SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 26
Tennis and pickleball tournament benefits women’s heart health
Salem Health Foundation’s charity tournament fosters friendly competition and medical awareness.
Oregon scientists want your help gathering data on turtles
SALEM ART AND CULTURE May. 23
Salem artist April Waters explores Antarctic in Hallie Ford exhibit
The stark beauty of Antarctic landscapes feature prominently in large canvasses from Salem painter April Waters, who received a National Science Foundation grant to spend time at Palmer Station, a scientific research outpost.
SALEM PEOPLE May. 19
Hundreds honor Gerry Frank, “Oregon’s Premier Citizen"
A public memorial to honor the Salem citizen and Oregon cheerleader drew a former governor, the retired CEO of Macy’s and other dignitaries to share stories of Frank’s life and service to Oregon over decades in business, politics and civic life. Frank died March 13 at age 98.
HISTORY COLUMN May. 13
LOCAL HISTORY: The roadside farm and floral shop that became a tourist attraction
For decades, Eola Acres Floral Shop operated on the side of Highway 22 between Salem and Independence, offering produce, cut flowers, plants and more to visitors from near and far.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 11
Union Gospel Mission event shines a light on Simonka Place for Women
The "Renew" event raised funds for the women's shelter as one graduate shared her story of addiction and recovery.
Help name the truck that will haul fruit for Salem families
SALEM PEOPLE May. 9
Meet the woman working to bring concerts to Salem’s new amphitheater
Kathleen Swarm had a career in event planning before losing her job during the pandemic. She moved back to Salem in 2021 and is the first manager for the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater, which she hopes to grow into a destination for larger events.
Word of Mouth reopening May 12 under new ownership
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 6
Liberty House raises funds with 20s-themed mega raffle
The child abuse prevention and response nonprofit held a hybrid online and in-person raffle April 30 at the Salem Convention Center.
HISTORY COLUMN May. 6
SALEM HISTORY: The "bicycle craze" in Oregon's capital
Within a few years in the late 1800s, bicycles went from being regulated as a potential nuisance in Salem to having a dedicated column in the newspaper. The late Sue Bell, former editor of the Willamette Valley Genealogical Society’s Beaver Briefs, recounts the two-wheel craze.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 5
Mid-Valley Literacy Center celebrates adult learning
The center's annual dinner raised more than $34,000 to support adult literacy programs in the Salem area.
SALEM PEOPLE May. 2
South Salem couple says “yes, in my backyard” with microshelter
Brenda Chandler and Lisa Arana spent their 2022 tax refund to buy and retrofit a small shelter for a formerly homeless woman. They’ve found a friend and fellow gardener, while hosting Cindel Mikesell and her cat.
PHOTO GALLERY Apr. 26
PHOTOS: Spring blooms in Salem
Following a more than 50 year tradition, photographer Ron Cooper grabbed his camera bag and did what he’s always done on the first sunny weekend after Easter: headed for Salem’s parks and the numerous photo opportunities he finds everywhere.
SALEM PEOPLE Apr. 26
Salem former Olympian to be recognized for promoting literacy
Dave Johnson's life changed because of two teachers who pushed him to achieve. He's speaking April 29 at the annual gala for Salem's Mid-Valley Literacy Center, which helps adults learn to read and write English and earn GEDs.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Apr. 25
Salem takes time to honor its leading citizens
The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual First Citizens Banquet recently at the Salem Convention Center.
SALEM RESTAURANTS Apr. 22
New Word of Mouth owners plan to preserve menu
Mychal Arredondo and Nicole Murphy met working at the popular Salem brunch restaurant and got engaged last year. Now, they’re buying the restaurant after the original owners announced their retirement.
SALEM RESTAURANTS Apr. 13
Popular Word of Mouth Bistro announces closure as owners retire
Word of Mouth owners Becky and Steve Mucha are retiring, but hope to sell the restaurant to someone who can keep the beloved brunch spot's character.
SALEM PEOPLE Apr. 13
Fines to disappear for Salem library users under new director
Raised in Molalla, Kim Carroll worked in libraries in Oregon and Arizona before she came to Salem one year ago. Recently selected for the library’s top job, she wants to expand the library’s programming to reach more people.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Apr. 7
Salem artist renders pandemic wishes in oil
As the world shut down, Dago Benavidez turned to his painting to capture the turmoils of 2020 and illustrate places he hoped to visit.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Mar. 31
Therapy and assistance dogs graduate at Keizer event
Joys of Living Assistance Dogs celebrated the training of 32 skilled dogs to aid people with post-traumatic stress disorder and mobility challenges.
