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Read Not The Times, Read The Eternities aaaaaa
The beautiful city of Salem has fallen into a trance
Recent statistics on crime, suicide and true friendship show alarming trend
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...
by Tim King
 
 
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...
by Tim King
Almost all of the meat, milk and eggs consumed in the United States come from factory farms, which raise billions of chickens, pigs and cows every year in abusive conditions
 
 
News of the Real
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.
by Tim King
 
Splendid Place


The Ike Box is a wonderful café in a historic building, with comfortable seating, good drinks – and a mission way beyond coffee.
It is a mission that helps people who are falling through the cracks. Behind the counter you will find young people engaged in the Ike Quest to live with “intentionality, intelligence, and spirit.”
In the words of the founders, Mark and Tiffany Bulgin, “We believe that there are ways to inspire the under-inspired young person, and that this is the way to break the cycle of faltering family resulting in faltering youth, resulting in faltering family…So rather than write off these apparently shiftless youth as lost causes, we choose to invest.”
The Ike Quest includes programs for shelter and transition housing, viable education alternatives, and training and experience in vital life skills. Their mission is to, “help divested young people build capacity to rise to the challenges of life.” 

More at visionarynews.org
Place: Ike Box Café
by Tim King
 
Buinsess Type: Cafe


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.
Explore salem Cafes
by Tim King
 
News of the Real
Media Reports Murder by Security Guard Without Addressing Core Problem
Conventional news:
A grief-stricken Salem family is suing a former security guard for the shooting death of their 25-year-old son. On July 22, 2017, Jose Francisco Moreno Jr. was shot to death by 35-year old Gregory Capwell, a security guard with a history of dangerous and aggressive behavior. Jose Moreno was with two friends heading in a Denny's restaurant when they were approached by Capwell, who told them they were trespassing. Moreno called Capwell a "rental cop." Capwell escalated the situation to the point of shooting Moreno twice in the chest, killing him. Capwell was convicted of murder.

Underlying news
Why was this security guard permitted to be in a position of authority, although he had a history of acting aggressively? The Statesman Journal newspaper wrote that Capwell had "a decade-long history of using excessive force." How could a security guard go ten years without being reigned in?
But lack of proper oversight of the security guard is just another link in the chain of violent events that led to Jose Moreno’s death. Why is it that Capwell had such a violent temperament to begin with? And why have security guards become so prevalent – in public libraries, government buildings and even restaurants?
Whenever there is a violent crime in our community we should not be content to condemn the culprit. We should immediately engage in a process of self-reflection. How did our society and ourselves become so unaware, so miserable, and so destructive? What is it about own own lives – our work, our leisure, and our state of mind – has made this possible?

Original article
by Tim King
 
Buinsess Type: Big box store


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.”
by Tim King
 
Buinsess Type: Bank


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.
Explore salem Banks
by Tim King
 
Buinsess Type: Convenience store


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?
by Tim King
 
Not-so-Splendid Place
This edition’s Not so Splendid Award goes to a Salem company that operates with impunity from competition, thanks to city leadership.
The only game in town when it comes to trash removal is Republic Services. This results in [less quality and] high prices.
But things weren’t always this way. Republic has both very good and very poor reviews, but the biggest criticism is that the business has a monopoly on Salem. This is because the Salem city council drove its competition out of town. Back in 2008, Ken Gotlib, who operated 1-800 Got Junk? in Salem, developed cancer. At that point the city of Salem decided to run his business out of town on a rail.
On August 25th, 2008, the Salem City Council TIM WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? voted this man and his highly-regarded business out of Salem, effectively ensuring that all garbage-related business would be the business of a single company that will never be threatened with competition. Gotlib was quoted by Salem-News.com saying, “We’ve closed down. We’re not taking any more jobs. We’re referring calls to the city manager, or the local hauler.”
Seet salem-news.com for details.
by Visionary Society
 
News of the Real
It’s impossible to find news about Venezuela


They say the first casualty in war is truth. Truth never had a chance when it comes to understanding what is happening in Venezuela or the U.S. intervention there. Agenda-driven news obliterates the real facts on both sides.
Venezuela’s embattled President, Nicholas Maduro, has been under heavy fire for the country’s slide into poverty. News outlets blast Maduro and his socialist, Bolivarian politics, casting blame for the increasing economic fragility on the president. On the other hand, a long list of US sanctions have crippled the nation.

Political position 1
Venezuelans starving due to socialism and corruption
Venezuela is in the grip of a severe economic crisis, in spite of its massive oil reserves. This has been caused by the government’s socialist policies, as well as widespread corruption. Many people do not have enough food and some are starving. The average Venezuelan has lost more than 30 pounds during the last few years (?). The country has been plagued by violence, and a number of anti-government protests have turned deadly, prompting US President Donald Trump to say that Maduro is running a “devastating dictatorship”.

Political position 2
Starving the Venezuelan people into rebellion. Media outlets lie to force create chaos
President Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, have both been truly devoted to the entire national population with their socialist system of Bolivarian politics.

Crippling U.S. sanctions have led Venezuelans to this current state. Rich people are annoyed by sanctions, the poor are devastated and even destroyed by them. Nicholas Maduro is still battling the remnants of colonialism for control of his country. U.S. politicians and media outlets act like vicious dogs ready to tear the nation to pieces. Truth never had a chance when it comes to US intervention in nations like Venezuela

More at visionarynews.org.
Find out for yourself at the Venezuela Topic
by Tim King
 
Buinsess Type: Hospital
All hospitals in the U.S. are now required to post the cost of medical procedures, but the list of prices is nowhere to be seen when entering the lobby of Salem Health Hospital (formerly Salem Hospital). When we inquired, employees in the hospital’s emergency room were totally unaware of the new policy. We were asked to take a seat, and eventually an employee brought us a phone number, explaining that we could call that number to get the scoop.
A hospital employee explained over the phone how patients can visit their website and glean the different costs associated with treatment. After a brief search, it was determined that the hospital does post its various patient costs at on the page: web.salemhealth.org/Pricing/Pricing/DisplayPrices.
So how is the new openness working out locally? Not very well, according to an Actually Health article, “Hospital Charges Expensive, Confusing, & Inconsistent.” Prices are misleading, inconsistent, and provide little useful information. “The average charge at the most expensive hospital was two to three times higher than the charge for the same diagnosis at the least expensive. The article also stresses that "higher prices don't necessarily mean a higher quality hospital."
http://acthealthyoregon.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Hospital-Pricing.pdf

REQUESTS
Address the health of the whole human being
Treat the patient as a human being entrusted to your care
Prices should be affordable and based on actual costs
Reduce the use of drugs and invasive methods
The profit method should never be primary
by Tim King
 
 
Visionary News