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Day: November 11, 2011

Celts make big showing in all-league honors

Celts Austin Hejny, Kelly Cowan, Joel Hunter, Todd Hatley, Mason Ross and Anthony Flores were all among the honorees in All-Conference selections. (Photo by Jim Sweigart)

They might have struggled in the win/loss columns, but a throng of Celts caught the attention of opposing coaches and were named to the Central Valley All-Conference honor rolls last week.

Top honors went to receiver Garren Robinett who was named to first team all-conference.

Kelly Cowan at offensive tackle, Mason Ross at offensive guard, and Tyler Brown on the defensive line were named to second team all-conference.

Honorable mentions included Anthony Flores at offensive tackle; Joel Hunter at offensive guard; Todd Hatley at center; Austin Hejny at tight end; Justin Gardner at receiver; D.J. Harryman and Justin Burgess at quarterback; Cody Bond at running back; Gonzolo Cervantes at kicker; Ross, Bruce Isabel and Jordan Zielinski at defensive line; Perry Groves at linebacker; Robinett and Corey White at corner; Hejny and Harryman at safety; and Burgess at punter.

Honors are determined by the CVC head coach votes for each player.

Netters’ season ends in defeat by Warriors

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

In its final game of the season, a playoff play-in game with Aloha High School, the McNary High School varsity volleyball team was haunted by one of the same problems that surfaced regularly throughout the season: a weak first match.

“We started out pretty weak. The second game was a little better and the third games was a little better still. We never played to our best,” said Averi Wing, a Celtic senior. “They were good, but they were beatable.”

The Warriors swept the Celts in three games 25-11, 25-19, and 25-21.

Wing said the takeaway from the match was the necessity of each team member wanting the win.

The Lady Celts finished the season with an overall record of 10-12 and a league record of 4-6. Wing said the best moment for her was the Celts’ second match with South Salem High School.

“Coming back beating them after they beat us the first time through was really fun,” she said.

What does ‘no’ mean?

Now that Measure 24-324 has failed at the polls it is time for all parties concerned to take stock of where they are and where they go from here.

Measure 24-324 would have added a $4.86 per month on every Keizer dwelling. and building.  The city of Keizer would have received 64 percent of the $800,000 plus the fee would have raised annually.  The other 36 percent would have been received by the two fire districts that cover the city.

Supporters of the measure argued that the money was needed due to the hole the city’s 9-1-1 obligation blows in the city’s budget each year. The 9-1-1 bill requires the city to use more than $260,00 out of the general fund. Opponents say that the proposed fee would be levied at the worst possible time, with the economy still stalled.

The supporters of the measure might have been successful if they did not cloak their campaign in a “save 911” message.  The measure was never about the viability of the communications system. The measure was about replacing the general fund monies that were paying for 9-1-1.

The budgetary problem remains the same with the defeat of Measure 24-324. The city’s budget, which must be balanced, will still take a hit. City residents pay a 9-1-1 tax on their phones, both land lines and cellphones. The tax goes to the state of Oregon which apportions it back to the cities. The rise of prepaid phone cards (which are not subject to 9-1-1 taxes) and the blockage of charging cellphone accounts with additional fees are the main reasons the city’s obligations are out of whack.

For the current budget year Keizer collects about $109,000 for 9-1-1, but the city’s bill is more than $373,000.  That means the city must use more than $260,000 out of the general fund to pay its obligation for 9-1-1.  That’s money that could be paying for some of the police officer positions that have gone unfilled.

But the people have spoken. Those who voted no did so far several reasons: they are opposed to any new taxes or fees in the current economic climate and they don’t see a need for more cops on the street. Some have written that the city should live within its means just like citizens do.

By law the city cannot run a budget deficit, unlike private households that can live on credit as long as it is available.

Those who cite the lack of a crime wave in Keizer for voting against Measure 24-324 don’t necessarily see the crime prevention work of the police. The police have to be vigilant about drug rings in our city. Police Chief Marc Adams has repeatedly stressed that Keizer is not an island; it is part of a metropolitan area of more than 300,000 people and it sits on Interstate 5, the main arterial between California and Canada.

Is it the responsibility of Keizer Police to investigate and break up drug rings? Absolutely. Rival drug gangs seeking supremacy can erupt into violence that puts the public at risk. Some individual drug users may resort to theft to support their habit. With thousands of pounds of drugs being shipped along I-5 each year Keizer is a way station. And we all want to make that as difficult for cartels as possible. The public doesn’t see the police raids on drug houses and there is little publicity about them, but they are effective.

