Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: November 14, 2014

Agenda for Keizer City Council Meeting

480x270-City-of-Keizer-Logo

CITY OF KEIZER MISSION STATEMENT 

KEEP CITY GOVERNMENT COSTS AND SERVICES TO A MINIMUM BY PROVIDING CITY SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY IN A COORDINATED, EFFICIENT, AND LEAST COST FASHION 

AGENDA 

KEIZER CITY COUNCIL 

REGULAR SESSION 

Monday, November 17, 2014 

7:00 p.m. 

Robert L. Simon Council Chambers 

Keizer, Oregon 

1. CALL TO ORDER 

2. ROLL CALL 

3. FLAG SALUTE 

4. SPECIAL ORDERS OF BUSINESS 

5. COMMITTEE REPORTS 

6. PUBLIC TESTIMONY 

This time is provided for citizens to address the Council on any matters other than those on the agenda scheduled for public hearing. 

7. PUBLIC HEARINGS 

a. Liquor License Application – Salsa Rica 

8. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION 

a. Keizer Parks Foundation – Request for Community Center Fee Waiver for Pinot for the Parks Event 

b. Keizer Community Band – Request for Community Center Fee Waiver for Christmas Concert 

9. CONSENT CALENDAR 

a. RESOLUTION – Authorizing a Temporary Suspension of the Ordinance Prohibiting Street Vendors (Festival of Lights Parade) 

Page 2 November 17, 2014 Keizer City Council Agenda

b. RESOLUTION – Declaring the City’s Intent to Initiate a Street Lighting Local Improvement District (Willow Lake View) and Directing the City Engineer to Make a Survey and File a Written Report with the City Recorder 

c. Approval of October 20, 2014 Regular Session Minutes 

10. COUNCIL LIAISON REPORTS 

11. OTHER BUSINESS 

This time is provided to allow the Mayor, City Council members, or staff an opportunity to bring new or old matters before the Council that are not on tonight’s agenda. 

12. WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS 

To inform the Council of significant written communications

13. AGENDA INPUT 

November 18 2014 

5:45 p.m. – City Council Work Session 

Tour of Center for Hope and Safety 

December 1, 2014 

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session 

December 8, 2014 

5:45 p.m. – City Council Work Session 

2015-2017 City Council Goals 

December 15, 2014 

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session 

14. ADJOURNMENT 

Upon request, auxiliary aids and/or special services will be provided. To request services, please contact us at (503)390-3700 or through Oregon Relay at 1-800-735-2900 at least two working days (48 hours) in advance. 

Lady Celts stymied in state tourney

McNary’s Lauren Hudgins puts up a block during a second-round playoff game two weeks ago. The Lady Celts lost games to Jesuit and Sunset high schools, ousting them from the state tournament last weekend. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Lauren Hudgins puts up a block during a second-round playoff game two weeks ago. The Lady Celts lost games to Jesuit and Sunset high schools, ousting them from the state tournament last weekend. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity volleyball team finished its season in the state’s Elite 8, but the team struggled to make headway against the tougher teams in the field at the state tournament Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 and 8.

The Lady Celts drew Jesuit High School in the first round and found themselves up against an overpowering defense at the net, said Kellie Scholl, McNary head coach.

“Jesuit was a tough draw, but it was good to have a chance to play a team like them. We competed well in the first part of game one, and there was glimpses of how strong a team we can be,” she said.

Jesuit swept the Celtics with set scores of 25-15, 25-15 and 25-8, and the Beaverton school was later crowned 6A champs. Scholl said the absence of Madi Cloyd meant the team lacked height it might have benefitted from in setting.

McNary drew Sunset High School, a team it had competed well with a couple of times during the season, and found more success, if not a win.

Scholl said the team had to implement a new system due to a lack of setters and adapting on the fly meant the Celts never found a groove.

The Lady Celts showed their grit battling the Apollos to losses of 25-22 and 29-27 in the first two sets. Sunset took the win with a 25-14 score in the third set.

