Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: February 12, 2016

New Hampshire spanks the elites


     WASHINGTON — The conservatism that has dominated the Republican Party for decades is in crisis. Capitalism has lost its allure among a large swath of young Americans. And the Clinton and Bush brands are yesterday’s products in desperate need of renovation.

     These are, admittedly, large conclusions to draw from one contest in one small New England state. But politicians and Wall Street would be foolish to ignore New Hampshire’s shock waves.

     Donald Trump’s success combined with Marco Rubio’s fade reflects the implosion of any sort of Republican establishment. For decades, party leaders ran a con game with their party’s working-class supporters. They gave verbal respect to social and religious conservatism and, throughout President Obama’s time in office, channeled every sort of resentment. But they delivered little of concrete benefit to these voters.

     The voters noticed, and along came Trump.

     Trump does not engage in the dainty dance that is the stock-in-trade of a Republican establishment that shifts effortlessly from backlash politics to high-toned rhetoric. Trump’s stream-of-consciousness soliloquies invoke nationalism, tough talk on trade, and a harsh and sometimes racist response to immigration. He roars the anger of his supporters, unapologetically.

      The exit poll, as CNN reported, defined his base: Trump won 47 percent of the ballots cast by those who never attended college — the people hurting most in our economy — but only 25 percent among those with postgraduate degrees. Trump has exposed the no-longer-hidden injuries of class.

     As for Rubio, his third place showing in Iowa led both party and conservative movement leaders to coalesce quietly behind him as the man who could stop both Trump and Ted Cruz. The Texas senator gives unambiguous voice to the tea-party and Christian conservative sentiments. His third-place New Hampshire finish after his Iowa victory allows him to pivot smartly to more hospitable territory in the South.

     Rubio tried to ape the anger of Trump and Cruz after first presenting himself as an avatar of hope and optimism. The two-step didn’t work, and its canned quality was exposed, witheringly, by Chris Christie in the final pre-primary debate. Voters turned away.

     One beneficiary of Rubio’s travails is Jeb Bush, who seems well placed to compete in the next battle in South Carolina. But it shows how far the Bush brand has fallen that the former Florida governor had to count a fourth-place finish with 11 percent of the vote as a victory.

     Voters opposed to Trump turned out to be just as interested in authenticity as those who supported him. This, along with a lot of hard work, gave John Kasich his second-place finish and the right to move forward. If Trump offered extremism, Kasich — whose views are actually quite conservative — campaigned on moderation. If Trump offered anger and harshness, the Ohio governor spoke of unity and healing. In a very different key, Kasich was running as much against the two-faced practice of Washington Republicans as Trump was.

     Republican chaos is good news for Democrats, but they face their own crisis. Bernie Sanders’ victory did not surprise Hillary Clinton’s lieutenants, but his margin did, and so did the astonishing size of the party’s generation gap: Sanders won 83 percent of the ballots cast by voters under 30, and 66 percent among those aged 30 to 44. Clinton carried only the 65-and-overs.

     These younger voters have known capitalism at its worst and were more turned on than turned off by Sanders’ democratic socialism. Where Clinton was old news to a new generation, a 74-year-old Washington warhorse emerged as a novel voice of authentic protest against the corruptions and injustices of traditional politics.

     Clinton is well-known for being at her best when her political fortunes seem darkest, and the coming contests will be fought in less homogeneously white states that are more congenial to her candidacy. She can still prevail, and probably will.

     But a woman who can be charming and engaging outside the context of politics has offered neither a crisp explanation for why she’s running nor a persuasive answer to those who see her as untrustworthy. And her burden is formidable: She must readjust her candidacy without seeming to be contriving a new personality for new circumstances.

     As for the elites generally, the electorate’s attitude can be captured by an observation many years ago from the political theorist William Connolly. In another time of discontent, Connolly noted that “vulnerable constituencies did not need too much political coaxing to bite the hand that had slapped them in the face.” Many voters feel slapped around. On Tuesday, they bit back, hard.

