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Month: March 2015

Boys searching for even keel on diamond

Celt Trevor Gilbert takes a cut and earns a single in McNary’s game with Cleveland High School Monday, March 16. After taking a win in that game, McNary has had an up-and-down week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Celt Trevor Gilbert takes a cut and earns a single in McNary’s game with Cleveland High School Monday, March 16. After taking a win in that game, McNary has had an up-and-down week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

After beating out their first opponent of the season, the McNary High School varsity baseball team could only muster one hit in a game against West Linn High School on Wednesday, March 18.

The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a home run with senior Mickey Walker pitching. In the fifth inning, West Linn got its first player on base with a bunt, another with a walk and a single loaded the bases. Evan Alger came in to relieve Walker, and a ground out led and off-the-mark throw to first put runners at second and third. A walk and a batter hit by a pitch kept the Lions going before a triple notched the the final runs of the inning.

Mathew Ismay got the only hit for the Celtics in the top of the fifth, but was caught stealing second.

On Friday, March 20, McNary traveled to meet the Wilsonville High School Wildcats and took a 6-2 win.

A double play in the first inning ended the Celts opportunities and Wilsonville put one on the board in the bottom of the frame with Josiah Gilbert on the mound for McNary.

In the top of the second, Celt Tim Hays drew a walk, then Trevor Gilbert hit a single. Hays scored on an error by the Wildcat pitcher while Gilbert moved to third. Nick Lafountaine made it all the way to second from the plate on the same error. Gilbert and LaFountaine scored on RBIs from Jacob Vasas and Walker.

McNary had the lead 4-2 going into the fifth inning. At the top of the frame, Connor Goff hit a single after Ismay struck out to start the inning. A double by Hays scored Goff on the next at-bat. Hays made it home by the end of the inning for the 6-2 final.

Goff went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Hays went 1-for-3 at the plate with two runs and an RBI. Gilbert, LaFountaine and Vasas all notched RBIs.

In the team’s first game at spring training in Arizona, McNary never found its legs in a 11-0 loss to Colorado’s Highland Ranch High School Monday, March 23.

Cowan talks of levy, election at GGNA meeting

Keizer Fire Chief Jeff Cowan
Keizer Fire Chief Jeff Cowan

Of the Keizertimes

Things have been a bit busy lately at the Keizer Fire District.

Fire chief Jeff Cowan gave a brief report on his department’s activity and future plans during the March 19 Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association meeting.

For example, Cowan told of how the KFD has used funding from the five-year tax levy approved in November 2013 by voters.The KFD has hired four additional firefighters and medics thanks to the levy’s tax rate of $.59 per $1,000 in assessed value, which means there is a full second shift.

That extra personnel has been helpful, especially lately.

Call volume increased 3 percent last year and has continued to climb.

“Some days in January and February we had 24 calls for service in 24 hours,” Cowan said. “Our calls have been up 8 percent in the first quarter this year. The 24 calls in 24 hours has already happened a couple of times. Normally we get 12 calls a day.”

Medics and firefighters bring both fire engines and ambulances to calls, which means there is enough personnel to help with carrying patients and any necessary gear. It also means an engine can
quickly respond to another call at a moment’s notice, which was seen when there were 24 calls in a day.

“That day, the engine never went back to the station,” Cowan said.

Cowan also spent time talking about two upcoming elections: the fire board in May and a proposed bond levy for the fall.

Three fire board seats are open in May, with a total of five candidates having filed by last week’s deadline. James Mulhern and Chet Patterson are competing for the Position 3 seat, while former Keizer City Councilor Jim Taylor is going against Betty Hart – the wife of former board member Mike Hart – for the Position 5 seat. Mike Bauer is running unopposed for the Position 4 seat.

“I’ll have three positions open and they’re all good candidates,” Cowan said. “Three of them now are from the budget committee. When Mike Hart resigned (due to health concerns in December), then people noticed the seats.”

Cowan gave an update on the fall election, when the KFD is expected to run a new bond levy.

