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Month: March 2014

Big grant application for The Big Toy project is nearly completed

0314-COM-Big-Toy-Rendering

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The amount on the grant application is $100,000.

At least $100,000.

Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, has been working with Jeanne Bond-Esser on the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Local Government Grant for The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park project. The grant has been pointed to since early last year as the main one to pursue for the community build play structure project, which is being built Sept. 17 to 21.

The application is due next Friday, April 4.

Project leaders will learn in July if they get the grant or not.

“The application is done, it’s just being fine tuned,” Brown said this week. “Letters of support are being gathered. Jeanne Bond-Esser has done a lion’s share of the writing.”

From the start, the talk has been of applying for $100,000. In recent weeks, there has been talk of increasing that.

“It’s a minimum of $100,000,” Brown said. “We are exploring asking for more.”

Bond-Esser, treasurer of the Keizer Parks Foundation, met with Brown and Public Works director Bill Lawyer on Wednesday morning.

“The applications are submitted online now, so we will probably not hit ‘send’ until near the deadline,” Bond-Esser said. “The grants are quite competitive, with far more requests than funding, of course.”

The issue – including the idea of upping the amount – was brought up again at Tuesday night’s monthly project fundraising meeting.

After fundraising co-chair and Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson asked if the amount being asked for is $100,000, project general coordinator Mark Caillier responded.

“I told (Brown) last week we should consider more than $100,000,” Caillier said.

Bond-Esser said there was an issue with that.

“I talked to Bill about bumping it up to $150,000,” she said. “He said it would take a vote from the council.”

Carlson recognized the problem, when referring to the Keizer City Council meeting schedule.

“The next meeting is the 7th,” Carlson said. “That doesn’t work.”

Councilor Jim Taylor suggested having a special meeting to approve such a request.

“I mean, that’s $50,000,” Taylor said. “It will only take five minutes.”

Agenda for Keizer City Council Special Session

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

CITY OF KEIZER MISSION STATEMENT

KEEP CITY GOVERNMENT COSTS AND SERVICES TO A MINIMUM BY PROVIDING CITY SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY IN A COORDINATED, EFFICIENT AND LEAST COST FASHION

 

A G E N D A

KEIZER CITY COUNCIL

SPECIAL SESSION

Monday, March 31, 2014

12:00 p.m. (Noon)

Robert L. Simon Council Chambers

 Keizer Civic Center

Keizer, Oregon  97303

 

 

1. CALL TO ORDER

 

 

2. ROLL CALL

 

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

 

RESOLUTION – Authorizing City Manager to Apply for Local Government Grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for the Community Build Playground Project at Keizer Rapids Park; Repealing R2014-2422

 

 

5. OTHER BUSINESS

 

 

6. ADJOURNMENT

 

 

 

 

Upon request, auxiliary aids and/or special services for those with disabilities will be provided.  To request services, please contact us at (503) 390‑3700 or through Oregon Relay 1-800-735-2900 at least two working days (48 hours) in advance.

Debate grows over Big Toy site

Mayor Lore Christopher wants The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park built in the orchards, an idea facing criticism. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Mayor Lore Christopher wants The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park built in the orchards, an idea facing criticism.
(KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The grumbling has been increasing regarding the placement of The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park project.

As previously mentioned in the Keizertimes, for months it appeared certain the community build play structure would be built between the amphitheater and the boat ramp area of KRP. In late January, however, mayor Lore Christopher opined filbert space at the front of the park, along Chemawa Road, would be a better site.

That site is not within Keizer’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), necessitating coordination with several local jurisdictions in order to use the land.

Earlier this month the Keizer Rotary Foundation Board unanimously approved a motion to give $30,000 to the project – but only if it’s built in the original location.

“It was not just one thing,” board president Greg Frank said of the decision. “It was the UGB process, tearing down the filberts, the grounds, moving it from where it was originally, the parking lot. There were so many reasons why it should be left where it was.”

A development last week, however, could change that.

“Evidently the Keizer Parks Foundation has opted not to accept any donations with any conditions,” Frank said. “So next Wednesday we will discuss this again. At our last meeting we talked about it for 20 minutes. We talked about the pros and cons. It was a unanimous decisions to put on the conditions.”

