Nicholas A Waldner — son, brother, grandson, friend and brother-in-arms—died on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, at his home in Keizer, Ore. He was 29 years old.
Born on Sept. 28, 1988, Nick was always known for his quick wit and love of word play. By age 10, no one would doubt his ability to become a lawyer.
Nick was a difficult teenager who loved to push the envelope and sometimes past but he recognized he needed to make changes. At the age of 18 he got himself into the Job Corps where he excelled.Upon its completion he had three choices, stay on at Job Corps as a paid mentor, enter public life or join the military. He decided he needed more personal growth and entered the Army at the age of 19 where he served two tours in Iraq.
Upon his discharge Nick had grown into a remarkable man and was filled with both passion and an intense sense of empathy, though also subject to depression due to PTSD which he battled for several years. He ended his life as a combination of PTSD and personal life issues that became too much for him to handle. He is survived by his parents, Renee and Damian Lopez; his brother, Kyle Lopez; his grandparents, Jerry and JoAnn Elliott and Gilbert Lopez; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins – too many to list. He is predeceased by his grandmother Rosalia Lopez.
Funeral services were held on Nov. 10 at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Home. The family requests that donations be sent to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Wounded Warrior Project.
The owner of a planned cinema still hasn’t signed a lease to locate on a city-owned portion of land in Keizer Station, but all the evidence points to it becoming a reality.
At a meeting of the Keizer Planning Commission Wednesday, Nov. 8, the planning commission approved a design variance that will allow the theater building to have fewer windows and compensate for the lack with additional landscaping.
“The requirement is 50 percent glazing/windows on the ground floor according to the master plan for Keizer Station but, since it is a theater, that many windows wouldn’t work,” said Nate Brown, Keizer community development director.
In October 2016, Chuck Nakvasil, owner of several theaters in Oregon and Washington, approached the city about the possibility of a long-term lease on a portion of the land across from the Salem-Keizer Transit Center.
The city has been working out the lease details during the past year, but the request for a design variance is the surest sign yet that the plan is moving forward. The granting of a variance alone is a rarity for the city.
Since adopting its design code, only two variances have been granted. The first was for additional awnings at the Smoker Friendly location on River Road in 2004. The second, in 2005, was a waiver for a pedestrian access at the Willow Lake Treatment Facility. Approving such variances is also one of the few actions the Planning Commission can take without needing additional approval by the Keizer City Council.
Aside from the inherent problems of having windows in theater spaces, the request to replace windows with landscaping is an attempt to offset the size of the nine-screen theater.
“This planting plan is a natural-look with a random placement of vertical trees. It is a 35-foot building and the intent is to break up some of the verticality,” Brown said.
Jeremy Grenz, of Multitech Engineering, the engineering firm for the project, said he was personally excited to be involved in the project to bring a theater back to Keizer.
“That the city planners are willing to work with us tells me that they understand the excitement around this project,” Grenz said.
Keizer did have a theater in the past – located at what is now Skyline Ford – but it was shuttered in the 1990s.
Commissioner Garry Whalen asked whether the city or the tenant would be responsible for maintaining the landscaping given the nature of the lease. Brown said the theater owner would have responsibility for the maintenance.
Whalen also wanted it to be known that the variance was being approved because of the unique nature of the development, not because the city was trying to sidestep its own development code on property it owned.