Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happier notes: Friends of Salem Saturday Market Winter Doings

Greetings Friends,

Hope your holiday season is off to a safe and fun beginning. As we gear up for the winter, Friends of Salem Saturday Market is keeping busy. We hope you'll continue to enjoy our events, and remember that a membership in FSSM makes a great gift!


Holiday Market
FSSM will again have a booth at the Holiday Market, Dec. 11-12 at the Fairgrounds. Here’s what we’ve got planned:

1) FSSM Gift & Coat Valet Service! We will be providing valet service for both coats and gifts, completely complimentary. Shoppers can drop off their stuff while they enjoy the Market.

2) Discounted books: FSSM will be selling great sustainability books at a discount for FSSM members. New titles include "Keep Chickens!", "Naturally Clean Home," "Recipes from the Root Cellar," "Recycled Crafts" for kids, and much more!

3) Find a unique gift: A unique gift idea this year would be to purchase an FSSM membership for your friends and loved ones. We will also be offering "gift membership packs," where the membership is bundled with books and other FSSM goodies. Plus, this year we'll be providing a sheet of exclusive coupons to local retailers when you purchase an FSSM membership.

4) Volunteers needed! Could you help out with our booth? It’s fun and a great way to learn more about FSSM. If you can sign up for a 2-hour shift on Dec. 11 or 12, send an email to Thanks!

Check out for more info on the Holiday Market.


More FSSM News:

Neighborhood Harvest: It was a wonderful inaugural year for FSSM’s Neighborhood Harvest. Check out for a new blog and newsletter about the project.

Plus, here are some great numbers from our first season:

More than 53,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables were picked by 800 volunteers at 60 harvest parties. Of that, 28,000 was donated to Marion Polk Food Share. The rest was taken home by those eager and generous volunteers. Neighborhood Harvest is another great way to volunteer your time and earn some fresh, local produce! We hope you’ll join us for another great season in 2011.


Zero Waste Zone also had an incredible first season! We're excited to launch a full silverware program next year, thanks to a new grant from Marion County. We'll be looking for some college interns or other volunteers to help operate the program next season. Interested?

Check out the amazing results of our first season (from July 24 – October 31):
2,200 gallons of compost
1,280 gallons of recycling
650 gallons of garbage
More than 5,200 plastic utensils
10 bags of deposit cans/bottles

Without the Zero Waste Stations, more than 4,000 gallons of garbage would have been thrown away. Instead, only 650 gallons were. We look forward to reducing that number even more next year! We are grateful to the Salem Saturday Market food vendors who put forth such incredible effort to make this project a success! And you, the shoppers, were so eager and quick to learn this new system. Thank you!


Urban Farmer Certification

FSSM is very excited to partner with Pringle Creek Community and OSU Master Gardener Program to present this new educational course. The “Urban Farmer Certification” will allow you to learn valuable gardening skills while cultivating your own healthy, organic fruits and vegetables. With a monthly class taught primarily by OSU-Extension Service Master Gardeners and local farmers, course curriculum will include garden planning, seed starting, beneficial insects, composting, and chicken keeping, among others. Classes will include both a theoretical lesson and a hands-on component that takes place in our greenhouses and community garden.

Schedule: the last Saturday of the month, January-October 2011. Cost: $60, and FSSM members receive a 20% discount!

See for more information.

Cassandra's curse

Tributaries of the Willamette RiverImage via WikipediaI am often caused to think of Cassandra, who is popularly derided as someone who kept issuing warnings about things that others couldn't see -- a sort of "chicken little" type. The most important point, the one that is so often forgotten, is that Cassandra's curse was that she would be able to see the future calamities, but that none would believe her and, thus, none would respond in time.

Salem, Marion County, the entire Willamette Valley, and all of Oregon have a lot to lose from the climate chaos we're sowing. Try farming when the weather is unpredictable one year to the next, and when all your exquisitely bred strains are suddenly wrong for your climate.

And it appears that we've decided that we're simply going to roll the dice and see what happens. Oh well, so it goes.
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Truly bizarre

Courthouse squareImage via WikipediaThere's an unpleasant odor coming from the Marion County Commission, where the rule seems to be "settle your suits and sign away your claims first, investigate second:"
For immediate release: November 30, 2010

Contact: Peggy Mitchell, Contracts Compliance Analyst, (503) 588-5047
Jolene Kelley, Public Information Officer, (503) 566-3937

County and Transit District Officials Release RFP for Forensic Investigation on Courthouse Square

SALEM - The Marion County Board of Commissioners and Salem Area Mass Transit District Board of Directors have released a request for proposals for a forensic investigation of Courthouse Square. The building and adjacent transit center formerly housed several county departments, transit administration offices and bus mall, and retail businesses.

The building and transit mall have experienced significant structural deficiencies that required immediate closure of the bus mall in July, followed by a full building closure in September. A structural analysis is currently underway to determine the full extent of defects, as well as provide options for remediation.

The firm selected will conduct an independent forensic investigation of the integrity of the original construction process and determine what may have gone wrong during the design, planning, and construction of Courthouse Square. In addition, the county and transit district want to ensure that future public projects are managed to prevent similar situations from occurring. Board of Commissioners Chair Janet Carlson said, "As elected officials and residents of Marion County, we are all disappointed in the closure of Courthouse Square. In order to move ahead, it is important that we fully understand the circumstances that led to this unfortunate situation."

Firms with expertise in forensic investigation are invited to respond to the request for proposals. A mandatory pre-proposal walk through of the building will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 8, 2010, with final proposals due by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 23, 2010. Project details may be obtained by contacting Peggy Mitchell at (503) 588-5047 or For more information regarding Courthouse Square please visit
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