Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolve to Stop Getting Phone Books

Paper phone books are going the way of buggy whips, but the companies that sell ads in them are going kicking and screaming, even though most of what they deliver goes right into the trash or recycling. Here's info on stopping them:

Information and phone numbers from the DEQ News Release:

Resolve to Opt out of Phone Books in 2009

Excerpt from news release:

‘…Contact phone book publishers to opt out or reduce your phone book order. For DEX/Qwest, go to and select "Directory Options" at the bottom. Enter your Zip Code and click through screens until you see "Personalize Your Directory Order." Or you can call (800) 422-8793 and press 2 to speak with a representative.

For Yellow Book, call (800) 929-3556 and press 3 to speak with a representative. For other phone books, check on the front cover or inside page for a customer service number to "order directories."’

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wheeling and Dealing for Better Gardens!

Cool! Marion County Soil & Water Conservation District has a Manure Exchange!

Click the link and look on the frame to the left under "Conservation Programs" for "Manure Exchange" --- not really an exchange, thank god, but more of a freecycling service for the original recycling medium ...

Hello, Salem? Anyone home?

A report shows that the Capital City's government reduced its energy usage between 2001 and 2007 by 22.1 percent. City officials knew the energy-saving changes they'd made would make a dent in Helena's energy usage, but they were surprised to learn they'd outpaced the Kyoto Protocol's 20-year goals in less than a third of the time. Missoulian, 12/30/2008

(h/t to Sightline Daily @

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sen. Wyden's Marion Co. Town Hall: January 4

You are invited and I hope you can join Senator Wyden for his Marion County Town Hall on
Sunday, January 4 at 3:30

at the Salem Public Library at 585 Liberty St. SE.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Fritz Graham

Senator Ron Wyden
707 13th St., SE Suite 285
Salem, Oregon 97301
503-589-4555 fax: 503-589-4749

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Uh-oh ...

"Massive surge in municipal bankruptcies" forecast.

Consider: "Massive snowfall weighs heavy on Salem budget" --- a story, essentially, about how our total focus on automobility threatens to bring us to ruin if --- if you can imagine such a thing --- winter brings snow and ice!

Winter is just another place where general fund monies get sucked into the black hole of sprawl, putting the lie to the fiction that "gas taxes pay for roads." Because Salem is so sprawling, we have a huge road footprint that spreads people out, which means that they have to use cars to get anywhere, which requires spreading people even further apart (to provide room for all the parking). We are already millions in the hole for next city budget, even before the recent unpleasantness with the weather.

Win, win, win ...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mayor of London calls for "Capital Growth" (rooftop and empty lot gardens)!

Guerilla Gardening: Eating The Suburbs

The Age recently had an article on the emerging practice of "guerilla gardening", taking a look at the "Gardening guerillas in our midst". This concept seems to have steadily increased in popularity in recent years (admittedly from a very low base) as the permaculture movement's ideas have been propagated through the community.

Unlike the usual approach taken when trying to grow food in the suburbs - converting spare land on your own property (as discussed by aeldric previously and, more recently, in Jeff Vail's series on A Resilient Suburbia) - guerilla gardening involves cultivating any spare patch of urban land that isn't being used for another purpose, which could provide a substantial addition to the food growing potential of suburbia.

Genesis Of The Guerilla Gardeners

The idea of planting on vacant land has been around since at least 1973 when New Yorker Liz Christy and her "Green Guerilla" group transformed a derelict private lot into a garden in the Bowery Houston area of New York.

Since then the practice has spread to the US west coast, the UK and there have been reports of rogue gardeners in action in Brisbane, Sydney (with the Sydney Morning Herald calling the practitioners "bewilderers") and Melbourne.

What Does It Involve ?

In his book "On Guerrilla Gardening", Richard Reynolds, a 30-year-old former advertising employee who now runs, defines the activity as "the illicit cultivation of someone else's land".

"Our main enemies are neglect and scarcity of land," says Reynolds, "Land is a finite resource and yet areas like this are not being used. That seems crazy to me. And if the authorities want to get in the way of that logic, then we will fight them - but peacefully - through showing them what we can achieve with plants."

Guerilla gardening is a crime in Britain (digging up land you do not own is classed as committing criminal damage) but Reynolds insists it is a victimless crime and is clearly unfazed by encounters with police.

Practitioners plant herbs, vegetables and fruit trees in roadside nature strips, along railway lines and in other unused pieces of urban land. They then encourage the local community to tend the plots and reap the harvest.

Choosing the right sites is important for guerilla gardeners to avoid running foul of councils and other landowners. As one gardener noted in The Age", "It's got to be somewhere that no one wants to use. The whole idea is to turn something that was totally useless into something beautiful and useful. If you can find solutions like that, no one's going to hassle you."

Energy Bulletin co-founder Adam Grubb (sometimes known as Adam Fenderson) runs another web site called "Eat The Suburbs" and has achieved a measure of fame in his home town of Melbourne encouraging people to engage in "urban foraging".

