Two bomb threats at two Keizer schools in two days was unusual enough.
That makes three such threats in four school days all the more unusual.
McNary High School parents received an automated phone message last Thursday, Dec. 10 about a threat found at the school that day.
School was open as usual Dec. 11, but with extra security. Attendance was lower than usual.
Jeff Kuhns, deputy chief of the Keizer Police Department, said the threat was being investigated.
“We treat any and all threats made against a school as a very serious matter and investigate each accordingly as a criminal matter,” Kuhns said. “The Salem-Keizer School District and the Keizer Police Department are working together on this matter.”
On the afternoon of Dec. 11, a new threat was discovered at Claggett Creek Middle School. Jay Remy, Communications director for SKSD, confirmed CCMS parents were notified via phone about the incident.
“Due to a bathroom graffiti bomb threat, the kids at Claggett Creek Middle School were taken right across the street to Weddle Elementary School,” Remy said. “They were there for about 40 minutes. We ask parents to remind students that making threats can result in criminal charges and school consequences.”
Students were supervised inside Weddle until the normal release time, with buses picking up CCMS students at Weddle. The release time for Weddle students was not impacted.
McNary was the target of another threat, with this one being found on Tuesday, Dec. 15. Jay Crystal, assistant principal at MHS, sent out a phone message to parents.
“On Tuesday, a graffiti bomb threat message was found on a bathroom wall in
A Keizer man was arrested earlier this month in connection with raping three people in the last 15 years, two of whom were minors at the time.
Keizer Police Department detectives arrested Nikolay Avdeyev, 52, a Keizer resident on the 1300 block of Angie Way NE, on Dec. 3.
An indictment hearing for Dec. 18 has been pushed back to Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 8:30 a.m.
Court papers show more than 20 charges filed against Avdeyev. Jeff Kuhns, deputy police chief with the KPD, said Avdeyev was not a stranger to his victims.
There are two court dockets concerning Avdeyev. One has a single charge, rape in the first degree. According to the court papers, the sexual intercourse took place on or between Sept. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009.
The other court docket lists 19 charges, 18 of which are concerning one victim. That docket lists three counts of rape in the first degree, five counts of rape in the second degree, 11 counts of sex abuse and a sexual penetration with a foreign object charge.
Both victims in the second docket are listed as children under the age of 14. The multiple acts on the first victim are listed as taking place between Jan. 1, 1999 and Dec. 31, 2002. The timeline on the second victim is listed as taking place between Jan. 1, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2001.
Court papers list Avdeyev as being a public safety risk, a danger to victims and a flight risk. His total bail is listed as $2 million, according to the Marion County Correctional Facility roster.
Kuhns said two detectives worked what he referred to as a “rather involved sex abuse investigation.”
Eric Peterson certainly had preconceived notions in his mind and figured they would be proven right.
A few days after 22-year-old Brandon Crist of Keizer – the nephew of Peterson’s longtime significant other – died of a heroin overdose in late September, Peterson heard some of Crist’s friends would be gathering at a park in Salem to remember him.
“My intention was to go there and hang in the background, scope people out, embed myself, prove my preconceived notions,” Peterson said. “What actually happened was one of the most moving experiences of my life.”
As Peterson approached the park, he found a group of Crist’s friends. He also saw police lights, since neighbors had complained about noise and a sheriff’s deputy was waiting for more people to enter the scene.
Peterson approached the deputy, explained what was going on and asked for the police lights to be turned off.
“I asked the deputy if I could diffuse the gathering, make sure nobody was drinking and driving and get them out of there without him getting involved,” Peterson said. “He approved and turned off his lights as a group of kids started shuffling out of the woods. The deputy backed up his patrol car to the other side of the parking lot while I approached the kids.”
With law enforcement backing off, Peterson approached the group.
“I tried to corral them and let them know that the cop wasn’t there for them, but that I was there for them,” Peterson said. “I wanted to see Brandon’s friends celebrating his life, I wanted to see what they looked like, I wanted to see if they had tears in their eyes or just an excuse to party. Some of them scattered but most stayed, asking me how the family was doing, what the police are doing, are they allowed at the funeral, etc. We talked for a couple minutes and at one point they all mobbed me with hugs, one right after another like after a football game pile on. It was very surreal.
