Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Help name a truck to haul produce in Salem

May 11, 2022 at 2:53pm

Salem teacher union wants input from parents

Salem-Keizer Education Association members rally at the Oregon Capitol in support of increased school funding in February 2019 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Teachers in the Salem-Keizer School District want to get input from parents as their union begins plans for bargaining a new contract.

The Salem-Keizer Education Association, which represents more than 2,000 teachers and other licensed educators in district schools, is holding a series of family forums in May to hear from parents and relatives in small groups.

The first is May 12 at McNary High School from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Tyler Scialo-Lakeberg, the union president, said the forums are an effort to help teachers connect with families directly and "partner with the community" as they decide where to focus their bargaining efforts when their current contract expires on June 30, 2023.

She said families often hear from the school district as an entity, but don't have the chance to speak directly with classroom teachers. The union wants to incorporate parent and community concerns about issues like class size into their bargaining, she said.

“We’ll be just stronger and sometimes it takes that kind of partnership and advocacy," she said.

Scialo-Lakeberg said the association's members are concerned about teacher turnover and retention, as well as the growth of administrative and district-level support positions in recent years over adding additional employees in schools who work directly with students.

She's hoping the upcoming bargaining session can focus on how the district can better use the resources it has.

“We can’t solve all of the ills of public education but we can rewrite the narrative for Salem-Keizer schools," she said.

Additional sessions are scheduled for May 19 at the East Salem Community Center, May 26 at Crossler Middle School and May 31 at Straub Middle School from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

More information is on the flyers below.

-Rachel Alexander

May 11, 2022 at 1:52pm

Annual S.T.E.A.M.’d Up for Kids returns to Powerland Saturday

(Courtesy/Powerland Heritage Park)

Salem kids will get to drive a heritage tractor, take a wagon ride or make rope at Powerland Heritage Park this Saturday.

The annual S.T.E.A.M.'d Up for Kids event brings hands-on activities "designed to stimulate the minds of youth mechanically," a press release said.

The activities include a scavenger hunt, a sandbox with vintage toys and trucks, and demonstrations on steam engines and working a sawmill.

Entry is $6 per person and free for kids 12 and under. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3995 Brooklake Road N.E., Brooks (exit 263 off Interstate 5).

Families can take trolley rides on an authentic vintage double-decker trolley from Blackpool, England for an additional fee of $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Willow Creek Railroad miniature train rides may be available depending on the weather.

Rare items will also be on display at up to 14 museums at the park. The Northwest Vintage Car & Motorcycle Museum includes the oldest known unrestored school bus in the U.S., a 1919 Model T Ford school bus. The oldest-known Caterpillar diesel tractor left, an Old Tusco Sixty, is showcased at the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Museum. And the Pacific Northwest Truck Museum has the first truck Fred Meyer drove to deliver groceries, the press release said.

The front part of the new Willamette Valley Model Railroad & Operating Museum will be open for the first time at this year's S.T.E.A.M.'d Up for Kids, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, the press release said.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

May 11, 2022 at 10:21am

Help name the truck that will haul fruit for Salem families

Elise Bauman, executive director of Salem Harvest, stands next to the yet-to-be-named truck purchased in early 2022 to help haul produce from smaller harvests (Submitted photo)

Salem Harvest needs your best vehicle-naming skills.

The Salem nonprofit, which salvages produce from area farms that would otherwise go unharvested, has a new truck to help with the 2022 season.

The 4x4 Nissan Frontier is the second vehicle in the Salem Harvest fleet. The organization's larger Ford F450, named Sunflower, can haul six totes of produce, but is too large to get between orchard rows and guzzles gas unnecessarily for smaller harvests that don't require her full load capacity, said Elise Bauman, Salem Harvest executive director.

After a holiday fundraising campaign, Bauman purchased the new truck earlier this year. It will be used for lower-volume harvests like berries, cherries and hazelnuts, hauling food to the agencies that distribute it to Salem families in need.

"We are super excited to use it as much as possible to save gas. Sunflower, our larger harvest truck, can carry a lot, but she guzzles the gas. This truck will get nearly twice as many miles per gallon. Good for the environment and our pocket book," Bauman said in an email.

Bauman wants the community to vote on five possible names for the truck, selected from 24 submitted by donors who helped fund its purchase. The names are:

Bud

Filbert

Polly- Nator

Raindrop

Sprout

Those interested can vote on a name until Thursday, May 19 using this form.

-Rachel Alexander