Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Month: July 2015

Marijuana shop siting prompts question: What is a school?


Of the Keizertimes

There are some complex rules when it comes to recreational marijuana in Oregon.

One of the simple rules would seem to be marijuana can’t be sold within a certain distance from schools. The state law calls for at least 1,000 feet distance, while in Keizer the distance is 1,500 feet. In addition, such a facility can not be within 1,000 feet of a public building and has to be at least 1,000 feet away from another dispensary.

At last week’s Keizer City Council meeting, however, the seemingly simple school question grew more complex: how exactly do you define a school?

City Attorney Shannon Johnson said the question was raised because a person is looking to open a medical marijuana facility in Keizer within 1,500 feet of the Tangled Ends Hair Academy at 136 Chemawa Road N.

“The background is what is a public or private school?” Johnson said. “The hair salon is a school on Chemawa, which is not the type of school envisioned here (in the city ordinance). Our definition is broad, while the state law includes career schools with minors. We do have someone within 1,500 feet of the hair salon interested.”

Johnson’s proposed amendment to the city’s medical marijuana facility permit process called for no such facility within 1,500 feet of any public or private elementary or secondary school, as well as any career school attended primarily by minors.

Mayor Cathy Clark acknowledged she raised the question when someone asked her about the topic.

“It prompted me to think that we have career schools and will it impact our zoning?” Clark said. “I didn’t realize someone else was already looking at property.”

Johnson emphasized the discussion was about medical marijuana facilities, not recreational marijuana which is now legal in Oregon but with a number of restrictions.

Councilor Amy Ripp asked if any research had been done to know the average age of students at the hair academy.

“I haven’t done any research,” Johnson responded. “I have a hard time believing this career school is primarily attended by minors.”

Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, noted when the medical marijuana facility task force met last year, there were maps showing the distances from schools.

“We never included the property where Tangled Ends is,” Brown said.

Councilors unanimously approved the amendment to the ordinance.

Johnson noted afterwards the nature of the topic first brought up by the mayor changed over time.

“It started as a hypothetical, but it became reality,” he said. “We had to see what was meant by schools.”

Johnson said the 1,500 feet distance is from the boundary of the property, not the actual building. While he didn’t specify the location being looked at, the relative proximity of Tangled Ends to McNary High School to the south on Chemawa and public buildings (Keizer Fire District and Keizer Civic Center) to the north on Chemawa would seem to indicate the property is somewhere on River Road.

Sandra Jean Auld

S. Auld
S. Auld

With her youngest daughter holding her hand, Sandra Jean Auld passed away after a battle with cancer Wednesday, July 22.

Family said Auld loved life, and lived it to the fullest with kindness and generosity.

Sandra Jean Coquillette was born March 21, 1940 in Portland and grew up in St. Johns. She attended James John Elementary and Roosevelt High School.

During her high school years, she was a member of the rally squad and was selected to be part of the Meier & Frank Fashion Council.

Auld met the love of her life, Durran Auld, while working as a bank teller at The Federal Reserve Bank in Portland. On November 4, 1961, they married.

Of her many titles – including daughter, sister, wife, mom and friend – her most treasured was grandma. She loved her grandchildren with all her heart and they were the sparkles in her eyes.

Auld is survived by her brother Phillip Coquillette and his partner Penny Holeman, daughter Sydney Nesbitt and son-in-law Tim, and granddaughter Amalin Nesbitt, daughter Stacey Robinett and son-in-law Michael, grandsons Garren and Gavin Robinett, her son Dion Auld and grandson Darian Walter Auld, not to mention countless friends and “grandchildren” who she loved so dearly.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Marge and John Coquillette, and her beloved husband Durran in 1996.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Aug. 1, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at McNary Golf Club Restaurant. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Auld’s name to Willamette Valley Hospice, 1015 3rd St. NW, Salem, OR 97304.

Use signs to promote local events

Keizer needs two central electronic signs that continually announce all the events and activites that happen every week in our town these days.

