Author: Lyndon Zaitz

A bird in the hand

There is more than $600,000 in the Keizer park improvement fund gathered from system developmen charges.  The city says most of that money, if not all, is earmarked for the proposed boat ramp at Keizer Rapids Park. The city money is being hoarded to serve as matching funds from the state of Oregon.  Fat chance.  With the state eyeing a $2 billion budget shortfall it will be hard for the state legislature to tell students they can’t get new books because Keizer wants a boat ramp in their gem of a park. At any time a boat ramp would be a luxury (want to have versus need to have) item.  In these days when every government’s budget is stretched tight as a drum, it doesn’t make sense to hold back money that is already in the bank for a feel good project. Much like Keizer Station, Keizer Rapids Park is a work in progress.  It will take a number of years for all the amenities to come to fruition:  boat ramp, BMX bicycle course, professional tennis courts and a recreation center. These amenities are said by some to boost economic development in Keizer, by bringing visitors to our city.  That is a good goal, but we need to prove we can attract visitors here first and then get those visitors to spend money in our local businesses. Money in...

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Strike up the band

On Saturday, Sept. 11, McNary High School band members will spread out across Keizer seeking donations for its programs. When a student in a band uniform comes knocking we hope that most  households will find a little something to offer, even if it’s only bottles and cans that can be turned in for the deposit. The McNary band programs are some of the most respected in the state.  In a time of slashed arts in school budgets, Keizer schools have a found a way to not only keep their programs alive, but keep them thriving. Inside every band member one will find a dedicated student who works together as a team to achieve their goals of excellence.  Anything the community can do to help the program along with money or volunteer time would  not be wasted.  It has been reported that students involved with extracurricular activites are involved students and do well with their studies. Students go to school to learn in their classrooms, but there are also big life lessons to be learned by being part of a group larger than oneself, much as being involved with school sports does. When band members come ringing doorbells on Saturday, Keizer should open its wallets and help retain this little part of what makes our city the quaint town everybody loves....

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Music in Keizer

There is a lot of music in Keizer.  The Keizer Community Stage Band has grown into an excellent and passionate group of musicians. The music programs at the high school and middle schools are envied by other schools.  Local groups such as Steelhead attract loyal followers wherever they play.  Keizer is a musical town, it’s one of the facades of the city everyone should promote. The Keizer Community Band, under the direction of Dennis Bierman, has been playing around the city for years.  They have become a cohesive musical group that its listeners respond to, be it a standard composition or a jazzy number.  The band staged summer concerts this year at the gazebo at Chalmers Jones Park at the Keizer Civic Center.  They have appeared at other community events such as National Night Out. The band, like many organizations in Keizer, is comprised of volunteers who play for the fun of it and to feed their passion for music.  They are yet another example of volunteers who make life in Keizer a little sweeter. It’s probable that most of the members in the community band first learned how to play an instrument in school.  As arts programs continue to face budget cuts across the nation, our local schools maintain their programs through massive efforts by the school district, teachers and parents. The music programs at McNary High School,...

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The legacy of Richard Walsh

Richard Walsh’s announcement that he will not seek election to a third full term this year has been met with sadness. Walsh has been one of the workhorses of the city council over the past 10 years.  His fingerprints are on some of the city’s biggest projects. He cited family and business reasons for his decision.  We can’t fault a person for focusing on what’s important in life—family.But we have probably not seen the last of Walsh.  Many see him as a future mayor of Keizer.  He himself has said that he will stay involved in Keizer. Whether he ever holds public office in Keizer again or not, he has his legacy, Keizer Rapids Park.  The regional park came into being due to Walsh’s fierce determination to make it happen.  Others scoffed at his proposal when he first made it, saying that there was no money to make it a reality. Walsh proved them all wrong, working tirelessly to garner the grants that were necessary to purchase land and create the amenities.  His enthusiasm soon caught on and other councilors and citizens got park fever. Keizer Rapids Park is a work in progress though his idea for an amphitheatre is now a reality.  He has always said that once his vision was complete—boat ramp to the river, a tennis complex and more, it would be a boon to our...

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Keep it simple

The City of Keizer is on its own regarding a design on the water tower beside Interstate 5.  The Confederated Tribes of the Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde have deferred to a design of the city’s choosing, but are reserving veto rights over the final design. Over the three years since it was erected there have been discussions in many circles about what should be on Keizer’s largest welcome sign.  Some ideas have been whimisical, some unworkable.  The city should be not distracted by this issue.  There are more important issues facing the city. Some don’t want anything on the tower.  That doesn’t work either.  The city should keep it simple.  Welcome to Keizer would work just fine.  Anythiing more than that gets involved with all kinds of debates, discussions, hearings and such that are not needed....

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