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Author: Admin

Is Northam a racist?

After a search, it was difficult to find anything that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has done that would arouse so much animosity towards him. So much so that his detractors called upon him to resign, literally within hours of a photo revelation allegedly to be Northam in either black face or in a Ku Klux Klan costume. However, when one remembers that we have a seriously divided and partisan electorate looking to find any way to miniaturize the competition, and with so many also eager to use the racial card to gain advantage, all begins to come into focus.
A current matter has demonstrated how ignitable the racial thing is. It came in a press conference with Gov.Ralph Northam, he providing his explanation for a photo determined to display racial overtones. He said in a prepared speech, followed by a Q and A session, that he does not believe the photograph in his 1984 medical school yearbook, depicting a person in black face alongside one in a KKK outfit, was him. “I am not either of those people in that photo” he told media at the executive mansion in Richmond last week. He views the photo as “shocking and horrific.”
He did confess to having won a dance contest in San Antonio in 1984, where he was stationed in the U.S. military after completing his medical school training. On that occasion, he won a competition by dressing up to imitate Michael Jackson, using a costume and shoe polish. He said he’d made mistakes and lives up to them, having grown with age and maturity. He repeated multiple times how sorry he was to cause people upset but he won’t resign.
During the last week, Northam has been repeatedly encouraged to leave his gubernatorial position, these demands coming at him from left and right, although his Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, while admitting he was shaken by the photo, has not abandoned Northam as also old friends and acquaintances have stood by him. Other Democrats have used proverbial jackboots to trounce him: They are suspected in part at least to be motivated by the Oval Office prize.
Those Democrats running for president were joined by a crowd of African-Americans, including the Reverend Al Sharpton. Sharpton, a man whose own critics say of him that he’s to blame for the deterioration of U.S. race relations. He and others who’ve risen through the ranks to “stardom” have declared outrage over Northam while their statements are not always free of hypocrisy.
What bothers me about Northam is that he has been clean throughout his 59 years. I wonder how many of those “throwing stones” could make that statement and stand the test of scrutiny. Further, Northam is a family guy with a wife of 32 years and a son and daughter. He has no record of any call girl coming forward to report a payoff to keep quiet, an Access Hollywood tape, or committed a crime of any kind.
His apologies come across as honest and sincere. He’s pained at knowing he may inadvertently have hurt people. Many people jumping all over Northam claim virtue by their Christian faith and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Yet, all that holier-than-thou stuff is tossed overboard when they cannot accept a man professing his innocence and kindly asking for it to be recognized. Apparently, their ambition for power, fame and riches has blinded them.
(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion frequently in the Keizertimes.)

Schrader and Alzheimer’s fight

To the Editor:

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are more than 65,000 Oregonians living with Alzheimer’s disease and more than 184,000 Alzheimer’s caregivers in our state. As an Alzheimer’s advocate and Alzheimer’s Association staff member who interacts with these individuals on a daily basis, it is my honor to represent them.
Congress recently passed the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act with a strong bipartisan vote and I want to thank Representative Schrader for championing this meaningful legislation.
The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will allow effective Alzheimer’s public health interventions to be implemented across the country. Thanks to Rep. Schrader’s support for the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, we will now be better able to fight this devastating disease as we continue to work towards our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s—and we look forward to seeing him continue to prioritize this disease as a public health crisis that must be addressed.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States —which is why Congress must remain committed to action on this devastating disease.  By applying a public health approach to reduce risk, detect early symptoms, and advance care, Rep. Schrader is helping to change the trajectory of this devastating disease.
Alise Liepnieks
Alzheimer’s Association

