Author: Eric Howald

Guns, school safety take center stage in joint town hall

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes It didn’t take long for state Rep. Bill Post (R-Keizer) to get called out for a recent online dust-up during a town hall meeting with state Sen. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) Tuesday, April 3. In fact, it only took two questions before an attendee asked what kind of example Post was setting regarding bullying.The question stemmed from Post’s posting of a link on his Facebook page to the the Secretary of State’s website as part of a larger issue on how the initiative petition process works. Names, addresses and phone numbers of the...

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One-of-a-kind river installed at Clear Lake Elementary

Students at Clear Lake Elementary School are celebrating their uniqueness with an art project that is now on display outside the school. Inspired by the book Only One You by Linda Kranz and a school in Indiana that took on the same task, students in every grade painted rocks to express their unique personalities. Now that they are on display together, the pieces form a rock river in the courtyard of the school. The theme of the book-inspired project is, “There’s only one you in this great big world … make it a better place.” This will be a reminder to students as they go through their elementary years, and on, that they are special and have the power to make this world a better place, simply by being them, said Julia Ortman, school counselor. Windsor Rock donated rocks for the project, Egan Gardens provided bark dust for the display, McNary High School World of Work Students, led by teacher Kevin Wise, weeded and cleaned the courtyard area, Happy Hearted Designs provided a sign and the Clear Lake Parent-Teacher Association provided funds for items like paint and brushes. “I believe Clear Lake Elementary and the city of Keizer is a great place to be, because of things like this. When an entire community can come together for an art project like this, you know that each individual is helping...

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More relaxed sign code in the works

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The City of Keizer will relax its restrictions on electronic message signs if the Keizer City Council adopts a raft of small but impactful changes approved by the Keizer Planning Commission at its meeting Wednesday, March 14. If approved, all businesses and agencies with electronic signs could change their messaging every 15 seconds. The current code only allows for one change every 15 minutes and distinguishes between public and private agencies. The details of the electronic message center (EMC) policy was one of two issues that dominated the meeting, the other significant portion was dedicated to rehashing plans for what to do about signage in windows. Prior to last week’s meeting, members of the commission had talked about a 60-second standard for EMCs, but further testimony by a representative of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee (GAC) prompted another drop in the timing. “We like that it reduces the current requirement,” said Jonathan Thompson, speaking for the GAC. “We’d like to see it dropped even further to eight seconds. I don’t know that you would see a lot of changes. We don’t see it as turning River Road into the Vegas strip.” Community Development Director Nate Brown urged caution in making drastic changes. While River Road may not have many EMCs right now, the price of investing in such technology...

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“Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination” by Andrew Santella

“Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me” by Andrew Santella c.2018, Dey Street $25.99 / $31.99 Canada 195 pages Book review by Terri Schlichenmeyer Just do it. That’s a demand that comes from everywhere. Sneakers say it, your spouse says it, the law demands it, your diet may say it; your boss does, for sure. Just do it. Buckle down and get it done because, as in the new book “Soon” by Andrew Santella, delaying and dawdling are not so delightful. Charles Darwin was a terrible procrastinator. It’s true that he got...

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Sensible strategies, support network made difference in woman’s weight loss success

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes One of the most difficult things to do when seeking any sort of support – be it emotional, physical or some combination of the two – is connecting with the right people. Sometimes the search alone can be overwhelming, but Martina Sierra is a walking testament to what is possible when someone commits to finding the right people. When Sierra joined Taking Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) in 2007, she weighed 253 pounds. Today, she weighs 136 pounds and has kept the weight off for more than six years. “The support made a 100 percent difference. I knew there was a group of people that cared about me as a person and cared about my journey to being a healthier person. They were going to be there for me when I was having a bad time and I could be there for them,” Sierra said. TOPS (www.tops.org) is a non-profit organization and network of weight loss support groups. Keizer has three TOPS chapters with weekly meetings, one at Faith Lutheran Church, another at John Knox Presbyterian Church and the third at Clear Lake United Methodist Church. Meeting days and times are available at the website. National and individual club dues amount to about $8 per month. Sierra is the club leader at John Knox and the area captain for all of Marion and...

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