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Day: June 14, 2013

Fireworks, Father’s Day highlight Volcanoes’ opening weekend

Salem-Keizer’s Chuckie Jones dives for first base, avoiding a pick-off attempt in a game last season. (File Photo)
Salem-Keizer’s Chuckie Jones dives for first base, avoiding a pick-off attempt in a game last season. (File Photo)

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes’ 2013 kicked off Thursday with a game against the College All-Stars past press time, but the festivities will continue this weekend as the team faces the Hillsboro Hops in the three-game series  Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In conjunction with the season kick-off, the club is offering several promotional events.

For the opening game of the Northwest League competition, the field will be renamed McLaran Field in honor of the recently deceased Mike McLaran, longtime director of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. McLaran was instrumental in the relocation of the Volcanoes from Bellingham, Wash., in 1997.  The 6:35 p.m. game will conclude with a fireworks display.

On Saturday, June 15, the club will offer free admission to all kids wearing Awesome 3000 T-shirts. It will also be Educator Appreciation Night and honorees of the 2012 Crystal Apple Awards will be honored alongside the 2013 graduates of McNary High School. Game time is 5:30 p.m.

On Father’s Day, June 16, the Volcanoes club will offer breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon in the Lava Lounge Sports Pub. Menu includes ham, eggs, biscuits and gravy, and carmel and chocolate pancakes. Coffee and juice is also included. Mimosas, champagne, wine, beer and a full bar will also be available. Cost is $8 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.

After brunch, dads and their kids will be invited down to the field to play catch. Families can send photos of their fathers to [email protected] and they will appear on the Jumbotron during the 5:05 p.m. game. There is no cost to have a photo displayed.

A new partnership with Keizer’s Big Town Hero will allow fans access to breaking news and scores in addition to the chance to win prizes. To sign up, fans text “bthbaseball” to 90210 to begin receiving messages for the upcoming season. At each home game, those involved in the program will be randomly drawn from within the system to receive prizes. Prizes will include, but are not limited to, Volcanoes tickets, Big Town Hero certificates, and more. Fans in attendance at each Volcanoes game will be eligible.

Last week’s story about opening day include a misstatement about Jerry Howard’s positions. He is senior marketing executive and director of game day operations. Jerry Walker, the club president, is also the general manager.

Council: It’s Kim Freeman

 

Audience members, including husband Ron Freeman, applaud after Kim Freeman (left) is announced as the new Keizer City Councilor during a special meeting Monday evening. Freeman will be sworn in and starts serving on June 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Audience members, including husband Ron Freeman, applaud after Kim Freeman (left) is announced as the new Keizer City Councilor during a special meeting Monday evening. Freeman will be sworn in and starts serving on June 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Kim Freeman helped make history Monday night.

Freeman was appointed Monday to the Keizer City Council seat vacated last month by Ken LeDuc. Freeman was one of seven candidates – and the only female – to give a five-minute presentation to councilors during a special session.

Four of the six councilors voted for Freeman after presentations were finished. Freeman will be sworn in at the start of the June 17 council meeting.

With Freeman, 50, joining council, a majority of councilors are now females. Mayor Lore Christopher noted that’s a first in Keizer history. Cathy Clark and Marlene Quinn are also on council.

“I’m very surprised,” Freeman said afterwards. “Each of the candidates were fabulous. There was great experience in the room tonight.”

Christopher, Quinn, Clark and Jim Taylor all voted for Freeman. Joe Egli voted for Kevin Hohnbaum while Dennis Koho voted for Roland Herrera. The other candidates were Ronald Bersin, Eamon Bishop, Matt Chappell and Erick Peterson. Mark Miedema had applied, but dropped out.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the June 14 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.

A wealth of talent

Last November, five people sought election to three Keizer city council seats. This week, seven candidates offered themselves up for appointment to a vacant seat. All seven made good cases for their appointment. In the end the council voted to name Kim Freeman to the seat vacated by Ken LeDuc.

Freeman will be a great addition to the council due to her independence, intelligence and experience. She admirably chaired this year’s Budget Committee; she has served on the Volunteer Coordinating Committee including chairing that body.

The newest councilor is nobody’s toady—she makes decisions based on what she learns, not on what she’s told. She will be an independent voice but she will be able to work well with her colleagues.  She is well known for her affable and courteous manner; there will be no rough stuff from her.