Another person encouraging urban gardening, much to my surprise, is new London mayor Boris Johnson, who has launched a project called "Capital growth" that aims to convert 2012 London rooftops and patches of vacant land into vegetable gardens, with a target date of 2012.

In a way this seems to be a revival of the English tradition of "allotments" - a more organised form of urban gardening from a previous age.

How much food could be grown this way ?

I haven't got the foggiest how much additional agricultural production could be achieved if the world's urban areas were swarmed by bands of guerilla gardeners, but walking around my own suburb and imagining every tree along the roads being a fruit or nut tree, and every little scrap of land that has been abandoned to weeds or scrub turned into a wild herb and vegetable patch, makes me think that everyone could have a much healthier diet and save a lot on their food bills if this was the case.

And we'd avoid a huge amount of "food miles" (and the oil consumption this involves) while doing so.

Cross-posted from Peak Energy.

Cool! "Momentum Magazine" -- the magazine for self-propelled people

Very cool --- finally, a bicycling magazine that's not about the bikes (only), but rather, about how bikes can make cities great.
Momentum Magazine reflects the lives of people who ride bikes. We provide urban cyclists with the inspiration, information and resources to fully enjoy their riding experience and connect with local and global cycling communities.

Mistake on the Lake smarter than the Alley in the Valley?

Cleveland, Ohio, once dubbed "the Mistake on Lake" seems to be a bit more progressive and with it than Salem, at least when it comes to urban farming, specifically keeping chickens.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

For your 2009 Resolutions

Ten Thousand Villages -- including the great store we have here in Salem, on Court Street just west of High -- is a wonderful chain of Mennonite-rooted fair trade stores. They offer two cookbooks that are just perfect for people wanting to eat better, healthier, more sustainable foods while saving money: much lower on the food web, with little or no meat, and in season.

The first is the "More with Less Cookbook" by Doris Janzen Longacre, a really nice basic first cookbook -- a sustainable improvement on the basic Betty Crocker. I would give this to any young person starting out in the world in a heartbeat.
With over 800,000 copies in print, the More-with-Less Cookbook has become the favorite cookbook of many families. Full of recipes from hundreds of contributors, More-with-Less gives suggestions "on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources."

More-with-Less Cookbook has not only changed how people eat, but their entire approach to life has reflected this more-with-less philosophy. In fact, more-with-less has become an integral part of our daily language.

When first published in 1976, More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre struck a nerve with its call for every household to help solve the world food crisis. Now with more than 800,000 copies around the globe. it has become the favorite cookbook of many families.
The second is even nicer and makes a great complement to More with Less: "Simply in Season" by Mary Beth Lind -- a luscious, season-specific book of recipes for all year round, concentrating on the foods widely available at the time. A wonderful book.
Not so long ago, within the memory of many of our parents and grandparents, most fruits and vegetables on North American tables came from our own gardens or from gardens close by, Eggs, milk, and meat also came from local sources.

Today, the average item of food travels over a thousand miles before it lands on our tables. It is a remarkable technological accomplishment, but it has not proven to be healthy for our communities, our land or us. Through stories and simple "whole foods" recipes, Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert explore how the food we put on our tables impacts our local and global neighbors.

They show the importance of eating local, seasonal food--and fairly traded food--and invite readers to make choices that offer security and health for our communities, for the land, for body and spirit. Commissioned by Mennonite Central Committee, the service and relief organization of the Mennnite and Brethren in Christ churches of Canada and the United States, this is the third book in the World Community Cookbook Series. The other two cookbooks are: More-with-Less and Extending the Table.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great movie in Salem: Slumdog Millionaire! Run, Don't Walk to this Remarkable Film!

update heading
December 23, 2008

Our Special Holiday Treat For You This Year is the wildly anticipated, critically-acclaimed
Continuing into the New Year!
slumdog 6

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE reminds me if what it is that drives my passion for film...this is a story that will take you somewhere you've never been, tell you a tale you've never imagined, stir your emotions like there is no tomorrow and make you forget the unforgettable cold. This film will surely warm you in ways you cannot possibly imagine and leave you emotionally satisfied! Little wonder it's on nearly every Best of the Year list!! Please do not miss this one!

Roger Ebert says, "This is a breathless, exciting story, heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time."

cinebucks savings
You can once again purchase $30 worth of our CineBucks
for only $25 during the entire month of December!
CineBucks come in $5 increments and work just like cash at our box office
or concession stand. Pick some up for friends, co-workers, teachers and
relatives...and even pocket a few for yourself!

