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Day: August 25, 2011

Volcanoes swept by Emeralds

The Volcanes Keith Bilodeau winds up for a pitch in a game against the Vancouver Canadians Tuesday, Aug. 23. (KEIZERTIMES/Brian Rennick)

By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

Manager Tom Trebelhorn stirred things up, and so did his players by taking Saturday night’s game to 11 innings, but the Volcanoes lost 5-4, giving the Emeralds a sweep of all the 2011 games the two clubs played in Eugene.

Trebelhorn put several reserves in his starting lineup, including left fielder Leonardo Ochoa, who hit the only home run of the game in the first inning. The manager also got himself thrown out of the game in the inning for whatever he said to base umpire Travis Eggerts, who had called Payne out trying to steal third base. He then berated plate umpire Matthew Czajak, ripped off his batting helmet, kicked it several times, and shook hands with the players in the Emeralds dugout before leaving PK Park.

Shawn Payne led off the first inning with a single to center field and was caught stealing second. Ochoa then hit his home run over the right center field fence. The next two batters were retired, and Salem-Keizer had a 1-0 lead, which it kept until the bottom of the fourth.

Casey McElroy led off the Eugene fourth with a double to center, the first hit off starting pitcher Cameron Lamb. Duanel Jones reached first on an error by shortstop John Eshleman, with McElroy going to third. A wild pitch moved Jones to second, and Zach Kometani singled to left, scoring both baserunners. With Matt Colantonio at the plate, another wild pitch put Kometani on third. Colantonio drove in Kometani with a single to right, giving the Emeralds a 3-1 lead.

The Volcanoes responded with two runs in the fifth. Danny Brock was hit by a pitch, Garrett Buechele singled to right, and a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Honeycutt put Brock on third and Buechele on second. Eshleman grounded out, with Brock scoring and Buechele going to third. A wild pitch from starter Juan Herrera brought Buechele home, and the score was tied. Jeremy Gigliotti came in to pitch and retired the side.

In the Eugene sixth, Stephen Shackleford took the mound. Travis Whitmore singled to second and went to third on a wild pitch. Colantonio singled Whitmore to third, and another wild pitch scored him.

The Volcanoes tied the score again in the ninth. Joe Staley doubled to left, and Jesus Galindo ran for him. Chris Wilkes replaced Matt Stites on the mound and hit Kaohi Downing with a pitch. Brock bunted into a force out in which Wilkes threw Galindo out at third. Downing went to second and scored on Buechele’s single to left.

Cody Hall, who had replaced Shackleford in the eighth, sent the game into extra innings by holding the Emeralds scoreless in the ninth.

The 10th inning went by without a run. In the 11th, Kyle Brule went to the mound for Eugene, and Dan Burkhart, who had taken over as catcher after Staley was lifted for a pinch runner, singled to left. With two out, Brock reached first on catcher’s interference. However, Buechele grounded out, and the side was retired.

Lee Orr led off the Eugene 11th with a triple to center. Kyle Gaedele reached first on a fielder’s choice and second on defensive indifference. Wilber Bucardo, who had come in to pitch in the 10th, intentionally walked Peterson. Miller then came to bat, and an unintentional walk forced Orr home.

Brule was the winning pitcher and is now 2-0 despite an 8.44 earned run average. Bucardo, the loser, is 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA.

Aug, 17: Vancouver 4, Volcanoes 1

A three-run rally in the eighth inning won the series for the Canadians.

Vancouver scored the first run of the game in the second. Shane Opitz singled, went to third base on a double by Andrew Burns and scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Newman. Salem-Keizer tied the score in the third, when Garrett Buechele, who had walked, scored on a triple by Jesus Galindo.

The score remained 1-1 through the top of the eighth. Jonathon Berti walked, Nick Baligod and Kevin Patterson singled, and Yeico Aponte ran for Patterson. Opitz hit into a force out that scored Berti. Aponte scored when Burns reached first base on an error. Wilber Bucardo, who became the losing pitcher, was replaced by Aaron King. King walked Newman to load the bases and forced Opitz home by walking Chris Schaeffer.

Drew Permison was the winning pitcher in relief.

