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Day: November 28, 2012

Planned Parenthood under fire at school board meeting

By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

Get Planned Parenthood out of the classroom, 19 audience members urged the Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday.

Planned Parenthood has been involved in teaching health classes in Salem-Keizer schools, and the 19 spoke of different experiences, some personal, that prompted them to argue that it was giving students the wrong messages. No one spoke in defense of the organization.

William Steinmetz of Salem urged people to check out the Planned Parenthood website and asked, “Why haven’t letters been sent to parents, allowing them to opt out of the program?”

Lisa Learn of Salem spoke of some problems in her early life and said the board should look closely at what Planned Parenthood is doing, especially advising on sexual activity, abortion and contraception.

“There is a better way to protect children,” she said.

Lauren Jayes of Salem said she knew a former Planned Parenthood official who quit the organization after deciding that its real objective was money rather than women’s health. She said she found that employees in better standing with the group were those who provided more abortions.

The board took no action on the matter. It came under “audience communications” and was not specified on the agenda.

In other business, the board:

• Saw Leslie Stoddard and Bob Murrell honored, in the Spotlight on Success portion of the meeting, as Volunteers of the Month for their academic help for Whiteaker Middle School students.

• Proclaimed Wednesday of this week as Education Support Professionals Day. Earlier in the meeting, Jay Reed of Keizer, vice president of Education Support Professionals, thanked the board for what it had done for classified personnel.

• Heard Eduardo Angullo, representing the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality, urge more attention for minority students.

Personnel matters the board approved included:

• Contracts, for employment as temporary full-time teachers, for Katherine Woodley, first grade, Clear Lake Elementary School; Julie Fuller, third grade, English for speakers of other languages, Kennedy Elementary School; and Amber Sweeney, art, Whiteaker.

• A contract, for employment as a first-year probationary full-time teacher, Adrian Ackerman-Harvie, Spanish, Claggett Creek Middle School.

• Retirement of Theodore Davis as a computer education teacher at Claggett Creek.

Transit station progressing quickly

KEIZERTIMES/File Photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Buses aren’t known for going fast.

The bus transit station being constructed in Keizer, however, is a different story.

Officials with Salem-Keizer Transit gave an update on the Keizer Transit Center during the monthly West Keizer Neighborhood Association (WKNA) meeting Nov. 8 at Keizer Community Center.

Sadie Carney, director of community relations for the transit organization, noted things are “about to start going vertical” at the site, which is in the Keizer Station shopping area.

“We broke ground in August and we’ve been able to pursue an aggressive timeline,” Carney said. “We were looking at being done in July; now we’re looking at March 2013.”

Ground broke at the 2.71 acre parcel in August. The initial cost estimate was between $4 million and $4.2 million; Carney said a revised cost estimate is $3.8 million.

Kate Tarter, a Salem-Keizer Transit board member, feels there will be plenty of benefits with the facility.

“The community seems to be really welcoming it,” Tarter said. “When we did the groundbreaking, the monies brought in were federal and state funds, but this will benefit the local area. I see a lot of jobs that will come out of it, especially at Keizer Station.”

Carney noted the facility will have a number of green features, such as solar panels, a rain garden to capture rain runoff and a ‘green’ roof.

“There is also a geothermal heat pump to help with heating costs in the building,” she said.

Allan Pollock, general manager and CEO of Salem-Keizer Transit, has visions for the transit station becoming an attraction.

“Our goal is to make an education platform,” Pollock said. “We hope Keizer kids will take the bus on a field trip to the station so we can teach about sustainability. We will have placards at the building talking about features like the green roof.”

Pollock said there will be four EV charging stations in the 52-spot parking lot, plus room for eight bus bays and routes — double the current number of Cherriots routes.

“There is an opportunity for growth to provide even more service,” he said.

In response to questions from Carol Doerfler about safety, Pollock said the facility will have closed circuit cameras and full-time security initially, along with windows bus drivers can look into to ensure safety and LED lighting.

“It will be a very well-lit facility,” Pollock said.

The Nov. 8 meeting was the last of the year for the WKNA, due to the holiday events in Keizer next month. Rhonda Rich, president of the group, announced the next meeting for the WKNA is Thursday, Jan. 10.