Day: June 27, 2014

What’s your kid doing this summer?

It’s a summer lament that’s been heard for decades from kids: “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.”  If those are words heard in Keizer households, there are activities for our young ones to do this season. Parents want to be sure their children are safe and active during the times when they are not in school or with the family. Costs and assessibility can certainly determine what a kid can do in the summer months. Fortunately there are a number of free activities available. It doesn’t cost anything for kids to head to Chalmers Jones Park at the Keizer Civic Center to play in the splash fountain on days when it hits 75 degrees. There is no organized supervision at the fountain so parents need to be sure their kids are accompanied by a responsible guardian. For kids who enjoy wheeled fun, the Carlson Skate Park, also at Chalmers Jones Park, is a good place to try bike and skateboard manuevers. Biking is also a big draw at Keizer Rapids Park where cyclists can hit the trails and the BMX trails. For the little ones (age 3 to 7), the Keizer Community Library is offering Story Time each Thursday morning through Aug. 14.  The library is a good boredom-buster as well for the older kids. The Boys and Girls Club again will host Wild Wild Rec in July and...

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U.S. can’t solve Shia-Sunni conflict

Long ago and far away, Muhammad, Islam’s founder and author of the Koran, passed away.  That year was 632 A.D.  Two factions formed almost immediately.  “One who follows the traditions of the Prophet” was the Sunni mantra; they wanted Muhammad’s closest friend and advisor to succeed him.  The Shia or “people of the household of the Prophet,” sought a Muhammad family member to take his place. Thus the battles for supremacy began and have been waged between Sunni and Shia ever since while both want to realize conversion to Islam by everyone on earth. The dispute between the sects is a religious war that has been underway for centuries. We got involved after Sept. 11 for reasons sold to us by the George W. Bush administration that were neither accurate nor true. Those keeping track know we spent about 11 years in Iraq after a preemptive invasion. We suffered fatalities among our fighting men and women close to 5,000 in number with tens of thousands more suffering lasting and debilitating mental and physical wounds.  We also significantly deepened our national debt and drained our national treasury, resulting there in an estimated 100,000 collateral deaths. Then we were kicked out by the new Shia government, leaving the place to the Shia in charge to rule in place of Saddam Hussein and the Sunni Baath Party. Now the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an off-shoot of al-Qaeda from Syria’s civil war, are in Iraq and determined to establish strictly conservative Muslim rule by Sharia law not unlike the Taliban’s reign in Afghanistan.  It’s said the ISIS was kicked out of al-Qaeda by that terrorist group’s regulars...

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Keep it legal, keep it safe on the 4th

The Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), Oregon fire service, Keep Oregon Green, natural resource agencies, Oregon fireworks wholesalers, and safety experts encourage Oregonians to keep itl legal and keep it safe when using fireworks. The 2014 Oregon fireworks sales season opened this week and runs through Sunday, July 6. The OSFM and their partners want everyone to know what fireworks are legal in Oregon, where they are permitted, and the important steps to take for fireworks safety. “People often forget that legal fireworks can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands,” says interim State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “And, regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. For example, fireworks are prohibited on all Oregon beaches, in parks, and campgrounds.” July 4th holiday forest visitors are advised to leave all fireworks at home. The use of fireworks is prohibited on all national forestland, and most other public lands. “Fireworks compound the threat to already dry forests,” states Keep Oregon Green President Kristin Babbs. “Enjoy fireworks where they belong: on the pavement- away from houses, vehicles, and flammable vegetation.” Oregon law bans possession, use, or sale of fireworks that fly, explode, or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches into the air. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman Candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon. Over the past five years, from 2009...

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