In a past issue of the Keizertimes we learned our city is forever stuck with a $2.08 maximum property tax. With the proceeds generated from that tax, our city council has to split tax money to provide a city administration, public buildings, public works, public parks and an adequate police force. Our water system is paid for by a user fee.
Another major source of revenue for the city is fees it imposes on utilities. Although the city council does a pretty good job because of our city manager, Keizer will never have anything but a bare bone existence unless something is done. That means we will never have a full service, up-to-date, library or two fire districts. Without dedicated volunteers we would not have any kind of a library nor fire districts.
So what is the future plan for making Keizer better and where does this planning take place? What Keizer needs is a robust economic development team to seduce business, in my opinion. This means expanding our urban growth boundary with or without Salem’s approval. It is time for Keizer to play hard ball with Salem or seek another remedy.
Of course it is acceptable to remain only a bedroom city if this is what we want to do. We can have more tiny lots with smaller houses and more apartment dwellings like the one proposed on the farm land on Verda Lane. We can do this until all vacant land is occupied and no more parks. If this is the long range plan and everyone knows it, then it is also okay. What Keizer needs is a vision laid out again so we can evaluate it and either agree or disagree with the direction we are going.
So Senator Jeff Merkley has written only one bill—now why is that a bad thing? And it seems a bit surprising that this is perceived negatively by those who who oppose government intrusion into their lives.
Leaders can make decisions that signal big changes in the political, religious and ethical landscape. In naming Bishop Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago, Pope Francis did just that.
Cupich, now the bishop of Spokane, has been described in media accounts as a “moderate” within the Catholic Church. Temperamentally, this is exactly what he is, an advocate of dialogue and civility. He’s also wise about rejecting labels. Parrying at his first news conference after his appointment was announced on Saturday, he offered this response when asked if the moderate tag fit him: “I am going to try to be attentive to what the Lord wants. Maybe if there is moderation in that, then maybe I’m a moderate.”
Those nicely reticent double “maybes” shouldn’t fool you into believing that Cupich avoids speaking his mind. He has been a courageous voice inside the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops against a culture-war approach to evangelization and politics that pushes so many away from the Gospel.
He has also been as tough as any prelate in his candor about the church’s profound failures during the sex abuse crisis. “Catholics have been hurt by the moral failings of some priests,” Cupich wrote in 2010, “but they have been hurt and angered even more by bishops who failed to put children first.” He knows the church will never get beyond this scandal until it’s obvious to the faithful that the hierarchy understands how deeply Catholicism was marred by institutional sin and not only by individual crimes.
His appointment will have an impact beyond the Catholic Church because it tells us a great deal about the role Pope Francis wants the church to play in American life. Cupich played this down, too. “I think he sent a pastor, not a message,” he told reporters.
But in his case, the pastor (BEG ITAL)is(END ITAL) the message. Because of appointments made by Pope John Paul II and, to a lesser degree, Benedict XVI, the bishops’ conference has moved to the right over the last quarter-century. Many conservative bishops have expressed uneasiness or even skepticism about Francis’ leadership — notably his rejection of the idea that issues such as abortion and homosexuality take precedence over economic justice and care for the marginalized. Francis has also caused discomfort by insisting on a church that accompanies people on their journeys rather than expending most of its energy condemning and judging them.
Of the four most politically potent posts in the American hierarchy — the archbishops of Boston, New York, Chicago and Washington — Chicago was the first to come open since Francis’ election. In naming Cupich, the pope sent the strongest possible hint that he wants the American church to move in his direction.
Cupich is a Francis Catholic through and through. He was one of the first church leaders I know who immediately and fully understood the meaning of this pope’s election — Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, was the other — and in an email Wednesday, Cupich embraced the pope’s commission in explaining his priorities.
“I keep going back to the Holy Father’s call for the kind of serious ongoing conversion that all of us are called to,” he wrote, “on the issues of accompaniment, non-judgmentalism and the throwaway culture of exclusion.”
