Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Depression era photos from your hometown —

Depression era photos from your hometown —
High Country News is always a treat, one of the best publications out there.  Hat tip to HCN for this pointer:

Depression era photos from your hometown

 

Between 1935 and 1944, a group of photographers fanned out to document life across America. The initiative was a public relations move to bolster support for programs under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's contentious Farm Security Administration, which sought to help those hardest hit by the Great Depression. When it was over, some 175,000 photographs were transferred to the Library of Congress and eventually placed online, but they remained hard for the wider public to access.

Now, a team from Yale University has made it much easier to explore the photos snapped by legends like Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Arthur Rothstein, using an interactive web-based map and archive called Photogrammar. The map allows you to view images county-by-county, some of which appear here. "Nobody has seen them all," says Laura Wexler, an American Studies professor at Yale and co-director the project. The photographers who headed West featured plenty of farmers and ranchers. But they also documented female factory workers in Washington, a man stacking magnesium bullion in Nevada, and a New Mexico woman cradling a wall of chili peppers. In every image, says Wexler, there's a story to be told.



"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Friends Fall Book Sale -- always a great bargain, with something for everyone.

The Friends of the Salem Public Library will hold their Fall Book Sale, October 16-19 at a special off-site location this year:

1555 12th Street SE.
The site is next to Fitts Seafood and offers free parking


Hours and special features include:

4-8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 16
Friends Night–Members only
Memberships available at the door

10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Friday, October 17 & Saturday, October 18

1-5 p.m.
Sunday, October 19
$4 Bag Day!

Cash and checks only will be accepted for purchases.

A wide variety of materials will be available for sale. Prices are: hardback books at $1.25 each; teen and paperback books at 75 cents each; children’s books at 50 cents each; and audio-visual items at 50 cents-$1 each. Specialty and collectible books will also be available for sale at individual prices.

The Fall Book Sale is sponsored by Trader Joe’s and Roth’s.
More information is available at www.salemfriends.org, SPLFriends@peak.org, or 503-362-1755.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Should the City add ANOTHER developer to our Planning Commission?



The CANDO neighborhood association chair does us all a service laying out the issue as concisely and clearly as possible.  

May all citizens and other neighborhoods join with this sentiment and fend off this destructive, unnecessary proposal that should be called "How to load the dice even further in favor of the sprawl builders trying to bankrupt Salem to line their own pockets."


From: michaellivingston1@msn.com
To: candoboard@googlegroups.com
Subject: FW: Public Hearing Notice - Case No. CA14-06 -proposed amendment to SRC Chapter 6 to amend certain Planning Commission membership requirements
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:49:43 -0700

FELLOW BOARD MEMBERS:

    I'm forwarding this to you for possible action by the CANDO Board by October 7.

    This is a notice of public hearing on proposed amendments to the Salem Revised Code that would increase from one to two the number of members of the city's 7 member Planning Commission of who are engaged in real estate sales or development.  The amendment also would increase from 
one to two the number of members of the Commission who are engaged in the same trade, business or profession.

    The notice does not identify ANY problem that these proposed amendments would resolve.  The stated reason for the change is that a state statute permits up to two members of the same profession on a city planning commission and most other cities the size Salem allow two, but, Salem restricts it to one.  In other words, Salem's current code complies with state law.  Here's what the applicable state statute says:   
 

227.030 Membership. (1) Not more than two members of a city planning commission may be city officers, who shall serve as ex officio nonvoting members.
      (2) A member of such a commission may be removed by the appointing authority, after hearing, for misconduct or nonperformance of duty.
      (3) Any vacancy in such a commission shall be filled by the appointing authority for the unexpired term of the predecessor in the office.
      (4) No more than two voting members of the commission may engage principally in the buying, selling or developing of real estate for profit as individuals, or be members of any partnership, or officers or employees of any corporation, that engages principally in the buying, selling or developing of real estate for profit. No more than two members shall be engaged in the same kind of occupation, business, trade or profession.

The Planning Commission has broad powers, and diversity of viewpoints is important, particularly on a 7-member Commission.  An increase from one to two of the Commission members who are engaged in the same profession substantially reduces that diversity.  Given that fact, the problem I have with the proposed amendment is -- as I point out above -- there's no identified problem that it seeks to address.   


     The public hearing on the proposed amendment is October 7.   Based solely on the information in this notice, I think that the CANDO Board should take a position in opposition to the proposed amendment.   However, the "staff report" on the proposed amendment has not been issued yet and will come out next week.  I will forward that to you when I get it, and, we can decide then whether to take a position or not. 

