Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't Forget: Oregon State Bank forum Weds Evening, Feb 1

WFP logoImage via Wikipedia
I want to invite you to a forum on using our common financial resources to grow a sustainable economy sponsored by the Working Families Party (WFP) and Occupy Salem next Wednesday, February 1 at the Salem Public Library, 6-7:30 PM.

Latino Business Alliance President Jose Gonzalez and WFP Director Steve Hughes will join me in the discussion Right now, 66% of all bank deposits in Oregon are held by just five big banks. If we want to build a local economy, we are going to have to break our state's dependence on Wall Street.

This forum will discuss how we can best use our common financial resources to grow a sustainable economy. We will examine policy proposals including efforts by Oregon cities to move their money out of big banks, the Oregon State Bank proposal, and the State Treasurer's "Oregon Investment Act," which he will be introducing in the 2012 legislative session.

The address is 585 Liberty Street Southeast.
Call 503-841-7161 for more information and register online.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Must-read: why we need to massively overhaul school and public health funding priorities

This piece from the NY Times (and native Oregonian) Bill Kristof two Sundays ago is a guaranteed finalist as one of the most important op-eds of 2012 already.  As the states and cities like Salem find themselves increasingly bankrupted by physical constraints making growth economics a distant memory, never to return, we need to spend more and more (of the less and less we can afford) on kids at the most important years for brain development.  Essentially, the sooner the better.
Instead our politics is driving us exactly away from this strategy ... So we kill elementary school librarians and the highest performing elementary schools to preserve the funding for sports at the comprehensive mega high schools, despite the fact that we get a much greater return on the limited dollars the earlier they are spent in helping kids.  We employ battalions of people to squander their energies on exhorting the children damaged by poverty to act like the children of the upper middle class.  We ignore mounting evidence about the crucial roles of play and physical activity and turn early grades into mini college test prep centers.
Perhaps the most widespread peril children face isn't guns, swimming pools or speeding cars. Rather, scientists are suggesting that it may be "toxic stress" early in life, or even before birth.

This month, the American Academy of Pediatrics is issuing a landmark warning that this toxic stress can harm children for life. I'm as skeptical as anyone of headlines from new medical studies (Coffee is good for you! Coffee is bad for you!), but that's not what this is.
Rather, this is a "policy statement" from the premier association of pediatricians, based on two decades of scientific research. This has revolutionary implications for medicine and for how we can more effectively chip away at poverty and crime.
Toxic stress might arise from parental abuse of alcohol or drugs. It could occur in a home where children are threatened and beaten. It might derive from chronic neglect — a child cries without being cuddled. Affection seems to defuse toxic stress — keep those hugs and lullabies coming! — suggesting that the stress emerges when a child senses persistent threats but no protector.
Cues of a hostile or indifferent environment flood an infant, or even a fetus, with stress hormones like cortisol in ways that can disrupt the body's metabolism or the architecture of the brain.
The upshot is that children are sometimes permanently undermined. Even many years later, as adults, they aremore likely to suffer heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other physical ailments. They are also more likely to struggle in school, have short tempers and tangle with the law.
The crucial period seems to be from conception through early childhood. After that, the brain is less pliable and has trouble being remolded.
"You can modify behavior later, but you can't rewire disrupted brain circuits," notes Jack P. Shonkoff, a Harvard pediatrician who has been a leader in this field. "We're beginning to get a pretty compelling biological model of why kids who have experienced adversity have trouble learning."
This new research addresses an uncomfortable truth: Poverty is difficult to overcome partly because of self-destructive behaviors. Children from poor homes often shine, but others may skip school, abuse narcotics, break the law, and have trouble settling down in a marriage and a job. Then their children may replicate this pattern.
Liberals sometimes ignore these self-destructive pathologies. Conservatives sometimes rely on them to blame poverty on the poor.
The research suggests that the roots of impairment and underachievement are biologically embedded, but preventable. "This is the biology of social class disparities," Dr. Shonkoff said. "Early experiences are literally built into our bodies."
The implication is that the most cost-effective window to bring about change isn't high school or even kindergarten — although much greater efforts are needed in schools as well — but in the early years of life, or even before birth.
"Protecting young children from adversity is a promising, science-based strategy to address many of the most persistent and costly problems facing contemporary society, including limited educational achievement, diminished economic productivity, criminality, and disparities in health," the pediatrics academy said in its policy statement.
One successful example of early intervention is home visitation by childcare experts, like those from the Nurse-Family Partnership. This organization sends nurses to visit poor, vulnerable women who are pregnant for the first time. The nurse warns against smoking and alcohol and drug abuse, and later encourages breast-feeding and good nutrition, while coaxing mothers to cuddle their children and read to them. This program continues until the child is 2.
At age 6, studies have found, these children are only one-third as likely to have behavioral or intellectual problems as others who weren't enrolled. At age 15, the children are less than half as likely to have been arrested.
Evidence of the importance of early experiences has been mounting like snowflakes in a blizzard. For example, several studies examined Dutch men and women who had been in utero during a brief famine at the end of World War II. Decades later, those "famine babies" had more trouble concentrating and more heart disease than those born before or after.
Other scholars examined children who had been badly neglected in Romanian orphanages. Those who spent more time in the orphanages had shorter telomeres, a change in chromosomes that's a marker of accelerated aging. Their brain scans also looked different.
The science is still accumulating. But a compelling message from biology is that if we want to chip away at poverty and improve educational and health outcomes, we have to start earlier. For many children, damage has been suffered before the first day of school.
As Frederick Douglass noted, "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 20, 2012

