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Day: June 7, 2013

Budget OK’d on first pass

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

By the time the 2013-14 budget was discussed Monday by the Keizer City Council, details had mostly been sorted out.

Proof of that: a majority of the budget-related discussion centered on funding that might not even come to fruition.

In the end, councilors unanimously approved the $39 million city budget, including a $10 million general fund budget. The tax rate is $2.0838 per $1,000 of assessed value.

When the public hearing started, none of the 12 audience members – a bigger crowd than usual – offered public comment.

“Really?” asked mayor Lore Christopher, eliciting chuckles. “Then what are you all doing here?”

Much of the discussion among councilors centered on Keizer Chamber of Commerce funding requests. Susan Gahlsdorf, Keizer finance director, noted such requests aren’t being funded at this point since there is currently no Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) funding. Such funding comes from hotel room fees and Keizer’s only hotel, the Renaissance Inn, is currently undergoing Chapter 13 reorganization and is delinquent on taxes.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the June 7 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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.

Silent no more

Students in the McNary High School Flash Fiction Club, Gwendalyn Wiskow, Taylor Bomar, Emily Hickman, Kat Foster, Meadow Wheaton, Amanda Warner and Morgan Hoag, excitedly grab for copies of the new book The Music of the Silent, featuring their writing, on May 30. (KEIZERTIMES/ Eric A. Howald)
Students in the McNary High School Flash Fiction Club, Gwendalyn Wiskow, Taylor Bomar, Emily Hickman, Kat Foster, Meadow Wheaton, Amanda Warner and Morgan Hoag, excitedly grab for copies of the new book The Music of the Silent, featuring their writing, on May 30. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

In a flash, the books were out.

Students from the McNary High School Flash Fiction Club gathered as a group around a box May 30.

Inside the box were copies of the new book The Music of the Silent, featuring short works written by 11 members of the club, started two school years ago by Eric Howald, associate editor of the Keizertimes.

“I was excited,” senior Katrina Foster said of the anticipation of seeing her story Saving Grace in the book. “It’s nice to have your writing on a solid object like this. I wasn’t around for the first unboxing last year, so this was a cool experience.”

Taylor Bomar, a freshman and the only male in the group, loved seeing his two stories plus another short work in print.

“It’s beautiful,” Bomar said. “It’s fantastic. This is my first time being published. I’ve been looking forward to it for so long. Probably about three years I’ve been waiting for this.”


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the June 7 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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.

Athletes honored for Celtic Pride

Clockwise, from upper left: John Kiser, Laura Donaldson, Stacey Titchenal, Aerial Rice.
Clockwise, from upper left: John Kiser, Laura Donaldson, Stacey Titchenal, Aerial Rice.

 

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

For this year’s four winners of the Celtic Pride Award, presented to those students who compete in three sports every year of their high school careers, the path to attaining that goal wasn’t always easy, but they all share one thing in common: they’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

“I do choir and sports and, even though life can be hectic, it’s a lot of fun and you make a lot of friends and lot of memories,” said Jon Kiser. “You just can’t be afraid to do multiple things.”

Kiser competed in football, basketball and track and field as a thrower and sprinter during his stint as a McNary High School student and said it was difficult to choose a favorite because each is so different.

“In football, it’s very big and like a family. In basketball, it’s a smaller, more connected group. In track, it’s individual, but it’s a team because you have to work as a team to make good things happen,” he said.

Of the four honorees this year – the others were Laura Donaldson, Aerial Rice and Stacey Titchenal – Kiser had one of the tougher roads in at least one regard. In football and basketball especially, McNary teams have struggled throughout his tenure, but he focused on what he might take away from the experience.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the June 7 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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.

Volcanoes return to Keizer

The Volcanoes’ Mike Merganthaler takes a cut during a game in the 2012 season. The class A affiliates of the San Francisco Giants return to Keizer Thursday, June 13. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
The Volcanoes’ Mike Merganthaler takes a cut during a game in the 2012 season. The class A affiliates of the San Francisco Giants return to Keizer Thursday, June 13. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

Professional baseball resumes play in Keizer next week with a new manager, Gary Davenport.

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes will play a college all-star team at 6:35 p.m. Thursday and open their regular season at 6:35 p.m., June 14. Both games will be at Volcanoes Stadium. A fireworks display will follow the June 14 game.

Home games this year will start at 6:35 Monday through Friday and 5:05 p.m. Sunday, according to Jerry Howard, Volcanoes general manager.

The 2013 season will feature not only the new manager but also a third Oregon club in the Northwest League, the Hillsboro Hops, who will start their season June 14 as the visitors at Volcanoes Stadium.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the June 7 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition 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.

Lois June (Holly) Erickson

 

L. Erickson
L. Erickson

Mom insisted on writing her own obituary. She always said things as she saw them and we are so glad to have been part of the world she leaves with her following words.

