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Month: April 2011

Bob Palmer for MCFD board #1

To the Editor:

I am writing to endorse Robert “Bob” Palmer for the position of Director at Marion County Fire District No. 1.

My name is Dan Olsen.  I served as Fire Chief and Budget Officer of Marion County Fire District No. 1 from 1996-2000.  During that time it was my pleasure to work with Bob Palmer.

As Fire Chief, I know the importance of having Directors on the Board that understand the challenges, are fiscally responsive and are committed to serving in the best interest of the citizens, employees and volunteers of the District.

Bob Palmer is the right person for the right position at the right time.

He manages a successful small business.

As a construction superintendent, he has the expertise to successfully deal with large budgets and be fiscally responsible.

Bob served his community for twenty-three years, as a volunteer firefighter and officer with Fire District 1, retiring as Deputy Chief.

His experience, skills and dedication make him the best choice for the position of Director.

Please join the growing number of supporters who are voting for Bob Palmer for Marion County Fire District Director position No. 2.

Trustworthy…Experienced…Dedicated.  Palmer—Fire District Director.

Dan Olsen

Support Randy Franke

To the Editor:

Please consider joining me in voting for Randy Franke for Marion County Fire District #1.

I’ve known Randy Franke for more than 25 years and can affirm his professional leadership skills, and impeccable integrity. You can always count on Randy to do his homework, and be confident that he involves people from all sides of an issue.

Randy means what he says and you can trust him. I’m voting for Randy Franke for Marion County Fire District #1, and I hope everyone does the same.

Mary Kanz

Improving our environment

To the Editor:

As we reflect on the just-passed Earth Day, we should each consider how we can take steps to improve our environmental performance.  At Covanta Marion, we strive for continuous improvement and have a number of programs and design elements to contribute to our overall environmental performance.

In 2010, by recovering energy from our municipal waste, we produced 86,352 megawatt hours of clean renewable energy – enough energy to power 8,000 homes.  And, for each ton of waste we processed, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about one ton.  We also recycled 4,704 tons of ferrous metals in 2010.  These important natural resources would not be recycled if our waste went to a landfill instead of an Energy-from-Waste facility.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, each ton of ferrous metal we recycled saved 1.7 tons of greenhouse gases.

While we are very proud of our 2010 performance, we hope to do even better in 2011 while continuing to serve our community with reliable, sustainable waste disposal and clean renewable energy generation.

Karen Breckenridge
Covanta Marion

Support Randy Franke

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of re-electing Randy Franke to the Marion County Fire District #1 Board of Directors.

He served as our Marion County commissioner for 24 years and I had the opportunity to observe him in that role first hand.

It was his vision that created the comprehensive solid waste management system from curb side recycling to energy from our waste that can not be recycled.

We continue to be a leader in recycling in Oregon today because of his leadership.  He did his homework, he listened to those who had questions, and when he was sure environmental and cost issues had been addressed, he led where others held back.

We need his fearless leadership, honesty, and integrity on the Marion County Fire District #1 board now more than ever.  Join me in voting for Randy Franke.

Wayne A. Thackery

Shakespeare conquers Haight-Ashbury at MHS

A throng of forest people/hippies gathers behind the Haight-Ashbury sign. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

As if tackling Shakespeare wasn’t enough, McNary High School’s drama department decided to give their take on the Bard’s “As You Like It” an extra twist in a play already filled with them.

The Celtic production of the play, which kicked off Thursday pass press time, continues April 29-30 and May 5-7, trades the royal court for the corporate world and the forest folk for hippies in the “groovy” version. Curtain time is 7 p.m. for all shows and tickets are $5.

“It’s one of the most relatable [Shakespeare] plays and easy to understand,” said actor Laney McCartney, who is portraying Karen, queen of the hippies. “It matches the time of the 60s better than other Shakespearean work taken out of its time.”

“Even little kids could come and be mesmerized by the color and the music,” added Eric Kearns, who shoulders the role of Orlando.