MICHAEL LIVINGSTON
Chair  

The Obvious Relationship Between Climate and Family Planning—and Why We Don’t Talk About

http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/tarico20140926


"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

We’ll Become ISIS [feedly]

The People's History of the US Military taught me some things, such as how the "scary vet" meme was actually not a Vietnam-era creation, but was present after the Civil War and ever since.


James Howard Kunstler is a writer and critic of some renown. He has written several times about his guess that we are creating a class of discarded men, veterans, who are going to eventually get fed up and put their training to use here at home to secure themselves some status.

This would be easier to dismiss if Dmitry Orlov, who observed the collapse of the USSR and the chaos that followed, didn't make the same warnings.


My guess is that they will shift their attention and activity from the mind-slavery of the current Potemkin economy to the very monster we find ourselves fighting overseas: a domestic ISIS-style explosion of wrath wrapped in an extreme ideology of one kind or another replete with savagery and vengeance-seeking. The most dangerous thing that any society can do is invalidate young men. When the explosion of youthful male wrath occurs in the USA, it will come along at exactly the same time as all the other benchmarks of order become unmoored — especially the ones in money and politics — which will shatter the faith of the non-young and the non-male, too. Also, just imagine for a moment the numbers of young men America has trained with military skills the past 20 years. Not all of them will be disabled with PTSD, or mollified with rinky-dink jobs at the Wal-Mart, or lost in the transports of heroin and methedrine.

----
We'll Become ISIS


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Another "Don't Miss" at Salem Cinema

Salem Cinema : Salem, Oregon
This is always provocative and memorable, often haunting and beautiful.  A true "world" festival, right here in Salem.  Three days only!  I've enjoyed this every year since it started here in Salem, and it just cements Salem Cinema's status as the best cultural venue in Salem, by a nautical mile.

Salem Cinema : Salem, Oregon

17th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival
ONE WORLD • ONE WEEK • ONE FESTIVAL

SALEM CINEMA has once again been chosen as one of the only Oregon venues to participate in the MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival, one of our most anticipated events each year!

September 28th & 29th at 12:30pm & 7:45pm
September 30th at 7:45pm

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW
at our box office during regular business hours
or online at boxofficetickets.com!

All Seats $9 • no passes, Cinebucks or gift certs accepted for special events

MANHATTAN SHORT is an instantaneous celebration that occurs simultaneously across the globe, bringing great films to great venues and allowing the audiences to select their favorites. If the Film Festival experience truly is about getting great works in front of as many eyes as possible, MANHATTAN SHORT offers the ultimate platform -- one that sees its films screened in Sydney, Mumbai, Moscow, Kathmandu, Vienna, Cape Town to cinemas in all fifty states of the United States and beyond!

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Tax Avgas Like The Poison It Is



Tax Fairness Oregon points out an important reason Salem's Corporate Welfare Playground (aka airport) costs us ordinary folks (who only see private planes on TV) so much money:

Aviation Funding

Unlike highways and roads, airports in Oregon have been relying on public funding rather than user funding for a hunk of the cost of maintenance and improvements. This public funding at the expense of education and human services isn't necessary, because Oregon's aviation fuel taxes are among the lowest in the country. While Oregon road users pay 30 cents a gallon in fuel taxes, Oregon taxes jet fuel at only 1 cent a gallon, and avgas at only 9 cents a gallon. Talk about everyone else supporting the 1%—clearly a fix is in order! 

This doesn't even address the fact that people flying small planes using "avgas" poison you and your kids by spreading a potent, persistent neurotoxin throughout Salem: lead. 

That's right, avgas is still leaded gas. That's the stuff that caused untold billions of dollars of damage and ruined lives by damaging the brainstorm of people who wound up in prison as a result. 

So not only are Salem's businesses and richest folks getting a hugely public-subsidized playground for their toys, they're willing to share one thing with the rest of us whether we want it or not: a crippling toxin that especially damages the human brain in development stages (infants and toddlers)

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mark your calendar for a good cause,10/17, 7:30 p.m.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

"Songs of Civil Disobedience . . . and Hope" : 7:30 pm Friday, October 17,
2014, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church 1444 Liberty Road SE.

The concert is free, donations accepted at the door, with proceeds going to
Congregations Helping People.

The program features local musicians performing songs by
Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Malvina Reynolds, Woodie Guthrie - and
more! Audience will be invited to sing along with many of the songs. Please
join us for a very fun evening of music and community in the Pete Seeger
style and support this important program.

www.chpsalem.org

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Celebrate the Freedom to Read, Sept 21-28

Banned Books Week is an annual event, observed nationally, that celebrates the right to read.

