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Day: April 11, 2014

Pot moratorium bumped to ’15


Of the Keizertimes

The Keizer City Council is following the lead of others in regards to a moratorium on medical marijuana facilities within city limits.

At a Monday meeting, councilors unanimously agreed to extend the moratorium from its original Aug. 6 date to May 1, 2015. That date is the outside date allowed under the recently passed Senate Bill 1531.

The Medical Marijuana Facilities Regulations Task Force established to look at the topic is still set to end May 6 of this year, with a report due to council before that.

Dennis Koho is the councilor chairing that task force, which is scheduled to have public hearings on April 22 and 29.

Cities and counties around Oregon have been trying to figure out how to deal with the topic in recent weeks, with the scramble set in motion both by House Bill 3460 last year and SB 1531 earlier this year.

“I know we’re all happy to revisit the matter,” city attorney Shannon Johnson quipped on Monday. “We could not anticipate the state legislature would decide a moratorium needed to be by ordinance. The only substantive question is to give the opportunity if you want to look at the timing. Most cities are giving themselves a whole year (for the moratorium). After this May 1, I have serious concerns about you being able to move the time back.”

Originally the Keizer City Council passed a resolution calling for the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries until August. The task force was subsequently established to give councilors additional guidance.

“So we could say let’s do a year like everyone else, but if the task force says do it earlier, we can,” mayor Lore Christopher said. “What is the downside to doing the whole year?”

“I don’t think it would be a problem,” Johnson replied.

Koho noted an issue.

“May 1 of this year is the deadline for the task force to report to council,” Koho said. “It seems silly we said no moratorium (past Aug. 6) at first. Now we’re saying a year; but the task force is supposed to report a year before that.”

Johnson noted the May 1, 2015 date could be moved up if that’s the task force’s recommendation.

Councilor Cathy Clark liked the extended timeline.

“The task force will do its due diligence,” she said. “Other cities are doing the same research and asking the same questions. This is an opportunity to learn from each other.”

Christopher and councilor Jim Taylor suggested going with the extended timeline.

“We’ll probably do it sooner, but there’s no reason to paint ourselves in a box,” Taylor said.

Councilors approved the extended moratorium and repealed the previous resolution.

Hot bats lift Lady Celts over Vikings, Crusaders

Madi Oliver reacts to finding out she hit a home run after rounding second base. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Madi Oliver reacts to finding out she hit a home run after rounding second base. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity softball team added two wins and a loss to its record last week, but the team continues to exceed some of the highest expectations of its coach.

“One girl gets a hit and then it triggers everyone else. It seems like every game we have another girl who really steps up with a home run or extra base hit, and usually there are two or three girls that do this,” said Kevin Wise, McNary head coach.

The Lady Celts dominated in a 12-5 win over Forest Grove High School Wednesday, April 2. The following day, the girls took a 20-8 loss to Rex Putnam High School. The Celts rode an early lead to take a win over Jesuit High School Monday, April 7.

In the Forest Grove game, the Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but a six-run second inning for the Celts put the Keizer team far ahead.

Junior Megan Ulrey pitched five innings for McNary allowing four hits and two runs. Ulrey led the team with a 5 for 5 performance at the dish with a double, four singles and a RBI.

Ulrey’s double ignited the Celts in the top of the second. She advanced to third on a dropped strike ball with Madi Oliver at bat. Nicole Duran lined out to the Viking pitcher, but Hannah Carr hit a hard grounder to right field that scored Ulrey and moved Oliver to third. Carr was caught stealing second as Sarah Jensen bunted and scored Oliver. Kinsey McNaught’s single put her on first and and Jensen on second, setting up Kimi Ito for a three-bagger scoring McNaught and Jensen. Senior Dani Saunders drew a walk and Kiana Villarreal drove in Ito and Saunders on a line drive to centerfield. The Celts exited the inning on a line drive by Oliver that was caught at second base, but the team had a 6-1 lead.

