Day: March 26, 2010

Keizer youths spring into action to serve community

By LANCE MASTERSON Of the Keizertimes Keizer youth were busy this week making their community a cleaner place. This effort was centered on Noren Avenue where the Keizer Boys & Girls Club is located. “This week is spring break and the theme we chose this year is ‘Spring into Service.’ All of the clubs in Salem and then this one in Keizer are focusing on that theme by doing projects every day that gives back to the community,” said Leana Dickerson, coordinator for the local branch. One of these projects had youths cleaning roads of debris. Their path took them from Noren Avenue and their branch on the Kennedy School campus to Chemawa Road. Club member Carlos Flores, who attends Kennedy School, said projects like this are necessary “so the environment is safe and clean … It’s nice to help keep the earth clean.” A second club member, Kiauna Lunsford, agreed with Flores’ assessment. “We do it to help the earth,” said Lunsford, who attends Claggett Creek Middle School. “How many people out there don’t care about the world and hurt it?” Lunsford added members left their path noticeably cleaner. “We could see the difference,” Lunsford said. “It’s way better.” The cleanup, which netted three large bags of garbage, was performed Tuesday. Other projects undertaken this week included litter patrol at Claggett Creek park, creating cards for sick children...

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‘They Fought for Each Other’ details story of Keizer soldier, others in Iraq

By LANCE MASTERSON Of the Keizertimes “They Fought Hard for Each Other,” by Kelly Kennedy, is not an easy book to read under the best of circumstances It’s positively painful when Chapter 11 details the death of your only child. But Shawna Hill, whose son Pfc. Ryan Hill was killed in Iraq three years ago, considers the book a must read. For one thing, the book exposes the reality of war. “There’s a price that’s paid for our freedom, and I think this (book) really helps you understand what really happens … not just the sacrifice that Ryan made, but every single person serving has made,” said Hill. “We live in a free country because people paid the price. As hard as it is, the price has to be paid.” Hill noted the book is important for another reason: It tells the human cost of a war often ignored. “I’ve always been very patriotic, very supportive of our troops. But honestly, before Ryan went there, there wasn’t a face to it for me,” she said. Ryan Hill served with Charlie Company in Adhamiya, Iraq. At the time, the area was heavy with insurgents, and the locals were paying a steep price. Caught in the middle of warring factions, some 10 to 20 villagers a day were reportedly being killed as Sunni and Shiite waged war against each other. Charlie...

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An eye-opener for boards and taxpayers

To the Editor: The fiasco we continue to read about with the Willamette Education Services Department (WESD), should be a real eye opener for all boards of directors and all taxpayers. Don’t ever assume that those who are supposedly on watch what is really happening.  Unfortunately, they don’t always know, and frankly don’t even seem to care, virtually appearing as puppets on a string. If you want accountability for public agencies, go to board meetings. Ask questions.  Write letters. As taxpayers, we not only have the right but it is our duty to hold these boards accountable for what and how our taxpayer dollars are being spent. Board of directors, learn some lessons from those at WESD because your public is watching. Renee Palmer...

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Local activist takes his story nationwide

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes On the 382nd day, Matthew McDaniel and trusty horse Hampton rested. Sounds like they’d earned it. After riding on horseback from Lincoln City south through California, across the deserts of the southwest, up through Appalachia and through Washington, D.C., McDaniel was riding his horse from Union Township in New Jersey to New York City. “The police became so interested about the horse and the trip that they took it upon themselves to give me escorts that increased in frequency and size as the evening wore on,” McDaniel said. He described the scene as “like a carnival – I had paramedics, their wives and girlfriends, and firemen coming out to the road … to take pictures of the horse and me. They said that in 40 years they had never seen anyone ride through here on a horse.” As he crossed the George Washington Bridge, a crucial link between Manhattan and New Jersey, he said, NY-NJ Port Authority officers maintained a quiet space of sorts for McDaniel – who was at this point walking on a pedestrians-only bridge section while walking his horse, Hampton, at about 2 a.m. Monday morning. Then the lead officer piped up. Or, rather, his car did. “He cranked up on his police car’s PA system, ‘America the Beautiful’ by Ray Charles,” McDaniel said. “My horse picks up on this...

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Police cracking down on drivers using cellulars

If you didn’t know driving on a cell phone without a hands-free device was illegal, you might learn the hard way soon. Keizer Police have issued some 86 citations and 73 warnings since Jan. 1 for driving while using a cell phone. At least in Keizer, getting cited for driving while using a cell phone has cost about $113, including fees. “That’s basically 150 people we’ve contacted as a police agency in the past three months,” Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns said. “That shows you there’s still plenty of people using these devices illicitly.” It’s a primary offense, which means officers can pull over a driver simply for talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device. The driver need not be speeding or committing another traffic offense. Not too many tickets were issued in the first month, said Lt. Alan McCowan, as officers wanted to give the public a few weeks to adapt to the new law, which was passed last year by the Oregon Legislature. “We were going to educate the public, first of all, and after that grace period we started enforcing the law – a citation versus a warning,” McCowan said. “Over time, the excuses for use become further and farther between,” added Kuhns. Kuhns said it was “fair” to say the department has “put a little emphasis on this area of educating the public....

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