Day: February 22, 2013

Field of broken dreams

The $510,000 repair and maintenance wish list that was presented to the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board earlier this month has heads being scratched all over town. “How can that be?” asked many people.  How can it be that so many things at Keizer Little League Park seem to have fallen into disrepair? In 2007, a group split from Keizer Little League to form Keizer Youth Sports Association (KYSA) due to disagreements about tourney play, among other issues. After receiving proposals for operation of the fields the Keizer City Council awarded the contract to KYSA about four years ago. Among the items in the city’s request for proposals were requirements that the winner of the contract develop a grounds maintenance schedule to be carried out by the operator; promptly advise the city of any problems not addressable by the operator so the city could address them; and generate sufficient revenue to offset all costs incurred. If these items, among many others, were in the contract when KYSA took over operation of the park, why is the laundry list of needed repairs and maintenance so long? There is plenty of responsibility to go around. The city should have taken a more substantial role in oversight of the park; KYSA should have assured the infrastructure at Keizer Little League Park was being properly maintained. Now, four years later, the park...

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Clean World Initiative

To the Editor: Covanta Marion, the owner/operator of your local energy-from-waste facility, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of our Clean World Initiative—a program developed to bring sustainability to every facet of our company’s business, including facility operations, research and development, the advancement of solid waste management and community partnerships and programs. Covanta Marion has maintained world-class reliability, with one of the highest boiler availability rates in the power-generating industry while also reducing emissions.  When aggregating “all” emissions, Covanta Energy-from-Waste facilities perform 65 percent below the Environmental Protection Agency’s requirements. Covanta’s long history of community engagement is far-reaching and an integral part of our Clean World Initiative.  In 2012 we gave 28 tours, collected 95 pounds of batteries for recycling, safely destroyed 8.72 tons of unwanted medications and helped clean up our oceans by destroying 17.67 tons of derelict fishing gear. We encourage the residents of Marion County to join us in our commitment to sustainability by reducing, reusing and recycling.  To learn more about the Clean World Initiative and Covanta’s efforts to improve environmental, health and safety performance, please visit, Karen Breckenridge Salem The writer is the business manager for Covanta...

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The alternative to a gun ban

By ART BOBROWITZ Finally, the outcry from the media, entertainment industry and elected officials regarding the banning of guns merits a reply. Whatever legislation is passed will be both significant and hopefully well thought out. The beauty of this issue is it will open the door for serious talks about cutting some potentially unnecessary jobs. Here is how we can do it:  We could eliminate guns and gun ownership. That would also mean no movies from Hollywood or other segments of the media or entertainment industry. They would not be able to show any movie or program that displayed any type of firearm. This would also apply to all cable networks, up to and including all local and national news channels and networks. Also included would be the display of any weapon in any form of print media including magazines, newspapers and advertising. The ban would also encompass all plastic or any simulated toy that looks like a gun. The new legislation could include video games that display or show the usage of any type of firearm. The key ingredient would be the cost savings through job elimination for the taxpayer. Because guns would be banned, we could then examine the current level of law enforcement. This would include the numbers needed for school resource officers, city, county, state and federal agencies. It might also be appropriate to limit...

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Salaries of state education chiefs are too high

By GENE H. MCINTYRE By what is not always apparent here in Oregon, we are beginning to resemble life for most of the populations of people south of the border.  It’s not the fault of the populations in those nations; it is the way the wealthy and elite have rigged things (luxury high-rises alongside slums) so that while the average person lives in poverty, a distinct minority live the good life with all the perks of those places in their hands.  And it’s not the fault of the people here, either, as they have been ruined by the greedy and the power hungry. Here in Oregon, during my lifetime, there’s been a steady downward spiral of the economic lives of most Oregonians.  The middle years of the 20th century, those of my youth, were years of prosperty for most Oregonians. Typically, they found work at a living wage while the standard of living brought favorable conditions to most everyone in the state.  That has changed now.  Today, we have a state of the unemployed in contrast with a wealthy minority.  Meanwhile, our family structure, our schools, our unemployed and our public safety are in tatters, shreds and ruin. I was inspired to think about our recent past by reading a column on Oregon’s latest appointee to the state chancellor of higher education position.  We will pay this person a basic salary of nearly $300,000 a year, and that’s to start, an amount that does not include the costs of this public employee’s benefits, perks and living expenses for a lavish house,...

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