Category: People and Places

Should You Give Money to a Panhandler?

Salem’s Union Gospel Mission has put together a FAQ on panhandlers and if you’ve ever considered giving money to a panhandler take a moment and give this a read:

We see them on our streets daily. They are usually holding a cardboard sign that says in a variety of ways, “please help me.”

Does your heart go out to them? Do you want to stop and do something? Most of us want to offer help; it gives us a good feeling when we can offer food or tuck a few dollars in their hand. But who are we really helping when we give to panhandlers?

It might be helpful to ask ourselves some questions the next time we are approached for help:

  • Will this move them out of the “danger zone”? Does it move them ahead out of the situation they are in?
  • Will this solve any drug or alcohol abuse problems they might be facing?
  • Will this train them for jobs, provide needed counseling or offer other life skills?
  • Will this help them face and overcome the obstacles that have defeated them in the past? Or will this just continue to enable a lifestyle that is destroying them?

The reality is that giving to panhandlers is more about how it makes us feel than it is about bringing lasting change and restoration to struggling lives. Panhandling is unhealthy for the panhandler, and it is unhealthy for the community.

We encourage you to restore hope and restore lives by saying no to panhandlers and yes to supporting life-changing programs that are available free or for a small charge by the nonprofit charitable organizations within our community.

Here are some Meal Tickets—cut them out—keep them in your wallet or purse and the next time a panhandler approaches you, be ready to give them a meal ticket good for a meal and other services at UGM. If they really want to escape from their situation, it will be the kindest act you can do.

Disclaimer for the meal tickets: Meal tickets are meant for information only. Anyone who comes to us in need of meal will be served. Our guests do not need to have tickets in order to receive a meal.

Practical what to do: A way that we would encourage you to respond to a request for food or change would be “Sorry, not today sir (or mam). What’s your name? Well (their name), I know that the Union Gospel Mission serves 3 meals a day, 7 days a week and this card has the times that the meals are being served and the address of the Mission. God bless you!”

For more information on the Union Gospel Missions’ life-changing programs browse their website or email your questions to

Six-Day Cabin: What we learned in the woods

by Aaron Flack at

6 days, 264 two-by-fours, and a $6,000 budget = a place of our own.

Last month, three friends and I ditched our cramped apartments in New York City, Chicago, and Raleigh and met in a tiny town forty minutes outside of Portland, Oregon. The goal: fulfill our dream of building a cabin in the woods.

For six days, we worked to turn a small clearing situated in a stand of stately Douglas Firs into a place of our own. Our fearless leader, a builder by trade, had the right experience to guide the project. But the rest of us were total novices.

Why would a group of twenty-somethings burn a week’s worth of precious vacation days and travel thousands of miles simply to wake up with the sun, lug heavy pieces of wood through rain and mud, and essentially build a fort? It might sound nuts, but we wanted to use our hands for something other than tapping away at a keyboard or smartphone; to be directly responsible for building a place that we can enjoy together in the coming years; to use vacation for creation rather than escape; and, above all, to learn something new.

Despite dozens of small screw ups, as well as a few bigger mistakes, we managed to erect a solid ~200 square foot cabin over 6 days of building. The project consumed 264 two-by-fours, ~40 working hours, 3,000 photos (which add up to this time-lapse video) and about $6,000 (excluding the land we built on). I returned to Manhattan convinced that there is no better way to spend a week with close friends — a cabin build will beat a week in Cancun every time.

Keep reading

The Roots of Liberty – Educational Seminar in Salem, Eugene and Corvallis

You won’t want to miss this engaging presentation! KrisAnne speaks to audiences around the country on Constitutional history, American Exceptionalism, and the Fight for Liberty.

KrisAnne is a disabled Army veteran, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor’s wife and a patriot. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, she received her undergraduate degree in Bio-Chemistry from Blackburn College in 1991 and her J.D. from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law and is a former Russian Linguist for the US Army. KrisAnne worked as a state prosecutor and with a
prominent law firm defending religious liberty and First Amendment rights. KrisAnne lives in North Florida with her husband JC (a pastor and former Russian instructor for the US Navy) and their son Colton. Learn more at her website: 


Conservative rally in Portland draws over 1,500

From Oregon Catalyst

Over 1,500 people attended yesterday’s Freedom Rally for conservative values at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The rally, put on by the Oregon Liberty Alliance, was to support family values, life, public safety, fiscal responsibility and religious liberty.

