Friday, 5 January 2018

Visionary News

PART OF THE VISIONARY SOCIETY NETWORK

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The Iraq War is a disaster

Pro
Our only mistake made in Iraq was leaving Iraq
“Iraq today suffers not from the 2003 invasion, but from the 2011 withdrawal of all US combat forces. What strengthened Iran’s hand in Iraq was not the absence of Saddam [Hussein], but the absence of coalition troops with a writ to crush efforts by the ayatollahs to support and arm Shi’ite militias. When US forces left, the last possibility of Iraq succeeding as a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional state left with them. Don’t blame Tony Blair and George W Bush for that failure. Blame their successors.”
– John Bolton, Daily Telegraph

Con
Dogs are treated better than detainees in Iraq
If a dog were to be subjected to the type of treatment Iraqi prisoners receive at the hands of some U.S. contractors, the people responsible would be arrested. I was witness to this on a very personal level and ultimately, forced to erase the video footage from my television camera. I didn't feel like I was watching the actions of Americans, instead I thought of groups like the former KGB in the Soviet Union who were known torturers and sadistic government agents free of things like laws and court inquiries.

On this night, U.S. Army Intelligence was complicit in the illegal operations of the other kind of civilian soldier; one not in the military at all. They work for companies like Blackwater. The fact that I had to erase the video footage, in my opinion, amounts simply to a purging of evidence. Exactly where the lines of humanity and decency are drawn in this country appear to be largely unknown.
Tim King

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

asd;flkj alsdkjf as;ldfkj sd

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

Comments

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

Photo of ...

Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

Comments

There are 3 comments for this article

  1. Steven Jobs July 4, 2017 7:25 am

    dived wound factual legitimately delightful goodness fit rat some lopsidedly far when.

    • Jim Calist July 16, 2017 1:29 am

      Slung alongside jeepers hypnotic legitimately some iguana this agreeably triumphant pointedly far

  2. Steven Jobs July 4, 2017 7:25 am

    jeepers unscrupulous anteater attentive noiseless put less greyhound prior stiff ferret unbearably cracked oh.

  3. Steven Jobs May 10, 2018 2:41 am

    So sparing more goose caribou wailed went conveniently burned the the the and that save that adroit gosh and sparing armadillo grew some overtook that magnificently that

  4. Steven Jobs May 10, 2018 2:42 am

    Circuitous gull and messily squirrel on that banally assenting nobly some much rakishly goodness that the darn abject hello left because unaccountably spluttered unlike a aurally since contritely thanks

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

asdlkj; laksdfj;f-9ejfwiqfjqowifj as;lij fa;lskdjf a;lskdfjwpofi-dgjheqr9g8uj qeproija;,jvn;lzkxj va;lksdfj a;lskdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfjs;lfi. asdlkj; laksdfj;f-9ejfwiqfjqowifj as;lij fa;lskdjf a;lskdfjwpofi-dgjheqr9g8uj qeproija;,jvn;lzkxj va;lksdfj a;lskdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfjs;lij. asdlkj; laksdfj;f-9ejfwiqfjqowifj as;lij fa;lskdjf a;lskdfjwpofi-dgjheqr9g8uj qeproija;,jvn;lzkxj va;lksdfj a;lskdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfjs;lfijasdlkj; laksdfj;f-9ejfwiqfjqowifj as;lij fa;lskdjf a;lskdfjwpofi-dgjheqr9g8uj qeproija;,jvn;lzkxj va;lksdfj a;lskdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfjs;lfijasdlkj; laksdfj;f-9ejfwiqfjqowifj as;lij fa;lskdjf a;lskdfjwpofi-dgjheqr9g8uj qeproija;,jvn;lzkxj va;lksdfj a;lskdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfjs;lij. asdlkj; laksdfj;f-9ejfwiqfjqowifj as;lij fa;lskdjf a;lskdfjwpofi-dgjheqr9g8uj qeproija;,jvn;lzkxj va;lksdfj a;lskdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfjs;lfijasdlkj; laksdfj;f-9ejfwiqfjqowifj as;lij fa;lskdjf a;lskdfjwpofi-dgjheqr9g8uj qeproija;,jvn;lzkxj va;lksdfj a;lskdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfjs;lfijasdlkj; laksdfj;f-9ejfwiqfjqowifj as;lij fa;lskdjf a;lskdfjwpofi-dgjheqr9g8uj qeproija;,jvn;lzkxj va;lksdfj a;lskdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfj as;lkdfjs;lfijj
NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

Photo of ...

Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

Comments

There are 3 comments for this article

  1. Steven Jobs July 4, 2017 7:25 am

    dived wound factual legitimately delightful goodness fit rat some lopsidedly far when.

    • Jim Calist July 16, 2017 1:29 am

      Slung alongside jeepers hypnotic legitimately some iguana this agreeably triumphant pointedly far

  2. Steven Jobs July 4, 2017 7:25 am

    jeepers unscrupulous anteater attentive noiseless put less greyhound prior stiff ferret unbearably cracked oh.

  3. Steven Jobs May 10, 2018 2:41 am

    So sparing more goose caribou wailed went conveniently burned the the the and that save that adroit gosh and sparing armadillo grew some overtook that magnificently that

  4. Steven Jobs May 10, 2018 2:42 am

    Circuitous gull and messily squirrel on that banally assenting nobly some much rakishly goodness that the darn abject hello left because unaccountably spluttered unlike a aurally since contritely thanks

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

Comments

There are 3 comments for this article

  1. Steven Jobs July 4, 2017 7:25 am

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    • Jim Calist July 16, 2017 1:29 am

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  2. Steven Jobs July 4, 2017 7:25 am

    jeepers unscrupulous anteater attentive noiseless put less greyhound prior stiff ferret unbearably cracked oh.

  3. Steven Jobs May 10, 2018 2:41 am

    So sparing more goose caribou wailed went conveniently burned the the the and that save that adroit gosh and sparing armadillo grew some overtook that magnificently that

  4. Steven Jobs May 10, 2018 2:42 am

    Circuitous gull and messily squirrel on that banally assenting nobly some much rakishly goodness that the darn abject hello left because unaccountably spluttered unlike a aurally since contritely thanks

Leave a Reply

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly woman or men’s coffee. Walking groups of various kinds. A monthly salon to discuss relevant issues. Trips to museums, etc.

This is an opportunity for people who are transitioning from work to get involved in a meaningful way. Your network of friends narrows and you may have skills that get rusty. This is a way to use some of the expertise you have. Older people like to feel that they are valuable with this group of people, people who have been vetted… If we wait to figure this out there are going to be a whole lot of people in trouble. “Our mission is to fill the gap that other organizations don’t fill (such as Elders in Action).”

What is needed is a core group of about 5 - 10 people who volunteers who will shepherd the organization during its growth phase, do the outreach, build a base of support, get the members. That takes 2 - 4 years. It’s a grassroots process. Our goal is to start each group with about 30 members and volunteers. We try to build a base of 400 - 600 people by the time we open.

The Village Movement is a membership organization. The typical full service monthly membership is $45 for an individual. This includes up to 3 rides per week, access to all social events and the vetted vendor programs. Associated membership, $25 per month. Includes all social activities. And its a kind of insurance policy - ride to the airport, etc. Temporary upgrade up to six weeks to full service membership if there is an emergency. There is a background check based on seven years of addresses.

The Village Movement is a national organization that includes many local groups. Each village has its own government council. It began in 1999 in Boston. There are 200 villages active across the USA and another 150 in development.

The Village Movement
Local group website: www.riverwestvillage.org
Overall website: www.villagesnw.org
Interview
Villages Northwest
The Village Movement: Redefining "Aging in Place." Lynn trainer, Villages Northwest, and Lee Radovich,
https://kboo.org/program/retiredor-rewired

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It’s a great resource to have a number of people to rely on if I’m not able to manage a number of things. It’s great to be able to stay in my own own and be in control of my own schedule.

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: homelessne)
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Visionary Society begins in Anchorage, Portland, and Havana!

