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

Day: March 4, 2016

Sports court at KRP explored

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Care for a game of pickleball?

While some may not have heard of the racquet sport – a combination of badminton, table tennis and tennis – others in Keizer have.

Robert Johnson, Keizer parks supervisor, said a place for a pickleball court is a common request.

“We get a lot of people who are interested in pickleball,” Johnson said at last month’s Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.

Johnson mentioned that during discussion of a possible future multi-use sports court at Keizer Rapids Park. Though no plans are firm yet, Parks Board members had asked Johnson to come up with cost estimates for a sports court in case funding materializes in the future.

Johnson said a sports court could be used for pickleball, basketball and futsal. His cost estimates were based on a court size of 60 feet by 88 feet, for a total area of 5,280 square feet.

According to Johnson’s estimates, a concrete slab for the base would be $6 per square foot, for $31,680. A 10 foot tall black vinyl chain link fence would cost $19,800 while two long reach basketball standards would cost $8,000. The court would be fully fenced with futsal goals built into the fence. There would be one main entry gate and one larger vehicle access gate for maintenance.

Miscellaneous equipment for futsal and pickleball would be another $4,000.

Johnson presented two options for a court surface: an acrylic surface costing $10,560 ($2 per square foot) or a poly sports surface for $26,400 ($5 per square foot). Depending on the surface chosen, the total estimated project cost would range from $74,040 to $89,880.

“It’s a pretty decent price jump,” Johnson acknowledged. “The poly sports court surface would be a half-inch thick, which you overlay in sheets. It’s more forgiving on your joints (than acrylic). There would be a lot less maintenance required long term, but it costs more up front.”

Johnson said vandalism on the poly surface is easier to fix.

“I recommend it personally,” he said. “It’s money well spent. You would be paying $16,000 more in maintenance with the other one over 10 years.”

Parks Board member Jim Taylor liked the idea.

“I agree it’s money well spent,” Taylor said.

Johnson noted not all three sports could use the court at once, with items like nets and posts being needed to change sports. Taylor had a suggestion for how that would work.

“We could have a box with a key, then have people come here (to city hall) and get the key,” Taylor said.

Clint Holland asked if the city would be paying for the project or if it would require someone stepping forward, much as Hans Schneider stepped up last year to pay for much of the sand volleyball courts at KRP.

“I don’t know,” Johnson said. “I was just getting prices for you guys.”

Richard Walsh suggested going for a grant next year and using the KRP land purchase as a match, similar to the process being used currently for the next phase of work at the Big Toy.

Walsh gave background on the project at the Feb. 16 Keizer City Council meeting.

“We haven’t had the money to do it,” Walsh told councilors. “We want to do it when we have funding available. We have some opportunities with the Local Government Grant next year, which will be the last year with (the KRP) land money.”

Walsh also asked for more financial help for the parks. More is being spent on temporary help this year, meaning less money for other park services.

“Parks are taking a disproportionate hit,” Walsh said. “Already the parks are bare bones. We don’t have money to irrigate the fields at Keizer Rapids Park.”

New Starbucks coming soon

Starbucks_Coffee_Logo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

A new Starbucks is coming to River Road in Keizer.

Yes, there is already a Starbucks at the corner of River and Chemawa Roads, in Schoolhouse Square.

This will take the place of that location.

The new location will be at 4943 River Road N, a small strip mall currently home to Keizer Computer Annex, Pronto Signs, Now & Then Mercantile, New Age Psychic Center and Oscar’s Salon.

It’s not known yet when the change will happen, but Keizer Computer Annex opened at its new location of 4120 River Road NE No. B last week.

“We’re in the very early stages of relocating our store at 5001 River Road to 4943 River Road,” a Starbucks spokeswoman told the Keizertimes recently.

Keizer City Manager Chris Eppley confirmed the move in a recent e-mail update.

“New Starbucks building at 4943 River Road,” Eppley wrote. “This will be a new location for the Starbucks currently in Schoolhouse Square as (they) are moving their location.”

Two permits associated with the change were submitted in January. On Jan. 8, a permit calling for demolition of existing building and construction of a new building shell was listed for 4943 River Road. The valuation was listed as $233,163 for a 1,850 square foot building.

