Monday, April 25, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Starts today on CCTV: See the Stand for Children forum for Salem-Keizer School Board Candidates

North Salem High School, Salem, Oregon, United...Image via Wikipedia
Pssssssst, wanna know a secret?

There's a school board election coming up for Salem-Keizer schools.

Ballots will go out in about a week, with the count on May 17. Three seats are up.

One features an incumbent running uncontested (Chuck Lee, Zone 6). Another race is all-but-uncontested (Zone 4): Attorney Jim Green had an opponent file but that opponent -- who, in a fit of exuberance or indecision -- also filed for Cherriots board and the Chemeketa board at the same time, and has since decided to concentrate on the transit race.

That leaves just one actually contested race (Zone 2). It includes LOVESalem's chief cook and bottlewasher, the old guy.

There have been two taped forums for the candidates to answer questions. Watch both for yourself and make up your mind. Remember, the voting is district wide, so although the candidates have to live in a certain zone to run, every registered voter can help determine which of the two candidates in Zone 2 will be influencing educational policy for the next four years.

Tape of the Statesman-Journal interview is here. About an hour.

[corrected:] And local public access cable channel CCTV of Salem will put these on Channel 21 at the times below, but you can also stream the CCTV showing on your computer at the same times below by going here and looking for the LIVE streaming link.
[Channel 21] Salem-Keizer School Board Candidate Forum (90 min)
  • April 23rd, 2011 (Saturday) 11 am
  • April 24th, 2011 (Sunday) 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm
  • April 26th, 2011 (Tuesday 4 pm
  • April 30th, 2011 (Saturday) 4 pm
  • May 11th, 2011 (Wednesday 5 pm
  • May 12th, 2011 (Thursday) 6 pm
  • May 13th, 2011 (Friday) 4 pm
  • May 14th, 2011 (Saturday) 5 pm
  • May 16th, 2011 (Monday) 1 pm
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Memories of Middle School

Frazz is the BEST.

Celebrate Earth Day with Queen of the Sun and a local hero

The best movie house between San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C., our own fine gem, Salem Cinema, brings a super-special event to Salem for Earth Day, QUEEN OF THE SUN, along one of the local beekeepers profiled at the 6 p.m. showing on Saturday, April 23:
QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are The Bees Telling Us?

United States. 2011. Directed by
Taggart Siegel. (83 mins.)
Not Rated.

What's all the buzz about? In celebration of Earth Day, please join us for the magnificent documentary QUEEN OF THE SUN: WHAT ARE THE BEES TELLING US?

Jon Betz and Silverton commercial beekeeper Andy Angstrom will join us on Saturday, April 23rd to answer questions following our 6 PM screening!

This wildly entertaining honey of a documentary is a dynamic, fascinating, bee-autiful blend of poetry and science, providing not only an eye-opening education on the collapse of our honeybee colonies and the affect on our earth's fragile ecosystem but the information necessary to prompt action. For the gloriously shot QUEEN OF THE SUN, winner of swarms of awards, Portland filmmaker Taggart Siegel (THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN) made a beeline around the globe to interview some of the world's most gregarious and passionate beekeepers. Their heartfelt, hopeful and focused proposals to inspire sustainable practices take some of the sting out of the vital, alarming message this thoughtful film brings to the hive.

Earth Day Celebration at Salem Saturday Market tomorrow!

Farmers' MarketImage by NatalieMaynor via FlickrThe great folks behind the "Friends of Salem Saturday Market" send this along. Salem Saturday Market is one of the best things around, and joining in and with the Friends gives you a way to both give and get more great stuff from this local wonder.
Happy Spring!

Hello again from Friends of Salem Saturday Market! The Market has begun again, and we've got some great plans in the works. :

2011 Season: The Market is back in season! It opened [April 2] with an interesting mix of sun and rain, but the vendors reported brisk business. They're glad to be back, and I know we're all glad to have them return! Salem Saturday Market is your best source for fresh, local produce, meats, cheeses, breads, and other hand-crafted goods. The Market runs every Saturday through October at Marion & Summer streets, near the Capitol.

