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Day: April 30, 2010

Maghan’s successor named

Mike Maghan

Three assistant principals will retire from Salem-Keizer Public Schools at the end of the year. They are: Mike Maghan (McNary Assistant Principal and Athletic Director), John Weeks (Sprague) and Carolyn Hensley-Johnson (Sprague).

“We appreciate their leadership and commitment to the students and staff of Salem-Keizer, and wish them the very best in retirement,” said Jay Remy, district spokesperson.

In addition, there are some changes of administrative appointments for high school assistant principals. These changes include Ron Richards moving from McKay High School to become the athletic director at McNary.

Other changes include:

• Jim Miller moving from McKay to become assistant principal at West Salem;

• Kristin Jorgenson moves from West Salem to be assistant principal at Sprague;

• Lillian White moves from South to Sprague as assistant principal; and,

• Jim Saffeels, assistant principal for Roberts and Early College high schools, joins the administrative team at South.

“We know that in our schools, leadership matters,” said Remy. “These assistant principals will bring their proven talents to new places and on new teams, and the good work will continue.”

IN THE RING: Arizona’s immigration law

Kimberly Strand, local business owner:
“Immigration is a tough issue when families are concerned. I do believe, If you want to come to America do it legally and learn the language.  Speak English if you want to live here, read and write English if you want to live here.  We have made it too easy to welcome illegals to our country by assimilating the language into our daily lives.  Everywhere you go the signs, the directions and our class rooms are all in English and Spanish.  If it was harder for illegals  to blend  in it might not be so easy for them to get in and stay.  America was built on immigration, legal immigration.”

Stu Crosby, Multi-Tech Engineering:
“I would hope every State would adopt the Arizona law or one very much like it. The issue is not about discrimination against the Mexican people it is about control of a run away problem. In the SE it is Haitians and Cubans, in the SW it is Mexicans and Chinese for example. It is so attractive to come here for both people seeking a better life and the criminal to peddle his wares especially the drug trade. The Arizona Law is indeed a hard call but one that has to be made. Come here legally and earn your citizenship you are very welcome.’

Art Bobrowitz, Compass Rose Consulting:
“The state of Arizona acted because the federal government did not. It would not surprise me if other states follow in Arizona’s foot steps. This is a no-win situation. I doubt the federal government will pass an immigration bill this year because it too will wind up in the court system. Besides, why pass a federal immigration bill in an election year when you can polarize the voting public with the issue?

“One state had the courage to do what other national leaders could and probably will not do. The sad part is all sides will lose. We have people living and working in this country who are not United States citizens. They need and deserve an answer. I believe Arizona acted out of frustration. Is it good legislation? That will be up to history and the courts.

“Arizona’s stand is a symptom of much larger issues. One state took action that represents a growing national concern regarding our borders. At least they did something. Someone once said there is no sin in failing. There is only sin in not trying.”

Vic Backlund, former GOP state legislator and retired educator:
“I think Arizona’s anti-immigration bill is a result of the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to do its rightful job of controlling the Arizona border.  The bill surely over-reacts and likely gives too much authority to the police to make determinations about illegals.

“I think the governor of Arizona was under considerable pressure to sign the bill.  The Arizona governor is engaged in a primary fight and I have the feeling that she felt that if she did not sign the bill, she would lose the primary.  So, politics rules again…

“The federal government has been remiss in its obligation to control the U.S. borders.  The federal government seems poised to try to deal with the issue, but I predict that nothing really serious will happen until after the November elections.  President Bush had a plan to deal with the issue, but his plan was rejected by the Congress.  Again, I feel that it was politics that dominated the issue.  Too many Congressmen and Senators were reluctant to support that bill because of the fear that they might not be re-elected if they supported it.”

Roy Duncan, retired analyst, state of Oregon:
“I am personally offended when our President, that practically rides a helicopter to his mailbox and has 24/7/365 protection, interjects his opinion into a state where government  is trying to deal with invading criminals bringing drugs in and killing citizens but he does nothing to deal with what all agree is a federal responsibility.

