Monday, October 29, 2012

Salem Beyond Coal Campaign - Get Active!

The global warming icon for the ubx.
The global warming icon for the ubx. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Salem Beyond Coal Campaign is alive and well! 

Several Northwest cities are adopting anti-coal resolutions.
Please help us make it happen here.

Immediate actions (full details below);
  • Letter-to-Editor party Tuesday night, 10/30, 7 PM at the Clockworks Cafe
  • Dept of State Lands Visibility Event: Tuesday, 11/13, 11 AM
  • Bus to Vancouver WA (for Bellingham Hearing): Wednesday, 12/12, 1 PM
  • Salem Beyond Coal Campaign meeting, Thursday, 11/1, 7 PM at Oregon Peaceworks
Hi all,

Thanks so much for coming out to our Salem Beyond Coal Exports Team meeting last Thursday!   We got a chance to meet and hear from Laura Stevens, Assistant Field Organizer with the Sierra Club up in Portland.

She briefed us on two very critical events. So please mark your calendar and tell your friends/family:

  1. Department of State Lands Visibility Event: Tuesday November 13th at 11 AM.  We will gather in front of the Department of State Lands (775 Summer St. NE) to welcome their new director into office and call on her to deny a permit for the first coal export terminal in Oregon at the Port of Morrow.  We've lined up several speakers and now we've got to mobilize turn out.  We have a goal of 50 attendees and 5 media hits from the press.
  2. Trip to Vancouver, WA to Oppose Coal Terminal in Bellingham: Weds, December 12th, 1 PM.    We will gather at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem (5090 Center St. NE) to hop on a bus to Vancouver, Washington for the first public hearing on a coal export terminal, the Bellingham Terminal.  We've got space for 50 people and it's up to us to fill them and show a strong opposition to coal trains from our town.

There are two other events this week you should put on your calendar and attend:

  1. Come to our Letters to the Editor (LTE) party tomorrow night, Tuesday, 10/30, 7 PM at the Clockworks Cafe. Jim Scheppke will lead us in writing letters both to our local paper and our city councilors on this critical issue.
  2. The next Salem Beyond Coal meeting is Thursday, 11/1 at 7 PM at Oregon Peaceworks.      We'll be hearing from Chris Ortolano, Founder and Co-Chair of the Milwaukie Coal Task Force, our team's equivalent in Milwaukie. The Milwaukie City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing coal exports on Tuesday, October 16th.
Finally, I'd like to end with a shout out to Evan White for his work in a fantastic presentation to the City Council last week and diligent follow up this week building those relationships.

Thank you all for your hard work and support,

Lucy Sedgwick
Field Organizer
Sierra Club
c) 973-738-0738
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Be there Nov 4 for citizen activism at its best

Citizens doing the job that the elected officials have shamelessly and shockingly shirked for sure:

Say NO to the $687 Million 3rd Bridge

On Monday, November 5th the Salem City Council will hold a public hearing on a recommendation to build a new bridge and freeway connecting Highway 22 and I-5. The plan would destroy residences and businesses on both sides of the river and would do little to relieve rush hour congestion on the existing bridges. And to make it worse, Salem residents would bear most of the costs, with increased property or gas taxes — maybe even tolls on the existing bridges.

To learn how you can oppose the 3rd bridge, please plan to attend:

NO 3rd Bridge Briefing
Sunday, November 4th, 3 pm
Salem Public Library, Anderson Room

For more information visit our Facebook page: NO 3rd Bridge

JimScheppke, Campaign Coordinator

NO Third Bridge Briefing Will Inform Salem Residents
 in Advance of City Council Hearing

Salem, Oregon – Concerned Salem residents will get the opportunity to hear from experts about the proposal to build a new $687 million freeway spanning the Willamette River and connecting Highway 22 to I-5.

The NO 3rd Bridge Briefing will take place on Sunday, November 4th at 3 p.m. in the Anderson A meeting room at the Salem Public Library.

The featured speaker will be Scott Bassett, a transportation policy analyst for fifteen years, who has been following the planning process for the 3rd Bridge. Bassett will describe in detail the 3rd Bridge plans that will be considered by the Salem City Council at a public hearing on November 5th at 6:30 p.m. He will also show how the need for a new bridge is now highly questionable in light of declining traffic on the existing bridges, and he will present his ideas on how to relieve congestion at peak hours without spending many hundreds of millions on a new bridge.

