Category: news2

Marion County Commissioner Carlson responds to accusations

Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson says the task force she helped create was productive and proper, and resulted in a road map that will mean significantly better results for regional efforts to address homelessness. Following Salem Weekly’s article about a KMUZ Willamette Wake-Up radio program’s criticisms of the Mid-Willamette Homeless Initiative task force (MWHI) Carlson agreed to speak with us about the work and procedures of the 1-year+ entity that existed between January 2016 and February 2017. She says that the conduct of those on the task force was appropriate and expresses belief that its work will have a...

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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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Quick guide to a Salem city council vote against the 3rd bridge

On April 24, Salem city council took a vote considered a victory for community members who oppose efforts to build a 3rd bridge across the Willamette. On that night, council voted 5-4 against approving an interagency agreement between the city and the State of Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) that would have advanced the project. How did it begin? The vote followed a December 5, 2016 decision, when city council approved an ordinance, Bill 14-16, which expanded the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), amended the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan and the Salem Transportation System Plan, and took an...

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Salem city attorney ribs citizen advocates

Citizens who have written an appeal to a Salem city council vote, among others, say a comment made by City Attorney Dan Atchison about their work was unprofessional. Atchison says that his remark was light hearted and not intended to offend anyone. On December 6, 2016, Salem city council voted to enact an ordinance (#14-16) that would expand the city’s urban growth boundary (UGB) by about 35 acres. The vote was made in support of an effort to add another bridge across the Willamette River between Salem and West Salem. In addition to an appeal of the vote by...

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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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