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Day: July 4, 2014

Ems eke out 2-1 win over Salem-Keizer


For the Keizertimes

The last game in the first series between the Volcanoes and the Emeralds, a series Salem-Keizer had won the day before, went to Eugene, 2-1, on Saturday.

Each club had four hits and no errors, and most of the way Salem-Keizer played better than host Eugene, at least where hitting the ball hard and striking out batters were concerned, but the game ended up with Volcano reliever Steven Neff walking in the winning run.

The first run came on an inside-the-park home run in the third inning by Will Callaway, who had three of the Volcanoes’ four hits.  Starting pitcher Drew Leenhouts, who stayed on the mound for seven innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks, had a perfect game going through five.

Examples of hitting the ball hard included a third-inning fly by Travious Relaford that was caught near the center field fence in the fourth inning. Relaford, who played second base because Ryan Jones had just been promoted to Augusta of the South Atlantic League, had the remaining Volcano hit, a single in the second that was followed by a double play. In the ninth, Craig Massoni also hit a deep fly to center.

The Emeralds and the crowd in PK Park thought Eugene had its first hit in the fifth. With two out, Chase Jensen hit a grounder to third baseman Callaway, who threw to first baseman Massoni on an extremely close play. There was a roar of boos from the stands, and Eugene manager argued with the umpire.

Wilson Santos came in to pitch for Eugene in the sixth inning and retired the Volcanoes in order with two strikeouts but was replaced by Chris Huffman at the start of the seventh.

In the Eugene sixth, Trae Santos tied the game with a home run over the right center field fence.

Manager Gary Davenport brought in Jake McCasland to pitch the eighth inning. He pitched his best inning of the season thus far, retiring the Emeralds in order with two strikeouts.

Max Beatty pitched a one-two-three inning for Eugene in the ninth.

Things got rough for McCasland in the ninth. Miguel Del Castillo led off with a single to left, and Rod Boykin went in to run for him. Cory Spangenberg bunted a single that put Boykin on second. Jalen Goree moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Franchy Cordero was walked intentionally, and Steven Neff took the mound. A walk to Marcus Davis forced Boykin home.

The run was charged to McCasland, who became the losing pitcher, with Beatty the winner.

Volcanoes honor vets with weekend games

Schedule: Friday, July 4 Ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 5 Ceremonies begin at 5:55 p.m. Sunday, July 6 Gates open at 4 p.m.

For the Keizertimes

“Thank, honor and salute” is the theme for a three-night event that will focus on veterans on Fourth of July weekend at Volcanoes Stadium.

Volcanoes Stadium was selected in October 2013 by the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Oregon site for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.  Ceremonies will precede the three games the Volcanoes will play the Hillsboro Hops, and the biggest ceremony will be Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Night on Friday.

Gates will open at 5 p.m., and a very formal military ceremony at 6:06 p.m. will honor Bill Koho, a brother of former Mayor Dennis Koho of Keizer. Bill Koho, who joined the Marine Corps on a delayed enlistment in 1965, was killed in Vietnam in 1967 at age 19, less than a year after he finished high school. The Koho family, most of whom will be present, will be honored at home plate.

Another formal military ceremony will honor Marine Capt. Ernie Brace, who was the longest-serving prisoner of war in Vietnam at 7 years and 10 months. He was a cellmate John McCain, now a U.S.  senator from Arizona.

Also honored will be Army Maj. Larry Deivert, the most decorated National Guardsman in Oregon history, who went on 578 combat missions in Vietnam.  So will be 83 Vietnam veterans who received the Purple Heart.

One veteran who did not serve in Vietnam but will be on the field is the nation’s oldest Medal of Honor recipient, Army Cpl. Bob Maxwell, 93.

After the national anthem is sung, a drone from the Roswell Flight Center will fly from the first base dugout to the home plate umpire to get the game ball and then deliver it to the starting Volcano pitcher

Saturday night will be Oregon National Guard Appreciation Night, featuring the 41st Infantry Brigade, the Sunset Jungleers of McMinnville which started in 1917 and in World War II served at Biok in the South Pacific. Lt. Col. Leonard DeWitt, a World War II hero with the 42nd, will be honored.

An Honorable Warrior Ceremony will thank, honor and salute Brig. Gen. David Nudo, who served with the 42nd but died of natural causes. His family will be present.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. Saturday, with ceremonies starting at 5:55 p.m. with the landing of a helicopter.

Fireworks will follow the Friday and Saturday games.

Sunday night will be Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America Night. Many veterans who are paralyzed from war wounds will be honored. Gates will open at 4 p.m.