“Our citizen advisory committee has talked about the bond rate and is okay with 14 cents (per $1,000 of assessed value),” Cowan said. “Right now the rate is $.11, but it has been as high as $.20. As the assessed value in Keizer goes up, the rate you pay goes down.”

Cowan reminded GGNA members about preparing for disasters and how the Keizer CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) is part of the KFD’s emergency plan.

“CERT has 17 zones in Keizer, each with a block captain,” Cowan said. “What people need to do is be prepared for seven days with no assistance. When we’re talking about a disaster of that pro- portion, firefighters won’t be available since they will be absorbed in the disaster.”

Among Cowan’s tips: not waiting until the last minute to refill medical prescriptions and having enough drinking water.

“Water is one of the most difficult deals,” Cowan said. “Having a case of water in the garage is a really good idea. Buy a couple of cases of water, keep them in the garage and rotate them out.”

LAX won’t settle for less than league title

Marcus McCoy, a freshman goalkeeper on the McNary High School lacrosse team, takes part in a drill during practices Thursday, March 19. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Marcus McCoy, a freshman goalkeeper on the McNary High School lacrosse team, takes part in a drill during practices Thursday, March 19. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The first varsity game for the McNary High School lacrosse team was a barnburner Wednesday, March 18.

“With two minutes left in the game and a two-goal lead, we tried unsuccessfully to kill the clock. We had a couple turnovers and a penalty allowing Newberg High School to tie the game 8-8 with 35 seconds left. We managed to get three shots off in the final 35 seconds of regulation, but none of them made it into the net,” said Ryan Bowlby, McNary head coach.

After two overtimes, McNary won 9-8.

“Me and Beard (Jeremy Williams) double-teamed their last guy to get the ball back, then I got tunnel vision,” said senior Cade Christensen.

Christensen picked up the ground ball, ran the full length of the field behind the Newberg’s goal. He evaded a double team behind goal and managed to dive into a second double team four yards in front of goal.

“Cade took a one-handed, left-hand shot that flicked into the back on the net for the game-winning goal with 35 seconds left,” Bowlby said.

Lacrosse, which is run as a club sport for the Celtics, combines physicality of football with the finesse of soccer and the strategy of basketball.

While the game made for amplified excitement, Bowlby knew the team was capable of more.

“Statistically we dominated Newberg, we just did not score efficiently. We are very young at the midfield with three freshman, one sophomore and two seniors,” Bowlby said. “All four of the underclassmen overcome the lack of game experience by being great athletes.”

David Gonzalez led the team with three goals against Newberg, Christensen and Cameron Engle had two each, Mike Phelps and Tanner Hughes put in one each.

Last season, McNary took second in the league, but Williams, a senior, wants the team to go one better this year.

“I have the highest hopes for us. I want to win league, I want that set in stone as the goal, and my parting gift for the team,” Williams said.

If they manage a league title, this year’s team will be the first lacrosse team to hang a banner on the wall of the McNary gymnasium.

Williams has seen the program grow rapidly. As a freshman, there were players swinging between junior varsity and varsity on the same night because the squad lacked numbers. This year, McNary can fill the rosters for varsity and junior varsity teams.

“It’s been fun to get better as a team as a family. Every person on this team is a friend,” Williams said.

The team has grown as a direct result of current players enlisting friends and, in some cases, family. This year, Williams’ younger brother is on the team.

“We’ve got wrestlers and basketball players coming out. It’s the perfect sport for football linemen. We’re breeding success and that builds confidence in parents letting their kids come out for the team,” Bowlby said.

While all of the pieces are coming together, Christensen said the team will need to work to reach its goals by season’s end.

“We need to tighten our offense up a bit. Our defense did pretty well in the first game and it will keep getting better,” he said.

KPAC ready for mural meeting

An up-close look at the proposed mural design for Town and Country Lanes. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
An up-close look at the proposed mural design for Town and Country Lanes. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

Want to be the artist that helps design Keizer’s next public mural?

