Day: June 22, 2012

Theatre in the park…at last

William Shakespeare will make himself at home on the Keizer Rotary Amphtheatre stage in July when Keizer Homegrown Theatre brings his MacBeth to life. Keizer resident and Western Oregon University graduate Evan Christopher and Linda Baker, former drama instructor at McNary High School, founded Keizer Homegrown Theatre earlier this year. A community theatre company has been Baker’s dream for many years, and with Christopher as a partner, that vision is bearing fruit. A cast of more than 25 actors from Keizer, Salem and the region have been assembled and are under rehearsals, working to bring one of literature’s greatest plays to our community. The cast is diverse, comprised of people with a love of theatre and performing. In the past few years the amphitheatre has been used for concerts (mostly rock and roll), it will now be able to live up to its potential of being the cultural heart of Keizer. MacBeth, and future Homegrown Theatre productions will be free to the public; it will be one less reason for people to say there’s nothing to do in town. It’s a testament to the thirst our region has for theatre and performance art. There were many people who auditioned for the upcoming play and in true Keizer style, director Evan Christopher was able to find roles for all. That’s the influence of Linda Baker who never met a stage...

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Splish splash

We’re all just folks and neighbors here in Keizer.  We elect our friends and neighbors as mayors and city councilors. Keizer is proud of its common sense, egalitarian lifestyle; no high falutin pretensions or elitism here. Right? Then why would the current seven city councilors step away from a good ol’ fashioned dunking as a benefit to raise money for the city’s underfunded parks? The dunk tank plan was presented by Ken LeDuc (a candidate for city council this year) and Rick Hammerquist, as a fund raiser for play equipment at Willamette Manor park. In the Council Procedures and Rules book, Section 5.2, says in part “Councilors….shall at all times, while in session or otherwise, conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the dignity of their office.” That’s a pretty good rule in our way of thinking. But in a place like Keizer, in August when it’s hot, raising money for a city park doesn’t seem like a particular undigified thing to do.  We can think of plenty things that a sitting councilor shouldn’t do. But raising money doesn’t raise our hackles.  We wouldn’t think any less if Mayor Christopher or Councilor Taylor sat in a tank, taunting ball throwers and taking a plunge for the public good. Politicians should be able to laugh at themselves, not take themselves so seriously, especially in Keizer. We don’t advocate councilors getting...

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We the sheeple

By BARBARA J. BIGHAM It was interesting to read that our mayor, Lore Christopher, traveled to Kosovo recently and spoke to the people there about city government. I hope she told them about the benefits of representative democracy and explained to them that among the responsibilities of elected officials is to encourage input from citizens, welcome dissenting opinions, and create an atmosphere that nurtures freedom of expression. Then, I hope she came home and told the same thing to our city council. Sadly, from the latest report of her response to criticism of Keizer Station, she hasn’t taken the message to heart herself. According to the June 15 issue of the Keizertimes she feels that criticism “does not move our community forward.” I listened to her entire recorded speech and she repeatedly mocked and ridiculed those who feel Keizer Station is damaging our city. Instead, she addressed her comments almost entirely to the business community, as though the opinions of the people who live here are only of secondary concern. Would she prefer that Keizer residents remain silent about problems they see in the city? Does she really want a city populated by “sheeple” who go along with whatever the council dictates? Instead of displaying her pique at critics, she should actively be soliciting those opinions. She should thank critics for exercising their rights under a free democratic system...

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Ms. Christopher’s cross to bear

To the Editor: Of course she must-—Mayor Christopher must defend her legacy —Keizer Station—against its critics (Keizertimes, June 15), and no one should expect otherwise. Keizer Station may not be Woodburn Company Stores, may be ill-planned leaving drivers confused and shoppers rain soaked, but it ain’t Courthouse Square either so that’s a plus. And considering the sputtering economy, her Honor can argue with some justification that Keizer Station is not solely to blame for the demise of a few locally owned businesses. However, to say that Keizer Station was planned to bring traffic off the freeway and onwards to River Road, that’s a bit of a stretch. It might happen to the occasional driver who gets turned around by the Keizer Station street patterns and accidentally goes west instead of back to I-5, but that’s hardly a consumer base to count on. (Perhaps if there were signs directing drivers to “City Center”?)  “We did it right,” Ms. Christopher said, touting Keizer Station at a long ago council meeting. Sadly for her, the critics – and there are many – do not agree. Martin Doerfler...

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CC & Rs

To the Editor: It’s been underway for some time, it would seem, at McNary Estates, that, with the passing of time, there’s been a slow but gradual death of the development’s CC&Rs (convenants, controls and restrictions). Yes, of course, the CC&Rs continue to exist and are even updated from time to time; however, what appears the case with them more and more often is that those living at McNary Estates can choose to abide by them or not to abide by them. In effect, there is no longer any enforcement of them for those who choose to do whatever they please. It’s a sad and depressing development because while it continues to be the case that one’s home has less and less monetary worth in resale value, it has become less and less desirable to live in a once-very-nice development where the residents almost to every single owner respected the rules and cooperated with them to one now where some are permitted exceptions while the Home Owners Association leadership to no observable extent will not enforce the CC&Rs. It would seem timely to join the city of Keizer as other residents within the city limits do and abandon the special status that once meant something. Gene H. McIntyre...

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