Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, March 20, 2015, Image 4

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Lyndon Zaitz, at 503-390-1051 or send him an e-mail at publisher@
It’s the people
While parts of the
world seem to be losing
their heads and spinning
out of control, Keizer
keeps its cool and con-
tinues on a modest path.
We’e a community that
celebrates our kids we
roll up our sleeves when
our schools and organziations need
The continuing crisis caused by
the Islamic State in Syria and Iraqi
is troubling, but it is far away. What
goes on with Congress between the
two parties and with the Obama
Adminsistration is maddening but
that too is far away. When national
and international events are out of
our control we hunker down and
concentrate on our local neighbor-
That is certainly in evidence here
in Keizer in winter 2015.
Keizer schools have been and
will hold a variety of fundraisers
from the Whiteaker Middle School
Cabaret that raised money for that
school’s choir programs and travel
Clear Lake Elementary held its
annual auction recently to raise
funds for an asphalt athletic track
for students as well as local neigh-
bors who utilize it for their fi tness
Earlier this month the McNary
High School Fine Arts fundraising
event, Knight of Arts, sold out and
raised close to $40,000 for the arts
at the school including a closed-
camera system for the Ken Collins
The Keizer Parks Foundation
held its annual Pinot for the Parks
wine event last week, as
well. The foundation’s
mission is to raise funds
for the city’s 19 parks.The
money raised at the Pinot
event is earmarked for the
big playground project at
Keizer Rapids Park.
The McNary Athletic
Boosters Club is fi nalizing fund
raising for artifi cal turf at the high
school’s Flesher Field.
It is not only money that Keizer
gives to community projects and
schools. It also gives time and mus-
The big playground community
build project will take place over fi ve
days in June. There are about 2,000
shifts available for the community
to work. Community members will
dig, wheelbarrow, nail, paint, cater
and more during what promises to
be the biggest single community
volunteer event ever.
About 40 volunteers toiled on a
blustery day to clean up the land-
scaping at Keizer Civic Center.
The Keizer Chamber of Com-
merce will seek hundreds of volun-
teers to help set up and operate the
Keizer Iris Festival in May.
Keizer residents take pride in
their community and it is proven
every time a dollar is donated or an
hour is volunteered. We remain fo-
cused on working for the good of
the community.
Keizer is experiencing no violent
protests, no chanting of racist slurs,
no shootings. We can feel positive
about our community but we must
always be mindful that not everyone
in the world has it so good.
Paper is balanced
and 15 column
inches refl ect-
ing what would
appear to a lib-
eral view (Gene McIntyre).The bias,
if there is one, seems to be the other
way (like Fox News?)
Art Burr
To the Editor:
Regarding Jim Keller’s view
(Letter to the Editor, March 13)
about liberal bias on the part of the
Keizertimes, I note in the same paper,
approximately 24 column inches
devoted to supporting Keller’s con-
servative views (Michael Gerson)
The Keizertimes welcomes all points of view.
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Salem, Oregon
Allie Kehret
GOP should be equal partner
It is hard to know what a Repub-
lican stands for these days. With a
newly won Congressional majority
the only unifying theme in bills they
have introduced seems to be “How
can we harm Obama?” It hasn’t
helped them much so far.
Each time they defer to the more
extreme Tea Party bloc they get em-
barrassed. The attempt to link de-
struction of President Obama’s im-
migration actions with Department
of Homeland Security funding went
down in fl ames. Now they are deal-
ing with an ill-considered letter to
the leaders of Iran signed by 47 Sena-
tors. Sen.Tom Cotton, R-Ark, barely
more than two months in the Sen-
ate, composed a letter to Iran’s lead-
ers warning them that any agreement
restraining development of nuclear
weapons might be thrown out by the
next President.
Senator Cotton is on record be-
lieving that only a military solution
will be effective. He also revealed an
incomplete understanding of Consti-
tutional law and geographical uncer-
tainty about which country might in-
clude Tehran.The real surprise is that
senior Republican senators hitched
their wagons to this very green star.
They have elevated a young senator
who got some percentage of Arkan-
sas’ votes to the same footing as our
President. It makes them seem un-
hinged by their hatred for Obama.
This act diminishes America. In
showing con-
Obama and
Iran they also
China, France,
Germany, Russia and United King-
dom, all of whom believe that the
current leaders of Iran are more open
to negotiation than previous rulers.
The Logan Act of 1798, too long
to be quoted here, names penalties
for citizens claiming without author-
ity to represent the United States in
foreign affairs. Outside of that these
senators have condemned an agree-
ment that hasn’t even been made yet.
Would they have foreign nations be-
lieve that they should from this point
forward deal directly with the dis-
senting side of the Senate?