Concerns were also brought up last week at the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.

“In my opinion, the location was discussed, debated and voted on by this board and the task force,” Parks Board chair Brandon Smith said. “What we consider the site is what everyone who’s voted on it has picked. Myself and a lot of others were surprised to hear about the UGB and looking at other sites.”

Christopher was asked last week about the Rotary Foundation’s conditional approval.

“That’s not a factor for me,” the mayor said. “Here’s the deal: I want the absolute best decision for the city of Keizer. This is a tremendous amount of money and effort. So right now it’s been located in the best possible location that we have available to us. It’s the best we’ve got. If we have the opportunity to look at other locations, we’d be foolish not to look.”

Blazing bats put Celts over Foxes

 

Lady Celt Megan Ulrey gets a hit in the Celts game with Roseburg High School Thursday, March 20. Ulrey threw a one-hitter earlier in the week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Lady Celt Megan Ulrey gets a hit in the Celts game with Roseburg High School Thursday, March 20. Ulrey threw a one-hitter earlier in the week.
(KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

If the McNary High School varsity softball team set out to make a statement in its season opener, Silverton High School heard it loud and clear.

The Lady Celts had 22 hits in the 22-0 win March 18, behind a one-hitter from junior pitcher Megan Ulrey. Ulrey also had eight strikeouts.

“The score didn’t reflect it, but Silverton is a good team with five seniors, but you could see them deflate around the fifth inning,” said Kevin Wise, McNary head coach.

McNary’s line-up strung together enough hits for a 10-run third inning and eight in the fifth. Mercy rules ended the game after only five innings.

Highlights abounded for the Keizer team. In addition to her performance in the circle, Ulrey made waves at the plate going 3 for 4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and four runs scored. Freshman Nicole Duran went 4 for 5 with two doubles, two RBIs and four runs scored. Senior Dani Saunders went 3 for 4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. Kimi Ito led the team in RBIs with four. By the end of the game, all 10 players on the McNary roster had at least one hit.

“The energy and chemistry on this team this year is amazing,” Wise said. “It’s a great thing to have and we got to see how stringing together a couple of hits becomes contagious and everyone is going up to the plate relaxed.”

The Celts had two players, Kiana Villareal and Hannah Carr, who were hitting .714 after the first week of play. Duran was hitting around .600.

“Even when  we had errors, we could rely on somebody else to get us out of the jams,” Duran said.

After coasting to the win over Silverton, McNary found themselves battling back to a 4-3 win over visiting Roseburg High School Thursday, March 20.

Roseburg found success against Ulrey in the early going as she battled with control in the circle. The team led 2-0 before the Celts closed the gap to 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning.

The team’s mental approach to the plate helped the team seize the day, Wise said.

“Their pitcher was consistently in the mid-60s range, but we have a team of girls who just don’t care. They step up and know they are going to get a hit,” he said.

McNary was down 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Villareal got a single. A single by Ulrey put runners on first and second, and set the table for a two-RBI home run by Lady Celt Madi Oliver.

Roseburg didn’t answer in the top of the seventh, letting the Celts walk away with the win and a 2-0 start.

“When one person had a bad at-bat, we were picking each other up and kept on moving,” Carr said.

Medical marijuana dispensary task force gets going in Keizer

Marijuana-leaf

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The city’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force has been established.

Just don’t expect many meetings for the group.

The task force held its first meeting last Wednesday, March 19, at Keizer Civic Center.

City councilor Dennis Koho, who chaired the initial meeting, passed around a calendar and had the seven task force members indicate what days would not work for a meeting.

“Looking at the calendar, not many dates line up,” Koho said towards the end of the meeting. “It looks like Tuesday (April) 22 and maybe the 29th of April.”

As such, April 22 at 7 p.m. was set as the date for a public hearing on the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries in Keizer. The topic has been a hot one throughout Oregon recently due to new state laws allowing for the formation of dispensaries.

Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, gave a rundown of rules regarding dispensaries at the city, county and state level. House Bill 3460 and Senate Bill 1531 both went into affect earlier this month.

