Month: September 2017

Pick a president who’s up for the job

The casual observer may think that, with over 300 million citizens, finding a person with all the right stuff would be tantamount to falling off a log.  Yet, because the demands are truly heavy in responsibilities, including, at minimum, a person who’s quick to problem solve really tough stuff like crime and drug abuse, threats to the nation’s security, natural and man-made disasters, along with a nearly interminable list of others, the perfect person’s not necessarily available. Meanwhile, the U.S. Constitution maintains some constraints on the president’s power to act.  For example, only Congress can pass legislation and we know from viewing it that, almost always,  its two houses move at a snail’s pace.  So, the president can only sign or veto legislation passed by Congress with the proviso that Congress can override a veto and make it law anyway while the Supreme Court can rule an approved law unconstitutional and thereby reject it. Then there are the foreign nations where the President has a bit more freedom to act. The president has the power to act quickly regarding a threat or an opportunity the United States cannot ignore.  Even so, Congress and the courts can limit a president’s actions.  The Constitution says that the president must go to Congress to approve any big decision, like declaring or approving a treaty.  Nevertheless, as history reports, presidents have worked around Congress. The president has what’s called the “bully pulpit.”  What that means is that some of...

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Design meetings set for story poles

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Area residents interested in helping shape the artwork to be featured on two large trees outside the Keizer Civic Center should start planning now. The Keizer Public Arts Commission recently approved a slate of meetings where individuals and groups will be able to pitch their ideas for the poles. The design process will follow a pattern similar to the development of the Big Toy in Keizer Rapids Parks. Interested citizens are invited to attend one of the upcoming meetings and then all ideas will be combined by a hired artist into an...

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Church leads prep for Big Toy upgrade

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Even as volunteers surrounded the Big Toy with 600 cubic yards of wood chips in 2015, it was never intended to be the permanent solution. Original plans called for a pour-in-place surface for added safety, but the idea was jettisoned to save money. When the opportunity to apply for an Oregon Parks and Recreation Local Government Grant in 2016 arose, a new play surface for the Big Toy was added to the request along with pedestrian trails and an enclosed bathroom. The grant was approved, but now thousands of pounds of wood...

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SKSB board approves teacher contracts

By HERB SWETT Of the Keizertimes A collective bargaining agreement with the Salem-Keizer Education Association was approved by the School Board at a special meeting Tuesday. The board also approved a memorandum of understanding modifying language in the current agreement with the Association of Salem-Keizer Education Professionals and held a work session on a 2017-18 budget supplement. The agreement with the SKEA involves: • Increases in employer-paid portions of the monthly insurance premiums in the amounts of $25 for 2017-18 and 2018-19 and $40 for 2019-20 and 2020-21. • Salary schedule increases of 2 percent for 2017-18 and 2018-19,...

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‘Gutsy’ defense leads McNary over North Salem

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes McNary’s defense thought North Salem’s 69-yard touchdown run on the Vikings second offensive play of the game was a fluke. The Celtics spent the rest of the night proving it. Behind two goal line stands, McNary defeated North Salem 28-7 at home on Friday, Sept. 1 to open the 2017 season. The Celtics reached the end zone on their first play from scrimmage as Lucas Garvey took a handoff from quarterback Erik Barker and ran 83 yards down the sideline to give McNary a quick 7-0 lead. “That just made my job so...

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