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Day: August 16, 2010

Ag Secretary Vilsack, Schrader in Keizer Friday

A rural development forum Friday at the Keizer Civic Center will feature Keizer’s congressman and the secretary of agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack along with Rep. Kurt Schrader, D–Canby, will be part of a rural development forum from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. at the Keizer Civic Center. The talk will focus on opportunities available to rural communities and businesses, and is open to the public. A question-and-answer session is on the agenda.

To attend, RSVP at 503-588-9100.

Homes damaged, fish saved in blaze

Keizer firefighters responded to a structure fire in the 5200 block of 7th Ave NE at approximately 4 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14.

When firefighters arrived they found the fire located between two homes, with both homes on fire.

A neighbor and former Keizer Fire volunteer had woken to the smell of smoke and evacuated one of the homes.

He was in the process of evacuating the second home when Keizer Police arrived. Occupants of the second home had not answered, so Officer Banford forced entry into the home. Bradford quickly confirmed the home was unoccupied.

Firefighters worked for more than an hour to extinguish both fires. The fire in the first home was under control in 23 minutes.

Firefighters then worked to overhaul the home, looking for any fire in the ceiling and walls. They saved one of the family’s fish tanks, and took the time to remove the debris, add fresh water and oxygen to the tank.

The homeowner expressed his extreme satisfaction in how quickly the firefighters responded and how they were caring enough to save the fish.

Thirty firefighters from Keizer, Marion County Fire District No. 1 and Salem Fire responded with five engines, two medic units, one duty officer and two support vehicles including Keizer Fire District’s new rehab trailer.

One firefighter was transported from the scene to Salem Hospital for non-fire related injuries. He was in stable condition and was treated and released.

The structural damage to the properties is estimated at $90,000 and combined content damages are estimated at $40,000. All parties involved are insured.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation by Joel Stein, fire marshal of the Keizer Fire District. As of Tuesday, no cause had been determined.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross Willamette Chapter were on hand to offer assistance as well.

American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided free of charge due to donations.

If you want to support the local Red Cross by donating time, blood or money, visit or call 503-585-5414.

“Celebrating Nurses” by Dr. Christine Hallett

Celebrating Nurses by Dr. Christine Hallett “Celebrating Nurses” by Dr. Christine Hallett
c.2010, Barron’s
$24.99 / $29.99 Canada
192 pages, includes index


She was one of the few people to watch you come into the world, red and squalling.  Hers was one of the first touches you felt as she wrapped you in warm blankets. She helped you on your launch in life, and she was there during the voyage: when you broke your leg, cut your hand, hit your head, needed blood, needed surgery, needed stitches, needed reassurance.

And she, of course, might’ve been “he”.

In the book “Celebrating Nurses: A Visual History” by Dr. Christine Hallett, you’ll see how caring for patients has morphed from none to nun to nurse and beyond.

Long before there were hospitals, hospices, and HMOs, early patients were cared for by priests or shamans and, probably, by women who merely extended their talents as caretakers of children and the elderly. The best care, however, was likely off-limits to everyone but royalty.

By the Middle Ages, health care was easier to get, albeit mostly ineffective. Herbs, magic, and potions were still medicines of choice, ministered by “wise women” who were usually the only option for ailing rural patients. For rich Europeans, healers were often members of religious orders. Because of the latter, and because those men and women gained a reputation of holiness, it’s no surprise that early nurses were sometimes canonized as saints.

As the world’s population grew, the need for nurses increased. Formal training programs were instituted, and in the early 1800s, French-inspired “sisterhoods” were founded in America. Still, nursing in the 18th and early 19th centuries was often viewed as work for poor women and the less-than-genteel, but it was starting to gain recognition.

By the end of the Civil War, nursing was a respectable vocation but nurses definitely played second-fiddle to doctors. Hallett says that male physicians, perhaps fearing dwindling incomes, conspired to keep nurses in the dark. Science training was omitted from nursing schools, and nurses weren’t “allowed” to know what medicines they were dispensing.