“I would not suggest that every state enact Draconian policies but Arizona is a sovereign state that, in absence of Washington D.C. fulfilling its responsibilities, is trying to solve problems.  When those elected to take care of this kind of business step up then Arizona might not find it necessary.”

Marlene Quinn, event planner:
“I think that it took Arizona’s legislature courage to pass this bill and even more for the governor to sign it.  Although parts of it may seem harsh I think that what Arizona did was right. The Federal government is not doing enough to stop illegal immigration and the states are taking the matter into their hands. They want to keep the jobs to the American citizens and the benefits afforded American citizens. Illegal immigration is a very serious problem in this country and it needs to be tackled head on.. Good for you Arizona.. for setting the standard just modify a little bit of the wording and do not discriminate and you will be successful. Let’s protect American citizens.”

James Willhite and Pat Ehrlich, vice presidents, Gubser Neighborhood Association:
“We can understand Arizona’s frustration with illegal immigrants and their desire to take control since the Federal government hasn’t truly been pursuing control.  However, we have a number of questions about the implementation of the Arizona law and we suspect there will be lots of unintended consequences which will reflect unfavorably on the state.

“Perhaps the primary one comes from the requirement that law enforcement make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.  Even with lots of training we don’t understand how you define ‘reasonable suspicion’ if it doesn’t come close to racial profiling.

“Arizona is not the only state with immigration problems.  Congress and the Federal government need to get the proper programs going nationally to deal with the illegal immigration issue.”

UPDATE: Stolen bicycle found

Tairay Duncanson got a special-built bicycle for Christmas a few years back. Developmental disabilities will not allow him to ride a two-wheeled bicycle or drive a car. Last week someone stole his bicycle from their property.

This is an update posted Monday morning. The original story is below.

A specialized tricycle stolen from a Keizer boy with developmental disabilities was recovered Friday night.

Lorinda Duncanson e-mailed reporters Saturday morning to inform them it was found behind Roth’s Fresh Markets in Keizer after a man on Sandy Drive saw it on a vacant lot on Kestral Drive.

“He told Keizer Police he noticed the tricycle abandoned earlier in the day, but didn’t think much about it,” said Keizer Police Sgt. Andrew Copeland.

The family was notified early Saturday morning.

The specialized tricycle belongs to Tairay Duncanson, a 14-year-old Keizer boy. He suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome and other developmental disabilities that won’t allow him to ride a normal bicycle. His family expects he’ll never be able to drive a car either, and Lorinda said the tricked-out trike was allowing Tairay to get the confidence he had been lacking when he was younger.

The bike is in need of significant repairs, Lorinda said, with wheels bent and parts missing. But she thanked the news outlets who covered the story.

“We truly believe that Ty’s bike would not have been found if it had not been for the coverage you all gave,” Lorinda said.

She’s checking into the cost of repairs. His two sisters’ bikes, also stolen from the family’s backyard shed in the same incident, have not been found.

Anyone who would like to help the family with replacement and repair costs can donate to The Duncanson Kids at any Wells Fargo bank.

—————————-

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

A Keizer family hopes a thief will show them some compassion.

A unique three-wheeled bicycle custom-built by a former bike shop in town for a child with Asperger Syndrome and other developmental disabilities was stolen from the home of Lorinda and Corey Duncanson, along with his siblings’ bicycles.

Replacing the other childrens’ bikes, while annoying and costly, isn’t what has the Duncansons concerned. It’s the custom bike – and the confidence young Tairay was just beginning to gain from riding it – they’d like to have back.

The bicycle was built for Tairay because his disabilities prevent him from safely riding a two-wheeled bike, Lorinda said. Keizer Bike, which has since closed, built the bicycle.

“This was an answered prayer for us as these bikes are very expensive and not something we could do on our own,” Lorinda said.

They customized it with flames, a horn and Chopper emblem for Tairay, who was skeptical of what his friends and neighbors might think of his three-wheeled cycle while other kids his age were riding two-wheelers.

“Through belief and seeing his siblings and some neighborhood friends gaining independence over the last year, he has ridden it more so he could show he can handle the

street rules for riding bikes and join his siblings on rides to the store,” Lorinda said.

