Next day update: I just learned that the appeal has been dismissed on a technicality. No money is needed, since there won't be an appeal. Sad news. Here's what I received in an email:
UPDATE Protection of Howard Hall
A legal technicality in the serving of the copy of the appeal [LUBA Case No. 2014-079 Beverly Rushing, et al v City of Salem] to the City of Salem and Keith Bauer from Mrs. Rushing has resulted in the dismissal of the case before the Oregon Court of Appeals. The appeal documents were submitted to Court of Appeals on time and hand delivered to the City and Mr. Bauer on the next day in the morning.
The community of blindness has no other recourse to save Howard Hall. Howard Hall was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by two qualified professional studies, one in 2009, and subsequently by the State Historic Preservation Office.
This is a final step in the legal case. Issued this afternoon.
Mrs. Rushing had no legal counsel. It is a technical or procedural oversight, not to the merits of the decisions of the City of Salem's Historic Landmarks Commission to deny demolition or the approval of Mayor Peterson and City Council to approve the demolition.
The Order of the Oregon Court of Appeals is attached.
Download Court of Appeals order
No costs are allowed to Mr. Bauer or the City of Salem for the motions to dismiss.
Jon Christenson MURP
Co-Chair, SCAN Parks & Gardens (+ Historic Preservation) Committee
Salemians, the people who are trying to save historic Howard Hall from being demolished by Salem Hospital may need your help. Meaning, some of your money.
Cash isn't needed now. Just an indication of your commitment to donate to a legal fund.
Continuing with a Court of Appeals case requires a land use attorney. With the due date for an opening brief coming up soon, advocates for saving Howard Hall have to make some decisions about how to proceed.
I'm glad to help publicize their possible need for money, and am personally in for at least $100. Here's why.
Salem Hospital is acting like a corporate jerk, aided by a complicit City Council.
The hospital's attorneys have tried to intimidate Beverly Rushing, an elderly blind woman who was a student at the School for the Blind, from trying to preserve the school's last remaining building.
Salem Hospital has refused to meet with representatives of the blind community to talk about ways to re-use Howard Hall instead of tearing it down.
After losing a separate LUBA (Land Use Board of Appeals) case that markedly reduced the size of a planned parking lot adjacent to Howard Hall, thereby allowing beautiful ancient trees to be saved, Salem Hospital got out chainsaws and logging equipment anyway -- spurring well-deserved protests.
The Salem City Council overturned a unanimous decision by the Historic Landmarks Commission to preserve Howard Hall in a disturbing fashion. I counted up six of the ways in this post.
So it seems to me like there are good reasons to keep on fighting for Howard Hall.
I wish the folks who fought the City Council's decision to allow the building's demolition by Salem Hospital had hired a land use attorney to argue their initial LUBA appeal. They didn't. LUBA ruled against them. Which is water under the proverbial bridge.
If they're now able to find an attorney willing to represent them at the Court of Appeals, I'll be pleased to donate to that cause. Everybody deserves their day in court, especially an elderly blind woman who, so far, has gotten screwed over by Salem Hospital and the City Council.
Please consider making a commitment to help pay for an attorney, should this be needed.
Again, either leave a comment on this post or email me. This will help advocates for Howard Hall decide on their next moves.
Salem Weekly, our town's alternative paper, has a couple of great pieces on this subject in the current issue. Check out: