Friday, April 30, 2010
Salem's unique (and best) gift shop, One Fair World, wants to remind you that you only have until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 7, 2010 to enter to win a $250 shopping spree with them -- just go to this site, sign up, and list One Fair World as your participating store.
A real improvement and a giant step towards getting Salem ready for the inevitable return to a car-free city. Image via Wikipedia
Salem’s Union Street Railroad Bridge Re-Opens May 15
Residents are invited to participate in a family-friendly “Passport Adventure” May 15
and “Bridge to Work” Day May 18.
Sat., May 15, 2010 – Salem, Ore. – After a brief [!?] closure, Salem’s historic Union Street Railroad Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge will officially re-open to the public on Sat., May 15. The Friends of Two Bridges, a local non-profit organization, has planned a special Passport Adventure for Salem residents in celebration of the re-opening.
On May 15, residents are encouraged to join the fun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Salem’s Riverfront Park and Wallace Marine Park. Passport participants will begin by picking up event “passports” at any of the passport stops and then wander throughout the parks and across the Union Street Railroad Bridge collecting stamps in their “passports.” Passport stops include:
When “passports” are full of stamps, they are good for FREE one day admission to A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village over the weekend of May 15 and 16. Event attendees may park at Riverfront Park or Wallace Marine Park to participate in the festivities. [OR, BETTER YET, RIDE YOUR BIKE OR WALK TO THE PARK.]
- A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village,
- the Tom McCall statue,
- the boat dock,
- the Eco Earth,
- the future site of Minto Bridge,
- Salem’s Riverfront Carousel,
- the Pavilion/Spray Fountain,
- the Union Street Railroad Bridge historical signage, and
- the new trails at Wallace Marine Park.
The new pedestrian and bicycle bridge provides a critical half-mile link in the bicycle and pedestrian circulation systems for the community, the region, and the state. Two urban-area parks: Wallace Marine (114 acres) and Riverfront (23 acres), book-end this bridge and the conversion connects their trail systems into a single, safe, and family-friendly network. The project improves bicycle and pedestrian safety and accessibility in Salem, encourages the use of alternative transportation modes, and promotes healthy forms of exercise (like running, cycling, skating, and wheelchairing) for both local and out-of-town users.
The Union Street Railroad Bridge was built across the Willamette River in 1912-13 by Southern Pacific Railway to connect Salem to the West Willamette Valley. The bridge was acquired by Union Pacific Railroad in 1996 and was purchased by the City of Salem for one dollar in 2004. The bridge was put on the National Register of Historic Places in January of 2006.
During the recent six month closure, lead-based paint abatement and repair of the upper portion of the bridge was completed thanks to a generous contribution from ODOT’s Transportation Enhancement Program. The Oregon Transportation Commission approved $3.5 million of economic stimulus funding, the City of Salem’s first stimulus funds, for the repainting of the bridge. This final phase is being completed by S & K Painting.
As a follow up to the event, the City will also be hosting a Bridge to Work Day on Tuesday, May 18 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Salem workers and residents are encouraged to bicycle or walk to work utilizing the re-opened bridge.
For more information on the Union Street Railroad Bridge, the Friends of Two Bridges, or bridge related events, please refer to www.cityofsalem.net/unionbridge.
Marion-Polk Food Share sent out a services flier and a notice about the upcoming Letter Carrier Food Drive (last big drive between now and November --- May 8!). The website below caught my eye. Given how many people in Salem are struggling, this should be much more widely known. If you know someone who has had some economic struggles or reversals, this is a worthwhile site to check out:
Oregon Helps is a free, fast and easy to use web-based tool that asks visitors a few simple questions about their income and expenses and then estimates their potential eligibility for 33 federal, state and local services. Any information provided is completely confidential and anonymous. It is available in English, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese.
A lot more people bowl in Salem than fly. Why haven't we got a municipal bowling alley? Image via WikipediaA SkyWest employee thinks it's cool that the City of Salem wants to keep throwing money at airlines, while it's cutting back on parks, libraries, police and fire.
Now Matt's probably a cool guy, but what would be really cool is if Matt and his employer and all the other airport users got together and offered to buy the airport so that Salem, which is cutting basic services and amenities available to all, wouldn't be subsidizing the airlines and the general aviation folks any more. Salem needs to own an airfield just as much as it needs to own a bowling alley. Back in the 1920's, publicly owned airfields might have made sense, but now, 90 years later, not so much. Or at all, really.
Let's let the market decide whether it actually makes sense to try to run scheduled air service out of Salem -- oil's at $85 a barrel now, we could easily see another run towards $200 this summer, the airlines are losing billions annually and can't make any money with oil over $60, and Salem's downtown is inching towards that scary tipping point where the disinvestment is going to prompt more disinvestment. We need every taxpayer dollar invested here in the basic services and amenities that are offered to everyone, not just those who travel using the method that pollutes the most per mile.