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Month: November 2011

What is in a title?


I just finished listening to the audio version of  Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, the founder of Apple Computers.  The biography was filled with name dropping: Microsoft and Bill and Melinda Gates, Xerox, Disney and Michael Eisner. The list was extensive and it appeared that the biography alluded that, Steve Jobs worked with successful people and well respected businesses that supported and backed the high tech revolution.

I read an article this week involving the Salem Courthouse Square and the white collar titles of those involved in the poor design, building  and structural integrity of the building. County commissioner,  facilities builder, and mayor are titles that speak volumes with power and influence. No one questioned the process or checked the details of those involved because they were in trusted positions.

I notice the importance we place on name recognition in career positions and titles. Our society has  high standards and we tend to give high recognition to president, CEO, doctor, and  attorney. When someone  says “I am hiring an attorney,” our eyes bug out.  I see the  same response when I hear ” I am going to see a doctor,” we assume the worst.  I like to keep connected on LinkedIn (a business networking web site) and read the career titles and  job descriptions under the names. Again, creative rhetoric gives new meaning to what is deserved and what we read into the actual academia and meaningful accomplishments. There was a time when the names of  Schering, Merck, and Pfizer  were associated with high quality pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical representative was a highly respected profession.  Today, the names are either gone or stand for Big Pharma and have a negative connotation. Almost looked upon as bad as a politician.

Schools also like to get involved in this name game. You are no longer a teacher when working in a college or university setting.  Professors, department chairs, and coaches become role models. We are in awe of these titles we have given them and the power they yield. Penn State in the news this past week is a good example.

Where did title recognition come from? I believe in my case it was rooted in my parents and grandparents. I look to those who gather in the houses of worship and hold the leaders in high esteem. We have been taught those who have studied  theology are to be held to a higher standard in our eyes.

Senators, Congressman and legislators  are voted into our state capitals and into Washington, D.C. If we have a deep-seated concern, we are told to contact our Senator or Congressman.  Unfortunately, these lawmakers can only introduce a bill or take a stand on an existing bill up for a vote.  Our expectations of the them exceeds their authority. Sports figures or athletes also gain our  attention and respect greater than they often deserve.  We are in awe of their athletic ability, and hold them up as role models. I never understood why.   When we score good seats to a sporting event we talk about it for years. I wonder what the athletes think?

This is not intended to be critical of  well earned or deserved titles. Just a reminder to give yourself equal credit for your own accomplishments. Some of the titles as noted could be inflated egos.

Allen Prell lives in Keizer.

For Supercommittee, failure was an option


A few months ago, Washington’s big bad wolf was Republicans’ refusal to compromise by supporting any deficit reduction plan that included tax increases. Republicans were unreasonable, editorial pages fulminated, obstructionist and standing in the way of meaningful reform.

On Monday, the supercommittee admitted it had failed to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit over 10 years. Citizens Against Government Waste spokeswoman Leslie K. Paige called it “the unpardonable turkey.” At least this turkey cannot be laid on the GOP’s doorstep.

Last week, a Republican on the supercommittee did try to compromise. As Politico reported, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., offered a 10-year, $1.5 trillion debt reduction plan that would raise about $500 billion in new revenue while cutting spending by $750 billion.

Toomey is about the last Republican you would expect to support an increase in taxes. When the freshman senator was president of the Club for Growth, the organization was a champion of supply-side economics and thought Republicans who were willing to compromise on taxes were a scourge. Toomey’s very placement on the 12-member bipartisan supercommittee reinforced the Beltway view that Republicans would not try to cut a deal.

Toomey comes from the school that contends that Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Democrats advocate raising tax rates on the rich to address the deficit; Republicans believe that such increases could topple the shaky U.S. economy. The middle-ground position holds that flatter federal taxes — with lower rates but fewer deductions — could yield more revenue and spark economic growth.

“If I were king, I wouldn’t do it this way,” Toomey told Politico. “I’d do it differently, but I’m not king.”

But Democrats didn’t bite. They have been content to watch the cookie crumble — as long as they can complain that Republicans should have agreed to raise not just taxes on the rich but also their tax rates.

Here’s an about-face. The right laments the lack of a deal. Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement: “It is disappointing that the supercommittee was unable to achieve pro-growth tax reform and meaningful spending cuts. By avoiding doing the responsible thing now, Congress is embracing devastating consequences later.”

