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News Releases
Fun for All Ages: Celebrate Salem Civic Center's 50th Anniversary Aug. 18 EVENT SCHEDULE UPDATE - 08/12/22

Salem, Ore. – The City of Salem, in collaboration with community partners, has created a unique afternoon and evening full of fun for all ages in celebration of the Salem Civic Center’s 50th Anniversary. Join the celebration on Thurs., Aug. 18, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Featured activities will include live entertainment, architecture tours, art tours, youth activities, geocaching, art and history exhibits, a resource fair, and more.

Events and activities will be featured throughout the Civic Center campus. Check in at the Peace Plaza (the plaza between the Salem Public Library and the Salem Civic Center) to get a program of scheduled events and a map. 

3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

  • Resource Fair
  • 70s-Style Costume Party
  • Youth Activities
  • Geocaching
  • Art & Architecture Tours
  • Music & Entertainment

Entertainment and Activities (subject to change)

  • 3:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies featuring Army National Guard 45 Away (Peace Plaza)
  • 3:15 p.m. Art Tour (Library Peace Plaza entrance)
  • 3:30 p.m. Micronesian Islander Stories (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 4:00 p.m. Army Natural Guard Woodwind Ensemble (Atrium stage)
  • 4:15 p.m. Architecture Tour (City Hall west plaza entrance)
  • 4:30 p.m. Casa de la Cultura Tlanese (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 4:45 p.m. Art Tour (Library Peace Plaza entrance)
  • 5:15 p.m. Salem Indigenous Now (Atrium stage)
  • 5:15 p.m. Architecture Tour (City Hall west plaza entrance)
  • 5:30 p.m. Center 50+ Ukuleles (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 6:00 p.m. Aztec Group (Atrium stage)
  • 6:30 p.m. Paradise of Samoa (Library/Anderson Room)

The City of Salem’s Civic Center, a unique New Brutalist architectural design, located at 555 Liberty St. SE, was completed in August 1972. 

For additional information regarding the 50th anniversary celebration, email 50th@cityofsalem.net.

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School Zone Flashing Beacon Testing - 08/12/22

Testing of school zone flashing beacons in the City of Salem and Keizer is expected to start on August 16, 2022. This testing is necessary to prepare for the upcoming 2022 school year. 

City of Salem will be testing the operation of all school speed zone flashing beacons in Salem and Keizer beginning:

  • Tuesday, August 16, from 9 a.m. until noon in North Salem, East Salem, and Keizer
  • Tuesday, August 16, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in South Salem.
  • Wednesday, August 17, from 9 a.m. to noon in West Salem.

The 20-mile-per-hour school zone speed limit is in effect whenever beacons are flashing.

Salem Receives $13.2 Million For McGilchrist St. SE Improvements - 08/11/22

Salem has been awarded $13.2 million through the RAISE Discretionary Grant Fund for the McGilchrist Complete Street Project. The funding is part of a bipartisan infrastructure funding package passed earlier this year by the U.S. Congress and announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation in coordination with Senators Merkley, Wyden, and Congressman Schrader. 

The grant will help fund the expansion of McGilchrist St. SE in Salem, improving the roadway from 12th St. SE to 25th St. SE. Developments are currently underway on this project, including securing right-of-way and finalizing the design of phase 1, which includes the realignment of the 22nd Street SE intersection to be constructed in the summer of 2023. The RAISE grant will fund the remaining design and construction of phases 2 and 3.  The anticipated construction start date for phases 2 and 3 is 2025.  

The project will transform McGilchrist St SE and provide the necessary elements to support the safer movement of pedestrians, bicyclists, trains, and vehicles. Project elements include: 

  • Additional travel and turn lanes
  • Bicycle lanes
  • Sidewalks and shared use paths
  • Planting areas
  • Environmental infrastructure, including stormwater and flood reduction facilities,
  • Traffic signals and streetlights
  • And an improved rail crossing

Once constructed, the McGilchrist Complete Street Project will promote development and support the creation of new jobs that are closer to many residential areas, supporting economic development in a sustainable manner, while reducing flooding and water quality concerns in neighboring Pringle Creek.

