Santa Claus will be getting to various Keizer events in December thanks to his friends at the Keizer Fire District.
Old St. Nick will be in town first for KFD’s Santa Breakfast on Sunday, Dec. 14.
He will sit for photos with the kids and adults alike for a nominal fee to support the Keizer Volunteer Firefighters Association. The menu includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs and sausage. Milk and coffee will also be served. The cost of the breakfast is $5 for adults and $3 for children age 12 and under. Meal service begins at 7:30 a.m. and wraps up at 11:30 a.m. Pictures with Santa are $2.
Santa will be back on Saturday, Dec. 20, for Keizer’s annual Candy Cane Day. He’ll come packing sackfuls of candy canes as the fire district vehicles carry him from street to street delivering the canes to all the good little girls and boys.
He will travel every street except short cul de sacs, where the vehicle will stop short and volunteers will sound the siren to invite children to come out.
Santa and district volunteers will begin delivering candy canes at 8:30 a.m. The route is not announced in advance, so keep an ear out for the music and sirens.
McNary High School senior Alvarro Venegas was the only Celtic wrestler to emerge from a tournament with a clean record Friday, Dec. 5.
Venegas won his first match, against Dallas High School’s Bailey Hise, in a 12-2 major decision, but it didn’t start off the way Venegas expected.
“I’d wrestled him last year and beat him, but I went to take my first shot and he threw me. He’d definitely gotten better,” said Venegas.
Venegas pinned his next opponent, Cleveland High School’s Elvis Morrison, in 36 seconds. In the last segment of the three-way dual meet, the Celts faced perennial powerhouse Roseburg High School. Venegas drew Indian Will Reddekopp at 195 pounds.
“He was a cool guy, but I knew I was well-coached and I had a plan. It was tough match and he fought all the way to the end,” Venegas said. “His head snaps were hard. I hit the ground every time.”
After ending the third round in a 1-1 stalemate, Venegas took the win, 2-1, in a tie-breaker round.
Overall, the Celt mat men had something of an up-and-down tournament. They beat Cleveland 57-22, but lost to Dallas, 40-23, and to Roseburg, 60-15.
After Venegas, only four Celts managed more than one win: Brayden Ebbs at 126, Sean Burrows at 132, Taran Purkey at 182, and Gage Mance at 195.
Ebbs won his match with Dallas’ Noah Sickles 9-4 after a slow start.
“In the third round, I got him on his back a couple of times with near-falls,” Ebbs said.
Ebbs won his second match with a pin in the third round, and fought back from trailing after the first round.
“I got him on his back and got the leg in and pinned him,” Ebbs said.
Burrows won his Dallas match in a 14-4 major decision and pinned his Cleveland opponent in 5:25. Purkey pinned his Cleveland and Roseburg opponents in 1:36 and 2:47, respectively.
Mance got a pin as time wound down in the second round of his match with Dragon Joshua Naughton. He pinned Cleveland’s Nathan Thai in the waning seconds of the first round.
“I wrestled the Cleveland guy last year and got slammed pretty hard at the beginning of the match, but this year I was prepared for him,” Mance said.
Mance wrestled up a weight class, 220 pounds, in the Roseburg dual and ended up on his back in the first minute.
Other winners for the Celtics in the Cleveland dual were Michael Phelps in a 1-0 decision and Joe Hunter by pin in 4:00. Riley Repp got a win by pin in 5:02 over Roseburg’s Noah Stumbo.
Venegas and Ebbs were on almost exactly the same page as they forecasted what they want the team to work on in upcoming duals.
“We did a good job of cheering everyone on the edge of the mat while other people were wrestling, but even I went up to the stands to talk to somebody once. We need to keep our focus on the wrestler in the match,” Venegas said.
Ebbs wanted to see the team take it a step further.
“As soon as Roseburg had one of us on our back, their entire team was clapping and shouting trying to intimidate us. We need to be like that,” he said.
At age 22, Hugo Nicolas is wrestling with questions some twice his age have never tackled.
“Being an undocumented person with no social security number, you’re kind of in the shadows everywhere you go,” Nicolas said.
