City of Salem
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Junior Ranger Camp. City of Salem photo
Junior Ranger Camp. City of Salem photo
Dozens of Activities are Available This Summer (Photo) - 05/22/24

  • Camps, crafts, classes and activities
  • Tree climbing, nature camps, sports and much more!
  • Fun and affordable activities for children and adults

Salem, Ore. – Learn the basics of wilderness survival, join a Lego® workshop, participate in pickleball and tennis match play, attend basketball camp with new friends – sign up now for these and more City of Salem summer camps and themed adventures.

The City continues to offer popular summer programs from years past such as the summer parks program, as well as some new options this year. All activities are supervised. Browse the 2024 Recreation Guide to discover the many, many fun activities available through the City for all ages.

Workshops, sports, nature and day camps are scheduled throughout the summer.  Evening activities are also available including all-comer track meets, tennis, pickleball and soccer.

Young and old alike will gain new or improved skills and create special summer memories through City activities.

Discover your summer fun and register online, or register in-person at the Salem Customer Service Center, 555 Liberty St. SE, Room 100.

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Map of Center St Detour Routes
Map of Center St Detour Routes
Traffic Alert: Center Street NE Closed to Traffic at 12th Street NE (Photo) - 05/16/24

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is warning drivers who use Center Street NE that the road will be closed east of 12th Street NE at the railroad crossing beginning Tuesday, May 21, 2024, from 6 p.m. to Tuesday, May 22, 2024, at noon The 18-hour closure is necessary to make railroad crossing repairs at the intersection. Traffic on 12th Street NE will be allowed in both directions as construction is taking place. 

Location: Center Street NE closed to traffic at 12 Street NE, Salem, OR.

Date and Time: Tuesday, May 21, from 6 p.m. to Tuesday, May 22, 2024, to noon.

Affected Areas: The Center Street NE road closure will include travel lanes, sidewalks, and parking spaces near the train tracks in the construction zone.

Caution: Drivers are urged to be cautious while traveling, follow all signage, and watch for workers in the area.

This project is a continuation of planned construction work along the Union Pacific Railroad Line within the City of Salem limits. Future closures at the intersections of the Union Pacific Rail Road and Marion Street NE, D Street NE, and Market Street NE are expected in May and June of 2024. 

Please continue to monitor the Current Road Conditions Map on the City of Salem website to receive up-to-date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  For additional information, please contact the City of Salem at 503-588-6211 or service@cityofsalem.net.

Attached Media Files: Map of Center St Detour Routes
University of Oregon's Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) Celebrates Yearlong Partnership with the City of Salem - 05/15/24

WHAT: SCYP Salem End of Year Celebration 

DATE: June 4, 2024

TIME: 3:30 – 6:00 p.m. Drop in anytime to celebrate the partnership.

  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Students final project poster session from two classes - Safe and Connected Salem: Bicycle Transportation Options and Equity and Park Assets.
  • 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Program Remarks and Open House

WHO: Elected Officials, City of Salem staff, University of Oregon leadership, faculty, and students 

PLACE: Center 50+, 2615 Portland Rd NE, Salem, OR 97301

BACKGROUND

Through year-long partnerships, the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) helps communities solve the problems of today and lay the groundwork for a sustainable, livable future—all while helping students prepare for the workforce through applied learning. Over the 2023-2024 academic year the City of Salem partnered with SCYP to complete over 20 courses directed at high priority projects for City Council and the Salem community. For more, see https://sci.uoregon.edu/sustainable-city-year-program-salem.

In Salem, University of Oregon students and faculty studied and made recommendations in SCYP courses that included journalism, architecture, landscape architecture, geography, nonprofit management, planning, public administration, and Portland State University engineering. Final reports from each class will continue to be added and are made available to the public. The City of Salem last worked with SCYP in the 2010-2011 academic year, making them the first repeat city to partner with SCYP. SCYP hosts the final reports and media from that year. 