But some Republicans are gleeful. Even before the supercommittee announced that it had failed, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said failure would be “good for America.”

Nonsense. The supercommittee’s failure is bad for America. It sends the message that Washington wants to put off all reform until after the 2012 elections.

Or later, much later.

With no package, a trigger mechanism will cut $1.2 trillion from spending, half from the military. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the new cuts, on top of $350 billion in previous cuts, will “totally hollow out the force.”

Congress might find a way to undermine the trigger cuts, but that simply would put off the inevitable reform of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

It’s like continuing to charge things on your credit card when you barely can meet the minimum payments. The later the fix the deeper the bite.

(Creators Syndicate)

First Citizen deserves better

To the Editor:

I’ve known Roland Herrera for some 20 years and there is nobody that I know of that represents Keizer and volunteerism better than he does. I’ve seen him help others for no other reason than it was the right thing to do.

No one is perfect and neither is Roland, but  I have to believe that after listening to the report of the incident he was fired for, I would have to say that maybe someone had an agenda for Roland.  Keizer’s First Citizen deserves better than this.

Tom Hess

John Lee Gunter

Keizer:  John Lee Gunter passed away on November 14, 2011 at the age of 86.  John was born in Phoenix, Arizona on August 1, 1925, to Joe Lee Gunter and Willie Elizabeth Ray Gunter.  When he was a year old the family moved to Fort Stockton, Texas, where he grew up.  His passion was being a cowboy and throughout his life he still thought of himself as a cowboy.  He loved going to rodeos.  John honorably served in the U. S. Navy right out of high school.  He was a 2nd Class Petty Officer during World War II.   After serving his country he went to work for the Oregon State Highway Department (now ODOT).  He worked in several capacities, i.e. laborer, surveyor, highway maintenance and then became a District Highway Maintenance Engineer.  His districts included Coquille, Grants Pass, Roseburg, Klamath Falls, Corvallis and Salem.  He excelled in his 43 years with the department.  He worked with many different people and made friends with most of them. John retired in 1986 and immediately went to work for Albina Fuel out of Portland.  Retired from there at the age of 83 (2008).  He took great pride in his work.  It was important to do the best job he knew how.

John was a member of the Episcopal Church and served as a Jr./Sr. Warden in Roseburg.  John was a life time member of the Elks Club and also was a Rotarian in Klamath Falls.

John married Zola Beatrice Miller in 1944, and was divorced in 1984.  His children include John Lee Gunter, Jr, (wife, Randi) Canby; Jeffrey David Gunter, (wife Win), Silverton, Lael Emily Gunter Cooksley (husband Darrell), Redmond.  He has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In 1996, John married Shirley (Erickson) Calahan.  He is survived by his loving wife Shirley, step-son Jeffery Erickson, and four step-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister.  His family was his continual pride and joy.

A celebration of life/Memorial will be held Saturday, December 3, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. in Cone Chapel at Willamette University, 900 State Street, Salem, Oregon.  A reception will follow at Keizer Civic Center 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer, Oregon.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice or to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.  Arrangements by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service. On line guest book at

Daniel R. Klopp

SALEM – Dan was 49 years old when he lost his battle to pancreatic cancer.  He died Nov. 14, 2011.  He was born October 31, 1962 in Salem, Oregon to Donald G. Klopp and Alice A. Roberson.  He was raised and went to school in Dallas, Oregon and graduated from Dallas high school in 1980.

He met his wife Trisha L. Berg in 1982 and married her on March 5, 1983.  They have resided in Keizer, Oregon with their two children for the past 17 years.  Dan worked at Fleetwood Homes of Oregon/Cavco for more than 25 years.  He loved spending time with his family, going to Disneyland as often as possible, playing/watching golf/football and cheering on the OSU Beavers.   Dan was very involved and committed to his home church, Salem Evangelical.  He participated in many adult and children programs.  Dan was a man of God and it was evident in how he lived his life.

Dan is preceded in death by his dad.  He is survived by his wife of 28 years, son Kory (wife Ashley), daughter Rachel (husband Ryan Rudishauser), grandson Conner James Rudishauser, his mom Alice A. Roberson, brother Duane (wife Kim), his sister Diana (husband Mel Kerp), sister Deborah Klopp and many nieces, nephew and in-laws.