This is the first article in the new edition of Visionary News. Lucas, what do you think of this template?

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News of the real, Created by ourselves

Is a meaningful life possible? Can we make use of our intelligence and creativity, our passion and compassion? Can we shake off the trance that makes us sleepwalk through our lives? Can we have real understanding or true friendship?

Most of us feel powerless. That is because we are powerless. Vast forces such as government, corporations, and technology dominate our lives. Within this system we might be able to carve out personal happiness if we are lucky. But this changes little.
The whole way society is organized suppresses our minds. But blaming society – government and corporations – is not helpful and is actually part of the problem. We have to find a way that takes advantage of our tremendous but underutilized abilities.
After our last print experiment more than ten years ago, Alaska Humanity News, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t print again until we were able to actually DO something about the news. Is it possible to actually change something at the root level? That is what we have been wrestling with the last few years.
Visionary News is not what you ordinarily see in the media, which is news of current events, usually from a political perspective. News of the real is what lies under the surface, what produces current events by our fears and instincts, our hopes and dreams. It is the very root of our life. It is at the center of our heart. Can we find it? Maybe not, but at least we can set forth to make the attempt, in every case and in every way.
The things that really matter – the subtle and the sublime – produce the nitty gritty of society, the hot dog stands, the popular movies, the failing health care system, the mighty military machine, the mass incarceration system, and the dysfunctional lives that most of us live. Our lives are too comfortable. We don’t even know who we are. You can’t know if you’re not tested.
Welcome to the first edition of Visionary News. This is not a static, one-way production. Every article culminates in a series of steps that you can take (available in the online edition). Visionary News is dependent on your participation. Let’s make Salem more thoughtful, more meaningful, and – dare we envision it – more sublime.

Visionary Society is the idea that we can actually see – that we can see beyond the hypnotic, conventional, ideological, political dogma that we have been raised in. That we can step aside from the rush of history. And that we can form our own lives and society through nothing other than insight and courage.

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The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance

From the outside, Salem seems like Shangri-La. Our wide, safe streets, lovely suburbs, and generally civil and friendly behavior make Salem a popular destination. But this pleasant exterior is taking place at the expense of freedom, understanding and relationship.

Recent statistics show that Salem has a property crime rate almost three times the national average, or 7,195 incidents per hundred thousand people each year. Oregon is ranked as the worst in the nation for mental health related suicide.
What can explain the discrepancy between the outer and inner state? Nearly all of downtown is devoted to money-making. Almost all city and civil functions are devoted to business and security. Every other basic human need – companionship, adventure, diversity, creativity, spirituality, and helping others – is neglected.
Salem is a fast-growing city. Oregon’s intense natural beauty, the considerably lower cost of living than California, and the state’s recreational marijuana law, is drawing large numbers of people from states where marijuana remains criminalized. Portland residents, overpriced and tired of an overcrowded metropolis, are also relocating to Salem in large numbers, further driving the cost and gentrification of Oregon’s Capital City.
Salem has nearly twice the national average number of veterans, and continues to grow in this area. With military combat veterans in the mix, teen depression, a lack of homeless facilities for women, and hundreds and hundreds of unsheltered people living outdoors, perhaps it isn't surprising that Oregon’s suicide rate has been increasing since 2000.
Many of the same problems exist nationally. The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of American adults meet the criteria for being mentally ill. Ten percent of Americans over the age of four now take anti-depressants. Consumption of anti-depressants is 2/3 of the entire world’s consumption.

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Local cafes serve up standardized, corporate music

The great majority of music played in both large and small retail businesses throughout Salem is created by national artists and distributed by corporations. You might expect something different in our popular, hip cafes, which are some of our only remaining quasi-public spaces. But all of the cafes we visited play music that is produced, paid for and distributed by multinational corporations.

