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.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Salem in 2017

World Events
  • Women's Marches in response to Trump election drew the largest American and world-wide protests in recent history.
  • President Trump's first year is overshadowed by Special Council Mueller's investigation of Russian intervention in the 2016 election.
  • Hurricanes created extensive damage in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico recovery and repairs especially delayed.
  • In Las Vegas fifty-eight people are killed and 546 injured during another shooting. Use of "bump" stock and civilian availability of military semi-automatic weapons is debated Congress, but no action.
  • #MeToo signals women's campaign to reveal sexual harassment and abuse against them. Several men in prominent business and political positions lose their reputation and careers.
  • Amid world-wide protect, the US launches 59 Tomahawk missiles against Syrian targets, damaging US-Russian ties.
  •  President Trump announces several international changes in U.S. policy: the intention to leave the Paris Climate Agreement, withdrawal from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), and moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • The Academy Awards: "The Shape of Water" (US), "A Fantastic Woman" (Chile). Prize-winning book: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward.
    Ron Cooper photograph, City of Salem
    In Salem

    At long last, the eagerly awaited bridge connecting Riverfront Park to Minto Island is completed. The public was allowed, temporarily, to cross in the spring, but it was closed and opened again in August for an official ceremony. The crowd was enthusiastic, despite the soaring midday temperature of over 100 degrees. The joyous occasion began with a parade from Wallace Marine Park, over the Union Street Bridge, and into Riverfront Park ~ dignitaries, musical units, pet dogs, and plain ordinary folks joined in the joyous celebration. Speeches were delivered from under a shade canopy while listeners in the sunshine enjoyed refreshments (supplied by Roth's) although the chocolate in the cookies melted before they could be consumed. Representatives from many city departments attended and all were in a holiday mood. A great time was enjoyed by all!
    The bridge has been deemed a success, with many daily pedestrians enjoying the opportunity to access Minto Island from Riverfront Park.
    Mayor Chuck Bennett said, "The Peter Courtney Bridge is the realization of a decades-old community plan to connect Minto Island to the rest of Salem. The bridge is an iconic and valuable addition to Oregon's Capitol City."
    First envisioned in 1975, the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge and Trail is the last critical link in connecting 1,300 acres of City parks and nearly 30 miles of trails between South Salem, Downtown and West Salem. When combined, the acreage is larger than New York's Central Park.

    When You Visit
    The bridge can be accessed from either Minto Brown Park or Riverfront Park. Parking is available from Front Street either at the turnout to the left at State Street or take the Union Street turnoff to the left. The bridge is visible and close by. In Minto Brown Park, use any parking lot and follow the signs. Be aware that the walk in Minto Brown is a mile or more, depending  on which lot you choose. It is a delightful walk, which ever path you choose.
    Because Minto Island is a Conservation Area containing sensitive habitat and wildlife, the City reminds walkers to stay on the trail and keep their pets on leashes.

    Other Events 
    •  A citizen appeal to LUBA, testifying against a recent Urban Growth Boundary extention, was upheld. The mayor recommended to the City Council that other solutions to traffic problems be pursued instead of a "3rd Bridge" between Pine Street and West Salem.
    • The solar eclipse is enjoyed by Salem residents as well as many visitors for the day.
    • Lancaster Mall is partly closed while that shopping enterprise is redeveloped as Willamette Town Center.
    • Two bond measures pass: one will finance a new police facility at a lower price ($61.8 million) and the other to retrofit the city library against human injury and property damage in case of an anticipated earthquake.
    • Homelessness is growing problem, especially downtown. The Union Gospel Mission will relocate from downtown to a location to north, across Liberty Street from the future police facility.
    • A new councilor is elected to replace the one who recently resigned: Chris Hoy is the 5th candidate successfully sponsored by Salem Progressives.
    • Le Breton Hall, the last remaining structure of the former Oregon State Fairview Institution was razed for the creation of a city park. This 1908 structure was designed by Walter Pugh, distinguished architect of many, now demolished, local historic buildings.
    • Another historic structure, the former Wells Fargo building, designed by Pietro Belluschi (who also designed our Marion County Courthouse) was demolished. At the corner of Liberty and Chemeketa streets, it contributed to the Downtown National Register Historic District, but had remained vacant for many years. Eight Frederic Littman marble relief sculptures were removed and will be used to decorate the new building that will be erected in that location.
    • The Historic Landmarks Commission honors David Holton with the Historic Preservation award for serving as a role model while a Commission member and for his leadership in promoting historical renovation projects in Salem.
    • Salem On Ice, a 7,200 square feet seasonal rink opened in Riverfront Park November 17. The temporary facility will be open through January 21, 2018. The city agreed to a four year contract with the sponsors, so we can expect to see the structure reconstructed again for at least three more years.

