Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Splash pads open Friday

June 18, 2021 at 4:39pm

NAACP to recognize Salem students at Friday Juneteenth event

Three Salem students will read their winning essays about the Juneteenth holiday at a Salem-Keizer NAACP celebration Friday evening.

The NAACP is hosting a virtual event to celebrate the June 19 holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. The Oregon Legislature passed a law this year declaring Juneteenth a state holiday.

At 6 p.m. Friday, NAACP President Reginald Richardson and education chair Irvin Brown will speak about Juneteenth. Secretary Tori Algee will introduce three students who won the chapter's essay contest by writing about why the holiday is important.

The students are:

-Dara Elkanah, South Salem High School

-Kevin Alamo Valdes, Waldo Middle School

-Ariel Mee, Pringle Elementary School

More information and a link to the event is available on the event Facebook page.

June 18, 2021 at 1:30pm

Two Salem graffiti artists will create public art mural Saturday at fairgrounds

Salem graffiti artist Eric Tautkus poses at his spring 2020 exhibit "Dementia’s Memoirs" at the Salem Art Association Annex (Courtesy/Salem Art Association)

Salem graffiti artists Eric Tautkus and Chris Casarez are lending their talents to a public health outreach effort Saturday.

The two will create graffiti murals on plastic canvases depicting the Covid vaccine and its safety. They'll begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Silverton Road side of the Oregon State Fair & Expo Center, near the Lana Avenue gate.

Members of the public can come watch the artists work. The pieces are expected to take several hours to complete.

The event, called "Public Health, Public Art," is a collaboration between the Salem Art Association and Salem Health to promote Covid vaccination.

“Graffiti art is familiar to the younger, under-vaccinated generation. It’s important for them to be active, be aware, making big decisions," Tautkus said in a statement.

"Rather than painting on existing walls, artists will create a 'temporary wall' by stretching plastic vinyl between posts that have been temporarily placed into the ground for this purpose," a description of the event said.

-Rachel Alexander

June 18, 2021 at 11:31am

Salem-Keizer district seeks graduate student researcher for historic preservation project

A view from a drone shows construction crews making progress to take down the old Leslie Junior High School, adjacent to South Salem High School. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

The Salem-Keizer School District wants a graduate researcher to help educate local students on local indigenous history and the importance of historic preservation.

The district is offering a $33,000 award for a graduate student to create a curriculum with lessons about the cultural importance of historic sites, methods for preserving them and local Native American history.

The effort is part of the construction project to expand South Salem High School, which will be completed in the fall. 

Because that project included demolishing the historic Leslie Middle School, the district entered into an agreement with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office to mitigate the loss through other historic preservation activities, said Karma Krause, the district’s public engagement manager for construction projects.

The site South Salem High School sits on has cultural significance for local tribes. Krause said she expects the curriculum developed will focus more broadly on local Native American history and cultural preservation, not necessarily on the South site.

“We’ll have to see what the research turns up,” she said.

The district recently extended the deadline for researchers to apply for the award. It is now July 9. More information about the project and how to apply is available on the district website.

-Rachel Alexander

June 18, 2021 at 10:48am

Salem splash pads open Friday

Children play in the splash pad at Riverfront Park in Salem on June 9, 2019 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Salem’s splash fountains open Friday as temperatures are expected to creep into the mid 80s.

The fountains are open every day. Locations and hours are listed below:

Englewood Park, 1260 19th St. N.E., 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Fairmount Park, 650 Rural St. S.,12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Northgate Park, 3575 Fairhaven Ave. N.E, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Riverfront Park, 200 Water St. N.E. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

River Road Park, 3045 River Rd. N.,10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wes Bennett Park, 2200 Baxter Rd. S.E., 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

West Salem Park, 265, Rosemont Ave. N.W., 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

-Saphara Harrell