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Day: March 29, 2012

Mayor Christopher announces re-election bid

Mayor Lore Christopher will seek a seventh term as Keizer’s mayor.

First elected in 2000, she has held the position longer than anyone else. Christopher is also Keizer’s first female mayor.

The full text of her press release is below:

It is with great excitement that I announce my campaign for election as your mayor for 2013-2015 term of office. In the past twenty four years that I have lived in Keizer, I have seen this city grow from a small town on the outskirts of Oregon’s capital city to a true hometown with strong local commerce, outstanding schools and reliable public safety. I am proud to call Keizer my hometown and I want to thank each of you who have supported (both financially and emotionally) my efforts to gain and retain this position. I want you to know how much I have appreciated that support – and I want to assure you that I remain committed to our City and our future in the years to come.

Some elected officials have a “platform” or cause for running. Mine is simple. It has not changed in 12 years. I believe that a successful hometown needs affordable government services, available local jobs, parks, recreation and safety for all citizens. While our city has enjoyed great success in many areas, the fundamentals for a vital local economy hold true: local jobs, low cost government and reliable safety. The key ingredient to hold it all together is the right local leadership.

My children are the primary reason that I sought the local public office years ago. I wanted to help all Keizer families by making opportunities available locally in terms of safe streets, family parks and recreation and local job potential (for parents and grown children).

Prior to my election to the Keizer City Council, I volunteered and served as a Keizer Parks Advisory Board Member and Board Member of Keizer Little League for three terms (enough late night softball games will drive anyone to volunteer). I was honored to be elected as a city councilor and remain grateful for your confidence in serving as the first woman Mayor of Keizer. My experience and commitment to our city for the past 12 years has forever changed me personally and I feel I have contributed to our success as Oregon’s 14th largest city, a city known and respected for successfully retaining our small town, low cost approach to government.

I am proud of the accomplishments our city and its excellent staff have solidified under my leadership which include:
– securing the Keizer Station Development and the current 1,500 local jobs there now;
– initiating the River Road Renaissance program that has improved the access to local business while increasing the safety for pedestrians along River Road;
– developing Keizer Rapids Park in partnership with Marion County, the City of Salem and the State of Oregon.

These efforts continue to support our Keizer quality of life while maintaining the lowest tax rate of any full service city in Oregon. With the right vision and local leadership, together, we have made significant impacts to our beloved city in a short amount of time without additional tax payer cost.

If elected, I will continue to champion services that benefit our seniors and Keizer families. The expansion of our local Keizer Community Library is almost complete and this will allow for expansion of our current children’s programming and allow for additional senior programming through volunteer efforts. In early 2013, our local transit station will increase mobility options for seniors, but continued work needs to be done to improve access to medical providers and services locally and to meet senior needs for local discount groceries.

I will focus on the completion of new employers to our Chemawa Exit; the Keizer Transit Station, Salem Radiology’s Regional Office (which will bring 75 new living wage local jobs) and seek to secure additional employers that will provide medical services and a discount grocery option while bringing another 350-500 local jobs to Keizer by providing the services and goods that we need locally.

In the 12 years I have served as your mayor I have met my commitment to maintain the lowest tax burden of any Oregon city while improving services. My pro-business attitude has brought commerce and jobs to our community. I am proud to call Keizer my home and I share this pride with each of you. I ask today that you allow me one more term to continue to lead this great city, and a true hometown with small town values and the right local leadership.

Please contact me with your ideas and priorities at [email protected] or on Facebook at Mayor Lore Christopher.

Keizer teen rolls perfect game at Town & Country

Nick Blythe rolled a 300 game on St. Patrick’s Day at Town & Country Lanes. (Photo by Dan Kaplan)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Thirteen-year-old Nick Blythe of Keizer rolled a 300 game in the Junior-Major youth league at Town & Country Lanes Saturday, March 17.

A month earlier, the phenom rolled a 296 in practice, but his highest game in league competition until last week was a 279.

Nick has been bowling since he was two years old and part of league competition since he was six. As a result, he has a growing collection of bowling balls and picked out a ball he hadn’t used for a few months before heading to the lanes on Saturday.

“A friend gave it to and I’d bowled a 280 with it, but I hadn’t used it since,” Nick said. He asked his father, Jeff, to buy him some tape for his thumb to make it a better fit before getting started.

Nick knew he was on a roll when he laid down all ten pins for the sixth consecutive frame, but it was the tenth frame that gave him the closest call.

On his tenth ball, the four pin stood up and wobbled before finally keeling over. Then his ball got stuck in the return creating an unwanted break to his flow.

He had a quick talk with his coach, Scott Miller, and then went to sit back down with a friend while a growing crowd tittered around him. Nick hit flush pocket on the 11th ball and a little light on the twelfth, but all 10 pins went down.

“I guess it was just meant to be,” Nick said.

The game was Nick’s first perfect score and he became the youngest bowler to reach the milestone at Town & Country.

He also bowled a 211 and 182 for a 693 series on the day, which leaves room for improvement.

“My next goal is an 800 series,” he said.

Nick maintains a 192 league average in league competition.

Keizer Fire institutes fast track for experienced volunteers

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Experienced volunteer firefighters now have an easier path to volunteering for the Keizer Fire District thanks to a new Fast Track program.

In January, the Keizer Fire District began receiving a glut of applications from experienced firefighters requesting entry into the Keizer Fire District volunteer firefighter program. Historically, the District would eagerly accept such individuals and schedule them for the next recruit academy, but that window wouldn’t have opened until May or June.

Division Chief Hector Blanco attributed the rise in applications from experienced volunteers to the sluggish economy.

“I really think the economic state has impacted the candidates. Most of the applicants either moved into Keizer or plan to move into Keizer with friends or family,” he said. “I’m just happy they are considering Keizer, and providing us with an opportunity to better serve the community.”

Rather than waiting for the next recruit academy to begin, district officials created the Fast Track program.

“The Fast Track individuals are already certified and experienced to the Firefighter I or II level. Most understand firefighting operational techniques and jargon,” Blanco said.

Once accepted to the program, Fast Track volunteers have only to familiarize themselves with KFD-specific policies and procedures, which occurs during their volunteer shifts, Blanco said.

District officials prefer Fast Track applicants be pre-certified as emergency vehicle drivers for entry to the program.

Blanco is overseeing his third class of recruits, but the current one has the most experienced volunteers yet, four. Since instituting the Fast Track program, seven applications have been requested and five have been returned.

For more information on becoming a Volunteer Firefighter or joining as a Fast Track contact Chief Blanco at 503-390-9111 or e-mail [email protected]