If so, remember this date: Tuesday, March 31 at 6 p.m. at Keizer Civic Center.

That’s when the newly renamed Keizer Public Arts Commission (KPAC) will host a Call to Artists Mural Planning meeting.

KPAC members Jill Hagen and former Keizer Mayor Lore Christopher recently came up with the idea to have the city’s second public mural painted this summer along the long north wall of Town and Country Lanes, located at 3500 River Road North.

With the blessings of bowling alley owner Don Lebold, Hagen designed a preliminary design that will be about 140 feet long and nine feet tall. Hagen showed off illustrations of her general concept at this week’s KPAC meeting, complete with bowling balls near both ends.

“These are ones I’ve put in, the little bowling balls,” Hagen told fellow KPAC members.

Beth Melendy was among those appreciating the design.

“I love those bowling balls,” Melendy exclaimed.

Christopher noted the design could change, though one thing must remain.

“This could totally change when we have the artists here,” Christopher said. “Don really wanted a stream with jumping fish. If we could accommodate that, anything else we can do. We have a $2,500 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation. It’s for a community tapestry. We’re trying to engage older kids in the background, and younger kids with the hands for iris flowers. There might be some other ideas in there.”

In general, older students – Christopher is working with art teachers at McNary High School – would do much of the background painting. The selected artists would mainly be working on inserts highlighting various design elements such as grapes, filberts, trees, snowflakes, fish, cherries, peaches, hops, strawberries and irises.

More details will be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting, including financial compensation for the selected artist(s). Designs have to be submitted to city hall by April 30. The plan is to have the mural done this summer.

Keizer’s first public mural was completed last year along the west wall of Keizer Florist on Chemawa Road. One advantage of the Town and Country Lanes location is the wall being used is much more visible to vehicles driving past.

“Sherwin-Williams has already said they will help us out with the paint,” Christopher said. “We’re giving artists the month of April to come back with a design. At our May meeting we’ll decide.”

Hagen emphasized her design is simply a rough draft.

“This is not done; it’s a general concept,” she said. “These are the general dimensions for these kinds of things.”

Rick Day was surprised Lebold didn’t insist on another design element.

“He didn’t ask for bowling pins?” Day asked.

Hagen confirmed that.

“He just asked for fish,” she said.

Christopher noted the OCF grant requires community members to be involved, hence the reliance on youth to.

“The thing was about bringing the whole community together to experience art,” she said.

Riding with KPD’s Officer Anderson

Officer Carrie Anderson, a 20-year veteran with the Keizer Police Department, took the Keizertimes on a ride-along earlier this month. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Officer Carrie Anderson, a 20-year veteran with the Keizer Police Department, took the Keizertimes on a ride-along earlier this month. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

So what’s it like being a cop in Keizer these days?

Carrie Anderson, a 20-year veteran at the Keizer Police Department, can tell you no two days are alike.

Last week the Keizertimes took an in-depth look at changes within the KPD, especially in regards to a shift towards problem-oriented policing, or POP.

As part of finding out how that changes has impacted the daily work done by patrol officers, the Keizertimes went for a ride-along with Anderson, currently the only female in uniform at the KPD.

Having moved to Keizer when she was less than 1 year old, Anderson has a deep connection with the city. Her parents, married for more than 50 years, still live in the same house in Keizer on Chehalis Court where they moved to more than 40 years ago.

Anderson went to McNary High School and later Western Oregon State College (now Western Oregon University). While in school, Anderson became a reserve officer at the KPD. She was hired part-time by former police chief Chuck Stull while still in school. Once she graduated, Anderson was hired on full-time.

“This is my 20th year here,” Anderson said with a chuckle. “I’m not sure how it happened.”

For Anderson, being in patrol suits her perfectly.

“I prefer patrol,” she said. “A desk job is not something I’d like to do. Out here, I can do my own thing. I can talk to people. I would pull my hair out if I worked a desk job. It’s a different day out here every day. Even after 20 years, you never know what you’ll experience. It just depends on the day.”

