Month: January 2012

Miracle of Christmas Lights

To the Editor: This letter is to my Gubser Miracle of Christmas Holiday Lights neighbors. My family and I have lived in the Gubser neighborhood for over 12 years, and feel fortunate to live on the light route.  We enjoy putting up lights, but more than that, we enjoy participating in something that greatly helps the Marion-Polk Food Share with the cash and food donations that generous people give as they drive, walk or run through the route.  However, there was a distinct change in the route this year when a neighbor used the route as a venue for a cause other than the food bank. I do not doubt that the cause is worthy. I myself support causes that I too am passionate about and would love to raise some extra cash for.  However, using the light route would not be an option; the route is to raise money and bring in food for our community, which has been the tradition as long as I have lived in Keizer. According to the Marion-Polk Food Share website “More families and more children are eating from emergency food boxes than ever before in our local area,” said Marion-Polk Food Share President Ron Hays. “We are feeding twice the number of people today than we were in pre-recession 2007.” The light route has been a wonderful holiday attraction for many years...

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“Building with Secondhand Stuff” by Chris Peterson

“Building with Secondhand Stuff” by Chris Peterson c.2011, Creative Publishing International $19.99 / $21.99 Canada 144 pages By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Nobody needs to remind you that money’s tight. Still, you’ve been dreaming of a new look around your home, an addition or a total remodel, and that’s dangerous territory. You know from experience that one idea leads to another, which leads to another and pretty soon, you’re deep in sawdust and debt. So how can you get a new look – or a new shed, garage, outbuilding, or playhouse for the kids – for cheap or for free?  Start with the ideas in “Building with Secondhand Stuff” by Chris Peterson. Even in a down economy, construction of new buildings continues to happen while old buildings are demolished and carted off to a landfill. That’s a lot of waste, says Peterson, which can be “a fantastic opportunity” for homeowners. It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that reclaiming and repurposing old or cast-off building materials is sustainable and environmentally friendly. The bonus to reusing is that materials you find may be of higher quality than what’s in stores. Plus, learning to deconstruct and reuse can be a fun challenge. First, though, you’ll need to ask permission before taking (if it’s a construction site) or find a regular source, such as a salvage or demolition company or look at flea markets....

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State may weigh in on Keizer’s fire fight

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes The state legislature is likely to review the city of Keizer’s role in Keizer Fire District’s proposed annexation of the Clear Lake neighborhood. As far as the city of Keizer and Keizer Fire District are concerned, the city has the right to determine who will provide service within its boundaries. Marion County Fire District No. 1 officials respond that the city’s actions are unprecedented and possibly illegal. They have a possible ally in state Rep. Brian Clem, whose suburban Salem district includes portions of MCFD’s territory. “Separate from the specific outcome of this Keizer election, it’s important for the legislature to clarify this can never happen again,” said Clem, a Democrat in the Oregon House of Representatives. Clem said he disagrees with the method the city is using to withdraw territory from MCFD, then ask voters whether they want to be part of KFD. “My fear is we will find other fire districts, other parks districts, other sewer districts, saying, ‘let’s pull a Keizer’ and get some city to help us infringe on our neighbor and create a lot of animosity and chaos statewide like we’re seeing between these two fire districts,” Clem said. Rep. Kim Thatcher, a House Republican who represents Keizer, has not taken a position on the issue. She wasn’t available for comment. “I think the legislature should stay out...

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5 Stories to Watch in 2012

Local economy: Boom or bust in 2012? Jobs are very slowly coming back to Salem, but what happens if more cuts to state and local government mean even more unemployed public sector workers? On a positive note, the local business community saw several successful building projects and openings in 2011, including several big names at Keizer Station, new medical offices and upcoming retail on River Road. Meanwhile, the city-wide call for sit-down restaurants continues. Vote on the fire districts The north Keizer electorate will be asked which fire district they want serving their neighborhood.While the battle will ostensibly be about whose ambulance is where when and which taxes could go up or down, we’ve been watching long enough to know just how personal the beef between Keizer Fire District and Marion County Fire District No. 1 has become. The issue has also gotten the attention of state lawmakers. What’s next at Area C? Developers and city officials have not yet said what may come at the next portion of Keizer Station.The state’s land use board and appeals court have ruled the plan needs changes. Would those allow the project to be viable? And what role will Keep Keizer Livable have in the coming year? City budget choices could be painful Between millions of dollars in outstanding debt and rising costs on all sides, city of Keizer leaders may have...

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