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Author: Admin

Going courtin’

Chamber, city will seek to woo Costco

Of the Keizertimes

Last week, the Salem City Council rejected a proposal to relocate Costco further south along Interstate 5. Now the Keizer Chamber of Commerce and Keizer City Council will be sending letters to Costco asking them to consider a move to Keizer.

Jonathan Thompson, chair of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee, told   Keizer city councilors that the chamber’s board had voted to send a letter to Costco asking them to consider Keizer in its relocation efforts. He requested that the city do the same.

“While we probably don’t have space within city limits, there is space around Keizer and maybe something we can weigh in and help with,” Thompson said. “It’s also a good idea to let Costco know that somebody still loves them and wants them.”

By consensus, the council agreed to draft a letter to Costco expressing support.

“I think that it’s an exceptionally good idea to provide good feedback to that business. Costco has a great outlook in terms of how they treat employees and treat their customers,” said Councilor Bruce Anderson.

At a Salem City Council meeting Dec. 10, the group nixed plans for Costco to move from its current location off Hawthorne Avenue to a new space on Kuebler. Neighbors of the planned shopping center turned out en masse to express their displeasure with the proposal.

According to Salem Reporter, opponents couched their dissent in the traffic impacts to the surrounding area and said a Costco was not in line with original proposals for the space. The council voted against allowing the Costco move 5-3, but the decision will likely end up being appealed to the state’s land use authorities.

There is no immediately-apparent space where Costco could move in Keizer’s current boundaries. The plans submitted to the Salem City Council called for a 166,000-square-foot store and a 30-pump gas station.

Still, Thompson said a potential move could be a consideration as Keizer considers growing its Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

Keizer Development Director Nate Brown said that would still be a stretch.

“We would have to document a specific land need for retail, but our current need is only minor.[Changing the UGB] is all tied to the land need and how is it justified,” Brown said.

Brown said a more likely space would be across I-5 from Keizer Station, but that land is also controlled by Salem and comes with significant floodway and floodplain issues.

Still, Brown said he would be happy to reach out to Costco’s development team and “tell them what we’ve got.”

Mayor Cathy Clark said this didn’t mean Keizer would be willing to bend over backward to bring the retail giant to the city.

“We’re not giving away the store, that’s not how we operate. We don’t pay to have businesses come here. We are the gift that keeps on giving with a $2.08 tax rate,” Clark said.

Attracting Costco to Keizer already has one high-profile, Keizer-minded proponent in Oregon Rep. Bill Post.

“I am working behind the scenes with city, chamber and other officials to see what we can do to help Costco find Keizer,” Post wrote on social media after hearing news of Salem’s decision.

Lady Celts notch first victory

Of the Keizertimes

After losing their first two games at home by double-figures, the McNary High School girls basketball team finally found their stride on the road.

Leah Doutt and Abigail Hawley led the Lady Celts with 11 points apiece as McNary notched their first win of the season at Madison on Tuesday, Dec. 11, beating the Senators 43-38.

“It was a fun game to win and a fun atmosphere to play in,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “We needed that (victory).”

Doutt and Hawley each knocked down a 3-pointer in the final minute of the opening quarter to give McNary the early 18-10 advantage.

The Celtics went through a cold streak in the second period, shooting just 2-of-17 from the field. However, McNary’s ability to limit Madison on the glass helped them retain the lead at 23-18 going into the break.

Rebounding had been a huge issue for the Celtics to begin the season, but McNary won the battle on the boards 34-31 and created numerous second-chance opportunities by grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.

“We are doing a better job on the boards,” Doran said. “Size-wise, Madison was just a better matchup for us.”

Even though they only clung to a 31-29 advantage to end the third quarter, the Celtics started to pull away in the final period after going on a 10-3 run.

Madison made it a one possession game late in the contest, but Doutt put the game on ice by sinking a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining.

