Day: October 15, 2010

Middle schools host afterschool rallies

Claggett Creek and Whiteaker middle schools will participate in a Lights On Afterschool rallies Thursday, Oct. 21. Rallies will be held at each school beginning at 3 p.m. to highlight activities offered in afterschool programs and their benefits. Students and their families are welcome to participate. Claggett Creeks’s rally will include interactive breakdancing and jerk dancing performances, the Da Vinci Girls Club, Lego robotics, craft clubs, leadership club, a homework zone and a dance. Whiteaker’s programming includes a pumpkin carving and decorating and other harvest activities. Snacks and parent information booths will also be...

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The future of our water

Fluoridation of Keizer’s water has risen as an issue before the city council, but not for the reasons of the past.  In the middle of the last century, when cities wanted to add fluoride to the their water systems, a cry rose up that it was a communist plot and it was unAmerican.  Of course it was not a communist plot and the argument can be made that the teeth of millions of children are healthier due to the fluoride they receive via their water. In a work session this week councilors heard from both sides of the fluoridation debate.  City Council Richard Walsh is pushing for the city to cease adding fluoride to the city’s water system for both health and financial reason. The city of Keizer spends approximately $50,000 a year to add fluoride to the water system.  An update of the system can push that to $80,000 a year.  Walsh says that the city can better spend that money in other areas such as law enforcement or city amenities.  The council is scheduled to pick up the issue again at its Oct. 18 meeting. Before taking a final vote the city council needs to be sure it has all the information to make a decision.  It’s nice to hear from dentists but the councilors need to hear from scientists and experts who can expound on fluoride’s...

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Money for bikers

As you will read in this week’s edition, taxpayers will end up paying about $3,200 for costs associated with the Good Vibrations motorcycle rally this past summer. It’s not a lot of money in the scheme of the budget, and with big events come the need for more security (most of the cost is associated with police overtime). But it says a lot about the Keizer City Council’s priorities. For months we’ve heard the sound of violins at city hall: Serious discussion of police layoffs, no money for the volunteer-led library, no funds to string up holiday lights along River Road, cuts to police training, etc. There’s also been chatter that water rates could be raised for the second year in a row next year. We do, however, have enough money to pay off a breakfast tab for visiting bikers (about $300 after donations via the Good Vibrations Task Force fell short). And pay (now or later) 14 police officers to guard the parade of motorcycles from Keizer to Salem. Bringing an event like Good Vibrations is a boost for tourism. But anecdotal evidence suggests the parade from Keizer to Salem is a good illustration for what happened: Motorcyclists slept at Keizer’s only hotel, then drove a few miles south – past Keizer’s business community – to the beer garden and other Good Vibrations festivities on the Salem waterfront....

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Lady Celts remain undefeated

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Halfway through the season, the Lady Celts are the 5-0 envy of every other team in the Central Valley Conference. Of course, that also makes them a  highly-valued target. “The teams are all going to be that much sharper, the coaches will have made the adjustments they’ve needed to make, and it’s going to make the second half of the season that much harder,” said Dustin Walker, McNary head coach. It’s not a position the team is taking for granted. “West Salem is going to have their horns out now and we’ll use that to push for the three-game win. Sprague has been getting better throughout the season,” said Whittley Harrell, senior libero. North Salem High School, the only team in the conference McNary has dropped a game to will also be nipping at their heels. In some ways, the team is still dealing with that early-season hiccup, said Megan Holland. “We’re never going to underestimate anybody again. We’re going to keep our intensity up, keep playing our positions and knowing our positions,” Holland said. “West Salem underestimated us earlier, but they’re going to come back even harder.” The Celts capped their first run through the Central Valley Conference with a win over McKay High School Tuesday, Oct 5. McNary won 25-17, 25-15, 25-14. “It was a really good game. We missed...

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If Republicans are really serious…

By BOB MAISTROS What are the big problems that consume our political system and drove our recent financial crisis?  And what is the one factor that connects them all? You guessed it – the distortions caused by their treatment under the current income tax code.  Plus the ability to address these problems by ditching that code in favor of a modified version of the Fair Tax – a national sales tax.  Here we go with more of the reasons the Republicans should make its adoption their core focus: Health care. We don’t need no stinkin’ Obamacare.  Nor do we need all the other convoluted solutions trotted out by various Congress-types from one end of the political rainbow to the other and in-between. All we need to do is get rid of the income tax, whose double bag of goodies for employer and employee – a historical accident from the era of wage and price controls – leads to overutilization, ever-rising prices, poor outcomes and a lack of competition and consumer control over their own care. Dump the current code, and suddenly, consumers are the buyers of care – not their employers.  They call the shots – not health insurers and providers.  Despite what you hear about health care, when confronted with choice, consumers will make smart decisions that balance price and quality.  We’ll see more capitated contracts directly with...

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