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Day: October 11, 2013

Excitement around REI news

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By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

With a key store on the way, officials are again touting the virtues of Keizer Station.

As first mentioned last week in the Keizertimes, Washington-based outdoors retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) is coming to the former Circuit City building at Keizer Station early next year.

The building has been without a retailer since Circuit City closed in March 2009. The Keizer Soccer Club had been using the building as its Futsal Center since January 2010, but moved out last month. The building had also been used for the Keizer Iris Festival.

Plans for the REI store were filed with the city of Keizer last week. Nate Brown, director of Community Development, said the company is targeting a March 2014 opening.

Bethany Hawley, senior public affairs associate with REI, confirmed the signing of the lease on Monday and sent a press release Wednesday morning.

“REI prides itself on expert employees and quality products that enhance anyone’s trip into the great outdoors,” said Kevin House, REI retail director for the Sierra-Cascade district. “The new store at Keizer Station will extend our services and product expertise to 13,300 eager and loyal members in Salem, who previously traveled more than 30 miles to shop at an REI store.”


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the October 18 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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.

Netters get revenge on McKay

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By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity volleyball team had one loss and one win last week, and it was the win that showed how far the team has come.

“The girls have learned not to play safe – we have really come a long way from our first few games. When the team plays fearlessly we can do a lot of great things,” said Kellie Scholl, McNary head coach.

The win came in McNary’s battle with McKay High School. When the two teams met in first week of Central Valley Conference play this season, it was the Royal Scots who walked out of the gym with a win in five sets. This time around McNary turned the tables.

The Lady Celtics won 3-2 on the road in a contest where the scores got closer in each successive set. McKay won the first set 25-15, McNary took the second set 25-18, the Royal Scots rebounded to take the third set 25-20, and the Celtics edged McKay 25-23 in the fourth set. McNary took the tiebreaker 15-12.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the October 18 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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.

Volcanoes Stadium gets high marks in nat’l survey

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The results of a three-year survey of quality in minor league baseball stadiums across the United States and Canada recently ranked Volcanoes Stadium in the top 25 percent of all such venues according to StadiumJourney.com.

Volcanoes Stadium, home to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes since 1997, ranked 36th among all 160 stadiums in minor league baseball. The ranking is the second-highest mark in the Northwest League behind Vancouver, whose former Triple-A ballpark came in ranked 12th overall. Based on classification, Volcanoes Stadium ranked fourth in the country, out of the 40, short-season A and rookie league stadiums.

Factors included in the ratings were: food and beverage in the ballpark, overall atmosphere, the neighborhood, the fans, access (includes parking, traffic, restrooms and concourses), return on investment and an “extras” category for any unique or bonus points.

Volcanoes Stadium received a top rating of five stars in the food/beverage and neighborhood category, along with four-star rankings in atmosphere, fans, and return on investment.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the October 18 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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.

BMX track proposed

 

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By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

This month’s proposed addition to Keizer Rapids Park: a BMX track for bicycle riders and racers.

Martin Trerise and Michelle Saavedra, who have operated the Capitol City BMX at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem since 2007, brought the idea to Tuesday’s Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.

The idea was discussed a month after a proposed three-day music concert series at KRP was mentioned.

Trerise and Saavedra are looking for a place to build a dirt track with jumps that could be used both for races and for practice.

“There are a lot of kids who use the track (at the fairgrounds). Plus there are some people 40-plus who want to ride around the track,” said Trerise, who estimated riders in Salem range in age from 3 to 50. “It certainly brings out the child in all age groups. The positives include the potential economic benefits for having a BMX track in the community.”

Saavedra noted all children get to participate with BMX races.

“It’s not like team sports,” she said. “I just left a football game; there were kids on the sidelines the whole game. With BMX, everyone gets a chance to ride, regardless of skill level.”

The two noted they have sanctioning from BMX and American Bicycle Association, which includes a $5 million insurance policy.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the October 18 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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.

Celts rout Vikings 41-0

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By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity football team became one of two remaining undefeated football teams in the Central Valley Conference with a 41-0 win over North Salem High School.

“On defense you need all 11 players working together, each doing their jobs. I thought we did a good job of that. Kids took pride in doing their job, and celebrated the team’s success,” said Isaac Parker, McNary head coach. “On offense, kids executed well. We had some players take 6 yard gains and turn them into 20, or take 20 yard gains and turn them into touchdowns. You could tell they were having fun on the field.”