"I'll keep this simple: Cancel whatever you're doing tonight and go slumdog 4see SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE instead."
- Ty Burr, Boston Globe

golden globe nom

A euphoric film like SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE comes along only once in a blue moon -- you absolutely do not want to miss this larger than life, stunning big screen extravaganza. Not only is Danny Boyle's fairy tale of a film a vivid feast for the eyes, but it is a rich, exuberantly woven story teeming with warmth and heart. When we are introduced to young slumdog 2Jamal, he is being interrogated by police and under suspicion of putting one over on the producers of the Hindi gameshow version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? He does seem an unlikely contestant -- an uneducated orphan from the slums of Mumbai -- yet through dazzling flashbacks, we are carried through his life on the streets, the violence and oppression he's exposed to, the long lost love of his life who he is forever in search of, and we discover a life story begging to be unwrapped one tender piece of paper at a time. It is not an enchanted existence, but a buoyant, beguiling account of acquired knowledge and of how past experiences shape who we are, what we become. Bouncing from pure coincidence and luck to sweet fate and destiny, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, eloquent and vibrant, is an unforgettable melding of magic and sincerity. It is the perfect gift this holiday season!


"It doesn't happen often, but when it does, look out: a movie that rocks and rolls, that transports, startles, delights, shocks, seduces. A movie that is, quite simply, great."

- Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

"The beautifully rendered and energetic tale celebrates resilience, the power of knowledge and the vitality of the human experience. Horrifying, humorous and life-affirming, it is, above all, unforgettable."
- Claudia Puig, USA Today

Showing up on numerous TOP TEN LISTS including Lou Lumenick and Kyle Smith of New York Post and Richard Roeper and Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times!

slumdog 3WINNER of 3 British Independent Film Awards, People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Audience Awards at the Austin Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival, 2 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, 3 National Board of Review Awards, a New York Film Critics Circle Award, 3 Satellite Awards and 3 Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards!

Nominated for 6 Critics' Choice Awards, 6 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, 3 Detroit Film Critics Society Awards and 4 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS including Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score!


(120 mins.) Rated R.

poster slumdog TUESDAY 12/23 ... (*5:00) ; 7:30
WEDS 12/24 closed Christmas Eve
THURS 12/25 ... 7:30 open Christmas!
FRIDAY 12/26 ... (*3:30) ; 6:00 ; 8:30
SATURDAY 12/27 ... (*1:00) ; (*3:30) ; 6:00 ; 8:30
SUNDAY 12/28 ... (*1:00) ; (*3:30) ; 6:00
MONDAY 12/29 ... (*5:00) ; 7:30
TUESDAY 12/30 ... (*5:00) ; 7:30
WEDNESDAY 12/31 ... 6:00 ; 8:30
THURSDAY 1/1 ... (*3:30) ; 6:00 ; 8:30

(*Bargain Shows)

Beginning in January, our doors will open 15 minutes prior to the first show of the day on Monday through Thursday evenings. We will continue to open the doors 30 minutes prior to the first show of the day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Thank you for understanding...this is one of the small ways we are able to save with the continually rising costs of running a small business.

chethe classloved you so longsynecdochewaltz with bashir

CHE: Part One
CHE: Part Two

Please Visit Our Website Often!


spotlight displays
I have personally purchased these wonderful poster frames and am excited that my customers have been offered an exclusive savings! When you visit SPOTLIGHTDISPLAYS.COM simply use the coupon code SALEMCINEMA and you will receive 25% off front-load poster frames. Their 3D Light Boxes are also available at a 15% discount to Salem Cinema customers by entering the code SALEMCINEMA3DLB. No, I am not getting a kick back...the great guy who is selling the frames just happened to notice I own a theater and offered to set up a special deal to anyone I sent his way. I really do recommend his product!

If there is a specific Salem Cinema movie poster you're interested in displaying, we would be happy to check on price and availability. Please inquire at

We are wheelchair accessible & offer audio equipment to the hearing impaired.

  • Adults $8.00
  • Students with current ID $7.00
  • Seniors over 62 & Kids under 12 $5.50
  • Bargain Matinees $6.00
Thank you for your incredibly important and always appreciated support!

Kind Regards,

Loretta Miles
Salem Cinema

phone: 503-378-7676

A fun and creative way to support Salem Cinema is by presenting your family and friends with our CINEBUCKS gift certificates on any occasion! They're never the wrong size, always the right color, and sure to please!
See you at the movies!


best of salem

The August issue of Salem Monthly boasts: "Sick of summer blockbusters? Tired of worn-out plotlines and the same old comedy routines? You're not the only one, which is why Salem Cinema won for Best Movie Theater. Not only are they the only movie house in town to offer art, foreign and independent films, they also offer a kick-ass snack bar with funky popcorn toppers such as parmesan cheese and brewer's yeast."

Safe Unsubscribe
Salem Cinema | 445 High Street SE | Salem | OR | 97301

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the myth of bicyclists as free-riders

Nice op-ed in Seattle Times demolishing the recurrent myth that bicyclists are freeloaders who enjoy the roads paid for by drivers.

Hat tip to Ecovelo, the best bicycle blog I know of, for the lead on this.