Asked which aspects of the American church needed to be preserved and safeguarded, he offered a list that made his priorities clear. Note what he put first: “our outreach to the poor, the participation of laity in the liturgical life of the church, the vitality of the new immigrant groups, the heroism of parents who sacrifice for their children because of their faith, and the continuing witness of priests and religious women.”
As for American politics, Cupich has emphasized dialogue rather than confrontation with the Obama administration over the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. While many bishops declined to help the uninsured sign up for coverage under the ACA, Cupich asked Catholic Charities in eastern Washington to join in the effort on the basis of a long-standing Catholic principle. “We consider health care a basic human right,” he said.
The refrain of a popular hymn goes: “They’ll know we are Christian by our love.” Not, it should be noted, by our politics or our dogmatism. That sounds a lot like something Cupich once wrote. “Ultimately,” he said, “it is only the witness who convinces people, not the teacher.” Chicago is the new testing ground for this proposition.
WASHINGTON — Christian conservatives are often the subject of study by academics, who seem to find their culture as foreign as that of Borneo tribesmen. And this is a particularly interesting time for brave social scientists to put on their pith helmets and head to Wheaton, Ill., Colorado Springs or unexplored regions of the South. They will find a community under external and internal cultural stress.
It is fair to say that some cultural views traditionally held by evangelicals are in retreat. Whatever the (likely dim) future of political libertarianism, moral libertarianism has been on the rise. This is perhaps the natural outworking of an enlightenment political philosophy that puts individual rights at its center. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy described this view as the “right to define one’s own concept of existence.”
Whatever else traditional religious views may entail, they involve a belief that existence comes pre-defined. Purpose is discovered, not exerted. And scripture and institutions — a community of believers extended back in time — are essential to that discovery. This is not, to put it mildly, the spirit of the age.
It was not, as far as I can tell, really the spirit of any age. But many evangelicals believe it was, subscribing to the myth of a lost American Eden. There has certainly been a cultural shift in America on religion and public life. But it has largely been from congenial contradiction to less-sympathetic contradiction. There is more criticism of the (thin) veneer of Protestant spirituality in public places. There is also a growing belief that individual rights need to be protected, not only from the state but from religious institutions that don’t share public values. In the extreme case, this means that nuns who don’t want to participate in the provision of contraceptives are interfering with conceptual self-definition. †
The reaction of evangelicals to these trends can (and does) vary widely. They can accommodate to the prevailing culture, as many evangelicals have already done on issues such as contraception, divorce and the role of women (without talking much about it). Or they can try to fight for their political and cultural place at the table, as other interest groups do.
A recent study, “Sowing the Seeds of Discord,” by a group of scholars associated with the Public Religion Research Institute, describes a mix of reactions. There is some evidence that younger evangelicals are more socially accepting of social “outgroups,” including gays and lesbians. A higher proportion of evangelical millennials (more than 40 percent) support gay marriage than do evangelicals overall. But there is no evidence this shift is changing political allegiances. White evangelicals remain reliably and monolithically Republican.
My interpretation: Even as some evangelical cultural views change along with broader norms, the Democratic Party is still viewed as a hostile instrument of secularization — a perception reinforced by the health care mandates of the Obama era.
But the most interesting finding of the study concerns (BEG ITAL)where(END ITAL) disaffection with conservative politics is developing among evangelicals. On a number of questions — Should “under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance? Does religion solve more social problems than it creates? — evangelical millennials expressed more negative views on the social role of religion according to an unexpected pattern. Those who lack friends and ties outside evangelicalism are (BEG ITAL)more(END ITAL) critical of traditional evangelical views. “Millennials,” according to the study, “react more negatively and see less value in religious socialization when they have (BEG ITAL)more homogeneous networks(END ITAL).” The authors believe this small but significant shift represents a rejection of “the embattled, political subculture of their parents.”
My interpretation: A desperate, angry, apocalyptic tone of social engagement alienates many people, including some of the children of those who practice it.
Conservative evangelicals, like other religious people before them, are responding to a culture that does not always share their values. But a purely reactive model of politics is not attractive, even internally. And the problem is not only strategic but theological. A Christian vision of social engagement that is defined by resentment for lost social position and a scramble for group advantage is not particularly Christian.