Not all sets of eyes are on the same website or same media. Two sizable signs on River Road, one at Chemawa Road, the other at Lockhaven Drive, would be seen by a vast percentage of drivers and pedestrians.

Community, school, youth sports and other events would be announced on a rotating basis, all day and all night long. There are plenty of fairs, auctions, tournaments and such happening all the time now that a central communication tool is needed. The message should be text only with the pertinent information—event, date and location.

An LED sign on a post when erected at the corner of each mentioned intersection to have the best impact. With the sign operating around the clock there would no shortage of ‘space’ to promote the varied events that take place in our seven square miles.

Technology would allow for all events to be entered into a computer with a start and end date. After the initial entry of events it would take little time to update as new events are registered.

Who would be responsible for keeping the information updated? That is a duty that can be shared by the city and the organization that promotes Keizer, the Chamber of Commerce comes to mind.

Being a public sign, private sector advertising would not be allowed. However, if a local church is holding a large community party or event, that should be allowed as long as it did not include religious messages.

There are many worthy events that happen in Keizer, not all will appeal to everyone, but we, as a community, have a stake in promoting all of them. With the busy schedules of today’s households, focused on their interests, centralized community event signs would be a boon to the organizers and backers of festivals, fairs and other events that need the community to attend and support.

These public event communication signs would have to built with a waiver to the Keizer sign code, but that is a small step in a journey to give every organization in promoting themselves to Keizer’s residents.


Doing justice means free speech


I am appalled by some of the things that I see going on in our nation, but after years of experience I have come to realize that many of the things which go on have the design of turning me against my own country. But I realize that they are not my views and not what the United States was designed to be by our Founding Fathers. Rather, I realize that there is a deliberate attempt to undermine the American system as a whole.

Whether it be by those who feel things are working or not, the American system has achieved broad accomplishments in world history which is why it has been heralded as the forerunner of a whole new world. Some say that that hasn’t been realized yet, while others are losing faith and wanting to return to the way things were before there ever was an America. Others may not have any faith at all. That’s textbook. But there cannot be a whole new world without the vision of those generations who created this country in the first place.

This just tells me that the whole idea is to subvert and do away with the United States as we know it, and being that the United States (its citizens) have undeniably earned a strong reputation in the past as a Christian nation, are trying to erase a world where the existence of Jesus ever existed. This just simply means that there are many attempts to malign it’s reputation, and that’s textbook as well.

On the topic of marriage, because of the importance that our citizens have traditionally placed on it, with the ideals of independence and responsibility as well as the protection and dignity of human life, it is natural that this God-blessed institution of productivity, and what it means to define the existence of our lives, would be under attack as well.

It is offensive to the very process of our biology that such a vital thing  as marriage should be demeaned by processes which serve only to stunt and blunt the means by which humanity has been able to survive to this very day. Marriage between a man and a woman is set-part in a whole other category of it’s own. The whole idea of changing it’s definition is illogical and ludicrous, as it is the only means by which men and women have their existence, and you can never replace the presence of a mommy and daddy. Just ask the orphans.

To call marriage by any other name  cannot be interpreted by any other means accept that of a cry of deep insecurity and a sense of little self worth. In that sense I say let God be the judge. But let men and women everywhere judge themselves as to the preservation of their own human life and welfare. For we all understand what love is and where we have come from whether we believe in God or not.

Therefore free speech in regards to such things are not out of the ordinary but are a natural part of our existence and ingrained in the common sense of our human language. Any attempt to subvert marriage is intolerant to the witnesses of humanity past, present, and future.

If not God, let humanity judge itself. But how can humanity have the value of God with such a low regard for it’s own self worth? Let God then be the judge. If that’s the case then let God be found true and every man a liar. After all, if human institutions (i.e. its people) will not do justice, then so much as there is a God, they will be held accountable to a higher standard. The value of human life must be preserved.