“I made sure they were cool to drive, told them to keep talking about Brandon on social media because it means a lot to the family and that’s how they will find out about his memorial,” he added. “Another larger group came out of the woods shortly thereafter and the whole scenario was repeated with the mass hug and all.”
In a matter of moments, Peterson found his stereotypes shattered.
“My preconceived notion is that these are a bunch of kids that look like they are never going to make it if they don’t play the game, the same advice I gave Brandon many times,” Peterson said. “I think that after meeting them and seeing their hearts instead of their messed up hair and piercings and tattoos that I am the one who is never going to make it unless I play the game. I’ve become more tolerant to people and life in general in just the short time since his death and I attribute it to that night.
“These weren’t the friends Brandon was doing heroin with,” he added. “I assumed every single person in his life was a junkie and every minute of his day was spent chasing that fix. I’ve come to learn that his friends loved him more than anything. He helped out people constantly with the most menial things like changing tires for people in need and picking stuff up at the store for friends and countless stories of him being a shoulder to cry on when life was kicking them down. I’ve learned that he was a talented artist, a beautiful writer and practiced a Polynesian form of fire art and dance that blows my mind away. I never got to know that side of him, never even knew it existed.”
Unfortunately, Peterson did know the drug side existed. It was an all too familiar story for Peterson. His immediate family members have been decimated by drug addictions, though Crist was the first to die of a drug overdose.
“I probably only knew addict Brandon after the age of 13,” Peterson said. “I tried to foster sort of a mentor/protege relationship with him: I would give him life lessons, he would seem receptive and we had mutual interests in music and culture. I would tell him my feelings on drugs and alcohol when he would ask, which are pretty liberal but still have no place in adolescence. And he seemed to respect that.”
Before Crist started doing drugs, Peterson said he warned him about the perils.
“I explained that the smart move is to just stay away from it until you are an adult because there is no advantage to it,” Peterson said. “You don’t pour heavy duty weed killer or fertilizer on a baby plant and expect good things to happen. I explained to him many times that the key to being a kid is playing the game. You can dress how you want and act how you want if you can trump it with your productivity. I told him no parent ever yelled at a straight-A student for having an earring.”
Once Crist started getting into trouble, he turned to Peterson for advice.
“I laid out a foundation for how the next five years of his life should go if he wanted to get through the next 60 years,” Peterson said. “It was pretty simple: get away from Salem/Keizer and get your head and body right. He didn’t or couldn’t listen.”
But Peterson doesn’t put all the blame on Crist.
“I set such a high bar for an addict to be in my life,” Peterson said. “I was way too tough on too weak of a kid because I thought that my path to his sobriety was the correct one. When he disappointed me, he knew it and our relationship was fractured. I wish I would have been more realistic and less principled.”
On the other hand, Peterson doesn’t know how much difference it would have made.
“If I did do things differently, not giving him the silent treatment when he was using, trying to keep letting him know I wasn’t judging him, being the pseudo-cool uncle – the response would have been the same,” Peterson said. “He would have lied and been dodgy and told me what I wanted to hear, just like he did with everybody else. I thought he knew he had an ally in me and in hindsight either I didn’t make it obvious enough or he didn’t believe me.”
Paul David Kennedy, born to Margaret and David Kennedy, passed away on October 13, 2015. He is survived by his wife Joyce Kennedy, children Justin, David and Jessica Kennedy along with daughter-in-laws Kimberly and Felicia. He will be missed by all his friends and family, including his beautiful grandchildren Cadence, Madison, Alister and Dalten.
I don’t mind that the holiday season began months ago. Some decry the Christmas displays in various retail stores, starting as early as August or September. “It starts earlier every year!” some exclaim. Others repeat the new saw: “The holidays have become too commercialized.”
Yeah, well…bah humbug on those sentiments.The holidays come exactly as early as the public wants it to come. How many people do you know that proudly boast they have finished their Christmas shopping. In July, no less. They are just over-achievers.
