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Day: September 10, 2010

MHS grad had fierce spirit, many friends

Sheila Goodman
Sheila Goodman

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Sheila Goodman, perhaps better known as Shayla or simply Shay, was many things to her friends and family: A loving daughter, a doting big sister and a devoted friend.

Shayla, 18, died Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010, in an all-terrain vehicle accident on the sand dunes at Florence, Ore. Last Thursday a community gathered at Salem Evangelical Church to share memories and console one another at her memorial service.

The service was a testament to Shayla’s belief in eternal salvation, the intensity of youthful friendships and the familial ties that bind.

For her friends, she will be remembered as a carefree young woman who put smiles on faces.

“Driving in the car, wherever we were going, she’d turn the music all the way up, and she’d always have the windows down, just singing … kinda embracing everything that was going on every time we were driving around,” said Matt Almendinger, whose tribute song to Shayla, “One Love,” was played at the service.

He’s not kidding. A YouTube video shows Shayla and her friend Kylie Wooderson singing along with one of Almendinger’s songs. One after another, friends testified to Shayla’s zest for life and enthusiasm for friends.

Like most people her age, she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do for a career. But Judy Peterson, her guidance counselor at McNary High School, said she found an internship at an Adidas store in Woodburn satisfying.

But more than that, Peterson said, Shayla’s essays impacted her life as well.

“She would always talk about how other people helped her to get to where she was, and that they made her life whole,” Peterson said. “She just made a difference in my life. That’s the important part. Sometimes our students don’t realize what an impact they have on us. She did that.”

Annika Milks, a classmate of Shayla’s, said she’ll smile whenever she remembers Shayla’s performance in a money booth at a senior party. Shayla was a 2010 McNary graduate enrolled at Chemeketa Community College, with plans to attend the University of Oregon. Shayla played volleyball, soccer and basketball at McNary High.

“There’s a lot of happy memories,” Milks said.

Her uncle Nate recalled Shayla’s interest in law enforcement. Her father, Jeff Goodman, is a sergeant at the Keizer Police Department. Several dozen officers from Keizer and nearby agencies attended Thursday’s service.

“The Keizer Police Department is a family that has been deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Shayla Goodman,” said Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns. “We have all come together to support the Goodman family during this very difficult time. We offer our love, support and prayers to them.”

The Keizer Police Officer’s Association has established the Sheila Goodman Memorial Scholarship Fund in her memory. Memorial contributions may be made there.

“She had such a strong interest in law enforcement and the process, with her dad being a police officer,” said Nate Goodman, Shayla’s uncle. “Most of the time she’d come back to her interest in pursuing her undergraduate in English and then going to law school. She had a strong interest in business as well, and excelled at just about everything she did.

“The police world is a really tight-knit community – I’d describe it as her having 50 dads, almost, that were looking out for her,” Nate added.

Her mother Lisbeth is a native of Panama – she and husband Jeff met there while he was in the U.S. Air Force – and Nate said Shayla embraced that heritage. For her 15th birthday, she visited her mother’s side of the family and had her  quinceañera, a Latin American tradition commemorating a transition from girl to young woman.

“It was a huge celebration,” Nate said. “Spanish in the home is a big deal, and the culture is all around in the house, the food.”

Through the tears shed and heartbreak spoken aloud at the memorial, one after another spoke of the attention Shayla gave them, be it in-person visits for those nearby, a text message or chatting online; a weakness for MTV reality shows; and an infectious enthusiasm for life.

Shayla is survived by her parents, Lisbeth and Jeff; her brother, Marcos; and many family and friends.

A bird in the hand

There is more than $600,000 in the Keizer park improvement fund gathered from system developmen charges.  The city says most of that money, if not all, is earmarked for the proposed boat ramp at Keizer Rapids Park.

The city money is being hoarded to serve as matching funds from the state of Oregon.  Fat chance.  With the state eyeing a $2 billion budget shortfall it will be hard for the state legislature to tell students they can’t get new books because Keizer wants a boat ramp in their gem of a park.

At any time a boat ramp would be a luxury (want to have versus need to have) item.  In these days when every government’s budget is stretched tight as a drum, it doesn’t make sense to hold back money that is already in the bank for a feel good project.