McNary’s team surged to top spots of a new, expanded Greater Valley Conference after a 2013 season that saw the team post a losing record in conference and overall. Despite those varsity struggles, Scholl had her eye on junior varsity players who could make an impact this year.

“Both our JV teams last year where very competitive so we knew the players who would be added to the varsity roster would be strong and would have a positive impact with our returners. The returners were excited coming into the league this year as a more mature and seasoned team,” Scholl said.

She said an early double-duel with West Salem and McMinnville high schools, in which McNary won both games, cemented the girls’ confidence in their abilities.

While different players rose to the fore in almost every game, Scholl said two seniors and one junior provided consistent play for the entirety of the season and helped keep the team going when they could have backed down.

“Macana Wyatt, our setter, was our most consistent and toughest server, she was strong on defense, and had a great ability in giving our hitters confidence and making them better. Megan Douglas, our libero, was another player who stayed consistent throughout the year. She led the team in digs, and would get balls up that you would not think possible to dig,” Scholl said.

For all-around performance, junior Madi Hingston stole the show. Hingston played in all six of the team’s rotations on offense and defense.

“Madi really stepped up this season. All season long teams would pick on her, but she stayed focused and determined and never really broke down,” Scholl said.

Looking ahead, the Celtics will return 10 players from this season’s varsity roster. In addition to Wyatt and Douglas, the team will only lose Hali Thurston, Lauren Hudgins and Ariana Neads to graduation. Combined with younger players on JV teams who have another year of experience under their belts, the team will be well-positioned once it returns to the courts. Scholl expects an even stronger offensive game next fall.

While the girls found success on the court, they were also achieving in the classroom. The Lady Celts’ team GPA of 3.67 earned them eighth in the Top 10 all-academic rankings.

Scholl hopes the cumulative effects of such success are lessons that impact the volleyball players for a lifetime.

“I hope what the girls will take away from the season is how determination, hard work, respect for self and others, and playing for each other can bring success.  This is a tremendous group of young athletes,” she said.

Pioneers dash Celtic playoff run

Celt Tevita Maake breaks through the Oregon City offensive line and tries to break up a pass in McNary’s first-round game in the state tournament Friday, Nov. 7. McNary lost 38-6. (Photo courtesy of J&H Photo)
Celt Tevita Maake breaks through the Oregon City offensive line and tries to break up a pass in McNary’s first-round game in the state tournament Friday, Nov. 7. McNary lost 38-6. (Photo courtesy of J&H Photo)

By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

A 38-6 loss to Oregon City there ended McNary’s football season Friday.

The Celtics, who ended the season at 5-5 (5-3 in Greater Valley Conference play), were troubled by injuries most of the season and could not shut down the passing of Thomas Hamilton or the running of Richie Mock-Seratt and Trevon Bradford. The Pioneers have a 6-3 record (5-1 in Mount Hood Conference play).

It was a contest through the first quarter. After McNary took the opening kickoff, the Pioneers’ Jon Marquett intercepted a Drew McHugh pass at the Oregon City 37-yard line and ran the ball to the eight. However, the Celtics recovered a fumble in the end zone and started a 13-play drive that led to the first score. Trent Van Cleave ran the ball in from the one, but on the extra-point attempt, the kick was blocked. Only 45 seconds remained in the period.

Oregon City’s Tristan Berge returned the kickoff to the Celtic 11. Then, with 25 seconds remaining, Bradford ran in for a touchdown. Nicholas Loar kicked for a 7-6 Pioneer lead.

With the second quarter not quite a minute old, Mock-Seratt made a 42-yard run to the McNary 23. On the next play, he ran the ball in, and after another Loar kick, Oregon City had a 14-6 lead.

The Celtics’ next possession did not last long. McHugh was sacked at the McNary 20, and on the next play, the Celtics had to punt. Devon Dunagan booted the ball to the Oregon City 38. McNary kept the Pioneers out of the red zone, but Loar kicked a 27-yard field goal for a 17-6 lead.