(Matt Chappell lives in Keizer.)

Can’t beat ‘em

To the Editor:

It has finally dawned on me, the National Rifle Association (gun nuts) have won.  With almost no chance for meaningful gun control legislation, the only opportunity left for people to obtain even a semblance of protection is to buy a gun and a Kevlar vest and wear them all of the time. Might as well join the NRA, too.

Art Burr

Iran nuclear deal

To the Editor:

The Iran deal will make the world a more dangerous place, unless we write to our elected officials to modify it a follows:

Make any lifting of sanctions be contingent upon unlimited access to possible nuclear weapons  sites; and perhaps make this preventing of nuclear weapons go on for  more than 10 years.  (Maybe there should even be a provision against Iran exporting weapons.)

Alex Sokolow
Santa Monica, CA

Americans polarized but ambivalent


So accustomed are we to highlighting the polarized nature of our politics that we often forget how many Americans decline to be painted in bright reds or bright blues. Among us, there are pinks and turquoises and even purples. And these voters will matter a great deal to the elections in 2016 and beyond.

To understand a rather strange moment during which Donald Trump exercises a hypnotic control over the media (I’m as guilty as the next person), it’s important to keep two seemingly contradictory ideas in our heads at the same time.

     On the one hand, polarization is real. It’s not an invention of the elites. The sharp partisan divide affects a majority of the country, and it’s especially powerful among Americans most likely to vote and to be active in politics.

On the other hand, a very large share of us (including some staunch Democrats and Republicans) hold nuanced views on many questions. There are a lot of “yes, but” and “both/and” voters out there.

Since elections are won by a combination of mobilizing committed partisans and persuading the now relatively small number of moveable voters, forgetting either of these realities can be politically fatal.

Taken together, three studies published last week brought home the subtleties of our collective attitudes.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 52 percent of Americans support the Supreme Court’s recent ruling legalizing same-sex marriage while 44 percent oppose it. There is no question that the long-term trend in opinion is dramatically in favor of marriage equality and of gay and lesbian rights.

But when asked how they felt about “the country’s overall direction on social issues these days,” a majority expressed discomfort: 42 percent were “strongly uncomfortable,” 21 percent were “somewhat uncomfortable,” 21 percent were “somewhat comfortable,” and 14 percent were “strongly comfortable.”

Peyton Craighill, the Post’s polling director, provided me with more additional detail. It’s clear that the “strongly uncomfortable” group is, compared to the country as a whole, disproportionately older, more conservative and more Republican.

The group to watch: the “somewhat uncomfortables.” They are significantly more likely to describe themselves as politically moderate and include a disproportionate number of African-Americans and Latinos. These Americans cannot be classified as hostile to changes on “social issues”—a term that, it should be said, is open to a variety of interpretations—but they do need reassurance. There are lessons here for both liberals (further social progress requires sensitivity to those whose feelings are torn) and conservatives (a hard-line insistence on rolling back social change will turn off large numbers of Americans).

Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center released findings that should alarm Republicans. Its survey found that only 32 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the Republican Party—down nine points since January—while 60 percent had an unfavorable view. For Democrats, the numbers were 48 percent favorable (up two points) and 47 percent unfavorable.

The 16-point favorability gap shows what the GOP is up against, and why Hillary Clinton has maintained a lead in the national polls—by six points over Jeb Bush in the latest Post/ABC News poll, for example.

And when Pew broke down these numbers at my request, the polarization in the electorate across so many demographic lines was sharp: Those with favorable opinions about of the Republicans were overwhelmingly white (72 percent) and tilted conservative (52 percent). Those favorable toward the Democrats were more racially and ethnically diverse (only 55 percent white) and less likely to be conservative (20 percent).

And a hint about the source of Trump’s surge: Among the 26 percent who see both parties unfavorably, conservatives outnumbered liberals by almost 3-to-1.

