Day: March 2, 2011

Unions dominate Keep Keizer Livable funding

By Jason Cox Of The Keizertimes Union dollars make up almost 90 percent of contributions promoting a ballot measure enacting retail building size limitations. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555 has pumped $15,000 into Keep Keizer Livable’s coffers in the past three weeks alone as the March 8 ballot deadline approaches. Keep Keizer Livable has also retained the services of a John Kitzhaber campaign veteran and a political strategy firm. In the coming few days, KKL co-founder Kevin Hohnbaum said efforts will be focused on “continuing our get-out-the-vote campaign, based on door-to-door, a good deal of phone calling, and a little bit of direct mail.” The group, founded to oppose a big box discount grocer at Lockhaven Drive NE and Chemawa Road NE, has come out in force during the past two months in particular, spending $21,481 in the past two months, $17,302 of it in February alone. The group spent $10,435 in 2010. And about 89 percent of its contributions came from labor unions, including $21,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 555. Three chapters of the AFL-CIO put in a combined $5,000 toward the effort. A union representative told the Keizertimes last August, when this newspaper first reported UFCW’s involvement, that his organization’s interest was in “preserving communities, having local, family-wage jobs that provide affordable healthcare and safe pensions.” The union...

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KFD fire marshal ends three decades of service

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The events of Sept. 11, 2001 had chilling effects on emergency services throughout the nation. One of them landed in Keizer Fire Marshal Joel Stein’s driveway. “We had to do a lot of things differently, we used to keep the fire hall’s bay doors open and people from the community could walk right in and check out the equipment, so that changed. But then they sent out an advisory that anyone who took home marked vehicles should be checking them every morning for anything suspicious before they used them because they might be targeted,” Stein said. As fire marshal, Stein spends most days when he isn’t at the district offices on call to investigate fires and hopping in the marked car wasn’t something he’d ever given much thought, but his more than 30 years in the fire service can be charted by the changes he’s seen come and go. He thought about change a lot about as he was making the decision to retire. His last day with the Keizer Fire District will be Feb. 28, about two months shy of his 22nd anniversary with KFD. “Joel represents those tireless public servants whom constantly monitor the radio for emergencies in Keizer and gave selflessly of his time and commitment to the fire district,” said Keizer Fire Chief Jeff Cowan. The desire to...

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