A second permit for the address was submitted to the city on Jan. 15 from Steve Clendaniel of Seattle, affiliated with architecture and planning firm KDW Salas O’Brien. On that permit, the site owner is listed as Krosman Inc., which is what Marion County records for the property show as well. A site contact number on the application traces back to 2401 Utah Avenue South in Seattle, which is the corporate address for Starbucks. The work is described as tenant improvement for Starbucks worth $187,000.

The topic was also brought up last week on the Keizer, OR Facebook page. Keizer City Councilor Marlene Parsons responded to a query that Starbucks is indeed moving to the new location.

“The new owners of Schoolhouse Square are remodeling and putting in new tenants,” Parsons wrote on Feb. 28. “Starbucks chose to move. They want a drive through. The owners decided to sell. It will put new construction into an old area. It’s a win-win for Keizer.”

Coaches pick Cavell as Player of the Year

McNary senior Harry Cavell was the Greater Valley Conference unanimous selection as Player of the Year. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary senior Harry Cavell was the Greater Valley Conference unanimous selection as Player of the Year. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Harry Cavell’s route to becoming the unanimous Greater Valley Conference basketball Player of the Year as a McNary High School senior was circuitous at best.

As a freshman he started out playing for West Salem High School’s junior varsity team with a handful of minutes on the varsity court.

“It was nice to be part of a winning program and see what that felt like. I also got to play with my brother which was great,” Cavell said.

As a sophomore, he attended a prepatory boarding school in South Carolina, which is where he discovered his passion for the game.

“We would practice twice a day and work out. It’s where I learned to be serious about the game, but I pretty much ate, slept and breathed basketball and school,” he said.

While the experience helped him grow, Cavell said he and his parents were ready for him to return home when his junior year rolled around.

Technically, Cavell should have been part of the McNary program for his first two years of high school, but the Celtic program was just beginning to emerge from an era of difficult seasons with the help of a new head coach, Ryan Kirch.

When Cavell enrolled at McNary as a junior, he wasn’t sure what to expect, despite having grown up alongside a number of the Celtic veterans. As it turned out, he needn’t have worried quite as much.

“Tregg (Peterson) and Devon (Dunagan) and Cole (Thomas) were all good friends of mine and they all welcomed me back into the program even after I should have been at McNary my first two years,” Cavell said. “I just wanted to play with my friends again.”

Since joining the Celtic roster, Cavell has rarely been less than a standout. He’s led the team – frequently entire games -– offensively more often than not as a senior, but didn’t take all the credit.

“It’s awesome and it’s affirmation that all my hard work has paid off a little bit,” Cavell said of the Player of the Year honor. “But it’s just as much a testament to my team. There are a lot of good players who don’t stand out because of their teams.”

Kirch said that attitude is what he’s appreciated most about having Cavell as player for McNary.

“He’s a mature kid with poise and a confident attitude that the other players in our program gravitate to,” Kirch said. “He helps unite the group as a whole because his expectations mirror what we expect as a program.”

Given his 6-foot-7 frame, basketball was something of a natural fit for Cavell, but he said he enjoys the sport because of its varied challenges.

“I can compete with myself to get better while I’m competing with other people,” he said.

He’s hoping his court skills carry him into college on a basketball scholarship, but no school has made the offer he can’t refuse as yet.

“Beyond that, I’d like to play professionally whether it’s here in the U.S. or overseas,” he said.

Lady Celts cruise to second round

Sydney Hunter makes a charge to the net in the game with Century High School Tuesday, March 1.
Sydney Hunter makes a charge to the net in the game with Century High School Tuesday, March 1.

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School’s get-out-of-zone free card, Madi Hingston, was working hard in a first round state playoff game with Century High School Tuesday, March 1.

Hingston earned that moniker because when teams like the Jaguars attempt to keep the Celts from attacking the rim with a zone defense, a three-pointer by the McNary senior typically prompts them to go back to man-to-man coverage. Hingston drained four shots from three-point range on the night to as McNary blazed a trail to the second round with a 63-34 win.

“Mentally and emotionally, I was really proud of the way the girls carried themselves. You would never think it was a team that hadn’t won a playoff game in six years,” said Derick Handley, McNary head coach.

