Day: June 25, 2010

Wild Wild Rec!

The Wild Wild Rec program has arrived, bringing with it cheap summer fun for the kids. It consists of a traveling trailer filled with play and sports equipment, and the cost is only a $5 membership to the Boys & Girls Club. And there’s scholarships available for those who can’t afford the fee. It will be from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It comes to Bob Newton Park on Tuesdays, Claggett Creek Park on Wednesdays and Willamette Manor Park on Thursdays. [MAP: 7] The program runs through August...

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Solid waste rates go up, Benevan gets a break

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Higher garbage pickup rates were approved by the Keizer City Council on Monday, June 21. The Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association sought a 7 percent increase on pickup rates. The last cost-based increase – that is, one that didn’t come without additional services – was in 1992, documents indicate. Commercial rates will not be affected by the change. Drop box rates will increase to match that of the City of Salem. For example, customers with a 20-gallon garbage can without yard debris pickup would see a 77-cent monthly increase. Add the yard debris can and the total rate increase is $1.12. For 35-gallon customers the rate increase is $1.24 per month, and for 65-gallon it’s $1.69 per month. Estle Harlan, a consultant for the association, said that the rates would still be “very good” even with the increase. “It will bring them into a good business margin that will make them able to do business well,” Harlan added. “It’s a business decision.” The City of Keizer will consider in July a move that would add compost pickup to residential service. A document haulers provided to the council showed that, since 1998, insurance rose 44 percent, the price of trucks went up 51 percent, registration costs for vehicles were up 142 percent, and fuel was up 143 percent. The change was approved unanimously, but...

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Shakedown

One would hope Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican congressman from Texas, was an outlier last week when he spoke about a $20 billion fund set up by BP  at the president’s behest to compensate those affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill: He apologized. Not to the millions on the Gulf coast whose lives are forever altered, but to a top BP executive. He also said: “I think it’s a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown.” Why might someone say this? As the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Barton receives hefty campaign contributions from energy firms. But BP gave more money to Obama than any other federal candidate. As would be expected when someone makes such a colossally out-of-touch remark, politicians from both major parties rushed to condemn his statement. What got less attention was a press release from the Republican Study Committee, consisting of more than 100 congressional Republicans, including the Northwest’s own Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington’s 5th District. Headlined “Chicago-style Shakedown Politics” the press release attempted to both insist BP pay for the damage the company has done while also condemning President Barack Obama for taking actions to actually force them to pay up. This statement certainly does not reflect the anger directed at the British oil...

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IN THE RING: What’s your theory on the Trader Joe’s mixup, and do you care?

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. Last week Keizer and Salem were abuzz about a Trader Joe’s sign being posted at Keizer Station. Then the sign company said it was a mistake. Down comes the sign. There’s a variety of theories floating around, including: • The sign was preemptive, but there’s a deal close • Just a coincidence – sometimes mistakes are mistakes • There’s not a deal yet, but it was put up to generate buzz So this week’s question is: What’s your theory on the Trader Joe’s mixup, and do you care? Art Bobrowitz, Compass Rose Consulting— Mistakes do happen. As a matter of fact I really like the media coverage given to Keizer Station over the issue. You can’t buy better advertising. If it worked for Trader Joe’s, maybe Keizer Station and city leaders should have a “wish list” for potential tenants. That way we could have a “mix-up of the week” sign. It could read “Make no mistake. Come to Keizer! We sure would like you to move your business here. We need the jobs!” Jim Willhite and Pat Ehrlich, vice presidents, Gubser Neighorhood Assoc.— So sorry we weren’t here to enjoy even a momentary dream of Trader...

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