There is an alternative: A commitment to civility, rooted in respect for universal human dignity. A passion for the common good, defined by inclusion of the most vulnerable. A belief in institutional religious freedom and pluralism for the benefit of everyone, including non-Christian faiths.
This type of religious engagement will not always prevail, but it would, at least, be distinctly religious.
There is something deeply satisfying about the troubles punditry is having in nailing down exactly what’s happening in the 2014 elections.
The careful statistical models keep gyrating on the question of whether Republicans will win control of the Senate this November. The prognosticators who rely on their reporting and their guts as well as the numbers are sometimes at odds with the statisticians.
The obvious reason for the uncertainty is that many of the key Senate races are still very close in the polls. This should encourage a degree of humility among those of us who love to offer opinions about politics. Humility is a useful virtue not always on display in our business. The unsettled nature of the election also sends a salutary signal to the electorate. As Howard Dean might put it: You have the power. Voting will matter this year.
It is not my habit to agree with Karl Rove, but he was on to something in his Wall Street Journal column last Thursday when he wrote that “each passing day provides evidence as to why a GOP Senate majority is still in doubt.”
Rove’s focus, not surprisingly, was on money. Democrats have been spending heavily to hang on to their majority, and he interpreted this as an imperative for Republican candidates and donors to “step up if they are to substantially reduce that gap.” In a parenthetical sentence, he disclosed his interest here: “I help American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS raise funds on a volunteer basis.” Rove’s professional history is in the direct mail business, and his column was a nicely crafted fundraising plea.
Rove acknowledged that the big-dollar Republican groups have yet to commit all the cash they have raised, so the TV advertising gap “is likely to shrink.” But the GOP’s real problem in closing the deal is about more than money. Spending doesn’t work unless candidates and parties have a case to make, and this gets to why we have yet to see either a clear trend or a dominant theme emerge in this campaign. Many swing voters may be in a mood to punish or put a check on President Obama. Yet Democrats might still hang on if voters decide that life and government will be no better with a legislative branch entirely under GOP control.
Underlying the Democrats’ argument that a Republican-led Senate will be no day at the beach is the fact that their conservative opponents are offering little of practical help to voters still unsettled by the economic downturn, and might make things worse.
Thus, even in conservative states, Democrats are zeroing in on Republican opposition to government programs aimed at solving particular problems. Their arguments and ads reflect a reality: Voters who might dislike government in the abstract often support the concrete things government can do.
In Kentucky, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes launched a Web ad on Friday criticizing Senate Minority Mitch McConnell for leading a filibuster against Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bill to bring down interest rates on student debt. “We want our students getting degrees not debt,” Grimes says. Students are portrayed echoing the “degrees not debt” theme.
In Arkansas, Democrat Mark Pryor has run advertising built around the Ebola outbreak, criticizing his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, for being one of 29 House Republicans to vote in 2013 against a reauthorization of public health and emergency programs. Cotton’s campaign insisted that he voted later in favor of a subsequent version of the spending bill, but it’s striking that a conservative would be put on the defensive about opposing a spending program.
And in North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan used a debate earlier this month to launch a populist attack on state House Speaker Thom Tillis, her Republican foe, charging him with believing that “those who have the most should get the most help.” She has also denounced Tillis for blocking North Carolina from taking advantage of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. She pointed to health care providers in the state who are “having unbelievable problems because of no Medicaid expansion.”
I’ll try to practice some of the humility I’m preaching by acknowledging that I have no idea whether Republicans will take the six seats they need to control the Senate. Maybe their incessant assaults on Obama will prove to be enough. But an election that once looked to be a Republican slam dunk has even Karl Rove worried because many voters seem to want do more with their ballots than just slap the president in the face.
Fayes M. Rogers was born in Cedar County, Nebraska to parents Richard and Daisy Boetger. Fayes graduated from Gervais Union High School in 1937. She married Charles Rogers in 1942.
She was a housewife and loved gardening, traveling to Europe and throughout the United States. Her greatest passion was her family and children. She was a seamstress and loved canning. Fayes enjoyed meeting for lunch at Shari’s Restaurant with friends and children.