But that, of course, has all changed. Just as Nightingale, Barton, and others envisioned, nurses have embraced larger roles in the care of patients than ever before. Even uniforms – once voluminous reminders of nuns – have become professional-but-comfortable unisex scrubs, coming full-circle as men, once again, take their places in nursing.

All of the above – and more, including mini-biographies, a lighthearted look at uniforms and caps, and nursing around the world – can be learned by reading “Celebrating Nurses”. But while I enjoyed author Christine Hallett’s narrative, that wasn’t my favorite part of this beautifully-presented book.

What appealed to me the most was the abundance of photographs.

Readers, especially nurses, will be delighted by pictures of nurses gathered around a “laboratory”. There are photos of hospital wards that will make you glad times have changed. There are snapshots of wartime nursing, aiding the poor, and equipment once used. And you simply can’t miss the portraits of nurses, past and present.

If you’re an RN, LPN, or have reason to thank one, grab “Celebrating Nurses”. For you, this is just what the nurse ordered.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.

An old-fashioned twist on modern technology

From left, Lana Ricker, daughter Ciara, 9, son Alex, 7, and Terry Ricker at Mr. Video in north Salem. They operated a chain of video stores in Germany, and opted to open one here when they moved back to the United States. KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox

Of the Keizertimes

With a rough economic climate and rapidly-evolving technology, on the surface opening a new video rental store makes about as much sense as, say, starting a newspaper.

But it made perfect sense to Terry and Lana Ricker.

Terry, who went to college in Washington, came back to the area with his Londoner wife and their two children after spending nearly 20 years in Germany – operating a chain of video stores catering to U.S. soldiers, American contractors and their families.

“Out of college I went there for three weeks and stayed 20 years,” Terry quipped.

They did well at the business, but eventually base closures and two wars meant their customer base was drying up. DVDs are coded based on regions, and while American DVD players play Region 1 – the same DVDs the Rickers carried – German domestic customers watched Region 2 DVDs, making it impossible to sell their inventory to the local market.

But what was a curse in Germany was a blessing in the States: They were all set to open an American video store. So they did, opening Mr. Video in north Salem.

“We had all these movies, and we just thought we could do a better job,” Terry said.

Opening earlier this year, Mr. Video represents a nearly bygone era: The independent video store. Yet where others might see adversity – DVDs can now be rented at a machine or through the mail – Terry and Lana saw an opportunity.

Some people didn’t have the credit card needed to rent at a kiosk; others value a larger selection than a machine can hold.

One very quantifiable advantage Mr. Video has over its electronic competitors is new releases: Three of the six major film studios this year started making new releases available to video stores 28 days before the electronic kiosks get them.

“It helps a lot when we get the word out,” Terry said. “At a video store you always have to have the new releases.”

They’ve got video games for the three major systems, and a catalog of more than 7,500 DVDs, along with more than 700 new releases and Blu Ray discs.

One of the biggest differences between them and other video stores is how they display their movies. You’ll see the same broad categories – horror, comedy, drama, etc. – but instead of in strict alphabetical order movies are often bundled together based on actors, subgenres, or a series. For example, “Army of Darkness” – the third movie in the Evil Dead series – is kept together with the first two. Most zombie or gangster movies are in one place.

And being that you’re dealing with a human instead of a machine, the store’s staff offers tips on what to see or what not to see based on customer feedback and their own experiences.

“My taste is going to be different than yours, but I can tell them what other people who have seen the movie have told me,” Terry said. “And you get to know people and their taste – we can recommend titles to regulars.”

The helpful knowledge also comes in handy when parents seek guidance on what to rent for their kids.

“Some parents don’t want their kids to see violence, others may not want them to watch something sexual,” Terry said. “We can tell them why a movie is ‘PG’ and not ‘G.’”

They also seek to draw in niche markets. They have a substantial collection of martial arts and anime films, and are actively seeking movies produced by Spanish and Mexican companies to draw in Spanish-speaking customers.

Their prices are competitive, too: $2.49 for regular DVDs, $2.99 for new releases and Blu-Rays, and $1.99 for children’s movies.