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Day: July 29, 2016

All-City meet Saturday

Carter Hollis, of the Holiday Swim Club, won the 11-12-year-old individual medley and butterfly Thursday, July 21 at Jan Ree in Salem. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)
Carter Hollis, of the Holiday Swim Club, won the 11-12-year-old individual medley and butterfly Thursday, July 21 at Jan Ree in Salem. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

The best swim club in Salem-Keizer will be determined Saturday when six teams jump in the pool for the All-City meet, held at Holiday beginning at 10 a.m.

Northwood, last summer’s champion, showed it’s at least the top team in Keizer by defeating Northview Terrace 398-227 on Thursday, July 21.

Northwood’s boys outscored Northview 207-81.

Carter Hawley had the fastest times in the 9-10-year-old freestyle and butterfly. He also swam on the winning medley relay team with Caleb Skipper, Riley Auvenin and Hudson Hughes.

Pierce Walker touched the wall first in the individual medley and backstroke. Davis Olsen won the breaststroke. Kelson Whalen, Elijah Clendening, Grant Schaffer and Roman Pack took first in the free relay.

Ben Diede and Jeffery Olsen dominated the 7-8 age division. Diede won the fly and breaststroke while Olsen had the fastest times in the free and backstroke.

Zander Rhoades took first in the 11-12 free and backstroke. Jackson Alt won the IM and fly while also swimming on the winning free relay team with Walker, Olsen and Connor Roop.

Riley touched the wall first in the breaststroke and joined Zachary Carrington, Carson Biondi and Cade Olson on the winning medley relay team.

Rhoades and Alt jumped up to join Bryce Junker and Ethan Whalen on the fastest 13-14 medley relay.

Ethan won the breaststroke and Brennan Whalen placed first in the fly.

Jake Wyer took first in the 15-18 IM, free, fly and on both the free and medley relays with teammates Parker Dean, Grant Biondi and Jabez Rhoades. Individually, Dean also won the breaststroke.

Northview got most of its points from the 13-14 age group as Gavin Gasperini, Cole Garland, Jeremy Becker and Alex Kosiewicz won the freestyle relay. Gasperini also had the fastest time in the backstroke and IM while Garland touched the wall first in the free.

Nick Kosiewicz, Will Noble, Tyler Barker and Xzavier Parker won the 7-8 free relay.

Dom Snyder tied for first in the 9-10 breaststroke.

The girls competition was tighter with Northwood coming out on top 191-146.

Alexi Pack, Madi Mahoney, Katie Alger and Katelynn Schaffer won both the 7-8 medley and free relays. Individually, Alger also touched the wall first in the free while Meili Skipper finished first in both the IM and fly.

Avery Buss won the 9-10 IM and free. Paris Boyd placed first in the 11-12 IM, free and breaststroke. Kailey Wilcke touched the wall first in the 11-12 fly and backstroke.

Isabella Walker had the fastest times in the 13-14 IM and fly. Haley Hughes won the free and Madi Alt took first in the breaststroke. Alt also swam on the winning free and medley relay teams with Maddie Trammel, Kennedy Buss and Lanah Metz.

Alyssa Garvey had the fastest times in the 15-18 back and breaststroke.

Northview was led by Jana Everitt, who had the fastest times in the 9-10 fly and breaststroke while also swimming on the winning free relay with Brianna Barker, Issy Kosiewicz and Kara Everitt as well as the medley relay with Kosiewicz, Kara Everitt and Tealynn Parker.

Individually, Barker won the 9-10 backstroke.

Anna Kosiewicz also had a big day in the pool with the fastest time in the 15-18 free and swimming on the winning medley relay with Abby Reedy, Emma Garland and Bailey White as well as the free relay with Garland, White and Kat Kosiewicz.

Individually, Reedy touched the wall first in the 13-14 backstroke.

Allyson Matthews, Anna Sponable, Kristine Thomas and Kianna Staley won the 11-12 free relay.

Madelyn Sponable and Josie Wampler took first in the 7-8 back and breaststroke, respectively.

