Author: Lyndon Zaitz

Distractions in the face of tragedy

While millions of American citizens suffer without power and communication, millions of other American citizens are debating protests by players, coaches and owners of National Football League teams. As Puerto Rico’s 3 million people cope with the devastation that Hurricane Maria visited upon the island last week, President Trump attacks people—who play a game for a living—for being unpatriotic by taking a knee during the National Anthem played before football games. The president said he would visit Puerto Rico next week. Why is the suffering that Puerto Ricans are going through any different than what Texans or Floridians or Louisanders suffered after Harvey and Irma? The country opened its wallets for those states, held telethons that raised millions of dollars, yet, our territory in the Caribbean is left twisting in the wind. Many things have gone topsy turvy in America over the past 18 months. It’s no wonder that we latch onto a secondary story as if it were a matter of life and country. Football players protesting in the way they see best is not on the same scale as millions of Americans suffering from a natural disaster or the fact that in the face of a rising ecnomy, many American still feel unsettled and uncertain of their future. This is especially true when the United States is conducting a war of words with North Korea.  Does turning...

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Cap amenity fee at $25,000

A plan to enact a fee on commercial deveopment to fund public amenities in Keizer is going to get a second, deeper look by the city council. The council was scheduled to act on the amendment to the development code at this week’s meeting. The issue has been continued to the first council meeting in October. The public hearing on the matter will also be re-opened. The public amenities will include landscaping that is up to code for new development and also a contribution to Keizer’s public art program equal to 1 percent of the project’s total worth. Many cities, counties and states have such a provision. In many cities in America a visitor can see lots of public art that is paid for with a required 1 percent contribution.  Keizer’s public art program has become anemic and has yet to live up to its potential. Establishing a contribution program from commercial development is a good way to assure that the public art program is well-funded and continues to add pieces and events to our city. A sticking point that arose at this week’s council meeting was the cost to a developer. The value of a new dental office being built in Keizer Station could be up to $8 million; one percent is $80,000—a large contribution for public amenties in Keizer. Some say there should be more parity amongst...

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Join the campaign to decrease distracted driving in Oregon

Nearly 500 people died on Oregon roads in 2016, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. That is an increase of almost 60 percent in three years. Evidence concludes that many road deaths can be linked to distracted driving. Drive Healthy is a new campaign from the Oregon Department of Transporattion, Oregon State Patrol and AAA, begining Sept. 1,  to encourage healthy driving habits. They want to achieve a marked reduction in the number of people injured due to distracted drivers. Every three hours someone in Oregon is injured by a distracted driver, which is not surprising when up to 75 percent of Oregonians say they drive distracted. Healthy driving is defined as ‘hands on the wheel, mind on the road.’ That’s especially true here in the mid-Willamette Valley where traffic gets heavier year after year. Let’s face it, we’re really talking about people talking or texting on their cellphones while driving. When you drive look around and you’ll conclude that easily 75 percent of your fellow drivers are concentrating on their phone call or their text message rather than the car in front of them or on the sides of them The Drive Healthy campaign will endeavor to make healthy driving a winning proposition by having drivers install the LifeSaver app and participate as driving members of an organization or a group. Beginning Sept. 1,  the competition starts...

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An eclipse brings us together

Just like our ancestors over the past thousands of years, we will cast our eyes to the skies on Monday to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event: a total eclipse of the sun. Keizer and everything in a 60-mile-wide swath of land from Lincoln City to Ontario will come to a halt as the day grows darker due to the moon passing slowly between the sun and the earth. This  astronomic event engages scientists and arm-chair Gaillelo’s alike. Centuries ago people believed that the eclipsing of the sun was a sign of angered gods. As the moon continued its path out of the sun’s direct light, people celebrated: their sacrifaces and prayers pleased the gods. Modern science has proven that a solar eclipse is nothing more than the aligning of heavenly bodies. Some people may imbue the event with spiritual meaning.  One thing the eclipse does is bring people together. Most people in Keizer have never experienced a total eclipse before. Tens of thousands of Oregon faces will be turned to the sky and we will all marvel at the rarity. That will be in such constrast to what is happening in other parts of the country right now. It is more difficult to maintain anger and hatred at other people when everyone is awed by nature’s grand design. Keizer sits in western Oregon. Though we are relatively conservative, our location...

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Words vs. war

Fire and fury like the world has never seen. Those are decidedly not diplomatic words—those are fighting words. Words that President Trump spoke about continued threats from North Korea. Trump said if Kim Jong-Un’s regime persisted with its threats against the United States, North Korea would suffer the harshest military reaction ever seen by mankind. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson walked back Trump’s comments. He said that Americans can sleep easy at night, that there is no credible threat of a Korean ballistic nuclear weapon hitting the U.S. Those are the two sides of the current American foreign policy...

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