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

Day: September 18, 2015

ServeFest returns Sunday

More than 3,000 people are expected to take part in ServeFest this Sunday, Sept. 20 at the Keizer Civic Center. (File)
More than 3,000 people are expected to take part in ServeFest this Sunday, Sept. 20 at the Keizer Civic Center. (File)

If you come to Lakepoint Community Church at the Keizer Civic Center this Sunday, don’t expect a normal church service.

More than 200 Lakepoint volunteers will be putting on the seventh annual ServeFest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., providing a number of free services for citizens.

ServeFest encourages Lakepoint regular attenders to be the church, which they do by serving critical needs within their immediate community. All are welcome to join Lakepoint members in volunteering.

Lakepoint will provide 3,200 lunches, family photos, haircuts, manicures, wellness clinic, including vaccinations (must bring medical identification card), bicycle repair, a children’s activity center and many other free services for the community. Lakepoint will be giving away free school supplies, personal care items, clothing for people of all ages and surprise raffle items.

ServeFest wasn’t originally at city hall, but was moved there after outgrowing the original location.

“Our first year of ServeFest was 2009 at McNary High School,” said Rachel Taylor, the event coordinator. “We were thinking maybe 500 people would show us and 1,500 did. It was confirmation for us to keep going.”

Keizer Civic Center is located at 930 Chemawa Road North. For more information, contact Taylor at the church at 503-428-3141 or [email protected]

Hearings officer denies 32-lot development

Plans to build 32 homes on 5.73 acres of land were denied, but the decision is being appealed. (KEIZERTIMES file/Craig Murphy)
Plans to build 32 homes on 5.73 acres of land were denied, but the decision is being appealed. (KEIZERTIMES file/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Plans for a new 32-lot subdivision in West Keizer were denied recently, but the decision is being appealed.

Keizer Hearings Officer Cynthia Domas heard the request July 16 to turn 5.73 acres of land on Burbank Street into Bowden Meadows, with lots ranging in size from 5,000 to 10,856 square feet.

In a report dated Aug. 6 and obtained by the Keizertimes last week, Domas denied the request. The applicant is appealing the decision, which will be the subject of a public hearing at the Keizer City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 21. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road NE.

The project applicant is Mark Farrow on behalf of Trademark Enterprises LLC for property owned by Robert Bowden and Doug Harner on behalf of JDC Homes LLC.

Several neighbors back in July spoke against the plans for the subdivision, which had been approved in early 2008 for comprehensive plan zone changes and lot line adjustments, though the lots in the current plan with the new applicant are slightly different.

More importantly, city engineer Bill Peterson spoke against the plans, in particular related to sight distance.

“When you skew the distance like that, there is a horizontal alignment,” Peterson said. “It doesn’t meet the city standard. If it did, that would improve things quite a bit. There’s a lack of adequate site distance to the south on Burbank. In my mind, I think it’s unsafe. Neither (proposal), as far as Public Works is concerned, is adequate. I don’t think the proposal meets the code.”

The application failed in several areas, including alignment.

“The record reflects that a prior subdivision application was approved for the same subject property with one major difference,” Domas wrote. “That difference was the inclusion of Lot 70, which is located to the north of the proposed intersection of Trent Avenue North and Burbank Street North. Because Lot 70 is no longer included in the subject property, street alignment and adequate sight distance are significant issues in the current application because of public safety concerns. Lot 70 is outside the jurisdiction of this matter and conditioning approval of the application on the applicant’s ability to acquire Lot 70 is too speculative to be a condition of approval.”

Domas pointed out suggested alternatives didn’t solve the problem.

“The applicant has put forth three possible alternatives for the alignment of Trent Avenue North with Burbank Street,” she wrote. “While each of the scenarios has validity, the intersection is still angular and poses sight distance issues-public safety issues. The city’s engineer expressed public safety concerns regarding all three scenarios. Based on the information provided in the application and at hearing, this provision is not satisfied.”

On a related note, the criteria for intersection angles was also not met.

“It does not appear that any of the proposals put forth by the applicant will meet this criteria,” Domas wrote. “Staff reported that the original extension of Trent Avenue to Burbank Street did not conform to this criteria. The applicant presented two new alternatives at hearing. However, insufficient information was provided to be able to determine if the proposals were feasible and met the criteria. The city’s traffic engineer indicated that he did not believe that either of the two new proposals would satisfy the Keizer Development Code.”

Another issue was with the existing streets criteria.