“This is such a great partnership between the City and the University of Oregon,” said Salem Mayor Chris Hoy. “The ideas and collaboration these students bring to the City are instrumental in helping us tackle a variety of local problems. I’m grateful for their help and insight.”

This SCYP and City of Salem partnership is possible, in part, with support from U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as former Congressman Peter DeFazio, who secured federal funding in FY23 for SCYP through Congressionally Directed Spending and the US Department of Education. With additional matching funds from the City of Salem, the partnership allowed UO students and faculty to study and make recommendations on city-identified projects and issues.

“UO’s SCYP is a proven model of success, using the drive and expertise of students and faculty to discover solutions that move Oregon communities to a clean energy future faster,” Sen. Merkley said. “The entire Salem community will continue to benefit from being an idea-sharing hub over the past school year that provided students with tangible, real-world learning opportunities to make the city more sustainable and resilient to climate chaos.”

“As a proud U of O Law School grad, I’m always gratified when my alma mater extends its statewide reach with timely on-the-ground offerings like these in Salem focusing on the climate crisis and equity,” Sen. Wyden said. “I’m glad the teamwork with our delegation has produced this big win for Salem and the university combining their creativity to develop sustainable solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our state and country.”

The partnership will end with a celebration event with leaders from Salem and the University of Oregon, faculty, students, local elected officials, and community members. A poster session of final projects from two spring courses, Topics in Bicycle Transportation and Equitable Urban Parks, will occur for the first hour of the event for the community to interact and ask questions regarding the student’s work. Formal remarks will feature speakers from both entities, including UO faculty and students highlighting each project, proposed recommendations, and outcomes. Following formal remarks, attendees will have the opportunity to connect with UO faculty and students in an open house format to learn more about how the courses will help create long-term value for the Salem community.

“Students provide excitement, energy, and innovation,” said Salem resident and University of Oregon senior Sulwyn De Crouzuc. “A year of SCYP classes is going to be extremely beneficial for City staff to have access to a wide range of potential solutions and new ways of thinking about complex community issues.”

ABOUT THE SUSTAINABLE CITY YEAR PROGRAM:

Established in 2009, SCYP is now in its 14th year of partnerships with Oregon communities. SCYP partnerships connect University of Oregon students with local communities to implement real change drawing directly from community-identified issues. Through hands-on learning, SCYP harnesses the innovation of students and faculty to offer communities unique perspectives and ideas. Communities emerge from SCYP partnerships with increased community outreach, expanded conversations, and cutting-edge solutions, while students emerge better prepared to enter the workforce. For more, see: https://sci.uoregon.edu/.

ABOUT THE CITY OF SALEM:

The City of Salem is Oregon’s second largest city (179,605; 2022) and the State’s capital. A diverse community, Salem has well established neighborhoods, a family-friendly ambiance, and a small town feel, with easy access to the Willamette riverfront and nearby outdoor recreation, and a variety of cultural opportunities. Salem is in the midst of sustained, steady growth. As a “full-service” city, it provides residents with services such as police and fire protection, emergency services, sewage collection and treatment, and safe drinking water. Salem’s vision is a safe, livable, and sustainable capital city, with a thriving economy and a vibrant community that is welcoming to all. The City’s mission is to provide fiscally sustainable and quality services to enrich the lives of present and future residents, protect and enhance the quality of the environment and neighborhoods, and support the vitality of the economy. 

FUNDING ACKNOWLEDGMENT:

Community partnerships are possible in part due to support from U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as former Congressman Peter DeFazio, who secured federal funding in FY23 for SCYP through Congressionally Directed Spending.

May 18 Traffic Control Plan
May 18 Traffic Control Plan
Traffic Alert: Street Closure Planned for One-Day Event Near Capitol Mall on May 18 (Photo) - 05/14/24

  • Road closures and lane restrictions are expected surrounding the Capitol Mall starting at 10 a.m.
  • Drivers should use extra caution in response to increased pedestrian traffic in the area.
  • The permitted event includes closures of streets and sidewalks along Court Street, Center Street, and Cottage Street NE until 5 p.m. to accommodate increased pedestrian traffic.