“The bottom line here is that we can hit well one through nine. There are really no weak spots in our lineup, and the girls don’t seem to be intimidated by any pitcher we face,” Wise said.

McNary added two runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and three in seventh for the final score. Forest Grove’s biggest inning was a two-run sixth.

McNaught went 4 for 5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Villarreal went 3 for 5 with four RBIs and a run scored.

McNary was trailing 20-0 by the time the team rallied in the fifth inning of the game with Rex Putnam. By then, it was too little too late.

“It was just one of those games that nothing went well from the start.  As soon as we arrived the wind started blowing hard and the rain started beating down. We basically shut down at that point.  We did not pitch well, play defense, or hit well,” Wise said. “But, this team never gives up, and they definitely showed their fight at the end.”

The Kingsmen put up an eight-run first inning and a nine-run fourth inning which was enough to end the game after five innings. The Lady Celts had precious few base runners in the first four innings, but Kingmen pitcher Brooke Snyder lost some of her swagger in the circle and more runs on the board with bags on bases than McNary did hitting in the fifth.

Carr and McNaught made it to second and first on walks and Ito loaded the bases on a single. Carr scored when Saunders drew a walk, and Villarreal scored McNaught from third base on a single. Two more walks scored Ito and Saunders. Duran singled driving in Villarreal. Carr walked and scored Ulrey. A single by McNaught brought in Oliver and Duran. The inning ended with an out at second on a fielder’s choice.

In the game with Jesuit, McNary answered a three-run first inning by the Crusaders with six runs of its own in the bottom of the frame.

The first Celtic run came on a walk scoring McNaught and loading the bases. Ito scored on a wild pitch. A single by Ulrey scored Saunders before Oliver stepped to the plate for a base-clearing home run over the centerfield fence, and the 6-3 lead.

The Keizer team survived a three-run, seventh inning rally by Jesuit to take the win 9-7. Oliver had five RBIs in her 2 for 4 day at the plate. Ulrey and Duran both had doubles.

Wise said the plan was to have all of the girls comfortable in their roles on the team heading into Central Valley Conference play.

“We are very close right now, other than a few small things that we can fix with repetition,” Wise said. “No. 3 Tualatin is going to be a great test for us (the teams met Wednesday, past press time) and then we play South. It’s going to be a big week.”

ESL at home on iPod


Of the Keizertimes

In a classroom, elementary students learning English as a second language have access to a variety of support systems that range from teachers and counselors to volunteers and fellow students.

However, to make the strides required by state standards, those same students need to practice at home where spoken and written English may be a challenge for parents and guardians.

Five years ago, Kennedy Elementary School counselor Erin Bernardi and a contingent of teachers and parents at the school set out to find a way to fill the gap. They started small with a dozen iPod Shuffles.

Parents and teachers read aloud and recorded a set of non-fiction books. They loaded the new audio files onto the Shuffles and sent both the iPods and the books home with students.

“The students were directed to listen to each book three times and then they would bring them back and get a new set. At the end of the six week cycle, we were excited to see assessment results,” Bernardi said. 

The following year, a group of first grade students continued the experiment using iPod Touch devices.

They also read the books into the iPod and listened to themselves to improve their fluency.

The results were better than anyone could have hoped. The majority of students would finish the six-week regimen having improved their reading and speaking skills four to six levels according to the standard reading level assessments. Several were reading better in their native language, as well.

“In six to eight weeks, they had made huge gains,” Bernardi said. “All over Kennedy you will find students using the iPads and iPod touches recording audio and videos of themselves reading once they feel they have mastered the content.”

The school uses the technique at all grade levels with 90 iPads, 75 iPod touches and 20 iPod Shuffles.

In addition to devices sent home, students have access to the technology in school listening centers and teachers can use them for one-on-one interventions with struggling students.

Since instituting the program, only one device, an iPod Shuffle, hasn’t been returned.

As the original test group has aged (they are now in fifth grade), Bernardi and her colleagues have begun including the students themselves in the creation of the English language material.

