Author: Lyndon Zaitz

Meet the neighbors

This year’s National Night Out is Tuesday, August 1. The country-wide event offers neighbors to connect, socialize and discuss neighborhood issues. An off-shoot of such programs as Neighborhood Watch, Night Out was designed to encourage residents to get to know each other in a common desire to assure safe neighborhoods. Keizer residents have embraced National Night Out over the years. Some neighborhoods hold elaborate block parties with bounce houses, music, games and more. Other neighborhoods are more low-key—a potluck, a few lawn chairs and good conversation. Families move in and out of Keizer all the time. Chances are high that every neighborhood has had at least one new household move in since last year’s event. That is why holding a National Night Out function is important. Keizer is generous with its welcoming attitude; new residents will be greeted and given the 4-1-1 on the community. National Night Out is another vehicle to introduce new residents to their new neighbors. Familiarity and communication between neighbors has been found to be key in establishing safe communities in which people take ownership of their neighborhood and watch over it. If Family A knows that Family B is out of town yet they see a person lurking about Family B’s home, they know to be suspicious and contact the police. Better to be safe than sorry. National Night Out has generally been an...

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The unknowns of the eclipse

Depending on whom one talks to there could be as many as one million people pouring into Oregon for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The eclipse, which has fostered a number of multi-day events along the path of totality in Oregon, has led the state, counties and cities to hope for the best and expect the worse. Marion County’s emergency management office is expecting 50,000 to 200,000 visitors to the county. There are too many unknowns so every municipality, including Keizer, must plan for a crush of people, cars and recreational vehicles. Are the throngs expected in...

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Impeachment calls ill-conceived

Calls for impeachment of President Trump are whiny and ill-conceived. A political remedy, impeachment has been used against only two of the 44 people who have held the presidency—Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. A conviction by the U.S. Senate, after impeachment by the House of Representatives, removes the person from office. There are no criminal penalties, that would come from prosecuters. Groups call for Trump’s impeachment because of his Tweets, for his boorish behavior, or for his treatment of women and others. These alone  cannot be considered impeachable offenses. Calls for his impeachment are as effective as pundits and...

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You can’t force people

The goal of identifying Keizer as a welcoming, safe and inclusive city is one that can be embraced by all citizens. The plea from a small group of Keizer residents that went before the city council was for a Inclusivity resolution. Mayor Cathy Clark rightly asked the group to come back to the council with a plan of action the city could consider. The group (it doesn’t have a workable name yet) reported that other cities around Oregon are working on their own inclusivity resolutions. The group is asking the city to spend precious resources to establish an official body that would work on language to put Keizer on the correct side of the issue. Even the simplest of city task forces or committees requires a meeting space, an official recorder and printed reports and meeting mintues. Keizer and other local governments operate under federal non-discrimination guidelines. Many federal mandates are written to assure rights of individuals and organizations are maintained and protected. What the inclusivity group is seeking is to legislate beliefs and behavior. You can not force people to do what you want them to without the threat of consequences. Unfortunately, public messages meant to influence the actions of the public often falls deaf on the ears of those who are the message’s target audience. Plus, you cannot pass an ordinance calling for the average citizen to...

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Do no harm

To the Class of 2017: The easy part is over. People will say that if you can get through high school, you’re set. Except for college. Except for a job and a career. Graduates in every generation say the same thing: “I’m glad high school is over.” Yet, many people say they remember their high school days fondly—the structure, the friends, the sports, the activities. All of that without thinking much about how it is all paid for. If you paid attention to your studies you have exited high school with a solid base of education that will serve you well as you enter your college days. For those foregoing further education in favor of the military or directly into the job market, your education will serve you well, also. One of the key lessons you learned through the past 12 years of schooling is how to treat people, how to socialize with others. That’s important because the world is full of people. You will meet people at college, at work, in the military, on a mission. How you deal with other people will have a huge impact on your success. The Golden Rule may sound trite but it has always been true: when you treat others well, you will be treated well in return. Be polite. Don’t be nasty. Be helpful. Don’t be selfish. You know the rules,...

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