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January 14, 2014


Like Tom McCall would say, come to visit, but don't stay. These snide comments about Oregon don't bother me. I like it here....

Susann, I like it here also. I've been criticizing Oregon while loving it since 1971, when I moved here from California to attend a Portland State University master's program.

Salem has been driving me crazy and keeping me sane since 1977. Same deal: love/hate relationship, with an emphasis on the love.

My wife and I, both retired, think a lot about where else in the country we'd prefer to live. After getting briefly excited about the prospect of moving here or there, we keep coming back to right where we are.

No Exit was, if I recall correctly, an existential nightmare. Or at least a distressing book/play/whatever. But maybe if we end up with a No Exit from Salem, that isn't so bad.

For one thing, it keeps us energized and interested in making this town better. If it already was perfect, or if we could move to somewhere perfect, we'd sit on our butts and vegetate with the perfection.

Yeah, Strochlic, how can you dismiss dismissing Salem.

Git yer Portlandia-butt down here and visit our empty commercial spaces, the vacant lots, the downtown skate-park / less-fortunate's hangout/bedroom, the airport terminal that is now a meeting/entertainment room, the commercial flights to/from nowhere, the ex-Safeway on Commercial waiting for (6 years now?)conversion, the sidewalkless neighborhoods of urban Salem, The Front Street empty condos across from the park (5 years?), and, last but not least, the jewel of the crown, the Bosie-Cascade monument (7-5 years?) right... within... spitting... distance... of one of the few collections of beauty in Salem (you should ignore this, Strochlic); Riverside Park / Willamette River / soon-to-be-bridge-to-Minto/Brown.

Also ran: the Meridian. The once too-expensive-for-Salem condos (monument/sculpture) that are now rental units (at least it is beautiful to look at even if it sticks out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood architecturally).

We are Salem. We are the center of Oregon government. We do it so well, the Governor chooses to live in Portland rather than live in his provided domicile within minutes of his office.

Yeah, Strochlic, how can you ignore us?

Lew, great comment. I nominate you to give the upcoming State of the City address, rather than Mayor Anna Peterson.

Your talk would be a lot more entertaining -- though somehow I suspect the Chamber of Commerce would find a way to get a big hook and pull you off-stage before you finished your remarks.

People like you and me often are accused of being negative Salem-bashers. But the way I see it, reality is real. It needs to be recognized. Only then can you deal with it. When we see Salem as it is, we are better able to make Salem into what we want it to be.

Guys, you nailed it. If Lew had a regular show on CCTV, it'd be a hit.

I'd add: No weekend transit service, Courthouse Square Parts I & II, the $70 million dollar city hall plan ... oh, how those hits just keep on comin'!

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