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Day: February 28, 2014

Boys play for third, bye in play-in round

Celt Tregg Peterson charges toward the hoop in McNary’s game with McKay High School Friday, Feb. 21. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Celt Tregg Peterson charges toward the hoop in McNary’s game with McKay High School Friday, Feb. 21. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

They say it’s hard to beat a team three times in a season, but that wasn’t the case for the McKay High School boys varsity basketball team Friday, Feb. 21.

The Royal Scots notched their third victory over the McNary High School Celtics this season with a 52-45 win.

“We had pretty good game plan, but they just seem to have our number every time,” said McNary sophomore Trent Van Cleave.

In the early going, McNary held slim leads and left the first frame with a 10-9 lead. In the waning seconds of the second quarter, McKay’s Isaiah Montano hit a two-pointer to put the Salem team up 20-18, but Celt Johnathan Doutt drove all the way back down the court to lay in the tying shot as the buzzer sounded.

“It’s almost like a chess match a little bit,” said Ryan Kirch, McNary head coach. “We were missing shots we were used to getting, but our boys were executing almost perfectly. ”

McKay went on a 12-2 run to open the third quarter and McNary didn’t find sure footing on offense until the final two minutes of the quarter. As the fourth quarter began, McNary cut the deficit to 36-32 on a shot by junior Devon Dunagan who also drew a foul. Dunagan hit one of two and cinched the score to 36-33, but it was the closest McNary would get.

“Defensively we weren’t executing like we should have. We switched up our defense three times, but we couldn’t find anything that put us into a rhythm,” Dunagan said.

The Celts also appeared unable to buy a three-point shot. After many attempts by several players, junior Tregg Peterson was the only one to put one in outside the circle, and it came in the final minute of the game.

Dunagan led scoring with 17 points, Peterson had 14, Doutt had eight, Braden Taylor had four and Van Cleave had two.

The loss meant the Celtics would play for third place in the Central Valley Conference tournament against West Salem High School Wednesday, Feb. 26, past press time. The winner of that game earned a bye in the play-in round of the state tournament, but a loss for McNary meant hosting a play-in Saturday, March 1.

For McNary, a win in its final game of the tournament held two big payoffs: avoiding a play-in for the the first time in years and the guarantee of its first winning season since Kirch took over the program three years ago.

“West played us really well last time and we lost our composure. They made some good adjustments last time and we’ll have to counter those, but the big thing is staying in it and staying focused,” Kirch said. “These are the sort of games you have to will yourself to win.”

Regardless of the outcome, Dunagan said the change in the program has been one long in the making, but it’s felt throughout the team.

“This year we have eight players who all have really bought in and we’re going the way we need to go to be a top-ranked team every season,” Dunagan said.

Prior to the game with McKay, the Celtics beat Sprague High School 54-42 to advance to the second round of the CVC tournament. The Celts, with a 10-point lead going into halftime, managed to hang on for the win despite the Olys outscoring them 12-6 in the fourth frame.

“We stopped their big guy and then we shut the rest of their shooters down,” Van Cleave said.

Peterson led the game, putting up 15 points, Doutt had 12, Dunagan and Van Cleave had eight each, Connor Goff had four and Hayden Gosling had three. Taylor and Cade Goff had two apiece.

Bowlers make Top 8 at state

bowling-BALL-2010

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School bowling teams capped district titles with top eight finishes in the state tournament in Medford last weekend.

While the teams awaited their final placement, the boys finished in fourth or fifth, while the girls finished seventh or eighth. Members from both teams cited difficult lane conditions as one factor in their performance.

The teams competed in 30 qualifying matches with 15 other teams the first day of the tournament and then went into a double-elimination bracket Sunday, Feb. 23.

The boys made it to the second round of double elimination before a 7-10 split by Scott Bridger in the 10th frame sent them to the consolation bracket. Coach Dan Kaplan said the ball was flush to the pocket, but the lanes left bowlers with weird spares throughout the tournament. Bridger managed to pick up one of the pins, but the other team advanced with a one-pin win.

“The lanes felt long and narrow. They didn’t feel comfortable like they do here (at Town & Country),” Bridger said.

Still, the boys bowled six games over 200 in their first eight matches of the second day.

“We were a better team the second day than we were the first,” said freshman Nick Blythe.

The boys missed a chance to play in the third-place game by a mere 10 pins.

Sierra Mo, who bowls with the girls, said the team had a mostly consistent first day, but it was nerves that got the better of them in double-elimination.

