Day: February 18, 2011

School district survey will arrive in inboxes March 1

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes Superintendent Sandy Husk of the Salem-Keizer School District wants to hear from parents and community members about its communication efforts. The survey, in both English and Spanish, will be e-mailed March 1 to parents and interested community members. Parents and community members who would like to receive the survey should e-mail Karma Krause at krause_karma@salkeiz.k12.or.us by Tuesday, Feb. 22. The survey is part of a national study to improve communication within school districts, with about 100 districts participating. Conducting the survey is the National School Public Relations Association, through a survey company, K12 Insight, Inc. It is provided to the district at no cost. All responses will be kept confidential; e-mail addresses are not associated with responses, and data will not personally identify participants. Parents whose e-mails are on file with the district will receive invitations Tuesday or thereabouts. The survey will be open for three weeks, and anyone not wishing to participate may opt out by clicking an e-mail...

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And your 2011 Senior Idols are…

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes The TV show that inspired the Senior Idol contest at Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community has a strict age limit – no one under 16 and over 28. At the Senior Idol, however, only 65 and older need apply. Eleven entrants entertained folks at the retirement home in north Keizer Friday, Feb. 4, with a variety of musical and dancing styles to offer. “Cowboy” Ken Gaskin took home the crown for King of the Senior Idol competition, while Eileen Booth – better known to some as The Flapper Tapper – was this year’s queen. Both live in West Salem. Gaskin sang two tunes: Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” and the spiritual “How Great Thou Art.” At age 72, Gaskin regularly takes his classic country act to retirement homes throughout the Willamette Valley. “What I do is songs they remember from years back and songs they probably hadn’t heard for 50 years – Gene Autry and that sort of thing,” Gaskin said. Booth said she’d been shy to share her age in previous years, but this year she was proud to say she was 84 years old. “It was last night I decided I should tell my age,” she said. “I always kept it a secret but I thought I could be inspirational to seniors.” Booth then was told just that by Arlene Egli. She plans...

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What’s best for Keizer

Measure 24-314, the initiative that Keizer will vote on in March, presents residents with two visions of the city.  How one sees Keizer in the future will determine how they will vote. This is not a Solomon’s choice—Keizer can’t have it both ways. Citizen survey consistently say they like the small town feel of Keizer.  Keizer consumers like the Pleasantville-ness of our city but many also favor discount retailers, especially grocery stores.  Keizer cannot maintain its current quality and have big retail developments sitting next to long-established neighborhoods. Opponents of Measure 24-314 such as the city council and developers should not take the silence of a majority of Keizer citizens for the approval to charge ahead. There are a number of issues opponents cite.  They use terms such as “job killing” and “anti-business.” Jobs in Keizer Would the passage of Measure 24-314 put an end to job creation in Keizer?  Of course not.  Putting limits on where in Keizer big box retail stores can be located won’t affect the drive to turn Keizer into a medical hub. Living wage jobs in the medical field is what Mayor Lore Christopher has been  heralding since it was announced that Salem Radiology Consultants would build a clinic in Keizer Station at the corner of Lockhaven Drive and McLeod Lane.  Those are the day-time jobs that are the future for Keizer. National retailers...

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Celt boys lay claim to district title

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes On the road to a district title, the McNary boys varsity team did everything possible to keep their focus on the team. The team’s captains did their best to make certain teammates stood vigil at the end of McNary’s lanes to cheer on their contestants and even opened up their annual bleaching party to all members of the team. It’s a testament to that mentality that the team won the district title without placing first in a single individual event. “I’m really proud of the way the team pulled together and did exactly what we wanted to do, we worked with the little events and took second and third and seventh and eighth and get those points. We didn’t win any individual event, which is a sign of the depth of our team and the fact that we truly are a team,” said Celt Mason Grine. The only events the boys team did win were the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay. In the 200 medley, Dominic Meyer, Forest Feltner, Grine and Kevin Groves not only trailed for the first three legs, but had a fast enough overall swim to set a new district meet record of 1:44.2. “Winning that medley was one of the greatest things and taking the district record by less than half of a second made it...

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Does big box fit vision?

Planning commissioners seemed unable in the Area C hearings to see the big box for the trees. We hope the Keizer City Council doesn’t have the same problem. In our opinion the commission started from the wrong perspective: The body essentially took the proposed 116,000 square foot big box as a given, and proposed modest steps to make it not quite-so-unacceptable to neighbors. But while the commission discussed how tall a tree should be or whether it should lose its leaves every year, essential questions remain unaddressed: •  Even if it is zoned for commercial development, is a giant discount grocer compatible with single-family homes just a few hundred feet away? • Should analysis of traffic impact be limited to a developer-funded study? We don’t have a basis to challenge the numbers within the study, but we believe traffic impacts to the already-overburdened Chemawa-Verda intersection and a newly-created shortcut from McLeod to Ridge Drive to Keizer Road should be part of the discussion. • Were exhaustive efforts made to develop Keizer Station Area C in the manner originally envisioned, with smaller stores? In the past, our city council has proven more apt to grill the director of a volunteer library about where a few hundred bucks would be spent than to challenge our most well-heeled developer. We believe the council has failed thus far to address what a big...

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