Much like Keizer Station, Keizer Rapids Park is a work in progress.  It will take a number of years for all the amenities to come to fruition:  boat ramp, BMX bicycle course, professional tennis courts and a recreation center.

These amenities are said by some to boost economic development in Keizer, by bringing visitors to our city.  That is a good goal, but we need to prove we can attract visitors here first and then get those visitors to spend money in our local businesses.

Money in the park improvement fund can be used now for instant gratification.  The approval of $19,000 to help improve the dog park is a start, but that is less than half of what advocates say the improvements (underground irrigation, turf and decomposed granite) needs.  The city will rely on dedicated volunteers to complete the project with their sweat and donations.

A boat ramp will be nice addition to Keizer Rapids Park but once again the city is considering building something without the attendant costs after the fact.  Once a ramp is built it will be Keizer’s to maintain.  With tight city budgets projected into the future, where would the funds come from?

Keizer could be waiting a long time for state grants to become available.  It would be better to use the park improvement funds now on parks that need it and that will garner the economic development sought by promoting our parks to sports groups and tournaments.

Spending money that is set aside on something we have in hand is a better plan than letting it sit while we hope the state’s budget affords grants to once again start flowing.

—LAZ

Strike up the band

On Saturday, Sept. 11, McNary High School band members will spread out across Keizer seeking donations for its programs.

When a student in a band uniform comes knocking we hope that most  households will find a little something to offer, even if it’s only bottles and cans that can be turned in for the deposit.

The McNary band programs are some of the most respected in the state.  In a time of slashed arts in school budgets, Keizer schools have a found a way to not only keep their programs alive, but keep them thriving.

Inside every band member one will find a dedicated student who works together as a team to achieve their goals of excellence.  Anything the community can do to help the program along with money or volunteer time would  not be wasted.  It has been reported that students involved with extracurricular activites are involved students and do well with their studies.

Students go to school to learn in their classrooms, but there are also big life lessons to be learned by being part of a group larger than oneself, much as being involved with school sports does.

When band members come ringing doorbells on Saturday, Keizer should open its wallets and help retain this little part of what makes our city the quaint town everybody loves.

—LAZ

Clinic celebrates its 60th

Drs. Vern Casterline and Gerald Bowerly (with cake) are surrounded by the current doctors and staff at Keizer Family Physicians to celebrate the clinic’s 60th anniversary on Tuesday, Sept. 7. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

By LYNDON A. ZAITZ
Of the Keizertimes

Dr. Vern Casterline, Keizer’s first practicing physician, was joined by Dr. Gerald Bowerly to celebrate Keizer Family Physicians’ 60th anniversary on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The medical office was originally spelled Keizer Klinic when it first opened in 1950 in a newly built professional building on River Road just south of Chemawa Road.

Casterline, 93, remembered the founding and earliest days of the clinic.  He and Gerald Bowerly, Keizer’s first dentist, shared one receptionist, Hazel Johnson and one waiting room. Also sharing the building was Mootrys’ Pharmacy, managed by Walt Kechter.  In time, Casterline added Daraleen Wade as the bookkeeper. At that time River Road was a rural two-laned street.  As he told Keizer historian Ann Lossner the going rate for the delivery of a babe then was $35.  It ws a time when doctor still made house calls for $5.

His first nurse was Doris “Skip” Libby.

In 1956 Casterline moved his practice to the other side of River Road, where Willamette Valley Animal Hospital now operates.  The clinic was there for the next thirty years until it moved into a brand new building north of Chemawa Road now located between the U.S. Bank branch and Wittenberg Lane.  Bowerly was with the clinic until 1960 when he branched out to his own office on Dearborn Avenue.

Casterline and his wife, Geri, along with Dr. Bowerly and his wife Margo, enjoyed a catered lunch from The Wild Pear.

There have been only four other doctors who have worked at the clinic over the past 60 years: Jeff Turcott, Greg Thomas, Jay Jamieson and Julie Gilbert.  Turcott is no longer with the clinic.

Casterline and Bowerly are both as spry as ever, still involved with the community.  After retiring from active practice in 1986 he became the medical director for the Salem Plasma Center until 2008.  Bowerly retired in 1980.