But last week, someone broke into a shed behind their house and took all three. Lorinda said whoever took them “went to great lengths” because both the shed and the individual bicycles had locks.

His disabilities will never allow Tairay to drive a car, Lorinda said, and “learning the trade of riding his bike and the rules that go with it are very important.

“Taking these bikes has left our children without a bike and Ty no way to gain confidence in getting around,” Lorinda said. “He was finally in a place that it mattered to him and he was trying.

“It saddens my heart that some are choosing to steal from others … they obviously do not think about how taking things from others affects them and their lives.”

Donations can be made to The Duncanson Kids at any Wells Fargo bank.

‘Romeo and Juliet’ is more than a love story

The McNary High School Theatre Arts Department present “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and  Juliet” tonight and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday, April 30 and May 1) and Thursday through Saturday, May 6-8, in the Ken Collins Theatre on campus.

Curtain time is at 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $5.

Juliet (Ashlie K. Gonzalez) and Romeo (Nicholas McDonald) embrace during Monday’s dress rehearsal.

The campus is located at 595 Chemawa Road N.  Call 503-399-3233 for more information.

McNary presents a fully-staged Shakespeare each year, and has done so since 1998. “Romeo and Juliet” is the first repeat show among that list of 13.

McNary first staged it in 2001.

Theatre teacher Linda Baker says “we decided to repeat a Shakespeare since there are a limited number of plays in the canon suitable for local performance. And our students were rather constantly asking to do Romeo and Juliet again.  In many ways, it is a natural for a high school presentation.”

Director Dan Hays, who has directed all the McNary Shakespeare’s, says the approach to the current production is “quite different.  It is, in fact, subtitled ‘A Tale of Old Earth.’ Our premise is that you are watching a production of the play as staged by people who are descendents of colonists from Earth.  They live on a planet on the other side of the galaxy, and have recently re-discovered the play after 6,000 years.”

Hays insists that “A Tale of Old Earth” isn’t a gimmick as such.

“It actually allowed us to free the play from expectations of Renaissance dress and West Side Story and Leonardo DiCaprio and refocus it on its primary meanings. It is, after all, both a tragic love story and an exploration of the consequences of human violence.”

The cast represents a cross section of experienced actors and players new to the McNary stage.

The title roles are played by Nicholas McDonald and Ashlie K. Gonzales. Both were recently seen together in McNary’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” and both were in last season’s Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Mercutio is played by Earl Wiskow, with Jordan Reid as Tybalt and Laynie McCartney as The Abbess (Father Laurence in the original script).  Hannah Alice Patterson appears as the Nurse.

There are a total of 40 performers in the on-stage company.

“‘Romeo and  Juliet’ deserves its standing as a classic in literature,” Baker said.  “That is because it is exciting, surprisingly comic, and deeply moving.

“It is the perfect example of Shakespeare’s ability to put living, breathing characters on the stage and allow them to move the audience to laughter and tears.”

Along with a rate hike… Composting of food waste to be debated

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

A rate increase and compost pickup by local sanitation companies will be the subject of a public hearing in front of the Keizer City Council.

The council agreed to hold a public hearing on the matter at its second regularly-scheduled June meeting.

Representatives from the Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association touted the new composting program, but also asked for a 7 percent rate increase. For example, a home with a 20-gallon garbage can, with yard debris pickup, would see its bill rise from $15.93 bimonthly to $17.05 bimonthly. This includes biweekly compost pickup, which would be mixed in with the yard debris can (the green can).

Should weekly pickup of yard debris and compost begin, an additional $1.68 would be added to each bimonthly bill. Virtually any organic food and yard waste could be mixed in, including breads and grains, coffee filters, pizza boxes, seafood shells and bones, dairy products, egg shells, waxed cardboard boxes and yard debris. Items like animal waste, foil, free liquids, grease, metal, personal hygiene products and plastics will not be considered compost.

The rate increase would apply to residential commercials only. Commercial would not be affected. Estle Harlan, a solid waste management consultant for the association, said “confidential” documents had been submitted to the city that would illustrate why the increase is justified. The city has yet to respond to a public records request by the Keizertimes for these documents.

Harlan said the haulers simply weren’t making enough of a profit margin on residential customers, while the margin on commercial customers is “adequate and reasonable.

“The residential service, mostly because we’re picking up three carts, running three trucks down the road for every customer, is

showing … a margin that needs this increase of 7 percent,” Harlan said.

Applying a rate adjustment across the board “would only further perpetuate the subsidy” she said commercial businesses effectively give to residential customers via higher rates.

The last time garbage customers saw a bill increase was 2003, when the City of Keizer raised its franchise fee. According to City Manager Chris Eppley, the “basic cost of service” to customers has not gone up since 1992.

Adjustments to the rate structure have been made since then, he said, but only when new services were added, like yard debris pickup.

But what drew most of the council’s attention Monday afternoon was the proposed composting program.

The association’s members – in Keizer, they are Loren’s Sanitation and Valley Recycling and Disposal – wish to debut the program in July in conjunction with a new composting program in Salem.

Compost pickup would be available to every household. For multi-family residences and larger-scale commercial customers, a pilot program would be launched, Harlan said.

“What this program boils down to is not putting it in the garbage, but putting it in the green cart,” said Mary Kanz, the association’s executive director.

She said the association has studied compost pickup programs in several states and “learned what to do and what not to do.

Compost would be taken to a facility in Corvallis. Currently, garbage in Marion County is incinerated.

“You’ll help out the system a lot,” said Kanz.

Eppley said the incinerator is running “pretty close to capacity, and as we all know landfills are not the greatest option. … Using techniques like this actually allows us to extend the time our facilities can operate without constructing new ones … and helps rates.”

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Monday, June 21, before the Keizer City Council.

Free Comic Book Day at Tony’s Kingdom May 1

Tony’s Kingdom of Comics is hosting Free Comic Book Day from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, May 1.

Appearing will be artists Dustin Weaver (Star Wars, X-Men, Shield) and Randy Emberlin (Star Wars) along with Corrosive Comics writer Timothy McHatton and a Toby Wayne Studios sculptor.

Also on hand will be the Star Wars 501st Cloud City Garrison and Kashyyyk Base Rebel Legion, and members of the Cherry City Derby Girls. [MAP: 13]

Food and cash donations are sought for the Keizer Community Food Bank and Shriners Children’s Hospital.

Free Comic Book Day is a nationwide event, and about two million comic books will be given away by participating stores.

“The wide array of comic books being published today ensures that readers of all ages can find something appropriate that will stir their imaginations,” Grove said.

Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be on May 6

Lore Christopher Mayor's Prayer Breakfast
file photo

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, May 6, at the Keizer Civic Center.

Hosted by Mayor Lore Christopher, the event invites representatives of all faiths to give thanks for the world, nations, country, state, city, workplaces, families and children. [MAP: 1]

Speaker is Councilor Cathy Clark. A Los Angeles native, Clark moved to Oregon after earning a master’s degree in biology from Kansas State University. She, along with husband Kevin, daughter Emilene and son Alex, moved to Keizer in 1989. Here they had two more children: Allison, 19, and Alana, 17.

Cost is $15 in advance. Call the Keizer Chamber of Commerce at 503-393-9111 by May 3 to RSVP.

The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is a fundraiser for the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, which partnered with the late former Mayor Bob Newton to start the event.

It’s held on the same day as the National Day of Prayer, which by law is held on the first Thursday in May. It was a tradition established by President Harry S. Truman, and President Ronald Reagan set the date in 1982. Traditionally, the president has signed a proclamation each year, although different administrations played up the event to varying degrees.

However, it hasn’t come without controversy. Earlier this month a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the presidential proclamation unconstitutional, saying it “amounts to a call for religious action,” according to an Associated Press report. The Freedom from Religion Foundation had filed the suit in 2008 against the Bush administration, and the Obama administration has said Obama will nevertheless sign the proclamation this year.

Locally it didn’t draw much controversy until 2009, when the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to Mayor Lore Christopher complaining that the event entangled church and state. It noted use of the city’s logo and the event’s prmootion on the city website. The site isn’t promoting the event this year, and said the chamber is paying rent to use the city’s civic center just like any other group.