    Salem in 2016

    World Events
    • In Syria, hospitals are bombed by Russian-backed forces of Bashar-al-Assad in a civil war which has killed half-a-million people.
    • Mother Teresa is canonized. Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill meet: first meeting since 1054 of Catholic and Orthodox leaders.
    • Britain votes to quit European Union.
    • The International Atomic Energy Commission announces Iran has disposed of all nuclear weapons. The World Health Organization reports an outbreak of Zika virus. Ebola vaccine proven effective.
    • In the deadliest mass shooting in US, a gunman kills or injures over a hundred patrons of the gay nightclub, "Pulse", in Orlando, Florida.
    • First reports of Russian tampering with 2016 US presidential election result in expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctions against their intelligence agencies.
    • Donald Trump wins US presidency in a surprise result.
    • Trans-Pacific Partnership voided by Trump Administration
    •  North Korea conducts nuclear tests.
    • Academy Awards: "Moonlight" (US), The Salesman (Iran). Prize-winning books: The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen and The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead.

      In Salem
      Senior citizens, even those who were once librarians, are surprised by the number a variety of services offered by libraries these days. Our Salem Public Library, in the Civic Center, is no exception. Walk in the welcoming entrance and a treasure of leisure and professional offerings are spread before you for your choice. In addition to books available there at the library, audio books can be accessed from your home. Adult literary groups meet regularly, at convenient times of the day, teenagers have a section for themselves and younger children are encouraged to come together to share stories appropriate to their ages. Activities for all ages vary from table top games to tech instruction. The library offers something for every age and interest. Plus, you can buy inexpensive second hand jigsaw puzzles in the Book Store.
      As you approach the library entrance, you will notice to your right another doorway, this one into Loucks Auditorium. Lectures and concerts are offered here to an audience of almost 300 listeners. One evening, at the end of November of this election year, a very different meeting was held. A City Council meeting convened here to hear a special concern because a very large crowd was expected. The auditorium was "standing room only" by the time the meeting began. And, to the astonishment of the local crowd, Salem Police lined the walls. What was the occasion? A councilman had published a video on his Facebook page that showed deadly violence toward African-Americans. The city administration had feared "outsiders" would come and cause problems. On the contrary, for over two hours citizens stood politely and gave personal evidence of racial bias and mistreatment they or their families had suffered recently. The councilman had resigned by that time and several members spoke on behalf of maintaining the best of American ideals here in Salem during the current heated political climate. The library continues to be an arena for courteous discussion and community education.

      When You Visit
      Unfortunately, the City of Salem budget does not allow the library to be open on Mondays, but the doors open at 10 am Tuesday through Saturday and at 1 pm on Sunday. Parking is free in the adjacent garage on Sunday, otherwise 75 cents an hour.

      Other Events
      • A bond issue on this year's ballot proposed moving and expanding our police facility, now on the lower floor of the Civic Center, at the cost of $82 million. It was defeated partly because of high price tag, but also because this proposal left City Hall itself and the Library at risk of severe damage in case of  earthquake.
      • Chuck Bennett was elected as future mayor as well as 3 councilors sponsored by Salem Progressives: Cara Kaser, Matt Ausec and Sally Cook.
      • The Historic Landmarks Commission  designated SESNA as the second Heritage Neighborhood. Planned activities included an illustrated calendar, "toppers" for street signs indicating the historical names of individual areas within the neighborhood and signage at significant intersections.
      • December 14 brought a heavy snow that imperiled traffic, but delighted the residents.
      • The Barrick funeral home on Church Street downtown was demolished for a new Starbucks.
      • A new children's playground, on the former site of Oregon School for the Blind, is completed and opened to the public.