After taking the kickoff, the Celtics barely converted on a fourth-and-one at their own 36, with boos from the Oregon City fans following the measurement. Four plays later, the Pioneers got the ball on downs. The Oregon City drive ended just before the first half did, with Bradford scrambling 36 yards for a touchdown and Loar kicking for a 24-6 lead.

A squib kick from McNary opened the third quarter. Oregon City fell on the ball at its own 29. Mock-Seratt ran the ball to the Celtic 24 and two plays later scored from the 20. Loar’s kick made the score 31-6.

It was the only score of the third period. The Celtics, mostly by McHugh’s carries, reached the Oregon City five before an illegal block penalty moved them back to the 20. An incomplete pass on fourth down turned the ball over to the Pioneers, who reached their own 47 as the quarter ended.

About the midpoint of the fourth quarter, a 13-yard pass play from Hamilton to Bradford and a Loar kick provided the final score. McNary had the ball at the Oregon City 30 when the game ended.

Coach Isaac Parker of the Celtics noted that of his players who had been sidelined with injuries, only Kyle Torres was able to play in Friday’s game.

Asked whether anything about Oregon City surprised him, he said, “Their toughness and athleticism were better than I expected.”

Regarding the change in the game after the first quarter, he said: “We weren’t able to move the chains, and that hurt us. The longer our defense was on the field, the harder it was to stop them. We also lost starting defensive lineman Jake Burrus in the first quarter, and that hurt us defensively.”

Asked how next season looked, he noted that the JVs “had a great season, and our junior class has a lot of playmakers. However, we need to get stronger in the off-season.”

Eighteen McNary seniors ended their high school football play. Besides McHugh, Dunagan, Burrus and Torres, they are Tanner Walker, David Gonzalez, Nick LaFountaine, Tanner Fernandez, Connor Goff, Tanner Hughes, Ryan Edsall, Kenny Fisher, Saiff Cano, Guelmi Sierra, Steven Wilkerson, Jaime Garibay, Tevita Maake and Juan Maciel.

Nov. 11 holds two special meanings for Keizer’s Taylor

On his 98th birthday Virgil Taylor joined other Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community residents in the Grace Chapel for a mid-day concert by the Northwest Banjo Band. (PHOTO/Lyndon Zaitz)
On his 98th birthday Virgil Taylor joined other Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community residents in the Grace Chapel for a mid-day concert by the Northwest Banjo Band. (PHOTO/Lyndon Zaitz)

By LYNDON ZAITZ
Of the Keizertimes

Virgil Taylor celebrated his 98th birthday Tuesday in the Grace Chapel at Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community with other residents, being entertained by a performance of the Northwest Banjo Band.

Taylor was born in Ohio on November 11, 1916, before it was known as Armistice Day or today’s Veterans Day. He moved to Philips, S.D. when he was a boy and started working on a nearby farm at the age of 8. He graduated from Rapids City High School in 1933. In the depths of the Depression he joined the U.S. Navy in 1936, serving on the U.S.S. California, a Tennessee-class battleship or battle wagon.

Taylor was working below deck in the engine room of the ship while it was moored in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. After the initial attack Taylor and others worked to light  the coal engine to move the ship but it was hit with two torpedoes and one bomb and sunk at its moorage. The U.S.S. California was salvaged and reconstructed and served in World War II and was decommissioned in 1947. Taylor received no major injuries.

“I was supposed to be killed,” Taylor said of the attack.

In 1943 Taylor married his first wife in Seattle; they had two children. They were married for 20 years. He was married to his second wife for 40 years until her death in 2010, they had two children. He also has two stepchildren, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Taylor served in the Navy until 1956 when he went to work in the atomic energy testing area for the Indiana-Michigan Electrical Co. near South Bend, Ind.

Due to his older brother’s ill health, Taylor moved to Salem in 1966. He worked at the Oregon State Penitentiary until his retirement in 1970.

Though born before a holiday honoring veterans was conceived, Taylor now gets to be honored for his military service that started more than 70 years as well as his birthday.

