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Day: July 10, 2015

Volcanoes beat Dust Devils 9-3

Logan Webb fires off a pitch in the Volcanoes’ game with the Tri-City Dust Devils Saturday, July 4. Webb was the winning pitcher in a 9-3 win. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Logan Webb fires off a pitch in the Volcanoes’ game with the Tri-City Dust Devils Saturday, July 4. Webb was the winning pitcher in a 9-3 win. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

For the Keizertimes

Volcanoes fans celebrated both the Fourth of July and a series-opening 9-3 win over the Tri-City Dust Devils on Saturday.

A crowd of 4,303 saw Logan Webb get his second victory of the season and watched a six-run Salem-Keizer fourth inning. Independence Day ceremonies involving the military preceded the game, and a big fireworks display followed it.

The Volcanoes led all the way except for a 1-1 score in the top of the fourth inning and started the scoring in the first. Ronnie Jebavy doubled to left field, reached third base on a wild pitch by Tri-City starter Alex Constanza and scored as Steven Duggar grounded out.

Salem-Keizer threatened in the second inning, but Trey Wingenter relieved Constanza with two out and retired the side.

In the Dust Devil fourth, Jose Carlos Urena doubled to center, went to third on a ground out by Ty France and scored on a wild pitch by Webb.

The Volcano fourth wrote the story of the game. Jose Vizcaino Jr. hit an infield single and was forced out as CJ Hinojosa reached first on a grounder. Hinojosa stole second, and Mark Nelson walked. A walk to John Riley loaded the bases. Brad Moss grounded a single over second base, scoring Hinojosa. Jebavy struck out.

Then the Volcanoes showed that they could get tough with two out. Junior Amion singled to center, driving in Nelson and Riley, with Moss reaching third.  Tri-City replaced Wingenter with Lou Distasio, who gave up a single to right center by Duggar that sent Moss home. Miguel Gomez singled to center, scoring Amion and moving Duggar to second. Gomez singled to center, driving in Duggar.

Armando Paniagua took over for Webb to start the sixth. Webb had allowed one run on three hits and two walks and struck out one. Paniagua faced four batters, walking one.

In the bottom of the sixth, Salem-Keizer faced a new pitcher, Griffin Russell. Jebavy reached first on an infield hit and second on a throwing error by third baseman Nick Vilter. A ground out by Amion sent Jebavy to third. Gomez hit a home run over the left center field fence.

Tri-City scored its remaining runs in the seventh. Allen singled to left. Paniagua retired the next two batters. Rod Boykin singled to right, A pitch hit Luis Urias on the helmet, loading the bases. With Peter Van Gansen at bat, a wild pitch scored Allen and advanced the other two runners. Boykin scored as an error by Amion at second base put Van Gansen on first. Eric Sim took the mound, retired the next batter and pitched the remainder of the game.

“It was nice to finally break through and get some two-out base hits,” Volcano manager Kyle Haines said.

Jebavy, who went straight from Middle Tennessee State to the Volcanoes, said wooden bats were not new to him because he had played in a wooden bat league. Asked about his club’s improvement, he said, “We just try to play our hardest every day.”

Gomez said through a translator that he hit his homer off a fastball. He is listed on the roster as a catcher and a third baseman and played Saturday’s game as a designated hitter. He said he was unsure where on the field he was likely to play eventually but just hoped to play wherever there was an opportunity.

Wingenter was the losing pitcher.

Fire and brimstone sign ignites furor

A reader board sign at Town & Country Lanes decrying a recent SCOTUS decision went viral earlier this week. (KEIZERTIMES/Andrew Jackson)
A reader board sign at Town & Country Lanes decrying a recent SCOTUS decision went viral earlier this week. (KEIZERTIMES/Andrew Jackson)

Of the Keizertimes

A reader board message at Town & Country Lanes has garnered the business a lot of attention, but most of it is proving costly.

On Thursday, July 2, T&C owner Don Lebold posted a message on the bowling alley’s sign along River Road North reading: “Judges making decisions contrary to the word of God will they themselves be judged.” The sign alludes to a recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Since the sign was put up it went viral online and was on the dailykos blog, the website for the Hillary Clinton campaign and trended on Facebook.

T&C Manager Mardi Smith said the decision to put up the sign rested solely with Lebold and distanced herself and other employees from the message contents.

Smith said phones at the establishment began ringing off the hook Wednesday even as Lebold himself was taking the sign down.

“We learned today that we’ve lost three homeschool groups that bowl with us and we’ve been removed from Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines as advertisers. We will have to pay a fee to get back on those sites,” Smith said.

Lebold said he was “in no way trying to offend anyone. I just feel that as a country we are walking away from Godly principles and we are going to have to pay for that some day.”

Lebold offered no apologies for the sign beyond saying he felt that the wording was being taken more harshly than he intended. He has featured Biblically inspired messages in the past and added he’d received nothing but support for those messages.

“I condemn the sin and love the sinner,” Lebold said. “I love all people. We can disagree about the way things are going, but I put up a message on the reader board and the non-Christians are interpreting it in a way I didn’t mean whatsoever.”

By the end of the day Wednesday, the offending message had been replaced with one thanking the community for voting Town and Country “Best in the Valley” each year.

“I’ve run this business in a Christian way for 48 years,” Lebold said.

Civil War reenactor dies

Tammy Stillwell, second from right on the white horse and shown on July 3, was thrown from her horse Maxx the following day and died from her injuries. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Tammy Stillwell, second from right on the white horse and shown on July 3, was thrown from her horse Maxx the following day and died from her injuries. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

The Northwest Civil War Council held its milestone 25th anniversary Civil War reenactment this past weekend at Willamette Mission State Park just north of Keizer.

Unfortunately, a sad milestone was also marked.

Scott Ingalls, event organizer, confirmed Tammy Stillwell, a reenactor from Washington who was riding her horse Maxx for the afternoon battle on July 4, became the first to die during an event put on by the group.

“We’ve never even had a serious injury,” Ingalls said.

Ingalls and others said Stillwell was preparing to head to the battle field when Maxx turned into the woods. Stillwell hit a branch and fell to the ground. She was taken to Salem Hospital, where she passed away from internal injuries the next day.

Some of Stillwell’s fellow reenactors posted details and condolences on Facebook.

“Her horse turned between two trees and she caught a branch that took her off the back of her beloved Maxx,” Alex Johnson wrote on Monday. “The initial report from the hospital was two broken ribs and a laceration on the liver. (On Sunday) they took her into surgery to get control of some internal bleeding. That great heart stopped and they were unable to resuscitate her. Our thoughts and prayers to her family.”

The incident happened as the 3 p.m. battle was about to get going. The Civil War weekends feature two battles a day each of the three days around the 4th of July.

Nearly 1,000 reenactors from around the Northwest participate and camp in period-correct conditions from 150 years ago.

Stillwell’s husband Bret was a fellow reenactor.

Fellow reenactor Stephen Bell posted about the incident Monday evening.

“Nothing can express the sorrow we feel for the untimely loss of our comrade and good friend Tammy Stillwell,” Bell wrote. “She went down hard in a fall from her horse and passed away a day later. Captain Bret Stillwell, her husband and commander of the 79th New York, has thanked everyone for their support. But kind thoughts and prayers are still needed for the family to go forward.”

Neville J. Grieve

N. Grieve
N. Grieve

Neville James Grieve was a 1940 graduate of Vancouver Technical School. At the age of 93 he went home to heaven on June 25 in Salem to be with his Savior.

He was born July 1921 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada to Robert and Deveren Grieve. His father went home to heaven when he was 14, so he became the man of the house. In addition to going to school, he got a delivery job on his bike and supported his mother and two sisters until in 1949 he married Emilie, whom he met while dancing on roller skates.

He worked in a coffee roasting plant for many years and also drove taxi for an extra side job. After being laid off, he moved his family to the U.S. He settled in Salem and got a job at JC Penney where he was head of custodial and maintenance for 30 years. He also often helped avoid service calls by keeping the air conditioning running.

He played a lot of cribbage, so much he could look at a hand and not have to count it, he knew by looking at the cards how many points were in the hand. He was a member of the Web Foot travel group when he got into his first pair of rollerblades at the age of 72. He did a lot of roller skating and rollerblading till the Skate Palace closed down and there were no rinks around the Salem area.

He was an avid dancer with Emilie. They square danced and round danced. After she went home to heaven he continued to go to round dance classes and was an “angel” to those who wanted to learn but didn’t have a partner. In addition, he started dancing at the Salem Senior Center, which later moved to Keizer. He would dance tirelessly the whole time, giving avid opportunity for three women to dance who might not have danced much otherwise. He is now dancing with Emilie again, in Heaven.

He is survived by three children and their spouses, Ken and Dagmar, Mike, Kathy and Dale, 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded by his wife of 44 years Emilie, his two sisters, one brother and one great-great grandchild.

Donations may be given to the Keizer Senior Center.

There will be a celebration of life service on Friday, July 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Keizer Senior Center, 930 Plymouth Drive NE. Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

Attracting business

Economic development in Keizer too often focuses on tourists and visitors. The large playground at Keizer Rapids Park is supposed to, in part, attract visitors to Keizer from throughout the region. Stuffing soccer and softball fields in that same park is supposed to appeal to tourneys that would bring people into our city, spending money at our local businesses.

A discussion with some of the attendees of the recent week-long conference of a Marshall Island religious group showed that few of the 800-plus visitors spent time out in our community. They fed themselves at the civic center; they slept in some  hotels but most slept in the homes of local church members. One did not see many of the attendees in their bright-colored garb outside the civic center.

Having a large crowd rent the civic center for a week was good for the conference center’s bottom line, but it didn’t put much of a dent in our local economy.

The conference center hosts hundreds of people each week for meetings and social events; other meeting spaces also welcome people to their respective sites. The city’s businesses should be able to tap into this transient market. Keizer businesses have their own part to play to attract these visitors into their doors. But, businesses cannot invite visitors if they don’t know they are here. Of course businesses should want to know who’s in town and seek out that information.

The city’s conference center should establish an e-mail contact list—in a partnership with the Keizer Chamber of Commerce—to blast out alerts a week or two in advance of coming large groups. That would give eateries, stores, hotels and others time to plan how to grab their share of the visitors spending. That could include gift bags, certificates, or coupons to inform visitors what is available.

Economic development is more then selling to visitors,  of course. It is increasing spending by local residents (rather than buying outside the city limits what is also available here in Keizer). A key to increasing sales to local residents is for stores to offer what cannot be bought elsewhere, or offer better quality, or offer better service; that goes hand in hand with attracting new retailers to Keizer, especially along River Road from the south end all the way to Wheatland Road.

This is where the ‘business friendly’ city can have a powerful impact. The former mayor used to say that people like to be part of a success. If we make Keizer, in general, and River Road, in particular, successful, logic says that developers and businesess would want to locate in our city.

There are ordinances that can be put in place regarding appearance of commercial buildings and landscaping. The Comprehensive Code dictates how new construction should look, but what about existing properties?  The code should dictate how the exterior of a building is maintained: the building facades should be clean and in good repair, landscaping should be free of weeds and overgrowth. Now that the city has a full-time code enforcement officer, adherence to the  sign code should be enforce regularly, and not complaint driven only.

The River Road Renaissance project of the Urban Renewal District installed meandering sidewalks and natural landscaping on River Road, but only in parts. The beautification of our main thoroughfare is a hopscotch design: one block updated, the next not. Some property owners maintain the exterior of their buildings and landscaping, others not so much.

Most Keizerites love their city and prize its quality of life. Their neighborhoods are serene and generally maintained well. Keizer should have its main commercial strip match the vision of how the residents see their city.

Utility wires along River Road and Cherry Avenue were put underground as one of the first projects of the Urban Renewal District, but that was decades ago. An unfinished Renaissance project doesn’t match that original beautification project.

Though the money to complete the Renaissance project may not be available for years the city can continue the beautification process through enforcement of existing codes and enacting new codes. Such codes regarding the appearance of commercial buildings is not anti-business, it is pro-city. Everyone wins with a well-maintained River Road from beginning to end in Keizer.

The Keizer Economic Development Commission meets four times a year and their agendas are full of items such as keeping money in town, incentives and grant writing. A main duty of the commission should be devise a plan to recruit the types of businesses it wants to see in our commercial areas. More importantly, they should see any plan through to implementation.

Devising the plan would be assigning people to gather information from other municipalities—throughout the country, not just Oregon. What do similar cities do to recruit businesses and retailers?

