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Month: March 2012

With ex-Celt on the mound, three strikes and you’re out

McNary High School graduate Chad Fahey has pitched two shutouts in recent weeks for Pacific University. (Photo by Jim Rowland)

Of the Keizertimes

If things keep going his way, former Celt Chad Fahey might become the stuff nightmares are made of in college baseball.

In recent weeks, Fahey pitched a pair of complete game shut-outs for the Pacific University Boxers. The first came in a March 11, 3-0 victory over George Fox in which Fahey allowed six hits and one walk while striking out six. That performance earned the transfer from Chemeketa Community College his first Northwest Conference (NWC) Pitcher Student-Athlete of the Week selection of the season.

He claimed his second shut-out, and a second NWC award with a 2-0 shut-out of Lewis & Clark. He allowed a stingy six hits and struck out 11 batters.

The 2008 McNary High School graduate credits the Boxer coaching staff with his progress on the mound.

“This year, we have new assistant coaches in Matt Dailey and Dan Wolf, and we’ve just been able to spend more time individually with coaches,” Fahey said.

Fahey is in his second year with the Boxers after transferring from Chemeketa upon completion of his sophomore year.

“It was a big step going into the NWAAC. The league is a really strong league and the game picked up pretty fast, but we had a coach who coached to that speed. It was a little easier than going somewhere else,” he said.

Fahey spent more time in the field than on the mound, but the transfer afforded him the opportunity to spend more time with the pitchers and he found a new level of success. He closed out his junior year and was named to the second team all-conference as a pitcher.

That isn’t to suggest Fahey has lost any of his skill at the plate. In addition to taking the steam out of opponent’s sticks, Fahey’s has ignited.  Playing as the Boxers’ starting left fielder in both ends of a doubleheader with Lewis & Clark, Fahey hit .714 with five hits, three runs and three runs batted in. He pounded out a .714 slugging percentage and a .750 on-base percentage. He leads the team with a .471 batting average with 16 hits in 34 at bats.

The team is currently tied for second in the Northwest Conference.

“We’ve developed as smarter hitters and better hitters when we have guys on,” Fahey said. “This year has been a real stride forward.”

The business major is in his last year of eligibility for college ball, but he’s mulling over the possibility of continuing his baseball career in the Canada Western Major League. If he accepts, chances are he’ll face or possibly play alongside another former Celtic, Jordan Keeker, who will play for the Saskatchewan Swift Current this summer.

“It’s every player’s dream to get looks,” Fahey said. “I would love to, that’s why you grow up playing baseball and work hard. I’m not worried about it right now, but it would be awesome.”

Fahey said he still draws upon the lessons learned while a member of the McNary squad.

“We always worked hard looking for the things we could do to get better. We’re weren’t sitting around waiting to be told what needed to happen,” he said. “I still have that mentality.”

Fahey will take the mound in Salem Sunday, April 1, at Willamette University at 1 p.m. Fans and friends can catch him in the field and at the plate during a double header with the Bearcats Saturday, March 31, beginning at noon.

Volunteer opportunity

Volunteers are needed for these City of Keizer committees:

• The Planning Commission assists the city council in land use decisions and recommendations regarding the city’s future growth, development and beautification. They meet at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.

• The Festival and Events Services Team is a new group that will research devleopment of venues, streamline policies and ordinances for potential events, develop an all-inclusive community calendar and a marketing plan.

• The Keizer Points of Interest committee identifies, authenticates and memorializes local sites of interest in the Keizer area. They meet at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

• Stormwater Advisory Committee – Reviews guidelines and makes recommendations on ordinances pertaining to illicit discharge detection and elimination, stormwater runoff control and stormwater management. Development or building experience preferred, but not required. Meetings scheduled when necessary.

• The Parks Advisory Board reviews and studies issues involving development and maintenance of city parks. It meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

You can apply by visiting, calling 503-390-3700 or writing a letter to City Recorder Tracy Davis. Applications are due April 9.

In this month’s newsletter: An off-color joke

This story has been corrected. For the full correction see below.

A joke disparaging several racial and ethnic minorities was included in a Keizer neighborhood newsletter.

