Crawlers pack the bunker at Venti's.
Lots of activity happening downtown with the Salem Creative Network. The Pub Crawl continues to gain participants and the new Wine Walk turnout surprised even me. The monthly events and candidate forums are keeping us busy. Here’s a quick update.
Snuggie Pub Crawl this Friday, November 20
We’re stoked about his month’s theme – Snuggies and pajamas. With the chilly weather upon us, a cozy crawl with night clothes on seems to make a lot of sense. Of course, we’re trying a few new twists again.
First – due to popular demand – we’re throwing a 5:00 p.m. Pre-Crawl Art Show at ƒ/stop fitzgerald’s, 335 Grove St NE. Salem artist Michael Adamson is on exhibit at the f-stop and crawlers will be warmly welcomed with bar specials. The regular crawl will start 6:00 p.m. at Cafe Noir, 610 Marion St NE. Full schedule available soon.
Second – Social media and networking. We’ll be tracking our whereabouts on twitter (@salempipeline) Facebook (Salem, Oregon) Shizzow (pubcrawl) and Iphone (Beer Signal). If you join the crawl late, you can check those sites for the latest updates. Also, we’ll be trying a scavenger hunt throughout the night with prizes for the most bagged game.
Thanks again to the Creative Pub Crawl participants. We’re having a lot of fun and making a lot of people smile. See you Friday!
Willamette Valley Wine Walk redux
On Friday the 13th, the Salem creative Network tried something new, a wine walk through four downtown venues featuring Willamette Valley wines. 30 people arrived at Travel Salem for the beginning of a spontaneous, relaxed evening that was a hit with venue owners and participants alike. The next Walk is scheduled for Friday December 11.
The Salem Creative Network met with candidates Chuck Bennett (Salem mayoral candidate) and Sheryl Dash (Ward 6 candidate) at the last meeting held Tuesday, November 3. They both spoke about the need for including younger residents in the decision-making process. We will meet with other candidates in the next few months
Councilor Bennett outlined upcoming city goals that would affect downtown specifically.
1. Downtown parking
The current mayor and council are testing the waters for metered parking on downtown streets and the privatization of the Chemeketa, Liberty and Marion Street Parkades in 2010. Most businesses are aghast at the idea and a flurry of email has slowed the privatization approach. It would be great to get feedback about where you would like to see this issue go.
Since they’ve been removed, many networkers have been trying to find a way to provide solutions for artists, musicians and free speech advocates to promote themselves downtown. After listening to our concerns, councilors Bennett and Tesler placed the kiosks on the list of 2010 council goals. They found little support from council and managed to keep them in the goals as part of the Town Square initiative, which should be taking shape in the next three months.
3. North Downtown
Did you know about the next high-end condo project planned for north downtown? A large, seven-story project is being planned for the riverfront north of Union Street bridge where the Keith Brown complex is. Based on the current vacancy rates and lack of open space, Bennett recommended extending Riverfront Park northward and creating an inviting entrance to downtown.
Also, the under-developed area around O’Brien Auto Group is being considered for urban renewal.
One surprise that came out of the last Urban Renewal District meeting was to use funds to support nightlife. Since it was a first for the District, no one really knew how to react. It will be interested to see where it goes.
Both Sheryl and Chuck promise to be excellent candidates for the May 18, 2010 election. We’ll be inviting more candidates to upcoming meetings. Please reply with your feedback.