Oregon artists savor each moment as they return to the stage for the first time in a year

Joint byline with Bill Poehler Performers had a large part of their identity taken away over the past year. Some tried performing virtually or in small, socially distanced shows. Playing to a camera or in front of a distant, masked audience was a poor substitute for what it’s like in front of a full, live one.Continue reading “Oregon artists savor each moment as they return to the stage for the first time in a year”

Are the white oaks near the new Costco dying? Advocates fear predictions are coming true

Site developers promised to safely transplant the trees. Local environmental advocates argued the move would likely kill them. The latter may have been correct as the leaves on the oaks appear to be mostly brown and some branches have no leaves at all.  Read the full story here.

Feds may investigate Chemawa Indian School in Salem after discovery of Canadian mass graves

Chemawa Indian School in Salem — the oldest continuously operated residential boarding school for Native American students in the United States — may come under federal review following U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s call for the government to investigate its past oversight of such schools.  Read the full story here.

Police body cameras, resources for unsheltered: Highlights of Salem’s $662.6M city budget

Natalie is covering city and economic development for the Statesman Journal for the summer of 2021. This story is part of that coverage. The budget — totaling $662.6 million — covers July 1 through June 30 of next year. It represents the city’s funding for more than 460 specific programs, including new sidewalks, trees and streetlights, but also ongoing projects, like seismic upgradesContinue reading “Police body cameras, resources for unsheltered: Highlights of Salem’s $662.6M city budget”

School board restricts demonstrations at meetings to ‘free speech zones’

A motion passed by the Salem-Keizer school board Tuesday night further limits how members of the public can engage with the governing body. Most school board members said the new motion — which designates free-speech and no-trespassing zones — is needed to ensure public viewers can hear the meetings. However, some activists and community members argue they are being silencedContinue reading “School board restricts demonstrations at meetings to ‘free speech zones’”

Local schools pledged anti-racism last year, but are they following through?

Joint byline with Jordyn Brown Many local schools during the protests acknowledged the continued presence of racism and pledged against it, saying they would “do the work” to confront it in schools and listen more to their students of color. But a year later, with few exceptions, many changes have only appeared in long-term policy reviews or promises. It’sContinue reading “Local schools pledged anti-racism last year, but are they following through?”

It’s been a year since George Floyd’s murder. What’s changed in Salem?

By Connor Radnovich, Dianne Lugo, Natalie Pate, Virginia Barreda and Whitney Woodworth One year removed from Floyd’s death, the Statesman Journal looks back on how the fight for racial equity and justice has developed, and what the road ahead may yet hold. Read the full story here.

Most school board candidates have financial ties to special interest groups

The Salem-Keizer Public Schools governing board is historically a nonpartisan entity. But candidates in the May 18 election are getting money from notably political sources. Big players are investing tens of thousands of dollars into candidates, with some individual campaigns costing around $50,000. Read the full story here.