Local News That Matters

Adult softball and kickball leagues return this spring

March 11, 2021 at 5:13pm

After technical glitch Tuesday, Salem-Keizer board will take up zoned elections proposal March 15

School board member Jesse Lippold Peone at a spring 2019 meeting of the Salem-Keizer budget committee (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

The Salem-Keizer School Board will meet Monday to consider a plan to change how board members are elected.

The board was scheduled to consider the proposal from board Director Jesse Lippold Peone during its March 9 meeting, but a technical glitch stopped the meeting from broadcasting live on YouTube and CC Media midway through.

If adopted, the proposal would change board elections to a zoned system where voters living in each of the seven zones in the school district elect their own representative to the board. Currently, board members must live in the zone they represent, but all board positions are elected by voters from the entire district.

Lippold Peone, who is running for reelection in May, said he would like the change to take effect before that election and believes it will lead to less expensive campaigns and reduce barriers for candidates. Four board seats are up for election this year.

Other board members have said they support the concept, but want more time to gather public feedback.

Public comments submitted to the board ahead of this week's meeting were split, with a majority supporting moving to the zoned system. Thirty-four people told board members they wanted to make the switch, while 24 objected to the plan as presented. A fair number of those objections, however, centered on the timing of the proposal or the lack of public input to date, rather than the change itself.

To participate: The meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, March 15. It will be live streamed on YouTube at the links below and on CC Media, channel 21. Additional public comment will not be accepted because the meeting is a continuation of an earlier meeting.

English: https://youtu.be/ZjVr8C-phvQ

Spanish: https://youtu.be/f8jyqgY8gd0

-Rachel Alexander

March 11, 2021 at 1:09pm

As rebuilding from wildfires continues, Marion County restricts access to roads and parks

Wildfire damage along the Little North Fork River on Oct. 14 (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter) 

Marion County is temporarily closing parks along the Santiam River and restricting access to certain roads to protect the public from hazards while allowing rebuilding from last year's fires.

The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved orders that will only allow property owners, their guests, contractors and agents to access North Fork, Gates Hill, and Pioneer Roads, according to a county press release. 

The county is also restricting access to North Fork Park, Salmon Falls Park and Bear Creek Park and Campground, according to a press release. Specifically, no parking and no bicyclists will be allowed on the North Fork, Gates Hill and Pioneer Road rights-of-way. Additionally, no recreational access will be allowed on the Little North Fork Santiam River from North Fork Road, Gates Hill Road, Pioneer Road, North Fork Park, Salmon Falls Park or Bear Creek Park and Campground.

According to a county press release, the restrictions are meant to protect people from hazards in the corridor leftover from last September’s historic wildfires. 

County parks were badly damaged by the fires and left many large dead and standing trees that can suddenly fall. The Little North Fork Santiam River is unsafe for the public to enter because a large volume of woody debris is making its way down the watershed. 

Marion County Public Works will post road signs on North Fork, Gates Hill, and Pioneer Roads signaling the closures. According to a press release, Public Works anticipates it will take approximately 18 months to restore wildfire-damaged roads and two to three years to fully rebuild county parks.

-Jake Thomas

March 11, 2021 at 12:30pm

Adult softball and kickball leagues return this spring

A crow was the sole occupant of Barrick Field in north Salem on March 23, 2020, following an order from Gov. Kate Brown to close playgrounds and some parks across Oregon (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Dust off those catching mitts and cleats, adult softball and kickball leagues are returning to Salem this spring.

Registration for spring adult softball and kickball leagues is now open until March 17 and available on a first-come, first-served basis.


The doubleheader softball league starts on April 9 and costs $681 for 6 weeks. There are teams for men, women, seniors, and coed teams.

The 6-week kickball leagues start on April 15 and are offered for both coed and men's teams. It costs $280 for six games.

The leagues are held at Wallace Marine Softball Complex in west Salem.

Coaches or team managers should complete one registration form for their entire team as soon as possible to reserve a spot in the league.

-Saphara Harrell