Category: news2

Land Use Board of Appeals says Salem City Council erred

On August 9, Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) sided with a group of citizen petitioners who said that Salem City Council’s action last December to expand the city’s urban growth boundary (UGB) to permit construction of a bridge over the Willamette River was not done properly. The matter was sent back to Salem City Council. After considering the written and oral arguments made in Deumling vs. City of Salem (2016-0126), LUBA affirmed three citizen objections. As a result, Salem’s UGB is not expanded, and the Salem City Council will now decide whether to try to expand it again or change course and pursue other options for addressing the peak hour auto congestion problems. “Perhaps the biggest irony is that the third bridge wouldn’t reduce traffic congestion,” says Robert Cortright, a co-petitioner and spokesperson.  “Yes, congestion is frustrating and it’s intuitive to think that adding another bridge will somehow ‘solve’ or significantly reduce the region’s traffic problems, but it’s just not true.” Cortright feels it important to put the $425 million price tag for a third bridge in perspective. “That’s as much as the region’s budget for all roadway expansion for the next 20 years,” he notes. “As for new funding, there’s no evidence of public support for the funding plan that calls for increased gas taxes and vehicle registration fees for all of Marion and Polk County...

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More hunting and fishing proposed for ten wildlife refuges, including Baskett Slough west of Salem

Hunting birds, deer and other creatures in a wildlife refuge may seem like a shame for some people who want these areas off-limits to guns. But, some national wildlife refuges already allow hunting. Further, the office of the U.S. Secretary of Interior is on a course to expand those opportunities. Baskett Slough, west of Salem and Siletz Bay, south of Lincoln City, are among ten wildlife refuges proposed to offer more chances to hunt and fish. The plan is already drawing ire in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service public comment section. One citizen wrote, “The Basket Slough NWR...

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Health care for underserved Oregonians in jeopardy

Northwest Human Services, which offers affordable, quality health care to community members, including the underserved, held an open house on August 17th. One of its messages was that the work of it, and other Community Health Centers across the country – may be cut by 70% if Congress does not take action in the next month. Northwest’s service numbers are impressive; 11,565 local patients were served in 2016, including 2,043 area homeless individuals. 17% of its patients have no insurance. 50% of its patients have income at or below 100% of the federal poverty guidelines. Though the group seldom...

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Master Recycler smarts

Those passionate about recycling are guaranteed to learn something new by taking Marion County’s wildly popular Master Recycler class. Classes are presented twice yearly, with a new class starting in a few weeks. Applications are due by September 11. The class is for anyone interested in reducing materials that wrongly enter the garbage stream as well as understanding the many ways recycled materials are handled after being dropped in the blue bin. Kirk Leonard, who has a long interest in recycling, gives the course high marks. “It was a lot of fun,” he says. “It was fantastic.” Leonard, who...

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Photography show celebrates dynamic seniors

Salem’s Millie Estrin, photographed by Jessica Ramey The Salem Photo League will exhibit a new project, called, Salem Over Seventy, at the Salem 50+ Community Center during the month of September. The exhibit features photo essays spotlighting the unique lives of featured seniors as captured by local photographers. The Salem Photo League is a collective of documentary photographers who support each other and collaborate on projects that shed light on local issues in Salem, Oregon. The group started in 2011 when photographers partnered with the Salem Multicultural Institute to portray the growing diversity in Salem. Since then, the Salem...

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