May 302011

Creative Pub Crawl

We are rapidly approaching the final Creative Pub Crawl of Year 2. Superheroes will be bounding through downtown Friday, June 17, as we bring the second year of downtown economic development programming to a close. Based on the wristband count and collected emails, we estimate that more than 2500 people have participated, spending $100,000 in 22 participating venues.

We want to especially thank our biggest supporters who were there since the beginning; Venti’s Cafe and Basement Bar, Copperjohn’s, Magoo’s Sports Bar, Pete’s Place, FlipSide and Straight From New York Pizza. Also, gratitude goes out to those that let us stop in sometime along the way; The Brick, Brown’s Towne Lounge,  Cokie’s Landing,  Hallie Ford Museum of Art and Grand Vines. New venues that we visited during that time included Jonathan’s Oyster Bar, Willamette Noodle, Old Spaghetti Warehouse, Downtown Market and Deli, Half Time and ƒ/stop Fitzgerald’s.

Sadly, The Space, Coffee House Cafe, Cafe Noir, 6 Ultralounge and Allessandro’s are no longer with us.

We are considering a format change to the Creative Pub Crawl starting in July. The venues are becoming too full on Friday nights, where they were emptier when we started in 2009. Bringing people downtown on Friday nights was the primary goal of the Crawl so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Now what? We are receiving requests to move to Saturday afternoon and night, creating “special crawl” and visiting other parts of town. Please help us decide by completing our SURVEY at

Third Saturdays

With the failure of Go Downtown Salem and Salem Downtown Partnership to get along and apply for administrator of the Economic Improvement District (EID), efforts by property owners to represent downtown are on hiatus. City Council formed a subcommittee consisting of Mayor Peterson and Councilors Bennett, Tesler and Cannon to “take baby steps and wrap their arms around downtown stakeholders” to see if we can all just get along. The meeting schedule and actual agenda are yet to be announced but the intention is to have the problem solved by October 2011. First Wednesdays and Summer in the City, currently run by Go Downtown Salem have been cancelled. Salem Downtown Partnership, founded in 2005, has yet to produce any programming in six years. It appears that the only reason for the existence of both groups is to control the $300,000 budget that comes with EID administration, with economic development secondary to control.

This is the exact situation that caused business owners, property owners and artists to form Salem Creative Network and Salem Downtown programming in 2009. With no budget, we have grown economic development programming to include the Creative Pub Crawl, Willamette Valley Wine Walk and initiation of the Hospitality Zone Assessment process. Cultural Creative programming efforts include Cherry City Music Festival, Ignite Salem and Doug’s World. Greening Salem programming includes Solarize Salem and Megawatt Project.

Not surprisingly,  business owners are interested in economic development downtown. That’s why, starting on June 18, we are starting a new program tentatively (send us your creative name suggestions) named Third Saturdays where we will combines elements of our other successful programming to retail owners downtown.

Each Third Saturday will include a live television and internet broadcast of Doug’s World (4:00 to 6:00 p.m.) visiting a different downtown district (State Street Merchants, Court Street Merchants, Salem Center, Reed Opera House, Restaurant Row, Diamond, Creative, Fashion Districts, etc.) to showcase creativity in retail stores. This will be followed by an all ages concert at Ike Box, courtesy of The Space Presents. Email us if you have ideas or would like to volunteer.

Solarize Salem II

We are starting the second round of Solarize Salem on Wednesday, June 1, 12:00 p.m. at the State Capitol steps. We are looking for 50 Salem-area homeowners interested in buying or leasing a solar system for their rooftop. The 2010 program
attracted 400 interested homeowners with 52 joining the co-op and installing 165 kW of solar energy. After testifying in at the Joint Tax Committee last week, it’s apparent that drastic cuts – 97% (RETC goes from $34M in 2009-11 to $1M in 2011-13) are in store for the Residential Energy Tax Credits, which homeowners applied toward their solar systems. We favor transitioning the energy program to the feed-in-tariff pilot, similar to the successful Germany model. There is currently no framework for this transition.

The changes will take effect on July 1, 2011, so if you’re considering solar, please check out our program before then.

Thanks for your interest in social innovation and reply if you have any questions or concerns.


 May 30, 2011  Posted by at 3:28 pm events, update No Responses »
May 142011

More changes are coming downtown over the next few months, especially with the future of the economic improvement district (EID) which may have no administrator on July 1. All efforts to award the EID property tax budget to a qualified group were put on hold during the May 9 Salem City Council meeting, when Councilor Bennett’s motion to form a subcommittee passed unanimously. Mayor Peterson is scheduled to select the subcommittee members “sooner, rather than later” in an effort to address the toxic climate created by divisiveness between property owners downtown.

The Salem Creative Network provides creative solutions for social innovation. Our Salem Downtown programming focuses on establishing a prosperous environment for nightlife and creating the greenest downtown in the USA. We have openly approached all stakeholders downtown (City of Salem, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, Go Downtown Salem, Salem Downtown Partnership, other property and business owners) with the goal of creating a hospitality zone and have largely been ignored.

We anticipated the potential dissolution of the EID and hosted the “Creating a Sociable City: Mobilizing Stakeholders” seminar in February and invited all stakeholders to get together and focus on the FUTURE of downtown together. While representatives from each group attended the event and agreed on its value, only the Creative Pub Crawl venue owners were willing to help fund the $3250.

Downtown Strategy Summit

We are continuing with the hospitality zone assessment and have scheduled the Downtown Strategy Summit on Tuesday, May 17, 6:30 p.m. at the Salem Public Library Loucks Auditorium to present stakeholder visions for the EID and the future of the downtown hospitality zone. Go Downtown Salem, Salem Downtown Partnership and the Salem Creative Network will explain their strategies for downtown.
Please make plans to attend, listen and contribute to the future of downtown.

Solarize Salem II
We will kick off round 2 of Solarize Salem on June 1, 1:30 p.m. at the State Capitol steps. Our contractor will be able to offer unprecedented pricing and and special program for homeowners without the upfront capital outlay. Stay tuned and join us at the kick off!

Doug’s World

Our media outreach,, has produced hours of television programming about renewable energy and downtown nightlife. Doug’s World, filmed its 16th episode last week and now broadcasts in HD. We will begin live monthly broadcasts downtown in June. Check out the show on Comcast Ch. 22 every Thursday 6:30, Friday, Monday at 9:00 and Saturdays at 11:30.

Creative Pub Crawl – Storybook Characters
The big bad wolf is crawling May 20 and we have a new venue – Old Spaghetti Warehouse. Join us as we improve the downtown economy one drink special at a time. 6:00 Venti’s 6:45 Copperjohn’s 7:30 Magoo’s, 8:15 Pete’s 9:00 Old Spaghetti Warehouse, 10:00 FlipSide!

 May 14, 2011  Posted by at 9:50 am events, update No Responses »