“My statement has always been, How much is too much prayer?” Christopher said. “Can’t we all use a little more prayer in life, with everything that’s gone on in the world?”

Christopher called the event “totally inclusive,” noting that a rabbi and a wide variety of Christian denomination pastors have been invited.

“And that’s why I lent my name to it,” Christopher said. “No one has been excluded.”

Batters taking it to CVC hurlers

McNary Coach Jeff Auvinen instructs youngsters during a recent softball camp. Proceeds from the camp, which was hosted by the school’s softball program, will go toward improving the field, including adding an outfield fence.

By LANCE MASTERSON
Of the Keizertimes

There’s no other way to describe it.

Batters on the McNary varsity softball team are simply destroying Central Valley Conference pitching.

The Lady Celts, which have won 11 straight games to open CVC play, are hitting at a .460 clip.

“We hit the ball very well,” said McNary Coach Jeff Auvinen. “We have just had a few games where we, I think, kind of eschewed the numbers a little bit. It’s just that after 11 games having a .460 team batting average is a little bit out there. If I had one kid with a .460 average, most years that would be great.”

There’s little question a three-game series against North Salem fattened averages. McNary scored 60 runs in the games, including 35 runs and 34 hits in the league opener.

Still, 2010 is not like most years. McNary has five players with averages of .500 or better: Hannah Bouska (.571), Courtney Castronovo (.563), Hailey Decker (.535), Taylor Jones (.500), all starters, and reserve Keri Stein, who is hitting a team-high .600.

Four other starters – Olivia Yarbrough, Brooklyn Ross, Genetta Bennett and Nichole McDonald –  are at better than 400.

“Pretty much everyone on the team plays for a summer team, and we have hitters all through the lineup,” said Ross on her team’s recipe for batting success.

Opposing batters haven’t experienced near the success against the Celts’ pitching staff. Erin Hento and McDonald have allowed just 11 earned runs in 11 games, or an earned run a game.

Auvinen believes pitching will get better as playoffs near. McDonald is still recovering from a badly bruised thumb on her pitching hand.

“(McDonald) is not 100 percent healthy,” said Auvinen. “I’ll continue to work her into the mix. She doesn’t have the feel to her pitches yet, because the thumb is still sore. Pitching is a very fine-feel kind of an activity. She’s hasn’t pitched poorly. She just hasn’t had the feel that she normally does.”

The team’s combination of hitting and defense hasn’t gone unnoticed. The girls are ranked second in the Class 6A polls.

Auvinen remains reluctant to describe his team’s overall performance as dominating.

“We went through a stretch where we fell behind in four straight games, and were down for half the game,” he said. “If we don’t turn a couple of those games around, we would have a couple of losses on the board right now.”

If McNary has an Achilles’ heel, it could be its defense.

“Our defense needs to be more solid,” said infielder Hannah Bouska. “But other than that, we’re pretty tight.”

Auvinen agrees there’s room for improvement.

“Our philosophy from day one has been to get better each day, whether it’s at practice or in games, and try not to look ahead. I don’t think we veered from the philosophy at all because I don’t think it does you any good to look two or three weeks down the road to the first playoff match-up. Instead stay focused on what we can do better. Are we perfect, yet? No we’ve got 18 errors in 11 games. That’s not very good. But we’ve been better lately.”

Life in the CVC is about to get tougher. After byes Tuesday and Wednesday, the girls take on South Salem today (Friday, April 30) and hosts Redmond in a doubleheader on Monday, May 3.

The Saxons and Panthers are battling for second place. McNary has defeated South twice and Redmond once so far this season.

“We’re very tense at the beginning of every South game,” said Ross. “We have a lot of fun. But when we play South, we are all really focused.”

It’s crunch time for McNary baseball

By LANCE MASTERSON
Of the Keizertimes

One only needs to glance at the Central Valley Conference standings to understand just how important one day of baseball can be.

The Celtics (5-4, 8-8) began the week in a dead heat with Redmond for the league’s fourth and final playoff spot. The teams are tied at 5-6, with seven games remaining in league.

