Day: July 26, 2012

Booksmart reaches the end

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes As a former accountant, Bruce Lawson can fairly accurately pinpoint when things started taking a turn for the worse at his store, Booksmart, River Road’s longtime bookstore. “Once the build-out was complete at Keizer Station, I noticed a loss. Not huge, but noticeable,” Lawson said. He quickly points out that it wasn’t the only factor in deciding to put the shop up for sale. “The first hit when the city moved the retail center out to the freeway, then The Great Recession dealt the store another blow. Now, it’s e-books,” Lawson said. If a buyer for the store isn’t found by Aug. 1, Lawson plans to start a going-out-of-business sale with the intent to shutter the doors Sept. 1. “I probably could have survived one or two of the problems, but all three is just too much,” Lawson said. Literature devotees still show up at the door, but Lawson said it’s casual business and orders for new books that have suffered the most in recent years. “It seems like there’s a lot fewer casual purchasers. When they used to have a lot of meetings down at the hotel, I would get a lot of business from that. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of stopping and shopping,” he said. He hoped that the closing of Salem’s Borders location would lead...

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City hall grounds now home to community garden

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Keizer will soon have its fourth community garden. Tanya Hamilton is leading the charge for new plots adjacent to Charlene Carlson Skate Park on City of Keizer property. Along with Marion-Polk Food Share, she’s hosting a work party from 9 a.m. – noon Saturday, July 28, at the site, shoveling soil and manure as volunteers prepare for next year’s planting season. MPFS constructed eight above-ground beds already. Gloves, shovels and wheelbarrows are welcomed, but not necessary. “We’re getting excited about this fabulous time to connect with the community,” she said. Hamilton wants to foster connections among neighbors, starting with her own small children: a four-year-old boy and eight-month-old girl. “Not only is it important for them to see their neighborhood work together, but also be able to give back to the community,” she said. Hamilton also plans a kick-off party during National Night Out on August 7. “My whole goal was getting everybody to connect, support one another and grow as a community, and the best way I thought to do that was healthy food,” Hamilton said. After an attempt to start one on undeveloped right-of-way on Brandon Avenue stirred up some fears among neighbors, Hamilton thinks she’s struck the right chord with this location. “‘I’m hoping people will see how great this is … and get more gardens in Keizer,” she...

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Shakespeare in the Park

Kassandra Perkins, Chantelle Gemmill and Rachel Martin Zoerner (from left) play the Three Witches in Keizer Homegrown Theatre’s production of Macbeth on the Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre stage at Keizer Rapids Park.  The free production plays at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, July...

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National Night Out is Aug. 7

National Night Out is set for Tuesday, August 7 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. It’s a nationwide get-to-know-your-neighbors event. Residents are asked to turn on the lights and spend an evening outside with fellow Keizerites – after they lock their doors, of course. More than 15,000 communities participate in the event, designed to promote police-community partnerships, crime, drug and violence prevention, safety and neighborhood unity. Some 43 Keizer neighborhoods hosted events in 2011. Keizer Police encourage all neighborhood watch block captains to organize an event, meet their fellow residents and update their watch rosters. But you don’t have to be part of an organized group to register. And if you don’t know where to start, WhitePages.com is partnering with National Night Out to plan block parties with online tools, including sending postcards to neighbors and viewing RSVPs on a map. Visit whitepages.com/nno for more. And to register, a simple online form is available at Keizerpd.com. The official page for the national effort is...

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