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Day: May 11, 2012

Teen smashes relative’s truck into cement wall

This wall on Lockhaven Drive took a beating thanks to a 16-year-old smashing his grandfather’s truck into it. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Of the Keizertimes

A 16-year-old boy drove his grandfather’s truck into a cement wall on Lockhaven Drive after drinking several beers early Saturday, May 5, police said.

Police said the boy was driving the 1998 Ford F-250 westbound on Lockhaven Drive N. when he started weaving back and forth on the street, lost control and crashed into the wall at Wildwood Court N. Both the truck and wall section were completely destroyed. The wreck was reported at 4:10 a.m. Police said he was driving the truck unlawfully without his grandfather’s permission.

Three and a half hours later the driver was found hiding in a recycling bin in the 5800 block of Shoreline Lane N. by a Marion County Sheriff’s K-9 team. He admitted to drinking “seven or eight beers” police said.

He was transported to Salem Hospital but suffered only minor injuries. He was subsequently lodged at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, reckless driving, reckless endangering, felony failure to perform duties of a driver and burglary.

A 15-year-old male passenger got a bloody nose from the truck’s airbag, police said. He was located about three blocks from the crash and was cited for minor in possession of alcohol by consumption, having admitted to drinking “two and a half beers,” and violation of curfew.

Celts fall as Saxons clinch CVC title

Lady Celt Dani Saunders takes a cut during McNary’s game with South Salem High School Monday, May 7. McNary lost the match-up 10-0 allowing the Saxons to clinch the Central Valley Conference title for the 2012 season. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity softball team lost its shot at first place in the Central Valley Conference last week and stumbled Monday in a game that saw their opponents, South Salem High School, clinch it for the 2012 season.

Things started out rough for the Celts Monday, May 7, and didn’t get much better as game ended in a 10-0 loss.

“They took it to us in every facet. We had four errors we had on. They had 13 hits and we had three. We struck out 10 times and they struck out once,” said Jeff Auvinen, McNary head coach.

The Celts committed an error that allowed the Saxons their lead-off hitter to put their first run on the board and two more unearned runs put McNary behind 3-0.

A base hit by Paige Bouska got the team going, Olivia Yarbrough advanced her to third and a Hailey Decker walk loaded the bases with no outs. An infield grounder brought up a forced out as Bouska tried to make it home and strikeouts – the first of seven in the top three innings – ended the inning.

“We kind of shut them down for four innings, but it’s hard to compete when you’re not putting the ball into play at all.”

South earned three runs on two homers in the sixth inning and four unearned runs gave the Saxons the final score.

McNary went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring positions.

The Celts had hoped to take a firmer grip on second place with a make-up game against West Salem high School last week, but the Titans escaped with a 4-2 win.

Three unearned runs in the third inning did little to help the McNary cause, and a two-run homer by Jordyn Hanson closed the gap, but the Celts never gained the traction they needed to overcome the deficit.

With only two games remaining in CVC play, McNary was tied for second place alongside West Salem.

The Celts will avoid a play-in game for a state playoff berth, but Auvinen doesn’t plan on letting the team rest. A Monday, May 14, match-up with Central Catholic High School is already on tap, but he’s hoping more opponents will opt-in for games.

“We need to be doing everything better right now,” Auvinen said. “A lot of the teams are hesitant to play, but I want to play as much as possible.”

Celts test pedal mettle at car contest

McNary High School seniors Trent Hari and Edgar Jimenez will compete in the 2012 Ford AAA Student Auto Skills competition this weekend in Gresham. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Of the Keizertimes

Two McNary High School seniors are putting their hard-won automotive knowledge to the test this weekend at the 2012 Ford AAA Student Auto Skills competition in Gresham.

Edgar Jimenez and Trent Hari were practicing this week on a 2012 Ford Fusion lent to the school’s auto shop program. Their test will be to correctly find and fix intentionally-installed bugs on that same vehicle.

“You want to be the first to finish with no bugs – done and fixed right,” Hari said. In other words, haste makes waste in this race.

They qualified through a computer exam, where they were asked to solve the kind of scenarios an auto mechanic hears every day, like a rattling at 40 miles per hour, or the car feels misaligned.

This test is hands-on. Problems they might encounter include non-working light bulbs, a powered mirror that’s not so powerful or a misfiring cylinder.

Hari, has been taking Michael Melting’s auto classes to be able to fix his own vehicles. He’s been taking apart motors since he was a kid. His father used to fix vending machines, and he’d bring home motors for young Trent to play with. He’d add a battery and use them to power cars, and became fascinated with how they worked.

