SALEM PEOPLE Sep. 17
Salem’s longest-running high school reunion going strong after 77 years
The Salem High School Class of 1944 met this week with six members. They joked together and recalled an era when most Salem kids came from farming families and classmates were drafted into military service just days after graduating.
SALEM PEOPLE Aug. 25
Rubber chicken and concertina in tow, Salem’s hospital clown lifts spirits
Mike Bednarek, also known as Dr. Fun E. Bone, has been a clown for decades, but felt called to bring his act to hospitals after his teenage daughter’s serious illness almost 20 years ago. Through corny jokes, amateur card tricks and a little music, he brings a moment of laughter to kids ranging from four days old to 18.
SALEM COMMUNITY Aug. 17
Manor garden offers friendship, flowers and produce for gardeners both new and experienced
A resident-run community garden at retirement village Capital Manor has been a source of solace during the pandemic, giving people a chance to get outside, swap tips and maintain social connections.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Aug. 9
World War II vets from Salem get to soar in vintage aircraft
Dream Flights, a national nonprofit, provided memorable rides on Friday, Aug. 6, to veterans of World War II in recognition of their service.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Aug. 9
McKinley kids bring smiles with volunteer yard work for aging neighbor
Retired forester Grubby Hain, 79, has had trouble taking care of the massive Sequoia tree in his south Salem yard since his cancer diagnosis. A posse of neighborhood kids have stepped up to help.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Aug. 6
Salem's outdoor club returns after Covid closure
The Chemeketans have run an annual hiking trip nearly every year since 1928 - pausing only for World War II and a pandemic. Now, they're back on the slopes of Mt. Rainier and looking for volunteers as more activities resume.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Aug. 4
Project Pooch takes its traveling booth around Salem
The Woodburn-based organization pairs shelter dogs with young men at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility for training to help dogs get adopted.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 30
Southeast Salem neighbors gather for fun and fellowship
A dunk tank, free popcorn and homemade baskets were among the highlights at the gathering held at Capital Park Wesleyan Church.
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS Jul. 30
Salem Symphonic Winds plans August 15 return to the stage
The fifty-odd musicians who make up Salem Symphonic Winds are eager for an upcoming benefit performance at a local winery after over a year practicing solos at home.
LOCAL COLUMN Jul. 29
COLUMN: Oregon trees owe much to birds' gardening
Local birder and natural history author Harry Fuller shares what birds are up to in the Salem area in his "Some Fascinating Things About Birds" column.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 28
PHOTOS: See the new Rotary amphitheater lit for the first time
Riverfront Park's latest attraction will be lit nightly after a test run Tuesday.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 27
Salem's Connections365 raising money to plug into city services
Music, treats and messages marked the recent fundraising event held by Connections365 in Salem.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 26
Cuban music, dancing set stage for Dream Center fundraiser
A Salem nonprofit operating in west Salem drew a good crowd for its recent Havana Nights event.
PHOTO GALLERY Jul. 26
PHOTOS: A who's who shows up for Gerry Frank Amphitheater celebration
The Rotary Club of Salem hosted a dedication ceremony Friday, July 23, for the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater in Riverfront Park in downtown Salem. Many of those who have worked with Frank in his many roles over the years attended.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 24
Gerry Frank celebrated at dedication for amphitheater bearing his name
A Friday evening ceremony brought a crowd of Salem civic leaders and politicians to Riverfront Park, where the Rotary Club of Salem's amphitheater is all but complete. Gerry Frank, 97, was the guest of honor.
OREGON PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 22
AROUND OREGON: Kyle Bode, the man behind the rodeo clown make-up
Pro-barrelman Kyle Bode is all about clowning when he steps into the rodeo arena. But outside of the rodeo he is a husband, father of three boys and dairy farmer that knows the value of a hard day's work.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 22
In 2021 return, Salem's student theater program takes on new stages
A supportive culture where kids aren't afraid to take risks has made Salem's Children's Educational Theatre program a success for decades. Many of the program's usual venues were unavailable this summer, but staff were able to schedule a variety of shows in locations across the city.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jul. 20
Furniture creates a foothold to a better life for Salem refugees
Since Sparrow Furniture launched in 2017, five refugees have been able to find full-time employment after gaining work and English language skills through the nonprofit.
