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Day: August 1, 2014

McNary alumna debuts first novel, plans trilogy


Of the Keizertimes

Jillian Torassa’s first book, Rebel Thirds, transports readers to a dystopian future where intelligence is worshipped and ignorance is revered.

“The premise is that its post-nuclear and set in New Zealand, the only place left inhabitable. The destruction of the world was blamed on intelligence because it was fancy weapons that destroyed everything. The first class citizens are are believed righteous for their lack of knowledge while those born with intelligence are kept down,” said Torassa, 24, a 2008 graduate of McNary High School.

The book is available through most outlets selling e-books, like, and in paperback form from the author at her website,

The novel is the story of 18-year-old Jade Doe, a Third Class Citizen who has been enslaved for her inherent intelligence. When Jade learns of a dangerous secret, she is given the risky chance to build a better life from the ashes of her old one. Torassa hopes that fans of the Hunger Games series find something to like in her take on a totalitarian future, escpecially considering that trilogy was no small influence on Torassa’s approach.

“In college, I wrote my senior thesis on social spaces and tropes of dystopian novels. This book was a chance to put my spin on it,” Torassa said.

She said the recent surge in bleak futures portrayed in young adult fiction is a reflection of her generation’s outlook on the real-world future.

“There is a lot of uncertainty for my generation right now and the future seems so wide open. There’s a lot of time when it looks like its going to be bleak, but its still open and you can change it and there is still hope,” she said.

Torassa added that young adult novels are a prime venue for such stories. When the writer wants to address things like hope, it doesn’t come off as merely naïve, as it might in adult fiction.

Author Jillian Torassa. (Submitted)
Author Jillian Torassa. (Submitted)

Torassa wrote her first stories in middle school, but spent most of her writing energy on essays during high school. She returned to her fiction roots as an English major at Brigham Young University.

While studying she began rereading the Harry Potter novels and discovered that while the story was one that still enthralled her, the writing left a bit to be desired.

“It’s interesting how a really good story isn’t always really well written. I can pick out the things now that I learned writers
are not supposed to do,” she said. “I tried to work on that in my book. I wanted it to be less cliché and tried to describe the physical effects of emotion rather than simply saying ‘her heart dropped.’”

She focused the year she spent writing the novel on honing her descriptive techniques and trying to bring them to bear in the book.

The cover of the book features another McNary alumna, Hannah Patterson, who is studying drama at Portland State University. The two connected through the drama program at McNary and Torassa pictured Patterson as the physical manifestation of her red-haired heroine.

“On the chance it ever got made into a movie, I always pictured Hannah in the lead role,” she said. The pair went to Salem’s Minto Brown Park in the fall, when the landscape appears more desolate, to do a cover shoot.

Torassa envisions Rebel Thirds as the first in a trilogy of books. Although the second one is proving more difficult, she’s also been busy with life’s other wonders. She expected to give birth to her first child, a son, earlier this week.

“Writing the book was definitely hard, but it was never as though I never wanted to work on it. I think the same thing is happening with the second one,” Torassa said.

KPD helping with National Night Out Aug. 5


In partnership with the National Association of Town Watch, the Keizer Police Department will be co-sponsoring the 31st annual National Night Out event citywide on Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.

More than 34 million people in more than 15,000 communities throughout the country will join forces to promote police-community partnerships, crime, drug and violence prevention, safety and neighborhood unity.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime awareness; generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community relations and send a message to criminals, letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Residents in neighborhoods in Keizer and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police. Many neighborhoods will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, potlucks, dessert socials and youth activities. Neighborhood Watch block captains are highly encouraged to organize an event as an opportunity to contact their participants, meet new neighbors and update their rosters. All other neighborhoods are also encouraged to participate.

Participants are asked to designate a particular problem area in their neighborhood. Called “Project 365,” it could be anything from a problem park, a suspected drug house or car break-ins. The goal will be to work towards correcting the problem in 365 days, or by National Night Out 2015.

