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Day: January 29, 2016

Boys roll near-perfect game en route to title

Assistant Coach Scott Miller, Garrett Hughes, Jerome Ricks, Bailey Lee, Tim Kiser, Donovan Grubough, Head Coach Dan Kaplan, Adam Teal, Nick Blythe and Derrick Lucas after winning the district bowling title. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Assistant Coach Scott Miller, Garrett Hughes, Jerome Ricks, Bailey Lee, Tim Kiser, Donovan Grubough, Head Coach Dan Kaplan, Adam Teal, Nick Blythe and Derrick Lucas after winning the district bowling title. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School boys varsity bowling team not only won a district title Sunday, Jan. 24, they bowled a near-perfect game.

“The energy in the entire building changed once they started striking. There were spectators high-fiving each other,” said Scott Miller, the team’s assistant coach. The event was hosted by Linn Lanes in Lebanon.

Perfect games are a rare enough occurrence, they require a bowler to deliver 12 consecutive strikes that total 300 points when all is said and done.

Competitive high school bowling adds another twist. Five-person teams bowl baker-style meaning the first bowler will bowl frames one and six. The second bowler will bowl frames two and seven with the fifth bowler bowling frames five and 10.

With Celtics Jerome Ricks, Bailey Lee, Tim Kiser, Donny Grubough and Nick Blythe on the lane, McNary posted a game for the record books.

“We started several games with two or three strikes, but as the streak got longer and longer more and more people were paying attention,” said Dan Kaplan, McNary head coach.

In a single game of the semifinals, the Celtics had accumulated 11 strikes plus eight pins on the final ball for a grand total of 298.

“I was jumping up and down after every strike,” said Grubough.

“Everybody in the place stopped to watch us,” said Kiser.

“It was stadium-level loud,” added Blythe.

Grubough, Kiser and Blythe were all named all-stars of the tournament.

The almost-perfect effort was also the final act of a trilogy for McNary in the semifinal rounds. It capped a three-game series that began with scores of 262 and 224.

“It was the most incredible stretch I’ve ever seen in more than 20 years as a coach,” Kaplan said.

The Celtics’ road to the semifinals was no bed of roses.

“The first round is 22 games and we did okay. We had a lot of open frames and pins left hanging,” said Kaplan.

Grubough said everyone rallied after tough frames to keep it together.

“If someboy had a bad shot, we were all right there telling him it was all right,” Grubough said.

By the end of the preliminaries, the McNary team was second and had claimed a seat in the semifinals. In the semifinals, which consists of 10 games, all scores were reset and the Celts began bowling out of their minds.

At the end of 10 games, McNary was 321 pins ahead of the second place team.

The Celts ended up facing a team from McKay High School in the finals and won easily.

“McKay was intimidated and we bowled 211 our first game to their 138,” Kaplan said.

The Celts finished ahead 377-249 for the two finals games.

Blythe, a three-year veteran of the team whose already got several 300 games as a solo performer, said the experience was his most memorable yet.

“It was the most fun I’ve had in three years, and this is the best team I’ve ever been part of,” Blythe said.

Mark Caillier named Keizer’s First Citizen

From left to right: Mark Caillier (First Citizen), John Honey (Service to Education),Danielle Bethell (President's Award) and Scott White (Merchant of the Year) were the big winners Jan. 23 at the Keizer First Citizen Awards banquet. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
From left to right: Mark Caillier (First Citizen), John Honey (Service to Education),Danielle Bethell (President’s Award) and Scott White (Merchant of the Year) were the big winners Jan. 23 at the Keizer First Citizen Awards banquet. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Two of the biggest projects completed in Keizer last year were the Big Toy play structure at Keizer Rapids Park and the new turf field at McNary High School.

Mark Caillier managed the Big Toy project, while Danielle Bethell was the key person – along with Bob Zielinski – for the turf field project.

Fast forward to last Saturday night’s First Citizen Awards banquet, put on by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce at the Keizer Quality Suites.

Keizer’s First Citizen for 2015? Caillier.

And who did Zielinski, the current chamber president, bestow with the President’s Award? None other than Bethell.