In August 2012, Nicolas was a recent McNary graduate and applied for a federal program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In exchange for registering with the program, the federal government, under an executive order by President Barack Obama, agreed not to deport him.
“That was the first question I had to answer. Was it worth it? It was nerve-wracking because it wasn’t a new law, just a presidential order that could go away. If they reverse it later, then I’m just kind of out there,” he said.
He was also able to apply for a renewable, two-year work permit that allowed him to be paid above the table and with all the protections that come with legal employment. The work permit also allowed him to get a driver’s license.
DACA was made available exclusively to undocumented residents brought to the United States before their 16th birthday. The program does not confer legal immigration status and doesn’t provide a path to citizenship. It’s also expensive.
Fees associated with the process top more than $500 and most immigrant advocacy organizations suggest working with an immigration attorney, which can cost up to $2,000. Nicolas’ family sold their car to cover the costs.
“That was a hard thing, especially since my father was the only one working at the time,” Nicolas said.
However, the relatively few new freedoms Nicolas gained under the program have expanded his opportunities a thousandfold.
“I started working and, because of those jobs and being able to drive, I got to start thinking about going to college,” Nicolas said.
He still gets more than a little excited as the subject veers to paying taxes like any other resident of the United States.
He worked three jobs while attending classes at Chemeketa Community College for a year and he’s since transferred to University of Oregon where he’s studying economics. He’s one of just a few dozen undocumented students in the entire Oregon University System.
“For me, it’s a big step toward figuring out the system and being able to help other people down the line,” Nicolas said. His younger brother and sister are just a few of the ones he’d like to follow in his footsteps.
While Nicolas started at U of O with the intent of focusing on his studies, his activist blood runs deep and wide.
In his first year as a Duck, he started working with the university’s student government as a finance assistant, which paved the way to him running for the student senate.
“Since getting deferred action status, I’ve been able to become even more involved in the community. I can drive to Portland and Eugene for advocacy events and organizations,” Nicolas said.
His boundaries also expanded. Nicolas has traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and to other colleges helping students set up their own advocacy programs. The most meaningful trip – and the source of some of his biggest questions of late – was his first trip back to Mexico since crossing the border with his mother at age 11.
“I got to ask questions I never really thought about like, why did my parents leave? Why did they come to the United States? Should I blame the Mexican government for the things not being good enough to stay? Do I blame the United States for not allowing me to become a citizen?” he said.
While the specter of undocumented immigration is used to forward the agendas of those seeking scapegoats for numerous social ills, Nicolas knows what that feels like on an intensely personal level.
As he was applying for DACA status, the Keizer City Council was making changes to its youth councilor program that would bar undocumented residents from participating. Nicolas held that honorary office for almost a full year before his undocumented status came to the attention of city officials. Despite his exemplary performance of his duties, the council voted to change the rules. (They’ve since been loosened to allow exchange students to participate, but only after a request from John Honey, former McNary principal.)
Despite that sour note, Nicolas used lessons gleaned from serving as a youth councilor to formulate his answer to the tough questions he was asking of himself.
“The No. 1 thing was learning how to listen to everyone in your community. I began to understand how a part of town might be improved by better roads or more lights. Maybe it’s the street where we arrest the most people, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad people. Maybe it means we just have to help them more,” he said.
Armed with that lesson, he’s thinking about establishing an international consultancy firm working on issues of infrastructure in Mexico.
“It’s not as simple as thinking about the situation in Mexico or the United States, we have to be thinking about both of them,” he said.
If signals from the White House are any indication, DACA is in the process of becoming a more entrenched option for undocumented immigrants. Recent action by President Obama would lengthen the deferred action period to three years and remove an age cap. At the start of the program, in 2012, studies suggested as many as 1.7 million immigrants might be eligible for the program. Since then, a little more than 580,000 have been granted DACA privileges; another 24,000 applicants were denied.
For now, Nicolas’s path remains troubled by questions.
His father received a driver’s license as part of state law, enacted in 2013, that made Oregon the first state to offer licenses to undocumented residents, but that law was overridden by a ballot initiative passed in November requiring proof of legal presence in the United States. His father’s license, which was used to help provide for the family, expired last week.