Jimenez is pursuing a career in mechanical engineering, so the class seemed a natural fit.

“I took an interest in machines and the way they work,” Jimenez said.

The auto shop at McNary looks like any other repair garage, with cars hoisted on lifts, tools everywhere and engines in various states of repair. But the desks and overhead projector in the corner remind you there’s learning to do, too.

Jimenez and Hari appreciate how Melting explains the science of how cars work: How electrons flow, the chemistry of combustion and how hydrocarbons break down when lit with a spark.

It’s also led to a home hobby for Jimenez. He owns two cars, one of which – a 1993 Honda del Sol – he completely rebuilt. He assembled an engine using parts from three other ones, upgraded the brakes and rebuilt the suspension.

“I wanted to see if I was capable of actually (rebuilding from) the shell of a car – it was junk,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez intends to study mechanical engineering next year at Oregon State University. Hari is attending Chemeketa Community College and is undecided on his plans. Both will do so with scholarships.

Winners of the state auto skills contest win scholarships and prizes along with a chance to represent Oregon at the national competition in Dearborn, Mich.

Tennis teams head to district meet

Lady Celt Delaney Engle returns a volley during a match earlier this season. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School girls varsity tennis team wrapped up its regular season with a loss and win. The team was prepping for district competition this week.

Head Coach Mark Kohley had high hopes for two of the Celts doubles teams and singles player Sandy Childress, a freshman.

“Delany Engle and Allison McGregor and Jenny and Allie Labrousse have the potential to win against just about any team in the league if they get on a run, but it will be exciting to see if they get the chance to face the league’s top teams again,” Kohley said. “Regardless, they’ll have the chance to win two or three matches.”

Childress faced one of the league’s top talents in West Salem’s Amy Lin last week for the first time and Kohley is hoping for a rematch at some point in the district tournament.

“Every time Sandy’s played someone twice, she’s gotten better. She got got three games off of Amy, which is more than most players do,” he said.

Childress lost the match in scores of 6-1 and 6-2 and McNary took an overall loss of 5-3 in the contest.

McNary had to shuffle its line-up in singles competition due to illness which helped the Titans sweep singles play, but Lexi Price and Taslima Sidhu took a number of points off their opponents. Price lost in two sets of 6-4 while Sidhu battled to scores of 7-6 and 6-2.

The Celts fared better in doubles competition with the Labrousse twins winning in sets of 6-3, 0-6 and 6-2; Jill Jungwirth and Kate Janssen winning in consecutive 6-1 sets; and Megan Thompson and Mackenzie Melendy picking up a win in sets of 6-2 and 6-3.

“[Mackenzie] and I communicated a lot and that’s something we’ve been working on,” Thompson said.

The Celts trounced McKay High School 8-0 in their final contest of Central Valley Conference play Wednesday, May 2.

Childress won in consecutive 6-0 sets; Katie Stignei won in sets of 6-2 and 6-1; Price won in 6-1 sets; McGregor and Engle won in 6-1 sets; the twins won in sets of 6-3 and 6-0; Jungwirth and Janssen blanked their opponents 6-0 and 6-0; and Sidhu and Rachel Morrow won in sets of 6-1 and 6-0.

As far as district competition was concerned, Thompson said focus would be key for the Celts.

“We have to get in the mindset of playing the point and don’t underestimate our opponents,” she said.

Boys Tennis

The Celtic boys varsity tennis team reversed the outcomes in their matches with the Titans and Royal Scots.

Trevor Braun was the only McNary player to notch a win in the McKay match. He beat the Royal Scots’ Jorge Garibay in sets of 6-0 and 6-4.

Jacob Cordie battled his way to a 7-5 first set loss to Duc Nguyen, and lost the second set 6-1. In doubles, Colton Baker and Joaquin Bell-Uribe duked it out in a 7-6 first set loss and faltered 6-0 in the second set.

In the match with West Salem, McNary swept singles competition and lost only one match in doubles for a 7-1 victory.

In singles: Braun won in sets of 6-0 and 6-3; Aaron Wenning won in sets of 6-4 and 6-0; Cordie won in sets of 6-2 and 6-1; and Ross Morrow won in sets of 6-2 and 6-1.

In doubles: Baker and Bell-Uribe won in sets of 6-4, 5-7 and 7-6; Blake Swearingen and D.J. Hatfield won in sets of 6-1 and 6-3; and Caleb Legg and Zach Staley won by forfeit.