Three of Hingston’s four treys came in the first frame, but the Keizer team as a whole buttoned up on defense to keep the Jaguars from going on long runs.

“We knew that they were a better than decent shooting team and really good from the three-point range,” Hingston said. “We knew they had some good guard play and we wanted to be on them so they couldn’t get outside of the arc and set their feet.”

McNary was up 14-3 when Century went on a short run to close the gap to 14-11. After shutting down the the Jaguar offense, McNary answered with an 10-0 run to finish the period up 24-11.

“Our girls were the first to calm down and they were able to stop the runs. Every time Century started to make a run our girls were able to shut them down and then go on a run of their own,” Handley said.

By halftime, McNary was riding a comfortable 39-22 lead to the locker room.

“We didn’t want to settle because they are a good shooting team. We wanted to keep the pace up but not lose composure,” Hingston said.

Coming out of the break, the Celts took the foot off the gas offensively, but foiled nearly every possession by Century. The Jaguars scored only four points in the third and McNary led 49-26.

“Our passing was phenomenal, a few times we got a little sloppy and didn’t use ball fakes, but for the most part we did a great job. Our posts did a great job penning and getting open. We’ve worked hard the past month or so on post-to-post passing and it showed up big tonight,” Handley said. He credited senior Reina Strand with particularly outstanding play.

The win sets up the Keizer girls to host Newberg High School Friday, March 4. Newberg, which entered the tournament ranked 24th in the state, upset No. 9 Clackamas High School on the same night the Celtics beat Century. Game time is 7 p.m.

Handley hoped the girls would continue to push themselves in practice as hard as they did in the week leading up to the first round.

“After the game, we talked about the difference between being happy and being satisfied. We’re happy with the win tonight and we’re excited that we got it, but we’re not staisfied. We got a playoff win, but we haven’t proven anything yet,” Handley said.

The end of a parade

It was exciting in 2011 when the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade migrated from Salem to Keizer. We have the Miracle of Christmas lighting display in the Gubser neighborhood. We have the annual Keizer Iris Festival parade.

Having the Lights parade come to Keizer was a beautiful feather in our civic cap. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Parade organizers announced this week that the Festival of Lights Parade is no more. After 25 years the dedicated volunteer Cheryl Mitchell decided it was time to step back, enjoy life and travel the world with her husband.

Organizing the parade (one of the largest light parades in the United States) is practically a full-time volunteer endeavor. Once one year’s parade is finished, planning for the next parade begins almost immediately.

Though there will be no Festival of Lights Parade this December, we hope to see a volunteer, an organization or a company pick up the banner and ressurect it for future years.

A holiday parade such as this should not go away without a fight. It draws spectators from around the region which makes it a good marketing tool for the city and it is good for businesses along the parade route that work to take advantage of the large crowds.

A lighted holiday parade is not inexpensive nor easy to stage. Our community has the experience and knowledge to put on one of the state’s largest parades (Iris Festival). Who will step up to put their experience to work on a holiday parade?

  —LAZ

A detrimental proposal

By KAYLI HANLEY

Agriculture. A way of life that dates back to America’s Founding Fathers. It is not only a lifestyle that allows people to produce food, it is a lifestyle that allows people to care for the land in such a way that the land is brought to its fullest potential. In Eastern Oregon, some groups seek to designate 2.5 million acres of Oregon land into a national monument. This is a move that would be devastating to the ranchers and community of Malheur County.

Jerome Rosa, executive director for Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, elaborated on why this designation would hurt Oregon ranchers.

“In essence, it could devastate the local economy, their businesses, their culture and their children’s future. The designation would establish additional restrictions that would affect or eliminate their ability to ranch in that area,” he said.

Ranchers who live in the area aren’t fully sure what to expect, but looking at other monument designations, things don’t look good.

“I don’t have a clue what will happen,” said past OCA President and current Malheur County rancher Bob Skinner. “They tell you it’s not going to affect ranching, but historically (monument designations) are a disaster.” Skinner said he cannot find anywhere where a monument designation has been a success story for ranching.

He said the designation also brings concern for how future wildfire management through the Range Land Fire Protection Association (RFPA), a group largely made up of local citizens and ranchers, will occur. “We are the front line for fire suppression. If history repeats itself, we suspect RFPA’s won’t be able to access the roads needed to fight wildfires easily,” Skinner said.