Through her various positions in the private and public sectors Kim Freeman has gained a wide-ranging set of skills, especially in the financial realm. Her tenure with a credit counseling service as well as her position as treasurer for several non-profit groups will allow her to bring a well-rounded background in budgets to the council.

She was firm yet collaborative in her chairmanship of the 2013 Keier Budget Committee. She kept discussions on track and completed the task of fashioning the city’s 2013-15 budget in a timely manner.

Her other public service has been with the Volunteer Coordinating Committee. This is the committee that vets applicants for every volunteer membership of all the city’s commissions, boards and task forces Her many years of service on that committee gives her a unique knowledge of the functions of the diverse committees the city leaders rely upon.

Kim Freeman is a great choice and we expect good things from her over the next three and a half years.

The six councilors filling the vacant  seat had a wealth of talent to choose from. There were two council candidates from last November—Eamon Bishop and Matt Chappell. Ron Bursin, executive director of the State Ethics Commission was an applicant as was former Keizer Public Works employee Roland Herrera. Erik Peterson, a member of the Planning Commission applied as did Kevin Hohnbaum,  a leader of Keep Keizer Livable.

It is a testament to Keizer that there was such a deep bench of potential city councilors. Each was thoughtful in their five minute presentations before the special council session on Monday. Each has the best interests of Keizer at heart, each has been involved with their community with their volunteerism.

In 18 months Keizer will have an election for mayor and three council seats. Contested elections are vital to a democracy,. With the talent on display Monday and other civic-minded citizens like them, 2014 should be a year when the people who have municipal opinions and have a stake in Keizer’s success should make the ultimate volunteer effort and run for public office.

As Mayor Lore Christopher often says, they’re not politicians, they’re just neighbors helping the city.

—LAZ

A barking success

The Keizer Rapids Off-Leash Dog Park is celebrating its fifth anniversary this season. And what a success it has been and continues to be.

Before Keizer Rapids Park was created there was no place in the city to let your dog run leash-free except your backyard. When planning for the park was underway the idea of a dog park was added. With a generous donation from Keizer Veterinary Clinic and tireless hours of volunteer help and donations, the dog park was born and it has been a hit ever since.

The Keizer Parks Foundation has been instrumental in raising funds for amenities in the park for its customers—dogs of every size. There is a water foundation with an attached doggie water bowl, a faux fire hydrant in the park for the dog’s natural impulses and shelters for their human owners to relax as their pets run themselves ragged around and around the park.

With a small dog enclosure attached the park caters to every type of dog. Our four-legged friends enjoy it and our two-legged neighbors love it.

The park is heavily used by both residents and non-residents. By any measure the dog park is a draw to our city and a wonderful facet in our parks system.

—LAZ

A great business in Keizer

To the Editor:

As a resident of Keizer for 30 years I have seen businesses come and go.  I want to bring attention to a business by the name of Pooch Parlor and Kitty Too!

The owners, Melissa Bennett and Phillip Pentecost, are wonderful with animals. They groom my dog and cat and treat them like their own pets.

If you want your pet to have a stress-free bath, haircut, or nails done, stop by and say hello. They are located at 3493 River Road N. in Keizer.

Diana Romero
Keizer

Protecting against Medicare fraud

We’ve recently heard reports that a variation on an old scam is making the rounds. It sounds like this:

(Ring, ring)

Unsuspecting person who answers the phone:  Hello?

Scammer who is calling:  Ma’am, I’m calling from Medicare. We’re about to send out national medical cards for the new Affordable Care Act.  So I just need to confirm your name, address and phone number.  Oh, and I need your Medicare and bank account number, too…

This kind of scam pops up anytime there’s a big change in a government policy, or when a topic is in the news. Scammers use people’s uncertainty to try to get them to reveal personal information. From there, it’s not much of a leap to identity theft, with scammers using or selling your Medicare number, racking up bogus charges on your credit cards, opening new credit cards in your name, even taking out loans in your name.

You can protect yourself. If you get a call asking for your information, hang up. It’s a scam. Government organizations and the legitimate groups you do business with have the information they need. They’ll never call to ask you for it.

Today we have even more tools to stop fraud—including more law enforcement boots on the ground and more time in prison for criminals.  We’re also using state-of-the-art technology to spot fraud, similar to what your credit card company uses.  As a result, prosecution of health care fraud cases is up 75 percent since 2008.