The Keizer Police Department has as many officers on duty today as it did back in 1997. That seems to suit many citizens just fine. The result of the election means that money from the general fund will pay for 9-1-1 instead of police officers. That means that the police will not be able to respond to every call; violent crimes or life threatenng situations will have to take precedence over non-emergency calls such as reports of graffiti or a theft or even shoplifting.

In these tough budgetary times we have to make choices. Keizer will have fewer police officers than is optimal for a while. But we will still have an inbalance in our 9-1-1 revenues and expenditures. That is an unsustainable situation.

This issue will rise again and there will be opportunities to make it more palatable for voters.  A new fee on cellphones has been described as DOA by political insiders. Some want to see 9-1-1 fees attached to prepaid phone cards. There could be another effort to use the Keizer water and sewer bill as a vehicle to levy a public safety communications fee. But until the citizens are prepared to spend money on more cops all these options are not likely to happen anytime in the near future.

—LAZ

Dignity over fear in dying

By KEITH SECKEL, RN

As a nurse at Willamette Valley Hospice, I often hear patients and families say, “I wish we’d known about hospice sooner” and “We could not have done this without you.”

Despite the many benefits of utilizing hospice care in the last six months of life, many patients only use hospice services for a short time. In fact, half of the patients we serve come to us in the last 18 days of their life or less – some only hours before their death. The sooner someone receives hospice care, the sooner a patient and their family can benefit from the expert services at their side. A study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management even found that in certain illnesses, like congestive heart failure and some cancers, people that chose hospice care lived longer than those who did not. The hospice philosophy empowers patients and their families to live the final phase of life as they wish. Care encompasses far more than just the physical aspects of a person’s illness and is provided by a team of professionals, such as physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, spiritual counselors, and others. However, the most important members of the team are the patient and their family. Our focus is to optimize the patient’s comfort and help them maximize their quality of life.

One of the main reasons people don’t start hospice care sooner is fear: fear of death, fear of losing control, fear of medical costs, or simply fear of the unknown. Willamette Valley Hospice offers a wealth of information, expertise and experience, giving patients and families choices to make their own decisions. Anyone can call hospice themselves to see if they qualify, and most of the medications and equipment needed to treat the symptoms of a life-limiting illness are covered by insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, Willamette Valley Hospice provides expert care and support to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

Some people might wait to start hospice care because they see it as “giving up hope.” When facing a life-limiting illness, hope often shifts from long-term goals to the here-and-now. Along with this shift in focus, many people describe a renewed sense of appreciation of life and its simple pleasures. They may find joy in a sunset or the chance to listen to a favorite piece of music. As we learn to live with dying, we are given the opportunity to become more fully alive in the present moment. Facing a life-limiting illness is never easy, but it can be done with grace and dignity.

I have found that my hope for our community is that fear doesn’t keep us from living our final months with the comfort and dignity we all deserve, and that people find the courage to ask about hospice.

Keith Seckel, is a registered nurse and Clinical Manager at Willamette Valley Hospice.

Friends supporting Roland

To the Editor:

I have been a Keizer resident since I was a small girl. Take away the time at college, and the remainder of my years have been living in the fine city of Keizer.

We have the distinction of being proud of our community and it’s volunteers which is what makes Keizer, Keizer.

I was saddened and confused when I heard of the firing of one of Keizer’s finest.  Roland Herrera who has worked in the public works water department for 19 years was fired.  After reading of the allegations and what the reasons for termination were, I’m even more confused. These offenses appear to be ones that should have been handled with warnings, or other disciplinary actions. Termination seems too extreme.

Roland has always been an incredible asset to Keizer. You could find him on the weekends at McNary high, or during the week bridging the gap between groups.  During the floods in the 90’s Roland went above and beyond the call of duty helping us with the rescue of our dog.  He truly represents what Keizer “should” be about, and what I thought Keizer was about.

I’m hoping that the city leaders will reconsider this termination and right the wrong that was done in his firing. We need more people with Roland’s spirit.

Mary Gene Atwood
Keizer

Schrader: Health care mandate could save money

Rep. Kurt Schrader discussed the federal budget at a Keizer Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Congressman Kurt Schrader said this week everything from Medicare to defense spending were piling on the national deficit.

One program that won’t? The individual health care mandate passed by Congress and championed by President Barack Obama, the second-term Democrat told a Keizer Chamber of Commerce luncheon this week. A District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled this week in a 2-1 decision the plan to require most people to purchase or otherwise obtain health insurance was constitutional.

“There’s some misinformation about that,” Schrader said. “We can argue about the costs and how much it saves but at the end of the day we start providing quality healthcare … and we base reimbursement on outcomes instead of services rendered.”

Schrader was in town presenting what was billed as a nonpartisan analysis of federal revenue and spending. And some of the numbers he presented weren’t pretty:

• Of every federal dollar spent, 39 cents is borrowed.