There were more MHS connections. John Honey, the former MHS principal who opened the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) on Portland Road along with Chuck Lee last fall, was presented the Service to Education Award by Chuck and Krina Lee.

Scott White, the Keizer Big Town Hero owner who has donated to MHS and various other community organizations for years, was honored with the Merchant of the Year award.

While none of the recipients were big surprises, Caillier was probably the least surprising of all. In addition to being a former Salem Police Department officer and a former Keizer City Councilor, Caillier is current president of the Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association and also heads up the Claggett Creek Watershed Council.

A longtime community volunteer, Caillier worked tirelessly to coordinate the Big Toy project, which was delayed nine months and finally built last June by an army of community volunteers.

Caillier was introduced by former mayor Lore Christopher, last year’s First Citizen recipient. Continuing a trend started last year, Christopher had all former First Citizens in attendance come to the front of the room as this year’s winner was introduced. They continued to stand as Caillier spoke.

“At least 15 of these previous winners worked on the Big Toy,” Caillier said. “When you volunteer, it’s nice to get a thank you once in a while. This is quite the thank you.”

According to Caillier, Keizer easily lives up to its “Pride, Spirit and Volunteerism” motto.

“This whole community just gets you involved,” Caillier said.

In introducing Caillier, Christopher rattled off a long list of activities he has been a part of over the years.

“The recipient of this 2015 First Citizen Award has been a longtime volunteer and overachiever,” Christopher said. “Lucky for us, this individual can’t learn to say no. This recognition has been a long time coming and I am thrilled that I get to be the one to present the award.”

In introducing Bethell, Zielinski noted some people motivate others to get things done, while others show up and enjoy being the worker bees.

“My choice of the person to receive the President’s Award has both of these characteristics, plus this person has an amazing talent to be able to create a project by envisioning the good things that can happen in the community,” Zielinski said.

Bethell, president of the McNary Athletic Boosters Club, was bolstered by the project and is now helping to lead a similar project for McKay High School in Salem.

“I get excited about challenges now,” she said. “I am working with McKay to do a timeline for their turf field. I see opportunities in those struggles. I can’t wait to see it done. We already have a design in mind.”

The Lees noted Honey has changed over the years, thanks in particular to the four years he spent as principal at MHS.

“John Honey didn’t grow up a Keizer kid, but he now claims himself to be a Keizer guy,” Krina Lee said. “Working in Keizer with different groups has helped him come to value how closely connected the Keizer community is and how very easy it is to be engaged in the family atmosphere of the city of Keizer.”

Honey said that is indeed the case.

“I really do consider myself a Keizer guy now,” Honey said. “There is a strong sense of unity and purpose in Keizer.”

The longest introduction speech was from Joe Egli, last year’s Merchant of the Year, about White.

“Everybody knows this person,” Egli said. “This person always says yes. Actually, you don’t say yes or no, you say sure or absolutely. They make it happen.”

White had earlier recognized his father, Glenn, as one of the Pairings of Excellence recipients. There were a total of 12 such winners.

When on stage to accept the Merchant of the Year award, Scott White individually recognized every member of his family sitting at his table.

“It’s been a lot of work and a little bit of fun,” he said with a big grin.

Nathan Bauer served as emcee again this year and encouraged everyone to stop by Big Town Hero.

“Hey everyone, free sandwiches on Monday!” Bauer exclaimed with a laugh.

Look for profiles of each of the individual winners in upcoming issues of the Keizertimes. Please visit our Facebook page for more photos from the banquet.

Large crowd discusses grocery issues

A majority of those attending Tuesday night's town hall meeting on grocery stores raised their hands when Rep. Bill Post asked if they wanted a WinCo in Keizer. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
A majority of those attending Tuesday night’s town hall meeting on grocery stores raised their hands when Rep. Bill Post asked if they wanted a WinCo in Keizer. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

City leaders and a state representative admitted there wasn’t much they could do to persuade a grocery store to come to Keizer during a town hall meeting Tuesday evening at the Keizer Fire Hall.

State Rep. Bill Post (R-Keizer) organized the hour-long meeting to allow citizens a chance to ask questions, offer ideas or to just rant.

The meeting, which attracted a standing room-only crowd of about 70 people, included ideas from those highly familiar with the process grocery chains and realtors go through when deciding where to open a new location.