A perfect example came when the Keizertimes rode along with Anderson on a recent Tuesday morning. Over the course of several hours, no calls came in.

That was in vivid contrast to the day before, when Anderson was slammed with calls throughout her 12-hour shift. Others with the KPD spent that Tuesday morning cleaning up an apartment filled with drugs and stolen items Anderson had uncovered the day before.

“Nothing was easy yesterday,” said Anderson, who also had to drive a prisoner to Woodburn late that afternoon. “You never know what you’re going to get. Last weekend was relatively slow, so I caught up on loose ends and paperwork. Then yesterday was crazy. Yesterday was just one call after another.”

The main call was stolen items and drugs at an apartment on the 1000 block of Ring Street. A guy who had recently been released from jail visited his apartment for the first time since being released and found a number of things that shouldn’t have been there.

“Kudos to him,” Anderson said. “He’s trying to get his life back on track. The amount of drugs in there was a substantial amount.”

Anderson said it was quickly obvious things in the apartment weren’t on the up and up.

“There were some nice bikes, a new pressure washer – not the things you would typically have in your apartment,” she said.

While processing the scene, Anderson had a flashback to a call she responded to in January.

“I remembered taking a stolen report on one of those bikes from Keizer Station,” she said. “Yesterday I called the owner of the nice green bike. He had gone into GameStop and leaned the bike against a window. He saw the guy ride off with it. It was cool to be able to call him and tell him we found his bike. He didn’t believe me at first. Those are the feel good moments. They don’t happen very often.”

Part of the reason, Anderson points out, is people don’t typically call the police department to share positive news.

“The normal human brain can’t process this stuff,” she said. “We see death, heartbreak and destruction every day. People don’t call us to tell about their day. They call because they have a problem. You need to find a way to let it go.”

Anderson, who finds her release by showing horses, exercising and working on her property, noted as a patrol officer she’s often the first one at a scene.

“I’m the factfinder,” she said. “I go and see what we’ve got. Do I need extra hands? With the apartment yesterday, it was clear I’d need extra help. I told the sergeant I needed more hands, so we discussed a plan. We’re the pillars.”

For Anderson, she wanted to be a pillar in her hometown. And yes, her parents have ridden with her on a shift before to see what it’s like.

“When I decided I wanted to go into law enforcement, I wanted to be in Keizer,” Anderson said. “I wanted to protect my people. Sometimes it’s interesting policing the place you grew up. You might come across a drug situation and find it was someone you went to school with. On the flip side, you get to see people you grew up with doing great things. It’s good to be able to see how the city has grown and changed.”

Keizer teen brings home heavy metal

Tony Castaneda, 13, with some of his recent awards including a belt from the Rumble in Reno and a plaque designating him as state champion. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Tony Castaneda, 13, with some of his recent awards including a belt from the Rumble in Reno and a plaque designating him as state champion. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

When Tony Castaneda made the choice to pursue wrestling instead of soccer, his father was a bit disappointed.

“Soccer was my sport and I felt like I had a lot I could teach him,” said Richard, Tony’s father.

As of this month, there is little doubt Tony made the right decision. On March 14, the 13-year-old won the Oregon Middle School State Tournament. In February, he took second in the OWA Kids State Folksyle Tournament and won the Rumble in Reno Feb. 28.

The Rumble earned him the biggest prize, a pro-wrestling-style belt.

“I went up to the table figuring I’d get a trophy and they handed me a belt. It was really cool,” said Tony, an 102-pounder.

The match that won Tony the belt was actually a rematch with Nevada’s Beau Chacon. Beau had beaten Tony for third place in the same tournament last year.

“I knew I could do it last year, but the coaches got into it and there was a lot of that going on,” Tony said. “This year, we were 5-5 in the third round and he is really good at escaping. I did a roll and caught him with a near-fall that put me ahead.”

He won the match – and the title – 10-5.