Several efforts are in progress to try and stop the monument designation in Malheur County. “OCA is working with local ranching groups, a public relations group, and with state and federal legislatures to prevent the monument designation,” Rosa said.

Meanwhile, those in Malheur County brace themselves for the possibility of a designation that would threaten their way of life. “Cattle is the number one industry in Malheur County,” Skinner said. “If we take a bunch of cattle out of the county, it’s going to devastate its economy. It will have an impact on the state.”

(Kayli Hanley is the communicatons director for the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.)

Thank you, Uptown Music

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Keizer Community Food Bank, I want to wish Paul Elliott and the Uptown Music staff  a happy anniversary for 25 years of service to the music community in Keizer and the Salem area.

Also extended kudos for making their celebration party a fund raiser for the KCFB. Because of Uptown Music’s good will and the generosity of the music community, the food bank received more than $900 and 200 pounds of food to put on the pantry shelves.  That’s a song worth singing!

Thanks Uptown for your sustaining support of our food ministry and the ongoing fight against hunger.

Curt McCormack, Director
Keizer Community Food Bank

Trump’s destructive nationalism

By MICHAEL GERSON 

The main focus of Donald Trump’s media coverage has been his populist disdain for elites. But his main focus has often been a strident version of American nationalism.

Trump has offered this explanation of his own ambitions: “The reason I’m thinking about [running for office],” he told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2011, “is that the United States has become a whipping post for the rest of the world.  … I deal with people from China, I deal with people from Mexico. They cannot believe what they’re getting away with.”

It is difficult to discern a foreign policy in Trump’s oeuvre of rambling, extemporaneous speechmaking and Twitter pronouncements. He usually communicates without a hint of actual argument. But there is some consistency to his various statements.

Trump believes that American allies in Europe and Asia have become free riders that should defend themselves and pay their own way. He calls the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty unfair. In exchange for the protection of South Korea, he argues, “we get practically nothing.” Mexico is “ripping us off” and purposely sending us criminals. It must be compelled to pay for a continent-wide wall. Trump proposes to “tax China for each bad act” and has raised the possibility of a 45 percent tariff. Vladimir Putin, in contrast, should be given a free hand in the Middle East to go after Sunni radicals and other opponents of the Syrian regime. And America should focus on killing terrorists as well as targeting their families for murder, apparently on the theory that war crimes are a demonstration of super-duper toughness.

As Trump’s political prospects have improved, we are required to give these foreign policy views more serious analysis, which is more than Trump himself has done. When pressed on such issues in debates and interviews, he is utterly incoherent. A man who confuses the Kurds with the Quds (Iran’s expeditionary military force) hasn’t the slightest familiarity with current events in the Middle East. And it feels like we have, so far, explored only the fringes of his ignorance.

But it is the theory behind Trump’s threats that is particularly dangerous. He is not an isolationist, in the Rand Paul sense. He is more of a Jacksonian (in Walter Russell Mead’s typology) —preferring a strong America that is occasionally roused to kill its enemies but then returns home and avoids entangling international commitments. America, in this view, should vigorously pursue narrow national interests and seek to be feared rather than loved.

This conception of America’s international role was common, before America had a serious international role. A Gallup poll from 1937 showed that 70 percent of Americans thought their intervention in World War I had been a mistake. In early 1940, as German intentions of conquest were clear, less than 10 percent thought America should send its military abroad.

But this view of America is as relevant to current affairs as political events in ancient Rome. “The great need today isn’t to ‘beat’ core allies such as Mexico and Japan, while working with Vladimir Putin,” George Mason University’s Colin Dueck explains diplomatically. “On the contrary, the urgent need is to constrain aggressors such as Putin while supporting core U.S. allies like Mexico and Japan.”

Less gently put, Trump would be a president who could not reliably tell America’s enemies from its friends. He contemplates actions like weakening American security assurances to South Korea that might invite war (recall the outcome in 1950 of Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s implication that South Korea was outside America’s “defensive perimeter”). Trump promises actions—like forcing the Mexican government to fund the great wall of Trump—that are, in the formal language of international relations, loony, unhinged, bonkers. His move to impose massive tariffs against China would earn derisive laughter at the World Trade Organization; if he persisted anyway, it might blow up the global trading order and dramatically increase tensions in Asia.