“When the implementation of this rule started March 1, there was a lot of activity that occurred,” Brown said. “A lot of cities moved to ban dispensaries outright. The rest of us struggled with what the appropriate response would be. It takes time to go through the process. We established in Keizer a 150-day moratorium for any dispensary. That gives us time to assemble a task force and come up with any regulations applicable.”

The task force is to make recommendations to the Keizer City Council by May 6.

In part, Brown hopes the task force can help determine what level of control the city should take.

“Some (jurisdictions) are maintaining that local control allows them to prohibit dispensaries,” Brown said. “I don’t believe that is the current prevailing opinion.”

So what does city staff feel should be done with the issue?

“Proceed with caution,” Brown said. “It’s very difficult to start with few restrictions and then later add more significant restrictions. It would be far better to start with significant restrictions and, if proven to have limited negative impact, then reduce those restrictions after so proven.”

While some entities such as Keizer have had a wait-and-see approach, Brown noted Marion County leaders have taken a different approach.

“Marion County has been very proactive,” he said. “They have a structure where dispensaries are banned, but they do have exemptions. Resolution 14R-4 opposes the legalization of marijuana and states medical marijuana facilities are contrary to their responsibilities and are detrimental to public peace, health and safety.”

Task force member Ted Anagnos wanted to know the city’s authority within Keizer versus the county’s authority.

“The county has control over anything not incorporated into the city,” Brown said. “We have a city charter which gives us the same rights, in most cases, as the county. We have a right to establish local rules.”

Task force member Shilo Robinson noted what happens at Keizer’s PGN (Patient Grower Network).

“It’s a place for people to be educated,” Robinson said. “You have to educate people, to let them know how it works. It’s cannabis; it’s a medicine. It’s a safe place also to consume.”

John Honey, task force member and also the McNary High School principal, wants to know about how far dispensaries in other cities can be to places besides schools.

“What kind of places will attract our students and where are they going?” Honey said. “Our students are mobile. It’s like herding cats. I want to see what others around Keizer are considering.”

Koho suggested the April 22 meeting would be for public comment, with the task force using the meeting a week later to come up with recommendations to send to council.

New details come out in Keizer murder case

 

Pearson (left) and Miller
Pearson (left) and Miller

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

A positive has emerged in the past week concerning the murder of a Keizer mother.

On the other hand, disturbing details of the murder were also unveiled.

Michelle Pearson was killed in her Ventura Loop home the night of March 5. Husband Wilfred “Bill” Pearson was also shot and taken to Salem Hospital with gunshot wounds. The couple’s 17-year-old son, Brett Angus Pearson, was arrested about 90 minutes later. Also arrested was Brett’s friend, fellow 17-year-old Keizer male Robert Daniel Miller II.

The two teens, who are being tried as adults, had a second arraignment last Thursday, March 20.

The day before, the family released an update on Bill via the hospital.

“We are grateful for Bill’s continued progress with his recovery,” the statement said. “We’re also thankful for the continued support from our faith community and friends.”

Last Saturday, the news got even better.

“Wilfred ‘Bill’ Pearson was discharged from Salem Hospital on Saturday, March 22,” a short statement from the hospital read.

During last week’s proceedings, Brett Pearson and Miller were arraigned on two counts each of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder with a firearm. Pearson also was handed down aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder charges from a grand jury indictment. Miller was charged with two counts of aggravated murder with a firearm and attempted aggravated murder with a firearm.

According to the indictment, Pearson agreed to pay Miller “money and things of value to unlawfully and intentionally” cause the death of his mom.

In the same criminal act, according to the indictment, Pearson agreed with Miller to cause the death of his parents sometime between Feb. 1 and March 5.

Both suspects are still being held in the Marion County Corrections Facility without bail. Neither entered a plea last week. The next court proceedings for the two are scheduled for April 17.

Lloyd C. Woolfe

Woolfe
Woolfe

Lloyd C. Woolfe, 94, was born in Tillamook, Oregon on March 9, 1920 to Howard and Amelia (Eckloff) Woolfe.

He attended Tillamook High School and graduated in 1938. The following year he entered Oregon State College in Corvallis and majored in geology. During this time he met his future wife.

