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Month: January 2013

All charged up at Shari’s

KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy
KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Looking for some juice, both for yourself and your electric car?

Shari’s at 4998 River Road North can now fill up both tanks.

Electric car charging stations went into operation this week at Shari’s, making the 24-hour diner one of the few places in Keizer to have a public charging station for electric cars.

Jodenne Scott, director of Financial Support Services at Shari’s, noted the charging stations at Keizer are a first.

“Keizer will be our first location,” said Scott, noting five to 10 other Shari’s around the state are expected to follow suit soon. “We’re very excited about it.”

Ezequiel Rodriguez, manager of the Keizer Shari’s, shares in the excitement.

“I think that’s a great idea,” said Rodriguez, who noted the decision to recently install two charging stations was made at the corporate level. “It means more options for our customers. If they have a hybrid, they can park there and charge it up. I’m pretty sure we’ll have a good response.”


For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Jan. 25 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Advisors wanted to help MHS grads plan next steps

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School is looking for a few good volunteers to help guide current students to the next level of their education careers.

“Volunteer advisors would be responsible for meeting with those kids a couple of times a year, finding out what their plans are and formulating a plan that connects them with options,” said Leah Garro, volunteer advisor coordinator at McNary.

The Voluntary Advisor Program fills in a gap left when Salem-Keizer School District eliminated career counselor positions at all the district’s high schools. It left the office formerly occupied by Judy Peterson vacant and unused during much of the 2011-12 school year.


For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Jan. 25 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

An appealing decision

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Could a lengthy appeal process with regards to an Area C decision be repeated?

Neither the person who filed an appeal recently or Keizer’s city attorney expect that.

Then again, who knows?

Last month, the Keizer City Council approved a remand of an Area C Keizer Station decision. An April 2011 decision by council to approve an application for development of Area C from E Village, LLC was appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals. LUBA officials remanded the matter back to the council so traffic and concurrency issues could be addressed.


For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Jan. 25 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Willamette Manor structure still a go

File photo
File photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

It might not have every amenity.

The main thing is, however, a new play structure is still on track to be built at Willamette Manor Park this spring.

Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, gave an update on the project Jan. 10 at the West Keizer Neighborhood Association monthly meeting.

The play structure was identified as the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board top project for this year, with a cost of about $39,000.


For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Jan. 25 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

The Clue-est job in Keizer

Cara Steele works part-time as a crime analyst with the Keizer Police Department, helping spot trends and connections between cases in an effort to cut down on crime. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Cara Steele works part-time as a crime analyst with the Keizer Police Department, helping spot trends and connections between cases in an effort to cut down on crime. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Cara Steele would seem to have a job lifted straight from a TV show.

Steele admits her role as crime analyst is much like Penelope Garcia’s role on the CBS show Criminal Minds.

In other words, Steele analyzes data to spot trends and lets others know not only the recent trends but where the next similar crime could occur.


For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Jan. 25 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

RV talk draws eye of clergy

Photo courtesy wikipedia
Photo courtesy wikipedia

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The topic seemed simple enough.

When the Keizer Planning Commission met recently, the topic amending rules for recreational vehicles (RV) on church property was the main agenda item.

Sam Litke, senior planner for the city, noted the item became more complex hours before the meeting.

“It started out being simple and surgical,” Litke said. “Then it got broader, in having to interpret how you allow it in the first place.”

City Attorney Shannon Johnson raised concerns regarding RVs.

“I think the scope of the amendment needs to be broadened,” Johnson said. “As it sits, the allowance for ‘occupied’ RVs in conjunction with a single-family use is questionable.”


For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Jan. 25 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Soaring air power

Members of the McNary High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps stand at attention during a competition last year. The new McNary program has attracted more than 100 students in its first semester. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Members of the McNary High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps stand at attention during a competition last year. The new McNary program has attracted more than 100 students in its first semester. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

By almost any measure, McNary High School’s Air Force Junior Reserves Officers’ Training Corps (AFJROTC) has been a resounding success.

In just its first semester as part of the school’s offerings, the program has attracted more than 100 students and proven it can stand among the region’s best.

“It’s kind of stressful going in and competing with teams that have been around longer, but we’re stacking up nicely,” said Lt. Col. Ethan Vansell, a senior and the McNary unit commander.


