Keizer Public Square

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Art does a mind good

Anyone driving along River Road in Keizer will spy a number of art pieces, many of which have been in place for years.

The Keizer Public Art Commission is responsible for the art, accepting applications by artists, choosing which art to place and where it should be placed.

The art chosen over the years has elicited various opinions from the public. Several sayings come to mind: everyone’s a critic and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Not every piece of art will be favored by all. Art should spark thought. A perfect example is the Rosie’s Silly Cows installation at the roundabout at Chemawa Road and Verda Lane.

Most people thought the sculptures—brightly colored, two dimensional steel cut-outs of dancing cows with what appear to be hula hoops—were a wonderful addition to Keizer’s public art. Deriders thought it was a waste of money. Though it is public art, no taxpayer dollars were used to commission the art by Tara Choate. The money came from grants from, among others, the Keizer Community Foundation.

Fears of the art in the middle of the intersection would cause accidents and vandalism have not come to pass.

Rosalie’s Silly Cows is arguably the city’s most whimsical art installation. Keizer needs more whimsical pieces that provoke a conversation about art in general and life in the city specifically.

Art makes life better. There is plenty in our community including the Thomas Dove Keizur statue and the story poles at Keizer Civic Center. There are two large murals in Keizer—one on the north exterior wall of The Rec and on the south exterior wall of Keizer Florist. Those murals tells a story of our area. Unfortunately our city does not have any large blank spaces to paint an artist mural. We are jealous that cities across the nation have decorated themselves with amazing murals.

One person’s art is another person’s abomination. That is what is great about art….it gets people talking. That’s never a bad thing.

The public can learn more about the art in the city’s public spaces at, evogov.s3.amazonaws.com/media.


Staats Lake is private

To the Editor:

In the May 17th edition of the Keizertimes an article appeared New Moms spotted at Staats Lake with an invitation to visit the lake that is in ‘our backyard.’ 

While the article is correct in stating new life abounds in and near the lake at this time of year it should be noted the article is incorrect to invite people to the lake. The lake is private and is considered the backyard of all the homeowners around the lake. We pay a monthly fee to maintain the lake, pathway and vegetation along the bank. There are also signs posted along the path indicating it is private property and state no trespassing. 

I state this fact because it seems very few people can read the signs or are aware of the private lake status. The homeowners along the lake enjoy the solitude and visual pleasure the lake provides. However, on any given day there can be interruptions to the peacefulness. This includes the trespassers who walk/run the lake who run through our backyard.

All my years as a homeowner on the lake I’ve been witness to skateboarders and bicyclists on the walking path, people feeding the animals, crowds of people on 4th of July, late night parties, early morning kids walking the lake, and stolen property from my yard. The walking path is just that…a walking path. Feeding any wildlife is harmful to the wildlife, but yet kids and adults do it. Feeding the wildlife is unsafe to the wildlife. Excess food left behind is an invitation for rodents also. The 4th of July crowds are very concerning because they bring illegal fireworks and that is clearly a fire hazard to all the homes. Trying to sleep at times is challenging with late night people walking and talking loudly. Just as true for early morning walkers. 

Past experiences with late night and early morning partiers are people climbing up the retaining wall to get on my patio, young kids (maybe 10-12) cussing me out because I asked them leave the walking path at 5 a.m. Then finally, the stealing of personal property from my yard is never a pleasant issue.

By ignoring the private status of the lake, it is a clear sign that many people lack respect. It would be great if that would change. Maybe a good first step is the Keizertimes not making a public invitation to the city to walk through my backyard.

Gerry Ignatowski, Keizer

Dangerous high court ruling delights progressives


Earlier in the month, “the least dangerous” branch (Alexander Hamilton’s description of the judiciary) did something dangerous. By ratifying the unprecedented structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Supreme Court incentivized additional slipshod congressional work that will feed the executive branch’s sense of entitlement to unaccountable discretion in making laws and policies.

The decision, which some progressives will praise as “judicial restraint,” demonstrates that this anodyne phrase often denotes a dereliction of the judicial duty to compel the other branches to act constitutionally.

In 2010, Congress created the CFPB with a flamboyantly unconstitutional, and (Woodrow) Wilsonian, structure. The first president to radically criticize the Founding, Wilson was especially impatient with the separation of powers, one purpose of which is to inhibit unconstrained executive power.

The CFPB is empowered to regulate and define, without congressional hindrance, “financial products and services,” and “abusive,” “unfair,” “deceptive” or discriminatory business practices. The CFPB is a legislature, with enormous regulatory and punitive powers, lodged within the executive branch by a Congress uninterested in lawmaking or even oversight.