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS Jul. 16
With pandemic restrictions lifted, it's becoming easier to adopt a furry friend in Salem
Willamette Humane Society is holding a special adoption event from Monday, July 19 through Sunday, July 25 at Meow Town - the Pet Smart at 2925 Lancaster Drive N.E. They're also seeking more foster families for animals.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 7
Salem detailer selected to polish Air Force One
Rick Walling, who's run Ultimate Auto Detail in Salem since 1992, is part of an elite team headed to Seattle to care for the jet that once flew Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy around the world.
Families celebrate 4th of July with return of Court-Chemeketa parade
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 5
With restrictions dropped, Salem Multicultural Institute opens its doors again
A look at toys and games from around the world is possible with the latest show at the Salem Multicultural Institute.
Salem Art Association reopens with two in-person exhibits
Artists wanted for Englewood Forest Festival
Oregon State Fair to return in August
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jun. 29
Memory Café offers connections for people with dementia, caregivers
The Alzheimer’s Network of Oregon held its first cafe in Keizer, offering locals with Alzheimer's and dementia and their families a place to connect, have fun and share resources.
SALEM NONPROFITS Jun. 29
Foundation leader reflects on 25 years of helping Salem churches practice what they preach
Though its work occurs mostly behind the scenes, Salem Leadership Foundation has had a hand in starting many of the city’s nonprofit and community partnerships. Those include Family Promise, which provides shelter and help for homeless families, and Salem Free Clinics.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jun. 24
After decades of service, Salem park's garden leader heads for retirement
Gretchen Carnaby started in Bush's Pasture Park propagating geraniums and ended up leading a team that has turned the Salem park into a showcase. She is retiring from her service to the Mission Street Parks Conservatory.
SALEM AREA EVENTS Jun. 21
PHOTOS: Make Music Day Salem marks a return to normalcy and the start of summer
Salem's streets were alive with people on Monday as musicians played across the city during the one-day event.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jun. 21
Art Pour Les Enfants: Local fine art auction shows off local talent
Bidders and artists mingled at the art auction put on by the Boys and Girls Club of Salem Marion and Polk Counties. The charity event raised about $20,000.
Two Salem graffiti artists will create public art mural Saturday at fairgrounds
Salem splash pads open Friday
SALEM EVENTS Jun. 15
Salem’s Awesome 3000 race won’t happen this summer, but organizers have their sights on a 2022 return
For almost 40 years, Salem kids have raced at McCullough Stadium, taking home medals and earning coveted T-shirts. Ongoing pandemic restrictions sunk hopes of a 2021 return for the Awesome 3000. The Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, which has organized the race, closed its doors permanently last year. But its former leader said he's working with other local nonprofits to make sure the Awesome 3000 sticks around long-term.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jun. 14
Even with a pandemic, the Salem Elks lodge kept finding ways to give
The Oregon Elks organization ranked among the highest in the country for charitable activities in 2020. In Salem, members of the lodge racked up hours, dollars and miles driven as they fulfilled the lodge's mission of providing scholarships to high school seniors and helping veterans.
FreeSALEM COMMUNITY Jun. 12
Work starts on Salem's new Boys and Girls Club branch
The family of a long-time supporter of the local Boys and Girls Club was on hand on Thursday, June 10, as ground was turned to start construction on a new clubhouse.
PHOTO GALLERY Jun. 9
PHOTOS: Tours offer gardening inspiration as part of Lord & Schryver Conservancy fundraiser
Lord & Schryver Conservancy, a local preservation nonprofit, held its annual fundraiser over the weekend allowing the public to take a look at nine unique gardens.
SALEM HISTORY Jun. 9
New exhibit tracks the once unlikely rise of Oregon’s wine industry
“Toasting the Mid-Willamette Valley Winemaking Heritage,” a new exhibit at the Willamette Heritage Center takes a look at how the region’s wine industry’s roots from small farm-based operations in the 19th century to multi-billion dollar enterprise. The exhibit includes a look at Salem-based Honeywood Winery, which was once the state’s only bonded winery.