On the strength of its boys, Holiday defeated Jan Ree 326-244 last Thursday in Salem.

Kameron Splonski set a new club record of 34.75 seconds in the 9-10 breaststroke and also won the free and backstroke. He then jumped up to help Hunter Williams, Jack McCarty and Tony Gonzales win both the 13-14 free and medley relays. Williams took first in the 15-18 free and backstroke.

Individually, Gonzales won the 13-14 fly and free while McCarty had the fastest time in the breaststroke.

Vinny Arnold and Jared Toland won the 7-8 free and backstroke, respectively. The two also won the free relay with Noah Williams and Lincoln Hollis and the medley relay with Williams and Brody Hollis.

James Toland took first in the 11-12 free and breaststroke. Carter Hollis won the IM and fly while Jackson Colyer touched the wall first in the backstroke. All three boys joined Xavier Grantham to win the free relay and Evan Anderson to place first in the medley relay.

Alex Willcoxen set a new Holiday club record in the 9-10 girls fly, finishing in 18.4 seconds.

Kyra Norstrom won the back and free and Erika Robinett had the fastest time in the breaststroke. Willcoxen and Robinett also swam on the winning free and medley relay teams with Emma Anderson and Maya Privratsky.

Cassidy Kerner won the 7-8 fly, free and breaststroke.

Twins Bella and Alex Beard helped Holiday dominate the 13-14 division.

Bella had the fastest times in the 13-14 IM and breaststroke while Alex won the backstroke. Jayla Toland touched the wall first in the fly and free. The three joined Kylie McCarty to win both the free and medley relays. McCarty also had the fastest times in the 15-18 fly, free and breaststroke.

Target employees given lifesaving award

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Sharon Winter went to the Target at Keizer Station on Saturday, March 12 looking for Easter decorations but believes she was led to the store for a completely different reason.

On surveillance video, Winter can be seen at the front of the store falling out of a motorized cart.

“I remember feeling a little dizzy and things had a shade of blue to it, which was interesting,” Winter said. “I thought I had low blood sugar and I remember putting my hand to my head.”

Target employees Austin Snelling, left, and Brad Dickerson were honored by KFD for saving the life of Sharon Winter. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)
Target employees Austin Snelling, left, and Brad Dickerson were honored by KFD for saving the life of Sharon Winter. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

Store manager Brad Dickerson was working that day and got a call for an emergency.

“It sounded very urgent so I started running,” he said.

Senior Team Leader Austin Snelling joined Dickerson at the front of the store. Winter wasn’t breathing and had no pulse so Snelling applied CPR while Dickerson prepared the AED [Automated External Defibrillator].

“Time started to kind of slow down and once I was in that moment training kicked in,” said Snelling in a video posted to Facebook by Salem Health.

Dickerson used the AED to shock Winter, which didn’t immediately revive her. He started doing chest compressions and at about 20, she came back to life.

“I hoped I was doing this right and remembering all the training that we had done,” Dickerson said. “You don’t do it often enough. The nice thing about the AED is it tells you what to do. Austin was fantastic since he had just gone through the training program. Everything kind of fell into place.”

Keizer Fire District took it from there, rushing Winter to the hospital.

“My heart rate, they figured it was over 300 beats per minute,” Winter said. “It was a full cardiac arrest. My cardiologist [Joshua Leichman] said had they [Dickerson and Snelling] not done what they did, I would have either died or I could have had brain damage. He’s amazed at how well they all did.”

KFD honored Dickerson and Snelling with the Bob Wickman Award for heroism in saving the life of another prior to its July 19 board meeting.

“I’m just glad she is okay,” Dickerson said.

Winter is grateful she was at the right place at the right time.

“I’ve felt all along that God put me in that Target store at that particular time,” she said. “It’s as simple as that. It’s a real privilege to meet these fellows. I’m real thankful to them.”

According to the Salem Health video, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen away from hospitals every year and only 10 percent survive.

