Day: May 20, 2011

Brazen burglars strike family at home

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Burglars broke into a house in the Gubser neighborhood while several people were home Thursday, May 12. The suspects, a 19-year-old man and 15-year-old boy, were each charged with burglary. An Xbox gaming system stolen from the home has yet to be recovered. The house is in the 1300 block of Marigold Street NE and police got the call at 9:51 p.m. Homeowner John Morgan reported his teenage son Nicholas walked into the family room to find one suspect disconnecting the video game system, and the other standing by the door. “The initial feeling I got when I was them was, like, ‘What’s gonna happen now?’” said Nicholas Morgan. He yelled at them to stop, alerting other family members, and the suspects fled out the back door with the homeowner’s son close behind. The family lost sight of the suspects as they ran into the adjacent Bob Newton Park. Five people were in the house at the time, and multiple lights were on. Police believe the suspects entered the two-story home through an unlocked door. That same door had been kicked down a few years ago in an attempted robbery while John Morgan was home, but he said they ran once they heard him coming down the stairs. “I’ve always thought that it could happen again, but I wasn’t sure,” said Nicholas Morgan....

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Six months of attention

Keizer will receive unprecedented attention over the next six months as a number of public events will bring visitors into town. This weekend the 24th Keizer Iris Festival really kicks into gear  with a parade, the Keizerfest Tent, the Keizer Station Fun Center among many events. In July the Good Vibrations Motorcycle Rally will make itself at home here. In August the fourth RIVERfair will be held at Keizer Rapids Park. The Miracle of Christmas Lights in the Gubser neighbor sees about 20,000 vehicles drive through the display each holiday season. The newest feather in Keizer’s cap will be the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade that is moving from Salem to Keizer in December. Combined, these events over the next six months will bring in tens of thousands of visitors into our city.  Most cities of Keizer’s size are lucky to have one big event; we’ve got five. At a time when many communities across the nation are canceling festivals and community events due to the economy and budget restrains, Keizer’s event calendar is bulging. That is due to the tenacious efforts of organizers and boosters here in town.  It’s a big job to stage any of these events.  It will take many community volunteers to make them a success and memorable for our residents as well as the out-of-town visitors. Close to 25,000 spectators are expected to line...

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Keizer’s center

The Keizer Heritage Foundation’s vision of the future of the Keizer Heritage Center will get attention from the city council in June as it ponders the soon-too expire lease. The Foundation owns and operates the Center, which started its life as the original Keizer Elementary School on the corner of River and Chemawa Roads (thus Schoolhouse Square Shopping Center).  The city of Keizer owns the land under the building which it leases to the Foundation for a dollar year. The city was presented a task force report from the Foundation in late December regarding Heritage Center’s next 20 years.   Next month the city council will hold a work session to discuss the task force vision with the foundation board. The biggest issue at hand is space.  Currently the Heritage Center houses the Chamber of Commerce, the Keizer Art Association and Enid Joy Mount Gallery, the Keizer Heritage Museum, the Keizer Community Library and Keizer Young Life.  The foundation owns and operates the museum. The library and its supporters want to see it expanded from the approximately 650 square feet it now occupies.  The museum needs more space; it is a cramped space with narrow aisles and there is not enough space to display all of the artifacts. Presently the foundation pays for the operation and maintenance of the Center through tenant rentals and revenue from renting the community...

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What we can do to lower gas prices

By JEFF MERKLEY For most families, summer means little league games, 4th of July parades, and backyard barbeques.  But in recent years, America has added a new, unwelcome summer tradition: rising gas prices.  Prices in Oregon have jumped a dollar in the last year and political turmoil in the Middle East continues to drive them even higher.   Further turmoil, such as a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or a man-made disaster like the BP gulf oil spill, would push prices higher still. Skyrocketing gas prices are like a tax on working families. And it is the worst possible tax in the sense that it ships our energy dollars overseas, enriching the Middle East while hurting job creation here at home. We need to take concrete steps both to lower costs at the pump now and to gradually reduce the grip oil companies and petro-dictators have on our economy. We should tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve during this period of uncertainty as we did during the first Gulf War.  We should use the revenue raised when the government sells oil from the Reserve to fund measures to reduce oil demand.  We should also crack down on Wall Street speculators who are buying up oil to drive prices higher and end massive subsidies to big oil and gas companies that just announced billions in new profits.  Big oil is doing...

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Are we done in Afghanistan?

By LAWRENCE KUDLOW In the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden, I found myself agreeing with Charles Krauthammer that this was a global game-changer for American greatness. It was a gutsy and courageous decision by President Obama, brilliantly executed by the Navy SEALs and all the intelligence and support behind them. As Krauthammer put it, after the tough slogs in Iraq and Afghanistan, this amounts to the restoration of unquestioned U.S. military dominance. America has not slipped, nor has our military reach and power. But now I want to ask a more difficult question. With the killing of Osama, is the Afghan mission complete? The original post-9/11 goal was to kill bin Laden and wipe out al-Qaida. Now that we’ve killed bin Laden and dismantled so much of al-Qaida, do we really need to trudge through an even longer war in Afghanistan? Ayman Al-Zawahiri is in Pakistan. Perhaps the SEALs can dismantle him. Anwar Al-Awlaki is in Yemen, and perhaps al-Qaida can be dismantled there. But regarding the broader war in Afghanistan, I was taken by a quote from Rep. Peter King on National Review Online. He said, “The enemy is now more of a threat from within than it is I am no military or foreign-policy expert. But I do know the cost of supporting a corrupt regime like Hamid Karzai’s in terms of blood and...

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