Aug. 18: Eugene 5, Volcanoes 4

The Volcanoes led through the top of the eighth inning with an attack that included three stolen bases by Jesus Galindo, but fell to a two-run Eugene rally in the bottom of the eighth.

Salem-Keizer took a 1-0 lead when Mike Murray led off the second inning with a home run. In the third, Galindo singled, stole second and third, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brett Krill. The Emeralds answered with a run in the third when a throwing error let Justin Miller score.

In the Volcanoes’ fourth, Dan Burkhart singled, went to third when Garrett Buechele doubled, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ben Thomas. Buechele tagged and reached third on a fly, and a single by Galindo drove him in.  In the Emeralds’ fourth, Jeremy Rodriguez singled Travis Whitmore home, and a single from Jose Dore scored Lee Orr.

Eugene’s Kyle Gaedele was hit by a pitch in the eighth, stole second, and reached third and home on wild pitches first by Matthew Graham and then Phil McCormick. Pinch runner Jace Peterson scored on a single by Miller.

Graham took the loss. Matthew Stites was the winner in relief, and Chris Wilkes earned a save.

Aug. 19: Eugene 5, Volcanoes 1

It just wasn’t Salem-Keizer’s night.

Three infield errors, late-inning pitching woes, long drives that were caught, and a quick ejection of Joe Staley over a third-strike dispute kept the Volcanoes from getting their second 2011 win over the Emeralds.

Eugene scored a first-inning run when Jace Peterson, who had singled, stolen second base and reached third on an error, scored on a force out. The Volcanoes tied the score in the second when a sacrifice fly by Chuckie Jones scored Kaohi downing, who had walked and advanced on a single by Staley and a walk to Ben Thomas that loaded the bases.

The Emeralds went up by one run in the second, with Kyle Gaedele doubling and scoring on a single by Lee Orr. The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the seventh. Lorenzo Mendoza, who had pitched six innings, allowed two runs but only one earned and struck out five, was replaced by Brennan Flick. After Flick walked Orr and Jose Dore, Peterson drove them in with a triple. Casey McElroy singled Peterson home.

Mendoza was the losing pitcher. Simon Berroa was the winner in relief.

Aug. 21: Vancouver 8, Volcanoes 7

The Volcanoes trailed all the way but kept fighting in the first game of a home series.

Big moments for Salem-Keizer included three hits and three stolen bases by Shawn Payne, three hits including a home run by Garrett Buechele, and two scoreless relief innings from Brennan Flick, but Vancouver  had a 5-0 lead after two innings.

The Canadians’ second-inning rally included doubles by Andrew Burns, Jonathon Berti and Jonathan Jones,  and Aaron King relieved starter and loser Brandon Allen to start the third inning.

A four-run rally for the Volcanoes in the fourth made the score 5-4.  Kaohi Downing, Jesus Galindo and Shawn Payne singled to load the bases. Joe Panik doubled to drive in Downing and Galindo. Mike Murray grounded out but scored Galindo. Brett Krill reached first on a fielder’s choice that threw Panik out at home, and a double by Dan Burkhart brought Krill home.

Vancouver added a run in the fifth and two in the seventh on a homer by Matt Newman with Burns on base. Salem-Keizer scored a run each in the seventh, eighth and ninth, with Buechele hitting his homer in the eighth.

Starter Jesse Hernandez was the winning pitcher, and Drew Permison got a save.

Aug. 22: Volcanoes 14, Vancouver 5

Sixteen hits, seven for extra bases, put the Volcanoes in command all the way.

The big rallies for Salem-Keizer produced four runs in the first inning and five in the sixth. In the first, the Volcanoes hit three triples, by Shawn Payne Joe Panik and Brett Krill. They had only three hits in the sixth, but one was a two-run homer by Garrett Buechele, and there were three walks and an error.

There was one more Volcanoes home run, by Panik in the fourth with the bases empty. The Canadians had two homers, solo shots by Kevin Patterson in the sixth and Matt Newman in the seventh.

Jack Snodgrass, making his second start, went five innings for the win. He is now 3-0 with a 3.49 earned run average. Vancouver’s starter, Kramer Champlin, was the loser. His record is 0-2.

Matt Graham and Chris Gloor pitched in relief for the Volcanoes, Gloor allowing one hit and no runs and striking out six in two innings.

