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Day: May 7, 2016

Velma Tepper

Tepper
V. Tepper

Former Keizerite Velma Tepper of Las Vegas, Nev. passed away on April 25. She was 68.

Velma was born Aug. 17, 1947 to Cecil and Margorie Brill in Dallas, Ore. and graduated from Dallas High School in 1965. She had resided in Las Vegas for 13 years. She retired from the financial services industry while living in Keizer. Velma served with a smile and worked in the city of Keizer for its citizens earning her Keizer First Citizen Award, Merchant of the Year, and President of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. She also worked on numerous committees and organized the first Keizer Iris Festival Golf tournament. Velma was a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Velma is survived by husband Neil, son Ryan (Catina) of Las Vegas and son Michael (Donia) of Nashville, Tenn.; grandchildren Justin, Christopher and Aden, great-grandchild Kailas, sisters Lucile (Trent) Newcomb of Dallas, Linda (Paul) Huckleberry of Richland, Wash. and brother Cecil (Denise) Brill of Salem.

Nanci Anne Gogle

Gogle
Gogle

Nanci Anne Gogle, 70, passed away on April 8.

Nanci was born at Fort Benning, Ga. on May 3, 1945 to Earl and Marilyn Sullivan. She was raised in Keizer and graduated from North Salem High School in 1963.

She is preceded in death by husband Gary Gogle. She is survived by sons Devon Floyd, Jason Floyd, Shea Floyd and Wade Gogle, daughter Ronda Gogle-Lang, granddaughter Adaira Floyd and siblings Lynn Maxwell, Sue Mooers, Karen Van Meter, Billie Knapp and Rick Miller.

There will be a gathering of friends and family Saturday, May 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Virgil T. Golden, 605 Commercial Street SE in Salem.

Mother

By LYNDON ZAITZ

We have a two billion-way tie for the best mother in the world. With few exceptions everyone is certain that their mother is the most loving, kindest, funniest, prettiest and smartest mom in the world. We all love our mothers. Americans will celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 8.

Doesn’t it seem we’re shortchanging mothers when they have only one day to call their own? It is not really a day off for them—they may get to eat breakfast in bed and a dinner at a local restaurant, but you can bet that mothers across the nation will be spending part of ‘their’ day doing laundry, picking up after their kids and the many tasks a mother does every single day.

When I grew up my mother did not work outside of the house. With five children (born over a span of eight years) my mother never had a day off. Vacation? Are you kidding? Mom’s duties traveled with her: cook meals over a campfire, wash the dishes, clean the trailer.

In the 1960s the Peace Corps was called “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” How quaint. The actual toughest job is being a mother. Even tougher is being a mother with a career outside the home.

When presidential candidates say that the only female in the race is playing ‘the woman’s card,’ she retorted: “Deal me in.”

Becoming a mother and running a household gives a woman more management skills than most men will ever have. Most successful people will give ample credit to their mothers. Moms don’t just kiss away tears and bandage knees, they also instill in their children the traits they’ll need to flourish in the world.

Anyone who’s watched a wildlife documentary knows how fierce animal mothers are when it comes to protecting their brood. We’ve taken their names to heart such as grizzly mama, a mother who protects their child with the strength of a seven-foot tall Alaskan grizzly bear.

We all love our mothers. They make us who we are because they are the primary care givers. They feed us, dress us, read to us and tuck us into bed.  This of course does not trivialize the father, but it is hard to change centuries of tradition.

Moms are so grand that we have dubbed the world around us Mother Nature, which is appropriate because mother is a force of nature when it comes to her children. Nature is sunny, rainy, stormy, calm and breezy. Just like our mothers.

(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes.)

Christine Dieker

Christine Dieker’s last day as executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce was April 28. She retired after more than 17 years as the manager and the public face of the chamber.

The Keizer business community was always her focus. She was a vocal advocate of Keizer and its businesses as any one. The Chamber today is much different than when she took the reins. The organization is much more involved with government affairs and lobbying efforts than ever before.

Dieker oversaw the chamber’s move from a small space in the Keizer Heritage Center to a large, welcoming office at Keizer Station, emphasizing the visitor center, and then a move to a different space recently due to development at the shopping center.

It didn’t matter if the chamber had a small or large office. It didn’t matter that there was a new president of the board each year. Dieker was the constant for almost two decades.

While no longer executive director Dieker, will still be very much involved—she will head up the various runs sponsored by the chamber including the five upcoming run events at this month’s Iris Festival.

