Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Ike Box celebrates staying in its longtime home

2 months ago

Three-quarters of unvaccinated Oregonians say they'll stay that way

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

The who and why of Covid vaccination in Oregon is split along lines of education, geography and ideology according to a survey conducted by the nonprofit Oregon Values and Beliefs Center.

The online survey conducted from July 9 to July 14 asked 1,464 residents over the age of 18 several questions ranging from their vaccination status to their race to their political ideology. Results were released Wednesday.

Of the respondents, 67% reported receiving at least one dose of the vaccine–slightly lower than statewide data from the Oregon Health Authority that notes 70% of those eligible have been vaccinated. 

Vaccination rates, according to the survey, were highest in the Portland metro and Willamette Valley areas at about 77%, as well as among those with at least a four-year degree. According to the survey, 90% of the respondents with a degree reported being vaccinated.

For those who remain unvaccinated, only 18% said they were either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to get the shot. 

The top reasons participants gave for avoiding the vaccine included being worried about long-term side effects (57%), the speed with which the vaccine was created (47%), fears that it wasn’t safe (34%) and concern over short-term effects (33%).

In line with nationwide conversations, political party affiliation divided participant answers as well. According to the survey, Democrats and unaffiliated voters are nearly three times more likely to be vaccinated than Republicans.

People of color were less likely to have been vaccinated and were more likely to be concerned about the vaccine’s side effects than white Oregonians. According to the survey, 67% of unvaccinated people of color were concerned about long-term side effects compared to 57% of white people. Just 28% of unvaccinated people of color listed “the vaccine isn’t safe” as a reason for declining the shot, compared to 35% of unvaccinated white Oregonians.

The full survey is available here.

-Caitlyn May

2 months ago

Prepare for street closures in downtown Salem this weekend

Winter Street Northeast is closed at Chemeketa Street Northeast on Wednesday, Aug. 4 in preparation for Hoopla (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

If you’re planning on driving downtown this weekend, plan accordingly as many streets will be closed for Hoopla and the Salem Saturday Market.

Hoopla, the state’s biggest 3 on 3 basketball tournament, returns starting Friday with some streets around the Capitol already shut down.

A portion of Northeast Court Street, Northeast Winter Street, Northeast Capitol Street and Northeast Cottage Street will be closed for the event, which runs through Sunday.

This will also be the first weekend Northeast Union and Winter streets will be closed so that people can walk to the Salem Saturday Market.

Those closures will be in effect from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturdays through the end of September.

The Union Street entrance to Riverfront Park will be closed from Friday, Aug. 6 to Tuesday, Aug. 10 for railroad track repairs. Drivers are asked to detour using Northeast Division Street and take the alleyway to Southeast Water Street.

-Saphara Harrell

2 months ago

Ike Box gets a fresh coat of paint as supporters celebrate building purchase

Tiffany Bulgin, co-founder of Isaac's Room, at the Rockin' the Box celebration outside Ike Box on Aug. 4, 2021 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

A fresh coat of paint isn't the only new addition to the Ike Box coffee shop.

The building at the corner of Court Street Northeast and Chemeketa Street Northeast, originally constructed as a funeral home, now has a modern HVAC system rather than decades old oil heating.

The additions were possible after Isaac's Room, the nonprofit which owns and operates the coffee shop, closed a deal in the summer of 2020 to buy the building they had leased for years from the YMCA.

YMCA leaders originally told the coffee shop it had to relocate as part of the gym's expansion to make room for a veteran housing project. But the YMCA later struck a deal to build that housing across the street on land leased from Salem First Presbyterian Church, allowing Ike Box to stay put.

On Wednesday, Mark and Tiffany Bulgin, co-founders of Isaac's Room, joined dozens of supporters at a block party celebrating the deal.

People drink and listen to music at the Rockin the Box block party outside a freshly-painted Ike Box on Aug. 4, 2021 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Tiffany Bulgin said they raised $500,000 from community donations to cover a down payment on a mortgage for the new building and were able to set aside funds for some renovations as part of the purchase.

With the building's future secure, Bulgin said they'll continue to lease and gift space to like-minded nonprofits and community organizations who work with youth. She hopes to resume live music and art events that Ike Box hosted regularly before the pandemic.

"We'll continue to offer this place as a place of hospitality and community," Bulgin said. "We are in a good place."

Rich Swanger & The Little Known Band perform at Rockin' the Box on Aug. 4, 2021 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

-Rachel Alexander

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