Day: February 15, 2013

The coming end of an era

Keizer Police Chief H. Marc Adams has said he will retire at the end of this year. When he leaves office in Decmeber it will be the end of a good era at the police department. Adams became Keizer’s top cop in 1997 after serving the same role in Coos Bay for five years. He had a tough act to follow—Charles Stull, who was fired by the city council. With his disarming Texas accent and genial manner Adams set about putting his own imprint on the police department. He quickly garned good marks from city leaders and staff, the community, and from the men and women who served under him. Chief Adams brought with him an extensive education and a lengthy resume.  And a firm belief in community policing; he even taught other police departments how to make the change to that model. In 1997 when he was being considered for the Keizer post, leaders and residents in Coos Bay said two of Adams’ most positive  traits were his honesty and integrity—things sorely needed at the time at the chief’s desk. Adams’ tenure in Keizer reflected all that been heard about him before he was hired by the city council in November 1997. He has been popular with the community he serves, and by the men and women who serve him. Constrained in recent years by tight budgets that...

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Open records, open government

Former Oregon Attorney General John Kroger’s drive to open and keep open public records should not be squelched. Since the Watergate era in the mid-1970s, Oregon has a good track record of maintaining open records for public bodies and public institutions. Open records are vital to a strong democracy, they allow the public to see how their local and state governments are operating. There are some who want to see a restriction on records for personal reasons—lottery winners, PERS beneficiaries, concealed gun licensees. There is a level of privacy that must be observed.  It is the activities and expenditures of government bodies that should always be open for examination. The legislature should not be in any rush this season to limit access to public records. We don’t want to see one of our proud traditions be chipped away. Government is of, by, and for the people. Those in the public sector are doing the people’s business, and aside from contracts and negotiations, there is no reason to keep secret the goings-on of a state agency, a legislative committee or a municipal body. John Kroger pushed for more open public records and we’d like to see his successor, Attorney General Ellen Rosenbloom, continue the push. We’d also like the legislature to remember the pubilc has a right to know what’s being done in their name....

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Parks event is on a Friday night

To the Editor: The gentle chiding in the February 8 Keizertimes editorial may have given readers the mistaken impression that Keizer Parks Foundation’s Pinot in the Parks fundraiser on March 15 is on a Saturday night. But no! Wine will flow, music will play, food will tempt, and community warmth and conviviality will fill the Keizer Community Center at the Civic Center on Friday, March 15, from 6 to 9 pm. That’s FRIDAY, as in “date night,” the “F” in TGIF, the Sergeant Joe in Dragnet. All proceeds go back to the city for projects such as playgrounds, the dog park, and the free summer recreation program for kids. So help us make this an annual success: Buy a couple of tickets, bring a few friends, and spend a few bucks for a good time and a good cause. But don’t show up on Saturday, or you’ll have missed all the fun! Jeanne Bond-Esser...

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Rights come with restrictions

A Box of Soap by Don vowell  We have just been treated to all the media-saturated sound and fury of two Congressional hearings.  In one Congressional hearing, then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was asked why she failed to prevent the loss of four American lives at the Consulate in Benghazi, situated in one of the most dangerous regions on earth.  In the other Congressional hearing, they can’t seem to find any way to prevent another loss like the 20 schoolchildren shot to death in Connecticut, which ought to be safer than Libya. Twenty first-graders, unaware of any peril, were shot to death in Newtown.  Lacking any clear path to making this seem the fault of the Obama administration, legislators have had a more subdued reaction.  Rather than hearings with tough questions we get instead the usual cast of characters trotting out the same tired arguments. Lots of people who own guns never kill anybody, so it’s not a gun problem.  Lots of mentally ill Americans never kill anybody, so it’s not a mental health problem.  Lots of people watch violent and explicit movies, and play murderous video games without being provoked to homicide, so it’s not a media culture problem.  Lots of people come from broken families, don’t know faith in God, and still don’t kill anybody, so the decline of society can’t be the problem. Both these hearings...

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Stop persecution of PERS retirees

By GENE H. McINTYRE Anyone aware of what’s going on in the world knows that there are a number of nations that persecute their citizens.  Their reasons for doing so usually have to do with class, race, gender, culture and religion. Certain Oregonians have also become practitioners of persecution but for a different reason.  Here, the persecution is mainly focused on retirees in the Public Employees Retirement System or PERS. Looking at examples, there’s almost never an issue of Portland’s largest-circulation newspaper without a column or an editorial hammering away again on how much better things in the state would be if only PERS retiree payroll benefits could be reigned-in and, oh, yes, significantly reduced.  The same mindset also appears as a nearly daily pre-occupation with Salem’s largest-circulation paper. Those two newspapers quite transparently enjoyed what they viewed as a great victory by revealing personal financial information on every PERS’ retiree, providing it to one and all on the Internet.  The disclosures served as consternation by security risk to all PERS retirees to which the Portland and Salem folks behind this compassionless work evidenced considerable pride in their revelations. In Salem, Oregon’s governor is leading the charge although he’s got a lot of friends among state legislators and the rubber stamps he appoints to boards and commissions.  He says he wants to bring progressive reforms to education and health...

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