Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, October 19, 2018, Image 1

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    SINCE 1979 • VOLUME 40, NO. 3
SECTION A
OCTOBER 19, 2018
$1.00
A big deal on the
internet
Keizer
convenience
store turns
social media
humor into
real world
customers
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Keizer Mart’s journey to
viral success on social me-
dia started with a snorkel, a
fi shing pole, a shark costume
borrowed from Kay’s World of
Wigs, a beer island and a dead
fi sh.
“I found a Corona palm
tree in storage when I took
over the store and I had been
complaining about the sea of
empty space in front of the
coolers. I thought it’d be fun-
ny to put a desert island in the
middle of that sea,” said own-
er Ryan Alonzo, who pur-
KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald
building on the initial idea of
an island, Alonzo enlisted a
friend, Ronan Baker, and his
daughter, Ashley, to help him
create spoofs of Castaway, a
Katy Perry Superbowl appear-
ance and Discovery Channel’s
Report details high
costs for Keizer growth
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Anyone with an interest
in how Keizer grows – and
what it will cost in terms of
dollars and livability – should
mark their calendars for a city
council work session slated
Monday, Oct. 22.
From 6 to 8 p.m., the
council and members of the
audience will have the op-
portunity to discuss with
consultants the fi ndings of a
report on what the city’s resi-
dents want out of growth and
what they should expect in
terms of costs. The fi nal draft
of the report, which is avail-
able online at www.keizer.
org, presents a daunting pic-
ture of what it would take for
Keizer to grow and the reper-
cussions if it does.
Through the study and re-
port, city offi cials and staff are
wrestling with the challenges
presented in a 2013 Housing
Needs Analysis adopted by
the city. That analysis con-
cluded that Keizer would
fall short of the land needed
to accommodate expected
growth for the next 20 years
– to the tune of 1,674 resi-
dential units or 197 acres.
To annex additional land,
Keizer would either have to
Please see GROW, Page A10
PAGE A4
New b-ball
court in
the works
Ryan Alonzo, the new owner of Keizer Mart on River Road
North, is turning a convenience store into a destination
spot using social media.
chased the business in June.
“From there it came to mind
that it’d be even funnier to
make a prop replica of Wilson
from the fi lm Castaway for the
island.”
By the time he was fi nished
KHT on The
Quality of Life
Shark Week along with some
other spur-of-the-moment
silliness. The resulting video
has been viewed more than
27,000 times on Facebook.
“When I was playing back
the video clips I thought it
was pretty entertaining. Once
I started editing and putting
in some audio, I felt like I
was onto something. But still,
at that point I would have
been happy if it just made my
friends laugh,” Alonzo said.
“It’ll be fun to see how high
that number goes.”
Many businesses struggle
to navigate marketing in the
social media sphere, before
Alonzo took over, Keizer
Mart was no different. When
he purchased the store, the
Keizer Mart Facebook page
only had 177 followers and
its history shows mostly deal-
of-the-day type content. He
switched tactics trying to fi nd
more humorous ways to pres-
ent the Keizer Mart’s wares
and the page has quadrupled
its number of fans in fi ve
months.
“I run the store from the
perspective of a customer
more than that of a business
owner. I think convenience
stores are usually something
you pull over at because you
happen to be driving by, but
we’ve even had a few people
contact us online from al-
most an hour away wanting
to bring their kids to come
see the store. I really want this
store to be a destination that’s
worth taking a detour for,” he
said.
That approach is evident
in how Keizer Mart stocks its
shelves and decorates. In addi-
tion to beverages of all types
and other convenience store
fare, visitors can pick up bon-
nets for their cats, miniature
hands to put on fi ngers, a pair
of overalls for liquor bottles
and banana-fl avored Sigmund
Freud candies (don’t read too
much into it).
PAGE A2
Gridders roar
back vs. Bend
PAGE B1
Please see MART, Page A10
Residents grill local candidates
The Keizer Chamber of
Commerce hosted a forum for
Keizer City Council candidates
Thursday, Oct. 11.