FSSM Programs: Help us celebrate Earth Day at the Market on Saturday, April 23. We'll have fun kids' crafts, seed-planting opportunities, and a Zero Waste Zone celebration. We're planning some more really great programs, demonstrations, and classes for this summer. Stay tuned for a full calendar of events, coming soon!

The FSSM Booth: You'll notice an expanded presence at the Market for Friends of Salem Saturday Market this year, all at a new location! FSSM will have a long row of tents set up at the south end of the Market -- the Marion Street side. This little compound will be the hub of all our activities. Our Bike Valet service will move to this spot, and we're adding a third Zero Waste Station. All of our classes and events will be held at this location, and the FSSM booth will also be headquartered here. Our full booth will only be set up on days that have FSSM activities scheduled. The next will be April 23. On those days when the FSSM booth is not present, you'll still find membership forms and other information stocked at our Zero Waste Station & Bike Valet tent.

FSSM Membership: It's time to renew your membership for the 2011 Season! Current members will be receiving a postcard in the mail soon reminding you about the renewal.

If you're not yet a member, now's a great time to join! Friends of Salem Saturday Market is making a great impact on the community, and you can be a part of it. You can find out more information online:

Or, stop by our booth on April 23 to join in person. Thank you! we appreciate your donation to support Friends of Salem Saturday Market's mission! All donations are tax-deductible. This year, members will receive a sheet of exclusive coupons to local shops. P lus, as always, you'll receive one of our most sought-after benefits: Farm tours ...

Behind-the-Scenes Tours: We're excited for another season of exciting and informative tours for members of Friends of Salem Saturday Market. These are exclusive opportunities available only to FSSM members. In April, we'll be visiting Willamette Valley Cheese. And in May, we'll head back to Fairview Farms, which charmed our members last year with a bevy of baby goats. We'll send invitations via email, so watch your inbox for more information soon.

Remember: Tours are only available for FSSM members, so be sure to join or renew your membership!

Zero Waste Zone: Our volunteers are back at it, staffing the Zero Waste Stations to help customers toss their disposable items into the correct container. During the warmer months, we will expand from two Zero Waste Stations to three, making it more convenient to find a station when you need it. Last year, our emphasis on composting and recycling resulted in an 83% reduction of garbage thrown away at the Market. Thank you for your support of and participation in this valuable project!

Salem Weekly just published an article that spotlights the project and our nomination for a Green Award

Bike Valet: The Bike Valet service will be returning on May 28. At that time, you'll find it in a new location - on the south side of the Market, easily accesible from the Summer or Winter street entrances.

Volunteering: Interested in volunteering? We always welcome your help in staffing our Zero Waste Stations, the FSSM booth, and Bike Valet service. We also have many opportunities to help with the organization and planning of FSSM. Plus, we're seeking student interns for a variety of roles. Please contact me if you want to learn more!
Stephanie Matlock Allen
FSSM President
(503) 877-FSSM
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Another great Straub event: The Birds and the Bees!

Beekeeping in Alphabet CityImage by Salim Virji via FlickrTuesday, April 19, 2011, 6:30-8:00pm
Sustainability Workshop
The Birds & The Bees: Backyard Animal Husbandry
Straub Environmental Learning Center

This workshop will give a basic introduction to animal husbandry for people interested in raising chickens and/or bees. Join us for this interactive workshop to hear local experts on both of these animals share their knowledge and resources for successful backyard animal husbandry. Workshops are free, but registration is required due to limited space.

RSVP to Alexandra at 503-391-4145 or email All workshops will be held at Straub Environmental Learning Center from 6:30-8:00 pm, unless otherwise noted. For a schedule of the entire series, click here.
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

More local heroes: Habitat for Hens

The City of Salem put the would-be henkeepers of CITY (Chickens in the Yard) through an absurd ordeal before finally coughing up a giant hairball of an ordinance that, supposedly, permits Salem residents to keep three hens.

To their great credit, the CITY folks have responded to the shabby treatment, suspicion, distrust, and just plain racism and classism aimed at them with real style and grace, working hard to make this small step for greater sustainability and food security a reality here in Salem -- including for people priced out of having hens by the City's determination to make henkeepers jump through as many ridiculous hoops as possible.