Anyone who has read “The Hunger Games”, “Gone with the Wind”, “The Great Gatsby”, or even “The Adventures of Captain Underpants”, has read a book that has been challenged or banned at a library or in a classroom somewhere in the United States.

According to the American Library Association’s website, “Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community - librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types - in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”

This year’s Banned Books Week takes place September 21-28.

At Salem Public Library, there will be a display of books that have been challenged or banned, booklists, and also an interactive activity designed to test participants’ knowledge of well-known, but sometimes controversial, books. 

Those who can identify any one of six banned books from the evidence presented will be awarded an “I Read Banned Books” pin.  Intrigued?  Stop by the Information desk at Salem Public Library’s Main branch to learn more.

For more information on Banned Books Week visit Salem Public Library’s website at www.salemlibrary.org, or call 503-588-6052.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Salem's the place

Assuming, of course, that we can pull our heads out of the sand and start spending on local resiliency and not in a vain effort to resume sprawling and restarting financial bubbles.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."


10. On a warmer planet, which cities will be safest?
Alaskans, stay in Alaska. People in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest, sit tight. Scientists trying to predict the consequences of climate change say that they see few havens from the storms, floods and droughts that are sure to intensify over the coming decades. But some regions, they add, will fare much better than others... "The answer is the Pacific Northwest, and probably especially west of the Cascades," said Ben Strauss, vice president for climate impacts and director of the program on sea level rise at Climate Central, a research collaboration of scientists and journalists. "Actually, the strip of coastal land running from Canada down to the Bay Area is probably the best," he added.
New York Times, September 23

Monday, September 22, 2014

The High Cost of Non-Resilient Infrastructure [feedly]

The always excellent Breakfast on Bikes has a good piece on the foolishness of planning for a giant new bridge while ignoring the condition of the existing ones.


Now a good follow up to that below from Next City Daily:

----
The High Cost of Non-Resilient Infrastructure
// Next City Daily

Manhattan's flooded FDR Drive after Hurricane Sandy (Photo by David Shankbone via Flickr)

Sandy made New Yorkers, and all Americans, painfully aware of the need for more resilient city infrastructure. Resilience has since become a buzzword in planning circles, often understood to mean either robustness (for instance, a substation that's totally flood-proof) or redundancy (multiple microgrids that can operate separately in case of a shock to the system). According to a new report, resilience encompasses both of these qualities, but also many more: flexibility, responsiveness, coordination and learning to live with unavoidable uncertainty and risk.

The report, Toolkit for Resilient Cities, sprang from a desire to broaden how people think about preparing cities for climate impacts, says one of the authors, Stephen Cook, an energy and climate change consultant with Arup in London. "It's not just about flood defenses and raising the barriers," he says. "It's about understanding how infrastructure systems interact with the rest of the city, and how they can together create a resilient city."

Written by researchers from Arup, Siemens and the non-profit Regional Plan Association, the report defines resilience as "[t]he capacity of people, organizations and systems to prepare for, respond, recover from and thrive in the face of hazards, and to adjust to continual change." Its authors note that between 2000 and 2012, natural disasters around the world caused $1.7 trillion in damages. Extreme weather events are happening with more frequency, while the global population (especially in cities) continues to grow. In other words, the problem is only becoming more urgent.

Toolkit for Resilient Cities outlines how cities can enhance the resilience of their infrastructure systems to prepare for the next Sandy (or the next drought, heat wave or blizzard). It focuses on the infrastructure supporting energy, transportation, water and buildings, because this "underpin[s] many other essential city operations and services, including sanitation, emergency response, and the delivery of food, fuel and other materials."

The report's recommendations range from highly specific and technical — moving critical power lines underground, installing leak-detection sensors along pipelines — to broader measures such as integrating resilience practices into planning and construction, and reconciling top-down urban governance with grassroots leadership for effective disaster response.

Changes to the human systems involved in resilience aren't just gloss, Cook says — they're absolutely crucial. Cook and his co-authors emphasize the importance of collaborative governance, farsighted land use policies, sensitive urban design, and extensive data gathering and analysis. "It's not just about infrastructure and technology. Without that enabling framework, putting the other pieces in place, their full potential just won't be realized."

A case study within the report looks at vulnerabilities in New York City's electrical grid and suggests steps that would mitigate the risk to it. Our very understanding of that risk needs to change, too; historically, New York experienced significant flooding about once a century, but climate projections put that closer to once every 15 years in the future. And there are new risks to consider, like tornadoes that have hit the city every year since 2010.

The researchers plot three courses that New York can take with regard to the resilience of the grid. The first is to do nothing, which has a price tag of about $3 billion over 20 years. The second is to increase the grid's robustness by waterproofing substations and equipment, putting power lines underground and other such measures. This would reduce the cost of repairs and emergency response by about $2 billion.