“We now have a tech team of 12 students who are selected based on their academic performance and behavior. Those students now record their reading directly into the computer using Garage Band and younger students are now listening to their peers while they learn,” Bernardi said.

The students have added to the repertoire by composing music to accompany their readings.

The library of books students have available to them as a result of the experiment tops 70 titles and growing.

Bernardi attributes the success to a variety of factors.

“First, there’s the excitement over getting to use the technology. Many of our families have demonstrated a great interest in how even their cell phones can be used to support student learning,” Bernardi said. “Another big factor is the repetition, because the students are reading along and hearing the words inside and outside of school, they are getting more exposure to the language and increasing their vocabulary. A side effect is we’ve raised the bar insofar as accountability and expectations.”

Grad students helping figure out bus options

Students from Portland State University held a meeting at Keizer Transit Center last week to help Cherriots officials figure out route options in Keizer. (KEIZERTIMES/File)
Students from Portland State University held a meeting at Keizer Transit Center last week to help Cherriots officials figure out route options in Keizer. (KEIZERTIMES/File)

Of the Keizertimes

When it came time to gather ridership opinions, Salem-Keizer Transit Agency officials turned to the youth.

More specifically, transit leaders turned to Paradigm Planning, a group of Portland State University Masters of Urban Planning students interested in transportation, land use and community engagement.

A six-member team of grad students from the program held a meeting April 2 at the Keizer Transit Center and held two additional meetings this week in Salem.

Paradigm Planning members came up with the Capturing The Ride project, focusing on bus service in Keizer, West Salem and South Salem. The goal of the project is to figure out how bus service is underperforming in those areas, restraints keeping people in those areas from riding the bus and reaction to possible alternatives.

The recent meetings are just one step in the project, with more to come in the next couple of months.

Brenda Martin, communications manager for Paradigm Planning, said ideas being looked at include buses going on deviated routes and then returning to regular routes, plus buses going door-to-door, much like Cherry Lift.

“People seemed receptive to the deviator,” Martin said. “The hopper was a harder concept to understand. People were more engaged with it, but it might cost more if it comes to your door. If you don’t want to pay more, what does that mean for your service? Or what if you don’t mind paying more, but you want to get on the bus right now? Our main goal was to educate people on these ideas. You can’t have everything in one service. Some people care a lot about costs, while some care a lot about service and time.”

Martin was happy with how many came last Wednesday.

“We had a good showing,” she said. “We counted 18 people that signed in. We had people coming in and out. We were hoping for 15 to 20 people, so we were pleased with the turnout.”

Sadie Carney, Community Relations officer for the transit district, feels the PSU students are getting good information.

“We asked the student group to look at what a fix might look like for some of the issues,” Carney said. “It might be regular buses going to homes, it could be a smaller bus, it could be a taxi cab. Nothing is perfect. Some things will work better for some than others. Different things will work in different places. They’re looking at what are the issues and restraints for why transit is not being used more.”

Paradigm Planning will be looking at results from the survey that was on the website.

“We did a survey last month,” Martin said. “We got about 400 respondents, asking about the current values of transit. Now we’re trying to get values about the future options for transit, mostly coming out of these three workshops.”

The students will go through the information and present it at an open house next month, most likely at the newly redone Courthouse Square in Salem.

“That’s when we want to really get feedback from the community to see if we got it right or if we missed our mark. Then we’ll look at the opinions and present to the transit board at the end of May. Our recommendations will be for each of the three areas.”

By the middle of this month, Martin said the hope is to have a new online survey up.

“We have until mid-June to make it really pretty and to design it,” Martin said of the final project details. “This is really the most enriching part of the program we’re in. This is a two-year program and we know this is the culmination of our grad school experience. We try to treat it like a real job. We were fortunate to find a client who takes our skills seriously and lets us bring serious change to a region. We couldn’t have asked for a better program. We’re on cloud nine getting to work with people in transit.”

On the other side, Carney is just as happy.