Participants can discuss their project with neighbors and visiting police officers and solicit their help and input. They may also announce their plans and success with the National Association of Town Watch. For more information, visit

The registration packet for National Night Out 2014 is available at Registration packets are also available at the Keizer Police Department at 930 Chemawa Rd. NE. Registration forms must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1.

For more information, contact Lt. Andrew Copeland at 503-856-3463 or e-mail [email protected]

Steam-up powers on

On Aug. 2 and 3, Brooks’ Antique Powerland will continue its annual Great Oregon Steam-up.

Parades and exhibits will feature vintage tractors, cars, trucks, military transportation. emergency vehicles and engines in a display of automotive power since the Industrial Age. Parades are slated both days at 1:30 p.m.

Cost is $12 for a day pass, $20 for two days, or $30 for a household pass. Children 12 and under get in free.

In addition to an array of vehicles, the site will feature a 1930s service station, rides on a 1/8th-scale model train, blacksmithing demonstrations, a tractor pull, a flour mill, a steam-powered sawmill, swap sales, a flea market, live music and ice cream made with steam power.

New features include a quilt show and a heritage rose garden. A church service will be held Sunday at 8 a.m.

Live music by Wayne Richards and the Southern Nights will be staged at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days. Festival hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit

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Burger King fries employees


Of the Keizertimes

The owner of a Keizer Burger King has been notified of a complaint filed against the fast food restaurant.

Well, maybe.

The Burger King in question is the one at 3615 River Road North. A letter dated July 16 – obtained by the Keizertimes – was sent from Ronald Haverkost, enforcement manager out of the Salem field office for the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA).

According to the letter, OR-OSHA received notice on July 15 of a safety and/or health hazard. The specific nature:

“There is no air conditioning or fans and the temperature is well over 90 degrees in the building,” the letter states. “Employees have to work in these miserable conditions. Corporate has been contacted but no action taken.”

Haverkost said as of July 25 there had been no response from Salem-based Boss Enterprises Inc.

There could be a reason for that.

When contacted on July 25, a manager at the Keizer Burger King referred the Keizertimes to a number which is listed as Kaizen Restaurants out of Beaverton. When the number was called, a recording identified the company as GBMO/GBMW, a Burger King franchise owner with locations in Oregon and Washington. A message left for the company was not returned.

Further, the Keizer Burger King manager said Boss Enterprises hasn’t been the owner for approximately six years. As such, that raises the possibility the letter was sent to the wrong business.

The letter sent to Boss Enterprises asks for a response within 10 business days upon receipt.

“A lot of it is minimum standards,” Haverkost said. “I get about 10 to 15 complaints a week. I talked to the complainant on this one. The company has until July 29 to respond. If they don’t we will call and ask them to respond. If they don’t respond to that, there is always the chance we will do an on-site visit.”

Haverkost said anyone can file a complaint.

“We look at issues that come through,” he said. “First we contact the complainant. We verify the complaint, then do a letter, phone call or visit. It depends on the severity of the complaint. There’s a process within our rules we go through.

“Probably 90 percent of the time when notification is done through letter or phone, they respond quickly,” Haverkost added. “They don’t want us on site. If we go out, we go through a regimented way to do an inspection. If we find hazards, we issue citations.”

As for the initial response from a company, Haverkost said that goes a long way towards determining the next step.

“It all depends on what they tell us,” he said. “If they say we have an HVAC technician on site and repairs are upcoming, that could be an adequate response. Part of this case, if it’s terribly hot and employees are not afforded water, that’s a huge concern. If there are not sanitary conditions like water, that would lead us to being on site. But without details or proof, there’s not much we can do.”

Haverkost said at this time of year his office gets heat-related calls “all the time,” mostly from people who work outside.

“We do all sorts of proactive stuff and hope employers partner with us and do the right things for their employees,” he said. “But that doesn’t always happen, which is why we’re here. Once it rises to that level, we have no problem going in.”

Haverkost noted he personally saw the opposite issue at the Burger King once.

“When I went in there this last winter, I felt it was pretty cold,” he said. “But I didn’t see any distress among employees.”

