Author: Eric Howald

Council walking back previous decision on development fee

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes New information and additional public testimony have the Keizer City Council rethinking its stance on plans to enact a fee to create public amenities in association with new commercial development projects. At a council meeting Monday, Sept. 12, councilors were preparing to act on amendments to the city development code that included requirements that: 1) any development or interior remodel worth more than $100,000 would require bringing landscaping up to code and 2) that any new development or remodel of a business of any amount would dedicate one percent of the total...

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Keizer Station Hop Jacks will open next spring

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Keizerites will have a new option for burgers and brew come spring 2018. Hop Jacks, a Washington-based chain specializing in American comfort food, is currently building one of its newest locations on the corner of Ulali Drive North and Keizer Station Boulevard. “We selected Keizer because of its general proximity to I-5 and the mix of businesses in the center,” said founder Mark Eggen. “We have signed a lease in the Sherwood neighborhood, and are actively pursuing several opportunities throughout the Portland and Willamette Valley areas.” The Keizer location will be the...

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Gunfire chases visitors out of park, neighbors out of homes

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes A hail of gunfire drove visitors out of Sunset Park and neighbors out of their homes along the Willamette River Sunday, Sept. 10. The incident resulted in a throng of area residents turning out at the Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Sept. 18, to demand action on the part of the city. For now, it seems the only action to be taken is a sternly-worded letter to the owner of a quarry across the river who allows family, friends and even the Salem Police Department to use part of his property as...

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School district works to quell fears regarding end of DACA

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes It’s barely 10 days into the school year, and McNary High School Principal Erik Jespersen has already had several conversations about the impact of a federal decision to roll back protections provided to undocumented students through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. “I know that we have some (Deferred Action students) and there are some students and families that are concerned. Our stance is that we are wanting to support all of our students,” Jespersen said. “I’m certain that despite the anxiety there’s a lot of questions to be asked...

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Big hand for Big Toy volunteers

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes A battalion of more than 200 volunteers pulled off a minor miracle Saturday, Sept. 9. Led by members from 12 congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), the group cleared wood chips from about 90 percent of the Big Toy in Keizer Rapids Park. The chips are being cleared and the play structure is closed for the next several weeks while a pour-in-place surface is installed. “I don’t think that the city or parks board had any clue that we could get that many people out there,”...

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