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Month: November 2016

Campaign promises already trashed

Recognized economists, writing on the subject of the anticipated Trump presidency, predict a “short” four-year term that will be damaging to jobless and low-wage American workers. It is now predicted that the nation’s big corporations and Wall Street will retain the upper hand over struggling workers who helped to elect him in what’s recognized as a populist wave.

For the purpose of clarity, let’s spend a moment looking at the definition of populism. It is a political ideology that holds that virtuous citizens are mistreated by a circle of elites who can be overthrown if the people recognize the danger and work together.  Populism depicts elites as trampling the rights, values and voice of the “legitimate” people.

No sober person of economic understanding sees it likely or even plausible that Trump’s plan to repatriate huge corporate profits to the U.S. for infrastructure spending will succeed.  In fact, what we know of the sketchy and abbreviated ideas from Trump during the many months he ran for the highest office, we can expect a continuation of the status quo, remaining pretty much the same or with little noticeable change. Economists of considerable reputation on prospects for changes to unemployment and joblessness numbers are amazed at the willingness of the American voters for what they have done to themselves.

Global populism may be the wave of the future but it has taken a turn in America that will only end in more disappointments and disillusions among those who voted for Trump in hope of seeing factories and jobs return to the midwest industrial states and most everywhere else in the U.S.  Those with insight also believe that even American investors inside the country will proceed with extreme caution, understanding that higher deficits, resulting from the lower taxes Trump has promised, will raise interest rates and inflation and result in lower earnings and fewer job opportunities.

Trump made rash promises by the dozens. He’s already said he’ll settle for a fence in some places with the border with Mexico,  instead of a wall.  He’ll only deport criminal immigrants. He’ll gut the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), he said, but now says some provisions will stay.  He promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. but proceeded immediately after his election to choose entrenched lobbyists, one of America’s most notorious bigots and a racist, and mainly members of his own family, especially his young son-in-law, Jared Kushner, whose father and mentor was convicted of crimes and spent years in prison. Then, too, full court nepotism and conflict-of-interest will prevail as Kushner runs the White House while his wife, Ivanka, Donald’s daughter, runs the Trump business empire.

Based on what’s known about Donald J. Trump to date, prospects on him further dividing our country appear highly certain. He could surprise us by positive moves that settle the dust storm currently airborne. But he remains to date a self-centered individual whose ego must be stroked constantly, his coffers must fill over with no end to the greed, while family and friends being loyal to him is more important than the welfare and very survival of our nation.

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

City recognized for bicycle friendliness

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Keizer has earned an honorable mention as a bicycle-friendly city from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB).

It was announced last week in Washington, D.C., that Keizer joined 33 other communities throughout the nation in the honorable mention category of recognition. Platinum, gold, silver and bronze designations are also available should city officials decide to pursue them. Oregon has 11 communities that rank bronze or higher. Ashland (gold), Corvallis (gold) and Bend (silver) also received designations this time around.

1125-news-cycle-keizer-cmyk

An honorable mention recognizes Keizer’s efforts toward improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. The Bicycle Friendly City (BFC) program provides a benchmark for communities to evaluate those conditions and policies, while highlighting areas for improvement.

A trio of city volunteers were the driving force behind the application to LAB. Hersch Sangster, Pat Fisher and John Henry Maurice, all members of Keizer’s Traffic, Bikeways and Pedestrian Safety Committee, took on the effort with the blessing of the city council.

“We really tried to play devil’s advocate as we went through the checklist of qualifications,” said Sangster. “And we came out better than we expected. This is a big thing for the city.”

More than an honorable mention or a metal designation, the group wanted a baseline assessment of where Keizer stood in relation to other cities in the LAB program. In addition judging the application to the program, LAB officials sought out input from residents who use Keizer’s bikeways through an online survey and then selected some responders to interview about their experiences.

The results were somewhat mixed. Keizer outperformed other cities in some categories but lagged behind in some key areas.