“Now it’s like what is my family going to do? Will I have to drop out to go help my family? Will my brother have to drop out of school to help?” he said. “There are are a lot of people losing licenses over the next couple of months, and there’s going to be a lot more people afraid of driving around their communities, going to church or going to buy groceries.”
The McNary High School boys varsity basketball team won its first game with a buzzer-beating basket Wednesday, Dec. 3.
Senior Tregg Peterson tied up the game 64-64 with eight seconds left on the clock by knocking down two free throws. Then Peterson got a steal as the Sherwood High School Warriors tried to make it back down the court. Peterson pushed the ball back up the court to junior Trent Van Cleave who passed it to senior Devon Dunagan for a lay-in and the win.
“It was a huge way to win after we started off not doing anything right,” said Van Cleave.
While it may sound like an overstatement, the Celts missed their first 13 attempts on the basket in the game’s early going.
“We had trouble getting into our game,” said junior Harry Cavell. “But we picked up the offense and the shots started to fall.”
After several seasons of struggle when it came to winning close games, Head Coach Ryan Kirch was relieved to see the team’s experience paying off.
“We have a lot of guys who have been in those situations now and they don’t get nervous,” Kirch said. “Tregg wasn’t having the best game that night, but big players make big plays and he came through for us.”
Throughout the night, the Celts made the most of their depth by sharing the ball. Dunagan had a team-leading 18 points; sophomore Mathew Ismay had 11, Cade Goff had nine; Peterson and Van Cleave had eight each; Cavell had five; Cole Thomas had four and Drew McHugh had three.
“We’ve got the chemistry this season and we’re all really playing for each other,” Van Cleave.
McNary followed the close win by mopping the floor with the Aloha High School Warriors Saturday, Dec. 6. The Celts won 65-38.
“We had a lot better execution and made another big step when it got to the third quarter of the game,” Kirch said.
Aloha was first to the board with a three-pointer, but McNary claimed the lead within a minute. The Keizer team began to pull away on a trey by Cavell that made the score 11-7, and the Celts ended the quarter up 18-11. Aloha drew within two points of the Celts midway through the second period, but Van Cleave helped the team stay out of reach with a three-pointer.
The big step Kirch was a nearly four-minute pummeling of Aloha on defense. McNary broke up or grabbed the rebound on every offensive attack Aloha offered up for 3:54 seconds. It ended only because the Celts drew a foul.
“We talked at halftime about those next minutes dictating the rest of the game, but they were the ones who executed,” Kirch said.
By the end of the third quarter, McNary was up 44-25. Peterson dunked the first basket of the fourth frame on a fast break.
“There were no jitters and we got a lot of shots to fall,” said Cavell. “Right now, we’re trying to let our defense create our offense and that’s what happened with Aloha.”
As a team, the Celts notched 19 steals against Aloha. Dunagan led team scoring again with 17 points; Cavell had 12; Ismay and Peterson had 10 each; Cade Goff had nine; Van Cleave had five; and Cole Thomas put in two.
The Celts host West Albany High School for their first game of Greater Valley Conference play Friday, Dec. 12. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the 5A state tournament last season and return with a powerful line-up.
“Our half-court execution needs to be a bit better, but we have the depth in the roster to play the type of game we want to play. A big key to this season will be dictating the game tempo and making teams adjust to us,” Kirch said.
Because of a sick young boy, Saturday’s Festival of Lights Holiday Parade has a grand marshal.
Mayor Lore Christopher, who will preside over her final Keizer City Council meeting next week and attended her last ribbon cutting event last week, will finish off her 14 years as mayor in style as the parade’s grand marshal.
The 24th annual parade rolls down River Road starting at Lockhaven Drive NE at 7 p.m. Saturday, ending at Plymouth Drive NE.
The parade started in Salem in 1990 before moving to Keizer in 2011.
Christopher noted Tuesday afternoon parade CEO Cheryl Mitchell had asked her a couple of weeks earlier about being grand marshal. Christopher said no, since she had family members coming from out of town and wanted to spend time with them.
