Day: June 28, 2013

Drugs in our neighborhood

Police Chief Marc Adams has never passed up the opportunity to tell citizens that Keizer is in the center of the drug trail that starts in Mexico. For anyone who has not taken his words seriously, he is backed up by a comprehensive investigative report, Under the Curse of Cartels, appearing this week in The Oregonian and its web site oregonlive.com. Senior investigation reporter Les Zaitz spent months learning about how the Mexican drug cartels operate and how they get their products into all parts Oregon, urban and rural. The five-part series is a sobering wake-up call about what is happening right under our noses. In May 2012 a 21-year-old Keizer woman was the fourth person to die due to a heroin overdose. Five men were indicted in relation to her death (the cases are still pending). Laurin Putnam’s death was a devastating yet small part in Oregon’s drug war. Putnam was a final stop on the brutal and deadly curse of cartel drugs here. The Mexican drug cartels are well-run business organizations which resort to bribery, threats and even murder to achieve their goals of flooding the U.S. with meth, heroin, cocaine and marijuana. They have the money and manpower to get drugs to users. This, while many law enforcement organizations are plagued with budget cuts. The Keizer Police Department along with many other smaller departments across the...

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Whistle-blow a happy tune

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS National Journal’s Ron Fournier wrote a strong column about why he doesn’t care whether National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor. To Fournier, that’s “the wrong question. The Snowden narrative matters mostly to White House officials trying to deflect attention from government overreach and deception, and to media executives in search of an easy storyline to serve a celebrity-obsessed audience.” Me? I can’t take my eyes off Snowden and his mentor, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Snowden is smart enough to have amassed huge amounts of U.S. intelligence but dumb enough to run to Hong Kong—and then Moscow—to out himself as a whistle-blower. (As of my deadline, his final destination is unclear.) He’s smart enough to have won a top-security clearance from a government dumb enough to give it to him. How does Snowden know that Chinese and Russian officials haven’t tapped into his four laptops and downloaded all his thumb drives? Maybe he doesn’t care, but he should. In China or Russia, if authorities determine they want your hardware, they can take it. If they want your freedom, they can take it. If they want your fingernails, they can pull them. And there won’t be any whistle-blowers to expose what happened. Snowden’s lawyer told The New York Times that Snowden left Hong Kong because he could not face the possibility...

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Who’s in charge here?

By MATT CHAPPELL Has anyone been following what’s going on out at Keizer Station these days? Many may not know just how Keizer Station came to be.  You see it had always been the city’s goal to develop the land out by the freeway. So when the economic boom of the 1990s set in, developers started eyeing its development with the city wanting to get in on the action. Now there had been many strong indicators that something was wrong with the economy. The prices of property rose so dramatically that there was talk of over-inflation and manipulative interference by banks and other investors. You see, the deal had to be struck quickly while the money was still available, because it might not be available in the future. Something was not right and things were too good to be true…..”so let’s move on this” so to speak. Developers, unlike the city, could wait if they wanted, pick and choose whether to develop or not, but the city, on the other hand, saw what seemed to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. The developers were actually doing the city a favor by investing in Keizer. But in all fairness, as businessmen they saw the risks associated with this undertaking and had drawn the line when it came to how far in they were willing to go. But by this...

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When others are listening…

By GENE H. McINTYRE Some readers who sport a grey hair or two and display a few wrinkles will remember having watched The Honeymooners sitcom in the 1950s. It was one of the most popular television shows at the time, starring Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramer, Audrey Meadows as his wife, Alice, with Art Carney as Ed Norton, married to Trixie (Joyce Randolph), as his main-man foil. In one episode, Kramer is going to teach Norton how to golf.  The dialogue went something like this: “Look Norton, the first thing you do is address the ball,” to which Norton responds, “Hello, ball!” Now, in 2013, we have learned that our electronic communications can be, and apparently are, monitored by the U.S. government.  So, the safest strategy may be to borrow from an Ed Norton “page” of 50-plus years ago and begin every conversation, whether it’s a phone call, a text or an e-mail by saying, “Hello, N.S.A.” When initiating a communication, one should practice the following: after the initial greeting to and recognition of the National Security Agency, known to be listening, here are a few “I am innocent” messages to keep them away from your door in the middle of the night and a maximum security prison cell somewhere in Colorado: • “I think the N.S.A. is awesome!” •  “I just read 1984  and think it offers some really good ideas.” • “There is no such thing as a...

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