While only 20 percent of the average city’s high speed roads have bike facilities,, 45 percent of Keizer’s do. Keizer’s bicycle-friendly laws and ordinances were rated “excellent,” far above the standard community with a BFC designation. Keizer was also deemed to have good Bike Month and Bike-to-Work events.

Other assessments were less kind to Keizer. While the BFC program suggests 9 percent of the city’s transportation budget be spent on cycling, Keizer clocked in at 1 percent. Bicycle education programs were also found to be needing improvement. Keizer also generally scored on the low end of cycling encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning.

A constrained budget limits what the city can do to achieve a higher designation, the report city officials got back from LAB suggests some actions to be taken. Here are a few:

• Adopting a complete streets policy requiring all new road or repaving projects to include bicycle striping.

• Making bicycle safety a routine part of education for students of all ages.

• Increasing staff time spent on improving conditions for those who bike or walk.

Sangster said that the biggest impact could likely be seen with more education, but making it a priority on the local level is something that happens school-by-school.

“The schools just don’t have the budget for it here, unlike Portland where it is an actual program in place,” he said. In times when more funding was available, the Salem-Keizer School District would host Safety Town camps during summer months that guided students toward best practices, but the camps fell victim to budget cuts.

“Bringing things like that back will require a budget and volunteers,” said Sangster who was one of the Safety Town instructors.

On the whole, he’s been pleased with Keizer’s acceptance of pro-cycling policy and inclusion.

“The roundabout was a great example of that. We felt like we were part of that discussion from the start,” Sangster said.

He also commended the city for adopting a planning policy requiring bike parking within 50 feet of entrances.

If he had one wish, it would be for more enforcement of bike laws. He cited adult riders disobeying traffic control devices or traveling the wrong way as two areas of concern.

The other area where Sangster saw opportunity was in encouraging local businesses to apply for a “Bicycle Friendly” designation through Travel Oregon.

While food destinations are the logical starting point, Sangster said bikers on long rides make use of everything from banks to hotels.

“I really think it’s just a matter of connecting with the Chamber of Commerce and helping them promote it to members,” Sangster said.

Another added benefit to the BFC designation is that Keizer can use it as a feather in its cap when applying for transportation and other grants to improve local amenities.

Keizer will have to reapply to the program annually to maintain its honorable mention designation.

Mecha-cow proposal meets resistance

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The Keizer roundabout opened just three months ago but the Keizer Public Arts Commission is already trying to figure out what to put in the center of it.

Commissioners discussed the potential of the space and even one proposal from a Keizer sculptor with a piece along the River Road North art walk.

Rick Smith, a salvage artist who crafted the Iron Glory sculpture of the American flag near Copper Creek Mercantile on River Road North, submitted a proposal to construct a trio of salvage-metal cows that would stand in the middle of the intersection.

Smith’s proposal called for $2,000 in materials and supplies and $7,500 in labor, but he would donate half of the latter amount to the project for a total cost of $5,750. That amount is more than the Arts Commission has on-hand so fundraising would be required.

Before the conversation moved toward approval, the idea met with resistance during discussions.

Commissioner Jessi Long said the idea of cows gave her pause.

“There’s something about cows that screams, ‘Let’s mess with it,’” Long said. “I think maybe a windmill or a piece of farming equipment might be a better idea.”

When ideas for an old truck or piece of farming equipment were floated, City Councilor Amy Ryan opposed.

“I hesitate to say a truck or farm vehicle because when I was growing up people always complained about the old, rusty trucks in the field there,” said Ryan, the city council liaison on the committee.

She also opposed the cow idea given the affinity for the herd that calls the property next to the roundabout home. The family that owns that property petitioned the city earlier this year to rezone it paving the way for 112 apartments. The request was approved in September, but construction is likely a ways off. Ryan proposed a Celtic sculpture as an alternative, and said the commission should be prepared to replace or repair anything that goes on the site

Nate Brown, Keizer’s community development director, said concern about cows might be overblown.