One great thing: The Habitat for Hens program. Good for them!
Getting ready for another Habitat for Hens
Winning the two-year battle to legalize backyard chickens was very rewarding, but not nearly as satisfying as the work we’ve done since then.

Last November CITY volunteers constructed a chicken coop for a family in northeast Salem. In addition to receiving an 8’ x 12’ coop and run, the family was given three hens nearly ready to start laying, a 50 pound bag of feed, a waterer, a feeder, and a bag of oyster shell – everything needed to get started raising chickens. The excited look on the children’s’ faces that day made the two-year struggle worth every minute. We call this project Habitat for Hens and we can’t wait to do it again next month!

Habitat for Hens is a community-building activity that helps local families become more self-sufficient. Sharing excess eggs or vegetables produced in our own backyards is a wonderful thing, but giving others the resources and skills needed to produce their own healthy food is even better.

Volunteers came together one Saturday to donate their time and labor, making this event possible. Despite the threat of rain, muddy conditions, and the fact that most of us had never met, things went very smoothly. It was amazing to watch everyone pair up and get to work sawing, hammering, stapling, etc., while getting to know one another. Individuals donated lumber, paint, bricks, roofing material, concrete, and a screen door. Even the hens, feed, and other supplies were donated by the Old Mill Feed & Garden Store and Farwest Hatchery, leaving very little for CITY to have to purchase.

The recipient family showed their appreciation by providing hot lattes and pumpkin scones in the morning and serving homemade enchiladas when the job was done. We started out as a bunch of strangers, but by the end of the day we were good friends who sat down together for a meal and listened to those who’ve raised chickens in the past share their stories (anyone who has raised chickens always has a good story or two to tell).

I know that someday the children we helped will tell their story, possibly to kids of their own, about the day nine strangers showed up and built them a chicken coop and what that meant to them.

Very soon we will be building a coop for another Salem family, a young couple with two small girls. They are anxious to begin raising hens and have already taken our Chicken-Raising 101 class, but need help with the initial investment. If you would like to be a part of this event please rummage through your garage or shed and look for building materials you no longer need that are in good shape, and/or consider donating your labor when we build the coop.

It's tentatively scheduled for May 21 or 22, depending on the weather. Contact if you have something to donate. Thank you!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reality's well-known liberal bias reveals itself again

You can almost hear the Koch Brothers from here: "Dammit, who put the eggheads on the payroll?"

Critics' review unexpectedly supports scientific consensus on global warming

A UC Berkeley team's preliminary findings in a review of temperature data confirm global warming studies.

. . . The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was launched by physics professor Richard Muller, a longtime critic of government-led climate studies, to address what he called "the legitimate concerns" of skeptics who believe that global warming is exaggerated.

But Muller unexpectedly told a congressional hearing last week that the work of the three principal groups that have analyzed the temperature trends underlying climate science is "excellent.... We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups."

. . . The Berkeley project's biggest private backer, at $150,000, is the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Oil billionaires Charles and David Koch are the nation's most prominent funders of efforts to prevent curbs on the burning of fossil fuels, the largest contributor to planet-warming greenhouse gases. . . .

But conservative critics who had expected Muller's group to demonstrate a bias among climate scientists reacted with disappointment.

Anthony Watts, a former TV weatherman who runs the skeptic blog, wrote that the Berkeley group is releasing results that are not "fully working and debugged yet.... But, post normal science political theater is like that."

Over the years, Muller has praised Watts' efforts to show that weather station data in official studies are untrustworthy because of the urban heat island effect, which boosts temperature readings in areas that have been encroached on by cities and suburbs.

But leading climatologists said the previous studies accounted for the effect, and the Berkeley analysis is confirming that, Muller acknowledged. "Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming?" he asked in his written testimony. "We've studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no." . . .