Last week, the court actually held, 7-2, that congressional progressives failed in their proclaimed attempt to pioneer a novel form of unaccountable autonomy for this appendage of the administrative state. Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett M. Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson, said there is nothing importantly new about the CFPB’s structure. Either Thomas contradicts himself when referring to the CFPB’s various “novel structural features,” or he has unearthed a novel “original meaning” of “novel.”

The CFPB is doubly insulated from accountability through the appropriations process. The bureau funds itself by its director asserting its congressionally bestowed entitlement, in perpetuity, to up to 12%t of the Federal Reserve’s operating expenses. These are not appropriated; they are assessments on banks and interest on the Fed’s holdings.

This, Thomas says approvingly, simply means nothing “forces” the CFPB “to regularly implore Congress” for funding. Implore? When did it become optional, even an indignity, for a federal agency to have to ask the people’s representatives for the people’s money?

The Constitution’s appropriations clause says: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” Thomas says in effect: A law established the CFPB, so the clause is satisfied.

Thomas, a strict originalist, says the Constitution’s words should be construed by their public meaning in 1787. Then, however, there was no federal institution remotely like the Federal Reserve, even as it was when created in 1913. And it then was nothing remotely like the freewheeling economic policymaker that the Fed is 111 years later.

Regarding the CFPB, Thomas makes originalism implausible by his mechanical (Jesuitical, casuistic, rabbinical, recondite—pick your adjective) attempt to tickle from the word “appropriation” an answer other than the obvious one: legislative control over the source and disposition of money to finance the government. Thomas’s originalist approach to legitimizing the CFPB is less a way of thinking than a way to avoid thinking about what “appropriation” should mean in the context of today’s administrative state.

Wandering deep in the weeds of medieval etymology (“Throughout the Middle Ages …”), Thomas misses the salutary point of judicious originalism, which is to discern and respect the appropriation clause’s original intent: to preserve the legislative branch’s core power in maintaining a Madisonian equilibrium between the branches – control of the public purse.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., joined in dissent by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, also unpacks the meaning of “appropriation” but comes to the correct conclusion that the Constitution’s framers would be “horrified” by the CFPB’s structure, which reduces the appropriations clause to “a minor vestige.” The CFPB does not even have to return unspent funds to the Treasury but can build an endowment from unspent funds. As the majority reads it, Alito writes, the appropriations clause “imposes no temporal limit that would prevent Congress from authorizing the executive to spend public funds in perpetuity.”

Critics often call today’s court “imperial”—guilty of institutional aggrandizement. Actually, when the court insists that Congress use the powers vested only in it, such as control of public moneys and oversight of executive agencies, the third branch is telling the first branch to defend its primacy. The CFPB is yet another, but especially flagrant, act of self-diminishment by Congress.

(Washington Post)

Autocratic is un-American


Impossible to miss these early summer-like days of 2024 is the number of Americans who apparently are smitten by the idea of having the U.S.A. under an authoritarian form of government. One handy factor associated with such a new order of how things can be is by looking elsewhere nowadays to see examples of totalitarian implementation in practice.

One of those is Hong Kong, a colony and later dependent territory of the United Kingdom from 1841 to 1997, excepting the Empire of Japan’s forced occupation of Hong during the Second World War. With the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984, stating that the economic and social systems in Hong Kong would remain relatively unchanged for 50 years, the British agreed to transfer the entire territory to China upon expiration of the New Territories lease in 1997, becoming a Special Administrative Region until 2047.

However, China, soon after the agreement between itself and the United Kingdom went into effect, began a takeover of all matters formerly set in place and practiced by Hong Kong residents during its years of evermore democratic principles and practices. Soon, China made it over to absolute rule by dictatorial, authoritarian government headed since 2012 by absolute dictator and one-man ruler Xi Jinping. By 2024, all rights, freedoms, rule by law and a voting citizenry, formerly common to life in Hong Kong before the change to rule by Bejing, have disappeared. 

Harsh beatings, prison incarcerations, disappearances and murder have become widespread and ubiquitous, totally ending the Hong Kong that once was. The latest rule brings beatings and imprisonment to offenders who have the audacity to whistle a popular song of disenchantment with the regime. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State has warned Americans that a visit to Hong Kong may result in wrongful detention and arbitrary enforcement of unwritten laws as have been experienced by those U.S. citizens intrepid enough to venture a recent visit. In other words, avoid the place!

And that example of extreme repression has become the standard among totalitarians governments worldwide. It will arrive in America as soon as a majority of U.S. voters approve an authoritarian as leader here.

(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion frequently in the Keizertimes)

Contact Keizertimes Staff:
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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