A memorial service is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 21 at 1:00 p.m. at Salem Evangelical Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to Mid-Valley Youth for Christ/Juvenile Justice Ministries.

Arrangements by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

Veterans reunited at McNary event

Vietnam veterans Melvin McKinnon and William Pyle reconnected at McNary High School’s Living History Day. The two had not seen each other since 1969. (Photo by Eleeziaa Howard)

Special to the Keizertimes

Forty-two years ago two young men were fighting for their country in the jungles of Vietnam. On Nov. 9 these two men met once again at McNary High School during the school’s Veteran’s Day celebration.

Living History Day at McNary honors the armed forces veterans. The veterans are honored at an assembly and visit classes and tell their story.

Melvin McKinnon came to McNary on Living History Day to share his experiences in the Vietnam War. He brought along a photograph of his unit. Another veteran in attendance, William Pyle, noticed a familiar face in the photograph: his own.

The two had not seen each other since 1969, and had no idea they were living nearby.

“We met in 1969 when he was helping us pull out of a mission, we were in a deep firefight, Mel came in and helped us out,” said Pyle.

William Pyle was in the U.S Army located in south-east Asia. Pyle went through a lot of training to enter the war.

“I had basic training, Airborne training, Ranger training, and Q course,” Pyle said.

Pyle was not a very big person back then. “When we were parachuting, the weight of the chute was about 80 pounds, the gear I had to carry was 50 pounds, and I weighed only 130 pounds. It took several men to help me onto the plane because the gear alone weighed just as much as I did,” Pyle said.

Pyle carried out 142 jumps while in the Army; he also went on 87 highly classified missions. “Within an hour and 15 minutes of landing in Vietnam, I was already in a firefight. We got there and they immediately sent us into helicopters and flew us into a fight, it was horrible and gruesome,” Pyle said. During his time in the Army William Pyle was awarded 15 medals for his efforts.

“I was able to see two sides of the war in Vietnam, I was in the Military Police for a while, and then I had to go back to war inside the bush,” said McKinnon who was a Marine in the Vietnam War.

“We were called out into a mission that was successful, and we made the landing. The Lord was with us that night, we would have never been here, and that was a gutsy move for us,” McKinnon said.

On this mission there were approximately 150 North Vietnamese troops, and there were only 12 American troops. The men that Pyle was with were heavily outnumbered.

“We took them on for about eight hours, and we had to call in helicopters and they didn’t have any available, so they sent in Mel’s group, and helped us get out,” Pyle said.

“The American fighting man is very, very efficient. They had the advantage that we couldn’t attack them until they attacked us, it was a waiting game,” McKinnon said.

“In 1969, that was the last we saw each other, and seeing him again was the coolest part of the day,” Pyle said.

Throughout the war the two were unable to keep in touch with each other. “We didn’t know where each other were,” Pyle said.

“I did however one day see a little boy who made an M-16 out of wire; the little boy did not make a Vietnamese weapon, but a United States weapon, that’s how I knew we were loved by the people there,” McKinnon said.

“When I got back from Vietnam, I never looked back, there was too much sadness, I just got myself into the friendship, and I took a friendship program and got on with my life,” McKinnon said. McKinnon went on to raise a family and live on a farm in Oregon.

The organizer of the event, teacher and student activities adviser Mr. Jason Heimerdinger, had no idea the two men had known each other before Living History Day. He was astounded at the reunion, he said.

Tyler Kehret is a McNary senior and editor-in-chief of The McNary Piper. Eleeziaa Howard is a McNary senior and editor of The Claymore.

Gators to be a force behind Elks food drive

(KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald) David Whetzel’s class at Gubser Elementary School is heading up a food drive in support of the Keizer Elks annual food basket program.

Of the Keizertimes

Gubser Elementary School teacher David Whetzel believes in the school’s giving spirit so strongly that he’s willing to put his hair on the line.

If the school meets it’s holiday food drive goal of 2,800 pounds, Whetzel and fellow Gubser teacher David Baumer have agreed to have their heads shaved.

Whetzel’s blended class of third and fourth graders is heading up the drive to collect food for the Keizer Elks annual food basket program. The organization collects food and other items for donation to local families and military families in need.