Friday, April 15, 2011

Join the "No Ivy League," April 23, 9 a.m., Wallace Marine Park

Tree stump overgrown with ivyImage by swan corner via Flickr
Salem Area "No Ivy" League: Kick-off event April 23rd

English Ivy can cause incredible environmental damage, destroying native vegetation and trees. The best way to combat the noxious weed is to work collaboratively. The Glenn-Gibson Creeks Watershed Council asks that individuals and organizations join us and support the creation of a Salem area "No Ivy" League. The mission of the "No Ivy" League is to restore native habitats by targeting invasive plants, especially areas overrun by English Ivy. See the attached memo for more information.

Please join us for the first "No Ivy" League event April 23rd from 9 am to noon at Wallace Marine Park in West Salem. City of Salem Parks and SOLV will help provide the tools needed and the watershed council will provide refreshments.
Hope to see you there!

Aida Arik, Coordinator
Glenn-Gibson Watershed Council
503.623.9680 x112
580 Main St., Suite A, Dallas, Oregon 97338
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Taxes due 4/18 -- time to sharpen the pitchforks and prepare the torches

Hill East March on Potomac GardensImage by Mike Licht, via FlickrWord from Chris Hedges:

. . . We will not halt the laying off of teachers and other public employees, the slashing of unemployment benefits, the closing of public libraries, the reduction of student loans, the foreclosures, the gutting of public education and early childhood programs or the dismantling of basic social services such as heating assistance for the elderly until we start to carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience against the financial institutions responsible for our debacle. The banks and Wall Street, which have erected the corporate state to serve their interests at our expense, caused the financial crisis. The bankers and their lobbyists crafted tax havens that account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade. They rewrote tax laws so the nation’s most profitable corporations, including Bank of America, could avoid paying any federal taxes. They engaged in massive fraud and deception that wiped out an estimated $40 trillion in global wealth. The banks are the ones that should be made to pay for the financial collapse. Not us. . . . “The economy is controlled by a handful of economic elites. The necessities of most Americans are no longer being met. The only way to change this is to shift the power to a culture of resistance. This will be the first in a series of events we will organize to help give people control of their economic and political life.”

If you are among the one in six workers in this country who does not have a job, if you are among the some 6 million people who have lost their homes to repossessions, if you are among the many hundreds of thousands of people who went bankrupt last year because they could not pay their medical bills or if you have simply had enough of the current kleptocracy, join us . . .

We will picket . . . Bank of America, one of the major financial institutions responsible for the theft of roughly $17 trillion in wages, savings and retirement benefits taken from ordinary citizens. We will build a miniature cardboard community that will include what we should have—good public libraries, free health clinics, banks that have been converted into credit unions, free and well-funded public schools and public universities, and shuttered recruiting centers (young men and women should not have to go to Iraq and Afghanistan as soldiers or Marines to find a job with health care). We will call for an end to all foreclosures and bank repossessions, a breaking up of the huge banking monopolies, a fair system of taxation and a government that is accountable to the people.

The 10 major banks, which control 60 percent of the economy, determine how our legislative bills are written, how our courts rule, how we frame our public debates on the airwaves, who is elected to office and how we are governed. The phrase consent of the governed has been turned by our two major political parties into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. And the faster these banks and huge corporations are broken up and regulated the sooner we will become free.

Bank of America is one of the worst. It did not pay any federal taxes last year or the year before. It is currently one of the most aggressive banks in seizing homes, at times using private security teams that carry out brutal home invasions to toss families into the street. The bank refuses to lend small business people and consumers the billions in government money it was handed. It has returned with a vengeance to the flagrant criminal activity and speculation that created the meltdown, behavior made possible because the government refuses to institute effective sanctions or control from regulators, legislators or the courts. Bank of America, like most of the banks that peddled garbage to small shareholders, routinely hid its massive losses through a creative accounting device it called “repurchase agreements.” It used these “repos” during the financial collapse to temporarily erase losses from the books by transferring toxic debt to dummy firms before public filings had to be made. It is called fraud. And Bank of America is very good at it. . . .

