Local News That Matters

UPDATES: City tries again for First Friday concert

June 1, 2022 at 4:25pm

Sprague graduates to celebrate with Saturday car parade

Sprague High School 2022 graduated will be honored during a car parade Saturday, June 4 (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Sprague High School families and supporters will gather Saturday to cheer on the Class of 2022.

The south Salem high school is holding its annual car parade to celebrate graduating seniors. The event is parent-organized.

Seniors will gather in the school parking lot at 2373 Kuebler Boulevard S. at 11 a.m. to decorate their cars orange and black. The parade begins at noon and will travel past Liberty and Schirle Elementary schools before looping back to Sprague. A map of the route is posted here.

"Loved ones and community members are encouraged to park along the route and cheer them on. Our local police and fire will be there to help make our event safe and fun," organizing parent Regan Donofrio wrote in an email.

-Rachel Alexander

June 1, 2022 at 1:03pm

Oregon Secretary of State looking for translators for election information

(Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is looking for Oregonians who can help translate the state-issued Voters’ Pamphlet into 12 languages.

2021 law requires that the pamphlet, which includes biographical and endorsement information provided by candidates and is mailed to each voter, be translated into the most common languages spoken in Oregon beginning with the November general election. 

As part of the law, Fagan will form an advisory council of experienced translators and people who are part of a community that will be served by the translated election materials. Applications are available online and due by 5 p.m. Wednesday, and the council will begin meeting in July.

Council members will review translations and provide advice on other ways to make voting more accessible to voters who don’t speak English fluently. The positions are unpaid, but members will receive per diem payments of around $150 for each meeting. 

About 15.3% of Oregon residents, more than 600,000 people, speak a language other than English at home, and 5.5% of the state’s population rate their ability to speak English less than “very well,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The survey asks respondents who speak a language other than English to rate their English speaking ability as “very well,” “well,” “not well” or “not at all.”

Spanish is the most commonly spoken language other than English – about 9% of Oregonians, and 5% of citizens older than 18, the only residents who can vote, speak Spanish at home, according to the Census Bureau. 

Election materials will also be translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mien, Russian, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. 

Fagan said in a statement that the recent law will make it easier for all Oregonians to vote. 

“Every Oregonian deserves the opportunity to participate in civic life in our State,” she said. “The Translation Advisory Council is a great opportunity to help shape a critical part of that work, and to begin removing barriers to voting for people who speak languages other than English.”

-Julia Shumway, Oregon Capital Chronicle

June 1, 2022 at 10:49am

First amphitheater concert planned Friday following Salem Art Walk

The Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater is lit for the first time on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Salem's new amphitheater in Riverfront Park will host its first concert Friday following the monthly Salem Art Walk.

The city is putting on a free concert starting at 8 p.m. featuring Salem singer and songwriter Rich McCloud, whose music "combines rap, soul, hip-hop, pop, blues-rock, folk, poetry and a fiery spirit to bring inspiration to listeners world wide," according to his website.

The event was intended to be the second in a monthly series starting in May, but city leaders canceled that event because of thunderstorms expected in the forecast.

The concert follows the downtown art walk held from 5-8 p.m., where businesses showcase local artists and have other special events.

The concerts are intended to test the acoustics of the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater, which was finished last summer and donated to the city by the Rotary Club of Salem, said parks department spokesman Trevor Smith.

Other free concerts are scheduled at 8 p.m. on the first Friday of every month through September.

-Rachel Alexander