I understand when people say they miss the traditional, old fashioned Christmases of their memory.Each family has its cherished traditions that each member carries with them, like imprinted DNA. Religious traditions mix with familial traditions mix with culinary traditions. Each as valid and important as the next.
While my family had its traditions when all us kids were still at home, each of us has moved on and created our own versions of the season. Many of my cherished holiday memories revolve around friends who, like me, had no family living nearby. We created our own Christmas. The tree was decorated in a modern style—think Andy Warhol over Norman Rockwell. Our warm feelings (and gifts) for each other was no less traditional or meaningful than if we were with our own families.
We searched our favorite shops for the most unique Christmas cards we could find that said something about us. We festooned the mantle (if there was one) or table with the many cards that people still mailed back in those days of the late 1980s.
In the years when none of us was fat of wallet our creativity assured that Christmas would still come on Dec. 25. The simple gifts we gave each other were as lovely as anything one could buy at a department store. A photograph. A colored pencil drawing. A poem.The best gift was the companionship we gave each other. Those holidays were definitely not too commercialized.
What was commercialized—and I loved it—were the window displays at the big stores. I would walk around outside the flagship Frederick and Nelson and Nordstrom in late November and stand in awe at what the visual marketers came up with: intricate tableaux telling a story. I was so taken I actually held the job of window dresser for a downtown store in my younger years.
Unfortunately in-store and window holiday displays are going the way of the posted letter. Those displays are not cheap and it was one area corporate leaders could cut expenses. To me it wasn’t the holidays until the department store windows were dressed for Christmas.
In our area stores are content to mark the holidays by throwing some fake snow on the floor and a wreath on the wall. It is a sad passage of time. But not everywhere.
To get my holiday window display fix I simply log onto Google and enter holiday window displays. When I hit return and my screen is filled with the wonders of creative minds from San Francisco to New York City to London and Paris and Milan. Department stores and boutiques in those cities, thankfully, still have a large budget and carte blanche to create amazing window displays for the holidays that set my heart aflutter.
Everyone has their holiday and Christmas traditions and routines. No tradition is too small nor is it meaningless. Whatever you think the reason for the season, what you hold in your heart is paramount.
Enjoy your holiday while I log on to see what Printemps in Paris has in its Christmas windows.
As you read this, know that little hands are anxiously waiting to open their presents!
Once again, Keizer Network of Women (Keizer Chamber of Commerce), have completed another year of service to our community. 267 children from Keizer were treated to warm clothing, toys, canned food, meat and fresh produce. Months of preparation and fundraising allows us to complete our task at hand. None of this is possible without community support and the arduous work of volunteers, both from the Chamber of Commerce and the community. Once again, thank you Keizer for a job well done. (Please visit our KNOW Facebook page for photos.)
During the most recent presidential election, non-candidate Donald Trump crowned himself king of the “birther” movement, with his constant questions about whether President Barack Obama was born in Kenya or the United States. Now (it pains me to say) Trump is the GOP front-runner, and his closest challenger in the polls is Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who was not born in the United States. Cruz was born in Canada in 1970. His mother was born in Delaware. His father was born in Cuba. His family moved to Texas when he was 4. Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship until he renounced his Canadian citizenship two years ago.
So is Cruz a “natural born Citizen,” a requisite for presidential candidates under Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution? PolitiFact looked into that question and determined that Cruz probably is eligible because his mother was a U.S. citizen: “Most legal experts contend (natural born Citizen) means someone is a citizen from birth and doesn’t have to go through a naturalization process to become a citizen.” But it noted that the issue is not “100 percent settled,” as there is no official definition.
This month, GOP political consultant-turned-analyst Tony Quinn wrote a piece for the website Fox&Hounds headlined Ted Cruz Cannot Be President: Take Him Off TheBallot. Quinn acknowledged the conventional view that Cruz is “natural born” but argued that the Framers added “natural born” to the citizen requirement to prevent the election of a candidate with foreign entanglements.
Quinn laid out four reasons he thinks Cruz does not make the cut.
1) His father was born in Cuba; Cruz himself was born in Canada.
