Month: January 2016

Mayor gives update at WKNA

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A neighborhood association meeting last week turned into a quasi state of the city address. Mayor Cathy Clark was the guest speaker at the West Keizer Neighborhood Association meeting Jan. 14 and gave an update on what’s happening around the town. Clark was elected to the Keizer City Council in 2006 and won the unopposed mayor seat in 2014. “I’m more optimistic than ever about what our community can do when we put our heads together,” Clark said. “This last year we did a project they said couldn’t be done. We done did it. We built the Big Toy. You ought to be proud of the neighbors who did it. There were over 1,000 volunteers. It was two years in the making and 101 percent of the funds were raised. There’s a grant being written right now to add features to make it more accessible for kids with special needs. We want this to be a place all children of all abilities can come and enjoy. Now all the naysayers are saying, ‘I guess you did it.’ Yeah, we did.” Speaking of Keizer Rapids Park, Clark also referenced the sand volleyball courts done by Hans Schneider. “Those courts are always busy,” the mayor said. “They were beautifully done and done right. You can hold a tournament there. Volunteers wanted to bring that amenity...

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“When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain” by Giles Milton

“When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain” by Giles Milton c.2016, Picador $16.00 / higher in Canada 272 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER What’s done is done. You can’t go back and erase the past, as much as you might try. You can alter its affects, make excuses for it, or pretend it never happened, but what’s done is done. And as you’ll see in the new book “When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain” by Giles Milton, more was done than you think. Every good historian knows that history’s filled with dates, battles, and facts that can be mind-numbing for the average person. Those are things your high school history teacher tried to make you memorize – but there’s a lot that textbooks never tell. Did you know, for instance, that Adolph Hitler might’ve had a love child that would “quite possibly still” be alive?  Or that Hitler’s brother joined the U.S. Army in World War II and fought against the Germans? There are things in history that we know, almost. A corpse’s clues suggest how explorer George Mallory died, but nobody knows if he made it to the top of Everest. After the Titanic sank, a kitchen worker survived hours in icy water, perhaps due to the two bottles of whiskey he drank earlier. And that Agatha Christie disappeared for eleven days...

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Heroin: A devious liar with a powerful pull

By SAMANTHA NIXON For the Keizertimes Editor’s Note: In a recent Chasing Dark story, Elizabeth Smith talked about her daughter Sam Nixon’s struggles with heroin. This is Sam’s first person tale of what she went through and what she wants others to know about heroin. I’m sure people who have never tried heroin think, “Why would anyone ever want to?” We hear stories about overdoses, arrests and beautiful souls’ transformations into unrecognizable individuals all the time. We’re in the midst of an epidemic, and I want to say first and foremost: heroin does not discriminate. Some of us are more susceptible to becoming enslaved in the throes of addiction due to a complex combination of genetics, circumstances, mental illnesses and social factors. But heroin does not care about the superficial differences that trick us into believing the lie that we or our loved ones are immune to her reach. Heroin is a liar. She lies to families. She tells them, “It won’t happen to my family.” “My child/mother/father/sibling/friend would never do something like that.” “I have to give them money or they’ll die.” “I’m keeping them alive by providing somewhere for them to live.” “If I set boundaries, they will hate me forever.” “It hurts me too much to see them in pain, so I’ll enable them to continue to use.” She also lies to the person using. She...

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Vets help out a brother

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Make no mistake, Terry Lowells greatly appreciated the new ramp. But his favorite part was something that couldn’t be seen. “One big thing is missing: the red tape,” Terry said with a big smile. Terry, who served with the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, had a third knee operation this week. As such, the steps at his house on Bever Drive were getting too hard to navigate. Wife Sherry didn’t know where else to turn, so last Saturday she called up Marion Post 661 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Salem. “I was asking if they knew of services that might be available,” Sherry said. “I just wanted information about where to go. I was expecting several months of waiting.” It didn’t take that long. Not even close, actually. The next day, Joe Ramp called some veterans together at the VFW and explained the need. On Monday, a group of veterans – Tom Reeves, Eric Jones, Jesus Montes, Tom Vanderhoof and Wes Larson – equipped with tools and lumber showed up at the Lowells house. “This is a community project from the post, part of Vets Helping Vets,” Vanderhoof said. “Joe rounded us all up. It needs to be done by the end of today. They found an infection in Terry’s knee, so he can’t get up and down the three steps...

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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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