Author: Lyndon Zaitz

With new president, think local

As you read this the 45th president of the United States has been sworn into office and we are now in unchartered waters. Some say that is a good thing and exactly what the nation needs; others say that life as we know it will change in fundamental ways. Both sides are right. The Electoral College gave a majority of votes to Republican Donald J. Trump (though he lost the the popular vote by almost 3 million). It is not hard to argue that Trump will be unlike any other president this country has had. If he was a pure ideologue it would be easier to predict what he might do once in office. But Trump is not driven by ideology, he is driven by his own personality, his own peeves, his self image. Donald Trump has broken the mold of how a president acts, speaks and leads. As his opponent said last fall he can be baited with a tweet. Twitter is his preferred form of communication, which drives presidential scholars and academes—who are used to sober policy statements and speeches—crazy. Trump’s America First stance will reshape this country’s foreign policy that will look unfamiliar to insiders but will be cheered by the Americans who voted to shake up the established order of things. When a person with no governmental experience at any level is elected to lead...

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History in the attic

Every household contains a treasure trove of history. Unfortunately much of that history ends up in an incinerator or a land fill. The treasure trove are the thousands, if not millions, of photographs sitting in attics, basements and storage units of most Keizer families. When a person who  has lived in one place for many years passes on it falls to their family to distribute and dispose of their homes—furniture, clothing and memoriabilia of their lives. Many times photographs and scrapbooks are disposed of because family members don’t know the people or places in the photo and thus has no value to them. The Keizer Heritage Museum wants to be part of the disposal process. It is the mission of the museum to collect and archive the history of Keizer, dating back to its earliest days in the 1880s and that includes any photos of Keizer landmarks. Many photos are of people lost to history, but those people may be posing in front of any number of Keizer sites—schools, businesses, homes—that would be significant to the museum’s collection. The Keizer Heritage Museum will accept any number of photos (boxes of them, if that be the case), quickly check for historical importance, then either return the photos or dispose of them for the donors. Keizer has three buldings that date to the late 1890s and early 1900s. The community must...

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Parks? Cops?

Parks and cops? Parks or cops? One little word can make a huge difference in the near future of Keizer. Both are paid for from the city’s general fund budget. Both are important to the livability of the city.  But only one—parks—is the subject of a survey that will, in part, ask homeowners if (and how much) of a new fee they would support. The members of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advsiory Board have worked hard over the past year to fashion a survey about parks that is just now being sent to Keizer homeowners. The comprehensive survery is included with Keizer water bills; half of homeowners are receiving the survey this month; the other half will receive it in February. The survey dives deep with questions about how people use city parks and the future of them. The survey also asks respondents if they would support a new park fee added to their bi-monthly water bills; there are five options, ranging from zero to $8 per  month. An extra $8 a month is a small price to pay to vastly improve Keizer’s parks. Some households claim that their budgets cannot handle the addition of another nickle let alone eight dollars. Even at half that rate—$4 a month—Keizer parks would receive the maintenance desperately  needed. However, any neew fee could create a burder for some households. The results...

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Take the lead on ride-hailing

Economic models are being thrown on the slag heap of history as technology changes the way we live and work. Social media has revolutionized communications. Every new discovery and service brings their own rewards and challenges. The way we work has changed and will continue to revolve. The way we move around is changing, as much a result as technology and life changes. Public transportation in our area does not have wide support, most of us still opt for our private vehicles which means many car trips with only one person. Some complain that public buses don’t have a schedule or a route that works in their lives, especially when there is no late evening or weekend service. For those who do retain their driving habit the complaint veers toward traffic in general—too much of it, too slow, other drivers. Traffic continues to be one of the top livability issues of local residents. Add all of that with the fact that younger people are not as hyped to get their drivers license and a car as earlier generations. This gives the city of Keizer a chance to be a leader by allowing ride-hailing services to operate in the city. Salem’s incoming mayor Chuck Bennett wants to see Uber and Lyft start to operate in his city. Let Keizer be the leader on this issue (Mayor Cathy Clark has been...

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The color orange

There are few things as promising as the dawning of a new year. As the calendar flips from December 31 to January 1, everything will be reset. We make resolutions in an effort to be better. A new year holds the promise of adventures and experiences as well as milestones and celebrations. Spring is the season when nature starts to bloom anew, but for the people, New Year’s Day heralds all that is bright and new and unexplored. For most people anyway. There is no getting around the fact that not everyone will celebrate a new year, because for them it will look much like the previous year.  Many people will continue to struggle with finances, living situations and more. People who don’t live the great American lifestyle don’t always have a choice. They should not be judged. For those in need who ask for help should receive it, not just from some bureaucracy but from their fellow man. We judge when we are intolerant of other’s life style, life choice or ideology. That intolerance begets isolation, bias and injury. Our world has become a society in which too many people feel they’ve been given the permission to  attack, verbally and physically,  those who are different. That includes the bullying of children, whether it is in person or cyber. It is not nearly enough to just express the sentiment...

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