A little over a week later, Tony took second in the Kids State Folkstyle and then won the state title at 102 pounds March 7.

In the state tournament, Tony won his first match by pin in 49 seconds, his second match in a 6-0 decision, a third match in an 8-2 decision, and the title with a 4-2 decision.

However, he bristles at the notion of “winning his way” through a tournament.

“There was no easy match. Every kid at a tournament is tough,” he said.

Tony started wrestling in fourth grade because he was being bullied and hoped to deter his tormentors, but his parent encouraged him to stick with it.

“One of his football coaches at Boys & Girls Club told him about the wrestling practice at McNary (High School),” Richard said. “Now, he has so much more confidence and he’s more outgoing. He’ll just go up and talk to whoever.”

The younger Castaneda is also incredibly well-spoken for an eighth grader.

Tony’s accomplishments on the mat caught the eye of Jason Ebbs, McNary head wrestling coach, early on.

“He clearly has a desire to compete, and be competitive at the high levels of wrestling. As I have watched him wrestle, he does a good job of being aggressive and has developed his fundamental skills in a way that he is not afraid to attack and he is not afraid to lose. I am looking forward to working with him as he comes to high school and developing him even further,” Ebbs said.

Tony already has his sights set on a state championship once he’s in high school, but his more immediate goals are on the Whiteaker Middle School track and field team.

“I thought I could have done better than I did last year, I want to be the best in anything I do now,” he said. “I’m more happy than I’ve ever been.”

Lady Celts start 3-1

Haley Ebner makes a throw to first base in the Lady Celts’ softball game with Jesuit High School Friday, March 20. The Lady Celts won 3-2. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Haley Ebner makes a throw to first base in the Lady Celts’ softball game with Jesuit High School Friday, March 20. The Lady Celts won 3-2. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School’s girls varsity softball team is off to a roaring start for the second time in two years. The girls are 3-1 after four preseason contests.

The Lady Celts started the season with a 12-0 win over Grant High School Monday, March 16. McNary already had a 5-0 lead when it unleashed a seven-run sixth inning on the Generals.

Senior Megan Ulrey pitched a complete game allowing one hit with seven strikeouts. At the plate, Kiana Villarreal went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, four RBIs and two runs scored. Madison Oliver also had a triple in the outing.

Two days later, the Keizer team edged Silverton High School’s Lady Foxes 1-0. McNary’s only run came in the sixth inning when Emma Kinler brought home Ulrey on a single. McNary stranded eight runners in the game.

On Friday, March 20, the Celtics beat Jesuit High School 3-2 in a steady rain. Jesuit rallied for two runs in the sixth inning, but couldn’t overcome the Celtics’ 3-0 lead.

Kinsey McNaught was the only batter with more than one hit and went 2-for-3. Villarreal had a double.

McNary’s first loss came Monday, March 23, to West Linn High School, but it wasn’t for lack of offense. The final score was 15-14 Lions.

After the Celts ran up a 4-0 lead in the first inning, West Linn went ahead 6-4 in the third. By the sixth inning, the Lions were up 15-7. McNary scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth and five in the seventh, but fell just short of knotting it up.

Villarreal went 3-for-5 at the dish including two home runs and four RBIs. Oliver, Villarreal, Ulrey, Hannah Carr, Nicole Duran and Emma Kinler all had doubles. Oliver led the team with five RBIs and also had a home run.

Bicyclist recovering after hit

Keizer's John Henry Maurice, shown riding his bike in a photo from his Facebook page, is recovering after being hit by a truck earlier this month. (Courtesy John Henry Maurice)
Keizer’s John Henry Maurice, shown riding his bike in a photo from his Facebook page, is recovering after being hit by a truck earlier this month. (Courtesy John Henry Maurice)

Of the Keizertimes

Keizer’s John Henry Maurice had plans to compete in some bicycle competitions this summer.

Those plans appear to be on hold for now, as the main emphasis for the 59-year-old is recovery.

