Day: March 1, 2012

Group withdraws support for Keizer Fire

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes A backer of two annexation measures on the ballots currently in voters’ hands has withdrawn their support. The board of directors for Vineyards Phase II Homeowners Association sent a letter to the Keizertimes rescinding support for measures that would allow Keizer Fire District take over emergency services for the Clear Lake neighborhood. If approved the measures would remove about 1,000 homes from Marion County Fire District No. 1. “After a better understanding of the issue we are formally withdrawing our initial letter requesting annexation of the Keizer Fire District for the Clearlake area. We are completely satisfied with the service that Marion County is currently providing our community,” states the letter signed by Vineyards II board members David Voorhies and Clay Rushton. Keizer Fire officials were planning to meet with the group. No specific reasoning behind the decision was given and the letter is a reversal from the board’s stance a year ago. In a letter to the Keizer Fire District in February 2011, Rushton and Voorhies, along with Sandy Gilstrap and Ruth Markham, said, “We strongly believe that [annexation] would benefit our neighborhood by providing more immediate service in the event of an emergency.” With rescinding of their support, it leaves the measures without the support of either of homeowners associations in the Clear Lake area. KFD and MCFD1 are currently at...

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School budget committee eyes new option levy

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes A local option levy as an alternative source of revenue was mentioned by Mike Wolfe, assistant superintendent of the Salem-Kaiser School District, at Tuesday’s meeting of the Salem-Keizer Budget Committee. Wolfe urged that the committee consider such a property tax, which at $1.50 per $1,000 assessed valuation would raise an estimated $18 million. He said that although the process of establishing the tax would take too long for it to take effect in the next school year, school officials should look ahead. Committee member Ron Daniels, a former Morrow County School District superintendent and former president of Blue Mountain Community College, said that the longer the district waits to seek funds, the less its chances are of obtaining them. Much of the meeting was taken up by presentations from administrators on what some of the district departments were doing. They included one by Kristen Duun, information technology director for the district, on technical advances for which she urged district personnel to keep up with the students. For example, she said cash and credit cards are outdated for students who flash iPads to pay for restaurant meals. Duun noted that 17.5 percent of the computers in the school system are at least eight years old, and she asked: “Can we go to 10 years old? It’s getting difficult.” Another presentation, by Wolfe, focused on...

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Drift Crown sponsors have Keizer ties

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Curtis Clevenger and Tom Dourgarian have been driving sideways – more commonly known as drifting – for a long as they’ve been able to drive. In Dougarian’s case, the passion for cars and racing and, later, drifting has taken him to the other side of the country. “I’ve gone to the extent of driving all the way out to the border of North Carolina and Tennessee to drive on a famous road called the Dragon’s Tail on U.S. 129, it’s like a rollercoaster of a road,” said the McKay High School graduate. The road boasts 318 curves in 11 miles. Clevenger is no less enthusiastic about the sport, but maybe slightly more unlucky. “I lost my license two weeks after getting it and it’s been downhill ever since,” said Clevenger, a McNary grad. Drifting refers to a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels. The drift occurs as the car’s rear end swings to the side, which means drivers are often looking out driver and passenger windows as they steer. It requires a car with rear-wheel drive and typically some moderate conversions as well as some deft footwork like heel-and-toe downshift and clutch kicking. The two formed a bond over their love of cars 15 years ago, but it’s as business partners in Levelride...

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