It’s the contemporary music that people all know, and it contributes to a culture of uniformity and apathy. It is desensitizing. Commercial music is typically used to manipulate the feelings and thoughts of customers. It stops conversation and makes it hard to reflect.
We talked to managers and baristas at many Salem coffee houses about where their music comes from, and if they would consider using local music instead. All gave an enthusiastic, favorable response. It makes a lot of sense. Salem musicians would be promoted and become more well-known, their music would reach out and entertain people. And it would be far more interesting for café patrons.
One barista at the Break Point Cafe says it would “be awesome to have local music playing all the time.” A manager from Venti’s Cafe says the idea is interesting but replied, “We use Spotify for music and it is working out really well for us.”
Salem is full of local music talent. Generations of music have been produced in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas. Some bands perform professionally. Others play music simply because they enjoy writing and performing. But local bands have been neglected and have been ripped off.

APPEAL: Help create a playlist of local artists. We will present this to local café managers.

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Local banks take advantage of those in trouble

In addition to poverty, those with little money suffer from the banking system itself. Banks restrict access to bank accounts, making it difficult for those with poor credit or who have no home to engage in the basic economic services needed to lead a decent life.

All banks charge hefty overdraft fees, ranging from $25 to $35 for a single item, taking advantage of the middle class. The challenges are even greater for people living unsheltered, or homeless. Banks accumulate tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year from these fees, a significant part of their profit model.
We visited Salem area financial institutions to learn more about the obstacles financially challenged people face. Selco Bank confirmed that in order for a person to have an account, they have to have a physical address. Although a credit record is not required by some banks, and even poor credit is not disqualifying, all banks use ChexSystems to track fraudulent activity. No one listed as having committed financial fraud is approved for any kind of bank account.
A representative at Union Bank said that they do not run background checks or credit reports on prospective clients, and that customers who have had banking issues can apply for “access accounts” that allow them to have a bank account with limited services.
In our initial outreach we called numerous banks throughout Salem, asking to schedule interviews to discuss how the bank functions in the community. We contacted local branches of multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Chase Bank, as well as credit unions such as Umpqua and Pioneer Trust Bank. Some said that they would get back with us; others said that they would have to contact their main office; and and yet more simply said that they would think about it. No banks responded. It was very disappointing: if we – journalists – can’t easily glean information about banking practices, how can the poor people get a response? So we continued our research by approaching the banks directly.

REQUESTS FOR BANKS
— Fair treatment of poor people or those in trouble.
— Stop predatory practices such as excessive overdraft fees.
— Take into account where money is invested, social justice, and environmental effects.

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Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.

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Salem convenience stores do not carry local products

A review of a number of local store shelves show that most stores carry very little – if anything – in the way of local products. One Shell convenience store and gas station owned by the SanJay company offers no local products of any kind. Another Shell station owned by the Jackson’s chain, located on South Commercial, was also void of local products.

Many Salem convenience stores sell processed food laden with preservatives. They sell cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and pre-packaged food. Many are run by national corporations based hundreds of miles away, and so have little knowledge of or interest in improving the local economy and the health of the people.
Salem, Oregon businesses produce a wide range of products that would fit well in a convenience store. Even popular Kettle Chips, manufactured in Salem, Oregon, are not present on the shelves of most of our convenience stores.

Can stores sell packaged food that benefits the community and the individual?

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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Feeding homeless under Marion Street Bridge now illegal

Officials with the city of Salem have stopped issuing permits that allow volunteers to feed homeless people under the Marion Street bridge in Salem. The city also banned the area as a homeless camping site, saying that the area has become dangerous and dirty and that crime and trash have plagued the area. 

Political position 1
Praising the city’s move, Salem’s local newspaper The Statesman Journal, thanked city officials for taking the steps to clear out the Marion Bridge area, saying, “So we're relieved the city of Salem tried something different Tuesday when it cleared out a makeshift homeless camp of tents that had sprung up around the support beams of the Marion Street Bridge downtown.”

Political position 2
The city has agreed to offer social service providers to members of the homeless camp under the bridge, but services are insufficient. For example, Salem’s Union Gospel Mission currently provides help to men only. There is not a single facility in Salem that offers homeless women a safe place to spend the night. Also, the city requires temperatures to drop to dangerously low numbers before the city will allow warming shelters to open.

