Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: July 15, 2011

Hog bent and Keizer bound


Chrome, chaps and choppers roll in for 2nd annual cycle rally

Of the Keizertimes

Good Vibrations is bringing the music, malt, merlot and motorcycles this weekend with Keizer Station as the epicenter.

Motorcycle stunt shows and concerts highlight the four-day festival, which started Thursday. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Association and the Christian Motorcycle Association.

And whether you ride, like looking at bikes or just want to relax and rock out, chances are there’s something for you this weekend.

Keizer Station and the Keizer Renaissance Inn will be the headquarters and sleeping quarters, respectively, of this year’s Good Vibrations motorcycle rally. More than 700 bikers registered for last year’s event, and organizers think this year will exceed that number.

“Some of the people I’ve spoken with hadn’t registered because the weather was so strange, they were going to wait and see if the sun as ever going to come out again,” said Carol Infranca, a Good Vibrations spokesperson. “They were planning on registering at the event so we’re expecting a lot of walk-ups.”

Vendor  Village at Keizer Station will host ride-in shows, bike competitions, aerial jump team performances, vendor booths, food and live music through Sunday, July 17.

Highlights include:

• LivFast Freestyle Motocross Aerial Stunt shows on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. These are free of charge.

• Skynnyn Lynnyrd  – a tribute to you-know-who – plays two shows, one at 7 p.m. Friday, July 15 on the Keizer Rotary Amphitheater Stage at Keizer Rapids Park, and another at 8 p.m. Saturday at Vendor Village. Tickets to both concerts and the stunt show are $15 each.

• A motorcycle parade at 10 a.m. Sunday along River Road N.

• Vendor Village with food, beer and all kinds of fun stuff to buy at Keizer Station. Booths will offer up all things motorcycle, anything from lighting to helmets, leather, boots and other accessories.

• Town & Country Bowl is hosting Rock and Glow Bowl from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

• Steelhead is serving up free blues and oldies at their 6:30 p.m. Saturday show on the Keizer Rotary Amphiteater Stage at Keizer Rapids Park. Beer and wine available.

And while Keizer is ground zero, there’s events all over the mid-Willamette Valley.

Salem Harley-Davidson has a food and beer garden open until 7 p.m. Friday, July 16, with the Chris Loid Band performing. They’ve also got food, beer and a live DJ on Sunday until 4 p.m.

Woodburn Drag Strip has the 34th Annual Les Schwab Tire Centers/Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series all weekend long. It includes alcohol dragsters, funny cars, super stock, stock, super street, sportsman motorcycles and more.

In its second year, the festival is put on by Road Shows Inc. the company that coordinates the massive Street Vibrations cycle rallies in Reno, Nev.

“We get some of the most spectacular bikes at our events,” Burke said. “Our participants love their bikes.”

Sharing the road

Keep those eyes peeled and ears open: You’ll be sharing the roads of Keizer with as many as 3,000 motorcycles this weekend.

In addition, limited street closures will be in effect: River Road will be closed for about 30 minutes Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Stadium Drive will close from 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Saturday for motorcycle stunt shows.

It’s not always easy to spot motorcycles on the road. Organizers said it’s more likely you’ll hear a bike before you see it.

“There’s going to be hundreds of them coming and going, and we hope you don’t see it too late because we certainly don’t want anyone to meet up with one of our participants by accident,” Infranca said.

And police predict, at times, there will be loads of traffic on local streets this weekend.

“We would encourage people to take their time getting from Point A to Point B,” said Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns. “Its a good time to recognize there are motorcyclists out on the road, and we have to remember to check our blind spots. That’s a dangerous area that seems to take out a fair number of motorcyclists.”

Safety tips from AAA include providing motorcyclists with enough room to maneuver, not trying to share a lane with a motorcycle. The club also urges motorists to check mirrors carefully before making a lane change, as they can be difficult to see.

Photo courtesy LivFast

Stunt show to fly high at Keizer Station

Death-defying feats are just par for the course at the LivFast Freestyle Motocross Aerial Stunt Shows Saturday, July 16, at Vendor Village.

LivFast Freestyle Motocross Aerial Stunt shows on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. These are free of charge, as is a 1 p.m. practice run. All ages are welcome.

“When you see them your jaw will drop,” said Carol Infranca, a Good Vibrations spokesperson.