"However, the robustness investments provide only a defensive solution which can at best reduce losses," the authors point out. The third course, "full investment" in smart technologies like distributed generation and strategies like demand reduction, would cost $3 billion to implement. It would not only pay for itself, but deliver an estimated $4 billion of added benefits through energy efficiency and reduced disruption to businesses.

Cook acknowledges there are barriers to cities getting on board with an aggressive plan like this. Many cities are strapped for cash, and it's hard to justify spending money today to solve the problems of tomorrow. Financing infrastructure upgrades remains a major hurdle. But the good news is that the technologies described in the report are developed and proven, not experimental — cities can adopt them today if they choose to.

Take, for example, Co-Op City, a housing development in the Bronx. Its microgrid serves 60,000 residents in 35 buildings. During and after Sandy, it continued to provide heat, electricity and hot water as large sections of the city struggled with a days-long outage. The microgrid required an upfront investment, but it sold surplus power back to the larger grid, and paid for itself within five years.

Now imagine if the microgrid had been "talking" to response teams or feeding power to critical facilities that needed it. Cook thinks we're not far from having this sort of real-time information about a city's physical assets, the way we already do about traffic congestion. "It's about … getting closer and closer to real-time information," he says, "and then having the capability to process what's going on" during a disaster, when every moment counts.


Shared via my feedly reader


"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vernal Equinox 2014, 3.75 years of solar power harvesting

What Salem's bridges will do when the next Cascadia 9 quake hits



We have tremendous challenges ahead of us, and will need all our wits and resources to maintain Salem's quality of life in the years ahead, as the twin crises of climate disruption and the end of cheap energy make all our choices harder and our conditioned responses even less helpful. 

One of the few things we can say with certainty is that there is a mega quake already in the cards for us (overdue, judging by historical averages) and that all our physical infrastructure planning has to start with that reality, and make the best choices possible about using our all-too-limited resources as wisely as we can.

Good choices would be bolstering our existing bridges to survive a CAT 9 quake.  A terrible choice would be squandering hundreds of millions of dollars ... A billion or more when all is said and done and paid over time ...on a highway bridge to serve no real purpose other than to try to restart the sprawl go-go years in Polk County to make real estate speculators and developers rich.

People have this idea that less developed countries are uniformly poor, which is absolutely not the case. What characterizes those places is a model of economic inequality, where the government really only serves the well off, building big mega projects for the benefit of well-wired friends of the elites and ignoring the needs of the greatest number of folks for the basics: good public health, transit, education, food security.  What's shameful is that Salem increasingly resembles these places -- we build convention centers instead of branch libraries and squander millions on an airport that's the private playpen for the well-heeled, while there is a ragtag, starving transit system, and rampant food insecurity.



"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Saturday, September 20, 2014

You're needed tomorrow in Salem

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Subject: You're needed tomorrow, no matter where you are.
Reply-To: 350@350.org

Friends,

To change everything, we need everyone.

And this weekend, the action is indeed happening everywhere:

Rallies in Lisbon and Delhi, marches in Istanbul, Manila, Cape Town, Majuro and Papua New Guinea, concerts in Johannesburg -- this is true people powered movement: enormous, diverse and beautiful. People from all backgrounds are acting locally, mobilising their communities, shaping the future of our planet. And this is before big actions get underway tomorrow.

Here in North America, the action isn't just in New York City. People everywhere are standing up for climate justice, with dozens of People's Climate Mobilization actions from coast to coast. I'm awfully happy I moved to New York City so I can march here, but my hometown in California is also hosting a march. The action is everywhere!

Together, we're going to form the biggest push for climate action in the planet's history. To find a People's Climate Mobilization action near you, click here.

Also, you can tune in and spread the word about the big New York march online. The PeoplesClimate.org website will make it easy to watch the whole march via livestream, and share all the breaking news and beautiful photos with your social networks.

Starting at 10:30 AM Eastern Time on Sunday, go to PeoplesClimate.org, and click "play" on the video player that will be front and center to watch the march live from the streets of New York.

To follow along on social networks, just search for posts with the hashtag #PeoplesClimate -- that's what everyone will be posting with during the march and from actions across the world.

You can see #PeoplesClimate posts streaming in from across the world at the March page tomorrow too -- just scroll down below the video stream to see all the posts from People's Climate actions, and share your favorites.

This is a moment that needs everyone. No matter where you'll be this weekend, you can help make this a turning point for our movement, and our climate.

Thank you for everything. Let's do this.

May


350.org is building a global climate movement. Become a sustaining donor to keep this movement strong and growing.