The topic of grocery stores in Keizer has been a hot issue for months, especially since the former Albertsons/Haggen store closed late last September, leaving Safeway as the only grocery store in town. One audience member noted Tuesday some Safeway employees are weary from the increased workload associated with the uptick in business.

In recent months, there have been various efforts to woo potential new stores, with much of the talk focused on trying to attract WinCo, which has a distribution center in Woodburn. A “Keizer Wants WinCo” page on Facebook has nearly 800 members.

“I remember when there was four, three, two and then one grocery store in town,” Post said. “My wife and I liked to run to Albertsons for these four things, Roth’s for these seven things and Safeway for these three things.

“There’s nothing we can do to force a grocery store to come here,” he added later. “I want everyone to understand that. I wanted to have an old-fashioned city hall meeting where people could say, ‘Doggone it I’m frustrated and I just want to let it out.’ I’m listening. These guys are listening. If it were up to me, there would be 18 stores here. I like competition.”

Mayor Cathy Clark was joined by all city councilors except for Marlene Parsons, a bit ironic considering Parsons has experience in the grocery industry. Clark emphasized Keizer is “open for business” and ready for more grocery stores.

“Properties large enough for a grocery store are properly zoned,” she said. “Our planning department is ready to go. The first person to get money and plans together to say ‘we’re going to open a store here’ is going to get the (customers’) money.”

Clark noted the recent sale of Schoolhouse Square to Washington-based Bloch Properties (as mentioned in the Jan. 15 Keizertimes) and said talk has been about something other than a grocery store filling the former Roth’s space there.

Speaking of Roth’s, current councilor and former mayor Dennis Koho said he had talked with company president Michael Roth, now a Keizer resident, earlier in the day.

“I’ve heard from people they’re not coming back here,” Koho said. “That’s not necessarily true. They have one project going on now and they’re a small chain. Michael’s interested in coming back if things are right when this other project is done.”

Councilor Brandon Smith said the main thing leading chains to build a store is data.

“It’s all market driven,” Smith said. “They do a ton of research. It’s got to make good business sense.”

Smith also addressed mentions he’s seen about tax incentives the city could potentially offer.

“We don’t have a business tax and can’t do an enterprise zone for this type of business,” Smith said. “Some ideas being tossed around aren’t things we’re legally able to do.”

Councilor Amy Ryan recalled growing up in Keizer with several grocery stores.

“We have to have affordable groceries for families,” Ryan said. “I’d love a variety. I want to see several stores. But it’s not something we can go out and make happen. That’s not the hat we wear.”

Hersch Sangster has lived in Keizer most of his life and recalled multiple stores.

“There have been a lot of stores here over the years,” Sangster said. “We used to have more grocery stores when it was a smaller town.”

Several audience members brought up rumors they’d heard, such as WinCo not being allowed in because their stores are open 24 hours.

“That is not true,” Smith said. “That’s just a rumor.”

At one point, Post asked a popularity question.

“I didn’t want to go that way, but who here wants WinCo?” Post asked.

A vast majority of those in the room raised their hand.

John Morgan, Keizer’s first director of community development, stressed patience.

“The market will correct itself,” Morgan said. “Vacant storefronts are costing businesses money. There are 15,000 rooftops in Keizer. There’s an overwhelming market demand and opportunity. We just need patience. I’d bet at least one (vacant grocery store building) will be filled in the next year.”

Amy Lietz noted the need isn’t for a WinCo in particular, just a place with lower prices.

“I don’t want to pay $4.69 for Cocoa Puffs when I pay $1.98 for them at WinCo,” Lietz said. “It doesn’t need to be WinCo, but it needs to have better prices than Safeway.”

Larry Jackson wondered if proposed increases in minimum wage in Oregon are hurting Keizer’s chances of getting a new grocery store.

“If they’re waiting to see what happens with legislation, the minimum wage is huge,” Jackson said.

George Grabenhorst with Sperry Van Ness commercial advisors said WinCo is building an 86,000 square foot facility in Albany and is interested in Keizer.

