2010 was an interesting year. A year of regrowth, perhaps. Some question what makes Salem special, but the exposure of Salem’s flaws and the forward momentum to make it change is precisely what makes Salem special. Revolution is coming.
One form of that revolution wears flannel and skinny jeans. Along with something as dry and boring as the noise ordinance, a movement sprung up this year to attempt to push the city government to give musicians and the music venues that house them a chance to flourish. The Space was a casualty of war, at least for the time being, but the fight continues to raise the volume. Entertainment in Salem is fidgety, but venues like The IKE Box, Wasteland, and an acoustic music venue planned for the former location of The Space will carry on into the next year. The continued debate on creating an entertainment district, safe from the “you-kids-get-off-my-lawn” crowd, indicates an upswing in local bands getting onto new, yet to be built, stages. The apparent success of music festivals like Summer in the City and The Great Idea at Enchanted Forest is something that shouldn’t be scoffed at either. Whether it’s Cherry Poppin’ Daddies or Typhoon, if you build it, Salem will come.
Another form shaped as an egg. Many neighbors banded together and became chicken activists pressuring Salem’s City Council to revisit allowing chickens into yards. They found success in numbers. And while the outcome is heavily regulated, the group, Chickens in the Yard, continues to aid the community in building legal coops and raising chickens.
Mayor-elect Anna Peterson will soon be taking the gavel from outgoing Mayor Janet Taylor. The undertaking that Peterson will have is an increasingly aware population, looking to the city government for leadership.
And, of course, in 2010, we saw the death of Salem Monthly and the birth of Salem Weekly. We’ve since cemented ourselves firmly as an alternative in the limited amount of media available in the city. We’ve stepped up our game to provide in-depth coverage of Taser usage in law enforcement, the crumbling of Courthouse Square, reported on student protests surrounding a teacher being transferred involuntarily, and covered the veiled discrimination of public transit users. We look forward to continuing to ask the tough questions, provide voices to those who have none, and represent the diversity that Salem is.
What follows on these hallowed pages is an example of what makes Salem great. There are 80 categories, 240 businesses, organizations, groups, and individuals that you, our readers, have chosen as the best of the best. That’s not to say that you weren’t asked or downright begged by many local businesses to vote for them, because you were. There was an unprecedented amount of signs, the evocation of Facebook, and email blasts sent out with businesses groveling for votes.
That is, of course, apparent in the voting. This year, we had the largest participation ever in our almost eight year history. We’re excited to share your favorites – new and old – with the masses. We dedicate this issue to the champions that show up every day with the intent to provide a service, product, or idea that moves the Cherry City into the future.
As always, thank you for reading,
P.S. Don’t panic! We’ll be returning to your regularly scheduled Salem Weekly – chock full of news, arts and entertainment – on January 13. Eat
Fiesta then a siesta
Salem’s Italian food: It’s amore
The king of Salem’s burgers
Grabbing a pizza pie
The rest of the “Best of 2010″ Eat category winners
Modifying with the best
Pampering yourself Salem style
Working for the community
Best new business: comedy finds a home
The Mirror, the records, and the rockabilly
The rest of the “Best of 2010″ Community category winners
The best Salem bars
Rocking the Cherry City
The buildings that house Salem’s culture
The rest of the “Best of 2010″ Entertainment category winners Open publication