Doutt, who missed the previous game due to illness, made a big difference for the Celtics in her return to the lineup as the starting point guard. The Celtics turned the ball over 25 times in their loss against Westview in Doutt’s absence. However, McNary only gave the ball away six times versus Madison.

“When your point guard is back, you’re just able to handle (defensive) pressure better,” Doran said.

McNary fell to Central Catholic last Friday by a score of 64-48, dropping their record to 1-3 on the season. The Lady Celts will travel to Southern Oregon tonight to take on North Medford at 7 p.m. and then play against South Medford at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Celtic geometry students put it all together

Of the Keizertimes

In most high school math classes, all students need is paper, pencil and a calculator.

But at McNary High School, kids have the opportunity to learn with power tools and a hard hat.

This is the first year that McNary has introduced the Geometry and Construction class into the curriculum. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the class focuses on doing math in a more traditional way. But on Wednesdays and Fridays, students get the chance to apply the geometry that they learned through the means of hands-on construction.

McNary student Sampson Cutlip cuts a block of wood with a saw for his project in Geometry in Construction class. (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings)

“I love that his class takes what we learn in the classroom and applies in the real world,” McNary student Kate Peton said. “It gives you an idea of what you want to do with construction. But it’s also just fun. It’s fun to go out and release your energy and do stuff with your hands.”

The class is taught by Bill Kirkwood and Robert Robison. Kirkwood was an architectural designer for four years before spending the last three years teaching math at McNary.

Robison, on the other hand, was a building contractor for two decades before coming to teach at McNary three months ago.

“This class is a wonderful fit for our school,” Kirkwood said. “It’s also just a ton of fun giving students applicable life skills. A lot of the kids have really come out of their shells.”

“Most of the kids had no prior experience with using tools or construction at all, but they come in and now they’re all running around and just doing their thing.”

The idea to bring this class to McNary came two years ago when principal Erik Jespersen went to a Career and Technical Education Conference in Las Vegas.

Jespersen was originally planning on going to several different sessions, but when he saw the presentation on Geometry in Construction, he soon ditched his prior plans.

“When I went to that first session, I was immediately fascinated,” Jespersen said. “I was really intrigued so I just continued to go to their sessions.”

The presentations were given by a pair of teachers from the Construction/Geometry program at Loveland High School in Colorado, which was put in place in 2006.

Even though the ideas for the class captivated Jespersen, he still wanted to see kids engage in this program with his own two eyes. So he put a team together to fly out to Colorado and wittnessed the class in action.

After his trip to Loveland, Jespersen was convinced that this program needed to be available for the students of McNary. And at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, the Geometry in Construction class came to fruition.

“I think that this type of learning is really important,” Jespersen said. “There will be some kids that will go into a four-wall math class and be just fine. But there are other kids that need to see the math. They need to manipulate and build with the math That’s the beauty of (Geometry in Construction).”

“It’s not an easier path. In fact, you could make an argument that it’s harder. But I believe we’re going to get better outcomes with a lot of kids because it’s how their brain works.”

Even though the class is brand new, the students have already completed some fun projects.

For their first assignment, the class was given plans for a full-size house that needed to be built to a smaller scale.

Their following project consisted of making cornhole boards, where they had to apply what they had learned during the geometry portion of the class to make sure the legs and angles were correct on the board.

Currently, the class is working is on building a 12 to 15 foot barns for a goat farm in Sublimity.

“Math for me has always been sitting down and crunching out numbers, so it’s nice to get the ability to see what the math can do for you,” McNary student Coleman Young said. “I would regret not taking this class because it has helped me progress as a student a lot.”

While the students seem to have enjoyed their experience in the class thus far, they aren’t the only ones who relish the opportunity to be in this unique environment.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had. I love getting up in the morning to come to work,” Robison said. “This program shows why math is pertinent.”

Make them sober holidays

Everyone makes mistakes. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking is not a mistake, it is the willful disregard for the law and for social norms.

