Day: December 5, 2014

Rioting to make a point about race, police

Are only the American soldiers able to use their weapons stationed overseas?  You’d think so after that highly disturbing night of looting local businesses and burning them to the ground in Ferguson, Mo.What a way to treat your neighbors, those just trying to make a living who had nothing to do with the death of the African-American teenager. In the meantime, Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon ordered his state’s National Guard to Ferguson, should violence erupt, which it did big-time.  But where were they when the violence erupted? The state and local police were also charged to maintain order; however, after a few canisters of tear gas were shot at the rioting crowds, the law enforcement effort faded from engagement and chaos reigned unabated. As far as this columnist is concerned the rock-throwing, gasoline igniting and gun shootings were no longer our fellow citizens: They were insurgents, anarchists and criminals.  That means they were enemies of the state and should have been dealt with accordingly.  A few well-placed “statements” would have brought some calm, and, most likely, a disappearing act for many who raged over a duly-sworn jury’s verdict. It is totally shameful that the lawless were able to run amuck for hours on end with little interference from the police and National Guard authorities.  That sort of thing should not be allowed in the first instance and when it does occur, as it did in Ferguson, those participating should know that they will be dealt with by way of the most harsh of means available. Hope is that should...

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Last leaf haul on Saturday?

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Keizer’s annual Leaf Fall Haul could be happening for the last time this weekend. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Keizer residents can bring their leaves to Keizer Little League field on Ridge Drive. Drivers are asked to enter at the north gate and exit at the south gate. The program is put on by the city, Loren’s Sanitation and Valley Recycling. As in the past, citizens are asked to bring a cash donation or a canned food donation to the free event. The cash donations – or the lack thereof – are a key part of the reason this could be the last year for the event. “From some conversations with other agencies and our franchise haulers, this possibly is the last year it will be offered or go to a shorter timeframe next year then no longer continue,” said Jenniffer Warner with Keizer Public Works. “In previous years it was offered as a no-cost service provided by our garbage haulers in lieu for cash donations to help offset costs and/or canned food donations for our local food banks. The last few years the haulers are reporting there have been little to no cash contributions by the public to make it cost effective.” Warner emphasized a decision about the future of the program won’t be known until sometime later. “We...

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Trees to totem poles at city hall

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Two fir trees in sad shape in front of Keizer Civic Center will be somewhat coming down soon. Why only somewhat? Because the bottom portions of the trees will remain standing and be repurposed as decorative totem poles. Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, said action is needed. “These trees are nearly dead and cannot be saved,” he said. “The plan is to cut them down to 25 feet and 20 feet, with a goal to have them carved by local artists, providing an artistic amenity for the Civic Center.” Lawyer said initially the cutting was to take place Dec. 19, but that has been pushed back to Dec. 22. Mayor Lore Christopher mentioned during the Nov. 25 Keizer Arts Commission meeting the idea of doing two decorative totem poles. Her idea is to have Native American symbols and designs on one, with symbols and designs representing Keizer on the other. Christopher is hoping fellow KAC member Jill Hagen will be able to help secure connections for the Native American one. “We want to preserve those old growth trees,” Christopher said on Monday. “We’ve been concerned. It’s a losing battle. We want to do public art with them. The art might be something they do all the way up and down the poles.” Lawyer said the trees, estimated to be 60 to...

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