The Celtic defense was mostly unmovable through four quarters as the McNary offense struck early and often en route to the victory. Senior quarterback Hayden Gosling had his best night of the season with 267 yards passing and four touchdowns.

The defense made its first statement of the night with big stops by Adam Snegirev, Paul Rios, Connor Goff, Kyle Torres and Frank Rios. When the offense took over at its own 45-yard line, two long passes from Gosling to Tanner Walker moved the Celts into the Viking red zone.

“We had good play calling and execution on all the plays,” Walker said.

Running back Brett Hildebrand made a run from the eight-yard line to give the Celts a 7-0 lead after a successful point after attempt by Hayden McCowan.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the October 18 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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 coming student loan crisis

By DENNIS TWENGE, CFP

The Department of Education recently reported student loan debt has exceeded $1 trillion.  This figure does not include private student loans, and parent debt.  The college loan default rate has hit an 18 year high of 14.7 percent as reported by the Department of Education.  Two thirds of college graduates leave school with an average of $26,000 in college loans.  This debt burden affects graduates ability to buy homes, cars, etc.  Unfortunately, current bankruptcy laws rarely allow student debt to be discharged.

What are the options available if a student is faced with potential delinquency or default?

Deferment:  this option is only available while attending college, or for six months after, and only on certain loans.

Forbearance:  this option allows the student to make no payments, or reduced payments for up to one year.  Interest will accrue and added to the loan balance.

Income Based Repayment (IBR):  If you qualify, your maximum monthly payments will be based on 15 percent of “discretionary income” as determined using a specific Department of Education formula.  Payments can be substantially lower, but total cost can be higher because the debt payment is spread out over more years.

Pay as you earn (PAYE):  This option is available to recent borrowers; the cap is 10 percent of discretionary income.  Payments can be as low as zero if the student is unemployed.    Balances will be forgiven after 10, 20, or 25 years depending on the program and whether the student works in a qualified public service job.

Income contingent repayment (ICR):  Monthly payments will be linked to income, family size, and the amount owed.  ICR is generally for older loans only.

All of these programs are largely unavailable to parents who took out Parent Plus loans, and private loans.

College graduates can have up to sixteen separate loans.  Keeping tabs on every loan can be tricky.  Consolidation can make it easier to repay student loans by replacing multiple loans with a single payment.  The interest rate will be based on the average of all loans.  Careful analysis should be done to make sure consolidation will result in long term savings.

As with many things in life an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  In other words, having a plan to minimize student and parent debt prior to entering college is best.  Here are a few basic strategies:

• Start saving for college early.

• Find as much “free money” (grants, merit-based aid) as possible.

• Don’t use student loans to buy pizza and beer.

• Graduate in four years.  The average time to graduate at state colleges is five and half years.  The graduating rate is less than 50 percent, though, and the highest defaults come from those students that don’t get a degree.

(Dennis Twenge is a certified financial planner. He can be reached at [email protected])

Eight questions to ask

By GENE H. McINTYRE

It would seem that a new order of things is underway in Oregon by virtue of recent meetings, regular and special sessions of the Oregon Legislature and its navigator, the honorable Governor John Kitzhaber. Questions persist, however, that the average Oregonian should want to ask and have answered by those persons among us in positions of presumed trust and social responsibility.

1.  If Oregon’s legislators and governor are successful in their effort to terminate contract law here by passing and signing Senate Bill 822 and Senate Bill 861, are any contracts negotiated by the state of Oregon safe from being abolished by authoritative actions in the Capitol?

2. Will Oregon Supreme Court justices rule in favor of SB 822 and SB 861 and thereby sanction the end of contract law in Oregon?

3.   Why are Oregon’s public employee retirees singled out for inequitable and discriminatory financial cuts in their contract-earned benefits?  Meanwhile, other retirees, who earned their incomes in Oregon by working for the federal government and other tax-supported entities, those who lived and were paid in Oregon, using all the tax-paying services available here, are financially untouched by the cost of reforms to public education and the ever-increasing costs in social services.  How can this be ruled as right?

4.  Why are private sector retirees exempted from newly-needed taxation in support of the higher costs of across-the-board public services?

5.  Are the governor and legislators  just a bunch of dragoons who choose to pick on those perceived by them as least able to defend themselves from biased and prejudicial practices while at the same time really work for the wealthy and special interests in the state for whom they do their bidding in return for campaign contributions so they can get re-elected and keep their taxpayer-paid jobs?