The end of summer 2011

Well, our excess solar production from the summer has finally petered out - it made it up through 1-16-12, with a few last lonely kWhs in the tank.  Still, pretty good for such a cool, wet year last year.  We made 4130 kWh and didn't pay anything for electricity after around April last year -- hoping for a little more production in 2012 (maybe 4300 kWh), which would carry us into February next year.

Reserve some time for Monday night at City Hall!

English: Chicken coop and run by Oakdene CoopsImage via WikipediaThanks to VERY hard work by a handful of dedicated folks, Salem finally passed an ordinance allowing very limited amount of henkeeping in residential zones. The results have been as expected, with legal recognition REDUCING the problems caused by people who need to keep hens but won't spend any money on coops and equipment as long as they are banned entirely.

So that's the good part, we have limited legal henkeeping. The bad part is that the city council was so pelted with rocks from fearmongers trying to terrify people about hens that they wound up producing a real hairball of an ordinance that essentially treats hens as bloodthirsty terrors that need to be kept under armed guard at all times (in contrast with the complete absence of rules for keeping dogs, even very aggressive breeds).

Worse, the ordinance makes it outrageously costly to keep hens legally.

So, now that we have experience showing that the more the city acts reasonably, the more conditions improve for hens, henkeepers, and neighbors, it's time to improve the ordinance.

SO, PLEASE ATTEND the Salem City Council for the kickoff of the next round of "bringing sanity to henkeeping in Salem," the longest-running drama in Salem legislative history.

Monday, Jan. 23rd at 6:30 pm - please attend!

Chief petitioner Barb Palermo, founder of CITY (Chickens in the Yard) reports:
For the last three months I've been trying to get Salem's chicken ordinance modified. Based on a positive report from the Code Compliance Office, I thought we could get some changes made administratively, but unfortunately that is not the case. We're going to have to work for it.

While some city councilors support the changes, there is still resistance. City Staff has recommended no changes be considered for at least two more years, despite it's own report stating the number of complaints has decreased and backyard chickens have not created any problems.

At the January 23rd meeting, Councilor Chuck Bennett will make a motion to modify the chicken ordinance. We will need a lot of people at that meeting to support the proposed changes outlined below. If we can convince at least 5 of the 9 council members to support the motion, we could have a less expensive and less restrictive chicken ordinance in effect by spring!

There is only one way to make this happen and it requires a big showing of support at the meeting. You don't have to speak, sign in, or give your name. Just show up and raise your hand when we ask all supporters in the audience to do so. This is very important and very effective so PLEASE attend: Monday, January 23rd at 6:30 pm - Salem City Hall, 555 Liberty St SE, Room 240 (council chambers).
To induce you to come -- as if helping to improve your city greatly isn't enough -- Barb is offering a giveaway, free USDA 2012 poultry calendars. (I wonder if these are like "Playhen" with the hot centerfolds?)

1. Reduce the licensing cost to a one-time $25 fee (not $50/yr [!]).
There are now 57 registered chicken owners in the city of Salem. Each of them had to pay $50 for a chicken license, yet other pets cost little or nothing. Soon, our licenses will have to be renewed and we will have to pay another $50. This is unreasonable and for many, unaffordable. Most other cities do not charge a fee for keeping chickens and of those that do, it is a one-time fee. A one-time fee of $25 would cover the cost of maintaining the city’s online application process.
2. Reduce the inspection burden to one initial inspection (not every three years).
Most cities do not require inspections to keep chickens. If you think an inspection is still necessary, than it should only be required initially to obtain the license. After that, no follow-up inspections should be needed unless there is a valid complaint. Inspections are what cost the city money and by reducing the number of inspections, the city will save money and the cost of the license can be lowered as described above.