The big question when recruiting business is to ask them: what would they need to locate a business in our city? Any recruiting effort should be more about listening than talking. Let’s find out what businesses want and endeavor to offer it within the confines of our laws.

Any new codes enacted, any recruitment efforts started should be done with the idea that it is fair for all. That is one reason the complaint-driven code enforcement needs to be scrapped in favor of equal enforcement for all.

Economic development is not one group’s job, it is up to us all to do our part to assure quality growth that is so successful that others will want to be a part of it.

That should be the Keizer way.


Violence calls for better solutions

In a population exceeding 300 million, the number 87 seems small and insignificant. Meanwhile, NBC’s news research department reports that, every day, an average of 289 Americans are shot with 87 shot dead. On the receiving end of bullets, it happens to 100,000 Americans per year on average.  Consequently, one cannot help but wonder:  “When is my number up?”  “Will it happen in a super market, shopping mall, movie theater, music festival or just walking or driving down the street?”

Meanwhile, U.S. national security officials and the nation’s politicians keep repeating the message that the “greatest threat” to us is that bloody bunch of brutal jihadists, thousands of miles away, on another continent, will do us in. This week it’s like “Whew!  We made it through 4th of July weekend with out a jihad catastrophe.”  However, pause and take a long, hard look at the dangers of our population—armed to the teeth with a death grip on the Constitution’s second amendment—by which they apparently believe it permits them do “whatever’s necessary” with those firearms because the Founding Fathers gave them carte blanche permission to that right.

If you follow the news, you’ll most likely recognize that there’s a virtual epidemic here of what we are led to believe we should fear from the bad guys in the Middle East.  Cases abound: There’s the Colorado killer who shot at people in cars, out biking and walking at night. There’s the apparent serial killer in New Britain, Conn. who dumped several bodies near a strip mall.  There’s the ongoing trial of James Holmes who shot to death 12 moviegoers and wounded 70 others in an Aurora, Colorado movie house.  There was the killing of seven people in February by Joseph Aldridge, an armed recluse who then killed himself, in Tyrone, Mo. There’s already a plethora of cases this year in Oregon where death by firearms has been the weapon of choice.  And there’s the most recent of atrocities by Dylann Roof whose hate of African-Americans ended the lives of nine innocents in Charleston, South Carolina.  Oregon offers its share to the totals every month without fail.

Examples of suicide killers in 2015 is almost endless.  These folks, who are so often in media broadcasts memorialized after their heinous acts by friends and neighbors as the “nicest of people” after the perpetration of their evil deeds.  They lack a political or religious ideology like the suicide bombers of the Middle East but are bent on missions for which killing yourself and others is something deserved by one and all.  They are informal American jihadists not in touch with ISIS or al-Queda but deeply disturbed and heavily armed.

Moving on, there are the much-in-the news police shootings.  The Washington Post recently began putting together a database of every fatal shooting by police this year.  Their figure for the first half of 2015 is at least 385, or approximately one of every 13 non-suicide gun deaths this year to date.  A recent Department of Justice report disclosed that over the last eight years an average of 928 Americans died annually by police guns.  Australia, used for comparison in one study, found that that nation had 94 deaths by police between 1992 and 2011. California police shot 72 this year alone while Canada’s number counts at 25 in all of 2014.

Case after case of violence in America can be cited. The D.C. mansion murders comes to mind at the top of the list this year.  Then there’s 21-year-old man in Staten Island New York, who, with a kitchen knife, attacked an FBI agent.  There’s the man in Des Moines, Iowa who stabbed a policeman trying to arrest him for a traffic infraction.  Three young men in Brooklyn, New York were shot in a housing project playground complex while the shooter remains on the loose.

It would make so much more sense if we as a nation of people—who love peace and security—could direct our resources to addressing violence of all forms at home.  We would be best advised to invest in counselors and appropriately training police; instead, our national leaders (and some locals, too) are owned by corporate interests wanting the government to keep buying arms and using them against a foe that wants us out of their backyard.

We no longer need the oil and gas from the Middle East but the warring profits keep us there with mindless perseverance to accomplish nothing except making money for the nation’s one percent while the rest of us wonder, “Am I next?”

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