As the only offi ce voted on by all
Americans, presidents have always
represented the nation in foreign af-
fairs. Ninety-four percent of pacts
with other nations have been execu-
tive agreements. Just about all those
agreements have been honored by
succeeding presidents.
Born in a small eastern Washing-
ton town to Goldwater Republicans,
I am genetically pre-disposed to be
a Republican. There don’t seem to
be any modern Republicans that I
recognize. Efforts at fi scal restraint
should include corporate welfare and
a box
tax fairness, and even the Depart-
ment of Defense. Conservation used
to be something that Republicans
We live in Keizer. Oregon Repub-
licans are now searching for a course
that might return them to equal
partnership in Oregon government.
The party is fractious enough right
now that they were not even able
to plan from one conference. The
Dorchester Conference was consid-
ered ideologically impure by more
conservative Republicans who or-
ganized the “freedom rally.” A party
divided portends more trouble ahead.
With a base of only about a quar-
ter of registered Oregon voters Re-
publicans must attract voters both
Democrat and non-affi liated. Stump
speeches about “failed Democratic
policies” won’t be enough. Stump
speeches delivered from a position
of moral superiority and moral cer-
tainty won’t attract much support.
Though I am of an age that longs for
return to a remembered and possibly
imaginary purity we are in a different
So, Republicans, give us some-
thing we can support. Assume that
we understand today’s problems and
say what you would do to make Or-
egon better.
(Don Vowell gets on his soapbox
regularly in the Keizertimes.)
Promise of kicker refund isn’t so certain
Some good news for Oregon’s
beleaguered middle class and those
whose incomes are even lower: Or-
egon’s Offi ce of Economic Analysis
has announced that there will be a
re-awakening of the kicker law to the
tune of $349 million. Of course, as
always when the government hints of
a break for taxpayers, this may be a
false alarm if revenue ends up com-
ing in short of the prediction.
Whatever the case, it means
that we must wait until the current
budget cycle ends at midnight on
June 30 to fi nd out whether our tax
burden has been lightened. Possibly,
divine intervention must occur to
make it happen; however, if it does,
it will mean a 5.1 percent rebate on
an Oregon taxpayer’s liability in taxes
to the state in 2014, fi gured after de-
ductions were computed to deter-
mine the amount owed.
Among the 50 states, Oregon’s the
only one with a “two percent kicker”
law, requiring the entire surplus to
be returned to the taxpayers if actual
tax collections are greater than two
percent of what was predicted when
the two-year budget cycle began.
Should your head spin a bit in trying
to sink your teeth into how this is
done, be aware that this money will
not, as has been the practice in past
years, be delivered by way of a special
check sent to each taxpayer. Rather,
your 5.1 percent “refund” will be re-
alized by you when you fi le by April
15, 2016, your taxes for 2015. Yes,
Oregon government wants to use
your money as long as it can, even
if it belongs to you on July 1, 2015.
I considered myself to have been
a rather silly fellow. I thought that
if we generously gave up the state’s
kicker law on individual returns we
could help Oregon’s social programs
and schools to improve their benefi ts
to all citizens in need and students
at every level, pre-K through gradu-
ate school. I laugh now at how sim-
ple-minded and misled I was by way
of viewing that the kicker would
be used to meet public needs.
W h a t
the kicker are
ples of where
huge taxpayer
dollar amounts
have been wast-
ed by those in charge of spending
in public agencies and education or-
ganizations. A few of them are:
• Mismanagement at the Willa-
mette Education Service District.
• The farce of hiring a former
Chemeketa Community College
administrator now receiving PERS
benefi ts to help fi nd a new CCC
president who was “found” at the
school as CCC’s interim president.
• The supremely high cost of plan-
ning for a Columbia River Cross-
ing about which nothing but costly
meeting and plans drafting have been
• The Cover Oregon debacle.
• The Gain Share giveaway and
Business Energy Tax Credit debacle
where overburdened taxpayers must
pay to make up the losses.
• The costly but worthless Oregon
gene h.
Education Investment Board and
• University sports costs versus
quality university education.
• The Kitzhaber timber advisor’s
taxpayer-paid cash cow.
I’m confi dent a number of Or-
egonians could add to the list of ex-
amples provided here. Yet, nothing
or next to nothing is ever done to
make those of us who pay our taxes
feel better about what happens to
the money we’re forced to give the
state every year. Those responsible
for corrupt practices should be held
accountable. Yet, as it all festers and
putrifi es, nothing is done to correct,
weed out or punish the wayward
I will believe the state is hon-
est about the math used to calcu-
late the kicker and what I am owed
back when my tax debt for 2014 is
duly reduced. The governor’s office
under Kitzhaber, his girlfriend and
their alleged accomplices have led
me to further disillusionments from
where trust in government doing the
right thing in Oregon can no longer
be taken for granted.
(Gene H. McIntyre’s column ap-
pears weekly in the Keizertimes.)