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's behind our budget problems? Tverberg

You don't have to agree with every word to respect the intelligence "Gail the Actuary" Tverberg brings to the task of trying to make sense of what's happening to us. A truly great post that should be read by any person who pays taxes, spends taxes, or enjoys services provided by them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Important film from Salem Progressive Film Series: "Killing Us Softly"

Killing Us Softly 4

papersThursday, April 14, 2011
7 p.m., Grand Theater

In this new, highly anticipated update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series, the first in more than a decade, Jean Kilbourne takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity. The film marshals a range of new print and television advertisements to lay bare a stunning pattern of damaging gender stereotypes -- images and messages that too often reinforce unrealistic, and unhealthy, perceptions of beauty, perfection, and sexuality. By bringing Kilbourne's groundbreaking analysis up to date, Killing Us Softly 4 stands to challenge a new generation of students to take advertising seriously, and to think critically about popular culture and its relationship to sexism, eating disorders, and gender violence.

Grand Theater, 191 High Street NE, Salem, Oregon

Doors open at 6:15p, Films begin at 7p

Adults $4, Students $3

Contact numbers: 503-881-5305, 503-779-5288

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meanwhile, as the Lords of Finance and Infinite Growth Gamble with the Planet

The Golden CalfImage by Cebete via FlickrThey are rewarded for their "value creation" efforts in gold beyond even Midas's dreams:

The rich have been getting richer and the poor and middle have been getting poorer in the US recently. Here are seven examples that show how the US is going through Robin Hood in Reverse.

Between 1948 and 1979, the richest 10 percent of families in the US claimed 33 percent of average income growth. Between 2000 and 2007, the richest 10 percent claimed a full 100 percent of average income growth in the US, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Robin and his Bow

Business taxes were cut from 46 to 34 percent 25 years ago, according to Pro Publica. But today 115 of the big 500 companies listed on Standard and Poor’s Stock Index paid federal and other taxes of less than 20 percent over the last 5 years according to David Leonhardt of the New York Times.

General Electric’s tax rate for last year was 7 percent according to Pro Publica.

The top 5 percent US households claim 63 percent of the entire country’s wealth. The bottom 80 percent hold just 13% of the growth, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Last year, John Paulson, a hedge fund manager “earned” $4.9 billion, according to the New York Times. Ten years ago it took 25 such managers to collectively earn that much. Last year the top 25 hedge fund managers pocketed (a much better word) a total of $22 billion. It would take over 440,000 people each earning $50,000 a year to match that amount.

A federal development program intended to help poor communities, the New Market Tax Credit, instead funnels up to ten billion taxpayer dollars to big corporations like JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs and Prudential to build luxury hotels, office buildings and a car museum. Bloomberg Markets Magazine pointed to the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago which was renovated for $116 million. Prudential got $15.6 million in tax credit from the US Treasury for helping fund the project because the hotel was in a census zone that included two colleges which housed a lot of lower income students.

According to the Financial Times, there are now more people living in poverty in the US than at any time in the last 50 years. Foreclosure filings were nearly 4 million in 2010, up 23 percent since 2008 according to RealtyTrac.

Bill Quigley

Bill Quigley is Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a Katrina survivor and has been active in human rights in Haiti for years with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Contact Bill at

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Gambling with the Planet: Stiglitz


Before the Great Recession, America’s economic gurus - from the head of the Federal Reserve to the titans of finance - boasted that we had learned to master risk. "Innovative" financial instruments such as derivatives and credit-default swaps enabled the distribution of risk throughout the economy. We now know that they deluded not only the rest of society, but even themselves.

These wizards of finance, it turned out, didn’t understand the intricacies of risk, let alone the dangers posed by "fat-tail distributions"- a statistical term for rare events with huge consequences, sometimes called "black swans". Events that were supposed to happen once in a century - or even once in the lifetime of the universe - seemed to happen every ten years. Worse, not only was the frequency of these events vastly underestimated; so was the astronomical damage they would cause - something like the meltdowns that keep dogging the nuclear industry.

Research in economics and psychology helps us understand why we do such a bad job in managing these risks. We have little empirical basis for judging rare events, so it is difficult to arrive at good estimates. In such circumstances, more than wishful thinking can come into play: we might have few incentives to think hard at all. On the contrary, when others bear the costs of mistakes, the incentives favour self-delusion. A system that socialises losses and privatises gains is doomed to mismanage risk. . . .

