Sunday, April 27, 2014

THIS is what Salem should model itself after, not carburbia

Chris Martenson: Welcome to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host Chris Martenson, and today we're going to continue our dialogue on how to take your money away from Wall Street and put it to work on Main Street. It is our mission to surface and promote the sorts of investments that make our world a better place. And, fortunately, there are more and more examples to choose from thanks to dedicated and hardworking people everywhere.

I was really intrigued by something by something that came up in a 

recent interview

 with Michael Shuman on local investment opportunities when he said this:

What I attribute Burlington's success to is that for the last twenty-five years, their economic development team, led in part by a fellow named Bruce Seifer, focused not on the attraction of global companies but focused instead on the nurturing of local business and local entrepreneurship. And they did it in a hundred different ways. They have done it through very careful downtown development of Burlington, they have done it through entrepreneurship programs and lending programs targeted to women, immigrants, minority groups. They have done it through interesting types of smart growth. They have done it through helping to organize small local business alliances as something different from the typical Chamber of Commerce, which usually gives bigger companies a louder voice. And I just feel like, you know, that is a testament—that is a design of economic development that more and more communities should be paying attention to.

(Much more at link ...)

And it's still the right thing to do

        The only honest way to evaluate electoral reforms is to forget about your political preferences and simply seek reforms that fix problems for everyone, without worrying about whether it helps you or hurts you in the present tense.

Although the claim linked here is that the National Popular Vote would help Republicans, in fact it would help everyone, because the Electoral College is an absurdity that produces idiots like W.  Every American's vote should count the same in electing to our sole national elected office (the veep position aside).

Here in Salem, we have the usually thoughtful Sen. Peter Courtney refusing to allow NPV to come for a vote, and, worse, refusing to justify his position or even explain it.

Opportunity Pounding On Our Door -- will we open it?

All the emails mentioned are in one lump at the bottom, along with a sample letter you can modify to suit yourself. 

 The words you use matter less than the fact that you care enough to write and make clear that you want us to seize this truly once-in-100-years opportunity, creating a tremendous resource for the future.

Silverton to Stayton Rail to Trail

The railroad between Silverton and Stayton is only weeks away from being abandoned. After the application to abandon the line is filed with the Surface Transportation Board, we have only a few weeks to file an application with the STB to let them know of the intent to convert the railroad right of way to a trail. 

Our application should come from a public agency such as Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The OPRD manages several rails to trails in Oregon.

Rocky Houston, state trails coordinator, said that he needs to see a large, grassroots effort in support of the trail in order to make this a priority for OPRD.  

Action Item #1

Do This:  Call or email Rocky Houston, OPRD trails coordinator, email is best:;or call 503 986-0750, leave a message since he is out frequently.

Just tell him that this is an important project and the Silverton to Stayton rail line should become a state park.

You may also want to contact Steve Kay, Recreation Grants and Community Programs Manager (Rocky's boss). 503 .

Action Item #2

Call your state representative or senator and to say this is an important project and should be a state park. 

The legislature can set the priorities for park acquisition if given enough encouragement

Vic Gilliam and Kevin Cameron are the State Representatives for most of the trail, 
Rep. Cameron is also running for Marion County Commissioner. 
Rep. Cameron's phone is503 986-1419  and his email is: .

Rep. Gilliam's phone number is: 503 986-1418 and his email is:

Jackie Winters and Fred Girod are the State Senators for this area.

Senator Winters phone number is: 503 986-1710; her email is
Senator Girod's phone number is: 503 986-1709; his email is:

If we can get 100 people to send emails or make calls, we could convince the OPRD that this is an important project.

Please contact all these people this weekend (and ask your city council to submit a resolution in support too!)

All the emails mentioned above (though it wouldn't hurt to write your own state rep and senator, and the other Marion County Commissioners too)

Sample letter:

I am writing to you because it is urgent that we act quickly to submit our application for Rails-to-Trails conversion for the Stayton-Silverton Shortline RR that is being abandoned.

This creates a tremendous and unexpected opportunity to leave a wonderful lasting legacy that will be among the proudest things we will do for ourselves and our area.  And you will be able to look back proudly and explain to your kids and grand kids and all your friends and neighbors how you were instrumental in helping make a great trail come to be.

Please do not let this once-per-century gift be squandered and lost! If this Rails-to-Trails application project doesn't get submitted and get strong public backing NOW, the moment will be lost, and will never be available again, as the rail right-of-way will revert into fragmented pieces.

Please do your part for a better future, make this a top priority for Oregon and Marion County.

Thank you,
(Your name and contact info)