Keizer’s first police chief passes

Robert J. Thomas
July 4, 1932 – Jan. 28, 2019

R. Thomas

Keizer’s first chief of police, Robert J. Thomas, age 86, passed away peacefully at his home with his family at his side on Jan. 28, 2019.
Robert (Bob) was born in Mt. Angel, on July 4, 1932 to Lawrence and Clara (Schmitz). Thomas and had four sisters and one brother. Bob and his family moved to a farm in Silverton and had several jobs while growing up. He learned to plow behind a horse, bale hay, pick hops, raise pigs, cows and chickens, and had a newspaper route all before graduating high school in 1950. Bob joined the U.S. Air Force at the beginning of the Korean War. He left home for Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) on his mother’s birthday, Aug. 8, 1950. He was stationed at Ent AFB in Colorado Springs, Colo., working as an A.P.E. (Air Police). That is where he met his future wife, Betty Lou Lang. They wed on Feb. 13, 1954, and were married for 65 years.
Bob will always be remembered as a bright, shining light in the various communities and churches he served. He was most proud of being the first police chief of the newly organized city of Keizer. Prior to that he was captain at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. He was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Grand Knight at both the Salem 5060 Council and Keizer 10594 and 4th degree Assembly 900. Bob was a founding member of St. Edward Catholic Church in Keizer, where he met Rev. Charles Taaffe and together they started the Father Taaffe Foundation to support unwed mothers. He became a long term member of the board while Catholic Community Services took over the program. Bob enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing and woodworking.
He was very proud of his children, Susan (Bill) Ridgway, Ron (Kim) Thomas, and Robert Jr. II (Gina) Thomas, plus seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Melvin, and by two of his own children, Robert Jr. and Brenda Lee.
Funeral services were held Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, 10:30 a.m. at St. Edward Catholic Church in Keizer with Rev. Gary Zezr officiating.
Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service assisted the family.

First Citizen and other winners exemplify motto

Pride. Spirit. Volunteerism. Three powerful words. Three words that grace the fountain at Newton-McGee Plaza at the corner of River and Chemawa Roads in downtown Keizer. Three words that are, also, the motto of the city of Keizer. 

Those three words also exemplify the winners of the annual awards presented by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce at the First Citizens and Awards Banquet held Saturday, Jan. 19. 

The Chamber (and its predecessor, Keizer Merchants Association) have been honoring Keizerites since the 1960s. The list of Keizer Citizen recipients is a Who’s Who of the city’s leaders in business, community and philanthropy.

Vickie Jackson, who’s community resume includes two terms as president of the Rotary Club of Keizer, volunteer bookkeeper for PTAs and the McNary High School graduation party as well as her work with Keizer’s Distinguished Young Women program and her untold hours of volunteerism with various schools as her two sons made their way through elementary, middle and high school.

The announcement of Vickie Jackson as winner of the First Citizen award was met with a sustained standing ovation from the 200 attendees at Saturday’s banquet. 

Jackson thanked her husband, Randy Jackson, and sons Nick and Cody, for allowing her to spend time away to volunteer. She said that she received more than she gave through her volunteering.

Vickie Jackson is proud of the town she calls home, she does good work with enthusiasm and she volunteers just about anytime anyone asks. 

Kyle Juran, owner of Remodeling by Classic Homes, was announced as merchant of the year for his work for the community and the Chamber itself. 

Juran and his team contributed more than $3,000 of the $13,000 raised at 2018’s Percey Presents event that funds Keizer Network of Women’s Christmas Giving Basket program. That $3,000 came when Juran raffled off a life-size playhouse. All the proceeds from the raffle benefit, in the end, families and children in need during the holidays. Juran used his expertise and talents to help the Chamber prepare and move into its new quarters on River Road. Like all good Keizer volunteers, Kyle Juran never says no when asked to help his community.

Keizer native Brian Aicher was surprised when he was announced as the winner of the Service to Education Award. Like the past few education winners, the focus was on youth sports and its effect on the development of our kids. Aicher, a Salem Electric employee and a longtime mentor,  has coached hundreds of Keizer kids. Whether his time was spent coaching, administering or lifting a hammer or shovel, Aicher has lived the city’s pride, spirit and volunteerism motto to his core.

Each year the Chamber’s leader chooses a recipient for the President’s Award. Bob Shackleford named long-time KeizerFEST and Keizer Iris Festival volunteer Larry Schmidgall for the honor.

Anyone who visited the KeizerFEST tent has seen Larry Schmidgall, who, with his connections oversaw the beverage sales in the tent during the festival for years. He was pressed into service to do other chores during the festival, always with a smile.

Congratulations to all four honorees, who have given selflessly and with a smile. Models for all volunteers.