Illahe Hills earns national environmental designation
SALEM PARKS Mar. 29
Volunteers bring native plants to Englewood Park
Since 2017, Northeast Neighbors and groups of volunteers have worked to transform the park by creating a Pollinator Garden to attract native bees. A recent work party focused on removing invasive growth and replacing it with native species.
SALEM NONPROFITS Mar. 28
Salem expands its welcome - and housing - for refugees
A “Welcome Home” campaign seeks to give the Salem for Refugees resettlement agency a larger home as it expands rapidly, and eventually fund a new affordable housing project in the Grant neighborhood.
Your empty Oregon bottles and cans can benefit Ukraine
HOMELESSNESS Mar. 21
Art show aims to elevate homeless voices
An art show that opens at Salem’s Infinity Room on April 1 will feature work from people experiencing homelessness.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Mar. 18
Sustainers honored at Family Building Blocks event
The family support nonprofit highlighted its relief nursery in the Santiam Canyon and other services provided for family therapy.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Mar. 14
A big night for Salem's YMCA brings in more than $100,000
After completing a capital campaign for their new building, YMCA leaders are focusing fundraising efforts on their ongoing operations and programs that will be housed in the facility when it opens this summer.
SALEM SCHOOLS Mar. 11
Unified climbing club helps South students build confidence
A weekly meetup at Salem's bouldering gym is helping disabled and nondisabled students build fine motor skills, strength and problem-solve together.
SALEM COMMUNITY Mar. 10
Expansion of free libraries for kids proves popular in east Salem
Salem's two city libraries leave most of north and east Salem without a nearby branch. The East Salem Rotary Club decided to bridge the gap with nine free libraries at schools, community centers and other places catering to kids, stocking more than 6,000 books.
SALEM COMMUNITY Mar. 10
A central Salem warehouse offers hope - and groceries - to families
Since 2008, Hope Station has helped families just shy of qualifying for government assistance who still need help to keep groceries and household staples supplied. Donations soared during the pandemic, enabling them to serve more people.
OREGON PEOPLE Feb. 21
Malheur County auctioneer gavels final event in life lived with honor
Roger Nakashima, as cancer closes in, talks about his auction career, community works and always doing "the best you can." The longtime auctioneer hopes to make an appearance at a final auction this Saturday.
Foster families needed for Salem cats and dogs
SALEM SPORTS Feb. 1
Pickleball national champion aims to grow sport in Salem
With golf's popularity on the decline, Illahe Hills Country Club is embracing pickleball, recently hiring Wes Gabrielsen as its first "head pickleball professional."
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Feb. 1
Oregon Historical Society director shares artifacts during Ag Banquet
The annual celebration of Willamette Valley agriculture drew people to the Salem Convention Center to for food and recognition.
Rotary Club donation will help add outdoor play space at Gilbert House
SALEM SPORTS Jan. 24
Capital Pioneers offer tackle football to women from "all walks of life"
After finishing their inaugural 2021 campaign with an unbeaten record in the regular season, the Capital Pioneers — an all women's tackle football team that is a part of the Women's Football Alliance — have begun preparations for the 2022 season.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jan. 19
Salem woman and dog offer comfort to people on hospice as therapy team
Rhonda Herbert and her sheepadoodle, Daphne, meet with people in hospice care weekly to provide them a source of joy, be it from petting Daphne or receiving her gentle kisses.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jan. 17
Volunteers transform muddy trails, celebrate community at Orchard Heights Park
Salem's parks department is planning improvements at parks around the city in 2022 with a schedule of monthly volunteer work crews. Saturday's work party drew about 20 volunteers to shovel wood chips at the west Salem park.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jan. 14
Salem faith leaders aim to lift spirits, ease omicron concerns through worship
After nearly two years of challenges for places of worship, some faith leaders in Salem are again looking for unique approaches to holding services, this time in response to omicron-induced anxiety among congregants.
SALEM ORGANIZATIONS Jan. 4
Back on stage, Theatre 33 sets sights on growth
The formerly independent play development company is now part of Willamette University, allowing for easier access to grants. Executive director Thomas Nabhan hopes to grow the company's summer season into a festival to attract people from out of town.