Outstanding Advice for City/County/State Officials

Jim Kunstler--a theatre major!--speaks more sense about preparing for the future than 99% of the folks who have taken a stab at it while masquerading as energy "experts." Send this link to your elected officials and ask them what they are doing to help prepare for post-oil America:

10 Ways to Prepare for
a Post-oil Society

Bigger must give way to smaller, smarter. A novelist tries his hand at some doable proposals.

downsizing Villages and towns will have to replace our urban sprawl.

In the public arena, essayists often are criticized for not offering solutions to our looming energy crisis. Here are some suggestions for those tired of the hand-wringing and ready to do something useful.

1Expand your view beyond simply finding fuels other than gasoline to power vehicles. The obsession with keeping cars running at all costs could prove fatal, especially because so many self-proclaimed "greens" and political "progressives" are hung up on this monomaniacal theme. Cars are not part of the solution, no matter what fuel they use. They are at the heart of the problem. Trying to salvage the entire Happy Motoring system by shifting from gasoline to other fuels will only make things worse. Think beyond the car.

2We have to produce food differently. The Monsanto/Cargill model of industrial agribusiness is headed toward its Waterloo. As oil and gas deplete, we will be left with sterile soil and farming organized at an unworkable scale. Many lives will depend on our ability to solve this problem. Farming soon will return closer to the center of American economic life. It will have to be done more locally, at a smaller and finer scale, and it will require more human labor.

3We have to redistribute the population. Virtually every place in our nation organized around automobile dependency is going to fail. Quite a few places (Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami) can support only a fraction of their residents. We'll have to return to traditional human ecologies at a smaller scale: villages, towns, and cities (along with a productive rural landscape). Our small towns are waiting to be reinhabited. Our cities will have to contract.

The stuff we build in the decades ahead will have to be made of regional materials found in nature — as opposed to modular, snap-together, manufactured components — at a more modest scale. Like farming, this will require the revival of skills and methods long forsaken.

4We have to move things and people differently. Get used to it. Don't waste society's remaining resources trying to prop up car and truck dependency. Water and rail are vastly more energy efficient. Start with railroads, and let's make sure we electrify them so they will run on things other than fossil fuels. We also have to prepare our society to use water much more to move people and things. This will require rebuilding infrastructures for our harbors and for our inland river and canal systems, including the towns associated with them.

The great harbor towns, such as Baltimore, Boston, and New York, no longer can devote their waterfronts to condo sites and bikeways. We have to put the piers and warehouses back in place (not to mention the accommodations for sailors).

Programs are under way to restore maritime shipping based on wind — yes, sailing ships.

5We have to transform retail trade. The national chains that have used the high tide of fossil fuels to contrive predatory economies of scale are going down. Wal-Mart and the other outfits will not survive the coming era of scarce, expensive oil. They will not be able to run their "warehouses on wheels," those tractor-trailers rumbling incessantly along our interstates. Their 12,000-mile supply lines to Asia also are endangered as the United States and China compete for Middle East and African oil.

The local networks of commercial interdependency that these chain stores destroyed will have to be rebuilt brick by brick. This will require rich, fine-grained, multilayered networks of people who make, distribute, and sell stuff.

Don't be fooled into thinking that the Internet will replace local retail economies. Internet shopping depends on cheap delivery, and delivery no longer will be cheap. It also is predicated on electric power systems that are completely reliable. That is something we are unlikely to enjoy in the years ahead.

6We will have to make things again in America. However, we will make less stuff. We will have fewer things to buy, fewer choices of things. The curtain is coming down on the endless blue-light-special shopping frenzy that has occupied the forefront of daily life in America for decades. But we still will need household goods and things to wear.

As a practical matter, we are not going to relive the 20th century. The factories from America's heyday of manufacturing (1900-1970) were designed for massive inputs of fossil fuel, and many of them have been demolished. We're going to have to make things on a smaller scale by other means. Perhaps we will have to use more water power. The truth is, we don't know yet how we're going to make anything.

7The age of canned entertainment is coming to an end. It was fun for a while. We liked Citizen Kane and The Beatles. But we're going to have to make our own music and our own drama down the road. We're going to need playhouses and live performance halls. We're going to need violin and banjo players, playwrights and scenery makers, and singers. We'll need theater managers and stagehands.

The Internet is not going to save canned entertainment. The Internet will not work so well if the electricity is on the fritz half the time.

8We'll have to reorganize the education system. The centralized secondary school systems based on the yellow school bus fleets will not survive. The huge investments we have made in these facilities will impede the transition out of them, but they Crayonswill fail anyway. Since we will be a less affluent society, we probably won't be able to replace these centralized facilities with smaller and more equitably distributed schools, at least not right away.

Personally, I believe that the next incarnation of education will grow out of the home-schooling movement, as those efforts gather locally into units of more than one family. God knows what happens beyond secondary ed. The big universities, both public and private, may not be salvageable. And the activity of higher education itself may engender huge resentment among those blocked from it.