“The cows are a sensitive issue, but people have had some time to adjust to the idea and I don’t think we should be too concerned offending someone,” he said.

Brown said that whatever art takes up residence on the roundabout should be substantial.

“Anything small could be more easily vandalized. The beefier it is, the better,” Brown said.

Commission chair Beth Melendy tasked commissioners with brainstorming alternative ideas they could approach Smith with.

• Commissioners voted to remove a commission charge for pieces sold during exhibitions at the Keizer Civic Center. Brown reported that the charge was given as a reason for some show coordinators to balk at exhibiting their work.

Additionally, the 20 percent commission charge, which was instituted two years ago as a way to create funds for the commission to use on future projects had resulted in less than $50 in revenue.

• Commissioners voted to move their meetings to the third Tuesday of every month.

Keizer siblings pioneers of student government

Keizer siblings Edward, Joshua and Rosa Oliver were elected to the first Oregon Communications Academy student government last month. KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley
Keizer siblings Edward, Joshua and Rosa Oliver were elected to the first Oregon Communications Academy student government last month. KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley

By DEREK WILEY

Of the Keizertimes

When Oregon Connections Academy was looking for candidates to serve in its first ever student government, three siblings from Keizer stepped up to the challenge.

Joshua Oliver, a 10-year-old elected to represent the fifth grade, was the first from the family to decide to run. Older sister, Rosa, 15, voted secretary, and older brother, Edward, 18, a senator representing the senior class, soon followed.

“I want to build more school spirit, make it fun for other fifth graders,” Joshua said.

They were all encouraged by their mother, Kara.

“I thought it was an opportunity for the kids to develop speaking skills, communication skills, things they can use for the future for job development,” Kara said.

The Olivers were elected in October and Edward has already seen it pay off.

“I know I’m lacking in some of those areas and it’s already helping improve them, for sure,” he said.

Edward also feels like a pioneer.

“It’s an opportunity to show what others can do in the future with this student government,” he said.

To run for student government, students had to maintain a 3.0 GPA, adhere to the ORCA student code of conduct and agree to attend all student government LiveLesson sessions and participate in three field trips in their area.

A candidate’s forum LiveLesson session was then held to decide contested races. After candidates gave speeches and answered questions, students then voted for their choices using an online poll.

“This will be an extremely fun and exciting experience, while also being one of the most challenging responsibilities of your high school career.”—that is the explanation at the top of the job description for members of the new Oregon Connections Academy Student Government.

The Student Government Executive Board includes a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and two activities directors that meet via LiveLesson once a week for about 30 minutes.

Rosa said they run out of time because so many things are discussed.

“We’re getting events together like prom and more fun field trips and spirit week,” Rosa said. “Something more student driven. We’re also talking about fundraising and winter formals and other activities.

There is also a student senate with senators representing grades 5-12.

“I’m excited for students to have a voice about what they want to see happen at their school so they take more ownership,” said Nikki Coleman, Oregon Connections Academy Student Government Advisor and high school electives teacher from Tualatin.

The Olivers all agreed that the best thing to come out of student government is more socializing with kids from all over the state. Oregon Connections Academy serves around 4,000 students in Oregon.

“The thing with virtual school is we’re all at home, we barely know each other,” Edward said. “All we see on the computer is our names and that’s all we really know about each other. I think it will be better to cultivate more face-to-face interaction. We’ve been thinking about how to reach out to the rest of the class.

“Being a state-wide school, it’s hard to reach everyone. I would definitely like to see more student oriented events and get more of a school spirit in there.”

Council denies Keizer Chamber request for parade fee waivers

“I think we all love this event, but we have a city to run and we have to be diligent with the money we have.” — Kim Freeman, Keizer City Councilor
“I think we all love this
event, but we have a
city to run and we have to be diligent with
the money we have.”
— Kim Freeman, Keizer City Councilor

By ERIC A. HOWALD

Of the Keizertimes

A Keizer Chamber of Commerce request that city officials waive fees and other costs associated with the Holiday Lights Parade was snuffed out at the Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Nov. 21.