During the holiday season, incidents of drunk driving spike.  People find themselves at office parties or other celebrations, drink too much and decide they are fine to get home. Many times they are not fine and if stopped would find their blood alcohol level past the legal limit.

All law enforcement organizations will be on high alert for impaired driving this holiday season, as they should be. We, and hopefully everyone, has a very low tolerance for those who drink and then drive. The message has been sent millions of times over the decades on the dangers of driving after drinking—the costs of getting stopped and arrested, not only in fines, but also increased insurance rates. Employers do not look kindly on their employees who miss work due to a DUII. 

We don’t accept the excuse of “I made a mistake.” We all know what alcohol and other stimulents do. We don’t accept the excuse of “I had a drink while on medication.” If one is on medication one should not drink—no holiday celebration is worth tossing one’s dignity out the window.

There are rules about drinking that are easy to follow: assign a designated driver, don’t drink to excess, and do not drive after drinking. 

Drinking and driving is not a mistake—it is a crime that should be punished to the full extent of the law, first offense or not. 


From your table to their farm


Forget all the tongue clucking about Washington being so divided and nasty that Democrats and Republicans cannot work together. As the Senate and House proved this week in passing the $867 billion farm bill, when it comes to spending money they don’t have, party leaders really can reach across the aisle. 

With the national federal debt approaching $22 trillion, President Donald Trump has praised the bill, which provides food stamps for the poor, but also hands out subsidies to American farmers, even though it does not include needed reforms or even modest spending cuts. 

Conservative think tanks dismiss the farm subsidies as corporate welfare. On the left, environmentalist groups have opposed them as well. Fiscal hawks are appalled at the failure of Congress to do anything to ease the deficit. 

And yet the farm bill lives. 

Chris Edwards of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute has written that federal farm subsidies “redistribute wealth upward,” with the bulk of the money going “to the largest and wealthiest farm households.” 

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the rare farmer in the Senate, was among the rump of Republicans to vote against the bill. Grassley explained that he could not support a measure that would not limit subsidies to the wealthiest farms—which he says puts young and beginning farmers at a disadvantage. 

“I know it’s hard to believe, but I’ve never heard a single young or beginning farmer tell me that the way to help them is to give more money to the largest farmers,” Grassley offered in a statement. 

Grassley also voiced horror at provisions to expand the definition of farm families to include cousins, nieces and nephews, even if they don’t work on a farm. The bill, he charged, seems “intentionally written to help the largest farmers receive unlimited subsidies from the federal government.” 

Grassley wanted farm subsidy reform. House Republicans, on the other hand, held up the farm bill in a push to mandate work requirements for some Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients. To Edwards it seems wrong that the GOP House demanded work requirements for the poor, but not “wealthy farmers or landowners.” 

Then once House Republicans gave up on that issue, Democrats apparently were hungry to pass a bill that would deliver on SNAP. 

Be it noted that farm subsidies account for some 20 percent of the farm bill’s spending, while 80 percent goes to SNAP, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

The Environmental Working Group’s Scott Faber has been a longtime critic of farm subsidies. On Wednesday, however, Faber praised the measure’s drinking water reforms and provisions to promote organic farming. 

The next day he released a statement that lit into the farm subsidies for “millionaires and city slickers.” 

Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that there is a lot to like in the 2018 farm bill and farm bills in general. 

Nonetheless, it is hard for Goldwein to fathom why the GOP-controlled Congress failed to find at least $1 billion annually in savings in a measure that has been a perennial target of the right. Federal discretionary spending has spiked by 16 percent over the last two years—and the farm bill offers “low-hanging fruit” ripe for fiscal discipline. 

But in the two years of GOP control over the White House, Senate and House, there has been no zeal to budget responsibly. House Republicans offered a bill with work requirements, but no savings, said Goldwein. Senate Republicans offered a bill with no work requirements and no savings. And Trump has signaled his readiness to sign a bill with no savings. 