Also speaking at the briefing will be a member of the project Task Force who is not in favor of building a 3rd bridge. Doug Parrow, who represented the Bicycle Transportation Alliance on the Task Force, will give an insider’s perspective on the project, and explain why he believes better infrastructure for bike transportation is one answer to relieving traffic congestion.

Bob Krebs, a member of the project Oversight Team for the Salem-Keizer Transit District Board, will share how planning for the 3rd bridge will proceed from here. The District has not taken a position on the 3rd bridge. Krebs will also share his ideas about how better mass transit between West Salem and downtown might be a viable solution to relieve peak hour traffic congestion.

Following the presentation there will be time for audience members to have their questions about the 3rd Bridge answered by the expert panel. Panel members will also explain how citizens can participate most effectively at the Salem City Council public hearing on November 5.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Judicial Candidates for the 99%: Baldwin and Egan

And the Albany Democrat-Herald has the word on Judge Jim Egan:

Editorial: Jim Egan for appeals court

April 27, 2012 9:00 am  
     To serve on the Oregon Court of Appeals, it helps to be a smart lawyer. But you don’t have to be a Portland lawyer. Which is why Linn County Circuit Judge Jim Egan would be a great addition to the court.
     The Democrat-Herald has had the chance to talk with all three candidates for Position 6 on the Court of Appeals: Egan, who of course has been a known quantity around the mid-valley for years, as well as Tim Volpert, partner in a big Portland law firm, and Allen J. Arlow, an administrative law judge for the Oregon Public Utility Commission. . . .

       What sets Egan apart is his background. Unlike Arlow and to some extent Volpert, he’s not been working much of his life in corporate or government law. Instead he has represented ordinary Oregonians with problems as a trial lawyer.

     Egan also served in the Marine Corps, then in the Marine Corps Reserve. As an officer with the Army Reserve, he again served his country in Kuwait a few years ago.

     He’s familiar with the nitty-gritty problems of Oregon not just from his law practice but also from first-hand experience on the Linn County Planning Commission and the board of the Tangent Rural Fire Department.

     Since 2010 he’s handled cases as a Linn County circuit judge. He demonstrated that he wastes no time by quickly issuing a lengthy written opinion in a recent case involving public records and the responsibilities of city councils.

     In a statewide preference poll of lawyers, Volpert came in first with 688 votes. But Egan, even though he’s not from Portland where most of the lawyers are, still got 569 votes. That speaks well of the respect he has earned among people in his profession.

     Egan for Position 6 on the Court of Appeals.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bogus Right-Wing Memes: "Get Government Out of the Way"

This is a good video on the whole, although it totally overlooks an even more fundamental contribution of government to businesses, the intellectual property system that is written into our Constitution and helped make the US different from other countries from Day 1.

The patent and copyright protections that US businesses demand be enforced vigorously are a gigantic support for business and innovation.

The video also overlooks the role of the bankruptcy system; without a bankruptcy code to backstop the financial system, you'd see a whole lot less borrowing and lending.  Without bankruptcy codes, lending is mainly done through small networks and clans, and defaults lead to devastation, with favored creditors doing OK and others being wiped out, which leads to a vicious cycle of distrust, which undermines the whole economy.

If you think business and the economy would prosper if government just "got out of the way" then you don't understand business or the economy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

LOVESalem Election Endorsements

Ballot Measures: The table above is pretty much right on -- except that it's a firm, big NO & NO on 82 and 83, and it's a regretful NO on 80, a very poorly drafted measure that would do more to discredit a saner approach to marijuana than anything else.  Measures 79 and 84 are particularly horrible, and deserve to be defeated something like 80% to 20% if not worse.

Just how bad is Measure 84?  That's kind of a hard question to answer, since it contains a sneaker provision that nobody's even talking about -- essentially the repeal of ALL capital gains taxes in Oregon, since the measure includes a provision that there are NO TAXES at all for inter-family property transfers.  So someone who inherits 100 shares of MicroSoft or Apple that were purchased back in the 80s, what they will do is "sell" them to a family member before selling them out into the market, and presto! Not only has any estate taxes been eliminated, but also all the capital gains taxes.  In fact, Measure 84 is So bad that Kevin Mannix and the cronies tried to resort to lying about AARP's position on it.  

REMEMBER:  Oregon already has a $15 million property tax exemption for family farms.  There are ZERO family farmers who have any problem paying the estate tax.  The whole family farm thing during discussions of the estate tax is just a bunch of rich folks trying to hide behind a popular myth.

