Day: July 25, 2012

Retired cop joins crowded field for vacant council slot

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Eamon Bishop has announced his candidacy for Keizer City Council, seeking a vacant position in a crowded race for Position No. 3 against Marlene Quinn and Matthew Chappell. Bishop, a retired police officer who is currently on the Traffic Safety Commission, doesn’t like what he’s seen out of the city council the last few years on several recent battles, most notably over fire districts and big box stores. He said those issues share a common thread: In his opinion, the council majority didn’t take into account opinions of nearby neighbors. “I would have gone out to Clear Lake, where the people are most affected, and asked them, whether through the neighborhood group(s) or other means,” he said of Keizer Fire District’s effort to annex Marion County Fire District No. 1’s Keizer turf. Living close enough to Keizer Station to refer to it as his backyard, he said there’s room at the freeway for more development but doesn’t want the community to look like Lancaster Drive, Salem’s busy retail strip. He said more can be done to effectively direct customers from there to the downtown core on River Road. Bishop wants to find ways to improve communication between the council and public. One way is accepting email as formal testimony. “Most households have two workers now, people have children with sports and school activities...

Read More

Veterans parking gains momentum

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes An effort to recognize veterans with a simple thank you – a parking space just for them – has caught fire. John Rizzo founded the nonprofit organization that is putting them up. He started watching a program on veterans injured and being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was convinced he had to do something. “By the end of the show I had tears in my eyes,” Rizzo said. “And I thought there has to be a way to thank these people more than once a year. They had such positive attitudes, even though the rest of their lives were going to be burdened from this war.” Rizzo, who served in the Vietnam war as a flight medic, started at home, convincing the Keizer City Council to put one up at city hall. The sign simply says “Veterans Parking Only.” Since then Rizzo’s group has put up some 39 signs – an impressive feat when you consider the group has been in operation less than a year. “It’s grown up now,” Rizzo said. Many are in the Salem-Keizer area, with businesses like Keizer Liquors, Mommy and Maddi’s, McNary Golf Club and the Keizer Renaissance Inn among those offering them. The Elks and Veterans of Foreign Wars have also embraced the concept, with a sign going up at the Keizer Elks Lodge....

Read More