SALEM WILDLIFE Dec. 29
Biologist spots river otter enjoying large fish in Salem Civic Center pond
River otters are native to the Willamette River and are occasionally spotted upstream in Salem, but David Craig, who teaches biology at Willamette University, said it’s the first time in 20 years he’s spotted the mammal in the pond.
SALEM PEOPLE Dec. 24
Salem cellist returns to “Nutcracker” shows after 2020 hiatus
Andrea Chandler moved to Salem with her family in 2009, but kept her job in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s orchestra in Seattle. Though it’s an unusual commute, Chandler said it’s worth it to keep performing with friends she’s had for decades.
COLUMN Dec. 23
COLUMN: Counselors can help with supplemental Medicare premiums
Jim Sellers, former Oregon journalist and state agency employee, writes a regular column to help thousands in Salem deal with the confusing world of Medicare and federal benefits. He's available to answer your questions.
PEOPLE AND PLACES Dec. 18
Keizer man to be featured on The Price is Right
On Monday, Dec. 20, Dusty Bowers will appear as a contestant on The Price is Right. It will air at 10 a.m. on KOIN-TV channel 6.
Santa photos at Riverfront Carousel sold out for the season
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Nov. 1
The Yard hosts ghouls and more in Halloween event
JFK, a Salem classic rock band, got costumed Salemites dancing Saturday night at a party at The Yard on State Street.
SALEM PEOPLE Oct. 26
Celebrity llama Caesar stars in new children’s book about finding community
The seven-year-old therapy llama, a fixture at events in the Salem area, will sign copies of his eponymous book, "Caesar the No Drama Llama," via a hoof print stamp, owner Larry McCool said.
SALEM EVENTS Oct. 5
A Disney-themed surprise lifts spirits for June
June, a Mill City two-year-old with cancer got her wish for a play structure and Disney-themed party granted at Salem's Capitol Subaru last week, with help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Sep. 28
Walk and Wag raises thousands for supporting hospice patients with pets
Dogs and their humans gathered Saturday at Minto-Brown Island Park to raise funds for Willamette Valley Hospice's Pet Piece of Mind program.
SALEM PEOPLE Sep. 17
Salem’s longest-running high school reunion going strong after 77 years
The Salem High School Class of 1944 met this week with six members. They joked together and recalled an era when most Salem kids came from farming families and classmates were drafted into military service just days after graduating.
SALEM PEOPLE Aug. 25
Rubber chicken and concertina in tow, Salem’s hospital clown lifts spirits
Mike Bednarek, also known as Dr. Fun E. Bone, has been a clown for decades, but felt called to bring his act to hospitals after his teenage daughter’s serious illness almost 20 years ago. Through corny jokes, amateur card tricks and a little music, he brings a moment of laughter to kids ranging from four days old to 18.
SALEM COMMUNITY Aug. 17
Manor garden offers friendship, flowers and produce for gardeners both new and experienced
A resident-run community garden at retirement village Capital Manor has been a source of solace during the pandemic, giving people a chance to get outside, swap tips and maintain social connections.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Aug. 9
World War II vets from Salem get to soar in vintage aircraft
Dream Flights, a national nonprofit, provided memorable rides on Friday, Aug. 6, to veterans of World War II in recognition of their service.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Aug. 9
McKinley kids bring smiles with volunteer yard work for aging neighbor
Retired forester Grubby Hain, 79, has had trouble taking care of the massive Sequoia tree in his south Salem yard since his cancer diagnosis. A posse of neighborhood kids have stepped up to help.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Aug. 6
Salem's outdoor club returns after Covid closure
The Chemeketans have run an annual hiking trip nearly every year since 1928 - pausing only for World War II and a pandemic. Now, they're back on the slopes of Mt. Rainier and looking for volunteers as more activities resume.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Aug. 4
Project Pooch takes its traveling booth around Salem
The Woodburn-based organization pairs shelter dogs with young men at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility for training to help dogs get adopted.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 30
Southeast Salem neighbors gather for fun and fellowship
A dunk tank, free popcorn and homemade baskets were among the highlights at the gathering held at Capital Park Wesleyan Church.
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS Jul. 30
Salem Symphonic Winds plans August 15 return to the stage
The fifty-odd musicians who make up Salem Symphonic Winds are eager for an upcoming benefit performance at a local winery after over a year practicing solos at home.