“I think the food drive is about Thanksgiving. It’s coming up and those people can’t afford [food],” said Gator Parker Ostrom.

“It’s to give food for people who can’t afford it and for people who are less fortunate,” added Ryder Chistensen.

The food drive began Monday, Nov. 14 and will continue through Dec. 9, said Nico Maldonado.

In addition to the overall goals, the class with the most items donated in Gubser’s C-Pod will get to choose one of the instructors to receive a pie in the puss. The other classes with the most items donated will get to choose who shaves Whetzel’s and Baumer’s heads. Each class is also tracking its intake on graph paper outside their rooms, which allows teachers to incorporate some math lessons into the fun.

While the food drive is meant as a way to promote student involvement, it’s also become a tribute to Whetzel’s father, a longtime member of the Elks who passed away last March.

“This is another way of honoring his memory and continuing that legacy,” Whetzel said.

Lady Celt bowling roster overflows

McNary High School girls bowling team captain LeAnne Miller prepares to roll a strike. She is backed up by teammates Tori Pike, Hope Placencio, Zoey Nelson, KayLynn Hatfield, Alexandria Kurovsky, Vanessa Garza, Kymmery Marsh, Ashley Mayne and Aura Andrade. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

While some may consider them “just a club,” the McNary High School girl’s bowling team has a rep to protect.

“We want to show people that we’re returning and we’re strong. Some people hate on us because we’re known, but it’s because we’re good,” said returning junior Vanessa Garza.

Last year, the team gained entry to the state tournament as a wild card and eked out a fifth place finish.

“We had some conflicts last year, but I think we have a stronger team and we can take the state title this year,” said junior LeAnne Miller.

The team had just enough members to participate in tournaments last year, but a 10-Celt turnout has its ranks overflowing this year.

“With that few we didn’t have anybody to rotate in or out. This year, a lot of people will get more time to play and we won’t get tired,” Miller said.

Coach Kathy Kaplan was elated to have so many enthusiastic participants turn out for practices this season, “It’s going to be a building year and a learning team, but it’s great to have so many brand new girls interested in bowling.”

The team competes in baker style bowling in which team members roll one ball and, if any pins are left standing, it’s up to a teammate to clean up the lane. Teams can play to their strengths as individual bowlers because they can rely on each other when they’re not rolling strikes on every ball.

“It’s about the team and it really depends on the mood of everyone and we feed off each other’s moods,” Miller said. “I would rather no one get down on themselves because of one bad ball because there’s others to recover you.”

While the tournaments have yet to start, senior Ashley Mayne was eager to see the team leave it all on the lane. “I’m excited to see how far we go and and to get everybody involved in the tournaments,” Mayne said.

Garza and Miller said the team still had lots of room for growth and that picking up spares will be a key to success.

“We need to be able to finish a frame well and not just have one good ball that each person can throw,” Garza said.

Bowling, after all, isn’t as easy as it looks, said Mayne, “You have to know your marks, bend your knees, set your feet and follow through.”

Obsession built new exhibit

John Hoppe mounts a ladder on top of a fire truck. The current exhibit at the Keizer Heritage Museum features Legos depicting fire service. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Of the Keizertimes

As a young boy growing up in the Keizer area, nothing said Christmas to John Hoppe like a new box of Legos.

Now the 1991 McNary High alum is showing off a lifetime’s worth of custom-made Lego-built fire trucks, tanks and other apparatuses at the Keizer Heritage Museum.

He estimates he’s spent “easily $10,000” on a collection of Legos he estimates at anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 pieces.

“I think I remember getting my first set when I was, like, 3,” Hoppe said about his almost-obsession. It was a helicopter, made back before the Dutch company started making miniature people to go in their vehicles.

Hoppe describes himself as a hands-on kind of guy. He makes his living in a transmission shop, plays drums, coaches youth baseball and manages Keizer Little League’s equipment.

So it makes sense, then, that he’s not one to pick up a set of plans from a Lego box and follow them through to the end. In fact, it’s that flexibility that has made Legos so appealing, even as an adult.

“Legos are a little more interactive,” Hoppe said. “It was a lot different than just a model kit where you glue it together, that’s it, you’re done. I could build something and keep it together, or take it apart and build something else.”

That’s how he came up with his collection that’s showing now at the museum.

