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May 03, 2021

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I was glad to see you rebuking City of Salem officialdom for employing the "Strawman Argument" technique: that is, saying that their primary concern was protecting theProud Boy's constitutional rights of free speech and freedom to assemble. No one, and I repeat No One, has asked that Proud Boy's fascist drivel be muzzled. Rather, people are asking that their violence and criminality be addressed and hopefully curtailed. The profound dishonesty of using this constitutional rights gambit to deflect and discredit citizen's complaints is breathtaking. Another concern is the police insistence that they had a major presence at the rally. In fact they are now doubling down on their initial misrepresentations, saying that they had 30 policemen assigned to this event. Their statement that there were always uniformed officers present at the rally is simply untrue.
The SPD's primary spokesman for this matter appears to be Lt. Treven Upkes. Many of us will recall this same person alerting the Proud Boys to SPD's plans to enforce a curfew and urging them to hide inside a beauty saloon to avoid any possible problem with the police. One has to wonder whose side this guy is on! Thanks for your excellent coverage of this dreary business.

Can we please not be conspiracy theorists like the right-wingers? Pretty sure the permitting date change was a result of the governor moving Marion County into a higher level of covid, closing indoor dining effective 4/30, than it was an attempt to give comfort to the right-winger rally.

Rob, it isn't a conspiracy theory to point out that the City of Salem changed its requirement for a meeting permit on the day before the gun rights rally was to take place. So far the City of Salem hasn't explained why this was done. Thus your theory about Covid is just a possibility, not fact. Changing the permit requirement date is a fact, by contrast.

It's always better to take the high road: innocent until proven guilty. Context matters and Occam's razor suggests the changing covid rules are more likely than a vast right-wing conspiracy. Because if it's not a conspiracy to bolster the gun nuts, you suggest it is, you risk delegitimizing your concerns.

Rob, it's a fact that City of Salem officials frequently are found to shade the truth or, more bluntly, lying. I've experienced this quite a few times over the years.

Regarding the need for a permit by the gun rally, recently Councilor Andersen said in a KSLM interview that the reason the date a permit was required changed from May 1 to May 31 was that May 1 was a "typo" lacking the 3.

This morning I decided to use the Internet Archive Way Back Machine to see when the parks web page that has permit information was last changed. On March 27 the page said that permits are being accepted for outdoor events in parks occurring May 1, 2021 or after.

So for sure the change didn't have anything do to with Gov. Brown changing Covid risk levels, as you suggested. And in order to believe the typo story, we have to accept that no one applied for a reservation from March 27 to April 30 (the actual time span could be longer; not sure if the Way Back Machine has an earlier date to check).

I say this because if someone had applied for an event permit during April, someone at the parks department would have realized that the web page had the wrong date a permit was required. But instead, the date was changed only on April 30, one day before the gun rally. Thus this sure sounds like a CYA (Cover Your Ass) change at the last minute, not an innocent typo,

Very suspicious, I hope youi'll agree. So the simplest explanation is that a City official changed the date to avoid the gun rally needing a permit, which I'm virtually 100% certain they didn't have -- even though the City web page said that one was required after May 1.

Ya know, I think that there are reasons for permits. One of those reasons may be that it could enable organizers to actually provide legitimate security. The subject of control over cordoned off areas was brought up elsewhere. In those cases, fees for entry may be charged and the organizers generally get special rights like the ability to check bags upon entry or to evict persons.

It seems that in these cases the power to enforce trespass laws comes with the permit. Permit requirements often include specific rules and requirements for security.

This should help to explain why what happened at the park was so unusual and unexpected.

Your conspiracy theory fell apart with this post on Facebook. Next time, verify before you falsely theorize:

Post by Susann Kaltwasser:
What I know for a fact is that the City did not actually change the rules about permits right before the May 1st deadline. The City Manager announced at a City Council meeting in early April while responding to a question about homeless people camping in the parks. He stated very clearly, you can watch the tape, that because the camping program was going to be extended to May 31st, he was going to extend the no permit process until then. He said they would be revisiting the whole situation to see if there was a need to adjust their plans...for camping, etc.
The fact that a page on the City website did not get changed until the end of the month, is not a conspiracy in my opinion. Someone did not realize the need to change the text to match the City Manager's policy decision. That is all.

Rob, I've responded to Susann on Facebook, debunking her attempt to avoid facing the facts about TypoGate. You and she should keep in mind that under our system of government -- local, state, federal -- policies have to be documented in order to be legal, proper, and effective.

City Manager Powers can talk all he want at city council meetings about when permits are required for events in public parks. But if that policy isn't implemented by staff and communicated to the public, it remains just words by the City Manager.

So far the City of Salem has provided zero evidence in support of the contention that all along, permits weren't required until May 31. On the other hand, there is documented evidence that on March 27, the city web site was changed to say that the open use period ended on April 30 and permits were required as of May 1. Only on April 30, the day before the gun rally, was the date changed to May 31.

As I've noted, this obliterates the city's argument that a "typo" was the problem, since "April" is a totally different word than "May." Since city officials lied about this, why do you believe they always tell the truth at other times?

Thus solid evidence exists for my position. No solid evidence has been brought forth for the position of you and Susann, though I've asked City Manager Powers to provide it.

While I admire your devotion to bureaucratic rule following, that doesn't somehow magically make the evidence Susann presented -- videotaped evidence she referenced -- vanish into thin air unless now the conspiracy is that he said in early April he was delaying the permitting until May 31 in a planned effort to have cover for making a last-minute change that allowed the event to happen weeks later. Shine up that tinfoil hat! This is like dealing with a Trumpist who spouts the big lie. I'm out.

Rob, I could flip your "Trumpist" comment around so it points back at you. Many times Trump said things that weren't true. He was going to build a wall and Mexico was going to pay for it. He was going to give the Covid drugs that benefitted him to everybody who needs them at no charge.Those verbal statements weren't true.

Likewise, City officials often say things in City Council meetings that aren't true. You trust a verbal comment over a written policy on the City of Salem web site.

You do realize, don't you, that very few people watch or listen to City Council meetings, right? When I need to learn about what the City of Salem policy is abut something, I go to their web site. Yet you keep on dismissing statements on the web site that remained there for over a month as being less believable than a comment the City Manager made at a council meeting.

How do you know that this comment about May 31 ever was implemented? What makes you think that the written policy communicated to the public on the web site is false, while a comment by a city official is true? Don't you think that if there was documentation that someone purposely edited the web site to say that April 30 was the end of the open use period, defying an order from Powers that May 31 was the correct date, city officials would have made that documentation public by now?

They don't like it when I catch them in apparent falsehoods. My habitual response is, "prove me wrong." Often or usually, they can't. In this case, I'm still waiting for that proof.

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