Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Most excellent

A LOVESalem local cool stuff correspondent sends:
If I'm emailing you it's because I think you might be interested in this local coffee roaster either because it's local, because it's sustainable, or because it's tasty. :) It gets delivered by bicycle to your house once a week on the day it's roasted. Not sure coffee gets more fresh than that! Matt and I have tried it and think it's delicious and have signed up.

Here's the promo video (which is cool even if you hate coffee) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfTJso63fRM

And the website with more details - www.steelbridgecoffee.com

Thanks, and if you know someone else who might be interested in Salem, feel free to forward this on!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our Fiendish Predicament Summed Up in a Single Graph

What fossil fuels made possible, the inexorable end of fossil fuels will make impossible to continue

Friday, February 24, 2012

Strike a blow for common sense and sustainability 6:30 pm MONDAY NIGHT at City Hall

Well, thanks to more tireless work by the Chickens in the Yard (CITY) folks, the city staff has prepared a recommendation for City Council to make substantial, significant improvements to the original hen-keeping ordinance adopted a while back.

So, once again into the breach, public-spirited citizens of Salem! Please show up at City Hall Council Chambers tonight for the first reading and to testify in favor of the proposed rewrites. They won't be adopted tonight, but they do have to get enough support to get to second reading and then, ultimately, final adoption. And that's where you come in: come and show your support for more sensible rules for keeping hens in Salem!

Here's a word from Barb Palermo, Henactivist Extraordinaire. Contact Barb if you have questions about the proposed changes and how long you can expect to be there, etc.
The revised chicken ordinance (to be discussed and voted on Monday night) has been posted on the city's website (pdf) . . . . City staff is recommending passage of the revisions. They left the price of the chicken license up to the council to decide and instead of the coop being 10' from your own house, it's 3' - but other than that they have rewritten it exactly as proposed, including increasing the number of hens to five and allowing them at community gardens!

We still need 5 votes though, so another good show of supporters Monday night is essential. Could you please write about this in your blog in hopes of getting folks to attend?

Isabel Allende tells Tales of Passion

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bring the joy back to teaching and learning

Best thing on Ed for some time. Sadly, it is retired educators who seem to be able to stand up to the charlatans like Arne Duncan and the No Child Left Behind Snake Oil chorus.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Great Train Robbery ... By the Trainsters at Union Pacific, trying to hold US up!

House Bill 4028A: Oregon’s Union Pacific Gravy Train

 “If their tracks need repairs, it’s their job as a business, not ours as taxpayers, to fix them.” Jody Wiser, Tax Fairness Oregon, Willamette Week, Feb. 8, 2012.

 “Gravy Train,” the recent Willamette Week story by Kara Wilbeck, notesthat last year, Union Pacific Railroad had profits of $3.3 billion. Yet since 2006, under a law stating that Oregon should subsidize transportation businesses that “lack capital,” the state has already handed out $24.7 million tax dollars to this corporate giant.

The current legislative session in Salem is slashing school budgets and senior services, potentially closing a jail and counting every penny. ButHB 4028A is trying to add another $10 million to the $40 million already in the fund called “ConnectOregon,” for gifts to businesses and to public entities for multi-model (non-highway) transportation projects.

Of the 69 grant applications – most ask the public to do most of the spending
·       48 are for grants where the project owner will pay 25% or less of the project cost.  Thus the public through ConnectOregon will be covering 75% or more of the cost. 

·       11 applicants will cover 25% to 50% of cost.

·       10 applicants will cover 51% to 75% of the cost.

Of course there may be other grants or loans coming to the project owners from other sources, which would further reduce their own contributions. 
Of that additional $10 million for ConnectOregon, $8.2 million could go to UP. The gravy train just keeps rolling along.

Why is UP once again seeking Oregon subsidies? The corporate giant’s mouthpiece Aaron Hunt answers in discredited terms that should make taxpayers grab for their wallets: the corporation just “wanted to partner with the public” and create “trickle down throughout the economy.”

This is the type of taxpayer rip-off that giant corporations like to arrange behind the scenes, even as their mouthpieces are complaining about “big government.” 

In this short session, the next decision point in the state legislature is coming right away in the Capital Construction Sub-Committee of the Ways and Means Committee. Legislators there could add the extra $10 million--but passing out more cash to corporations is not acceptable. 

Please phone or email one (or more) of the committee members now and say “NO” to the $10 million ConnectOregon allotment in HB 4028A. Tell them to use our tax dollars to pay teachers to teach, not to pay for corporate-owned railroad tracks. Thank you.

Click here for talking points and the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of committee members.

Tax Fairness Oregon

Monday, February 20, 2012

Food Co-op Meeting at Grand Theatre, 7:30 pm, February 21

This is a meeting to explore a great idea to fill a big gap in Salem. Lots of good potential here. a very dynamic core group of organizers bodes well. See you there!