She is survived by her son, James Rogers and his wife Marsha; a daughter, Deborah Closser and her husband Dan. She is survived by her three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be given in her memory to Clear Lake United Methodist Church. Visitation was held Saturday, Sept. 20 at Keizer Funeral Chapel. Services followed at the mortuary.
Janet Mays of Keizer, 68, passed peacefully in her family home in Northern California on Sept. 18, 2014.
She lived in Keizer with the love of her life, Donald VanCleave. What a legacy of life, love, family and strength she leaves.
There will be a pot luck and celebration of her journey on Oct. 5, 2014 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Keizer Lions Hall, 4100 Cherry Avenue in Keizer. Please come with memories to share and celebrate with love and laughter.
“There you go again” was a favorite quip used by GOP presidential contender Ronald Reagan to disarm President Jimmy Carter during their one debate on October 14, 1980. A current application of “There you go again” references the dropping of another ball that has rather obviously fallen from the fumbling hands of he who’s arguably become Oregon’s biggest modern day office-holding loser, Governor John Kitzhaber.
Today, in addition to so many other Kitzhaber fumbles, the latest relates to the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB). One in the same OEIB created by the Oregon Legislature at Kitzhaber’s demandingly urgent request in 2011. It was said by Kitzhaber that its founding and purpose was to bring grand and glorious reforms through savings and improvements to the state’s public education enterprises.
Kitzhaber has wanted change in so many places and one of those has been the way Oregon funds public education from pre-school through college. Establishing a 13-member board three years ago, its charge was to set in motion efficiencies and rationality that are said not to have existed in education matters before 2011. In the Kitzhaber model, distribution of education money is to be based mainly on enrollment numbers requisite to provide the state with a more effective ability to achieve its educational goals.
Rushing forward with the objectives through staff hands, or persons other than Kitzhaber himself, has brought this sold as a bullet train to the end of its tracks followed by another wreck when the data is inconsequential because it is unavailable to make informed decisions. The whole matter is rather opaque and difficult to get a handle on for mere mortals and others, too, because, like so many other Kitzhaber initiatives, apparently persons without the know how are hired but prove themselves unable to bring about, in this case, efficiencies and rationality.
Reports on OEIB happenings disclose that one of its subcommittees was to make recommendations to the full OEIB. However, maddeningly enough, the education officials promoting ideas to the investments subcommittee were not allowed to share cost information. Meanwhile, the OEIB can not act to advise when the OEIB does not have the data to act on and thereby are hamstrung to recommend a list of investments to the governor for the 2015 Legislature. As with this governor’s many other initiatives, we end up spending much and gaining little to nothing.
So the bottom line question is, how can anyone recommend anything with confidence regarding strategic investment recommendations without the data to back it up? The whole idea behind Kitzhaber’s grand scheme for the OEIB was to be able to offer good advice through prioritization of options for cost effectiveness by way of limited financial resources. But it’s not happening..
One note from an Oregonian editorial on this subject reported that during the committee process, a Kitzhaber education advisor urged OEIB members to use “different intelligences” other than a cost-benefit analysis. A search of Senate Bill 909 that established the OEIB finds no mention of “different intelligences” but does show with exasperating frequency that the people Kitzhaber hires to do his work, like Cover Oregon for just one other example among so many, are apparently, once again, not equal to the task.
This OEIB initiative through a public law goes to demonstrate once more that Kitzhaber is not able to follow through on what he says is important to him. It just resembles so much else that’s gone haywire and scares the dickens out of those of us who fear that Kitzhaber will be elected to a fourth term, cruising along to another four years of mistakes, inadequacies, oversights and boondoggles at public expense: It seems that Kitzhaber has become the proverbial absentee landlord of whatever doesn’t work, lurching into the abyss time and again with no reasurance he won’t keep it up through 2019.
(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer. His column appears regularly in the Keizertimes.)
The McNary High School varsity football team couldn’t contain a fourth quarter momentum swing in its game with West Albany High School Friday, Sept. 19. The Celtics ended the game with a bruising 28-27 loss in overtime.