— LAZ  

Parties must feel heat to end shutdown


The partial government shutdown will end when both sides think they are losing the political war that started it—and not before then.

Yes it can end if one side caves, or if President Donald Trump declares a national emergency to fund a border wall, but that is not likely to happen within the next pay period or two, if at all.

Partisan rancor has herded voters into two corners so that both the Republican and Democratic bases don’t want their leaders to cut a deal.

Republicans support a shutdown that JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned could drive economic growth to zero if it continues. They only want to end it if they win funding for a wall.

Democrats also don’t want to end a stalemate that is separating 800,000 federal workers from their paychecks. Having funded border barriers in the past, Democratic leaders now say funding for Trump’s wall is a deal killer.

Party leaders’ energy is going toward making the other side look bad, not ending the stalemate.

Trump has pulled back on what his own negotiators had thought were good faith offers; his unreliability inhibits Republicans and Democrats from sticking their necks out for a measure that easily could fail.

Already burned, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t bring a measure to a floor vote unless Trump commits to it.

No worries. Trump supporters say his behavior shows he is no creature of the swamp. Only insiders care if the president is short-sheeting his own team. At least Trump is willing to stand by a campaign promise, the Trump voter argues.

As the sage Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Council put it, Trump is “showing that he can resist political pressure.” The shutdown has changed nothing.

“The people that are with him are with him,” quoth Olsen. “The people that are against him are against him.”

In a play to differentiate themselves, House Democrats engage in the charade of passing spending measures that have zero chance of being enacted to demonstrate that they at least are willing to do something. When they get tired of that ploy, they go to the Senate to demand McConnell put unpassable bills to a floor vote.

So yes, they are willing to do something—stunts.

Another stunt: Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s letter effectively telling Trump not to bother delivering a State of the Union address in the Capitol on Jan. 29 because of security concerns for a “national special security event” during a government shutdown. It helps if you forget she invited Trump after the shutdown began.

The Democratic base approved Pelosi’s move as fervently as Trump’s voters cheered when he yanked the military plane that was supposed to take Pelosi and fellow Democrats to Brussels and Afghanistan.

Pelosi’s claim that she always has been a supporter of “securing our border” defies credulity. Pelosi also has called a border wall “an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation.”

Fox News anchor Bret Baier pressed House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to say if he shared Pelosi’s view on the wall’s morality or the claim by former Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas, that a border wall is “racist.”

Hoyer, the poor guy, hemmed and hawed about walls being immoral when they keep people prisoner when they shouldn’t be prisoners.

The problem, as Trump put it when he addressed the Pentagon Thursday, is the Democratic Party “has been hijacked by the open-borders fringe within the party.”

What will it take to end the shutdown?

Roll Call taped a town hall given by Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., as he addressed a room that included furloughed federal workers understandably fearful about how they can survive without paychecks.

“What exactly do you want folks to do out here?” a young woman asked him. “Should we be pressuring Sen. McConnell? What do we need to be doing to get things resolved?”

She meant well, but when federal workers direct their ire at Republicans and not Democrats, they become unwitting enablers.

Fun fact: McConnell doesn’t care if federal workers in Maryland send him nasty emails. He cares about the core values of his constituents in Kentucky, where 62.5 percent of voters supported Trump.

Likewise Pelosi listens to her San Francisco homies, not the “Make America Great Again” voter.

Voters who want to see an end to the shutdown have one recourse: They can turn the heat on their own party. When progressives lean on Pelosi and conservatives lean on Trump and GOP lawmakers, the shutdown will end.

(Creators Syndicate)

Hopeful even while being in minority

from the capitol

The 80th legislative session has begun! After a week of orientation, training and opening ceremonies, we now begin the actual work of legislation. That means committees meet, bills are heard and debated, and House and Senate floor voting sessions begin.

First of all, I thought I would highlight some of the legislation I am working on. Always remember, you can find all bills, all committees and live/recorded video of everything we do in the Capitol on the OLIS site: It’s a tremendous tool for tracking all that goes on here. The bills I introduced are: 

• HB 2297 which would be a referral to the voters to have Oregon join with other west coast states to go to permanent daylight savings time. There is real consensus to move forward with this and Sen. Kim Thatcher has a similar bill in the Senate, that way the idea is going out from both sides of the building. Both bills have broad bi-partisan support. 