What Presidents should remember when sending young people off to die

Here's something worth pondering on President's Day.

We dedicate ourselves, first, to live together in peace the way they fought and are buried in this war. Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago helped in her founding, and other men who loved her with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores. Here lie officers and men, negroes and whites, rich men and poor–together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men there is no discrimination. No prejudices. No hatred. Theirs is the highest and purest democracy.

Any man among us the living who fails to understand that will thereby betray those who lie here dead. Whoever of us lifts up his hand in hate against a brother, or thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and of the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery. To this, then, as our solemn, sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves: to the rights of Protestants, Catholics and Jews, of white men and negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them here have paid the price.

And non-theists too.

For Oregon farmers, oil-rich canola is either promise or peril | OregonLive.com


Take action against this disastrously horrible idea. More effort to place the needs of rich auto drivers over humanity's need for real food. Growing rapeseed to make motor fuel in the Willamette Valley is like putting an oil refinery in the Vatican or the Louvre, only much more serious. Art can be recreated ... Getting those genes back out of the fields would be like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube while on fire.

Is there no level too low for the biofuel-mad subsidy seekers? Apparently not.

Tell Oregon Dept of Ag to do their job, and protect the future of food in the Willamette Valley.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Use your First Amendment freedom to demand labels on gene-tampered phoods

English: Baaaaa ! This is a Genetically Engine...Image via WikipediaThe FDA is on the brink of approving genetically TAMPERED [correct term, not "engineered"] salmon for human consumption. This would be the first genetically TAMPERED animal on supermarket shelves in the United States. The salmon is engineered to produce growth hormones year-round that cause the fish to grow at twice the normal rate. The government already requires labels to tell us if fish is wild-caught or farm-raised – don't we also have a right to know if our salmon is genetically TAMPERED? Without labels, we'll never know.

More than forty countries, including Russia and China, already require labels on genetically TAMPERED foods. As an American, I firmly believe that we deserve the same right to know what we are eating.

That's why I signed a petition to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which says:
"Commissioner Hamburg, we urge the FDA to require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. We have a right to know about the food we eat and what we feed our families, but under current FDA regulations, we don’t have that ability when it comes to genetically engineered foods.

Polls show that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling. Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare. Please listen to the American public and mandate labeling of genetically engineered foods."
Will you sign this petition? Click here

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Now Hear This! Seed-Starting Learn-by-Doing Workshop Tomorrow!

Come one, come all!
All are invited to lend a hand this Saturday as we start seeds at the
Oregon School for the Deaf.

WHO: YOU! Anyone interested in learning how to start seeds in our climate

WHAT: we’ll be doing: OSD is the site of a 2-acre urban farm, and this year we’re gearing up the summer youth program to grow even more food on that site. This Saturday we’ll be doing some seed starting, preparing seed flats, and maybe planting in the garden if time allows. For folks interested in the basics of starting seeds, this will be a great opportunity!

WHERE: The Oregon School for the Deaf Urban Farm. 999 Locust Ave. NE, Salem
(Click on address for a map; from Cherry turn right on Locust, then take a right on Maple. Enter through the gate on your right. Meet at the greenhouse.)

WHEN: Saturday, 2/18 from 10 – noon.

HOW to pack: Bring weather-appropriate clothes, sturdy shoes, water to drink and a snack if you so desire.

WHY: Because hunger never takes a holiday!

For more information, please call Ingrid at 503-798-0457. See you Saturday!

Ingrid Evjen-Elias
Community Gardens Resource Coordinator
Marion-Polk Food Share

T: 503-581-3855 x329
C: 503-798-0457
F: 503-581-3862
E: ievjenelias@marionpolkfoodshare.org
1660 Salem Industrial Drive NE
Salem OR 97301-0374

Thursday, February 16, 2012

If you could represent Salem in a font, what would it look like?

Any typographic artists out there? If you send me examples of an original font you create to represent Salem, I'll put it out there for people to see.

Your good thing today.
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Chattanooga Designers Take a Typographic Approach to Civic Pride

20% serifs 20% kerning 60% hometown love

Around the world, only a few hundred people make a living as fulltime typeface designers. Two of them happen to live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, population 167,000, where they've embarked on an ambitious project to distill the city's artistic and entrepreneurial spirit into a font called Chatype. The goal is to help the city and its businesses forge a distinct and cohesive identity through custom typeface, sending a visual message to the world that Chattanooga—a rapidly growing city in the midst of a creative renaissance—is “more than just your average Southern town.”

Chatype came about when D.J. Trischler, a brand consultant, discovered he'd been sitting next to typeface designer Jeremy Dooley at their local coffee shop. The two became fixated on a question: What if Chattanooga had its own typeface? The idea may sound strange from an American perspective, but it's actually the norm throughout Europe, where even small cities employ custom typeface to distinguish themselves.

