Day: December 3, 2010

McNary GSA offers refuge, support for GLBT students

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Editor’s note: Names of students in this story have been changed to protect their privacy. When Dane Moore hears someone toss out the slur “faggot” either in jest or as something more disparaging, he’s quick to point out the original meaning of the word. “Why would you call someone ‘a bundle of sticks?’” Moore said. Moore began attending McNary’s Gay-Straight Alliance meetings last year when he began questioning his sexuality. “Three of my best friends were coming to the meetings and the people who are in the group now are some of the best friends I’ve ever talked to,” Moore said. Diane Wolter started McNary’s GSA 10 years ago after watching a son struggle with his identity throughout middle and high school. “I knew he had struggles, especially in middle school. I wanted to be part of creating an environment where kids could just go to school and feel safe,” Wolter said. Uneasiness around her peers led Serena Altshul to take part in McKay High School’s GSA when she was just a middle schooler. “No one would talk to me because I was openly bi,” Altshul said. “I started going so I could have people to talk to.” In the years since its inception, McNary’s GSA has contributed to change in the school’s climate, Wolter said. “What I’ve seen is that more...

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Use cuts to create jobs

Ten years ago a presidential candidate said if elected he would cut taxes for the middle class and for the wealthy.  The middle class would benefit in two ways:  they would have more money in their pay evenlopes, and jobs would be created by those in the upper income bracket because they received the lion’s share of the cuts. The average Oregonian can ask “Where are the jobs?”  The people who earn great wealth are business owners and leaders; they are the people who said that with lower taxes they would be able to grow their companies and thus create jobs.  Unemployment is holding stubbornly at around 10 percent and there is an economic recovery in only a few sectors.  Wall Street is enjoying record profits and billions of bonus dollars will be paid out. In the past decade in which high income tax rates were cut, less than 2 million jobs were created, compared to over 20 million jobs created in the previous decade.  If the Bush era tax cuts are extended across the board, Americans should expect to see that extra money go to business growth and job creation.  The federal government cannot and should not be the employer of last resort.  It is the duty of the government to create the environment for economic growth and the creation of jobs.  The rest is up to the...

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Adopt-a-decoration

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce and the City of Keizer have done a good job over the years overseeing the holiday lights that adorn poles up and down River Road. Due to budget constraints this year the city had to cut money that would have helped the Chamber maintain the decorations which are decades old.  The holiday decorations go up every year with the efforts of Mr. Christmas himself, Dave Walery, and his crew of volunteers. Their careful maintenance hasn’t prevented the decorations from suffering the effects of time, especially the thousands of light bulbs that bring them to life. The Chamber and the city should set up a program like Adopt-a-Street, only it would be Adopt-a-Decoration.  A family could adopt a decoration and assure it has the bulbs, wiring and frills it needs. Love them or hate them, they are Keizer’s decorations and giving its citizens a sense of ownership will result not only in fully lit decorations but a sense of community pride....

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Radical plan: start where we agree

By JON BARTHOLOMEW Last week, the two co-chairs of The President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released an initial proposal for reducing the federal government’s wide budget deficit.  Predictably, a rush of negative reaction immediately followed from both the left and the right.  Each side warning that the other wants to either raise your taxes or slash valued benefits and services. The silence, however, is deafening when it comes to the Commissioners’ explicit recommendations to Congress to cut many of the carve outs and giveaways won over the years by lobbyists for corporate special interests. Moving forward, leadership in Congress has a choice. They can either begin the process of real fiscal reform by focusing on the specific remedies in the Commissioners’ recommendations that make sense to taxpayers and have bipartisan support or they can dodge the issue by continuing to fan the flames of disagreement and gridlock. If they choose progress over paralysis, they should start by reviewing common ground reforms.  Right and left alike can agree to end unnecessary payments to mature, profitable industries that do not need taxpayer subsidized financial incentives to run their businesses. Few, outside of the lobbyists for the direct beneficiaries, would argue that it is a national priority to spend taxpayer funds on TV ads in Asia, Europe and elsewhere hawking consumer products on behalf of multinational corporations.  The so-called...

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Cell phone tax

To the Editor: A recent article in the Keizertimes indicated that a group of so-called conservative outsiders may come to town to challenge the tax on cell phones. These nut cakes care little about our protection and are only anti-tax fanatics. If there are enough Keizer citizens who wish to reduce police, fire and ambulance services in our city then I would support a vote.  I would not support a yes vote to repeal the tax but certainly the voice of the people.  If Keizer is going to combat the drug problem, gang and other crimes, we certainly need more police on the street. This only makes sense.  If the citizens wish to have long waits for ambulance and fire services which directly affects their lives then additional revenue should be denied. I firmly believe that a vast majority of our neighbors want the best services and are willing to pay a few dollars a month for them. The facts are, there is not enough 911 money coming to the city and fire district to cover the costs of the 911 services. The 911 service is not cheap as the direct service and the equipment needed to do the job efficiently is expensive. The city shells out over $600,000 per year and only receives $114,000 back from the 75 cents on your phone bill. The fire district pays over...

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