Day: August 17, 2012

UNDOCUMENTED

As of August 15, undocumented young men and women brought to this country by their parents are able to apply for Deferred Action. The program grants work authorization to eligible undocumented immigrants under the age of 31 who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday and can prove “an economic necessity for employment.”  The authorization is renewable every two years provided the individual has obtained a high school diploma or GED and has not been convicted of a major or multiple smaller crimes. The program does not grant amnesty and is not a path to citizenship. Individuals in the program will still not posses a legal right to be in the U.S., but the federal government is temporarily agreeing not to deport them. The program intent is to keep federal resources from being wasted on low-priority, low-risk cases, according to the website of  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services. What follows is the story of one journey to this point. By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Your name is Hugo Nicolas. You’re 11 years old and walking through the desert holding your mother’s hand. It’s 2003 and you’re told that life will be better at the end of this walk. America is waiting. What’s behind you is a life that you’ve only just begun to comprehend. Your mother lost a job at the sugar cane factory in Veracruz near...

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Indian surge topples Volcanoes in 9-8 loss

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes A seesaw game Aug. 10 that included five Salem-Keizer errors ended with the Volcanoes losing to Spokane at home 9-8. Many in the crowd of 4,242, who before the game watched Striking Out Meth in Marion County ceremonies featuring many law officers, must have figured after two innings that the Volcanoes were almost certain to win. Others, recalling several recent contests, must have realized it was still a game. With two out in the bottom of the first inning, Mitchell Delfino singled to center field and Joe Rapp singled to left. A double to left by Matt Williamson drove both runners in. Stephen Branca scored Williamson with a double to left. Trevor Brown scored Branca with a single to right. Starting pitcher Chris Johnson, who had allowed the Indians two singles but no runs in the first inning, gave up one in the second and struck out two. With two out in the Volcano second, Brennan Metzger was hit by a pitch from Spokane starter Abel De Los Santos. Delfino came to bat, and Metzger stole second base and reached third on a wild pitch. Delfino drove Metzger home with a double to left. Rapp singled to right, scoring Delfino. Trailing 6-0, Spokane scored five runs in the third. Saquan Johnson reached first on an error by Delfino at third. A throwing error...

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Think big or act small

When he applied for a position as a junior city councilor on the Keizer City Council, Hugo Nicolas was not asked about his citizenship status in the United States. The question never came up as he progressed through the screenings in the Leadership Youth program sponsored by the Salem Chamber of Commerce that makes the assignments. Maybe screeners assumed too much, but it’s more likely they were impressed with his credentials. By that point, Nicolas already possessed a resume thick with volunteer involvement that included roles as a Keizer Police cadet, Keizer Fire explorer, a student government representative and as a translator for car seat clinics at Salem Hospital. Unfortunately, he isn’t a U.S. resident. As a non-voting junior city councilor, Nicolas set a new standard for the role. He was engaged, professional, courteous and willing. On rare occasions when he missed a meeting, he called ahead to let city staff know his chair would be vacant. Keizer city councilors learned of Nicolas’s undocumented status late in his tenure as a junior city councilor, but it wasn’t something that was spoken about in public. A year later, the council is now proposing to adopt new rules that would bar anyone who isn’t an eligible electorate upon their 18th birthday from participating in the Keizer program. This would prevent any undocumented student or exchange student from taking part. This decision...

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In time of need: we thank you

To the Editor: Thank you very much to the volunteers who stepped up at a moment’s notice to help us last Saturday at the RIVERfair. We were working at our Scentsy wickless candles booth when a family emergency arose and had to leave abruptly.  Without hesitation, a handful of people came to us immediately to help by packaging our merchandise, taking down our tent, and storing it over the weekend.  We are grateful to all of these caring volunteers for your assistance. Thank you very much to Robin Barney, Keizer Fire Lt. Dale Slater, Keizer Fire Explorers, Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, Lyndon Zaitz and his staff at the Keizertimes, and anyone else who assisted us.  We are not sure what we would have done without your quick action and generosity. This was Keizer volunteer spirit at its best. Patrick and Kristi Sieng...

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A sensible way to expand

By LYNDON A. ZAITZ An issue that will most likely arise during this year’s mayoral and city council election campaigns is Keizer’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). It’s also likely that most of the candidates, if asked, would say they support the expansion of the UGB. Any discussion of expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary will bring up a number of issues: economic development, jobs and subdivisions in Keizer. When city officials (both elected and professional) talk about the UGB they will be talking about the future of the city. It is their job—and their duty-—to deal not only with present-day issues but to plan for the future 10 to 20 years out. There have been council members over the years who say that councilors should not constrain the hands of future mayors and councils, but planning for the future means they have to. Any planning for Keizer’s future must at least consider the results of the Keizer Compass Task Force Report which was released more than three years ago. The report was compiled by a Citizen Advisory Committee comprised of residents, businesspeople and city officials. The report called for, in part, maintaining Keizer’s ‘small town feel’ through management of growth and development. Also called for was the desire to maintain a sense of community (the compact Keizer Compass report can be viewed at keizer.org). Many think if an expansion...

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