“This is their big final project, a 20-week project,” Carney said. “Communities compete for the honor to have these groups work with them. We were lucky enough to get a student group this year. They do some pretty good work.”

Arnold Anthony Bielemeier

A. Bielemeier

Arnold “Arnie” Bielemeier, 82, was born in the family farm house near Mt. Angel to George and Anna (Klein) Bielemeier, the fourth of five children.

He graduated from Mt. Angel Prep School and after high school worked in construction with his brother. Arnold then worked for the Oregon National Guard in Salem for 30 years.

He retired in 1984 and moved to Yachats where he and his wife Rita enjoyed entertaining family and friends. Together they organized the Oregon Alliance for the Mentally Ill Chapter in Lincoln County.

Arnold and Rita returned to Keizer in 1994, where Rita passed away in 2009. He later returned to Mt. Angel where he spent his remaining years.

Arnie enjoyed telling stories, taking pictures, sight-seeing road trips, helping friends and family and keeping up with politics. Arnold was a devout Catholic.

Arnold is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Rita; son, Kevin; brother, Joseph.

He is survived by, his sons, Mark (Christina) and Mike (Martina); stepchildren: Mark (Linda) Crosby, and Linda (Jim) Dover; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Memorials can be made to the Oregon Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI OREGON).

Memorial mass was held April 10 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Mt. Angel. Arrangements by Unger Funeral Chapel of Mt. Angel.

John Pahota

John Pahota, 52, passed away on Thursday, April 3. He was born in Saginaw, Mich. on April 12, 1961. After graduating from St. Mary’s Cathedral High School he joined the Navy. He worked and retired from the Department of Justice in 2011.

Besides his parents Stanley Pahota of Saginaw and Joann Ostrander of Saginaw he leaves his wife  Jeannette of Keizer, son Anthony Pahota, stepdaughter Sandy Ragudo of Tacoma, Wash., grandchildren Gabriel Pahota of Keizer and Kelani Ragudo of Tacoma, brother Steve (Melanie) Pahota of Sacramento, Calif., sister Nancy (Sul) Haroon of Saginaw, uncle Jerry (Jan) Pietrzak of Saginaw and aunt Pat (John) Bukowski of Bay City, Mich., plus many nieces, nephews, cousins and many special friends.

John was a member of Elks Club in Keizer. He enjoyed hunting and camping.

A Mass was celebrated at St. Edwards Catholic Church on Saturday, April 5. Memorial donations may be made to St. Edward Catholic Church Building Fund or charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Keizer Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services.

Richard Lewis Isaak

R. Isaak
R. Isaak

On March 24, 2014, Richard Lewis Isaak, 82, passed away.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Ted and Erna Isaak. He is survived by his wife, June; sons Dale (Marin) Doug (Traci) and daughter Jill Brennan (James); and grandchildren Eleesa and Jessica Markham, and Nicholas, Lauren, Matthew and Halle Isaak. Dick is also survived by his sister, Marilyn (Gene) Scapanski of St. Paul, Minn.

An active community volunteer, he was a member of the Salem Jaycees, Salem and Keizer Exchange Clubs, also serving as District Director. He was a ski instructor, taught hunting safety and served as a volunteer for Keizer Parks.

Dick was born December 29, 1931. He graduated from Salem High School in 1953 and Willamette University in 1957 with a Bachelor’s Degree degree in Business. In 1958, Dick enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Korea.

When his enlistment ended, moved back to Oregon where he met June Proctor while snow skiing at Hoodoo Ski Bowl. They were married on August 5, 1962.

Dick spent more than 35 years working for State Farm Insurance, raising his children in Keizer and eventually moving to Redmond after retirement.

He was a private pilot and flew for many years with Pacific Flyers out of McNary Field. He enjoyed water skiing, snow skiing, biking, golfing, pickle ball and spending time at the cabin he and his father built near Detroit Reservoir.

After retirement, Dick and June traveled.

Dick was interred in Willamette National Cemetery with full military honors on April 2 in a private family ceremony.