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is alerting the public about street closures related to a planned one-day event on Saturday, May 18, 2024, near the Oregon State Capitol Mall. Permitted street closures for the event include Court Street between 12th and Cottage from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and portions of Center and Court Street between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Drivers should expect increased pedestrian traffic and some delays. Temporary signage indicating road closures and lane restrictions will be in place. Drivers are asked to plan accordingly and seek alternate routes during the listed event times. Please drive safely and watch for an increase in pedestrians in the area. 

Closure Details

  • Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Affected Streets: Center Street NE, Court Street NE, and Cottage Street NE near the Oregon State Capitol Mall.
  • Details:  Full or partial street closures will be in effect during much of the day Saturday, May 18. 2024. This will accommodate the permitted activities and ensure the safety of all participants and visitors.
  • Parking: On-street parking may be limited. Information about free parking options downtown is available on our website. 
     

The City of Salem appreciates your cooperation and patience during this event and is committed to ensuring safety and accessibility for all residents and visitors. 

If you have questions, please contact the Public Works Department’s Public Information Office at tbsmith@cityofsalem.net.

Attached Media Files: May 18 Traffic Control Plan
Minto-Brown Island Parking Lots to Begin Construction May 28th, Thanks to the Safety and Livability Bond - 05/13/24

  • Parking Lot #2 will be closed May 28, to begin construction of the new parking lot near the dog park.
  • Thanks to the Safety and Livability Bond, new paved surfaces, stormwater facilities, accessibility upgrades, and landscaping are planned.
  • For more details, go to www.cityofsalem.net/minto-brown

Salem, Ore. — The Minto-Brown Island parking lot paving project, funded by the 2022 Safety and Livability Bond, is scheduled to begin construction on May 28, 2024. This project includes improvements to Parking Lot #2 (Dog Park Area) and Parking Lot #3 (main lot) and is scheduled to be completed before the fall of 2024. 

The project, with a budget of $1.54 million, includes the following key elements:

  • New paved and striped surfaces for Parking Lot #2 and Parking Lot #3
  • Stormwater drainage improvements and treatment
  • Accessibility upgrades connecting the parking lots with the park trail and pathways
  • Landscaping around the new parking lots
  • Installation of bicycle parking facilities

Construction Impacts:

While the designated off-leash dog exercise area (i.e., dog park) and shared-use pathways will remain open for visitors, there may be temporary disruptions to parking availability and vehicle access during various construction phases. Access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will be available and identified through or around work zones during construction. Please remember to keep your dogs on a leash while walking within the park until arriving at the off-leash dog exercise area.

Construction Schedule:

The contractor will be working Monday – Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning May 28th, 2024.

Phase 1:

  • May 28th Lot #2 Closes and Site Prep Begins – Use Lot #3 and overflow area for parking during construction.
  • Next – Site Clearing and Excavation
  • Next – Concrete Pour for curbs
  • Next – Asphalt Paving
  • Next – Landscaping
  • Lot Opens (Anticipating mid-June, Weather dependent)

Phase 2:

  • Following completion of Lot #2, Lot #3 Closes and Site Prep Begins – Use Lot #1 or Lot #2 for parking during construction.
  • Next – Site Clearing and Excavation
  • Next – Concrete Pour for curbs
  • Next – Asphalt Paving
  • Next – Landscaping
  • Lot Opens (Anticipating late-July, weather dependent)

In February, before bird nesting season began, approximately 30 European birch trees were removed from parking lot #2 due to declining health from an infestation by a boring pest and concern regarding further decline due to construction activity and the resulting changes in microclimate from the new asphalt surface. Two additional non-native trees were also removed due to conflicts with the project.

At parking lot #3, two native black cottonwood trees and one non-native ginkgo tree were removed due to project conflicts.

Trees that were removed will be replaced with new native species in appropriate locations throughout the park in the fall of 2024.

