Month: December 2016

Eclipse event gets fee waivers

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes At its meeting Monday, Dec. 19, the Keizer City Council approved fee waivers totaling a little more than $1,000 for the upcoming Keizer Eclipse 2017. Totally! event. The Keizer Parks Foundation (KPF) is planning an event at Keizer Rapids Park to mark the passage of a total solar eclipse over Keizer in August 2017 and intends to donate any proceeds back to the city as dedicated parks funds. Permits for the event were recently approved and led to the request for fee waivers, which to a large extent represent foregone revenue. KPF...

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McNary assistant principal moonlights in the dojo

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Rhonda Rhodes, an assistant principal at McNary High School, remembers life before she was introduced to Jiu-Jitsu as a college student at Oregon State. “I was one of those people that was capable but I’m certain I had ADHD before they diagnosed it,” Rhodes said. “When I was in school in the ’80s and early ’90s, that wasn’t a thing and if it was, I’m sure they would have decided that I had that. I had a lot of potential and I didn’t quite have the self control to reach it. Martial arts...

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2016 is almost over. Whew.

What’s that big sound? It is a collective, national exhaling at the relief that we are at the final week of the year.  Most would agree that 2016 was annus horribilis. The holidays well be a much needed distraction from the woes and worries of the world. This year brought too much suffering, anger, fighting, terrorism. All topped off with fake news that too many people take for truth without question. Can a time period such as a year really be horrible? This year had 12 months, 52 weeks and 366 days like any other year. A year can be great or bad depending on how our individual lives are going. It’s not a bad year for someone who received a big raise or found a living wage job after a period of unemployment.  It might be called a bad year if a couple was going through a marital break-up or if a loved one passed before their time. The American people are a good people. We cheer when others win; we cry when others lose, but generally we are on the side of our fellow citizens. Two thousand sixteen gave us plenty of things to cry about, but that should not define us as a nation. Our nation and our world is too mature for us to look at it through rose-colored glasses, yet, believing in the spirit...

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Honoring human dignity

By MICHAEL GERSON It is one of fate’s cruel jokes that conservatism should be at its modern nadir just as the Republican Party is at its zenith—if conservatism is defined as embracing limited government, displaying a rational, skeptical and moderate temperament and believing in the priority of the moral order. All these principles are related, and under attack. Conservatives believe that human beings are fallible and prone to ambition, passion and selfishness. They (actually, we) tend to become swaggering dictators in realms where we can act with impunity—a DMV office, a hostile traffic stop, a country under personal rule. It is the particular genius of the American system to balance ambition against ambition through a divided government (executive, legislative and judicial). The American system employs human nature to limit the power of the state—assuming that every branch of government is both dedicated to the common good and jealous of its own power. Conservatives believe that finite and fallen creatures are often wrong. We know that many of our attitudes and beliefs are the brain’s justification for pre-rational tendencies and desires. This does not make perception of truth impossible, or truth itself relative, but it should encourage healthy self-examination and a suspicion of all forms of fanaticism. All of us have things to learn, even from our political opponents. The truth is out there, but it is generally broken into...

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Real news and real local

By DON VOWELL Merry Christmas, Keizertimes. As a community we are lucky to have such a healthy and civic-minded weekly paper as a vital organ.  Our family has lived in Keizer for a little over 30 years.  By a sort of contented default we’ve slowly learned to believe this is home. And Keizertimes is our hometown newspaper.    I’m only familiar with Salem and Portland newspapers but if they are representative of how other towns are served by their local papers it only emphasizes how uniquely fortunate we are. We are trained to believe that shareholder profit is the be-all/end-all of every corporate endeavor.  That is turning the Salem paper into a pale imitation of its former self.  The editorial page now appears only sporadically.  Maybe that matters only to a few, but it is the only means of conversation that includes both the people that produce the paper and those that read it. Editorial statements and opinions also give you some insight into those who have the privilege of choosing what news you get to see each day. A major portion of column-inches in the Salem paper is given over to USA Today, a Gannett insert. It seems like reliable reporting but also seems like removing the local editors’ choices as to what story might be relevant to local readers.  And the deadline pressure of being printed off-site...

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