The Keizer Chamber requested waivers for fees totaling $5,805 related to police staffing, public works costs and temporary use permits among others, but councilors were not in a giving mood. One city councilor even expressed frustration at the asking.

“The chamber did come to council a month ago and we were honest about what we could waive and what we couldn’t. I’m a little disappointed that they came and asked for it anyway,” said Councilor Kim Freeman. “I think we all love this event, but we have a city to run and we have to be diligent with the money we have.”

Danielle Bethell, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, asked the city council to consider fee waivers at a previous meeting and, while no action was taken, councilors made it clear that waivers would be unlikely.

At the time, Mayor Cathy Clark said she wanted to hear from River Road North businesses about their success during the parade before dipping into city coffers in support of it.

At the meeting Monday, the biggest topic of discussion was a request to waive $4,000 for police staffing. Granting such a waiver would subtract from the city’s general fund which is already stretched thin, and even a $4,000 expense could create a shortfall down the line.

“I feel like that during the budget process in May would be the proper time to ask for a waiver like this. I will be a no vote on waiving anything,” said Councilor Amy Ryan.

The fees the Keizer Chamber was requesting waivers for generally fell into two categories hard costs and foregone revenues. In addition to the $4,000 for police staffing, there were another $1,300 in costs to the Keizer’s Public Works Department that would have to be absorbed. Other costs – $50 for an application fee and $275 in temporary use permits – would simply have resulted in less revenue.

Councilor Bruce Anderson said he was impressed with the Chamber’s discussions regarding the decision to take on the parade, and would have supported many of the fee waivers, but not the police staffing.

“The police staffing is a bridge too far, but I think looking at the other fee waivers are reasonable,” Anderson said.

In the end, the only waiver the Chamber left the meeting with was worth $180, which covers the costs of parade coverage on Keizer’s public access cable channel, Keizer 23. Keizer 23 funds are sourced outside the general fund.

The parade is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.

McNary alum brings winning to Culver

Submitted Randi Viggiano and her husband and assistant coach Nick, both McNary graduates, have turned Culver High School into a volleyball powerhouse.
Submitted
Randi Viggiano and her husband and assistant coach Nick, both McNary graduates, have turned Culver High School into a volleyball powerhouse.

By DEREK WILEY

Of the Keizertimes

Dan Borresen, former volleyball coach at McNary High School, isn’t at all surprised by the success of one of his past players.

Randi Viggiano graduated from McNary in 2000 and was a defensive specialist on the 1998 team that brought home the school’s first state trophy, finishing a school best fifth place.

Now the head coach at Culver, in Central Oregon, the Lady Bulldogs have finished in the top five in Class 2A six years in a row.

“I’ve had several players go on to be coaches and she would be at the top of the list of someone I knew would coach someday,” Borresen said.

“I remember her very well because when she was a little kid, she was always in the gym. She loved playing. She loved everything about teaching and coaching the game. It was something that was a passion for her’s since the time she was a young kid.”

Going to youth camps at McNary, Viggiano, then McDonnell, couldn’t wait to be on the high school team.

“I grew up dreaming of playing for Dan Borresen and being a McNary Celtic probably ever since I was  8 years old,” she said.  “I had an amazing high school volleyball experience from ninth through 12th grade and got to look up to a lot of great players and got to play with some of my closest friends in high school. He (Borresen) laid such a great foundation for all of us and someone we all still look up to and admire.”

After high school, Viggiano didn’t have immediate plans to get into coaching. She went to Oregon State  University and majored in public health and earned her master’s degree in counseling. But then an opening for an assistant coach at volleyball powerhouse Crook County opened up.

“It kind of fell into my lap,” Viggiano said. “I moved to Central Oregon for work and my mom had somehow heard through the grapevine that Crook County was looking for some help coaching. I definitely found a home there.”

