Day: August 29, 2014

Lesson of Ferguson tragedy: end racism

The Ferguson, MO. story is viewed from this writer’s perspective as an American tragedy. Unfortunately, one of far too many tragedies when it comes to our citizens of African descent.  Urban riots have come and gone in Newark, Detroit, Cincinnati, Miami, Oakland, Los Angles and even Portland, on a smaller scale, but when the dust settles thereafter, we remain with a head count of the deceased along with property damage numbers and no lasting reforms. These outbursts most often begin with a real or perceived happening of racially-charged police abuse and develop into chanting, cursing, rock-throwing, Molotov Cocktail-tossing, gunfiring, looting and, often, too, the burning down of everything and anything representing those perceived as the oppressors, spiraling out of control and into anarchy.  Ferguson happens to be a suburb of St. Louis, and thereby it’s a bit different from the big city outbursts we’ve seen in the past.  Meanwhile, there could be more of these events in smaller cities and suburban settings. Whether it’s the fault of blacks themselves or conditions beyond their control, Ferguson’s major weakness, we’re told, is lack of black participation in almost everything in that suburb.  The facts add up to gross underrepresentation in city government and the school board with five of six xity council members white, the mayor’s white, six of seven school board members are white while only three out of 53 police officers are non-white. Blacks there do not turn out to vote in...

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Ferguson, MO

To the Editor: I must comment on the circus in Ferguson, Missouri. It was a tragedy when a white peace officer shot a black unarmed teenager. But before an investigation was completed and the circumstances were analyzed, rioting broke out. Trouble makers and hoodlums from as far away as New York appeared on the scene to start trouble including looting  and destroying property. The protesters called for justice but where is the justice for the innocent property owners? Many of the local black residents were afraid to leave their homes because of the unrest. Unfortunately, as soon as the television cameras appear so did Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. These two men cannot wait to get in on the action to further more publicity for themselves, in my opinion. Any time one person is  killed it is a tragedy so why don’t we see Sharpton and Jackson in Chicago when several blacks are killed by blacks night after night. It is not national news, that’s why. I am sure law enforcement learned a lesson as to how much of a show of force is needed and warranted when situations like this incident occur. I hope the citizens of Ferguson learn that if they went to the polls and elected a black city council, maybe they would receive the justice they want and not just complain about it! Bill Quinn...

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Political cartoons

To the Editor: As a native Oregonian, product of the Oregon school system, retired Army Nurse Corps veteran, wife, mother, grandmother and citizen of Keizer for more than 31 years, I have been incredibly proud to be an Oregonian. It has always been a thrill to come home from travels to this gorgeous place that offers all people so many opportunities. We seem to be somewhat insulated from much of the nastiness elsewhere. At least that has always been my perhaps naïve view of our state. Unfortunately outside poison is seeping in. Why am I not surprised it is via the media? Through things as simple as political cartoons in our local weekly newspaper, anti-Semitism, encouragement of racial divisiveness and anti-police attitudes are all alive and well in Keizer. The so-called “cartoon” of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Keizertimes opinion page Aug. 8 showed him as a fat frumpy male patting the head of a female child telling her: “To prove we’re the good guys…we have to keep killing you.” The child represented Gaza. This shows no understanding of the Israeli-Hamas conflict whatsoever and demonstrates an amazing ignorance of what is happening in Israel. For that reason alone it was a poor addition to the paper. An excellent letter from Connie Miller of Keizer on the opinion page Aug. 15 addressed this “cartoon” so I’ll move on. In...

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Cow pasture hearing Tuesday

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Keizer City Council meetings tend to draw rather small audiences. Next week could be different. The proposal to convert the “cow pasture” at Verda Lane into apartments will be discussed at another public hearing next week. The hearing will take place during the Tuesday, Sept. 2 council meeting, held a day later than normal due to the Labor Day holiday. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road N. Back on June 12, Keizer Hearings Officer Cynthia Domas held a public hearing to solicit feedback on the plans. Approximately 100 people filled council chambers that evening, with most speakers clearly against developer Mark Grenz of Multi-Tech Engineering’s proposal of turning the pasture land by Claggett Creek Park into 120-plus multi-level apartments. Herber Family LLC is attempting to change zoning from Single Family Residential to Medium Density Residential and to change the Lot Line Adjustment, consolidating the current 14 lots into one 7.5 acre parcel. Domas submitted her report to city leaders in July. “It is hereby found that the applicant has met the burden of proving the applicable standards and criteria for approval,” the recommendation reads in part. “It is recommended that the Comprehensive Plan map amendment, Zone Change and Lot Line adjustment be approved.” Councilors will have final authority on the issue and the...

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