Group wants to redo skate park

Trent Paulson, 15, performs a jump on his bike at the Carlson Skate Park behind the Keizer Civic Center on Tuesday afternoon. Paulson was among several using the park on Tuesday. A group is looking to make renovations at the skate park, which opened in July 1999. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Trent Paulson, 15, performs a jump on his bike at the Carlson Skate Park behind the Keizer Civic Center on Tuesday afternoon. Paulson was among several using the park on Tuesday. A group is looking to make renovations at the skate park, which opened in July 1999. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

For more than 15 years, skateboarders have been hanging out not far from city hall in Keizer.

That’s because the Carlson Skate Park was opened at the Chalmers Jones Park behind city hall on Chemawa Road in July 1999. Steve and Charlane Carlson launched the idea for the skate park in 1995, with groundbreaking on the 21,600 square foot facility in the spring of 1998.

Now, Joe Bazan is helping to lead a group that hopes to renovate and update the facility. Bazan is partnering with Danyel and Mark Scott of Lincoln City-based Dreamland Skateparks LLC to do the work. Danyel Scott and Bazan spoke of their plans at the Nov. 6 Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.

“We’re concerned about the safety of people using the skate park,” Bazan said. “There are a lot of cracks. It’s a hazard.”

Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, acknowledged there has been a lack of maintenance performed at the park since it opened in the late 1990s.

“There’s not been much work done since then,” Lawyer said.

Bazan said the goal is simple.

“We want to redo the skate park,” he said. “We have one of the best people helping us. The ground is rough, so people can fall. We’re looking at resurfacing and other aspects.”

Scott noted her family-owned company has done more than 200 skate parks over the past 24 years, with her husband and son both skaters themselves.

“We came to support the skate group,” Scott said. “For years we’ve gotten e-mails from citizens. We were impressed. Joe has been persistent about getting us out here. There is a big safety concern.”

Scott said general maintenance should be done on skate parks every three to five years to check for cracks or any other damage.

As such, Scott’s first plan called for two applications of concrete sealant to the entire park every two or three years, plus patching all control joints and cracks, cleaning and painting metal coping and doing any small patch work that arises. That plan would cost approximately $8,400.

A more ambitious second plan would cost approximately $25,000 and include work from the first plan plus larger items such as replacing concrete as needed, power washing and large patch jobs.

“The park was built over 15 years ago,” Scott said. “Kids have evolved to a higher level of riding. For the year that it was built, they did a fantastic job. But these kids now are at a higher level. The second scope we’re suggesting adds enhancements that are a little more advanced. We want to work with the community to add on to the existing park without messing with the landscaping.”

The proposal was presented as an applications for the Parks Board’s new matching grant program, which calls for applicants to match the amount being requested from the city.

Brandon Smith, the outgoing Parks Board chair who is rejoining the Keizer City Council in January, noted the project isn’t small.

“This is a big, ambitious project,” Smith said. “I would like more opportunity to ask more questions and see how the progress is going. I would love you back at future meetings. There are other opportunities out there for fundraising. This is a worthwhile project.”

Smith looked at the application and asked Scott if $12,000 was being requested.

“We’re working with the kids,” Scott said. “We were reached by them. This would be either as a non-profit or from parents to get the matching grant.”

Lawyer noted the matching grant program started with $14,000 in July. Following a couple of previous commitments, he estimated there is a balance of $12,600.

Lawyer also agreed the park could use some attention.

“I don’t think it needs to be rebuilt,” he said. “We can build on top of what’s there. Enhancing what is in the park, I think it is entirely reasonable. We have known it needs to be resurfaced. That is more than maintenance. That is crack filling. It’s like a tennis court, as a certain point it needs to be resurfaced.”

Scott noted that’s why there are two levels, with one filling cracks as part of maintenance and a second part the actual resurfacing.

“Resurfacing the whole thing would be tens of thousands of dollars,” she said. “Really, we’re just trying to keep it safe.”

Bazan said helpers are waiting.

“We’ve already started fundraising,” he said. “People are waiting for you guys to say yes. We have a fallback plan. We are on top of that.”

Smith, who recommended the idea be brought back up at the Jan. 13 Parks Board meeting, opined more exact cost figures are needed.