      • The City of Salem Urban Renewal Agency Board published a fact sheet outlining a plan to improve transportation in West Salem by constructing an underpass at the intersection of Wallace Road and and a reopened 2nd. Street. This underpass would facilitate a new traffic link by continuing to the Union Street Bridge and Trestle and into Wallace Park to connect, eventually, with projected "3rd Bridge" at a landing north of the park. See the green line in the city's illustration above. According to local residents who objected, the new commercial traffic highway would cut off a section of the historic, National Register trestle, intrude into park land enjoyment, disrupt natural resources and disturb households along the park. The project was debated in neighborhood meetings and by City Council testimony.

      Thursday, December 28, 2017

      Salem in 2015

      World Events
      • Al-Queda kills 17 in attack on Paris Charlie Hebdo magazine offices after Muhammad cartoons.
      • Black Lives Matter becomes an Africa-American based, international  organization campaigning against systemic racism.
      • Queen Elizabeth celebrates 63 years on the throne, England's longest reigning monarch.
      • The continuing Syrian civil war creates a refugee crisis with homeless 220, 000 victims.
      • Greece becomes the first economy to miss a payment to International Monetary Fund in its 71-year history, causing a Greek financial crisis. 
      • US joins international union of 200 nations to limit warming cycle in climate change.
      • Trans-Pacific Partnership unites twelve countries with trade rules for 40% of global trade.
      • Cuba and The US reestablish full diplomatic relations, ending 54 years of hostility between the neighboring nations.
      • Academy Awards:"Spotlight" (US), "Son of Saul (Hungary). Prize-winning books: Fortune Smiles: Stories, Adam Johnson and All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr.
        In Salem

        A diminutive, but adult young lady traveling to Europe by ship was placed by mistake at the Children's Table in the Dining Salon. When she requested a glass of wine and was refused, Edith Schryver insisted on being moved to another table. There she met Elizabeth Lord who would become her lifetime companion and partner in one of the pioneer landscaping firms of the Northwest, Lord and Schryver.

         Gaiety Hollow
        The photograph above was taken from their website and shows the rear of their home, Gaiety Hollow, and a portion of the garden. The property was purchased in 2015 by the Lord and Schryver Conservancy, dedicated to "preserving and Interpreting the Legacy of Lord and Schryver to Promote a Greater Understanding of their Contribution to Northwest Landscape Architecture". This active Salem group (with members beyond our city limits) has done a remarkable job in organization and fund raising to carry out their admirable goals. Recommended resources for more information include the official website that outlines their many social activities, opportunities for participation garden care that is most suitable to our climate and enjoyment of learning about local Lord and Schryver gardens you can visit. 

        When You Visit
         The house is located at 545 Mission Street (across from the Bush House Museum) and is easily recognized by its handsome Clarence Smith architecture and careful landscaping in the small, contained front garden. Visits are scheduled throughout the year and gardening classes are also available. Use the website for more information. 

        Other Events 
        • In February, crews began the demolition of Howard Hall after an appeal to LUBA to save the Local Landmark as resident neighbors continue their objections to hospital expansion.   
        • The Historic Landmarks Commission  designated SESNA as the second Heritage Neighborhood. Planned activities included an illustrated calendar, "toppers" for street signs indicating the historical names of individual areas within the neighborhood and signage at significant intersections.
        • The Commission honored Ross Sutherland with the Historic Preservation Award for his efforts since 1996 to ensure Salem's historic resources are preserved, both in professional positions and in volunteer leadership.
        • Salem Chamber orchestra filed for bankruptcy.
        • The owner and skipper of the Willamette Queen vows to fight a Coast Guard decision to revoke the boat's inspection certificate.
        • Hazel Patton was named Citizen of the Year. Hazel is not only a active, long-time advocate for local historic preservation, but for new enterprises that enhance Salem's appeal for residents and visitors.
        • Our new City Manager, Steve Powers, plans to walk or ride to City Hall from his Crestview residence.
        • Kristin Retherford becomes our Urban Development Director to lead efforts in determining the city's next investments for Riverfront Downtown, North Gateway and West Salem urban renewal areas. 
        • Our rail tracks in the city are still dangerous: this year a man was struck and killed when struck by a train on Sunnyview Avenue.