As the clinic closed for lunch on Tuesday, the staff joined in at the luncheon buffet.  Then, gathered in the clinic’s waiting room, Drs. Casterline, Bowerly, Jamieson, Thomas and Gilbert, surrounded by the staff enjoyed a cake wishing Keizer Klinic a happy 60th birthday. [MAP: 11]

Writer got it wrong

To the Editor:

Re: Curt McCormack’s letter to the editor (“Signature gathering is not an election”, Keizertimes, Sept. 3), Mr. McCormack states “What the initiative does is limit the size of a retail building to 65,000 square feet in the mixed use areas.”  This is not true.

The actual text of the initiative is “no retail building larger than 65,000 square feet, including indoor space and outdoor and temporary display space, shall be permitted in the City of Keizer outside of the area identified in the City of Keizer, Keizer Station Plan as Area A of Keizer Station…”

This is not an insignificant distinction.  The initiative language clearly bans large retail buildings everywhere in Keizer (outside Keizer Station Area A), not just in property zoned as mixed use.  Jane Mulholland confirmed this was the intent of the petitioning group, when she reiterated it would apply to areas of future growth in Keizer, as well.

While I disagree with the objectives of the petitioning group, no one disputes the right to conduct the petition drive.  However, voters should make decisions based on accurate information.  Additionally, there is a financial cost to the city if this petition makes it to a ballot.  I would rather use those funds for parks maintenance and police officers, than conducting an election on a land use issue that would be to the detriment of the city.

Brandon Smith
Keizer

Smith is a Keizer city councilor.

Courthouse Square’s history of problems

To the Editor:

Since its inception in 1998, the Courthouse Square project has been troubled.  First came the demolition of the entire square block of retail businesses.  This created a giant hole in the ground for many months while the county tried to figure out where it was going to get sufficient funding to complete the building.

Since 2002 when problems first started to appear, the current county commissioners neglected to maintain the building properly and then failed to pursue corrective maintenance and other measures within the statute of limitations (ultimate repose). Now taxpayers are left holding the bag.

What were the commissioners thinking? Sweeping these issues under the rug for so long led us to the final outcome—a golden wrecking ball and chain.

When the county commissioners say that this will not happen again, what fools do they take the taxpayers to be? We need an independent federal investigation into the problems and maintenance issues that were neglected for so long. When problems first appear is the right time to get them corrected—not years later when the building can no longer be fixed and liability time limits expire.

Roger Kaye
Turner

IN THE RING: Do you agree with all or some of Sam Adams’ proposals?

Each week the Keizertimes asks community leaders a question about current events.  To see more of this week’s answers or answers to past questions log onto www.keizertimes.com and click on In the Ring.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams has proposed new gun-control laws in his city.   The highlights include: 1.) amends city’s curfew law, adding a curfew for minors who have been found to have possessed, bought, used, transferred or transported a firearm unlawfully; 2). makes it a crime for endangering a child by allowing access to a firearm; 3.) makes it a crime to fail to report theft or loss of a firearm; 4.) increases penalty for possession of a loaded firearm in a public place. 5.) designates illegal firearms-use hot spots.

This week’s question:

Do you agree with all or some of Sam Adams’ proposals? Please explain why you would agree or disagree with each one.

Dennis Koho, attorney and former mayor—
I generally disagree with his proposals.  Those who think that taking away guns will solve social problems are off the mark.  Anti-gun laws will primarily affect those who already choose to follow the law, and some of his proposals merely add another crime to the list when someone is arrested for oher reasons.

I would, however, be willing to listen to ideas that help keep guns from recklessly falling into the hands of children.  Parents need to be the primary teachers of gun use and safety, and some penalty may be appropriate for those parents who fail to teach and fail to secure their firearms.

Stu Crosby, Mult-Tech Engingeering—
I have no issues with Mr. Adams proposals as long as certain specifics currently allowed in the State of Oregon are not interfered with.

1. No infringement on the right to carry openly; Oregon is an “open carry“ state.

2.  No infringement on the right to apply for and receive a concealed weapons permit and therfore carry concealed as allowed under ORS Chapter 166

3. The transit of a loaded firearm carried openly in a vehicle (i.e., a pickup truck gun rack in the rear window), while certainly unwise, is not illegal in the state of Oregon. Even when hunting it is unlawful to fire a weapon from a motor vehicle but to carry a loaded weapon is not illegal.

