Day: April 4, 2014

How the Keizer Park Foundation accepts donations

To the Editor: The March 28 Keizertimes article on the Big Toy may have left readers with a mistaken understanding of how the Keizer Parks Foundation accepts donations and grants. Fortunately, we have had the opportunity to clarify this with the Keizer Rotary Foundation and welcome the opportunity to explain it to a wider audience: The Keizer Parks Foundation does (and will) accept donations with conditions, such as the location of the Big Toy playground. In fact, all the grants we have received and most of the donations have specific conditions that include project, location, and sometimes timeline. We honor all the conditions. The donated funds remain restricted until the conditions are met or the funds are returned. In the very few cases where we were not able to meet the conditions (specifically, for tennis courts) we go back to the donors and ask them whether they prefer to have the donation returned, redirected, or in this case, if they want to change the conditions. In the case of the Rotary Foundation grant, as with others, we will pass the funds along to the city only when the conditions of the grant are met. Keizer Parks Foundation’s mission is to promote and provide financial support for enhancements to the public spaces, park facilities, and recreation programs in Keizer.  We encourage community donations, solicit grants, conduct fundraisers (like our recently successful...

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I support Barbara Jensen

To the Editor: Barbara Jensen has been a close friend for the last 10 years. She embodies so many qualities that would make for a great state representative, but I feel the characteristic that holds the most weight for me is trust. Over the years, her consistency, resolve and dedication to work and causes that she supports have led me to trust her judgment. As a State Representative I know she will look at all sides of the issue to do what is best for her constituents. She has earned my complete trust through her actions as my friend. I also know her beliefs are in line with my own any my community through the many conversations we have had though the years so I trust she will do what is best for the people of District 25. I believe Barbara Jensen would make a wonderful state representative and I fully support her in that endeavor. Benjamin Garrett...

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Student debt will bury next generation

There’s a story about financing a college education you might like: I knew this kid who was able to pay his way through college by working summer jobs and some, too, during the academic year, but not enough to keep him from investing in study time sufficient to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years.  Thereafter he was hired as a high school teacher who departed his college campus without a cent of debt. Who was that kid?  That kid was me, an Oregon-born youth who attended a public high school for four years and then went directly from the 12th grade to college at a private university.  I’d not been a serious student in high school and worked after school instead of playing sports, which meant that I started college without a scholarship while my parents were in no position to help me financially.  My story wasn’t unusual .  .  .  in the 1960s. So, what happened to make my story different from today’s stories?  Well, for many reasons, including steep tuition increases due to reduced state funding and capitol campus costs and efforts by colleges to attract higher-achieving students from the best secondary schools in the nation, the cost of a college education has gotten a whole lot more expensive.  So expensive in fact that it’s highly unlikely that any youth these days can secure a summer job and during-the-school-year job that will pay the tab of getting a college education.  Mainly, a huge number of our youth are finding it necessary to borrow the money...

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Keep the ‘creative’ in creative writing

By SHELBY STROUT In today’s school system, teachers are switching out the fictional writing to fulfill the standard of formal writing. Whether it is an analytical essay on a classic piece of literature or an inferential discussion about a non-fiction article, students are hard pressed to a strict, realistic writing regime. This year I was able to step outside the formal writing box in a special class. Mrs. Susanne Stefani’s creative writing course is one of the few classes offered at my school where students are able to write freely on a given prompt. No harsh guidelines, restrictions, or grammatical criteria. Just my pencil, paper and thoughts. Being on a set course of Honors English classes all of my four years, I am already an expert on how to write an academic paper. This class has handed me the opportunity to really think about my personal feelings and opinions on random topics, and I have found more solace and acceptance from my peers during second period creative writing class than I have in any other English class. The expansion of my creativity has not only enhanced my own thoughts, it has also expanded my tunnel vision through the sharing of writing by my peers. Since it is a writing class, students do receive a half-semester of a composition credit. However, this credit has previously not been used to override...

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