Joined by recent Chattanooga transplant and typeface designer Robbie de Villiers and Trischler's business partner Jonathan Mansfield, the collaborators met with a local historian to figure out what should inform the design of a Chattanooga-inspired font. They pulled from a diverse set of local visual references including the Cherokee writing system, Coca-Cola's first bottling plant, and, of course, that city's "choo choo," immortalized by the 1940s big band song.

Chatype made its debut at a event hosted by the local creative community and quickly garnered public support. They've raised nearly $7,000 through Kickstarter from more than 100 backers. De Villiers says they now have "hard, firm commitments" from Chattanooga's public sector to work the typeface into local projects (they have yet to reveal which ones). While the designers still have more work to do to finalize the typeface, if all goes according to plan Chattanoogans will soon begin to see Chatype popping up on signage, business cars, emails, and websites published by the city government. “We want to let businesses use the typeface too," says Trischler. "It'd be awesome for startups in town that can’t afford a typeface, to give them a typeface to really set them apart.”

New Link in "Visit Also" list: Congregations Helping People

A resource for hard times.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I walk around downtown near my office a lot.  For some reason, while on an errand today, I really saw something that I usually don't notice, which is how bad downtown looks because of all the trash strewn around.  Cigarette butts especially, but also cups, wrappers, you name it.  All throughout the core area.

Is there some special reason that the parking patrol guys and gals can't be given canvas sacks to collect trash with and little reach-extending grabbers so that they clean up downtown as they patrol for parking violators?

Salem police shoot, kill dog that bit officer


Let's see, where are we on getting the absurd annual fee for hen keeping abolished? If not, then we ought to have an ordinance that requires all canine owners to register their dogs with the city (and to spay/neuter them, or obtain a breeder permit) so that police can know exactly what animals they going to encounter at any address.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I (heart) local bookstores! More reasons to avoid Amazon


Book Bin on Court Street is it for Salem, afaik. Does Salem have any other locally, owned, general interest bookstores that carry new books?

Monday, February 13, 2012

WORD: The Madness of a $500 Million+ Rivercrossing Project

Cops, psychologists, and lawyers and all the others whose professions bring them in contact with people at their worst become acquainted with the ravages that people can inflict on themselves when in the grip of addiction. Addicts often squander thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars and waste years of their lives, rather than admit that they can no longer service their addiction and that they have to change their self-definition.

Multiply the losses by 10^6 when a city is in the grip of addiction and denial, desperately seeking another fix of mainlining concrete, even as the children are ill-fed and the schools keep on advancing to the rear, cutting libraries and teachers.

Madness indeed.


Worth a million reads: ClubOrlov: A Million Gardens


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Truth about Violence : 3 Principles of Self-Defense : Sam Harris

Scary good insights.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Let's start a yard share program in Salem! (GROWSalem, anyone?)

A dear friend is hobbling about this winter, wondering what she's going to do -- or, more likely, not do --- with her great raised beds this coming year. She's got at least one surgery on tap that will lay her up for some time, and she's struggling a bit with mobility anyway, which the surgery aims to fix. She has terrific beds, with water and good sun, and all the tools. All she needs is a gardener (or would-be gardener willing to be tutored some) to do the legwork for her in return for a share of the proceeds.

We we talking about it, and I suggested she call the Marion-Polk Food Share or Local Harvest about helping her with finding someone who had the gardening itch but no good place to scratch it. But then, later, I realized that both those fine organizations have more than enough to do to put food on others' plates already, and that there was really no reason that LOVESalem couldn't be helping this idea get growing in Salem.

So what do you think? If I put together a GROWSalem website, do you think that can serve as a matchmaking service to connect people with gardens at-risk of going idle (or, even better, with lawns they want to turn into gardens) and people with the need or the urge to grow some food but inadequate locations or access to garden space?

Anyone interested in heading this up? (Eagle Scout project? Capstone high school project? College internship? Self-directed study and opportunity to show potential employers or admissions officers that you're REALLY a self-starter and problem solver. Retirement activity and social mission?)

If you have feedback or ideas for this, drop a comment below, especially if you want to pitch in!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Faces of Choice


Making a decision to terminate a pregnancy or not forces women into emotional exile. I want to change that. I want a world where women are encouraged to talk honestly about difficult decisions with their friends and family without being ostracized. I want to live in a society where we don't shun each other during some of the most challenging times in our lives. I hope that, in sharing some of these painful and compelling stories, I can help move us toward a better understanding of how we can come together on a human level to help one another instead of using laws and moral judgments as barriers to honest communication.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Great Stuff: Seed Exchange @ MP Food Share, Feb 25, 10 am

Marion-Polk Food Share continues its excellent efforts to build more food security by building more gardens and gardeners.

If you don't know where they are, at first it can seem like an odd location, on NE Industrial Way, but that's because they are a substantial warehouse and food collection and delivery operation. Here's a map.

These seed exchanges are a lot of fun. We are still eating some of the onions we grew from a handful of starts we picked up at one of these.