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Month: August 2012

Volcanoes get 2-1 win in 13 innings

Volcano Rafael Rodriguez pops a fly ball to the infield during the game Tuesday, Aug. 28. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

For the Keizertimes

Aug. 22: Volcanoes 3, Spokane 0

Salem-Keizer followed its first shutout win of the season with its second, blanking Spokane in the first game of its series there.

Volcano starter Joe Biagini allowed five hits but no walks and struck out eight in his six innings. Tyler Mizenko, closing for his second straight night, got his 11th save.

The Volcanoes had only four hits to the Indians’ five, but two of those hits provided insurance runs in the ninth inning. Joe Rapp singled, and Mac Williamson hit a two-run homer.

In the fifth, Rafael Rodriguez reached first base on an error, stole second, went to third on another error and scored on a double by Chuckie Jones.

Aug. 23: Spokane 3, Volcanoes 0

The host Indians reversed the score of the previous night’s game, getting their runs on four hits and holding Salem-Keizer to two.

It was a game full of strikeouts. Starting and winning pitcher Jose Valdespina had 10 in his six innings, and Cameron Lamb, who started and lost for the Volcanoes, had five in his five innings. He allowed two of Spokane’s runs, but neither was earned.

The biggest blow was a first-inning triple by Patrick Cantwell, who drove in Gabriel Roa. Ryan Rua singled Cantwell home.

The Volcanoes had the bases loaded with two out in the third, but Valdespina struck out Mitch Delfino.

Aug. 24: Volcanoes 2, Spokane 1 (13 innings)

A game that featured bases on balls and excellent fielding plays ended with the Volcanoes on top after four extra innings.

Spokane outhit Salem-Keizer 12-5, but the Volcanoes got their hits at the right times after Connor Sadzeck, the Indians’ starting pitcher, left with a no-hitter going after six innings.

Andrew Cain scored the winning run as Kentrell Hill walked with the bases loaded.

Matthew Graham was the winning pitcher in relief, and Tyler Mizenko had his 12th save.

Aug. 25: Volcanoes 5, Spokane 2

Chris Johnson started on the mound for Salem-Keizer and struck out six in his six innings, giving up both Spokane runs, only one earned.

Salem-Keizer started the second inning trailing 2-0 and tied the score. The Volcanoes scored three more times while Johnson and relievers Randall Ziegler and Stephen Johnson allowed no Indian to reach third base and only one to reach second.

Stephen Branca led the offense, hitting a single and a double in four times at bat, driving in two runs and scoring one. Playing shortstop, he also started a double play.

Chris Johnson ran his record to 2-3, and Stephen Johnson got his second save. Abel De Los Santos was the losing pitcher in relief.

Aug. 26: Spokane 10, Volcanoes 4

Each club had nine hits, but Spokane had six extra-base hits to one for Salem-Keizer.

Two of the Indians’ hits were home runs, by Joey Gallo in the second inning and Joe Maloney in the sixth. Spokane’s big inning was the fifth, with five runs.

Mac Williamson and Stephen Yarrow had two hits each for the Volcanoes. Chuckie Jones scored two runs, and Ryan Jones drove in two.

John Kukuruda, Spokane’s starter, was the winning pitcher. Starter Joan Gregorio took the loss.

The Volcanoes had Monday off.

Phyllis Diller’s last laugh


The grand lady of comedy, Phyllis Diller, passed away in August at age 95. Can’t you just see her, strutting through the Pearly Gates in a pink, knee-length dress, encrusted with blinding sequins, matching silver gloves and boots, flashing her trademark wild, electrified hairdo?

One might expect St. Peter to be accustomed to welcoming all sorts, but even he might be taken aback when the Madonna of the Geritol set, as she loved to be called, comes knocking armed with the familiar Diller cackle, “They’re lettin’ anyone in here nowadays. Ha Ha Ha Haaaa Ha.”

With her trademark on-stage, rapid-fire delivery, Diller was famous for launching into a string of one-liners without batting an artificial eyelash, poking fun at celebrities, her mythical family, and of course, herself.