But anyone who learns to do long division and write a coherent paragraph will be at a great advantage — and, in any case, probably will outperform today's average college graduate. One thing for sure: Teaching children is not liable to become an obsolete line of work, compared with endeavors such as public relations and sports marketing. Lots to do in education, and lots to think about. Get busy, future teachers of America.

Doctor's Bag9We have to reorganize the medical system. The skein of intertwined rackets based on endless Ponzi buck-passing scams will not survive the discontinuities to come. We probably will have to return to a model of service much closer to what used to be called "doctoring." Fewer doctors of the 21st century will drive German cars, and there will be fewer opportunities in the cosmetic surgery field. Let's hope that we don't slide so far back that we forget the germ theory of disease, or the need to wash our hands, or the fundamentals of pharmaceutical science.

10Life in the USA will have to become much more local, and virtually all the activities of everyday life will have to be re-scaled. You can state categorically that any enterprise now supersized is likely to fail — everything from the federal government to big corporations to huge institutions. If you can find a way to do something practical and useful on a smaller scale than it is being done now, you are likely to have food in your cupboard and people who admire you.

An entire social infrastructure of voluntary associations, co-opted by the narcotic of television, needs to be reconstructed. Local institutions for care of the helpless will have to be organized. Local politics will be much more meaningful as state governments and federal agencies slide into complete impotence. Lots of jobs here for local heroes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Follow up to "Letter to Kaiser Permanente"

Weird -- a 2006 story on the Statesman-Journal website has the vital information missing from the Cherriots website: "route highlights" --- in other words, a list of the major destinations that tells you which bus you need to get where you're going. Critical to making the bus system usable.

(However, what is also needed is to have the information both ways -- in other words, in addition to the listing by bus route, Cherriots should also provide other listings of these "route highlights," one alphabetical (a white pages approach) and one categorical (health care, public offices, etc. -- a yellow pages approach), with each one listing the destination and the route(s) that serve it.

But, anyway, if you stumble on the story from the SJ website, you can find out that the Cherriots route 14 serves the Skyline Kaiser Permanente clinic. Assuming that the routes haven't changed since then.

Cherriots bus schedule

April 25, 2006

On weekdays, most Cherriots routes operate on a half-hour frequency, leaving the downtown transit mall at 15 minutes and 45 minutes after the hour. During peak commute times, some routes operate on a 15-minute frequency, leaving at the hour and 15, 30 and 45 minutes after the hour. During midday, some routes drop to hourly service, leaving at 15 minutes after the hour only.

West Salem routes depart the Glen Creek Transit Station on the hour and half-hour.

There is no Sunday service.

For more information, call (503) 588-2877 or visit


ROUTE 1, SOUTH COMMERCIAL: Serves Vern Miller Civic Center, Fred Meyer South, Wal-Mart and Battlecreek Golf Course.

ROUTE 2, JAN REE: Serves Chemeketa Community College, McKay High School, Lancaster Mall, North Salem High School, Parrish Middle School, Stephens Middle School, Kaiser Permanente and Fred Meyer East.

ROUTE 3, CAPITOLA: Serves Salem Senior Center, Parrish Middle School, Salem Clinic, Oregon State Fairgrounds, DMV and Portland Road.

ROUTE 4, KEIZER EAST: Serves Oregon School for the Deaf, Whiteaker Middle School and Salem Senior Center.

ROUTE 5, ROYAL OAKS: Serves Salem Rehab Center, Oregon State Hospital, Marion County Health Department and Lancaster Mall.

ROUTE 5A, LANCASTER MALL: Serves Salem Rehab Center, Oregon State Hospital, Marion County Health Department and Lancaster Mall.

ROUTE 6, 12TH & SUNNYSIDE: Serves Salem Hospital, Amtrak station, Judson Middle School and Pringle Road.

ROUTE 7, STATE and FAIRVIEW: Serves Salem Main Post Office, McNary Field, Hillcrest, Tokyo International University and Big K.

ROUTE 8, LIBERTY ROAD: Serves Salem Public Library, Crossler Middle School, Fairmount, Candalaria and Sunnyslope Center.

ROUTE 9, KEIZER CENTRAL: Serves Fred Meyer North, Whiteaker Middle School, McNary High School, River Road N and Keizer.

ROUTE 10, ORCHARD HEIGHTS: Serves West Salem High School, West Salem business area and Orchard Heights Road; does not go downtown.

ROUTE 11, LANCASTER DRIVE: Serves Chemeketa Community College, Lancaster Mall, McKay High School, Santiam 11 cinema, Willamette Lutheran Home and Lancaster Drive; does not go downtown.

ROUTE 12, SALEMTOWNE: Serves Salemtowne, Michigan City Loop, Brush College Park and West Salem Business area; does not go downtown.

