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Day: November 6, 2012

Mayor’s race

Of the Keizertimes 

Current Keizer mayor Lore Christopher has taken the initial lead in the battle for mayor.

Once the initial results were posted by Marion County Elections division around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Christopher had a healthy lead on challenger David McKane, currently a member of the Keizer City Council.

With nearly 92 percent of precincts counted, Christopher had 56.03 percent of the vote, or 5,610 votes. McKane had 43.32 percent, or 4,337 votes.

Keizer City Council Position 3

Of the Keizertimes 

Marlene Quinn is leading the race for Keizer City Council position 3.

Initial results posted Tuesday night showed Quinn leading the three-way battle with 46.05 percent of the vote, for a total of 3,879 votes with 91.8 percent of precincts reporting.

Eamon Bishop stood second with 31.8 percent of the vote, for a total of 2,679 votes. Matthew Chappell was in third with 21.49 percent, or 1,810 votes.

Keizer City Council Position 2

Of the Keizertimes 

Ken LeDuc has won a place on the Keizer City Council.

LeDuc was running for the Position 2 currently held by Brandon Smith, who entered the race late as a write-in candidate.

In initial results posted by the Marion County Elections division, LeDuc garnered 87.81 percent of the vote, or 6,640 votes. The results did not list Smith specifically as a write-in. The write-in portion gained 12.19 percent, or 922 votes.

The results were with 91.8 percent of precincts counted.

Shop breathes new life into everyday objects

Everyday Things owners Susan and Fred Peterson. (KEIZERTIMES/Lacy Ramirez)

For the Keizertimes

Upon entering the recently opened resale store, Everyday Things & More, one is greeted with hundreds of items and trinkets – some familiar and others only seen before by few.

Items such as: the ivory figurine straight from the heart of the Congo; the nostalgia-filled pages of an aged yearbook; and an intricately hand-carved wooden, wall-mounted telephone.

When Fred and Susan Peterson both became unemployed, they decided to view the  situation as an opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream: start a business. They opened the store in July.

Before they had even decided to open a resale store, Fred started collecting items and stored them in storage lockers, sheds, and even his own house.

“Trust me, we didn’t have enough room,” Susan said.

In the store, one can find everything from signed Disney collectibles to antique clocks to bathroom sinks.

A phone and handset made out of wood. (KEIZERTIMES/Lacy Ramirez)

“The items we have are not just ones you can go online and order,” Susan said. “We’ve got a little bit of everything.”

Everything includes items that, to many customers, bring up past, heartfelt memories, Susan said.

“We get a lot of Keizer and Salem history,” Fred added, recollecting the amount of old yearbooks and photos they have received.

Those memories also transpire to Fred and Susan who remember the events that brought them together as a couple, as well as business partners, fondly and with ear-to-ear grins on their faces.

Fred, originally from Rhode Island, convinced himself when he was 21 that “there’s gotta be something else out there,” and decided to take a spontaneous, extensive trip around the country.

In Boise, Idaho, Fred met Susan and everything changed.

“If I hadn’t met her, I would’ve kept going,” he said.

But instead, they traveled together and ended up settling in the Salem/Keizer area, where they have been for almost 22 years.

“It’s only 40 miles from the coast and 50 miles from a big city,” Fred said. “It’s perfect. Well, almost. It would be perfect if it rained a month and a half less.”

Before moving to Boise, Susan was a model and actress in California. She even had a small role in the musical drama New York, New York under the direction of Martin Scorsese, in which she acted alongside Robert DeNiro and Liza Minnelli. Susan became friends with DeNiro during that time and described him as “the perfect gentleman.” Susan decided not to pursue acting and moved to Boise where she met Fred.

Now firmly settled in the heart of Oregon, Fred and Susan are both content with the life and business they have established.

“Besides monetary benefits,” Fred said, “the personal relationships that we’ve made [with customers] have been very satisfying. Very special. It’s all been worthwhile.”

Plan could save up to six figures

File Photo

Of the Keizertimes

A plan to continue using underground injection control (UIC) systems to treat stormwater will save hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in the future, city officials hope.

The City of Keizer entered into a sole-source contract with GSI Water Solutions Inc. to develop a plan that will let the city keep using the UICs in lieu of pricey upgrades. It will cost the city about $40,000 over the next two budget years.

“We’re trying to be proactive about keeping our UICs which really are an efficient and safe way to manage storm water,” said Elizabeth Sagmiller, environmental program manager for the city.

The UICs are prevalent throughout the city; Keizer has more than 100 of them. They perform similar functions to a storm drain system, with one big exception: Instead of collecting water to drain into creeks and rivers, they inject water into the ground onsite. From above ground they can only be identified by the red medallions placed on them. They’re sometimes referred to as dry wells or injection wells. Water is injected into the soil, then the dirt and various organisms within it clean much of the pollutants.

The Meadows and the Vineyards in north Keizer both have large UIC systems for draining stormwater, while smaller systems exist throughout the city. Many were installed by Marion County before the city incorporated.

Keizer also has no shortage of wells, be they in backyards, in city pump stations or in farmers’ fields for irrigation: The city has 15 public wells, and at least 180 water wells are active on private property. Federal and state regulations govern how UICs are used; one law states they cannot be less than 500 feet from any well. About three out of four UICs are too close to some kind of well, which is why Sagmiller is hoping GSI Water Solutions is able to do what it did for the City of Portland and is working on for Redmond, Bend, Gresham and Clackamas County. State law requires a permit to continue operating the UICs.

In order to get an exception and be issued a permit, city officials have to show that the UICs, even though they’re closer than the law stipulates, are protecting groundwater. The firm has developed a groundwater protective model that allowed Portland to continue operating its UICs.

“We can either close the UIC and provide some other kind of drainage for an area, which is very, very expensive,” Sagmiller said. “Or we can prove that the storm water that we’re putting into the UIC is protective of groundwater. That’s what the model does.”

She said replacing the UICs would be a costly duplication of effort.

“We don’t want to alarm people to think (UICs) are potentially dangerous for drinking water,” she said. “They’re really not. They’re good for the environment.”