The cyclists use mathematical equations to determine height and distance of jumps; Infranca said the stunts change depending on the venue’s layout. The cyclists perform mid-air flips, handstands and more, flying 70 feet trough the air and 40-50 feet off the ground.

“If you don’t find (the motocross) shows exciting, you’d better check your pulse – you might be dead,” added Randy Burke, president of Road Shows Inc.

After each show the stunt riders spend time talking to kids in attendance, Infranca said.

“I would really encourage anyone who has a kid to get to that show, they’ll be amazed,” she added.

Photo courtesy Skynnyn Lynnyrd

Weekend highlights

• Skynnyn Lynnyrd – 7-9:30 p.m. Friday, July 15 at Keizer Rapids Park – Keizer Rotary Amphitheater, and Saturday July 16 starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Vendor Village at Keizer Station.

Skynnyn Lynnyrd prides themselves on being more than a cover band.

Calling themselves Lynyrd Skynyrd – Reloaded, the nine-member group aims to hit every lick the way Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and the boys would have.

They’ve got two shows: One from 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. on the Keizer Rotary Amphitheater Stage at Keizer Rapids Park, and a free show at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Vendor Village. Admission to Friday night’s show is $15 (free for registered rally participants); beer will be available. A $5 discount coupon will be included in the official pocket program, available at the Vendor Village.

• The biker parade Sunday morning may just offer up as many motorcycle riders in one place as you will anywhere in Oregon.

It’s at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 17 on Wittenberg Lane. It will travel down River Road and return to Keizer Village. American flags will be distributed from businesses on the west side of River Road courtesy of the Keizer Chamber of Chamber and the River Road Business Association.

• The Vendor Village at Keizer Station offers up food, beer, and all manner of motorcycle merchandise. It’s free to get in.

It’s open 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. until an 8:30 p.m. concert Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday.

Celt qualifies for Junior Olympics national meet

McNary freshman Daniel Brattain sails over the hurdles in McNary’s meet with Sprague in April. (File photo by Bill Donaldson)

McNary High School sophomore Daniel Brattain recently took first place in the 110-meter hurdles at the regional Junior Olympics in Spokane, Wash. He achieved a new personal record of 14.91 with the race.

The regional meet was held July 7-11.

Brattain also qualified for the national meet in the decathlon with a score of 5333, which was good enough for fifth place, but he exceeded the national meet qualifying score by nearly 500 points.

The national meet will be held July 26-31 in Wichita, KS. Brattain will be collecting cans and bottles to raise funds for the trip.

In the state meet that qualified Brattain for a shot in the regionals, he ended the first day of competition in first place in the decathlon, but illness sidelined him for the second day and he ended up in fourth place. He still managed to take first place in the discus, however. He took first place and qualified for the regional meet in the 110 hurdles with a time 15.37.

Jimmie A. LaBrensz


Jimmie passed away peacefully June 10, 2011, at home. He was born on the family farm in Fredonia, N.D., to parents, Edward and Annie (Wolf) LaBrensz, on July 30, 1936. He attended farm schools until moving to Kulm, N.D., where he completed his education. Jimmie enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1955. He served for 13 months in Thule, Greenland, where he went on an expedition to the Magnetic North Pole. He was honorably discharged in January 1959.

In 1960, Jim moved to the San Francisco, Calif., East Bay area, where he met DeAnna Edwards. They married in Carmel, Calif., on March 2, 1963. In 1966, they moved to Ashland, Ore., with later moves to Hillsboro, Ore., and Salem, Ore. He was employed as a tour bus driver, and drove all of the Canadian Provinces and the United States, except Hawaii. From 1984 to 1998, he and DeAnna owned and operated the Kwik Stop Market in Independence, Ore. He retired in 1998, and moved to Talent, Ore.

Jim was a 35-year member of Keizer, Ore. Elks Lodge #2472. where he served as an officer from 1992 to 1997, including the office of Exalted Ruler. Upon moving to Talent, Ore., he became an associate member of the Ashland Elks Lodge #944, and remained active.