     E.J. Dionne’s email address is [email protected]. Twitter: @EJDionne.

     (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

Koho in ICU after heart attack

Dennis Koho
Dennis Koho

Of the Keizertimes

Former Keizer Mayor and current Keizer City Council president Dennis Koho suffered a heart attack last Saturday, Feb. 6 and was taken to Salem Hospital.

As of press time Wednesday, Koho remained in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital.

Koho was Keizer’s third mayor, serving in that capacity from 1993 to 1999. He served on the council from 1991 to 1993 and returned to office in the fall of 2012. He told the Keizertimes last week he would not be running for another term this fall.

Koho operates the Koho & Beatty law firm in Keizer with Eleanor Beatty.

Keizer City Manager Chris Eppley confirmed Tuesday morning he’d heard Koho had been in the ICU after a cardiac event over the weekend. Mark Glyzewski, a spokesperson for the hospital, confirmed Tuesday morning Koho was still in critical condition.

Koho’s wife, Lori, called the Keizertimes Tuesday afternoon and asked that no visitors try to see her husband at the hospital. She also noted there was no room for flowers and asked for privacy.

On Tuesday evening, Lori posted on her husband’s Facebook page.

“Dennis had a heart attack on Saturday and is in critical condition,” Lori wrote. “We have asked that only family visit and I’ll try to periodically update his status here. It’s comforting to know Dennis is in your thoughts and prayers.”

Lori also posted a short message on Wednesday morning.

“Dennis had a peaceful evening. Still in critical condition but at least stable,” she wrote.

Current Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark attended the Salem Keizer Volcanoes Winter Sports Banquet on Feb. 5 along with Koho and others.

“He seemed fine,” Clark said. “I was pretty much blindsided when I heard the news. We will be keeping him in our prayers.”

Clark noted Koho had helped her greatly in the past year during her transition from council to the mayor’s seat.

“He’s been a good sounding board, while recognizing things have changed significantly since he was mayor,” Clark said. “He has great knowledge of the history of Keizer and a great sense of humor.”

Mat squad 2nd in GVC

McNary’s Keifer Smith rolls Forest Grove High School’s Alam Castro for a pin in the dual meet Thursday, Feb. 4. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Keifer Smith rolls Forest Grove High School’s Alam Castro for a pin in the dual meet Thursday, Feb. 4. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School mat crew finished their season in second place in the Greater Valley Conference after losing to Sprague High School Thursday, Feb. 4.

The Celtics had two dual meets that evening and split the results with one win and one loss. McNary beat Forest Grove High School in commanding style with a final score of 48-15.

The Keizer team then took on the Olympians with the two teams being the only ones in the league still undefeated. McNary lost 57-7, but 10 of the 14 matches went the distance and ended in decisions.

“They had a few matches where they came up with some tactical ideas that made the matches go their way,” said Jason Ebbs, McNary head coach. “Those surprised us when they happened, but we understood it after the fact. We’ll be making changes for when we see those guys again at the district competition.”

The Celts will wrestle for the district title Feb. 12-13 in Forest Grove.

Match winners in the Forest Grove contest last week were: Enrique Vincent in a 11-6 decision; Sean Burrows by pin in 4:36; Jon Phelps by pin in the 2:59; Brayden Ebbs by pin in 2:33; Wyatt Kesler by pin in 1:06; Jesse Gomez by pin in 1:08; Kyle Bonn in a 4-2 decision; and Keifer Smith by pin in 1:29.

Kesler and B. Ebbs were the only match winners in the Sprague dual meet. Kesler won in a 11-1 major decision. B. Ebbs won in a 7-5 decision.

McNary heads to the district competition more behind the eight ball than usual.

“We’ve had a couple of old injuries from early in the season flare up and that’s changed the game plan for us, but we’ve got a number of freshmen floating around in the mix who we are putting a lot of faith in,” J. Ebbs said.

Freshmen Blaine Croucher, David Allen and Garrett Wampler are a few of the wrestlers expected to take on varsity roles.

