Day: March 26, 2012

Electrical fire starts on porch, damages home

Smoke detectors are being credited for the safe evacuation of a Keizer family when their back porch caught fire last weekend. A Keizer couple was awakened by their smoke alarm Saturday, March 24, in their upstairs bedroom and found a fire on their back porch.  As the fire burned from the porch, to the roof and attic, it set off the smoke alarms. Both occupants quickly exited the home with their two dogs and summoned 9-1-1 from outside the home. Keizer Fire District crews were dispatched at 6:56 a.m. to 847 Dearborn Avenue N.E. in Keizer and arrived on the scene in three minutes. Keizer Police provided fire scene traffic-control safety, while firefighters worked to douse the flames, salvage the damage, and then determine the cause. The fire was contained to the area of origin which was an enclosed back porch being used as a greenhouse area for gardening. The cause was determined to be electrical and stemmed from heating devices, used to keep plants from freezing. Keizer Fire officials remind residents to have working smoke alarms in every sleeping area and exit route in their...

Read More

“Voyagers of the Titanic” by Richard Davenport-Hines

“Voyagers of the Titanic” by Richard Davenport-Hines c.2012, William Morrow $26.99 / $29.99 Canada 342 pages, includes index   By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER There’s no doubt about it: moving stinks. You pack your belongings, living with cartons and mess in the meantime, always needing something that’s stashed in a mystery box. Then you haul everything to your new place and unpack it, living with cartons and mess in the meantime, looking for the mystery box and apologizing to whatever friends you have left after they helped. Now imagine doing it blindly and with very little real preparation, clutching a few paltry possessions and a half-promise of a job, leaving your loved ones an ocean behind. That’s just one of the stories you’ll find in “Voyagers of the Titanic” by Richard Davenport-Hines. One hundred winters ago, the Arctic temperature was milder than normal, which created a higher number of icebergs from the glaciers near Greenland’s coast. These icebergs floated down into the Atlantic Ocean, right into shipping lanes for cargo ships and luxury liners. One of the liners was the Titanic. Eleven stories high, weighing nearly 47,000 pounds, the Titanic was massive.  She carried 2,240 passengers and crew, gems and spices, books, a car, fine fabric, mail and more. There were fine dining rooms onboard, a swimming pool, library, and quarters for pampered first-class dogs. Most of the crew of the...

Read More

Free lunches meet rising hunger

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Michelle Jacobs drove by Faith Lutheran Church two years ago and spotted an A-frame sign that read: “Food Bank Open Today.” It might as well have heralded “Stress Relief” in blazing neon. “My husband is a postal carrier and we’re not poor on paper, but we’re totally strapped,” Jacobs said. “It looks good on paper, but when you do the mortgage, the kids, the this, the that, and the other … there’s nothing left.” Not too long before that day, Jacobs, who is in her early 40s, and her husband had relocated to Oregon with big dreams, they’d bought a big home south of Salem, they had a new baby girl join two teenaged sons. They were certain that they’d be able to float all of it on the their two incomes. She worked in sales and figured jobs would be easy to come by. Then her life drifted into a downward spiral. Her teenage son began acting out, the result of behavioral problems family doctors are still trying to pinpoint. Her ill parents moved into the family home. The incomes weren’t stretching as far as they once had. She was on her way to work after dropping her daughter off at daycare and she decided to pull in and find out if she qualified for assistance. “I couldn’t believe I was...

Read More

Money pots on the move as result of council action

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting consisted mostly of moving money around for unexpected expenses. Here’s what they did: • Appropriated $76,100 to cover costs stemming from injuries to two public works employees who got hurt when a hose burst on the city’s stormdrain cleaning truck in October 2011. While the two employees are expected to recover in three to four months, the city is responsible for costs that included surgery, time loss and physical therapy. Susan Gahlsdorf, the city’s finance director, said the number got that high because the city pays a lower workers compensation premium in exchange for higher risk. “In doing that we agree to pay, if we have a claim such as this, a maximum amount,” Gahlsdorf said. Funds were reallocated from the stormwater fund’s contingency and working capital carryforward line items. The council also voted to move $15,000 from those funds to pay for an environmental technician position in the stormwater department. • Allocated $21,300 in expected rental income from a house adjacent to Keizer rapids Park and its filbert orchard to pay for a new lawnmower for the parks department, estimated at $17,500. It replaces a 2003 unit. • Moved $5,000 from personnel services and $3,000 in capital outlay to facility maintenance for civic center costs including repairing the heating and cooling system, lighting and...

Read More