Day: February 20, 2012

House passes bill that may affect fire election

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes The Oregon House of Representatives narrowly passed Monday a bill that could affect the March election deciding which fire district will serve north Keizer. The 31-29 vote sends the bill on to the state Senate, which may or may not take up the bill. An emergency clause would make it effective immediately upon the governor’s signature. The relevant amendment (you may hear it called Dash-6) would require that the residents of Clear Lake separately approve their annexation into Keizer Fire District from Marion County Fire District No. 1, which currently provides emergency services to the area. The amendment’s backer, Rep. Brian Clem, D – Salem, said the upcoming election dilutes the Clear Lake neighborhood’s voice, as the entire city of Keizer and all of Keizer Fire District will vote on the matter. Clem seeks to achieve what he calls a “true double-majority.” “The provisions in the bill would make it clear that KFD would be able to vote on whether they want a neighborhood brought into their district, and the neighborhood itself would be able to vote.” He said that, if the bill passed, the Marion County Clerk would be able to tabulate votes from the affected area of north Keizer separately from the rest of the electorate,” Clem said. Rep. Kim Thatcher, R – Keizer, is an opponent of the amendment, saying...

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Just Ask! Relief from train whistles? Depends on where you live.

Ask us a question about just about anything and we’ll do our best to answer it, or find the people who can. Just Ask is a recurring Keizertimes feature. A west Keizer resident is wondering why train engineers feel the need to make their presence known during twilight hours. He writes: “Do you know anything about trains blowing horns at all hours at night and during the day? I know there must be rules on crossing horn blowing to notify the cars and pedestrians. But it seems there may be a bit of overkill on the warning whistle. It goes on for quite a long time.” – Dave B., Keizer Dear Dave, While most of the train crossings are in Salem, sound knows no jurisdictional boundaries. So first the good news: The City of Salem is working to establish a quiet zone where trains wouldn’t be required to use their whistle at street crossings. The bad news: It won’t happen until at least 2013, and possibly well beyond. Even when it does, it may not help your particular case. The quiet zones would be along the Union Pacific line that runs east of Keizer and goes into downtown Salem along 12th Street NE. Meanwhile, the BNSF line – that’s the one that goes right by Keizer Station south, cutting diagonally through north Salem and towards the Willamette River –...

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