For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Jan. 25 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Wrapping it up

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Sometimes, fewer meetings can be a good sign.

Such is the case with a task force commissioned by Mayor Lore Christopher to look at issues brought up during last fall’s campaign. One of the main issues was communication between members of the Keizer City Council and citizens.

Former councilor Jacque Moir was tabbed to chair the group, comprised mainly of other former councilors. The group met last Saturday morning, Jan. 19, at Keizer Civic Center.

The original plan was to have the task force meet three times, for three consecutive Saturdays.

Not necessary, according to Moir.


For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Jan. 25 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Detering burglaries

Burglaries are keeping the Keizer Police Department busy. There have been a rash of break-ins recently including at four local dentist’s offices in the past week.

Keizer Police’s part-time Crime  Analyst Cara Steele is on the job. Hopefully she can deduce if there is enough of a pattern to determine the same culprits in all these burglaries. At least she can give direction to police patrols of what to be on the look out for.

The list of things business owners (and homeowners, for that matter) should do put out by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the police department, should be heeded. Police officers can’t be everywhere, so the public needs to be as proactive as possible in protecting themselves from burglars and even graffiti vandals.

Burglaries are not only a major hassle for a business owner, but for their customers and clients as well if the criminals get their hands on personal information in files. The break-ins at the dental offices are serious because it is not only patient information that can be purloined but also any number of drugs that can be snatched.

Every business should keep an inventory of their equipment and products. In lieu of a safe, each business should have a procedure for securing cash overnight.

A burglary can result in a business installing a security system, which is good for many reasons including better insurance rates. The ideal is to install security systems before something happens.

There are neighborhood watches in residential areas. Businesses should create the same model. It would certainly help if the police let the public know what kinds of businesses were hit. If burglars are hitting businesses with something in common that would go a long way for like-businesses to take extra steps to deter criminals.

We can speculate why there have a rash of burglaries along River Road in recent weeks. It could be the same people doing it for fun.  Maybe the economy has driven someone to do something drastic. Or it could be an organized effort, which would be troubling indeed.

Patroling police officers should be a deterent, but it is not for those who are determined to break in. The police detectives and its crime analyist will sift through the crime scene looking for clues and a pattern. We don’t have the luxury of relying solely on law enforcement officers.  Business owners have to do what they can to make it harder to break into their stores and offices. They should assure there is nothing of value or importance that is easy to grab.

The Keizer Police Department will respond quickly when informed of a crime in progress.  It’s up to all of us to minimize the possibility of a burglary in the first place. The police and the Chamber of Commerce were quick and prudent to remind us all what we can do ourselves.

—LAZ

Governor shouldn’t be making money speaking

To the Editor:

There’s been very little fuss about it, which has surprised me. Yet, maybe it’s that the American public is so used to politicians these days doing this and that that would have outraged voters just a few years ago, that a permanent jaded outlook has cured like concrete.

I reference the decision by the Oregon Government Ethics Committee to respond in the positive to Governor John Kitzhaber’s request that he be allowed to go to and then collect speaking fees for presenting his views on health policy wherever in the world he’s invited to do so. Given the sounds of silence that have followed this decision, apparently no one besides me cares.

It just could be, too, that the guy who unilaterally canceled the state’s death penalty, kicked the superintendent of public instruction out of her elective office and took it over himself, attacked those who mainly elected him, PERS retirees, etcetera, cannot be stopped. . . . save by recall.

Just a year or so ago, Kitzhaber was hell-bent on being elected to a third term so he could be Oregon’s governor again. He campaigned for the job for months and months before the November, 2010 election (when he could have chosen to be out collecting speaking fees instead). Once in office he began to announce a number of reforms he wanted to make and began to work on behalf of them.

Now, he wants to spend his time making more money by carrying his health policy ideas wherever he’s asked by those who seek them. That means he will not be tending to the work for which he asked to be elected. There’s also the issue of his pay: as it stands now, he will receive his full pay as governor and then extra pay for his speaking gigs. Of course, medical doctors are used to big bucks, not paltry politician pay.

Does all this governor-running-around-making-speeches-for-pay strike you as right and good? It’s much more than a little disappointing to me. Meanwhile, neither wealthy nor famous, that means I’m left to talk to myself and must wait until the next gubernatorial-election year to express my disfavor. Ugh!

Gene H. McIntyre
Keizer