“They’re designed to look as realistic as you can get with Legos,” Hoppe said. (He attributes his fascination with fire trucks to the 1970s TV hit “Emergency!”)

But even stock parts sometimes aren’t enough to get what he wants.

“To make a certain tool I’ll take a battle axe, for example, out of the castle sets,” Hoppe said. “You can pare it down, and it looks like a pike pole off a fire truck. You can take the little hunting rifles, cut the rear stock off of it and modify the grip, and it looks like a forcible entry tool.”

Legos have become more than simply a toy – they’ve inspired books, movies, TV shows, board games and clothing. There’s five Legoland theme parks around the world. Lego stores at the nation’s largest shopping and entertainment attractions have massive dinosaurs, skyscrapers and more built entirely out of Lego bricks. A consulting service called Lego Serious Play uses playtime to teach communication and team building.

That means there’s an enthusiastic online community for selling the toys, which makes it possible for ambitious Lego architects like Hoppe to build custom pieces like fire trucks. He gets many of his pieces individually, as opposed to buying sets for a certain purpose, like a spaceship or castle.

“And if I need a whole bunch of plates or bricks, you can order them straight from Lego,” Hoppe said.

One reason he custom-builds is that, perhaps in an effort to remain accessible in the age of instant gratification, Lego kits have gotten easier to assemble.

That’s just not as fun, he said.

“When I was a kid and you bought a fire station, a spaceship or something of that nature you were looking at, easily, 300 to 800 pieces,” he said. “Now a lot of things are modular and easy to put together, and for me it kind takes some of the fun out of it.”

Getting Legos as gifts, however, has not lost its luster.

“I still get as giddy as I did when I was a kid and got Legos,” he said.

His two sons – 15-year-old Alex and 11-year-old Gabriel – have both taken on the hobby to an extent. Alex is almost as addicted as Dad, while Gabriel’s more focused on baseball.

He lives in north Salem.

Freshman team honors standouts

The McNary High School freshman football team closed its season with an awards and recognition banquet Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Coach Ted Anagnos began by recapping the season applauding the boys for their persistence after starting 0-3 in non-league games to rally to a 4-1 second place finish in the Central Valley Conference. “I was real proud of these coaches and players for working hard and not letting up after the Barlow game,” he said.

The goal of the program, Anagnos said, is “not only trying to make good football players, but we are trying to make better citizens. We ask kids to be prompt for practice every day, work hard for the betterment of the team, and stick together. We want them to work hard to become taxpayers, not tax collectors.”

The banquet then moved to the awards ceremony. Anagnos stressed that the freshman level awards are not passed out to only the best players.

The first two awards were voted on by team members. Anthony Bugado received recognition as the most inspirational player and Jordan Cagle was voted most improved.

Bugado was always seen and heard encouraging his teammates, even in the toughest times, Anagnos said. Cagle moved from being a third and fourth stringer to starting every game after week four.

Each coach then presented their coach’s award.

Offensive Coodinator Justin Barchus awarded David Gonzales for working hard and coming to practice every day after an early season suspension to become a leading player at receiver and cornerback.

Offensive Line Coach Jared Van Cleave presented Cody Harrison his award for playing consistently week in and week out thru sickness and injuries at offensive tackle.

Defensive Line Coach Todd Scott recognized offensive/defensive lineman Juan Marquez for his hard work in practice everyday. “He has a great smile, excellent work ethic and loves the game,” Scott said.

Defensive Coordinator Tony Vredenburg praised Tyler Clemens for his relentless and hard play on every down. “Clemens started at linebacker and played running back. He rarely took a play off,” Vredenburg said.

Anagnos then awarded Connor Goff, Cole Thomas and Cagle his coach’s awards. Thomas was fourth stringer, but worked hard in practice every day. “When he did get to play against North Salem he played so well he earned playing time the rest of the season at reciever and defensive back,” Anagnos said.

Cagle wouldn’t quit and went from fourth stringer to starter on both sides of the ball, Anagnos said. “After being one of our leading tacklers at nose guard and a reliable blocker center, he played nearly every down the rest of the season,” he added.

Goff packed his lunch and came to work every day, Anagnos said. “Despite being a leading tackler at linebacker on defense and the leading scorer as the running back on offense, Connor always put the team ahead of his personal accomplishments. He is an exceptional leader.”