Rally participants got to hear keynote speaker Col. Oliver North, Michael Reagan, National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias and Oregon Republican Congressman Greg Walden.

Keep reading the Oregon Catalyst article

Colonel Oliver North speaking at the Oregon Convention Center Freedom Rally (h/t Leo Stratton)

HIGHER LEARNING – What are we paying for?

By Nicholas Scyoc, Special to the Salem-Keizer Sentinel

Recently at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2015), Media Research Center President, Brent Bozell, gave a speech about conservatives being afraid on campus. He revealed the attacks on college conservative news print, Christian groups, political action groups, and all out assault on the first amendment rights of conservative-leaning students nationwide.

Oregon received an honorable mention (once again not for a good reason) as Bozell touched on how Oregon State University deliberately went out of its way to collect and destroy papers and distribution bins for a conservative leaning paper “The Liberty.” The executive director of the paper, William Rodgers, tried negotiating with the college to no avail so, he ended up taking his case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court, where he won. The college attempted to appeal the case with the U.S. Supreme Court, but the USSC sided with the 9th circuit court’s decision, based on free speech.

It’s interesting to note that this issue hasn’t received more attention right here in Oregon. If the same thing had happen at Willamette University, George Fox, or even Linfield, one could argue “Well, these are private institutions… their property, their say.” However, what happened to Rodgers and “The Liberty” occurred at a college funded with public tax dollars and the faculty, staff, and administrators are all public employees. This public institution was given a total of $85,759,634 in state allocated funds, with an additional $500,000 from lottery funds. In total, from state and federal educational and general, grants, tuition, and donors, OSU will receive $859,700,983.

With that much money paid for by the public, administrators apparently felt it was fine to discriminate against a political philosophy that differed from their own. They even appealed to the highest court in the United States for the right to do so. This is today’s University system.

None of this is new if you talk to conservatives who have attended these college campuses in recent years. It was so rampant, that it was in essence, the norm. During my time at Western Oregon State, I majored in Public Policy and Administration with a minor in Business and every class I attended had a political, left-leaning spin mixed into it. I understood the core instructors for my degree were PhD holders in Political Science, however, this bias didn’t end in the social science department, it was all over campus.

During one semester, I took a class called “Ethics in Business” where the class initially discussed Martha Stewart’s insider trading scandal and read a few related case studies about insider trading. We then began a discussion on what was considered “good” business stewardship and corporate social responsibility and how “poor” business practices, or lack of social responsibility was directly affecting polar bears. Essentially, we were discussing global warming, “evil” corporations, and how they are responsible for the [perceived] loss of polar bear populations. Visual aids naturally including pictures of large polar bears, perched precariously atop of a tiny floating blocks of ice. Other business classes continuously promoted the Sierra Club, Patagonia, and other left leaning groups and businesses.

Students were often encouraged to see instructors during office hours for additional help with class material and the Social Science Departments hall way was just one big propaganda fresco.


Above is a bulletin board adorned with pictures of historical socialist thinkers, a U.S. Socialist party ticket, union information, and a cartoon of a rotten capitalist bird laying “rotten” eggs. These pictures, from 2012, were randomly posted on one instructor’s reader board where students would go to find information on assignments, office hours, and to drop off papers.


Above: Information taped to a wall about the Working Families Party (which is a faction of the U.S. Socialist Workers Party) and an Occupy Wall Street decal. Notice also, the letter above the Working Families Party pamphlet as it’s an invitation to discuss religion at a seminar led by the professor and guest, Dr. Robert Bellah from Berkeley University. If you do an internet search of Dr. Robert Bellah, you will find that he was an expert on social issues of religion. He was also a subject matter expert on the so-called “down falls of society caused by religion.” He was a professed Marxist, a member of the Communist Party U.S.A., and former chairman of the John Reeds Club.


Above: A photo of the basketball team shares space with a list of classes students can take for degree programs, as well as information on how to enroll in a Masters of Public Policy. You can also see a “Corporations Welfare” sticker…gotta remind the students about “evil” corporations. Malcolm X, because he was for the socialist movement and was ultimately murdered by the socialist movement. A sign reading “If I had a dollar…” referencing Republicans and unregulated capitalism as being the problem rather than the government. Now, if you look at the picture of the guy with big hair, his name is Antonio Gramsci, and he was the president and founding leader of the Communist Party-Italy. Some of Gramsci’s more well-known writings describe how to create a socialist society in a Capitalist market. The picture of the older gentlemen reads “Instituto McLaren, De Pedagogia Critica, S.C.” and it’s a school in Baja California, Mexico run by Peter McLaren, an American professor who promotes Marxist movements. His school provides educators an environment within which to learn about promoting Marxism in their classrooms and McLaren has also assisted the MST in Brazil, the Zapatistas in Mexico, and influenced members of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela.