Edwards sees “classic logrolling” at work. The marriage of food stamps and farm subsidies created common cause for urban Democrats and rural Republicans. Now funds for organic farming and support for industrial hemp mean lawmakers feel no need to economize. 

The worst part, to my mind, is this: House Republicans always were going to cave on the work requirements, but they might have been able to hold out for savings. Goldwein figured cutting $25 billion to $50 billion would not be a heavy lift. But these Republicans cannot be bothered because they no longer care about the deficit. 

(Creators Syndicate)


McNary wins home opener to remain unbeaten

Of the Keizertimes

Boston Smith led the Celtics with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting as the McNary boys basketball squad moved to 4-0 on the season with their 74-61 victory over Mountainside on Tuesday night in their first home game.

“We’re still getting used to playing with one another a little bit, but I thought that we made some important plays at important moments,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said.

Nate Meithof was also in double-figures with 15 points — 11 of which came in the first quarter. Griffin Oliveira had 13 points and knocked down a pair of shots beyond the arc while Alfredo Villareal added 12 points.

Both squads played at a break-neck pace to begin the game as it seemed like the ball barely touched the floor in the opening quarter.

Meithof was incredibly aggressive early on, which worked to the Celtics advantage. The sophomore guard scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first three minutes of the game, including an impressive three-point play where he split a double-team on his way to a nice finish off the glass.

“I was just playing my game,” Meithof said. “We had really good ball movement and I was able to dribble-drive and get to the hoop.”

Despite Meithof’s scoring flurry, Mountainside still held a 15-10 advantage midway through the first quarter. But a pair of buckets by Villareal and a layup from Smith helped McNary go on top 21-19 at the end of the period.

After Mountainside came back to take the lead momentarily, McNary responded by going on an 11-2 run and forced Mountainside head coach Dustin Hewitt to burn a timeout with his team trailing 32-26.

McNary was much more intentional about slowing the ball down in the second quarter with the goal of getting Smith more involved in the offense on the low block. The plan was executed effectively as the senior center finished with eight points in the quarter.

“We were a bit nervous with it being our home opener. But we shook it off and did a better job of getting into out offense and executing,” Smith said. “I was able to adapt how they were double-teaming me and got down low.”

McNary was able to extend the lead to nine before the break at 45-36 thanks to a transition layup by Oliveira.

After a first half full of explosive offense, McNary went stone cold to begin the third quarter. Smith finished one at the rim in the Celtics first possession of the period, but a five-minute scoring drought allowed Mountainside to cut the lead to 47-42 with less than three minutes remaining in the quarter.

But a midrange jumper from Oliveira and a three-point play from Smith got the Celtics advantage back up to double-figures. The Celtics eventually took a 57-44 lead to the final period after Smith hit a nifty floater right before the buzzer sounded.

“I thought Boston did a good job of not allowing the double-team to frustrate him,” Kirch said. “He’s been posting up really smart. When the ball moves, he holds his position and it allows us to get him the ball inside.”

“(Smith) has been a really good leader for us and this was by far his best overall game.”

A big key that allowed McNary to pull away in the second half was their intensity on the defensive end. The Celtics allowed just two points over a seven-minute stretch and did a much better job of closing out to shooters and not allowing second-chance opportunities.

“I just thought our concentration was a little bit better defensively in the second half,” Kirch said. “That was certainly the difference in us extending the lead.”

McNary led by as many as 20 after a baseline 3-pointer from Riley Flores made it 70-50 late in the fourth quarter. Mountainside rallied back to make the score a little more respectable, but Smith put an exclamation point on the game in the final moments with a monster two-handed jam that sent the student section into a frenzy.

“It felt good to play at home. This was a good confidence booster for our team,” Boston said.

McNary will compete in the Newberg Boys Basketball Tournament this weekend, with their first game coming Friday at 6 p.m. against David Douglas.