SALEM EVENTS Jun. 8
Weekend race helps bolster funding for local soccer club
Runners competing in a half marathon, 5k or 10k were cheered on by soccer players. The race raised money for Capital Futbol Club, Salem’s nonprofit youth soccer club, on Sunday.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jun. 7
As summer heats up, Salem community pools ready to offer lessons for kids
Several Salem neighborhoods maintain community pools open to the public, and many local fitness clubs have swim lessons available this summer after a 2020 hiatus.
LOCAL HISTORY Jun. 3
SALEM HISTORY: How Deepwood's gardens went from producing vegetables to masterpieces of landscaping
This column is part of a regular feature from Salem Reporter to highlight local history in collaboration with area historians and historical organizations. This week Yvonne Putze, executive director of Deepwood Garden & Museums, explains the history of some of Salem's most iconic gardens.
Enchanted Forest opens Saturday
LIFE IN SALEM Jun. 2
COLUMN: Fledgling season arrives as Salem birds nest, raise young
Local birder and natural history author Harry Fuller shares what birds are up to in the Salem area in his "Some Fascinating Things About Birds" column.
Neighborhood garden tour takes place this weekend
AROUND OREGON May. 31
AROUND OREGON: Oregon Shakespeare Festival will resume in-person performances in July
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced Thursday the company would resume in-person performances in July. “While the State of Oregon has loosened its requirements for outdoor performances, audiences must wear masks and seating is planned to allow for physical distancing, as required by OSF’s union partners,” said the press release.
SALEM HISTORY May. 26
LOCAL HISTORY: Salem takes to the airwaves with KOCO
KOCO was an early Salem AM radio station started in 1947. Willamette Heritage Center shared an undated photo of the station with readers Wednesday in hopes of identifying the people in it. They didn't have to wait long.
Oregon Museum of Mental Health to reopen May 28
SALEM PEOPLE May. 26
Salem teacher designs shirt commemorating an educational “glitch” year
Graphic design teacher Dave Pluister started apparel company Causewagon to raise money and awareness for Salem nonprofits. His latest design seeks to recognize student resilience while benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Salem.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 21
Family Building Blocks keeps auction lively with "Schitt's Creek" theme
The Salem nonprofit held its annual fundraiser virtually for the second year in a row, bringing in almost $360,000 to support families of young children in the mid-Willamette Valley.
SALEM THEATER May. 21
Back from Los Angeles, Salem actor wants to teach teens the craft of theater
Zach DuFault grew up in a football-loving family in Salem but fell in love with acting in college. After eight years studying and acting in Los Angeles, he’s opening The Salem Playhouse to give young people a place to rehearse scenes and practice for auditions.
Willamette Humane Society receives grant to continue saving animals
FreeSALEM HISTORY May. 20
LOCAL HISTORY: Explore Salem's past during Historic Preservation Month
This column is part of a regular feature from Salem Reporter to highlight local history in collaboration with area historians and historical organizations. Kimberli Fitzgerald, Salem's historic preservation officer, shares online resources for discovering Salem history this May.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 19
After 69 years of marriage, Salem couple renews vows surrounded by family
A teenage double date led to a lifelong marriage for Johnny and Doris Hartley, now 88 and 86. Their children said their parents kept a weekly "date night" at 5 p.m. Fridays to sustain their marriage, and often opened their home to others who needed help.
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS May. 18
Marion County volunteers find personal rewards advocating for foster kids
May 18 marks the first time Oregon has dedicated a day to recognize Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs - adults who volunteer to represent foster children's best interests during court proceedings.
SALEM HISTORY May. 14
SALEM HISTORY: Salem's alley names provide a glimpse into the past
As part of Salem Reporter’s local history series, Jacqueline Heavey, chair of the design committee for the Salem Main Street Association, explains the reason for an alleyway naming project and delves into the history of Electric Alley.