There’s more, from Western Oregon University.


Above: This is a mural in the Warner Centers- Multi-Cultural Club area. “Huelga” means- strike and “Si se Puede” means- yes one can or it can be done. The picture is Cesar Chavez, a man who used Marxist class warfare tactics to anger people in order to get them to join his movement. What exactly is a “Multi-Cultural Club” again?


Above: This mural is the Admissions building at Western Oregon University where new students and their parents are greeted as they arrive at Western. Notice the Farmworkers AFL-CIO and “Chicana Pride Stands as One” as well as the image of a person with a bandanna on their face reading “EZLN” (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) a leftist Marxist terrorist organization in Mexico. The last group is on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations and, in the 90’s it attacked and bombed a Mexican military outpost, as well as assassinated members of government. Today, they are involved in drug and human trafficking. Welcome to Western Oregon University!

If you get an opportunity, visit the college campuses that you are paying for with your tax dollars and take the time to learn who the instructors are. Notice the instructor’s/faculty parking lot, and the bumper stickers on their cars as well as their announcement walls. These people are viewed as the most educated people in America and thus, we are told that their opinions must not be questioned because they have 1000’s of hours of research and study to support their findings. They are published leaders in academia who all have a political leaning that encourages and promotes their findings and research…and these are the people that encourage  students to go to “Occupy Portland” protest for extra credit and shout down students with differing opinions, telling them they are not “open-minded.” They destroy conservative leaning reading material and grade students based on their personal opinion. These are the very people that encourage students to go to the capital and raise hell over student tuition rates, while they demand their union to fight for an 8% increase in pay.

What can be done?

In 1938, Senator Carl Hatch from New Mexico, submitted the Hatch Act, which became federal law in 1939 and states that government employees (State and Federal) cannot run for political offices as a political party member. Apparently, there is an exception to federal law in Oregon, because our recently appointed Governor, Kate Brown, while still the Secretary of State, signed off on Democrat, Wanda Davis’ run for House District 23 against Republican Mike Nearman. Wanda Davis, at the time, was a government employee for Oregon Health Authority.

The Hatch Act also forbids government employees from discussing politics in the work environment, posting or sharing politically opinionated material, forcing political beliefs on employees or peers, and punishing employees for their political leanings. The exception to the Hatch Act of 1939, is educators. Understandably, if a student is taking a political science class, the professor is going to talk about politics in that classroom, however, from the experience of students today, there exist no boundaries for what a professor can talk about, in whatever manner they choose. Is it necessary for a professor, who teaches Speech 101, to talk about his dismay for Republicans if it has nothing to do with teaching the fundamentals of giving a speech? Is it necessary for professors to promote socialist material on their reader boards, where students go to learn about assignments? Is it necessary for writing course professors, to discuss their passion for the writings of Karl Marx and their beliefs in a socialist utopia, if it has nothing to do on how to write a paper about your favorite childhood memory?

It’s like MSNBC has taken over our education system! When MSNBC refers to President Obama, they usually depict him doing something great, with the strong face of a powerful leader, on the other hand, President Bush is often shown as befuddled and in a ridiculous light. In academia, it’s good form to discuss how smart and bright an economist Karl Marx was who whilst describing Adam Smith and John Locke as drunkards and womanizers who only supported white land owners. Obviously these comparisons are not true however it doesn’t appear to matter, and this renders higher learning nothing more than four years of relentless political indoctrination.

This is academia today. Professors do not hide their political beliefs and it’s everywhere on the campus, including inside the bindings of the books the professors recommend for the class. Democrat politicians, socialists, anarchists, communists, and fascists are written about and spoken of in a positive manner, often as great writers and thinkers. Were you to look in to most professor’s backgrounds to learn of their political leanings, you would likely find that many share similar beliefs. You will find very few conservative, republican, right-leaning references of writers and thinkers and, if you find them at all, the references will highlight how they failed, were inappropriate people, or their writings will simply be taken out of context.

Nicholas Scyoc is a 2013 graduate of Western Oregon University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in Public Policy and Administration. He is a husband and father of three, he enjoys reading and writing about political issues from all angles, and he thrives on lively, passionate debate.