News of the real
All people have the right and responsibility to exercise their own will, independence, courage, time and money to help others. Criminalizing this most basic human function – compassion – is a striking form of dehumanization

Find out for YOURSELF at the
Homelessness Topic.

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All Salem supermarkets sell meat from factory farms

All of the Salem supermarkets we visited sold meat from farms that raise meat under abusive conditions.

Roth’s IGA, while carrying plenty of factory farm beef, maintains a selection of packaged beef that is not factory farmed – grass-fed, and by all accounts, a cut above the standard meats. Winco, an employee-owned store, is similar to IGA in that it carries an assortment of both factory farm meat, and healthier, kinder meat products.
You definitely pay more for products that do not originate from a factory farm. Stores that are more specialized, like Trader Joe’s, are quite similar in practice to the two aforementioned stores. While an effort is clearly made to offer healthier foods, most of the beef at Trader Joe’s is actually factory farm meat. The store offers a variety of other more moral meats, but even the beef sold under the store's name originates from factory farms.
The one store we visited in Salem that makes an active effort to source meat from farms where animals were treated humanely is Natural Foods. This store’s employees are well-versed when discussing the merits of their store. One employee explained that the store has extremely strict guidelines and does not sell any factory farm food. We did find a single item that may actually be produced in a factory farm: Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage. While the packaging does say that there are no antibiotics, no MSG, and fed a vegetarian diet, it says little about the way the animals were treated.

Request: “Sell snacks and sandwiches made locally and fresh”
Buy locally whenever possible, purchasing from rural, inner-city, and other locally owned companies and producers, protecting local natural resources.

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The meat we buy should not come from abused animals

asd;flkj alsdkjf as;ldfkj sd

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Alaska Prisons to be held to a standard of basic decency

The United States imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world, often under harsh, dehumanizing conditions. This is a result of years of desensitization to the effects of our actions - the long-term and the inner effects.

"Out of site, out of mind" - but we continue to be responsible, and what we do to the outcasts of our society continues to effect us. Using Visionary Society tools we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, and start making changes that might have been inconceivable.

To get started, Visionary Society is offering a stipend to someone to become a Coordinator of this Request.

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Anchorage soldiers asked for understanding and compassion

Many soldiers are idealistic, willing to sacrifice their very lives for a cause they believe in. Let’s support them in selecting a cause that is worthy of their nation and themselves. The goal of this Request is to reach a critical mass of soldiers to …

Alaska has a large military presence, with soldiers coming from all over the country. There are more than 10,000 active duty and reserve soldiers in Anchorage, at Fort Richardson, an Army Base, and Elmendorf Airforce Base (at JBER, the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson).

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Visionary Society starting in Anchorage

Several projects sponsored by Visionary Society are now underway in Anchorage. In order to get started in a new community Visionary Society is providing stipends for those who have a real interest in a specific area.

Visionary Society is a way to engage businesses and organizations at a level that is rarely attempted. Visionary Society works by exploring the real underlying conditions of a current even, and on envisioning the highest and best possible solutions.

Visionary News


News of the real, Created by ourselves



The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misunderstood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Visionary News is citizen journalism with a mission. Anyone who wishes may contribute to any function of the paper, including writing articles, contributing other content, publicity, or being one of our rotating editors.


Break through socially constructed reality
Sensitivity to life
Seeing deeply, within, reaching the heart
Overcoming political reflexes and solutions
Transforming perennial…


The goal of Visionary News is to identify and publicize misundersood and poorly represented issues, to find the root of the social problem and potential transformative responses - to find news of the real: whatever is deepest and truest in ourselves and in society. Visionary News is part of the non-profit Visionary Society...

Fair use: This publication contains some copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner, and which...


Principles

Focus on the most pressing issues
What is pressing?
– Affect well-being
– Affect us most directly.

Address the full range of our needs
Conventional news addresses our superficial aspects: biological and psychological functions, self-preservation, economic wealth, and the satisfaction of desire.
They focus on security (accumulating economic wealth), self-interest (policies on social issues), self-preservation (war), glory and pleasure (sports and entertainment).
Include our human or spiritual needs, including… Adventurousness, solidarity, equality, idealism (See more from Erich Fromm)

Question assumptions
Don't assume that our present choices are a discrete and permanent fact.
Don't assume that needs are satisfied by commodities.
Don't assume the permanent existence of factions.

