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Day: November 23, 2012

Boys set sights on state berth

The McNary boys bowling team: Justin Blivin, Steven Satter, Devon Choate, Russ Hurtado, Garren Stanley and Kyle Robinson. Not pictured: Jonathan Hall and Scott Bridger. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

When the McNary High School boys bowling team hits the lanes in competition, the game isn’t as simple as throw a ball, maybe two, then sit down and wait for the next turn.

The bowling teams compete baker style, which means each player in the five-person line-up throws one ball. If the first leaves pins standing, it’s up to the second man to clean up what’s left and so on.

On one hand, the format pushes the bowlers to excel within limited opportunity. It can also be a recipe for disaster if someone ends up having to shoot 7-10 splits the whole game through.

“They feed off each other. When there’s negativity, it brings everybody down. When everybody is striking, it’s like chum in the water,” said Scott Miller, assistant coach to the team.

One thing that will help the team this year is a large turnout to fill the ranks. It means they’ll have substitutes standing ready.

“We all have another year of experience and were a stronger, more unified, team,” said Garren Stanley.

Each of the team’s eight bowlers–Steven Satter, Justin Blivin, Russ Hurtado, Devon Choate, Kyle Robinson, Jonathan Hall, Scott Bridger and Stanley– are also league bowlers, which isn’t always the case.

While the team practices in the run up the the season, the focus has been on consistency, Satter said.

“It’s a matter of hitting the right board every time up,” he said.

“It’s also learning to adjust our shots when we need to,” added Robinson.

Not every school in the region fields a bowling team, which means there’s a fair amount of flux from year-to-year. This time out, Silverton High School–last year’s state champs–isn’t even putting a team into the mix.

“They decided to quit while they were ahead,” Blivin said.

Typically, the Portland teams have a deeper well of talent and are some of the toughest, although Oregon City and Lebanon high schools are perennial contenders, said Dan Kaplan, McNary head coach.

While the Celts compete with other schools during the regular season, the team’s biggest day of the year won’t arrive until the district tournament in February.

“Our whole focus is getting past districts and then going to the state tournament,” Satter said.

Until then, it’s a matter of chumming the waters as much as possible.

They’ll show you how to knock ’em down

The Celtic girls bowling team: Brittney Kiser, KayLynn Hatfield, Hannah Russell, Sierra Mo Hurtado, Tori Pike and LeAnne Miller. Not pictured: Hope Placencio, Mariah Lucas and Kymmery Marsh. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

It’s no secret that the McNary High School bowling teams bristle at the notion of being “just a club.”

The members of the girls team want it to be known as a sport and they’re taking extra steps to ensure a higher ranking on the spectrum.

“We’ve been working out more before practices doing lunges and stretching and running. People think we’re not an actual sport, but we go home tired at the end of the day,” said senior LeAnne Miller.

“We go up to bowl and our legs are all wobbly,” added Lady Celt Tori Pike.

Last season, the girls team made it to state on a wild card entry when another team pulled out. They surged in the final round of district competition to take third place.

“This year we plan on taking district and then the state title,” Miller said.

To do that, team members will have to rely on each other as much as any other team sport would require. Team cohesion is essential because their games don’t unfold in the traditional manner. High school bowling teams compete in baker style bowling. That means each bowler rolls just one ball and, if any pins are left standing, it’s up to a teammate to clean up the lane. Teams are allowed to make substitutions and can play to their strengths. It also means when one person has a bad day, a teammate can make an enormous impact.

“We’re a lot stronger team this year,” said Brittney Kiser.

Less drama behind-the-scenes will allow the team to focus on being better bowlers, Miller said.

“I think we’ll have a lot more laughs and that will keep us from turning on each other when we’re having a rough game,” Pike said.

In the coming months, the team will face off with other areas high school teams in the run-up to district competition in February.  While doing that, they’ll be focusing on improving the fundamental skills necessary for success on the lanes.

“Most of us have trouble with the corner pins, so we’re going to be focusing on that right now,” Miller said.

Pike wanted to see members improve their consistency and hit the right boards on every throw.

The other members of this season’s team are: Hope Placencio, KayLynn Hatfield, Sierra Mo Hurtado, Hannah Russell, Kymmery Marsh and Mariah Lucas.

Keeping the kids honest

KEIZERTIMES/File Photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The way John Honey sees it, random drug searches at McNary High School are a win for everyone.

The third-year principal started what he calls police dog exhibitions last fall. He partners with local law enforcement agencies to bring in police dogs to do searches. Honey emphasized the idea isn’t to find drugs and kick students out of school. Instead, the idea is to keep drugs away from the school setting while giving police dogs real-world searching experience.

“You know, 99.9 percent of our kids aren’t doing anything wrong,” Honey said. “They’re all cool with it and their parents are excited because we’re being proactive. Police are happy. It’s all good. It’s a win-win-win.”

Honey started the program after getting positive feedback from various community groups, ranging from police to Rotary to parents. His idea was to use the school’s “beautiful” relationship with the Keizer Police Department as a basis.

“It’s not so much a drug search as much as it is a training exercise for local law enforcement,” Honey said. “With drug detection animals, one of the things they need is a wide variety of training grounds or exercises. What more fluid environment could you find than a high school? You have 2,000 kids, lots of movement and a zillion places to hide things.”

A recent exhibition led to a police dog finding a small amount of marijuana in a locker. For Honey, the end goal is to have students realize school is not the place for drugs.

“I’m not particularly interested in finding kids who are in possession of drugs or alcohol,” he said. “My goal is not to catch them and kick them out. The goal is to maintain a safe and positive learning environment at school so the kids can focus on what is important.”

The exhibitions were initially announced well ahead of time and have since progressed to being announced just a few minutes ahead of time. Honey hopes that means students are less willing to bring any drugs to school.

“Nobody blinks, which is awesome,” Honey said. “There’s not a parent who’s going to say, ‘No, I don’t want my kid’s school to be safe.’ There’s no kid that’s going to say, ‘You’re violating my rights by searching for drugs at school because that’s where I hide them.’”

Honey feels the program has been a success, especially in terms of students.

“It really had the desired impact and effect on kids immediately,” Honey said. “They were talking about it. That’s all I want. I want them talking about it and being reluctant to bring drugs to school.”

With drugs being found in a locker during a recent search, the shift comes in figuring out school jurisdiction versus police work once that does happen.

“We are now working with the Keizer Police Department on a protocol and response,” Honey said. “When do the police step in and when do administrators step out? We want to be fair to students, but we also don’t want to get in the way of police.”

Once a protocol is decided upon, Honey said the next step can happen.

“Once we have a process in place, then we can go to our colleagues in Salem,” he said. “We will work with the school district. If we develop a real process that someone else can replicate, I think it would be a great. It’s something probably every high school principal thinks about or talks about.”

St. Ed volunteers serve up hot meals on Turkey Day

Volunteer Mike Lulay spent Monday afternoon carving up turkeys for St. Edward Catholic Church’s annual Thanksgiving Day meal program. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Mike Lulay is the resident gravy master in St. Edward Catholic Church’s mission to make certain everyone had a meal to be thankful for Thanksgiving Day.

“There can’t be any lumps,” said Lulay. “It’s dumpling-free and we get all the fat off the broth. We stir the broth in five gallons at a time and 50 gallons later, we’re done.”

Each year, volunteers at the church prep and deliver more than 1,000 meals to area residents with a focus on elderly and shut-in individuals, but the goal is higher than simply providing a hot meal.

“We want high-quality hot meals that would be close to what you’d get at a restaurant,” said Mike Welter, who coordinates the effort with wife Debi. “We really strive for that quality, getting the turkey as moist as possible and getting the gravy pristine as possible.”

The Welters burn one of their vacation weeks every year to make room for the hours the campaign requires.

“The biggest challenge is keeping people moving,” Welter said. “When you have people donating their time, you want to make sure it feels like it was used effectively.”

One volunteer, Phil Worthington, also takes vacation and travels all the way up from Albany to pitch in throughout the week.

During the run-up to Thanksgiving Day, eight to 10 volunteers a day spend the better part of the week cooking turkey–nearly 1,200 pounds of it this year–prepping 400 pounds of stuffing and mashing potatoes. In addition to the 1,000 meals that will be delivered to residents, another 200 will visit the church for a sit-down meal.

“It’s a lot of irons in the fire,” Welter said.

This year, Renaissance Inn donated use of its kitchen to help with the turkey prep.  Albertson’s, Capitol Auto Group and Sysco Foods contributed food to the cause.

The effort is underwritten by the church’s general fund and special collections during the month of November.

The Welters took over the coordination as a way to give back to their community, a feeling that was echoed by volunteer Beth Nevue.

“I have a little time and there’s a great need. I’ve been given a great many blessings in my life and we need to pay those blessings forward,” she said.

Like any good Thanksgiving meal, there tends to be leftovers. Those are taken down the street to Salem’s Union Gospel Mission, spreading the holiday spirit across city boundaries.

Turn attention to other parks

In early November the Keizer Rapids Park boat ramp was officially open for public use. The ramp is the latest of many features constructed at the park, joining the dog park and the Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre. The park is also home to a disc golf course.

The visionaries and officials who pushed and worked to make the park a reality are rightfully proud of what they brought forth.  But, can we be done now?

Keizer Rapids Park is a regional gem that gets heavy use throughout the week, especially in summer. Though there are still many acres that could be used for some other amenities, we should take a breather on further additions.  After all, the park was not supposed to be an amusement park.

Some want to see a recreation center eventually added to the park. That’s a bad idea. Nearby residents are already vocal about noise and congestion connected with park events, imagine the uproar if a rec center and an attendant parking lot were built.

The money that would be spent on a multi-use recreation center should be used on some of Keizer’s other 16 parks. The city-owned plot of land that sits on the north side of Volcanoes Stadium would be a good location for a future recreation center. The vision of a rec center is predicated on having the funds to build it.

There is currently more than $200,000 in the Parks System Development fund (that’s after paying Keizer’s share of the boat ramp). Some may look upon that balance like one would look upon mad money, but that would be wrong. A couple of projects could wipe that out leaving nothing for emergencies or opportunities.

We’ve spent public and private money on Keizer Rapids Park.  Let’s call it good for now. There is money in the Parks SDC fund but we should use that sparingly, ask private groups to match a grant from that fund for desired expenditures at other Keizer parks. The West Keizer Neighborhood Association and the Keizer Parks Foundation having been holding fund raisers for a playground structure.

Keizer Rapids is a wonderful addition to the city’s parks. It’s our own Central Park. It has been the focus of our park attention for years; it’s time to tend to Keizer’s other parks.

—LAZ

Shop big, then shop small

Few, if any, of Keizer’s small locally-owned retailers were open in the wee hours of Black Friday.  Blockbuster discounts are the provenance of the national big box stores. People camp out for days to be first in line to buy the latest gizmo.

Keizer’s retailers play just as big a part in holiday shopping, though consumers were not camped out waiting for the doors to open. Christmas and holiday shopping has come to mean hitting sales and more sales, some now starting as early as Thanksgiving Day (we feel for those employees who’d rather be home with their famiy and friends). In Keizer holiday shopping is about selection and service.

There are many unique gift items that are offered by small shops in town. A major credit card company started a campaign several years ago that encourages consumers to shop America’s small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

It’s a great idea. By supplementing their trips to big box stores with visits to local Keizer retailers, shoppers will be met with good service and gift ideas to rival those of anywhere else.

—LAZ

Silver linings

To the Editor:

I was recently involved in an automobile accident on River Road and was again reminded why I prefer living in Keizer, a small city with a heart. Almost immediately several people were on the scene to help, directing traffic, helping me get my car into an adjacent parking lot, calming and reassuring me and the party in the second car, and calling the police.

The policeman was there promptly and was very courteous and helpful. He assisted me in getting my car to a nearby collision repair shop. The staff at the shop were extremely helpful, understanding that I was still in shock. A staff member drove me home and even carried my groceries into my apartment.

Thank you Keizer!

Gwen Lyman
Keizer

A poem

To the Editor:

To our neighbors on Romney Lane,

Bless your hearts, we feel your pain

We’ve also been beyond dejected

(When Bush the Lesser was selected)

By his daddy’s buddies on the court, then won a second term

That hurt but though we did some private pouting,

We did not engage in drive-by shouting,

Or flip the bird from our car

That’s not the kind of folks we are

So here’s the deal, dear grumpy neighbors—

Obama won despite Rove’s labors

Barack’s the prez – not tycoon Mitt

Your guy lost huge – get over it!

Martin Doerfler
Keizer

Our young people are thankful

Class Dismissed
By  Susanne Stefani

My job is frequently misunderstood: many think that teachers do the talking and the students the listening. While there are certainly days where I must stand up front and deliver information or instruction, that’s not ideal. The best days in class are those in which I can listen. I hear misunderstandings and complicated questions, anecdotes spurred by the lesson, sarcasm and encouragement, and criticisms more insightful than any I could have conceived myself.

So in the spirit of thanksgiving, I’d like to give thanks for the best part of my job and hand this column over to them.

My students have been posting their gratitudes on the class blog. Below are 20 excerpts of thanks, in no particular order, from 20 teens. No matter what we may critically observe about youths’ sense of entitlement, when given the opportunity, their appreciation for others and for the opportunities given them is humbling.

May reading these remind you of your own blessings this season—

I have been blessed with a good home. I do not have to worry about what is going to happen to it or where I have to sleep [at] night. I am grateful that I have a place that I call home.

———————

I am thankful for the time I have left with my grandfather, and the time I have been able to spend with him in the past.

———————

I am thankful for medicine. Without [it], I wouldn’t be able to go outside in the spring, and some mornings I wouldn’t even be able to walk.

———————

One of my big [things I’m thankful for] would have to be my brother….Yeah, sure, there are times when we fight and annoy the crap out of each other, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

———————

Another thing I’m thankful for is my mom. There is no way I could live without her. She does everything for me, and then at the end of the day puts up with all the attitude I give her.

———————

 

I am so thankful for the ability to make music…[it] has taught me to look at things in a different way.

———————

I’m really thankful for my little sister….She’s taught me patience and unconditional love even when it’s tough.

———————

I’m thankful I’m alive.

———————

I’m thankful for my little brother, Troy….We can talk about anything and everything, and we have more fun in five minutes than most people have in five hours.

———————

I’m thankful for lots of things in my life. The first…would have to be tacos. They are basically the most delicious food on the face of the planet! And another thing I’m thankful for is my mom (who just happens to make the tacos for me).

———————

I’m thankful for the people who have put me down in life. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be the person I am. 

———————

I am grateful to have parents who support me and encourage me to do things that will help me become a better person.

———————

[My dad] is always there when I need him, and I can count on him more than anyone in this world.

———————

I am thankful for the sun because of the way it paints the sky as it rises and sets.

———————

I’m thankful for the time I had with [my brother]…I remember that he used to make me read all the time while I was learning until I got it right, and now because of him, I’m a great reader.

———————

I am thankful for being able to live in Oregon. It’s a privilege to live in a place where there’s the ocean, forests, mountains, lakes, rivers, and even the city. There are so many things to do in Oregon, and it’s such a beautiful state.

———————

I am thankful for my dog. Since I don’t have any siblings that’s basically what he is to me. 

———————

In sports, [my dad] will always come up to me afterwards and tell me “good job” but then tell me a few things I need to work on. After a loss, I get annoyed with him telling me what I did wrong, but I know he means it with the best intentions.

———————

Many of us forget how lucky we are to live in a country where [we] are truly free….I’m thankful to have troops fighting for us and the freedom of choice, religion, speech, and much more.

———————

I absolutely love the [fall] colors changing because it is a reassurance that God is really there.

(Suzanne Stefani is a writer and teaches creative writing at McNary High School.)

Confessions of a non-foodie

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

I am the opposite of a foodie. My favorite green vegetable is the pea — fresh or frozen. My second favorite is celery. I like iceberg lettuce. At restaurants, I have been known to look longingly at the children’s menu.

When President George H. W. Bush admitted he did not like broccoli, I felt as one with him. When the Reagan administration declared ketchup to be a vegetable, I knew it was true. I don’t eat ketchup.

I am not proud of my eating habits. In high school, my black studies class went to an African restaurant. As our teacher noted for the rest of the year, when they put the food on the table and the foreign smells hit my nose, my face turned green.You can’t make yourself like what your body wants to reject.

I love to travel and hate to eat most foods that fall outside three basic food groups—pizza, pasta and potatoes. On my first trip to Paris, I thought I’d be fine. I speak French. Boeuf, jambon, poulet (beef, ham, chicken). Then I discovered a restaurant that was serving cochon (pig) actually was serving pig snout.

My husband, Wesley, loves to joke about our first night in Paris. We ate Italian. Oslo, first night: Italian. Sydney, first night: Italian. The United Kingdom? I don’t go for canned peas. The old standard pub fare gave me heartburn, and I don’t do tandoori.

I have expanded my horizons somewhat—impala stew in South Africa, elk sausage in Montana, something else—not kangaroo—in Australia.

I rarely eat junk food. I grow my own tomatoes. And oddly, I can cook. Wesley wonders how it is that someone who doesn’t eat eggs can make the best scrambled eggs. Last year, my penne Bolognese earned the ultimate praise: Carla’s husband, Roland, thought she had made it.

I won’t say that it’s all bad. Friends’ dogs, at least, are always happy to see me when I’ve been invited to sup.

I go to some great San Francisco restaurants that serve fine food that my friends who aren’t palate-challenged can enjoy. That said, nothing instills terror in me as much an invitation to a new chichi restaurant. The fancier the menu, the fussier I become.

In this town, you can speak a few languages and still not understand what’s on the menu. Waiters sometimes give you too much information. A friend was ready to order rabbit — until he heard so many details on how the lapin was raised that he felt he could name it.

Logic might tell you that the richer a society is, the choicer its cuts. Au contraire, the pricier the Ess Eff eatery, the hotter its rage for organs and innards. The foodies’ holy trinity: offal, belly and feet. On the veggie front, try “stinging nettles.” When there isn’t too much information, there are too many ingredients—like a vegetable side with duck fat, chili and mint.

In this feast of a town, you can be a vegan, on a no-carb diet or gluten-intolerant, and you get respect. On Thanksgiving, I give thanks for the one day we picky eaters get any respect with our turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.

(Creators Syndicate)