More than 600 families call the exclusive McNary Estates home. The independent monthly newsletter serving it is mostly filled with the latest news about the golf course, new regulations, meeting minutes and photos from events held at the McNary Golf Club, along with the occasional joke or anecdote.

In the April edition, a story with no byline describes ethnic and racial minorities as gang members and abusers of government welfare programs, while comparing their work ethic disfavorably with that of white people.

The newsletter’s editor, Don Conat, said he “made a mistake on that one. Should have never put that in there.”

He said he was simply trying to fill holes in his newsletter, and frequently uses jokes from the Internet to do so.

One problem is, according to a leading website dedicated to bursting mythical bubbles, is that the anecdote is not true. According to, the story started getting around on the Internet in 2008, and similar versions of this tale have taken place in New Jersey and London.

Mayor Lore Christopher contributes a monthly column, and a fair amount of advertising appears in its pages.

“Terrible,” Christopher said. “You can’t be saying those things. Those folks are our neighbors and friends.”

– Jason Cox

Correction: The newsletter is produced via an independent non-profit and is separate from the McNary Estates Homeowners Association.

Rain finally makes way for games

McNary’s Kaleb Simpson dives for first base and beats a pick-off attempt by the Cardinals. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

The McNary High School varsity baseball team pulled off two close wins last week over McMinnville and Lincoln High School.

The Celts faced McMinnville on March 19 and won 3-2. The team rode to the win on the arm of pitcher Jon Stong who put in a complete game effort on the mound striking out six batters.

McNary was first on the scoreboard with a run in the first inning and McMinnville tied it up in the second 1-1. A two-run sixth inning put the Celtics over the top..

The Keizer team had a stronger start in 8-7 win over Lincoln High School Friday, March 23. A double by Chris Burger helped the team leap out to a 3-0 start in the first inning.

The Cardinals came from behind in the third inning to take the lead 4-3, but a three-run fourth inning and a two-run sixth gave McNary the win.

Stong went two for three at the plate while Travis Marks had three RBIs in addition to handling pitching duties in the first three innings. Ben Johnson, Conor Suing, Garren Robinett, Justin Schneider and Kaleb Simpson also shared duties on the mound. Suing was credited with the win.

The wins put the Celtics at 2-1 for the preseason with Central Valley Conference play starting Friday, April 6.

Lady Celt softball jumps out to 5-0 start

McNary freshman Megan Ulrey fires off a pitch during the early innings of the game with Lincoln High School. McNary won 8-7. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

The McNary High School varsity softball team was on a five-game winning streak this week after picking up three victories at the North Medford Spring Break Invitational.

After a week of rainouts, the Lady Celts beat Dalles Wahtonka High School 5-0 on March 19. McNary broke open the game with a three-run fourth inning and added a pair of runs in the sixth.

On Friday, March 23, the girls took down Lincoln High School 9-1 after another slow start. The Cardinals posted a single run in the first inning and the Celts broke loose on a nine-run tear in the sixth inning. Pitcher Jordyn Hanson sparked the team with a two-run single and was credited with the win in relief on the mound. Megan Ulrey and Kiana Villareal also shared duties on the mound.

At the invitational, which kicked off Monday, March 26, McNary dominated Roseburg High School 16-2 in the team’s first game and eked out an 8-7 win over Roseburg High School later in the day.

McNary also beat Southridge High School 12-11 on Tuesday, March 27, at the North Medford Invite.

What Keizer’s candidates should do

The nation is in the middle of the primary season to choose presidential nominees for the fall general election. Closer to home, here at the end of the first quarter of 2012, Keizerites will start thinking about our own election in November.

Three city council seats and the mayor’s post are up for election this year and we may actually have a contested election for the city’s top office. That would be good for Keizer and its voters. It is uncertain yet whether Mayor Lore Christopher will seek a seventh term, but candidates are getting ready to throw their hats in the ring.

As we’ve seen during Christopher’s tenure the mayor can use the office to be a cheerleader and booster for the city as well as set the tone for the city and use the bully pulpit of the job to steer debate and discussion.

