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Month: April 2017

Planning commision says ‘no’ to c-store

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Conversations about a possible fueling center at Safeway on River Road will continue if the Keizer City Council accepts the recommendation of the Keizer Planning Commission.

However, the recommendation does not permit a convenience store associated with a fueling center.

At issue is a text amendment to the city’s development code. In the 1990s, the then-city council approved a special zone for an area around the intersection of Chemawa Road and River Road North. The zone currently prohibits the placement of gas stations in the area as well as several other types of development. Safeway – which did not send any representatives to the Wednesday, April 12, meeting – needs the code altered before discussions can continue. Even though the planning commission is recommending a narrower set of parameters on the development that Safeway requested, the council could still alter the final amendment.

Planning commissioners predominantly focused on two topics during the meeting: how to address impacts to the Keizer Fire District with increased traffic at the Safeway shopping center and whether to allow a convenience store in addition to the fueling center.

Commissioner Garry Whalen said that even if the recommendation moved forward, fire district concerns would still be aired and addressed during the permitting process.

Keizer Fire Chief Jeff Cowan said he tried to line up a meeting between Safeway reps and the Keizer Fire Board, but the plans fell through.

“Once we open the door, it seems like Pandora’s box. We want to collaborate, but without the additional information, we can’t support it,” Cowan said.

Cowan took issue with the traffic study associated with Safeway’s proposal in particular.

“It’s silent to the fact that the fire district is across the street. It doesn’t address emergency response with regard to increased traffic and stacking at the entrance,” he said.

Commissioner Hersch Sangster said the planning commission’s role at that point was to move the recommendation forward or let it die.

“If it moves ahead, the city engineers will look at it and determine what will and won’t work,” Sangster said.

Commissioner Jerry Crane seemed to settle the issue by comparing the discussion to a dance.

“We are not the dancers, we are just allowing the dance to start. It would be in Safeway’s best interest to find a way to accommodate the fire district. We’re not making a decision on design or determining whether it will happen,” Crane said.

Conversations about the convenience store were settled more quickly.

Most of the commissioners sided with the city staff against allowing the convenience store even though Safeway reps said it was an integral piece of the plan at a meeting in March.

“(Associated) sales don’t do much for us overall, but if we don’t offer it, we lose the fuel sale,” said Chris Miles, a construction project manager for Albertsons, the company that acquired Safeway in 2014.

In the end, the recommendation was approved with a 4-2 vote. Commissioners Jim Jacks and Michael DeBlasi were the dissenters. Jacks would have preferred to continue the public hearing to allow the fire district to gather more information. DeBlasi was more concerned about what the change meant for the future development,

“I appreciate what staff has done trying to mitigate the effects, but good design doesn’t mitigate the problems. It’s like going into a gator pond, walking slowly or fast doesn’t make a difference,” DeBlasi said. “By allowing this use, we are locking it in for decades. It’s not like there are no gas stations in Keizer.”

Why McNary Kloset matters

McNary Kloset was unveiled at McNary High School last week to much fanfare. The Kloset is open and serving students who are in need.

The project came from the collective minds of Audrey Butler and Stephanie Wittman of the Keizer Network of Women (KNOW) a Keizer Chamber Foundation group along with counselor Kim Pittsley and assistant principal Rhonda Rhodes at McNary.

Ms. Butler intended to donate some unused clothing to a consignment shop but she said something told her to call the school before proceeding. She asked the school if there was a need for clothing and found there is a great need for clothing for students in need. And the clothing was just the start.

McNary Kloset is now housed in a former teacher’s lounge in a school that is bursting at the seams. Though space is a premium at McNary the Kloset will put that space to good use.

The McNary Kloset is a cupboard for students who are in  need of a piece of clothing or two. Besides clothing the Kloset also offers food and snacks and, importantly for students, toiletry items.

Any visitor to the Kloset on opening day saw racks of jackets, pants, shirts, tops, a few pairs of shoes, tooth brushes and paste and other personal items and food—a meal or a snack.

The unfortunate reality is that there are students in our community that face shortages of the basic needs of daily life. McNary Kloset is not a ‘come anytime’ place, it requires a request and an escort. That’s not to limit who uses the room but to protect the dignity of the recipients of its bounty.