A memorial celebrating Dick’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, April 11, 2014 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3737 Liberty Road S, Salem, OR 97302. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Partners in Care, Hospice House, 2075 NE Wyatt Ct, Bend, OR 97701, (541) 382-5882.

Nix tow trucks in neighborhoods

The Keizer City Council should reject the call to allow tow trucks to be parked overnight in residential neighborhoods.

A proposal to allow tow trucks to be parked in front of the homes of drivers in the nighttime hours was presented to the council earlier this year by Jeff Asher, a co-owner of BC Towing. He explained that drivers need to have quick access to their rigs to respond to emergencies and tow calls. Few, if any,  tow company yards are accessible 24 hours, facilitating the need to park the trucks elsewhere. That elsewhere should not be Keizer’s quiet neighborhood streets.

Today’s tow trucks are big and noisy. If a big rig, especially a diesel, needs to make a run in the middle of the night, the process of starting it, revving it and rumbling on its way is more than annoying to an early-to-bed town like Keizer. Add the incessant beeping when in reverse, it is maddening to be woken from a sound sleep by such a behemoth.

Allowing tow trucks on residential streets, when other large rigs are not, makes them a protected class. That’s not what the city should be doing; what’s good for one is good for all. If this ordinance is passed it will open the door for all types of vehicles to ask for the same consideration. Anyone can state why they should have the same rights. Establishing a protected class can certainly lead to legal challenges; that’s something this city should never walk open-eyed into.

The answer to the issue is to do what large semi-trucks do: park at a central location. The Safeway grocery store in Keizer  has an agreement with truckers to part their long vehicles on an unimproved parcel of their parking lot. The tow companies should be encouraged to open dialogue with the owners of some of these lots to be used for reserve parking for the trucks.

If passed, it is doubtful that the city would see dozens of tow trucks of varying sizes parked on streets in our residential neighborhoods. Our streets are filled with pedestrians and children and they don’t need another obstacle to be wary of.

A quick response to a call is key to the towing industry, whether it is an accident or a violation tow. A central area where the trucks can be parked (Keizer Station? Schoolhouse Square? Keizer Civic Center?) will address both the response time issue and maintain the quality of Keizer’s desirable neighborhoods.

The city council should reject this idea and find another way to address the needs of the towing industry.


Lemonade Day

It is now less than a month to Lemonade Day in Keizer and Salem. So far more than 700 area kids have signed up to become entrepeuners on May 4 with their own lemonade stands.

Lemonade Day started in Houston in 2007 and has grown to more than 100 cities across the country. The project develops business skills in our young ones, mostly middle schoolers. Once they register ( the little businesspeople will receive an instructional packet and a backpack.

Participants will run their lemonade stand on Sunday, May 4. They are to find investors in their stand, develop a lemonade recipe and create the stand itself. There is no right way and no wrong way; the kids, either individually or with friends (and guidance from the event organizers and parents) will build their own little business.

In the end the kids will have learned about goal setting, planning and operations.

The reward? One third of the proceeds will pay expenses of the stand, one third should be put into savings and one third is mad money.

May 4 will be a delicious day in Keizer. Lemonade Day is a good project that will have a positive effect on our kids.   —LAZ

Support Jensen for District 25

To the Editor:

I  have known Barbara Jensen for more than 10 years. Barbara’s personal experience in both private and public business settings and her strong ability to listen and communicate effectively, combine to make her an ideal candidate.

Barbara has strong traditional values including support of traditional marriage and a pro-life stance on abortion, has been active in her community, has worked hard to establish the values of the greatest generation in today’s youth through the Keep The Spirit of ‘45 Alive campaign which provided a day of reflection and renewal that honors the legacy of the men and women of the WWII generation across the nation.

As a mother and grandmother she understands that we must do better to provide our school districts with the resources they need to offer our children a world-class education. I am excited that she is running for public office because her work ethic and steadfast leadership will be a tremendous asset to the people of House District 25.

Mark Bain