Fair deal: Bob’s Burger is being brought back

Scott Corey (left) and Gina Dankenbring (right) look on as Bob's Burger Express founder Bob Corey signs a contract for the name to be used at upcoming fairs by Dankenbring. (Photo courtesy Gina Dankenbring)
Scott Corey (left) and Gina Dankenbring (right) look on as Bob’s Burger Express founder Bob Corey signs a contract for the name to be used at upcoming fairs by Dankenbring. (Photo courtesy Gina Dankenbring)

Of the Keizertimes

So much for the trial run.

Gina Dankenbring, owner of the Golden Grill Concessions company that temporarily operated The Dog House location at River Road and Dietz Avenue in Keizer early last year, recently announced an agreement to bring back Bob’s Burger Express to the Oregon State Fair in August.

Dankenbring planned to use next week’s Marion County Fair as a trial run to make sure everything was up to snuff for next month’s bigger fair, especially because Bob’s Burger was such a cultural icon locally since the chain was started in Salem by Bob Corey in 1955. The chain, which initially sold hamburgers for 19 cents, had a number of locations in the area, including a Keizer store at 5130 River Road – where the Carl’s Jr. currently sits – from 1965 to 1999. The chain went out of business in 2001.

Dankenbring has a history with Bob’s, dating back to 1991, the year after Corey sold the chain.

“I was 14 when I started,” she recalled Monday. “I was too young to use the tomato slicer. It was right about the time of the sale. I was there until 1999. On my 18th birthday, I was named general manager at the one on Capitol (Street). I was a shift supervisor at 16. Later I was transferred to one in West Salem with a grill, not a broiler.”

While the Bob’s Burger “secret sauce” has been sold at Roth’s over the years, the ability to get an actual burger didn’t exist.

Dankenbring wanted to change that.

“I’ve been working on this in my mind for a couple of years,” she said. “I have been wanting a Bob’s booth. It’s such a big part of city history. I contacted Scott Corey, Bob’s son.”

From there, conversations between the 94-year-old founder and Dankenbring got going. The talks led to Dankenbring’s June 20 announcement that she would have a Bob’s booth at the state fair.

“It’s pretty exciting,” she said. “Bob asked me, ‘You’re going to grill these, right?’”

That is indeed the plan. In fact, Dankenbring is going to great lengths to accurately replicate all aspects of making a Bob’s burger, including using Franz’s buns and all of the correct sauce ingredients.

“Some jobs, you forget things,” she said. “With this one, all of the details are ingrained in my mind, how to make everything exactly. It’s the little things. Nothing has left my mind. My friend Allen Wright worked there for 22 years. He was a higher up. I’ve been in close contact with him. He remembers everything.”

Dankenbring said the exact replication of the recipe will be needed since she’s bringing back the beloved name.

“It was really neat,” she said of being able to sign a contract with the Coreys. “Back when I was there, (Bob) was a local celebrity. It’s still the same feeling. There was kind of a ‘wow’ factor. It’s definitely more pressure. I thought it would be fun, and it is fun. But I’m not feeling the fun right now. There’s a lot of pressure.”

While the exact menu is still in the works, Dankenbring will be selling hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double cheeseburgers, Big Brutes and fries as well as Bob’s apparel and secret sauce. Net proceeds from the bottled sauce as well as a portion of all food sales will go towards Bob Corey’s non-profit Chemeketa Community College scholarship fund.

“That’s really important to him,” Dankenbring said of Corey.

Dankenbring figured she would quietly set up a Bob’s booth at the Marion County Fair as a trial, fine-tuning the process in preparation for the Oregon State Fair on Aug. 22 to Sept. 1. That changed, however, with this June 24 post on the Marion County Fair’s Facebook page:

“How many of you remember Bob’s Burgers?” the post read. “If you know what we are talking about then you can remember how delicious they are! Well we have good news for you all. Bob’s will be joining us at The Marion County Fair.”

Dankenbring said she’s still penciling out how to make things work next week. She’ll need more equipment and more staff to operate the Bob’s Burger stand, which will be in addition to several other Golden Grill booths.

On a camping trip last week, Dankenbring was crunching numbers.

“It costs me $.40 just for a meat patty,” she said. “I decided to go with the price of $2.19. I thought keeping the 19 cent part would be fun. I wanted to keep (the cost) as low as possible.”

By keeping the cost low, Dankenbring realizes the profit for her won’t be much. That’s fine with her.