“Once we got to the double-elimination games you could just tell that the pressure was getting to all of us,” Mo said.

The bowlers were accompanied by a throng of supporters who got to watch as the Celt’s led the entire alley in a round of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, a tradition the team has carried on for four years. Members of the team were given financial help for their trip with support from Don Lebold, owner of Town & Country, and Boucher’s Jewelers.

While it wasn’t exactly the state championship the teams hoped for, they are even more excited for what next season might bring.

“There were a lot of good bowlers down there this weekend and a lot of them were seniors. Once they graduate it opens up opportunities for us because we have a lot of good people who will be back and a lot of good bowlers coming up from middle school,” Mo said.

Both teams lose only one bowler to graduation in June.

While the tournament was the end of regulation play for the bowlers, a handful will get one more shot to impress. Blythe, Bridger, Aaron Seth, Mo and Hannah Russell will compete as part of district All-Star teams March 8-9 in Tillamook.

Herrera running for city council

Roland Herrera, formerly a city employee for nearly 20 years before a controversial 2011 resignation, has announced he is running for a spot on the Keizer City Council. (Submitted)
Roland Herrera, formerly a city employee for nearly 20 years before a controversial 2011 resignation, has announced he is running for a spot on the Keizer City Council. (Submitted)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Roland Herrera knows the question will keep coming up.

Herrera announced this week he is running for a spot on the Keizer City Council.

If your reaction to that is “Roland Herrera? Isn’t that the guy the city parted ways with a couple of years ago?” Herrera understands.

The longtime Public Works employee resigned from the City of Keizer in the fall of 2011, after working at the city for nearly 20 years. Many letters of support for Herrera came to the Keizertimes at the time. Herrera’s lawsuit against C&M Victor Company, operator of the Keizer Little Ceasar’s where a disagreement cost Herrera his job, according to him, is set to be heard in court next month.

Those familiar with the backstory may assume his run for council now – he also applied for the seat vacated by Ken LeDuc last year, which went to Kim Freeman – is a way to extract revenge on city leaders.

Not even close, Herrera told the Keizertimes.

“People that know me know that’s not me,” he said. “The next day after my resignation from the city, I started a new project in parks, working with the city. I never skipped a beat with my volunteering. I was fortunate to meet with a lot of good people.

“My experience working for the city was very positive,” Herrera added. “I learned all the streets and neighborhoods in Keizer. I worked on most of the parks and can tell you the size of them. The technical things I learned will be helpful. I love to be part of the community. Everyone knows how much I care about Keizer.”

Keizer’s 2009 First Citizen repeatedly referred to advice learned from his dad about taking the high ground and also pointed to nuggets of wisdom from wife Loyvia.
“Like my wife says, look at the positive side,” Herrera said. “I don’t look back, I look forward. I love Keizer, man. I’m always thinking of ways to help. I always make decisions based on what’s best for the greater good of the community.”

While believing there are still some city employees who are “dishonest,” the longtime little league volunteer who moved with his family to Keizer in 1965 looks back at his time working for the city with fondness.

“I have relations with everybody,” said Herrera, who noted many still call him ‘coach’ due to his sports involvement. “Because of my background with the city, I met 50 people a day for 20 years. That helped me get a good feel for the community. I’ve always listened to that pulse. I’m proud of what I’ve done for Keizer, my accomplishments. They used to call me Mr. Keizer. I used to hate it, but I kind of like it now. ”

Herrera, 61, isn’t sure yet what seat he will run for. Mayor Lore Christopher has already announced she won’t be running again, with current councilor Cathy Clark declaring her candidacy for that position.

Former councilor Brandon Smith has announced he’ll be running for the seat currently held by Jim Taylor, who is not running again. Others have yet to indicate their plans.

“I would probably go for Cathy’s seat,” Herrera said.

In particular Herrera, a father of four and grandfather of four, wants to engage the Latino and youth in Keizer.

“Folks are not engaged right now,” he said. “A lot of times they can’t relate. I want to engage more people in the process. I’m excited about the young people in Keizer. I will pay my dues and do my homework. In Keizer I’ve seen a lot of changes over 35 years. It’s changed in the sense that a lot of people don’t know how to get involved.”

Herrera recently jointed the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, as well as the Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association board.

WORTH THE WAIT

Keizer's Robert (Bob) Robison has a Purple Heart pinned to his suit by Cameron Smith (left), director of the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs, during a ceremony in the governor's office at the state capitol last Friday, Feb. 21. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Keizer’s Robert (Bob) Robison has a Purple Heart pinned to his suit by Cameron Smith (left), director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, during a ceremony in the governor’s office at the state capitol last Friday, Feb. 21. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

More than 60 years later, Keizer’s Robert Robison finally got his Purple Hearts.

