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Day: April 15, 2013

“Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline

“Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline

c.2013, William Morrow
$14.99 / $16.99 Canada
278 pages




Your memories could fill a thousand scrapbooks.

On this page here, you’d glue that first-day-of-school smell. If you could, you’d paste the sound of your father coming home from work. Your mother’s voice would be saved between pages of perfect-weather days, lost loves, and hot cocoa. You’d fasten down puppy breath, running through sprinklers, and birthday cake.

You could fill volumes with the memories you hold, but Vivian Daly has packed hers in boxes enough to fill an attic. And in the new book “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline, the time has come to empty them.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayers hoped that Ralph and Dina’s house would be the last one she’d have to endure; she’d cycle out of the foster care system soon, and a last-minute move was ridiculous. It was obvious, though, that Dina didn’t like her, so Molly started packing after she was caught stealing a ratty library paperback. She wanted the book and she was sure Dina wanted a convenient excuse to kick her out.

Molly knew she was facing either a new foster home or short-time juvie, until her friend-cum-boyfriend, Jack, came up with another solution: his mother worked for a ninety-one-year-old woman who needed help cleaning her house. It was the perfect place for Molly to serve her community-service punishment. It was the perfect place to wait out her time in the foster system.

Molly figured she’d be bored.

She didn’t figure that Vivian Daly would be so interesting, and she began to think Vivian would be a good subject for a senior-year project on “portage.” Surely in her ninety-one years, Vivian had carried something dear from one place to another…

Nine-year-old Niahm (pronounced “Neev”) Power held tight to the claddagh necklace that her Gram had given her. It was 1929 and the gift was a lifetime ago: Gram gave it to her before the boat ride to America; before Da, Maisie and the twins died in the fire, and before Niahm was put on the train heading west.

It was before Naihm learned that trust was everything when you have nothing else.

I always know that I’ve got a good novel in my hands when I spontaneously gasp, “Oh, no!” while I’m reading.

I did that a lot with “Orphan Train.”

And yet, I have a hard time nailing down why. The appeal of this book isn’t the well-crafted characters or the what-would-I-do-if-it-was-me feeling they give you. It’s not that author Christina Baker Kline based it loosely on real historical events that many adults are surprised to learn about – although that’s pretty appealing in itself.

No, I think the draw here is in those gasping moments, the “You don’t want me anymore?” poignancy, the desperate sense of loss embedded in this story, all of which sneak up on you while you’re reading and make it unforgettable.

Crack this book open just one page, in fact, and I don’t think you’ll be able to let it go. “Orphan Train” is one of those books that sticks to your heart like glue.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.

Caruso’s closes its doors


(Photo courtesy Caruso's Italian Cafe)
(Photo courtesy Caruso’s Italian Cafe)

Caruso’s Italian Cafe has closed its doors, effective last Saturday.

Jerry and Angie Phipps, owners of the restaurant located at 5745 Inland Shores Way North in Keizer, sent out a statement via e-mail about the closure April 14.

“As of Saturday night April 13th Caruso’s has served its last customers,” the statement read. “It is with heavy hearts that we must say goodbye. The last four-and-a-half years of this struggling economy have finally taken its toll and we are unable to continue.”

The Phipps opened Caruso’s in December 2000. Prior to that, Jerry had been chef at restaurants such as The Prime Rib Riverside in Salem, The Oregon Electric Station in Eugene and Marco’s Cafe and Espresso Bar in Portland.

In late January, the restaurant resumed lunch hours after a two-year break.

“We wish to thank all of the many wonderfully loyal customers we have come to know over the last 12 ½ years,” the Phipps said in their statement. “It has been a pleasure to serve you and to have been a part  of the Salem/Keizer community. We will miss you!”

Agenda for Keizer City Council meeting







Monday, April 15, 2013 

7:00 p.m. 

Robert L. Simon Council Chambers 

Keizer, Oregon 













This time is provided for citizens to address the Council on any matters other than those on the agenda scheduled for public hearing. 





a. RESOLUTION– Forming Tate Estates Street Lighting Local Improvement District 


ORDINANCE – Spreading Assessments to Tate Estates Street Lighting District 





a. ORDINANCE – Amending Keizer Parks Regulations; Declaring an Emergency; Amending Ordinance No. 2010-618 



b. RESOLUTION – Authorizing Temporary Use and Signs Subject to Conditions for Iris Festival (2013) 



c. Direction on Recommendation from Council/Citizen Communication Work Group 



d. Keizer Rapids Park Community Build Project Task Force – Appointment of Members 



e. Update from Council Member Complaint Procedure Task Force 






a. RESOLUTION – Ratifying the City Manager’s Execution of Selectemp Staffing Services Agreement 

Page 2 – April 15, 2013 Keizer City Council Agenda


b. RESOLUTION – Authorizing a Temporary Suspension of the Ordinance Prohibiting Street Vendors 



c. Approval of March 11, 2013 Work Session Minutes 



d. Approval of March 18, 2013 Regular Session Minutes 






a. Volunteer of the Quarter Award – Rhonda Rich 



b. Swearing In of Keizer Police Officer Martin Powell 



c. PROCLAMATION – North American Occupational Safety and Health Week 





This time is provided to allow the Mayor, City Council members, or staff an opportunity to bring new or old matters before the Council that are not on tonight’s agenda. 


a. New Business or Old Business Issues 





To inform the Council of significant written communications




May 6, 2013 

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session 

May 13, 2013 

5:45 p.m. – City Council Work Session 

May 20, 2013 

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session 




Upon request, auxiliary aids and/or special services will be provided. To request services, please contact us at (503)390-3700 or through Oregon Relay at 1-800-735-2900 at least two working days (48 hours) in advance. 