To its credit, McNary’s final drive in OT was a thing of beauty, and as much a mind game as a physical one. Back-up quarterback Trent Van Cleave took five snaps and propelled the team to the Bulldogs five-yard line on running attacks. Having set up the expectation for a run, Van Cleave made a quick throw to teammate Tanner Walker for the touchdown and a 27-20 lead.
The Bulldogs’ Jeff Lacoste ran the ball twice to put West Albany inside the Celtic five-yard line and then punched through for a touchdown. West Albany opted to go for the two-point conversion and Lacoste struck again diving over the middle of the field after many of the linemen were already on the ground.
“I don’t think we’re planning to throw it behind us, but we’re definitely going to keep that feeling in the back of our minds moving forward, and use it to make us better,” said Jacob Burrus, a McNary senior.
The first drive of the game had the Celts on defense, and it was a showcase of how multifaceted the McNary defense can be. Tackles came from Nick LaFountaine, Kyle Torres, Connor Goff, Jacob Burrus and DJ Paqueno. Kyle Aicher slowed a runner who looked to be headed for a touchdown to set up a tackle by a teammate. Tanner Gordon deflected a pass on a third-and-seven attempt. Despite making it to the Celtics’ 10-yard-line, West turned the ball over on downs after a penalty.
It was, however, only the first of what would become a long night for the Celtic defenders.
“West Albany ran 97 plays on offense, a ridiculous amount of plays to expect our defense to play at a high level for that long a time. That’s almost two games worth of plays in one night. We got tired and beat up, and West Albany proved to have better depth than us late in the game as their back-ups played better than ours. That said, I’m proud of how our defense handled themselves,” said Isaac Parker, McNary head coach.
Celt quarterback Drew McHugh and Brady Sparks seemed to get their wires crossed on the Celtics’ first offensive play of the game. McHugh appeared to wrest the ball away from Sparks on the handoff and made a run outside the melee in front of him. McHugh got caught as he rounded the pack and the tackle popped the ball from his hands. West Albany recovered it.
West resumed its attempt from the 10-yard line, but stops by Goff and Kolby Barker and Goff and Gordon halted the drive. West was at third-and-12, after a delay-of-game penalty, when they tried for an air attack. Celt Kyle Torres intercepted the pass at the one-yard-line and ran to the far sideline where he hit the afterburners and took it the length of the field for a touchdown.
“We ran a lot of their passing plays in practice and I got in the right spot at the right time,” Torres said. “But, once I had the ball, I knew I had to make a play.”
A successful point after by Parker Janssen put McNary up 7-0.
Midway through the next drive, West Albany abandoned the running game for a passing one and the drive fizzled shortly thereafter.
West Albany made a field goal attempt a little more than three minutes into the second quarter but it sailed wide of the uprights. The Celts took over at their own 20-yard line. Sparks reset the chains on the ground, and he got three more yards on the next try.
Torres took the next snap from the 34-yard line and traversed the width of the field in a 66-yard touchdown run. He also ran out of a cleat. The Celts drew a penalty on the point-after attempt, but Janssen split the uprights from nearly 30 yards out. McNary led 14-0.
Torres made another interception on West Albany’s final drive of the half, but the Celts had 31 seconds left in the quarter and went to the locker room after taking a knee.
“In the first half, especially, I felt like we were doing a good job of bending and not breaking against a really smashmouth team. We held them to zero, and that’s something worth talking about,” said Barker.
On the first play of the third quarter, McHugh connected with Torres in the air and left the Celts with inches to go for a first down. Sparks finished it off. Two plays later, McHugh ran for a first down and five more ground attacks by Sparks moved McNary to the Bulldogs’ 11-yard line. West was hit with an offsides penalty and McHugh lofted a ball to Devon Dunagan in the end zone. Dungan was ahead of the ball, but managed to get a hand back, under double coverage, and popped it forward enough for him to make the grab for a touchdown. The point-after was blocked and McNary led 20-0.