The Keizer Chamber is a stronger organization because of Christine Dieker. For that we say thank you.

  —LAZ

Fatal stabbing report

To the Editor:

Your report on the fatal stabbing of Jeff Holly on Brooks Avenue (Long ordeal ends in fatal stabbing, April 22) was irresponsible.

A collection of quotes from disgruntled neighbors and police blotter records do not constitute the truth.  I lived with Jeff Holly for the nine years previous to the Brooks Avenue move.  My neighbors remember him shoveling snow from their driveways and borrowing a ladder to save my home from rain damage.

We never know our neighbors, a violent tragedy only muddies the water we use in “paint by number” kits.  Jeff Holly had a degree in history from OSU, he was a master carpenter and had worked in theater in New Jersey, Portland and Eugene. He volunteered at Fish of Albany, Albany Community Theater and The Majestic Theater in Corvallis.  He was charming, funny, intelligent and tender.  I will always love him and cherish the time he shared with me.

Mary Ann Brevidoro
Albany

The state of disunion

By MICHAEL GERSON

The 2016 presidential race already counts an extraordinary accomplishment: It has made the 2000 election seem like the good old days.   

Before Bush v. Gore became a Supreme Court controversy, the contest seemed to demonstrate that American politics was modernizing in a hopeful direction. Clintonism (including Al Gore’s slightly revised version) had helped Democrats come to terms with what was right about Reaganism, particularly on crime, trade, welfare and basic economics. George W. Bush was Reagan-like on taxes and trade, but set out to compete with Clintonism on domestic policy—proposing conservative and free market methods to improve educational outcomes for minority children and provide prescription drug coverage in Medicare. It seemed as if 21st-century versions of liberalism and conservatism were conducting plausible arguments about how best to govern in response to new economic realities.

A decade and a half later, the parties have turned hard against both visions. The left has systematically forced Hillary Clinton to uphold the banner of anti-Clintonism on crime, trade, welfare and basic economics. The right was content, at first, to reject Bush’s compassionate conservatism. Now a significant portion of the GOP base, under Donald Trump’s leadership, is rejecting Reaganism in favor of nativism, protectionism and isolationism.

Both Clintonism and Reaganism, no doubt, needed updating. But the parties have gone further, essentially abandoning the two most compelling, successful governing visions of the last few decades. With the influence of Bernie Sanders and the success of Trump, American politics has launched into uncharted ideological waters.

The seas are pretty choppy. We are seeing the interplay of (1) fear caused by rapid economic change, (2) deep political polarization, (3) declining trust in almost all institutions and (4) strong resentment against political and economic elites. The result is a political atmosphere charged with radicalism and heavy with threats.

How in the world did we get to this state of disunion? One unexpected, compelling explanation comes from Yuval Levin, in his new book The Fractured Republic. Levin faults a “perverse and excessive nostalgia” by baby boom politicians for America in the 1950s and 1960s. For liberals, this was a golden age of job security, growing wages, high tax rates and relative economic equality. For conservatives, it was a promised land of family stability, community strength and conservative social norms. Levin describes this as a “consolidating America” in which industrialization, restricted immigration and the shocks of depression and war led to greater social, political and economic cohesion than America had ever seen.

But this postwar period was also an inflection point. The second half of the 20th century saw the “deconsolidation of America,” with growing social libertarianism, vastly expanded immigration, the globalization of labor markets, the growth of information technology and general abundance. These were centrifugal forces that made both our economy and culture far less cohesive and centralized.

Both right and left, in Levin’s account, miss the cohesion of mid-century America, and yet both are also relieved (in different ways) to be freed from those forces. “The right generally longs for cultural consolidation,” Levin told me, “but is glad for the economic deconsolidation. And the left longs for economic cohesion but is glad of the cultural liberation.” Each side is convinced the other has achieved the greater victory and thus believes the country is going to hell.

This backward looking approach has deformed American politics. “Because both parties are channeling that nostalgia,” argues Levin, “their objectives and priorities tend to be embodied less in concrete policy proposals and more in vague and aimless frustration, which often manifests itself as populist anger.”

Levin warns of a real risk: a kind of general deconsolidation that becomes extreme individualism, leaving men and women isolated, aimless and alone. The answer, however, is not to recapture the culture and reimpose economic or social cohesion (which Levin regards as a hopeless task). It is to cultivate community in the space between the individual and the government. “The middle layers of society,” argues Levin, “where people see each other face to face, offer a middle ground between radical individualism and extreme centralization.”

