Month: November 2016

Campaign promises already trashed

Recognized economists, writing on the subject of the anticipated Trump presidency, predict a “short” four-year term that will be damaging to jobless and low-wage American workers. It is now predicted that the nation’s big corporations and Wall Street will retain the upper hand over struggling workers who helped to elect him in what’s recognized as a populist wave. For the purpose of clarity, let’s spend a moment looking at the definition of populism. It is a political ideology that holds that virtuous citizens are mistreated by a circle of elites who can be overthrown if the people recognize the danger and work together.  Populism depicts elites as trampling the rights, values and voice of the “legitimate” people. No sober person of economic understanding sees it likely or even plausible that Trump’s plan to repatriate huge corporate profits to the U.S. for infrastructure spending will succeed.  In fact, what we know of the sketchy and abbreviated ideas from Trump during the many months he ran for the highest office, we can expect a continuation of the status quo, remaining pretty much the same or with little noticeable change. Economists of considerable reputation on prospects for changes to unemployment and joblessness numbers are amazed at the willingness of the American voters for what they have done to themselves. Global populism may be the wave of the future but it has taken a turn in America that will...

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City recognized for bicycle friendliness

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Keizer has earned an honorable mention as a bicycle-friendly city from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). It was announced last week in Washington, D.C., that Keizer joined 33 other communities throughout the nation in the honorable mention category of recognition. Platinum, gold, silver and bronze designations are also available should city officials decide to pursue them. Oregon has 11 communities that rank bronze or higher. Ashland (gold), Corvallis (gold) and Bend (silver) also received designations this time around. An honorable mention recognizes Keizer’s efforts toward improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. The Bicycle Friendly City (BFC) program provides a benchmark for communities to evaluate those conditions and policies, while highlighting areas for improvement. A trio of city volunteers were the driving force behind the application to LAB. Hersch Sangster, Pat Fisher and John Henry Maurice, all members of Keizer’s Traffic, Bikeways and Pedestrian Safety Committee, took on the effort with the blessing of the city council. “We really tried to play devil’s advocate as we went through the checklist of qualifications,” said Sangster. “And we came out better than we expected. This is a big thing for the city.” More than an honorable mention or a metal designation, the group wanted a baseline assessment of where Keizer stood in relation to other...

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Mecha-cow proposal meets resistance

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The Keizer roundabout opened just three months ago but the Keizer Public Arts Commission is already trying to figure out what to put in the center of it. Commissioners discussed the potential of the space and even one proposal from a Keizer sculptor with a piece along the River Road North art walk. Rick Smith, a salvage artist who crafted the Iron Glory sculpture of the American flag near Copper Creek Mercantile on River Road North, submitted a proposal to construct a trio of salvage-metal cows that would stand in the middle of the intersection. Smith’s proposal called for $2,000 in materials and supplies and $7,500 in labor, but he would donate half of the latter amount to the project for a total cost of $5,750. That amount is more than the Arts Commission has on-hand so fundraising would be required. Before the conversation moved toward approval, the idea met with resistance during discussions. Commissioner Jessi Long said the idea of cows gave her pause. “There’s something about cows that screams, ‘Let’s mess with it,’” Long said. “I think maybe a windmill or a piece of farming equipment might be a better idea.” When ideas for an old truck or piece of farming equipment were floated, City Councilor Amy Ryan opposed. “I hesitate to say a truck or farm vehicle because when...

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Keizer siblings pioneers of student government

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes When Oregon Connections Academy was looking for candidates to serve in its first ever student government, three siblings from Keizer stepped up to the challenge. Joshua Oliver, a 10-year-old elected to represent the fifth grade, was the first from the family to decide to run. Older sister, Rosa, 15, voted secretary, and older brother, Edward, 18, a senator representing the senior class, soon followed. “I want to build more school spirit, make it fun for other fifth graders,” Joshua said. They were all encouraged by their mother, Kara. “I thought it was an opportunity for the kids to develop speaking skills, communication skills, things they can use for the future for job development,” Kara said. The Olivers were elected in October and Edward has already seen it pay off. “I know I’m lacking in some of those areas and it’s already helping improve them, for sure,” he said. Edward also feels like a pioneer. “It’s an opportunity to show what others can do in the future with this student government,” he said. To run for student government, students had to maintain a 3.0 GPA, adhere to the ORCA student code of conduct and agree to attend all student government LiveLesson sessions and participate in three field trips in their area. A candidate’s forum LiveLesson session was then held to decide contested races. After...

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Council denies Keizer Chamber request for parade fee waivers

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes A Keizer Chamber of Commerce request that city officials waive fees and other costs associated with the Holiday Lights Parade was snuffed out at the Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Nov. 21. The Keizer Chamber requested waivers for fees totaling $5,805 related to police staffing, public works costs and temporary use permits among others, but councilors were not in a giving mood. One city councilor even expressed frustration at the asking. “The chamber did come to council a month ago and we were honest about what we could waive and what we couldn’t. I’m a little disappointed that they came and asked for it anyway,” said Councilor Kim Freeman. “I think we all love this event, but we have a city to run and we have to be diligent with the money we have.” Danielle Bethell, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, asked the city council to consider fee waivers at a previous meeting and, while no action was taken, councilors made it clear that waivers would be unlikely. At the time, Mayor Cathy Clark said she wanted to hear from River Road North businesses about their success during the parade before dipping into city coffers in support of it. At the meeting Monday, the biggest topic of discussion was a request to waive $4,000 for police staffing. Granting such...

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