“We need to know the total project cost including volunteer labor,” Smith said. “One thing we have to consider is the return on investment. We try to look to double or triple the amount given (with the grants). With two proposals, that makes us make a choice with it.”

Smith added he was not comfortable making a decision yet, while pushing the discussion back to January will mean several current Parks Board members will not be on board.

James (Jim) Young

J. Young
J. Young

James (Jim) Young passed away at home on Nov. 3, 2014. He was born Aug. 22, 1936 in Salem.

He graduated from Salem High School. He and Roberta DeWeese were married in Salem on May 17, 1959. He worked in various capacities for more than 20 years in the wholesale beverage industry.

Young was a member of the Keizer Elks Club as well as an early supporter and board member of the Keizer Heritage Foundation which oversaw the renovation and relocation of Keizer School. He was a member of John Knox Presbyterian Church for almost 50 years where he served as deacon and elder and sang in the choir.

In 2002 Young received a lifetime membership in the Elks Club for which he served on a numerous committees (Christmas Charities, Americanism, Eye Poster, Father Son/Daughter Nite Visual and more). He was named Elk of the Year for 2011-12.

He was named a lifetime member of the Keizer Heritage Foundation in 2014 where he served on the board of directors for almost 20 years.

Young’s other civic suites  included volunteering for the Keizer Community Food Bank and local schools where he read to grade school students for 20 years.

Jim Young is survived by his wife, Roberta, son Jim (Jacque) Young, daughter Kristin (Mike) Herberger, seven grandchildren and one great-grandson.

A memorial service will be held at the Keizer Elks Club at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. Arrangements were made by Keizer Funeral Chapel.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Keizer Community Food Bank or Willamette Valley Hospice.

The ending of an era

In less than two months the Lore Christopher Era will come to end in Keizer. Her newly-elected successor, Cathy Clark, promises a steady hand that will continue and build on the successes of her predecessor.

Mayor Christopher was Keizer’s first woman mayor and its longest serving—14 years when all is said and done. She leaves a number of legacies but above all she has been a tireless cheerleader and booster for the city.

She has maintained that she and all the city councilors she served with (20 in all) were just “neighbors and friends” working for Keizer. After she was elected mayor in 2000 this mother and human resources director took the reins of the job and never looked back.

She may have called herself a mother and a neighbor but she grew into the role of mayor and became one of the region’s premier municpal leaders. Her clout as mayor and her connections gave Keizer a place at the table of regional discussions that matter to the city such as transportation and land use issues. Christopher was recognized by her fellow mayors in 2012 when the Oregon Mayors Association presented her with its Leadership Award, in part, for her ‘wisdom of experience and a passion for helping others.’

Like any good politician and public leader she wields her knowledge and connections to its full potential. With one telephone call she can get the ever-slow levers of government to work for Keizer’s benefit. She was a proponent of Keizer Station while working to assure that River Road’s commerical businesses were not forsaken. She has worked well with the council over the years to govern within the limitations of a low tax rate.

Most people who live in Keizer love their town as it is. Christopher leaves office with the community in good shape—Keizer Station is filling up, new businesses are moving onto River Road, parks have been a focus during her tenure and they look better than ever. Of course Lore Chrisotpher didn’t accomplish everything during her terms alone, but she was the head of the city council and she used her skills to rally her colleagues to do what was best for Keizer and its residents.

No two people are the same and with Cathy Clark we will see a different style. Clark is no less a booster of the city. She brings to office her wide-ranging knowledge in the areas that will be important: transportation and land use to name two.

Clark comes to office with more council experience than any of her predecessors over the past 30 years. There will be no need for ‘on the job’ learning for her which will help her mentor two new members of the council: Roland Herrera and Amy Ripp.

One doesn’t run for city office unless one is an unambashed cheerleader. Herrera and Ripp both will bring that enthusiam to their civic duties, they are champions of the kids in our community as well as the organizations that make Keizer a great place to live and play.