3. Drop the rule that forces coops out at least 10’ from the henkeeper's own house.
There is no logical reason for this. The closer the coop is to our own house, the further it will be from neighbors and that’s what matters.
4. Change how coop size is measured to exclude the run/pen.
The 120 square foot requirement should only apply to the portion of the chicken structure with walls and a roof, not the wire run that’s attached to it. A wire pen should not be subjected to the building code requirement because it’s not a building. The pen will still have to be at least 20’ from neighbors’ homes.
5. Increase the number of hens from three to five.
Many cities allow up to six hens and for good reason. Hens lay fewer and fewer eggs as they get older. We don’t want to get rid of older hens because they are pets we’re fond of, and they will continue to provide fertilizer and natural pest control. But we would like to be able to introduce young chicks when our hens get older, so the eggs keep coming. By increasing the number of hens to five, we could add two more chicks to the flock in a couple of years when our current hens get older and produce fewer eggs.
6. Allow chickens at churches, schools, and community gardens.
Marion-Polk Food Share, Pringle Creek Community Garden, and the Oregon Deaf School have all expressed a strong desire to include a chicken coop at their facilities. The Deaf School runs an urban farm program and thinks kids would benefit from learning to raise chickens. People at MPFS want to teach low-income families self-reliance and healthy food choices, and community gardens want fertilizer and natural pest control, and organic eggs to share.
If revised as proposed, these parts of the original ordinance would remain unchanged:
  • Online permits will still be required. That way, you will know where the chickens are and people will still have to read the rules and agree to them.

  • Coops and pens will still have to be at least 20’ from neighbors’ houses (not the property line).

  • The ordinance will remain complaint-driven. If a valid complaint is lodged, an inspection will be conducted and if the complaint proves valid, the chicken owner will be given time to comply or be fined.

  • Coops will still need to be maintained in a manner that does not create a nuisance.

  • Selling or slaughtering will continue to be prohibited.

  • Roosters will remain prohibited.

  • Escalating fines for non-compliance remain in effect.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No Child Left Behind: Death Star of American Education

Seal of the United States Department of EducationImage via WikipediaNo Child Left Behind is the great exemplar of why the federal Department of Education is such a bad idea. 

Cabinet positions have become a way for administrations to pretend to have concern for an issue without actually engaging the issues.  Once you create a cabinet bureaucracy, it begins to accumulate all the tendencies, including cultivation of congressional patrons and interest groups, lobbying, etc., and you wind up with garbage like NCLB.

The US Department of Education should never have been created; what we need much more than a Department of Education is a research institute on how to most effectively help people (of any age) acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to flourish.  Instead of a cabinet department led by a political hack and back-scratcher like Arne Duncan, we need an actual education think-tank, modeled on the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Health (NIH) -- and Diane Ravitch would be the perfect first head of such a National Education Institute.
Diane Ravitch, Ed Week - After 10 years of NCLB, we should have seen dramatic progress on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, but we have not. By now, we should be able to point to sharp reductions of the achievement gaps between children of different racial and ethnic groups and children from different income groups, but we cannot. As I said in a recent speech, many children continue to be left behind, and we know who those children are: They are the same children who were left behind 10 years ago.

In my travels over the past two years, I have seen the wreckage caused by NCLB. It has become the Death Star of American education. It is a law that inflicts damage on students, teachers, schools, and communities.

When I spoke at Stanford University, a teacher stood up in the question period and said: "I teach the lettuce-pickers' children in Salinas. They are closing our school because our scores are too low." She couldn't finish her question because she started crying.

When I spoke at UCLA, a group of about 20 young teachers approached me afterwards and told me that their school, Fremont High School, was slated for closure. They asked me to tell Ray Cortines, who was then chancellor of the Los Angeles Unified School District, not to close their school because they were working together as a community to improve it. I took their message to Ray, who is a good friend, but the school was closed anyway. The dispersed teachers of Fremont are still communicating with one another, still mourning the loss of their school.

When I spoke to Citizens for Public Schools in Boston, a young man who works as a chef at a local hotel got up to ask what he could do to stop "them" from closing his children's school. It was the neighborhood school, he said. It was the school he wanted his children to attend. And they were closing it.