Vote no on Measure 24-330

To the Editor:

I am writing to ask all residents of Marion County, especially in Keizer, to vote against measure 24-330 to increase the Marion County Fire District #1 (MCFD) levy to $.29 per $1,000 of value from the current $.16 per thousand of value.

During the issue of annexation of the Clear Lake neighborhood into Keizer Fire District, we were told by MCFD that the current $.16 per thousand would not need to be increased to maintain current levels of service.  The day after the annexation vote, MCFD “discovered” (how convenient) that they needed another $.13 to maintain the current level of service.  The entire annexation campaign by MCFD was built on the use of smoke and mirrors to confuse the voters of Clear Lake and this campaign to increase the levy appears to be using the same scare tactics.  All citizens of Marion County are being asked to do more with less and I feel that MCFD can still cut some of the fat from the current budget.  MCFD also neglects the fact that Keizer Fire District also responds into Marion County and receives no funds from them.

It is time that we as citizens put our foot down and tell these people that we have had enough.

Calvin Ekstrand

Level of service

To the Editor:

How often do we think about the level of service? What is the level of service we expect and how do we measure it?

Here are some of the things that irritate me because of a lack of service. I hate to call a public or private entity and then go through a litany of options and then having to wait to speak to a living person. I don’t like to hear “the next agent will be with you in less than 10 minutes.”

This does not make me feel better when I hear “Your call is important,” when in reality your time is unimportant!

Or how about when they say “we appreciate your business” when they really mean we appreciate your money! I strongly dislike waiting in long lines at a cash register and not having knowledgeable people available to provide services or answers.

How often do we have long waits at the doctors’ office after having an appointment? What does an appointment mean? What kind of service do we receive from local government? Do we have code enforcement within the city without someone first complaining? Keizer is lucky to have rapid response for emergency services but without adequate funding this service will diminish.

Reading the newspapers we find government having to close public offices because of furlough days and closing of fire stations, libraries and post offices: The trouble is older folks know what service they used to have while the younger people don’t know nor expect anything better than the lack of service they receive today. I assume all service will be worse in the future.

Bill Quinn

Thanks to community and businesses

To the Editor:

The McNary Graduation Party Committee sincerely thanks the very generous people of Keizer who helped us raise money this past Saturday by purchasing Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

We appreciate the following businesses for letting us sell from their locations: Dutch Bros., Bank of the Cascades, Sherwin Williams, Town & Country Lanes and Java Crew. Raising funds to hold a drug and alcohol free graduation party is important and necessary for our community and we are so grateful for the many parents and students who gave their time and effort to help with this fund raiser. Thank you Cary Schneider, Susan Marks, Gail Young, Wally Wing, and Celt seniors: Edgar, Desiree, Kate, Averi, Deven, Tiffany, Dalton, Justin and Braulio.

Margot Wing

What I know that you don’t

Class Dismissed
by Susanne Stefani 

I’m often asked to write recommendation letters for students applying to college or for scholarships.  Some of the colleges request three words to describe the student.  While I often oblige with what I can assume are typical responses—bright, motivated, disciplined, compassionate—I recently chose a new descriptor: brave.

Knowing that his family would disown him, this student renounced a religion that had fit him poorly for years.  He also shattered any remaining hopes of theirs by coming out as gay, a conversation that had been eighteen years in the making.  He tore his life apart in order to reach for one he hoped would make him happier.  When he graduates next month, he’ll walk across the stage with a smaller cheering section but a louder, prouder sense of self.

In the weeks after writing his letter, I’ve been thinking about the acts of bravery our students demonstrate daily.  I sometimes feel sorry for people who aren’t high school teachers.  (I sometimes feel sorry for myself, too, but that’s for another column.)  Since having my baby, I’ve heard several of the typical remarks warning me about his eventual adolescence.  I offer a perfunctory laugh, but what I know that they usually don’t is how students like the one above fill our hallways at McNary High School.  How nearly every one of my students has admirable qualities that I would feel fortunate to discover in my son … or in myself.

Students tell me about losing their loves—girlfriends, brothers, fathers—who disappear through suicide, messy divorce, war wounds, illness, and sometimes, selfishness.  They leave behind kids that, like the rest of us, are ill-prepared to deal with such blows, but like the rest of us, they slog through.  Some immerse themselves in schoolwork because the pain at home is too intense, while others strike the opposite balance, crumbling in the back of class as their lives leak in and interrupt whatever they’re working on.