“Eighty-four years is a long time to spend living a GREAT life. I was born in Camas, Washington, June 6, 1928 to James and June Brock Hollingshead. As a child, no possible dream could have predicted the turns of those 84 years.

As a logger’s daughter, and my husband of 56 years, James Erickson, (who was raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm), neither could ever have envisioned our good and adventurous life. That we would travel the world and experience the wondrous things we did. From the North Pole to Antarctica and around the world several times. This was made possible as the result of many years of hard work and determination.

We built our own home in 1948 which has been my home until the end. Our amazingly wonderful children, who each raised delightful and fine families. Holly Marilyn Biskey (Brian), Scott Erickson (Theresa McNulty), and Joanne Swinehart (Rod). Our seven grandchildren Andrew (Bonnie Davis) Biskey, Aron (Jennifer Lloyd) Biskey, Emily Biskey, Samantha Erickson, Shelly Erickson Denaro (Danny), Benjamin (Lindsey Miller) Swinehart, Andrea Swinehart and our nine great grandchildren; Brooklyn, Rachel, Preston, Libby, Jamie, Natalie, Eden Biskey, Ivy and Henry Swinehart.

It has been a magnificent adventure, knowing so many special people, learning of other cultures, seeing this spectacular world and having the best of families, neighbors and friends through the years.

I have requested no services, leaving the family their choice of goodbye. My sincere, “Thank You” to all who touched my life or that I may have touched in any way. I also appreciate doctors and nurses who treated my aches and pains and my ailing heart for so many years. Signed Holly Erickson”

In place of a service we will hold a celebration of life gathering at her home from 2 to 5 p.m. on June 6, which would have been her 85th birthday.

In lieu of flowers please donate the charity of your choice.

Erickson was the 1993 Keizer First Citizen. She was active in the Keizer Art Association and the Keizer Heritage Foundation, of which she was a lifetime honorary member. A room in the old Keizer School is named for her. Erickson was a local leader for Camp Fire Girls and Boys, helped raise money and managed the Northview Terrace Swim Club and had a long involvement with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She participated in Arbor Day tree plantings and helped with holiday food and toy drives.

Ask questions

The members of the McNary High School class of 2013 who will receive their diplomas at graduation June 7 have probably received more advice, assistance and warnings than they want to  hear.

Most of the graduates have made their post-high school plans: summer jobs, summer travel, preparing for college close by or far away.

A number of years ago there was a novelty ditty about what graduates could expect and what they should do.  You know, the one that ends “…always use sunscreen.”

Of all the advice graduates will receive as they prepare for their journey into the world, the best is to ask questions. It’s simple and easy to do and opens vistas.

Graduates, if college is your next step, keep in mind that education is more than what you learn from a book or in a lecture. You can learn so much about the world around you from the people you meet and the experiences you will have. If you accept the notion that your education never ends your post-high school years will be enriched and enhanced by what you learn outside a classroom.

Regardless of what interests you, asking questions of those in that field will give you insights. If you are interested in business, ask any person about their business. You can be assured that very few will  not answer you; a successful person is eager to share the story of their particular journey.

Interested in the arts? By asking questions of an artist you will discover what it takes to be a good writer, a great dancer, or a talented musician. You will learn of the lean days and the flush days; you will get tips about how to ace an audition, get your artwork accepted into a juried show.

The questions are not hard; it’s similar to reporting. By asking someone how they succeeded, what they needed to succeed, where they succeeded and who helped them succeed, you will get a quick education about how the world works.

It is true that the world is your oyster, graduates. Hard work is the common denominator in the stories of all successful people. They asked how, what, why, where and who.  If you keep that in mind your life-long education will take you where you want to go.   —LAZ

We had a summer job

publicdomainpictures.net
publicdomainpictures.net

By LYNDON A. ZAITZ

When you are young, say in your early teens, 5 o’clock in the morning seems mighty unGodly. Heck, the sun hasn’t even risen. Countless summer mornings my brothers and I would be rousted out of bed by my parents.

It was the time of year to head out into the fields and do what thousands of others our age were doing: picking berries and beans. Like so many other things in life, the anticipation of those mornings was always worse than the actuality.

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and choosing which flavor of Shasta soft drink mom should pack in our sack lunches, we trudged off to the bus stop to be carried off to a strawberry field that seemed miles and miles from home.

When we first started our career as pickers, we were the peons. The ‘cool,’ older kids dominated the bus; they ruled from the back of the bus.  As newbies we were relegated to anywhere else except where the cool kids sat. They were neat and cool only because they were a few years older and experienced. They knew what they were heading to; we did not.

Though the kids at the back of the bus were barely older than us they always seemed so grown up, so sure of themselves. I wanted to be like them.  I wanted to sit at the back of the bus and set the standard for rambunctious behavior on the rickety school bus that belched smoke as it chugged its way deep into the farm lands of Willamette Valley.