With just more than a minute left in the third, West was sitting at McNary’s 16-yard line. McNary gave up five yards on a penalty, and the Bulldogs reset the chains on the next attempt. A tackle by LaFountaine kept West at bay, but they cinched up the score 20-6 on the next play.
West scored on their next drive, after the beginning of the fourth quarter, but missed a two-point conversion attempt that left them trailing the Celtics 20-12.
The Celtic lost precious yardage on a sack in third down attempt forcing a punt from inside the five yard line. Dunagan got the punt up, but it lacked depth and West Albany began its drive at the 40-yard line. Lacoste scored from the 26-yard line and it was followed by successful two-point conversion by Bulldog quarterback Keaton Corrado to knot the game 20-20.
The Bulldogs ended McNary’s return drive by stripping the ball from the hands of Sparks, but made nothing of the opportunity. McNary got one last try with a second left on the clock. Torres took the snap at the Celtics’ 35-yard line and ran right before making a pivot and running all the way back to the left sideline where he was brought down around midfield queuing overtime.
In the aftermath of the game, McNary’s offensive struggles were at the forefront of the minds of both players and coaches.
“I thought we played well in the first half putting up points. It’s not as good as we’d like it to be, but we have to start finishing off the drives,” McHugh said.
Parker said ball security was at the top of his list, but cleaning up little mistakes is going to be nearly as important.
“Everyone’s offense isn’t perfect, our mistakes just made big differences Friday night. There were about 10 plays where one little mistake made a big difference, whether it be blocking the wrong guy, or dropping a pass. The good news is we are getting better week-to-week. The average spectator might have a hard time seeing it, but our QB has improved every week and our O-line is getting better as we’ve been playing different guys to make up for injured players,” Parker said. “I’m confident that we are close to clicking and making big plays when they are needed.”
Grants totaling $4,236,700 were approved by the Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday, Sept. 9.
Most of this month’s grant funding comes from the Oregon Department of Education, the rest from the Chalkboard Project.
The largest grant, $2,553,300, is from ODE and is a continuation grant for the Head Start Oregon Pre-Kindergarten Program. It will allow the district to serve 280 students in 14 classrooms for social and academic preparation for school.
The next largest, from Chalkboard, is $1,165,200, a continuation grant of the Salem-Keizer Mid-Willamette Valley Consortium Mentor Program. It will support mentoring of beginning teachers in Salem-Keizer and eight small school districts.
Also from ODE are five grants of $40,000 each, for expanded reading opportunities at the elementary focus schools of Four Corners, Grant, Richmond, Scott and Swegle; and $3,200 for the Educator Institute on Networking and Transition, to implement transitions that are consistent with state education goals.
The other Chalkboard grants are $235,000 for the Salem-Keizer Collaborative Teach Oregon Project, a continuation grant for partnership work with Corban and Western Oregon universities; and $80,000 as a sub-grant of the Teacher Incentive Fund multiyear grant.
In the Spotlight on Success portion of the meeting, Janet Webster was honored for her many volunteer hours for seven years for her weeding and planting in the courtyard of Whiteaker Middle School. Standing with Webster during the presentation of the certificate were her daughter, Laura Perez, former Whiteaker principal, and Julia DeWitt, current principal at Whiteaker.
Contracts approved by the board included those for:
• Kevin Ohmart, less than half-time band teacher, McNary High School.
• Eric Schmit, advanced mathematics teacher, McNary; Gordon Ogo, orchestra teacher, Claggett Creek Middle School; and Joseph Zehr, English teacher, Claggett Creek – temporary full-time teachers.
• Dustin Williams, general music teacher, Weddle Elementary School, and Misty Connor, kindergarten English for speakers of other languages teacher, Clear Lake Elementary School – first-year probation part-time teachers.
The board approved the resignation of Jeanne-Ann Williams as a Clear Lake ESOL teacher.
Superintendent Christy Perry commented at the end of the meeting that she was impressed on her recent visit to the Keizer Rotary Club by the Rotarians’ praise of McNary athletic programs because of their emphasis on building maturity in students rather than on winning. She added that Mayor Lore Christopher and the City Council had urged her to meet with them several times a year.