Gordon R. Cunningham, DVM

G. Cunningham

Gordon R. Cunningham was born April 17, 1938, in Jewell County, Kansas, the only child of Otie R. and Stella May (Wiley) Cunningham. He graduated from Montrose High School in 1956 and attended Kansas State University where he completed his DVM degree in 1968.

While in college, he married Sheila Nelson and they had two sons.  They divorced in 1976.

Dr. Cunningham practiced in California until purchasing Salem Veterinary Hospital in 1970. He later owned Lancaster Pet Hospital and South Salem Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Cunningham was instrumental in establishing the first after-hours emergency veterinary clinic in Salem.

Dr. Cunningham is
survived by his wife of 34 years, Joanne (Morrow) of Keizer; sons Frank (Jodie) of Happy Valley and David (Bonnie) of Keizer and grandson Kyle. He is also survived by stepson and daughter-in-law Mike and Nicole Morrow of Salem and their sons, Matthew and Nicholas. And he leaves behind his cherished cats, Yogi and Gracie.

At Dr. Cunningham’s request, no services will be held.

Remembrances to Salem Friends of Felines, 980 Commercial St. SE, Salem, OR 97302 or  Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

Gracie Miller

Gracie Miller, born May 30, 1944 in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, died in Keizer, Oregon on December 1, 2018.  Gracie is survived by her husband of 47 years Daniel Miller and their four children, Diana Riddle (Keizer), Jonathan Rushing (Polson, Mont.), Dewayne Rushing (Salem), and Rachelle New (Kansas City, Kan.), 14 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren.  Gracie was a member of the United Church of God, Salem, Oregon congregation.  Gracie’s greatest joy was spending time with and loving her family. Services in the care of Keizer Funeral Chapel,

Finland doesn’t rake

We were recently informed by President Donald J. Trump, who far too regularly comes up short of accuracy and eschews truth, that Finland knows how to prevent forest fires.  Trump came out to share his opinion on this subject and once again failed to provide information that would help with the problem in California—and elsewhere among forests still standing—and the Americans in them that are threatened with annihilation by conflagrations.

Regarding Finland, it turns out that the problem is actually not enough wildfires.  In fact, from nature’s point of view, the diversity of species and habitats suffer when there are too few fires.  Our forest experts also know this to be a fact but have ineffectively practiced it here.

But let’s get right to what Trump advocated from what he didn’t get straight about Finland. Stifling his guffaws, Finnish President Sauli Ninisto came forward to inform Trump and his never-questioning-him staff that Finland’s strategy on wildfires does not entail raking their forests floors to prevent fires.

Ninisto informed one and all that Finland does carry out controlled burns of their forest floors to clear away underbrush because that promotes new growth of saplings.  However, researchers are not at all sure Finland’s approach can serve to instruct California as parts of Finland are inside the Arctic Circle with prolonged periods of rain and snow while our neighbor to the south is into a new normal: ongoing below average precipitation.

California’s susceptibility to fires has a lot to do with its weather. Finnish scientists expect their wildfires to increase by 10 percent by 2100 but estimates in California anticipate 80 percent at risk much sooner—2050.  Meanwhile, Finland’s advantage—besides its hemispheric location—has most to do with differences in infrastructure and forest management. That is, Finland has a far denser road network which creates barriers to blazes with lakes and rives handy when blazes do occur.

Finland was settled before North America was extensively explored by Europeans. Such a settled condition meant that medieval and industrial revolution-era need for wood turned forests into grasslands, especially in southern Finland.  Yet, when the Finns went about reforestation in times closer to our own, they split up future forests into small compartments.  One side effect was fewer wildfires as blazes don’t spread beyond a single compartment with borders usually marked by wide paths and trees of different heights.