The former SJ printing plant would be ideal

Community cycling center could be in Salem's future
The former printing plant for the Statesman-Journal, an industrial facility with abundant room to securely store and segregate bike parts for recycling, a building that now sits empty and idle, is right next to the transit mall and the YMCA.  This would be a PERFECT location for such a valuable program.

Perhaps a fabulously wealthy corporation like Gannett could spare it and allow it to be put to good use.

Community cycling center could be in Salem's future

Two programs with a proven track record of training divested residents bike repair skills and providing two-wheel transportation to people in need are joining forces to open a community cycling center.

The folks behind NW HUB and 2nd Chance Bicycle Recycling program hope to open a center as soon as they raise the money or find a donor for a bigger space. 2nd Chance started two years ago at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility to give youth a chance to learn skills and give back.

NW HUB opened last year and offers residents the chance to earn a bike by putting in the hours at the shop to "pay" for it. The makeshift bike shop springs up at Evergreen Church three times a week with volunteers and bike parts spilling out into the courtyard on Cottage Street NE.


.. . .


The biggest barrier to opening the center is getting a space big enough to run the shop. NW HUB, housed in the basement of Evergreen Church, is bursting at the seams and 2nd Chance Recycling is confined to Hillcrest. NW HUB is hosting a benefit ride Sept. 27 in hopes of raising money for a space, but Seyfert would also snap up any offers from local organizations with extra space.


"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Krugman - better than a free lunch

Brooks and Krugman | Marion in Savannah
It's true that the universe doesn't provide free lunches. But when you've been acting insanely stupidly, STOPPING feels like a free lunch and more, a lunch you get paid to eat.  Since driving the planet's climate stability into the ditch is insanely stupid and destructive of our own health, now and for centuries to come, it is true that there's a free lunch to be had by getting smart on energy use and climate disruption.

This is all a good topic for the Sunday party this Sunday, 9/21, at Riverfront Park at 2 p.m.



This just in: Saving the planet would be cheap; it might even be free. But will anyone believe the good news?

I've just been reading two new reports on the economics of fighting climate change: a big study by a blue-ribbon international group, the New Climate Economy Project, and a working paper from the International Monetary Fund. Both claim that strong measures to limit carbon emissions would have hardly any negative effect on economic growth, and might actually lead to faster growth. This may sound too good to be true, but it isn't. These are serious, careful analyses.

But you know that such assessments will be met with claims that it's impossible to break the link between economic growth and ever-rising emissions of greenhouse gases, a position I think of as "climate despair." The most dangerous proponents of climate despair are on the anti-environmentalist right. But they receive aid and comfort from other groups, including some on the left, who have their own reasons for getting it wrong.

Where is the new optimism about climate change and growth coming from? It has long been clear that a well-thought-out strategy of emissions control, in particular one that puts a price on carbon via either an emissions tax or a cap-and-trade scheme, would cost much less than the usual suspects want you to think. But the economics of climate protection look even better now than they did a few years ago.

On one side, there has been dramatic progress in renewable energy technology, with the costs of solar power, in particular, plunging, down by half just since 2010. Renewables have their limitations — basically, the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow — but if you think that an economy getting a lot of its power from wind farms and solar panels is a hippie fantasy, you're the one out of touch with reality.

On the other side, it turns out that putting a price on carbon would have large "co-benefits" — positive effects over and above the reduction in climate risks — and that these benefits would come fairly quickly. The most important of these co-benefits, according to the I.M.F. paper, would involve public health: burning coal causes many respiratory ailments, which drive up medical costs and reduce productivity.

And thanks to these co-benefits, the paper argues, one argument often made against carbon pricing — that it's not worth doing unless we can get a global agreement — is wrong. Even without an international agreement, there are ample reasons to take action against the climate threat.

But back to the main point: It's easier to slash emissions than seemed possible even a few years ago, and reduced emissions would produce large benefits in the short-to-medium run. So saving the planet would be cheap and maybe even come free.

Enter the prophets of climate despair, who wave away all this analysis and declare that the only way to limit carbon emissions is to bring an end to economic growth.

You mostly hear this from people on the right, who normally say that free-market economies are endlessly flexible and creative. But when you propose putting a price on carbon, suddenly they insist that industry will be completely incapable of adapting to changed incentives. Why, it's almost as if they're looking for excuses to avoid confronting climate change, and, in particular, to avoid anything that hurts fossil-fuel interests, no matter how beneficial to everyone else.