ROUTE 13, LANSING and CLAXTER: Serves Oregon State Fairgrounds, Waldo Middle School, State Farm and 17th Street.

ROUTE 14, SUNNYRIDGE: Serves Bush’s Pasture Park, South Salem High School, Fred Meyer South, Sprague High School and Kaiser Permanente.

ROUTE 15, LAUREL SPRINGS: Serves Willamette University, South Salem High school, Fred Meyer South, Salem Heights and Madrona Avenue.

ROUTE 16, FOUR CORNERS: Serves State Street, East Salem, Houck Middle School, Oregon State Penitentiary and Marion County jail.

ROUTE 17, HAYESVILLE: Serves Oregon Employment Office, Market Street, Chemeketa Community College, Fred Meyer East and Hayesville.

ROUTE 18, KEIZER WEST: Serves Fred Meyer North, Schoolhouse Square, McNary High School and Chemawa Road.

ROUTE 19, GLEN CREEK: Serves Glen Creek Road, Hidden Valley and West Salem business area; does not go downtown.

ROUTE 20, AIRPORT ROAD: Serves Oregon motor pool, Capitol Mall, Costco, Salem Radiology and Hawthorne Avenue.

ROUTE 21, TURNER ROAD: Serves Salem Hospital, Willamette University, Western Baptist College, Willamette Humane Society, Marion County jail and Turner Road.

ROUTE 22, BATTLE CREEK ROAD: Serves South Salem High School, Leslie Middle School and Battle Creek Road.

ROUTE 23, EOLA: Serves Edgewater Street, Eola Drive, 35th Avenue and West Salem business area; does not go downtown.

ROUTE 24, WEST SALEM LOOP: Serves Capitol Manor, Kingwood West, Walker Middle School, Eola, Kingwood, Parkway and Orchard Heights and West Salem business area; does not go downtown.

ROUTE 25, WEST SALEM SHUTTLE: Travels among the downtown Salem Transit Mall, Capitol Mall and the Glen Creek Transit Mall in West Salem. No fare is charged.

COMMUTER SHUTTLES: Two commuter shuttles from park-and-ride lots are available, one at Market Street and Hawthorne Avenue and another at the Wal-Mart on Commercial Street SE. Both serve the Capitol Mall area. These operate during peak hours only. A commuter shuttle between Salem and Wilsonville also is available several times each weekday.

A Letter to Kaiser-Permanente

I was trying to find out how to get to your Skyline clinic in Salem and was thrilled to (eventually) find a link to public transportation information -- except that all it did was dump me back at the Cherriots website where I started!! Not even a hint about which route would actually go near the clinic.

The equivalent for driving instructions would be directing people seeking information on how to find you to an listing for a Rand-McNally Road Atlas with no other assistance.

You get one point for at least considering that there might be people who want to or must use public transit, but you lose points for such a thoughtless and care-less effort.

A crucial bit of information for Salem and the region

Guess what? Those hippies at RAND -- the DoD think-tank -- figured it out: the more you do to "fight" congestion, the more congestion you get for more people.

A most important study.

(Hat tip to

Click on table to see all columns.

Just another day in Autoworld

How about a "one-strike-and-you're-out" policy for people who negligently run down pedestrians and bicyclists?

So if the biker blows a stop sign and hits you, or the pedestrian darts out into traffic, you're fine --- but where the driver of the multi-thousand pound vehicle is at-fault, no second chances. You will join the pedestrians and the bicyclists dodging cars.

Fascinating -- how does 5th CD and Oregon measure up?

Many, many hours can be spent here -- site on human development measures for places (shown by state and congressional district) all across the country.

A prediction

One of the smartest guys I know sends this:
"A little over a year ago I started using Rutledge's estimates for coal reserves, along with oil and natural gas assessments from ASPO, in my public presentations. Nice to see he's finally starting to get some attention. Peak coal, along with peak oil and natural gas, have dramatic implications for climate change (and of course, for energy availability). The attached picture is from my powerpoint presentation and uses his coal numbers. Oil is peaking about now, with coal and natural gas peaking about 10 years later. Peak everything is around 2020, and nuclear never makes much difference. Sorry, kids & grandkids; but at least their climate won't be as wild as it could have been."

The Proper Attitude Towards Winter Weather

Can be observed here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dept. of "Wish I'd Thought of That"

Someone named Jeff Jensen in Portland has a funny --- but seriously good --- idea in the Oregonian about the oft-heard (and mistaken) carhead whine that bicyclists don't pay for the roads and that we should start taxing bicycles:
As a bicycle commuter for 17 years, I fully agree with Willie Nyquist's suggestion (Letters, Dec. 9) that we tax bicycles by adding a registration fee. In fact, I would like to suggest that the rate be the same for all vehicles and reflect the relative use of the road. How about $1 a pound?
Jensen's idea is not just a witty reply to carheads. It's a great way to complement gas taxes, because it's the per-axle-weight of vehicles that does the damage that drives up the costs of maintaining roads. Which is why a fully-loaded two-axle bus can be more damaging than a much-heavier semi-trailer in some cases (the weight is only spread across two axles).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Food & Sustainability course in Salem

Menu for the Future
Northwest Earth Institute's newest course!