Dave Bauer, co-owner, R. Bauer Insurance—
The bottom line on the issue is twofold. One, if we enforced the laws on the books and use “tough love” in more sentencing of offenders for crimes, then we wouldn’t have to pass controversial laws. And two, government needs to honor citizens gun rights.

1. Curfew is the issue, not gun enforcement.

2. Legislating  common since has not worked before.  Why would it work in keeping guns from kids?

3.  Losing or having a gun taken should not require reporting.  People feel government already knows to much about them.

4.  Again, if all laws were enforced there would not have to be a “new” law about carrying a loaded firearm.

5. People are going to go where they want. Legislating travel through “hot spots” will not help.

Guns are used by the person carrying it. We already have laws for the criminals in this country. Let’s enforce them. Making more regulation is not going to stop the bad guys from doing wrong. The thought process is all wrong. Bad guys are going to be bad. Good people are going to be good. Making any more rules or laws isn’t going to help in the attitudes of folks. Right and wrong is the issue. The sooner  our citizens relize that, the less problems we will have with guns.

Art Bobrowitz, Compass Rose Consulting—
I do not agree with any of Mayor SamAdam’s proposals. First of all, the second amendment to the Constitution makes it clear on the right to bear arms. The United States Supreme Court has ruled more than once on citizen’s rights to bear arms. It has stated that the second amendment is a powerful and meaningful right of citizens. Their rulings have made it clear that limitations on gun rights face stiff challenges.

The 2010 Supreme Court 5-4 ruling told municipalities and states they must be guided by the second amendment which fully protects an individual’s right to own guns. Strict, local ordinances could be seen as unconstitutional and a violation of the Second Amendment.

Now, if the Mayor of Portland wishes to implement his changes, then he should proceed. The cost of court challenges alone will keep their legal department busy. I am sure the city of Portland is in a fiduciary position to absorb all costs related to such challenges and in a position to change federal law.

Portland might be better off setting an example for protecting the rights of lawful gun owners rather than trying to create local ordinances that could quite possibly challenge the US Constitution.

Candidate’s voting records range from diligent to deficient

Keizer City Council
file photo

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

With Keizerites having the opportunity to vote in more than two dozen elections in the past 15 years, who among us can say they never missed one?

At least as far as Keizer city councilors go, that honor goes to Cathy Clark. She is seeking her second term in Position No. 4, and is unopposed. Every other city council candidate, as well as the mayor, are also unopposed.

Voting histories obtained from the Oregon Secretary of State’s office show Clark has cast a ballot all 16 times she had the opportunity between January 2003 and today, records show.

On the flip side, records show council candidate Joe Egli missed all but three elections he was eligible to vote in since the beginning of 2003.

Mayor Lore Christopher has a high participation rate, but records show she missed an important one – her husband, Ron, was on the ballot for the Salem-Keizer Transit Board. (He won anyway.)

The Keizertimes obtained voting histories of Clark, Mayor Lore Christopher, Councilor Jim Taylor and unopposed council candidate Joe Egli. Councilors not on the ballot this year were not included.

Whether one voted in an election – and whether they were registered to vote at the time – is public record, along with any political party affiliation. All except Clark are registered Republicans; Clark is registered as unaffiliated. But whom they voted for, just like any other voting citizen, is private.

We determined their voter participation rate by calculating the number of times they voted with the number of elections they were eligible to vote in. Some voter histories showed more elections than others, which county officials explained could be for a variety of reasons – a voter’s ballot was returned as undeliverable, or perhaps their registration lapsed.

For this story, we gave candidates the benefit of the doubt when it came to elections not listed on their voting history.

In terms of voter participation, Clark is tops at 100 percent, with Christopher and Taylor close behind. Christopher had an 88 percent participation rate (14 of 16 elections), while Taylor missed two of 15, a participation rate of 87 percent.

Records show Egli participated in only three of 13 elections where he was listed as eligible – the general elections in 2008 and 2004, along with a 2004 special election that would have enacted an income tax surcharge.

This equaled a participation rate of 23 percent. Votes he missed included the 2006 midterm.

“I guess I’d say I was concerned with local issues, and there were very few local issues we were voting on,” Egli told the Keizertimes.

