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Day: September 23, 2010

Two arrested in heroin investigation

Patrick Keerins and Kris Keerins
Patrick Keerins and Kris Keerins

Two Keizer men are in police custody due to an investigation of a heroin distribution ring.

Salem Police are leading the investigation into the heroin investigation, which culminated in search warrants served at three addresses in the Salem-Keizer area. One was in Keizer, at 1268 Greenwood Drive NE. Authorities also searched at 855 Norman Street NE and a storage facility in Salem. Two vehicles from the homes were also searched.

Between arrests and searches, police said they found heroin along with some $1,200 in cash, drug packaging materials and drug paraphernalia.
Police believe one of the suspects would sit in Salem-area fast food restaurants, selling heroin for hours at a time.

Arrested were Patrick Keerins, a 53-year-old Keizer resident, and his brother, 48-year-old Kris S. Keerins. Patrick was arrested for eight counts of delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, along with nine counts of delivery of a controlled substance and parole violation. Kris Keerins was charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and parole violation.

Bowling champ in Keizer Saturday

Keizer bowlers interested in sharpening their skills will have the opportunity to do so alongside Professional Bowling Association bowler Wes Malott Saturday, Sept. 25, at Town and Country Lanes.

Malott will be providing tips to the alley’s youth bowlers, signing autographs and taking pictures throughout the morning. Beginning at 1 p.m., he will be bowling alongside local talent in a tournament open to the public.

Interested bowlers can register for the tournament in advance by calling 503-390-2221, but walk-ins will be welcomed. Cost is $10 for youth and $20 for adults with $10 of each adult entry going toward a prize fund.

Malott, from Pflugerville, Texas, has rolled 26 perfect games (300) during sanctioned play.

Think of effect of a big box ban

By CHRIS PEYTON

I am deeply concerned about the possibility of the big box ban passing in Keizer.

Like so many laws and restrictions that are foisted upon us, this is another “well intentioned” effort that would have unforeseen negative effects for Keizer that would far outweigh any benefits.  With the arbitrary value of 65,000 square feet chosen as the cut-off for the ban, does this mean that a 66,000 square foot store would damage our community, increase crime in our neighborhoods and snarl traffic but a 64,000 square foot store would fit in nicely and cause none of those?  Are we to believe that a store’s benefit to the community is inversely proportional to its size?  Of course, this is ridiculous.

The economic analysis of Keep Keizer Livable (KKL) and the unions is weak.  They argue that keeping out large stores would strengthen our local businesses and benefit all Keizer residents.  This proposal is nothing but protectionism on a small scale and would bring the negative impacts that always follow protectionist policies.  Added competition brings additional services, greater product variety and lower prices for all of us, all of which would be restricted by this ban.  Jeff Anderson of United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) 55 also claims that chain stores hurt communities by lowering wages.  It’s Mr. Anderson’s ideas that are damaging: forcing artificially high wages on companies, as he does, suppresses the number of employees they can hire.  Wages are no different than any other expense and the higher they are the more limited a company will be in hiring additional workers.  Some argue that the lower wage jobs that would come with a box store aren’t what we want.  With Oregon’s unemployment rate, are we really in a position to turn away jobs because “they aren’t good enough?”

Proponents of the ban also cite increased traffic as a reason to block new businesses from locating in Keizer.  This is a legitimate concern but the solution is to make the necessary improvements to our infrastructure to handle the traffic and alleviate potential problems.  Where would we be today if the possibility of increasing traffic had been common criteria used to keep businesses out of Keizer in the past?

If we approve this ban, we have to accept that it will impact an untold number of companies in the future who may want to locate here, not just the common villain Wal-Mart.  Would KKL feel the same about a Trader Joe’s or Costco coming if their proposed stores were larger than 65,000 square feet?  This ban will create an environment that tells large companies that we don’t want their jobs, their services or their products.

Banning legal companies from coming is against the very principles that are critical to American economic prosperity. The way to voice your concern is through your mayor, city councilors and other city officials and to vote with your pocketbook by supporting the businesses you prefer.  Saying “no” to this measure is not saying “yes” to Wal-Mart; saying “no” is standing against more harmful bureaucracy.

Chris Peyton lives in Keizer.

Freilinger wants your vote for county commissioner

J. Freilinger

Jason Freilinger, a Silverton-area Democrat is seeking the county commission seat currently held by Patti Milne, a two-term Republican from Woodburn.

The Keizertimes sat down with Freilinger to find out why he’s challenging Milne and what his vision for Marion County is.

Q: Why challenge Commissioner Milne? (Editor’s note: Commissioner Janet Carlson is also up for re-election this year. She is running unopposed.)

A: “There were a couple of different reasons. One was purely logistical with the charter that was on the ballot the last time a ound. It made things very confusing as to how to structure a campaign. … I was in the same district as she would have been if it would have passed.

“And I have to honestly say I have a good deal of respect for Janet Carlson and I feel she brings a lot to the county. She’s highy intelligent, very inquisitive. When I look at striking a balance, which is very important to me as far as what we need in the county, we need a more balanced approach to land use and finance, I think my addition to the board working with Janet Carlson would be much more conducive than running against Janet.”

Q: You say you want a more balanced approach, but what does that mean to a Marion County resident?

A: “I think we are really out of balance in is how we approach our land use issues. … The commissioners have a very build-at-any-cost, move forward (approach) without thinking of do you have the infrastructure in place, are we destroying prime farmland in the process? And I feel that’s why we’re out of balance.

“I’m not a person that says all growth is bad. I definitely believe we need to have economic development and growth, in the commercial, residential and industrial sectors. But I think we can be much more thoughtful in how we do that. Now we wait for a developer to come to us and say, that’s what we want to see, and the move forward instead of creating a vision of what we want to see.”

“An example is the Mill Creek project. We said this is going to be industrial land and we’ll have the infrastructure in place … It has to be living wage jobs. Now we’re seeing companies move in there – Sanyo came in, Home Depot came in – that’s structured, it’s where we want it, it’s not next to a residential community that’s going to be damaged by it.”

Q: What’s your position on a potential Keizer urban growth boundary expansion?

A: “Once again it has to be very detailed and very thoughtful. We have to look at the land around Keizer and population growth, and ask, what is not prime farmland or not part of the park system, and say that’s where we need to expand. We need to let developers know in advance. … Keizer’s kind of bursting at the seams, but I look at the flip side, in Silverton there’s 500 vacant lots approved and inside their UGB, and no one’s moving there. …”

“The French Prairie soils north of Keizer were the whole reason the Oregon Trail existed, to come to this prime farmland. I think we do have to draw a line on our growth as far as thinking we’re going to build on the top of prime farmland. Keizer is not 100 percent butted up against prime soils, and that’s where we should be looking at expanding the urban growth boundary.”

Q: How much of that debate is emotional versus economic?

A: “Agriculture is still the number one industry in Marion County. So it is very much tied, I think, to the economics and success of Marion County. I tell people when I make decisions I make them for the next 100 years. I think that land will be much more valuable as farmland in 100 years than a residential community … You can’t go backwards. You can’t take a residential community and turn it into farmland. Is there some emotion to it? Sure. I also want to have good quality of life.”

Q: What industries would the county be poised to attract?

“I think we could be better poised for supporting high-tech and green jobs. We have the Mill Creek project, which is the biggest shovel-ready portion of land along the I-5 corridor. That makes us very marketable to various industries.”