LOCAL COLUMN Jul. 29
COLUMN: Oregon trees owe much to birds' gardening
Local birder and natural history author Harry Fuller shares what birds are up to in the Salem area in his "Some Fascinating Things About Birds" column.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 28
PHOTOS: See the new Rotary amphitheater lit for the first time
Riverfront Park's latest attraction will be lit nightly after a test run Tuesday.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 27
Salem's Connections365 raising money to plug into city services
Music, treats and messages marked the recent fundraising event held by Connections365 in Salem.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 26
Cuban music, dancing set stage for Dream Center fundraiser
A Salem nonprofit operating in west Salem drew a good crowd for its recent Havana Nights event.
PHOTO GALLERY Jul. 26
PHOTOS: A who's who shows up for Gerry Frank Amphitheater celebration
The Rotary Club of Salem hosted a dedication ceremony Friday, July 23, for the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater in Riverfront Park in downtown Salem. Many of those who have worked with Frank in his many roles over the years attended.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 24
Gerry Frank celebrated at dedication for amphitheater bearing his name
A Friday evening ceremony brought a crowd of Salem civic leaders and politicians to Riverfront Park, where the Rotary Club of Salem's amphitheater is all but complete. Gerry Frank, 97, was the guest of honor.
OREGON PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 22
AROUND OREGON: Kyle Bode, the man behind the rodeo clown make-up
Pro-barrelman Kyle Bode is all about clowning when he steps into the rodeo arena. But outside of the rodeo he is a husband, father of three boys and dairy farmer that knows the value of a hard day's work.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 22
In 2021 return, Salem's student theater program takes on new stages
A supportive culture where kids aren't afraid to take risks has made Salem's Children's Educational Theatre program a success for decades. Many of the program's usual venues were unavailable this summer, but staff were able to schedule a variety of shows in locations across the city.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jul. 20
Furniture creates a foothold to a better life for Salem refugees
Since Sparrow Furniture launched in 2017, five refugees have been able to find full-time employment after gaining work and English language skills through the nonprofit.
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS Jul. 16
With pandemic restrictions lifted, it's becoming easier to adopt a furry friend in Salem
Willamette Humane Society is holding a special adoption event from Monday, July 19 through Sunday, July 25 at Meow Town - the Pet Smart at 2925 Lancaster Drive N.E. They're also seeking more foster families for animals.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 7
Salem detailer selected to polish Air Force One
Rick Walling, who's run Ultimate Auto Detail in Salem since 1992, is part of an elite team headed to Seattle to care for the jet that once flew Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy around the world.
Families celebrate 4th of July with return of Court-Chemeketa parade
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 5
With restrictions dropped, Salem Multicultural Institute opens its doors again
A look at toys and games from around the world is possible with the latest show at the Salem Multicultural Institute.
Salem Art Association reopens with two in-person exhibits
Artists wanted for Englewood Forest Festival
Oregon State Fair to return in August
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jun. 29
Memory Café offers connections for people with dementia, caregivers
The Alzheimer’s Network of Oregon held its first cafe in Keizer, offering locals with Alzheimer's and dementia and their families a place to connect, have fun and share resources.
SALEM NONPROFITS Jun. 29
Foundation leader reflects on 25 years of helping Salem churches practice what they preach
Though its work occurs mostly behind the scenes, Salem Leadership Foundation has had a hand in starting many of the city’s nonprofit and community partnerships. Those include Family Promise, which provides shelter and help for homeless families, and Salem Free Clinics.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jun. 24
After decades of service, Salem park's garden leader heads for retirement
Gretchen Carnaby started in Bush's Pasture Park propagating geraniums and ended up leading a team that has turned the Salem park into a showcase. She is retiring from her service to the Mission Street Parks Conservatory.
SALEM AREA EVENTS Jun. 21
PHOTOS: Make Music Day Salem marks a return to normalcy and the start of summer
Salem's streets were alive with people on Monday as musicians played across the city during the one-day event.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jun. 21
Art Pour Les Enfants: Local fine art auction shows off local talent
Bidders and artists mingled at the art auction put on by the Boys and Girls Club of Salem Marion and Polk Counties. The charity event raised about $20,000.
