Month: March 2010

IN THE RING: Is Keizer’s level of policing too low, too high or just right?

This week’s question was: “Is Keizer’s level of policing too low, too high or just right?” Jeanne Bond-Esser, retired educator and parks advocate: “I’m not sure how one ever really answers this, but I certainly don’t think our level of policing is too high. “Is there an ‘acceptable’ level of crime? Or, a point of diminishing returns? In other words, a level of crime or (in)security which does not diminish as more police officers are added? I suspect that if we doubled the number of officers, we’d still have some level of crime — but where that optimum cost/benefit point is between what we have now and double the force, I don’t know. I suppose if we added a couple of officers and tracked crime rates, we could quantify any additional benefit. “As I understand, there are professional guidelines based on population and other factors. Again as I understand, our force level falls below those guidelines, (although with all the empty houses in my neighborhood, West Keizer, I wonder what our population really is right now). “So, lacking any valuable insight on staffing, I’ll instead report the outcomes I’d like: Continue to staunch, slow — better yet rid us– of the community-ruining and seemingly intractable invasion of gang and drug activity. Continue to keep our parks safe for folks to walk and play in. Catch thieves. Help keep Keizer a place where law-abiders feel safe and at ease...

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IN THE RING: Should health care reform opponents focus on repealing the bill, or move on to other pressing issues?

Each week the Keizertimes asks community leaders a question about current events. To see more of this week’s answers or answers to past questions log onto www.keizertimes.com and click on In the Ring. This week’s question: Should health care reform opponents focus on repealing the bill, or move on to other pressing issues? Art Bobrowitz, Compass Rose Consulting: “The major problem I see is more than repealing the bill is how will we pay for it? This legislation will probably wind up in the court system. States are already lining up with litigation. “The majority of the funding for this bill will come from borrowed money and future generations. This bill has the potential to bankrupt this country. Moving on to any other issues would be senseless. We are being told to start paying on a piece of legislation whose benefits will kick in four years from now. If you like this idea then you wouldn’t mind buying your next car on a four-year twenty-seven hundred page contract. The purchase price will be increasing along the way but you don’t get to pick up your new car until 2014. Surely everyone would like a deal like that.” Dennis Koho, attorney, former Keizer mayor: “Move on – anything else is merely political posturing. Opponents of the bill just lost. Can they seriously think we believe they now have the votes...

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Docs in talks to build on block

City could sell land for office-type building By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes A local government agency is proposing selling some Keizer Station land to a private firm, and signs point to a medical facility being the most likely occupier. A public hearing will be held April 5 before the Keizer Urban Renewal Agency, which consists of the mayor and city council. The proposal calls for selling roughly two acres of land to a firm called RJMEW Development, LLC. The Oregon-based corporation is registered to Caleb Williams, an attorney in Salem. Williams declined to comment. The land in question is at the corner of McLeod Drive and Lockhaven Drive. [MAP: 1] The proposed sale price is $1.4 million. Mum seems to be the word on who the ultimate tenant is. But a prior statement by Mayor Lore Christopher leaves a telling clue. At the Oct. 15, 2009 meeting of the Gubser Neighborhood Association, meeting notes indicate Christopher said Salem Radiology would likely occupy the land in question. But neither officials from the city or Salem Radiology would confirm this. Salem Radiology Executive Director R.A. Neitzel declined comment, saying any story was “premature.” When reached Tuesday, Christopher simply said she “would love to have them there, and we’re trying to work out the details,” noting the jobs created would be a high-wage type of employment. City Manager Chris Eppley declined to get into...

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Faith of the founding fathers

I’ve been wondering about the relationship between religion and government.  Most of the existing theocracies in the world are Islamic and have cost us much, either by military occupation or measures taken to prevent that necessity. I was given a tract that contained statements of faith by our founding fathers, supposedly proving that we were created as a Christian nation.  Moved by the eloquence and conviction of those statements, I was all the more impressed by their author’s wise determination to avoid creating a nation ruled by a church. St. Augustine defined pride as “the love of one’s own excellence.”  That would be the worship of self, not God.  It is a mystery why men of no discernible intellect or accomplishment are yet so self-assured of their theological correctness that they use that faith as a bludgeon to correct others.  It is what makes a man fly a plane into a building, carry poisonously stupid signs outside a soldier’s funeral, or slaughter those with whom they disagree, all in the name of a God who has asked only that you treat others as you would be treated.  I don’t know why zealots feel they must impress their beliefs on others.  Maybe it is easier to believe the unknowable if others share that belief. If pride is the deadliest of sins, then humility is the first virtue.  It removes the...

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