But climate despair produces some odd bedfellows: Koch-fueled insistence that emission limits would kill economic growth is echoed by some who see this as an argument not against climate action, but against growth. You can find this attitude in the mostly European "degrowth" movement, or in American groups like the Post Carbon Institute; I've encountered claims that saving the planet requires an end to growth at left-leaning meetings on "rethinking economics." To be fair, anti-growth environmentalism is a marginal position even on the left, but it's widespread enough to call out nonetheless.

And you sometimes see hard scientists making arguments along the same lines, largely (I think) because they don't understand what economic growth means. They think of it as a crude, physical thing, a matter simply of producing more stuff, and don't take into account the many choices — about what to consume, about which technologies to use — that go into producing a dollar's worth of G.D.P.

So here's what you need to know: Climate despair is all wrong. The idea that economic growth and climate action are incompatible may sound hardheaded and realistic, but it's actually a fuzzy-minded misconception. If we ever get past the special interests and ideology that have blocked action to save the planet, we'll find that it's cheaper and easier than almost anyone imagines.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Will Sunday's Climate Events Succeed?

(Hat tip to Wood Prairie Farm, source for excellent organics, especially potatoes.)

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

For "exciting" read "Holy %#£!?]¥ S417"

More exciting news on the climate front


"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

In case you thought Salem is insufficiently servile to developers

Talk about overkill -- the Salem Planning Commission, already liberally stacked with emissaries of the Sprawl Lobby, will soon have even less need for dodges about it.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

From: Sally Studnar <sstudnar@cityofsalem.net>
To: Sally Studnar <Sstudnar@cityofsalem.net>
Cc: Bryan Colbourne <BColbourne@cityofsalem.net>; Helen Beckman <HBeckman@cityofsalem.net>
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 2:00 PM
Subject: Public Hearing Notice - Case No. CA14-06 -proposed amendment to SRC Chapter 6 to amend certain Planning Commission membership requirements

Good Afternoon,
 
The Public Hearing Notice for Code Amendment Case No. CA14-06 is attached for your information. Hard copies go out in the mail today to those of you who are to receive one.
 
Please direct any questions or comments you may have to the CASE MANAGER:
 
Bryan Colbourne, Planner III
503.540.2363
 
Regards,

Sally Studnar
Staff Assistant
City of Salem
Community Development Dept
555 Liberty St SE / Room 305
Salem, OR 97301
503.540.2311
Follow us @Salem_Planning


Oregon's aging water-treatment facilities nearing end of useful lives with no replacement money in sight | OregonLive.com [feedly]

Just another really important one of the "Billion Better Ways to Budget a Billion Bucks" than on a highway sprawl enabler like the Bridgasaurus Boondogglus.



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Oregon's aging water-treatment facilities nearing end of useful lives with no replacement money in sight | OregonLive.com
http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/09/oregons_aging_water-treatment.html

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WORD: NO on 90! Stop Koch Brothers from Buying Our Elections

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."




Stop Koch Brothers from Buying Our Elections:

Vote No on Measure 90!

Friends,

It's not news that the Koch Brothers are funding tens of thousands of negative political ads all around the country for candidates. Now the Koch Brothers have entered the fray on ballot measures in Oregon through their support of Measure 90. Measure 90's latest campaign financial report is out and it shows over $1 million in special interest and corporate contributions. Even more alarming is the Koch Brothers are now a major supporter of Measure 90.

On September 3, the political committee of Associated Oregon Industries reported receiving a $10,000 contribution from Koch Industries. On September 2, the AOI PAC reported giving a $50,000 contribution to Vote Yes on Measure 90. In the last two years, Koch Industries has given AOI PAC $50,000, making them AOI PAC's largest financial contributor.

Nearly all Measure 90's supporters are wealthy CEOs, business associations and major corporations. They have reported raising over $370,000 just since July 25th. In addition to $50,000 from AOI, the most recent contributions to Measure 90 have been $60,000 from the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Administrators, $25,000 from The Standard, an insurance company, and $25,000 from the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association.

These Koch Brothers contributions act as a preview of how big money will control our elections under the Top Two system. When candidates have to raise millions of dollars just to make it to the General Election ballot it will greatly limit who will be able to run. A candidate won't be able to compete if they aren't well connected to special interests with deep pockets.

Don't let the Koch Brothers control our elections here in Oregon.

Help us spread the word by forwarding this email to friends, joining the Protect Our Vote Coalition, and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

And, remember, please vote NO on Measure 90. 

Sincerely, 

Sara Logue

Spokesperson for Protect Our Vote Coalition & School Teacher 

New Urban Ag Study Touts Potential of Small Cities

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

New Urban Ag Study Touts Potential of Small Cities

By Kelly McCartney on Sep 16, 2014 05:36 am

To see beyond the hype to urban agriculture's true potential to meet the growing need for healthy food in cities, a recent study published by IOPScience looked at how much food (specifically vegetables) the world's "urban clusters" could actually produce.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The concise, conclusive case against ANY new auto infrastructure, anywhere

The Bridgasaurus Boondogglus ("Salem River Crossing" or "Third Bridge" to use the more anodyne, less accurate terms) is indeed a dinosaur relic of mid-20th Century style.

