Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Concert to benefit school music programs

8 months ago

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Oregon Senate passes 'Domicile Unknown' bill to track homeless deaths

A houseless person sets up a tarp along a downtown street. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter) 

A bill passed Wednesday by the Oregon Senate seeks to give policymakers a better understanding of the challenges of homeless individuals by making a small change to state health records. 

THE ISSUE: Oregon has a growing number of homeless people. But getting numbers on the number of homeless people who die is difficult.

THE BILL: Senate Bill 850

WHAT IT DOES:  The bill requires state death records to mark a homeless person’s residence as “Domicile Unknown” at their time of death.

WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: Proponents of the bill (including its sponsor, state Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem) say the requirement will provide some dignity to the deaths of people experiencing homelessness. It’ll also provide better data that will help policymakers understand the challenges of those who are unsheltered.


Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dallas: Excused

Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Salem: Yes

Sen. Fred Girod, R-Lyons: No

Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem: Yes

Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer: No

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: It heads to the House for consideration. 

-Jake Thomas

8 months ago

Salem police looking for driver in fatal hit and run

Salem police are looking for the driver in a fatal hit and run that occurred in south Salem Friday.

Salem firefighters and police found 61-year-old Galina Dvorskaya, of Salem, in the middle of the 4500 block of Commercial Street near Winco with life-threatening injuries after she was hit by a car on April 16 around 8:30 p.m. The driver wasn’t at the scene.

Dvorskaya was transported to Salem Health and later died from her injuries.

The Salem Police Traffic Team is asking for the public’s help in identifying the involved driver and vehicle by calling 503-588-6293.

-Saphara Harrell

8 months ago

Learn about Salem's former Chinatown during online event Saturday

Salem residents celebrate Qing Ming on April 3, 2021 at Pioneer Cemetery (Courtesy photo)

Learn about Salem’s early Chinese community during an online event hosted by the Portland Chinatown Museum Saturday.

Registration link. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on April 24.

The program will feature new work being done in Salem to uncover the history of its early Chinese American residents. Kimberli Fitzgerald, Salem’s historic preservation program manager, will provide a summary of the excavation of the Chinese Shrine at Salem’s Pioneer Cemetery and Salem’s renewed Qing Ming celebration.

Kylie Pine, curator at the Willamette Heritage Center, will share some of the documents, maps and photos from the museum's collections helping expand the understanding of Salem's historical Chinatown.

Panelists Myron Lee, a retired physician, and Juwen Zhang, a professor at Willamette University teaching Chinese, will discuss Salem’s connection to China by sharing history of early immigrants.

It’s the second program in a series titled “Hidden Histories: Oregon's Early Chinatowns and Chinese Worker Settlements” and made possible by an Oregon Humanities grant

-Saphara Harrell

8 months ago

Virtual chamber music concert to benefit programs in local schools

Alondra Gonzalez Gomez performs with the marching band to welcome freshmen to their first day of in-person school at McKay High School on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Project Chamber Music: Willamette Valley is hosting a virtual benefit concert Saturday to support its programs in local schools.

Founded in 2016, the organization brings local chamber musicians into middle and high school orchestra classes to perform, rehearse with students and answer questions about life as professional musicians.

Typically, Project Chamber Music musicians perform an annual concert at the Elsinore Theatre with local students and donate the proceeds to school orchestra programs. This year's benefit is online instead.

The program includes two string quartets followed by a Zoom reception with the artists. It will be held at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24. Tickets are free to Salem-Keizer students and available by a donation of any amount to the general public. For more information or ticket, visit the Project Chamber Music website.

-Rachel Alexander