        • Commercial Street Bridge is renovated, providing a new Pringle Creek path under the structure (see above). In the future, the path in the photo will continue to the left, passing South Block Apartments and creating a future pedestrian pathway from City Hall to Riverfront Park.
        • More than 500 gathered at Sprague High School to honor Rick Nelson, a student who died after he fell off a cliff at the Oregon coast.
        • Former Gov. Kitzhaber resigned after scandal touched his fiance, Cylvia Hayes. Kate Brown, Secretary of State, replaces him.
        • A motorcyclist died when he lost control of his bike and fell from the Marion Street Bridge.

        Salem in 2014

        World Events
        • The Panama Canal celebrates its 100th anniversary.
        • Robust global production causes oil prices to plummet, pleasing US drivers with lower cost for gas.
        • Ukraine explodes into violence as Pro-Russian and Pro-European supporters clash.  Russia intervenes militarily and annexes Crimean Peninsula. The Dinetsk Peoples Republic declares independence.
        • Malaysian airline shot down over Ukraine with loss of 295 on board.
        • Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa begins, infecting 28,000 people.
        • Belgium becomes the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients of any age.
        • A Sunni militant group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) attempts to overthrow the Shite government, gaining control of Mosul and conducting a religious massacre in Sinjar.
        • A referendum in Scotland results in a vote to stay as a part of the UK.
        • Oregon passes Measure 91, legalizing the non-medical cultivation and uses of marijuana.  Sales to be legal from licensed dispensaries.
        • President Obama thaws relations with Cuba, future travel possible.
        •  Academy Awards: "Birdman" (US), "Ida" (Poland), Prize-winning books: Redeployment, Phil Klay and The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt.
        In Salem

        Howard Hall shortly before it was demolished
        • In July, the Salem City Council voted to overturn a decision made by the city's Historic Landmark Commission by a vote of 8-0. The question was one that had engaged public opinion for the last several years: whether to demolish the last building of the former Oregon School for the Blind, the Local Landmark known as Howard Hall. Salem Hospital had purchased the property when the school closed and the other buildings had been demolished in order to expand hospital facilities, but this last building had special value to former students who used it as a dormitory and classroom. It was in poor condition and the hospital claimed to have no use for it. When hospital representatives made the case before the Historic Landmarks Commission, the hospital plan was rejected.  The City Council then, in a specially called meeting. took up the question on behalf of the hospital administration and overruled their own commission, composed of members selected by the Council for their expertise in historical preservation.

        When You Visit 
         The site on the corner of Church and Mission Street is now the location of an elaborate play yard designed especially for children who have physical limits. It is fenced to keep children safe, despite its being close to traffic. There is interpretive signage to recognize the former school for the blind.

        Other Events

        • A group of citizens who would later become Progressive Salem recruited a local lawyer, Tom Andersen, to run for the City Council. He lived in the ward that included the politically active Gaiety Hill-Bush's Pasture Park Historic District. The property use in question for the former Oregon School for the Blind is adjacent. The Progressive campaign was funded by people, not business interests, using individual funding and door-to-door contacts with voters. The result can be read here. 
        • A downtown historic building enjoyed a better fate than Howard Hall. The McGilchrist Building, along with the accompanying Roth Building were completely renovated during more than a year of careful construction, removing the non-historic elements and preserving the exterior charm of the 1916 structure. Before and after photographs show the difference as color highlights features of the windows and the corner entrance becomes more prominent.