“It has to do with my ties to Bob’s,” she said. “Bob’s was always there; it was my rock. I was a young mom with a baby. I want to see Bob’s come back. Tens of thousands of people do. The time is right.”

Dankenbring is hopeful the Coreys will be pleased to see her work.

“I think they will have mixed feelings,” she said of the name being brought back. “They don’t want to see a mockery of what Bob’s was. Bob kept asking me things like what kind of bun, wanting to make sure I have the right mixers for the sauce. Yet they are also excited. You can see the glow in their eyes. Bob’s excited.”

Dankenbring herself is excited, not to mention confident she will do the name proud. If all goes well, she wouldn’t mind expanding upon the current contract.

“We haven’t discussed doing something permanent,” Dankenbring said. “For me, this is a foot in the door. I want them to be happy with my work. I want the community to be happy with the return of Bob’s and I want to be happy with the bottom line as well. We’ll see how it goes.”

Another delay on Chemawa

Yet another delay in the Chemawa Road renovation project means there are sections of road where work like new curbing is right next to unfinished parts, like holes where new sidewalk will go. Oregon Department of Transportation officials have not announced a revised project timeline. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Yet another delay in the Chemawa Road renovation project means there are sections of road where work like new curbing is right next to unfinished parts, like holes where new sidewalk will go. Oregon Department of Transportation officials have not announced a revised project timeline.
(KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

In theory, work along Chemawa Road North should be in full gear as the renovation project nears completion.

But theory and reality aren’t always the same, which is clearly evident in this case.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) project to renovate the busy thoroughfare from Keizer Rapids Park to River Road, at a cost of $3.5 million, was to be completed last year – and the year before that. Issues with utility relocations helped lead to the project’s completion being delayed until this year.

In April project manager Shane Ottosen with ODOT expected work to be done by early to mid-July.

At this point, it’s unclear if the project will even be back under way by mid-July.

“Additional utilities were countered and a partial redesign was needed,” Ottosen said June 27. “The redesign was sent to the contractor a few days ago and we are waiting for his review and response. We certainly want him to get back in as soon as possible.”

While it’s an ODOT project, Keizer Public Works director Bill Lawyer noted he is constantly getting questions about the status of the project.

“I’m getting real, real tired of saying I don’t know,” Lawyer said last week. “I have no idea. I have a lot of people asking questions. I send everybody to ODOT. One thing I know for sure is we’re missing the construction season to get the work done again.

“We did run across one other utility issue that was unexpected by anybody,” he added. “A gas line didn’t get relocated correctly, so the contractor stopped all work until that was done. We have done additional work to make sure there’s not another surprise utility in the way.”

One of the main parts of the project involves turn lanes at the intersection of Chemawa Road and Celtic Way, the road where McNary High School is located. The project also calls for putting in a traffic light at that intersection.

A big advantage to doing that work during the summer would be no school traffic. School resumes on Sept. 2.

“The work, in general, is not directly tied to the school schedule,” said ODOT’s Cliff Rose, the assistant project manager. “Certainly, construction is easier when school is out and this is the ‘construction season.’”

Chris Eppley, Keizer’s city manager, noted Lawyer has offered the ability to close Chemawa Road to through traffic if that would speed up the construction process.

“The city would have the final word about street closures, and would develop routing should it come to that,” Eppley said June 30. “At the moment, we have only offered that as a possible option so as to move the project forward. We have not received any notice from ODOT that a street closure will be utilized or would be allow for a quicker completion of the project.”

The project has been riddled with delays, leading to frustration.

“It is the most frustrating project I’ve had,” Lawyer said. “I’ve been involved in other projects with periods of frustration that might equal this, but overall this project is the most frustrating, no question about it. With city projects, we have control and authority to deal with issues. That’s just the way it is; there are always issues with construction projects.

“We have none of that (authority) on this project,” he added. “That’s really hard. We as the Public Works department take a lot of pride in what is built in our city. To have no or very little control, it’s hard to handle. There have been a lot of issues with this project. There have been multiple things.”

Celebrate the Constitution

America celebrates its 238th birthday this Independence Day weekend. There will be fireworks, picnics, parades, concerts, speeches, flags and more across the country. Not many people will be thinking about the founding fathers as they grill hot dogs and eat potato salad. That’s a shame. We could use a healthy dose of what the fathers did in 1776—declared themselves independent and set about creating a new nation.

It is peculiar that the anniversary of our Constitution doesn’t receive the same reverence and hoopla the country’s birthday does. From 1776 to 1787 America was a collection of 13 colonies acting as a nation but able to coin their own money and make their own treaties. It is the Constitution that forged a new nation complete with laws, three branches of government with checks and balances codified.

