Day: November 20, 2015

Former OSH doc talks mental health with McNary students

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes In September, a Gresham woman fatally shot her 17-year-old son. Reports suggested that the woman was undregoing financial and emotional strain after losing her home to foreclosure. When Dr. Prasanna Pati reads about such incidents, the psychiatrist laments the best aspects of the now defunct Oregon State Hospital (OSH). Between 1883 and 1995, the hospital operated as the primary state-run psychiatric hospital. “People with mental health problems are not bad guys or good guys. They are people with problems, and most people suffer from some sort of mental health issue,” said Pati, who took time Monday, Nov. 16, to talk with McNary High School students. Pati was invited to talk with students as part of teacher Gary Bulen’s psychology unit on the brain and body. Pati served as a doctor at OSH for nearly 28 years and even landed a small role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the Academy Award-winning film that shot on location at OSH. During his visit, Pati provided anecotal evidence of the need for the services OSH provided. It included accounts of overbearing, and sometimes racist patients, as well as one man who had a plan to kill his family before checking in at the hospital. “He had a loaded gun in his car when he checked in and I made him leave the keys to...

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Keizerites push for WinCo

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Ever since word came out during the summer about the Keizer Haggen closing, the question has been what grocery store chain could come to town? Speculation and interest ramped up even more when the Haggen – formerly an Albertsons – closed in late September. With Safeway the only grocery store in Keizer, the most common name being sought is WinCo Foods, though a company spokesperson told the Keizertimes this week there are no current plans. Shortly after the Haggen closed, Keizer resident Joshua Miller started a “Keizer Wants WinCo” page on Facebook, a group with 55 members as of Tuesday afternoon. “With Keizer down to one grocery store, just Safeway, I’d like to think it’s good to have competition,” Miller told the Keizertimes on Tuesday. “The lines at Safeway are really long, and things cost more than I want to pay.” Miller figured it would be good to start a Facebook page and has asked those interested in getting a WinCo here to contact the Idaho-based company via their website. One of the big questions regarding a WinCo – or any grocery chain, for that matter – coming to Keizer has been location. In addition to the Haggen building – roughly 40,000 square feet – at River Road and Lockhaven Drive, there is also the former Roth’s building at River and Chemawa Roads....

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Meet Brandon Crist (1993-2015)

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Brandon Crist’s parents were going to kick him out of the house. The 22-year-old had once again been caught doing drugs. Though they loved him dearly, Jeff and Hollie Crist couldn’t let him live under their roof anymore. They never had the chance to kick him out. Two days after Brandon didn’t show up at home, Hollie’s motherly instincts proved to be sadly correct when the officer knocked on the door. Brandon had been found dead in his van after a heroin overdose. The death has been jarring to many who knew Brandon, some of whom thought he had finally kicked the drug habit that had plagued him for so long. Brandon’s death was a key factor behind the Chasing Dark series of stories in the Keizertimes. The death has been most jarring to Brandon’s parents. “Both Jeff and I were so devastated that he was all by himself for two-and-a-half days in his van,” Hollie said last week. “Then I wanted to say goodbye and kiss him one last time and was told at the funeral home they suggested I not see him. So we never got to say goodbye.” In Brandon’s last year, he had moved back home to Keizer. His parents thought he was clean, only to find out he wasn’t. Instead of using suboxone, an opiate blocker that is...

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Show rationale for new district

Everyone likes parks, but not everyone uses parks on a frequent and regular basis. Parks do add to the quality of life of a city. Keizer has 19 parks from pocket parks to the jewel—Keizer Rapids Park. There has been talk for several years now about how to fund our parks. By necessity the parks have been at the bottom of the budget list after the city allocates money for public safety and the infrastructure of the city (sewers, streets, etc.). Some think that is unfair and think that parks should get as much financial support as any other part of the city’s operation. That’s a nice viewpoint, but until the city is able to increase its tax base, our leaders will have to work within the revenue we have. A few years ago there was discussion of adding a surcharge to water bills or some other existing fee that homeowners already pay, but that idea was dead on arrival.  It seems there are people who have already decided that a special district is the only way to sustain funding for Keizer parks and they’ll find a way to make it happen. Of course a parks district cannot be wished into existence, it will require the approval of Keizer voters to levy a new tax on themselves. Those who propose a parks district concede that it will be a...

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Park district for Keizer?

To the Editor: The Keizertimes had an interesting article about a parks district in Keizer My first thought was “Here we go again, folks;” several people on the city council want more of your hard earned money. They are talking about forming a parks district. They are not satisfied with the money parks receives from the general city budget. Keizer is known for its frugal handling of your tax dollars but some folks want to get deeper into your pocket. Forming a parks district will mean having to elect a board of directors, hiring a superintendent and maintenance staff, not to mention park equipment. Then there is the office space, office personnel and a variety of costs including things like insurance and legal costs. The city would have to sell or give all of the park land to the district. I wish these people would get real and learn to live within a budget like the rest of us do. Richard Walsh was quoted as saying the park budget has to compete with sewer and water for funding. We all have to pay a fee for sewer and water completely separated from the general fund. Mr. Walsh knows this as he was on the city council. Such statements raise questions as to trustworthiness of future statements. The next thing you know these same people will want a police district...

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