Day: March 27, 2014

Getting the head in gear

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes For Jun Zhu, the reason for opening Gearhead Automotive earlier this year was simple. “We don’t have enough affordable auto repair shops in Keizer,” said Zhu, who opened his shop at 1091 Chemawa Road North No. 11 in January. “I’m also trying to see if I can help the community. I want to help them out.” For Zhu, he sees that working in two ways, one involving his senior mechanic Richard Gonzales Jr. “McNary High School is teaching auto repair,” Zhu said. “I want to see if we can send our senior mechanic there to help, or have some of those students come to my shop. And for little league, I’m hoping to be able to sponsor them. I want to get our name out as a sponsor.” Zhu talked with mechanic James Rockwell last fall and decided to open the shop. The two looked at nearly 60 spaces before settling on their Chemawa Road location. Rockwell recently left due to National Guard commitments, leaving Gonzales as the sole mechanic. “Right now it’s just Richard,” Zhu said. “Once we get more traffic, I want to get a second person. He’s been trained as a GM certified mechanic. He’s also been fixing foreign cars like BMWs. I go down there every other day. Richard is dealing with the day-to-day. I’m not a mechanic, so...

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“Pure Grit” by Mary Cronk Farrell, foreword by First lieutenant Diane Carlson Evans

  “Pure Grit” by Mary Cronk Farrell, foreword by First lieutenant Diane Carlson Evans c.2014, Abrams Books for Young Readers $24.95 / $27.95 Canada 160 pages   BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER When it comes to chores around the house, you have lots of responsibility. You’re in charge of mealtime twice a week. You take out the trash, clean your room, finish your schoolwork, and you even babysit sometimes. That’s a lot but you can handle it because you know you’ll have different responsibilities as you get older. And in the new book “Pure Grit” by Mary Cronk Farrell, you’ll see that some could be bigger than others. By the late 1930s, at end of the Depression, Americans “had no interest in fighting a war of any kind…” Still, military leaders were concerned about defense, so they deployed a “joint Filipino-American Army” to the Philippines and opened two hospitals on the main island. Hundreds of American military nurses were sent to staff them. At first, being a nurse in the Philippines was an easy, “routine” job. Nurses mostly cared for the families of officers also deployed to the area, and spent their free time shopping or enjoying the resort-like atmosphere. None of the nurses had combat training. None of them knew that war was coming. But World War II did come and the nurses were right where wounded military...

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Housing update at GGNA meeting

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The state of the housing market depends on your perspective. Dana Burk, a principal broker and certified residential specialist with John L. Scott in Salem, gave a real estate update at the most recent Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association (GGNA) meeting. “One of the biggest questions I get every day is ‘How’s the market?’” Burk said. “It’s specific to each neighborhood. Overall in Salem the market is well. We’re well past the bottom. We bottomed out about a year and a half ago.” Burk said the average home price in the Salem area rose 13 percent last year, going from $177,231 at the end of 2012 to $200,691 at the end of 2013. “We have pent up demand and a lack of inventory,” she said. “All of the foreclosures are just starting to hit the market. There are also people wanting to move up. You have younger buyers who feel they will make up costs long-run due to what is happening. The consumer view is that housing is back.” According to Burk, banks putting foreclosure homes on the market will change the housing market. “If you’re buying, you might want to wait,” Burk said. “If you’re selling, you might want to sell now.” Burk said houses are at price levels from nearly a decade ago. “We peaked in 2007,” she said. “Most people peaked...

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