6. Are some daily newspapers in Oregon actually the tools of Oregon’s corporations and money interests who do not want to pay their fair share of the tax burden and who have a deal with some practicing journalists to keep up the drumbeat of harassment of Oregon public employee retirees with the goal of abolishing retirement benefits altogether for them?

7. Do Oregonians realize that when benefit and salary cuts come to some—but not them—that the precedents achieved by that “success” could also enter and effect their financial and work lives?

8.  Every society sooner or later faces moral dilemmas.  The U.S. faced a very big one by way of slavery.  Now, a number of politicians in D.C. want to end Social Security. A number of politicians in Oregon want to end PERS.  If/when that happens to Oregon’s retired public employees will it present a moral dilemma or one simply resolved through deprivation and ultimate extinction?

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)

Yes on fire levy

To the Editor:

As a long-time Keizer business owner, I want to say publicly that I believe every business and homeowner in Keizer should support the Keizer Fire Levy that comes before the voters in November.

Every business and homeowner in Keizer that pays fire insurance premiums should understand that we currently pay one of the lowest fire insurance rates due to the excellent services that are provided by Keizer Fire District. If Keizer Fire cannot maintain this level of service, what do you think our insurance rates will do? I would rather invest in local emergency services that will help my community and the families in Keizer, than pay higher insurance premiums.

I urge you to support and vote“Yes” on the Keizer Fire District levy so we can maintain the excellent level of services we are accustomrd to from Keizer Fire District.

Wayne Thackery, owner
Loren’s Sanitation
Keizer

Support those who keep us safe

To the Editor:

No one likes to pay more for services but in this case you may have the option to pay a few cents more monthly for consistent fire emergency response or pay higher fire insurance premiums.

If the Keizer Fire District levy should fail, we can look forward to reduced staff, equipment and increased response times—which will more than likely change our fire insurance status. Why pay more to insurance companies for less fire and emergency response? Your money can be better spent to protect your family and neighbors.

The Keizer Fire District is exceptional in their dedication and service to the Keizer community. The professional staff has voluntarily given up pay increases over the last few years to help manage the budget and continue adequate community services. These people are serving in a high risk occupation to serve others and shouldn’t have to give up salary to manage the budget.

The Keizer community needs adequate fire and emergency response due to an increasing and aging population. Ambulance emergency response is the largest percentage of the fire districts calls. This levy will allow the staffing of a second ambulance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Education and emergency response should be our most important priorities.

Support those who keep you safe.

John P. Rizzo
Keizer

Levy good for CERT

To the Editor:

The Keizer Fire District has an important ballot vote coming up shortly.  The current levy of 35 cents per thousand has been in place for many years.  The cost of being able to provide the service wanted by the community continues to increase well beyond that 35 cent level.

The fire district asked a Citizen’s Advisory Committee to look at the operational costs of the district and to discuss what was needed for future service levels that we all want and need.  This committee came up with the solution of renewing and increasing the current levy to 59 cents.  This will enable the fire district to keep all of their current services, hire two firefighters/paramedics, improve ambulance staffing with a second full-time ambulance and continue to provide a rapid response time to any emergency.

Another item discussed by the committee, but not widely known, is the district’s support of Keizer CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).  Keizer CERT is comprised of volunteer citizens who have gone through training over a period of eight weeks to become certified by FEMA in assisting the various emergency agencies in the event of a disaster.  Close to 200 Keizer residents have completed this training in the last several years.  The training is done by paramedics and/or firefighters with the Keizer Fire District.  Without them, this training would not be possible.  This training would undoubtedly be one of the areas cut back if funding is not there.

Keizer CERT members formed a non-profit corporation to support Keizer CERT and the community of Keizer.  Through community donations and grants, Keizer CERT acquired equipment to support Keizer CERT in the event of a disaster.  One of the primary items was a command trailer, which has been equipped with emergency supplies, and is continuing to be equipped as funds are raised.  Many of you have probably seen our yellow command trailer in various events around Keizer. From the Iris Festival to RIVERfair, public safety fairs and Hometown Heroes, our members volunteer their time to let the community know about the training and services that Keizer CERT provides.  Without the KFD’s annual help, this group would find it hard to continue.

The Keizer CERT Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the measure and we urge your support and encourage you to vote yes on Measure 24-353.

Al Rasmus, President
Keizer CERT