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Day: February 15, 2013

McNary girls claim district bowling title

0215-Bowling-team-corr

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

As the announcer paused before naming the most valuable player during the district bowling tournament Sunday, Feb. 10, Jocee Freeman, a McNary assistant coach, grabbed bowler Tori Pike by the hand and turned her around.

Pike was repeating to herself, “It’s not me,” over and over.

Freeman said, “It’s you, babygirl.”

Pike collapsed into the arms of her teammates.

The moment was a capper to a stellar day for the McNary High School girls bowling team. They took first in the district and will be heading to the state tournament Feb. 23 and 24 in Hillsboro.


For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Feb. 15 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Lucky no. 7

McNary posted 10 regional placers in the tournamaent held Feb. 8-9. Left to right: Hector Madonado, Cody Ratliff, Louis Palos, Alvaro Venegas, Devin Reynolds, Mason Ross, Caleb Connor, Grant Gerstner, Rob Phelps and Zach Hammerschmith. (Photo Courtesy of J&H Photo)
McNary posted 10 regional placers in the tournamaent held Feb. 8-9. Left to right: Hector Madonado, Cody Ratliff, Louis Palos, Alvaro Venegas, Devin Reynolds, Mason Ross, Caleb Connor, Grant Gerstner, Rob Phelps and Zach Hammerschmith. (Photo Courtesy of J&H Photo)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

When it came time for their final match at the regional meet Saturday, Feb. 9, McNary High School seniors Grant Gerstner and Rob Phelps found themselves squaring off with each other in the 160-pound weight bracket.

“Everyone was telling us that we should mess around, get a super-high score going and then go live for the last minute to see who was best,” Phelps said.

“We’ve been wrestling together since seventh grade and we knew what each others’ styles are like and we taught each other what we both know,” Gerstner added.

When the whistle sounded, however, both young men put aside history and friendship and gave spectators a brief and hard-fought match. Gerstner caught Phelps on his back late in the first round and pinned him to claim the regional title.


For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Feb. 15 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Three individuals, two relay teams earn state swim berths

Celts Perry Groves, Alex Fox, Jeremiah Hamilton and Ben Johnson accepts their medals for a first place finish in the 200 free relay in the district swim meet Saturday, Feb. 9. (Photos Courtesy of Bill Donaldson)
Celts Perry Groves, Alex Fox, Jeremiah Hamilton and Ben Johnson accepts their medals for a first place finish in the 200 free relay in the district swim meet Saturday, Feb. 9. (Photos Courtesy of Bill Donaldson)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A handful of Celtics from the boys and girls varsity swimming teams will be representing McNary High School in the state swimming meet this weekend.

For the girls, senior Laura Donaldson was the sole survivor at the district meet Feb. 8-9. She took second in the 50 free with a personal record of 25.90.

“I’ve never done club swimming like a lot of the really talented people in the district and it’s nice to know that Kim (Phillips) has trained me well enough to compete at that next level,” Donaldson said.

She also credited the coaching of Hannah Braun with helping see her through.

At the state meet, Donaldson hopes to cut her time to 25.09 this weekend.

“The 50 is all technique and I have to remember every single piece to get that time,” she said.

The boys took third at the district competition with a pair of Ben Johnson wins in individual races and a relay victory in the 200 free.


For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Feb. 15 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Edward Lewis Purcell

E. Purcell
E. Purcell

Born in Rife, Colorado February 11, 1922 to Edward Brook and Elsie M. Purcell. Louie passed away on February 1, 2013, 10 days short of his 91st birthday.

He was a member of the Church of Christ on Ewald Ave in South Salem.

Louie’s first job was at Pop Savage dairy in Keizer and later at a dairy on the Oregon Coast in Bay City. He worked there until he joined the Army. He spent some time in California, trained as a cook, and was sent to Aleutian Island for almost 30 months. He was also at Dutch Harbor when it was bombed.

While home on leave he met the love of his life, Jacqueline Engle, and they were engaged before he was sent to Fort Smith, Arkansas for training. They were married July 1, 1944 before he was sent to the European Theater. He was with Patton’s 3rd Army during the Battle of the Bulge and in the thick of the fighting until that ended on May 8, 1945. Then he was on to England to wait for a ship home.

He trained as a meat cutter and worked at the trade for 40 years. He was a member of Grow and Show Garden Club. He loved his family, gardening, growing and showing Dahlias, traveling, fishing and hunting. He got his last elk with a single arrow.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Jacqueline. Sons Steven, Randall and his wife Dana, Timothy, Bruce, Faron, Garry and Jamie. Grandchildren Andrew, Shawn, Ryan, Amanda, Tara, Natasha and three great granddaughters. Brother Lester and Wandaline Purcell, Kenneth and Jean Purcell, sister Alvera and Vernon Beck. He is preceded in death by his son, Claude.

Interment will be at Willamette National Memorial Cemetery.

Scott Edward Punch

S. Punch
S. Punch

Scott Edward Punch, 45, of Gold Beach, Oregon passed away the night of January 5, 2013.

Scott was born February 28, 1967 in St. Charles, Missouri to Clarence and Carol Punch.

His family including his sister Lisa Ann, moved to the Salem area where Scott was raised. Scott enjoyed hunting and fishing and participating in athletics in school.

Following his graduation from McNary High School, in 1985, he entered the U.S. Army and started his law enforcement career assigned to the Military Police. Scott’s duty included Germany, Panama, and Iraq.

Scott was hired by the Oregon State Police and was assigned to the Gold Beach office in 1994. He worked his way thought the ranks and was promoted to sergeant in 2004. Scott was responsible for the supervision of six troopers stationed in Gold Beach.

Scott is survived by his wife Stacy, daughter Haley, son Derek, and his mother Carol Punch of Keizer. Scott was preceded in death by father Clarence and his sister Lisa Ann.

Memorial service was held on January 19 in Gold Beach. The Rev. Dr. Richard Gilbert officiated.

The coming end of an era

Keizer Police Chief H. Marc Adams has said he will retire at the end of this year. When he leaves office in Decmeber it will be the end of a good era at the police department.

Adams became Keizer’s top cop in 1997 after serving the same role in Coos Bay for five years. He had a tough act to follow—Charles Stull, who was fired by the city council.

With his disarming Texas accent and genial manner Adams set about putting his own imprint on the police department. He quickly garned good marks from city leaders and staff, the community, and from the men and women who served under him.

Chief Adams brought with him an extensive education and a lengthy resume.  And a firm belief in community policing; he even taught other police departments how to make the change to that model.

In 1997 when he was being considered for the Keizer post, leaders and residents in Coos Bay said two of Adams’ most positive  traits were his honesty and integrity—things sorely needed at the time at the chief’s desk.

Adams’ tenure in Keizer reflected all that been heard about him before he was hired by the city council in November 1997. He has been popular with the community he serves, and by the men and women who serve him.

Constrained in recent years by tight budgets that have seen the police operate with less-than-optimal manpower, Marc Adams has led the department using his resources to their best possible uses under the circumstances. He has assured that patrols quickly appear at serious crime scenes.

Chief Marc Adams brought a warm, homespun style to the Keizer Police Department.  He also brought an intelligence and knowledge that would be at home on the largest police force. But it couldn’t be any other way: there are many police officers in his family.

By announcing his retirement now he gives the city time to look for a successor. There will most likely be a citizens advisory committee, public input and interviews. Keizer will be able to find a worthy replacement within 10 months. And then the Adams Era will, unfortunately, come to an end. After 34 years in law enforcement Harlin Marc Adams has deserved the opportunity to enjoy whatever is next in his life.

—LAZ

Open records, open government

Former Oregon Attorney General John Kroger’s drive to open and keep open public records should not be squelched.

Since the Watergate era in the mid-1970s, Oregon has a good track record of maintaining open records for public bodies and public institutions. Open records are vital to a strong democracy, they allow the public to see how their local and state governments are operating.

There are some who want to see a restriction on records for personal reasons—lottery winners, PERS beneficiaries, concealed gun licensees. There is a level of privacy that must be observed.  It is the activities and expenditures of government bodies that should always be open for examination.

The legislature should not be in any rush this season to limit access to public records. We don’t want to see one of our proud traditions be chipped away.

Government is of, by, and for the people. Those in the public sector are doing the people’s business, and aside from contracts and negotiations, there is no reason to keep secret the goings-on of a state agency, a legislative committee or a municipal body.

John Kroger pushed for more open public records and we’d like to see his successor, Attorney General Ellen Rosenbloom, continue the push.

We’d also like the legislature to remember the pubilc has a right to know what’s being done in their name.

—LAZ

Parks event is on a Friday night

To the Editor:

The gentle chiding in the February 8 Keizertimes editorial may have given readers the mistaken impression that Keizer Parks Foundation’s Pinot in the Parks fundraiser on March 15 is on a Saturday night. But no!

Wine will flow, music will play, food will tempt, and community warmth and conviviality will fill the Keizer Community Center at the Civic Center on Friday, March 15, from 6 to 9 pm. That’s FRIDAY, as in “date night,” the “F” in TGIF, the Sergeant Joe in Dragnet.

All proceeds go back to the city for projects such as playgrounds, the dog park, and the free summer recreation program for kids. So help us make this an annual success: Buy a couple of tickets, bring a few friends, and spend a few bucks for a good time and a good cause.

But don’t show up on Saturday, or you’ll have missed all the fun!

Jeanne Bond-Esser
Keizer

Rights come with restrictions

A Box of Soap
by Don vowell 

We have just been treated to all the media-saturated sound and fury of two Congressional hearings.  In one Congressional hearing, then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was asked why she failed to prevent the loss of four American lives at the Consulate in Benghazi, situated in one of the most dangerous regions on earth.  In the other Congressional hearing, they can’t seem to find any way to prevent another loss like the 20 schoolchildren shot to death in Connecticut, which ought to be safer than Libya.

Twenty first-graders, unaware of any peril, were shot to death in Newtown.  Lacking any clear path to making this seem the fault of the Obama administration, legislators have had a more subdued reaction.  Rather than hearings with tough questions we get instead the usual cast of characters trotting out the same tired arguments.

Lots of people who own guns never kill anybody, so it’s not a gun problem.  Lots of mentally ill Americans never kill anybody, so it’s not a mental health problem.  Lots of people watch violent and explicit movies, and play murderous video games without being provoked to homicide, so it’s not a media culture problem.  Lots of people come from broken families, don’t know faith in God, and still don’t kill anybody, so the decline of society can’t be the problem.

Both these hearings were all heat, no light.  One hearing asked why we didn’t do everything to provide security for American diplomats, without explaining how that could be done.  The other hearing explains that since there is no agreement on the one thing that will stop gun violence, nothing can be done.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R–N.H., scolded the Department of State for not realizing that all the weapons stockpiles opened up by Col. Gadhafi’s departure made Libya a lethally lawless and dangerous place.  At the same time she says there must be no restriction on gun ownership in America.  The danger of easily available weapons seems to depend on your constituency.

If a legislator gathered 1,000 randomly chosen Americans in a hall, 16 of them, on average, would be NRA members.  The reality that no gun legislation will pass without the blessing of the 16 defines all that is wrong with Congress.

There are no rights without restriction.  The First Amendment guarantees free speech – yet you can’t defame another individual, can’t make threats, can’t make child pornography, can’t incite others to murder, can’t divulge state secrets, can’t have an oversized billboard, and can’t even aim a loudspeaker over your neighbor’s fence at night.  It is hard to feel threatened by these limits.   All of these restrictions were agreed to because my rights should not trample yours.

Reasonable citizens understand that trying to reduce gun violence does not warrant “they’re coming to get our guns” hysteria.  America once seemed proud of cleaning up the Wild West and putting away the guns, trusting our safety to trained peace officers.   Have we given up on that idea?  Does the NRA proposal to have armed guards at schools take into account our right to send our children to safe havens rather than armed camps?

It is my fervent hope that Congress will show the same outrage at the failure of security in America as they have for the failure of security in Libya.

(Don Vowell lives in Keizer.)

Stop persecution of PERS retirees

By GENE H. McINTYRE

Anyone aware of what’s going on in the world knows that there are a number of nations that persecute their citizens.  Their reasons for doing so usually have to do with class, race, gender, culture and religion.

Certain Oregonians have also become practitioners of persecution but for a different reason.  Here, the persecution is mainly focused on retirees in the Public Employees Retirement System or PERS.

Looking at examples, there’s almost never an issue of Portland’s largest-circulation newspaper without a column or an editorial hammering away again on how much better things in the state would be if only PERS retiree payroll benefits could be reigned-in and, oh, yes, significantly reduced.  The same mindset also appears as a nearly daily pre-occupation with Salem’s largest-circulation paper.

Those two newspapers quite transparently enjoyed what they viewed as a great victory by revealing personal financial information on every PERS’ retiree, providing it to one and all on the Internet.  The disclosures served as consternation by security risk to all PERS retirees to which the Portland and Salem folks behind this compassionless work evidenced considerable pride in their revelations.

In Salem, Oregon’s governor is leading the charge although he’s got a lot of friends among state legislators and the rubber stamps he appoints to boards and commissions.  He says he wants to bring progressive reforms to education and health care in Oregon.  So, to him, it seems, the appropriate course of action is to fund what he wants to accomplish by taking retirement money from PERS retirees while providing tax relief to those who probably need it the least, like the state’s independently wealthy  individuals as well as corporations and their corporate heads.

Then there are the professional sports teams that play ball or strike a puck in Oregon.  They make out as modern day bandits through direct taxpayer handouts, the rigged-in-their-favor tax code that forces honest taxpayers to bankroll professional teams, the embedded sports tax in cable TV bills, which forces cable users to pay those sports’ folks whether they watch games or not, and the amount extra the parents of college kids pay for those multi-million dollar coaches and their benefit packages.

Of course, all players in the beat-up-a-PERS-retiree-today game are closet politicians who recognize that many Oregonians these days not only have a pronounced distrust and dislike of government but have a near fanatical hatred of any citizen who’s retired through PERS.  Certain big daily papers appear to lavishly feed on these feelings of contempt for PERS retirees.

Meanwhile, when private sector workers agree with the way some among Oregon’s elite, and those who aspire to join the circle of elites, want them to see PERS and its retirees, they should be reminded of what Martin Niemoller, a German Protestant pastor and social activist, wrote after the twelve years of Der Fuhrer-rule ended.  He spoke this message in the German language at his church on January 6, 1946.  The translation follows:

“When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.  When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.  When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.  When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I was not a Jew.  When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.”

Sure, what’s written in this guest opinion could be the mutterings of a deranged PERS’ retiree. I believe I’ve been persecuted enough to arrive there.  But what if these same folks come after your paycheck next?  Will your reaction be similar to the pastor in post-war Germany or will you just roll over good-naturedly and laugh it all off?

Should the reforms be approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor, the prediction is that the matter will go to a court of law for a final decision.  It is doubtful it will be determined lawful, not at least if the court has enough savvy to recognize contractual obligations and recognizes fair from foul play.  In the meantime, it’s surmised, the persecution as practiced by certain journalists in this state will continue: They come across as never fulfilled in what just may be a primal need to endlessly bash PERS and its retirees.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)