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At AlternativesMagazine.com, we're dedicated to surfacing the very best alternatives to any given product or service on the web. Many websites use automated tools for this purpose but we understand the nuance and great care it requires to truly understand something's purpose and function.

From that point of initial investigation we proceed to uncover the most functionally similar (and often superior) alternatives that can possibly be found. That's why we're dedicated to performing human research only, with no assistance from software or automated methods.

We also write detailed comparisons to highlight the relative pros and cons of different options. However, our website's functionality doesn't stop there. We are firm believers in the power of the crowd to shape, curate and further finesse our research.

That's why we invite our readers to place their upvotes and downvotes on items in each article to express their opinions and determine the rankings of items within the list.

Most importantly, we never accept payment from any company or individual in order to secure a place on our lists. Our foundational principle is impartiality and we have, and always will, preserve that principle on behalf of our loyal readers.

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    Looking Back: The Founding Statement of Alternatives Magazine

    This foreword to the first-ever issue of Alternatives Magazine in 1997 is presented as a unique insight into the foundational ethos of the publication.

    In this, our first issue of Alternatives, we offer you some thought-provoking reading around some of today's most pressing subjects. Because Alternatives only exists by the support and involvement of the Salem community, the articles that you'll find in our first run are mostly written by the people of this community. It’s remarkable how much talent exists here.

    We begin with different takes on “the Salem experience.” However you feel about Salem, these articles give an entertaining insight into how different people rationalize the basic fact of being here. Next, we have an unorthodox assessment of socially responsible business practices, with a Salem spin.

    Following this, a number of articles explore some fascinating perspectives, including one man’s beef with the cattle industry, humanity’s fragile relationship with nature, how Opal Creek was saved from the ax, and an unapologetically optimistic vision of humanity’s ability to transform to meet the demands of a changing world.

    In this issue, we introduce three of Salem’s emerging “activist” groups, each one taking on an important piece of the social change agenda. Whether or not these causes appeal to you, we urge you to get involved with any of the many groups active in our area.

    We round out this issue with a beautiful piece on leadership exercised by spiritual presence, an alternative to the hierarchical kind of leadership we’re all more accustomed to. Happy reading!

    Enough about your reading pleasure. Let’s paint the rest of the Alternatives picture.

    We have called our magazine “Salem’s Alternative Resource Guide.” Why? Let’s define terms. We all have our own idea about what ‘Salem’ means. ‘Alternative’ is defined by an active and opening mind, a willingness to be authentic. ‘Resource Guide’ refers to the events, goods & services, and fresh ideas presented in each quarterly publication of Alternatives.

    We intend to include in each issue a variety of events that, taken together, creates a well-rounded cultural climate in the Salem area. This includes theatre productions, lecture and film series, concerts, classes and workshops, and much more. We think that many of the most interesting things happening in and around Salem are generally under-publicized. Alternatives addresses this with “Community Events,” in the center section.

    Alternatives is designed to be an encouragement for people, and to let them know who and what is available beyond the halls of the malls, not only here, but around the world. Salem offers many stimulating choices across a wide spectrum of human activities. We humbly invite you to participate in Salem’s new cultural platform, Alternatives.

    The Editors

    Alternatives Magazine - Issue 1

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