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Day: July 24, 2015

Local bowler to State Games of America

Nick Blythe
Nick Blythe

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A Keizer teen with an already long list of accomplishments in bowling will be seeking another notch in his belt at the State Games of America next weekend.

On Saturday, July 25, Nick Blythe is holding a car wash at Town & Country Lanes in Keizer to help pay to the trip. Car wash hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Blythe qualified for the State Games of America in the Oregon State Games almost two years ago and is finally getting the chance to go.

“It’s always kind of been there in the back of my mind. It’s exciting to get to go and compete against the best in the country,”said Blythe, 16.

Blythe won the silver medal two years ago and recently took the bronze medal in the State Games of Oregon, which qualifies him to compete at the national event in another two years.

A teammate of Blythe’s on the McNary High School bowling team, Scott Bridger, brought back the gold medal at the national event the last time it was held.

Blythe’s road to this point in his budding career began with his first 300 game at the age of 13. He’s bowled four more since then, but only two were during sanctioned league play. His goal is to join the Pro Bowlers Association tour.

To that end, he’s been taking part in a PBA amateur league at Firebird Lanes every Wednesday.

“Basically, they oil the lanes in different patterns every week and you have to bowl a 300 game and have at least a 200 average before you qualify for the PBA.,” he said.

Blythe’s average in that league is already 160 and his high game is in the 230s.

Sand volleyball courts almost done

A crew of volunteers help lay the foundation for three new sand volleyball courts at Keizer Rapids Park. Hans Schneider put the project together. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
A crew of volunteers help lay the foundation for three new sand volleyball courts at Keizer Rapids Park. Hans Schneider put the project together. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Visitors to Keizer Rapids Park last week may have noticed the rather large mound of sand by the area of the old volleyball courts.

There were actually two mounds: one with the old sand and one with the new sand for the three new courts.

Hans Schneider, who has a long history locally with volleyball programs, proposed new courts at KRP last summer. Plans finally got approved for matching grant program funds from the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board last month.

With the funding, labor and materials in place, the project started last week.

Demolition of the old courts started July 13, with excavation for the new courts – going side-by-side-by-side – starting the next day. By the end of the week, a sprinkler system was being installed all along the outside of the courts.

“It should be done Thursday or Friday of next week,” Schneider estimated on July 17. “We have dune sand, 525 yards of it.”

Schneider said dune sand doesn’t compact down like river sand does, though the old river sand will be used as a base. Nets and lines will be done in royal blue, to tie the project to McNary High School.

“I want high schoolers and middle schoolers to come out here and use these courts,” he said. “I know they will come down and use this. We have had so many people come by and look at it since we’ve been out here.”

Those helping Schneider had personal connections. Project contractor Kirk Moisan’s wife is the principal at Keizer Elementary, where Schneider’s daughter works. The Moisans have a daughter who used to be assistant coach at MHS to Schneider’s daughter. In addition, youth helping with the project were from a youth group that used the old court in the past.

The project got some praise during Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting.

“It could be done this week but it will probably be next week,” Public Works director Bill Lawyer said. “It’s a good project to be done.”

Councilor Roland Herrera also praised Schneider.

“He got the right sand for this,” Herrera said. “The process has been amazing. One guy’s vision has come to fruition. It’s going to be exciting stuff. It’s just another step forward in our beautiful park.”

For Schneider, seeing the project happen was indeed a vision coming to fruition.

“This is a dream come true for me, really,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.”

Progress made in Area C project

Trees are being taken down and the land cleared for an extension of McLeod Lane off of Chemawa Road, as seen July 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Trees are being taken down and the land cleared for an extension of McLeod Lane off of Chemawa Road, as seen July 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Trees are being taken down to make way for the road and permits are being submitted.

Yes, plans for apartments and senior housing in Keizer Station Area C are moving forward.

Plans submitted by Bonaventure Senior Living for a 154-unit retirement community and Mountain West Investment Corporation for 180 apartments were approved by the Keizer City Council earlier this year. The new structures will be built on an expanded section of McLeod Lane, which currently ends at Chemawa Road.

In the last couple of weeks, trees have been taken down and the land is being cleared in the field just east of Chemawa.

“Construction is starting,” said Brian Moore, director of Real Estate Development for Mountain West. “All of the public improvements including streets will be some of the first work done, with utility and grading work done at the sites.”

The work has included submitting permits. This month alone, 18 permits have been applied for by Mountain West apartments – 17 buildings, in addition to a maintenance building. The 17 buildings range in valuation from $371,852 to $1,396,910. The total valuation for all buildings is $18 million. The listed addresses are all on the 5400 block of McLeod, except for one listed as 5500 McLeod.

On July 14, a permit was applied for by Mountain West Community Construction and owner Bonaventure Senior Living for a four-story senior living facility at 5525 McLeod. The listed valuation was $19,497,628 and was 160,015 square feet.

“There are multiple buildings,” Moore said of the Mountain West apartments. “Most of the buildings will have 12 units in them and will be three stories. There will be a total of 180 units, plus a commons area.”

While the original hope was to have buildings ready by the end of the year, Moore gave an updated timeline.

“I can’t speak to the timing for Bonaventure, but as to our own vertical construction I suspect it will be mid-fall,” Moore said. “Our target is for the first units to be delivered in June 2016 on the apartments.”

When councilors approved plans in February, a condition was added calling for sidewalks to be built on the east side of Chemawa from the Chemawa/Lockhaven Avenue intersection to the southeast corner of the retirement community, from the existing sidewalk next to Countryside Church to the McLeod/Chemawa intersection, through Area C to the southeast corner of the area and on the opposite side of the McLeod/Chemawa intersection abutting retail development in Area C-2, continuing on McLeod past the multi-family development to the southeast corner of the development adjacent to the railroad tracks.

Because of the infrastructure work being done for the project, city councilors approved a request in April to establish a reimbursement district.

Mark Duane Wieglenda

0724-OBIT-Wieglenda-corr

Mark Duane Wieglenda, 62, was born on May 29, 1953 to Harry and Maxine Wieglenda. He lost his battle to tongue and throat cancer on July 11 surrounded by family and friends and went home to be with his beloved Jesus.

Mark attended Four Corners Elementary, Parrish Middle School and graduated in 1971 from North Salem High School. He worked for 20 years at Oregon State University in the Facilities Maintenance Department, retiring on July 1.

Mark was a longtime member of the Salem Radio Controlled Pilots Association where he was a flight instructor. He loved to build and fly his planes. Mark also loved spending time off-roading with his family and friends. Mark was a member of Lakepoint Community Church and served as a council member.

Mark was preceded in death by his father, Harry Wieglenda; his grandparents; his nephew, Travis Wieglenda and brother-in-law, Norm Johnson.

Mark is survived by his beloved wife, Sharanne Wieglenda of Salem; his mother, Maxine Wieglenda of Bend; his son, Nicholas Wieglenda of Aumsville; his step-sons, William (Brittany) Stevenson of Keizer and Keith (Angela) Stevenson of Keizer; his grandchildren Shakia Wieglenda, Laurel Stevenson and Colton Stevenson; his siblings, Ron (Dolores) Wieglenda of Terrebonne and their children, Becky Johnson of Redmond and children, Todd (Kathy) Wieglenda of Forest Grove and Kristel Wieglenda of Bend.

Private family interment was on July 16. Celebration of Mark’s life will be on July 26 at 3 p.m. at Lakepoint Community Church, Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer, OR 97303.

Mark requested that it be a party and no one wear black.
In lieu of flowers donations in Mark’s name may be made to Salem RC Pilots Association Youth Program, EAA Chapter 292, PO Box 13214, Salem, OR 97309.

Joan Barker

Joan Barker
Joan Barker

Joan Barker, 83, passed away on July 9, 2015. Joan was born in Kirkwood, Illinois to Eva and Harold Baldwin. Joan moved to Canby in 1945 and married Arnold H. Gardner. They had three children. Arnold died in1971.

Then Joan worked as a secretary at Highland and Bush Elementary Schools and then as office manager at McNary High School. Later Joan married Bruce Barker until his death in 2003.

Joan applied her generous nature beyond her family. She mentored school children, through which she developed many long-term relationships. Later she volunteered nearly full-time managing the Keizer/Salem Senior Center kitchen. She loved to bake cookies and candies and she generously handed them out.

Joan is survived by her brother Jerry Baldwin and sister Anita Woodruff, her three children Judy Davidson (Dan), Janet Stride (Jon) and Arnie Gardner (Robin). She is also survived by grandchildren Brian and Brad Davidson, Eric and Jason Stride and Sara Henricks, Brett and Scott Gardner and Lindsey Gerard, and six great grandchildren.

