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Day: August 28, 2018

An inconvenient truth

The Keizer City Council and Keizer Planning Commission will be discussing the most recent findings of a revitalization study focused on Keizer’s business corridors at a work session Monday, Aug. 27.

The goals of the study are two-fold: determining how can the city promote new and redevelopment and how can it capture more housing units in the process. While both are important, the council should be paying close attention to the ramifications of the housing component.

Three months ago, this paper ran an article looking at some of the early results of the study that showed Keizer moving in the direction of gentrification—the process by which low-income families are pushed out of an area as redevelopment occurs. In the preliminary findings, the number of households making less than $25,000 dropped 5 percent since 2000, and the number of even moderate-income households is decreasing steadily. In the past 18 years, the number of households making less than $75,000 declined rapidly while the growth of households making $100,000 steadily increased. More worryingly, low income families find themselves relegated to certain pockets of the city and even rental rates in those areas are rising meteorically—more than 50 percent in the past five years.

The more recent results of the study show continued warning signs. Two of the three scenarios of growth the council will discuss Monday call for redevelopment of many existing properties into multi-story, multifamily developments like apartments and townhouses. New developments along these lines would most likely replace existing structures in the dwindling pockets of affordability with top-of-market spaces that current residents and their families will no longer be able to afford.

In the wake of our last article on the topic, we heard from several readers who suggested we got it wrong. They wanted more gentrification, a more elite status for the neighborhoods of Keizer.

That is understandable, but it ignores an inconvenient truth: In a capitalist society, a certain segment of the population must inhabit the lower rungs of the economic ladder for those at the top to flourish. Ideally, those at the low income end of the spectrum can work their way up, but chances at upward mobility in America are drying up and not every “American Dream” looks the same.

Keizer must continue to have housing available for those with challenged incomes. It a matter of decency and compassion at its core, but city councilors and residents should remember that even those with modest incomes contribute to the success of our local businesses and the fabric of our community.

— Editorial Board

Supporting the local team

To the Editor:

I feel someone needs to reach out to say thanks for your sports section. Your sports department has always shown great support of our team (I feel it should encourage people in our community to go to more games).

The Volcano players have tried as well as they can, even though they have faltered at times. They may not win first place in their division but their win/lost record is in a good shape to reach the playoffs.

Their manager, Hector Borg, is doing an outstanding job trying to cope with decisions handed down by the San Francisco Giants, beyond his control. He also has to deal with three players now on the disabled list, due to being hit by opposing teams.

It is the Keizertimes, not the Salem newspaper, who I personally feel has taken more time showing support “stepping to the plate” to cover the Salem-Keizer Volcano baseball team.

Congratulations Keizertimes and your sports section for such support of our local team.

Sam La Masa
Keizer

South Salem seeking depth

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

South Salem head coach Scott Dufault is pleased with his starting lineup.

But if the Saxons are going to improve on last season’s mark, when they finished 4-6 and where eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, they are going to have to develop more depth.

“I think the more that we get closer to having a solid two-deep the better we’re going to be and at this level you’ve got to be able to have that,” Dufault said. “We think we have some answers. They’re just young.”

The strength of the Saxons should be their defensive front seven, which returns six varsity players, including three-year starters Josh Raynak at middle linebacker and Ashton Adams on the line.

Adams, a First Team All-Greater Valley Conference selection at offensive tackle last season, has Division-I offers from Air Force, Utah State, Nevada, Portland State, Georgetown and Idaho.

Brock Hale and Diego Fuimaono return at defensive end. Both will also start at tight end.

“The two tight ends (Hale and Fuimaono) are really good and we’ll try to utilize them at the same time a fair amount,” Dufault said.

Morgan Bice, a three-year starter at safety, will lead a young secondary.

On offense, senior Elijah Enomoto-Haole returns at quarterback in his third season.

He’ll be protected by Adams as well as center Sangato Letisi and guard Colin Bartolome, who also both started last year.

The Saxons will use a committee approach at running back with junior Ryan Rickman getting the bulk of carries. Rickman will also play linebacker, where he started last year.

“I think he’s going to have a breakout year,” Dufault said of Rickman.

Parker Johnson is another junior linebacker who got varsity action last year, including 10 tackles in the playoff lost to Central Catholic.

Raynak, who has primarily played on defense, will also get carries for South Salem. Jamal Bailey is another player who can run the ball.

Like their secondary, the Saxons are inexperienced at wide receiver but have options in senior Brayden Neuharth and sophomore Gabe Johnson, whose father Dave won a bronze medal in the decathlon during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

“We’re pretty young at wide receiver but more athletic than we’ve been in awhile,” Dufault said. “We’ve got to stay healthy and develop some depth but if we can do those two things by the time we hit midseason and get into the conference schedule, I think we’ll be alright.”