Day: November 4, 2011

It’s a lousy time to ask for new taxes

To to Editor: It’s a lousy time to ask for new taxes. Nevertheless, I’m voting for the 911 fee.  The police have already cut.  One of the largest items in their budget is paying the 911 call center.  They can’t cut 911 service, so they’ve cut police officers to balance their budget. Did you know Keizer Police doesn’t have any narcotics officers?  They used to have three school resource officers.  Now, they only have two.  The police union voted to not take a scheduled pay increase so they wouldn’t have more layoffs. I’m for belt-tightening, but I also want to be safe.  If I call 911, I want that operator to send Keizer police right away.  If Keizer Police have to keep cutting, you might get a 911 operator on the first ring, but what good is that if you are fifth in line for help from the police when there are only three officers on duty? Keizer has one of the lowest property tax rates in Oregon.  That’s a good thing. But a small monthly fee (less than $5) dedicated to paying for local 911 services is necessary, even in this tough economy. I’m voting yes for the dedicated, local 911 fund. Michael Kurtz...

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Support for former city employee

To the Editor: I would like to express my support for a valued Keizer community member Roland Herrera. Roland is the number one ambassador for our town, anyone from west, south, eorth or east Salem that have ever attended a sporting event in Keizer knows Roland. An outgoing, happy, and engaging man whose heart clearly outweighs his body! Roland has left his mark in our schools,  his work with water education in our schools has made an impact with our young students.  Little League has grown and prospered because of the efforts of Roland Herrera, I can’t think of a project involving athletics at McNary High School that Roland hasn’t been a major contributor. Many of us who were here during the “floods” recall Roland Herrera’s selflessness, as he worked around the clock, filling sand bags, organizing groups to distribute them throughout Keizer, making personal calls to families in need, and being there for anyone who asked for his assistance. Roland was a valuable asset during this time of concern. Finally, I appreciate Roland Herrera’s zest for life. I am sure his popularity has rubbed a few of his co-workers the wrong way, Being named Keizer First Citizen was great recognition for a man who bleeds McNary blue and loves the city of Keizer. His recent termination from his job with the city of Keizer ( after 19 years!),...

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One win will decide who’s in

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes A play-in game Friday, Nov. 4, will decide which varsity football team, the McNary High School Celts or Grants Pass High School Cavemen, will advance to the 32-team playoff bracket. McNary finished its season with two wins to claim fifth place out of six teams in the Central Valley Conference. The Cavemen finished sixth out of eight teams in the Southwest Conference, the team’s most recent victory was a 33-13 rout last week over South Eugene High School. “That league is pretty stacked with competition, but we’ve had comparable seasons,” said Rick Ward, McNary head coach. “They’re a lot like McKay in that they like to run the ball, but we showed we were capable of shutting that down and we’ve got a bit more of a streak going.” John Musser, Grants Pass head coach, said the Cavemen will be looking to thwart the Celtic passing game, “ We need to contain both their quarterbacks, and we’re impressed with [Garren] Robinett, but [Justin] Gardner and [Mike] Gerasimenko have made some big plays.” The Cavemen’s defense has been the team’s strength for much of the season, but a lack of depth has left them struggling to outlast team’s with larger rosters, Musser said. What it lacks in depth, Grants Pass makes up for in standouts. On defense, middle linebacker Steven Etheridge leads the...

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The need for outreach

Two of our front page stories – profiling the new director at the Southeast Keizer Community Center and a vicious beating at an apartment complex less than a mile away – are tied by more than just geography. The first illustrates a positive example of offering stability and a positive example in an area that, at least by Keizer crime standards, has more than its fair share of problems. The second illustrates the consequences of inaction, or when outreach efforts just aren’t enough. The gang business does well in good times or bad, but their selling points for potential recruits – a sense of belonging, purpose and a chance to escape poverty – have more resonance during a recession. Consider that all of the young men involved were 21 years of age or less; one just turned 18 less than three months ago. Teenagers and young adults have been hit particularly hard in the disrupted economy. Just 55.3 percent of those aged 16-29 are employed, which is down from 67.3 percent in 2000, according to an Associated Press analysis of U.S. Census data. The news organization also reports young black and Hispanic men without a college education suffered the most. We surely don’t know how three young men came to show up at a Keizer apartment complex with hammer and shotgun in hand to deliver a peer a beating...

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Power in numbers

There is a lesson to be learned from this week’s report that Bank of America has decided not to charge its customers a $5 fee for using their debit cards: the public can force change. After an outcry about the new proposed fees from B of A and other big banks, Bank of America was the last to reverse itself and drop the fee. People do have the power to change the things they don’t like.  Bank customers who would be subject to the new fees threatened to vote with their wallets, by pulling their accounts and and shift their money to other financial institutions. The public should take note that en masse they have the ability to not only change a corporate policy but they could also change the way the country is run.  With the proposed bank fees they voted with their wallets.  We’d like the public to also vote with their votes. The middle class is the largest segment of the population; their votes can fundamentally change the country for the...

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