notices incomplete, misleading, critics say

In notices published on June 28 and July 12, the Federal Highway Administration and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) requested citizen feedback on potential impacts the proposed 3rd Bridge across the Willamette River would have on local natural areas. Critics describe the notices as “very flawed” and say they gravely misrepresent and under represent effects of the proposed Salem River Crossing (SRC) on the community’s natural environment. The second notice gave no detail on potential impacts at all; except for an accommodation for Spanish-speakers it provided no link to any resource that would provide citizens with even nominal understanding....

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