SHINE on Salem 150, celebrating the sesquicentennial of our city's 1860 charter, continues (and concludes) with the 2012 entry.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Salem in 2002

World events
  • Richard Reid, the "Shoe Bomber", pleads guilty.
  • Homeland Security Act is established.
  • Sour Biscuit fires rage in Oregon and California.
  • Winter Olympics are held in Salt Lake City.
  • Murder charges against Ward Weaver of Oregon City dominate national newspapers.

In Salem
In this year, due to the declining use of industrial property and the age of residences in the Edgewater and Wallace Road areas, the West Salem Redevelopment Advisory Board is established as an eleven-member group advising the city's West Salem Urban Renewal Agency. The duties of the Board include considerations of conservation, rehabilitation, and redevelopment matters within the West Salem Urban Growth Renewal Area. The formerly prosperous canning industry, which brought business and residential growth to the Edgewater and Wallace Road areas, had declined to the extent that the neighborhood needed assistance in promoting new business, recovering property values and increasing public services.
Notice was already being taken of the historical value of some residential properties. The Historic Landmarks Commission had designated nine properties as West Salem Local Landmarks. The new Board could now work with the city agencies and departments to recognize both the residential needs and the potential for business improvement of the whole urban renewal area.

When you visit
Among the attractive residential areas of West Salem, Kingwood in the Edgewater area stands out. This house at 270 Kingwood Drive was featured on the cover of the Edgewater Walking Tour brochure of 2009. The neighborhood spans over a century of construction dates, beginning in 1900. The first plats were dated in the late 1800s and Kingwood Park in 1909. Homes were built by different builders or by homeowners themselves, giving the neighborhood a diversity of style and size not always reflected in newer residential areas. There are several large homes, but small cottages are really the heart of Edgewater, many built in the 1930s as jobs were created in the local canneries or the paper mill across the Willamette River.
A subject for discussion by the West Salem Redevelopment Advisory Board (2010) is the possibility of a future West Salem branch of the Polk County Museum. (See 2000 in this series.) To learn more about current activities of the Board, contact a city staff member at 503-588-6178.

Other events
  • Janet Taylor is elected as mayor to take office in January of 2003. Mike Swaim gave up a run for a fourth term as mayor in a bid for Oregon's House of Representatives. He lost to Billy Dalto.
  • The Statesman Journal reports the top story of the year is the opening of the West Salem High School in September, "a $49 million dream come true for residents on the other side of the Willamette River and Salem-Keizer's first new high school in 23 years. It immediately became home to more than 1,300 students and a center of activity for the area Friday night football games." At the same time, the state's ongoing budget crisis affected local schools as bus routes are longer and classroom programs cut or scaled back.
  • As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Susan Costello is the first Hispanic woman to be elected to statewide office. She served until the 2012 reorganization of Oregon's public education.
  • The City Council approves a downtown Conference Center facing Commercial Street on the former Marion Hotel site. The project will constructed in cooperation with VIPS, owner of Phoenix Inns. A hotel will be adjacent on the Liberty Street side of the block south of Ferry Street. Our newspaper reports, "Supporters see the conference center as the engine to pull downtown out of an economic rut."
  • Property crime increases due to Salem being a hub for narcotics activity and budget problems causing jail capacity to dwindle as property thieves are released to make room for violent offenders.
  • Section 62 of the City Charter adds Ethical Standards. The goal of the measure is to ensure public confidence in the impartiality of elected or appointed city officials. Each is required to disclose any past or present business or family relationships, any direct and indirect campaign contributions or gifts that might influence any decision.
  • A Community Police Review Board is established to review unresolved complaints against members of the Salem Police Department.
  • Former governor Bob Straub dies. The Statesman Journal reports, "He has been praised been for his many public contributions during 20 years in office, including the governorship 1975-79: protecting Oregon beaches and the Willamette River, defending land-use planning. He was also remembered for many personal acts during the three decades he and Pat lived in a farmhouse in West Salem: helping others less fortunate, donating land for a city park..."
  • The Olympic torch passes through 8 miles of Salem, between lines of school children and state workers. A crowd of 2,500 converged on the State Capitol to celebrate the lighting of the cauldron.

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