Month: December 2014

Meet the new mayor (with VIDEO)

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes On Jan. 5, Cathy Clark takes over as Keizer’s new mayor. Clark is a longtime educator and a lifetime learner who is always eager to learn something new. Those who know basics about Clark or have watched her serve for the last eight years on the Keizer City Council may not be surprised by that. Probably fewer people know Clark has taught Sunday School for 25 years, mainly at the kindergarten or elementary level. The mom of four never has trouble remembering her anniversary to husband Kevin: they got married in December 1982, just weeks after Keizer was officially incorporated as a city. Kevin is a retired firefighter with the Marion County Fire District who is currently deputy chief at West Valley Fire District. If you need to talk about Star Trek with someone, you can meet Clark during one of her Coffee With Cathy monthly meetings and chat away. “I’m a diehard, long-term, hard-core Trekkie,” Clark said this week with a laugh. “I’ve been a Star Trek fan since I was 12. Am I a nerd? Yes, and proud of it. I’ve been a nerd all my life.” Clark was born in Los Angeles, fitting since her parents met at UCLA. Her dad was an electrical engineer who also had a furniture business his mom had started. “I grew up around engineering...

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A global conspiracy of health

By MICHAEL GERSON In the category of stunning, heartening, woefully underreported good news: In 2000, an estimated 9.9 million children around the world died before age 5. In 2013, the figure was 6.3 million. That is 3.6 million fewer deaths, even as population increased by about 1 billion. Shout it from the rooftops. Or, more topically, paste it to the posterior of a celebrity. Put Dianne Feinstein in charge of keeping it a secret. There are a variety of reasons for increased child survival, including improved prevention of malaria and HIV. But according to a recent report in The Lancet, about half of these gains came from reductions in pneumonia, diarrhea and measles — diseases addressed by vaccination. We are seeing the continuation of what is perhaps the single greatest scientific contribution to human well-being: the artificial preparation of the immune system to ward off bacteria and viruses. The provision of vaccines is a particularly clear instance of what economists call a global public good. A tetanus shot, for example, is a very good thing for the individual getting it; he or she doesn’t end up with lockjaw. But it is not, strictly speaking, a public good. Only the treated person benefits. The broad provision of the pneumococcal vaccine, in contrast, creates herd immunity and reduces anti-microbial resistance. The circulation of pneumonia in children is diminished, helping protect the...

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The duck that roared

By E.J. DIONNE JR. Politics in a democracy is a team sport that leans heavily on individual high performers. This explains the paradoxical closing of President Obama’s most difficult year in office. He ends 2014 in surprisingly buoyant spirits, having proved that he still has the power to push policy in new directions in foreign affairs and on issues ranging from immigration to climate change. But his underlying political position is weaker, meaning that Obama and his aides are aware that changing the trajectory of the nation’s debate and the fortunes of his party are among his primary obligations over the next two years. Just as Ronald Reagan’s legacy was secured by the presidential victory of George H. W. Bush in 1988, so does Obama need a Democrat — at the moment, this would seem to be Hillary Clinton — to win in 2016. In the short run, Obama has demonstrated that the term “lame duck” has its limits. Over the seven weeks since the Democrats’ pummeling in November’s midterm elections, the president has moved forcefully to show he will use all the power he still has. He used executive action to legalize the situations of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants and in doing so created a political problem for Republicans. They are split on the immigration question and will greatly weaken their ability to appeal to Latino...

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Albertsons to become Haggen store in Keizer

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Pretty soon Keizer will no longer have an Albertsons. That’s because the grocery store located at 5450 River Road N will become a Haggen sometime in 2015. Haggen Food and Grocery was started in Washington in 1933 and currently has 18 locations. Florida-based Comvest Partners purchased a majority stake of the company in 2011. Albertsons and Safeway underwent a merger earlier this year, with the agreement to sell 168 stores to acquire merger approval as part of AB Acquisition LLC agreeing to buy Safeway for $9.4 billion. Haggen is acquiring 146 of those stores, including the Albertsons in Keizer that opened in 1985. The Safeway in Keizer will be unchanged. Darren Dye, store manager at the Keizer Albertsons, referred questions to Dennis McCoy, Communications and Public Affairs manager for the Idaho-based company. McCoy said shoppers won’t notice much difference. “Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Haggen has agreed to hire all store employees upon the close of the Albertsons/Safeway merger,” McCoy said. According to a news release from Haggen, the company will convert all acquired stores to the Haggen banner “in phases during the first half of 2015” after the transaction closes. However, a certain time was not specified for individual stores. “I don’t have a more specific timeline for the Keizer location at this time,” McCoy said. Deborah Pleva, an associate...

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