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Day: July 6, 2012

Rolling thunder returns to Salem-Keizer next week

Participants in last year’s Good Vibrations Rally line up their rides for showing. This year, the rally will be headquartered at Salem’s Riverfront Park, but the city of Keizer is a title sponsor. (File Photo)

Music, Motorcycles, Malt & Merlot will be the theme of the third annual Good Vibrations Motorcycle Rally July 13-15  in Salem and Keizer.

The event features live entertainment, great music, festival food and vendors selling all things motorcycle.  The event is free for the public. Motorcycle participants pay a fee.

Good Vibrations, presented by the city of Keizer and Salem Harley-Davidson and produced by Roadshows, Inc., and based at Riverfront Park in Salem and traveling to a variety of venues in and around the Willamette Valley.

“At a motorcycle rally, the whole atmosphere feels as though it’s electrically charged,” said Roadshows President Randy Burke. “It’s a combination of the power of the bikes, the artwork on them and the pride of their owners.”

Salem’s Riverfront Park will serve as the event headquarters. The park will host ride-in shows and bike competitions, vendor booths and non-stop entertainment from the likes of T-Bone Stone, Ted Vaughn Blues Band and Woodburn Rocks Band.

Everything from helmets, leathers and boots to all types of accessories will be available at the site. It will be open Friday through Sunday.

Some of the finest bikes in the West are expected for the three days of biker fun July 13-15,

“We get spectacular bikes at our events,” said Burke. “Our participants love their motorcycles. They’re proud of them and they like to put them on display. They know other riders can truly appreciate the aftermarket details they’ve added to their bike.”

New events this year include:

Registered participants “staging their bikes” at the Marion County Fair on Sat., July 14 and have it on display while they enjoy the classic rock group, Blue Oyster Cult live, in concert.

On Friday and Sunday, participants can enjoy the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at the Woodburn Drag Strip.

Activities for Sunday include a “blessing of the bikes” and motorcycle and classic car parade from Keizer Civic Center to Riverfront Park. A collector’s classic car show will be on display from noon to 5 p.m. The final Ride-In Show Competition for motorcycles is set for 3 p.m.

Participants can register for the event for a $50 fee that includes: a VIP party with food, beverages and live entertainment, two VIP breakfasts, poker runs through the wine country, an official Good Vibrations T-shirt and a ride pin.

Classic Car Participants can register for one day for $25 and receive a VIP Badge, a dash plaque, Show ‘n Shine Car judging, a parade entry and live music.  A 3-day Classic Car Participant registration fee of $50 adds an Official T-shirt, a VIP party with live entertainment, two VIP breakfasts and participation in a poker run.

Registration can be completed online at

Urban renewal agency adjusts budget in wake of revenue dept. denial


Of the Keizertimes

Conflicting information from bond attorneys and the Marion County Tax Assessors office yielded a special meeting of the Keizer Urban Renewal Agency Friday, June 29.

The agency, comprised of the Keizer City Council who were all in attendance, met to clean up budget paperwork submitted to state officials in early June after extending the life of the city’s Urban Renewal District.

Because of the change, prompted by the need to make debt service payments due to shortfalls from one developer’s default in the Keizer Station local improvement district, the city reduced the amount of taxes it collected from that of previous years. Other local agencies had to agree to this change because their  revenues would fall short of expectations by agreeing to the extension. The city has agreed to pay back the revenue collected to the other agencies within the next ten years.

City staff, led by Susan Gahlsdorf, the city’s finance director, asked Marion County officials how to fill out the resulting tax forms correctly and were given copies of a tax form from an agency with a similar predicament and suggested following that lead.

“At the same time, I was talking to our bond attorney who suggested completing the form in a different way,” Gahlsdorf told the members of the agency.

Part of the difficulty was determining the value of the property to be assessed, she said.

“The (Keizer Urban Renewal) Agency gets that information from the county, and the county does not know the value of the property until late September,” Gahlsdorf said.

City staff determined how much money the city needed to collect and put that number on the tax form with a footnote, suggested by the bond attorney, regarding the estimated land value.

The Oregon Department of Revenue rejected the form on June 21, claiming that the numbers that needed to be filed were not the amount of taxes to be collected, but the assessed value of the property  on which it was collected.