In three seasons with the program, Crook County won three state championships.

Viggiano was ready to branch out on her own.

In her interview at Culver, she was asked what her goal was in a year. She replied, “Win a state championship.” Viggiano was then asked her goal for five years. “Win five more,” she responded.

Culver had finished last in its league the two previous seasons.

“I think they liked my answer,” Viggiano said. “I came from a competitive program. When I was at McNary the goal was always to win and I grew up watching that program. My club team that I played for was always really competitive and successful and then I went to coach at Crook County so finishing on top, that was always the goal. If you’re not reaching for the top, then what are you really reaching for?”

Having coached three girls from Culver on a club team, Viggiano sort of knew what she was getting into.

In 2010, her first season, the Lady Bulldogs jumped to third in its league and made the state tournament. Culver then finished fourth in the state in 2011.

“We had really strong freshmen come in, who definitely helped bring a new level of volleyball to our program and just building with the other strong players that we already had the year before,” Viggiano said.

“I had two girls from those first two years who are currently playing college volleyball. Seeing those girls develop and pursue volleyball outside of high school is definitely something great for the culture of your program.”

Culver has a Wall of Champions in its gym with giant pictures of past wrestling teams and the 2007 state champion football team but there weren’t any girls.

Viggiano put an end to that as the volleyball program won the state title in 2012.

“To win it with those girls was just something very special because they had never won a state title in any sport,” Viggiano said. “I swear our entire town was there watching it and that made it extra special as well and for me to help facilitate a group of females going up on that wall, they’re the only group up there, that was really special for me. In a wall of boys, there’s a group of volleyball players, which is awesome.”

Culver had back-to-back third place finishes in 2013 and 2014 and were state runner-up in 2015.

The Lady Bulldogs went into the 2016 state tournament as the No. 1 seed but finished fifth.

Along with all the winning, Viggiano has also created a family atmosphere at Culver, where she also serves as the school’s counselor, and not just because her husband is an assistant coach and her mom has coached the junior varsity.

“They are our kids and we want them to feel that sense of belonging and that sense of love and acceptance throughout the year, not just during our season, so creating that sense of family had been a huge motivator for us and also something that our girls love,” Viggiano said. “They talk about that all the time and can’t imagine not having these experiences as part of their high school career and that makes me feel good because that’s the environment we wanted to create.”

Opioid addiction treatment growing fast at Keizer clinic

Justin Nielsen, executive director of Keizer's Renaissance Recovery, talks with case manager Katie King at the clinic's office. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Justin Nielsen, executive director of Keizer’s Renaissance Recovery, talks with case manager Katie King at the clinic’s office. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Part of Justin Nielsen’s mission as executive director of Renaissance Recovery is meeting each client where they are.

The result is what Nielsen calls “cafeteria-style” offerings that allow each client to pursue their own recovery goals while drawing on many different paths to kicking substance abuse habits.

“The old way of thinking in the field was that treatment clinics wanted clients to adapt to them and their beliefs and processes, like being exclusively 12-step or something developed independently,” said Nielsen. “Even though I support 12-step, there’s other subgroups out there that respond better to alternative treatments that didn’t used to be available.”

At Renaissance, a client might choose SMART Recovery, a science-based treatment program, or Celebrate Recovery, which takes its guidance directly from biblical teachings, or some combination of the two.

Regardless, Nielsen tries to stay on the cutting edge of what’s available to those struggling with addiction, which is what led him to rolling out a new opioid addiction treatment program that include buprenorphine, more commonly know by the brand name Suboxone.

The program is only two months old, but it’s grown to include nearly two dozen clients, some of whom are driving from three or four hours away.

“I underestimated the need, and there are fewer buprenorphine prescribers than ever,” said Neilsen.