Instead of desperately trying to go back in time to recover lost unity, Levin urges citizens to look forward — as well as downward, to improve the cultural patch around them. This future orientation may seem like an odd message for a conservative — and it is all the more powerful for coming from one. The goal is not to make America great … again. It is to make America great in a distinctly 21st-century way.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

What will US foreign policy be in 2017?

In the realm of too silly to believe, Donald J. Trump could be this nation’s next president. Although polls lead one to believe that a victory by Hillary Clinton over Trump is a foregone conclusion, we won’t be certain of the outcome until, at the very earliest, near midnight on Nov.8.

In the meantime, Trump has now said enough about his foreign policy ideas to let us know that should he become president it is most likely that there will be a rather dramatic break by him from years of Republican Party orthodoxy where internationalism ruled. He has told us he believes that too much has been asked of the United States and that it is now time for other nations to shoulder a much larger share of the financial and other burdens dealing with threateningly dangerous terrorists and aggressive nations such as China and Russia.

Trump is not at all happy that we spend billions upon billions of U.S. dollars in support of other nations. Why are we, Trump pontificates, not fully reimbursed for the costs of keeping these people safe and well when they’ve become rich and prosperous at our expense?  Further, Trump does not see value in having bases in the many places we have them and projecting power around the world as all this money spent overseas brings little or nothing for us in return.

Spending our human and material resources elsewhere rather than at home, says Trump, has caused the U.S. to fall from a powerful, wealthy country to a poor one, a weakened debtor nation.  We now lose much more often than win at everything we do and have become a nation of suckers where we look after other nations that are wealthy enough to take care of themselves, resulting here in our suffering from economic decline, lacking of good jobs, a rising national debt, and a falling apart infrastructure.

He views NATO as a good concept but has lost its value through the years and has simply become a financial drain on the U.S. that we can no longer afford. Then, too, he asks, why can’t these nations—that have become rich while we protected them—pay their own way now?

Trump prefers to draw back. His views come from our experience in Afghanistan and Iraq which Trump considers foreign policy blunders.  Then, too, he sees these involvements overseas as damaging to international trade, causing loss of financial standing and prestige to the U.S.

He’s not prepared to trigger a third world war with Russia in Ukraine or China in the South China Sea.  Further, he does not want to send hundreds, much less thousands, of U.S. troops to fight ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) even if generals at the Pentagon want to see it happen. Meanwhile, he would exert a lot of pressure on other countries that are in the ISIS neighborhood to use their troops while we continue providing air support to rid the Middle East of threats by the Islamic State to take it over. How far will he go to defeat ISIS?

What can we expect from Trump on foreign policy matters? His style has been to surprise us but has provided some strong clues as to where he stands and it seems evident to conclude that he does not want more warring overseas while believing that his talents as a successful negotiator in business deals will help him succeed in foreign affairs. He leaves no one to doubt that he’s very smart, possessing the ability to make good deals that will benefit every American.

Under a President Trump the U.S. would mainly go it alone, building a wall on our southern border with Mexico and ending or adjusting our international trade agreements and treaties. These matters that Trump promises to bring into existence sound real good to those Americans who want to realize improvements they believe are now denied them.  How all this would work itself work out under a Trump presidency is unknown, but apparently it does add up to isolationism and economic nationalism here. What could happen is that what many wish for is what we get; but, it’s no dream come true with nations like China, a global juggernaut already exceeding U.S. overseas in trade and, often, influence, too, creating the middle class we want back.

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

Wire Monkey Mama makes Keizer debut

Ryan Somerville, Eric Bruce and Paul Shuirman play a living room set as Wire Monkey Mama. (Submitted)
Ryan Somerville, Eric Bruce and Paul Shuirman play a living room set as Wire Monkey Mama. (Submitted)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Ryan Somerville and Paul Shuirman have taught alongside each other at McNary High School for more than a decade, but it took a Joe Satriani concert to bring them together as bandmates.

“We were laughing hysterically,” said Shuirman, a math teacher. “There were all these people going nuts and he’s looking at them and playing as if he’s a god. We realized that we had a similar idea about what makes for good performances.”

Somerville was more to the pointed in his review.

“He basically has two songs and six licks that he’s run through the wringer for decades,” the English teacher said. “That’s when we discovered that we’re both equally iconoclastic. If someone needs to be chopped down a bit, we’re willing to be the ones swinging the axe – it’s just we’d rather do it musically.”

