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Day: September 20, 2010

Prescription drug take-back program this Saturday

Local police agencies are teaming up with county and federal agencies and groups for a prescription drug take-back.

Authorities will be accepting prescription medications at several locations throughout the mid-Willamette Valley from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. In Keizer, the event is in the parking lot at Roth’s Fresh Markets.

This one-day event encourages citizens to properly dispose of expired or unwanted medications at designated collection sites to keep drugs out of the wrong hands and out of the environment. The event educates the public to store prescription drugs safely and securely to prevent accidental poisonings, drug abuse and contamination of our rivers.

Medications improperly disposed of present a risk to health, security and the environment. Improperly disposed drugs can be scavenged from garbage and abused. When drugs are flushed, they are not removed by sewage treatment facilities and septic tank systems. Drugs can enter the soil, surface water and groundwater. Studies have shown that drugs found in waterways have a serious impact on fish and other aquatic life.

Medications from deceased family members, unknown tablets and capsules, unneeded prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, veterinary medication or other drugs no longer used may be taken to the sites listed at the top of the page for proper disposal.

Medications cannot be accepted from businesses such as nursing homes, doctors’ offices or any other institution or business. Medications should be in their original containers if possible. Thermometers, needles or medical waste cannot be accepted.

The event stems from a partnership with the Community Action Drug Prevention Network, US Drug Enforcement Administration, Marion County Health Department, Marion County Public Works, Marion County Commission on Children and Families, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Marion Polk Food Share and the Salem, Keizer, Stayton, Turner and Silverton police departments.

“Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold” by Jennifer Ackerman

“Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold” by Jennifer Ackerman
c.2010, Twelve Books
$22.99 / $25.99 Canada
256 pages


The morning you woke up feeling like kittens had used your inner throat as a scratching post, you knew you were in trouble.

Within hours, you were sneezing. And sneezing. And sneezing, and your eyes were watery, you couldn’t breathe, and you couldn’t wait to crawl to the sofa and watch bad TV.  You were miserable and, to top it off, you were snotty – but certainly not intentionally.

Perfect. Why do you always get a cold just when you least need it?  Read “Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold” by Jennifer Ackerman, and you might learn a few things to make you breathe a little easier.

So you’re feeling snuffly – or, well, you know you will at some point this coming winter. Ackerman says you should just get used to it. The average person gets about 200 colds in a lifetime. Kids get more, of course, and the elderly suffer fewer colds, but if you’re a regular person, you’ll spend about 24,000 hours and thousands of tissues battling the sniffles over the course of your lifetime.

That’s because no two colds are alike, and there are hundreds of different cold viruses with several different categories. The good news is, once your body fights off a specific cold virus, you’ll never get that cold again. The bad news is that you are your own worst enemy. The virus isn’t what makes you miserable in the first place: your body’s reaction in the fight is what causes you to feel so rotten.

Did going out with wet hair cause this malaise? Or did you get it from kissing your sweetie?  Nope, says Ackerman. Scientists are pretty sure that colds are spread literally by hand. Shake hands with someone who has a cold, then scratch your nose – voila! You’ve been inoculated. Touch a dirty countertop, then rub your eyes – presto!  Instant sick day.

And don’t think those antibacterial soaps you’re using are going to help. They’re antibacterial. A cold is a virus.

So what can you do? Wash your hands, or use sanitizer. Forget most OTC cold remedies (except in Canada). Avoid children and smoking. Try not to touch your face. And keep lots of chicken soup around because, as it turns out, Grandma was absolutely right.

Already caught a bug?  You’re in good company, according to author Jennifer Ackerman in this delightful book. Colds spike in September and January, and “Ah-Choo!” is a great way to spend your time while recovering.

Ackerman has a nose for the facts, and she sniffs out plenty of them here, including lots of surprising statistics, disgustingly fun facts, and the results of scientific studies. I like the way she dishes the dirt; in fact, just about every page contains something that will make your rheumy eyes crinkle with glee. I also like that Ackerman coughs up some remedy recipes at the end of this book.

Whether you say apchi (Hebrew), apjo (Swedish), hakushon (Japanese) or apchkhi (Russian), you’ll enjoy reading “Ah-Choo!”.

Ask for it by name. And Gesundheit.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.

Congressional candidates debate

From left to right: Kurt Schrader, Scott Bruun, Chris Lugo

For the Keizertimes

SALEM — Each of three candidates for the 5 th District U.S. House seat from Oregon told the Salem City club Friday why he thought he should be elected.

Rep. Kurt Schrader, the first-term Democratic incumbent; Scott Bruun, the District 37 Republican state representative; and Chris Lugo, the nominee of the Pacific Green Party, made statements and took questions in what is expected to be the only joint appearance of all three in the campaign.

Lugo, making the first opening statement, said, “I believe it is time for the citizens of Oregon to have someone who represents Oregon.”  Calling military action in Afghanistan a disgrace to the United States, he said, “It is time to turn away from the policies of greed and fear.”

Schrader opened by saying, “I ran because I was very, very discouraged about the direction of our country.”

