Day: September 17, 2010

Save farm lands from gravel pits

To the Editor: A recent article in the Portland Oregonian (“Gravel mines damage soil,” Aug. 27), informed us that two large tracks of prime farm land just to the north of us, one 175 acres, the other 400 acres, are about to be approved for conversion into gravel pits. Why, I ask, don’t our environmentally-concerned decision makers care about our rich farmland?  we don’t need more gravel pits.  Our Williamette River is the best source of gravel our state possesses and it replenishes itself constantly offering an endless suply for the future. Furthermore, one barge transporting gravel downstream would eliminate 78 truck loads of gravel trundling through our neighborhoods, which raise dust and tear up our roads.  It’s time to speak up to these public decision makers starting with the Yamhill County commissioners. Richard Chesbrough...

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Teddy Bear Express conductor hands out smiles, food boxes

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Almost every Thursday the Keizer Community Food Bank opens it’s doors to those in need, Laura Ayres is there with something extra for every kid. Sometimes it’s large, sometimes it’s small, every once in a while it’s nearly life-size, but it’s always stuffed and fluffy. “Four years ago, I was at a garage sale where they had some beautiful stuffed animals on display and it hit me that they would make great gifts for the children who come to the food bank,” Ayres said. She asked the proprietor what their plans were for the animals after the sale was over and then asked if they would be willing to donate their leftover stock for the effort Ayres would later dub “The Teddy Bear Express.” They took her number and called after the close of business. “I brought home about a dozen stuffed animals that day and then I started asking at every sale I went to after that,” Ayres said. “Close to 75 percent of the people I ask simply tell me to take [the stuffed animals] with me on the spot.” In the past four years, she estimates she’s given out more than 2,000 stuffed pals. She has a running inventory of about 900 on hand. She’s even had complete strangers drop them off at her house once they heard what...

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The games of summer

By WAYNE A. MORELAND Wars and insurrections around the globe, countries wanting to destroy other countries, the U.S. economy down the tank, and leaders hollering at each other instead of leading. It’s enough to make a person want to find a hole somewhere and just crawl into it. So how can you insulate yourself from all of this? Well, for three months each summer, the answer is right around the corner. It’s Salem-Keizer Volcanoes baseball. I confess I am an incurable fan, one who has been addicted to the sport since the beginnings of my memory. The only varsity sport I played in high school. The sport of the Dodgers (in Brooklyn) and the Giants (in New York). I can still name the teams of the old Pacific Coast League from the 1940s and ‘50s. I’m the guy who, with a friend, cut classes at Southern Oregon College one fall day to watch Don Larsen pitch a perfect game against my beloved Dodgers. TV’s were small and black and white then, but the memory lives on. As I said, I’m incurable. So, it was with great joy when I found out that professional baseball was returning to the area. I was on hand for the first pitch of the first year, but from about 1,000 feet above the field as the pilot of the photo plane that took the...

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