The article at the link does a terrific job laying out why, no matter how many empty, content-free, mind-deadening, blather buzzwords the Chamber of the 1% slings around, the age of highway projects is done, and how no amount of hyped up buzz about shale oil will do anything but separate a few suckers from a last few dollars.

The key is not just that the bridge is like a time capsule from the past, or one of those giant mammoths found frozen in the Siberian tundra -- it's not merely a relic.  It's also an active agent of decay and disorder inSalem because it diverts scarce money from the kinds of projects that would actually make life better for people in Salem.  

That's why this blog keeps championing this one key truth:


There are at least "A Billion Better Ways to Budget A Billion Bucks" than on this mindless project that, even according to its boosters, will do exactly nothing to solve any of the problems it ostensibly was aimed at. That's because it's really nothing but a corporate welfare project with a real estate speculation garnish.

Besides, as the graph and article show, any so called "congestion" in Salem is going to resolve itself quite soon, along with parking issues. Instead of blowing hundreds of millions on this waste of money, the city pooh-bahs only need to delay action and then proudly declare victory, as our brief moments of congestion become even more rare and we begin to wish we had too many drivers seeking parking.



"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Acting proud of what you should be ashamed of

City of Salem is proud of squandering millions of dollars on the airport, which is essentially a "for wealthy people only" city park, consuming millions and millions of city dollars over the years.

This is same city that has no weekend transit whatsoever and that keeps cutting the hours and the collection budget of the library and that insists that there's no money to operate branch libraries out where children can actually reach them.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."


LIGHT THE WAY
The Salem Municipal Airport recently completed a four-month,$3.3 million Airfield Electrical and Runway Safety Improvement Project. The project removed and replaced the entire airfield electrical system, several miles of underground conduit and cabling; replaced more than 600 runway and taxiway lighting fixtures, and more than 100 lighted runway and taxiway guidance signs. 

Naomi Klein: capitalism causes climate change

She's right, but the problem in locating the cause in capitalism rather than in humans is that it invites people to imagine that there is some other way that we could organize a world of 7 billion people, maybe heading for 9 billion (depending on when the collapse becomes dominant) that would not also cause climate disruption.

It's 11:59 p.m. In a world of 7+ billion, everything we do causes climate disruption scheduled for midnight.  If, in the few moments we have left before catastrophe, we squander our attention and energy on trying to first reorder capitalism so we can then try to save humanity as a whole, we are surely dooming ourselves.

Like all other religions, capitalism is a mixture of observed reality and experience mixed with a priori magical thinking that is completely divorced from reality, all in service of justifying the status quo of power and privilege on earth. (Indeed, because of its superior feedback mechanisms, capitalism actually is better than many other economic religions at delivering on its promised miracles. Although yes, it's also the least introspective of the religious systems, the one least likely to tolerate and learn from other religions or to allow for coexistence -- it's a jealous god, in other words.)

If we want to maximize our chances of preserving widespread modern human civilization, getting the prices right within capitalism (taxing bads, not goods; making producers and users of resources internalize all the environmental costs their actions create) will do far more for us than a new Hundred Years War over the right economic theology.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."
 
 
 

 

Naomi Klein, John Tarleton
September 12, 2014
The Indypendent
 
That global warming is man-made and poses a grave threat to our future is widely accepted by progressives. Yet, the most commonly proposed solutions emphasize either personal responsibility for a global emergency (buy energy-efficient light bulbs, purchase a Prius), or rely on market-based schemes like cap-and-trade. These responses are not only inadequate, says Naomi Klein, but represent a lost opportunity to confront climate change's root cause: capitalism.
 
   
 

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Klein's much-anticipated new book, is both surprisingly hopeful and deeply personal as she deftly weaves in her story of struggling to conceive her first child while researching the potential collapse of the natural world. In the book, Klein challenges everyone who cares about climate change to strive for a seemingly impossible redistribution of political and economic power. This, she argues, is both necessary and offers the prospect of living in a more just and humane society than the one we know today.

John Tarleton: When it comes to the climate crisis, capitalism is often the elephant in the room that goes unacknowledged. Yet you zero in on it, starting with the title of your book. Why?