I interviewed Phyllis twice, once for our local public radio station, and also for the San Francisco Chronicle in 2006 several years after she mothballed her collection of electrifying fright wigs and flashy show dresses, and retired from performing after 47 years of stand-up comedy.

“I loved doing the shows, but physically it was getting harder for me,” Diller, who was around 90 at the time, told me. “A one hour show is just the tip of the iceberg. All the traveling, rehearsals, and media sessions became more tiring.”

Diller’s final stand-up performance in 2002 was preserved by filmmaker Gregg Barson. His entertaining documentary film, “Goodnight, we love you: the life and legend of Phyllis Diller” weaved clips from the show and backstage footage into a compelling story about Diller’s extraordinary life and career. I thoroughly recommend it for fans of classic comedy.

Phyllis Diller began performing in 1955, when stand-up comedy was dominated by men.  Despite having no professional show biz experience, her family and friends encouraged the witty, 37-year-old housewife and mother of five to try her routine at San Francisco’s Purple Onion nightclub.

“I was shaking all over and sweated so much, I made a puddle on the stage,” Diller said of her first 17-minute act.

The housewife-turned-humorist was a smash, winning over audiences while poking fun at celebrities and life in general. She soon caught the eye of influential entertainers who saw the potential of her estrogen-driven humor.

“I got national exposure on the Jack Parr Show, my first big turning point,” said Diller.  “And several movies with Bob Hope really boosted my career.”

Stephen Rosenfield, director of New York’s Academy of Comedy Institute, offered me some interesting insight on Diller’s legacy. “[She] went straight from kitchen to stage, and lit the path for all aspiring women comedians who followed her.”

Aside from comedy, Diller was also blessed with many other talents. She was a gourmet cook, an antique car enthusiast, author, gifted musician (playing piano with over 100 orchestras), and an accomplished painter.

But to most fans, Diller will always be remembered for her nuclear-powered hacking laugh, the crazy wigs and costumes, and her brilliant comic timing.

(Nick Thomas’ columns have appeared in more than 200 magazines and newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected])

Celt junior will play in Gold Medal Games

Jordan Barchus

Of the Keizertimes

A McNary High School junior will play in the 2013 Gold Medal Games, an international baseball competition.

Jordan Barchus was selected to try out for the team during an Arizona-based winter tournament earlier this year. He played for the Capital City Select, a Keizer-based, 18U travel baseball team. Barchus then traveled to Florida earlier this month to compete in the tryouts for the 2013 tournament.

“Basically, all the guys who were selected were assigned to teams and we played four games,” Barchus said.

He must have done more than one thing right because he was assigned to the first-team All-Americans as a utility player.

“After the try-outs they announced the teams at the Astros’ spring training facility and we got certificates and a chance meet all the coaches,” Barchus said.

Clayton Gelfand, another member of the Capital City Select 18U team was also chosen to play alongside Barchus in the Gold Medal Games.

“It’s an Olympic-style event and they’ll bring teams in teams from 12 other countries,” Barchus said.

The level of competition at the tournament was eye-opening, Barchus said, but it’s given him goals to work on for the coming year.

“I want to work on my overall athleticism and hitting to try to get to that next level so I I’m ready for the Games,” he said.

Capital City Select players Travis Sanders and Jared Bell also tried out for the games.

Family matriarch inspires three generations at Birdie’s

Owner Shana Schmidt and two family members – mother Carol Riehl and son Jacob Woodring — are fixtures at Birdie’s Bistro, which opened in the former Steam Heat location. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Of the Keizertimes

Birdie’s Bistro has been open just more than two weeks, but they’re already getting traffic at those non-traditional times.

(And who’s Birdie? That would be owner Shana Schmidt’s grandmother, Roberta Finlay, a longtime Salem-area resident.)

A visit at 3 p.m. revealed teenagers taking advantage of the sun via the bistro’s outdoor patio, a pair of elderly friends catching up – and three generations behind the counter.

Shana and Troy Schmidt opened the restaurant; Shana runs the day-to-day operations. Her mother, Carol Riehl, has been pitching in along with two of Shana’s children, Jacob Woodring and Morgan Schmidt. Her other children have been “helping one way or another,” Shana said.

The shop, which sells sandwiches, soups, salads, coffee, smoothies, breakfast and a host of baked goods, opened in the former Steam Heat location at 3860 River Road N., in a tan-colored strip mall that’s actually closer to the intersection of Cherry Avenue NE and Sam Orcutt Way.

Shana was a regular customer at Steam Heat, and after owner Tom Schuh closed the coffee shop earlier this year she saw an opportunity to project her own vision onto the space.

“The patio is awesome for summer,” she said. “We’ll have an awning and heat out there eventually. The fireplace is inviting. … It’s just a cozy little environment. It was the perfect size to start with.”

This is Shana’s first time operating a restaurant, but she has experience in catering and creating wedding cakes. Husband Troy’s family helped open Macleay Inn, southeast of Salem, and he’s a former manager of the Sourdough Mining Company in Anchorage. That experience helped inform her vision of opening an establishment of her own.

“I’d always dreamed of having a little bakery and coffee shop,” she said.

Shana’s meticulous nature is made apparent in the painted birds on the wall and even the way she sets out pecan rolls for photographing.

“The style of food is normal, everyday food that people like but made in a way that’s higher quality, with a lot of attention to detail and presentation,” Shana said.

Numerous items on the menu are homemade, including house-fried potato chips with a choice of sun-dried tomato or chipotle aioli dipping sauces. A daily soup special is also created in-house, along with a quiche of the day.

The menu also includes entree house, chef, citrus and wedge salads with four homemade dressings, sandwiches featuring Tillamook cheeses, and a small children’s menu.

Shana’s baked goods include cinnamon and pecan rolls and several different scones. Daily special bakery items are also available daily.

Coffee products are made from Camano Island (Wash.) Coffee Roasters beans, shipped the day after roasting. (You can see the oily goodness on the beans.)

Breakfast offerings include assorted baked rolls, biscuits and gravy, eggs, breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal with berries.

KFD mulls event fee

Of the Keizertimes

Event organizers in Keizer may find themselves needing to cough up extra dough to put on public events in the city.

The Keizer Fire Board took up the issue of standby fees at its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 21. Standby fees are occasionally applied when events will require extra personnel or equipment to cover.

Fire Board directors were responding to concerns brought up by Christine Dieker, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. Dieker is planning an running event, the Jingle Dash, to occur just before the Festival of Lights Parade in December. Prior to the meeting, KFD officials were considering adding a $580 standby fee to the Chamber of Commerce’s event permit.

Between the parade and the dash, covering all the events would likely require KFD to have three ambulances on duty at a time when there would normally be one, said Director Greg Ego.

“The problem with the Jingle Dash isn’t the event, it’s having it scheduled alongside other events that also require our attention,” Chief Jeff Cowan, of the Keizer Fire District, said.

In the past, KFD officials have chosen to waive the standby fee to get events off the ground, but the conflux of multiple events occurring on and around the same time requires revisiting the standby fee policy.

“The new policy needs to allow for a waiver, but it needs to be more firm and consistent,” Ego said.

“If someone is using the system, they should be paying for it,” added Director Mike Kurtz. “And we should be very careful with offering waivers because a lot of these events are put on by non-profits.”

The Fire Board directed Cowan to draft a new policy and bring it back to the board at a future meeting while working with the Chamber of Commerce to ensure the Jingle Dash goes ahead as planned.

Boat ramp may be done in Oct.

Workers were installing pilings that will attach to boarding floats at the Keizer Rapids Park boat ramp, currently under construction on the Willamette River. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Of the Keizertimes

The boat ramp at Keizer Rapids Park could be ready for boaters as soon as October.

It will also feature the first permanent restrooms at Keizer Rapids Park – or should we say restroom. A single vault toilet was delivered this week. It will have a pit underneath and will not have running water, but does meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Last week workers were installing piling for boarding floats, which looks like docks but are used for  boaters to help pull watercraft in or out of the water.

Some sort of ceremony will mark the facility’s opening, said Bill Lawyer, public works director.

He said park rules will need to be updated to address issues stemming from the boat ramp and its operation, including operating hours and parking enforcement.

The single-lane boat ramp will be accessible when water levels are low, Lawyer added.

Remaining tasks include more in-water excavation, setting pre-cast planks and concrete work above the water line. The parking lot still needs to be paved and finished with landscaping and cleanup.

The parking lot includes 37 parking spots, including room for 22 boats and trailers.

State fair returns with music, exhibits and all the elephant ears you can eat

The Oregon State Fair kicks off today, with 11 days of rides, fried foods, music, contests and more.
In addition to all the exhibits, food, contests, shows and agricultural sights, new at this year’s fair is the “Rock U” Music Pavilion, with eight contests for singers, bands, Djs and other performers. The Interactive Institute of Rock ‘n Roll exhibit lets actual or wannabe musicians play a 10-foot long keyboard, whack the drums or strum guitars.

This year’s headlining concerts include Colbie Caillat and Gavin Degraw tonight (Friday), which includes a Celebration of Oregon Wine, Cuisine and Music – pairing music with vino and fare from local chefs.

Other big shows include:

• Saturday, August 25: Joe Walsh, the former Eagles guitarist who forged a successful solo career with hits like “Life’s Been Good” and “Rocky Mountain Way.”

• Friday, August 31: Comedian Jeff Dunham, who many credit with ventriloquism’s return to mainstream comedy.

• Saturday, September 1: Demi Lovato, who got her start on the Disney Channel and has since blossomed into a solo recording artist, and Hot Chelle Rae.

• Monday, September 3 (Labor Day): Country artist Jake Owen, whose “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Alone With You” both hit No. 1 on the Billboard country charts in 2011.

Every day three stages will be offering free (with admission) entertainment.

If you’re bargain-hunting (and who isn’t?), here’s the discount days for this year’s fair:

Opening Day (August 24): $5 Friday, with tickets on sale until 4 p.m. Presale also available.

Monday, August 27: Les Schwab Tires Kids Day, with free admission for children 13 and under from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and half-price carnival rides.

Tuesday, August 28: Celebrate Freedom Day, with free admission for all veterans and current military personnel with military ID. That same day you can also get unlimited rides for a $30 wristband, which includes two free games.

It opens 10 a.m. every day, closing at 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. Fridays and Saturdays are open until 11 p.m.  Ride tickets are 50 cents. Except for special promotional days, tickets are $7 in advance or $11 at the door for 13 and older, and $3 for children 6-12 and seniors 65 and up in advance, $6 at the door. Children 5 years and younger are free.

School board approves pool lease

For the Keizertimes

Lease of the Olinger swimming pool facility on the North Salem High School campus was approved for first reading by the Salem-Keizer School Board last week.

The facility, according to Michael Wolfe, chief operations officer for the district, is in good condition but has been idle since 2009. The city of Salem, which had operated it, stopped funding it because of budget reductions.

A draft five-year lease has been prepared for NW Aquatics LLC to operate the pool starting Oct. 15. The lease would have options for three five-year extensions. Lease payments would be $6,000 per year for the first year and increase by $1,200 annually for the next four years. Lane time would be set aside for district swimming teams.

Among general personnel actions the board approved was changing Shamika Cleveland’s status from contract full-time to contract part-time as instructional coach at Clear Lake. The same status change was approved for Jenny Maguire, behavior specialist teacher at Keizer Elementary School.

Brant Stai was hired as a first-year probation full-time band teacher at Whiteaker Middle School.

Hirings of first-year probation part-time teachers were Timothy Brassfield; choir and drama, Claggett Creek Middle School; Robbie Ellis, aerospace JROTC instructor, McNary; Damian Berdakin, orchestra director, McNary; Joshua Davidson, learning resource center, Claggett Creek; Danielle Miller, band, Claggett Creek; and Rebecca Buhler, physical education, Keizer.

Rapp home run saves Volcanoes from shut out

Volcano Joan Gregorio winds up a pitch during the Volcanoes game Tuesday, Aug. 21. Gregorio improved his record to 7-6 with a win. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

For the Keizertimes

The Volcanoes had only two hits in a 4-1 loss to Vancouver at home Monday and just missed their second straight shutout thanks to a ninth-inning home run by Joe Rapp.

The Canadians’ starting and winning pitcher, Taylor Cole, allowed one hit and two walks in his six innings and struck out six. He now has a 5-0 record and a 1.02 earned run average.

Cole held Salem-Keizer hitless for 3-2/3 innings until Chuckie Jones singled to left field. The righthander recovered quickly, striking out Rafael Rodriguez on a three-ball, two-strike count.

Although it was a scoreless game through four innings, the Canadians threatened in the fourth. Art Charles singled to right field, and Jason Leblebijian did the same, sending Charles to third base. Starting pitcher Chris Stratton loaded the bases with a walk to Matt Newman. Carlos Ramirez hit a line drive to Andrew Cain in right field, and Cain’s powerful throw to catcher Sam Eberle nailed Charles to end the threat.

Manager Tom Trebelhorn decided that it was time to relieve Stratton. After the Salem-Keizer fourth, in which Jones was the only Volcano who did not strike out, Chris Johnson came in to pitch. He gave up two singles but struck out three to leave two on base.

After the Volcano fifth, in which Stephen Yarrow hit the ball almost to the left field wall and into Newman’s glove, and the next two hitters also flew out, Johnson gave up three runs to become the losing pitcher. Leblebijian and Newman singled with one out in the fifth, and Ramirez drove both in with a double to center.

Johnson struck out the next hitter, Tucker Frawley, but Mason McVay then took the mound. Ian Parmley singled Ramirez home for a run charged to Johnson, but McVay struck out the next man to end the Vancouver fifth. Cole set down the Volcanoes in order in the bottom of the fifth.

McVay allowed a leadoff single to Kellen Sweeney in the seventh but struck out the next three batters. The Volcanoes faced a new pitcher, Colton Turner, in the seventh, but he struck out the side.

In the top of the eighth, Gaspar Santiago took the mound and gave up the last Vancouver run. Ramirez tripled to right center, and with two out, Jorge Flores doubled him home.

Tucker Donahue, the final Canadian pitcher, struck out Kentrell Hill and got Stephen Branca to pop out to first base before the crowd of 2,371 saw Rapp hit the ball over the right center field fence for his league-leading 11th homer. Cain then struck out to end the game.

“We battled to hold them to four,” Trebelhorn observed. He praised the fielding of his players and said Cole’s pitching reminded him of Dave Stieb, one of the best pitchers in the history of the Toronto Blue Jays, the parent club of the Canadians.

“It was a good fastball,” Rapp said of the Dohahue pitch he hit for his home run. He called Cole “a tremendous pitcher.”

“I made it a little interesting” was McVay’s first comment. Although he was referring to the two hits he gave up, he had pitched as effectively as any Volcano, striking out four in his 1-1/3 innings.

Waiving fees

There are many functions and events Keizer that would not happen in Keizer without non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations stage parades, festivals, and other community events.

In most cases those organizations seek to cut costs by applying for waivers of fees charged by a governmental jurisdiction such as the city or a fire district. Those fees apply to permits, inspections, staffing, and other logistical duties.

Those services provided by the city or a fire district cost real money, either in material, or more importantly, man hours. As much as local governments want to be an intregal part of, and good neighbor, in the community, it can too much to ask them to waive 100 percent of fees for every function.

We all want to see non-profit organizations continue their good works to help people and their communities. The raise funds for their causes, projects, and programs. Keizer has always been generous when it comes to donating goods, services, or money to events staged by non-profit groups. Those businesses operate on a different paradigm; many budget for donations throughout the year. Government entities in times of tight budgets don’t have the leeway as in years past to offer man power for free. The cost of government is not free and they must watch their bottom lines carefully.

We suggest that instead of waiving all applicable fees the city and fire districts devise an event/non-profit fee structure.  Offer the fees at 25 percent of the normal rate; the city and fire district are still being a good neighbor while maintaining budgets. The non-profit groups get a deep discount for a necessary expense.

Something that is for the good of the community should be good for everyone, including the city and fire districts.