McNary Kloset is a low-cost  way to provide for those who are in need through no fault of their own. The project is not tax-payer supported and is not victim to any bureaucratic maze—it is the result of caring and sharing Keizerites and school officials.

It is important that students have every opportunity to focus on their studies while at school. Grumbling stomachs and cold shoulders impeded the education process. McNary Kloset should know no season except the school year. There is no short-term coat or food drive to fill its shelves and racks. Donations are always accepted.

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce office and the Keizer branch of Willamette Valley Bank are drop-off sites for slightly used clothing, new personal care products and food.

McNary Kloset matters because it helps our kids from our community. When a coat or a snack is given, the donor can be confident that someone who lives in the neighborhood or is friends with their own child, is getting something that can turn a world around.     —LAZ

Vote for Bateman

To the Editor:

I urge the election of Mark Bateman to the Satem-Keizer School Board. I have known Mark for several years. I have served with him and observed his performance on various committees and boards at the First United Methodist Church in Salem. Mark is a problem solver and is well prepared for this position. His previous experience with a variety of organizations and the financial challenges facing each have all contributed to his preparation to serve on the school board.

John Joelson
Keizer

Parks fee

To the Editor:

The headline for this article is very misleading. The headline states “Parks fees get majority support”. The article goes on to state that there were 1,102 surveys returned from Keizer’s “roughly” 14,300 households. Using these numbers that is a return rate of less than  8% of the total households. Marion County Elections reported on March 8, 2017 that Keizer had 19,483 households which takes the return rate down to 5%. Marion County also reported that Keizer has 23,357 registered voters. I can not understand how this survey would represent the majority of Keizer.

Jim Keller
Keizer

McNary eases scholarship search

By ROCHELLE FARRIS

Funding a vocational or college education is not a cheap venture for students and their families. The path seems daunting for many and often there is confusion in the application, scholarship and financial aid process.

In the past, parents and students may have felt alone in navigating this important path. McNary High School recognized the importance of having this kind of support for our students. This year families have a resource available to them to answer questions and minimize the confusion and complexities of the college application and scholarship process while supporting students by helping them become both college- and career-ready.

The McNary High School College and Career Center opened this year in October. Since that time, I have had the privilege of walking alongside our students and families helping them navigate the pathway opportunities available to them after high school. I get to meet with students one-on-one and in classroom settings, while also providing evening events and college and career presentations throughout the year.

The College and Career Center is open to students during our school day, before school on Mondays and after school Tuesday—Friday. I have worked tirelessly to provide information to our students about local scholarships available in our community while also informing them of the larger state and national scholarship options. I also have provided workshops throughout this academic year on college and scholarship organizations and “How to Write Scholarship Essays That Get Noticed.”

Students at McNary get many opportunities to hear presentations from local career professionals who are invited to present about the fields they work in. This year we have had health care professionals, business owners, software engineers and many others present. This gives students the ability to explore career options and get questions answered about a particular field of interest.

The College and Career Center has its own webpage (mcnary.salkeiz.k12.or.us/activities/college-career-ready/)  within the McNary High School website that provides great information for our students and their parents.

Recognizing not all students will choose to attend college after high school, there are many opportunities for students that do not include post-secondary education.  I also act as a resource to these students. Exploring career opportunities through apprenticeship, military or on-the-job training opportunities that will also lead to successful careers. Our College and Career Center also provides resources for students looking for part-time jobs and community service opportunities. Building resumes, writing cover letters and preparing for interviews are also areas that I get to support.

While I realize it takes time to build awareness of McNary’s College and Career Center offerings, I have been working diligently to get the information out to our students and families. The benefits and results of the College and Career Center have been significant even after only being open for six months. McNary High School has already increased the rates of students applying for the Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA). Last year at the end of the school year (June 2016) there was a total of 192 students who had completed the FAFSA. Currently, in April, we have 227 that have completed applications and I continue to follow-up with seniors who may need additional help finishing their applications. In addition, we have one student at McNary who recently accepted her Act Six Scholarship which is a full-tuition, full-need community leadership award to attend Warner Pacific University for all four years.  We also are excited to have our first Ford Family Foundation finalist who will be interviewing in May for a scholarship that pays 90 percent of the cost of attendance to any college in Oregon for all years he attends post-secondary education. Scholarship awards keep coming in and we are excited to get to celebrate with our senior students.

