Parkside Self Defense

Parkside Self Defense is gearing up for our summer camps! Here are just a few of the many activities we have in mind for kids this summer.

Learn the ways of the ninja! This is a unique and informative two day martial arts training camp where kids will learn the history, culture, and techniques used by the ninja in Feudal Japan. Great for kids ages 10 and above. Ninja Camp will take place June 28th from 12 pm to 4 pm, and June 29th from 12 pm to 5 pm. The cost is $100 for the camp, and will include a ninja sword, three ninja stars. If you preregister before June 15th you will also receive a Parkside T-shirt while supplies last, and a month of free lessons!

Jedi Camp July 20th from 12 pm to 3 pm, and July 21st 12 pm to 4 pm. Camp cost will include a Lightsaber, a Parkside T-shirt for $150. Preregister before July 6th, and receive a free month of lessons. Students will participate in agility course, learning the basics for a saber, learning the laws of the Jedi, and reenact their favorite scenes from the movies.

Don’t miss out on any of these fun camps, and follow us on Facebook for more activities!

https://www.facebook.com/ParksideSelfDefense/

Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub

Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub has always had award winning food and service, and they have no intention of stopping now.

Statesman Journal recently held the 2019 Best of the Mid-Valley election. Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub won NINETEEN awards by popular vote! Thank you to everyone who took time and voted for Washington Street.

Washington Street won gold in appetizers, brunch, casual dining, steak, bar, happy hour, Best Dallas Bar, Best Dallas Restaurant, and Best Reason to Visit Dallas.

They also won Silver in Best bartenders, best date night, breakfast, catering, lunch spot, and sandwich. Don’t forget Washington Street also won Bronze in Best barbecue, burger, dessert, and place to take out of town guests.

Established in 1999, Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub is a local favorite in Dallas with a family-friendly dining room and separate relaxed atmosphere pub offering microbrews, a full pub, and Oregon Lottery. Invested in our community Washington Street Steakhouse has sponsored, and assisted with after school programs and sports, and strives to bring citizens together through their events.

“We are so grateful for all our employees and customers. Thank you again for voting for us. “

–Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub

As they like to say, “The Place to Meet is Washington Street”.

www.washingtonststeakhouse.com

West Valley Taphouse

Welcome to Dallas’ local hang out, West Valley Taphouse.  Offering 65 taps of the best craft beer, cider, local wine, kombucha, and craft sodas in the West Valley, the Taphouse offers happy hour every day from 2 pm to 5 pm where all appetizers are $5 and $1 off all pints.

West Valley Taphouse has been hard at work over the last year to ensure they are offering Dallas the best experience. The recent remodel, including 18 different changes, are designed to make the atmosphere more comfortable, modern, and welcoming. In addition, the Taphouse is featuring a new menu to offer delicious local food. The patio, still under construction, is the final phase of the renovation and the crew is excited to unveil it in May!

Tap Takeover will be returning in May! The May Takeover will be Ninkansi Brewing. They will bring samples and free swag and games. This is a great opportunity to talk to a company representative and learn what exactly makes each brewing company unique.  Junes Takeover is to be announced, but Wild Ride will be taking over on June 6th with Julys Takeover to be determined.

Since joining the Dallas community, West Valley Taphouse has gained a reputation for giving back. Community involvement and giving back is definitely not lost on Sam Duffner, owner of West Valley Taphouse. Patrons enjoy getting together to enjoy new and unique craft beers, ciders and delicious food. Owners and staff have worked hard to create a family friendly environment with options of non-alcoholic drinks. Everyone is welcomed at West Valley Taphouse until 9pm.

http://westvalleytaphouse.com/

Itemizer-Observer

The Polk County Itemizer-Observer is your local news source. We print Wednesdays to a circulation of roughly 4,000, and daily online, reaching more than 10,000 unique readers each week on our website. Our Classifieds are mailed out across the county to nearly 9,000 additional homes.

Back by popular demand, we will publish the Eagle Directories, updated with current listings for both business and residential. Call us to find out how to spotlight your business in this annual publication mailed to about 19,000 Polk County customers. Want to include your cellphone in the phone book? Let us know by emailing iosales@polkio.com.

Also coming up is our annual, award-winning Explore Polk County, with about 10,000 distribution in print. The publication also is linked on Travel Salem’s website, as well as found on our website. Don’t miss this opportunity to get your message out!

Got a story tip or want to submit a photo to Explore Polk County? Send it to ionews@polkio.com. We’re still searching for our cover shot – do you have a Polk County photo that could make the cut?

