Author: Lyndon Zaitz

Urban renewal and jobs

It is nice for cities to have  green parks with lots of amenities.  It is even nicer for cities to have jobs for its citizens. That’s where the city council should be putting its focus—creating opportunities for jobs and recruiting businesses to Keizer that will offer living wage jobs. Despite the cheers about 166,000 new jobs in the country, that pales compared to the more than 10 million lost since the recession began almost two years ago.  The fact that the stock market is flirting with 11,000 gives hope, but pales in comparison to the thousands of feet of empty retail and factory space. Keizer does not exist in a vacuum.  Although our employment base is heavily weighted toward government jobs, more than 75 percent of our jobs are in the private sector.  Our local unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent and that number doesn’t reflect the underemployed and those who have dropped out of the job market all together. The city should be focused on bringing to Keizer the kind of jobs that will support a households.  If that means that improving parks has to be put on the back burner for a while, so be it. We are big boosters of Keizer’s parks and understand the role parks play in the livability of a community.  Funding everything that keeps Keizer’s quality of life at desired levels is...

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All 31 flavors return after store remodel

Sometime during the year you can probably find your favorite ice cream flavor at Baskin-Robbins in Keizer.  Unless your favorite flavor is licorice.  Baskin-Robbins doesn’t offer the black flavor anymore; it affects the flavors coming after it in the manufacturing process. Keizerites John and Tina Lottis closed the Keizer ice cream store in March to remodel for the first time in years.  “The plumbing was 35 years old,” said Lottis. Customers will not notice the new plumbing but they’ll see the new furnishings, new paneling and new menu boards, all an update from the corporate office. Baskin-Robbins, a franchiser, boasts over 5,800 stores throughout the world.  The local franchiser is Alpenrose Dairy of Portland, so the ice cream for the Keizer store is made just up the road using corporate recipes. Though it’s a franchise, the Keizer store is a Lottis family business.  One of their daughters, Kristy, used to manage the Keizer and Lancaster Drive stores.  Son Coe has worked for the stores in the past. Coe is now living in Portland and Kristy is raising her family here in Keizer. These days John’s sister-in-law works there and his brother-in-law helps out as needed while his father does all the maintenance. The Lottis family didn’t start out in ice cream. For years the family owned Valley Welding Supply in Salem. The Lottis children, though in their 20s, still come to one of the stores...

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