Additionally, McNary High School is working toward becoming the first AVID Demonstration High School in Oregon. I coordinate with AVID teachers who are dedicated to the successful implementation of the AVID College Readiness System. Freshman through Seniors learn about college preparation, which includes researching post-secondary academic programs, applying to colleges, and completing financial aid and scholarship applications. This year McNary AVID seniors have already received nearly $500,000 in scholarship awards.

The College and Career Center will hold an event Tuesday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m.: Junior Jumpstart, is a college planning event for current juniors and their parents to get some helpful step-by-step college information to help prepare for your senior year. Preparation is the key.

During this event attendees will receive helpful hints on ACT/SAT testing, completing college and scholarship applications and understanding the financial aid process. NCAA athletic eligibility information will also be presented in an additional presentation at 7:30 p.m. for those interested.

(Rochelle Farris is the coordinator of the College and Career Center at Keizer’s McNary High School.)

Rep. Post is not doing his job

To the Editor:

The founders of American government, in their wisdom, gave us a representative system.  A system in which the voting citizen has a voice in government policy through a representative in the legislature.  This is a contract between the elected official and the citizens of a district.  To be their voice. Representative Bill Post has broken that contract.

It is the job of a representative to represent, not make excuses as to what he cannot do. The representative needs to get the job done. After all it was Mr. Post that asked for the position in the first place.  He says he has no ability to craft legislation on the budget, transportation, or funding for veterans, but he does not say why. Is he inept, or has his monolithic ideology moved so far to the right that even talking to a Democrat is beyond his ability?

It was Mr. Post’s lack of knowledge on the transportation package that I found the most disturbing.  It is bizarre because it is happening in his own district and that he has put no effort to find out what transportation package entails. Has Mr. Post forgotten that St. Paul is in the district that he is bound by oath of office to represent?  And that representation is not prescribed by the Constitution nor state law to be extended to only one ideology.  A corrupt politician is bad and a representative that does not represent is just as bad.

Mr. Post has given up on being our representative when he calls on us to do his job for him. Then I ask why are we paying him a government salary?  He must think it is nice to have a government job in which he is being paid to do nothing.

David McCall
Keizer

Change how colleges do business

By GENE H. McINTYRE

Through creative problem-solving and thinking outside the proverbial box, it’s possible to come up with ways and means to address Oregon’s public college and university costs outside of double-digit tuition increases.  What comes to mind is relief by way of college sports, administrative costs, and Oregon legislative action.

Let’s begin by looking at the history of American colleges and universities.  There was a time when people attended an institution of higher education mainly to acquire further education beyond secondary school to earn a degree and realize the opportunity to work in the field of their choice.  Back when it was possible to earn, during summers and part-time school year jobs, to meet all costs through graduation. This writer was one who accomplished that feat.

What has been noticed most poignantly nowadays is that college and university costs come not only from the traditional expenses, like tuition,, books, room and board, et cetera, but also a school’s participation in sports programs. Sports were once extracurricular for fun and exercise or played by in-state participants motivated by athletic prowess and school spirit.

Just one facet of what’s going on in college-level sports is the extreme and excessive salaries, bonuses and perks paid to coaches as well as their subordinates. One example among many can be cited recently from the University of Oregon where it was announced that a UO football assistnt coach, a “defensive coordinator and linebackers coach,” will be paid $1.15 million per year. While there are many assistants for different team functions at UO alone, the head football coach at UO, Willie Taggert, now owns a 5-year contract worth $16 million while, in basketball, head coach Dana Altman possesses a 7-year contract at $18 million. Then there’s track and field, baseball and a whole host of other sports for men and, since Title IX, women, also.

