Author: Admin

Show how decisions are made

By Lyndon Zaitz In the past we have called for more city meetings to be broadcast via Keizer’s Channel 23. The city council meetings are broadcast live and then repeated throughout the weeks until the next council meeting. That gives people who can’t make it in person a chance to see what is being done in the name of Keizer residents. Given that the city is facing an economic crunch just like the rest of us, perhaps televising all committee meetings isn’t in the cards for now. But a funny thing happens at Keizer City Council meetings from time to time. Recently a council meeting concluded, the cameras went off and the group voted to pay for more civic center cost overruns. Yet if you weren’t in attendance (or don’t read the Keizertimes), you didn’t know that. That’s because the Keizer Urban Renewal Agency – another name for the mayor and city council – isn’t televised per council directions to city staff. Only Council meetings are. Yet the Urban Renewal Agency has of late been where the rubber hits the road. Decisions on how to spend millions of dollars in urban renewal funds are made by the agency. These dollars paid the entire cost of the civic center. And a recent land purchase at Keizer Station was paid for with funds designated for improving River Road’s look and economic...

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Inch by inch, job by job

By DAVE HUNT Inch by inch… job by job… Oregon is working our way out of this global recession. The work accomplished in the 25-day Legislative Session we just concluded will help our state’s recovery and continue our efforts to prepare Oregon for a robust economic resurgence in the coming years. Our focus: create jobs and help struggling families. Here are some of the highlights of our work this February session: For small businesses looking to expand, we eased restrictions, streamlined the application process and allocated new resources to give them access to capital. Small business owners across Oregon have told me that the lack of access to credit is the single biggest factor preventing job creation. For 19,000 unemployed Oregonians, we extended their unemployment benefits to help them pay the mortgage and feed their families. For 5,500 children, we extended Employment-Related Day Care, ensuring that 2,900 families will have assistance they need to keep working and over 1,500 day care workers will have jobs caring for those children. For thousands of college students, we protected Oregon Opportunity grants, ensuring that their award checks won’t be reduced this spring term. For school children, we guaranteed funding of $6 billion for K-12 schools, ensuring that districts across the state will have the resources they need to protect a full school year, both in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. We also used this...

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Oregon Health: Quitters are winners and are now covered

By CHARLES BENTZ, MD Maybe you want to quit smoking because you just know it is time. For quitters in Oregon, help is here. In Oregon, as of January 1, a new law requires health insurers to cover smokers who want to quit.  This new law now requires your health insurer to cover tobacco use cessation benefits.   Now private insurance will allow you at least $500 worth of benefits for access to and coverage of basic treatments, programs and services.  Medicaid, Oregon Health Plan and Medicare continue to cover benefits to quit the smoking addiction. While tobacco use is declining in Oregon, as many as 17 percent, or approximately 487,540, of Oregonians use tobacco.   In Marion County, 17.2 percent of adults smoke cigarettes, according to 2007 data estimates from the Oregon Department of Human Services.   Statewide, about 16 percent of 11th graders smoke, according to Oregon DHS. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.  Tobacco use takes a significant toll on smokers’ bodies; approximately 1,200 people die prematurely in the United States each day from smoking-related illnesses. More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by illegal drugs, firearms, alcohol, and motor vehicles combined. Quitting smoking is difficult; many smokers try to quit smoking multiple times in their lifetime. Smokers will try to quit 6 to 9 times, on average,...

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Mailboxes can make a statement

By JOANNE BEILKE Over the last few months I have made trips to Portland with friends.  What was so much fun about these trips was going through wonderful neighborhoods that have character.  I mean shops, open spaces, closed streets. Local restaurants, bars, outside seating, small business where imagination and art has been developed for public use. While driving through these neighborhoods I remembered when I started in real estate over 23 years ago, and all the neighborhoods I have been in and around.  What struck me was how each neighborhood and its streets were so diverse in character.  Some neighborhoods have taken a lot of pride in how they keep their areas.  The entry signs are always painted and generally have plantings and flowers around them.  Some neighborhoods just let their signs deteriorate. They same can be said about mailboxes in Keizer.  I have always wanted to have a contest for mailboxes.  Categories could be themes, art work,  different shapes, but best of all there would be no rusted, run down mailboxes.    The more I thought about this the more excited I got.   I visualize people and neighbors fixing up their mailboxes and neighborhood entrance signs.  Driving around in Keizer you can see the old neglected mailboxes and neighborhood signs. I visualize a city with unique mailboxes.  Themed ones, seasonal ones, rebuilt ones like birdhouses, birds, animals,...

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