The play revolves around Shakespeare’s comparison between country and city life. Duke Senior has fled the court, and his usurping brother, Duke Frederick, and gone into the forest (Golden Gate Park) and now lives a simple and ideal life with his followers. The plot of the story follows the exploits of Rosalind (played by senior Hannah Alice Patterson), Duke Senior’s daughter, who becomes part of the forest folk while disguised as a man. When she encounters the man she loves, Orlando, she uses her disguise to her advantage. Rosalind, dressed and acting like a man, convinces her heart’s desire to let her instruct him on the ways of love. The plot also includes Shakespeare’s famous “All the World’s a Stage” speech.

Emily Haskins took on the role of Jaquelin specifically to try her hand at the speech.

“Unlike some of the other characters, there’s a lot of depth to Jaquelin and why she feels so melancholy that a lot of the characters don’t get that [development],” Haskins said.

Loving the language is something that Patterson took to heart in preparing her take on Rosalind.

“We don’t get the opportunity to speak like this in everyday conversation. That’s one of the things [director Dallas] Myers stressed: enjoy the moment when you can. There’s also a thrill to saying the lines and realizing, omigosh, I know what they’re talking about,” Patterson said.

“Our teachers and directors have done a great job of explaining and guiding us through Shakespearean language so we understand when and how to add emphasis,” Kearns said.

The clash of the old and new was something that stage director Alexis Prinslow found a challenge when trying to convey the mood of the play in promotional materials and organizing people, but figuring it out and helping put it together was a reward all its own.

Kyle Sullivan, whose character Adam is absent for much of the second half of the play, expected to become bored more often as he’s watched rehearsals day after day, but what he discovered was the exact opposite.

“I’ve enjoyed every second I’ve spent watching it as the rehearsals go on,” he said.

Dave Lapof for KFD board position

To the Editor:

As a retired Keizer Firefighter of 38 years, I support Dave Lapof for the position of Director for the Keizer Fire District.

Dave Lapof has served in the fire service in Oregon since 1988 and continues to be active in the fire service in Oregon. Dave Lapof served two terms as president of the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association. Dave Lapof will have a strong voice on the fire board and will be an active and effective board member. Dave Lapof will bring new vision and ideas to help make the tough decisions ahead for the Keizer Fire District.

Louis Priest

Report: Keizer needs more land to offset resident-to-job ratio


A “regional imbalance” of high-value commercial sites in the Salem area leaves Keizer holding the short straw, a state-funded study says.

The mood at a Tuesday, April 5 meeting with officials from the cities of Salem, Keizer, and Turner along with Marion and Polk counties at the Keizer Civic Center was civil and at times even humorous. But competing interests and philosophical differences sometimes surfaced nonetheless. It concluded with an agreement to go back to respective jurisdictions, decide what priorities are by July and meet again.

And a set of proposed mitigation measures to address a commercial land deficit didn’t particularly impress some Keizer city councilors. Keizer has very little easy land to build on left within the urban growth boundary.

Areas in an urban growth boundary are required under state law to have a 20-year supply of land to grow both residentially and economically. Salem and Keizer share a boundary, and the argument for years has been there’s land to grow on: It’s just all in south or west Salem.

But consultants from ECONorthwest put somewhat vague notions into hard numbers as part of a study paid for by the Department of Land Use and Conservation.

Full study results will be released in May but the numbers about our regional economy paint a dismal picture if you’re into the idea of working in Keizer:

• Keizer has one job for every seven residents.

“It would not be inaccurate to describe Keizer as a bedroom community,” said Bob Parker, an ECONorthwest senior planner.

Balancing out that ratio will “require faster employment growth relative to population,” but the city doesn’t have “sufficient land to accommodate this level of employment growth,” a preliminary report from ECONorthwest reads.

Meanwhile, Salem has all of what the report calls “a significant inventory of high-value land,” most of it in the Mill Creek development.

• Jobs in the Salem-Keizer area pay 70 percent of the national average.

• Unemployment in the Salem-Keizer area is two percent higher than the national average.

• Seven percent of regional employment is in manufacturing, with a statewide average of 11 percent.

• A third of Salem-Keizer workers commute to other cities, while a third of the area workforce commutes from elsewhere.

• As a whole the region has a surplus of 360 acres of general industrial land, while about 600 acres of general commercial land is needed, the study reported.

Keizer officials have bemoaned the shared urban growth boundary with Salem that they blame for restricting the city’s business growth, and at least in terms of barren land development the numbers backed them up.

