Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Native plant sales goes online

January 5, 2022 at 4:59pm

City Club meeting Friday will cover energy-saving work, resources in the future

Solar panels on the Salem Public Library roof (Courtesy/city of Salem)

Salem residents wondering what shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy means for Oregon's future can get some clarity at Friday's City Club meeting.

The Zoom webinar, titled "Powering the Northwest: Balancing Our Energy Needs with Resources Now and in the Future," is scheduled for noon Friday.

It will cover work people are doing toward clean energy resources, resilient infrastructure and affordable energy costs, according to a statement from the City Club.

"As the impacts of climate change become more and more apparent, aggressive energy policies for decarbonization are being presented and adopted around the world and here at home," the statement read.

People can register for the event on the City Club's website. It's free for members and $5 for non-members.

The event will have two guest speakers - Janine Benner, director of the Oregon Department of Energy, and Maury Galbraith, executive director of the Western Interstate Energy Board.

"People flip switches everyday with the expectation that our lights, appliances, heating systems, entertainment devices, industrial equipment, machinery, and electric vehicles will immediately come alive at our command. Behind those switches is a complicated web of infrastructure and organizations which manage the difficult job of ensuring we have the energy resources to power our lives," the statement read.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

January 5, 2022 at 3:09pm

Salem-area high school girls can earn cash through speech contest

Girls in 10th or 11th grade at a Marion or Polk county school can win up to $500 in the American Association of University Women's annual Speech Trek contest.

The contest, sponsored by the association's Salem chapter, will be held March 5 at Chemeketa Community College. Registration is open now and closes Feb. 19, or after 20 applications are received.

This year's contest theme is "Women's Progress in Equity."

Speakers must prepare an original six-minute speech about a current or historic woman who has excelled in science, technology, engineering or math; who has been an effective advocate for social justice and equity; or has been an effective leader in government.

More information about the contest and its requirements, as well as registration materials and information, are available on the Salem AAUW chapter website.

Three cash prizes for $500, $300 and $200 will be awarded.

-Rachel Alexander

January 5, 2022 at 9:28am

Annual native plant sale starts today, will be held online

Checkermallow, one of the native plants on sale during Marion Soil and Water Conservation District's annual sale. (Courtesy/Wikimedia Commons)

Marion Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual Native Plant Sale will be held online this year.  

The sale starts Wednesday and ends on Feb. 21. There will be no limit on the number of plants people can buy. More than 75 species will be available.

Native plants help enhance habitat for wildlife, birds, and pollinators. 

“Native plants are a great benefit to any landscape because they require minimal or no water once they are established, they rarely require additional fertilizers or pesticides, native plants increase the biodiversity of an area, and they are beautiful!” the district said in a news release.

Profits from the sale will go to the Stan Vistica Memorial Scholarship which is awarded to two students each year from Marion County who are studying natural resources or agriculture at an Oregon college or university.

All orders must be placed online by 5 p.m. on Feb. 21. They can be picked up on March 11 or 12 at Bauman’s Farm and Garden, 12989 Howell Prairie Rd. N.E. in Gervais.

Directions for ordering and scheduling plant pick-up are online.

-Saphara Harrell