Try to be free of social and political influences
Do not be political, ideological, or biased
Without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
Do not propitiate the power holders.
Do not appeal to (or blame) leaders or authorities

Ask the most challenging questions
Look for perplexing contradictions. Look for unexamined assaults on everyday life.
Ask the impossible question, penetrate the illusion.

What we are not
Political: Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative (but interested in the effect of politics on human beings).
Entertainment oriented (but interested in the exploration or celebration of life).
Religious, ‘new age’ or spiritualistic (but capable of seeing what is sacred or ultimate).
Body or Health oriented.
Vulgar.
Contentious (but capable of positive, direct challenge).


Goals

Visionary News is the public creating the real news of the city. It is a collaborative project of anyone who wants to look under the surface of public events.
The goal of Visionary News is to reclaim the self-evident, to make the obvious impossible to deny. We want to find and publicize what is most real in everyday situations: the extent to which good, beauty, truth, the sacred and love are suppressed or expressed. We want to shake our complacency, challenge the status quo from a positive perspective, and draw us together in active co-creation of institutions that express our real identity. We can do this without ideology or dogma, political partisanship, religious bias, or self-righteousness.
All news is slanted by assumptions about what is real. Our assumptions are too small. Wherever our glance falls – whatever breaks out into public experience – let us review the full range of our humanity. This includes not just social, biological and psychological factors, but moral and spiritual ones. It includes happiness, community, inner life, and spirituality. It includes the gentle virtues such as humility, integrity, generosity, and sensitivity to the real.
Visionary News is part of Visionary Society. With coordinated classes, actions, and invitations, each theme and issue could truly have a widespread effect.

It exposes the regime of the small.
It connects what is underneath to the everyday and action.
– Presents the news of the city as a whole – a place to find the news about what is under the surface.
– Get the public involved in understanding, creating and using this kind of news.
– Sustainability by keeping costs low and finding support from those who want to be engaged with Visionary society.

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Beautiful Books has started!

Well, it has been a long process in getting this idea off the ground, but with the inauguration of the Visionary Society Projects concept it is now possible to present this idea in public. It's not an easy thing to do, because there is so much cultural momentum against the idea of 'Beautiful Books'...

Join others in your community in building this Visionary Society Project!
Help the elderly continue to live in their homes (Category: )

Anchorage jobs down 1,100 from May last year

News about unemployment unconsciously makes assumptions about the importance and the nature of work, because it assumes that work is good. Of course, because of the way society is structured we must earn an income for our very survival. Can't we imagine a world where people work for sheer joy...

Misinterpreted News

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Heart Coffee is a Gem

I've always been impressed with Heart Coffee Roasters because of its asdkjpapsodijsd fd sda, but I was amazed when I entered the premises last Tuesday: I saw that kasfoij owiej oiwje erow. Kasd ei wijpioj poiwjepfo ijwopijeuhf uefh uhouehf iuhweuih iouehwiouehr iuhwer! Iasdfas de weoijwe –q we qwpoierj wire ieij. Keqiojew weoijv9vh gru e req-eq oirr bio.

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New Seasons in NW Portland Agrees to Play Local Music

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NEW

Progress Report Article

This was an exciting month at Anchorage Visionary Society. We saw many new people get involved, three new Requests, an ambitious new Project, and several Topics with lots...

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Kaladi is not responding to Request

Six months after the management of Kaladi Brothers was first notfified of this Request and they have not responded in any significant way. The Request page [link] shows a growing number of Supporters of the Request and at least 20 customers and most of the staff are concerned about it...

Comments

There are 3 comments for this article

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Help the elderly continue to live in their homes

90% of elders would prefer to age at home, but the resources just aren’t there. As we get older our social group tends to get smaller. Neighbors help neighbors stay neighbors.

Develop any idea you like. Meet once a month to share stories. Read plays. Eat together. Weekly