Back here in California, Oregon, Washington and wider, we know that Trump withdrew us from the 2015 Paris Deal to combat climate change.  He has also rolled back Obama-era environmental and climate protections in order to boost production of domestic fossil fuels and has been an enemy of renewables.  Most recently he said, “I don’t believe it,” in reaction to the congressionally-mandated climate change report through contributions by more than 300 scientists and let all of us know again that he’s not interested in anything unless it can contribute to more personal wealth.

There’s an old myth that read, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” A future after the current POTUS will predictably proclaim, “Trump made money while Earth burned.”

(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion frequently in the Keizertimes.)

Bush: sometimes things go right


All the talk about the attributes of this or that generation is usually overblown. But there is an exception when a cohort of young Americans shares a massive, overwhelming experience of depression or war. A certain view of their country is often formed and fixed.

This can be said of John F. Kennedy, the commanding officer of PT-109. And Lt. Cmdr. Richard Nixon, who ran the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command. And Navy aviator George H.W. Bush. Serving in the Pacific theater of World War II, these young men had few traits of temperament or character in common. But the war shaped their conception of America’s global role, and their view of the necessity and capability of government in general.

People who fought in World War II were marinated in the ideas that evil is real and that American power is an essential, irreplaceable force for good. They intuitively understood the moral narrative of Munich, Buchenwald, D-Day, Hiroshima, NATO and the twilight struggle. And they generally shared the notion that America could do anything that power, wealth, will and courage could accomplish.

This presented the temptation of overreach, as in Vietnam. JFK’s inaugural pledge to “pay any price, bear any burden” should be taken seriously, but not literally. But the children of World War II really did believe that a torch was passing from Dwight Eisenhower’s generation—the generation of their commanding officers—to a group of Americans who had rescued the world and fully intended to lead it. Given the other paths America might have taken, they did an extraordinary job. They twice saved humanity from well-armed, aggressive, totalitarian ideologies—irst as soldiers, sailors and airmen, then as statesmen. America and the world owe them a great deal.

Being one of the youngest Navy pilots in World War II, and blessed with longevity, George H.W. Bush was among the last of his cohort to leave us. As intelligence chief, diplomat and president, he brought to his calling a set of values that might be called patrician. He was less New Frontier and more old school. He rose up in government on the impulse of service. He lived by high standards of decency, fair play, humility, love of family and love of country. He was relentlessly moderate in temperament and political instinct.

This type of “establishment” code is easier to lampoon than replace. So much that a graceless age dismisses as repression is actually politeness, compassion and dignity.

And Bush’s moral sensibilities turned out to be exactly what was needed at a decisive historical moment. As the Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of its economic and moral failure, what was needed from America was patience, wisdom, steady purpose and the generosity of true power. In presiding over the breaking of nations, an excess of vision or ambition might have been dangerously disruptive. Crowing would have led to bitterness and unpredictable anger. And Bush was incapable of crowing.

On closer exposure to Bush, there was something more at work than a moral code. I generally saw the elder Bush through the eyes of his son, George W. Bush, for whom I worked. And he could hardly mention his father’s name without welling up in tears of affection. During George W.’s first Republican National Convention speech, we had to cut short the section praising his father, because the son could not get through the words without breaking down. There was a sweetness to their relationship that is a tribute to both men. George H.W. Bush loved deeply, and was deeply loved. He was sentimental without being fragile. And those who saw weakness in his manner know nothing about true strength—the victory over ego, over impulse, over hatred.

Dying can be cruel and unfair. But there was a profound and encouraging sense of rightness, of fittingness, at Bush’s death. He left few things unaccomplished, and none that mattered. He was only briefly parted from the love of his life. His strength failed before his spirit. Bush died as well as a man could manage—full of years, full of honors, surrounded by affection, confident in his faith, knowing that his work on earth was done.

Bush’s life provides assurance that sometimes things go gloriously right. Sometimes Americans vote for a decent and honest leader. Sometimes a president finds his calling and his moment. Sometimes a good man meets a good end.

And still. It is a sad and solemn task to dig the graves of giants.

(Washington Post Writers Group)