Month: November 2015

Is it free enterprise or defacing of public property?

A business is going about Keizer neighborhoods painting address numbers on the curb in front of houses. A flyer is left at the door by a person calling themselves an Address America Indpendent agent. The flyer asks for a $5 ‘donation’ to have the house number painted on the front curb as a security service. The flyer says “This is an essesntial service as FIRE,Police,Paramedics, and Neighborhood Watch personnel will look first to the curb for your address.” The flyer continues on saying the curb painting is a communtiy service project and that the homeowner is free to decline to the representative that calls. But, if a homeowner accepts the offer, they will be charged the $5 fee and they are invited to ‘donate’ up to $20 more. Painting addresses on the curb in front of one’s house is a good idea and makes it easier for public safety personnel in case of an emergency, but the outfit currenting trolling Keizer for business makes it seem like this is a project of our local police and fire services. They are not. In a health emergency seconds can be the difference between life and death. The less time that police, fire or medical personnel spend trying to locate a specific house, the better for the person in trouble. The public is not required to have a number in front of...

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Young talent does Keizer proud

By this time those who live for sales have waited in the dark for doors at local malls and stores to open so they could rush forth and grab their own “must have” item for this holiday gift giving season. Those who don’t want to hassle with the crowds might migrate to e-commerce and order gifts from the comfort of their sofas. Regardless of what is happening in the world the holiday season will arrive and we will each celebrate according to our own tradition. Some traditions are steeped in the religiosity of the season—church services, being charitible to others, reveling in the warmth and spirit of the holiday—be it Christmas, Chaukah or Kwanzaa. The season can be enjoyed even more when we look about us and partake in the events that mark the season. It doesn’t matter if one has children in school or even in arts programs in one of local schools. Salem-Keizer schools has some of the best arts programs anywhere and that is never so true as now. McNary High School just came off the rousing success of its production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (a sell out). The Whiteaker Middle School choir will join the Willamette Master Chorus for three performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria in December. We’re duly impressed by that—these are sixth, seventh and eigth graders joining professional-grade singers in a classicial...

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The Trump effect, still understated

By MICHAEL GERSON    The presidential candidate who has consistently led the Republican field for four months, Donald Trump, has proposed: forcibly expel 11 million people from the country, requiring a massive apparatus of enforcement, courts and concentration camps; rewrite or reinterpret the 14th Amendment to end the Civil War-era Republican principle of birthright citizenship; build a 2,000-mile wall on our southern border while forcing Mexico to pay the cost. He has characterized undocumented Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers, and opposed the speaking of Spanish in America. Republican candidates have proposed: to favor the admission of Christian over Muslim refugees from the Middle East; to “send home” Syrian refugees, mainly women and children, into a war zone; to “strongly consider” the shutting down of suspicious mosques; to compile a database of Muslims and (perhaps) force them to carry special identification showing their religion. They have compared Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs,” ruled out the possibility of a Muslim president, and warned that Muslim immigration to America is really “colonization.” There are, of course, Republican presidential hopefuls who have vigorously opposed each of these proposals, arguments and stereotypes. But Donald Trump has, so far, set the terms of the primary debate and dragged other candidates in the direction of ethnic and religious exclusion. One effect has been the legitimization of even more extreme views—signaling that it is OK to...

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Head wins over heart regarding refugees

Divided as we Americans are over President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by next year, there are many other concerns we share.  Primarly because there may be Jihadist terrorists among those seeking safety and they will die without hesitation for their cause due to the promise of heavenly rewards. The terrorists are dedicated to destroying America as they see us as modern day “crusaders,” coming to drive Islam out. Then, too, Americans are Infidels seen as worthless because they are non-believers and can be destroyed by true believers without guilt or moral compunction. Persian Gulf states are afraid that the refugees’ arrival will cause huge social disruptions and plunge them into greater turmoil than what’s already underway. The European nations of southern climes are currently on the economic “ropes” and anxious already whether they can remain stable enough to see any future. Northern European nations are most willing to accept refugees but are edgy about how many terrorists will attack the native population to revenge the bombings of ISIS. Regarding Iraqi and Syrian refugees, there’s a struggle in me over whether to follow my heart or my head.  When I deliberate on the fleeing refugees my humanitarian side says, “Let’s give these people a new chance” while my rational side urges, “Don’t be silly, these people cannot be trusted.”  Then there’s the question of why these people won’t stand and fight which may be explained by the spread of Wahhabism so certain other Saudis, especially the royal family, will not die for the cause.  The bottom line in my...

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Oliver to Cavaliers

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Kevin Wise noticed Madisen Oliver struggle as she made her debut on the McNary High School varsity softball as a freshman, but he never had any doubts. “One of the things we always talked about with Maddie is that she was going to do great things with her attitude and work ethic,” said Wise. One can guess that the coaches at Portland’s Concordia University must have noticed the same things. Oliver signed a letter of intent to play softball for the Cavaliers Friday, Nov. 13, at McNary. In her three years in the Celtic program, Oliver has played all over the diamond – outfield, infield and pitching – but her presence at the plate is a cut above. Last year, her batting average was .432 with 11 doubles, three triples and two home runs, a far cry from her .200 average her freshman year. “That’s the kind of kid she is,” Wise said. “She takes the good and the bad and just keeps doing her thing. You know she is going to do whatever she can to help her teammates.” Oliver said she was invited to a Concordia softball camp while making an appearance at a Portland State University camp last summer. “I went and the coach was just great, and I really liked that the school has a strong education program...

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