Contested judicial racesJudge Richard Baldwin (Supreme Court) and Judge Jim Egan (Court of Appeals) are both clearly the right picks by a long shot.

Both Baldwin and Egan are sitting trial judges, and both deserve to go upwards.

In each race, they are the only candidates in their races with meaningful judicial experience.

It appears that Baldwin is a D, while Egan is an R; however, in these nonpartisan races, what counts is that both are committed doing the job with integrity, and both have splendid recommendations from not just clients but also from people they've ruled against.

Both are opposed by the usual cadre of corporate interests who want to be able to sue you at the drop of a hat, but never face justice themselves.
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Jump on this! Free Home Energy Audit for You, $50 to an Important Cause, Your cost: $0.00

Loft insulation
Loft insulation (Photo credit: Southend-on-Sea in Transition)
Autumn has finally arrived - it's a great time to think about your home's energy efficiency.

In partnership with Neil Kelly Company and Clean Energy Works Oregon, I'm excited to share an exclusive offer for [Oregon League of Conservation Voters] supporters that will save you money and support OLCV's work. Read on!

Thank you,

Doug Moore
Executive Director, OLCV

The Neil Kelly Company is excited to support OLCV in this important election year. (Voter registration deadline is today [October 16] - please check that you are registered to vote, and if you are new to Oregon or have moved since the last election, don’t forget to re-register!)

As a pioneer in design-build remodeling, sustainable materials, and residential energy efficiency, Neil Kelly Company is a strong supporter of OLCV’s efforts to protect our natural legacy.

Improving your home’s energy efficiency this fall is one of the easiest ways to reduce energy use, while offering you greater comfort and utility bill savings. Last year, we completed 211 retrofits for an average savings of 2.8 tons of carbon per home per year and an average energy savings of 30 percent.

Together with Clean Energy Works Oregon, we’d like to offer you a unique opportunity to save energy while helping OLCV.

Just visit Clean Energy Works Oregon’s website and apply with the special Instant Rebate Code CNNLK222, and Neil Kelly Company will perform an energy audit of your home for free (valued at $500), and give $50 to OLCV.

Clean Energy Works Oregon’s unique program enables you to undertake energy improvements with no out-of-pocket costs, and offers a range of financial incentives upon project completion in many areas of the state. Currently, homeowners in greater Portland qualify for rebates of up to $2,000, while homeowners in other counties (Polk, Marion, Yamhill, Lane, Deschutes) are eligible for rebates of up to $2,000 or $3,000, depending on the county.

We strongly encourage you to act soon, as rebate levels in some counties will change November 30! Just apply at Clean Energy Works Oregon’s website with the Instant Rebate Code CNNLK222. You'll receive a free home energy audit, and we'll give OLCV $50! (Don't forget the code!)

We look forward to seeing you at OLCV's 16th Annual Celebration for the Environment next year, and thank you for your commitment to furthering the work of OLCV.


Tom Kelly, President
Neil Kelly Company
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Report on the Coal Hard Truth forum

Coal-Fired-Power-Plant_Smoke-Stack-Emissions__15414 (Photo credit: Public Domain Photos)
Here at LOVESalem we don't print news releases in disguise like most commercial media outlets.  We just print 'em and let you read 'em if they are about things important to living our values environmentally speaking . . . and this one is the most local and global issue there is.

You should grill each and every candidate who seeks your vote this year, especially the legislative ones.  Ask them what they will specifically and publicly commit to doing to stop coal, the enemy of the human race, from helping to destroy local livability even as it helps destroy the planet's ability to preserve a habitable climate.
October 11, 2012

Contact Information:

Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign, Salem
Lucy Sedgwick, Campaign Coordinator

Salem Residents Mobilize to
Fight Coal Trains at the
Coal Hard Truth Forum

Salem, Oregon – Over one hundred Salem residents of all ages packed the Paulus Lecture Hall at Willamette University College of Law on Wednesday night to learn about the threat to their health and their community’s livability from coal exports to Asia.

Journalist Peter Frick-Wright, representing the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, began with an overview of plans to ship up to 10 million tons of coal a year from an export terminal in Coos Bay. This would require 28 mile and a half long trains to pass through the center of Salem every week with uncovered loads of coal bound for Coos Bay. Frick-Wright, who has been covering this story since 2010 for Sierra magazine, explained how coal companies in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana face a shrinking market in the U.S. and want Oregon and Washington to be their “funnel” to the lucrative Asia market.

