Day: February 8, 2013

New look needed at booking Center

The conference center at the Keizer Civic Center has been a success and it operates as it was designed. Mayor Lore Christopher and other city leaders envisioned the conference center to be a space to be used both for community organizations to use and as a generator of revenue from other groups. This week the city council approved waivers of rental fees for two non-profit groups on Saturday nights in March and April. The civic center was built with taxpayer money so it is right to offer waivers for local, Keizer-based non-profit organizations. When waivers are given, the renting organizations usually pay for city employees to staff the rooms during the event, security and cleaning deposits. Non-profit organizations do good works in the community and should get some fee relief, yet when they book a Saturday it blocks a potential full-price renter. Though it is a public community conference center it should be able to generate enough revenue to pay its own way. The city will be addressing the rate schedule again for the conference center in the near future. The current rates allow for any group to book a room at the confererence center for $15 for Tuesday’s public days. Unfortunately there have been some non-community groups that have been allowed to take advantage of the public day fee. Who should be eligible for the $15 community rate...

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You might be a hypochondriac if…

By NICK THOMAS The older I get, the more anxious I become about personal illness. When I was in my twenties, I never gave much thought to every odd ache or pain—it was mostly just “a muscular thing.” But today when I experience a sudden twinge, I’m sure its major organ failure. So, if I may channel Jeff Foxworthy along these lines, you too might be a hypochondriac if …. • You’re afraid to go fishing in case you catch something. • Every birthday, you treat yourself to a spa, massage, and MRI. • You continually pester your pharmacist to email you when the FDA approves a home colonoscopy kit. • On vacations, you check into the hospital before the hotel. • Your favorite reference web site is Sickipedia. • You plan on attending Hypochondriac Anonymous meetings, but always phone in sick. • You dread going to the supermarket in case a cashier asks if you’re ready to check out. • When offered TicTacs, you explain that you can only take two every four hours, after meals, with a glass of water. • You have more doctors than friends. • There are some TV shows you can never watch, like “Deadliest Catch.” • You swear you heard the doctor whisper to the nurse “we’ll know more after the autopsy.” • Your cell phone plugs into a stethoscope. • For...

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Sequester will grow economy

By LAWRENCE KUDLOW  Last week’s report of a 0.1 percent gross domestic product decline for the fourth quarter came as a surprise to most forecasters. But it actually masks considerable strength in the private economy. Namely, housing investment in the fourth quarter jumped 15.3 percent annually, business equipment and software spiked 12.4 percent, and real private final sales rose 2.6 percent. All in all, the domestic private sector of the economy increased 3.4 percent annually —a very respectable gain. And here’s one for the record books: Working ahead of year-end tax hikes, individuals shifted so much money to the fourth quarter at the 35 percent top rate that personal income grew by 7.9 percent annually—a huge number. And there’s more: In order to beat the taxman, dividend income rose 85.2 percent annually. You think tax incentives don’t matter? Guess again. Now, all this private-sector strength occurred despite the fact that government spending—namely, military spending—dropped 6.6 percent. Inventories also lost ground, and the trade deficit widened. But here’s a key point: Military spending has now fallen virtually to its lower sequester-spending-cut baseline. It did so in one quarter by about $40 billion. So the brunt of the impact over the coming years has already been felt. (Normally, as of recent years, military spending has been virtually flat.) Which leads me to another key point: Even with the fourth-quarter contraction, the...

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Immigration issue is economic issue

By GENE H. McINTYRE There is much in this country over which we divide ourselves.  Think guns, abortion, global warming, warring overseas, the environment, conservation, and a whole host of other matters that end-up “heating” people to the boiling point while acts of violence more and more often occur over who’s right. One issue that could unite us is immigration.  Yes, many among us consider the conversion of so-called illegals to fast-track status, ultimately leading to citizenship, without returning to country of origin to apply for it and wait in line, is not in our best interest, while others, perhaps of “cooler” mind, see this action as a means by which assimilation can take place, as “about time.”  It is then, to some, the means by which to make the guesstimated 11 million undocumented into “whole” Americans, a victory for human dignity. In the meantime, it is argued that increased immigration boosts the U.S. economy.  For example, Hamilton Project research has found that immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start new businesses than native-born Americans and also, among them, to secure patents.  Further, it’s reported that 25 percent of recently-established, new high-tech companies have been founded by the foreign-born, earning each in the $1 million range of sales. Most Americans are keen on job development, motivated in their thoughts on the subject by our chronic plus or minus...

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