The Keizer Urban Renewal Agency unanimously approved the change, which will now be forwarded to the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Volcanoes can’t avoid sweep by AquaSox

Volcano Chuckie Jones pops a fly ball to left field during a game with the Eugene Emeralds last week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

For the Keizertimes

It took the strongest club in the Northwest League 11 innings, but the Everett AquaSox beat Salem-Keizer 4-2 Saturday at Volcanoes Stadium to sweep the three-game series.

Everett scored the first run of the game in the third inning, the Volcanoes went ahead by one in the fifth, and the AquaSox tied the score in the sixth. Errors hurt Salem-Keizer, but two bright spots were the starting pitching of Joe Biagini and the overall play of Ryan Jones.

Biagini picked off the only Everett baserunner in the first inning and struck out all three men he faced in the second. With one out in the third, he walked Michael Faulkner, who stole second base and went to third when Ketel Marte grounded out. Chris Taylor hit an infield single, driving in Faulkner, and a throwing error by shortstop Matt Duffy sent Taylor to second. The next batter flew out.

Jones, who had six fielding plays at second base and half of the Volcanoes’ six hits, was involved in all three outs in the top of the fourth, catching two pop flies and throwing the last batter out.

He doubled to left field to start the bottom of the fifth and went to third when a throwing error by third baseman Patrick Kivlehan put Sam Eberle on second. A sacrifice bunt by Kentrell Hill scored Jones and moved Eberle to third. Brennan Metzger was hit by a pitch from starting pitcher Jose Valdivia. Duffy was retired on a line drive that second baseman Marte barely snared with a dive to his right. Chuckie Jones singled to left, driving in Eberle.

With one out in the top of the sixth and Jamodrick McGruder on second base with a double, Chris Johnson came in to relieve Biagini. An error by new third baseman Stephen Branca put Taylor Ard on first. Johnson struck out Alfredo Morales. Duffy then made an error that allowed McGruder to score.

Valdivia hit Andrew Cain with a pitch to start the Volcanoes sixth, and Brandon Plotz took the mound. Plotz retired the next two batters, but Cain stole second. Eberle walked, but Hill popped out to end the threat.

In the bottom of the seventh and both halves of the eighth, the batters were retired in order. Ian Gardeck came in to pitch the ninth for the Volcanoes and gave up a single but struck out the next three AquaSox players.

Ryan Jones singled to lead off the Volcanoes ninth, with Dominic Leone pitching for Everett, and Eberle moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Michael Mergenthaler, pinch hitting for Hill, was intentionally walked. Metzger then grounded into a double play, forcing extra innings.

Mergenthaler stayed in the game as the left fielder, with Metzger moving to Hill’s spot in center. Gardeck retired the side in order with two strikeouts.

The Volcanoes went down 1-2-3 in the 10th. McGruder walked to lead off the 11th and scored on a double by Ard. After one out, Kivlehan singled Ard home and stole second and third. Gardeck struck out the next two men.

Ryan Jones singled with two out in the Volcanoe’s 11th, but Eberle struck out to end the game.

Leone was the winning pitcher and Gardeck the loser.

Manager Tom Trebelhorn of the Volcanoes, although he praised Biagini’s pitching, said the club had done a better job overall the previous night, when there were no Salem-Keizer errors.

Ryan Jones, asked about the quick improvement in his play after a few games with errors, said, “I finally stopped dropping.”

Biagini, who had been sent down from Augusta, the full-season class A club in the San Francisco Giants’ organization, was asked what he had been working on to knock down his earned run averages.

“Earlier in the year,” he said, I was having a couple of mechanical problems that were adjusted by the coaches.”

The attendance was 1,895.

EVE 00100100002    4  7  1
S-K 00102000000     2  6  3

W – Leone, 2-0
L – Gardeck, 1-1

Salem-Keizer struggles with Emeralds, Sox


For the Keizertimes


Wednesday, June 27:

Eugene 8, Volcanoes 4

The visiting Emeralds left with a sweep of their Salem-Keizer hosts.  A six-run sixth inning was all they needed, but they added two runs in the ninth.

The Volcanoes scored their first run in the first. Matt Duffy singled, went to third base on a double by Rafael Rodriguez and scored when Andrew Cain hit into a force out.

In the Eugene sixth, the Emeralds got half of their 12 hits of the game, two of them triples. Starting and losing pitcher Raymundo Montero was replaced by Franklin Noel after the first run of the inning and was responsible for two baserunners who soon scored.

In the Volcanoes seventh, Dashenko Ricardo doubled and scored on a single by Kentrell Hill, who then reached second on an error. Brennan Metzger was hit by a pitch, and Matt Duffy walked, loading the bases. Joe Rapp singled Hill and Metzger home.