Blaze guts Mens Wearhouse

(Submitted by Keizer Fire District)
(Submitted by Keizer Fire District)

An early morning blaze left Men’s Wearhouse with more than $2 million in damages Sunday, April 14.

Firefighters had difficulty accessing the fire as the closest door to the flames was welded shut and sheet rocked over.  Firefighters had to enter through the front of the building and drag hose lines through the entire store to access the rear of the building where the fire was emanating from.

The event originally registered as a burglar alarm at 6065 Keizer Station Blvd. N.E. At 12:22 a.m. Keizer Police officers responded to the scene to investigate and called in Keizer Fire District crews when they found smoke in the building and broken windows from the heat of the fire.

Keizer firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke and flames near the alterations portion of the building. The fire was under control by 12:53am.

Seven engines, two ladder trucks, two ambulances, one battalion chief, one duty officer, one support vehicle, one fire marshal and thirty-two firefighters responded to the incident. Marion County Fire District #1 and Salem Fire Department sent resources to assist with the fire.

The building sustained substantial fire and smoke damage. No injuries were reported in the incident. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Men’s Warehouse in Woodburn will be assisting anyone with suits, alterations or questions. They can be reached at (503) 982-4672.

Time for an African mission


McNary High School's Jon Platt with some of his charges at the Les Ailes De Refuge orphanage in Burkina Faso. He's blogging about his work and adventures at (Submitted
McNary High School’s Jon Platt with some of his charges at the Les Ailes De Refuge orphanage in Burkina Faso. He’s blogging about his work and adventures at (Submitted

Of the Keizertimes

Take a second before reading further and think about how many moments a day you look at your watch, or phone, or the wall, and check the time.

For McNary High School senior Jon Platt, adjusting his perception of time, and its passing, is one of the biggest challenges of his mission trip in Burkina Faso, Africa.

“Growing up in a country where ‘time is money,’ it was extremely difficult to grasp. I slowly adjusted to taking each day as it came,” wrote Platt in an interview via e-mail. “In this country, and I’m sure in many other African countries, time is not a huge deal. The sun rises, the sun sets.  It’s not that clocks are non-existent. It’s just that they aren’t nearly as important.”

As a member of Salem Alliance Church, Platt knew of missionary efforts in Burkina Faso, but didn’t feel the pull to travel there himself until two years ago.

“It was a late night in August two summers ago that I felt a direct calling from God to pursue Burkina. In the next year, I had considered a few other places and programs, but He continually brought me back to this place,” Platt said.


He applied for an internship through Envision, a branch of the Christian Missionary Alliance and was accepted, but he still had to arrange his school schedule to allow him to go.

He organized his classes to earn him the credits he needed to graduate a semester early and was on a plane to Africa four days later. He touched ground in Burkina Faso Jan. 28 and will return May 27 to receive his diploma with the rest of his class in June.

It may have been a challenge to reset his internal clock, but he’s found more than enough ways to fill the time working with children at Les Ailes De Refuge orphanage in the town of Yako.

“My main duty is to simply love on the children here,” Platt said. “The little toddlers without a parent to call their own; a pre-teen who just wants a role-model figure to play soccer with; a kid my age that speaks minimal English, but tries conversations with me to improve it; this is my calling and my job here. It is so simple, yet so rewarding.”

He’s also had the opportunity to go out on well-drilling trips with Friends in Action, an international ministry that seeks to bring clean water to African nations.

“It is a crazy amazing feeling to see an entire village benefit from a couple of days of hard work,” Platt said.

Spreading the word about his faith to another town was a highlight as well.

“Picture a small pick-up truck filled with sound equipment, supplies, and bibles; practically taking up the entire bed of the truck. Then picture nine grown Burkinabe pastors and one Caucasian teenager crammed into the available spaces the equipment left behind,” he said. “Though the ride was terrifying, the experience of it all was so adventurous. To take the gospel to where it hasn’t gone before, I would do anything.”

Language barriers have provided a number of hurdles, but Platt managed to pick up some of the native French dialect and communicates well enough through gestures and pointing.

“It must have some effect, because I have formed some pretty solid relationships despite the extra effort it takes to seek them; I know also that God has had a huge hand in this,” Platt said.

In addition to working with the people of Burkina Faso, a mini-vacation to the town of Banfora led to an encounter with wild hippos.

“We took a ride out to a lake chock full of lily pads resting on crystal clear water. After taking an old, rickety canoe out in the lake, we were able to spot a group of them, but from a distance,” he said.

He spent the next day crawling around large rock formations known as “The Domes,” and hoping not to fall to his death.

On his return, Platt intends to start college work at Chemeketa Community College under the Scholars Program that provides free tuition to students who achieve a better-than-3.5 grade point average through high school. He’s not yet sure how the Burkina Faso trip factors into his future, but he’s focused on the work while he is there.

“I believe with all my heart that God has called me here. He said go, and I came; it’s as simple as that. Everything I am doing and will ever do is to bring glory to his name. My end all goal here is to love and serve the people He has put in my life in this desert land,” he said.

Platt is the son of David and Mary Anne Platt of Keizer. He recently began blogging about his time in Burkina Faso. You can follow his journey at

Letters breathe life into history at MHS


Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School history teacher Gary Bulen was talking with a friend about his upcoming lessons on the Vietnam War.

Then the friend mentioned his sister was a student at McNary when a former student was writing back to The Piper about his experiences on the front lines.

The connection sent Bulen searching through the archives of the paper for the letters written by Cpl. Ed Holcomb, which ran under the heading Viet Nam Chronicles. What he didn’t expect was just how vivid an account Holcomb would provide.

“We had lots of students who ended up serving during that time, and some of them were in offices or acting as clerks in a warehouse, but here we had someone on the front line writing back about what he was seeing and not sparing any detail,” Bulen said.

To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the April 12 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.