Next Dr. Martin Donohoe from the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility explained in detail the health hazards from coal dust, diesel exhaust, and the air pollution that travels back across the ocean when coal is burned in Asia. He asked for a show of hands of people with asthma problems and stated that coal dust is a major trigger for those suffering from asthma. He described how toxins from coal affect infants in the womb and in early childhood. Coal dust blowing off trains will settle on gardens and in yards along the track. Emergency responders will face delays at track crossings as coal trains take as much as ten minutes to pass.

Dr. Joe Bowersox who chairs the Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences at Willamette University described how coal exports to Asia will accelerate climate change. Oregon is already seeing the affects of climate change which eventually could subject our forests to catastrophic fires and wipe out coastal communities due to rising sea levels.

Finally, Reverend Rick Davis from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Salem reminded the audience of Edmund Burke’s saying, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” He said if Salem does not raise its voice in opposition, as other communities have already done, and coal exports do come to Oregon, our grandchildren will wonder how we allowed such a terrible thing to happen to Salem.

After the expert presentations, Salem Beyond Coal Campaign Coordinator Lucy Sedgwick presented some ways that the audience could take action in the short term by communicating with elected officials and supporting the call for a region-wide Environmental Impact Statement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She also handed out forms for participants to comment to the State Land Board on the plan to ship coal down the Columbia River from Boardman. She displayed 1,000 petitions that had been gathered from Salem residents in just the past few weeks opposing coal shipments through Salem.

The meeting ended with a lengthy question and answer period where audience members expressed their frustration with Salem city officials who have been slow to engage with this issue.  The City of Portland has already gone on record in opposition to coal trains and the Eugene City Council recently held a work session and is slated to take action before the end of the month.

CCTV filmed the Coal Hard Truth Forum and plans to broadcast it sometime in November.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Very cool! Mark your calendar for 10/27

Come to the GeerCrest Fear Fest!

5pm to 9pm:
  • Games, Dark Forest and Haunted House!
  • bobbing for apples         
  • Pumpkin carving
  • fishing for prizes            
  • scary pinata
7pm to 8pm:
  • Ghost stories around the campfire
  • Costume Contest Judging
  • Dance Begins
Snacks offered all evening long!
Beer, apple cider, coffee, tea, and soda for purchase.

Come and enjoy a night of surprises!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tonight: C'mon and get happy! (the movie)

The Happy Movie

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Does money make you HAPPY? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and true well-being?
Academy Award director Roko Belic, brings us HAPPY, a documentary that sets out to answer these questions and more, exploring the secrets behind our most valued emotion. Belic crosses the globe searching for the fountain of happiness and finds that people who "value compassion, meaning and making the world a better place" are happier than those who only enjoy wealth and status.

This inspiring documentary might just change the way you view your life. It has won over eight Best Documentary awards at various film festivals around the world.  We are honored to bring it, and the director, to Salem.
 Official website and trailer:

Guest Speakers: 
Roko Belic, Producer/Director, Via SKYPE from Los Angeles
Erik Noftle, Professor of Psychology, Willamette University

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Salem Harvest really making a huge difference

View of the Willamette Valley from Mary's Peak
View of the Willamette Valley from Mary's Peak (Photo credit: Quiltsalad)
One of the best nonprofits ever is doing amazing things with a 100% volunteer force -- salvaging tons of great Willamette Valley produce that would otherwise go to waste.  A truly inspiring effort.  Check out the cool chart -- the blue that's heading up so high so fast is this year, 2012.

Great work, troops!
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Free award-winning documentary film: The Life of Vesper Geer

Salem Public Library Presents
A free screening of an award-winning documentary film:

The Life of Vesper Geer  by Michael Turner

The Oregonian says:  "A beautifully conceived and executed tribute to continuity and preservation... Rich for the eyes, ears, and memory." 

A free screening of this award-winning documentary The Life of Vesper Geer will be held:

7 p.m. Tuesday, October 16Salem Public Library’s Loucks Auditorium at 585 Liberty Street SE.

Open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first-seated basis
More information is available at or 503-873-3406

Vesper Geer was the fourth-generation owner of the Geer farmstead, the oldest frame-built house in Oregon to remain in the same family, and the state’s second deeded land claim.  She was born in the kitchen of that old house in 1917, and passed away there on New Year’s Eve, 2010.
Her own photographs, journals, and recordings tell the story of a woman’s enduring love for her small farm, and her struggle to keep it in the family.
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Fighting back against The Enemy of the Human Race (coal)

"The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses."  - Utah Phillips

After the hottest summer in recorded history, extractive industries are still attempting to dig in the backyards of communities across the country, release carbon into the air, and poison people in their all-consuming quest for more dirty energy.