Deadlines on both of these publications is early May, but that will be here before you know it. Don’t delay, call today! 503-623-2373.

http://www.polkio.com

Cross Creek Golf Course

An exquisite and challenging eighteen hole layout, Cross Creek combines traditional as well as links style golf.

This eighteen hole track is located in the Mid-Willamette Valley just thirteen miles west of Salem on Highway 22. Cross Creek is becoming one of the most popular courses in the Mid-Willamette Valley. At 6,900 yards, the course features a relaxing and pleasurable experience for any caliber of player. Cross Creek Golf Course has always been known as a family-friendly oriented golf course, and is the perfect setting for special events and golf tournaments.

Cross Creek Golf Course is quickly building a reputation as one of the premier, daily fee golf experiences in the Willamette Valley. This is truly a must play golf course.

Ken’s Tip of the Month:

Controlling the speed of your putts.

Putting looks so simple, but once you are on a real-life golf course the putting greens take on a whole new dimension. The cup looks smaller and the target a lot farther away. There is no magic tip that will get you stroking every putt just right, but practicing and playing regularly will help you develop feel in relatively short order. Every time you practice, set aside at least tent to fifteen minutes for putting. Start from close range to long range, getting each putt within 2 or 3 feet should be your primary goal. Don’t worry about making putts from this distance. Practice putting uphill, downhill, and side hill. You will quickly learn to trust your mind to gauge the effect of slopes on the speed of your putts.

Good Luck and remember, the purpose of this game is to have fun!

http://www.crosscreekgc.com/

8 Reasons to Visit Dallas, Oregon

An idyllic town with history, trails and wineries. Set among vineyards and rolling hills, Dallas is located about 25 minutes outside of Salem, Oregon. Its owner-operated businesses, small-town charm and walkable downtown square will have you feeling like you’re in Mayberry – for all the right reasons.

  1. Walk the historic downtown.

Although only one building in the core of downtown Dallas is on the National Register of Historic Places, almost every building was built between 1880 and 1910. The town itself is centered around the Polk County Courthouse, which was completed in 1900 and is one of the oldest courthouses still in use in the state. With a 95-foot clock tower, the building is hard to miss.

Surrounding the courthouse, rows of historically-significant buildings house restaurants, antique shops and murals depicting the town’s history.

  1. Peruse antique stores and more.

In downtown Dallas, you won’t find big-name stores. Instead, you’ll find locally-owned shops selling one-of-a-kind items. For antique and vintage treasures, visit Some Things and the Dallas Antique Mall. Right down the street, Main Street Emporium of Dallas has a variety of new and upcycled home goods, children’’ toys and clothing.

Quilters come from all over the country and world to visit Grandma’s Attic Quilt Shop. From fabrics and patterns to quilting lessons and advice, the store offers a little bit of everything and has been a staple in the community for more than 20 years.

  1. Coffee bars, restaurants and taphouses.

For a small town, Dallas boasts a handful of appetizing restaurants, including Pressed Coffee & Wine Bar. Often referred to as the hub of the community, Pressed is a great place to grab a coffee in the morning, order a light lunch in the afternoon and enjoy live music and trivia in the evenings.

If you’re looking for fine dining with farm-to-table food, look no further than Latitude One. Owned by a longtime Dallas resident, the seasonal menu features locally-harvested ingredients in dishes such as steamed clams, mushroom fettuccine and prime rib sliders.

With 65 different taps, West Valley Taphouse is sure to have something to quench your thirst. Most of the taps are dedicated beers, ciders, and Kombucha from the Pacific Northwest, but there are also beers available from around the world.

  1. Plan a day in the parks.

Dallas has an extensive system of parks. At 35 acres, Dallas City Park is the largest park in town. Among its amenities are an 18-hole disc golf course, a suspension bridge, Japanese garden and swimming hole.

On the other side of town, you’ll find Central Bark, an off-leash dog park, and Roger Jordan Community Park, which has a skate park and the only pickleball courts in the area.

Several of the town’s 11 parks are connected through the Rickreall Creek Trail, a multi-use trail for pedestrians, bicyclists and bird-watchers that runs along the creek it’s named after. Once completed, the 4.2-mile trail will connect the west end of Dallas to the east end.

  1. Explore the Delbert Hunter Arboretum.

The Delbert Hunter Arboretum and Botanic Garden is one of Dallas’ hidden gems. Nestled against Rickreall Creek, the arboretum serves as a living museum of native plants. It showcases many species of plants and trees, including high-desert plants, rare shrubs, and flowers. With several walking paths and benches throughout, the arboretum is a perfect place to connect with nature.

