Day: December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

The world does not come to a full stop just because it is Christmas week, although it would be nice if it did. We all need a respite from the constant barrage of less than good news from around the world and around the corner. We should all be able to celebrate the holidays in peace and harmony with friends and family. Let politicians in Washington continue to debate and argue; let the world scratch their heads over the future of North Korea. Here in Keizer and Oregon we will observe the holidays in familiar ways. All the Christmas events are just about completed with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. This weekend families will gather to exchange gifts and enjoy homemade feasts featuring traditional recipes. Those who are less fortunate in our community will not face a dark holiday. The Keizer Network of Women, the Keizer Elks Lodge, the Miracle of Lights in Gubser and other organizations have gathered and distributed thousands and thousands of pounds of food. Some of these organizations have also collected toys and clothes for those children in our community who otherwise would find a figurative lump of coal in their Christmas stocking. At this time of year, especially after the year we’ve had in 2011, we need to put away contentious political issues and selfish motives. This is the time...

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The lessons from nine lives

Moments of Lucidity By ERIC A. HOWALD I’ve always been a dog person, which is why I held out for three years. Zippy was nothing if not persistent. He was my neighbor Tammy Shepherd’s beloved Siamese with frosty eyes that held wisdom in their depths. I don’t remember the day we met. I was too busy with a new career, a new baby, a new house. Zippy arrived with the rest of it. When the Shepherds adopted a quartet of labradors, Zippy decided the grass was greener on our side of the fence. No water was set out. No food was offered. But he’d sit at our sliding backdoor and wait for someone to come out and acknowledge his efforts. We often did, and in return Zippy showed boundless patience as our toddler, Ameya, explored her backyard and the wonders it held, himself included. On a damp and cold Thanksgiving, he got a can of tuna and a threshold was crossed. A few weeks later, Tammy called asking after Chloe, her daughter, who was playing at our house. I promised that the two girls were fine, but before I could escape she asked the question I’d been dreading, “Eric, are you guys feeding Zippy?” I hesitated and sputtered through an answer that was more of a plea for forgiveness. “It’s okay,” she said. “I just wanted to make sure he...

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Welcome home

By SUSAN ESTRICH “He finally said something,” the man in the elevator said to no one in particular as he turned away from the little screen that entertains us with traffic, weather and news as we ride up and down between floors. I figured “he” was President Obama, but I got to my floor too quickly to see for sure. As it turned out, what he said “as commander in chief and on behalf of a grateful nation” was “welcome home.” Obama marked the official end to the United States military mission in Iraq on Wednesday with soldiers returning to Fort Bragg, N.C. — purely by coincidence, a potential battleground state in the upcoming election. In the old days, North Carolina was the sucker punch in Democratic politics. You’d go to the Research Triangle and think, “This is a state Democrats could win,” and then invest money and lose and remind yourself that North Carolina was the state that sent the legendary Jesse Helms to the Senate five times. Helms was a guy famous for injecting race — actually racism — into politics. He was the sponsor of the “White Hands” ad in 1990, which vilified his opponent for his support of affirmative action. But North Carolina is different these days. Helms is gone (he died four months before the 2008 election), and Obama was at his campaign-style best...

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Respectable city council

To the Editor: I recently read a couple of letters in the Keizertimes questioning the integrity of the Keizer city councilors because of their vote on having one fire district in the city. The letters implied there was a quid pro quo agreement between the city and the Keizer Fire District. I believe the councilors who voted for the annexation did so because they thought it was best for the city and the one councilor who voted against, believed it was not. It was simple as that. Recent action by the Keizer Fire District clearly illustrates independence and separation.  When the city asked the Keizer Fire District to support the extension of the urban renewal district the Fire District voted no. After much discussion it voted no because it would hurt its ability to provide service on the terms presented. The city and the Keizer Fire District agree on some things and disagree on others. I believe the City Councilors are very honorable folks and have the city’s best interest in mind when they decide issues. I don’t always agree with them but I certainly respect their integrity. Bill Quinn...

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Support for Roland

To the Editor: When I first moved to Keizer a little over six years ago, it seemed like every time I would be in a store or on my morning walk, people would come up to me and ask if I was related to Roland. At the time, I didn’t know who Roland was but after being told many times how he was such a nice guy and how he is so willing to help out anyone who needed it, I wanted to meet this guy. Well, as it turns out, a few years later , Roland winds up moving into my neighborhood and I finally got to meet him. After getting to know him, I can honestly say that all the good things that I heard about him were true ! I personally saw the kindness of this man a few months ago when I was digging a fencepost in my yard. In my haste to get the hole dug, I ignored the obvious and wound up breaking a water line. As I started to panic, my wife said, “call Roland “! I called him and told him what I had done . It seems like I had just hung up the phone when Roland rolls up to my house on his scooter . He not only helped me shut off the water but also helped me repair...

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