SHINE is a look backward from the present to Salem's 1860 charter. In each year we have four sections: glimpses of what was happening around the world, a special event in Salem, what you see when you visit that site today, and other Salem events of interest that year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Salem in 1994

World Events
  • South Africa holds its first multiracial elections, ending apartheid: Nelson Mandela is sworn in as the first democratic president.
  • Channel tunnel, the "Chunnel", is opened between Paris and London.
  • Irish Republican Army ceases military operations.
  • OJ Simpson trial captives a worldwide TV audience.
  • President Clinton signs the Federal Assault Weapons Ban which forbids the manufacture of certain firearms for a period of 10 years.
  • Oregon legislature is the first to pass a law allowing "Death With Dignity": doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.
  • The 6.5-6.7 Northridge earthquake shakes the Greater Los Angeles area.
  • Heather Whitestone becomes the first deaf contestant in the Miss America competition ~ she wins the title.
  • In Portland, Tonya Harding pleads guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution and for trying to cover-up an attack on Olympic figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan.
  • Apple Computer, Inc. releases Macintosh computers that use PowerPC Microprocessors, a major leap in personal computer history. America Online gives users access to the Web.
  • Academy Awards:"Forrest Gump" (US), "Burnt by the Sun" (Russia). Prize-winning Books: A Frolic of His Own, William Gaddis and The Shipping News, E. Annie Prouix.
    Center 50+
    In Salem
    The Senior Citizen Advisory Commission is established this year, but the city had been involved with senior programming since 1970 with the appointment of a Senior Citizen Coordinator. The concept of an activity center for older adults was first initiated by a group of retirees who became incorporated in 1967 as the Salem Area Seniors. In December 1973, the senior citizens united in a successful fund drive. However, the soaring cost of construction kept ahead of revenue. It was not until monies from the Community Development Block Grant Funds became available in May 1975, that the total project was assured. The original Erixson Street facility was a modern, one-story structure, including a large multi-purpose room, kitchen, classrooms, activity lounge, craft and hobby rooms, and gift shop.

     In the 1976 Statesman Journal photograph (to the left) Chet Arterburn, president of the Senior Area Seniors (left), Ed Bergstrom and Opal McRae are part of a group unloading furnishings for the building, seen in the background.

    The 19 members of the Commission Committee represent local residents and professional partnerships. Of the nine voting members, six shall be 50 years of age or older. The other ten shall be representatives of Senior Center partners: Chemeketa Community College, Mid-Willamette Valley Senior Service Agency, Friends of the Salem Senior Center, Salem Hospital Foundation, Retired Senior Volunteers Program, Townhouse, Inc., Alzheimer's Association, Chamber of Commerce, AARP, and Salem Electric. They serve as an advisory commission to the City Council and Salem Senior Center Staff in matters related to the operations of the Salem Senior Center. Members other than those representing Senior Center partners shall be appointed by the Mayor.

    When you visit
    In 2008, the Erixson facility was sold to the adjoining Salem Clinic. A new building site was cleared and partially financed by Urban Renewal Agency. A new building (Center 50+) was constructed a few blocks north at 2615 Portland Road. Center 50+. It is the only designated full-service focal point senior center in Marion County. Senior users report they use the Center because of meals, recreation, volunteer opportunities, and education. The Center has a Friends of the Salem Senior Center to aid in securing funds for improvements and operations. More than 600 seniors use the Center daily, and more than 500 senior citizens annually utilize the health screening clinics. Over 325 registered volunteers give more than 45,000 hours of service annually at the Center. Cherriots buses stop at the Center five days a week and over 2,000 times a year. More than 70% of the Center 50+ users are 70+ years of age.

    Other events
    • Roger Gertenrich is elected as mayor.
    • The historic 1859 Case House, the north Marion County home of Salem's Wallace Kay Huntington, is the subject of a series of photographs. Mr. Huntington is a noted landscape designer and frequent consultant concerning Salem's Lord and Schryver gardens.
    • Sue Miller was among the women founding Abiqua School, a private Salem elementary school. Sue, like her fellow parents, believes that children in Salem needed more educational alternatives. Although originally planned as a charter school in the public school system, it was not given this designation and opens as an independent school in September, serving children in grades K-6.
    • Willamette’s athletic program wins the Northwest Conference All-Sports award for the 1993-94 school year. It marks the first time the Bearcats have won the trophy since it was started in 1985-86.
    • James Norman publishes "Oregon Main Street: A Rephotographic Study". Many Salem street scenes are among the 84 shown in the Oregon Historic Photograph Collection of our Salem Public Library.
    • Oregon voters approve the nation's first Death with Dignity Act permitting doctor-assisted suicide.

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