Salem Multicultural Institute receives $10,000 national arts grant
LOCAL SPORTS May. 14
PHOTOS: Baseball returns to Keizer with Volcanoes' first game of 2021
The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes kicked off the 2021 season Thursday night in their first game as part of the new, independent Mavericks League. The Portland Mavericks took home a 4-2 win.
Oregon Farm Bureau rolls out new guide to state's agricultural bounty
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 13
PHOTOS: Playtime at Gilbert House
Kids are back to playing with bubbles and driving tractors at Gilbert House Children's Museum, which recently reopened indoor exhibits after a closure of over a year.
YMCA's Camp Silver Creek, Camp Greider are back for 2021
Dress as your favorite Schitts Creek character to support Family Building Blocks
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 11
For Salem kids, these bikers stand guard against abuse
The Willamette Valley chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse has been attending court with kids and helping them feel safe confronting abusers since 2014. As daily life slowly returns to normal, the group’s leaders say they’re once again seeing more referrals.
SALEM NONPROFITS May. 7
Meals on Wheels looking for distribution hubs in south, west Salem
As more seniors stayed home during the pandemic, Salem's Meals on Wheels program grew from serving about 450 people daily to 750. To sustain a bigger program and ease the work of volunteer drivers, the program's leaders are now looking for more space.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 6
A spring garden afternoon supports Willamette Valley Hospice's healing through music
In its first in-person event since the pandemic began, Willamette Valley Hospice invited music therapists to perform for guests at a reservation-only jewelry sale to benefit the program.
FreeSALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 5
During a difficult year, Assistance League expands help for Salem students
Volunteers like Jeanette George have helped pick out clothing and assemble kits with basic hygiene items for thousands of students in Salem-Keizer schools this year through their Operation School Bell program.
FreeSALEM COMMUNITY May. 4
After losing everything in Santiam Canyon wildfire, couple returns home thanks to a turn in fortune
Be Bold Street Ministries gave a couple who had been living in hotels for the past seven months an RV and more recently a car that was donated to the Salem nonprofit.
"Feed the Tuba" campaign launches to benefit wind ensemble, Salem food banks
Salem Cinema offers private theater rentals as restrictions take hold
SALEM HISTORY Apr. 30
COLUMN: Former Salem restaurant used to feed inmates at the courthouse
A new Salem Reporter feature highlights local history. The curator at the Willamette Heritage Center explains tough working conditions in a Salem restaurant that fed inmates and patrons of the red light district alike.
Race around Salem to benefit local refugees
SALEM COMMUNITY Apr. 27
Hoping to break ground on “more than a field,” Capital Fútbol Club raises money for expansion
The Salem-based soccer club has operated an increasingly in-demand playing field. Now, it hopes to add two turf fields that’ll serve as a regional sports hub and community center. The club hopes to foster more connections formed through the world’s most popular sport.
Confluence LGBT Chorus seeks new board members
AROUND OREGON Apr. 27
AROUND OREGON: Oscar winner ‘Nomadland’ based on book by former Oregon journalist
Jessica Bruder, an Oregonian/OregonLive reporter from 2006 to 2008, traveled for several years throughout the West and worked alongside her subjects at low-wage jobs to research the 2017 book.
Capitol hosts virtual event honoring Asian Pacific Americans
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Apr. 22
Salem Elks celebrate 125th anniversary
Civic, social and fraternal organizations throughout the country have seen membership declines in recent years, but Salem Elks was growing before the pandemic and has about 500 members who work on volunteer projects to aid homeless veterans and local students.
Learn about Salem's former Chinatown during online event Saturday
Virtual chamber music concert to benefit programs in local schools
SALEM HISTORY Apr. 20
COLUMN: Search for Salem's Chinatown unearths cemetery shrine
A new Salem Reporter feature highlights local history. In our first installment, Salem's historic preservation manager explains how a collaborative archaeology project led to the rediscovery a Chinese funerary table and an annual celebration of the Qing Ming festival.