“To me it was a miracle, an absolute miracle,” Winter said.

During last Tuesday’s meeting, the KFD board approved an AED loaner program.

Under the policy, businesses and residents of Keizer, who are at least 18 years old, successfully completed CPR training and reviewed a instructional video, can loan an AED from the district for public gatherings and sporting events within the KFD boundaries.

Requests for a loaner AED must be received no later than five business days before the event. A $1,000 deposit is required, which will not used as long as the device is returned within five days of the return date. AEDS will not be loaned for longer than 90 days.

The board also authorized the purchase of a $219,630 MSA breathing apparatus and a $186,037 new brush fire truck.

According to a letter from Division Chief Brian Butler to the board of directors, the current MSA breathing apparatus was purchased in 2006 and staying with MSA allows KFD to keep some equipment to use with the 35 new airpacks, which will save $40,000 this year.

The current brush fire truck was purchased in 1996 for $71,350 and is used to respond to wildland and brush type fires in places like Keizer Rapids and Spongs Landing Parks. The new truck will be more capable of off-road use and carry more water.

Both the breathing apparatus and truck will come from bond funds.

Clinton takes the fight to Trump

By E.J. DIONNE JR.

      PHILADELPHIA — Charging that Donald Trump “wants us to fear the future and fear each other,” Hillary Clinton took him on with the most powerful line in her party’s tradition.

     “Well, a great Democratic president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than 80 years ago, during a much more perilous time: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'”

     Clad in white, the color of the women’s suffrage movement, she noted her special role: that this convention marked “the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president.” It was, she said, happy news “for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.”

     But she spoke first of her hopes for the country and how her vision and approach to governing contrasted so sharply with her opponent’s divisive, angry and self-centered campaign.

     “Don’t believe anyone who says: ‘I alone can fix it.’ Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.”

     She made clear that she had no intention of ceding economically discontented voters to Trump.

     “Democrats,” she declared, “are the party of working people.”

     “My primary mission as president will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages, right here in the United States,” she said. “From my first day in office to my last. Especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind.”

     This was a convention in which the word “we” was invoked by speaker after speaker, from President Obama to the Rev. William Barber, as a talisman and a commitment.

     Clinton embraced the communitarian theme, signaling that her “Stronger Together” slogan would remain at the heart of her campaign.

     “Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer and stronger,” she declared. “None of us can do it alone. That’s why we are stronger together.”

     And she underscored the other side of that catchphrase by warning that Trump would divide the nation.

     “Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart,” she said. “Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. And just as with our Founders, there are no guarantees. [It] truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we’re going to work together so we can all rise together.”

     As she often has in the past, Clinton cited as her guiding principle a favorite teaching from her Methodist faith: “Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”

     She included a lengthy tribute to Bernie Sanders, whom she praised for having “put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.”

     And she pledged to live up to the hopes that inspired their engagement. “Your cause,” she said, “is our cause.”

     Her speech capped a star-studded, thematically coherent and methodically organized convention that contrasted sharply with a shambolic Trump gathering in Cleveland that most leading Republicans shunned.

     She faced the challenge of following a passionately persuasive address on her behalf by Obama, much as Obama had to follow a similarly successful speech by Bill Clinton four years ago.

     Her style was very different from Obama’s. She spoke quietly, deliberately and often affectingly, particularly when discussing her mother, who was abandoned by her parents and “was saved by the kindness of others.” It was a powerful speech in which she combined the personal with policy, a vigorous defense of the Obama record with an insistence that she would tackle the problems left unsolved and the injustices that still needed righting.

     Again and again, she came back to Trump’s shortcomings and hypocrisies.

     Sounding a theme her campaign has signaled it will drive home, she highlighted Trump’s failure to pay many who had worked for him — “People who did the work and needed the money, and didn’t get it — not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them.”

     And she noted Trump’s statement: “I know more about ISIS than the generals do … .” She clearly enjoyed reciting the next line: “No, Donald, you don’t.”

