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Blogger Brian
Salem, Oregon
Recent Activity
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I'm giving the West Salem Neighborhood Association a big dose of Salem Political Snark for the shameful way a June 19 vote to support the Salem River Crossing (a.k.a. Third Bridge or Billion Dollar Boondoggle) was conducted. The pro-bridge Salem Bridge Solutions group is giddy with delight at how the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Salem Political Snark
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The astroturf (fake grass roots) Salem Bridge Solutions group is super-excited about tonight's West Salem Neighborhood Association meeting. They think there will be a vote at the neighborhood association meeting to support building the Billion Dollar Boondoggle known as the Salem River Crossing, or Third Bridge. And also to build... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Salem Political Snark
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If you're a loyal Statesman Journal subscriber like I am -- I've subscribed since 1977 -- here's some disturbing news for you: us existing subscribers are being charged double what new subscribers are paying. I consider this not only a rip-off, but an insult to those of us who have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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Good news for Salem: the massive waste of a billion dollars known as the Salem River Crossing (a.k.a. Third Bridge) encountered another roadblock at last night's City Council meeting. There was a public hearing on the FY 2017-18 budget, which included $3.6 million to do something with Marine Drive in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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I'm starting to hear people wonder why goings-on at the City of Salem haven't changed more this year, given that four newly-elected city councilors joined Tom Andersen to form a 5-4 progressive majority on the City Council. Well, this is sort of similar to asking why Republicans haven't been able... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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The Powers That Be in Salem who love wasting taxpayer money on special interest projects have set up a new lobbying group for the Billion Dollar Boondoggle known as the Salem River Crossing, or Third Bridge. After browsing through the Salem Bridge Solutions Facebook page and web site, it seems... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
Rain, it's pretty clear from the historical examples in this book that Donald Trump is the true tyrant. Liberals are very mild on the tyranny front by comparison. Trump's speech is tyrannical. His disdain for the media is tyrannical. His dismissal of facts and reason is tyrannical. Please, don't fall into the trap of false equivalency. Trump is not the same as any leading Democrat. The Republican Party is not the same as the Democratic Party. Trump and Republicans are behaving in a much more tyrannical manner than any Democrat has. This is a fact. Read this book and you'll better understand why.
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Yesterday Donald Trump made a great argument for the Salem Climate Action Plan that was a major focus of last night's City of Salem Strategic Plan open house at the Broadway Commons. In one of the most shameful actions in his scandal-plagued presidency, Trump pulled the United States out of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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Donald Trump doesn't accept the reality of global warming. He's working to reverse our nation's environmental protection efforts aimed at reducing harmful carbon emissions. So this makes it even more important that Salem stand up for science, sustainability, and moving toward a 21st century economy that isn't based on outmoded... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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Yesterday Salem voters approved a second-try $62 million police facility bond measure. This is a good time to recollect how citizen activism led by Salem Community Vision (and Salem Can Do Better, an offshoot formed to oppose the first-try bond measure) prevented bad police facility ideas from being implemented --... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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Our nation has a reality-denying president in Donald Trump. Among other things that are objectively true, yet not to his tiny mind, he believes global warming is a hoax. The last thing Salem needs is Trumpian City officials who refuse to accept the scientific consensus that global warming is happening,... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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Yesterday's approval by the House of the dreadful TrumpCare replacement for the Affordable Care Act made me think: we've got to fight this sort of political craziness not only nationally, but also locally. Understand, I'm not at all denying the need for us here in Salem to support the resistance... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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If you like political underdogs, you should love the Salem Can Do Better campaign I'm leading against the second-try $62 million police facility bond, Measure 24-420 on the May ballot. I just checked. The YES campaign being run by Friends of Salem Police has raised $114,750. The Salem Can Do... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
Ken, oops... yes, I did intend to say March. Which I've now said in an edited post. Thanks for catching this.
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Rosemary, seemingly you should be near the end of the window pecking. However, the robins may have two broods. I found this web page that says pecking can occur from May until early August, though like you, we've found that robin pecking can begin in April. http://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/birds/birds-attacking-windows We have a robin nesting in a bush close to our front door, as happened in the same place last year, but fortunately we haven't had any window pecking.
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Dirty little secrets deserve to be broadcast to the world when this is in the public interest. At last night's City Council meeting I was pleased to play a part in revealing something that the folks at City Hall have been trying to hide as best they could: The main... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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Elections matter. Beginning in 2014, five (of nine) Salem city councilors have been elected after vowing to oppose the Third Bridge, also known as the Salem River Crossing. Or, as I like to call it, the Billion Dollar Boondoggle. The Statesman Journal has some good reporting on tonight's 5-4 vote... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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Last Friday I enjoyed hearing Oregon State Senator Ginny Burdick and Sara Batterby, CEO of HiFi Farms and a founding chair of Women Grow, update a Salem City Club audience about what's happening with marijuana in this state. West Salem Cannabis had a display set up in an adjoining room.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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As reported by the Salem Breakfast on Bikes blog, a new downtown group has been formed -- the Salem Main Street Association. On Thursday the 20th, the nascent Salem "Main Street" project is going to have something of an Open House at the Ike Box. I'm planning to attend the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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I'm a proud citizen activist. Like many other progressives in this town, I do my best to -- no big surprise -- bring about progress in Salem. This takes optimism, positivity, a conviction that people working together can overcome obstacles to change. Every day I have fresh ideas about what... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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In every Oregon legislative session there are some land use bills introduced which make me think, "How the heck did this turkey legislation get hatched?" Case in point for 2017 is SB 1024, which I've heard is supposed to address the affordable housing crisis. Except, it doesn't. Not at all.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
Tom, I've edited the post to make it clear that you ALWAYS ride your bicycle to City Council meetings. I do feel the need to point out something that, you, as an attorney, should be well aware of: as a public official you have now entered into a contract of sorts with Salem citizens. "I will ALWAYS ride my bicycle to City Council meetings." Believe me, watching eyes will now be keeping a close look on you the next time there is a significant snow/ice storm on the day of a City Council meeting. If Councilor Tom Andersen is seen walking or driving to the meeting, he will be at considerable risk of being demoted from his #1 position on the official Strange Up Salem "Who is the strangest of them all?" City Council rankings. (Unless, of course, I change my mind on a whim, like our so-called President Trump.)
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Being the founder of Strange Up Salem -- which has morphed from a regular column in Salem Weekly to a popular Facebook page -- I figure nobody in this town is more qualified than me to take on an awesomely important task: Rank the nine members of the Salem City... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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TO: Kristin Retherford City of Salem Urban Development Director, and Chair, Downtown Salem Streetscape Committee FROM: Brian Hines RE: Thoughts about transforming downtown Salem through a Streetscape Project Kristin, I'm super-enthused about what your Streetscape Committee is doing. Carole Smith, one of the members, has shared her synopsis of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2017 at Salem Political Snark
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Here's another reason to vote against Measure 24-420, the second-try $62 million police facility bond measure on the May 2017 ballot: Building a police facility in the north downtown area (on the old DeLon/O'Brien auto dealership site) goes against longstanding plans for how this area should be developed. Salem Can... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2017 at Salem Political Snark