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

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Salem in 2003

World events
  • US leads invasion of Iraq, but no predicted Weapons of Mass Destruction are found.
  • NATO begins peacekeeping role in Afghanistan.
  • "Mad cow" (BSE) disease affects cattle in Washington State.
  • "Chicago" wins Academy Award.
In Salem
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the events on everyone's mind this year, however it would be two years in the future when a graphic remembrance of that conflict began construction in Salem: the Afghan-Iraqi Memorial at the Oregon Veterans Affairs Park on Summer Street. Ironically, this year it was a symbol of peace that attracted attention in our most public arena ~ the colorful Eco-Earth globe in Riverfront Park.
Used by courtesy Salem Public Library
This sphere was originally a large pressurized tank (see above), floated up river to Salem in 1960 and used by Boise Cascade to hold acids that were used to "cook" wood chips into pulp.

 A 5-year process transformed this "acid ball" into a beautiful piece of art that includes 86,000 tiles depicting the entire globe, created by local artists and students, reflecting the diversity on land and water. On the opening day, after the playing of "What a Wonderful World" and a crane lifting off the giant cover, many children quickly moved forward to admire the colorful globe.

When you visit
The Eco-Earth stands at the south end of Riverfront Park near the entrance of Pringle Creek in the Willamette Slough. A pedestrian walkway in the park circles the structure. At the edge of the walkway, an interpretive panel gives more information about the fabrication of this artwork. The white border that circles the base of the globe identifies the mosaics.
The orange tower in the background of this 2006 photograph is one of two Boise Cascade structures that were on the opposite side of the creek when the park was created. By 2011 they had both been demolished as the renovation project continued on the Boise Cascade property that is projected as a mixed use complex with housing and retail establishments. In the distance, you see a bench and railing: that is approximately the location for the footing for the future Minto Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge ~ the date of construction still uncertain in 2012.

Other events
  • Leading up to the invasion of Iraq, the Statesman Journal reports "On February 24, the Salem City Council voted against joining more than 100 local governments in signing a resolution opposing a possible war in Iraq. The vote climaxed weeks of local anguish about a war and emotional protests." Two local men who died in the war this year were Sgt. Donald R. Walters and Army Chief Warrant Officer Erik C. Kester. Large numbers of Oregon National Guard were deployed, worrying families and inconveniencing employers.
  • Janet Taylor took office as mayor in January with three new councilors: Jim Randall, Bruce Rogers and Dan Clem. The new councilors formed a majority that reversed some of the plans of the previous council, saying they viewed growth and the business community in a more favorable light. Budget shortfalls caused the Council to approve an $83 million general fund cut limiting library hours, park maintenance and other services. Many citizens attended the Budget Meetings to express their concerns.
  • The Keizer City Council approved a zoning plan for a 225-acre commercial and industrial development to be named Keizer Station. The location is near Volcanoes Stadium, off I-5 at Chemawa Road.

Extension of Capitol Mall ~ Union Street to D Street
  • The North Mall Office Building is completed. The Oregon Parks Department, including the Oregon State Historical Preservation Office (Blue square), moves in. The State Archives Building (green square) was completed in 1991. New this year is Heritage Park  (black circle) at the north end of mall, creating the transition between the large state office buildings (in progress of construction since 1937) and the Grant neighborhood residential area north of D Street. Seven historic former residences have either been refurbished or moved into this area, between Summer and Winter Streets on the south side of D Street. Five of these CAN-DO neighborhood houses are Local Landmarks: McGilchrist, Adolphson, Huntington, Irwin and Stiff . Mill Creek runs through the property, making a quiet park at the rear of these small office buildings.
Heritage Park
  • A contentious zoning debate was settled when voters rejected the annexation of the Hazel Hill property in South Salem at Kuebler Boulevard and I-5. The opponents warned that the proposed housing and commercial development would overload area streets with traffic.
  • Salem Hospital opened an updated Emergency room, doubled in size through a $4.2 million expansion and remodeling project. Salem Hospital had the state's busiest ER.

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