Day: February 24, 2012

Backed by Keizer teen, curb on funeral protests nearly law

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Seeing protests at military funerals was too much to take for a Keizer teen. Now Ryan Ripp’s idea is nearly law. Senate Bill 1575 has gotten approval from both chambers of the Oregon Legislature and awaits Gov. John Kitzhaber’s signature. A representative from the governor’s office said he intends to sign. It makes it a crime to fight, make threats or unreasonable noise or obstruct traffic within 200 feet of a funeral. The bill is in response to protests staged by Westboro Baptist Church, a small Kansas church whose members regularly carry anti-gay signs and messages to funerals of U.S. soldiers. “I’m really happy that it’s finally a law, that Oregon’s finally protected,” Ripp said upon hearing the bill cleared the house with nearly unanimous consent. In order to be charged with disorderly conduct, in this case a Class A misdemeanor – a maximum fine of $6,250 and up to a year in jail – the person must know a funeral is taking place. Normally disorderly conduct is a Class D misdemeanor. Legislation with similar intent failed in 2011, in part because of a section some said could impede free speech. Removing that was the difference maker for Rep. Jules Bailey, D–Portland, who opposed last session’s bill. He noted the changes in his remarks on the House floor Tuesday. Rep. Jim Weidner said the...

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Saxon upset puts Lady Celts in third headed to playoffs

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School girls varsity basketball team discovered just how hard it is to beat a team three times in a season last week. The Lady Celts fell to the South Salem High School Saxons 48-43 in the teams’ second meeting in less than a week. The loss set up the team to play for third place in the Central Valley Conference Tournament against McKay High School, Tuesday Feb. 21. McNary won that contest 60-43. After an early McKay lead, McNary surged past the Royal Scots in the first quarter. McKay never threatened again. Celt Deven Hunter poured in 30 points on the night. Averi Wing put in 10 points, Teresa Peterson and Jessica Darras had four points each, Ashlee Koenig and Menley Neitzel had three points apiece, Caitlyn Tartak, Lauren Hudgins and Stacey Titchenal had two points apiece. Despite the loss, McNary’s game with South was a thriller. A week earlier, the teams were neck-and-neck in the last six seconds when the Celts put in the go-ahead basket at the buzzer. That outcome had Molly Gehley, McNary head coach, anticipating a tough rematch. “We expected a tough game going in that would be down to the wire,” Gehley said. Both teams stumbled out of the block with nearly three minutes of scoreless play. The Saxons struck first on a lay-in,...

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OH SNAP! Gym coming

Keizer is getting another 24-hour gym. SNAP Fitness is coming to Creekside Shopping Center at 5442 River Road N., according to the company’s website. No opening date is listed. It operates three other gyms in the Salem area – one each in west, south and east Salem. Based in Chanhassen, Minn., the company opened in 2003 and boasts clubs in 44 states and six...

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The annexation vote

On Page One of this week’s Keizertimes Jason Cox and Eric Howald explain the basics of the Clear Lake annexation issue that voters will find on a ballot hitting their homes soon. We have previously called for the need to alter intergovernmental agreements that have outlived their purpose. One of those agreements we cited last year was fire coverage in the Clear Lake. At that time we said that Keizer Fire District should annex that area and put all of Keizer under one service. We have not changed our view despite the way the entire process has been muddled by nastiness, cross-accusations and recriminations from the beginning. That’s why we called for a five-year moratorium on the process earlier this year. That suggestion is moot  now that the annexation question is going to the voters. The election, now in the hands of city of Keizer and Keizer Fire District voters will decide the fate of fire and medical emergency coverage in Clear Lake. The election is about more than just Clear Lake. Voters should say yes to both Measure 24-325 and Measure 24-326 for three good reasons: response times, tax savings and future growth of Keizer. In  a medical emergency, every minute counts. Annexing Clear Lake will allow Keizer Fire to staff and operate two 24-hour medic units, one in Station 6 on Wheatland Road and one at the...

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Clear Lake needs your vote (twice)

By LORE CHRISTOPHER As Mayor of your city, I am proud to call this city home. In the last 22 years we have raised three children, relocated a grandmother and helped several close friends move to this gem of a city. Safety has always been a selling point for our city and has personally allowed me peace on nights when my kids attended McNary High School’s annual all-night graduation party or after a lengthy council meeting. Clear Lake neighborhood residents are not currently afforded this same security and safety. During the past year there has been fierce debate from outside our city about fire service. Keizer has 37,000 residents and all but 1,000 receive their fire service from the Keizer Fire District. Clear Lake neighbors play on the same baseball teams, pay the same water and power utilities and are protected by the same police department. Why should fire service be any different? Every resident deserves local and reliable services. We must bring our Clear Lake neighborhood, into the same fire district as all of Keizer, at no additional cost to residents. I have been concerned about the management and leadership of the Marion County Fire District #1 (MCFD#1) for some time. In the past year, negotiations with MCFD#1 have escalated to the point of legal action. Their actions have clearly shown deliberate action to prevent our city from...

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