America is a democratic republic—we freely elect people to represent us at the federal, state and local levels. Some of our national leaders have endeavored to transport our style of democracy to other parts of the globe.

Americans have rights that the Constitution gave them. These rights have been modified over the decades by the courts but essentially we enjoy free speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms and others. Americans should remember that they have the freedom to vote in elections for candidates or ballot measures—some say that leaving some of the largest issues of our day should be decided by a national plebiscite.

We have that already, in a way. In every election voters are choosing not just among candidates but also opting for the candidates that reflect their own personal views on the big issues the nation faces. Whatever one’s views on guns, abortion, immigration or taxes, they can find a candidate who agrees with them.

That’s why it is disheartening that voter turnout has been lackluster for decades. The American people can have the government they want; they just have to vote. But more than vote, people need to have some sense of where a candidate stands. Campaigns count on the fact that most voters won’t have intimate knowledge of issues and can be easily swayed with splashy advertising.

Presidential elections in the early years of America were much more vociferious and dirty than anything one sees today; but, those campaigns gave us such presidents as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Andrew Jackson—titans in our political history.

American people have always been partisan, but the climate in which we live is poisonous to the process. Approval of Congress polls at all time lows, very little legislation is getting passed. The divisiveness clouds every piece of major legislation, the people feel they have no hand in the matter. The lament that it doesn’t matter who is in office because it is always the same carries the day as the percentage of voters drops election by election.

From the very beginning American history has been the story of battling ideas and ideologies. Even the Constitution is up for debate: is it a living document or a static document that can only be viewed through the intentions of our founding fathers. Recent Supreme Court decisions enrage some demographics while others cheer.

Therein lies the beauty of the Constitution itself: checks and balances between the three branches of government. If you don’t like a judicial decision your recourse is the ballot box. On the state and local level most judges stand for election; if enough voters oppose a judge’s decision they can vote them out. On federal benches, where judges are appointed for life, the recourse is to chose a president who will appoint different types of jurists.

Everything comes back to the ballot box. We elect people to represent our interests. It is up to the people to decide who is best to do that. Multi-million dollar campaigns with lots of bells and whistles can confuse voters; oft times important issues are shunted to the side as candidate character becomes the focus. Character is easier to define than stands on complex issues. A democracy doesn’t fully work if a large percentage of the populace take themselves out of the process by not voting due to frustation or apathy.

The direction of all governments on every level is set by those who exercise their constituional right to make their voice heard via the election ballot.

Being an election year, 2014 gives Oregonians the opportunity to make their voices heard in a U.S. Senate race as well as election for governor and 75 state legislators. Here in Keizer voters will elect a new mayor and three new city councilors. No state makes voting as easy as Oregon with its mail-in ballot system. That should make Oregon the state with the highest voter turnout in the nation, but it doesn’t turn out that way. We should use technology’s advances to allow voting by Internet. Recent health care computer disasters notwithstanding, our future depends on having the highest number of citizens engaged in the political process.

The Declaration of Independence created a new nation. The Constituion gave that nation form and function. The United States of America has stood for 238 years. There is no reason it can’t stand for 238 more.


GOP won’t pass immigration reform


The New York Times reports that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is considered “the best hope” to win passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress after he becomes majority leader in July. It’s sort of quaint how the Gray Lady wants to believe in miracles.

If a comprehensive bill—such as the Senate bill that set a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants—had a chance of passing, then it was in 2009 and 2010, when Democrats controlled the White House, Senate and House of Representatives. President Barack Obama had promised a bill in his first year in office. If Democrats wouldn’t deliver when they owned Washington, Republicans have little reason to do their heavy lifting.

The timing for advocates could not be worse—and not just because the current House majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, lost his primary election bid after his GOP opponent hit him for supporting a comprehensive immigration bill.

This year, thousands of unaccompanied minors and mothers with young children have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with the expectation that they will be allowed to stay. Some blame Obama’s policy to not deport undocumented immigrants who came here illegally when they were children. The White House blames a “misinformation” campaign by opportunistic human smugglers. Either way, the situation is so dire that Democrats are calling the new influx a “humanitarian crisis” that requires a quick and dramatic response.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, told the Houston Chronicle last week that he believes that the administration has to allow more deportations—and quickly. Also, Hillary Clinton told CNN last week, “They should be sent back.” That’s how ugly the border is.