“We have some guys like Sean Burrows, Isaiah Putnam, Kyle Bonn and Keifer Smith who are going to have unique hurdles to placing or winning a district title, but they’re going to have their team behind them no matter what,” J. Ebbs said.

B. Ebbs, Kesler, Phelps and Joey Kibbey were all district placers and state qualifiers in 2015

“Outside of that we have some guys who have wrestled well enough to make it to the podium this year. Ricky Vincent is tough enough to scrap with just about anybody and has a shot at placing. Nick Hernandez is bringing it on for us as a freshman at 120 pounds,” J. Ebbs said.

In the most recent statewide 6A rankings, B. Ebbs was sixth; Bonn was seventh, Kibbey was eighth; and Kesler was 11th.

Swimmers head to district

Hannah Corpe (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Hannah Corpe (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School swimmers are headed to the district competition Feb. 12-13 in McMinnville.

While earning the Greater Valley Conference crown might be a stretch for both the girls and boys, Casey Lewin, McNary head coach, said some relay teams and individual racers are poised to do big things for their teams.

“The past couple of weeks we’ve been a bit worn down but, between tapering and some rest, I like the place we’re in headed into the district meet,” Lewin said.

For the girls, Lewin singled out sophomore star Marissa Kuch, who won individual and relay district titles as a freshman, Sarah Eckert, Haley Debban and Emily Alger.

“Emily has been swimming fast lately and Haley has really turned it up in the past few weeks,” Lewin said. “Haley has had a great year in the 50 free and that was not something I saw coming.”

McNary senior Kiana Briones had her eye on two of the Lady Celt relay teams.

“Our 200 medley and the 200 free relays are pretty strong this year, but we have amazing up-and-coming swimmers that are freshmen and sophomores,” said Briones.

Briones is hoping for good things for herself in the 200 free and 100 breaststroke.

“I’d like to come in around 1:15 in the 100 breast. I’m not sure exactly where it would put me, but based on the dual meet outcomes I think it could put me in a good spot,” Briones said.

In boys races, Lewin thought both Jake Wyer, Parker Dean, Evan Alger and exchange student Georgio Corrieri had a shot at progressing to the state races.

“Evan and Parker are just strong competitors, Jake has been on a tear recently and Georgio has really gotten it going in the past few meets,” Lewin said. “They’ll do all right for themselves.”

Dean has his sights set on the 200 free and 100 breaststroke.

“I’d like to get in the top eight in the 200 free and I got a new personal record recently, so I think I have a shot,” Dean said. “I also would like to make it in the top 15 of the 100 breast, it’s eluded me since I was a freshman.”

The team was working on pacing and strong starts in the waning days of the season, Dean said.

The boys 200 free relay might also have a shot at placing in the meet.

“We’ve lost a couple of tenths with some seniors who graduated last year, but we could do well if things go our way,” Lewin said.

In the run-up to the district meet, the Celts faced their final opponents in the GVC, McMinnville High School, Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Both the boys and girls lost the meet, but the team swam well despite the outcome, said Lewin.

The girls lost their side of the meet 100.5-69.5. Kuch was the only race winner for McNary. She posted the best times in the 50 and 100 free – 24.81 and 54.20, respectively.

The boys lost 128-40 to the Grizzlies.

Eclipse City, USA

In less than two years a major marketing opportunity will present itself to Keizer and every organization, including the city, should be thinking about how to capitalize on it.

There will a total solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Keizer is smack in the middle of the path of the eclipse. Total eclipses happen about once a year somewhere in the world but very rarely do they happen here.

Experts say the best place to exhibit a total eclipse is out in uninhabited areas such as the deserts of eastern Oregon. Traveling to the high desert on a Monday is not an option for everyone, that opens possibilities to attract visitors to Keizer.

The city council can proclaim Keizer Eclipse City USA for starters. Will the eclipse be seen in other cities in America? Sure, but Keizer should the first to give itself that moniker.