As a result, longtime friend Carolyn Homan could be making changes to her usual Friday plans.

Maurice was riding his 30-speed road bike near Antelope in Central Oregon on the evening of March 14 when he was struck by a drunk driver.

According to a report from the Oregon State Police, 56-year-old Melissa Brooke Herz was driving a 2007 Toyota Tundra and pulling a trailer westbound on Highway 218 in Wasco County when the right side of her pickup hit Maurice.

Herz left the scene and later stopped on Highway 97. A trooper noticed a mirror was broken off and later saw a mirror at the crash scene. Herz was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, failure to perform the duties of a driver, reckless driving and second-degree assault.

Maurice, meanwhile, was taken to St. Charles Madras and later flown to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. His wife, Joanne Heilinger, has traveled to Bend to be with him three times since the accident, mostly around her work schedule at the Salem Kroc Center.

Heilinger said the injuries have included four broken ribs on the left side, several breaks in his lower left leg, a broken left scapula (shoulder blade), a cut on the left side of his temple and a concussion. Maurice had an initial surgery to stabilize the left leg and now has a cast on it.

“He’s recovering as well as can be expected,” Heilinger said on Tuesday. “He’s still in the hospital. He’s getting around on a wheelchair. His spirits are good. Part of what’s taking more time than we thought is to get him situated over here.”

In particular, Heilinger is looking for a place her husband can do rehab around here.

“We’re working on getting him a bed in a rehab place in Salem or Keizer,” Heilinger said. “Maybe he will transfer tomorrow.”

Maurice is a longtime employee at Portland Community College, where he attended school.

Heilinger has been logging plenty of miles to visit her husband.

“It’s been pretty hectic,” she said. “I made three trips to Bend in a week’s time. I would come home, turn around and return again.”

Heilinger has been amazed by the outpouring of love and support.

“I’ve felt very supported by the friends and cyclist friends,” she said. “One neighbor mowed my front yard without me asking. We have some former Keizer friends who live in Bend who opened their home to me. I spent some nights at their house, even when they weren’t there. That was so great.”

For about 10 years now, Carolyn and Tom Homan have been regularly eating dinners on Fridays with Maurice and Heilinger, as well as Carol and Martin Doerfler. Carolyn Homan has been among the many friends hoping for the best.

“Joanne posted the news on Facebook the next day,” Homan said. “I remember saying out loud ‘Oh no!’ At that point it was just a rundown of his injuries. I couldn’t imagine it. It was very surprising. You know (bicycle riding) can be dangerous, but still you don’t expect it.”

On St. Patrick’s Day, the trio of couples, minus Maurice, went out for dinner together.

Heilinger had just returned from Bend and gave her friends medical updates.

“It’s always more fun with the six of us,” Homan said.

Homan would love to have Maurice back in the area while he recovers.

“We can’t wait to have him back,” she said. “Maybe we’ll take some takeout food over there.”

Like Heilinger, Homan has been impressed with the support shown.

“It’s been great,” she said. “The Salem Bicycle Club is a great group. They’ve all been asking about him. A lot of folks helped Joanne right after the accident. One friend went to Bend with her since she had to get John’s bike and car. It’s a really good group of people. Neighbors were standing in the street waiting for her to come home, taking care of the cats and mowing the lawn. It’s nice to have people step up like that without being asked. It’s pretty cool.”

Maurice posted about the incident on his Facebook page the morning after being injured, before he had his initial surgery.

“I woke up in the hospital wondering why I was there,” Maurice wrote on March 15. “I found out that my injuries were a little bit more extensive than originally thought…After talking with the doctor it looks like all of my plans for races this summer are in doubt.

“All I remember about the accident is just waking up on the road, wondering why I was there,” he added later. “However, the kind policeman told me what had happened…I was found by my friends on the bike ride I was doing, who called 911.”

Maurice wrote later his summer race plans didn’t look too good.