2) Every past presidential nominee was born within the United States or a possession. Calgary never was a U.S. possession.
3) While his father was serving in the Navy, 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, a U.S. possession. Even still, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution conferring “natural born” citizenship on McCain just to settle the issue. The Senate has done no such thing for Cruz.
4) Cruz was a “natural born” citizen of Canada.
I sent Quinn’s piece to John Yoo, the former George W. Bush White House counsel who teaches law at the University of California, Berkeley. “This case is much stronger than people give it credit,” Yoo wrote. “The Constitution requires the president to be a ‘natural-born citizen.’ But no one is sure what it means. It’s never been the subject of a definitive judicial ruling.” Yoo thinks the term applies to citizens “born in the territory of the United States.” That’s a credible position that takes into account the Constitution’s likely original intent.
Do I believe the men who drafted the Constitution wanted to keep foreigners out of the Oval Office? Of course I do. Does Ted Cruz care about the Framers’ original intent? Usually, he does. I asked Team Cruz to respond specifically to the argument that “natural born” means born in the USA or a U.S. territory. No reply.
This truly is an issue that voters will have to sort out. Heidi Cruz, the candidate’s wife, told a group in Missouri she expects Trump to play the birther card. She may be right. But will it stick to a candidate born in Canada?
Almost every day now there’s another dreadful shooting in America. And that’s just counting the mass shootings where four or more Americans are shot. The San Bernardino executions add up to another one of these profoundly troubling events that are becoming too frequent and about which nothing but more talk has been accomplished. Democrats, including President Obama who will now try an end-run by executive order, address their view about a need for gun controls while Republicans continue emphasizing that more about the mentally ill must be done. Both are right.
With our nation awash in something like 300 million guns, eliminating them is unlikely to happen, especially since every mass killing is followed up by a large number of new gun purchases. We have policies that address cars in the form of mandated driver’s licenses, safety belts and fines for the absence of either, as well as citations having to do with drinking while driving, texting, and the like, driving through road construction zones, food and drug controls and a multitude of other laws and requirements intended to try to keep us as safe as possible. It would be cool if we could put our collective heads together with the same degree regarding guns.
It strikes any observer in America that we’d be wise to keep guns away from all those who pose a risk. This would mean that it’d be required of all who want a gun to go through background checks universally. At present, an amazing fact of life in the U.S. is that close to half of guns acquired here are purchased without a background check and that statistic should enrage every American enough to descend upon his and her state and federal legislator demanding action.
What blows the minds of those Americans who care is that it’s legal for people on the terrorism list to buy guns throughout the U.S. The latest head count adds up to 2,000 terrorism suspects that bought guns over the past 10 years alone. A number of the wiser among our legislators in Washington have tried to make this availability stop. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association and those Republicans who pledge their allegiance to the NRA have brought about no halt to these folks getting their guns. Hence, it remains legal for them to purchase whatever, whenever and the freedom to use them.
Meanwhile, according to reputed polls, some 85 percent of Americans approve of universal background checks. Among our nation’s gun owners many want a crackdown on gun dealers who apparently give little or no attention to what happens to their guns. These folks of reasonable minds also want guns locked up at home when not in use. Curiously, over the years, the NRA has supported gun controls; however, according to the record, the NRA has not supported any gun controls since 1968.
The godfather idolized by many politicians, actually in both political parties, former President Ronald Reagan, wrote an op-ed for New York Times in 1991 where he backed gun restrictions. “This level of violence must be stopped,” as then, 9,200 Americans were being murdered by handguns at the time every year. Reagan added that a 10 to15 percent drop could occur with tighter gun restrictions and “that it would be well worth making it (tighter restrictions) the law of the land.”
A majority in D.C. who can do something, won’t. The NRA apparently wants everyone armed. Under that scenario the country moves ever closer to a nationwide shooting at the OK Corral where everyone owns a gun and will use it whenever it’s judged necessary. Meanwhile, a nation where even during our wartime years it was safe for non-combatants to go without harm most anywhere, has now become a virtual battleground where almost no one is safe anywhere.
(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)