NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: What’s happening in Salem in January

Neighborhood News is a monthly Salem Reporter feature intended to highlight news or issues of concern to each neighborhood association. Read previous editions here.

Salem is divided into 17 neighborhood associations that meet monthly. They serve as a conduit to city officials for things like park improvements, road projects and planning and building. Learn more and find your association here.

Leaders of each association are invited to submit a brief news item or report highlighting the association’s work, neighborhood concerns, upcoming activities or anything else of interest. Submissions are lightly edited for style and clarity.

Highland Neighborhood Association

Last month, Highland Neighborhood Association and Center 50+ co-hosted a heartwarming Decorate & Donate Holiday Event. Dozens of volunteers came together to wrap hundreds of donated presents, bringing joy to Salem seniors who received those gifts during the holiday season. Families attending the event also enjoyed decorating 250 delicious cookies.

People enjoy the Highland Neighborhood Association and Center 50+ Decorate & Donate Holiday Event (Courtesy/Highland Neighborhood Association)

We extend our heartfelt thanks to Center 50+ for their co-hosting support and to all who generously donated gifts and volunteered their time. With such a tremendous response, we’re already looking ahead to next year, aiming to make it even bigger and better!

As we embark on the new year, join us for our first monthly meeting of 2024 on Thursday, Jan. 11th, at 6:30 pm. You can participate in person at the North Neighbors Resource Center, 945 Columbia St NE, Salem, or virtually via Zoom. This month’s meeting promises an exciting agenda:

-Presentation on the Pedestrian Safety Improved Crossings Project
-Transportation Projects Presentation featuring City of Salem staff
-Adoption of the updated bylaws, a result of diligent work by the executive committee since November

Weather permitting, we also invite you to join us for another Highland Clean Up event on Saturday, Jan. 27th, from 9 am to 11 am. While the location is still to be determined, we welcome your suggestions if you know of a part of Highland in need of some care. Let’s come together once more to make a positive impact on our neighborhood! The City of Salem will provide bags, gloves, and trash grabbers, so all you need to bring is your enthusiasm and comfortable shoes. Email [email protected] with suggested clean-up areas and to RSVP for 1/27!

Whether you’re a longtime resident or new to the neighborhood, your active participation is what makes Highland Neighborhood Association thrive. We look forward to seeing you at our meeting and clean-up event, and to the exciting year ahead!

Submitted by Ryan Erickson-Kulas, secretary-treasurer

Northeast Neighbors

Nooka rose in Englewood Park (Courtesy/Lynn Takata)
Camas at the Oregon State Fairgrounds (Courtesy/Lynn Takata)

Update Thursday, Jan. 11: The MLK Day planting event is being postponed until February due to forecasted freezing temperatures on Jan. 15.

MLK Day Planting Party and Englewood Park Cleanup on Monday, Jan. 15 from 9 am to noon. Help prepare the ground for planting of camas. Volunteer at this day of service in your neighborhood and then join the events honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. We will be planting more native plants in our historic park to support habitat and pollinators. Meet in the east part of the park, 1260 19th St. N.E. 

Volunteers with the Northeast Neighbors neighborhood cleanup (Courtesy/Lynn Takata)

Neighborhood Cleanup on Saturday, Jan. 20th. The NEN neighborhood joined Salem’s Adopt-A-Street program to help keep our city clean. Throughout the year, volunteers meet on Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Safeway located at 1265 Center Street and pick up trash on the 12th Street Promenade. Volunteers are provided fluorescent safety vests, gloves, and bags. The rubbish collected is picked up for disposal by City of Salem.

Join our community and help keep Salem clean! It’s fun and makes you feel good about contributing to our community. Sign up for email alerts to receive information about the trash pickup and other NEN programs at [email protected].

NEN will be submitting two grants to support our neighborhood parks including a soccer goal at McRae Park and native plants for Englewood Park. If you love parks, we welcome your support.

-Submitted by Lynn Takata, chair

Northgate Neighborhood Association

For the last three years, Northgate Neighborhood Association (NGNA) has been partnering with Hallman Neighborhood Family Council (HNFC), whose chair is Eduardo Angulo, doing amazing work together at our Northgate Park with the support of Amador Aguilar, founder and director of Enlace.

Our goal in working together is to show our families, youth, and children in our neighborhood that there are neighbors who care about them and their safety and education, and have a fun place they can call their “Northgate Park.”

Families enjoy a Fun Friday at Northgate Park (Courtesy/Eduardo Angulo)

Just as an example, earlier last year Eduardo approached us asking if there is a way of getting some school children’s hand prints on cement to be placed by the children’s playground at Northgate Park. As park chair, I conveyed this message to our Salem City Parks Director, who came back with a positive response. Attached please see the small hands on the cement. 

These hand prints are from the graduating class of Hallman Elementary School. They are proudly displayed at the playground area now. As these kids grow older, they can return to identify their own hands and they be proud of the display at a neighborhood park.

Handprints from Hallman Elementary School students await display at Northgate Park (Courtesy/Northgate Neighborhood Association)

Last fall, when NGNA received a complaint that the street where one of our board members and Eduardo Angulo amongst others live, was not getting mail, we promptly went into action. Our active and sympathetic board members were quick to vote to help.

The residents on the street were not receiving any mail for over five months. Apparently, a pit bull type dog got loose and bit the mailman who refused to deliver mail at that street after this unfortunate incident. Upon some asking around, we found out that the dog was using some objects near the fence as stepping stone to get out the back fence. We complained to the owner to get the fence matter fixed immediately and they did. In fact, they even installed a brand new fence.

