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Sep-09-2012 16:27printcomments

Asiatowne Plan in Early Stage, Targeted for Pringle Location

Current planning anticipates a probable official launching next May as the highlight of Asian-Pacific Island Heritage Month.

Pringle park in Salem
Pringle park in Salem. Photo courtesy: grandhotelsalem.com

(SALEM) - A novel idea for Salem's Downtown Area is in its embryonic stages. It is called Asiatowne and would involve creating a combination culture center that emphasize Food, Fashion, and the Arts, all drawn from nations of the Far East.

The Cherry City Institute, a local civic think tank, is leading the way.

Enlisting the help of leaders from the Chinese, Japanese, and Indian communities, the group is now engaged in doing outreach to leaders of the Korean, Filipino and Vietnamese groups as well. The site of the old Boise-Cascade site (now called Pringle Park), has been recommended. No formal blueprint exists, but the Mountain West Investment Corp. which manages the property has encouraged further dialog.

Tentative possibilities include:

  • An array of food vendor booths similar to Seattle's Pike Market;
  • Displays of Oriental art and artifacts on sale to the public;
  • Cooking classes in Asian cuisine on a rotating basis;
  • Possible inclusion of storytelling and the martial arts;
  • Fashions from the Far East, occasional fashion shows.

Current planning anticipates a probable official launching next May as the highlight of Asian-Pacific Island Heritage Month. Those having suggestions for the Asiatowne Plan are asked to phone: (503) 851-7825.

Salem-News.com Community Writer Barry Lee Coyne brings to our readers stories from his combined career of journalism and gerontology, and explains that these paths shaped his values. Lee Coyne once worked for The Civil Service Leader in NY State and covered the Legislature. He has also done features on mediation and arbitration, and believes in healthy skepticism. This writer-therapist often views the world as the masks of comedy and tragedy placed upon the scales of justice. For him, optimism inevitably wins. "Lyrical Lee" has traveled to 30 nations aboard and was once a press intern at the UN. His first published article was in The NY Daily News in '59, dealing with the need for integrity in public office.

He also launched the nation's first tele-conference on health education for shut-ins, created the Eldermentors project in VA to pair retirees with immigrant students needing role models, and was the main catalyst behind CCTV's "Public Public" panel show here in Salem. Lee received his BA in International Relations and an MSW in community organization. He currently serves as a member of Salem's Library Advisory Board. To send Lee an email, please write to this address: luckycoyne@yahoo.com



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