Day: August 7, 2015

Dishing out a big mess at RIVERfair

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes In case you’re wondering: don’t put blackberry pie in your hair. That PSA comes courtesy of Anne-Marie Storms, the public outreach specialist at Keizer Fire District. In case your next question is “And she would know that how?” there’s a good story behind it. It happened at the pie-eating contest during last year’s RIVERfair. The annual event, put on by the Making Keizer Better Foundation, returns to Keizer Rapids Park this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The pie-eating contest starts at 2 p.m. at the amphitheater. (For a complete preview of the day, see page A2). Storms has had a year to get ready for this year’s contest, which means she’s had one year more of preparation time compared to last year, when she and Lt. Andrew Copeland from the Keizer Police Department stole the show with their impromptu pie-flinging grudge match. There are different age groups for the contest and Storms was watching one of the earlier contests with current mayor Cathy Clark when she casually mentioned there should be a KFD vs. KPD contest. “She said we had enough pies,” Storms said of Clark’s re-action. “So I talked to Andrew. We had about 15 minutes of prep time. The prep was finding garbage bags. It was spur of the moment. For those of us in emergency services, that’s the...

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New proposal for hazelnut orchard

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Maybe those hazelnut trees won’t be lonely and decaying after all. In a somewhat surprising twist, a farmer stepped up last month with an offer to farm the 22 acres of filbert orchards on city-owned property at Keizer Rapids Park. In June, Tony Weathers was granted a release from his contract with the city to do the harvesting. Weathers cited possible litigation for using pesticides as the reason for wanting out of the contract. At the time, it was believed no other farmers would be willing to step in due to the same litigation concerns. However, Kevin Schurter with Schurter Enterprises LLC submitted a proposal on July 14 to Bill Lawyer, Public Works director to Keizer, to harvest the orchards. Of note, Schurter is proposing to not use pesticides or other chemicals. He has only requested the ability the use glyphosphate (RoundUp) on the ground underneath trees to keep weeds controlled. The issue was discussed during a Keizer City Council executive session Monday evening. Later during the regular meeting, councilors unanimously approved a motion to give city manager Chris Eppley the authority to enter into a one-season contract with Schurter, with the idea that formal Request for Proposals will be done for next year. In his proposal, Schurter mentioned using “mechanical means” for upkeep of the trees and the ground under the trees....

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Ban smoking in city parks

Smoking in Keizer city parks was a topic at this week’s city council meeting. Two citizens asked the council to ban smoking in parks—for quality of life reasons and for fire danger reasons. The Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has decided not to advise for a smoking ban in city parks in part because of Constitutional issues. That’s political correctness gone all whacky. Salem, Marion County and the state of Oregon have banned smoking in all their respective parks. Keizer usually fashions ordinances on what surrounding jurisdictions have imposed. It’s hard to understand why this particular issue is hard for the Parks Board and the city council to swallow. At Monday’s council meeting several councilors said such a ban ordinance needs to go through the process—meaning public hearings, legal opinions and on and on. Some Parks Board members are concerned about stepping on the rights of citizens who want to smoke out of doors in our parks. The parks are public spaces. Keizer does not allow smoking in the civic center. Smoking is banned in Oregon restaurants and lounges. A citizen cannot light up in the state Capitol building. There is enough precedence on this issue that the city council should move forward. Making public spaces off-limits in parks is just expanding the no smoking rules in place. In a civil society people should get mindful of their...

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Are we all Cecil?

The killing of a lion in Zimbabwe by an American is a story that won’t go away. Outrage was registered on social media. There are those who are baffled by the uproar of the killing of Cecil the lion but not over the deaths of improverished children around the world, soldiers and others. Anytime there is a single or mass killing anywhere in the world that is response on social media—some are profound, others not so much. Should we care about the killing of one lion in Africa by a big game hunter? Absolutely. We should care about the premediated killing of any living being be it human or animal. According to reports Cecil, who was known to locals for 13 years, was lured out of his protected habitat by guides. The American hunter shot Cecil with an arrow, but that did not kill the lion, who survived for almost two days, most likely suffering. The lion was killed by a gun after the hunter and his guides tracked him down. Are people upset because Cecil was a lion? An animal? Beautiful? We should be upset because the killing of Cecil reveals once again the hunting and poaching of animals, some of them endangered, or whose populations have declined over the years. Hunting deer and elk in America doesn’t ellict the same universal response; hunting is an ingrained sport....

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A Trump-led GOP will fail, and deserve it

By MICHAEL GERSON   At this point in the 2016 presidential campaign, the noble, elusive stag of political rhetoric is pretty much road kill. This judgment is unfair to a few candidates—Rick Perry, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio come to mind—delivering thoughtful speeches. But in portions of the Republican field, the normal limits of civility have been crossed and recrossed in the relentless search for viral attention. Mike Huckabee compared the sitting president to a Nazi prison camp guard. Ted Cruz accused the Senate majority leader of being a liar. Donald Trump, well, opens his mouth. His opponents are invariably “clowns” and “stupid” and physically ugly. He mocks a war hero and reveals the cellphone number of another candidate. In the current practice of populism, spontaneous expressions of anger and outrage are considered the most authentic form of communication. Apologies are for wimps. “Doubling down” is the trademarked motto of the 2016 campaign. American elections have never been a stroll in the park. But attempting to put Trump’s hot mess of abuse, pettiness, egotism and bombast in any historical context is difficult. Imagine Abraham Lincoln making fun of Stephen Douglas’ height (he was 5-feet-4) and handing out his opponent’s private telegraph address. Trump’s success is clarifying about the nature of the populism we are seeing. If he leads the revolt, it has little to do with constitutionalism or limited government....

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