In city after city, across the nation, I have heard similar stories from teachers and parents. Why are they closing our school? What can we do about it? How can we stop them? I wish I had better answers. I know that as long as NCLB stays on the books, there is no stopping the destruction of local community institutions. And now with the active support of the Obama administration, the NCLB wrecking ball has become a means of promoting privatization and community fragmentation.

I have often wondered whether there is any other national legislature that has passed a law that had the effect of stigmatizing the nation's public education system. Last year, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that 82 percent of our nation's schools would fail to make "adequate yearly progress." A few weeks ago, the Center for Education Policy reported that the secretary's estimate was overstated, and that it was "only" half the nation's schools that would be considered failing as of this year. Secretary Duncan's judgment may have been off the mark this year, but NCLB guarantees that the number of failing schools will grow every year. If the law remains intact, we can reasonably expect that nearly every public school in the United States will be labeled as a failing school by 2014.

If you take a closer look at the CEP study, you can see how absurd the law is. In Massachusetts, the nation's highest-performing state by far on NAEP, 81 percent of the schools failed to make AYP. But in lower-performing Louisiana, only 22 percent of the schools did not make AYP. Yet, when you compare the same two states on NAEP, 51 percent of 4th graders in Massachusetts are rated proficient, compared with 23 percent in Louisiana. In 8th grade, again, twice as many students in Massachusetts are proficient compared with Louisiana, yet Massachusetts has nearly four times as many allegedly "failing" schools! This is crazy.

More evidence of the invalidity of NCLB. The top-rated high school in the state of Illinois, New Trier High School, failed to make AYP. Its special education students did not make enough progress. When outstanding schools fail, you have to conclude that something is wrong with the measure.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

For those wondering why Salem's budget is crunching

Our Finite World's excellent Gail the Actuary explains:
Economic Expansion vs. Economic Contraction

     It is easy to assume that economic contraction is similar to economic expansion, just with the sign reversed, but anyone who has lived through the last few years knows that this is not the case.
     For example, on the way up, it appears that the size of the current economic system easily “scales” upward, as the economy grows. The number of available workers gradually rises, as does the number of job openings, and the amount of goods and services produced. Everything rises together, and the system “works.”

     On the way down, there is a good deal more “stickiness” to the system. There are now seven billion people on the planet, and they all would like to eat on a regular basis. There are perhaps two-thirds as many potential workers, and most of them would like to have jobs, even if the economy is contracting, and their particular job is disappearing.

     Another issue is that we have built millions of miles of electrical transmission, oil and gas pipelines, water and sewer pipelines, and roads. It becomes difficult to abandon parts of these systems, even if total resources for maintaining the system are constricted. If we think of the situation in terms of tax dollars (or charges by utility companies), it becomes increasingly difficult to collect enough tax dollars (or utility charges) to pay for the inflated cost of replacing worn out roads, pipelines, and electrical transmission, as the rising price of oil makes these costs rise much more rapidly than salaries.

Figure 2. Repaying loans is easy in a growing economy, but much more difficult in a shrinking economy.

     Another issue is debt repayment (Figure 2). We are used to an ever-expanding economy, where future goods and services produced will always be greater than those produced this year. As long as this growth pattern persists, our system of long-term financing of major expenditures, even if the expenditures are not really income producing, can continue. For example, we are able to buy homes with 20 or 30 year loans, and governments are able to continue borrowing, claiming that they will have more funds to repay loans (with interest) in the future. Once the situation changes to a shrinking economy, it becomes much more difficult to repay loans, and the financial system quickly reaches the risk of collapsing, due to multiple debt defaults.

     A related issue is that of financing a new or expanding company. If the economy continues to grow, investment in a new company is likely to make sense because the value of the company can be expected to grow as the demand for products of the type it sells continues to grow. But if it becomes clear that the economy is on a path of long-term contraction, the possibility of failure within a few years rises, so new investment makes much less sense. . . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Print and Post Widely (but only where postings welcome)

Help stop the senseless waste of water, wood, and the world's diminishing reserves energy -- turn off junk mail and littervertising! can help!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thursday Night at the Library (Free): How teens experience stereotypes about gender

Teens, their parents, and others who are interested are invited to experience “Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up,” a powerful documentary that examines how stereotypes and gender expectations impact the lives of teens.

6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 19
Loucks Auditorium at Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty St. SE.