A memorial service celebrating Joan’s life will take place at 1 p.m. Friday, July 24 at the Keizer Heritage Center, 980 Chemawa Road NE in Keizer. Memorial gifts may be made to the Keizer/Salem Senior Center, 930 Plymouth Drive NE, Salem, OR 97303.

Jerry Miholer

J. Miholer
J. Miholer

Jerry (Gerald) S. Miholer, 73, was born January 24, 1942 in Three Rivers, Mich. to the late Frank (Dick) Lewis Miholer and Margaret (Peggy) Louise Peterson Miholer. He died April 11, 2015 in Green Valley, Ariz.

Jerry graduated from East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Ill. in 1959 and that summer went to work for Motorola. He later transferred to Zenith Radio in Chicago. While at Zenith, he studied engineering at DeVry University. Jerry served his country in Vietnam with the U.S. Army and received his honorable discharge papers in January 1966.

He married his first wife, Sue, in 1968 and settled in Kalamazoo, Mich., where they had two sons, Jeffrey Scott and Steven James. In 1977 the family moved to Oregon, settling in the Salem-Keizer area where he opened his own business: Northwest Microwave Oven Service.

In 1993, he married Kraylen Kelly Miller. Jerry retired from his microwave oven repair business in 2004 and he and Kraylen spent several years traveling the country in an RV. By 2008, they had visited all 48 states in the continental USA. In 2013 they took a land tour of Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. In February, Jerry and Kraylen spent nine days visiting Hawaii – completing their 50th state.

Jerry and Kraylen bought a home in Green Valley, Ariz. in 2008. After three years of commuting to Oregon for the summer, they decided to make Green Valley their permanent year-round home.

Jerry leaves behind his wife Kraylen, his two sons Jeff and Steve, both still in the Salem-Keizer area; two step-children, Bill Miller and Erin Miller, and six grandchildren. His mother Peggy also survives him, as do his two sisters, Mary Sue and Judy, and his brother, Frank.

There will be no services, but remembrances may be made to a favorite charity.

A calm, reasonable voice wanted

Will a calm voice ever be heard again in our national politics? This year alone has resulted in so much vitriol from every side.

Anger still lingers about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and there remain calls for its repeal even after the U.S. Supreme Court let it stand. The same court’s ruling on same-sex marriage has brought forth calls for Constutional amendments to overturn that narrow ruling.

Some quarters are mad about the agreement with Iran about its nuclear program.

Pundits and politicians couldn’t respond fast enough to Donald Trump’s comments about immigrants being murderers and rapists and Senator John McCain not being a hero because Trump doesn’t like “people who are captured.”

This summer has also made the Confederated flag a red-hot issue after the shooting deaths in Charleston. Not to mention shootings around the country involving police.

If the public wants to have something to be mad about there are plenty of candidates. The country has been angry for a long time and it’s time to allow space for calmer voices. The opportunity is here with the 2016 presidential race heating up. With at least 16 Republicans and five Democrats running to succeed Barack Obama, you’d think there would be one—just one—candidate with the stature to call for lowered voices and set an example of a politician that wants to be president of all Americans, not just those on the left, the right or a particular party.

During the 1968 presidential campaign signs started appearing at political rally with a simple message: “Bring us together.” The victor, Richard Nixon, took up the challenge and governed publicly in a way that seemed to bring us together.

We don’t want another Nixonian presidency but we can certainly use a candidate who is more about bringing the many factions of the country together than divide them further with extreme positions.

Presidents are the leader of all Americans, not just their party.  Politics is the art of compromise and there has been too little of that recently. When it comes to being president of everyone extremism is not virtue and moderation is no vice.

Unfortunately, candidates feel they can’t win the nomnation without currying favor with their party’s fringes. The discourse of the comng presidential campaign would be elevated with at least one candidate calling for lowered voices. We have learned that talking to Iran was better than the alternative of using military force.

It is never a wrong step to talk to our global adversaries or to our political rivals. Through polite conversation we are able to hear each other and hopefully hear the good points our opponents make.

Every side wants to be heard and understood which is hard when the conversation is overheated and loud.

America needs a presidential candidate who can make a rational case for their policies and proposals in a manner that is more welcoming than divisive. At this point in our history it doesn’t matter if that candidate is Democrat, Republican or Independent.

