Day: January 8, 2016

Leaving some big shoes to fill

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes An era ended quietly in Keizer last week. After 53 years as a State Farm insurance agent, George Goesch retired without fanfare at the end of the year. The lack of fanfare was George’s desire. He politely declined a request for an interview from the Keizertimes. George turned 80 on Wednesday. The agency at 5095 River Road still had George’s name on the door Tuesday, but is now being run by Scott Ayres. “It’s good,” Ayres said this week. “They’re big shoes to fill. But it’s also pretty exciting, having the chance to work with some of his clients. The reception so far has been really warm. I’m excited to bring some fresh folks in here.” Ayres previously ran an insurance agency with a different company for 11 years, starting from scratch in 1999. He was recruited to join State Farm and spent the last six years in corporate, helping coach agents about financial services. “I don’t feel a lot of pressure, because I’ve run an agency before. Obviously George Goesch is a titan in this community, a real staple. A lot of people have told me that,” Ayres said with a chuckle. “But at the same time, a lot of people have also said they are glad this office is still open.” Ayres only got to work with George Goesch during the...

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Stolen car pulled from river

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes It’s not every day a car gets pulled from the Willamette River at Keizer Rapids Park. But that’s just what unfolded this week. On Monday, a Hyundai Elantra wagon was towed out of the river, after having been originally spotted in the water on Dec. 28. “We don’t know where or when the car was put in,” officer Rod Bamford with the Keizer Police Department said. “It was put in at least a week ago. We had some people that could see the roof in the river last week, but the water was too high to get out there. A Marion County deputy with marine patrol took a boat out and got the license plate, but we couldn’t recover it at that point.” Armed with the plate information, officers were able to determine the vehicle was stolen. Lt. Andrew Copeland with the KPD said the case goes back more than a year and a half. “The vehicle was reported stolen on May 4, 2014,” Copeland said. “The unknown suspect drove the stolen vehicle into the river several months ago. We were unable to recover the stolen vehicle initially because the water was still too high, but the water receded enough for us to access the vehicle and tow it out of the area.” Keizer Public Works Director Bill Lawyer mentioned the case during...

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Oregon in the national news

Three months after the nation’s media flooded Roseburg after the Umpqa Community College shooting, they are back for another story that is getting national attention: occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by  members of a self-proclaimed citizen militia. Bad news always leads the news, that’s a given. For a state the size of Oregon to have two major news stories within 100 days of each other is rare. We expect cool heads to prevail in Malheur County and the occupation to end without violence or destruction. It is unlikely that there will be a Waco-like invasion by law enforcement; the most probable outcome is the militia members will slowly start to return home, regardless of their protestions that they’ll stay for months or years. Ammon Bundy (of the Nevada Bundy family that perpetrated a stand-off at their ranch in 2014) came to Malheur County to support Dwight Hammond and his son Steve who were ordered back to prison to serve a longer term for a crime of which they were convicted. Bundy was followed by others who came from around the country (primarily the west) citing Constitutional issues and federal government overreach in the rangelands of eastern Oregon. Americans would be forgiven if, after the past three months, they have a jaundiced view of our state. Madmen shooting up a classroom, an armed group taking over a lonely...

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Optimistic for 2016

From the capitol By BILL POST I hope this article finds you and your loved ones having had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. In our house we enjoyed the fact that our son moved home from Missouri and we were thrilled to see him, making Christmas very special this year. I look ahead to 2016 with a mix of apprehension and hope. I am apprehensive because Jan. 1 ushered in many of the laws that my colleagues passed during the session in 2015. Many were passed with the best of intentions, but I worry that the effect will not be what the proponents had hoped. Mandatory sick leave, forced retirement accounts, and near dictatorial powers for the Bureau of Labor and Industries will all, I fear, reduce our ability to create the jobs that will move our entire state forward.  “Motor Voter” also concerns me with its apparent lack of oversight on “non-citizens” being able to automatically register to vote when approved for an ID card. With this backdrop, however, I also find myself feeling hopeful as 2016 comes around. This will be a pivotal year in Oregon and our nation. We have the opportunity to impact not only our lives, but the lives of our kids and grandkids for years to come. We have the power and ability to cast our vote. Some may feel...

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Politicizing guns

To the Editor: In a recent column (Keizertimes, Dec. 18), Gene McIntyre joined in lockstep with the Obamas, Clintons and Schumers in blaming the Republicans and NRA for the lack of gun control. Of course, this always follows reminders of all the horrific acts recently committed by madmen. One would have to be more than a little naïve to not see who is the intended target. McIntyre writes, “Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association, and those Republicans who pledge their allegiance to the NRA, has brought about no halt to these folks getting guns.” No one bothers asking, if it is only the Republicans preventing gun control from happening?  Why did it not happen during all those years Democrats were in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency? They pushed through all the other legislation they wanted, including some that continues to be hotly debated. One answer is that millions of law-abiding gun owners-—Republicans and Democrats—believe they have the right to own guns. Many do not belong to the NRA for various reasons. Some, because they don’t want to be constantly ridiculed by the “politically correct” folks that choose to paint the NRA as an evil force, responsible for acts of criminals. McIntyre also says the NRA wants everyone armed. Truth is, the NRA wants everyone to have the right to be armed, if they so wish. There...

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