Sessions of this food and sustainability discussion
course are being offered in Salem by co-sponsors
AmeriCorps and Garten Services Inc.

Now registering for the following Winter 2009 Sessions:

· Tuesdays, beginning January 13th, 6:30 to 8PM

@ Tea Party Bookshop.

· Saturdays, beginning January 17th, 9:30 to 11AM

@ Marion-Polk Food Share.

Enrollment is limited! To register, call Melissa at 503-566-4159.
Course registration and participation is free, however, there is a
refundable $20 workbook deposit. Additional course offerings TBD.

These course offerings are a part of a not-for-profit AmeriCorps
Community Action Project. This project is still looking for course
sponsors to cover associated costs. Please show your support and
send this message to those who might be interested in sponsoring
and/or participating. Thanks!

See additional discussion course information @

Menu for the Future is a 7-session course exploring the connection
between food and sustainability. Discussion course goals are to:
explore food systems and their impacts on culture and society,
consider your role in creating and supporting sustainable food systems,
and to gain insight into agricultural and individual practices that promote
personal and ecological well-being.

More on health and driving ourselves into the grave

WaPo has a story today about the health consequences of places like Salem and Oregon having massively funded bureaucracies dedicated to the vision of more roadways and "roadway performance standards" that drive even more road construction projects in a perfect spiral of futility:

New research illustrates the health benefits of regular biking, walking or taking public transportation to work, school or shopping. Researchers found a link between "active transportation" and less obesity in 17 industrialized countries across Europe, North America and Australia.

"Countries with the highest levels of active transportation generally had the lowest obesity rates," authors David Bassett of the University of Tennessee and John Pucher of Rutgers University conclude.

Americans, with the highest rate of obesity, were the least likely to walk, cycle or take mass transit, according to the study in a recent issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. The study relied on each country's own travel and health data.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Avego -- Realtime ridesharing

Very cool use of the omnipresent cellphones and the new iPhone capabilities -- Avego is a way for people with cars to offer rides and for people needing rides to find cars going their way, and for people to connect "on the fly" without hassle.

I may even break down and get a cellphone (an iPhone, in fact) just so I can take advantage of this very cool idea and offer rides to others on those days when I have occasion to fire up the flivver ...

Check it out -- watch the video clip on the home page, and imagine how powerful this will become as the recession/depression continues and people increasingly need to conserve resources and to relearn the thrifty ways of the Great Depression, when ridesharing was assumed and hitchhikers were a common sight by the roads.

Note that you don't have to have an iPhone (or even a cellphone) to use Avego -- you can connect via your internet connection. Here's a snippet of an exchange I had with Sean O. of Avego:

My interest is in making it platform independent, so that any kind of cell phone or people without cell phones can use it from their home computer, or a computer at work, or even by a landline call, if that's possible.

Is that conceivable?
Sean replied:
Sure, we do that already

you only need the iPhone device if you are broadcasting your GPS location to other people. (ie., if you are a driver).

On other phones (for drivers), #1 (a lot of them don't have GPS), #2 (a lot of them use a much slower and more inaccurate version of GPS), #3 (a lot of them don't have unlimited data plans like the iPhone does, so people would be hesitant to use them as drivers, because it would be more expensive than the iPhone). So the iPhone is a pretty good platform for a lot of reasons.

Also, our protocol does work on any other phone/device. We have it working on 3 other devices in our labs other than the iPhone, already. Those will be coming out over time to support drivers having other options than just the iPhone, to make it, as you say, platform independent. But for riders, it already works that way (of course, since the iPhone client isn't available yet, you wouldn't be able to know that unless you'd used the system before... which only probably 100 people have, worldwide, so far... so, good question.
This has amazing potential in Salem and in the Pacific Northwest, where people are ahead of the US in terms of both technology awareness and also in environmental awareness. So go ahead and sign up, especially if you live in Salem, and start thinking about how we can make sure that any car trip is a full car trip. Because, like Bill Maher said (in his great book):

"When you ride alone,
you ride with Bin Ladin"

Salem Monthly Give Guide ends 12.31

There is still plenty of time to get your donation in to the large variety of nonprofit organizations featured in November's Salem Monthly (and to claim your tax deductions for itemizers, and the Oregon Cultural Trust tax credit for contributions to the Salem Rep).

Participating nonprofit organizations include:

The organizations that were selected work on relatively small to no budgets. Donations can be made at SELCO Credit Union or given via an online donation through the Give Guide website (which is provided by SELCO).

To make a donation or read more about each organization, visit the Give Guide online.