Survivors are his wife, DeAnna; son Gary (Lorie), of Phoenix, Ore.; brother Charles (Robin) of Sparks, Nev.; grandchildren, Jessica Williams (J.J.), of Salem, Ore., and Peter Calhoun, of Eagle Point, Ore., and two great-grandchildren, Makayla Calhoun of Talent, Ore., and Jarrett Williams of Salem, Ore. Preceding him in death were his father and mother.

Memorial services will be held at the Keizer Elks Lodge, 4250 Cherry Ave. N.E., Keizer, Ore., on Sunday July 24, 2011, at 2:00 p.m.

Arrangements are by Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home, Ashland, Ore.

2011 session’s work


Noted anthropologist Jane Goodall once said “compromise is all right, as long as your values don’t change.”

That’s the way I would sum up much of the 2011 session of the Oregon Legislature. We all gave a little and got a little but in the end we were able to stick to our principles. We managed to craft a difficult state budget, draw new political boundaries for legislative and congressional districts, and adopt significant policy reforms.

This was the first year under the new voter approved annual sessions format and several factors made it one of the shortest in decades. First: the art of compromise. Last fall voters elected eight additional Republican lawmakers giving the House a 30-30 party split and the Senate a 16-14 margin. Those numbers prevented large tax increases and other measures that would have harmed our economy. The political dynamics also lead to many positive changes for state.

The recession left the state with a $3.5 billion shortfall in the estimated cost of keeping things going the way they have been. But fiscal realities pushed Governor John Kitzhaber and legislative leaders to construct a responsible budget using the dollars available, rather than an amount of revenue we wished we had.

The governor also deserves some credit for his role in the legislative process. Unlike his previous term, this time he got more involved with the budget and in initiating wholesale reforms for our education and health care systems.

This was my first time serving on the legislative budget committee. I learned how hard it can be prioritizing state services. Just about every area of state government will see cuts in funding, but in the end we balanced the budget with $15 billion general fund and lottery dollars. Four hundred sixty million dollars was also set aside to supplement critical programs if the economy does not improve.

Many elements of this new budget have yet to materialize. For example, state agencies are expected to reduce spending by 7 percent.  We are also counting on the governor’s health care transformation proposal to save $240 million in order to avoid cuts to the 500,000 patients on the Oregon Health Plan. Even though we managed to avoid a huge reduction in K-12 funding, there is ongoing pressure to provide more money to schools. These outstanding issues and others are already on the “to-do” list for the month-long legislative session in February 2012.

This atmosphere of compromise helped me get two new laws passed this year. I worked with Democrat Representative Dave Hunt from Milwaukie on a bill requiring first time DUII offenders to install ignition interlock devices. And I teamed up with Representative Phil Barnhart of Eugene, also a Democrat, on legislation to post information about economic development tax breaks on the state’s transparency website.

Many issues remain unresolved from supporting our second amendment rights to enhancing the integrity of our elections system. I continue to pursue these items and many more that are important to Oregonians and encourage you to send me your ideas.

Kim Thatcher (R) is the state representative for District 25. To reach Rep. Thatcher contact her Capitol Office 503-986-1425 or email [email protected]

Veteran’s parking proposal

To the Editor:

I am submitting this proposal to gain the support of veterans and citizens (and the City of Keizer) for year round recognition of our military veterans. Active, reserve, retired and previous veterans all served year round defending our nation.  Many return with injuries or the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, and others with great sacrifice to their families.  They deserve some year round recognition and social appreciation aside from one Veteran’s Day in November.

I am recommending that we provide at least one veteran’s parking space at every government, public and commercial parking area by voluntary cooperation. Parking in these spaces will require a DMV issued veteran’s license plate (from any state). The spaces will be marked as Veteran’s parking.

The signs and installation should cost approximately $75 each. I hope to gain business and organizational support to pay for the signs. I’m sure there will be volunteers to provide the installation work.

Local communities, city, county and government properties could designate at least one parking space to be signed for veteran’s parking. The same is true for any and all business and commercial properties. At first there will be no legislative statute to enforce the parking restriction statewide. However, cities and counties could draft local ordinances to provide enforcement.

There will be a web site developed to promote the concept and raise funds for signage and installations. Hopefully, we will see at least one veteran’s parking space at all public and private facilities to say “thank you” year round.

I would like the city of Keizer to be the first in the state to have a veteran’s parking space. My company: Northwest Commercial Real Estate Sales, Inc. will pay for the sign and installation at city hall, if approved. I can make myself available to discuss further.