Brandon Smith returns to the council in January after a four-year break. He will bring an eagle eye to the budget process to assure Keizer always lives within its means. He will step down as chair of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee to take his council seat, so residents can rest assured that the city’s parks will continue to get attention.

Lore Christopher will cast a large shadow over Keizer for some time to come.  She was an accessible mayor who took her duties seriously—appearing at countless ribbon cuttings, gatherings and dedications. The Christopher Era will be a benchmark for all future mayors.

Though she’ll leave office in January her touch will continue to be felt as she focuses on one her passions: art. She’s not going anywhere and that’s good for Keizer.

  —LAZ

Vowell is right

To the Editor:

The underlying message in Don Vowell’s article (Keizertimes, Nov. 7) would seem to be a rejection of the aims of the National Rifle Association and a plea for meaningful gun control.  Those are my sentiments exactly!

It is beyond me why more people don’t see the relationship between the availability of guns and gun violence or that NRA’s real purpose is simply to protect the profits of gun manufacturers and suppliers.  If things get so bad that most people feel the need to be armed, the bad guys will have won!

Art Burr
Keizer

Don’t govern on fantasies

By E.J. DIONNE JR.

When high-mindedness collides with reality, reality usually wins. Remember this when you hear talk of making the next two years a miracle of bipartisan comity.

Begin by being skeptical of the lists of what President Obama and the now Republican-controlled Congress should “obviously” agree on. Notice that liberal lists (including mine) start with immigration and sentencing reform while conservative lists focus on free trade and tax reform. Surprise! The election changed no one’s priorities.

And don’t be fooled by anyone who pretends that the 2016 election isn’t at the top of everyone’s calculations.

 With Washington now so deeply divided philosophically, each side is primarily interested in creating a future government more congenial to getting what they want. Republicans want to win total power two years from now; Democrats want to hang on to the presidency and take back the Senate.

Therefore, don’t misread the internal Republican debate. It is not a fight between pristine souls who just want to show they can govern and fierce ideologues who want to keep fighting. Both GOP camps want to strengthen the conservatives’ hand for 2016. They differ on how best to accomplish this.

 The pro-governing Republicans favor a “first do no harm” approach. Thus did incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wisely rule out government shutdowns and debt-ceiling brinkmanship. He’s happy to work with Obama on trade because doing so advances a free market goal the GOP believes in—and because a trade battle would explode the Democratic coalition. For Republicans, what’s not to like?

The more militant conservatives are more candid about the real objective, which is “building the case for Republican governance after 2016.” Those words come from a must-read editorial in National Review.

“A prove-you-can-govern strategy will inevitably divide the party on the same tea-party-vs.-establishment lines that Republicans have just succeeded in overcoming,” the magazine argued. Also: “If voters come to believe that a Republican Congress and a Democratic president are doing a fine job of governing together, why wouldn’t they vote to continue the arrangement in 2016?”

In other words: spending two more years making Obama look bad should remain the GOP’s central goal, lest Republicans make the whole country ready for Hillary. This is the prevailing view among conservatives. McConnell’s main argument with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his followers is not about ends but means. McConnell is no less focused than Cruz on bringing down Obama and discrediting Democratic governance, but McConnell needs to be more subtle about it.

Where does this leave Obama and the Democrats? The first to-do item on Obama’s list must be to repair his currently abysmal relations with his own party on Capitol Hill. He will need his party as the GOP goes after him in one “investigative” hearing after another. He also needs them if he goes ahead, as he should, with executive orders on immigration reform.

Obama has already drawn a red line on immigration from which there is no easy retreat. And exit polls explain why Republicans, particularly House Speaker John Boehner, have little reason to act before Obama’s gone.

Overall, 57 percent of voters favored granting illegal immigrants “a chance to apply for legal status,” while 39 percent preferred deporting them. But those who favored deportation voted for Republican House candidates by better than 3-1. Boehner won’t risk alienating this loyal group. Better for Obama to pick a fight in which he is taking action than to give way to passivity and powerlessness.

In the end, Obama needs to govern as best he can even as he and his allies prepare for the longer struggle.