Richard “Harley” Marion England

R. England
R. England

Richard “Harley” Marion England, 62, of Silverton, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. He was born in Tacoma, WA, June 17, 1952 to Marion and Josephine (Howard) England.

He graduated from North Bend (WA)  High School in 1970. He attended Oregon State University with a major in Fish and Wildlife and Chemeketa Community College with a major in Computer Science. He worked at the Oregon State Data Center in Salem, OR until his passing. He was a life member of the Sunset Chapter of the Harley Owners Group Club in Tigard, OR. “Harley” loved riding his Harley, fishing, camping, hunting, photography, and spending time with his family.

Harley is survived by his life partner, Diane Stoltman of Silverton, OR; daughters, Richelle Lundervold of Sublimity, OR, Angela Mucha of Washugal, WA, son, Jacob England of White Swan, WA; brothers, Michael England of Morganton, GA, Robert England of Vale, AZ, James England of Greensboro, NC; grandchildren, Kelli, Brenna, Lillian, Akia, Jagger, Bailey, Tayven, Laila, and one coming soon. Granddaughter Abbie preceded England in death.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Arilie Winery, 15305 Dunn Forest Rd. in Monmouth.

Arrangements by Unger Funeral Chapel, Silverton.

Willis Lawrence Hinkle

W. Hinkle
W. Hinkle

Willis  (Bill) L. Hinkle died July 24. He was born May 21, 1913 in Oregon City, Oregon the ninth of ten children to Elijah Thomas Hinkle and Mary Ella (Manley) Hinkle.

He married Iola Hendricks July 3, 1935. There were three children born to them Delores, Loren, and Gary. Bill operated a timber business for many years in the Willamette Valley. Bill and Iola moved to Alaska in 1962 where they were employed at many things including ownership of a fuel business and truck and car cleaning service.

Bill loved to sing in church choirs and the Woodburn Senior Estates Men’s Chorus.

Bill is survived by his wife, of 79 years, Iola, three children, 14 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren. A family cemetery service was held Tuesday, July 29, at the Redland Pioneer Cemetery. There is a memorial celebration of life service pending in August at the Hoodview Church of God in Woodburn.

Arrangements by Unger Funeral Chapel, Silverton.

Howdy, neighbors

August 5, is a good time for Keizerites to go outside and say hello to the people who live in their neighborhood. Next Tuesday is National Night Out (NNO), the annual event in which people are encouraged to meet and greet their neighbors to foster a sense of security and community.

Some neighborhoods have registered their NNO parties with the Keizer Police; those registered are visited by city, police and fire officials.

Residents who have not registered a gathering still have time to sign up with he city, though registration is not required.

Every neighborhood in Keizer has had new residents move in over the past year. National Night Out is the perfect time to meet them. In a modern society that is lived through technology, knowing and connecting with the people who live around us is becoming a lost art.

National Night Out sprang from the Neighborhood Watch program in which citizens pledge to, well, watch out for their neighbors. Keeping an eye out for suspicious activity and helping to maintain the sanctity of the neighborhood.

Some NNO gatherings are grand affairs with dozens of people sharing potluck meals; barbecue grills cook up hamburgers and hotdogs. Some ambitious parties might even offer gourmet food. Some gatherings might be more modest. It is most important that a neighborhood gathering is held.

When we personally know the people we live around the result is a sense of community in which everyone has a stake. Neighbors are those who live next door as well as those who reside several doors down. Though our hectic days keep us focused on our own lives we should reach out to each other.

To make future National Night Out parties in Keizer more successful the city or some other organization should have a contest for the best decorated party, or most spirited. A blue ribbon or a trophy would be the prize along with the bragging rights.

What a sight to see dozens and dozens of parties each decorated to the teeth trying to outdo each other and win title as Best NNO Party of the Year.


Lucinda (Cindy) Sue Palmer

C. Palmer
C. Palmer

Lucinda (Cindy) Sue Palmer passed away on July 22 from cancer. She was 62. She was surrounded by family and passed peacefully.

Cindy was born on April 5, 1952 in Huntsville, Ala.