Aug. 23: Volcanoes 12, Vancouver 0

Salem-Keizer domination continued as the Volcanoes put 15 hits to work for 12 runs and pitched their fourth shutout of the season, all four coming in August. The Canadians were held to five hits.

The first run, in the first inning, was manufactured. Jesus Galindo walked, advanced on two of his three stolen bases of the evening, and scored on a force out. In the second, however, four runs came on three singles, a double, and Galindo’s 40th steal of the season. The double, by Mike Murray, scored Shawn Payne and Joe Panik.

Starter Reiner Roibal, despite pitching well earlier, got only his first victory of the season against three losses. His earned run average is 3.50. Vancouver’s starter, Aaron Sanchez, was knocked out after 1-2/3 innings and is 0-1.

In the fifth, the Volcanoes scored five runs on four singles, a double and three walks. Ben Thomas hit the double, driving in Brett Krill and Ken Burkhart.

The Volcanoes added two runs in the eighth, when Thomas hit his first Northwest League home run with Ryan Honeycutt on base.

Phil McCormick pitched the ninth for the Volcanoes, striking out the side.

Visitors center won’t get funded by urban renewal bucks

The Keizer Urban Renewal Agency voted not to fund a joint visitors-transit facility at Keizer Station.

The split “no” vote came after earlier in the evening the Keizer Urban Renewal Board unanimously recommended to fund neither construction nor design. The board is tasked with making recommendations to the agency.

The vote was two – Mayor Lore Christopher and Councilor Cathy Clark – in favor, with Councilors David McKane, Mark Caillier, Jim Taylor and Brandon Smith voting no. Councilor Joe Egli was absent.

Councilors had the option of funding construction of a joint transit-visitors building up to $500,000; voting to fund design but not construction; allocating up to $30,000 to assist the Keizer Chamber of Commerce in opening its own visitors center, or funding nothing.

Merely participating in design was one of the recommendations made by city staffers, who in a memorandum warned the agency – which consists of the Keizer City Council’s members – that outstanding local improvement district debt at Keizer Station could come out of city coffers in the future. Developer Chuck Sides is more than $800,000 behind in local improvement district assessment payments.

Christine Dieker, the chamber’s executive director, said such a center would point visitors toward River Road businesses.

“When somebody stops off the road and they say maybe I want something to eat and it’s not pizza – do you have a good Italian restaurant?” Dieker said. “That’s where we’re able to say, guess what, Caruso’s is right off River Road.”

Allen Prell, president of the Gubser Neighborhood Association, said he “cannot think of anything more valuable to this community. Information is power.”

Dennis Koho, a former Keizer mayor, chamber president and chair of the Salem-Keizer Transit Board, said Keizer doesn’t have enough hotels and restaurants to justify the investment.

“Keizer is a residential community,” Koho said. “…That’s why most of us live here: To raise families, to recreate, to maybe retire and some of us are foolish enough to try to open a business here. I don’t want to see that fundamental characteristic change.”

Rick Hammerquist, who founded the Keizer Tennis Association, said a visitors center wouldn’t help him promote tournaments.

Earlier in the evening the Keizer Urban Renewal Board – a group that advises the agency on urban renewal spending – unanimously recommended no funding for either the joint transit-visitors center nor a Chamber-operated visitors center in its new digs at Keizer Station. The partnership would be with Salem-Keizer Transit, which owns land at Keizer Station and plans to build a hub there.
The board heard from Sherrie Gottfried, sales manager at the Keizer Renaissance Inn, who said the impact of tourism in Keizer is palpable.

“I am here tonight to tell you please think long and hard about this,” Gottfried said. “… We need visitors services.”

Richard Walsh, a former city councilor, said the visitors center is vital to promoting more youth sports tournaments in the city, citing the city’s visioning process that concluded the community has potential to earn more revenue off sporting events.

But Rick Hammerquist questioned how a visitors center would “administer a tournament … I don’t think you need a visitor’s center to do that.”

Walsh said the visitors center is a risk, but said Keizer Station wouldn’t have happened had councilors been timid.

“It’s easy to stop those steps, usually with fear, saying we can’t afford it, we’re getting tired, whatever,” Walsh said. “… We need to keep taking those steps.”