        •  Another state-owned, local National Register historic site was the subject of local discussion and controversy. At the Oregon State Hospital, two buildings on the campus were planned for preservation: one was the Kirkbride (already described) and Building 60 (below)
        • Perfectly preserved, this small structure is thought to have been an infirmary at one time. When the cremains of long ago inmates were discovered in a neglected condition, it was determined to preserve them in an artistic setting. Building 60 was chosen although it would require removing one wall, changing the historic significance of the building. This decision was appealed unsuccessfully and the project was completed. See below.

        • The Historic Landmarks Commission establishes the Heritage Neighborhood program to encourage residents to learn about the history of their neighborhood and to engage in our City's historic preservation efforts. Grant is the first neighborhood so recognized.
        • The Commission also awarded a Historic Preservation Award to a gentleman who generously donated to both the Historic Residential Tool Box Fund and to the restoration of the Baggage Depot, leveraging more than twice that amount for restoration of local historic resources.
        • This year, the First Citizen award was presented to Jim Brenau, the founder and president of the Willamette Valley Winery. This vineyard along I-5, south of the city,  is among the many local vineyards attracting tours and individual visitors.
        •  City parking meters downtown were under controversy: the two hour limit was abolished, then a new three limit was established.
        • A local teacher, Julie Wojcicki, won one of five national Milken Educator Awards ~and was presented with a check for $25,000.
        • In October, Cylvia Hayes, engaged to Gov. Kitzhaber and considered "First Lady" of the state, was revealed to have previously contracted a "sham" marriage to an immigrant so he could retain residency in the US. There was also an ethics commission inquiry into her work as a private consultant.

        Tuesday, December 26, 2017

        Salem in 2013

        World Events
        • Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis, first Pope from Latin America. He is a reformer of the Church and an advocate for the poor. ( "Francis: Pray for Me", 2015 film)
        • On April 15, two homemade bombs ripped through the crowd of fans and runners at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and wounding nearly 300 others. 
        • In June, Documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed light on the extent of US espionage operations in various parts of the world and threatened to damage US relations with some key international players. ("Snowden", 2016 film)
        • Prince William and wife Kate welcome a son, Prince George, on July 22.
        • On Aug. 21, reports emerged from a Damascus suburb of a sarin gas attack, a grim event in a civil war that had already cost the lives of 100,000 people and spurred the largest refugee crisis in a generation.
        • Former South African president and leader of the anti-apartheid movement Nelson Mandela died on Dec. 5.
        • New words "twerk" and "selfie" were added to the dictionary this year.
        • Academy Awards:"12 Years a Slave"(US),"The Great Beauty" (Best Foreign Film, Italy)  Prize-winning books: The Good Lord Bird, James McBride and The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson.
          In Salem
          •  In April of 2012,  a colorful Oregon heritage exhibit was mounted in the Marion County Courthouse Community Hall.  Each of the twenty framed collections of photographs and memorabilia offered what that Marion County city considered significant to tell its story. The exhibits were constructed by local committees or by an individual volunteer. Above each poster is a wood carving representing the shape of Marion County with the locality of the city clearly distinguished. At the opening ceremony, the County Commissioners greeted guests from around the county, especially thanking the creators of these handsome displays.  Each city had a representative there to speak about what that city had selected to put in their colorful poster.
           Community Hall of the Marion County Courthouse
          View the Marion County Courthouse exhibit
          • Commissioner Sam Brentano, who was the inspiration for the exhibit, encouraged this author and her son to become acquainted with Marion County cities.  On our day-trip adventures, Tom and I discovered many scenic back roads and he took photographs in each city.  Each one reviews the community history, offer a brief profile of the city today and includes our discoveries there as visitors. KMUZ interviews with representatives of each city can be heard on their archives. The series also appeared in the Sunday edition of the Statesman Journal newspaper for twenty weeks. It is now the topic "Marion County 20" on this website.
          • Scott Casebeer, President of Capitol Auto Group, was selected as the 2012 First Citizen of the year by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Casebeer's two sons, who have worked at the dealership, are the great-grandsons of the founder of the company, Douglas McKay.  McKay entered politics was elected governor of Oregon, then Secretary of the Interior in the Eisenhower administration.
          • A brochure useful to realtors and property buyers this year is entitled "Historic Property Designation". Produced by the Historic Landmarks Commission, it outlines the benefits and responsibilities of purchasing and maintaining structures in the city that have been designated as Local Landmarks or National Register. It reminds owners that exterior changes, visible to the public, must be approved by the HLC before any work is begun.  The HLC meets once a month to discuss proposals brought before the Commission and suggest improvements or necessary alterations to owners' construction plans to comply with city codes.
          Salem lost three outstanding residents this year, Mike McLaran on March 30, Bill Tebeau on July 20 and Orville Roth on October 13. All three, in very different careers, had important roles in the development of the city and shaping its character. The Statesman Journal reported:

          • Mike McLaran's death stunned the business community. The longtime Salem Area Chamber of Commerce executive died March 30 while jogging in southeast Salem, the victim of an apparent heart attack. McLaran, 53, grew the chamber's membership and gave the organization a strong, unified voice. From 1995 through 2011, McLaran served as the chamber's chief executive officer. Even after stepping down as CEO, McLaran continued to work closely with the chamber as a consultant. He was involved in such milestones as the development of the Salem Conference Center and the campaign to win a grant for the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. At McLaran's memorial service, business and community leaders filled the 1,200 seat Salem Alliance Church to near capacity. 
          • "Make it a great day!" That was William "Bill" Tebeau's daily motto. It was also front and center July 20 in the brightly lit hospitality room at Center 50+ in Salem, where Tebeau's family give their patriarch a fittingly warm, often poignant, but overall cheery celebration of life memorial. An engineer, educator and pioneer, Tebeau, 87, was the first African American male to graduate from Oregon State University, which he did in 1948. He died July 5. Scores of well-wishers turned out at the center to honor a man who was described as at once deeply knowledgeable on many subjects and humble about himself.
          • The Mid-Valley lost one of its most enduring symbols of community and charity Oct. 13 when longtime civic leader and businessman Orville N. Roth died of a heart attack while visiting family in Honolulu. The 79-year-old co-founder of the Roth's Fresh Markets grocery chain grew his empire from a single store in 1962 to nine markets in 2013.  He was known throughout the state as much for his unfailing support of children and those less fortunate as for his business.


          Tuesday, December 19, 2017

          SALEM in 2012

          World Events
          • Costa Concorda cruise ship, just beginning a tour around the Mediterranean, wrecks near Tuscan island of Giglio causing the largest shipwreck in history. The ship had diverted from its planned route and struck a rock. Compensation for lives and property rose to $2 billion.
          • Arab Spring uprisings continue with civil war in Syria, elections disputed in Egypt and the Tunisian president imprisoned. In Libya, the Benghazi US Consulate attacked with loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens and 2 other American staff members.
          • Disaster strikes the Philippines when super typhoon Bopha causes 170,000 people to flee to evacuation centers. Destruction in the city of  Mindanao leaves thousands homeless
          • 2000 American casualties in our 11th year of war in Afghanistan.
          • In Connecticut, the Sandy Hook School shooting kills twenty children aged 6 and 7 as well as 6 adult staff members and the 20-year old shooter. Despite public and congressional debate about the availability and sale of semi-automatic guns, no legislative change is made.
          • After 246 years of publication, the Encyclopedia Britannia discontinues print publication.
          •  Academy Awards: "Argo" (US), "Amour" (Austria) Prize-winning book: The Round House, Louise Erdrich.
          In Salem 

           The Salem Chamber Orchestra brought Play Me, I'm Yours to Salem with 11 street pianos distributed across the streets of Salem and Keizer. Located in public parks, streets and even on the Union Street Bridge, the pianos were there for the public to play and enjoy. After being in place for two weeks, the pianos were donated to local nonprofit organizations.

