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Day: August 26, 2014

Have crutches, will campaign


Of the Keizertimes

Some potential elected officials in Keizer are really hobbling around.

Candidates for Keizer City Council and mayoral races have until the end of the day Tuesday, Aug. 26 to file for this fall’s election.

There are currently five candidates for four open seats. Cathy Clark is the only candidate for mayor, a position being vacated by Lore Christopher after 14 years. There are four council candidates: Roland Herrera, Brandon Smith, Amy Ripp and Matthew Chappell. Ripp and Chappell are both competing for the council No. 5 seat currently held by council president Joe Egli, who is not running.

Herrera is running for the council seat Clark is vacating, while former councilor and current Keizer Parks Board chair Smith is running to replace Jim Taylor, who hopes to take over Smith’s Parks Board seat.

Anyone wishing to run must file with city recorder Tracy Davis and have all materials – including 120 signatures – into Davis by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Clark – a councilor since 2007 – and Ripp have something strange in common: they are both currently on crutches. In other words, 40 percent of the candidates to date are on crutches.

Davis noted this is the first time in her 23 years with the city she’s heard of multiple candidates being on crutches at the same time.

“It shows we’re active and that we are troopers,” Ripp said Tuesday with a laugh. “We have the fortitude to work through anything.”

Clark said prior to Monday’s council meeting she knew about Ripp’s similar predicament.

“I’m painfully aware,” Clark quipped. “When you have something like this happen, you hear stories from others. I know of four other people who have done something similar in the past two weeks.”

According to Clark, she took a bad step and rolled her left ankle on Aug. 6. The timing wasn’t ideal, as she was active in helping at the all-day RIVERfair event three days later.

Things are already getting better for Clark, who hobbled into council chambers with just one crutch on Monday.

“It’s healing nicely,” she said. “I’m just thankful it is healing.”

Despite the injury and – to this point – the lack of an opponent, Clark still plans to get out and meet voters.

“I’ll be doing some walking,” she said. “I love connecting to people and hearing their great ideas for this city. I also want to ensure a smooth transition (from Christopher).”

Ripp’s injury story is a little better.

“I was rafting on the Deschutes River and hit my foot on a rock,” Ripp said of the Aug. 9 incident. “I was going to swim and hit my foot on a rock. I had no idea it was there.”

Ripp said she’ll have at least a month on crutches but looks to make up for some lost time.

“I had anticipated I would start walking (door-to-door) in early August,” she said. “I’m a little behind on that. Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be going door-to-door. You can’t slow me down.”

Since she was in Bend on a working vacation at the time, Ripp didn’t realize at first Clark was also injured.

“I wasn’t in the loop about what she had done,” Ripp said. “We’ve gone to lunches where we were both on crutches. It’s pretty funny.”

Ripp feels a little better about how she got injured.

“I didn’t trip or anything, I just hit a rock and didn’t see it,” she said. “If I trip over myself walking down the street, that’s another thing. But this won’t slow me down too much.”

Volcanoes stymied by Ems, Hawks


For the Keizertimes

Aug. 13: Volcanoes 2, Eugene 1

Drew Leenhouts, in a new role of reliever, was the winning pitcher in this road series opener that was nearly all pitching.

Leenhouts pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings after starter Jose Reyes went five with seven strikeouts. Eury Sanchez got his 11th save, and Wilson Santos was the loser in relief.

Salem-Keizer and Eugene were scoreless through six innings. The Volcanoes got both their runs in the top of the seventh.  Skyler Ewing singled and went to third base on a double by Ryder Jones. Hunter Cole singled Ewing home, and Jones scored on a wild pitch.

The Emeralds’ run came in the eighth. Nick Vilter doubled, went to third on a wild pitch and scored as Michael Miller grounded out.

Aug. 14: Eugene 1, Volcanoes 0

This time the Emeralds won a low-scoring game, giving Salem-Keizer’s Jason Forjet his first loss against six wins.

Forjet pitched seven innings, allowing five hits and striking out nine. However, Eugene’s Zechariah and two relievers gave up only three hits among them, with Zechariah getting the win and Colby Blueberg a save

The Volcanoes’ only hits were singles by Seth Harrison, Austin Slater and Ryder Jones

The only run came in the bottom of the sixth. River Stevens singled and went to second on a single by Auston Bousfield. Trae Santos singled Stevens home.

Aug. 15: Eugene 5, Volcanoes 4 (10 innings)

A wild pitch gave the Emeralds the extra-inning game win and the series win.

The Volcanoes had a 4-0 lead through 2-1/2 innings. Eugene scored once in the third and three times in the fifth.