Naomi Klein: I put the connection between capitalism and climate change up front because the fact that the life support systems of the planet are being destabilized is telling us that there is something fundamentally wrong with our economic system. What our economy needs to function in a capitalist system is continuous growth and continuous depletion of resources, including finite resources. What our planet needs in order to avoid catastrophic warming and other dangerous tipping points is for humans to contract our use of material resources.

The science of climate change has made this fundamental conflict blindingly obvious. By putting that conflict up front, it breaks a taboo. And sometimes when you break a taboo, there's sort of a relief in just saying it. And that's what I've found so far: This is something that people know. And it's giving permission to just name it. It's a good starting point, so now we can have a real discussion.

Why has that taboo of talking about capitalism and climate change in the same breath become so entrenched here in the United States?

I think it's primarily because capitalism is a religion in the United States. But also because the Left in the United States is extremely Keynesian...

Read the rest of the interview at The Indypendent

For more, see thischangeseverything.org.

 

 

 
 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Isaac's Garden Toolshed

More local talent: Artist Marnie Jeffers painted the amazing undersea creatures adorning the sturdy toolshed that her husband David designed and built. This is all at Isaac's Garden in Northeast Neighborhood.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

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A prophet is without honor in her own land

Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror -

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Tom Toles goes green - The Washington Post [feedly]

The wittiest and most incisive cartoonist going.  A bittersweet collection, proving you can laugh at impending (self-inflicted) doom.

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Tom Toles goes green - The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tom-toles-goes-green/2011/03/31/AFD04K0D_gallery.html
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Shared via my feedly reader


"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

Sunday 9/21 2 p.m. - Party at the Eco-Ball


Insightful -- Ferguson Falls Apart

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-09-08/ferguson-falls-apart

An interesting contrast

It's really interesting to see City of Salem kowtow to the "nonprofit" Salem Hospital over the hospital's demand to destroy the last standing piece of the state School for the Blind, the charming Howard Hall.

Compare the city officials' contempt for Salem history (the same contempt that brought us an ugly parking lot where the old city hall was) with the money being spent on a far less historically important structure at the train station.

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/Pages/SalemRRBaggageDepot.aspx

This is not criticizing the baggage depot project, which is worthy. This is only to point out that demolishing Howard Hall -- for even more parking -- is a reckless, thoughtless act of official vandalism. Doing so while saving and restoring that baggage depot only underscores the point.

In 2001, the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan and the world recoiled.  In Salem, the Sprawl Talibanis are equally zealous and happy to sacrifice our historical treasures for more sprawl furnishings.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another unsolicited plug

Salem has some amazing artists; here's one of them:





Caren Ann Jackson Photography
presents
New images from around the world
Canvas, photography trivets, and greeting cards
Now showing at Salem Convention Center
Upcoming events
Westminster Presbyterian Fine Art Show
October 10 & 11
Salem Public Library
Month of October

Art Show & Sale Open House Market
Saturday November 8, 1:00-5:00
596 Salem Heights Ave S
503-569-6506

Something great happening in Salem community resiliency & Saving Howard Hall

Some local pioneers are following their dreams to give Salem something wonderful, a skills-building program that at the same time addresses a real need for more quality, inexpensive bikes.

As the new normal continues its rollout, and as car-centric thinking and car-centered society is increasingly shown to be a dead-end leading only to wars and pollution, bikes are going to make a giant leap ahead. The trick will be helping the transition be smooth and comfortable, rather than one that makes people feel loss and impoverishment as the old gives way to the new.

We need places like NW Hub throughout Salem, in every neighborhood really.

Instead of squandering millions planning to waste many times more and on destroying Salem's past, a city that cared about the future would be figuring out how to put a combination community cycling center, library, food bank, extension service, tool bank, public health resource, and meeting hall in every neighborhood, in preparation for the much more local future we will inhabit.

The first one could be in Howard Hall.

Such centers are just another idea among the 

               Billion Better Ways to Budget a Billion Bucks for Salem

(Than a Giant Hunk of Sprawl Propellant called a "Third Bridge")

(Content below lifted from the invaluable "Salem Breakfast on Bikes" blog, a slightly dada name for one of the best Urban-focused blogs in Oregon.)

Northwest Hub

Hopefully the weather will hold, because later in the month there's a new ride in town!

Northwest Hub is working on a project for Salem similar to Portland's Community Cycling Center. The Hub at Evergreen Church and the YMCA/Hillcrest Second Chance Recyclery are joining up and building out.

This is a fund-raiser for them as they seek to secure a storefront and workshop space.

The ride's on Saturday, September 27th at 8am. (The starting point of 400 Capitol St NE looks like the "Red Lot.")

You can register for the ride here. Day of ride registration will also be available starting at 7:30am.

(Look for more as the date approaches!)
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"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."