This was the sixth time the city of Salem has sought a grant to help fund this project. More details on the McGilchrist Urban Renewal Area or the history of the grant proposal and letters of recommendation by Oregon’s congressional delegation for the McGilchrist Complete Street Project can be found at CityofSalem.net

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Tom_Andersen.jpg
Salem City Councilor Andersen Announces Resignation (Photo) - 08/09/22

SALEM, Ore. – Salem City Councilor H. Thomas Andersen, representing Ward 2, announced his resignation at a City Council meeting August 8, 2022. Andersen has served on the council since 2014.

“After nearly eight years serving as Ward 2 City Councilor, today I am announcing that I will resign from this position in order to focus on my bid to become the next state representative for House District 19,” said Andersen. “I am confident that Ward 2 will have an excellent successor, Councilor Linda Nishioka. I am also grateful to my wife Jessica Maxwell, for her unflagging, constant support during my time on the council.” 

Andersen stated that the time he must devote to his election to the Oregon House of Representatives, along with his position as a fulltime attorney, was the deciding factor in his resignation.

“I have poured my heart and soul into the last eight years representing my ward, and the people of Salem, and I am proud of the work I have been able to do with all of you on this council. Together we’ve done the work to make sure Salem could build new shelters for homeless residents, provide incentives for new affordable housing, begin working on a climate action plan, build a new police station, upgrade the library, and improve the lives of all people of Salem.”

“Tom, you’ve been a mentor, friend, colleague, co-conspirator, over the years,” said Salem Mayor-elect Chris Hoy during last night's City Council meeting. “On behalf of the residents in Ward 2, and for the entire city, I know we’re all better off for your service and I really appreciate it.”

“It has been an absolute honor to work alongside all of you and to fight for the people of Salem. I will miss you all.” said Andersen in his closing remarks.

City Council voted to appoint Linda Nishioka as interim ward 2 councilor to serve the remainder of Andersen’s term until Nishioka, who was elected this past spring, begins her elected term in January. Nishioka could be sworn in as soon as the next City Council work session on August 15.

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Attached Media Files: Tom_Andersen.jpg
Capitol Jam Community Music Festival is Coming to Salem - 08/08/22

Salem, Ore. —Capitol Jam Community Music Festival is coming to Salem on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater. 

The free music festival, suitable for all ages, will host local and regional bands. The event celebrates Salem’s passion for the arts and music, bringing joy and inspiration to the community. The one-day music festival starts at 11 a.m. and continues through 10:30 p.m. 

“Our vision is to showcase our new amphitheater and Riverfront Park, as a destination venue for music, fun, and family entertainment,” says Kathleen Swarm, City of Salem’s Amphitheater Manager

Capitol Jam will draw on artists from the Pacific Northwest and feature many local musicians, including performances from the RiverCity Rockstar Academy. A full list of bands and schedules will be announced soon.

Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available for those in the community who wish to support the inaugural community music festival. 

More information about Capitol Jam can be found at www.cityofsalem.net/capitoljam. See you August 27th, 2022.

UPDATE: Additional Testing Confirms Safety of Effluent Discharge to Willamette River - 08/06/22

UPDATE - City of Salem:  Additional testing at the Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility has confirmed that there are no additional safety concerns in the effluent that is discharged to the Willamette.  Partnering organizations have been notified and all signage along the Willamette River between Spongs Landing Park and Willamette Mission Park will be removed on Saturday, August 6.  

 

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City of Salem Reports High E. Coli Bacteria Test Result in Discharge to Willamette River

During City of Salem’s routine monitoring of treated effluent from the Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility, higher than normal bacteria results were detected in a sample collected at 5:30 a.m. on August 3. The test results for this sample were received on August 4, 2022. 

The City’s Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility is located in Keizer at 5915 Windsor Island Road N.  The City of Salem treats wastewater and discharges treated effluent to the Willamette River at this location.  