But the third study, a joint product of the Democratic Strategist website and Washington Monthly magazine, points to the work Democrats need to do with white working-class voters.

One key finding, from pollster Stan Greenberg: Such voters are “open to an expansive Democratic economic agenda” but “are only ready to listen when they think that Democrats understand their deeply held belief that politics has been corrupted and government has failed.” This calls for not only “populist measures to reduce the control of big money and corruption” but also, as Mark Schmitt of the New America Foundation argued, “high-profile efforts to show that government can be innovative, accessible and responsive.”

This ambivalent feeling about government is the most important “yes, but” impulse in the American electorate, and the party that masters this blend of hope and skepticism will win the 2016 election.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

Trump setting the wrong tone for 2016

The only known GOP hopeful to have come to Donald Trump’s defense is Senator Ted Cruz  (R-Texas).  However, even he apparently has had some second thoughts about The Donald after Trump’s critical comments several days ago regarding Senator John McCain (R-Arizona).

At Iowa’s Family Leadership Summit.  Trump, as we know, was annoyed with McCain who put down as “crazies” the crowd that turned out to hear him speak in Phoenix.  Trump seized his chance to settle the score with McCain by attacking McCain’s war record.

Moderator Frank Lutz tried to stop Trump, reminding him that McCain is considered a war hero.  Trump was obviously compelled to proceed wherein he rejected McCain’s widely recognized reputation, saying “He’s not a war hero.”  Without losing a beat, Trump continued, “He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.”

As was predicable from the moment Trump finished his tirade, there was a virtual storm of protest across the nation that was led by former Florida governor and presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, who condemned Trump’s comments assessment of McCain as “slanderous attacks.”   Not to be outdone and in need of attention like the other 15 GOP contestants, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, wanted Trump to apologize immediately and quit his bid for the White House.  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told Trump that he would need to spend six years in a POW camp before he had the right to say such things.

Of course, Trump only steps up his rhetoric when criticized.  He simply took the occasion to double down on any competitor with the temerity to question him.  Thereafter he added insult to injury by saying that McCain is a “dummy” which, Trump went on to say, is proven by the fact that McCain graduated last in his Naval Academy class.  Further, he referred to McCain as “a loser” and that he, Trump, does not like losers exampled by McCain’s loss in the 2008 presidential sweepstakes and his inability to help other veterans.

I do recognize and honor his service to country and the fact that he chose to stay with his fellow prisoners in the so-called Hanoi Hilton when he was offered a chance to go home while the other American captives were not given that chance.

McCain is not above reproach; to the contrary, he’s fair game like everyone else who enters the political arena.  Then there’s the question of what took so long for those who seek the White House to respond to other insults delivered by The Donald.  Hardly a word of protest was heard from that group when Trump unburdened his sentiments about Hispanics as illegal immigrants but about which Congress has failed to take action against the U.S. employers who, in huge numbers, hire them.

I’m not blind to Obama’s shortcomings, specifically of late when he has been trying to get Congress to approve the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership that sends more American jobs overseas and reduces wages here and to allow Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic. However, the unrelenting “birthers” attacks on him led mainly by Trump against a guy who’s certified born in Hawaii, is impressively credentialed and devoted to his wife and daughters, and whose ability to compete successfully earned him the duly-elected status of president of the United States.  But when Trump insults a white man, all the stops are removed.

Let’s not overlook, too, the hypocrisy of it all.  Republicans took considerable glee in sliming war hero John Kerry when he made his run for the White House: No dirty trick went unused in that despicable tirade against a man who has served his country quite well, thank you, in war and peace.  But that sordid history went ignored when the Republicans went nuts over McCain who had to know that when he used “crazies” to describe Trump’s fans it would not go unanswered by The Donald.

