Month: March 2013

Parking spaces for our veterans

To the Editor: In the last few weeks, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services authorized Veterans Parking Spaces and began to participate in the program. The goal of the Veterans Parking Program is to establish veterans parking spaces at all commercial, private and public agency parking areas. Veterans license plates are not required but are encouraged because they help support veterans homes in The Dalles and in Lebanon. Three new veterans parking spaces have been installed at the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, with one dedicated to recently retired director Jim Willis. Three other spaces have been installed at the state motor pool, state surplus building and at the State Publishing and Distribution Building. The Oregon State Lottery also installed one space recently. Capitol Auto Group, off the Salem Parkway, has installed three veterans parking spaces—one each at the Toyota, Cadillac and Subaru dealerships. Thanks to Mr. Scott Casebeer for their support. As chairman of Veterans Parking Inc., I have been in discussions with the legislative administrator at the state Capitol building with plans to have veterans parking there as well. Veterans License Plates are available to veterans at the DMV office for a minimal fee. Visit the website for more information: www.veteransparking.org. John P. Rizzo...

Read More

Celtic supporters

To the Editor: My name is Rhonda Brattain and I have recently been elected to lead the McNary Athletic Booster Club into its second year. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the work of resigning president Bill Doutt, as he commits additional time to his career pursuits. The efforts of this past year have proven beneficial for all of our athletic programs. We are in the process of rehabilitating McNary’s athletic training room and are expecting completion in May. A community open house will be held when completed. I want to thank those who have faith in me to provide the leadership needed to grow and sustain McNary ABC. My focus will be in uniting our athletic programs and rallying the Keizer community to support McNary student athletes. I encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about the club to attend our next meeting, Wednesday, April 3 in the McNary library at 7:30 p.m. I would also like to invite you to participate in a very special event. We will be holding our second annual Dinner & Auction at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1 at the Keizer Civic Center. We will also be hosting a golf tournament at the McNary Golf Club in conjunction with the McNary girls and boys golf teams. Tickets can be purchased through a booster member or online at mcnaryabc.com. This...

Read More

One hand taketh away

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS In his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama proclaimed, “Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion.” It’s a claim that the president makes frequently—along with the notion that having done all that heavy lifting, Washington now needs to find a trifling extra $1.5 trillion in spending cuts or tax increases to end the nation’s debt problems. But have Washington politicians really reduced the deficit by $2.5 trillion? “They have not,” answered budget guru Patrick Knudsen of the conservative Heritage Foundation. “They have put in place some proposals that would reduce spending if they hold up, but most of that has not happened.” The 2011 Budget Control Act, Knudsen said, “reduced spending from what it would have been without (spending) caps, because it’s measured against a base line against inflation. The result this year is effectively a freeze on discretionary spending.” Spending in 2013 will be about the same as it was in 2012, but tax revenue will be higher. The fiscal cliff deal negotiated with Congress ended President Obama’s two-year, 2 percent payroll tax holiday; that means about $93 billion in new revenue this year. The Obama tax hikes on the rich are expected to deliver another $27 billion. Almost all of this year’s deficit reduction will come from tax hikes,...

Read More

Tolerance and civic rights for all

By GENE H. McINTYRE Even a casual observation soon discloses that we humans find it challenging to appreciate the differences between us.  These are sometimes referred to as our biases or our prejudices and seem to abound wherever in this world we wander. The intolerance for differences, it’s argued, can be found in most religions, cultures, political groups, and races, among others.  Unless it is systematically, deliberately and painstakingly addressed, it governs human lives and their relationships with others.  When we marry, for example, we almost always marry someone from another family while it becomes the greatest of challenges to form a viable union between a man and a woman or another of one’s same gender. The latest challenge to dealing with differences may come in a small number of those to be counted, but can serve as an issue with all of us in being able to respect one another.  I refer to the transgender people who are currently in the news here in Oregon and elsewhere in the nation.  Defined, the transgender person is one who was born a male but believes he’s really a female, and vice versa. There was a well-publicized case of a transgender in Portland who attends Grant High School. ”She” was not happy using the boys’ restroom and yet was conflicted in the girls, too.  So, the school now provides a transgender...

Read More

Keizer women seek immigration change

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes When Vicky Falcon-Vazquez and Maria Jaramillo first visited Rep. Kurt Schrader three years ago in the nation’s capitol, they were somewhat taken aback by the encounter. “At that time, he didn’t support Dream Act, but he did support comprehensive immigration reform. He didn’t want to go after what he called ‘smaller things,’” said Falcon-Vazquez. “I left that first meeting disappointed because we are fighting for people that we work with–this is family.” The pair of Keizer residents work on the local issues facing the Latino community as part of Mano a Mano Family Center, which provides family services such as crisis assistance and education services. They went back a year later and Schrader’s position on the Dream Act,  which would provide conditional permanent resident status to undocumented students who graduate high school and lived continuously in the U.S. for at least five years, had softened. Earlier this month, when they went back for another visit with Oregon congressmen to push for comprehensive immigration reform and Schrader welcomed them with open arms. “Now he supports the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration,” Falcon-Vazquez said. To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the March 22 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the...

Read More