Mitchell contacted several other people, all of whom passed on the opportunity. It appeared Monday morning someone was finally lined up, but that person called Mitchell back and said they couldn’t do it.
“So now we’re back to square one,” Mitchell said late Monday morning. “We’ve never had this happen before.”
By Monday evening she was still scrambling to find someone.
Following Monday’s council work session, Christopher learned the parade was still missing a grand marshal. She immediately asked for Mitchell’s contact information and made the connection.
“My grandson got sick and couldn’t come,” Christopher said Tuesday. “They were supposed to get here last Thursday, but he got an ear infection. They will be coming later, so it all worked out.”
Amid a busy schedule with her state job, the mayor hadn’t had much time to process that she’s going to be a grand marshal.
“It truly is my joy and pleasure to help them in any way I can,” Christopher said. “The parade has been a real positive addition to the Keizer community. Any way I can help them, I’ll do it.”
Last week Christopher missed the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Walery Plaza to attend husband Ron’s office Christmas party. Mayor Pro-Tem Joe Egli, who is likewise stepping down from his elected position come January, filled in that night along with incoming mayor Cathy Clark.
If not for this week’s late change, Christopher might have missed out on two big holiday opportunities in her final month of office.
“It would have made me sad,” she said of the possibility of missing both events. “We have such capable people who can fill in, like Joe Egli did as the mayor pro-tem, but on a personal level it would have made me sad.”
Parade adds new attractions
Ready for the night parade?
The Festival of Lights Holiday Parade in Keizer returns this Saturday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., going down River Road from Lockhaven Drive NE to Plymouth Drive NE. The parade is billed as the largest lighted holiday parade west of the Mississippi River.
Parade CEO Cheryl Mitchell said the parade draws a bigger crowd each year and placed crowd estimates from last year’s parade at 70,000 to 80,000.
“It’s a tradition everyone likes to come to,” she said.
New events are being added for the 24th installment of the parade. This year’s theme is “12 Days Before Christmas,” fitting when considering the date.
Among the additions this year is the $500 cash prize going to the Grand Sweepstakes award winner. A new rotating trophy with ceramic figures on a platform, made by Landmark Trophies and Engraving, will also debut. Each year, the winner will receive a plaque to take home.
“We’ve been wanting to do it for a long time,” Mitchell said of adding the cash prize.
The trophy and cash will be presented at the After Glow Celebration, a new event taking place at Skyline Ford (3555 River Road N) immediately after the parade. Top entries will be on display in the parking lot. The After Glow Celebration will wrap up at 11 p.m.
“Kids like to get a second view of the floats,” Mitchell said. “We will add stuff each year. It’s nice for them to have a place where they can get an up close and personal view.”
A cash prize will also be given to the winner in a new parade category: golf cart floats. Golf clubs, their members and other golf cart owners are being encouraged to decorate their carts in the holiday spirit.
Events before the parade continue to grow as well. The Jingle Buck and Holly Doe Family Fun Run and Bowl continue, with the addition of a Glow-On kickoff party this year.
The party runs from 3 to 5:45 p.m. on Dec. 13 at Town & Country Lanes (3500 River Road N), with the Family Fun Run from Weeks Road to Chemawa Road and back to Weeks slated for 6 p.m. Runners can start checking in at 3 p.m. at Town & Country.
Then there is the main event: the parade. Last year there were 49 entries. More entries would be fine, but Mitchell doesn’t want the event going too late.
“We can’t have an event that goes for three hours,” she said. “It has to be done in a timely matter.”
In the past food and toys have been collected during the parade. This year, Mitchell said there will be food donation stations set up at Skyline Ford as well as Town & Country Lanes. People wanting to donate toys are asked to bring them to area Les Schwab Tires locations.
More information about the parade is at www.folholidayparade.org.
Founding sponsors for the parade are the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and KBZY 1490 AM.
One of the main emphasis for Kaiser Permanente’s new Keizer Station medical office was simple: to make it not look like a medical office.
