Month: September 2015

KFD chief talks about bond

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Ambulances are meant to tow people in need of help to hospitals. Ambulances are not meant to need a tow to a mechanic while a patient needs urgent care. And yet that’s what the Keizer Fire District has been experiencing. That is one of the key reasons the KFD is running an emergency equipment bond measure on the November ballot. Fire chief Jeff Cowan has been busy talking about the measure, talking earlier this month at the West Keizer Neighborhood Association and the Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association meetings, among others. To underscore the need for new equipment, promotional material put out by the KFD includes a picture of an ambulance being towed. “The newest ambulance is one we got in 2008,” Cowan said at the Sept. 17 GGNA meeting. “It has been a lemon. It was in the shop for nine months last year. We had it fail twice on 911 calls.” In 1996, Keizer voters approved a 20-year bond to pay for the KFD headquarters on Chemawa Road. That bond will be paid off in February, with the new bond taking its place if approved. The new bond is for fire trucks, ambulances and various emergency equipment and apparatus. “Our staffing and service levels have improved,” Cowan said. “Now it’s all about the equipment. We’ve sacrificed equipment for people over the years,...

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Boehner climbs off the tiger

By E.J. DIONNE JR.      WASHINGTON — John Boehner was a deal-maker who took over the House speakership at a moment when making deals had, for many Republicans, become a mortal sin.      He was thoroughly conservative in a Republican Party that had moved the goal posts on what constituted conservatism. He could never be conservative enough for his critics on the right.      His tea party antagonists call themselves “constitutionalists,” but they seem to ignore the part of the Constitution that provides the president — in this case, a president from the other party — with veto power.      The GOP’s most ardent conservatives thought they had won the right to run the country when they took control of the House in 2010. They felt this even more strongly after gaining a Senate majority in 2014. Democrats who controlled one or both houses of Congress when Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush were in the Oval Office never presumed they had such power. But the standards Boehner was held to were more exacting.      Over the years, the Obama White House was divided in its view of Boehner. President Obama, who called the speaker “a good man” on Friday, always thought he could work with him. As a member of the Illinois state senate, Obama had productive relationships with classic, old-school Republican legislators. He saw Boehner in...

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The golden age of aid

By MICHAEL GERSON         WASHINGTON — Bill Gates is now focused on the eradication of malaria, and parasites everywhere have reason to fear.      There are, he tells me, two possible places to draw a line across Africa marking the next northward advance of malaria elimination. “If you want to get all of Zambia,” he explains, “you also have to get Katanga” (a portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo where health services are weak). Clearing islands such as Papua New Guinea and Madagascar, he says, should be relatively easy. A new Gates Foundation report argues against malaria containment in favor of malaria elimination — a goal that has provoked skepticism even among some malaria experts. Gates wants to see the plasmodium at Appomattox.      The billionaire’s main contribution to global health is the manner in which he combines technology, aspiration, resources and rigor. It is the same approach that has chased the polio virus across the world to its redoubts in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.      Gates both drives and reflects a remarkable trend. Over the last 25 years, efforts to help the global poor have been massively ambitious and massively successful. More than a billion people have risen out of poverty. Tens of millions more are in school, or have been saved from infectious diseases. Child mortality was halved, then halved again. More than 9 million people...

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Netters rebound, beat McKay 3-0

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes McNary High School’s varsity volleyball team bounced back from its first league loss to take a 3-0 win over McKay High School Tuesday, Sept. 15. “In the second set, it became a five-point game and that was a test, but we came together and pulled it out,” said Lady Celt Jaylene Montano. Set scores were 25-14, 25-20 and 25-17. Vanessa Hayes led the offense with eight kills on the night. Reina Strand put down five. Kylie Gilmour led McNary’s defense with nine digs and she served up five aces. “We were communicating a lot more than we did with West Albany, and we created more plays that helped us get ahead,” said Gilmour. McNary Head Coach Kellie Scholl also credited Valerie Diede with tough play in the match. The Celtics traveled to North Medford High School last weekend to take part in the Rogue Valley Classic. The Keizer team swept their pool play opponents – Foot Hill, North Medford and Churchill high schools – to take first headed into bracket play. “We started off in the first game with a different rotation, but we adapted really well. I think we had really good communication and supported each other really well,” said Montano. In the first match of bracket play, McNary battled hard with Bend High School and eventually emerged the victors. Set...

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Keizer Chamber, others against transit payroll tax

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes What’s not to like about expanded local transit service? Well, the added cost, for one. That is indeed the case with the Salem-Keizer Transit District’s proposed business payroll tax, which will be on the Nov. 3 ballot. As proposed, the tax would levy .21 percent of a business’ annual payroll which would bring in an estimated $5 million a year. That revenue from Measure 24-388 would pay for weekend transit service, expanded evening hours, holiday service and a student bus pass program. Both the Salem and Keizer Chambers of Commerce have come out strongly against the tax. The Keizer Chamber is holding a Community Conversation on Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Keizer Quality Inn and Suites to discuss the issue. Chamber leadership is encouraging business owners to pick up “Stop the employer tax” signs and to visit www.stopemployertax.com. “We’re asking Keizer employers and employees to help stop an unfair proposed tax,” Keizer Chamber executive director Christine Dieker wrote in an e-mail promoting next week’s forum. “Businesses are being targeted for an employee payroll tax levied by the Salem-Keizer Transit District. Please take a moment to understand the impact this measure will have on local small business in Keizer, if passed. We want to support our transit district, but we believe that there are better and fairer solutions.” Cherriots officials...

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