In a special ceremony at the governor’s office Feb. 21, the emotional 82-year-old was feted for continuing to serve in the U.S. Army despite being shot twice.

“It’s a beautiful day,” Robison said after receiving his medals.

While serving in the Korean War, Private 1st Class Robison was shot in the chest on March 25, 1951.

“He was treated and returned to combat duty,” said Joe Reynoso from the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA). “Two months later, he was shot in the left leg. His time in the war zone was over.”

By August 1951 Robison had recovered and was honorably discharged. He married wife Barbara on Nov. 1 of that year and continued to serve in the Army until 1957.

“For too long, the Korean War has been the forgotten war,” said Cameron Smith, director of ODVA. “We stand here today to say that we do remember. Today we remember the service and sacrifice of Mr. Bob Robison.”

After his time serving, Robison became an iron worker in California in 1959. He moved his family to Oregon in 1969, soon moving to Keizer where he’s lived the past 43 years. He retired as a foreman in 1996.

Rep. Kim Thatcher of Keizer honored Robison on the House floor prior to the ceremony.

“One of the best parts of being a representative is having constituents like this,” Thatcher said, motioning to Robison. “It makes you proud to have such people in your district. He is such a great example.”

Joe Egli, president of the Keizer City Council, noted how Robison’s story mirrored his father’s story.

“It’s about quiet, ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things,” Egli said. “They are leading by example. Keizer is the home of pride, spirit and volunteerism. You fit right in. Thank you for all you’ve done.”

Smith pinned the medals on Robison, while Robison’s son Ed presented Barbara with a Purple Heart necklace.

Robison said it wasn’t too hard to hear someone else talk about what he went through in war.

“When I went over there, I was pretty young,” he said. “When I got shot through the chest, the machine gunner got killed. That’s who they go after, the guys with the automatic weapons.”

An emotional Barbara loved the necklace presented by her son.

“It is the most wonderful thing,” she said. “It’s beautiful. I’m speechless. This ranks high among the highlights for us. It’s fantastic to have all this family here.”

Daughter Cindy Hepting was pleased to see her dad honored, more than six decades after being injured in action.

“Our family is honored that dad is getting this recognition,” Hepting said. “He is so deserving. He is proud to have served his country during wartime and continued that commitment to service when he came home. We are grateful he is finally receiving these medals and we are just very thankful to everyone involved in arranging this special ceremony.”

Raising money, having fun

Regardless of what interests you, there are a number of events happening in town in the coming weeks that will fill your needs.  If you are intersted in wine, fine arts or the moral development of our kids, there’s something going on.

First up is Knight of Arts at the high school on Saturday, March 8. This annual event—with a fun medieval theme—raises funds for all the McNary High School fine arts programs including drama, music and art. With more than half of the student body involved with one of the seven fine arts, this event has become a major social event in Keizer. The silent auction items will be wide and varied but the live auction will offer some unique products and services.

On Tuesday, March 11, Keizer Young Life will hold its annual spring auction at the Keizer Civic Center. Proceeds from this popular event will help send Keizer kids to summer camp. The Young Life auction is one of the most successful events in Keizer, bringing together the community for the good of our kids.

Wine lovers should circle Friday, March 14, on their calendars. The Keizer Parks Foundation presents its second Pinot for the Parks, also at the Keizer Civic Center. The foundation, which raises funds for the city’s parks and its Wild Wild Rec summer parks program, will earmark most of the proceeds from this year’s event to help construct The Big Toy playground at Keizer Rapids Park, scheduled to be built this fall.

These three fundraising events will have powerful impacts in our community. What the seven arts instructors at McNary are teaching their students will benefit them long after they have left high school.

Keizer Young Life has helped teens stay on the straight and narrow for many years. The annual sojurn to summer camp reenforces values, morals and ethics that our young people need.

Keizer families will be visiting and playing at The Big Toy for generations to come; that wouldn’t be possible without the fundraising efforts of the Parks Foundation along with hundreds of other park fans.

There are a lot of things to do in Keizer in the coming weeks that will raise funds for things that make our community stronger and better.

—LAZ

Keizer police officers care

To the Editor:

On January 17, my heart stopped and my partner dialed 911.