Lloyd graduated with a B.S. in 1942 and joined the Navy as part of the American World War II effort. He received an honorable discharge and in 1946 married Ruth Blair, his wife of 34 years. Together they had four sons (Rick, Van, Greg and Lynn) over the next 10 years.

Lloyd worked as a geologist for the federal government and State of Oregon for the next 36 years, including an early stint in the Panama Canal Zone where Rick was born. He also worked for the federal government in California out of Stockton.

He started working for the State of Oregon Highway Department as a regional geologist in 1956. He was promoted to chief geologist in 1962, a position he held until retirement in 1982. Lloyd had a long and fulfilling retirement until his death.

Lloyd was a man who loved playing chess, listening to and recording classical music and improving coastal properties through hard work. He will be missed by his family and friends.

He is survived by his former wife Ruth, four sons, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A graveside service with military honors was held March 22 at Claggett Cemetery in Keizer. Arrangements entrusted to Keizer Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services.

Should we rate doctors?

By DON VOWELL

How well should you know a person before you agree to let them carve you open with a scalpel, rearrange your innards and then sew everything back up?  My personal policy has been to just blindly follow the recommendations of every doctor I see.

The weakness of this policy is exposed by a year that requires visits to a parade of different specialists.  If you get slightly conflicting advice from a couple of these doctors,  you first conclude that medicine is not a unified theory.  Then you must choose which doctor’s advice you will follow.  In America, it’s easy to know which expert you rely on.  It’s the one who tells you what you want to hear.

In a recent surgery wherein I was carved, rearranged and sewn back up, it took some time to regain my wits after being subjected to general anesthesia.  So the surgeon met instead with my wife after the operation to report and to answer any questions.  Mrs. V had hoped that the surgeon might offer a slice by slice description of everything that happened and all that might follow, but the surgeon said only that everything went very well and left it open for questions.  I don’t think this caused any worry, just mild disappointment that the doctor was not more forthcoming.

I blame it on the Internet.  Doctors who’ve spent 10 to 12 years studying to do what they do must get dismayed by responding to thick-skulled questions from people who learned all that same information in just a few hours of Internet study.

If you stop at a drive-thru oil change, you just let them service your car.  They would be surprised if you asked them to discuss the merits of different multi-viscosity oils within the same brand, or if the 2007 model of your car had better bearing life than the 2006 model.  Most of us just sit there passively watching some horrible TV program that another customer left running, or look at magazines from a bygone era.

Granted, there is a lot more at stake when the service provider must provide service inside your body.  Still, nothing made me think I could learn enough about general medicine, or my particular ailments, or the best choice of surgeon, in a period much shorter than the 10 to 12 years that these physicians had already invested.  Trust in the doctor still seems like the safest course.

It would be a big help if there was a real and reliable site that fairly rates and reviews doctors.  With the number of doctors in our country, it is a mathematical certainty that some of them are not good.  Again, it’s a thing I didn’t spend much time on, discouraged early by the few ratings/review sites I did find.  Those sites either had universally wonderful ratings of all doctors whose names I entered, or the complaints amounted to those disgruntled by long spells in the waiting room or billing problems.  Not much there about the doctor’s skills and peer reviews.

I had an operation where the top of my stomach was wrapped around the bottom of my esophagus – a certain end to gastric reflux.  The gastrointestinal surgeon that performed the operation said that would end the aspiration of reflux gunk into my lungs thus ending the worrisome deterioration there.  The pulmonologist hopes that is true, but is not certain we ever knew the source of that deterioration.  In this case we will trust the gastrointestinal surgeon—no contest.

(Don Vowell lives in Keizer. He gets on his soapbox regulary in the Keizertimes.)

Bill Post is a good choice for D-25

To the Editor:

I have concerns about the House District 25 primary race. I had never heard of Barbara Jensen until reading a very negative article in the newspaper where she charged Bill Post with some trivial “illegalities.”