  1. Visit Oregon Wine Country.

Polk County is known for expansive vineyards and delicious wines, and Dallas is no exception. There are a handful of wineries located just minutes outside of the downtown area. Take in sweeping valley views at Van Duzer Vineyards, visit one of Namaste Vineyards’ tow tasting rooms or taste wine (and grapeseed oil) at Chateau Bianca Winery.

For a truly unique wine experience, schedule a visit at Illahe Vineyards. The winery strives to make wine as naturally as possible and uses many historical winemaking techniques. Some of the wines are made entirely by hand, without electricity or modern machines!

  1. Bring the kids.

If you’re traveling with children, you’ll want to see what is playing at the Dallas Cinema. Although its undergone a series of name changes, the theater first opened in 1949. It only has one screen, but it shows affordable movies throughout the week.

The entire family can also enjoy the Dallas Aquatic Center. Open for lap and recreational swimming, it features five pools, a waterslide and a spray fountain. The center also offers dedicated times for individuals with special needs, toddlers and adults-only swims.

  1. Learn about nature at the wildlife refuge.

Just shy of 2,500 acres, Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plants. The refuge features extensive croplands, wetlands and woodlands, making it an ideal habitat for wintering Canada geese, black-tailed deer and the rare, endangered butterfly known as Fender’s blue.

There are also miles of dirt trails for visitors to hike, viewing platforms and information kiosks.

National Plan For Vacation Day

Did you know that over half of Americans report having unused vacation time at the end of the year? Don’t let that be you!

National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on the last Tuesday of January, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their time off. You don’t have to go to exotic places, or half way across the country to relax. Take a staycation and learn about the area you live in.

Steps for planning your vacation time:

  1. Confirm your time off benefits with your employer. Determine how much time off you earn. Don’t forget to make note of any office closures, weekends, and major holidays. Americans who plan out their vacation days are more likely to use all their time off, and the best planners know the key to success is blocking the calendar early.
  2. Create your own itinerary for your visit to the Mid-Willamette Valley! Check out some sample itineraries based on travel styles to get some ideas!
  3. Share your dates with your manager, and share your trip with your family and friends! Americans who plan out their vacation days are more likely to use all their time off, and the best planners know the key to success is blocking the calendar early.
  4. Don’t forget to share your photos on social media, tagging the places and businesses you visited.

Have fun!

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle AnthonyBourdain Stephen Hawking

A Christmas History Part 2

It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?

The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

In 1818, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving’s fictitious celebrants enjoyed “ancient customs,” including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended – in fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.

Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story’s message – the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind – struck a powerful chord in the United States and England, and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.

The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention – and gifts – on their children without appearing to “spoil” them.

As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans build a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving.

Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.

Christmas Facts:

  • Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.
  • Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
  • The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.
  • Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. They copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.
  • Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.

A Christmas History Part 1

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of Jesus. Early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days, and extended hours of sunlight.

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth. Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring, Pope Julius I chose December 25th. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorized them with mischief. Christmas became the time of the year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that come to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26th, 1870.

Gingerbread House Day

Gingerbread houses are a favorite holiday pastime with families, be it with parents, grandparents, or even both! But these delicious, decorative bread houses have always been a staple of the holiday season for as long as people can remember. Where did they come from? Who came up with the idea? To answer those questions, we must follow the ghost of holiday’s past into the history of Gingerbread House Day!

Food Historians, yes there is such a thing, ratify that ginger has been seasoning foodstuffs and drinks since antiquity. It is believed gingerbread was fist baked in Europe at the end of the 11th century when returning crusaders brought back the custom of spicy bread from the Middle East. Ginger was not only tasty; it had properties that helped preserve the bread. According to a French legend, gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 A.D. by the Armenian monk and later saint, Gregory of Nicopolis, or Gregory Makar. Ginger bread figurines date back to the 15th century and baking human-shaped biscuits was practiced in the 16th century.

The gingerbread bakers were gathered into professional baker guilds. In many European countries, gingerbread bakers were a distinct component of the bakers’ guild. Gingerbread baking developed into an acknowledged profession. In the 17th century, only professional gingerbread bakers were permitted to bake gingerbread except at Christmas and Easter. In Europe, gingerbreads shaped like hearts, stars, soldiers, trumpets, swords, pistols and animals were sold in special shops and seasonal markets.

The tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses started in German in the early 1800s. According to certain researchers, the first gingerbread houses were the result of the well-known Grimm’s fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. In modern times the tradition has continued in certain places in Europe. In Germany, the Christmas markets still sell decorated gingerbread before Christmas.

To celebrate Gingerbread House Day, take the family out for a shopping trip and pick up the supplies necessary to make a gingerbread house. Then let the younger members of the family pick out the decorations that they want to add to the gingerbread house. Finally, pick out the decorations that you want and add them to the house.