• HB 2302 would provide “guaranteed assistance” to those who are the most needy in Oregon. It would be a small investment in covering those things that current public assistance doesn’t cover, i.e., diapers and other day-to-day necessities. 

• HB 2299 addresses those who attempt to elude police and cause high speed chases endangering our law enforcement as well as anyone else on the road. 

• HB 2300 addresses those who try to harass others by sending nude photos by text or social media. 

• HB 2295 would look at youth in corrections who may have “earned” a review of their sentence. 

• HB 2314 tackles a long time issue for motorcyclists called “lane splitting/sharing, allowing motorcycles to “split” a lane in very specific traffic situations. 

Finally, after so many people reached out to me after the 2017 session, telling me their stories of buying Sudafed products in the states around us, I am running HB 2303 the “Sudafed bill” again. This would not return us to the days of “over the counter” but have us join the vast majority of America in making these products behind the counter and the purchaser having to show a picture ID, sign a form, be logged into a system and then get a small amount of the product. Over 40 states use the system that is proposed in HB 2303. Oregon currently requires you to visit a doctor and have them prescribe the product at a much higher price than it would be behind the counter. I hope you’ll come to visit your Capitol this session and participate in the political process. Please call my office with questions or concerns at 503-986-1425.

(Bill Post represents House District 25. He can be reached at 503- 986-1425 or via email at rep. bil- [email protected]

Seven things I’ve learned about education


After my first year of teaching here are the things I have learned about public education:

1.) I didn’t know teachers had so much freedom to customize their curriculum. Each course has five to 10 different theories that a student must learn by the end of the semester. How you get there and what else your students learn along the way is essentially left up to the educator.

2.) The students are not as addicted to their phones as you might think. I don’t have issues with phones in my classroom yet I have no posted or known cell phone policy. I see it as a barometer for my level of engagement. The more I keep them engaged the less they are on their phones. If I start seeing phones come out I know I need to ramp up the wow of the lesson.

3.) As a teacher you don’t talk to other teachers very much. Teaching can be a very solitary job if you let it. I got lucky and the teacher in the room next to me is a veteran in the education world and is very fun to be around. We chat often.

4.) Teaching seems like a repetitious job but it’s not. As it turns out teaching is a very dynamic voyage. Yes, I get up every day at 5:30 a.m. and I get back from school every day around 4:30 p.m.,  but I found the hours in between are highly unpredictable. You never know what the day is going to hold, except that it will be different than the day before. In addition to its unpredictability is the pace. The pace that a teacher must work to stay ahead of the tidal wave of responsibilities is incredible. Yes, I look at the clock a lot but it’s never because I’m hoping it’ll move faster; quite the opposite.

5.) There’s a large focus on the teacher from the school administration. I’ve never seen an industry where administration is worried so much about the worker. I’m constantly being asked how I’m doing. I am almost inundated with personal development events and opportunities to rejuvenate.

6.) Teachers get very possessive of their students. I’ve become so possessive of my students that if by chance I need a sub for one of my absences the sub has specific instructions not to instruct. My classroom is set up that if I’m not there student leaders will lead their group through the curriculum. This is how I make sure they do not fall behind when I’m not there. But seriously… Don’t instruct my students.

7.) As a teacher, teaching is not your first priority. I  went into this career with the mantra that “my goal is not to teach. It’s to connect and then to teach.” I thought this was a novel approach to education but it is most—if not all—educators’ mantra. Connecting with the student requires you to actually care about the student and where they’re at in life. You’re constantly asking yourself “What was the student’s morning like? What’s going on with their relationships? How are they feeling? Where is this person’s anxiety level? What are they going home to after school?.” I think as adults we can forget how stressful the high school years are. Anytime you enter a new arena you are presented with the unexpected. Your hope is that these issues are mostly positive. In my case the good, by far, outlays the negative. Lucky me!

(Chip Conrad lives in Salem and is a substitute teacher with the Salem-Keizer School District.)

