Month: January 2012

The state of the city

In his State of the Union speech this week President Obama said he believes what Abraham Lincoln believed: that government should do for people only what they cannot do better themselves, and no more. There are many things people cannot do for themselves, especially at the local level. They cannot build infrastructure; they cannot fix roads; they cannot provide public safety; they cannot provide a safety net for the less fortunate. Some of the things people can do for themselves include building businesses, constructing factories and stores, and inventing new products. These can best be accomplished when governments, national and local, get rid of obstacles to these private sector goals. Keizer residents and businesses are at the mercy of what happens in the capitol buildings in Washington, D.C. and in Salem. National and state tax policies along with thousands of regulations are cited as impediments to economic growth and sustainability. Those issues will most certainly be topics in the presidential campaign this year. The housing crisis will most likely be front and center as well. Housing prices are still far from their peak and economists say it will be years, if ever, that we will see prices attain pre-financial crisis levels. Other economists say that we have not seen the end of  foreclosures here or nationwide. That is the crux of the problem facing the city of Keizer’s operating...

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Opportunity for growth

By MATTHEW CHAPPELL There is a lot of talk these days about what to do about the economy. It seems that we have come up against a brick wall when it comes to growth. Our prevailing concern is in finding a new market for American exceptionalism by carving out a niche in today’s global economy. But in order to do this there seems to be a consensus that our emphasis for growth on a global scale should accompany strong domestic growth right here at home. America is rich with land and resources. I thoroughly believe that the issues of concentrated wealth are heavily influenced by a lack of infilling, accompanied by concentrated population centers on our outer extremes, particularly the east coast. We can use urban growth boundaries as a positive example of how, when used, the distributional burdens tend to be wider dispersed while adding concentrated growth on the central part of a municipal region. This in effect stabilizes property values. When you translate this model over the U.S. continent it becomes more evident that what we need is infill towards America’s heartland. With today’s travel and communication outlets accompanied by American business overseas, we have a less stringent natural oceanic boundary which is partly less inhibitory to further global impacts. What we need is to find a vital function of the U.S. economy which acts as a...

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KFD and MCFD#1 in the Clear Lake Area

To the Editor: I am not a bit surprised that KFD wants ALL of Keizer to vote on the annexation of the Clear Lake area–more participation makes it easier to vote the Clear Lake residents down, so KFD can have all of the tax revenue.  I have not talked to a single person in the Clear Lake area who wants to change the way that it is now–the Clear Lake area fire/ambulance protection should be in the MCFD#1 jurisdiction, just the way it has always been.  Some say that our taxes will go down–that’s questionable, and even If it is true, I’d bet my last dollar that KFD will come back in November asking for still more money.  Looks to me like the City of Keizer and KFD got a little big for their britches and spent more money than they had (Keizer Station fiascos and the developer), so now they think they can just keep taking areas for more tax revenue.  I don’t want my fire protection to come from Brooks; I want to leave it right up the road–it works best that way!  Please vote NO! on the annexation measures! Nancy Livermore...

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High medical costs

To the Editor: I recently had the need to spend two days in the Salem Hospital and received a pending statement indicating the cost at over $52,000. The major expenses were for the catheterization laboratory (cath lab) at $26,000, supplies at $9,300, room and board at $5,700 and the emergency room at $2,350. These costs are extremely high but undoubtedly necessary to run a first class hospital. The hospital has to have staff and equipment on hand to handle emergencies like heart attacks, strokes and other trauma cases along with regular patient care. During the open house a couple of years ago, I learned that the hospital has three cath labs available if necessary. To me that is great because I would not like to be number two or three waiting for a cath lab to become available when seconds were crucial. The same is true when you need an ambulance. When having a medical emergency, it is comforting to know that the Keizer Fire District has planned to have trained medical staff at your door within six minutes to provide lifesaving service. The people of Keizer will soon vote to increase ambulance service by annexing the Clear Lake area of Keizer. This will be accomplished without raising taxes. I hope we take advantage of this opportunity because I want an ambulance there when I need it. Finally, because...

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If a store was run by the medical field

A Box of Soap By DON VOWELL I need new tires.  I had a frightening dream about it last night.  Management of a tire store had been taken over by the medical community. I parked, entered the store, and went to the front counter.  A cheerful young woman welcomed me.  Here for the two o’clock tire replacement appointment, I told her.  She asked me to fill out forms containing questions about driving on underinflated tires, failure to rotate, scraping of curbs through careless parking, other deleterious driving habits, latex allergies, and more of the same nature.  Oh yes, and a few about my tire insurance.  The receptionist thanked me, asked me to have a seat anywhere, the technicians will call my name soon. After a thirty-eight minute survey of newsmagazines valuable for their antiquity, my name was called.  I was taken to the tire examination room.  More questions were asked by the RN, (rubber nurse).  She wanted to know when tread loss symptoms began to affect driving.  She measured pressure, tread depth, asked about leaks and any previous tire replacements.   Satisfied with all that, she said that it would only be a short wait until the tire technicians performed the operation.   Another wait, this time thirty-one minutes in the exam room. Why hadn’t I remembered to bring a book? Finally the car was lifted and the tires...

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