Per the City’s effluent discharge permit, additional sampling and testing is being performed to verify the test results.  Additional testing will be completed on August 5, and the test results will be available by August 6, 2022. Signs are being posted in the immediate vicinity along the river.  Until these results have been confirmed people are asked to avoid the Willamette River between Spongs Landing Park, a Marion County Park located in Keizer, and Willamette Mission Park, a State Park also location in north Marion County.

Fun for All Ages: Celebrate Salem Civic Center's 50th Anniversary Aug. 18 - 07/29/22

Salem, Ore. – The City of Salem, in collaboration with community partners, has created a unique afternoon and evening full of fun for all ages in celebration of the Salem Civic Center’s 50th Anniversary. Join the celebration on Thurs., Aug. 18, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Featured activities will include live entertainment, architecture tours, art tours, youth activities, geocaching, art and history exhibits, a resource fair, and more.

Events and activities will be featured throughout the Civic Center campus. Check in at the Peace Plaza (the plaza between the Salem Public Library and the Salem Civic Center) to get a program of scheduled events and a map. 

3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

  • Resource Fair
  • Costume Party
  • Youth Activities
  • Geocaching
  • Art & History Exhibits

Entertainment and Activities (subject to change)

  • 3:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies featuring Army National Guard Electric Ensemble (Peace Plaza)
  • 3:15 p.m. Art Tour (Library Plaza entrance)
  • 3:30 p.m. Micronesian Islander Stories (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 4:00 p.m. Army Natural Guard Acoustic Band (Atrium stage)
  • 4:15 p.m. Architecture Tour (City Hall west plaza entrance)
  • 4:30 p.m. Casa de la Cultura Tlanese (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 4:45 p.m. Art Tour (Library Plaza entrance)
  • 5:00 p.m. Salem Indigenous Now (Atrium stage)
  • 5:15 p.m. Architecture Tour (City Hall west plaza entrance)
  • 5:30 p.m. Center 50+ Ukulele Band (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 6:00 p.m. Neighborhood Recognition (Atrium stage)
  • 6:30 p.m. Paradise of Samoa (Atrium stage)

The City of Salem’s Civic Center, a unique New Brutalist architectural design, located at 555 Liberty St. SE, was completed in August 1972. 

For additional information regarding the 50th anniversary celebration, email 50th@cityofsalem.net.

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Concerns of Emerald Ash Borer Growing in Oregon - 07/28/22

Salem, Ore. —The emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive and invasive insect known for killing ash trees in North America has recently been discovered in western Oregon. 

The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Fairmare), is a wood-boring beetle, and possibly the most destructive forest insect in North America. The EAB presents a significant threat to the Willamette Valley where native Oregon ash groves are abundant. Ash trees are found along local streams and rivers and used in urban landscapes across the city. In other parts of the country, EAB has posed a significant threat to ash trees with a mortality rate of 99%, leading to local significant environmental and economic damage. 

City of Salem’s Urban Forester, Milan Davis, has been monitoring the movement of EAB around the country and, in the last few years, has reduced the planting of ash trees along streets and in the City’s parks and stormwater facilities. However, ash trees are abundant across the city, both on public and private property; they are found in yards, parks, green stormwater infrastructure, natural areas, wetlands, and along our rivers, creeks, streams, and other water bodies. 

The City of Salem received direction from the Oregon Department of Forestry to catalog city-owned ash trees and their condition, and potentially remove any city-owned trees that are in poor or declining health, to reduce and delay the impact of the destructive beetle. Of the 32,000 street trees that the Urban Forester has already inventoried, approximately 1,700 are species of ash that are vulnerable to the EAB. The Urban Forester is also working to develop a management plan that includes the use of preventative treatments and standard procedures for tree removal due to emerald ash borer infestation. The quick removal of infected ash trees may be required to slow the spread of the beetle across western Oregon.

If you have questions about potential EAB infestations, maintenance, preventative treatments, or identifying and reporting sightings please contact the Urban Forester. More information on mitigation strategies provided by the state of Oregon can be found at the Oregon Invasive Species Council. Information can be found on the EAB Fact Sheet or reach out to the Oregon Invasive Species Online Hotline.