Day: July 17, 2015

Art as an ad?

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Could public art be construed as illegal advertising in Keizer? That question has come up regarding a proposed piece of art for Boucher Jewelers, located at 4965 River Road North. Lore Christopher, chair of the Keizer Public Arts Commission (KPAC), said the longtime business had a float with a large ring in May’s Iris Festival Parade and would like to now have that artwork in front of its business. The issue has been discussed at the last two KPAC meetings. “It’s really kind of cool,” Christopher said at last month’s KPAC meeting. “It has a shaft, big diamonds and prongs that hold the diamonds. It’s a cool sculpture. I told them it could not advertise their business; it’s just a giant diamond ring with an eight-foot base. They want to put it on their property as public art.” City Councilor Amy Ripp, the council liaison to KPAC, opined the issue needed to be decided elsewhere. “I think it needs to go to council,” Ripp said. “There needs to be an interpretation of what’s art.” Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, expanded upon that. “What Councilor Ripp is concerned about is getting too far down the road and then having legal issues raised,” Brown said. “She wants a policy decision. You might want to cross all the t’s.” Ripp summed up her...

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Matching grants spared cut

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A matching grant program was spared a big cut Tuesday night. Members of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board were faced with the possibility of having to cut $9,000 out of an already limited budget for their matching grant program, which matches dollars and labor put into projects at parks around Keizer. When Tony Weathers recently got out of his contract to operate the filbert orchards at Keizer Rapids Park, the $9,000 in rent he paid the city annually to use the city-owned land had to be removed from the parks budget. As mentioned previously in the Keizertimes, Weathers was concerned about potential litigation of pesticides sprayed on the orchards wafting onto the Big Toy, which was built last month by community volunteers in part of the orchard. One possibility was for the funds to come out of the matching grant program, now in its second year. Parks Board members have pushed hard to increase money for that fund and ended up with $15,000 for this fiscal year. Of that total, $5,000 has already been pledged to the sand volleyball courts being built at KRP by Hans Schneider, leaving $10,000. At their meeting Tuesday evening, Parks Board members didn’t even discuss the idea of cutting $9,000 from that fund and instead focused on other places to make the cut. Public Works Director...

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Couple needs help after fire

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Randy Wilson broke the promise he made on his wife Debbie’s birthday. Randy often tells his wife to hurry up or move faster. The day before her June 20 birthday, Debbie mentioned her birthday wish: for Randy to not tell her once on her birthday to hurry up. Randy agreed, but ended up breaking the promise the next day. For good reason, however: he discovered their house was on fire and wanted to get out alive. The Wilsons were getting ready to go to lunch on June 20 when disaster struck. They had noticed what seemed to be a lot of flies, so Randy went to the back of the 115-year-old home just outside of Keizer to investigate. “The fire was covering over the back porch and flames were coming out of the pump house,” Randy said. “The basement and attic were engulfed and we didn’t realize it. It was already beneath, above and behind us. I opened the back door and the windows blew out. I told her to hurry up. I got the dogs out. Within one minute, it was all we could do just to get out.” Debbie, Randy and their two dogs got out safely, though Randy had to go back in a couple of times since one of the dogs kept going back in. Several fire departments responded,...

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