Mark Picca was the winning pitcher in relief.


Thursday, June 28:

Everett 6, Volcanoes 4

The Volcanoes’ losing streak reached five in the first game of a home series with the AquaSox.

Joe Rapp got half of Salem-Keizer’s eight hits, including a two-run homer in the third inning, but his teammates struggled. The Volcanoes scored the first two runs of the game in the first and answered Everett’s two runs in the third with two in the same inning but failed to score after that.

Everett scored once in the fourth, on a solo home run by Alfredo Morales, and added two runs in the sixth and one in the eighth.

The AquaSox’ starting pitcher, Dylan Unsworth, was the winner, and Matthew Vedo had a save. Joe Kurrasch, the first of four Volcanoes relief pitchers, was the loser.


Friday, June 29:

Everett 7, Volcanoes 5

The AquaSox bombarded Salem-Keizer starter Mario Rodriguez for all seven of their runs, four in the first inning, two in the second and one in the fourth. The biggest of their 13 hits was a two-run homer by Patrick Kivlehan in the fourth.

Joe Rapp hit his second home run in two days for the Volcanoes, a solo shot, in their three-run second inning. The remaining Volcanoes runs came in the sixth, when Stephen Yarrow doubled, Dashenko Ricardo drove him in with a triple, and Jean Delgado scored Ricardo by grounding out.

Everett starter Ambioris Hidalgo was the winning pitcher. Oliver Garcia got his fourth save. Mason McVay relieved Rodriguez in the fifth inning, and Keith Bilodeau took the mound in the seventh.


Sunday, July 1:

Volcanoes 5, Vancouver 1

A losing streak ended at seven as the Volcanoes started a six-game series in Vancouver with a decisive victory.

Salem-Keizer led all the way. In the first inning, Matt Duffy singled, stole second base and scored on an error. With two out in the second, Stephen Branca walked, reached second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Dashenko Ricardo.

The remaining three Volcanoes runs came in the third. Brennan Metzger singled, Duffy doubled and Joe Rapp reached first on a force attempt as an error scored Metzger. Michael Mergenthaler grounded out, driving in Duffy. Rafael Rodriguez singled Rapp home.

The Canadians scored their run in the fifth. Dan Klein walked and scored on a double by Ian Parmley.

Starter Joan Gregorio was the winning pitcher. Vancouver starter Eric Brown was the loser.


Monday, July 2:

Volcanoes 2, Vancouver 1

The Volcanoes made it two straight over the Canadians in a game that was scoreless through five innings.

Raymundo Montero, the starting pitcher, got his first win of the season and Keith Bilodeau his second save. Nicholas Purdy was the losing pitcher in relief.

The first Salem-Keizer run came from a solo homer by Chuckie Jones in the sixth inning. Jones scored the Volcanoes’ other run in the eighth after walking, moving to second base when a pitch hit Joe Rapp and reaching third on an error. Andrew Cain singled him home.

Cain had three hits, Jones and Sam Eberle two each.

This means WAR!

Union and Confederate troops battled in Willamette Mission Park over the weekend, part of the Northwest Civil War Council’s annual July 4 tradition. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

The Northwest Civil War Council helds its annual Reenactment at Willamette Mission State Park last weekend.

Who won the battle? It depended when you went. The two sides split the four skirmishes.

Both Union and Confederate camps were populated by hundreds of Civil War enthusiasts. There was everything from chapels to mercantiles to weavers and bakers.

Booming cannons sent smoke billowing across the battlefield. The sound of pipes and drums filtered through the trees and rang across the battlefield.

The Civil War reenactment is held every Independence Day holiday at the state park just north of Keizer.

The Council holds five reenactments each year in the northwest.

For more photos of the event, please see our photo gallery.

Registration open for MHS sports camps

A soccer camper hustles through drills during the 2011 Celtic camp. (KEIZERTIMES/File Photo)

McNary High School is hosting a throng of sports camps this summer and sign-up sheets are available at the high school.

Cross Country: Cross country athletes will travel to Cape Lookout for their summer camp Aug. 6-10.

The camp is an opportunity for runners in grades nine through 12 to train and have fun in preparation for the upcoming season, build teamwork and give new athletes a chance to get to know their teammates and coaches. The primary focus is to teach training fundamentals and give each individual athlete the tools they need to become successful.

Cost is $50 and includes transportation.

