Author: Lyndon Zaitz

A healthy city

The wheels of government turn slowly. In many cases that is a good thing because government bodies need to assure that policy making and budgeting have many moving parts and all interests and consequences need to be considered. There are times when the wheels of government do not need to slow to a crawl, especially when it concerns free money. The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities Campaign, funded by Kaiser Permanente and other partners, is designed to play a role in reversing the trend toward sedentary behavior (think watching TV and playing video games for hours on end)...

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Boost academics

Athletics at McNary High School has a club of boosters—a non-profit organization comprised mainly of parents of the students who play sports. The choir and band programs also have organized boosters. Boosters not only support the programs but are also a big source of fund raising. Athletics and arts should be supported and boosted. We call on the administration of McNary High School to set the stage for creating academic booster clubs—after all, students are attending school primarily to learn and achieve scholastic excellence. Imagine the powerful message that would be sent with the establishment of a Mathematics Booster...

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Call it a day for EDC

Is it time to put a stake through the heart of the city’s Economic Development Commission? The commission, established by the Keizer City Council in 2014, has not met on its original quarterly schedule; many times there are up to five members absent from sessions. This is no way to run a city commission. The Economic Development Commission, headed by Mayor Cathy Clark, serves in an advisory capacity to the city council and is charged with providing recommendations regarding economic development in the city. The commission is supposed to establish a network of communications between resources and talents within...

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Men of the hour

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce held its annual award banquet last Saturday, honoring four men who have played an outsized role in the community. James Trett was announced as Keizer’s First Citizen for 2016. He stepped up to the microphone to thunderous applause from the attendees, with a shocked, yet humble look on his face. Trett’s biggest impact over the past four decades has been his work with Keizer’s youth. His work as the Keizer Fire District’s public education officer brought him in contact with students at schools. Growing from that role Trett soon was teaching first aid and CPR to kids. His work with kids did not stop when he left the public education post. Whiteaker Middle School was  his second home as he assisted with the choir program and other duties around the school. The Chamber recognized him the first time in 2006 when he was presented with the Service to Education award. Keizer is what it is because of people exactly like Jim Trett. He is a person who always asks “How can I help?” Like all good volunteers, Trett does what he does out of duty and passion, not recognition. His quiet demeanor belies a fierce determination to do what is right and fair. All those that know Jim Trett personally is his friend; he’d have it no other way. Trett’s choice as the First...

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With new president, think local

As you read this the 45th president of the United States has been sworn into office and we are now in unchartered waters. Some say that is a good thing and exactly what the nation needs; others say that life as we know it will change in fundamental ways. Both sides are right. The Electoral College gave a majority of votes to Republican Donald J. Trump (though he lost the the popular vote by almost 3 million). It is not hard to argue that Trump will be unlike any other president this country has had. If he was a pure ideologue it would be easier to predict what he might do once in office. But Trump is not driven by ideology, he is driven by his own personality, his own peeves, his self image. Donald Trump has broken the mold of how a president acts, speaks and leads. As his opponent said last fall he can be baited with a tweet. Twitter is his preferred form of communication, which drives presidential scholars and academes—who are used to sober policy statements and speeches—crazy. Trump’s America First stance will reshape this country’s foreign policy that will look unfamiliar to insiders but will be cheered by the Americans who voted to shake up the established order of things. When a person with no governmental experience at any level is elected to lead...

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