Day: August 28, 2015

Two fires in Keizer

The Keizer Fire District responded to the report of a house fire on Cade Street NE shortly before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25. Smoke and flames were coming from the home when firefighters arrived on the site. When they entered the home they found fire had done extensive damage to the second floor. The rest of the home suffered from smoke and water damage. Firefighters determined a cigarette that was improperly disposed of ignited the wooden porch at the front of the home. Damage to the residence was estimated at $10,000 and damage to the contents of the home was estimated at $2,000. No injuries were reported in the incident. Fire officials remind residents to always completely extinguish smoking material before discarding and always put the remains in appropriate ash trays. Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths and the third leading cause of home fire injuries. Four engines, two medic units and two duty officers with 14 firefighters responded to the incident. Salem Fire Engine 2 and a Marion County Fire District Medic Unit assisted with the fire. There was more damage to a Keizer residence four days earlier when KFD personnel responded to the report of a house fire on Marino Drive North shortly after 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21. Upon arriving at the house firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from the rear...

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The west is on fire

The smoke that hung over western Oregon last week was just a small taste of what residents of eastern Oregon and central Washington have been living with for weeks now. The Grant County fires near John Day and Prairie City have destroyed more than 30 homes and many other structures such as barns. The fires in the north central Washington includes the Omak fire, now the largest wildfire to ever hit that state. Tragically, three firefighters near Lake Chelan lost their lives when their vehicle went over an embankment in an effort to escape flames that suddenly surrounded them. Wildfires are unpredictable, never more so as when weather conditions  whip flames into all directions. Gusty winds and high temperatures have fueled some fires to greatly increase in size. Fire fighting resources have been stretched to the limit. Oregon National Guard personnel joined the fire fighting effort after getting trained for the hard work. Crews from as far away as Australia and New Zealand are joining the hundreds of men and women who have been on the front lines for weeks. Those in the John Day area who escaped the flames with little more than the clothes on their back discovered their homes had burnt to the ground. The people who live in rural areas look out for each other. The relief effort to house and feed those who lost...

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Medical providers prescribe books for young children

By JULIANNE BROCK, FNP-C Regular medical checkups ensure children stay healthy during their early development, plus receive proper vaccinations. As a certified family nurse practitioner at Willamette Health Partners Family Medicine clinic in Keizer, I use that opportunity to talk to parents and kids about a likely unexpected topic—the importance of reading. Reading every day is as important for children as brushing their teeth. Early literacy in kids leads to future success in life. Developing early literacy is also important for Marion County. An October 2014 study found: Fifty-nine percent of the students in Salem-Keizer Public Schools were living in poverty. (A strong correlation exists between poverty and literacy.) Nineteen percent of the students spoke English as a second language. Studies show that achieving literacy by third grade is an important benchmark. It also indicates how well they will do in high school. A team effort strives to tackle that challenge in different ways. Willamette Health Partners recently made a commitment to promote the Reach Out and Read program at its six family medicine clinics. The successful national program discovered a strong link between building vocabulary and introducing books to children from ages six months through five years. Children receive an age-appropriate book during their checkup, while parents go home with handouts that stress the importance of reading to their child every day. Kids love getting the books and...

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All sides need to make Bottle Bill work

We Oregonians are told that a majority of us support the doubling of the state’s deposit on bottles and cans.  Why do we want it? So more of us will be motivated to return the empties, one Salem resident was reported to have said. But what prompted her to say she wants a bigger charge for the purchase of bottles and cans? The answer for a five cent raise has its origin with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The commission tells us that fewer bottle and can purchasers are returning their empties, resulting in a decline of redemption rates. The decline has apparently been underway for some time with return rates as recent as last year and the year before, or 2014 compared with 2013, dropping three percent. Oregon residents welcomed the Bottle Bill in 1971 and presumably still support it—if the poll that determined this view is valid. It was sold to Oregonians from day one as an anti-litter bill.  It appeared to work very well for quite some time as the nickel return on a deposit was worth the effort to return the empty container. Those in favor of an increase from 5 to 10 cents argue that the increase will motivate returns when a nickel doesn’t encourage returns well enough. Meanwhile, it should be a whole lot easier to return the empty containers as Salem has currently established two BottleDrop redemption centers. These redemption centers are located on south Commercial Street and on Lancaster Drive. Of course grocery...

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Citizen legislature still the best system

From the Capitol By BILL POST The way the Oregon Legislature was originally designed, it was supposed to be a citizen legislature—meaning that the representatives had other professions and came together for a few months every other year to approve a budget for the state. Then they went back to their regular lives. Now that we have yearly sessions, it can make it difficult to hold down a job and be a legislator. I know I have run into many of you at my “summer job,” as the voice of the Volcanoes. The legislature will get back together at the end of September for three days of meetings, and in the interim I’ve been doing my best to report back to you, my constituents, on what happened during the 2015 session. For example, I spoke to members of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce about the effect of the session on our business community. Business owners are often so busy keeping their doors open that they can’t keep track of laws that are made that will impact them. I think it was an eye-opening speech for some of them. I was very interested and concerned with what was going on in our neighboring city in House District 25. While a proud resident of Keizer, I do represent Newberg, too,  and wanted to show support while the town was in an...

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