Day: August 19, 2011

Appeals board: City must reconsider big box approval

  By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes The Land Use Board of Appeals Friday ordered the Keizer City Council to reconsider its decision allowing a development that could include Walmart at Keizer Station. The remand order was issued Friday, Aug. 19. Keep Keizer Livable, a neighborhood group organized to fight the project, filed the appeal against the City of Keizer and developing firm K-Village, LLC. The city and developers have the option of asking the Oregon Court of Appeals to reconsider. It likely means at least a short delay of a project likely to include Walmart along with possible offices and apartments. The Keizer City Council will have to reconsider the issue with the guidelines LUBA referees outlined in the decision. “We feel vindicated and that that was the right decision,” said Jane Mulholland, a co-founder of Keep Keizer Livable. “We’re very happy with that.” Chuck Sides, a partner in developing firm K-Village LLC, said his team will meet early next week to discuss its options. “We’re in this for the long haul,” Sides said. City Attorney Shannon Johnson declined comment. One root of LUBA’s decision harkens back to a council decision made in early 2008, when councilors modified the mixed use section of city development code to allow a store larger than 10,000 square feet; indeed, stores up to 120,000 square feet were allowed after the change. Councilors...

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Money better spent

Tourism might just have a place in Keizer’s future, but the half-baked plan to spend up to $500,000 in taxpayer funds on a visitors center should be voted down at the special Urban Renewal Agency meeting next Wednesday night. Salem-Keizer Transit is ready to build its Keizer Station hub after several years of planning, and has told City of Keizer officials they have until the end of August to decide to join the district in a joint transit-tourism building. To us it looks like money in search of a pit. Let’s examine this proposal by the numbers: Zero: The number of meetings between Salem-Keizer Transit and the city, who would co-own and operate the building. Would any business enter into a half-million-dollar partnership having never met with the other party? Two: That’s the number of city employees councilors laid off earlier this year. City Manager Chris Eppley says choppy financial seas are ahead. Can we afford the possibility such a building won’t pay for itself? Vague promises of sustainability aren’t enough, and generally public investment subsidizes tourism promotion, not the other way around. Zero: That’s the allocation the Keizer Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center got this year to attract visitors. The city council took that funding away less than three months ago to help fund the community center (which has done plenty to bring folks to town). $18...

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Who should Americans trust?

A Box of Soap by DON VOWELL Who should we trust to run the economy?  It looks like an ungovernable beast right now, demanding a strong leader in a time where there is a total vacuum of responsible leadership. In large print under a headline last week, the local paper said “Investors’ emotions have been causing wild price swings with every bit of good or bad news.” Are you comfortable having your pension funds dependent on “investors’ emotions”?   Wall Street is managing the market in the same way lemmings might—heedless hurtling to and fro. Nearly 70 percent of all Wall Street trading is now done by high speed computers.  Whatever you accept as the explanation of why the stock market is good for America’s economy, it is hard to imagine that explanation including an ethical basis for the computerized buying and selling of stocks.  That is not betting on a company you invest in to prosper and pay a good return.  It is hyper-drive scalping. The circus surrounding the raising of the debt ceiling was a pretty good indicator that Congress cannot guide the economy.  You could easily enough make the case that the economy was worsened by their machinations.  Standard and Poor thought so.  The United States had its credit rating degraded for the first time.  The primary reason was that Standard and Poor believes Congress incapable...

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Neighborhood Watch

By LANCE INMAN Are you interested in forming a Neighborhood Watch group on your street? The Keizer Police Department sponsors and provides support for over 65 Neighborhood Watch groups throughout Keizer. In the southeast part of Keizer where more crime tends to occur compared to other areas of town, there are the fewest number of Neighborhood Watch groups.  Statistics generally show there is less crime in areas with established Neighborhood Watch groups. Neighborhood crime facts: • Burglary, auto theft, thefts from vehicles and vandalism are the most prevalent neighborhood crimes. • Household burglary is one of the easiest crimes to commit but one of the most difficult to solve. • Most home burglars are young amateurs looking for easy targets. • Statistics show that in over one-half of household burglaries, no forced entry was involved. • Most household burglaries occur during daylight hours. • Household burglary has a potential for death or injury in cases where a burglar is surprised by the owner. • Nationally, one out of every 12 households is victimized by the crime of burglary. Fact: concerned neighbors reduce crime Putting into practice the time-honored good neighbor policy is still the single most important factor in solving problems  including crime.  Maybe your neighborhood doesn’t have a crime problem, but don’t count on it.  Typically a neighborhood forms a Neighborhood Watch after a crisis has occurred.  Why...

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