          Piano on Union Street Bridge decorated by Gilbert Children's Museum
          When You Visit
          The pianos were located in the places listed in the following link.
          Other Local Events
                • In January, heavy rain caused many streams, including Mill Creek, to overflow their banks. Muddy water covered several Salem streets and parking lots. Homes and basements were flooded. 
                • KMUZ, our local non-profit, public service radio station was flooded out of its basement quarters.  A move to 245 Division Street provided the crew and their equipment with a permanent home. The KMUZ archive, available here allows listeners to check up on their favorite programs and be introduced to new ones.
                • Janet Taylor, our previous mayor who served an unprecedented four terms, was named First Citizen of the Year by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.
                • Anna Peterson is re-elected to serve as a second term as mayor without opposition.
                • The recently completed renovation of the Oregon State Hospital's only original structure, the Kirkbride Building, as shown below, has a new cultural exhibit.

                The Museum of Mental Health at the Oregon State Hospital was opened in October of this year. It is dedicated to telling the stories of the Oregon State Hospital and the people that have lived and worked here. Our 2,500 square foot museum, located in the oldest building on the Oregon State Hospital campus includes permanent and changing exhibits.  The museum effort was headed by Hazel Patton and is currently run by volunteers supported by the generous donations of community members and competitive grants. It contains artifacts from the award-winning movie, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" which was filmed at this hospital. See more references to the renovated hospital in the information for 2009.

                • Originally constructed by Karl J. Peters, the modest bungalow above has served continuously as a residence since 1925.The Peters owned the house until 1937. It changed hands five times through the 1940s until it was purchased by Ole P. and Dorothy Nielson in 1950. They owned the house for the longest period of time, 45 years. The house is a typical example of the modest housing that was constructed in the mid-1920s in this neighborhood for blue-collar tradespeople. Even though this block was excluded from the Gaiety Hill/Bush Pasture Park National Register Historic District, just to the north, it represents a period development in South Salem which defines the character of the neighborhood. It was placed on the city's list of Local Landmarks in 2012.  
                • Bridges, pro and con, are subjects of action and debate. Friends of Two Bridges announces OYFF  (On Your Feet Friday), a series of events intended to help increase awareness and funding for the proposed Minto Bridge. 
                • In contrast, local groups, organized under the banner of "No 3rd Bridge" are protesting the City Council project of many years past for a pass-through, heavy traffic highway from the Salem Parkway in North Salem (crossing Front Street at Pine Street) and  continuing over the Willamette River to a landing in West Salem. This would facilitate commercial transportation between Portland and Highway 22 to the coast. Opponents of the "3rd Bridge" cite the damage to the North Salem residential area, the interference with Willamette River natural resources and disruption of West Salem neighborhoods. A diagram showing the path of this bridge can be seen here.

                Friday, December 30, 2011

                Salem in 2011

                World Events
                • Osama Bin Laden dies in a raid by US Navy Seals on his Pakistani hideout.
                • Japan suffered a 9.0 earthquake that caused a devastating tsunami and nuclear emergency.
                • Use of social media triggered an "Arab Spring" of popular revolution in against dictators Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Syria.
                • Global fiscal crisis hits European union, political stand-offs in US Congress and "Occupy" movements protesting Wall Street practices across America.
                • Billions of viewers, worldwide, watched the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abby, London.
                • Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, meeting with constituents, survives a gunman who kills 6 others, wounds 13.
                • US combat troops leave Iraq after 8 years, but Security Contractors will remain in Baghdad. Protests against the faulty intelligence that led to  this war damaged the reputation of President George W. Bush
                • Academy Awards: "The Artist" (US), "A Separation" (Iran). Prize-winning books: Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward and A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan.
                In Salem

                A 2011 Welcome Information on State Street in our historic downtown.

