Day: April 5, 2013

A roundabout

No one who is elected or paid to work for the City of Keizer wakes in the morning thinking they’ll make life difficult for residents. The reaction on social media to a news story about a traffic roundabout at Chemawa Road and Verda Lane was swift. Most people who posted didn’t see a need for it and thought it was silly to spend money on it while police positions go begging. Some cited safety concerns. Some people have spoken—only a little too late. The roundabout—a final design has not yet been finalized—was part of the city’s Transportation System Plan (TSP) written in 2009. There were public hearings concerning the plan. Funds have been secured for construction which is expected to begin in 2014. Those who say the money can be better spent on more immediate needs such as beefing up the Keizer Police Department, may not be aware of the funding process. State and federal money will be used for the project. City money from its Street Fund must be used exclusively for street projects; it is dedicated money that is not part of the city’s general budget. One of the reasons cited for garnering grants from the feds and the state is that the roundabout is a modern, creative solution to a traffic problem. The intersection of Chemawa Road and Verda Lane is busy, especially late afternoons. The...

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America’s most wanted… bug

By NICK THOMAS Of all the animal species on the planet, which one kills the most people each year? You might be thinking snakes. After all, cobras alone take out some 20,000 people annually in India. So, candidates with poison-laden fangs should logically be bumped to the top of the list, right? Nope. How about wild carnivores sporting a prominent set of sharp teeth? Wrong again. You’re more likely to be savaged by a crazed Lady Gaga than by any shark, lion, or bear. In fact, the answer may very well be sitting just a few feet away from you, right now, ready to strike. More than a relentlessly annoying pest searching for its next meal, blood-sucking mosquitoes can kill their human victims by transmitting deadly diseases and parasites. These include malaria, yellow fever, and Dengue Fever which, collectively, kill millions of people around the world each year. Malaria alone will have bumped off ten poor souls by the time you finish reading this article. While the mortality numbers are staggering enough, diseases spread by mosquitoes have also influenced human history. These winged micro-vampires reportedly may have contributed to the deaths of prominent figures including Jefferson Davis, Alexander the Great, and Oliver Cromwell. It’s also been claimed that they helped thwart some of history’s great ancient armies by preventing the advancement of Roman legions, defeating the Spanish Armada, and...

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Cruelest month… for taxpayers

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS When you’re president, every day is a holiday. This April is National Financial Capability Month, as declared last week in a presidential proclamation. “I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices,” quoth President Obama. If April is the cruelest month, as T.S. Eliot wrote, then April as National Financial Capability Month could be the cruelest joke. It’s as if every day is April Fools’ Day, especially tax day, the dreaded 15th. This also is the host month of this year’s Tax Freedom Day. Every year, the Washington-based Tax Foundation computes the trademarked day when “the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year.” Tuesday, the Foundation will announce that Tax Freedom Day 2013 will fall on April 18. After that date, you’ll be working for your paycheck, not for the government. What does “financial capability” mean in Washington? It’s an odd term that departs from the usual money lingo — like financial planning and financial literacy, two terms mentioned in the proclamation. There are some financial planning tips on the aptly named government website, Mymoney.gov. While financial planning entails saving and investing, “financial capability” seems to be about — what else? — borrowing and spending. No wonder Obama wants to give...

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City’s future is being planned

To the Editor: Keizer is in the midst of planning the future direction of our city. There are a few more steps remaining and the public is encouraged to continue to  give their input. The city will be hosting an open house on April 10, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. regarding the Economic Opportunities Analysis/ Housing Needs Analysis. That will be followed by a public hearing of the Keizer Planning Commission on April 24. These meetings will invite the public to review the plans and tell us what they think. After careful consideration it may then be recommended to city council for possible approval. The public will again have a chance to get involved and make their voice heard. If it passes the council it will then be submitted to the state for final deliberation. Although the city can make its plans there are some hurdles that still need to be crossed. It’s important to continue to support our city, realizing that public input is an essential component to the process in gauging where we are at and where we are going. Most of all we need to remember that Keizer is a well established city which is not going away, its future is bright with opportunities that have yet to present themselves. Whatever plans we have now should be seen as just a relatively small attempt of even...

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Separate emotions from reality in the gun control debate

On the Wild Side by G.I. Wilson Since I have been writing about the outdoors for years, I feel a need to write about some ramifications of the recent horrific shooting events. What do they have to do with the outdoors? Nothing. But, guns were involved. I write about hunting. Hunters use guns. As before, some will attempt to link these monstrous acts of violence–committed by madmen–with hunting. Guns mean different things to different people. I belong to an outdoor writers association. We have members that have made a career of writing about guns, bullets and ballistics. We have hunting writers that have traveled the globe covering hunting activities. There are gun collectors that literally own hundreds of guns. Many of them are beautiful works of craftsmanship that will never be taken into the field. They are treasured and admired like other antiques and fine works of art and craftsmanship. To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the April 5 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in...

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