The person sworn in as mayor in January, 2013, may have pet projects and visions for how to run the city, but they’ll find  the financial cupboard fairly bare. It’s going to be hard to push an agenda when there is little money to accomplish much.  The council and the city have done an admirable job of operating Keizer during tough economic times. The next few years will be just as rough for the city budget as the previous years. A dollar can stretch only so far. That should lead those running for mayor this year to think about the rationale for their campaigns and what they would do if they were elected.

We would like to see mayoral candidates pledge for more openness and transparency. In our view there are too many council executive sessions.

Executive sessions of the council are needed to discuss items that need to be kept private, such as personnel issues, labor issues and property negotiations.  The council has been holding executive sessions that do not fall under any of these categories. The council and city staff choose to enter executive sessions that can just as well be conducted in public.

Per state law, none of the public’s business can be conducted in private, and Keizer does not. Yet Keizerites should be confident that their councilors are only discussing agenda items that demand an executive session. All other discussions and debates need to place in the council chambers before the public.

Candidates seeking office as a city councilor or mayor this year should pledge during their respective campaigns that they support openness and transparency.  That alone would do much to engender trust and credibility that every public official wants.

Another issue that should be front and center during this year’s municipal elections is economic development. Candidates need to be pressured to say what they will do to jump start Keizer’s development that has flagged since Keizer Station opened. The mayor and the city council can’t affect the national or state economy but they certainly can put out the welcome mat to those who have the ability and desire to build in Keizer.

Government transparency and development are two issues that candidates can use to proof they are working for the betterment of Keizer.


Easter mysteries revealed


As a child, I couldn’t understand why Easter never fell at the same time of the year like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Squirrel Appreciation Day (Jan 21st, in case you want to store some nuts for next year).

On top of that, there was all the hype about eggs and rabbits. Rabbits! Was that why Easter hopped all over the spring calendar from year to year?

There’s an old story that also illustrates the mystery of Easter:

A Sunday School teacher asked her class if they knew the origins of Easter.

“It’s opening day for the Yankees and Giants,” said one boy.

“No,” said a girl, “It’s when we get nice new clothes and go find the eggs from the Easter Bunny.”

Added another boy, “No, you’re both wrong. After Jesus died on the cross, some of his friends buried him in a tomb they called a sepulcher. And three days later Jesus arose and opened the door of the tomb and stepped out.”

“Yes, yes,” said the teacher, “Go on, go on!”

“And if he sees his shadow,” added the boy, “we’ll have six more weeks of bad weather.”

Had I heard that tale as a child, it would have only added to my Easter confusion because I probably would have believed it. I was quite gullible.

I can still remember, one year, some kid telling me that during Lent —the period leading up to Easter —we were morally obliged to lend money to friends who asked for it. So when the kid asked, I lent.

But as I later learned, if you neglected to ask for your money back before Easter Sunday, you lost it.

I lost it.

My parents didn’t adequately answer all my Easter questions, either. They told me it fell on different days because it was “the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox.” To a 7-year old, I naturally thought they were pulling a fast one, in order to avoid buying any Easter goodies for me.

As for the rabbits, their association with Easter was a mystery because I thought they had no religious significance. After all, the bible makes no mention of rabbits being used for burnt offerings; there’s no reference to the Passover Bunny; and multitudes aren’t fed with five loaves and two hares.

But Easter became more understandable as I grew older. I learned that the Easter bunny pre-dates Christian times and was part of spring festivals held by ancient civilizations to honor pagan gods. And since rabbits were known for their prodigious reproduction, they were natural symbols of re-birth and new life.

The other bizarre Easter concept I wrestled with in my youth was the connection between rabbits and eggs. Rabbits don’t lay eggs, no matter how much you encourage them. Reptiles (and birds) do, but my idea of an Easter gecko was never greeted enthusiastically whenever I suggested it.

The rabbit-egg association is also an old one, dating back to Europe centuries ago. It seems German children believed that a magical, generous rabbit laid eggs in the grass, and that these were free for the taking.

Along these lines, some Americans have adopted and expanded this idea as a way of life. They now fervently believe in a benevolent government that has the responsibility to provide all sorts of freebies, such as contraception, for anyone claiming to deserve them.