Project Purpose

The heavily used gravel parking lot surfaces deteriorate as weather conditions worsen throughout the year, increasing maintenance costs and creating flooding issues on nearby paths and trails. This project will alleviate flooding issues around the parking lots, increase their size, improve parking efficiency, and increase the availability of spaces serving the dog area and popular trailheads for the park. 

The City of Salem is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all residents and visitors. For more information on future Safety and Livability Bond projects, visit www.cityofsalem.net/2022bond.

Map of Temporary Detour on Chemeketa Street NE
Map of Temporary Detour on Chemeketa Street NE
Traffic Alert: Chemeketa Street NE Closed to Traffic at 12th Street NE (Photo) - 05/10/24

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is warning drivers who use Chemeketa Street NE that the road will be closed east of 12th Street NE at the railroad crossing beginning Monday, May 13, 2024, from 7 p.m. to Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at noon. The 18-hour closure is necessary to make railroad crossing repairs at the intersection. Traffic on 12th Street NE will be allowed in both directions, with one lane closed, as construction is taking place. 

Location: Chemeketa Street NE closed to traffic at 12 Street NE, Salem, OR.

Date and Time: Monday, May 13, from 6 p.m. to Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to noon.

Affected Areas: The Chemeketa Street NE road closure will include travel lanes, sidewalks, and parking spaces near the train tracks in the construction zone.

Caution: Drivers are urged to be cautious while traveling, follow all signage, and watch for workers in the area.

This project is a continuation of planned construction work along the Union Pacific railroad line within the City of Salem. Future closures at the intersections of the Union Pacific Rail Road and Center Street NE, Marion Street NE, D Street NE, and Market Street NE are expected in May and June of 2024. 

Please continue to monitor the Current Road Conditions Map on the City of Salem website to receive up-to-date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  For additional information, please contact the City of Salem at 503-588-6211 or service@cityofsalem.net.

Salem Budget Committee Approves $727.6M Plan, Balances Community Needs and Supports Low-Cost Family Fun - 05/09/24

After seven meetings spanning five months and more than 25 hours, the 25 member Citizen Budget Committee submitted a Budget recommendation for the approval of City Council that responds to community-identified priorities for library service and family activities. 

The work of the Budget Committee began in January 2024 with a presentation on the Five-Year Forecast focusing on the Transportation, Utility and General Funds. That presentation set the direction for the work of the committee recognizing that:

  • To recommend a budget that adheres to the Council Fund Balance Policy, reductions are necessary this year, and
  • To ensure the ongoing delivery of programs and services, new revenue is needed on an ongoing basis.

The City Council has an adopted fund balance policy (C-11) of 15% of budgeted revenues in the General Fund. This allows the City to pay for expenses from July to October when the City begins to receive property tax revenue from the counties. 

While the Five-Year Forecast set the stage, the City Manager's FY 2025 Proposed Budget was the starting place for the committee’s deliberations. The City Manager’s Proposed FY 2025 Budget reflected the Five-Year Forecast and identified more than $4M in reductions. Those reductions impacted services highly valued by the community – library, parks, youth, seniors, and public safety. 

“Over the course of their deliberations, the Budget Committee grappled with the hard reality of balancing the needs and expectations of the community, Council Policy, and declining revenues. Advocates for the library, police and vulnerable communities came out to support maintaining services. Other members of the community advocated spending reductions. The Budget Committee navigated a difficult process and challenging conversations with grace. The Committee did excellent work, and there are still difficult decisions ahead of us. I want to sincerely thank the committee and the community for their time, their commitment to our city, and their willingness to have difficult conversations.”

“Next year, we will face an even larger deficit. We need to increase revenue, or the reductions will be more severe. I encourage everyone who expressed support for City services and programs to stay engaged in the conversation,” reflected City Manager, Keith Stahley. 

After long deliberations, the Budget Committee relied on one-time funds (General Fund and Cultural and Tourism Fund working capital) to restore services identified for reduction. 