I Need a Hashtag! #Perfect

Every now and then a video pops into my social media space and it perfectly nails a craze or fad that has permeated the social media culture. In this case, it’s the ridiculous hashtag compassion mania that is popular with celebrities, some politicians, lot’s of posers and far too many people who don’t really care but want the rest of us to believe that yes, they do care #Really! – DQN

Remy decides to stand up for freedom the easiest way he knows how: by taking selfies. #YOLO!

Local Talk Radio Returning to Salem-Keizer

Salem-Keizer and Willamette Valley radio listeners are about to have a live and local radio show to keep them company during drive time. Radio station 1430 KYKN is launching Gator’s Radio Experience on Monday, January 19th beginning at 4:00 PM. The new two hour show features 1430 KYKN personality and Program Director, Gator J. Gaynor as host and he will be joined in-studio daily by co-host, Denise Quinn Nanke. The show will spotlight local and regional issues that impact the community as well as national issues when they have a local tie. Listeners will hear about Salem-Keizer businesses, local culture and politics and will be encouraged to call-in to share their views.

KYKN Program Director, Gator Gaynor

Gator J. Gaynor

Denise Quinn Nanke

Denise Quinn Nanke


Enjoy feeding the birds? In Oregon – That’ll Cost Ya…If progressives get their way

Oregon continues to provide more extreme examples of how progressives believe that they are entitled to your hard earned money by taxing virtually everything in sight! Case in point, a group of environmentalists and legislators have cooked up a plan to tax birdseed – yep, it’s not a typo, they want to tax birdseed as well as binoculars and hiking boots. Bird lovers in Oregon are going to have to pay more to hike to, watch and feed the birds – all to fund yet another “program” to be administered by the state. – SKS

You Won’t Believe What They Want To Tax Next…
by Michael Strickland

At a recent town hall in Portland, Oregon, a panel of environmentalists and state legislators fluffed around about new environmental policies and legislation. One panelist, Quinn Read, of Oregon Wild, brought up the idea of 3 new things to tax; hiking boots, binoculars, and birdseed. Yes, birdseed.

Again, these people literally want to tax birdseed, to fund more wildlife preservation projects.

Former state representative Katie Eyre tells Progressives Today: “When I served in the Legislature, the birdseed tax was lobbied by conservationists empathetic to the plight of birds suffering from changes to their natural habitats. This group included an owner of a small chain of stores that sells bird-related items. By assessing the tax on bird seed, and having these specific tax collections set aside for the specific conservation purpose, the promoters of this new tax felt that it was a self-assessment on a common cause near and dear to their hearts. Two problems with this: It created a new “program” which always includes new administrative costs and the expansion of government and it wasn’t clear if all buyers of bird seed agreed with the conservation efforts.”

Read more…


It’s Not Easy Being Brown: My Gig as a UPS Driver’s Helper

From Saving Our Future

By Tamara Jackson

Subtitle: No, those packages don’t just magically appear!

Like so many people I know across this nation, Obamanomics have taken a toll on my budget.

I love doing what I do, — writing, editing and hosting a talk radio show — but it’s certainly not an extremely lucrative career. Unless you’re one of the Fox gals on Outnumbered, which I am not.

That said, if asked, I would gladly appear. But since no big offers were in the wings, I applied for a number of seasonal opportunities to bolster my Christmas budget.

I have 3 wonderful young nephews and nothing gives me greater joy than giving them gifts at Christmas. Add to that the 1 adult name in my family’s secret Santa gift drawing, and I knew my lean income would not suffice.

Keep reading

Holiday Happenings Around Salem

Here are a few festive events that are happening soon in Salem.

Holidays at the Capitol ~ Display and Performances
Through December 24. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Holiday scenery with performances daily. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., M-F and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. Free admission.
Oregon State Capitol Rotunda
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301

Magic at the Mill
December 19-23. 5:30-8 p.m.
December 19-23. Come experience ‘Magic at the Mill.’ Thousands of twinkling lights, entertainment, shopping, food, music, kids’ activities, make reindeer food, miniature train and Santa! Members free; Non-members: Adults $6; Children 4-12 $4; Ages 3 & under free.
Willamette Heritage Center
1313 Mill St. SE
Salem, OR 97301

Salem Community Chorus: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
December 21. 2:30-4 p.m.
Salem Community Chorus: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. More information is available at 503-967-6297 or
Loucks Auditorium, Salem Public Library
585 Liberty St. SE
Salem, OR 97301

Have fun and Merry Christmas!