He said he has moved several times in the past few years, which could partly explain a spotty participation record, and noted a problem with his ballot at least once where he was asked to go to Salem to verify his ballot signature, but didn’t make it.

He said serving in public office wasn’t really on his radar as far back as 2003. But he said others encouraged him to run. Egli is currently president of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, and said he’s testified at council, planning commission, parks board and urban renewal meetings.

Voting “is one of many, many ways you can get involved in your community,” he said. “Voting to me is a privilege and should not be taken lightly. There have been times in the past when I did not have the time needed to research and make quality decisions. I’m not a big fan of just checking a box.  In fact, the times I have voted I have left some of the decisions unmarked as I felt I did not know enough about the candidate or issue. Researching the issues and candidates is important and time consuming. Both sides of the issue need to be looked at with equal intent.”

Leave it to Clark, the past president of the Marion County League of Women Voters, to have a spotless record. (Our records actually indicate she has a perfect voting record dating back to 1995; however, Marion County officials said they would only stand behind the accuracy of voting histories from 2003 forward, citing data conversions and modernizations.)

“Voting, to me, has always been an essential part of being a citizen,” Clark said. Fortunately, I haven’t had any ballots that arrived when I was out of town.”

Prior to vote by mail – and towing around four kids – she registered as permanent absentee to make sure she’d never be out of town on Election Day.

She never affiliated with a party, she said, because of the atmosphere she came up in.

“I came of age during the Watergate brouhaha,” Clark said. “And at that time, I did not feel that either party represented my values or philosophies. Both parties were in somewhat disarray at that point in history, and I never have felt drawn to affiliate with either one since then.”

Christopher missed two – a 2003 special election authorizing the state to incur general obligation debt for pension – but perhaps more amusingly, a 2009 district board election of transit, school and fire boards. Her husband Ron was a first-time candidate for the Salem-Keizer Transit Board of Directors.

“He’ll love that,” Christopher said with a chuckle. She said she had recently moved and hadn’t yet updated her voter registration.

She said she gives presentations each year to elementary school students called “Who’s the Boss of Keizer?” with voters at the top of the organizational chart.

“Those are the people who put the people in power to make decision for their community,” Christopher said. “In addition to that, being a woman – it’s only been 90 years that women had the vote. The suffragettes used to march in front of the White House. They were jailed, they were beaten, because men didn’t want them to have the right to vote.”

Council didn’t hear, petition is result

To the Editor:

I’m writing this in support of the efforts that a group I am involved with, Keep Keizer Livable, in limiting the size of buildings outside Keizer Station’s Area A to 65,000 square feet.  This group is composed of residents all over Keizer, not just residents from the area close to Area C, which several members of the Keizer City Council plus the mayor are trying to infer are the only members in this.

Two years ago the city council tried to back door an amendment that would have changed the master plan for Area C that as the original plan called for buildings there to be 10,000 square feet.  They managed to push this through despite many letters and petitions to not change the master plan.

What we are trying to do at this time is to get a ballot before the residents of Keizer, that would be on the March 2011 election so that all residents can vote whether or not they want to have big box stores cropping up all over Keizer or keep them in Area A which was the original plan.  This would be the only fair way to decide how Area C should be handled.  This is a misshapen piece of land bordered on three sides by residential areas and the baseball fields behind it.  Traffic is already bad and if this goes through we are at a gridlock.

Joan Pauley
Keizer

To letter writer: get your facts right

To the Editor:

Re: Letter to the Editor, Keizertimes, Sept. 3 (Let the people decide ):

Please get your facts correct when you mention my name and that of Councilor Cathy Clark in your letters to the editor.

We have never said we oppose initiatives or a citizen’s right to vote.  It is unfair and untruthful to portray our opposition to one initiative as such.  As President Obama has stated “we can disagree and not be disagreable.”

Let’s move forward in that mindset.     Councilor Clark and I think that the initiative to ban local employers over 65,000 square feet is bad public policy for Keizer.  We oppose spending $20,000 in a special election and believe it is foolish spending when the initiative could have been included in the general election if the initiative had been startred earlier.  We continue to support every citizen’s right to the initiative process and to vote as they see fit.  As for Councilor Clark and I, we will be voting no to this specific job-killing initiative.

Lore Christopher
Mayor of Keizer