Board member Robert Hendricks was concerned about the possibility dollars could be needed to fund the aforementioned possible liability due to the Keizer Station Local Improvement District.

“Until that can be (resolved) I would be pretty reluctant here,” Hendricks said.

Carol Doerfler testified that much smaller towns like Carlton and Dallas have public swimming pools, but Keizer does not. She said the money could be better spent on youth activities or facilities.

“And I’m thinking, we have half a million dollars,” Doerfler said. “Why in the world couldn’t we have a sparkling blue pool for our kids?”

Board Chair Greg McLeod said he’s concerned about urban renewal dollars having already been diverted for projects like adding land to Keizer Rapids Park and building the Keizer Civic Center, at the expense of River Road beautification projects.

“I find it really, really hard to do this,” McLeod said.

Schrader says tough calls ahead in D.C.

Rep. Kurt Schrader addresses the audience at a town hall Wednesday, Aug. 24 at the Keizer Civic Center. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

As might be predicted Congressman Kurt Schrader’s “fiscal” town hall Wednesday morning at the Keizer Civic Center was heavy on the numbers.

The second-term Democrat told a packed crowd eliminating tax breaks for the country’s wealthiest companies and people would have to be included with spending cuts to keep the federal government from careening further into debt.

He said some $1.1 trillion in potential federal revenue goes out the door in deductions. And while some had value, others would have to go, he said.

“Bottom line is we’re giving away half of what’s collected,” Schrader said. “And that’s why we can’t afford a whole heck of a lot.”

The congressman also noted Medicare spending has increasingly come from the general fund rather than payroll deductions and employer contributions. He said some 42 percent is coming from general taxes.

And while Social Security spending isn’t rising dramatically, revenue will become an increasingly severe problem. The ratio of workers to recipients has dropped from 16 to 1 in 1950 to 3 to 1 in 2011 and is projected to go to 2 to 1 in 2035, the congressman said, and its trust fund drops every year.

“If we do not do anything, Social Security will have to be cut by 2036,” he said.

Negotiations from the August debt ceiling debate created a Supercommittee evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, with six from the House and six from the Senate. It has until November 23 to create a plan saving at least $1.2 trillion in the next 10 years. Without an agreement by that date  automatic, across-the-board cuts will hit both domestic programs and the Department of Defense. However, Schrader said programs like Social Security, veterans and Medicare benefits would be safe.

“Let me make one thing crystal clear to seniors: You’re not at risk as a result of this work,” he said.

And he said some $917 billion in deficit reduction measures over the next 10 years are “not enough.

“If you just do that we’re not changing the trajectory, folks,” he said.

Audience members were picked by drawing to ask questions. Harry Bladow of Independence questioned the wisdom of foreign aid with tough times on the homefront, saying he hasn’t “heard one word” about reducing those expenditures.

Schrader acknowledged “a growing sense in Congress that we can’t afford to do what we’ve done in the past,” but said foreign aid only makes up 1 percent of the federal budget. That said, he wants to analyze money going to places like Pakistan, where leadership may not have the United States’ best interests at heart. But he said he “wants to be thoughtful” so that the country doesn’t further align itself with anti-U.S. Sentiments.

And as rebel forces reportedly closed in on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, he said he was pleased with the outcome, but also happy American forces weren’t bearing the brunt. In July he told the Keizertimes he wanted U.S. forces off the African nation’s soil.

“We let the French and the English carry the load,” he said. “… They’ve been the traditional powers in that part of the world.”

Schrader’s statements that portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act could save money didn’t impress Luis Martinez of Salem.

“Obamacare is what’s going to bankrupt this country,” said Martinez, who accused the congressman of “pushing socialism down our throats.”

Schrader said many portions of the act had been proposed by Republicans and conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, and noted the U.S. Supreme Court would likely decide whether the individual mandate to purchase health insurance violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

Meanwhile, another questioner asked why Medicare couldn’t be expanded to all Americans.

Schrader noted the loud and sustained opposition to the health care act passed by Congress as a reason that would be politically difficult.

“There’s a lot of hysteria out there about repealing the bill,” Schrader added, “but that’s just not gonna happen.”

The congressman has been in Oregon visiting constituents during the August recess.