Sunday, April 10, 2011

More like this, please! Bringing Ed out of 1011 and into 2011

"Food for Fines" is a fine idea

Do "penne"ance for your overdue-book sins by bringing pasta and other sturdy, long-keeping comestibles to the Salem Public Library between April 10 and 17, and help respond to hunger in Salem!

It’s a once-in-every-52-weeks opportunity to clear your library card and help a worthy cause, all in one stroke. During the week of April 10-17 only, both Salem Public Library locations will forgive fines for customers who bring in donations of non-perishable food items and other household necessities for donati on to Marion-Polk Food Share.

This does not apply to lost book charges, rental fees, video/DVD fees, collection fees, or fee cards.

A $1 credit will be applied for canned items 12 ounces or larger. Donors are particularly encouraged to consider these high-need items:

  • Soup (canned or dry)
  • Canned fruit
  • Chili
  • Canned vegetables
  • Cereal
  • Pasta sauce
  • Tuna
  • Pasta products (20+ ounces)
  • Beans (canned or dry) • Rice (20+ ounces)
  • Juice (canned or bottled)

A greater credit of $3-5 will be given for these larger high-need items:

Laundry detergent; Laundry softener; Cooking oil; Peanut butter (8+ ounces)

To be used, items must be factory-sealed, commercially processed, dent and rust free, and bear a future expiration date. Top Ramen products cannot be accepted. More information is available from Circulation at 503-588-6090

Thin gruel indeed . . .

The corporate litterers have apparently terrified Salem's City Hall with the empty threat of a suit against a strong ordinance to allow you to opt-out of having them dump junk flyers and other trash on you.

The threat is hollow because a content-neutral time, place, and manner restriction on leaving such trash is completely constitutional and would be upheld -- and would pave the way for helping Salem regain control of its politics by showing that we the people do have the right not to be forced to clean up trash that some advertiser decides to dump on us without our consent.

So, this Monday night, head for City Hall and ask for a real junk ad litter ordinance that works just like the "Do Not Call" list (that the telemarketing criminals also threatened to sue over).

(a) Ordinance Bill No. 15-11 Relating to Solid Waste Management; Adding SRC 47.231, and Amending SRC 47.245 (CD)

Recommended Action: Staff recommends the Unsolicited Written Materials ordinance be considered at a public hearing on April 25, 2011.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Early Planning for Father's Day 2011: Capital City Garden and Coop Tour

A backyard chicken coop with a green roof.Image via Wikipedia
The great non-profit group, Friends of Salem Saturday Market, is partnering with Chickens in the Yard, another Salem non-profit group, to present the first

Capital City Coop & Garden Tour

in June. This will be a self-guided tour of both chicken coops and fabulous gardens.

Would you like to be a participating garden in this year's tour and show off some of your hard work? Or, perhaps you know someone else who might be willing to open their garden, as well. We are looking for gardens that can act as inspiration for other gardeners - they're big, beautiful, diverse, unusual, efficient, or just really well done.

To participate, you would need to be willing to open your garden on Sunday, June 19 (Father's Day), from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There should be two people available: one to greet visitors and show them where to go (outside the house only -- you do not have to open their house as well), and one to be at the garden giving a tour.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward C.I.T.Y.'s "Habitat for Hens" program to assist low-income families in setting up a coop and keeping chickens at their home.
To nominate your own or someone else's garden or coop as a tour stop, email Friends of Salem Saturday Market soon!
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Does auto exhaust cause brain damage? Study suggests it might

SmogImage by Simone Ramella via FlickrThis is an example of where the precautionary principle would be helpful -- there's some evidence of the possibility of serious harm from an industrial activity, but what will happen now is that it will take a long time for the evidence to solidify, particularly in light of the typical denial-evasion-obfuscation-retaliation cycle from the affected intere$t$.