Working with the Keizer Chamber of Commerce the city can organize a large eclipse viewing party somewhere in the city such as Keizer Rapids Park (or better yet, Keizer Station for the economic aspects) and promote it. It would enhance the experience if as many lights as possible could be turned off for 15 minutes.

Keizer-centric souvenirs can be designed and sold (“I saw the eclipse in Keizer” perhaps?). Merchants can take advantage of the eclipse and the spectators it should attract with Black Monday specials akin to Black Friday sales.

Keizer doesn’t need any permission to declare itself Eclipse City USA any more than it needed permission to call itself the Iris Capital of the World.


Lottery bill to benefit veterans

By Paul Evans

Oregonians serving with the 116th Air Control Squadron recently received a warm, well-deserved welcome from family, friends, and neighbors at a demobilization ceremony at Camp Withycombe (Clackamas). Even as we celebrate their homecoming, we should take a moment to reflect upon the ongoing challenges our veterans face upon return. These men and women deserve a soft-landing—a thoughtful reintegration into our communities. Some of our returning hometown heroes are coming back to a supportive environment; some are not. And thousands of veterans from previous eras struggle to survive.

Our veterans deserve access to education and employment assistance, mental health care services, affordable housing and transportation. Too often our veterans are forgotten despite the impacts of service upon their lives. During 2015, the Oregon Legislature made a significant investment in outreach adding close to $1,000,000 more for County Veterans’ Service Officers and established a dedicated position for women veterans’ coordination. We also established a task force for identifying ways to help the growing number of incarcerated veterans.

This year I am sponsoring legislation supporting a 3 percent set-aside of Oregon Lottery profits for unlocking opportunities throughout Oregon to capture federal funds so many of our veterans have earned but are not yet receiving. The goal is to develop a fund for leveraging potential partnerships that could help us secure as much as $4 billion in dedicated veterans’ assistance that many veterans and military families should have access to but don’t.

Current data suggests that more than 250,000 Oregon veterans are not recognized within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs structures and systems. This means that existing healthcare and transportation activities, among others, are funded only at the level of the number of veterans recognized: approximately 100,000 of 350,000. The 3 percent of lottery funds dedicated to veterans’ services will support targeted outreach and provide seed money for leveraging available programming. Clearly, the State of Oregon can, and should, make an historic investment in veterans’ care. To be clear, this proposal expressly forbids any impact upon education and/or parks funding. The Constitutionally mandated 18 percent and 15 percent set-asides remain unchanged. At present the federal government returns at least $77 for every one dollar of state investment. This approach has support from many legislators from both political parties as a smart investment of scarce resources.

Numbers tell only parts of the story. As a veteran, and as a member of Oregon’s Legislature, I know firsthand of the opportunities and challenges awaiting our service men and women. We are engaged in three overseas conflicts. Our military members are facing multiple deployments and significant long-term stresses resulting from their time in uniform. Oregon can better extend the safety net of services to our military personnel and their families.

We live in a world of complex challenges five generations of veterans are now facing. It is time we keep faith with the men and women we send into harm’s way. The lottery set-aside is a way to start.

(Paul Evans is the Representative in Oregon House District 20. He can be reached at  [email protected])

Trump’s authenticity is a lie


When the Watergate tapes were released, some Americans were dismayed at the many “expletives deleted” that Richard Nixon employed in private conversation. But as historian Stephen Ambrose pointed out, Nixon had insisted that even the milder words “hell” and “damn” be deleted from the transcriptions, creating the false impression that his language was saltier than it actually was. “If my mother ever heard me use words like that,” Nixon explained, “she would turn over in her grave.”

No inner check constrained Donald Trump from using the F-word during a presidential campaign rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “We’re gonna have businesses that used to be in New Hampshire, that are now in Mexico,” he told a crowd, “come back to New Hampshire, and you can tell them to go [bleep] themselves!”