Democrats were tongue-tied about economics in the campaign. They avoided highlighting the substantial achievements of the Obama years for fear that doing so would make them seem out of touch to voters whose wages are stagnating. But neither did Democrats come up with plausible answers and policies to win over these voters. They lost both ways.

A Democratic Party paralyzed on economics won’t deserve to prevail. The president and his party—including Hillary Clinton—must find a way of touting their stewardship while advancing a bold but realistic agenda that meets the demands of Americans who are still hurting. This encompasses not only defending government’s role in achieving shared growth but also, as Obama suggested Friday, restoring faith in how government works.

Solving the country’s economic riddle would be a much better use of their time than investing in the fantasy that McConnell and Boehner will try to make Obama look good.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

We should dump daylight savings time

We humans are complicated creatures. We share a condition with virtually every other living thing, and that’s the internal clock, scientifically called the circadian rhythm.  For example, when you set your alarm clock for Daylight Savings Time, your body may not readily accept the change and what happens to wakefulness is due to the imposed change in your internal clock.

Internal clocks are internal variations in the body controlled by the brain that take place close to a 24-hour cycle.   They are sensitive to light and the absence of light can discombooberate them so that when change occurs, days usually follow when you are a bit or a lot out of your usual rhythm. Those persons who study this phenomenon report that “spring forward” is more disruptive to your circadian rhythm; whatever your case, you may find yourself waking up before your alarm sounds or feeling desirous for dinner at the wrong time after “falling back.”

When the evening dark approaches we start to think of bedtime.  Artificial light from whatever source, a lamp, TV, smartphone, etc., can trick the brain into believing it’s time to stay awake rather than settle down for sleep.  Technology is viewed as the culprit that has divorced us from the natural 24-hour rhythm our bodies evolved over eons of time: We are driven to bed later and must then use caffeine, jogging outdoors, a splash of cold water or whatever to drive sleep from our need to be awake for work and other modern day requirements.

Studies show that those who are exposed to natural light for days at a time, like camping out in a wilderness area, results in a separation between night owls and early birds: In other words, the difference disappears.

A person will not find it necessary to travel across several time zones to lead his brain to think he has done so. In fact, stay up later than usual and then sleep in, a custom for many Americans on Saturdays and Sundays, can bring about a sluggish and irritable state of body and mind come Monday in the a.m.  It actually has a name and is popularly known as “social jet lag.”

Breaking with one’s normal routine confuses the internal clock, bringing about a rough start to the work week.  Of course, going to bed and sleep each night at the same time and waking at the same time does a lot to avoid social jet lag.  Experts tell us, nevertheless, that getting a hearty dose of light in the morning can help to reset your internal clock no matter how you’ve lived of late.

Some of our genes operate on internal “clocks,” interfering with sleep patterns upsets them big time.  These genes we all possess control everything from body temperature to blood sugar and even our moods.  Sleep research has found that when people with normal sleep schedules were placed in a 28-hour day, until their sleep schedules were 12-hours out of sync, that all their genes went out of whack and they neither happy nor healthy people.

Other disclosures from sleep research have determined that certain genes responsible for fighting off bacteria and viruses are controlled by the circadian clock, women hoping to conceive should pay close attention and adherence to their circadian rhythm, and gene activity brain tissue samples taken from the after-death of depressed persons show deviations from the healthy 24-hour normal circadian rhythm.  All of which science knows now about sleep and its ramifications leads the observer to recognize its importance as a steady, fixed “diet.”

With all the modern times’ sleep deprivation challenges one might conclude the situation is hopeless.  Nevertheless, there is one way we Oregonians could act.  We could rid ourselves of Daylight Savings Time: that is, end it altogether.  After all, what is it other than unnecessary and an annoyance that is also unhealthy to every aspect of our beings because change of that kind twice a year raises havoc with our internal clock and there’s already too much of that sort of thing in our lives through technology, life styles and work schedules.  Personally, I’d like to see it on the next ballot and, if enough of my fellow Oregonians agree with me, bury this inessential imposition on our internal clocks to its final resting place.

(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)