Build vertically, not horizontally

It can assumed that an overwhelming majority of Keizer residents don’t think about the growth of the city and where it should go. That’s as it should be. Citizens elect city councilors who hire the city manager and approve his choice for heads of the various city departments (known as city staff). The city council sets policy for the city and the city staff implements those policies.
The Community Development Department is overseeing discussions about Keizer’s future growth. The Housing Needs Analysis/Building Lands Inventory (HNA/BLI) Advisory Committee is the latest iteration of various bodies appointed by the city to discuss the way forward for expected growth over the next two decades. All these groups have been funded by grants from the state.
With the state, the city and various bodies talking about where Keizer will put its expected 10,000 new residents, there is not much reason for current residents to think too much about the issue. However, few issues have greater potential to divide the city. Some people don’t want to grow, some people want to expand the city limits, some people want to grow vertically.
Members of the public should understand that they, as citizens, can attend any subsequent meeting of any task force that is devising a recommendation for the city councilor to consider. Especially sensitive to these meetings should be those whose livelihoods or lifestyle could be affected by development.
There is much talk about splitting the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) Keizer shares with Salem. As a single UGB there is enough land inventory to satisfy land use mandates set by the state of Oregon. The problem is that Keizer has basically run out of room to grow. The state of Oregon says that Keizer must prepare for those additional 10,000 people; the city must also consider what kind of housing will be needed, from single family homes to multi-family residences (apartments) to manufactured homes.
Initial data shows that if the urban growth boundary is expanded north and Keizer annexes that land into city limits, the prices of houses built there would mostly be out of reach of current Salem-Keizer homeowners.
Keizer will continue to be a desired address due to our low tax rate and our schools. Unless the city wants to get into the developing business and become a land lord business, it will have to see to it that the table is set for the types of development that can meet the expected demand.
The city should look into zoning changes that will allow tall, mixed used buildings along River Road. Affordable housing units need to be part of any new development; it’s the city’s duty to assure that everyone can find a place to live in Keizer.
Being creative with development swaps and land swap, goverment can work with the private to build a Keizer for the future that benefits all concerned. (LAZ)

Sex harassment at the Oregon capitol

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) investigations at the state capitol have found that sexual harassment in the form of inappropriate touching, suggestive language and power plays over subordinates are commonplace. However, those legislators identified as responsible for what’s been determined as wrongdoing, say the complaints against them are not true.
It has been the case among members of Congress, the entertainment industry, corporate executives, and others, that once discloser of this kind of behavior is made public the result has been stop actions, including immediate dismissal, forced resignation, heavy fine and, in a couple of cases, impending prison time. However, the case in Oregon has so far been a study in contrasts while the newly-elected BOLI commissioner, Val Hoyle, has recused herself due to what she argues is her predecessor’s “unusual role in the case” and turned the matter over to her second in command.
The upshot to where things stand now is that, at the request of the Capitol’s lawmakers, there will be no consequences for those found guilty.  Instead, there will be mediation.  That means things will remain as they have been in that workplace, an unchanged condition likely undesirable to those women who work in the Capitol and want action now.  Further, mediation entails a lot of talk in search of ways to address behavior improvements and, once agreed to, go into effect on a kind of honor system where individuals promise self-correction with nothing more done as long as everyone there walks the talk. 
It is imagined that this way of going about correcting behaviors places more pressure on the victims than the accused.  Under mediation the power remains with the accused who can bring down a whole lot of punishment on those who would be so bold as to report harassments again.  As a person who spent some of his working years in state employment, anyone who complained to higher ups about the unacceptable conduct of managers received intolerable treatment in return, to the extent that they were often forced to resign while perpetrators, somewhat more encouraged, survived. 
What has been going on by way of sexual harassment at the state Capitol has been going on for decades there and is, one might speculate, in the DNA of the place as it resides widespread in our society at large.  Mediation steps will be taken because that’s what the current authority (perhaps involving the usual political suspects) has committed to allow. But don’t expect the inappropriate behavior to disappear overnight.  As history from elsewhere has shown under similar circumstances, it predictably will not just go away through promises of self-discipline and just may, possibly, wait until those responsible have left the premises due to retirements or are replaced by way of the ballot box.      
(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion frequently in the Keizertimes.)