But for all of our new technology and investigative muscle, the most valuable resource we have in the fight against Medicare are the millions of seniors who serve as our eyes and ears.  Seniors who notice services they never received on their Medicare statements often provide the first tip that fraud is happening, so we’ve redesigned Medicare statements to make them easier to read and understand.  And our Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs are educating seniors, family members, and caregivers around the country about the importance of reviewing their Medicare notices to identify errors and report potentially fraudulent activity.

Seniors are paying attention and they are fighting back against the fraudsters who are trying to steal from Medicare.

A Medicare beneficiary in Texas was asked to sign a work order for his diabetes supplies.  He said that normally he would have just signed and thrown the paper away.  But he had recently heard a presentation from the SMP at his adult day center, so he looked more closely and noticed that he was being charged $7,000 for one month’s supply.  So he asked his home nurse to help him call the National Hispanic SMP and together they figured out that the supplier was going to charge Medicare for 100 boxes of diabetes test strips and 100 boxes of lancets, even though he’d received only one of each.  The SMP helped resolve the case and made sure that Medicare only paid for the supplies he actually needed and received.

A 68-year old Vietnam veteran from California has a medical condition that often makes him dizzy and in danger of falling.  His daughter and his doctor arranged for him to have a motorized chair to help him get around.  But the chair that arrived was not the chair that he ordered.  It was smaller, flimsier, and made by an entirely different manufacturer.  His daughter called the supplier, but their hands were tied—Medicare had already processed the payment for the chair.  So they turned to the SMP for help.  After weeks of investigating, they uncovered that someone had intercepted the order and replaced it with the less sturdy chair.  The SMP was able to work with Medicare to correct the problem, get the veteran the correct chair, and make sure that Medicare wasn’t charged twice.

A senior in Montana received a telemarketing call offering him diabetic testing supplies that he didn’t want or need.  But even though he was clear with the caller that he did not want anything, charges for those supplies showed up on his Medicare statement anyway.  He got in touch with the SMP to see if they could help fix the problem.  Not only did his call mean that Medicare recovered money in his case, it also opened up a broader investigation into the organization that called him and could result in additional savings and prevented fraud.

These three stories are eye opening, but they are not unique.  More than 1.5 million seniors have called SMP programs in cities around the country to ask questions and report potential fraud.  Together they’ve saved Medicare and the federal government in excess of $100 million.

To all of you tipping us off to fraud, thank you.  To learn more about the SMP program and to join us in our fight against Medicare fraud, go to stopmedicarefraud.gov.  Or call the Oregon office of SMP at 1-855-ORE-ADRC (673-2372).

(Submitted by Craig Parker, Senior Medicare Patrol Coordinato with Northwest Senior and Disability Services. He can reached at 503-304-3653.)

‘Ma and pa’ boil over LID

File photo
File photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Delinquent taxes on two Keizer Station properties are a hot topic once again.

In a letter dated June 4 to Keizer Mayor Lore Christopher, state Sen. Tim Knopp and Rep. Gene Whisnant wrote on behalf of their constituents, Timm and Linda Rawlins of Redmond. As mentioned in the Keizertimes in April 2011, the Rawlins have two properties situated between Volcanoes Stadium and the Bonneville Power Administration substation.

At the time, both representatives from Rawlins Real Estate and developer Chuck Sides acknowledged Sides was responsible for making local improvement district (LID) payments. Sides was behind on payments at the time, a situation that has continued.

“I want you to understand we are just ma and pa making a few thousand dollars,” Linda Rawlins said at the time.

Reached at her business in Redmond Monday in regards to last week’s letter, Linda said, “I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about it today” and had no further comment.

Read the letter from


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the June 14 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.

America’s shortest war was in Texas

By GENE H. McINTYRE

Last week I wrote an article about what’s known to be our nation’s longest war (August, 1996 to the present time and counting), inviting, thereby, anyone interested to Name that War.  As a suggestion, I offered “Eternal War” as possibly the most appropriate label for that interminable conflict.

On the lighter side, it may be uplifting to present a piece of obscure U.S. history by telling the story of the shortest war ever fought by the United States.  We know it to have lasted only one day and took place against a self-declared independent state located within the U.S.