The Kaiser Permanente facility in Keizer is scheduled to open next Monday, Dec. 15. Company officials hosted a well-attended open house at the facility – located at 5940 Ulali Drive NE – last Friday, Dec. 5.
The Keizer Station facility is the company’s fourth medical office in the Salem area. The facility is also the second medical office to open in Keizer this year, joining the Silverton Health medical office that opened at 5685 Inland Shores Way North in February.
Local artwork inspired by iris fields is on prominent display in the lobby, with more artwork and warm colors elsewhere as well, in particular in the imaging area.
“This incorporates Kaiser Permanente’s Total Health Environment program, an idea that the experience you have in the facility can influence your healing process,” said Debbie Karman, Communications consultant for KP. “It’s been shown that scenes of nature can lower one’s blood pressure. It just feels a bit warmer.”
Jefferson Mildenberger, who led the Keizertimes on a tour of the facility, said the basic idea is making a clinic look less clinical.
“We really pay attention to how patients feel,” said Mildenberger, KP’s senior administrator for the Mid-Willamette Valley service area. “We use evidence-based tactics to promote healing. It includes looking at how we arrange the flooring and test colors and their affect on the mood of patients.”
Mildenberger said the effort goes beyond the colors, art and type of flooring.
“We use microwaves so we can warm sheets and blankets for greater comfort,” he said. “We try to take care of things that look medical, such as the cabinets, so it doesn’t look so clinical. We can dim the lights in a dressing room to create a more peaceful setting.”
The 20,000 square foot building will provide primary care services with six primary care physicians: Mark Margoles, Caroline King-Widdall, Joshua Meador, Deborah Sailler, Raymond Chin and Leslie Stevens. Available services will include a dietician, imaging, electrocardiogram (EKG) testing, a nurse treatment center, a pharmacy, phlebotomy and nutrition.
Initially 11,000 KP members in Keizer and North Salem will be served. Mildenberger said eventually 20,000 KP members will be served by 12 physicians once the building is operating at full occupancy in an estimated three to five years, with the increase based on demand for services. There will be 50 employees once the facility opens, with 30 of those positions being full-time. Mayor Lore Christopher noted one-third of the employees are Keizer residents.
The facility is next to the Pfc. Ryan J. Hill Memorial Park, with KP employees being encouraged to use the connecting trail. To help encourage employees to walk or bike into work, staff restrooms include showers.
Employees also have power-adjustable desks that can be raised and lowered, while digital radiology means high resolution images are sent directly to a physician’s desktop, eliminating the need for film. Employees will have color-coded uniforms, making it easier for patients to recognized who is in what department.
There are 16 exam rooms, all of which are soundproofed for privacy.
Christopher couldn’t contain her excitement at the opening event.
“This is the crown jewel,” said Christopher, speaking at her last opening event after 14 years as mayor. “This is a prime location right off I-5. Someone was going to get this jewel and we’re so thrilled it’s Kaiser Permanente.”
Mike Kinard, KP’s Northwest vice president for ambulatory care services, emphasized the company’s partnership with Keizer.
“This partnership will be unbeatable,” he said. “We’re here to improve the wellness of the community we serve.”
Two $10,000 checks were presented at the opening event, with one going to Family Building Blocks and one to Salem-Keizer Education Foundation.
Donald Earl Arnold, 79, died in Yuma, Ariz. on Nov. 28.
He was born in Monterey Park, Calif. on Jan. 26, 1935. His parents were Jean and Harold Arnold. Don moved to the Salem-Brooks area in 1966. He had been a business owner in Keizer-Brooks since the 1970s. He was a lifelong enthusiast of cars and auto racing. He retired to travel and enjoy winters in Arizona.
Don is survived by sister Doris Huff of Wilsonville; son Jeff and daughter Ginger Farrand; granddaughters Tiffany, Misty and Mindy; grandsons Travis and Trevor; and great-grandson Jackson, all of California; fiancee Donna Montgomery; and nieces Jennifer Beal and Melissa Olson.
A memorial celebration will be held on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 at 3 p.m. at McNary Golf Club in Keizer.