Parker concluded Keizer needs 200 acres of high-value commercial sites, defined as large, with proximity to Interstate 5, access to plentiful water and energy and access to rail or air transportation.

“At some point you reach an economic threshold where that’s just not going to work,” Parker said, “and what happens is the growth goes somewhere else. … The notion is you’re not supposed to run out.”

A set of proposed ways to address the commercial land deficit was to rezone land, “assist redevelopment to higher intensity” through avenues like urban renewal and to facilitate infill.

“You have to have available land before you rezone it,” said Keizer City Councilor David McKane. “… For the city of Keizer these solutions really don’t help, do they?”

Keizer Mayor Lore Christopher said it doesn’t make sense for Keizer to compete for the same kind of industrial employers as Salem would with Mill Creek, and said the Iris Capital needs to decide “what we do differently that’s not being done in Salem so we can have economic growth and local jobs, saving valuable resources.”

A challenge to reaching consensus on any UGB amendments is that the growth boundary, created before Keizer became a city, exists due to mutual agreement. The choices are essentially to do nothing, try to work out a mutually satisfactory change to the boundary or attempt to split Salem and Keizer into their own boundaries.

There’s economic reasons – there’s the possibility that, from a land inventory perspective, Keizer’s gain could be Salem’s loss, either now or in the future. That’s not to mention the state’s goal of keeping prime farmland in play, and some of the nation’s best soil lies in the lands just north of Keizer. Environmental issues, particularly protecting wetlands, will also play a role. In Woodburn, that city and Friends of Marion County have been fighting it out for years over a proposed UGB expansion.

Salem City Councilor Chuck Bennett objected strenuously to the notion Keizer officials might have their eyes on Labish Bottom.

“It just seems like we’re talking about an extraordinarily controversial piece of land,” Bennett said. “I’m not criticizing you but you seem very serene as you talk about … your ability to move into this area.”
Councilor Jim Taylor indicated trying to develop in Labish Bottom would be a fool’s errand due to the environmental impacts as well as flooding possibilities and unstable ground.


“River Monsters” by Jeremy Wade

“River Monsters” by Jeremy Wade

“River Monsters” by Jeremy Wade

c.2011, DaCapo
$26.00 / $30.00 Canada
273 pages


You really need to get to the bank this week.

You have a deposit to make and if it’s a good day, you’ll also make a withdrawl. You would, in fact, go to the bank every day for the rest of your life if you could. Then again, fishing from a boat rather than the river bank might be fun, too.

If you’ve ever drowned a worm, you’ve undoubtedly got plenty of One That Got Away stories. But how will they compare to the fish you’ll read about in “River Monsters” by Jeremy Wade?

At somewhere around age eight, Jeremy Wade threw his first worm in the water and thought fishing was pretty okay. Later, though he had an interest in fish and a degree in zoology, he “wandered lost for several years”, working as a teacher and performing minimum-wage jobs.

And then he found a magazine article about fishing in India. He suddenly realized that his fascination with fish could pay the bills. He wrote a few articles, was discovered by a London television producer, became a TV star and eventually got his own show on Animal Planet.

In this book, Wade writes about some of the more memorable fishing expeditions he’s ever made – but these aren’t your father’s little jaunts down the creek.

On his first visit to India, he became fascinated with the goonch, a fish that was said to swallow humans. Surely, at over 200 lbs., goonches were capable of doing that, but would they? Wade learned to hold his breath and slow his oxygen consumption, and dove into the Ganges to find out.

In the Amazon, he fished for a creature with razor-sharp teeth that, even half-dead, worked “like some diabolical trimming machine”. Also in the Amazon, he was disgusted to find a fish that allowed you to go where they were, but you’d never want to “go” where they were.

Wade found vicious salt-water sharks in fresh water. He caught river stingrays that could cause painful injury to a fisherman merely by brushing against his hand. He searched U.S. backwaters for alligator gars that were once “trash fish” but are now protected. And he caught the beauty on the cover of this book, which took him 25 years to do…

Is a bad day of fishing better than a good day at work? Then you’re going to love spending a day reading “River Monsters”.

In the spirit of Philip Caputo and Teddy Roosevelt (the latter of whom he cites often), author and TV host Jeremy Wade tells stories of adventure, danger, and landing dream fish in locations that few non-natives have seen. Readers will enjoy his vivid (and humorous) descriptions of lands he’s visited and risks he’s undertaken in his travels.