Within minutes she said officers arrived and one officer, Jeffrey Goodman, started performing CPR on me. This officer worked on me for several minutes and would not give up on me. My partner estimates  that my heart was stopped for at least seven minutes to possibly 10 and throughout that time officer Jeffrey Goodman continued with the CPR and with a defibulator until the paramedics arrived to take over.

Since that time officer Goodman visited me in the hospital with another officer and brought me flowers just to see how I was doing. Officer Goodman paid me a visit tonight to check up on me yet again. He is a hero as far as my family and myself are concerned and mere words cannot sing his praises or the paramedics who came and relieved him enough. Keizer police officers care and the next time you start to put one down think of my story and take the time to thank and appreciate them for all they do.Thank you officer Jeffrey Goodman, you are my hero!

Margaret Whitehouse
Keizer

Post no Bills

To the Editor:

A big thank you to Don Vowell for saying what needs to be said about the Bill Post primary campaign for House district 25.

In the very wise words of David Byrne,  “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around.” There are any number of elected “public servants” whose qualifications for the job seem to be nothing more than big egos, but we could do better.

There is, most thankfully, another candidate in the primary. Barbara Jensen has filed to run against Post and though not as well known—at least not to the devotees of KYKN’s brand of babble—she is a welcome challenger to Post and his Tea Party cheerleaders. As Don Vowell has documented, Post’s views on government, guns and God are well publicized. Let’s hear more from Ms. Jensen before we declare the election over.

Martin Doerfler
Keizer

Thank you to those who helped

To the Editor:

After playing nine years of baseball at the Keizer Little League fields, I was happy to be able to give back by replacing the roofs on two dugouts as my Eagle Scout project.  This was only possible because of generous donations from Pfeifer Roofing.  Trevor Pfeifer donated all the materials, and had his employee, Dylan Kaiser, work with us all day on the project.  Nick Olsen, owner of Olsen Homes and Renovation, played a key part in securing the donations from Pfeifer Roofing.  I would also like to thank the people who showed up to work on the roofs even though the weather was not forecasted to be sunny, like it was.

Taylor Russell
Keizer
Eagle Scout candidate

Gap’s minimum wage move adds twist

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

On the day that Facebook paid $19 billion for the aptly named WhatsApp, San Francisco’s Gap Inc. announced it would raise its minimum wage for American employees to $9 per hour this year and $10 per hour in 2015. The announcement probably won’t make a dent in the income inequality gap in the Bay Area, but at least it showed some upward movement for low-wage workers outside the Golden State.

According to Gap CEO Glenn Murphy, politics had nothing to do with the move. He wrote on the Gap website that it was “a business decision that’s right for” Gap’s brands and a “strategic investment.”

Nonetheless, President Barack Obama shrewdly glommed onto the announcement by applauding the retail giant for a decision expected to raise pay for 65,000 employees out of its U.S. workforce of about 90,000.

Obama then called on Congress to pass a Democratic measure to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour—“all without requiring a single dollar in new taxes or spending. It’s time to pass that bill and give America a raise.”

Ironically, San Francisco has become ground zero in the minimum wage debate, even though the clothing chain’s workers in the city won’t benefit because San Francisco’s  minimum wage already is $10.74 per hour. Elsewhere in California, the state minimum wage will rise to $9 per hour in July and to $10 in 2016.

James A. Dorn, a fellow with the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, also applauded Murphy, although he came to a conclusion different from Obama’s. “This is free-market, Randian thinking: self-interest is the motivating factor, not altruism,” Dorn blogged. The market worked—and well. No need for another wrongheaded Washington Knows Best law when Washington really only cares about what’s best for the political class.

From the West Coast of the right spectrum, there is a different voice. Palo Alto’s Ron Unz, the wealthy entrepreneur and one-time GOP candidate for governor of California, has been making an alternative argument, “the conservative case for a higher minimum wage.”

Unz is championing a ballot measure to raise the California minimum wage even higher than the $10 rate mandated in a law passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year. Unz argues that if Californians were to raise the minimum hourly rate to $12, every full-time worker would be earning $25,000 a year; for couples, that would mean $50,000. Working-class Californians would increase their income by a collective $15 billion annually.

Unz argues that higher wages should wean some workers off social welfare programs, ending “a hidden government subsidy to low-wage businesses, allowing them to shift the burden of their low-wage employees over to the taxpayer.”

A new Congressional Budget Office report on a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 bolstered his case. It predicted the increase would cause the loss of 500,000 jobs but boost the earnings of 16.5 million workers—and lift some 900,000 Americans above the poverty level. Unz argues that taxpayers and workers do better under a higher minimum wage even if a half-million workers lose their low-paying jobs.