     In the primaries, Trump’s opponents were fearful of attacking him until it was too late. Clinton showed she would be a happy warrior with no compunction about taking him on.

     Democrats have often criticized themselves as putting too much faith in policy. She embraced her persona as someone who proudly sweats policy details. And she promised a campaign rooted in a moral challenge to her opponent: “Yes, the world is watching what we do.”

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

     (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

A choice between the uninspiring and the unfit

By MICHAEL GERSON

      WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s convention week featured two of the most effective communicators in the Democratic Party offering different images of the nominee. In Bill Clinton’s version, she is a “change-maker” who has “never been satisfied with the status quo.” In Barack Obama’s telling, she has the “intelligence” and “judgment” to carry forward his administration’s ideals into a third term, because the status quo is pretty darn good.

     When the spotlight finally came, the nominee was very much herself — a tenacious plodder, advocating half-a-loaf liberalism. This is closer to Obama’s description than her husband’s. In Philadelphia, she made the high-stakes decision to present herself as conventional, normal and safe, in sharp contrast to a small, unstable man “moved by fear and pride.”

     If this is a normal election — in which the composition of the electorate and the turnout of various groups roughly match recent presidential contests — Clinton’s argument should be enough. If this is an anti-establishment wave election, she has the worst possible political profile — boasting of her royal resume during the French Revolution.

     There is no doubt about Clinton’s ideological framework. Down with Citizens United! Climate change is real! Raise the minimum wage! Free college for everyone! Clinton called this agenda “bold,” which is true in the same way as Donald Trump calling himself “a really smart person.” She said nothing creative from the podium that would have offended your average Bernie Sanders supporter (except the ones who believe America should defend itself with truculent self-righteousness rather than weapons).

     Clinton missed her best opening when it came to describing America’s unifying ideals. In Cleveland, Republicans — shockingly, disturbingly — left this rhetorical ground unoccupied. In his convention speech, Obama skillfully took this ground. But Clinton could not hold it. She strained mightily, consulted a Broadway musical and produced a slogan: “Stronger Together.”

     I get that inspiration is not Clinton’s “thing.” But a candidate has weeks and months to produce a memorable convention speech. Clinton’s speechwriting process — which includes some fine writers and too many political overseers — delivered the functional equivalent of a State of the Union address. The speech sounded so much like the product of a committee that you could almost picture the Post-it notes.

     In making her case about America’s future, Clinton highlighted her book (“It Takes a Village”) published in 1996. The liberal communitarianism found in those pages does not seem particularly well-suited for outreach to working-class whites, if that is one of her goals. In her attempt to identify with a cartoon version of the blue-collar everyman, her focus was on economics. The progressive version of homo economicus leaves out cultural matters entirely. What assurance did Clinton provide that Democratic elites even tolerate more conservative views on, say, abortion? What was her version of school uniforms or welfare reform — her husband’s symbols of outreach to cultural conservatives? As a policy matter, Democratic centrism is still dead.

     Clinton’s defense of the honor of the military against Trump’s ridicule was effective and needed. But it does not count as innovative policy outreach. Similarly, the mention of her Methodist faith was an improvement on Trump’s secular silence. But it was brief and untethered to the rest of her reasoning — more an ornament than a foundation.

     The speech shined in attack mode — dismissing Trump as the outsourcer in chief, the breaker of alliances, the purveyor of casual misogyny, the Twitter troll who must be denied the nuclear codes. It says something that the most negative aspects of Clinton’s remarks were the most memorable. She is a fighter. And Democrats seem happy that their policy wonk moonlights as a cage boxer.

     In the speech, she put her finger on the most frightening element of Trump’s appeal: “Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power.” It is fair to say that the Founders would have held the main thesis of Trump’s candidacy — the promise of a man on horseback to save a frightened and supine nation — in utter contempt. It also says something that one of the strongest attacks on the Republican nominee is the defense of self-government.

     This is an extraordinary political moment. Any reasonable Republican presidential contender other than Trump probably would be beating Clinton handily. Any reasonable Democratic contender other than Clinton probably would be beating Trump handily. The parties, in their wisdom, have chosen the untrusted against the unstable, the uninspiring against the unfit. Take your pick, and take your chances.

     Michael Gerson’s email address is [email protected].

     (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

Familiar faces apply for council vacancy

Mark Caillier
Mark Caillier

Two Keizer residents have applied to fill a vacancy on the city council.

Former city councilor Mark Caillier and one-time city council candidate Eamon Bishop will present their cases to the sitting members of the council at 6 p.m. Aug. 1. The preferred candidate will be appointed at the city council meeting at 7 p.m. that same evening. Dennis Koho resigned from the council July 1 and set into motion the replacement process. Bishop or Caillier will serve out the remainder of his term and will need to run for re-election in November if they want to continue in the role.

Keizertimes sent both men the same three questions regarding their interest in seat. Here are their replies:

Keizertimes: What unique qualities/experience can you bring to bear as a city councilor?

Eamon Bishop: The pinnacle of my career was serving as a police commander, a position earned via my leadership abilities. Being a leader requires humility, the need to be a skilled educator, innate common sense and the courage to innovate. Leadership is not defined as being an “expert.” As a commander, I found that a good leader requires only a basic (yet solid) knowledge of the involved skill set, coupled with information on where to find resources with detailed information if needed. In the same way, an elected leader is surrounded by staff members able to provide any specific information.

Over the years I learned that communication is far more effective if properly condensed and simplified. An elected official with this understanding can provide information on the workings of government sans minutiae, allowing citizens to seize the basics with confidence. It is that confidence which brings citizens to realize that they possess what is needed to become a city leader themselves.

Mark Caillier: Over twenty years of volunteer membership on nearly every City of Keizer committee, task force and project at one time or another and four years’ previous experience as an active Keizer city councilor would support some level of knowledge and experience.  However, in the nearly four years since I left the Keizer City Council I have learned in total, more about our community than any other time.  My community volunteer experiences have taken a much broader scope and have involved literally hundreds of new friends and community partners.  These new relationships have kept me informed, relevant and has increased my appreciation of diversity and associated solutions.

KT: Is there a major issue, either current or on the drawing board, you would like to have a voice in?

EB: As a citizen I have done what I believe I was able to do in order to provide facts and information to the city and to the owners of the Herber property that might perhaps result in retention of that special piece of Keizer. Yesterday is just that, and one cannot go back and change anything that has already taken place. I am a person who is able to let go of ill feelings based on history in which I had no part. I will use my voice and direct my efforts toward proactive methods of determining public desires, especially as relates to growth issues, traffic problems and the realistic future of the downtown business district.

MC: Even though this appointment is temporary (five months), I have every intention to have a voice in all issues that come before the city council.  Be it land use planning, financing services or come what may, I plan to give the citizens of Keizer my best in affecting and making policy to direct our city and the city manager.

KT: The city’s motto, “Pride, Spirit, Volunteerism,” can be interpreted in different, equally valid, ways. How have those words impacted your life and work?

EB: As to volunteerism, families and individuals are busier today and have far more entertainment available to them at home thanks to the internet and gaming. This spawns a sense of content, meaning that there is less interest in providing effort to improve our city.

As regards spirit, the increase of membership in neighborhood associations is a positive sign, as are internet sites which increase inter-neighborhood communication.

To pride, I have to say that a good deal of the sentiment is the responsibility of the city of Keizer itself. Are we proud of the condition of the southern end of Keizer? Is the spending of city dollars disparate when it comes to geographic location? From the outside looking in, this appears to be the case. If this is not the case, then what can we do as a City government and as citizens of Keizer as a whole to make our entire town have an appealing atmosphere? I believe that there are far more ways to improve southern Keizer that are simply being ignored.