Two Salem graffiti artists will create public art mural Saturday at fairgrounds
Salem splash pads open Friday
SALEM EVENTS Jun. 15
Salem’s Awesome 3000 race won’t happen this summer, but organizers have their sights on a 2022 return
For almost 40 years, Salem kids have raced at McCullough Stadium, taking home medals and earning coveted T-shirts. Ongoing pandemic restrictions sunk hopes of a 2021 return for the Awesome 3000. The Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, which has organized the race, closed its doors permanently last year. But its former leader said he's working with other local nonprofits to make sure the Awesome 3000 sticks around long-term.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jun. 14
Even with a pandemic, the Salem Elks lodge kept finding ways to give
The Oregon Elks organization ranked among the highest in the country for charitable activities in 2020. In Salem, members of the lodge racked up hours, dollars and miles driven as they fulfilled the lodge's mission of providing scholarships to high school seniors and helping veterans.
FreeSALEM COMMUNITY Jun. 12
Work starts on Salem's new Boys and Girls Club branch
The family of a long-time supporter of the local Boys and Girls Club was on hand on Thursday, June 10, as ground was turned to start construction on a new clubhouse.
PHOTO GALLERY Jun. 9
PHOTOS: Tours offer gardening inspiration as part of Lord & Schryver Conservancy fundraiser
Lord & Schryver Conservancy, a local preservation nonprofit, held its annual fundraiser over the weekend allowing the public to take a look at nine unique gardens.
SALEM HISTORY Jun. 9
New exhibit tracks the once unlikely rise of Oregon’s wine industry
“Toasting the Mid-Willamette Valley Winemaking Heritage,” a new exhibit at the Willamette Heritage Center takes a look at how the region’s wine industry’s roots from small farm-based operations in the 19th century to multi-billion dollar enterprise. The exhibit includes a look at Salem-based Honeywood Winery, which was once the state’s only bonded winery.
SALEM EVENTS Jun. 8
Weekend race helps bolster funding for local soccer club
Runners competing in a half marathon, 5k or 10k were cheered on by soccer players. The race raised money for Capital Futbol Club, Salem’s nonprofit youth soccer club, on Sunday.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jun. 7
As summer heats up, Salem community pools ready to offer lessons for kids
Several Salem neighborhoods maintain community pools open to the public, and many local fitness clubs have swim lessons available this summer after a 2020 hiatus.
LOCAL HISTORY Jun. 3
SALEM HISTORY: How Deepwood's gardens went from producing vegetables to masterpieces of landscaping
This column is part of a regular feature from Salem Reporter to highlight local history in collaboration with area historians and historical organizations. This week Yvonne Putze, executive director of Deepwood Garden & Museums, explains the history of some of Salem's most iconic gardens.
Enchanted Forest opens Saturday
LIFE IN SALEM Jun. 2
COLUMN: Fledgling season arrives as Salem birds nest, raise young
Local birder and natural history author Harry Fuller shares what birds are up to in the Salem area in his "Some Fascinating Things About Birds" column.
Neighborhood garden tour takes place this weekend
AROUND OREGON May. 31
AROUND OREGON: Oregon Shakespeare Festival will resume in-person performances in July
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced Thursday the company would resume in-person performances in July. “While the State of Oregon has loosened its requirements for outdoor performances, audiences must wear masks and seating is planned to allow for physical distancing, as required by OSF’s union partners,” said the press release.
SALEM HISTORY May. 26
LOCAL HISTORY: Salem takes to the airwaves with KOCO
KOCO was an early Salem AM radio station started in 1947. Willamette Heritage Center shared an undated photo of the station with readers Wednesday in hopes of identifying the people in it. They didn't have to wait long.
Oregon Museum of Mental Health to reopen May 28
SALEM PEOPLE May. 26
Salem teacher designs shirt commemorating an educational “glitch” year
Graphic design teacher Dave Pluister started apparel company Causewagon to raise money and awareness for Salem nonprofits. His latest design seeks to recognize student resilience while benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Salem.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES May. 21
Family Building Blocks keeps auction lively with "Schitt's Creek" theme
The Salem nonprofit held its annual fundraiser virtually for the second year in a row, bringing in almost $360,000 to support families of young children in the mid-Willamette Valley.
SALEM THEATER May. 21
Back from Los Angeles, Salem actor wants to teach teens the craft of theater
Zach DuFault grew up in a football-loving family in Salem but fell in love with acting in college. After eight years studying and acting in Los Angeles, he’s opening The Salem Playhouse to give young people a place to rehearse scenes and practice for auditions.
Willamette Humane Society receives grant to continue saving animals