Even though it was summer, the mornings were cold. We’d wear our sweatshirts and jackets and our junior work boots. When we got to the strawberry field we were faced with an ocean of low, green plants. There is no way we can pick all this, we’d think to ourselves.  It seemed a daunting task.

We were chilly, groggy and in no mood for what we were about to do. And then . . . Mona.

She seemed to be six feet tall. She seemed old. She wore a large sun hat, large sunglasses, gloves and her pants were stuffed into her chin-high boots. She was our field supervisor; she held our destiny in her hands. It was her job to assure that this crew of young people completed the job they were paid to do: pick all the ripe berries, leave no stragglers and, under no circumstances, tromp on the plants.

In the imaginative minds of the Zaitz boys, Mona became our unwitting nemesis. She was only doing her job, but then, so were we.  There was not a scarier sight than to see Mona coming up behind on the row you were picking, pushing aside the leaves to be sure we were picking all the ripe fruit.  If she was not satisfied, she told us to go back and do it right. We conspired amongst ourselves, dreaming of the things we’d do to get back at her.

When picking began in our sleeves soon grew wet and cold from the dew of the plants.  Soon the summer sun would get higher and higher. Throughout the morning we would shed one layer of clothing and then another as the temperature rose. After picking berries for what seemed like hours we asked Mona for the time, certain that it was lunch time. We sagged when she told us unemotionally that it was 10 o’clock. That couldn’t be, we’ve been out there picking for hours and hours.

Picking berries was not all drudgery. We all found ways to amuse ourselves, mostly with strawberry fights between ourselves and at times with other kids in neighboring rows. As you can imagine, Mona did not cotton to the idea that perfectly good fruit was going to waste, ending up smashed on someone’s face or back. But you find diversions where you can find them.

Within several years we had grown into the experienced, older pickers. We created a flag that we planted at the end of row; everyone would know the Zaitz boys were picking.

When you are paid pennies per basket of picked berries, it takes a lot of hours and days to accumulate any real income. Each filled small pallet of berries would be taken to the check-in truck where pickers received a ticket with the amount of berries turned in.  At the end of the season the tickets would be redeemed for a check from the grower.

When you are a youngster, nothing is as sweet as your own check for your hard work. We appreciated what it took to earn that $215 or however much you earned. New school clothes! Music records! Souvenirs while on vacation!

The euphoria of the berry paycheck was short-lived. After a respite of a week or two we were facing another season: pole beans. Pole bean picking for the Zaitz kids brought its own set of challenges, victories and amusements.

By the end of our picking careers we were the cock of the walk. We had the drill down cold, and best of all, we controlled the back of the bus.

(Lyndon A. Zaitz is publisher and editor of the Keizertimes.)

No caucus for old men

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

Last week, Fox News’ Chris Wallace spoon-fed former GOP Sen. Bob Dole one of the media’s favorite questions: Could Ronald Reagan—or Dole—make it in today’s Republican Party? “I doubt it,” Dole answered. “Reagan wouldn’t have made it. Certainly, (Richard) Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.”

Thus were born cable news segments, Beltway follow-up pieces and a New York Times editorial titled “The Wisdom of Bob Dole.” What does it say about the news industry when a guy who’s about to turn 90 says the Senate worked better when he was in charge—and that he got respect within his party—and that interview makes news? O media. O mores.

Alas, that’s how you make quick-turnaround news these days: by recycling stale myths memorialized on camera.

On MSNBC former Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe was asked about Dole’s statement. Of course, Snowe answered that the GOP will “have to rethink their approach.” “Rethink their approach” would be yawn-inducing words in a vanilla factory. Yet they rated stories (with video) on Politico’s website and The Huffington Post.

What’s wrong with this picture?

1.) It wrongly presumes that Reagan could not win a GOP primary today, presumably because rigid conservatives won’t nominate anyone who can work across the aisle. That reasoning ignores the fact that last year, Republican primary voters nominated Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who gave his state Romneycare. Four years earlier, they gave the nod to John McCain, the senator from Arizona who pushed for a bill to grant citizenship to immigrants in the country illegally—formerly known in the San Francisco Chronicle and AP stylebooks as “illegal immigrants.”

2.) Dole isn’t exactly the exemplar of what’s good for the GOP. He won the nomination in 1996 because he had stood in line better than his rivals, but then he proceeded to lose big. To lament that Dole couldn’t succeed in the GOP today is analogous to lamenting that Jimmy Carter couldn’t win a Democratic nomination—as if that’s a bad thing.

3.) Nixon?

4.) The minute a presumed moderate Republican wins the GOP presidential primary, he becomes an extremist. In its 1996 editorial endorsing Bill Clinton, The New York Times regretted that Dole had “strayed from his moderate record.” Now Dole is the paper’s Yoda.