Then it was all goose eggs through the top of the 10th.  Joseph Epperson led off the bottom of the inning with a walk, reached second base on a bunt and third on a grounder, and scored when EJ Encinosa made the wild pitch.

Eugene outhit Salem-Keizer only 7-6. Seth Harrison was the only Volcano to get two hits, and Christian Arroyo hit his fifth home run.

Dusten Knight took the loss, having put Epperson on base before Encinosa came in. Seth Lucio was the winning pitcher.

Saturday: Boise 4, Volcanoes 1

Salem-Keizer started the home series by outhitting Boise 9-6, but the Hawks did better at putting hits together.

The Volcanoes’ Skyler Ewing hit the only home run of the game in the fourth inning to cut Boise’s lead to 2-1, but the Hawks scored two runs in the seventh. Mark Malave and Bryant Flete singled, and Rashad Crawford drove them in with a triple.

Keury Mella, this time going three innings in his rehab assignment with the Volcanoes, allowed one hit and one unearned run and struck out two. He was the losing pitcher.

Hawk starter Erick Leal got the win and Sam Wilson a save.

Christian Arroyo, Ewing and T. Relaford had two hits each for the Volcanoes.

Sunday: Boise 7, Volcanoes 6

The Volcanoes blew the series as well as a six-inning 5-0 lead.

After starter Nick Gonzales went six innings with no runs and four strikeouts, Boise’s hard-hitting hawks got to Cameron McVey for four runs, EJ Encinosa for one and Eury Sanchez for two.

Five of the Salem-Keizer runs came in the first inning. Austin slater singled, Seth Harrison walked and Christian Arroyo drove them in with a double. Skyler Ewing walked, and Aramis Garcia singled, loading the bases. Arroyo scored as a double play followed. Shilo McCall walked, Brett Kay singled Ewing home and Tyler Hollick singled McCall home.

In the seventh, Boise scored four runs on a single, a walk, a double and a ground out. The Hawks tied the score in the eighth on a home run by Jesse Hodges.

Salem-Keizer went back ahead in the eighth when Brett Kay, who had doubled, scored on a bunt single by Hollick.  In the Hawk ninth, Charcer Burks led off with a triple, and Kevin Brown followed with a homer.

Sanchez was the losing pitcher. Daniel Lewis got his first win and Corbin Hoffner his first save.

Author puts protagonist on the run from hitman he hired

Riya Anne Polcastro, the pen name for a Ringo's Tavern bartender, released her first self-published book this summer. (Submitted)
Riya Anne Polcastro, the pen name for a Ringo’s Tavern bartender, released her first self-published book this summer. (Submitted)

Of the Keizertimes

The foundation of Riya Anne Polcastro’s first novel started off as a joke that turned into a story she couldn’t let go of.

“I had a friend who was really depressive and always seemed on the verge of suicide. I finally told him that if he was ever going to do it he’d have to pay somebody,” Polcastro said.

Suicide in Tiny Increments had its beginnings in that moment. The novel is the tale of Daniel Long, a depressed and miserable man, who puts out a hit on his own life. Not long after he realizes the error of his ways and tries to cancel the contract, but his chosen executor isn’t quite so understanding.

Polcastro, who is a bartender at Keizer’s Ringo’s Tavern in her alter ego, said what separates her writing from others is the lack of a sympathetic protagonist.

“The main character is kind of a jerk all the way through. One of my reviewers said their favorite character was actually the hitman,” she said.

The cover to Suicide in Tiny Increments.
The cover to Suicide in Tiny Increments.

Polcastro started dictating stories to family and friends at a young age, but only threw herself into the process about five years ago. Suicide took only three months to write in 2011, but it never found a home with an agent. She opted to self-publish earlier this year. The first copies arrived in June. Copies of the book are available locally at Ringo’s and more widely in e-book format from retailers like

She counts among her influences the Pacific Northwest’s own Chuck Palaniuk and Leo Tolstoy with a dash of Christopher Moore.

Having pushed her first book out into the world, Polcastro is already prepping her next book for publication this fall. It’s titled Jane and again touches on the fringes of mental illness.

“It’s about someone going crazy and making the conscious decision to follow that path and see where it goes,” she said. “I tend to be fascinated by mental illness and how it affects interactions between people.”

Admittedly, her day job gives her more than a few sources of inspiration.

After Jane reaches its audience, her next book will be targeted for the young adult crowd and tackles the question of whether humanity used up the resources of another planet before arriving on Earth.

“It’s told from the point of view of a 13-year-old alien boy. It’s kind of dark and visual and graphic and sci-fi lite,” she said.

While she’s used to working on multiple projects at this point, the well is in no danger of running dry.

“I feel like there are these stories that have to get out. Each has its own power and will claw at me if I try to control it,” Polcastro said.

For more on the book, visit