The hour-long film gathers perspectives from teens who represent all points of the gender spectrum. This fascinating array of students opens up with brave, intimate honesty, talking about choosing between “male” and “female” deodorant; deciding whether to go along with anti-gay taunts in the locker room; having the courage to take ballet; avoiding the restroom so they won’t get beaten up; and mourning the suicide of a classmate. Their intimate stories point the way toward a more inclusive, empowering culture.

More information and a movie trailer are available at:

This screening is free and open to the public. Those interested are invited to remain after the movie for discussion. More information is available from or the Teen Scene Desk at 503-588-6364.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gonna try some corn in the garden this year!

Dead of winter -- seed catalog time!  This little clip has me thinking to try growing a little corn this year, just for fun.  It's such a big field crop with low per-plant yield that it doesn't really make sense for small urban gardens like those at LOVESalem HQ.  But still, it's fun.  The one time we tried before, we got pretty good results from a 4' x 4' square.  Tune in next fall and we'll let you know how it went.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mark Your Calendar: Bring the Money Home - Feb 1

Oregon Needs to Bring It's Money Home.

Salem, Oregon Banks Local Forum
Salem Public Library - Auditorium
Sponsored by Oregon Working Families Party and Occupy Salem

February 1, 2012 - 6:00pm

Last year, we saw a major shift in the political conversation. The focus changed from cuts and austerity and landed squarely on the 1% and the fact that more and more of the country's wealth is being held by less and less of the population.

Over the past few months, some candidates running for local office around the state have started to address this very issue by proposing we keep our municipal money in local Oregon banks - working for our community, not Wall Street. On top of that, the struggle to create the Oregon State Bank is still alive and well.

Register for the Salem Oregon Banks Local Forum to find out how to get involved.

This event is being sponsored by the Oregon Working Families Party and Occupy Salem.

We'll discuss proposals to positively impact Oregon's small businesses and family farms - helping put people back to work across Oregon and ending our dependance on Wall Street's banking giants.

On February 1st, we’ll be holding a forum at the Salem Public Library to detail the current state of legislative proposals aimed at bringing Oregon's money back to Oregon.

Last legislative session, a proposal to create a State Bank just barely missed a chance for a floor vote - but the momentum behind that campaign continues.

Please click here to sign up for the Salem Oregon Banks Local forum.

We're counting on you to join us on February 1st at the Salem Public Library to discuss next steps and take action headed into the 2012 legislative session. Please help spread the word and invite friends, family and colleagues.

Thanks for all you do,

Steve Hughes, State Director
Oregon Working Families Party

Note: A membership meeting of the Mid-Valley chapter of the WFP will follow directly after this forum. Those who wish to attend this meeting may do so, but decision making will be reserved for WFP members.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Best bet for Saturday, Jan. 14: See the magic of radio, up close and personal!

Dear Friends,

KMUZ - our new community radio station - is on the air at 88.5 FM and world-wide at!

Many of you have been following our progress and contributing in one or many ways.
Please stop by, see the studio and celebrate with us! We are located at the historic Mission Mill (1313 Mill St. SE) in Salem (on the grounds of the Willamette Heritage Center).

Saturday, January 14:
  • 10 am-4 pm - studio tours

  • 5 pm-7 pm - reception and celebration in the Dye House
    (beer, wine, treats, music and lots of thank you's)

Friday Food for Thought: On Education

Great "Museletter" by Richard Heinberg. Just an excerpt to whet your appetite:

The radicals agree with some of Dewey’s ideals—especially the desire for students to develop critical thinking abilities. However, they question whether Dewey, in trying to humanize the American public school system, was working against its original and inherent purposes. The basic idea of the public school was (and is) to apply the routines and discipline of factory work to learning, and thus to train armies of children for service in the industrial system. Dewey was trying to make the institution serve ends other than these, and was therefore bound to fail. The appeal of the conservative agenda is, and has always been, simply that its vision of the public schools’ purpose is closest to the historical reality. For educational radicals, therefore, the critique of schooling is inseparable from a critique of modern industrial, capitalist, corporatist society itself. If the factory system requires us to turn human beings into machines, then should we not question industrial production?