Declaring that “America is looking for new leadership,” he told the gathering at the Mission Mill Museum that he had been leading the way toward economic recovery for Oregon. He said that he had been involved in the rebuilding of the Oregon National Guard Armory in Salem and the relocation of the National Oceanic and Aeronautic Administration (NOAA) fleet to the Newport area.

“I’m a small businessman; I’m focused on small business,” he said. He told the audience that the House Budget Committee, of which he is a member, has helped keep money in the pockets of small business people, largely by enabling the Small Business Administration to increase lending.

“We’ve been watching the red ink,” Schrader said, noting that he had voted against the bank bailout.  He added that his office had returned more than $1.5 billion to Oregonians.

Bruun, calling himself a fifth-generation Oregonian and “a businessman who knows how jobs are created, said he had been an effective minority-party legislator by knowing how to cross party lines.

“You look to Washington, DC,” he said, “and you see an ineffective Congress.”

Saying Congress has “duct-taped” the budget because the majority does not want the country to see the red ink, Bruun cited population and national-debt figures to claim that the debt is growing by $13 a day for each United States citizen.

He quoted a comment in US News & World Report that the current Congress is the least effective one in history, and he said that one-fifth of Oregonians are unemployed or underemployed.

The first question from the audience followed: Do you favor allowing tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans to lapse?

Schrader, noting that more tax breaks that the ones for the wealthiest taxpayers are scheduled to expire, said, “We’ve got to figure a balanced approach.”

Bruun responded that the tax-break sunset would add $4 trillion in taxes over the next 10 years, and that the present economic troubles make it a bad time to raise taxes. He added that federal taxes are too complex and that the way to revive the economy is to empower the private sector.

Lugo said the current tax system gives unfair advantages to corporations and wealthy individuals. He declared that the lower class is “getting poorer and poorer every year” and called progressive taxation “the only real solution.”

More candidate statements followed, with Bruun the first to speak. He called the 2010 election “the most important of our lifetime” and asked, “Are we going to validate the path we’re on, or do you believe we’re on a wrong course?”

Lugo, describing greenhouse gas warming as “out of control,” called for more attention to energy alternatives and to the country’s forests and ecosystems.

Schrader, repeating his opposition to bailouts, said the current unemployment rate would be two to three percentage points higher than it is without the recovery measures Congress has approved. He charged that Bruun was seeking to privatize Social Security.

Questions from the floor resumed. The first was what specific expenditures each candidate would like to discontinue.

Schrader said that it was time to bring Americans home from Afghanistan, and that he had helped pass a weapons procurement bill that had saved billions. He also said growth of entitlements should be restrained.

Bruun, saying that he was calling for putting “options on the table” rather than definitely calling for Social Security privatization, called the federal budget “an absolute disaster.” He urged freezing discretionary spending except for health matters and defense, and he called for applying the “yellow page test” to stop government competition with private enterprise.

Lugo urged reducing the military-industrial complex and revising the federal prison system. He said United States is second to China in incarcerations.

The next question was whether middle-income Americans would be willing to give up tax breaks.

Bruun noted that the prime minister of Singapore had said he “loved President Barack Obama” because American tax policies were moving jobs to Singapore.  He said high taxes had held back work, savings and investments in the United States by moving business overseas.

Schrader said Republicans had caused economic problems by repealing pay-as-you-go legislation.

Lugo had no response.

The next question was whether each candidate considered home ownership “a true core value.”

Calling it “a fundamental right,” Lugo said that America had been treating it as a commodity and that “if you work a 40-hour week, you should be able to own a home at some point.”

“It’s a core value,” Schrader said, “if you can afford it.” He said the financial reform bill he supported addressed the problem of leading people into buying what they could not afford.

Bruun called it a fundamental value but said the housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had made it too easy to buy houses, leaving buyers unable to pay.

The final question, addressing the plans to close Guantanamo Bay, was how each candidate would balance the concerns of the war on terror with those of a prisoner’s rights.

Bruun said “a clear-headed analysis” was needed. He said that as war prisoners, the people at Guantanamo did not have the legal protections of civil prisoners, and the United States needed more “security clarity.”

Lugo called for closing Guantanamo and either trying the prisoners or sending them home. He said Guantanamo belonged to Cuba, not to the United States.

Saying the war on terror must continue, Schrader said Guantanamo was part of  “a false strategy” of encouraging torture.

Celt v-ball is 1-1 in first week

McNary’s Simona Arnautov digs deep to pass the ball to the front line in McNary’s game with Lincoln High School. (Keizertimes/ERIC A. HOWALD)

Of the Keizertimes

One of the McNary High School varsity volleyball team’s goals this season is to play with what teammates call “crazy energy.”

“We want to play well and with a lot of emotion,” said Dustin Walker, Celtic head coach.

During the team’s opening match with Lincoln High School that attitude kept them smiling and chattering between all the hits and misses of the three game domination, 25-9, 25-14, 25-13.

