On February 26, Salem Weekly received a letter from the law firm of Vick & Ganz, representing businessman Larry Tokarski. Written by attorney James D. Vick, the letter refers to a recent Salem Weekly cover story, “Public stuck with a $7.5 million development bill” which concerns developments involving Lone Oak Road in south Salem.

Vick wrote, the “article is very close to being considered defamation. Numerous statements of fact in the article are either false, incomplete, or intentionally misleading.”

A copy of Vick’s full letter is posted on our HERE

Vick’s concerns center on several ways in which the article, labeled an “opinion” by Salem Weekly and authored by local political observer Brian Hines, incorrectly names Tokarski as the developer responsible for an extension of Lone Oak Road and several associated improvements. Vick says the relevant agreements involved were in fact between the City of Salem and a company called Hawaii Northwest Ventures – not with Tokarski.

Vick’s letter also describes as “misleading and not true” Hines’s assertion that Tokarski abandoned an obligation to build a costly bridge over Jory Creek. Completely independent of Tokarski, Vick says, the City of Salem expanded the type and description of the bridge from a $1.2 million preliminary project to one now estimated to cost $7.5 million. 

Describing the costlier current project as “development creep,” Vick notes, “Your article never mentions the City of Salem’s part in escalating the costs and expanding the project.”

Vick concludes that Larry Tokarski deserves an apology and corrections from Salem Weekly.

This paper is committed to disseminating factual information and showing fairness to all members of the community. We will systematically investigate each of the points made by Vick and inform our readers in the next issue.


Here is the story we published: