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Day: March 8, 2013

Train hits semi in Brooks

A train hit a semi with two trailers in Brooks Friday morning, March 8.
A train hit a semi with two trailers in Brooks Friday morning, March 8.

BROOKS – A semi truck with trailer may be one of the biggest vehicles on the road.
It’s still no match for a train.

A collision between a Portland Western Freight train and a 1989 Freightliner truck left the truck destroyed and its driver at Salem Hospital.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Amity’s Allen Parks, 56, left the loading dock at Marion AG Service Inc. at 3635 Brooklake Lake N. in Brooks shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, March 8.

Parks, a driver for Halsey-based Simplot Soil Builders, had double trailers filled with 35 tons of ammonium sulfate fertilizer as he started to cross the Portland Western railroad tracks adjacent to the facility.

Parks didn’t yield to the freight train moving at about 25 mph on the track. Train conductor Matthew Astle, 38, was unable to stop in time and hit the truck. The impact overturned the truck and trailers, causing a minor diesel and pellet fertilizer spill. The track crossing is not controlled by a signal device.

Parks was transported for treatment of head and leg injuries. Neither Astle nor his assistant were injured.

Marion County Fire District personnel responded to deal with the spills, with the train expected to block Brooklake for several hours. Pacific Western Railroad is investigating the crash.

Knight of Song postponed, will be part of Iris Festival

McNary High School choir students make a dinner presentation at the 2012 Knight of Song Madrigal Dinner. (Submitted photo)
McNary High School choir students make a dinner presentation at the 2012 Knight of Song Madrigal Dinner. (Submitted photo)

Sluggish ticket sales have resulted in a postponement of McNary High School’s annual Knight of Song and Madrigal Dinner.

The event had been planned for Saturday, March 9, at the Keizer Civic Center and is now slated for May 18 as a featured event during the Keizer Iris Festival.

“Unfortunately, the ticket sales were so meager that we would have been lucky to break even,” said Jim Taylor, McNary choir director and one of the event’s organizers.

Those who pre-purchased tickets for the event will be receiving a phone call and full refund of their ticket costs. The May event will have an even grander sprawl inside the McNary cafeteria, commons and theater with tickets costing $10.

New details can be found at the McNary Fine Arts website, www.mcnaryfinearts.org.

Lady Celts prepped for softball comeback

McNary’s Dani Saunders takes a cut during softball practice Monday, March 4. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Dani Saunders takes a cut during softball practice Monday, March 4. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

If you’ve never taken time to watch the McNary High School varsity softball team play, Celtic Head Coach Kevin Wise suggests starting this season.

“We have a ton of speed and we’re going to use that. We’ll be able to hit in every position. We have girls that can play multiple positions and our pitching is strong,” Wise said. “Everything is going really well.”

Wise, the former junior varsity coach for the Celtics, took over as head coach earlier this year, succeeding Jeff Auvinen.

After taking the job, Wise hoped to put the focus on being a team, but he had some cause for worry after the girls’ first practice last week.


For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the March 8 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.

It’s time to retire. But how?

By DON VOWELL

Complete inability to play Tetris has helped me to understand that it is time to retire.  We recently re-installed a Paleolithic-era Nintendo game deck and everybody around here can still play the game.   But I can’t.

When we first got this machine in 1948, I never rose to the skill level of our children, but I could sometimes guide all the little colored stacks of cubes to the occasional fluke victory.  Saturday night I was completely buffaloed, couldn’t see where to put things and froze up in frustration.  It made me mad—full realization that I am old and useless.  Time to retire.

Common wisdom says you should plan for retirement.  We even have a book here telling us how to prepare.  I don’t know why I should start planning now.  None of my life has been planned so rigorously.

I was born just like everyone else.  I had a wonderfully average and happy childhood just like I was supposed to.  I went to elementary school just like I was supposed to.  Went through high school and survived many slightly stupid adventures, just like my friends.  Then I made a half-hearted pass at becoming a hippie, because everybody else was.  All of that happened just through following the path of least resistance.

The first actually orchestrated event in my life was a persistent and long-term effort to marry the right woman, a campaign that continues to pay dividends above all others.

I got steady and reliable work and we had two children, just like you’re supposed to.  That was not actually planned, though we understood it could happen.  Without actually planning to, we ended up in Oregon.  We got great pleasure in supporting our children, grateful to the teachers and reassuringly ordinary schools of Keizer for giving them a solid base of knowledge, just like they were supposed to.  They have both graduated from college, as expected.

Now, because I am old enough, I will retire just like I’m supposed to.  Life so far has been very pleasing without the interference and rigidity brought on by planning and scheming.  So, I’ll just retire and see what happens.

We have older friends and friends the same age that have retired.  With disturbing frequency they say that in retirement you find yourself busier than ever you were while working full-time.  I’ll do whatever I can to prevent that.  I’ll sit still until I think of something I want to do.

Our helpful book on retirement says how many hundreds of thousands of dollars we should have in order to be comfortable.  In a visit with a financial planner we were asked what monthly amount we would need to live the way we want.  Regardless of what we want we already know what our retirement and social security will pay.  Rather than imagining how good life could be if we had more income, we’ll imagine how good life can be if we are content with what we’ve got.  That’s worked well enough til now.   We’ll live quietly, pursuing our own little pleasures, helping where we can, and hoping for grandkids-—exactly as though we’d planned it that way.

(Don Vowell lives in Keizer.)

Sculptures are in transit

David Boyer measures pieces of his planned Keizer Transit Center sculpture in his Reno-based shop. Boyer’s kinetic wind sculptures beat out 11 other applicants for the new public art project. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
David Boyer measures pieces of his planned Keizer Transit Center sculpture in his Reno-based shop. Boyer’s kinetic wind sculptures beat out 11 other applicants for the new public art project. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

BY ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

When the Salem-Keizer Area Public Transit began looking for the right artist to install work at the new Keizer Station transit center, the search drew interested artists from as far away as the Philippines.

In the end, Reno-based David Boyer’s kinetic wind sculptures won the hearts and minds of transit officials. In April, Boyer will be coming to Keizer to install nine poles with machine-crafted “robotic, stylized flying machines, sort of like futuristic windmills” atop.

Boyer said he drew inspiration for the project from two primary sources.

“Because it is a place where people will be coming and going, I wanted something to symbolize that motion. I also wanted to do something that would use the wind power to fuel it and that ties in with the environmental aspects of the whole site,” Boyer said.


For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the March 8 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.

It is not a “field of broken dreams”

To the Editor:

As a concerned Keizer citizen and KYSA parent, I am appalled at how the city of Keizer and the Keizertimes has portrayed the proposal of repairs and updating needed at the Keizer Little League Park.

This should not be a battle between the city and the youth organizations, nor is this a battle or result of the “split” between Keizer Little League and Keizer Youth Sports Association.  If you are observant, you will see that KLL and KYSA are working closely together for this goal. This is not about who took over the fields. It is a mutual goal of having a safe ball fieldx that both organizations can have their players and fans enjoy.

If you actually read the proposal for the $500,000 request, it is not to “mow fields, make repairs, and run the concession stand.”  The Keizer Little League Park was constructed over 25 years ago, the minor repairs, the weeding and mowing, painting and scraping are all regular maintenance that has been done this whole time.

The “laundry list” of repairs are actually updates that over several decades of time any ball park would eventually need.  Including paving the gravel walk ways making them handicap accessible so family members and friends with disabilities can easily attend and cheer on their ball players.  To have netting put in over the spectator seating areas keeping children and families safe from foul balls. Retaining walls that need to be redone because they were done incorrectly 20+ years ago and are falling apart and unsafe.  That is not something that “their own people” can do themselves and costs more money than the two organizations have combined.

Simple maintenance to the fields has been done by volunteers, but it is time for long lasting repairs and updates to keep Keizer Little League Park a “field of dreams” not a ghost town. What I see is a city that no longer cares about the children and the future of sports in Keizer even though the ballpark brings in more revenue and visitors than any other park in our city.  I see a city and newspaper that does not support their youth sports programs because there are individuals that still have hard feelings about the “split” between two organizations years ago that is causing a “field of broken dreams” not the parents and those trying to support the repairs and updates.

For once, make this about the children and the future of baseball in our community, not your own agenda. Eventually these families will go elsewhere, to play where there is support from a community. Keizer Little League Park will be no more because there is no support from the city in which is resides. That will be a sad day.

Bree Hughes
Keizer

Silverton shooting investigation

To the Editor:

I found myself more than a little upset after reading the article in the March 1st edition of the Keizer times, titled KPD leads Silverton Investigation.

In the article, Mr. Jimmie Eugene Hickey was described as a victim. This man was anything other than a victim. He was an attempted murderer, a possible mentally deranged person. A lone gunman who was attempting to shoot unarmed citizens and the responding police officers, but he was not a victim.

I understand this may have been an honest mistake in the wording of the article by its author, but it’s things like these that give readers a pause to think that those who make claim of a liberal bias in the press, might just have a legitimate complaint.

Bill Gill
Keizer

PERS is a contract

To the Editor:

Anyone who’s happened upon an edition of The Oregonian of late knows that that journal has embraced a one-track calling to bring financial grief to any and all Oregonians who’ve retired by PERS (Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System).  To read The Oregonian is to learn that PERS and its retirees are to blame for everything that keeps public education in this state from fulfilling its mission.  Now, that paper tells us, too, that public employees in Washington and Idaho pay more of their own way for retirement benefits, which tells me that they’e simply less progressive than Oregon.

Since The Oregonian’s criticisms of PERS are so rabid, the reader of that paper begins to wonder the reason behind such single-minded contempt for a segment of the state’s population.

It’s just so strange that The Oregonian (with help from Salem’s Statesman Journal) that journalists at both papers would not consider it blatantly unfair, even persecutive to keep up this mindless slamming in concert with the likes of a Les Miserables’ Javert!  To keep finding that PERS and its retirees are the only way in which revenue can be raised for public education purposes and that PERS retirees must pay for it is mindlessly ridiculous!

Are they not also educated enough to be aware that when any contract is broken that court proceedings follow?  Do they not remember that when the last time this sort of thing was tried that it was found unconsitiutional?  Further, instead of providing a knee-jerk response to anything their Chambers of Commerce demand of them, The Oregonian and Statesman Journal might want to wise up and become thoughtful and responsible, looking to others, like the state’s wealthy and corporations, to pay their fair share of the cost of public education as well as to meet the public needs of a functioning society.

Gene H. McIntyre
Keizer

 

Polk Co. geese cannons

To the Editor:

I live on 13th Avenue N. in west Keizer. A farmer across the Willamette River in Polk County has been using loud propane cannons to scare away geese. This blasting has continued daily every several minutes since early fall.

It has my service dog terrified. Another neighbor’s brother could not visit her in her home for the holidays because he’s recently returned from action in the Middle East.

I ask my neighbors, and others affected by the constant blasting, to contact the city council, and Mayor Lore Christopher, and ask them to contact Polk County Commissioner Craig Pope. The more people who complain about the loud noises coming from the farm the better Mr. Pope will be able to address it. Commissioner Pope can be reached at 503-623-8173.

Joanne Bryngelson
Keizer

Baseball packs roster with senior talent

Celt Jason Reamer fires off a pitch during practice Monday, March 4. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Celt Jason Reamer fires off a pitch during practice Monday, March 4. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Last year, the McNary High School varsity baseball team had a troubled run through the Central Valley Conference, but turned on the afterburners in the post season to make it into the second round of the state title tournament.

This year, the team returns with a boatful of talent – the roster is 12 seniors strong – but many of the other CVC teams are expected to put up as much of a fight, or more, than they did in 2012.

“This league is going to be a dogfight,” said Larry Keeker, McNary head coach. “There’s some great pitching at South and Sprague. North Salem has a talented, young club. West lost a lot of seniors, but they’ve got the depth to fill in.”


For more of this article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the March 8 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.