Which means the Monday, May 3, doubleheader between the Panthers and visiting McNary could all but decide matters. A sweep would be devastating for the sweepee.

Look for McNary to start aces Zach Moeller and Spencer Ross. But solid pitching can only do so much.

“To be successful, we need players one through nine to contribute,” said McNary Coach Craig Nicholas. “We don’t have anyone in the lower levels that can help us out; believe me, I have looked.”

It would help if McNary started playing better defense. The team lost to North Lake last Friday, April 23, in large part because it committed four errors.

“I really wish that we would go out and play and stop making mental mistakes,” said Nicholas. At this point in the season, we are normally playing well and eyeing the playoffs. It seems that we are going the wrong way, and that has been most of the season.”

Against North Salem on Friday, April 23, carelessness in the field ruined a fine pitching performance by a McNary starting pitcher.

Moeller went eight innings, striking out 16 batters while allowing six hits and one earned run. But North Salem made the most of the Celts’ four errors to pull out the 5-4 win.

The extra-inning affair went nine innings. Moeller did not get a decision.

With the win, the Vikings swept the season series against McNary.

“Our defense let our pitching down again,” said Chad Booth, a McNary assistant coach. “(Moeller) was as good as he has ever been, but we couldn’t play good enough defense behind him or come up with more timely runs and hits.”

Sean Curry and Alex Oesterblad provided McNary with most of its offense. Curry was 3 for 4 with a run scored and triple while Oesterblad added two hits and an RBI.

After nine league games, Oesterblad is the team leader in average, at .500, and home runs, with two. He’s also tied with Moeller for the team lead in RBIs with eight.

Other statistical offensive leaders include Curry, with 11 runs scored, along with Curry and Steven Rodriguez in hits, with 13 each. Curry also leads the team with four stolen bases.

Rice leads the pitching staff in wins (4) and innings pitched (23.2), and is second in earned run average, at 2.33. Zach Olpet, who has pitched three innings, leads the team with a 2.33 ERA. Moeller has more strikeouts, 36, than innings pitched, 20.1.

Cyclist hopes ‘100 Miles of Nowhere’ fund-raiser will lead to cancer cure

Jeremy Everitt
Jeremy Everitt hopes to raise $2,5000 for cancer research.

On Saturday, May 8, Keizer resident and McNary High School teacher Jeremy Everitt will ride a stationary bicycle more than 100 miles at Salem’s Riverfront Park, where he will also provide information about LIVESTRONG’s mission and services.

Everitt will ride a stationary bike one mile for every $10 donated as a part of the third annual FatCyclist.com “100 Miles of Nowhere” event.  He rode 176 miles after fundraising last year and hopes to exceed that total this year by raising an additional $2,500.

The “100 Miles of Nowhere” began as a fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation by FatCyclist.com founder, Elden Nelson.  Last year, 421 riders around the world, from England to Qatar to the United States to Australia, participated in the race.  This year the event boasts 500 participants from around the globe, all riding in short loops or on stationary bicycles.

Nelson also founded Team Fat Cyclist to participate in Team LIVESTRONG and the LIVESTRONG Challenge. Team Fatty, as it is referred to, broke records last year for number of members and total money by raising almost $800,000 for LIVESTRONG.

“I am proud to join hundreds of other Team Fatty members and thousands of other Team LIVESTRONG participants across the country who are raising funds and awareness for the fight against cancer,” Everitt said.  “Together, we are helping people with cancer live life on their own terms.”

Cancer has made an impact on Everitt’s life repeatedly. He has seen many colleagues, friends and family go through cancer. This year is especially meaningful for him. His grandfather and great uncle were recently diagnosed with cancer and his aunt was just declared in remission.

“Nearly everyone will be affected by cancer, either directly or through a close friend or family member.  I’m trying to help those people, including my aunt, great-uncle and grandfather, and families facing a cancer diagnosis, get the support they need in the face of this life-changing disease,” Everitt said.

Donations can be made at  http://seattle2010.livestrong.org/jeveritt.

You can email Everitt for more information at [email protected]

– Lance Masterson