Day: January 22, 2016

Chamber awards banquet Saturday

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Christine Dieker wants the attention to go to the right place. On Saturday evening at the Keizer Quality Suites, the Keizer Chamber of Commerce is putting on the 55th annual Keizer First Citizen and Awards Banquet. The event starts with a 6 p.m. social hour and dinner at 7, followed by the awards. Individual tickets are $45 while tables of eight are available for $360. Dieker, the executive director of the chamber since 1998, has announced her resignation. Her replacement is expected to be named in early February. As such, it might be natural to assume Dieker will be the center of attention on the state come Saturday night. Not if she has her way. “This is not about me,” Dieker said this week. “This is our community night.” There are some changes this year, including the list of nominees not being announced in advanced. The four awards are Keizer First Citizen, Merchant of the Year, President’s Award and Service to Education Award. “It’s going to be a total surprise this year,” Dieker said. “It will be kind of neat. This selection committee said let’s make it a big surprise.” Former Mayor Lore Christopher, now chair of the Keizer Public Arts Commission, won the First Citizen award last year. Joe Egli, a former Keizer City Councilor who works for R. Bauer Insurance, was...

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Tornado blows trouble into small town in McNary’s Anatomy of Gray

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes For Jaida Watson, June Muldoon is one of the most relatable characters she’s ever played. “She’s really sarcastic and not afraid to express herself and I relate to that in a lot of ways,” said Watson, who plays June in the upcoming McNary High School production of Anatomy of Gray. “She’s the girl who sticks out from the others in the town because she thinks it is the most boring place in the world and she just wants to leave.” Performances are slated Jan. 27-30. Curtain time is 7 p.m. each night and tickets are $5. In the play, June’s father dies early on and sets the stage for much of what then unfolds. Not long after his passing, a doctor, Galen P. Gray played by Osvaldo Torres, blows into town on the winds of a tornado. Gray is welcomed as a healer, but soon the town is struck by a mysterious illness that even he is helpless to treat. The play features a smallish cast on a mostly bare stage, but the script is lively and chock-full of believable character moments. Senior Dorothy Woolford is enjoying playing June’s mother, Rebekah Muldoon. “Of all the characters, she’s the most well-rounded because you see her grief, her love, and her fear. The play starts out at a fairly dark time in her life...

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Family files lawsuit vs. McNary Estates HOA

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes It started with a request last April. It ended with the Kuhn family leaving their longtime McNary Estates home in August and filing a lawsuit against the McNary Estates Homeowners Association. This marks the second time in less than five years the McNary Estates HOA has been sued over a Fair Housing Act complaint. A judge ruled against the HOA in the previous case, as mentioned in an August 2011 Keizertimes article. Gary and Renee Kuhn sold their home as a result of what transpired over a four month period and moved, along with their 33-year-old special needs daughter Khrizma, to Woodburn in the fall. In addition to the overall McNary Estates HOA, the Fountains HOA – one of five subgroups within the neighborhood – is also named, as well as McNary Estates HOA president Teresa Girod and former Fountains HOA president Richard LeDoux, who lived next door to the Kuhn family. The Kuhn family moved to McNary Estates in 2005, describing LeDoux and his wife as close friends. Khrizma, who has numerous disabilities and depends on her parents for full-time care, moved into the home on a full-time basis in 2010. Among other things, Khrizma suffers from Down Syndrome, autism and suffers from severe bladder and bowel incontinence. The bowel issues increased in severity in 2014, according to the lawsuit filed in federal...

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Theft ring cracked on Marino Drive

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A neighborhood nuisance on Marino Drive is no more. Around 5 a.m. Tuesday, officers from various agencies served a search warrant at 555 Marino Drive North in Keizer and arrested Alexandria and Donnie Carpenter, Yvonne Connors and Rudy Sobremonte. Officers then spent the rest of the day processing the theft ring scene. And what a scene it was. There were cars, utility trailers, ATVs, quads and various wheels, compressors and construction tools galore. That was just the stuff found outside and in the garage. “There was a whole bunch of stolen property,” said Jeff Kuhns, deputy chief with the Keizer Police Department. “This is a serious theft ring. It sounds like maybe these people were going to new construction sites and ripping off doors and new appliances, anything not secured down. This is a really extensive ring.” Lt. Andrew Copeland used a highly technical term to describe the scene. “This is a really huge cluster,” Copeland said. KPD had its large command post trailer on site, with Sgt. Bob Trump running the show. “Six victims have recovered property so far,” Trump said in the afternoon as large items still filled the driveway and front yard. “They took new appliances and doors from new home sites all around Salem-Keizer.” Brad Whittenburg was one of the victims recovering stolen property on Tuesday. “My stuff was...

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Too many families on the edge

The stock market is having its worst January ever. Oil and gas prices are the lowest they have been in almost 10 years. Inflation is, for all purposes, in check. Unemployment is down to 5 percent as millions of jobs have been added in recent years. The economy as been in recovery for more than six years. One would think that things are looking. They are, but not for everyone. A recently released report, commissioned by Rutgers University, uses current data in a new way to identify those who are struggling financially and why.  The report, in part, covers each county of the Pacific Northwest states. The study is titled ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed; it shows that more than 40 percent of Marion County residents live above the federal poverty line but do not earn enough to afford the area’s cost of living and are one unexpected disaster away from finanical calamity. Forty-three percent of Keizer’s 13,500 households fall into the ALICE and poverty income levels. According to the study a household in Marion County with two adults, one infant and one preschooler needs to gross a bit more than $51,000 annually to afford the bare minimums. That might sound like a nice income, but it is for a family of four. The average monthly expenditures for a family that size is more than...

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