This drive ends December 31.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Like babies, obesity often starts in the backseat of a car

Interesting article on the lesser-discussed of the two major health scourges we have a lot of here: teen pregnancy and obesity.

People are always willing to gas endlessly about teen pregnancy, but obesity doesn't get as much attention. What's worth noting is that Salem and Marion County, two governments that really get hammered by high public obesity rates (through health care costs), do so much to promote obesity. They do this by relentlessly promoting auto culture.

(As just one example of our structural obsession with promoting cars, note that, by law, you have to build a room for a car into every house built in Salem, and you have to pour a driveway, even if you have no intention of ever having a car. Oddly, there's no such law that requires a homebuilder to provide sensible solar orientation or to take advantage of the free energy that shines down on the home, or to reserve suitable space for a vegetable garden. Why is that?)

It should be noted that obesity isn't entirely new. There have always been some genetically predisposed people, people whose bodies make them obese on very little food. This, however, is a very small fraction of us.

What is new, mainly since WWII, is the culture of obesity, which is exactly the same as the culture of the automobile.

Governments have decided that the central organizing principle of society is and should be providing automobility for all those who can afford it--or who are willing to try to afford it, while doing without decent housing, health care, and eduction.

Like babies so often do, for most people, obesity starts in the backseat of cars. The vast majority of us who are obese (and I include myself since I oscillate between 40 and 50 pounds over the top of my recommended weight) are that way because we live sedentary lives that involve lots of travel in cars.

And a big part of why we live sedentary lives is that our city and county planners and elected officials think that the only time we deserve consideration is when we're in a car.

In the mind of planners, when we're on foot or a bike, we're an "alternative" to God's proper mode of transport, the car. If you cut across the city and county government departments (police, public works, community development, etc.), you'd find that the care, feeding, monitoring, and storage of cars is the prime obsession of government today, and that it permeates every department.

In the name of encouraging "growth" we do indeed encourage growth--both the sprawl that helps make the city almost entirely unusable by those not in a motorized wheelchair called a car and the sprawl around our waists.

Most telling is that Salem just defeated a levy to allow the bus system to keep operating in its limited way on Saturdays, while passing a much more expensive bond to pour even more money into streets and sprawl.

Support Oregon Food Bank - with just a click!

Erstwhile Portland blogger Jack Bogdanski runs a "buck a hit" day for charity every year where he donates $1 for each unique visitor to hit hit blog that day. This year it's gotten a whole lot better:

This year, a benefactor of this blog who is both prosperous and generous has offered to take us back to our high-rollin' roots. He'll give $1 to the Oregon Food Bank for every hit on this blog next Wednesday, up to $5,000! And so rather than quit counting the hits at 1,000, this year we'll keep going to five times that number, with a new dollar going to the food bank for every unique visit. (We use SiteMeter for the "official" count.)

This wonderful new development means that we'll need lots of extra visits beyond the number from a typical day on this blog. Assuming that we're not showing photos of Sarah Palin's torso, our readership on a typical weekday usually comes in at around 3,000 unique visits, and so the laws of inertia aren't going to get us to 5,000 without some serious help from strangers. We're back to the olden days, where having new folks show up all day really will make a difference. Please help us get out the word and get readers in here that day -- next Wednesday, December 17.

So this is your opportunity to do a lot of good with a little bit of effort -- make sure to click over to next Weds!

Even though he's Portland, the Oregon Food Bank helps all over, including here in Marion County, where we have a lot of people living on the very margins and who are going to need a lot of help in the months to come.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great post on "How Things Changed"

(click graph to enlarge)

Ryan Avent has an insightful post at Gristmill that every city, county, and state official in Oregon (and the US) ought to read and heed:

There's a remarkable graph that has starred in blog posts and news stories with some regularity over the past year. It shows vehicle miles traveled in America over the last quarter century or so. For most of the period, the line rockets upward, straight and true, preparing to blast off the page. But then the strangest thing happens. In 2004, it starts to level off. And in 2008, it begins to decline.

The tale behind that line grows in significance by the day. That rocket-ride upward corresponds fairly directly to the economic story that has culminated in the current crisis. Americans moved outward from cities in droves in the 1980s and 1990s, buoyed by cheap oil prices. Commute times soared as metropolitan areas stretched into the distant exurbs, many of which now lay devastated by housing defaults and foreclosures. As demand for oil increased, so too did prices, which led to a stream of money flowing into the Persian Gulf. Gulf nations recycled it back to us by buying American debt, thereby facilitating the massive borrowing that fueled the housing bubble.

In the end, high oil prices also helped to pop that bubble. The squeeze expensive gas placed on household budgets helped push marginal homeowners over the edge, fueling the credit conflagration, before finally exhausting the American consumer and tipping us into recession. And an epic recession it will be -- large enough to sink oil prices and the international financial system that sustained American debt-supported consumption.

Read the rest there.