MC: As children we grew up being a part of community volunteerism where the spirit of doing things together and for others created positive outcomes like activities and facilities for children and families.  We did not expect “someone else” to do it for us.  We participated together for a variety of reasons but we all were pulling in the same direction (perhaps in different ways on occasion) with the greater good for the community the priority.  That is what drew Kris and I to Keizer in 1975, brought us back in 1990 and attracted my sister to move here in 2015.  The City of Keizer and the many organizations and groups within our community provide us an opportunity to participate at almost any level.  The health of where we live is directly related to the level of community participation demonstrated by each of us.  I choose to participate to support my community and continue my personal growth and learning.

There are no small parts

By LYNDON ZAITZ

In my mind, all the world’s my stage; I perform on it every day. But sometimes I have a need to appear on an actual theatrical stage. Keizer Homegrown Theatre’s (KHT) annual Shakespeare in the Park fits the bill.

Earlier this month, I performed in my fifth consecutive production on the Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre stage at Keizer Rapids Park. This year the show was Twelfth Night, or What You Will and the experience was no less exciting and rewarding than any of the previous four shows.

Linda Baker, founder of Keizer Homegrown Theatre, and director of this year’s show has a great nose for talent and, year after year, is able to put together a cast of committed people who give up their time for weeks to tread the boards. She recruits former students from her drama teacher days at McNary High School; she recruits from other theatre companies. You know you are under good direction when the right people are cast in the right roles. Actors clamor to return to act with Shakespeare in the Park. And why not?

For those of us who didn’t pay as close attention as we should have when studying Shakespeare in high school attain a new level of reverence and understanding of the greatest English language playwright. The  way the Bard’s plays are edited and staged make it accessible to audiences of all ages—especially the comedies such as Twelfth Night and last year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The cast and crew meet new people that become friends and have a bonding experience that only comes from performing with and off each other. The audiences get free entertainment that is anything but run-of-the-mill and is performed outside in the fresh air.

Over the past five summers, I have had the privilege of acting in parts both big and small. It is a big responsibility regardless of the size of the role. Fellow actors rely on you knowing your lines and your staging. In community theatre one finds every level of ability—some have acted for years, others are newbies who bring an innocence to the acting company.

The cast and crew of each production spends a lot of time together, either preparing sets or in rehearsals. There is a lot of down time which means we all get to know each other well over a few intense weeks of  preparation.

We get together to put on a show in the summer. It’s fun, it’s creative and it fosters camraderie between people that don’t run in the same circles outside the show. Opening night jitters become second and third night confidence and ends with a melancholy on closing night. Our mid-summer adventure is coming to an end and then we all return our day-to-day lives. But the excitement returns when we think of what we get to do with Shakespeare next summer.

(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes.)

Korean War: 63 years later

To the Editor:

July 27, 2016 marks the 63rd anniversary of the ceasefire of the Korean War (the “Forgotten War” that is technically still going on).

To date, no peace treaty has been signed. A ceasefire went into effect at 10 p.m. July 27, 1953, which required all troops to begin dismantling and vacating their combat positions the following day.

Peace talks had been in progress for many months before agreeing on the ceasefire.  A truce happened and an armistice was agreed to but still, no official peace treaty.  There were in excess of 37,000 Americans killed in combat during the 37 months from June, 1950 to July, 1953.  Equate this to the population of Keizer.

Bob Wickman
Keizer

Reply to Don Vowell

To the Editor:

I might agree with a few statements from Don Vowell’s column (Stuck between two extremes, July 22) but not in whole.

I don’t agree that Hillary Clinton is extreme. She offers up mostly middle of the road stands on issues and in some cases very progressive stances. That is not a bad thing. It takes the ability to understand our changing society and what it takes to get things done. Clinton offers experience and the tough attitude to get things accomplished. And to blame Obama for the removal of troops (from Iraq) is inaccurate. He was working on agreements made under the Bush administration.

I, for one, feel very well represented by Hillary Clinton. I may not agree with everything, but tell me anyone that you would agree with 100 percent. Unlike the Democratic candidate, the other side offers up nothing but racism, bigotry and downright hatred for those unlike themselves. Building a wall between the US and Mexico, deporting all Muslims, taking away the rights of women to decide their own health concerns, taking away rights of the LGBT community and the list goes on. While you and others may see nothing but doom and gloom for our country, I see a chance for us to continue a path of success that Obama has created and Clinton will build upon. You can’t and will not see racial tensions improve under a Trump administration.