“They like building 80,000 square foot buildings, plus or minus 10,000 with 10 acres of ground,” Grabenhorst said. “That’s hard to find here. Area C (in Keizer Station) is probably too expensive for what they need to do.”

Grabenhorst noted WinCo has Waremarts, scaled down stores of about half the size.

Bob Shackelford noted chains looking to come in also look at why previous stores closed, which led to a response from Grabenhorst.

“The reason Roth’s left is when Walmart was taking a look at coming here (to Area C), Orville Roth took a long look at how that would affect his business. It didn’t look good, so he left. They didn’t come, but it was too late by then.”

Former mayor Andy Orcutt, whose family used to have a grocery store in town, pointed to things from a store’s view.

“I hear people want a WinCo and don’t want to go to Salem,” Orcutt said. “WinCo is looking at it, saying why build when they’re coming to our store in Salem already?”

Bill White noted he and co-workers talked with company leaders while at WinCo.

“We asked at meetings why we didn’t open a store in Keizer,” White said. “They said they needed 60,000 in population. Then they said they didn’t want a new store to draw customers from the Lancaster store. We said if Walmart opens (in Area C), they will be taking your customers.”

Orcutt noted he was surprised Albertsons stayed open as long as it did and was asked what it would take for a chain to open a store in Keizer.

“I think it’s going to be individual businesses and chains looking at their studies,” Orcutt said. “It’s not going to happen unless dollars appear on a sheet. The grocery industry is tough; margins are very low. You do loss leaders to bring people in. When everyone is driving down the street for a loss leader, no one is making money.”

Four stars of volunteerism

The closest thing Keizer  has to an Oscars-style evening is the annual First Citizen and Awards Banquet staged by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce.

Recepients of the 2015 awards were announced Saturday night and the committee that made the choices got it just right.

Mark Caillier was named Keizer’s First Citizen to roaring applause and approval by the audience, comprised of Keizer’s volunteer, business, community and civic leaders.

Presenter Lore Christopher (last year’s First Citizen) read off a list of Caillier’s many accomplishments—his most recent project was as construction coordinator for the Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park in June. That is just one of the things that make Caillier a true first citizen of Keizer.

If he had been honored for his work on the Big Toy, that would have been enough but Caillier has had a hand in many parts of the city, from his service on various city committees, service on the city council and his volunteer work on the Keizer Community Library and Keizer Art Association’s computer needs.

As Christopher said, Caillier is man who loves his community and is hard pressed to say no when asked for his advice, experience or muscle.

The average resident may be unaware of Caillier’s contribution to every facet of the city, but they continue to benefit from his unselfish volunteerism and advocacy over the years and will into the future.

The names of First Citizens winners from the 1960s to today is a list of the city’s most devoted residents who never asked “what’s in it for me?” They rolled up their sleeves and asked “how can I help?” Caillier is one of the most accomplished honorees ever.

The Chamber of Commerce also bestowed honors on three others Saturday night.

Scott White, owner of Big Town Hero, was named Mechant of the Year for his good work for the Chamber and within the community. He is a supporter of athletic programs in Keizer, especially at McNary High School. He has donated store space, his time and food for teams, Chamber events and fund raising efforts by non-profits such as Wake the World, an organization that provides the thrill of water sports to kids. His positive attitude and smile have graced community and Chamber events for years.

Last year’s recepient, Joe Egli, presented White with the award. In his speech White recognized the support and help from his family, most of whom have a hand in operating Big Town Hero.

The Service to Education Award was granted to John Honey, former McNary High School principal and current principal of the Career and Technical Education Center in Salem, a public-private venure that adds a technical-vocational element to the education of Salem-Keizer high school juniors and seniors.

Honey was instrumental, along with Mountain West Career Technical Institute and its president Chuck Lee, in developing the school that will prepare students for high-wage, high-skilled careers. Krina and Chuck Lee, the 2014 winners, presented the award to Honey.

Bob Zielinski opened the awards by annoucing he was presenting the President’s Award to Danielle Bethell. Bethell, president of the McNary Athletic Boosters Club,  led the effort to install artificial turf at McNary High School’s Flesher Field.

Danielle led projects to add amenities to the Keizer Little League fields. She was also a team leader for the Big Toy project.