                Our downtown streets are blooming with attractive information signage thanks to a Preserve America grant, a federal initiative that encourages community efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural heritage. Four Preserve America Presidential Awards are given annually to organizations, businesses, and government entities for exemplary accomplishments in sustainable use and preservation of cultural or natural heritage assets.
                A Downtown Historic Marker Program to promote preservation and increase citizen awareness of the assets in the downtown historic district; a unique historical downtown logo which appears on the thirty-three historic markers installed on historic buildings in our downtown district; designing a downtown walking tour booklet printed in both English and Spanish (the first Spanish language historically focused walking tour in the state), along with creation of a new website, the "Salem Heritage Portal", that allows residents and tourists to explore downtown Salem online.
                Since there were additional funds available, the City of Salem was also able to complete the following projects: (1) Replace a historic marker memorializing Salem's old city hall; (2) Replace two historic markers on the recently renovated Union Street Pedestrian Bridge; (3) Install an interpretive panel in the Salem Convention Center describing the significance of the key intersection of Commercial and Ferry Streets; (4) Translation and printing of our downtown walking tour into Spanish; and the installation of way-finding signs. These signs are of two designs (created by Rick Yurk of BAM): eight Welcome Information Centers (similar to the one pictured above) and 46 colorful directional posts as seen below. (By 2014 these way-finding signs are found in every part of the city.)

                We are indebted to the staffs of the Community Development Department, the Urban Development Department, and the Urban Renewal Agency Board as well as the many other professional and volunteer members of the Task Force who made this concept a beautiful and useful reality.

                Our special thanks to Debra Meaghers and Courtney Knox for their help in compiling this entry. Additional photographs of Preserve America projects by Todd Klocke.

                When You Visit

                The eight Welcome Information Centers are found in the following intersections: Front and Court Streets, Ferry and Liberty Streets, Liberty and Court Streets, Chemeketa and Liberty Streets, Marion and High Streets, State and High Streets, Trade and Church Streets and at Church and Center Streets. Each has a map on one side and information about that location's historic significance on the other.
                The 46 Way-Finding Directional Posts are located in a wider area, bounded on the north by the newly revitalized Broadway District at Market Street, to the south to Bush Park,
                from the east by the Willamette Heritage Center on 12th Street, and on west to Riverfront Park on Front Street.

                Other Local Events
                • Democrat Gov. John Kitzhaber begins his third term and Salem mayor Anna Peterson takes office.
                At the top of the hill, the Straub residence still stands.
                • The Salem-Keizer School Board names the new West Salem middle school for former Gov. Bob Straub and the adjoining elementary school (both on former Straub family property) for the Kalapuya tribes. This is the first school named in honor of a native culture. His family home on the property was preserved.

                The John Carson home on High Street as it appeared in the 1940s
                • On February 11th, Wallace P. Carson, Jr., the third generation of his family in Salem, is honored as the 61st Citizen of the Year. Judge Carson was Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court for 14 years. The family home at the intersection of Bush and High Street was demolished for construction of the Christian Scientist Church.
                • Truitt Brothers announces that the long-established cannery will lay off about 100 employees in their front Street packing plant this year.
                • In April, the City Council approved a deal with SeaPort airlines to provide commuter air service to Portland, Seattle and Newport. (The service was ended after only 2 months.)
                • Yoshikai Elementary School librarian Kristen Truman is named Oregon School Librarian of the Year. (Along with other local school librarians, she lost her position in September.)
                • The City Council voted to pay the owner of the Willamette Queen sternwheeler $250,000 up give up use of the Willamette Slough. This August agreement will enable the city to construct a footbridge over the slough connecting Riverfront Park to Minto Brown Park.
                • In October the Occupy Salem movement, part of the national protest that claims our political process favors the wealthy over the average American, camps in Willson Park for two nights until forced to leave.
                • The names of four contenders to make Courthouse Square repairs are made public by Marion County commissioners.
                • The renovation of the Boise Cascade property has proceeded to a point where Pringle Creek, flowing into the Willamette River, is almost completely "daylighted". Plans for a trail from the Civic Center, under the Commercial Street bridge to Riverfront Park are being formulated.
                • Rich Harcourt, President of Oregon Artists Series Foundation, leads in creating "Sculpture Now", a program of Oregon Artist's Series 5th Annual Exhibit. Opening in the Salem Conference Center Plaza in September, it features five city-owned sculptures, plus seven others by artists throughout the Northwest.
                • The City Council accepts the recommendation of the Historic Landmarks Commission to designate the Stirniman house on Myers Street South as a Local Landmark.
                • Former Oregon governor and former US senator Mark Hatfield, who grew up in Salem, died at the age of 89,