Day: January 15, 2013

Helping out, 25 fields at a time

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes If a proposed 25-field soccer facility is built just northeast of city limits, youth in Keizer would be able to use it. That was one of several answers provided by organizers with the non-profit 25 fields for Oregon at Tuesday night’s Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting at Keizer Civic Center. Carrie Cool, executive director of 25 fields for Oregon, spoke along with Ken Sandblast and Paul Wild. The group hopes to open the 130-acre facility across I-5 from Volcanoes Stadium in early 2014. “This all started about three years ago,” Cool said. “It’s all about bringing money to youth sports. We will build across the interstate a 25-soccer field complex, with more ground in the future around the state.” Cool acknowledged there is still a legislative process to go through and fundraising. Sandblast noted the non-profit nature of the organization makes it unique for such a project. “It’s never been done this way before across the country,” Sandblast said. Wild said the hope is to get some grants to help out. “Proceeds would be distributed first to this area, then around the state,” Wild said. Since the idea was first publicized in the Keizertimes last month, several questions have been raised. One of the key questions has been the availability of the fields to local youth, as several soccer fields are...

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Merkley visits Keizer

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) celebrated a milestone of sorts Wednesday in Keizer. The Myrtle Creek native who once interned for Mark Hatfield and took over the former senator’s seat 33 years later held his 150th town hall meeting Wednesday afternoon at Keizer Civic Center. It was the first such town hall in Keizer for Merkley, who went from being Speaker of the House in the Oregon Legislature to the United States Senate after winning election in 2008. Not surprisingly, one of the first topics Merkley brought up was the fiscal cliff from the start of the year. “The good news is the first cliff is behind us,” said Merkley, who was holding his sixth town hall of the week. “The bad news is three more are coming right up. There are so many pieces not yet addressed. There’s a lot ahead of us to be paying attention to and working on.” One of Merkley’s current projects is trying to reform the filibuster rule in Congress. He noted when Lyndon B. Johnson was majority leader, he only needed one cloture motion in six years. By comparison, Merkley noted majority leader Harry Reid had 391 such clotures. “When I was an intern for Senator Hatfield in 1976, I saw a Congress that worked,” Merkley said. “It was a picture of legislature that works. Over the...

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