Keizer’s night of awards and recognition got it right again by honoring Caillier, White, Honey and Bethell. They are an inspiration to those who love their community and work to keep it one of the desirable addresses in Oregon.

—LAZ

Money makes politics crazy

By DON VOWELL

I got a word of the day desk calendar for Christmas and today’s word is kakistocracy.  It is a combination of the Greek kakistos, superlative of kakos, which means “bad,” and the English suffix “-cracy” meaning form of government. Kakistocracy literally means government by the worst people.  Many of the calendar’s words are so obscure I forgot them.  I won’t forget kakistocracy.  It explains the emergence of Donald Trump.

The government we have now is dysfunctional enough to make some think that Donald Trump is a viable option. Congress is so paralyzed by ideology, endless fund-raising, and servitude to large donors that it is no longer able to create legislation.  Many of us are glad they can’t.  We crave change so much that “outside” candidates gain support simply by promising change—no need to bother with messy details.

Electing a wild man outsider candidate will not fix things. It is Congress that makes law and Congress that needs fixing. The slate of candidates currently running for president is an example of the same problem crippling Congress. Congress goes about their business seeming to have no regard for the average American citizen.  Now we are asked to choose among presidential candidates that average citizens had no voice in selecting.

Donald Trump is the most honest example. He boasts that his qualifications for being president are being rich, consistently leading the polls, and saying offensive stuff with impunity. Period. Hillary Clinton is a candidate because of name familiarity and inevitability. Ted Cruz is a candidate because his ego would accept no less. There is no explanation for Ben Carson’s candidacy, and thus it is languishing. Marco Rubio believes that America’s greatest danger is a doddering, drooling Fidel Castro—also he gains points for being young and attractive to the young.  Jeb Bush wants your vote because he is not as crazy as the rest of them.  Bernie Sanders would like government to work for the people again.  That sounds crazy.

We grew up believing that America is the best place in the world because we all get to take part in government. We all get to vote. It is hard to know how we got to this place—trying to determine which candidate might completely change course without running the ship of state up on the rocks.

My pet theory has not changed in the face of all this.  These candidates are chosen and propped up by people with money. We are fed information about them from media sources owned by people with money.  Any legislation in the last decade beneficial to average Americans was tacked on to bills benefitting the very wealthy.

The relentless march of America’s wealth into the camp of the richest few is a result of legislation rather than billionaires working harder and smarter.  Think of a Wall Street sharper that buys a pharmaceutical company then, in the space of a day, raises the price of a 62-year-old medication from $13.50 to $750.  Are we to admire his cleverness, his hard work?  Do we aspire to be like him?  Are we worried that the Citizens United decision smoothes the way for people of a similar business ethic to buy and sell legislators and candidates with no financial restriction?

You get what you pay for. What has been paid for is kakistocracy.  It doesn’t work and we should return it.           

(Don Vowell gets on his soapbox regularly in the Keizertimes.)

Buddy, can you spare $15 an hour?

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

Two years ago, Thumbtack—a startup that connects consumers with local contractors—conducted a survey to see what they thought of proposals to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, as per President Obama’s bid “to give America a raise.” The survey found that a plurality of the small businesses that used Thumbtack thought a wage hike would be good for the economy. Most thought that a minimum-wage increase would have no effect on their hiring or firing decisions. But what happens if Washington passes Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ proposal to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour—or Californians pass a ballot measure to raise the state minimum wage to $15 from $10?

One piece of news this past weekend suggests a big minimum-wage hike could cost low-skilled workers their jobs.

Wal-Mart closed its Oakland store amid speculation that the city’s $12.55 minimum wage played a role. Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid told The Chronicle the city’s wage law was a factor in the closure. It’s hard to think otherwise when Oakland was one of 269 stores slated to be shuttered across the country, while in nearby San Leandro, where the $10 state wage floor prevails, two stores will remain open for business. The Washington Post reported last week that Wal-Mart was withdrawing plans to build two superstores in the nation’s capital. A city councilman told the Post that behind closed doors Wal-Mart blamed D.C.’s minimum wage rules (currently $11.50 per hour, but the wage could rise to $15 if voters pass a ballot measure).