“Public Works commented that the original proposed alignment of the Trent Avenue at the west side of the Trent Avenue/Burbank Street intersection did not meet city standards,” Domas wrote. “At the hearing, the applicant submitted Exhibit 15 (which) contained two new alternatives to the alignment issue at the Trent Avenue/Burbank Street intersection in order to address the concerns raised by Public Works. The city’s engineer commented that he did not feel that either of the two new proposed alignments at this intersection would meet the criteria. This is a safety issue. The applicant’s traffic impact analysis is silent with regard to the proposed subdivision street design. The applicant has not demonstrated that any of the proposed alignments satisfy the criteria in this section.”

Domas also wrote the cul-de-sac and frontage improvement criterias were not satisfied, leading to her final verdict.

“It is hereby found that applicant has not met the burden of proving the applicable standards and criteria for approval of the subdivision,” Domas wrote. “The application is denied.”

Celts host Bulldogs in home debut

The McNary offensive line makes a hole for quarterback Trent Van Cleave to dive through in the Westview game Friday, Sept. 11. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
The McNary offensive line makes a hole for quarterback Trent Van Cleave to dive through in the Westview game Friday, Sept. 11. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The first varsity football contest on McNary High School’s new turf field will feature two teams hungry for different things.

The Celtics square off with the West Albany High School Bulldogs Friday, Sept. 18 at McNary. The Bulldogs are still on the hunt for their first win of the season while McNary is looking to exorcise the ghosts of the teams’ last encounter.

“Some of these same kids were players on that team and it should sit in their gut a little bit. West Albany isn’t off to a good start and they are going to be hungry for a taste,” said Jeff Auvinen, head coach of the Celtics.

When the Celts and Bulldogs met in 2014, McNary led 20-0 going into halftime. West Albany erased that lead in the second half and forced an overtime that ended in a 28-27 McNary loss.

“We know they’re going to be a running team and we want to go out there and make our mark. It’s a big game for us to prove to the whole Greater Valley Conference what we’re all about,” said Celtic quarterback Trent Van Cleave. “We have to make the plays and not shy away from opportunities.”

As Auvinen said, the Bulldogs are off to a slow start with losses to Sprague (27-14) and North Salem (14-2) high schools. The team finished third in the GVC last year.

“They’ve always been tough, but we have the personnel to beat them. I just want to see everybody hustling around and focusing on what we’re supposed to do,” said Bobby Botta, a Celtic senior.

McNary has a split record after two games. The Celtics beat North Salem 34-21 in their first week and lost to Westview High School 36-14 last week.

Celt junior Brodie Nepstad said the team is going to be fully prepared to go the distance should the situation arise.

“We’re going to go full effort for four quarters, and overtime if needed,” he said.

Parks Tour stresses need for cash

Keizer City Councilors and Parks Board members talk while looking at Meadows Park Monday evening during the annual Parks Tour. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Keizer City Councilors and Parks Board members talk while looking at Meadows Park Monday evening during the annual Parks Tour. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

A lot of things grow in Keizer parks, but money isn’t one of them.

Hence the repeated requests for more funds during the annual Keizer Parks Tour.

Members of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board took Keizer City Councilors on a tour of a few city parks Monday evening. The four parks on this year’s tour were Keizer Rapids Park (which has been a regular part of the annual tour), Northview Terrace, Bob Newton and Meadows.

The tour started in the amphitheater area of KRP, which was an opportunity for Parks Board member Clint Holland to show off work recently done by Jerry Nuttbrock and other volunteers.

It also allowed the vacant Charge house to be in the backdrop, fitting since possible plans for that building were the first main item of discussion.

Holland, Nuttbrock, mayor Cathy Clark, Keizertimes publisher Lyndon Zaitz and Parks Board member Richard Walsh are among those in a group discussing what could happen with the Charge house in the future.

“It’s a loose group envisioning what could happen in the future with the Charge house in relation to the amphitheater,” Zaitz said. “It should be at least a green room, maybe a small classroom space. There are a lot of interesting ideas. The question is, how do we pay for it? Talks are in the beginning stages. This is an excellent opportunity to take what’s here and enhance it.”

Ideas in the past have included renovating the building, putting on a new roof as well as tearing down and starting over as a new outdoor educational center.

“It might take millions of dollars and years to do it,” Holland said.

Walsh had a key to the house, giving most tour members their first look inside the building that used to be the park’s caretaker home. The caretaker moved into an adjacent home a few years ago due to conditions inside the Charge house.

“The current plan is a support building or educational building,” Walsh said. “One of the big questions is do we expand the building, or make it two buildings? Do we keep what we have, or tear it down?”

Refurbished Christmas lights are stored in the garage, with Clark pointing out money saved by that process could be reappropriated in the spring by the Keizer Budget Committee.

At Northview Terrace Park, the basketball court is in poor condition, thus the reason for that park to be included.