5.) On MSNBC and in her book, “Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress,” Snowe also criticized Democrats. But when she disses the Dems, there’s no headline.

On Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., released a video announcing she is not running for re-election. Bachmann rejected the notion that she is bowing out to avoid electoral defeat, as she said she expects the “mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on” her decision not to seek a fifth term.

That’s not a tall order. As Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler noted, given Bachmann’s many gaffes, the fact checking trade may have to hold a national day of mourning.

Dole endured his share of ridicule after he lost—especially when he became a spokesman for the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. Later, he learned the way to mainstream media redemption. Michele Bachmann, take note. Say the Republicans aren’t what they used to be. Blame them for all that is wrong in Washington. Go easy on the party that controls the Senate and the White House. That’s how Republican politicians turn into saints.

(Creators Syndicate)

We need a name for our current wars

By GENE H. McINTYRE

What’s timely about now?  Would that be the call for a contest?   A contest to Name that War!

Back in 2001, after 9/11, George W. Bush announced that the U.S. was engaged in a “Global War on Terrorism.”  That was Bush’s contribution to Name that War!

Upon taking over the presidency in 2009, Barack Obama junked Bush’s formulation, as he did the other day in his usual rhetoric form.  Meanwhile, war in the Middle East has continued, largely unabated, but with the on-going promise to stop it…well, sometime soon.

What appears to be the case these days is that we now have a nameless war which may soon, in one form or another, big or small by endeavor, secret or open, add Syria to those nations in the Middle East that have been or are now occupied by the United States.  Again, we don’t have a name for the war that will probably soon include Syria.

But, it’s argued, it does matter what we choose to call the military enterprise we’ve been waging in Afghanistan and Iraq for more than ten years now.  There are then also the smaller forays by the CIA, and branches of the military, among the nations scattered hither and yon across the Islamic world.

So, what should we call this war?  Is it simply to be labeled the “Long War” as it has already entered deeply into three decades long.   After all, the war, as we know it now, had its origins (August, 1996) in the Osama bin Laden’s “Declaration to War against the Americans Occupying the Land (Saudi Arabia) of the Holy Places.”

Although Bill Clinton took notice, the U.S. response to bin Laden’s provocations back in the mid-1990s was not only limited but wholly ineffectual.  Nowadays, the realists among us recognize that the bin Laden-started “war” will not end soon.

Actually, the war we’re in at present began in 1948 when Israel was established.  The founding of Israel was viewed by many as a justification for the Holocaust Jewish people suffered and eased consciences in the west.  For Muslims, however, especially the Arabs, the founding of a Jewish state represented an enragingly unholy injustice.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the U.S. generally remained neutral.  This changed dramatically in the 1960s when we became Israel’s principal patron.  The U.S. and Israel now share technology, intelligence and a common cause that’s perceived by Arabs as primarily against the Islam religion and its devotees.  Meanwhile, as has been the case for years and years, Israel disregards U.S. concerns about the threat of nuclear weapons and colonizing of Palestinian territories it has militarily conquered.

Getting back to where this essay started with the call for a contest to “Name that War,” we need a name for that in which we are hopelessly entangled.  A tempting submission to win the contest is, “The Second 100 Years War,” as the ”first” began in 1337 and ended with the last Crusade in 1453.

In the last century, the U.S. took over for the British when that nation was “broke” as a world power at the end of World War II.  Great Britain then left the mess it created in the Middle East after the Ottoman Empire (mainly modern-day Turkey and its servile states in the Middle East) and Germany were defeated by the Allies at World War I’s end and they “re-organized” it.  As time would tell, the whole area degenerated into a state of chaos and killing that’s become its profile ever since.

Yes, the U.S. was lured by oil and the fear that the former Soviet Union would step into the Middle East to take the place of Great Britain.  So, in we rushed to try to control it for U.S. interests.

What can we Americans hope for?  Can we pacify the region?  Can we make-over our image there?  Can we keep a “lid” on the place?  So far, it looks a lot like we’ve flunked that test badly while the future resembles a quicksand where we sink evermore deeply into a furious, totally agitated quagmire.

Actually the war into which we have totally immersed ourselves began nearly 1,00 years ago and has continued through fits and starts for centuries.  Now, WE are the “infidels,” mostly in American uniforms; attacking and killing Muslims thereby with our arsenal of “godless” weapons.

Former President George W. Bush, in an unscripted moment several years ago, described the war as a “crusade.”  What he probably should have said, if he and his administrators had had enough knowledge of the Middle East to know better, if we ever wanted to establish and maintain anything like cordial relations, is that we were entering the “Eternal War,” driving blindly into another millennium of bloody conflicts.

Now, then, let’s end this column by going back to the start:  Name that War!

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)