Soccer: The Celtic soccer program is welcoming players of all ages to participate in camps throughout August.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will meet Aug. 6-9 from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Grades seven through 12 will meet Aug. 13-16 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The primary focus is to develop and utilize basic soccer and ball handling skills in a relaxed camp atmosphere. The camp is a major fundraiser for the McNary soccer program and helps to build a community bond.

Cost is $40.

Volleyball: The Celtic Volleyball program will host its camps Aug. 13-15.

Advanced players in grades nine through 12 will meet from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $50. Intermediate-level players will meet from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Cost is $40. Both camps include a T-shirt.

Camp training focuses on: hitting techniques and approaches; setting techniques and types; offensive plays and strategies; serving and passing; libero training; stance footwork and positioning; blocking and digging; serve receive; hitter coverage; and diving techniques.

For more information about any of the camps, call 503-399-3233.

Take a political vacation

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and Arizona’s immigration laws and the nominations for the presidential race are settled, it’s time to take a breath and enjoy our summer. Let’s put politics on the back burner until September.

We can cheer on American athletes at the upcoming London Olympic Games. We can watch for interesting and bizarre Japanese tsunami debris at the beach. We can go camping, fishing, hiking and road tripping.

Let the politicians inside the Beltway swelter under a stifling heat wave.  Let the television and radio pundits continue to harp and blovicate politicisms. We should just all relax this summer. The nation’s problems will be there in the fall; we all need to take some time to enjoy our vacations. This is a good time to step back, take a breath and think about what we want from our government leaders.

These days American politics is all id. We react to political news with a jerk of the knee; we only want to hear what enforces our own beliefs. American politics can certainly use a little ego to temper our worst impulses. Politics is the art of compromise, an art that is sorely missing regarding the big issues of the day.

One of Oregon’s most cherished politicians was Republican Mark Hatfield, who served as governor for eight years and spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate. In his later Senate years he began an endangered species: a moderate Republican.  Today’s moderate Senators are choosing to leave that body rather than endure the unending paralysis brought about by intractable, no-compromise behavior. The Senate (and the House) has lost and will continue to lose members who could be working to break the logjam on Capitol Hill.

The notion of “let’s agree to disagree” seems quaint these days.Those making laws for the rest of us could well remember that extremism is no virtue; and moderation is no vice.

The current toxic political atmosphere brought about by Administration policies and a take-no-prisoners attitude in Congress is long past the point of getting out of hand.

Let’s take the summer off from politics, enjoy what we have and come back to it in the fall, hopefully with a renewed sense of working together for what is best for the people of the country.


Summer of education reform


This summer it’s “out with the old, in with the new”; best wishes to former State School Superintendent Susan Castillo and good luck to the governor’s new education czar, Rudy Crew. That’s not exactly my best poetry but it’s helpful in illustrating that significant education reform is underway in Oregon.

In addition to a changing of the guard and other restructuring as to who’s in charge of education programs in Oregon, there’s a mixed bag of new policies that will both inspire and disappoint.

There are discussions underway about consolidating or eliminating some of the many education boards we have at the state level. However, at the same time, there’s a push to allow each of the public universities to set up their own boards.

The legislature took some important steps I’ve advocated for a number of years including reducing the number of state mandates on schools, and providing parents with more choices for their students to transfer to another district or try online classes.

Also approved was the new Early Learning Council; a major consolidation and centralization of programs aimed at better preparing young children for learning when they start school. I prefer local governance, so I’m concerned about this particular strategy.   However, the biggest overall change we’ll see is in how we govern schools.

The legislature approved making the governor the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. He is now also Chairman of the new Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB). This is where the new education czar steps in. He was hired to guide the board and the governor. The OEIB is directed to look at our education system as a whole from pre-school through college; now referred to as “P-20” as opposed to the familiar term “K-12” referring to kindergarten through twelfth grade.

One task the OEIB has taken on is making schools set targets for student performance such as reading scores and graduation rates. Although these so-called “achievement compacts” look good on paper, many people notice a lack of accountability; there are no carrots or sticks to enforce or encourage success. Regardless, the governor hopes these compacts will convince the federal government to let Oregon off the hook as far as complying with the No Child Left Behind Act.

Many argue that doing it the “Oregon Way” is better than being bossed around by the federal government. I agree that local control is better and am therefore worried about having centralized decision-making through the new state board.