Thank you for your consideration and patriotic support. I hope to see some of these signs in place by Veteran’s Day 2011.

John P. Rizzo

Mayor’s vow to paint tower in 90 days called ‘unlikely’

When will the water tank welcome people to Keizer?

Mayor Lore Christopher said the blank, white elevated storage tank alongside Interstate 5 would finally be marked with “Welcome to Keizer” within 90 days after councilors pressed city staff to get the ball rolling.

Problem is the person who would be in charge of doing so says there’s “no way” he can meet that deadline.

At the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon Tuesday Christopher said an agreement between the city and the Oregon Utility Notification Center would allow the city a cost-free way to place the message on the water tank. Specifically the “Call Before You Dig” folks would put up the lettering in exchange for posting their 811 logo and message alongside the city’s message

“I’ve had three businesses say we need the water tank,” Christopher said. “… Within 90 days the water tank will say ‘Welcome to Keizer.’”

This came as a surprise to Public Works Director Rob Kissler, who said there’s “no way that lettering is getting up there in 90 days.”

And City Manager Chris Eppley said that while he “appreciates the mayor’s enthusiasm, 90 days is probably a bit ambitious.”

Kissler said he’d been approached by OUNC, saying the parties were “starting a process” that includes consultation with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, who jointly own the property where the water tower sits. Both the city council and the two tribes must agree on a message.

The tribes had come up with a logo but Councilor Cathy Clark said she and other city leaders wanted to avoid commercial speech.

“We have resisted the idea of allowing that to become a defacto billboard,” Clark said, noting the billboards within the city are grandfathered in and the municipal code won’t allow more of them.”

Both Clark and Christopher said the expense of painting the tower was prohibitive, which makes a partnership with OUNC “cost-effective,” Clark added.

Kissler added it’s only a “possibility” the city would not incur any costs.

– Jason Cox

Grocer to keep self checkout machines

Keizer’s Albertsons will not be among those tossing their self-checkout lanes.

MSNBC reported over the weekend Albertsons LLC, which operates 217 stores in seven states, is getting rid of all self-checkout lanes.

But more than 450 Albertsons stores – including the Keizer location – are operated by Supervalu.

“Self-service check-out is being taken out of Albertsons LLC stores, not the Albertsons-SuperValu stores,” said Lilia Rodriguez, a SuperValu spokesperson. “No stores in the Keizer area will lose their self-service.”

Thanks to Mike Allegre for sending us the question.

– Jason Cox

Please watch for motorcycles

To the Editor:

For everyone’s safety during the second year of Good Vibrations Motorcycle Rally in and around Salem and Keizer July 14-17, please watch for motorcycles.

Hundreds of motorcycle riders will be riding to and from Salem and Keizer Station Shopping Center where the event is headquartered. Motorcycle participants will be traveling throughout the Willamette Valley during the event.

When you’re driving a car you sometimes can’t see a motorcycle.  Their pipes are loud so you can hear them.

You’ll probably hear a motorcycle before you see it. Don’t let it be too late.

Please don’t meet a motorcycle participant by accident.

Carol Infranca

Solve the debt crisis now

To the Editor:

Hopefully by the time this letter is published the cooler heads in Congress and the administration will have resolved the debt ceiling “crisis” and moved on to squabbling about gay marriage, abortion rights or some other social issue that is none of their business.  But that’s hoping for change and so far it’s been a false hope.

Today, as the debt ceiling debate stalled again, House Speaker John Boehner said, “The American people won’t stand for, and the House won’t vote for, increased taxes on the job creators.”  Which, of course, is pure BS (Boehner-speak). The American people by a rather large margin support an increase in taxes on those who make over $250,00 a year.

If the House won’t vote for tax increases, it’s because Boehner is a lousy leader who can’t control his own caucus.  And who are these “job creators” anyway?  They’ve had low taxes since George the Lesser was appointed by the Supreme “Corp” and the resulting job creation has been far less than satisfying.  Boehner must be referring to the defense contractiors who created his job and of course the plutocrats who create swell jobs for pool boys, golf caddies, jet pilots and yacht captains.  I should also mention the bankers who are creating jobs as we speak for fraud investigators but that’s a topic for another letter.

Martin Doerfler