What ought to happen, in these legacy cases where the activity got underway well before the science of risk assessment developed, is that the developing mosaic of suggestive studies should cause the onus to shift onto the activity ... in other words, instead of having to prove to the satisfaction of the affected industry that there is a sufficient quantum of proof to justify a serious response (which typically only happens after decades of the profit-making companies fighting against science like trapped rats), the industry ought to now have the burden of producing, within say five years, solid and valid disconfirming evidence or face a regulatory action aimed at eliminating the chance that the hazard is there.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Donate your books now, get great bargains soon

The Friends of Salem Public Library Spring Book Sale is back, and better than ever, because every year there are more and more of us who have spent a year buying and enjoying good books that now need to go to a good home -- and provide itemizers with a tax deduction on the way, while raising money for an outstanding cause, the programs of the Salem Public Library.

So schedule your spring cleaning now -- go through all your shelves and find those great books that you enjoyed but won't read again, and send them on their way to someone else's shelves by bringing them to the Friends Bookstore inside the main library. You can get a tax receipt, and you'll be helping the Friends raise money to support key programs at the most important but underbudgeted resource in Salem -- our library.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fukashima got you down? The best remedy is to learn to prepare

Funnel cloud, viewed from the southeast, that ...Image via WikipediaSalem has a pretty active CERT program: Community Emergency Response Teams. This training is worthwhile for anyone who is concerned that between nature and human error, there's just no kind of disaster that we can't experience. Heck, we're even starting to see funnel clouds here in the Valley, so we're not even safe from tornadoes. And you know, I hope, that we will definitely be in the zone of effects from the huge offshore earthquake that's due anytime . . .

As long as you don't go all survivalist, there's simply no downside to learning about emergency preparedness, which is necessarily a community function.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Tonight: Learning the "reuse" part of "reduce, reuse, recycle"

Blue Marble composite images generated by NASA...Image via WikipediaThe great folks at Straub Environmental Learning Center are offering a helpful class, the kind that is much better done in a group than from solo research:

Monday, April 4, 2011, 6:30-8:00pm
Sustainability Workshop
Getting the Most of Your Household Wares
Straub Environmental Learning Center

This workshop will provide attendees with easy access to resources that make it easy to reduce, re-purpose, and recycle items in their homes. By reusing materials already in the home instead of throwing them out, people can have a large impact on improving environmental sustainability and reducing risks to public health, all while saving money and resources.

Workshops are free, but registration is required due to limited space. RSVP to Alexandra at 503-391-4145 or email

All workshops will be held at Straub Environmental Learning Center from 6:30-8:00 pm, unless otherwise noted. For a schedule of the entire series, click here.
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Absurd expenditure of time & talent -- but totally awesome

Just unreal.
Homemade B-29 Bomber.

This is amazing...! The aircraft runs on four chainsaw engines. You can just imagine how much love, effort, skill, time and money these guys had to have to put into this project....!

The best part is that they launch a Bell X-1 rocket plane that it carries aloft with it.

"Starts" tomorrow (ho ho!): Get your starts at Pringle to benefit Leslie Middle School!

Click on the photo for the complete shot.

The Leslie Middle School gardening class will be selling plant starts all next week in the Pringle Creek Community greenhouse starting next Monday, April 4th from 10am to 12pm.

They are selling lettuce, cilantro, and other varieties.

Each 4" pot is only $.50 and contains several organic seed starts! All proceeds go toward their gardening classes and will help pay for raised beds at their school garden.

Please pass along this wonderful opportunity to support our local middle school gardening program!
Pringle Creek Community
3911 Village Center Dr SE, Salem, Oregon 97302
503-315-1055 office

Plan a visit on First Wednesday, April 6 and meet the new store manager

One Fair World, Salem's best shop for unique gifts, sadly said goodbye to past manager Linda Bruce and welcomed a new manager just the other day, a woman with deep retail experience who is well poised to continue and build on Linda's work to make this Salem treasure a thriving concern for years to come.

Retail's a tough business, especially in tough times, but One Fair World offers truly exceptional items, all certified fair-trade goods, which means that you not only get great goods for your money, but you can feel good about what your money is doing in the world.

Come meet the new manager, check out the expanded clearance area, enjoy a tasty treat, and get ready to greet spring at this wonderful shop.