Author: Lyndon Zaitz

Art matters in Keizer

The Keizer Art Association, which had humble beginnings, has become a player on the art and city scene. Under the direction of past and present presidents such as Jonathan Boys and Robert Selby plus the other officers and board members, the art association offers art classes, art shows and exhibits at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery at the Keizer Heritage Center on the civic center campus. The all-volunteer organization will kick off the holiday season with its annual Black/White & Gray show in November with a reception on Saturday, Nov. 6.  The show, the biggest of the year for the association, showcases paintings, photos and sculpture by regional artists.  It is a free show that Keizerites can attend to get a taste of what local artists are producing. The Black/White & Gray Show is held every November but there are many other opportunities to get close to art.  The Kidzart program in the summer offers Keizer’s kids the chance to get their hands and minds into different projects.  For adults the association’s class offerings are designed for both the amateur and advanced artist. The art association is one of the non-profit organizations that make Keizer a good place to live.  Professional art of all types can be found in its gallery in a comfortable setting that is welcoming rather than intimidating. The art association is also inthe midst of...

Read More

Keep Heritage as it is

The city and the Keizer Heritage Foundation are headed for a collision unless they can come to an agreement on the foundation’s lease of the ground its building—the Keizer Heritage Center—sits on. The Heritage Foundation raised money in the late 1980s to save the original Keizer School.  After the construction of Schoolhouse Square Shopping Center, the building sat forlorned behind the center.  The community came together and raised money—from pennies to sizable donations— with help from the city to relocate the building its to present site and to rehabilitate the structure into a community center. The center is the city’s only historic building that serves a public service. If the current lease is not renewed the city can take over control of the heritage building.  That would be a troubling chain of events if it came to pass. If the city did take control of the building one wonders how they would pay for its operation and maintenance.  The Keizer Heritage Foundation has used revenues from tenant rents and rental of the conference room to pay for day-to-day operations as well as adding money to the sinking fund that pays for big maintenance projects. Some officials seek larger space for the Keizer Museum; others want more space for the Keizer Community Library.  Those are nifty goals but to reach them a lot of different pieces have to fall into...

Read More

Foreclosures

Just when Americans thought things couldn’t get any worse, along comes the foreclosure mess, which could very well jeopardize the buds of recovery from the worse economy climate in decades. Across the country, in 23 states, a moratorium on home foreclosures was implemented by financial institutions in response to allegations that sloppy and potentially fraudulent paperwork led to questions about the validity of many of those repossessions.  Not all banks stopped all foreclosures, but enough did to open the entire process to question. It has been reported that some servicers simply ran foreclosure affidavits through a computer-signed factory; some employees admit they never even read through most of the documents to ascertain whether a property should be seized. That has created a flood of foreclosures on homes, some of which should not have been in that position.  There are many stories of the horrors homeowners have faced during this debacle—not knowing their home was being foreclosed on or even being foreclosed on when they don’t have a mortgage. What led to the current situation, in part, was a desire to decrease the cost of a loan to the consumer.  That was done with a company called the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) that tracked servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans.  MERS says its process eliminates the need to file assignments in the county land records, which lowers costs...

Read More

The future of our water

Fluoridation of Keizer’s water has risen as an issue before the city council, but not for the reasons of the past.  In the middle of the last century, when cities wanted to add fluoride to the their water systems, a cry rose up that it was a communist plot and it was unAmerican.  Of course it was not a communist plot and the argument can be made that the teeth of millions of children are healthier due to the fluoride they receive via their water. In a work session this week councilors heard from both sides of the fluoridation debate.  City Council Richard Walsh is pushing for the city to cease adding fluoride to the city’s water system for both health and financial reason. The city of Keizer spends approximately $50,000 a year to add fluoride to the water system.  An update of the system can push that to $80,000 a year.  Walsh says that the city can better spend that money in other areas such as law enforcement or city amenities.  The council is scheduled to pick up the issue again at its Oct. 18 meeting. Before taking a final vote the city council needs to be sure it has all the information to make a decision.  It’s nice to hear from dentists but the councilors need to hear from scientists and experts who can expound on fluoride’s...

Read More

The people will be heard

The people behind an initative to limit big box retailers to Area A of Keizer Station say they have attained the necessary signatures.  Once the requisite number of signatures have been verified the issue will be placed before Keizer voters in March. The organizers withstood criticism from the mayor and some city councilors who say that if the initiative passed it would pull the welcome mat for some of the retailers or developers who might want to locate here. The organizers really were targeting a proposed big box store in Area C of Keizer Station.  Keep Keizer Livable, a citizens group, was started by residents who live in the shadow of that parcel of land and fear for the, well, livability of their neighborhood.  Some might think their solution is like taking a sledgehammer to a fly, but they feel they had no other choice, saying they didn’t feel their views were being taken into account when planning for Area C.  They want the people’s voices to be heard, thus the petition. Once the petition’s signatures are verified and the initiative heads for the ballot, the real fight will begin.  As it has been pointed out, a ban on big box retailers outside Area A means that no Keizer Village-type developments would be allowed outside that area.  That will be a big argument against the initiative that the folks...

Read More