Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem-Keizer board meets Tuesday

February 8, 2021 at 4:12pm

City is accepting applications for federal urban development projects


Salem City Hall.

The city of Salem is now accepting applications for two federal pots of money for projects intended to increase affordable housing, expand economic opportunities, give neighborhoods a facelift and others. 

The city has $2 million in Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The two programs can be used for a range of purposes such as benefiting low to moderate-income households, rehabilitating affordable rental housing, helping low-income people with rent and others. 

The city also has another $400,000 from its general fund set aside for projects aimed at helping low-income residents. 

Both nonprofits and for-profit companies are invited to apply. Applications, which must comply with strict eligibility, can be found on the city’s website and are due March 10, 2021. More information can be found here or by contacting [email protected].

-Jake Thomas

February 8, 2021 at 2:21pm

True North duo to perform virtual concert Sunday to benefit Salem Cinema

Seats at Salem Cinema (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Salem musicians Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel can’t imagine Salem without its indie movie theater.

So the nationally acclaimed folk duo, who together form True North, are trying to raise funds for Salem Cinema by hosting an online benefit concert on Valentine’s Day with all of the money going to the theater.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Sunday and tickets cost $15 each. Viewers will have the opportunity to tip, donate and buy merchandise during the show.

Grainger and Wetzel have agreed to write a custom song for the first person who donates $1,000 or more. The pair will write the song using the name and theme of the winner’s choice.

Salem Cinema, like many movie theaters across the country, has seen financial hardship due to Covid after monthslong closures with no income.

Owner Loretta Miles hasn’t been able to access government assistance for arts organizations, a release about the performance said.

“It’s truly a special place, worthy of everyone’s help in surviving the pandemic,” Wetzel said in a statement.  

-Saphara Harrell

February 8, 2021 at 11:45am

Salem City Council considers traffic study at Monday meeting

A screengrab of the Salem City Council at its first meeting of the year 2021.

The Salem City Council will meet Monday evening to discuss a new transportation study, consider lease modifications because of economic impacts due to Covid and review council members' committee assignments.


The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Monday and is streamed live on YouTube.

The council will consider authorizing a new project and intergovernmental agreement with Marion County that will study the Cordon Road corridor from the interchange of Interstate 5 and Northeast Chemawa Road to the intersection of Southeast Cordon Road and Southeast Lancaster Drive.

Councilors will discuss modifying or terminating city-owned lease agreements for lease holders that were forced to close for a month or more.

Members will also discuss the city council committee assignments as the council onboards several new faces. The assignments range from the climate action committee to the Legislative committee.

The council will also consider a proclamation recognizing Black History Month. 

-Saphara Harrell

February 8, 2021 at 10:25am

AGENDA: Salem-Keizer board could change the way its members are elected

Members of the Salem-Keizer School Board during a Dec. 8 meeting (Screenshot from YouTube)

The Salem-Keizer School Board will hear updates on the district's plan to return students to in-person school during a Tuesday meeting and could move forward with a plan to change the way school board elections are held.

District administrators will update the board on student academic performance and their plans for school reopening. Kindergarten and first grade students will return to classrooms the week of March 2, with other elementary school students to follow.

The board is scheduled to vote on a plan to change school board elections from districtwide races to zoned races. Currently, board members must live in the zone they represent, but are elected by the entire district.

The board failed to reach agreement on the plan, proposed by Director Jesse Lippold, at a preliminary discussion during its January meeting. Board members will vote on a charter renewal for Optimum Learning Environment Charter School, and a proclamation for Black History Month.

The board meets virtually at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting will be broadcast on channel 21 and on YouTube at the links below. The agenda is available online.

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohwQz9CY7wc

Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv7-lC-U_68

-Rachel Alexander