“Without maintenance, things get to this condition,” said Robert Johnson, parks supervisor for the city. “This is too far gone and needs to be torn out. We need to investment money so things don’t get to this level.”

Walsh emphasized the point.

“This is what happens when we don’t invest in our parks,” Walsh said. “We are starting to lose our assets. We need to do more, but we need more money or else parks will crumble away.”

Councilor Brandon Smith, who was chair of the Parks Board last year, said advocates for each park in the city need to be identified. Councilor Roland Herrera, who was also on the Parks Board last year, volunteered to help find neighborhood park advocates.

At Bob Newton Park, Johnson said the court needs to be resurfaced before getting to the condition of Northview. An Eagle Scout painted a shelter, while a slide was replaced last week.

Meadows was the final park on the tour and included mainly because it hadn’t been visited in quite a while as part of the tour.

“The bottom line is we need to encourage the budget committee that our mission is to make sure no one regrets raising their family in Keizer,” Walsh said. “The biggest bang for the buck is in the parks.”

Parks Board member JT Hager agreed.

“People love their parks,” Hager said. “People use them and use them a lot. The money is well spent. The challenge is we need to maintain what we have. If we don’t maintain what we have, we will start losing them. Robert has done a yeoman’s job.”

Smith noted there was talk of long-term funding options a couple of years ago, but those discussions were abruptly shut down by former mayor Lore Christopher.

“We need to get that going again,” Smith said of the discussions.

Clark noted the city’s permanent tax base can’t be added to.

“We have to be creative,” she said. “Maybe we can ask voters if the time is right.”

Walsh pushed for such conversations to get going.

“In the next three to four years we need to find more money for parks,” Walsh said. “We need to make parks a higher priority. Police is 80 percent of the (general fund) budget. Don’t get me wrong; police is a priority. But it means we’re fighting for 4 percent of the budget.”

Hager put the need for more funding into simple terms.

“We don’t want to lose what we have,” Hager said.

Donald O’Grady

D. O’Grady
D. O’Grady

Donald (Don) O’Grady Jr. passed away unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015 in Temple, Texas at the age of 53.

O’Grady is survived by his mother Patricia (Patti) Shepard currently of Temple, Texas and a former long-time resident of Keizer; his brother Michael (Carlene) O’Grady of Salem and his three sisters: Joanne (Al) Jones of Baker, Fla.; Susan (Fred) Alardin of Temple, Texas and Estrella (Jerry) (Galvan) Bibbey of Boulder Creek, Calif.

He is preceded in death by his father Donald O’Grady Sr. of Santa Rosa, Calif.; his maternal grandparents Ken and Helen Christiansen of Lebanon; Edwin Abbott of Honolulu, Hawaii and his paternal grandparents Tom and Mildred O’Grady of Denver, Colo.

He was born on Nov. 25, 1961 in Santa Rosa, Calif. to Donald and Patricia. As a young boy, he lived with his family in several states including California, South Dakota, New Mexico and Oregon. He also traveled extensively throughout Mexico with his family in the 1970s and attended Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis.

The last 13 years of his life O’Grady lived with his mother Patti in Keizer. Don and his mother enjoyed traveling together, were active parishioners at St. Edward Catholic Church in Keizer and at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Temple, Texas where they had both just moved last year to be closer to family.

A funeral mass took place Sept. 12 in Texas. In lieu of Flowers, please make a contribution to your local food bank.

Linda Robin Prell

R. Barrick
R. Barrick

Linda Robin Prell passed away on Aug. 26, 2015 due to illness.

She is survived by her husband Allen Prell and daughters Sharon and Megan Prell.

Prell participated in Keizer Girl Scouts and Toastmasters (Keizer Bootstrapers). Her smile will be missed in the Salem /Keizer community.

Ronald E. Barnick

R. Barrick
R. Barrick

Ronald Edwin Barnick was born in Oregon City, the son of Aveld and Emma Pierson Barnick. He graduated from Lake Labish School, Parrish Junior High School and Salem High School before completing degrees at George Fox University.

His college education also included Western Oregon University and Baylor University. At George Fox he lettered in baseball, was student body treasurer and sports editor of the student newspaper.

Barnick’s educational career had various assignments that included kindergarten through college and counselor with the State of Oregon. He was active in Sunday School, church and parachurch endeavors and doing vocal solos. He sang in the radio choir of the Quaker Hour.

His interests included the Covered Bridge Society of Oregon (charter member) and Holy Land studies.