As author and veteran climate activist Bill McKibbon recently wrote, "It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization." He lays out in concrete numbers what most of us know - that climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and the reason it is happening is simple: greed.

What we don't hear as often is what groups are doing to fight back. And RESIST grantees are not standing idly by – they are on the frontlines of the devastation. Yes, these are the wealthiest most powerful corporations in the world, but that's not stopping grantees such as Citizens for Huerfano County and Erie Rising in Colorado, or Beyond Toxics in Oregon, or United Mountain Defense in Tennessee.

And this RESIST Newsletter shares a few of their stories...

Confronting Energy Tyranny
By Ceal Smith
An aggressive energy boom is sweeping across the country. And although the technologies are new, the consequences for the people and the planet are familiar. For those caught in the crosshair, hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) and massively scaled, remote-concentrated solar are two of the newest yet most disastrous dangers being forced upon our communities and the planet.

One City, Two Worlds
By Lisa Arkin
Eugene, Oregon is actually two different communities, with two different standards for the environment and public health. And when one of those communities is home to poorer families, more immigrants and more people of color, it seems to have fewer rights to health and safety. And then the polluters come knocking.

Polluters: Kiss Your Profits Goodbye
By James Kane
It’s a cold, rainy November morning on the slopes of an abandoned strip mine somewhere in the southern Appalachians. Dead grass carpets the slowly decaying, slumping piles of mining waste, hurriedly piled against the vertical gashes in what was once a mountain ridge. Mining companies abandoned this place long ago, but someone refuses to forget.

Read and download the entire Newsletter here.

All of these groups are RESIST grantees. They are fighting for the survival of their communities and for the planet by taking on the largest corporations in history. Your support makes that possible. Please donate now!

259 Elm Street | Somerville, MA 02144 US
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Create an ode to your library -- or a poem, or a rap, or a full-length feature film script, or a novella, or . . .

In celebration of Information Literacy Month in Oregon, library enthusiasts of all ages are invited to submit original pictures, poems, or short essays to Salem Public Library on the topic of “Why I Love My Library.” 

Entry forms are available at library service desks or at

Participants may submit an unlimited number of creative entries expressing their love for Salem Public Library. However, each participant will have only one entry in a prize drawing for a new Kindle Fire.

Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. Sunday, October 21.  For more details about the contest, contact the Information Desk at 503-588-6052.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Library Calendar Roundup

Always many great things happening at Salem Public Library, our sadly underfunded and neglected gem of a library.  It's a terrible shame that this gem isn't open at least 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  But take advantage of what there is now, while it's there -- the next round of cuts is just around the corner!

Hard Truth about Coal (aka "The Enemy of the Human Race")

Coal on the Marches line
Coal on the Marches line (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As you read this, coal exportation threatens our right to live in a healthy community.  Coal exportation will pollute our air and water with toxic coal pollution, put our communities' safety at risk, clog our railroads and waterways, and recklessly stoke the climate crisis all the way.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.  Oregon has always been at the forefront of this issue.  Over 25 communities across the Oregon and Washington have passed city resolutions calling for an area wide environmental impact statement to assess the full implications of the coal export projects.

Governor Kitzhaber and the state agencies have the power to stop this invasion on our right to a healthy community. They can deny or delay permits and demand evaluations from federal agencies to block coal exportation here in Oregon.

Want to learn more about how coal exportation will affect Salem?
Want to learn what you can do about it?

Come to our Coal Hard Truth Forum!

Salem Coal Hard Truth Forum
Wednesday October 10th, 7:00-8:30pm

Willamette University
College of Law
Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201)
245 Winter Street SE, Salem
(Refreshments Provided)

Join us for an evening of panelists and Q & A, with experts talking about the health, economic, and environmental impacts of coal export projects in Oregon and Washington.

Speakers include
  • Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health at Portland State University, senior physician at Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Hospital, and member of the Social Justice Committee and Board of Advisors for Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR),
  • Reverend Rick Davis of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Salem, and
  • Peter Frick-Wright, a frequent contributor to The Oregonian, Bike and Sierra Magazine, which sent him to cover the first coal export terminal proposals in 2010.
I'm happy to email you the official invitation and any more information you would like on this critical issue. You can reach me at
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