But this isn’t a mystery or necessarily bad. Humans just shouldn’t breed like rabbits.

Nick Thomas is a freelance writer whose columns appear in over 150 magazines and newspapers.

Clear Lake & Marion County Fire District

To the Editor:

I am a resident of the Clear Lake area that was the subject of the recent vote requesting annexation into the Keizer Fire District.  I have been a proud resident of the city Keizer for more than 30 years and was amazed to find out that my area was not in and protected by the Keizer Fire District.  I have been a staunch supporter of Keizer Fire District throughout this process and was greatly saddened by the outcome of the March 13 voting.

Last December the board of directors of Marion County Fire District 1 (MCFD) voted not to renew the current 16 cent per $1,000 of assessed value levy.  At that time, and during the campaign, we were told that no increases would be necessary.  One day after the vote, the board of MCFD voted to not only keep the 16 cent levy, but to ask for an increase to 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.  Either this board of directors does not have a true understanding of their budget, or they misled the people of Clear Lake and Keizer during the campaign.

The president of the MCFD board, Randy Franke, was quoted as saying “I had no idea that if we won we would still be at risk of losing ambulance service.”  If this statement is true then it sounds like they have an extremely short range plan for their board.  It sounds more like political doublespeak and someone trying to explain away there campaign that was built on half truths.  Clear Lake residents were told that the ambulance currently at the Clear Lake station 6 would continue to be there to serve the Clear Lake citizens on a 24/7 basis.  Now it appears that the ambulance service is in jeopardy unless the 29 cent levy should pass.  Broken promises?  Certainly makes a person think twice in light of what was promised during the campaign.

This entire 29 cent levy appears to be what was in the hearts and minds of MCFD from the beginning.  Asking us to believe that this was a last minute revelation stretches believability to the breaking point.

The entire annexation campaign by MCFD appears to have been built on the use of smoke and mirrors to confuse the voters of Clear Lake.  This is typical of a lot of politicians who choose to put their wishes and desires above what is the best for the people.  Marion County Fire and their board of directors have a huge ugly stain on there credibility and believability from this.  It appears that they won the election on half-truths and misinformation to the voters of the Clear Lake area.

Calvin Ekstrand

Surprised by MCFD bond levy try

I am a homeowner in the Clear Lake area. I voted to support our city and withdraw from Marion County Fire District #1. We needed to support our city first.

I am surprised by the outcome of our vote especially within our neighborhood. Now Marion County Fire wants to raise the amount we pay to them—just days after the vote? Stupid.

How much insurance do we need to protect our houses from fire? Has anyone looked at their property tax statement line item by line item? Are others just appalled as I am?

Today, my husband lost his unemployment insurance and I am the only employed person. We have three very little children. I wonder if Marion County Fire cares about that. We pay a huge amount of property tax just to live in our neighborhood and I’d bet that the Marion County Fire District taxes we pay is used to cover the more needy areas of Marion County. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.

The only reason we are in this neighborhood is because we have been very responsible with our spending. If our government entities and districts keep asking for “just a small bit of change” it totals hundreds of dollars to us. Our property taxes go up and our property value goes down. I don’t know how that is mathematically possible. Listen up money requesters: tighten your belts (budgets) up for crying out loud. Deep breaths. Head shaking, no. Please stop asking for more of our money. We can’t take it—our backs are breaking!

Michele Tesdale

Apology for joke in Newsletter

To the Editor:

I am editor of the McNary Estates Newsletter and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the residents of McNary Estates and Keizer for a mistake I made in publishing a joke article in the April edition of the Newsletter.

I include several jokes at the last minute from the Internet to fill in blank spaces in pages to complete the April edition before a rush press time. I inserted the “What the Fire Chief Said” and this was very inappropriate material to place into the newsletter.  This was very careless and stupid to do and I am very sorry that I didn’t realize it at the time.

McNary Estates Newsletter is a non-profit operation and one person, myself, has run the operation for the past 21 years. If we probably would have had a proof reader, this wouldn’t have happened.  But it did happen and I am sorry for causing the McNary Estates Board of Directors and residents embarrassment for the article.

Don Conat