It happened in 1867 when the U.S. was suddenly up against a newly-established republic named the Free State of Van Zandt.  Here’s its story:

Before declaring itself a free state and getting into a war, Van Zandt was just another county in then-sparsely populated east Texas.  The place and its inhabitants had been mainly ignored by occupying federal troops during and following the Civil War.  Nevertheless, many of the residents resented the very idea that they were under the rule of a Yankee military officer.

In the summer of 1867 a number of male citizens gathered at Canton’s old brick courthouse on the town square.  They called a convention at which they produced a Declaration of Independence and then voted to secede from the state of Texas and the U.S.A.

When word reached U.S. General Philip H. Sheridan in New Orleans, he immediately ordered a cavalry unit dispatched to Van Zandt to put down the rebellion. When the folks there learned that federal troops were on their way, they declared war on the U.S.

They then marched to the “national border” or county line and took up defensive positions in a dense forest that flanked the main road to Canton.  The U.S. troops viewed the whole venture as nothing more than a casual ride in the country until, when they came around a certain bend in the road, they were greeted by gunfire.

No cavalryman was hit but it startled all of them and a quick retreat ensued.  It all looked very much like a rout to the Van Zandters as the soldiers quickly turned their mounts about and galloped back down the road.  The defenders roared a victory cheer and then departed the scene to celebrate their accomplishment in the local tavern, continuing well into the night.

Under cover of dark, the federal troops resumed their march on Canton, all the way into town.  There they found the last stragglers of the party that ensued after the “battle,” shackled them, and took the city and county back without firing a single shot.

With most of the former defenders having contracted splitting headaches from the night-long reverie, they were all awakened and rounded up.  It was never determined whether the sobering up was more painful than the wrath of the wives and mothers of the formerly intrepid local militia.

A federal rider was dispatched to summon a circuit judge while a wire was transmitted for orders from superiors.  What were they to do with almost a hundred rebels under guard with no means to house or feed them?

The federal troops built a makeshift stockade to house their prisoners.  However, during the second night, while a heavy rain sent the guards into a shelter some distance away, one of the Van Zandters had a sharp tool and cut through a weak link in the chain that tethered the men together.  To a man, the rebels escaped into the night.

They ran far and wide in search of farmers who’d sympathetically cut their ankle irons and set them free.  Although warrants were issued for arrests, not one of the rebels ever went to trial.  It has been reported, although assuredly as no surprise, that the Army spent no time looking for the escapees.

What came of the rebellion?  Although history might have forgotten it, the locals did not.  A sign on a highway leading into Canton, Texas, today reads simply: You are enterting the free State of Van Zandt.  Too bad for all of us that the U.S. does not have a sign posted at the entry to the Middle East: You are entering the zone of Eternal War.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)

Boys basketball camp starts Monday, others to follow

 

KEIZERTIMES/File
KEIZERTIMES/File

The McNary High School basketball programs are hosting summer camps for boys and girls the next two weeks.

First up are the boys with a camp planned Monday, June 17, through Thursday, June 20. Incoming third through fifth graders will meet from 9 a.m. to noon and incoming sixth through eighth graders will meet from 1 to 4 p.m.

Camps will focus on developing fundamentals like footwork, shooting technique, passing and catching, dribbling and rebounding. Cost is $45 and includes a T-shirt.

Girls camp, for incoming third through eighth graders, will meet Monday, June 24, through Thursday, June 27.

Camps will focus on fundamentals like footwork, shooting, passing and dribbling with special instruction in areas like pivoting and screening, post moves, guard and wing play and moving the ball.

Cost is $45 and includes a T-shirt.

The Celtic cross country and soccer programs will host camps in August.

Cross Country campers will leave at 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5, for Cape Lookout State Park on the Oregon coast and return Friday, Aug. 9, at 4 p.m. Cost is $50 and includes transportation, camp fees, food and drink for the week. The primary focus is to teach training fundamentals and give each individual athlete the tools they need to become successful.

Soccer camp for students in fourth through sixth grade will be held Aug. 5-8 at McNary from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Camp for high school-aged athletes begin Aug. 12 and runs through Aug. 15. Times are 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The primary focus is to develop and utilize basic soccer and ball handling skills in a relaxed camp atmosphere. Cost is $40 for each camp.

Registration forms for all camps are available at the high school of on the school website, mcnary.salkeiz.k12.or.us.