McCarthy is a true son of Bakersfield, Calif. Rather than become a creature of Washington, he sleeps in his Capitol Hill office and flies home every weekend. He hears from the Republican base, which opposes amnesty. He was true to that base in 2008, when he was chairman for the Republican National Committee platform, which threatened financial penalties for sanctuary cities.

McCarthy also hears from employers who depend on immigrant labor and California Republicans eager to court Latino voters. Last year, he met with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles after these advocates occupied his Bakersfield office.

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace pressed McCarthy on whether he’ll support a comprehensive immigration reform bill. McCarthy is on record for supporting a path to legalization, but he told Wallace: “I don’t believe there should be citizenship. I believe in the rule of law.” At the moment, he added, the border is not secure because the government is not enforcing the law.

The forces of idealism are experiencing the blunt trauma of reality. The promise of a path to legalization, coupled with lax law enforcement, has produced unintended, if inevitable, consequences. If there was any doubt that changing the law might result in waves of more illegal immigration, the answer should be clear.

Quoth McCarthy: Until the border is secure, “you can’t have an immigration debate.”

(Creators Syndicate)

Iraq: Managing the unmanageable

U.S. involvement in the Middle East reads like this, “It’s too late to drain the swamp when you’re up to your waist in alligators.”  According to polls, most Americans feel strongly in favor of getting away from the Middle East as fast as we can and leaving any draining of that “swamp” to persons who live there.

Meanwhile, by way of a New York Times/CBS News poll, President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is approved by just 36 percent of Americans.  There have been times during his presidency that Obama’s foreign policy was a source of strength for him; however, that was then and it’s quite different in June 2014.

 Obama is held hostage for alleged indiscretions.  For one, there was the trade of Idaho’s Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners that proved unpopular here. On what might be argued the popular side of that “coin,” some viewed the trade for an American soldier as not only humane but continuing the practice of placing as much importance on bringing home captive troops as the remains of those deceased.  Arguments, too, in favor, have wondered whether these five older Taliban are still a combat threat and, perhaps, even more important, that this trade was an opportunity to open talks that could establish the start to a negotiated peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Russian aggression in Ukraine has also infuriated many of us.  That the matter is due to Obama’s weakness is arguably a long stretch.  Factually speaking, Russia invaded its state of Georgia and took a scalpel to two breakaway republics under George W. Bush and Bush couldn’t or wouldn’t interfere.  Should the blame for President Vladimir Putin pushing his people around without military intervention by the U.S. thereby be shared by Obama and Bush?  Whatever the case, Obama diplomacy appears to have worked in place of an exchange of hydrogen bombs while, in the meantime, this past week, Putin called on the Russian Parliament to withdraw permission for an invasion of Ukraine.

A third topic of discontent among the leading neocons over Iraq leads anyone who knows the facts to remember that they were responsible for the preemptive invasion of that sovereign nation and the huge mess that has followed, down to the present day.  After all, Baath Party leader and Sunni Saddam Hussein, with all his warts, kept a lid on the dissidents and prevented al-Qaeda from establishing a foothold there from which to attack the U.S., unlike the ISIS of current monumental concern to the safety and security of the U.S. and remainder of the world.

On the positive side also, Obama has done some good by pulling fuses out of kegs of chemical weapons in Syria.  Although the civil war in Syria continues to rage, this success over the use of poisonous gas appears a permanent fix there.  Keep in mind, too, that the Sunni and Shia factions have warred with each other over Muhammad’s successor since 632 A.D. and there’s nothing that upsets them more than infidels there.

So, is Obama deserving of the harsh assessments he’s now receiving?  Well, it looks as though the criticisms will continue on their harshly negative path, the same ones that started even before Obama was inaugurated in 2009 and may have more to do with the color of  his skin than the content of his character.  All other things notwithstanding, Obama should not be sending our military advisers into Iraq for any reason because it amounts to taking sides and has already, through loss of life and treasure, proven futile.  And, if anything is critical to a start at conditions resembling an ongoing shaky peace between Sunni and Shia, it’s letting them settle their mutual animosities sufficient enough to establish order for a peaceful co-existence.

President Obama may have reached a crossroad’s intersection and a lasting legacy for his two terms.  He can continue to send U.S. military advisers, multiplying their number and thereby competing with Bush, LBJ and Nixon for most despised president in the nation’s history.  Or, he can stand up to the neocon hawks in D.C. and withdraw all American military advisers as soon as they get the U.S. embassy staff out and we leave the place to the warring crazies who’ve been at each other’s throats for 1,400 years.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer. His column appears regularly in the Keizertimes.)