Many people, particularly the ones unburdened by knowledge of economics, will respond, “Hell yeah!” We are a culture conditioned by cable television, which has made the language of sailors, mobsters and New York real estate developers available to any digitally literate 11-year-old.  This, after all, is the way “real life” sounds.

Let us hope not. In real life, expletives are often used as a form of aggression or cruelty. A co-worker who tells you to Trump yourself is usually being unpleasant. A co-worker who does this every day is often creating a hostile or demeaning work environment. Language suitable for decent company is a form of politeness, which is a species of respect, which is an expression of morality. And if I am the last holdout on this issue, so be it. I don’t really give a damn.

Win or lose, Trump has brought the language and sensibilities of cable TV to presidential politics. This is a relatively small transgression in a campaign that has involved groundbreaking appeals to ethnic and religious resentment. But there is a rhetorical strategy at work here worth noting. In recent rallies, Trump—in addition to telling people to go “F—” themselves —said he would “beat the s—” out of anyone attacking us. Trump identifies crudity with populism, as if using words of four letters were a protest against prim elites. Rough language is intended to convey strength and authenticity. On both counts, it amounts to deception.

Trump employs tough-sounding language, along with the promise of war crimes (proposing killing the families of terrorists), as cover for a frighteningly feckless foreign policy. On the main humanitarian and strategic disaster of our time—the collapse of sovereignty in Syria and Iraq and the rise of the Islamic State—Trump’s answer is to farm influence out to the Russians. “Let Syria and ISIS fight. Why do we care?” Trump has argued. “And let Russia, they’re in Syria already, let them fight ISIS.”

Just to summarize, Trump is proposing for the United States to encourage a coalition of Russia, Iran and the remnants of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime to fight the Islamic State and the rest of the Sunni rebels. This would recognize Russian strategic dominance over a region that still produces nearly 40 percent of the world’s oil supplies. It would concur in Iran’s bid for regional hegemony and probably frighten our abandoned Sunni allies into desperate acts (such as going nuclear). And it would reward Assad’s mass atrocities against Sunni civilians, which is a major generator of recruits for the Islamic State.

In this case, a foul mouth is meant to cover up for Trump’s ignorance and weakness. No actual enemy of America would be impressed by his trompe l’oeil toughness.

The whole equation of profanity with authenticity is deeply confused. There is an honesty, of sorts, in swearing when you hit your thumb with a hammer. But in presidential communication, authenticity is more than the id and tongue unleashed. Abraham Lincoln and other great presidents were authentic communicators because they treated serious things seriously, crafting policy and speeches that often challenged immediate emotional responses, expanded empathy and employed the cadences and spare language of memorable rhetoric.

Trump’s intentional push against boundaries of taste is really the search for a darting spotlight, like a TV show that has gone on for a season too long and tries to ramp up controversy as a substitute for buzz. Even Trump’s authenticity, it turns out, is a lie.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

Keizer joins homeless initiative


Of the Keizertimes

After months of planning, the Mid-Willamette Homeless Initiative is ready to begin.

During last week’s Keizer City Council meeting, the Keizer members of the task force were approved unanimously.

Mayor Cathy Clark has had conversations in recent months with Salem Mayor Anna Peterson as well as Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson. Thus, it’s no surprise Clark will be one of five Keizerites on the task force, which has its first meeting next Wednesday, Feb. 17. Polk County will also be represented.

Joining Clark on the task force will be councilor Kim Freeman, Patty Ignatowski, Verena Wessel and Shaney Starr. Clark has also asked Keizer police chief John Teague to serve on the technical advisory team.

“We recognize we have homeless members of the community,” Clark said. “As a result of Commissioner Carlson, mayor Peterson and myself having conversation, we thought it would be good to have conversations to address these issues. It’s not a one city or a one county issue; it’s something we need to solve collaboratively. We will have technical advisors like Chief Teague with a wide variety of information, to get to very complex issues.

“This just came from meeting with other leaders,” she added. “We will work together to find what pieces we need to put into place to make housing secure for these people.”

The Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency’s 2015 Homeless Count Report identified 1,660 people experiencing homelessness in Marion and Polk Counties. The report identified obstacles to finding safe and affordable housing and the need for housing assistance.

According to a press release from the City of Salem, the Feb. 17 meeting will take place in the Anderson Room of the Salem Library (585 Liberty Street SE) from 4 to 6 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

“This is a pressing and complex issue that warrants a strong, community partnership to find solutions,” Peterson said in the press release. “This collaborative approach will increase our success.”

The task force is scheduled to meet until February 2017, unless additional time is needed.

Contributing factors such as mental illness, addiction, lack of education and the need for transportation, as well as the challenges of unique populations such as youth and/or veterans, will also be addressed by the task force.

Keizer City Council president Dennis Koho pointed to another group that should be in the loop.

“One of Salem’s departments that interacts a lot with the homeless is municipal court,” Koho said. “I don’t see them as an appointee, but I would ask to make sure that piece is not forgotten.”

In other council business Feb. 1:

• Councilors approved a resolution adopting revised public art policies. In accordance to a recommendation from the Keizer Public Arts Commission (KPAC), city staff is now authorized to collect and process commission for art sold while on display at city hall.

“There’s a 20 percent commission being paid to the city,” city attorney Shannon Johnson said. “KPAC felt as a courtesy to the artists and customers we could begin collecting. It means better customer service and for the commission we are able to collect the sums due.”

In response to a question from Koho, Johnson acknowledged the issue hasn’t come up much yet, but said it could grow.

“The commission is still brand new,” Johnson said. “Sales could have been made that we don’t know about. We expect more sales with the student art show coming up.”

Nate Brown, director of Community Development, said the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation’s upcoming student art show could bring up to 1,000 pieces of art into city hall.

“There may be a number of pieces sold,” Brown said. “It does come up occasionally.”

City Manager Chris Eppley said he was initially reluctant about getting into it.

“It is the commission’s view we need to be in,” Eppley said. “If we’re in, we need to be all in. It’s a lot more work for us. But it’s a simpler, cleaner, more explainable process.”

Koho wasn’t convinced.

“I will probably not support it,” Koho said of the resolution. “I’m not sure it’s the business of city government.”

Amy Ryan, the council liaison to KPAC, also pointed to how things would be simpler.

“A reminder that the city puts a lot into supporting the program,” Ryan said. “I like the idea of city staff taking (the money).”

Eppley said all fees collected get put into an art program, which helps pay for projects such as public murals.

“As staff, we won’t get reimbursed,” Eppley said.

The vote to approve was 6-1, with Koho indeed voting against it.

• Due to the President’s Day Holiday, next week’s city council meeting will be a day later, on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.

Real action not lip service for schools

The Keizertimes recently reported that Salem-Keizer Schools superintendent Christy Perry received high marks from the school board for the 2014-2015 school year.

The board looked at student performance against state averages, graduation rates, dropout rates, English language learner performance and growth in the percentage of schools that show above-average growth compared to similar Oregon schools. Apparently there was nothing about special services to homeless youth, new, innovative learning improvement ventures, or other demanding educational and social issues that nowadays fall into the lap of public schools.

It was noted, too, that she worked for staff compliance with district policies while also paying attention to “small areas” of non-compliance.  She had performed these tasks and reported them “regularly” to the board.  Further, she established “excellent relationships” with the board and community partners.  The board did not blame her for lower academic scores as she “has done an admirable job of moving and maintaining academic scores.” Are these matters not assumed in the list of basic responsibilities assigned Oregon’s public school superintendents and how much flexibility for failures are there?

Of course, news items about any superintendent’s success, somewhat rare these days from dropout land, are welcome. Meanwhile, the board members who chose her will continue to pat themselves on the back for making what they apparently believe was a notable choice.  However, what typically follows from these assessment sessions is what anyone else would view at best as a business-as-usual performance, deserving a standard cost of living adjustment (COLA).  Unfortunately for us taxpayers, what usually follows is a huge raise in salary for what amounts to mediocrity and, then, too, additional perks hidden from the public eye.

