Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fantastic News - Radio Free Salem (KMUZ)!

Don't know how this slipped past without notice, but Salem's "Radio Free Salem" project has announced that it will get its Low-Power FM license and be able to broadcast community radio in Salem as radio station KMUZ!

The Oregon Cultural Trust has an inquiry about whether gifts to KMUZ will qualify for the OCT tax credit deal (see prior post) -- they certainly should!

Cultural Trust -- a very tasty free lunch

You can support the same arts and culture groups in Salem that you've been supporting but, if you kick in a matching amount to the Oregon Cultural Trust, you can also get the state to give you the money you gave to the Cultural Trust right back in the form of a full tax credit (i.e., it comes off your taxes, it's not just a deduction against income).

That's up to $500 per person, $1000 for a couple, and it doesn't matter if you itemize your federal return or not.

Of course, let's say you and your spouse give $1000 to your favorite arts group--say, The Historic Elsinore Theatre (which would be an excellent choice, by the way) or the Salem Public Library Foundation (another excellent choice). Then you give another $1000 to the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Come tax time, assuming you are itemizing your federal tax return and pay in the 25% bracket, you reduce your federal tax liability by $500 (25% x $2000). THEN, on your Oregon return, you get the full $1000 you gave to the Oregon Cultural Trust back, because it reduces your Oregon tax liability dollar-for-dollar. Thus, for only $500, you managed to direct $2000 worth of benefits to yourself and your community, including supporting your favorite Salem groups.

(Note that the Oregon Garden Foundation is one of the qualifying organizations, so if you want to support that brilliant, innovative place, you can do so as well.)

Holiday Breakfast on Bikes - Dec 12

Tireless bicyclist Eric L sends another newsy update on Salem's bike scene:

Last night Salem City Council held a work session to discuss the proposed bridge connecting Riverfront Park and Minto Island. OBEC Engineers and Todd Klocke with Urban Development gave a presentation on cost estimates, schedule, and four design concepts. Mayor Taylor joked, "When can we start?" Because of environmental mitigation and navigability issues, the project is not simple, but it appears there is significant city support! For more information, including slides of the four design concepts see the city's site - http://www.cityofsalem.net/Departments/UrbanDevelopment/DepartmentProjects/Pages/MintoIslandBridge.aspx

Breakfast on Bikes - Friday, December 12

West Salem commuters! We'll be under the Center Street Bridge, next to the AC Gilbert House from 7am to 9am. We'll have hot coffee and snacky things to fortify you against the cold! Thanks to Cascade Baking Company, Coffee House Cafe, LifeSource Natural Foods, the Salem Bicycle Club, and Willamette University for support! For more see -


Keizer Christmas Lights Ride - Wednesday, December 17

The Salem Bicycle Club's annual Christmas Lights Ride. The ride starts at the BiMart in Keizer at 6:30pm.. Decorated bikes are encouraged, but not required. Bring a can of food or other donation for the Marion-Polk Foodbank. There will be a stop for Hot Chocolate!

For more see - http://www.salembicycleclub.org/content.plx?page=rides

Ho Ho Holidays Ride - Thursday, January 1 Start the New Year with the Salem Bicycle Club's New Years Ride. The ride starts from the Red Lot downtown at 10am. See -


Breakfast on Bikes - Friday, January 30 We'll be on the Capitol steps for a special "legislative session" of Breakfast on Bikes!

Union Street Railroad Bridge Opening - Saturday, February 21 (tentative date) Save the date! Join Friends of Two Bridges in celebrating the grand opening of the Union Street Railroad Bridge. (Date to be confirmed; time and exact place TBD.) For more see - http://www.cityofsalem.net/Departments/UrbanDevelopment/DepartmentProjects/UnionStreetRailroadBridge/Pages/default.aspx

At the Vision 2020 Bike/Ped Group earlier this month, Julie Warncke with the City announced they would be completing the pre-application for two Transportation and Growth Management Grants, one focused on downtown circulation for non-auto traffic, the other for a comprehensive update to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Elements in Salem's Transportation System Plan. The Bicycle Element needs to be updated, and this is terrific news! The 2009-11 grant cycle has a special focus on climate change, and improving bicycle traffic in the city will relieve congestion and reduce greenhouse gases. For more see - http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/TGM/grants.shtml

For the TSP see -


This summer 21 volunteers helped out with Salem's first bicycle count. A big thank you to you all! It will provide a solid baseline with which to evaluate Salem bicycling progress each year. Here's a report with a map of the sites -http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2008/12/summer-2008-bike-counts.html

Remember the Salem Happy Riders for Friday bikey socializing! See the

google group at -http://groups.google.com/group/salem-happy-riders?hl=en

Finally, a big ol' tip-of-the-cap to 18 year old Salemite Alex Kohan. Early in October, Alex completed the Furnace Creek 508, a 508 milerace through Death Valley, featuring 35,000 feet of elevation gain.

Here's his account of the race - http://www.ohpv.org/albums/alex508-2008/index.htm It's an amazing

accomplishment, a terrific account, and pretty much just leaves me gasping in admiration. Congratulations Alex!

Supporting existing transit: instant economic stimulus


This is a good post as it offers two ways to immediately put money in
the hands of people who will immediately spend it buying things that
create actual value (reduced energy use) while reducing environmental

Salem's Cherriots, for example, is undergoing a round of budget cuts,
even as demand for its transit service skyrockets. We don't need
years to plan and design investment there; we could invest money
profitably in days by rehiring drivers and mechanics about to be laid
off and by restoring routes and weekend service.