“I thought it was going to be one of the harder matches, but we came out strong and had a great crowd that helped us keep our energy up,” said Megan Holland, a junior.

Senior Madi Cavell led the team in kills, 15, tied senior Whittley Harrell with four aces, and put up five blocks. Keri Stein led in digs with nine and added three aces and five kills. Deven Hunter had five kills in the match.

Harrell, a transfer from Cascade High School got her first taste of 6A competitiveness in the match.

“There were a  lot of people in the crowd and that took some adjustment, but it was exciting to see so much spirit,” Harrell said.

The Celts traveled to Sunset High School Thursday, Sept. 9, for a hard-fought four-game match, 31-29, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19,  with the Apollos.

“I think we let go on a few points that might have made a difference in the match, but we fought really well and it was a blast,” said Harrell.

Unforced errors proved problematic for the team in the game, but the team played hard even when the going got rough, Walker said.

“Teams typically have a tendency to let down once you get that deep into points,” he said. “The girls worked hard, battled hard and we even had a couple of comeback points here and there.”

Holland, who had 32 assists against Sunset, was pleased with the overall intensity throughout the match.

Cavell led in kills, 15, had 19 digs and three blocks. Harrell led in digs and aces with 24 and four, respectively. Hunter put up four blocks and had three aces in the match.

Despite the loss to Sunset, Walker was happy with the team’s performance in it’s opening week.

“This is the level of volleyball we want to be playing at all the time and it means playing sharp, keeping unforced errors down and making more positive plays than negative plays,” Walker said.

Boys soccer stymied by Jesuit, tie with CV

Of the Keizertimes

If head coach Miguel Camarena wanted to test the mettle of the McNary High School boys varsity soccer team, he certainly got it in the season opener against Jesuit High School Thursday, Sept. 9.

The Celts lost 5-0 and spent much of the game on the defensive.

“They were better than us in this game. They controlled the tempo and the ball, but we wanted give some experience to some of our players and it showed us where to change our formations,” Camarena said.

The lesson wasn’t lost on Christian DeSantiago who took over as goalkeep in the second half of the game against Jesuit.

“It was a good taste of [varsity play] real quick and a chance to see what we have to do to get in the right shape on the field,” DeSantiago said.

When asked what went right for the team, Celt Hugo Cortez offered a bleak postmortem: “Not much really, we messed up a lot. But we talked about and we’ve been able to work out some of the technical stuff and defensive footwork.”

The Celts’ act showed more polish in a match against Crescent Valley High School Monday, Sept. 13. The teams tied 1-1, but the real challenge for the Celts came in the second half after losing a player to a red card for the last 38 minutes of the game.

“The group kept the lines together and we even we had our chances to win the game [with 10 men on],” Camarena said.

Hugo Gonzalez put the ball in the net for the Celtics off an assist by Luis Garibay.

“We need to switch the ball around the field and tire the other team out the same way Crescent Valley was doing to us near the end of the game,” said Reece Braatz.

The team was primarily kept out of the goal by a single Raider defender, said DeSantiago.

“We need to be taking more shots and pass the ball. I also want us to work toward wanting to win rather than thinking we have a good chance at winning,” he added.

Braatz saw the problem as a lack of aggressive play.

“We need to be going to 50/50 balls wanting to to win them,” he said.

Given the inexperience of some team members, Camarena is taking a wait-and-see approach before making drastic changes.

“Our players need to to concentrate all 80 minutes of the game, keep our formation, have  tactical discipline when we attack and when we defend, and create our own chances to put the ball in the net,” Camarena said.

The Celts kick off conference play Tuesday, Sept. 21, hosting Sprague High School. Game time is 4:30 p.m.

Wheatland Road to see more lights soon

Of the Keizertimes

Unlit portions of Wheatland Road will see the light very soon.

The Keizer City Council approved an agreement with Portland General Electric to install 24 lights along darker portions of the street.

Rob Kissler, public works director, said about two miles of the street lies within city limits. About 35 percent of that is lit, funded by street fund dollars and local improvement districts. [MAP: 2]

The $19,830.45 councilors authorized to light the street will add 24 lights, and should cover the remaining portion of the street within city limits. City staff hopes to have them installed in the next 45 days to 60 days.

The street is considered a transit corridor, Kissler said, and with two schools – and the bus stops that accompany them – in the area, he said it would help to improve safety in the area. In addition, some portions of the street don’t have sidewalks.

“There’s no question on the winter days when there’s pedestrians using the sidewalks that are there and using the shoulders … the safety will be enhanced because the lighting will be better,” Kissler said.

The agreement with PGE calls for the city to pay $250 per month to the utility. In return, PGE maintains the fixtures and replaces burnt-out bulbs.

Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns said the road has seen considerably more traffic in the past 10 years due to development in the area.

“Of course, we think the more lights the better,” Kuhns said. “Lighting is a very key element when it comes to the reduction or prevention of crime in the first place. That’s one thumbs-up. Lighting also plays a very key or vital role in the reduction or prevention of vehicular crashes. From both perspectives, the police department is in complete support.”