  —LAZ

Not all welcome at concerts

To the Editor:

We have enjoyed the summer concerts at Keizer Rapids Park for some time but we had a bad experience Saturday, July 18.

Several members of our Wood Carvers Club showed up as usual to enjoy the evening of music, food, fun and to do a little wood carving. As we set up in the back of the seating area we were informed that we were not welcome since we make too much of a mess with our wood chips. We were invited to leave.

Our wood chips amount to about a quart of bio-degradable chips similar in size to, or smaller than, the existing wood mulch. The chips blend right in. They blend in better than the paper and food waste created by users of the food cart.

It is a disappointment that our club, which frequents and supports Keizer events and businesses, is not welcome at the Park.

We are welcome at the Salem concerts and will continue to attend these events.

Bob Curtis
Salem


To the Editor:

I had the most embrassing experience at the City of Keizer-sponsored concert at the amphitheatre at Keizer Rapids Park.

I was asked to leave the park because I was going to do my woodcarving and leave chips from the carving.

Not only was I asked to leave, but a fellow carver (Everett Koontz) was also asked to leave.

I have been coming to the concerts in the park since they started and have always done my woodcarving during the shows.  I have also carved at other events in the valley over the years and have never had any problem with the wood chips left—until this year.

The small wood chips blow away in the wind and are not a problem—except for this year by one person from the Keizer Rotary.

This is most embarassing and not necessary.  It will be some time before I for one will attend another function; and, I am sure other wood carvers will not be attending any functions as we are obviously not welcome.

Dave Disselbrett
Salem

Jeb Bush wants to share

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

The most recent time I had seen Jeb Bush speak in San Francisco was in January, when he addressed the National Automobile Dealers Association. It is hard to imagine a group more invested in the old-school economy. It was a friendly crowd. The former Florida governor seemed comfortable—and boring. I left feeling as if I’d spent an hour listening to a human BarcaLounger.

The Jeb Bush I saw Thursday morning was a different candidate. He had shed some 30 pounds on the Paleo Diet. His campaign had pulled the dynasty name from the campaign logo and added an exclamation point. Now he’s “Jeb!” In this trip to San Fran, Bush ventured away from the stolid GOP base to address the young workforce of Thumbtack, a 6-year-old digital service that links consumers to painters, DJs, dog walkers and other contractors. Bush arrived in a Toyota Camry ordered via Uber—the ride-hailing company that runs roughshod over the single-occupant vehicle model dear to car dealers.

It’s hard to think of a clearer contrast to Hillary Clinton. In 2014, she told NADA, “The last time I actually drove a car myself was 1996.” The former first lady, who has Secret Service protection for life, has no reason to use Uber.

In a recent speech, the former secretary of state took Uber to task—without, and this is so Clinton-like, naming Uber. She said: “Many Americans are making extra money renting out a spare room, designing websites, selling products they design themselves at home or even driving their own car. This on-demand, or so-called gig, economy is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation. But it’s also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”

According to The New York Times, Team Hillary “diplomatically contacted top officials at Uber to let them know about the passage in her speech that would draw attention to the service, according to people told of the conversations.” That passage probably was: “I’ll crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors or even steal their wages.”

Clinton clearly is on the side of politicians who want to cripple ride-hailing startups that allow individuals to drive their cars at their own discretion. These outfits truly reflect market demand. If consumers don’t like a service, they won’t use it. If drivers don’t like the terms, they will stop offering rides. Competition improves the outcome—but Clinton wants to impose more regulation.

In contrast, the son and brother of former presidents embraced the benefits of “disrupting the old order.” Bush started the day extolling businesses such as Thumbtack on a LinkedIn post. “I love learning about these kinds of companies precisely because before they existed, their market didn’t exist either,” he wrote. Startups, he added, “cause mental dissonance for people who think they can plan the future of the economy from Washington D.C. —people like Hillary Clinton.”

“He’s got a good grasp of the way tech is changing the workforce,” Thumbtack economist Jon Lieber told me after the talk.

2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney extolled “creative destruction” as an essential element of free enterprise. He was right, but those words mean nothing to kids used to summoning wheels with their phones. They just know what they want. Perhaps 2016 will be the year capitalism finally clicks for millennial voters.

