Day: May 9, 2014

Path cleared for mural art in Keizer

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes When it comes to city government, “easy” can be a foreign word. On Monday, Keizer City Councilors unanimously agreed to establish a Keizer Arts Commission as well as a Public Art program, which covers guidelines and rules for both public murals and art to be put on display at the Keizer Community Center. The process began last summer when Mayor Lore Christopher worked with the Keizer Arts Association to get a mural up on the west wall of Keizer Florist, located at 631 Chemawa Road NE. KAA members established a timeline for the project, with plans for the mural to be done this August. An artist was selected last year. A tea party fundraiser for the mural is taking place this Saturday, May 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the KAA classroom in the Keizer Heritage Center at 980 Chemawa Road NE. Tickets are $15 each, with mural artist Colleen Goodwin Chronister the guest speaker. Back in December, city attorney Shannon Johnson recalled an earlier conversation about the mural issue. “The mayor asked me, ‘It would be no problem, right?’ Actually, it is,” Johnson said at the time. After several months of work, the problem has finally been resolved. Johnson said the new Keizer Arts Commission would look at public art and mural requests. The commission would have the authority to make...

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McNary duo vie to get a Fiesta’s motor running

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes When he was younger, Riley Zandol heard all about working in the McNary High School auto shop. “My dad talked about working on his Firebird here. When I got to high school, I signed up for shop classes as soon as I could,” Zandol said. In addition to carrying on that legacy, Zandol and classmate Ben Manwiller will assume roles in another one this week. The pair will travel to Gresham Friday, May 9, to take part in the Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition. The Celtic duo is the third McNary team to qualify for the statewide contest in four years. Zandol and Manwiller’s written test scores cleared the bar for entry to the larger competition where they will race against the clock to correctly diagnose and repair a deliberately “bugged” 2014 Ford Fiesta SE. They are one of only 10 teams to do so statewide. “In the written test, we were given problems and had to come up with a possible diagnosis, but there were also some easier things like definitions,” Manwiller said. A combination of an online written exam and hands-on competition scores determine each state’s championship team. The state champs move on to nationals and compete for scholarships and a chance to learn about and work on race cars with top engineers. The qualifying tests, which were conducted by McNary...

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Porter’s to reopen

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Closed since January, Porter’s Pub will be back soon. New owner Denny Graue hopes to have the bar at 4820 River Road North ready for a soft opening on May 16, the same weekend as the Keizer Iris Festival. He is hoping for a formal grand opening somewhere around the weekend of June 6 to 8. “We’re trying to coincide the opening with (Iris Festival),” Graue said. “Maybe we’ll open for a little bit. That would be a good time for us to get a feel for the community.” Graue and wife Lisa moved from South Carolina to Salem three weeks ago, but this isn’t their first experience in Oregon. “I was looking at the Keizer/Salem/Portland area for a bar. We drove around in December,” said Graue, who has lived most of his life in Arizona. “We knew this was the area we wanted to move to.” When the Graues looked at Porter’s Pub at the time, then-owner Dave Thomas informed them it wasn’t for sale. “Three weeks later I got the call it would be for sale,” Graue said. “I knew a friend of his and had stayed in touch. Dave felt he wouldn’t be able to do it any longer.” Graue said he started the purchasing process in March and finalized it three weeks ago. He was eager to move to...

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City gets two, cops get one new employee under proposed budget

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes City leaders are no longer waiting for the economic conditions to improve. After several years of either staying even or cutting positions, the proposed 2014-15 budget presented at Tuesday night’s Keizer Budget Committee meeting calls for the addition of three new positions. That was one of the top topics of conversation as city manager Chris Eppley presented the $36,534,600 budget. Tuesday’s meeting was the first of at least three, with additional meetings set for May 8 and 13. If necessary, a fourth meeting will be held May 20. All meetings start at 6 p.m. in council chambers at Keizer Civic Center. The three new proposed positions are a computer forensics person for the police department, a code enforcement officer and an information system technician. “While stable economic indicators continue, the city is mindful to ensure that all increases in service level are sustainable into the near future,” Eppley said. “We are not into the business of offering services that are not sustainable long-term. That leads to making cuts down the road, which erodes public confidence.” The tax rate is staying at $2.08 per $1,000 of assessed value, while property tax revenue is expected to increase 2.7 percent. Charges for services are expected to go up 6 percent, which includes a proposed 4.5 percent water rate increase and a 5 percent sewer rate increase....

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Support for Barbara Jensen for Dist. 25

To the Editor: Rarely is one privileged to publicly endorse a candidate for office who stands out as a fine example of public stewardship. That person is Barbara Jensen, who is running for the atate representative in District 25. I have known Barbara professionally, and personally, for over 25 years.  In the workplace, Barbara’s work involved oversight of highly complex systems. She was always diligent, and resourceful, while modeling a strong work ethic. She has a wealth of knowledge on many issues. She has taken that knowledge and skillfully applied it in many different scenarios.  She rose to the highest levels of management where she routinely brought people together to solve problems. Having worked in the Legislature, I know a state representative must be versed on many issues to be effective. I trust that Barbara will meet the challenges of the office with energy, integrity, and a can-do attitude. She has a sense of humor; she is gregarious; and above all, she is kind.  If elected, her constituents will be impressed with her commitment to the office, and in turn, they will be extremely well-served. Sandra C. Herring Salem  To the Editor: I both trust and support Barbara Jensen to represent House District 25.  I’ve known her over 40 years; she’s lived in Keizer most of her life and remains active in the community.  She supports pro-life, gun rights...

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