Oregon state Rep. Bill Post
was the guest moderator for the
evening and all questions came
from the audience in attendance.
Mayoral candidate Cathy
Clark, council position #5
candidates Shawn Lapof and
Elizabeth Smith and council
position #6 candidate Dan
Kohler all took part in the
forum. Candidate Mike De
Blasi, vying for the same council
position as Kohler, was unable
to make it to the event and City
Councilor Roland Herrera,
who is seeking re-election, was
taking part in another activity
but stopped by for the fi nal 20
minutes.
Keizertimes pulled some
of the best or most revealing
questions from the night to give
readers a feel for the candidates.
Readers can view video of the
entire forum on the Chamber
of Commerce Facebook page.
Kickin’
cousins
PAGE B1
CATHY CLARK
DAN KOHLER
SHAWN LAPOF
ELIZABETH SMITH
MAYORAL CANDIDATE
COUNCIL CANDIDATE (POS. 6)
COUNCIL CANDIDATE (POS. 5)
COUNCIL CANDIDATE (POS. 5)
Keizer is
designated as a
rent-burdened
city, what is the
cause and what
could the city do
to help?
The school district is doing part
of the work in getting high school
graduates into living wage jobs
without debt, but the other part of
the equation is the availability of
land. We can infi ll all we want and we
still don’t have enough land to put in
affordable housing.
Maybe what we need to do is fi gure
out how to help people get better
jobs. There are companies that would
like offi ce space here and we could
look at zoning and attracting the
spaces for living wage jobs.
The availability of a roof and cost
of that roof has directly affected my
family and friends. The rent burden
issue is directly attributed
to supply and demand. I would hope
to increase supply and reduce the
regulations on building itself.
We have been seeing it a lot in the
last two years because we have seen
a massive infl ux of people. We’ve had
a massive uptick in values and that is
a direct refl ection of people buying
homes. It’s going to take talking to
residents and developers to have
enough housing.
Should the
Keizer Urban
Growth Boundary
be expanded?
We don’t have 20 seconds of land
much less 20 years because of the
shared UGB. We are sitting down to
fi gure it out through studies being
done on the cost of growth. It has to
be for housing as well as employment
Absolutely, I think it has to be
expanded. We can infi ll all we want
but it’s not going to solve the real
problems. For us to grow we have to
expand, but we have to be careful and
thoughtful about what we are doing in
a way that benefi ts Keizer.
It should be expanded. I hope it is
something I can have an impact on
as a city councilor. There’s always
been people who have wanted to
expand but we are married to Salem
and it’s something that involves
people beyond these council seats
Just this last summer I had to move
our offi ce because we didn’t have
that specifi c level of space – required
by by my parent company – in
Keizer. I think expanding the UGB is
required to stabilize Keizer for future
generations.
How would
you encourage
more people to
volunteer in our
community?
Outreach is important, but so is having
worthwhile projects. Even if it’s digging
up bark chips you have to enjoy the
time together for it to keep you
coming back. We also need to show
appreciation and thank volunteers for
the time they give.
The more people who volunteer and
see how much fun it is, the more
people get involved. Some of the
projects I have been involved in
were joy to do and sitting back and
realizing what’s been accomplished
can motivate them.
You help them see the direct value
of doing something vs. not doing it.
I saw quickly through volunteering
that it has led to my business
success. I think that can be easily
shown to them.
We need to utilize the Chamber
of Commerce and neighborhood
associations. Form welcoming
committees again. A lot of people
want to get involved and they don’t
know where to start.
If you received a
$1 million grant
to use in any
way you wanted
for Keizer, what
would you do
with it?
Helping expand our efforts to prepare
students for the jobs that are already
here or fi nishing off the street lights
throughout Keizer for safety. We’ve
had to do it neighborhood-by-
neighborhood and I would fi nish the
whole thing.
Revitalizing River Road.
I would extend Chemawa Road
across the river.
I would love to see a grant of that
nature go into a housing down
payment assistance program. To have
that earmarked specifi cally for Keizer
would be awesome. It would help
people start to get into homes and
fi nd some stability.