Wade continues the excitement by adding a little autobiography, easy-to-comprehend science, a touch of history, and tales that are not a bit fishy.

Fisherman or not, I think you’ll enjoy the thrills you’ll find in this book. “River Monsters” is easy to get hooked on – you can bank on that.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.

Eat our dust, Salem!


Of the Keizertimes

Keizer will be the epicenter of a four-day motorcycle rally in July.

The Good Vibrations rally returns to the Salem-Keizer area July 14-17, but after serving as the sidecar in 2010, some of this year’s biggest events will be right here in Keizer.

Organizers are expecting hundreds of motorcyclists for the three-day event. Keizer Station will host the Good Vibrations Vendor Village, with live music filling the air, food and drink filling stomachs and all kinds of goodies on sale. LivFast Freestyle Motocross Shows are also on the lineup, where trained stunt cyclists jumped 40 to 50 feet in the air, often doing flips, before executing split-second landings.

Featured events in the Iris Capital include a concert and fireworks at Volcanoes Stadium, along with a motorcycle parade and poker run. Organizers hope to set a new Guinness World Record.
Keizer Renaissance Inn will be the host hotel, and activities are tentatively set all over the mid-Willamette Valley, including Town and Country Lanes, the Keizer

Civic Center, Salem, Independence, Silverton, Dallas, Woodburn, McMinnville and at a host of local wineries.

“This year, (Keizer) has the kickoff party, two concerts, Vendor Village, the parade, and Town and Country Bowl has joined us for an event this year,” said Sherrie Gottfried, sales manager at the hotel.

Gottfried said the event pumped an estimated $500,000 into the local economy in 2010.

“Imagine what that could do for Keizer – more restaurant visits, more gas, the hotel will be booked completely, more (transient occupancy tax) funds,” Gottfried said.

It’s organized by Roadshows Inc., the same group who produces Street Vibrations in Reno, Nev. The more-than-750 VIP registrants in 2010 came from 63 Oregon cities and 23 Washington cities, along with British Columbia, California, Nevada, Arizona and South Dakota. Organizers said another 1,000 motorcycle enthusiasts enjoyed the event.

“I am thrilled that we are continuing and expanding our partnerships with Roadshows Inc. and the Good Vibrations rally,” said Mayor Lore Christopher in a press release. “There is truly no place like Oregon, and Keizer is proud to be a part of sharing ‘our’ Oregon with eager riders.”

A portion of proceeds from the event benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Association and the Christian Motorcycle Association.

Christopher attributed Keizer’s success in landing a bigger portion of the event to “location.

“Our location as it relates to Interstate 5, because we have such great visibility with Volcanoes Stadium and Keizer Station, is perfect for large events. Usually what promoters want is great visibility and you can’t do better than the main freeway running through the Willamette Valley,” Christopher added. “It helps River Road, it helps Keizer Station, it helps Salem, and it helps cities north, south east and west when you have people coming to spend money.”

For participants registration is $50, including VIP parties, free meals, shirt and ride pin, poker runs, two ride-in shows, bike competitions and parade entry. Registration materials are available at or by calling 775-329-7469. Event is free for the public.

Opponents promise Area C plan appeal

Of the Keizertimes

A project that includes a likely Walmart along with apartments, retail and medical offices got the final go-ahead from the Keizer City Council Monday night.

However, a longstanding opponent group said someone from their group will “very likely” file an appeal to the state Land Use Board of Appeals.

Kevin Hohnbaum, a co-founder of Keep Keizer Livable, said Monday night he wasn’t yet sure what grounds would be used to appeal the decision; that’s in the hands of legal counsel, he said.

Appeals must be filed within 21 days of the final order’s issuance.

While no tenant for the 116,000 square foot store has formally announced, building plans submitted to the City of Keizer are nearly identitical to several Walmart stores recently built  around the country.

In other business:

• The Council initiated a text amendment process that would expand areas of town where chickens can be kept. Only one person testified, saying Keizer should consider fees for coops.

“You’ll see that Gresham, Salem and Portland all have fees,” said Bill White, who added he was against urban chickens but that “the winds are blowing” in favor of those who would want chickens.