Ultimately, the Budget Committee approved a FY 2025 Budget to send to the City Council. Their recommendation:

  • Included an expenditure budget of $727.6 million across all City funds.
  • Restored some proposed General Fund reductions using one-time funding:
    • 7.25 positions at the Library – maintaining current hours
    • Movies in the park, concerts in the park, and the 2025 Kids Relay
    • Irrigation, water fountains, splash pads, and restrooms at neighborhood and community parks
    • One graffiti abatement position for the Police Department – maintaining the two current positions

The Salem City Council will hold a public hearing on the budget on June 10 and is scheduled to vote on adoption at their June 24 meeting.

Background

The City of Salem has faced General Fund budget challenges for well over 20 years. The challenges of a “systemic imbalance” continue to worsen due to the reliance on property tax revenues that were capped by constitutional amendments, Measures 5 and 50. The property tax system in Oregon is broken. The enduring impact of these measures is that they limit the growth of the taxable value of property and set permanent tax rates 

The City of Salem cannot increase property taxes to keep pace with population growth and escalating costs. 

Without a revenue source that keeps pace with escalating costs, we cannot continue to deliver services at the same level. Just like all our budgets, when the cost of groceries and gas increases – we reduce spending in other areas. 

During COVID-19 the US Government offered multiple financial relief packages. This influx of money postponed our financial challenges temporarily. Now those programs have ended, and Salem is returning to the same budget challenge we had in 2019. Without added revenue, increasingly difficult cuts will need to be made.

Map of Court Street Closure and Detour
Map of Court Street Closure and Detour
Traffic Alert: Court Street Closed to Westbound Traffic at 12th Street NE (Photo) - 05/02/24

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is warning drivers who use Court Street that the road will be closed east of 12th Street NE at the railroad crossing beginning Tuesday, May 7, 2024, from 6 p.m. to Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at noon. The 18-hour closure is necessary to make railroad crossing repairs at the intersection. Traffic on 12th Street NE will be allowed in both directions as construction is taking place. 

Location: Court Street closed to westbound traffic at 12 Street NE, Salem, OR.

Date and Time: Tuesday, May 7, from 6 p.m. to Wednesday, May 8, 2024, to noon.

Affected Areas: The Court Street road closure will include travel lanes, sidewalks, and parking spaces near the train tracks in the construction zone.

Caution: Drivers are urged to be cautious while traveling, follow all signage, and watch for workers in the area.

The Current Road Conditions Map on the City of Salem website provides up-to-date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  For additional information, please contact the City of Salem at 503-588-6311 or service@cityofsalem.net.

Come Out and Play! 2024 Recreation Guide Now Available - 05/01/24

  • Classes and activities begin in May
  • Changes to fee waivers have been made in response to General Fund shortfall

Salem, Ore. – Discover your passport to summer fun and adventure! The 2024 City of Salem Recreation Guide is now available online and arriving soon in the mailboxes of past participants. 

Classes and activities in the Recreation Guide begin in May. Fun and exciting supervised summer activities are available for ages 3 to 99. Opportunities include a wide variety of sports (track, tennis, pickleball, basketball, soccer and more), plus wilderness and park play activities.

How to Register

  1. Register in person at the Customer Service Center, 555 Liberty St. SE, Room 100.
  2. Register online at egov.cityofsalem.net/ParksRec.

While most activities continue this year as usual, fee waivers on City of Salem youth programs have been reduced to 20% in response to General Fund revenue shortfalls. 

“While these changes are necessary in light of budget challenges, we want to continue to offer some fee relief for qualifying households,” said Jennifer Kellar, Parks and Recreation Division Manager. “Even with these changes, City of Salem activities are still remarkably affordable in comparison to other available options.”

The partial fee waivers are available to people living within the Salem city limits, who can provide proof of Oregon Health Plan, Oregon Trail Card or WIC participation. Call 503-588-6336 to verify eligibility, or get more information, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information in multiple languages, https://www.cityofsalem.net/ParksRec.

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State Honors Salem's Archaeological Innovation - 04/30/24

 

  • Public Archaeology Day open house is set for Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Resource protection strategy is state and national model
  • Interactive map helps landowners determine whether their land is within a Cultural Resource Protection Zone

Salem, Ore. – Salem's Historic Landmarks Commission was honored April 18 with an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award.