A Jacksonian role for America is positively dangerous in a world where many threats—terrorism, pandemic disease, refugee flows, drug cartels—emerge in failed states and hopeless places. It has never been more evident that the success of America depends on an expanding system of free trade, free markets, democratic governance and strong alliances—upheld, in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, by American security guarantees.

Trump’s version of American nationalism without reference to American principles is Putinism by another name. And it is just one more way that Trump would sully the spirit of the nation he seeks to lead.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

Will we see more citizen militias?

One supposes that Oregonians sleep more peacefully these nights knowing that not only have the occupiers of the wildlife refuge in Harney County given up the site, most of them are in jail and under indictment over their 41-day siege. Nevertheless, it’d be a whole lot more reassuring if we knew that the present moment brought us to a place where the militia movement had been stopped; unfortunately there are many more militias out there to threaten our security and safety than there are members of ISIS and other external organizations that seek to do us no good.

Citizen militias are just the youngest of the major right-wing anti-government movements in the U.S., although it arguably has seared itself into the American consciousness as few if any other a so-called fringe movement has. Militia was incorrectly linked to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 but thereby became a household name. However, if those folks were not linked to Oklahoma City, they have been associated with other bombing plots, conspiracies and serious violations of the law. Their extreme anti-government ideology, devotion to conspiracy theories without factual connections, and fixation with and purchase of excessive weaponry and paramilitary organization, lead them to behave in ways that arouse concerns on the part of public officials, law enforcement and the public at large.

The extreme right has long held a special fascination with paramilitary groups.  They existed before the second World War while the militia movement now has ties with Posse Comitatus which developed a grand conspiratorial view of American history and government, one that stood with the idea that the legitimate government had been taken over by conspirators and replaced with a illegitimate, tyrannical government. Hence, Posse members believed that the people had the power and responsibility to “take back” the government by force, using arms to do so.

What turned their idea of what’s good and right into reality in the early 1990s were several events that made angry people on the extreme right out of them, sufficiently large enough to start a new movement.  The events that angered them included the election of Bill Clinton, the Rodney King riots, Ruby Ridge (1992), Waco (1993) and the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Critical to what’s happened since, to the extreme right these were examples of a government run amok and one willing to stop at nothing to destroy those people who refused to conform. These matters provided a rebirth to several extremeist movements, from Christian Identity activists to sovereign citizens and the militia movement organized to prevent another Ruby Ridge.

Many militia members and leaders are gun-rights activists who fear imminent gun confiscation as well as those who maintain a fascination with government conspiracies. The combination of anger at the government, fear of gun confiscation and susceptibility to great conspiracy theories is what has formed the core of the militia movement’s ideology.  Criminal activity remains more or less constant with militia members getting themselves in trouble with the law on a fairly regular basis.  The occupiers and the laws they broke when they gathered and took over the federal refuge in Harney County is what one might refer to as “par for the course” with these folks.

The U.S. Constitution was designed in an effort to establish and maintain a democracy.  It works reasonably well and most Americans prefer its continuation versus a bunch of ill-informed and easy-to-bamboozle hoodlums, the likes of which the militia movement represents. Apparently there’s no turning these people into responsible, law-abiding citizens because of their belief in guns for everyone, no matter their lack of sanity, and that the U.S. government is owned and operated only by those persons who want to take all freedoms away and incarcerate accordingly.

It might be helpful to show them how good they’ve got it compared to living in most other countries on our planet.  Yet, whatever rant and rave is appropriate, such effort to reform them will not change the mindlessness and ignorance of these people. Law enforcement did not head directly into them, like was done at Waco and Ruby Ridge, because it would only reinforce their hatred of our government and their acting out as has been proven in Harney County.  So, the only way found in these United States to deal effectively with this kind of government-hater is to hit them in the pocketbook real hard (the reported costs related to the 41-day occupation in Harney County are at least $3.3 million) and incarcerate them for long periods in hopes that, given time to reflect on their foolishness, (although I’m not counting on it) a measure of better sense will occur.

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