Trump has been the way he is for years, probably all his life.  The huge mistake the Republicans made was not to stand up to and, to a member, discourage him when he went after Obama, presuming he would never turn on his own kind.  Whoops! Now he’s morphed into Godzilla, a monster they cannot stop and who gets abusive with every negative comment directed at him by other GOP presidential wannabees. Meanwhile, he’s climbed to the top in some polls.  Further, they should give up the name-calling as Trump will not only return it in like kind, adding a stick of dynamite as he has devastatingly done to several already who’ve accepted the bait only to end up as flounder fillets.  As it turns out, there’s apparently nothing Trump enjoys more than elephant-sized fish fries.

(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)

RIVERfair promises fun activities for all

Brady Goss, along with his band, will headline RIVERfair in Keizer Saturday, Aug. 8. RIVERfair is the annual one-day event sponsored by Making Keizer Better Foundation. (Submitted)
Brady Goss, along with his band, will headline RIVERfair in Keizer Saturday, Aug. 8. RIVERfair is the annual one-day event sponsored by Making Keizer Better Foundation. (Submitted)

RIVERfair 2015 will offer a variety of activities and entertainment on Saturday, Aug. 8, at Keizer Rapids Park.

The RIVERfair Pet Parade, sponsored by Copper Creek Mercantile, begins at 11 a.m. The parade will end at the Upper Course Stage where the Golden Bone Awards will be presented. The Mayor’s and President’s 1Award will be joined with best costume, funniest and best look-a-like.

The Keizer Community Library and the Keizer Heritage Center co-sponsor one of RIVERfair’s newest and popular activities: the Junior Archaeology Dig. With tools provided kids can dig like professional archaeologists and search for dinosaur bones and other relics. Each child will receive a Junior Archaeologist Certificate. The activity will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

RIVERfair’s signature event: the pie eating contest is back. Last year there was a grudge match between the Keizer Police Department and the Keizer Fire District. Come and see which side comes out on top this year. Aside from the firefighters and police, there were will be four categories of the contest: boys 13 and under; girls 13 and under; men 14 and older and women 14 and older. Entrants in the younger divisions will eat mini-pies while the older contestants will have to tackle a full-sized pie. Winners will receive a blue ribbon.

The Willamette Wanderers, a member of the American Volkssport Association, will present a 5K and 10K guided walk at RIVERfair this year. This activity is open to the public; children must be accompanied by an adult.  Leashed dogs are welcomed, too.  The walk will begin at 10 a.m. at the Keizer Rapids Park boat ramp.  Walkers can register after 9:30 a.m. at the Club’s RIVERfair booth near the amphitheater.  There is no fee, but participants who want to receive AVA credit pay a $3 fee.

The Keizer Police Department will stage K9 demonstration several times during RIVERfair. The first is scheduled for 11:15 a.m., the second at 1:45 p.m.

A nature walk through Keizer Rapids Park lead by guides who will talk about the fauna and flora of the area will be held at 12:30 p.m. Sign up for the walk at the RIVERfair information booth.

For more information visit or call 503-390-6840.

Keizer City Council meeting







Monday, August 3, 2015

7:00 p.m.

Robert L. Simon Council Chambers

Keizer, Oregon






a. Appointment to the Keizer Public Arts Commission


This time is provided for citizens to address the Council on any matters other than those on the agenda scheduled for public hearing.



a. RESOLUTION – Authorization for Supplemental Budget – Parks Matching Grant Program

b. Request for Allowance of Additional Concert and Movie at Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre


a. RESOLUTION – Authorizing the City Manager to Enter Into Lease Agreement with Ricoh USA Inc. for Community Development Copier



This time is provided to allow the Mayor, City Council members, or staff an opportunity to bring new or old matters before the Council that are not on tonight’s agenda.


To inform the Council of significant written communications.


August 10, 2015

5:45 p.m. – City Council Work Session

Tour of Salem Keizer School District Career and Technical Education Campus

August 17, 2015

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session

September 8, 2015 (Tuesday)

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session

September 14, 2015

5:45 p.m. – City Council Work Session

Annual Keizer Parks Tour


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