Local News That Matters

Climate action group meets Wednesday

March 2, 2021 at 5:11pm

Help available for Oregon businesses and commercial landlords

Downtown Salem. (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

Small businesses and commercial landlords impacted by the pandemic can apply next week to a program to cover outstanding lease payments. 

The $100 million program will be administered by Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency. The program will open for applications on Monday, March 8.  

According to a press release, both the tenant and the property owner will need to participate in the application process and sign the grant agreement. The initial application needs to be completed by the landlord. 

The program will offer grants up to $100,000 per lease but landlords can’t receive more than $3 million. According to the press release, rhe landlord must agree not to evict the tenant for more than six months and can’t collect penalties or interest between March 1, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021.

The application period will be open for two weeks. Applications will be selected by a lottery system to ensure the money is distributed across the state. The money will be made available in two rounds, with $50 million available in the first. More information can be found on Business Oregon’s website.

-Jake Thomas

March 2, 2021 at 5:09pm

Oregon will distribute Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccines to adult foster homes

Syringes of the Pfizer vaccine during a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Thursday, Jan. 28. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Oregon is scheduled to receive 34,000 doses of a third, recently approved Covid vaccine this week, bolstering the state's supply after seniors 65 and older became eligible for a shot Monday.

Each county in Oregon will receive at least 100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine this week, Oregon Health Authority spokesman Tim Heider said.

Unlike the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines currently approved for emergency use, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot to be effective, simplifying the logistics of inoculating people against Covid. Participants in the vaccine trial also reported fewer instances of allergic reactions, which has led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend the Johnson & Johnson shot for people who reacted poorly to a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

Heider said 4,800 doses in this week's shipment will be used to vaccinate people living in adult foster homes and other seniors who can't leave the home. Some doses will also go to Walmart and Bi-Mart pharmacies, and to other health systems, but the state doesn't yet have a breakdown.

"The supply is expected to grow significantly within the next few weeks," Heider said in an email.

-Rachel Alexander

March 2, 2021 at 10:24am

AGENDA: Marion County commissioners to consider liquor licenses, contract amendment

Colm Willis, Marion County commissioner talks with Commissioner Sam Brentano on May 5, 2020. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider liquor licenses for two wineries, reappoint members of a committee and amend a contract for temporary staffing.


The Antique Powerland Museum Association Inc., the nonprofit which operates Powerland Heritage Park, is requesting approval of a liqour license to operate a winery at 3995 Brooklake Rd. N.E.

The commissioners will also consider approving a liquor license for Vitae Springs Vineyard LLC located at 3675 Vitae Spring Rd.

According to the application, the winery will be open by appointment only.

The commissioners are considering reappointing Shawn Baird, Mark Bjorklund, and Loren Hall to the Marion County Ambulance Service Area Advisory Committee with terms ending January 31, 2024.

They will also consider approving an amendment to a contract with a staffing firm to add an additional $75,000 for temporary account staffing to track COVID-19 funding.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. March 3 and can be viewed on YouTube.

-Saphara Harrell

March 2, 2021 at 9:15am

Salem climate action group meets Wednesday

Salem's Climate Action Plan task force held its first workshop Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Salem’s Climate Action Plan Task Force is meeting for a third workshop Wednesday to focus on climate action strategies.


The group meets from 9 a.m. to noon March 3 and the meeting will be streamed live on YouTube.

Agenda topics include discussion of local climate equity impacts and modeling future greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Members will also hear presentations from Salem's three energy utility companies, Portland General Electric, Salem Electric and Northwest Natural.

-Saphara Harrell