During the over five months delivery was not made, the residents on this street were very inconvenienced due to having to go through sometimes heavy traffic during rush hour in order to pick up mail from the post office at 97301. Some had to pick up their children from school so they were stressed. Sometimes the deliveryman had not returned with their mail for the day, so they had to try again. We went to the 97301 post office to deliver a copy of the letter to the Postmaster General and a kind staff there gave us the address and a phone number to their central office where we could find the Postmaster General. We then talked on the phone with the central mail distribution area supervisor for the Northeast. Now, after calling the mail service, the residents finally got their mail delivery service back. We put ourselves in the residents’ shoes and chose to be persistent rather than giving up and it worked.

A table at a Fun Friday at Northgate Park (Courtesy/Eduardo Angulo)

We have been helping HNFC with events such as safe Halloween parties where we sat together with their volunteer staff and exchanged ideas. This safe Halloween in Northgate Park started two years ago and last year, it drew in over 450 people. Fun Fridays also draws in huge crowds to this park. We see Eduardo’s team have been very active in promoting this which, in fact, now brings in people from all over Salem. Many of them were Pacific Islanders. We are glad to see so many diversity of people at this one park. HNFC has always invited NGNA to set a table or two to promote this association.

Eduardo Angulo and his people are always doing great deeds for the community and we are happy to be part of this, helping one another. Isn’t that what a good community is all about?

-Submitted by Kaethe Mentrum, secretary and parks chair

South Central Association of Neighbors

On December 21, the Salem Historic Landmarks Commission voted to designate the entirety of SCAN as a Salem Heritage Neighborhood. This non-regulatory designation recognizes the history of our neighborhood, and its role in the formation of our City and the State of Oregon. SCAN now has the exciting opportunity to complete additional education and outreach projects. We hope that everyone will join us in this process by following our Instagram page @scansalemofficial. Watch for calls for volunteer opportunities coming soon! 

The SCAN neighborhood was designated a Salem Heritage Neighborhood in December.

The Super Casual Saturday Salem Bike Ride meets at the bottom of the soap box derby track in Bush Park at 11 AM.

We are looking forward to continuing our discussion on public art as a means of deterring graffiti, and hearing from the City about the implementation of the Safer Street program at our meeting on Wednesday, January 10 at South Salem High School. The meeting begins at 6:30, we recommend guests arrive at 6:15 to ensure they have access. 

There’s always something exciting happening in SCAN!

SCAN’s January 2024 meeting agenda

Submitted by Evan West, vice president

South Gateway Neighborhood Association

Do you live (or work) south of Kuebler between Liberty and I-5 in Salem? If yes, you are a member of the South Gateway Neighborhood Association (SGNA).

Do you want to see more fun things happening closer to home instead of having to drive downtown? 

Would you like to make things better for our community?

Come join us at our annual meeting this Thursday, Jan. 11, at 6:45 p.m. The meeting is hybrid so you can attend in person or over Zoom.

Meeting Link:

Meeting ID: 826 3718 2783

Passcode: 251748

For those wanting to attend in person:

Baxter Community Hall

1780 Baxter Road SE, Salem, OR 97306

Please park in the parking lot south of the building. Parking off of Baxter is reserved for those with accessibility challenges.

For updates from neighbors join the South Gateway Neighborhood Association Facebook page.

Two residents enjoying time at Wes Bennett Park (Courtesy/Dynee Medlock)

-Submitted by Dynee Medlock, chair

West Salem Neighborhood Association

With no WSNA General Meeting in January, the board has been focusing on 2024 goals and looking at more ways to involve and get involved with our West Salem neighbors. 

That said, we’re happy to acknowledge a growing relationship with the community of Capital Manor. Last November, WSNA Chair Mike Freitas, spoke at one of Capital Manor’s Group meetings to better explain WSNA’s role in the community. Capital Manor is a large retirement community in West Salem that boasts eighteen individual community “Groups” (think Neighborhood Associations), that are part of the larger Resident Advisory Council (RAC) of Capital Manor. Mike has been asked to speak on Jan. 16th to another Capital Manor Group to further expand upon WSNA’s role, and possibly explore ways to partner with Capital Manor in the future.

Nikki Phillips, Director of Marketing at Capital Manor, has graciously offered to host WSNA’s April 4 General Membership meeting. We’re excited to be invited and look forward to a large neighborhood turnout. More information regarding this event will follow, but for now, mark your calendar for Thursday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m.. 

Transportation News: The City recently updated the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan and will be implementing a pilot program in 2024 to execute some of their first projects. One of the projects, the installation of speed bumps along Rogers Lane, is happily located in West Salem. A representative from the City Transportation Department will be at our Feb. 1 meeting to discuss the project and answer any questions you may have. 

February Speakers: City Transportation Department regarding the 2024 project plan, Gretchen Bennett from the City of Salem regarding houselessness, and Ellen Stevens from Capital Manor, with an update on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library project in West Salem.

Next Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Roth’s in West Salem. The Community Room, located upstairs, is accessible by stairs and elevator. 

-Submitted by Mo Zwicker, communications chair

Our next edition of Neighborhood News will run in mid-February. Submissions must be received by Monday, Feb. 12 to be included.

Contact Managing Editor Rachel Alexander with submissions or questions: [email protected].

STORY TIP OR IDEA? Send an email to Salem Reporter’s news team: [email protected].

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