Assisting the family was Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
Will anyone ever answer for the decisions made that allowed America to be identified as a nation that tortures its enemies? The Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program released on Tuesday is a shock to the system.
For decades America was unlike many other countries in the world—we were humane, we treated people well, even the enemy prisoners of World War II we held at camps here in the United States. News of torture and mistreatment of prisoners in the post-Sept. 11 era is not new, we’ve read reports of waterboarding and holding terrorist suspects at ‘black sites’ in countries such as Poland. What’s new is the extent of the enhanced interrogation technics used.
While many Americans are horrified by the report, those who were in charge of our nation’s security and intelligence in the years after al Queda’s attacks on the United States stand resolute that what they authorized and carried out was the right thing then and the right thing now. The CIA says it had legal cover from the Bush Administration. It is difficult to accept at face value legal opinions written by political appointees to let the inhumane treatment of prisoners go forward.
The Senate committee’s report—only the summary of the 6,000 page report was released publicly—details various techniques used to gain information that would save lives. Experts say that the information gathered via torture methods could have, and was, learned by other means.
The report also discloses that President Bush, the Congress and the public were misled by the CIA regarding the full extend of the methods used as well as to the usefulness of the information they got out of the prisoners. The agency’s mission is right in its name: Central Intelligence. The CIA is not an operations organization; it had to rely on civilian advisers that it paid tens of millions of dollars. That is very troubling, too.
Senator John McCain, who suffered his own personal hell of torture as a POW during the Vietnam War, knows something about this subject. He said this week, as many people will echo, that torture does not work. People subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques will say whatever their captors want to hear to make it stop. As the report states, at no time did the torture program result in intelligence that averted an attack by terrorists. In many instances torture was used as the first resort when interrogating prisoners.
Over decades we all have been struck by reports of the way other countries have treated their war prisoners. The inhumane treatment of American captives during World War II and the Vietnam War shocks and disgusts us. Americans are the good guys, we don’t torture, we make feature films about such things. Though we have known about waterboarding of prisoners and the conditions at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, we turned away, thinking at the time that it was the price of our war on terrorism. It shouldn’t be the price we pay to feel safe. We lose a bit of our humanity when we allow and tolerate the treatment detailed in the Senate committee’s report.
The enhanced interrogation techniques went too far. It should not happen again. The Central Intelligence Agency needs to get out of the tactical side of running prisons and concentrate on its core mission.
That this should never happen again is clear. But it should also be clear that people are held accountable. Is inhumanity something that people can disagree on? Inhumanity is not a policy, it is a character trait writ large on the hearts and minds of men. If we can’t all agree that being inhumane is torture then is America as exceptional as it should be?
Kudos to Bill Quinn and Gene McIntyre for their remarks on the Ferguson, Mo. protests in the Keizertimes in the Nov. 5 issue. They studied the facts and addressed them candidly and honestly. I suspect some will label them racist, when they simply stated the facts.
Meanwhile, across the country, thousands haven’t bothered to study the evidence presented to the grand jury and have chosen to trample on the civil rights of countless innocent, law-abiding citizens trying to go about earning a living, having a life. Businesses have been destroyed. Innocent workers forced out of work before the holidays.
Policemen—thousands of miles from Ferguson—sworn to protect us, are taunted, shoved and cursed in attempts to get a reaction to be captured on video. These policemen are human beings, parents, sons, daughters, trying to do their jobs.
Hate is being perpetuated through protests. Hate for police, hate for government, hate for law and order and what is right for most citizens.
It seems there are two basic groups involved. First, the lawless, the thugs. They are not interested in “the cause,” just the opportunity to commit mayhem under cover of the crowd. Look at videos in Portland. Protesters are wearing masks or covered faces. You would think honest, sincere, law-abiding protesters would want their faces to be seen.
Then we have a much larger group. They have multiple causes. Demands for change become more important than truth and facts.
I, too, will probably be labeled a racist for taking a stand. But, I believe it’s time law-abiding citizens stand up for laws that have made our country the envy of most of the world. We need to support the police that protect us and are sworn to enforce those laws.
Bottom line, you have an intruder breaking into your home, who do you call to protect you and your family?