• Medicare has almost double the enrollees than it did in 1975, reaching 47.4 million in 2010. That’s projected to go up to 88.2 million in 2040.

• At the same time, cost per enrollee continues to rise. Medicare per capita spending was at $1.985 per year in 1975, rising to $9,828 in 2010 and projected to reach more than $17,000 in 2040.

Schrader has big hopes for the congressional supercommittee, a 12-member group evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. That group has until November 23 to pass at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings; if it does not do so – and Congress can’t pass a proposal by December 23 – it triggers an across-the-board $1.2 trillion cut.

“It will be automatic across-the-board cuts to the defense department and all domestic programs,” Schrader said. “And that’s not a popular thing in Washington, D.C.”

More than that, he warned, it could affect the nation’s credit rating, which trickles down all the way to business and personal borrowing.

“If we want (our kids) to have the same opportunities we have it hinges on this committee to do the right thing,” Schrader said.

Why I voted yes

To the Editor:

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to vote yes or no on the 911 fee, so I did some checking. Maybe what I learned will help others, too.

The League of Oregon Cities did a survey in 2009. When they compared cities with populations similar to Keizer, they found an average of 1.35 police officers for every 1,000 people. Where is Keizer? 1.10 officers per 1,000 population. Among 17 cities similar in size to Keizer, only two had fewer police officers. Among all 123 cities surveyed (of varied sizes), Keizer was 11th from the bottom in police. In addition today we have three less police than when the survey was conducted.

If Keizer voters pass the dedicated 911 fee, our police will not need to use a large chunk of its budget to pay for 911 operators. Instead, they can use that money to hire more police officers.

A dedicated 911 fund to pay for 911 operators so the city can hire more police officers!, I’m not a big fan of tax increases, but this one small fee (less than $5 per month) I can support.

I’m voting yes on the local, dedicated 911 fund.

Rob Conahey
Keizer, Oregon

School cuts don’t include everything

To The Editor:

We read in the paper the school district is lacking in funds, so we have to cut jobs, supplies, and many other things.

I just learned that 66 percent of the lottery goes to education. That is a healthy sum. Recently, I read that Maps Credit Union had donated $50,000 to the schools. Because of the shortage of funds, or whatever reason, the elementary schools do not have textbooks. The teachers are given the subject to teach, then they have to fill in the material to be taught. The teacher goes online or to the library or wherever to find the material to be taught. It is sort of like repairing a car without tools.

The district has cut many areas in order to save money. At the same time, the district has hired coaches. These are teachers that go in to check on the classroom teachers. Some classrooms teachers have a Masters degree, others have decades of experience. My question is the paying of coaches’ wages. I thought we had cut jobs. And what about the principal? Isn’t the principal over the teachers? Why do we need coaches when we are cutting back on teachers’ jobs?

Are we getting the true picture? Some elementary schools have two or three paid coaches. This is a new position, and we talk about cutting back on funds? Give me a break.

Etheldra Tjernagel
Keizer

Manchurian Candidate

To the Editor:

Anyone having experienced Marxism has no doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is a Marxist with a Muslim influence. It is a fact that Marxism and radical Muslims want America annihilated. Therefore, they will join forces seeking destruction. Who would control, will be decided later. For now, let’s put together those two axioms and a third one will evolve: Barack would destroy this country. Folks, this is simple basic and pure logic. International Communism has been looking for years for a “Manchurian Candidate” They got one, Barack Hussein Obama.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian author and dissident after his exile in 1974 and during his first visit to England, talked about the West giving everything away. He said “I wouldn’t be surprise at the sudden and imminent fall of the West.” Many ignored his prophetic words. Almost 40 years later his prophecy became a reality. Freedom is becoming a thing of the past. However, this precious jewel won’t be missed until totally gone. Only we, the victims of Communism learned it the hard way. Marxists are master of deception. Lies are their ace in the hole. It is up to you to save America and our freedom. Time is running out.

Manny Martinez
Keizer

Lenford Isaacs

L. Isaacs

Lenford Isaacs, of Salem, died Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. He was 93.

Born March 14, 1918 in Shamrock, Texas, he served as a 1st sergeant in World War II after graduating from high school and beauty college, and landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day.

After a brief stay in Los Angeles, he and wife Gene moved to Salem. He worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad and later the state of Oregon as a commodity distributor for the school lunch program until his 1979 retirement.

Survivors include: his wife of 68 years, Gene; children, Philip, Sally and Gena; granddaughter, Priscilla (Kameron) Fender; and grandson, Judiah Schotthoefer.

Private interment will be at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, OR. Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.