My immediate reaction was to defend Bill and to suspect Barbara of dirty politics. It takes a while to really get to know someone. I know Bill. He is a good and honest man. Barbara may be a good person as well but I don’t really know that. Bill has been outspoken in his stance for traditional moral values. I believe he also has advocated sensible conservative economic policies. Bill has been transparent and outspoken with his conservative views. We know him. He is an honest and capable man. My communications with the Jensen campaign have left me still wondering where she stands. My questions have been deflected and given pat answers. I am convinced that Bill Post as a tried and true outspoken conservative will serve the citizens of our district with integrity and common sense.

Walter Pattison
Keizer

Deflating Russia can be done

By LAWRENCE KUDLOW 

President Barack Obama has ramped up his second round of economic and financial sanctions on Russia, and on Vladimir Putin in particular. Some of this is already working. But if anybody believes it will be easy to financially deflate Russia, they better think again.

Russia holds $132 billion of U.S. Treasury securities. That’s a big number, and it could be sold in the event of financial warfare. That won’t kill the United States. But it will undoubtedly cause interest rates to rise.

Would Putin spend it all? Who knows? His central bank just spent $50 billion to defend a sinking ruble, which is off about 10 percent year to date. But that still leaves about $400 billion in foreign-exchange reserves that could be called upon to defend the Russian homeland in an emergency.

But as I noted, the initial rounds of sanctions seem to be working.

Just this week, after he was put on the U.S. sanction list, Putin pal Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire Russian oil tycoon, cut and ran by selling his 43 percent share in the oil-trading Gunvor Group. Putin is accused of being an investor in that group and of having access to its funds. Other Putin billionaire cronies hit by the Obama sanctions include Vladimir Yakunin, the chairman of state-owned Russian Railways, and Yuri Kovalchuk, allegedly Putin’s personal banker.

And the favorite bank of these folks, Bank Rossiya, has been sanctioned, too. Foreigners probably won’t do business with them. Visa and MasterCard are pulling out of Rossiya. And reports are that Rosneft, the big state-owned oil company, has been delisted on the London stock exchange. If true, that would be a significant development.

Undoubtedly, future Obama sanctions will go after all the big oligarchs. For example, oligarchs who own U.S. basketball teams, Pennsylvania coal mines and steel mills, the Lukoil chain of U.S. gas stations and various high-priced condominiums in New York. Russian oligarch property in Europe is even greater, including football clubs, large industrial complexes and airlines. And bank accounts. (Hat tip to Holman Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal.)

Will Britain come on board in a big way? In recent years, Russia has raised $400 billion in stocks and bonds on the London stock exchange. Roughly 70 Russian companies are traded as depository receipts, and numerous IPOs have been sold there. So if Britain closed its financial markets and its banks to Russia, the blow would be huge. Huge. The question is, will Prime Minister David Cameron do it?

Another major source of Russian funding is U.S. mutual funds, with investments worth a reported $325 billion. Big outfits such as Pimco, BlackRock, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs and T. Rowe Price have served as the emerging-market investment intermediaries. And if that money were pulled, another gigantic blow would land on Russia’s finances and economy. The ruble would completely tank, forcing the Russian central bank to spend big chunks of those $400 billion in foreign-exchange reserves.

And then there’s Western bank lending to Russian business: $51 billion from France, $37 billion from the U.S. and $20 billion to $30 billion each from Italy, Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands.

The point of all this is that the deflation of the Russian financial system and economy can be done through strict and severe banking sanctions. But those sanctions have to come from Europe as well as the United States.

So far this year Russian stocks are off about 13 percent. It’s a big drop, but not a collapse. Russia’s stock market and oligarchs are undeniably waiting to see just how united the Western opposition is going to be.

Of course, there are other muscular ways to penalize and contain Russia. There could be a European ban on Russian energy imports. Or a large-scale (if symbolic) Obama endorsement of U.S. natural-gas exports, including 25 new permits for liquefied natural gas terminals. Renegotiating Polish and Czech Republic missile-defense systems, a harder-line NATO military campaign and military assistance to Ukraine all fit in the package. Kicking Russia out of the G8 is another good step.

But make no mistake about it—deflating Russia financially and economically will require a completely united front by the U.S. and Europe. Essentially, banks and investment funds will have to stop doing business with Russia. No loans to Russian companies. No stock market activities. No investments. No nothing.

That’s how difficult this job is going to be.

(Creators Syndicate)