Buprenorphine is an alternative to the methadone for opioid addiction, and while the two drugs share a number of side effects, buprenorphine causes less sedation. Both drugs work by dampening opioid receptors and lessening the craving for the high induced by heroin or opioid pain-relievers like hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Becoming a buprenorphine  presbscriber can result in added costs for a doctor. It can mean paying more for liability insurance and costs related to support, tracking and accountability, which Nielsen said seemed to be the primary reasons for the low number of doctors willing to take it on.

Conversely, the partner doctor at Renaissance Recovery is nearly tripling the number of his available buprenorphine prescriptions with the onset of the new year (2017).

The goal with each new client is to work toward full recovery in about a year on average, Nielsen said. Clients enrolled in the program receive a prescription for buprenorphine along with a variety of support services to aid recovery efforts. For the first two months, new clients must check in with the doctor every week, and then less often as the dose of the drug is gradually reduced.

The support side of recovery is where Nielsen feels Renaissance Recovery is poised to make the biggest impact.

“We’ve started seeing an even more diverse group of clients. In the past it was what some people would see as the stereotypical addict or repeat DUII offender, but now it’s people who got in a bad car wreck, were prescribed Vicodin and have since moved on to heroin or other substances,” he said.

Other societal changes have also led Nielsen to change the way Renaissance does business.

“We’ve embraced technology because we found many of our clients were willing to. Every client that comes in can sign into our secure website and they can send messages to their counselor, find out meeting times and topics at our site and tap into other available resources,” Nielsen said.

Progress in the ways addiction is thought about – and treated – have also had an influence. Traditionally, recovery programs viewed abstinence as the only route to health, but Nielsen said the industry is moving toward a harm reduction model. Rather than trying to hold clients to pledges of going cold turkey, it might mean coming up with new parameters when they are using controlling substances – like not drinking alone, or not injecting drugs.

“I always think what we do is a taboo subject and a lot of people don’t want to admit how big the problem is. We’re trying to take a leadership role in recognizing the problem and meeting it,” Nielsen said.

The success of the buprenorphine program and other have led Nielsen to increase the number of employees on site and expand the hours of some existing employees.

For more information about programs available at Renaissance Recovery, visit renaissancerecoveryresources.com, or call 503-304-4358. Renaissance Recovery partners with more than 20 insurance agencies and is part of two coordinated care organizations that qualify for the Oregon Health Plan.

Hunter makes college hoops decision official

McNary senior Sydney Hunter signed a national letter of intent to play college basketball at the University of San Diego on Wednesday, Nov. 9. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)
McNary senior Sydney Hunter signed a national letter of intent to play college basketball at the University of San Diego on Wednesday, Nov. 9. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Sydney Hunter couldn’t wait to fulfill her dream of playing college basketball so on the first day of the early signing period, Wednesday, Nov. 9, she put pen to paper.

The McNary senior, who averaged 10.8 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals per game for the Lady Celts last season, signed with the University of San Diego.

“I made my decision pretty early,” Hunter said. “I didn’t want to wait any longer to officially sign. I wanted to get it over with. Knowing that I’m going to San Diego makes it less stressful. I can play stress free and that makes it way easier.”

Hunter began playing basketball in kindergarten but the game has been in her life even longer. Her older sister, by five years, Devin, was also a star at McNary before signing with Oregon State.

“Growing up watching Devin, I wanted to be just like her,” Hunter said. “I just remember this (signing day) was so cool, all her friends and teachers were there. I wanted to do this so bad. She’s a great player. I’ve always been compared to her, growing up. I wanted to show people that I’m not just Devin Hunter’s sister. I’m Sydney Hunter. I’ve got my own name. I want to make my own story for myself. It pushed me to work harder than usual.”

While Hunter admitted Devin is “way stronger” thanks to four years in the Oregon State weight room, Sydney claimed she’s the better shooter.

“We just have different things that we’re better at than each other,” Hunter said. “She (Devin) was pretty scrawny before college. I am pretty small so I’m excited to get some weight on me.”

