Day: October 8, 2010

The people will be heard

The people behind an initative to limit big box retailers to Area A of Keizer Station say they have attained the necessary signatures.  Once the requisite number of signatures have been verified the issue will be placed before Keizer voters in March. The organizers withstood criticism from the mayor and some city councilors who say that if the initiative passed it would pull the welcome mat for some of the retailers or developers who might want to locate here. The organizers really were targeting a proposed big box store in Area C of Keizer Station.  Keep Keizer Livable, a citizens group, was started by residents who live in the shadow of that parcel of land and fear for the, well, livability of their neighborhood.  Some might think their solution is like taking a sledgehammer to a fly, but they feel they had no other choice, saying they didn’t feel their views were being taken into account when planning for Area C.  They want the people’s voices to be heard, thus the petition. Once the petition’s signatures are verified and the initiative heads for the ballot, the real fight will begin.  As it has been pointed out, a ban on big box retailers outside Area A means that no Keizer Village-type developments would be allowed outside that area.  That will be a big argument against the initiative that the folks...

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What’s for dinner?

In too many homes the cry of “Hey, mom, what’s for dinner?” is met with tears and growling stomachs. The current economic climate has sent many more households in the region to supplement their daily food needs with a trip to a local food bank. Each week the Keizer Community Food Bank’s shelves are left bare as more families who have never visited a food pantry now rely on it to stave off food insecurity. The Keizer Community Food Bank receives donations of food and money from local residents and they also receive food from Marion-Polk Food Share, the large organizaton that supplies food to more than 80 food banks in the two counties.  Each year the number of people who seek food boxes goes up, more so these days because of the economy. When a child is hungry or underfed they do not do as well in school.  Every child should have enough nutritious food to eat to assure they are ready for the school day. It doesn’t matter if a person donates one can of soup or a whole pallet of rice, every bit helps when the need in our own background is so acute. When a kid asks what’s for dinner, our community should do what it can to assure there is an answer that’s edible....

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Big boxes belong in Area A only

By JANE MULHOLLAND Over the past several weeks, I have had the pleasure of going door to door in neighborhoods throughout Keizer, having face-to-face conversations with the people who live in our city. I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how much our Keizer citizens care about our city, care about the way decisions are made, care about the kind of place they want to raise their children, care about the livability of our neighborhoods and the future of our community. I am spending my evenings and weekends walking the streets of Keizer in order to gather signatures to put an initiative on the ballot in March.  The initiative states that stores over 65,000 square feet must be built in Keizer Station, Area A, where the other big box stores such as Target and Lowes already sit.  Area A is the right place for large retail for several reasons:  the streets were designed to handle the traffic generated from intensive retail activity; vacant storefronts abound; and large sections of land remain uncommitted and undeveloped. Mayor Lore Christopher has disputed the fact that space exists in Area A to accommodate another large store.  She points to the plan for a hotel, restaurants (when will we see a restaurant without a drive through window?), or other structures (I remember much excitement about a movie theatre that seems to have gone...

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Keizer gridlock is getting closer

To the Editor: Coming home from work last week I met the Keizer traffic just as I exited the freeway. That gave me a considerable amount of time to think as I inched my way through all the traffic lights between there and River Road. My thoughts were, of course, about my current situation and how many cars were between me and my goal of reaching home. Back when the city was being formed, one of the most talked-about concerns was that River Road would become the next Lancaster Drive. How could we ever prevent that from happening? Once I arrived at River Road my conclusion was that we might not have to worry about that any more. The real concern is the traffic on Chemawa Rd. and Lockhaven Dr. I drive through there twice daily as I go to and from work. The traffic at times stretches from the freeway all the way to River Road. With the amount of building that remains to be done in and around Keizer Station, I can only see that the traffic volume will continue to grow. Will the gateway to Keizer become noted for its gridlock? Will expansion plans include protecting the current businesses along River Road? I see a lot of rhetoric from both sides of this discussion, but what is most troubling is that it appears some members of...

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Vikings slip past Celtics 32-24

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes If Rick Ward were pressed to sum up McNary’s 32-24 loss to North Salem on the gridiron, he could do it in one word: timing. “We had all the reads we wanted, got players open on the field and four touchdown passes that were an inch away from connecting,” Ward said. The Celtics were plagued with timing issues throughout the night with a few leading to turnovers that reversed the tide on the Celts. “Physically we have great effort, but our mental mistakes are just killing us,” said Jared Van Cleave, a McNary senior linebacker. In the first quarter, the Vikings scored on a 60-yard pass and an interception that North Salem’s Avry Holmes ran back 61 yards for a touchdown – the result of a timing error. Despite the on-field foibles, McNary’s players managed to make a game of it. “We lost our momentum as they kept scoring, but we kept reminding each other to forget the last play and move on to the next,” said Jordan Gillett, a McNary senior defensive lineman. Celts responded with the only points of the second quarter on a Tim McDowell two-yard run. The Vikings racked up numerous penalties throughout the quarter, but McNary couldn’t shift the momentum. “We didn’t capitalize on their penalties,” said Garren Robinett, a McNary wide receiver. “We would have bright...

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