He is survived by his wife Darlene, whom he married in 2004; his nephew Jerry Barnick (Tammy); nieces Shirla Hueth (Alan) and Vicki Groome (Tim); stepdaughter Joanne (Zeller) Thornhill, stepsons Gordon Zeller and Greg Zeller, 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, great nieces, nephews and cousins. Preceding him in death were his first wife Grace; brother Victor and parents.

Memorial service will be held on Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. at Capital Park Wesleyan Church, 410 SE 19th Street in Salem.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Southeast Neighborhood Community Center c/o Capital Park Wesleyan Church, 410 SE 19th Street, Salem Oregon 97301.
Assisting the family is City View Funeral Home.

Issue can show city is helping local businesses

In a divided vote at its July meeting the Keizer Public Arts Commission approved the placement of the depiction of a large diamond ring. In front of Sonic restaurant. In south Keizer.

The ring art, created out of metal by the owners of Boucher Jewelers, was initially proposed to be installed in front of the jewelery store near River and Chemawa Roads. Some said that placing it there was inappropriate because it was akin to a sign and would violate the city’s sign code. Thus the push to have it installed in front of a restaurant.

This is a wrong decision. The large diamond ring is art, not a sign. Reasonable people can disagree on what it is. The ring doesn’t have any writing or logos on it, it’s just a big ring that pedestrians and kids will find fanciful and fun—isn’t that the goal of public art?

The fact that the art reflects the business it would sit in front of is a good thing that should not be pooh-poohed. There are those who object on the grounds that it could open the floodgates of others clamoring to place art in front of their buildings to promote their business. That would be a good thing—if it is executed correctly and within guidelines.

It would not be a bad thing if there was art up and down River Road even if it did relate to a specific business. For example, an oversized depcition of a wrench in front of a auto-related store would be whimsical yet be low-key promotion—as long as none of the art had actual text or logos.

Allowing such art would achieve two important goals: more art along Keizer’s thoroughfares and economic development. It is key to unhook public art from the city’s signage ordinance.

The Keizer Public Arts Commission should have final approval of any art a business wanted to place in front of their building.

It is unlikely that every building along River Road would have art in front. Not every business is keen on art or the expense of creating, installing and maintaining it.

The process for such art pieces should be just as stringent as with the original public art program.

In lieu of banners on utility poles along River Road, decorative and imaginative artwork along the sidewalks would herald to visitors that Keizer is a special place.

The art commission and the city can demonstrate what they are doing for the health of local businesses and economic development overall.

Regarding art in front of a jewelry store? Put a ring on it.

  —LAZ

Building a patio, the Keizer way

Keizer did it again. The city and committed volunteers worked together and the result was a new patio space that overlooks the Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre at Keizer Rapids Park.

Park neighbor and community volunteer Jerry Nuttbrock had an idea to add a patio potentially with barbecues and cooking stations. But first things first.

Nuttbrock went before the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board with a sketched out plan for the patio. The 2,400 square foot patio lays among the trees on the bluff behind the caretaker’s resident—known these days as the Charge House after the family that lived in it.

The patio allows plenty of shade which will wonderful during events held on summer’s hottest days. The proposed barbecues and cooking stations will take another round of fund raising and permitting; until then the patio is great addition to Keizer’s outdoor theatre.

The parks board allocated $5,000 as part of their matching grant program. That $5,000 begat a $32,000 gem due to volunteer labor and donations from suppliers such as Salem Concrete Service, Salem Mobile Mix and Northwest Rock.

Jerry Nuttbrock deserves kudos for shepherding his vision from paper to fruition.

Presently, unless a party has obtained a permit, public use of the patio is on a first-come, first-served basis. We hope that permitted uses of the patio are limited to allow more people to enjoy.

The patio was completed the Keizer way: one idea, many hands and a bit of money.

  —LAZ

Payroll tax

To the Editor:

The West Salem Business Association urges a no vote on the payroll tax that will appear on the November ballot.

The tax would fund weekend bus service, and while the West Salem Business Association supports Salem-Area Mass Transit, we believe the expense should be distributed evenly among the community—not levied solely on the backs of private sector employers.

This measure is unfair because it will only be levied on private sector businesses, with our community’s largest employers exempt from paying it, including state, city and county government.

While we understand the potential benefit that this measure has to provide, no tangible data has been shown that supports the claim that businesses will benefit if the measure passes.

Finally, this measure has the ability to increase the tax without a vote from the people. In 10 years the rate proposed could nearly double, adding yet another unknown in future hiring and compensation of current and future employees.

This measure is an unfair, under regulated, and unwanted funding mechanism in our community and the West Salem Business Association, consisting of approximately 90 businesses, urges you to stand with us and vote no to stop the employer tax in November.

Terry Kelly
West Salem Business Association