Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Mural For the Community

A mural is taking shape in our community. For some time a group of mural activists have been looking for a spot to place a mural. They finally landed a spot on the side of the YMCA building on Cottage and Court Streets.

A few months ago Lynn Takata, an artist who works with community participatory art, started working to create a program that would eventually end in a mosaic mural on the side of the Y. There have already been lots of community workshops and there are more opportunities for everyone in the community to get involved.

Lynn was at our neighborhood meeting last night and showed us some of the rough drafts for the mural. It looks like its going to be very beautiful. So far it looks like it will include trees and a river with lots of detail worked into them so that it is interesting to look at close up as well as from the street.

Here is the website for the project if you would like to get involved.

They are also still looking for donations to help complete the project and will soon have a Paypal button on their site. Until then, you can make donations to the project through the YMCA. Just make sure your donation is designated for the peace mural.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Keizer on the Mind

Okay, so I know its not exactly Salem, but Keizer has been on my mind lately. I grew up there and my parents still live there, so I sort of get the scoop on Keizer periodically. Plus, I have great Twitter friends like @jugbo and @cljungling who keep me updated on life in the little city to our north.

So, here's my concern. Apparently, Keizer city council has approved a site near the I-5 exchange to be a "big box" store. Basically, a Wal-mart, although they won't admit to it. Residents have apparently checked with all the other big box stores who give an emphatic "No." Only Wal-mart gives a non-commital, "No comment."

The citizens apparently came out in force against this at the city council meeting and yet this proposal still passed the council. Not good.

I think the good citizens of Keizer need to rise up and make a loud noise about this. Egyptian style. Get mad. Write letters. Protest at city hall. Walk the streets with signs. Do whatever it takes.

You think this is a Keizer problem? Well, it is. But what happens in Keizer doesn't stay in Keizer. It spills over into Salem. And vice versa, of course. Which is why we need to look out for each other.

So, go Keizerites! Take back your city!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Football and Philosophy

I have a confession to make...I love watching football.

I know that doesn't sound all that crazy as a confession, especially on SuperBowl Sunday, but hey, I've been kind of in the closet about this for quite awhile. I don't come from a family of football lovers, my friends don't generally watch a lot of football, I don't get invited to big football parties, and I rarely go to games.

But, secretly, deep, deep down somewhere in my soul, watching football makes me happy.

I love the tension and the energy and the crowds and the excitement. I love it when a great team comes together and everything just seems to flow like magic. I love the sweat and the pain and the hot hotties wearing tight pants!

But most of all, I love the passion these men bring to the game. They throw themselves into the game so completely. Their bodies fly into a pileup, they jump to catch a pass, they wrestle their way into the end zone for a touchdown. It's like sometimes they forget they are mortal and push their bodies past what seems humanly possible.

I only wish I could throw myself into something as passionately as they play the game.

Okay, so that might sound a little bit deep for football. But there you go. It's Superblog Sunday in Salem, Oregon, and I thought it was the perfect time to come out of the closet as a football lover.

So, now you know. Don't tell anybody, though, okay?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Welcome to the Future, Salem!

I went to a meeting with some folks from the city last week and heard a presentation from a group University of Oregon communications students. The presentation focused on how to keep neighborhood associations active and relevent in this modern era of technology. I thought it was good information with some good ideas.

Although it would have been nice if the people making the presentation had actually been to a neighborhood meeting, like, ever.

Anyway, the interesting point was that most of the people in the room are in what we'll call the "older generation" and pretty resistant to the ideas in many ways. And yet, we ended up spending the entire 1 1/2 hour meeting talking almost exclusively about this subject and how to make it work, concerns they had, some successes, and creating a smaller group to plan and discuss it. The city even sounds like they will get involved in figuring out how to use social media to communicate with citizens better.

As a blogger, a citizen, and a social media junkie I am very excited about the prospects! What do you think? How could neighborhood associations or the City of Salem use social media to get your attention?