Shuirman played in bands for years after teaching himself how to play by ear as a teenager. One of his more noteworthy gigs was playing at Los Angeles’ Whiskey a Go Go in the heyday of Sunset Boulevard. Somerville taught himself to play as a teen by poring over guitar magazines, but had never played in public until last year when the band Wire Monkey Mama debuted at Salem’s The Governor’s Cup.

The founding of what would become Wire Monkey Mama was relatively innocent.

Shuirman sent Somerville a list of possible song titles, Somerville picked one out and wrote a poem while the pair sat in Somerville’s room after school. He sent the nascent lyrics to Shuirman who excised some of the words, rearranged others and created a demo tape.

Those first steps gave birth to what’s become their creative process.

“It was really organic after that first time. We just started sending stuff back and forth via Facebook,” Shuirman said.

It’s now something like a well-oiled machine:

Step 1. Shuirman comes up with a list of potentially hilarious song titles.

Step 2. Somerville picks one out, say Freddy’s Phoenix Freakout, inserts “Fabulous” between “Freddy’s” and “Phoenix” and then starts writing a poem about a guy named Freddy who checks into a Best Western in Phoenix, proceeds to fill the pool with shampoo and gets institutionalized.

“But Freddy’s going to be okay. That’s the whole point,” said Somerville.

Step 3. Shuirman gets the lyrics, gives them a pinch and twist and sets them to music, sometimes with his son providing backing vocals.

“My only rule for Ryan is that he can’t give me melodies to work from,” Shuirman said.

Step 4. Somerville gets the song back, grieves for the shattered brilliance of his wordcrafting and then comes to grips with it having evolved into a better song.

Step 5. The pair gets together with drummer Eric Bruce to flesh out the musical components.

Somerville said it works because both of them are at a point where they are willing to give over some of the creative control in the process, and because both of them approach it with an all-or-nothing sense of humor.

In the midst of conversation, Somerville will whip out his phone and start typing lyrics or song titles. In the course of the interview, this happens at least four times. The pair gets into a joking argument about the musical merits of Ted Nugent and soon Somerville is typing Wango Tango Suite into his phone.

“We’re going to redo Wango Tango, and get it right this time,” he said.

Somerville wrote a song titled Quinoa after he found an article on Buzzfeed about it being the top name for babies of hipsters. The pair is now trying to enlist friends and offspring to dress up as boxes of quinoa at Wire Monkey Mama’s Keizer debut Saturday, May 7, at Keizer Village Shopping Center. The group is performing at 11:30 a.m. as part of the festivities surrounding Free Comic Book Day at Tony’s Kingdom of Comics.

“For me, what’s fun is seeing some of Ryan’s ideas for a song and thinking, ‘That is so stupid.’ Then I realize that’s why I have to go with it. It’s the challenge of taking something like that and turning it into something cool,” Shuirman said.

Despite his math proclivities, Shuirman approaches performing with the mindset of a sociologist. He’s just as interested in the interplay between performer and audience as he is the music.

“There’s a challenge in playing in front of a new group, I’d rather do that than play in front of a bunch of friends who won’t tell me I suck,” he said.

It might seem like they’re trying to play a joke on the audience, but Somerville and Shuirman are hoping the audience sees it more as an invitation.

“I figured 49 years old wasn’t too late to start a punk band – better late than never. I love it, my students love the idea of it. I have no delusions of being a polished performer, but we are seriously trying to create good songs,” Somerville said. “We just want people to come and have fun. Laugh with us or laugh at us, but have fun.”


Why Wire Monkey Mama?

One of Ryan Somerville’s hobbies, in addition to writing and making music, is coming up with band names.

The Seven Deadly Sinatras is one of his personal favorites, but Wire Monkey Mama is one he’s been kicking around for several years.

“Our eponymous song is Don’t Be a Wire Monkey Mama,” said Somerville.

The name comes from a series of experiments conducted by psychologist Harry Harlow in the 1950s. Harlow put rhesus macaques that had been raised in isolation into cages with one “mother” made of wire and another made of cloth to see which the macaques would gravitate to.

Even when the wire monkey mamas were placed in the cages with food bottle and the cloth mothers had none, the macaques preferred the cloth mothers.

“The conclusion he made was that primates sought comfort even more than food,” Somerville said.

Despite the somewhat endearing tale, Somerville embraced chilliness of the wire monkey concept when naming the band.

“Essentially, we’re the cold, heartless maternal figures that only offer you gruel and tell you to shut up,” he said.