Along the way, radical educationists point out that children, in addition to being taught the hidden curriculum of fragmentation and routinization, are also taught an overt curriculum of lies and half-truths that make real citizenship problematic. Children are taught a Eurocentric rendition of world history, and a sanitized version of American history, both cleansed of any taint of class struggle. Without certain key bits of information it is virtually impossible to understand why the world is the way it is. For example, it is impossible to understand American history unless we begin by acknowledging that the country was founded on genocide and slavery, and that whatever freedoms we enjoy were won by ordinary people organizing themselves and demanding reforms. To regard Columbus as a hero (as is still commonly done in many grade schools) is to ignore the evidence of his own diaries, which clearly portray him as a mass murderer, thief, torturer, extortionist, and conscious initiator of what would grow to become the largest instance of genocide in world history. It is also helpful to know that other American “heroes” like John Adams (the second President) and John Jay (the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) opposed the very idea of democracy and believed that “those who own the country should govern it.” Of course, information like this might encourage some students to question the political and economic status quo, and that is no doubt why it is omitted. But the resulting eviscerated history curriculum is not only misleading and confusing; it is also utterly boring.

Finally, the radicals point out that if any part of the real purpose of formal schooling is to help children learn, then there are much better ways of accomplishing that goal. After recounting how compulsory schooling originated in the State of Massachusetts around 1850 amid much resistance (“the last outpost in Barnstable on Cape Cod not surrendering its children until the 1880s, when the area was seized by militia and children marched to school under guard”), Gatto tells us:

Senator Ted Kennedy’s office released a paper not too long ago claiming that prior to compulsory education the state literacy rate was ninety-eight percent, and after it the figure never exceeded ninety-one percent. Here is another curiosity to think about. The home-schooling movement has quietly grown to a size where one and a half million young people are being educated entirely by their own parents; last month the education press reported the amazing news that children schooled at home seem to be five or even ten years ahead of their formally trained peers in their ability to think.

Gatto recalls the one-room schools common to rural America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, where children of all ages learned cooperatively, mostly teaching one another. This, according to the radicals, is an example of how learning could be facilitated. Instead of large, state-run bureaucracies, they say, we need small, local schools organized primarily by parents. Rather than being segregated by age, older children should learn responsibility by teaching younger kids. Rather than learning a state-mandated curriculum, students should pursue their spontaneous interests.

how we learn

It is in the discussion of the learning process that radical educational theory has made its most telling points. At the base of popular support for the very idea of schooling lies the assumption that schools help kids learn. If that assumption turns out to be unfounded, then the entire project is open to question. . . .

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Will Cherriots be Around in Five Years? What About 10?

logoImage via Wikipedia
Salem-Keizer Transit is asking the public for input on its strategic goals and projects for the upcoming year.

To participate, you are encouraged to fill out a survey online at or at Cherriots Customer Service.

The survey provides an opportunity to rank the importance of specific goals and offer ideas for future strategies and projects. Salem-Keizer Transit will use the survey information to update the Strategic Plan for the fiscal year beginning July 2012.

The Strategic Plan, adopted in July 2011, provides a vision of transportation services for the next twenty years. This high-level document serves as a guide for decision-making, budgeting, and
operations of Salem-Keizer Transit.

The survey will be available through the end of January.

Contact Info: Steve Dickey
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finally - Littervertisers try something more reasonable

This is what I got on my doorknob, instead of five pounds of instant-recycling burden.

Props to them, at loooooong-overdue last.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The unintentionally revealing lede

The lede that says it all explains why the Kroc Center will forever struggle. As the real estate cliche has it, Location, Location, Location. A fitness center located in a bike and pedestrian hellhole is like an AA meeting in a saloon.

"It was a healthy way to spend a part of the day, beginning with a healthy walk from the parking lot."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Post-Constitutional America

Well, we've finally cleared up any doubt about whether or not mass-murdering Bin-Ladin succeeded: he did, beyond his wildest fantasies.

Not only did he lure the Bush-Cheney Junta into the meatgrinders of Afghanistan and Iraq, but he destroyed America at the same time. So complete has been the cowardly and craven surrender of spineless elected officials been, that even a supposedly liberal (really center-right) administration is delighted to happily junk the Bill of Rights and, among them, the central rationale for the Declaration of Independence, the idea that people had inalienable rights, first among them individual liberty and freedom from detention and imprisonment at the say-so of an autocrat.

"Your Freedom" in Salem, Jan. 23

The Occupy Salem Education Committee presents Willamette Law Professor Susan Smith speaking on the civil liberties implications of the recently-passed National Defense Authorization Act.

This piece of legislation, which recently passed the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly and was subsequently signed by President Obama, despite his earlier vow to veto it, suspends some of our most cherished civil liberties. Learn how it could affect you!

Monday, January 23, 7 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall at Willamette University's Law School (Room E 201). No charge.