SALEM COMMUNITY Apr. 19
Salem woman honored for her role preserving legacy of trailblazing women landscape architects
Bobbie Dolp has spent more than 16 years trying to preserve the legacy of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver, the first women to own a landscape architecture firm in the Pacific Northwest. The avid gardener was drawn to the women’s story and helped acquire the Salem property where they did their work.
Pet-loving artists wanted for Willamette Humane t-shirt contest
Salem for Refugees asks for volunteers to help with garden prep
SALEM COMMUNITY Apr. 12
Car choir performs for retirement home in first show off campus
The Chemeketa Car Choir started earlier this year as a way to have student singers perform safely. On Sunday, they performed for hundreds of residents at Capital Manor in a welcome respite following a year of isolation at the retirement home.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Apr. 12
Sprague seniors join storm cleanup effort at Pioneer Cemetery
The cemetery has been closed to the public since the February ice storm brought branches and several trees down across the 17-acre site. With volunteers and contracted crews, the city hopes to reopen the site by Memorial Day.
Conflict resolution speaker coming to Salem April 14
Draw, garden or get a leg up at work with free Chemeketa workshops
LIFE IN MARION COUNTY Apr. 6
PHOTOS: Tulip Fest showcases the Willamette Valley's springtime color
Peak blooming season is just ahead for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, which draws visitors to Woodburn to appreciate the spring flowers. After a 2020 cancellation, the farm is back open and will honor passes from last year.
Uncover the secrets of soil at Salem City Club
SALEM LIFESTYLE Apr. 5
PHOTOS: Drone images capture Capitol, cherry blossoms from up high
PHOTOS: Salem's cherry trees have long been a symbol of the city, and a drone photographer caught stunning images of trees in bloom during sunrise at the Capitol.
SALEM LIFESTYLE Apr. 4
PHOTOS: Adapting to restrictions, Shangri-La hosts drive-thru Easter Egg event
PHOTOS: Shangri-La of Salem once again put on its Easter event as an accessible fun time on Saturday, April 3, for those with disabilities.
Willamette Heritage Center to reopen April 6
FreeSALEM AREA EVENTS Apr. 2
PHOTOS: Car parade aims to raise awareness about child abuse
The early morning parade cruised from the Willamette Heritage Center past the Capitol as several groups "painted the town blue" in honor of child abuse prevention month.
Salem to host Ironman triathlon in July
Finish Women's History Month Wednesday with a panel of Salem women
SALEM AREA EVENTS Mar. 30
Austrian music, absurdist poetry coming to Salem as Oregon Symphony plans October return
After more than a year with no live performances, the symphony is planning a regular season of six concerts at Willamette University’s Smith Auditorium, with season tickets on sale now. Newly appointed music director David Danzmayr will make his debut.
SALEM AREA EVENTS Mar. 26
With an uncertain reopening, Salem’s events magazine ponders its future
Carlee Wright is the brains behind Press Play Salem, a bi-monthly free events magazine. She’s debating if she can put out a summer issue after a more than year-long hiatus.
World Beat cancels event that draws thousands for second year in a row
SALEM PEOPLE Mar. 25
After helping write landmark laws and keeping Salem’s nonprofits humming, Ken Sherman retires
In his 46 years practicing law in Salem, Ken Sherman Jr. left his mark on the community through decades of service to civic and nonprofit organizations, particularly Salem Health. Recently retired, he’s eager to keep learning, reading and raising his newly adopted cat.
Reservations open for "recess" at Gilbert House Children's Museum
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Mar. 19
New bubble exhibit will welcome the first kids back to Gilbert House
Salem’s Gilbert House Children’s Museum kicked off a renovation in early 2020 to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Months after work finished, families can at last explore the outdoor play area and check out Bill’s Bubble House as it reopens over spring break.
Salem to celebrate its cherry blossoms on March 20
AROUND OREGON Mar. 16
AROUND OREGON: Libraries shrug off Dr. Seuss book controversy
Seuss books rarely are challenged by library patrons across the nation, she said. “Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke has affirmed our library’s commitment to dismantling systemic racism and oppression,” Cunningham said. In Washington County, Tattersall said individual branches would make decisions about whether to keep the books on their shelves.