Thumbtack Chief Economist Jon Lieber finds it amazing how the $10.10 plan blossomed into a $15 floor, which may make sense in high-cost urban areas, but would put a hard squeeze on employers in places like Laramie, Wyoming. The vast majority of the small businesses surveyed by Thumbtack already pay well above the minimum wage, which is not surprising as many provide professional services. There is one group, however, that the survey found was most likely to be hardest hit—employers who paid more than $7.25 but less than $10.10. Wal-Mart falls into that category.

In April, the retail giant raised its nationwide minimum wage to $9. In October, Wal-Mart announced that the increase in labor costs cut into its profit margin. This month came store closures. Lieber expects to see retailers install more automated checkout machines as the cost of labor rises.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf endorsed Oakland’s minimum wage, which 82 percent of voters supported. I got no comment from Schaaf, but her office noted that Oakland’s unemployment fell from 6.1 percent in February 2015, before the wage hike went into effect in March, to 5.3 percent in September. The Wal-Mart closure, however, means 400 fewer jobs and the loss of revenue from one of the city’s top 25 sales-tax producers.

In 2014, former GOP gubernatorial candidate and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz worked the conservative case for a higher minimum wage. (Short version: Make work pay more than welfare.) When we talked Tuesday, I asked Unz about Oakland. He told me, “I could see Oakland having possibly made a mistake trying to match San Francisco.” Note to Sanders and state unions: Beware what you promise; it could kill entry-level jobs.

(Creators Syndicate)

Stop coddling Malheur Refuge militia

Any American with a child who wants that child to grow into a responsible, law-abiding adult knows that if the parent gives in to every demand of the child the consequence will be a monster. One does not need a college degree in psychology to figure out the result from a person raised with no boundaries or behavioral limits.

Yet, we see something similar to the indulged child being played out at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County.  Somehow the “geniuses” among our FBI leaders believe that if those invaders who have broken the law by taking over and wrecking the refuge will just come to their senses and simply head back home when they tire of their antics.  What that adds up to is that from the Bundy incident dealing with federal property in Nevada last year—where there were no consequences—and what looks like an over-patient, indulging FBI “parent” again this time in Oregon, these “spoiled” adults can go about the U.S. countryside and do as they wish with nothing other than an FBI and other state and federal agencies saying, “You’re bad boys (and girls) and shouldn’t do things like that.”

Maybe the mind set of these people is that they can do whatever, wherever, with federal land as long as it’s in the middle of nowhere with vague directional intents that have to do mainly with what they call their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and the will of God.  It’s not certain they know what they want can come to pass, and we don’t either, but it has been made fairly clear by them that ranchers, miners, and others who’ve not been raised to respect public property, or value land that’s given over to protecting threatened wildlife, can nowadays do with the land as they please.

Like any spoiled brat they expect other Americans to send provisions to satisfy their human comforts.  They’ve sent out a list of particulars they want sympathetic people to send them, a list that, when counted,  adds up to several dozen items, including shampoo, throw rugs, foot warmers, French vanilla coffee creamers and X-rated materials.  Oh, yeah, these people are real warriors while they want their cake and eat it too, just like the tantrum-throwing children we see here and there who’ve never had any discipline and expect the world to revolve around their needs and wants.

How much are they willing to sacrifice for their fuzzy-headed objectives? Not much it seems as they want free “gravy” but want it on their terms and without cost. If they were anything other than law-breaking brats, not persons who want to be patriots, with intent to protect America, there are all these wars that so many of our “leaders” have caused all over the world.  So, they can abandon the refuge and go to the nearest army recruiting office and sign up. Then, since they are so eager to use their weapons and take “ground” back (that was never theirs in the first place) they can ship out to the Middle East to fight ISSI and al-Qaeda, outfits that are really dedicated to destroying America and burying our Constitution.

Since it appears that our presumed protectors, the FBI and other federal and state law enforcement agencies, will not confront these bandits with overwhelming numbers, that would discourage any kind of OK Corral shoot out, maybe these agencies can buy enough Xanax to pacify these nut cases into climbing back into their gun-racked pickups and head home. If there’s enough courage among those who could deliver sedatives to make a statement, tell them that if this happens anywhere inside the U.S. again, force will be used to act on their removal.

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