Day: August 2, 2013

Education at Keizer Rapids

If supporters prevail the former caretakers house at Keizer Rapids Park would be converted into an education center. The house is located on the bluff overlooking the park’s amphitheatre. Some say the house should be razed and a new structure constructed; others say the existing building can be remodeled. Adding education to the region’s crown jewel park is a good idea but some are putting the cart way in front of the horse. Certainly there is money that foundations would grant to turn the house into a center of learning about the park’s environs and nature in general. But then what? What would be in the education center?  Photos?  Kiosks? Informational signs? If that’s it, it seems like an pretty expensive drop-by classroom. We can only assume that those who are pushing for an education center have already been in contact with Salem-Keizer Schools (which of course does not have the money to staff even a part-time host for an education center). Who would the city put in charge of leading the development of the center?  We can only assume it would be someone with an educational and horticultural background. A few hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money for a project that has a “Let’s build it!” feel to it without much thought about what happens after such a center is completed. An education element to the...

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Parking at Keizer Rapids dog park

To the Editor: Like many other Keizerites we have found a wonderful place to spend time together as a family while playing with our beloved pooch, Maggie, at the Keizer Rapids Dog Park. We have, however, noticed that parking is becoming an issue when summer concerts or plays are being held. The park does have a sign that states Parking for Dog Park Visitors Only. However, it is very small and hidden on the bottom half of a kiosk pretty much unnoticeable to most guests.  I brought this to the attention of the parks department last summer suggesting that perhaps the sign could be placed in a more visible location. Alas, summer concerts are back (yea!) and the park is once again full of people enjoying the fresh air, friends, music and entertainment. The parks department has stated that the grassy area to the south of the dog park is where concert attendees should in fact be parking. The paved area is provided for dogs and their guests who frequent the dog park. We took our kids and dog to the park last night, Friday, July 26th and were disappointed to find all of the parking spaces full with only a handful of dogs at the park. Once again, the concert/play guests parked in an area specifically designated for dog park guests only. Since the city has not moved...

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Ulali Drive and Lockhaven

To the Editor: I think it would be a good idea to look at the stop light situation where Ulali Drive connects to Lockhaven Drive.  Specifically if you are entering Lockhaven to travel east. No turn is permitted on red, which causes terrible lines of traffic to form.  There is really no reason right turn should not be permitted here on a red light. Also, if you are entering Lockhaven to go west, you can turn right on a red even though you are directly crossing a railroad track.  If the train is coming, the sign that says “No turn on red” is lit, but I personally have been caught here when I did a right turn and then the light came on and I was almost hit by the falling railroad bar.  I think coming out of the station from the north should be barred from right turn on red and coming out from the south (heading east on Lockhaven) should allow right turn on red. If you go there on a Friday afternoon (many other times for sure) you will see a huge line of cars backed up to get onto eastbound Lockhaven Drive.  Often they are backed up to the underpass. Teresa Jones...

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The ease and pitfalls of online buying

By DON VOWELL Now I’m starting to worry about my privacy.  It is not simply the revelations from Edward Snowden about our government keeping records of all my phone calls that woke me up.  It was Amazon. The agitator in our washing machine stopped agitating.  The bottom half worked as normal, but the top half barely wiggled.  A short online search, still amazing to me, showed that I needed a new set of “dogs”/pawls to restore its health.  The pawls cost $2.69 postage included and the problem is fixed. The new problem is the inundation of helpful suggestions from Amazon about other stuff I might be interested in.  They hoped that I might like to buy a new agitator as well, or possibly replace some appliances.  This is nothing new to me.  Having bought some camera gear from Amazon last year, I am sent their electronics department sales notices several times a month.  That’s fine.  I look through them and dream. There was one near disaster.  I looked at a four-place kayak trailer, and went all the way to the “checkout” step in order to find out a possible shipping cost.  Then I stopped and went on my way.   The next time my wife ordered a small item online the price was $1,650 more than she expected.   They still hoped to send me the kayak trailer. Like...

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U.S. needs to graduate more scientists

Bloomberg View columnist, Cass R. Sunstein, recently commented on the concern by many Americans that we have a low number of science major graduates from the nation’s colleges and universities.  Graduates in science and engineering in the U.S. have been considerably lower than those in China and Japan while math and science testing has U.S. students below those of students in Australia, England, Finland, Israel, Russia, Singapore and South Korea. You may already know that science majors can contribute to economic growth while many of them end-up with secure, high-paying jobs after graduation.  Nevertheless, some say we now have a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) crisis here. President Obama has lamented that, “Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job.  Think about that: Openings at a time when millions of Americans, especially among our youth, are looking for work.” Many among us ask, “Why is this?  Are young Americans not interested in science?” It’s has been determined through data gathering  that at the time of college entrance, students view science as an appealing major.  A study by Dr. Bruce Stinebrickner of DePauw University found that while entering students (at the rate of nearly 20 percent) believe they will study science, only slightly over seven percent follow through by majoring in it.  So, many who enroll with a science major intent demonstrate...

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