Now, let’s get to the important issues: To what extent are those who assessed the superintendent’s work over the past year qualified by training and experience to make valid conclusions on the items the school chief chose to present to them to judge her?  And, are they provided enough background information from the superintendent’s office to be confident by investigative inquiry in their conclusions?

One wonders, in addition to board members, to what extent any taxpayer can obtain and scrutinize the facts and, with knowledge in hand, advise his board member.  It’s believed from experience that the superintendent’s office is mostly a closed shop to all but a few trusted staff insiders whose continued employment is based on their ability to remain in mute mode.  The usual inquiry is almost always greeted with mutterings about confidentiality followed by a feint-hearted apologetic denial to access that would require a court-order to see.

Further, there are more problems in the delivery of education than anyone finding out about their size and shape can fathom.  That’s why public education today is failing in so many ways and why no real reform will happen to improve the quality of it under the way education is managed now and has been for years.

There are at least two reforms that should be acted on by our lawmakers, having been led by a governor who cares and is intelligent enough to know value from waste.  Since superintendents currently answer only to boards they can readily manipulate (which means they answer to themselves), the law should be changed whereby school superintendents are elected.  Require candidates to make public their specific goals and objectives, their plans of action and their intended reforms: those they will act on and by which they will be measured.  Hold them to what they’ve promised to do through a presentation of results twice a year in public presentations.  Keep their books open to reputable, private accounting firm audits.

End the era of elected boards.  These well-meaning locals who volunteer to face election to gain a seat on the local school board start off, it’s surmised, dedicated to looking after the children and youth in the schools under their purview.  Meanwhile, the superintendent and her subordinates hold all the cards and share only that information that the superintendent decides to share and is in her best keep-a-job interest.  In other words, boards too often become “yes” men and women, mostly co-opted to do whatever the superintendent, diplomatically mind you, tells them to do.

Taxpayers waste public dollars and students and their families get short-changed by the way things are done now.  The greatest wish for education here is that we’d elect a legislature and governor interested enough in making our schools work so they’d intervene decisively to re-design the way our schools are managed, thereby worth the 12 years time investment of our children who fall away now in big numbers long before grade 12.

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

Betty Ruth Krueger-Johnson


Betty Ruth Krueger-Johnson, 89, passed away on Feb. 1, 2016.

She is pre-deceased by her parents William and Elva Boldt, her brothers Leonard, Gene and Jerry Boldt, and her first husband Marvin Krueger.

Betty was born on Sept. 2, 1926 in Wessington, South Dakota and is survived by her husband Harry “Sam” Johnson of Keizer; her daughters, Beth O’Neal of Austin, Texas, Jean Nelsen and Susan Quillin of Foster City, Calif. and stepdaughter Debbie Miller and her husband Chuck of Klamath Falls; grandsons Simon Jones and wife Thaya, Todd Nelsen and wife Lisa, and Neale Jones and wife Tanya; five great-granddaughters and two great-grandsons, all of California.

In 1957 Betty and Marvin and their daughters moved from Wolsey, South Dakota to San Jose, Calif. where they lived and worked until retirement when Betty and Marvin moved to Keizer. In retirement both Betty and Marvin became active in St. John Lutheran Church where they took leadership roles in the church community.

After Marvin passed away in 1999, Betty was single until her heart was stolen by a wonderful man she met at a grocery store, Sam Johnson, who became her second husband.

Betty loved to remain busy and so was always engaged in many hobbies which included being an avid reader, an excellent seamstress and an award-winning gardener. She was never without crochet hooks, producing blankets and throws which she distributed to close friends and family. She happily shared the produce from her urban garden and the backyard apple tree.

“Betty/Mom/Grandmother/ Grandma Betty” is survived by many and will be missed.

A funeral service will be held at St. John Lutheran Church, 1350 Court Street NE, Salem on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. followed by a lunch reception at the church, hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary in the churc