Without an encyclopedia of higher education costs for administrators, let a couple of examples serve to enlighten.  University of Oregon President Michael Schill receives an annual base salary of $798,400 plus a free car, free housing,  a spending allowance and other perks.  Meanwhile, just a few miles up the road, Oregon State Univesity’s president, Ed Ray, comes in at an annual $699,876. Their support staffs are also paid handsome salaries along with many an enviable perk.

There could be efforts made to reform the way Oregon’s higher education schools conduct business.  What stands in the way of direly needed improvements and reasonable costs are the persons who serve on their governing boards: many know little from personal experience about the financial plights of the average Oregonian seeking a college education.  The presidents and other managers (deans and department heads) often receive six-figure remunerations that are far removed from the Oregon families that send their sons and daughters to them.  Sports are managed and controlled almost exclusively these days by coaches seeking the highest paycheck with no loyalty involved.

The Oregon Legislature could do a lot to make college costs more affordable by keeping tuitions low. How so?  They could reform the state’s tax structure so that the corporations making huge profits in Oregon would have to pay their fair share of education costs at all levels, a condition they’ve escaped by the reduction creep of lobbyists’ activity.  Too often, unfortunately for Oregonians, it’s become apparent, too many Oregon legislators are more interested in keeping their political job than behaving like statesman and are beholden as virtual servants to the corporations that contribute to their campaign chests.  One fact, though, that ought to catch the attention of our legislators is the PERS consequence for these obscene and solvency-busting salaries.

Back to the future. Oregon’s youth and young adults want a chance to embrace the American dream.  To accomplish an opportunity for more among us to attend and graduate, there’s a need for heroic leadership efforts by those in power positions willing to fight for sane paychecks in sports and administrative positions, now having gone stratospheric. However, as long as Oregonians are willing to accept everything currently going on without protest, then those who benefit from what’s happened will continue without a second thought because in no way will these people with pockets full ever be self-correcting.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)

Pauline Mottley

P. Mottley

Pauline “Polly” Mottley passed away on April 10, 2017 at the age of 85.

Polly was born to Fitzhugh and Cordelia Puckett of Virginia. She was one of nine children. Polly spent her formative years in Virginia finally settling down in Oregon with her husband Marvin and daughter Judy.

She is survived by her granddaughter Sharon (Ford) Stigall; grandson Allen (Katie) Dodson; son-in-law John Dodson; sister Patricia Thornes of Virginia; great grandsons Tyler, Jake, Lane, Russel, Austin, Carter and her soon to be great-great-granddaughter Athena, as well as many more family and friends.

Polly was preceded in death by her husband Marvin, daughter Judy as well as seven brothers and sisters. Polly was loved by so many and will be truly missed. Family would like to thank the staff at Emerald Gardens in Woodburn for the exceptional care they gave her for the last several years.

Arleta Ann Hug Burton

A. Burton

Arleta Ann Hug Burton, 86, of Richland, Wash., died on April 4, 2017.

She was born on April 4, 1931, to Glenn Franklin Hug and Mary Marie McDonald Hug. Arleta lived in Oregon prior to moving to the Tri-Cities a little more than five years ago.

Arleta grew up in Elgin, Ore., then went to Business school in Portland. She worked as a secretary and administrative assistant retiring from CH2M Hill in 1984.

She is a member of Countryside Christian Church in Keizer and attended Richland Lutheran Church.

Her hobbies included reading, knitting, golfing, pinochle, Bible studies, and travel.

She gave of her time volunteering at the Salem Union Gospel Mission, Keizer Heritage Museum, reading to elementary children and many other activities.

Arleta is survived by her son; Glenn (Lisa) Burton, daughter; Debbie (Allen) Maier, granddaughters; Christina Maier Mitchell, Tiffany Maier Getz, Kari Maier Lindsay, and Alexandra Burton and five great granddaughters.

She found great joy in her family and loved watching her great granddaughters play.

Arleta was preceded in death by her husband, Karlee Burton.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Salem Union Gospel Mission.

For online condolences, please visit www.AskHillcrest.com.

Diana Kay Jiracek

D. Jiracek

A celebration of life service will be held for DIANA KAY JIRACEK at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 22, at The Free Church of Oregon, 6285 Lakeside Drive N.