But they write me letters, they hand me their journals, they read their writing aloud before dozens of peers.  They reveal themselves, and whether it’s to ask for help or to remind us that everyone’s battling a demon or two or seven, their willingness to expose the soot in their souls is, in my opinion, an act of bravery.

Some teens go further.  I have a student who feels as though he must fill his father’s void in his sisters’ lives.  He reads to them at night and sings them to sleep and then worries that perhaps he’s overstepping his role.  He’s one of our finest drama students, but I suspect his acting isn’t limited to the stage.

A former student, a sophomore, is pregnant; she claims she’s excited.  Another thinks he has brain cancer; he tells me he’s doing alright.  One student cleans up blood each day when she gets home but earns A’s in her classes; her transcript says she’s okay.

They arrive with their lives hanging over them like those ominous rain clouds that follow cartoon characters.  Yet still, they take risks in class, they stand up for each other, they pour themselves wholly into whatever they deem sacred, and as trite as it sounds, they truly inspire me.  Sure, there are those that don’t handle life as well.  Those who make foolish decisions and mess up opportunities.  But we’ve all done that, and it takes courage to climb out of those potholes.

I can assure all who expect the worst from teens that I see the best of many of them every day, and it often has nothing to do with classroom performance.  They bravely traverse their individual journeys with a grace and wisdom that many of us who pretend to know better could learn from.

Susanne Stefani is a writer and a creative writing teacher at McNary High School.

John Edwards: jerk or criminal?


If this were a reality show and the question for the participants to decide was whether John Edwards was the most narcissistic man on the planet, the biggest liar, the worst husband and father, a self-absorbed egomaniac who betrayed the trust of his family, his staff and his supporters and was willing to risk his party’s chance at the presidency in service of his own outsized ambition, then no question.

Throw the mud pies. Put the crown of thorns on his head.

But a felon for violating campaign finance laws?

Is there really so little federal crime in North Carolina that this is the best prosecutors can do with their time?

Edwards is the former presidential and vice-presidential candidate who, while his wife was in remission from cancer, took up with a “videographer” who apparently had trouble keeping the camera focused but was hired anyway and traveled with him on the private plane and then got pregnant after he had promised his wife that the affair was over. So with his wife dying of a recurrence of cancer, Edwards decided that the best course was to stay in the race, lie to his wife, have his aide claim paternity, and let two of his richest and most loyal supporters come up with the cash to hide the videographer and her baby, along with the putative father and his wife and kids.

Edwards’ victims—and there were plenty—were not Rachel (Bunny) Mellon and the late Fred Baron, whose funds he allegedly misused in violation of the federal laws governing campaign contributions. They knew what they were doing.

The prosecution’s theory is that because the law limits individual contributions to $3,200, if Edwards received six-figure contributions from Mellon and Baron to support his campaign, then he was violating campaign finance laws. On the other hand, if, as the defense claims, what he was doing was using their money to hide the affair and pregnancy so his wife wouldn’t find out, he wasn’t violating campaign finance laws since these weren’t campaign expenditures.

The prosecution claims Edwards knew all about the hush money that financed the cover-up. The defense says it was all the work of his former top aide, the guy who stood by his boss by publicly claiming paternity and then used some of the money to take his own wife and kids to Disneyland and build a fancy pool in his yard.

So far, we’ve had the former aide who was a true believer before he became a sleaze bucket (although certainly not as big of a sleaze bucket as his former boss), his wife, who was tough as nails on the stand, and an endless back and forth about whether the money was meant to help the campaign or to keep Elizabeth Edwards in the dark, and whether the aide and his wife with their new pool were no better than Edwards (anyone is better than Edwards).

Then you’ve got the former staffers, young people who thought they were signing on with a guy who wanted to cast a spotlight on the “two Americas” and the lingering disgrace of poverty in America—but not involve them, directly or indirectly, in his own disgrace.

And of course, sitting next to her father (when she isn’t tearing up and leaving the courtroom as she did during the testimony about Elizabeth baring her chest and confronting her husband in an airport hangar during a campaign stop) is John and Elizabeth’s 30-year-old daughter Cate, who has carried herself through this with the kind of grace and dignity that suggests she takes more after her mother than her father.

I don’t feel sorry for John Edwards, not for a minute. But in a time when rich donors can spend unlimited amounts influencing the outcome of campaigns, turning the money Mellon and Baron contributed toward the Edwards cover-up into a federal case under the argument that it was really a “campaign donation” is hard to grasp.

Creators Syndicate