The Award recognizes the Commission's innovative approach in protecting cultural and archaeological resources. Salem’s approach serves as a model locally and nationally, according to a press release from the Oregon Heritage Commission.

“I’m proud of our City’s robust plan to protect historic resources of our many cultures,” said Salem Mayor Chris Hoy, “and to educate the public about our area’s rich cultural heritage.”

The awards are given to individuals, organizations and projects that have made outstanding contributions to preserving Oregon’s Heritage.  

“We are humbled and honored to receive this award from the Oregon Heritage Commission recognizing the work we have done,” said Kimberli Fitzgerald, city archaeologist. “We cannot do this work alone. Without the combined efforts and ongoing support of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, our City Council, the work of our HLC members and city staff as well as support and grant funding from the Oregon SHPO and Heritage programs, we would not have been able to develop the program we have today.”

Salem's archaeological compliance process is built into local land use planning and permitting. The City's comprehensive plan includes an interactive map to determine whether a property is within the Cultural Resource Protection Zone. Salem works with local tribal authorities under memoranda of understanding. They meet monthly and the Tribes can make recommendations regarding the treatment of significant sites. 

In addition to the 12 recipients of a 2024 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award, the Oregon Heritage Commission also recognized 18 standout heritage volunteers from heritage organizations across the state and their critical contributions to heritage preservation efforts in Oregon.

Watch this Oregon Heritage video for more on how we safeguard Salem’s historic and cultural assets.

Public Archaeology Open House Set for May 4

Join volunteer archaeologists and students for this year’s Public Archaeology Open House on Saturday, Mary 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in coordination with the Sheep to Shawl Festival and Willamette Heritage Center.

This year, Salem's public archaeology project expands to the Willamette University campus, the location of the Indian Manual Labor Training School Building. The building later became the Oregon Institute, the first building associated with Willamette University.

This project has been a priority within Salem’s Historic Preservation program since 2020. The project fulfills several goals identified within Salem’s Historic Preservation Plan 2020-2030. The Historic Preservation Plan has identified six primary goals including: identifying, surveying, designating and protecting Salem’s historic and archaeological resources; and improving public outreach and community education about Salem’s diverse local history.

The project has been funded by Certified Local Government grants from the National Parks Service and the Oregon Historic Preservation Office, as well as grants from the Oregon Archaeological Society.

This field work has formed the basis of Oregon’s first statewide National Register nomination to document this early contact period when the first missionaries settled in the Oregon Country, before Oregon even became a Territory. The work has been completed primarily by volunteers from the Oregon Archaeological Society and archaeological students from Willamette University and Portland State University; and volunteers from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde.

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Closure April 29-May 5
Closure April 29-May 5
Correction: Turner Road Closed Between Kuebler Blvd and Deer Park Drive (Photo) - 04/29/24

Salem, Ore. — Drivers in Southeast Salem should be aware of a road closure on Turner Road SE, south of Boone Road SE and north of Deer Park Road SE. The closure will continue through May 5, 2024. 

During construction, northbound traffic will be detoured to Deer Park Road SE continuing to the Aumsville Highway. Drivers are encouraged to use Delany Road to Commercial Street as an alternate route.

The construction project on Turner Road SE is primarily focused on repaving the roadway as part of infrastructure upgrades necessary for the new distribution center currently in development.

Details:

Location: Turner Road S from Deer Park Dr SE to Boone Rd SE

Date and Time: Monday, April 29, 2024, continuing to May 5, 2024.

Affected Areas: Deer Park Dr SE to Boone Rd SE

Caution: Drivers are urged to use Deer Park Dr SE and Aumsville Highway as detours, follow all traffic signage, and watch for workers in the area.

The Active Construction Map provides up-to-date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  To report issues, contact the City of Salem’s Public Works Dispatch Center at 503-588-6211 or service@cityofsalem.net.

Attached Media Files: Closure April 29-May 5