Problem: Voters could pass the Unz initiative, which mandates a much bigger pay hike, and Sacramento still could raise welfare spending.

Dorn warned that long term, the “substitution effect” would eliminate jobs as employers look to automation to replace low-skilled workers. That’s certainly been happening in the retail biz, where online sales have moved into once-safe bricks-and-mortar turf.

Gap Senior Vice President Keith Herbert told me that as Gap brand stores institute a “reserve-in-store” program to lure online customers to stores, where they might buy more items, Gap management is asking its associates “to do much more” than in the past.

Was Gap responding to the political environment?

Herbert insisted: “This is not a political stand. As an organization, we always look at what’s the right thing for our business.”

It cannot hurt Gap sales that consumers know that the retailer pays its workers more than the minimum.

Be it noted: Gap has no plan to raise the wage floor for San Francisco workers.

How will the story play out? Will Republicans argue that the Gap announcement shows that the White House can raise incomes better with the bully pulpit than through legislation? Will Democrats feel emboldened by this private-sector victory and use it to argue that employers can absorb a mandate that drives up the cost of hiring new workers?

I’m not sure where I fall on this one. But right now, even though the CBO predicts 500,000 jobs will go away, it works better for the Dems.

(Creators Syndicate)

Governor has to show us the energy ‘beef’

Those of us hanging around these parts in the mid-1980s who remember the Wendy’s chain of hamburger restaurants’ use of the advertising line “Where’s the beef?” It was used in an effort to put down competitor patty-size.  Later that same year Democratic primary candidate and former Vice President Walter Mondale used the phrase to present his arguments against the proposed policies championed by his rival, Gary Hart.  Hart was, per Mondale, without the “beef” or lacked substance.

It occurs to me that the phrase should be dredged up and used again in reference to an “In my Opinion” piece that appeared in The Oregonian on February 21.   Titled Good for our economy and environment, it rails about the Clean Fuels Program in Oregon that was passed by the legislature in 2009 and, according to Governor John Kitzhaber has been “stalled by heavy pressure from the oil industry.” Meanwhile, “our neighbors in British Columbia and California,” the governor reports, “have been reaping the benefits of capital investment and job creation by opening their transportation fuel markets to cleaner-burning fuels.”

Kitzhaber argues the case for implementing the fuels program and talks in bureaucratese about what he has directed Oregon state agencies to do.  However, where is the beef?  Everyone of sane mind knows that we want to clean-up the environment as much as possible and to do so requires a diminishing use of fossil fuels and “clean” coal, too.  Nevertheless, why does Kitzhaber present his arguments to the public-at-large but does not instruct them in an action role whereby they can do something in their own right about the plight of the Clean Fuels Program?

This is what’s missing in his piece for public consumption.  What can an individual do about increasing the use of advanced biofuels, natural gas, electric vehicles and propane to create “homegrown industry that captures a portion of the billions we spend on gasoline every year?” It just comes across as so futile to lecture the average Oregonian about what we need but not outline a battle plan by which foot soldiers like me, my friends and my neighbors can get into gear to help.

What sort of leadership strategy, and by whom, was used in British Columbia and California to bring things up to an acceptable standard that Kitzhaber sees as exemplary treatment to address this important matter?  Why does Kitzhaber lecture us in a newspaper’s “Commentary” section when he comes across as a governor who apparently cannot come up with a specific consumer-based plan of action for doing here what has been done elsewhere?  Why?  Why?  Why? That’s what the average citizen, one who wields no wealth, power or influence like myself, but can only wring his hands in despair over air contaminates with no direction from the state by the highest elected public official, John Kitzhaber.

Success in the Clean Fuels Program depends on public education and involvement or what’s to be done.  There must be specific actions identified that the average Oregonian can relate to and through which he and she can participate.  Hopefully this time with this matter what happens is not a repeat of “leadership” by some hired hotshot individual or organization from afar like Oregon education reform and Cover Oregon; rather, that Governor Kitzhaber takes charge or keeps in touch with anyone who is appointed to the task and manages the effort via close and ongoing supervision.

We need the beef, governor.  You’re the one who should be providing that missing ingredient of direct leadership in the Clean Fuels Program that’s important to everyone living in Oregon, and throughout the world for that matter, whether they recognize it yet or not.  Go ahead and make Oregon over in imitation of the clean fuels program successes you applaud in our closest Canadian province and the one directly to the south.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)