If so, Bush is ready. When a reporter asked him about Uber, Bush talked about a college student he met who graduated without crippling debt—because he drove for Uber. A Thumbtacker asked Bush about Obamacare. He turned “repealing Obamacare” into an act of disruption that would free consumers to “opt out of these old models.”

When a Thumbtack worker asked Bush what he thinks of new FCC net neutrality regulation dear to the South of Market crowd, Bush did not pander. He answered, “The unintended consequence of these top-down proven rules is always negative.”

Unlike the man I saw in January, I think, I maybe could vote for this Jeb Bush. CEO Marco Zappacosta, 30, seemed to be enjoying Thumbtack’s first presidential hopeful meet-and-greet, so I asked him: Would you vote for Bush? Zappacosta answered, “I don’t know.”

It’s not clear at all that feeling the love for the sharing economy can win Bush young voters. During the Thumbtack town hall, no one asked Bush about Uber or Clinton or niggling regulations. Other than the net neutrality query, Thumbtackers asked about equal pay for women, about gun control, whether Bush supports state laws to protect gays from discrimination in housing and the workplace — social issues where, as with net neutrality, young voters like government regulation. And really, they’re not all that impressed when a Republican uses Uber.

(Creators Syndicate)

Result of Democratic infighting in Salem

I have been struck by the impression of Senator Peter Courtney (D) and Rep. Tina Kotek (D). They come across as unfriendly and grouchy. Whatever the case, one is now the longest-serving Senate president (Courtney), while the other is the Speaker of the House (Kotek).

As the 2015 session proceeded through fits and starts and then came to its end, the two of them were near fisticuffs at sine die time.  They’re both Democrats who appear to have a need to be in charge of all that happens in the Capitol. So, this made for five months of bickering and score-settling. Oh, dear, what happened along the way to serving Oregonians rather than egos?

Senator Courtney was angry because the end of the session did not happen timely enough for him to attend a Senate Presidents’ Forum in Paris where he could enjoy French cuisine and delightful sight-seeing.  Now that’s a very expensive trip that you just know some or all will be paid by other folks; therefore, who wouldn’t be greatly annoyed.  According to Courtney, it was all Kotek’s fault.

The Paris trip that never happened was just one among many a dust up between these two of the most powerful public officials in the state.  Some say they became even more powerful than Governor Kate Brown.  The saddest consequence of their not getting along is that so many of us will pay dearly for their disagreements, occurring by conflicting personalities and competition over who’s the boss.

A lot of low-paid employees in Oregon have wished and continue to wish for a higher minimum wage, $15 per hour was the target.  Courtney saw to it that this objective was found floating face down in the Salem Slough.  There might have been hundreds of millions of dollars in the kitty for much needed transportation upgrades across the state had it not been for Kotek’s unwillingness to play nice in the Capitol sandbox.  In other words, the result is much disappointment between what was promised by Democrat majorities in the House and Senate that fizzled by the end of the session.

Although sharing political party labels, Courtney and Kotek are far apart in age as Courtney is 72 and Kotek is 48.  Then there’s the built-in tension between the two chambers while that factor is naturally combined with a number of contentious issues.  Also, it’s a given among most politicians whose weight is significantly increased by their egos that they want to be the star and that fact sets the session on a collision course from the outset every year.

Bitterness and rancor between Courtney and Kotek reached a meltdown when the House helped to kill a project Courtney hoped would be the legacy accomplishment of his legislative career.  He viewed as his monumental achievement a $300 million-plus plan to upgrade the Capitol to make it earthquake safe.  It found the dustbin.  Courtney’s reported to have said that “We had too many bitter fights, and relationships were severely damaged.” As reported in the press, the parting comment by Courtney to Kotek was “Stick it in your ear!”

It would seem from an objective observer’s view that both of them were tired and short-tempered by early July. However, another factor is Courtney’s age and the fact that he not only looks worn out and not well.  Although he won’t retire because it’d probably be considered by him a loss of face and surrender to a young, upstart colleague who’s become an adversary seriously threatening his fiefdom.

Courtney, meanwhile, is often recognized as the man who, due to his years in the Capitol, possesses the most institutional knowledge. After all, his memory spans 35 years as an Oregon legislator.  However, since he apparently ended the session in a state of extreme frustration, the time may have come for Courtney to find a quieter role.  Perhaps a change well-suited would be to serve as director of the Oregon Historical Society.  As for Kotek, since she can’t get along with others to accomplish the state’s business, it’s hoped her constituents will send her away.

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