“What does look good is that I expect to be able to recover completely from my injuries and will be able (to) focus on this race in the years to follow. I am in good spirits and I know that I am receiving the best care possible, which will allow me to have fun in the future,” he wrote.

Three men changing education

If Chuck Lee and John Honey get students as excited about the Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) as adults, the facility will surpass all expectations.

The Career Technical Education Center—long a dream of the Salem-Keizer School District—is scheduled to open this fall on Portland Road. Budget cuts of more than $120 million a few years ago put the kabosh on the district moving forward. It took the zeal and vision of Larry Tokarski’s Mountain West Investment Corp. to provide $7 million to make the center a reality.

Lee and Honey have been making presentations around Keizer and Salem to talk about the vision and creation of CTEC. It is hard not to be infected by their excitement and enthusiasm.

The CTEC will prepare students for high-skill, high-wage jobs that will be in high demand as millions of Baby Boomers start to retire from positions in the trades such as mechanics, plumbing, construction, electrical and the like. Accepted students will remain enrolled at their resident high schools; they will take advanced electives as well as math and English at CTEC.

The first classes will begin this fall.  The goal is enroll up to 200 students, with an eventual student body of 1,000 within five years. The first class will find a large remodeled facility. Students will have access to transportation from their own high schools to CTEC. They will also be able to continue to be involved with extracurricular activities such as sports and the arts.

At the Career Technical Education Center students can earn up to 35 total credits over a two-year period. They will take classes, many taught by experts, will take them from introduction to manufacturing and onto skills that are vital in the trades including reading blueprints, precision measuring and hands-on building.

The number one concern of owners of construction and manufacturing companies is their need to replace retiring employees and not being able to identify skilled workers. The education center addresses that concern head on. High schools will always graduate a number of students who wish to attend college and enter a non-trade career: finance, law, medicine, etc. The Career Technical Education Center is an excellent option for those who don’t wish to be a lawyer or doctor but want to make a good living.

Chuck Lee and John Honey bring many years of educational experience to their task of creating the center and getting it operational. Lee, until recently, was president of Blanchet Catholic School and sits on the Salem-Keizer School Board; Honey was principal of both McNary and North Salem high schools.

Lee, Honey and Tokarski are a formidable team creating an educational facility not found anywhere else in the country. Due to their vision Salem and Keizer are on the cutting edge of vocational education. We’re excited and we want our kids to be excited, too.


Too many bills

From The Capitol

Things are moving quickly here in the legislature these days. One short check of the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) where you can see every bill, where they are and everything on committees and floor sessions and you will find some of the craziest ideas you can possibly imagine. Everything from fines for large gatherings in the forests, to banning “Sharia law” in Oregon, to “animal porn,” to….well, you get it. It seems when one gets elected, one is supposed to write all kinds of bills. I just don’t get this burning desire to create more laws. They may have the best of intentions but it’s just more laws. I want to cut government restrictions and red tape and chip away at the already-too-numerous laws we have now.

One bill I did introduce, HB 2969,  is a bill to help out small businesses across the state. Last week it was voted unanimously out of committee and hopefully will be voted on in the House soon.

So let’s take a look at a hot topic issue from the last couple weeks. Education: The amount of emails I get overall is pretty high and I answer them all, but education is by far the topic I hear the most about. The word on the street is that the legislature is “cutting the K-12 budget.”  That is not true, so don’t buy into that.

There are many of us in the building who want to increase funding for K-12 to $7.5 billion. Yes, you read that right—billion. Instead of that, however, leadership has started the negotiations at just over $7 billion, and then schools are required to provide all-day kindergarten.

On top of that, I just found out about HB 3390, what I call College for Convicts.  Yes, $9,500 a year for three years so convicts can get a college degree. I’m not opposed to the concept but not at the expense of our kids.

So finally, I want you to know that my office is really your office. Please call my staff anytime and schedule a visit or if you have a high school student who would find it interesting to be an honorary page for a day, please contact us. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

(Bill Post represents House District 25. He can be reached at 503-986-1425 or via email at [email protected])