Another concern is repeating mistakes of the past. We don’t need another failed experiment like the Certificates of Initial (CIM) and Advanced Mastery (CAM) which were also brought to us in part by Governor Kitzhaber when he was Oregon Senate President in the 1990s. I worked hard to get rid of CIM and CAM when I first came into office because they did not improve student achievement, imposed additional bureaucracy on schools, and cost taxpayers a ton of money to implement.

Let’s hope the OEIB doesn’t become yet another top down government agency taking power away from local school boards, teachers and parents.  Though I didn’t support its creation, I will give the board the benefit of the doubt for a couple of reasons. They have reached out to local folks for feedback, as well as shown an interest in tackling the rising cost of employee health and retirement benefits which eat up a large chunk of school budgets.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Having served on the legislature’s education and budget committees it’s clear we need to rethink our education system in Oregon. I’ve drafted new laws to reduce the dropout rate and enhance our ability to audit school spending to ensure as much of our limited school funding as possible is getting to the classrooms.

As a parent and soon-to-be grandparent, I’m not thrilled with all the changes, but I’m optimistic about some of the latest risk-taking efforts to help with student success. Obviously we can’t keep the status quo and expect better results for our kids, so I embrace working toward giving young Oregonians the best possible chances in life.

Kim Thatcher, Republican, represents the 25th district in the state House of Representatives. She can be reached at her Capitol office via phone, 503-986-1425 or email [email protected]

Supreme politics


You have to hand it to the chief justice. He saved the health care bill and with it, perhaps, the Supreme Court’s reputation as something other than the third branch of a government that is hopelessly divided along party lines.

And he did it in a way that sticks it to the administration by calling it a tax and allowing Mitt Romney (when he’s not defending the similar “tax” he passed in Massachusetts) to attack President Obama as another tax-and-spend liberal.

Had the case gone the other way, the court would’ve found itself squarely in the middle of a presidential campaign because of a decision that would’ve been deemed pure partisan politics. The idea of striking down what many view (for better or worse) as the signal accomplishment of the president in the middle of a campaign, with the five Republican appointees outvoting the four Democratic appointees, brings back memories of Bush v. Gore, a low point for the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts’ vote might’ve been more political than those cast by the other eight, but if it was (as I suspect), it was also better politics for the court.

Thanks to the chief justice, the Supreme Court’s role in the health care debate is over. The justices go off for their summer break having left health care reform exactly where it should be: in the hands of voters, legislators and especially this administration, as a political issue and not a constitutional one.

Now it’s up to Obama to do his own politics as well as the chief justice has.

Listening to the president’s speech reacting to the decision, what struck me most is how badly this administration has done on their part of the politics of health care. It was one of the first times I’ve heard the president carefully, succinctly and convincingly explain everything that is good about the bill.

“Obamacare” has taken on a life of its own as a symbol of big government and bureaucracy that is almost totally divorced from the much-needed and popular reforms that are at the heart of the bill. The president and his team did an amazing job in getting the act through Congress after decades of Democrats trying and failing. The solicitor general’s office managed to succeed, with a huge assist from the chief justice, in saving the act.

Now it’s up to the president to sell it.

It’s an old joke in politics that when your numbers are really bad, you don’t tell the candidate that no one likes him. You tell him he has a communications problem. When it comes to health care, Obama, the great communicator, has a major communications problem. For real.

Polls show that Americans in fact want health care reform. Plenty of us know what it’s like to try to buy insurance for an individual, especially for those who have had some illness along the way. Some years ago, I tried to buy insurance for my nanny/housekeeper/dear friend. She got rejected by almost everyone because she was 50 years old and had gastritis. Gastritis? Thankfully, Kaiser said yes, and years later, when she did face serious illness, she got great care.

I don’t know how many times she has said to me that having insurance saved her life. I know too many stories of terrible things happening to people who waited weeks for tests at county hospitals to have any doubt that she is right.

One thing the people attacking the mandate never mention is that you can’t have coverage for pre-existing conditions if you don’t have a mandate. Another thing they don’t mention is that many of our kids would be uninsured if they couldn’t stay on their parents’ policies. They also stay away from the prescription benefits for seniors, or well-baby care, or required coverage of mammograms. No, they just go on about government pushing its way into our lives and then, as the applause and cheering mount, pledge to repeal Obamacare.

It’s not their job to point out what’s right about the bill, how it will help almost everybody in significant ways. That’s the president’s job. You know he would have done it if the court had gone the other way. He was ready to tell us about everything we were losing. Now, he just needs to spend that energy and vigor telling us about everything we have — and will gain.

Creators Syndicate