Cindy married the love of her life, Rich, 43 years ago and they had two children, Jenny and Jake.

Rich and Cindy moved to Keizer in 1978 and quickly joined Keizer Clear Lake Methodist Church. Cindy was very active in the church, teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.

Cindy worked for Marion County and Salem-Keizer School District for 25 years. She enjoyed teaching and working with special needs and medically fragile students. She retired in 2013.

In her spare time, Cindy loved to work in her flower garden. She enjoyed time on the Oregon coast looking for lighthouses. Cindy is survived by husband Rich, daughter Jenny (Paul Sawyer), son Jake (Anaiah); three brothers, Eric Noble (Pam), Craig Noble (Ronda), Ron Noble (Malissa), granddaughters Juliette and Scarlett Sawyer and sister-in-law Lynn Palmer.

The service was at Clear Lake Methodist Church on July 28.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Salem Friends of Felines, 980 Commercial Street, Salem, Ore.

Another drug

To the Editor:

I know it is too early but come November we will be asked to vote for or against the legalization of marijuana (cannabis) for recreational use.

At one time, I was in favor of letting adults determine for themselves what is good for them. Since then I have done some serious thinking. We have seen highly educated people such as doctors, lawyers and engineers getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs so some adults don’t know what is good for them. My research indicates marijuana is a psychoactive drug and medicine and should be allowed for medical use to reduce pain just like Vicodin and Percocet. Of course Vicodin and Percocet need a doctor’s prescription.

The recreational use is another matter. Marijuana comes in different strengths and different forms. It can be added to cookies and given to unsuspecting people including children. Marijuana has some positive effects such as euphoria and relaxation. Some of the side effects are short-term memory loss, impaired motor skills and feelings of paranoia or anxiety. I have not seen enough research results to determine several things. First, is the smoking of one joint enough to prohibit a person from driving a vehicle? Second, how long after smoking one joint is a person able to think clearly and have quick reaction necessary to drive a vehicle? Third, what is the effect on people after they drink a small quantity of alcohol and combine that with smoking pot? Unfortunately, most people don’t know when they are impaired. Purely from a defensive position and before making a final decision, answer two questions. Is society better served by allowing recreational marijuana; and, do we need more impaired drivers on our roads and highways?

Bill Quinn

What does Bill of Rights protect?

To the Editor:

The time is upon us again when we all go to the polls, cast our votes, return to our centered lives complaining and placing weight of all issues upon those we have elected. This is the process, is it not? No!

We all may think it is, but only our ignorance allows this. George Washington, in his farewell address to the nation warned us all of political parties, “Lest they be like fires untended will consume.” He did not trust political parties of any kind because of their danger to people’s freedom in a republic.

I’ve heard people say with great sincerity, “Our Constitution protects us” from this or that. Once the seed of ignorance is planted it cultivates and grows stronger than the truth. The truth is, our Constitution is a set of laws by which this republic and her three houses of power, (judicial, legislative, and executive), must conduct their business.

I have heard people say, “The Constitution protects my right of free speech.” No, it does not. Before our Constitution could be ratified, some states had questions, such as, “What keeps our new federal government from saying I have to go to that church, when I like to go to this church?” Of course those who wanted the Constitution to pass answered, “We would never do that.” But again,”What if someone later said we had to?” As a result, the First Amendment was created.

The was the basis for all of the first 10 amendments, which are known as the Bill of Rights. Created to keep the federal government from hurting, in anyway,  we, the people of the United States of America and to contain the powers granted to those three houses within boundaries that shall not be broken.

Today we have groups of individuals arguing about whether it is legal or not for businesses to cover abortion (of which a morning after pill is), comes under the first amendment, and do they qualify? The answer is yes they qualify.

I have also heard people and media use the term Tea Party, like it was a bad thing, especially when used against someone. Just as George Washington, the richest man of his time in the colonies, who risked all for our Republic, so did they. If, you all really wish change in our state and nation, you simply must stop using the same level of intelligence that created the problems to begin with.

Lynn DeSpain