Kris Adams
Keizer

Mayor is correct

To the Editor:

Mayor Cathy Clark recently brought up the subject of taxes and asked questions about what the city can currently afford and what the future demands may be for additional tax revenue.

A mayor and city governments must ask these questions to be responsible and effective with their leadership. Especially with a growing community with limited resources and a tight tax base.

Since when is raising questions and items for discussion bad government? I have learned from 25 years in state law enforcement, state management and private business ownership that the best decisions come from active discussions and debate. The more determined and varied views the better. The final decision in this case will be debated and decided by the voters. Perfect.

Mayor Clark can’t sit on her hands and let the city grow, let infrastructure and service become overwhelmed until it all begins to fail. These issues have to be addressed in the present to prepare for the future. She is exactly right to be raising issues for the future of Keizer including taxes and revenue—that is part of the equation which drives everything else a city government can or cannot do.

John P. Rizzo
Keizer

Astoria Column is a summer must-see

Thoughts about my home town were inspired a few days ago by way of a short article in The Oregonian about one of Astoria’s landmarks.  The Astoria Column’s official dedication occurred 90 years ago on July 22, 1926.

The column was built at the instigation of the president of the Great Northern Railway, Ralph Budd, who held a high opinion of America’s west coast pioneers and heartily felt they deserved a monument equal to their intrepid efforts to spread the U.S. to the Pacific Ocean. Interestingly, Astoria Column is 125 feet high and exactly equal in height to Emperor Trajan’s column in Rome after which its design was duplicated. Rome’s version continues standing though it is well over 2,000 years old: It commemorates Trajan’s two military campaigns in Dacia—modern day Romania.

Trajan’s column is covered with figures carved in low relief on 19 drums of Italian marble that provide a narrative of 155 key scenes from the Roman campaign in Dacia.  Astoria Column presents a painted pictorial frieze on the exterior in mural form that spirals along for 525 feet from bottom to top, displaying significant events in the early history of Oregon with representations, among others, of Native American tribes that lived in the area, the exploration of the Columbia River by Captain Robert Gray, Lewis and Clark’s expedition, the founding of Fort Astoria in 1811, and the ship Tonquin’s journey from New York to Astoria.

Electus D. Litchfield and Attilio Pusteria painted the exterior mural on the column in Astoria which is built of concrete on a foundation 12 feet deep and found atop the city’s highest point, Coxcomb Hill, at a cost of $27,133.96 or $363,000 in today’s dollars.  Due to coastal weather conditions, the Column’s mural has been re-finished a few times since 1926.  Astoria Column can be climbed by a spiral staircase of 164 steps for a glorious view of the city and its surroundings with Tillamook Head to the south, the state of Washington to the north, the Columbia River bar to the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Columbia River and forested areas to the east.

What’s much more interesting than the column itself and the years it has stood is what it stands for in terms of the men and women who risked and sometimes gave their lives for the establishment of the United States further west than its boundaries in the early 1800s.  The German-American who invested in the outfittings, ships and land-based structures, John Jacob Astor, never visited his investment.  The Oregon Territory waxed and waned between British and U.S. claims until a treaty in 1846 between the United States and Great Britain that established the U.S boundary at the 49th parallel, our northern border with British Columbia.

A trip by car to Astoria from Keizer requires about three hours travel time so, visiting that famous column and the many other sites of historical significance in Clatsop County like Fort Stevens, plus a recommended side trip over the no-toll Astoria-Megler Bridge to the North Head Lighthouse and Washington’s famous rebuilt-to-authentic-original Fort Columbia, are best enjoyed by at least one night overnight.   For those persons who prefer knowing something about what they’re seeing on such a trip, Peter Stark’s book, Astoria, and Stephen E. Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage, are recommended reading.

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