Author: Lyndon Zaitz

Make them prove it

America has been a tabloid kind of nation for a while now. Tabloid-style news gets attention over in-depth news that reports what is actually happening. In the past, news racks were full of periodicals with come-on cover stories such as  “I Married an Alien.” Sure, they were fun to read but most people took those stories with a huge grain of salt. These days tabloid stories embrace our celebrity culture—those types of magazines herald breathless headlines that ramp up our curiosity about this or that A-, B-, C- and D-List names. We are never so engaged as when we are faced with a story about our favorite famous person. Tabloid-type news invaded mainstream media and any number of Websites. The First Amendment allows anyone to write and publish any thing they wish, regardless of how incredulous it is. Last week the president-elect, without evidence, said that there were 3 million illegal votes cast in last month’s presidential election. Some may think that if he said it,  it must be true. The problem with that is that every news outlet reported his statement; to be fair, most of those outlets added that it was an unfounded and unverified allegation. But that won’t matter to a large portion of the citizenry. A reasonable person can read an outlandish story in a supermarket tabloid, roll their eyes and move on. But when...

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Local election is over

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. And now it’s over. Laura Reid was officially declared the winner in her race for Keizer City Council Position 1 over Allen Barker this week by the Marion County elections divison. She won by 109 votes out of a total of more than 12,300 cast. There’s a lesson here for everybody: every vote counts. The race between Reid and Barker was not acrimonious, it was hardly even in the public eye. It was a race between two people who care about the place they call home and wanted to do their part to keep it the livable city it is. The city of Keizer is a winner here, too. As we said in this space before, by electing Reid we get a new voice on the council and Barker’s business expertise remains on the budget committee. If only all elections had a beneficial outcome like this one. We expect good things from Councilor-elect Reid. There will be important issues she will have to become familiar with. And fast.  ...

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What kind of Christmas?

By LYNDON ZAITZ People celebrate Christmas in many ways and for different reasons. Some celebrate the birth of Christ, some celebrate children, some celebrate Santa Claus. Others mark the season with a mix of reasons. It can be argued that the Christmas season is the favorite time of year for most, even with the frustrations, disappointments and feuds that arise when family gets together. The need to buy a present for absolutely everyone—immediate, extended and blended families, not to mention friends and co-workers. Money—out-of-pocket cash or credit—is always a sticking point during the holidays. That’s why I cherish the Christmases I spent with friends when none of us had much disposable income. I guess it is akin to those who remember fondly the holidays they marked in the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s when people had to use their imagination and being with family was more important than a present. My circle of friends and I lived in Seattle, which was a pretty good setting for Christmas. It didn’t cost a cent to see the window and in-store displays at The Bon Marche, and the flagship Nordstrom and Frederick & Nelson stores. In those days visual merchandising was still a big thing and one couldn’t but help be in the holiday mood. It is interesting how creative a group of people can be when the lack...

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Fasten your seat belts

There are millions of Americans who voted for Donald J. Trump as their next president. So many decided that a change in direction on national policies was important that many blue states flipped over to become red states. This after a campaign in which the winning candidate did not lay out a specific agenda—just a lot of applause lines like building a wall along our border with Mexico, banning immigration into the country by those of the Muslim faith amid many others. Now as president-elect, Trump is slowly forming his government. Those who voted for change are going to get more change than they probably hoped for. Trump has named Steve Bannon, former chief executive of Breitbart News—known for its alt-right, nationalist, anti-Semite views—as his chief political strategist. Bannon’s appointment has many on both the left and the right very concerned about how much influence he will have over Donald Trump’s thinking. Until Trump is actually in the Oval Office will we not know what kind of president he will be. The awesome power of the office has a way of moderating the president. Already Trump is backing away from some of his proposals that got him where he is today: he won’t pursue a prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while Secretary of State or for any alleged improprieties at the Clinton...

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Christmas in Keizer

Many homes are still enjoying Thanksgiving dinner leftovers and cleaning up after a house full of guests and now their attention turns to the Christmas season. Keizer does love Christmas and there are plenty of activities and events to help enjoy their favorite time of year. It all starts with the annual lighting of Keizer’s Christmas tree at Walery Plaza at the intersection of River Road and Cherry Ave. on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Two lucky kids will be chosen to help Santa Claus flip the switch. Later that week the first Keizer Holiday Lights Parade will travel down River Road. Staged by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, the parade takes over after the Festival of Lights Parade ended its 25-year run last year. It’s a big job to put on that parade and we’re fortunate to have oranizations and volunteers who will keep a light parade in town. Speaking of lights, on Dec. 2 the Miracle of Christmas display starts in the Gubser neighborhood and runs through Dec. 26. There will be lots of chances for Keizer kids to see and talk to Santa Claus. He’ll be making appearances at the Volcano Stadium (via helicopter) on Dec. 3, he’ll be at breakfast at the Keizer Fire hall on Dec. 11, he’ll be giving candy canes with help from Marion County Fire District #1 in the Clear Lake/Forest Ridge area...

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