San Diego first got in contact with Hunter early in her high school career. Coaches then came to McNary to watch her play volleyball during her junior season. Hunter visited the campus and committed to the Lady Toreros program last summer.

“I just fell in love with San Diego after I went there,” Hunter said. “It was amazing. The first thing I wanted to see was the teammates because coming from where I’ve grown up with all the girls I’ve played with I wanted to feel that chemistry and the girls that go to San Diego were amazing. They made me feel welcome and I love the coaching staff.”

According to McNary head coach Derick Handley, what makes Hunter special is the combination of being a great athlete and a hard worker.

“The reality is Sydney is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever had the opportunity of coaching,” Handley said.

“She’s the best pure athlete I’ve ever coached, there’s no question, but she’s also the kid that you don’t see behind the door, she’s the one putting up shots by herself. She’s working extra hours in the gym and she’s not doing that because the crowd is going to see it or the coaches want to see it, she understands that elite athletes have to put in the work. What she’s getting is deserved. She wasn’t just born into it. She worked her tail off for it. The fact that she is signing D-I today, it really shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody who’s had the opportunity to coach with her, to play with her or just to see her perform.”

Hunter, who will be a team captain for the third time this season, is also a leader.

“She’s very supportive of her teammates,” Handley said. “She’s the first to criticize herself. She understands when she makes a mistake and if I were to say that Sydney had a flaw, I would say sometimes she’s too hard on herself. She expects perfection every time she goes out there. As a head coach, that’s a dream. That’s exactly what you want to see out of your best players, is they set the tone, not only how they treat their teammates but the expectations they hold themselves to.

“I could never ask for a better representative for our program, for our school, for our community. Her teammates would say the same thing. San Diego is really lucky to be getting her.”

San Diego plays in the West Coast Conference with the likes of Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara.

The Lady Toreros finished 25-8 last season, which was the second most wins in program history, and lost to Michigan in the Sweet 16 round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

“Faithful: A Novel” by Alice Hoffman

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful: A Novel” by Alice Hoffman

c.2016, Simon & Schuster
$26.00 / $35.00 Canada
272 pages

BOOK REVIEW
by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

The best years of your life.

That’s what people tell you about high school. Remember those days, they say. They’ll be the best of your life. But zits, mean girls, broken dreams, and broken friends aren’t exactly best. Sometimes in high school, as in the new book “Faithful” by Alice Hoffman, the very worst things can happen.

Nobody thought it was anything but an accident.

The road was icy that night. Shelby Richmond was driving and she wasn’t speeding. She never was sure why her best friend, Helene, sitting in the passenger’s seat, didn’t buckle up like she usually did. Parts of the night remained sketchy, but the thing Shelby knew was that the car spun out of control and Helene was left in a coma.

Seventeen years old. Helene had a lifetime left, but she’d never live it. Instead, she lay in her childhood bedroom, tended by volunteers, visited by people who believed her capable of bestowing miracles.

Seventeen years old. Shelby believed that she, not Helene, should be in the coma.

She cut her hair completely off. Buzz-cut, in fact, and she stopped eating. All Shelby wanted was to smoke weed and sleep while her mother flitted upstairs in their home and her father disappeared as often as he could. Her only friend, if you could call him that, was Ben, her dealer. And it was Ben she moved to New York with, after they graduated – a graduation Helene would never have.

In New York , Shelby got a job and discovered that she liked animals. She worked her way up to manager of a pet store. Someone said she was pretty, so she grew her hair again, and she made a best friend. And Ben loved her, but she couldn’t love him back. Shelby didn’t deserve Ben. She wasn’t lovable.

But was that true?  Her dogs certainly adored her. Her mother never stopped loving her, fiercely. Her father tried (or so he said). And then there was the stranger who’d been sending postcards to Shelby ever since the accident… weren’t inspirational, anonymous notes some form of caring?

In a small way, “Faithful” defies categorizing.

Its plot is minimal: it’s a story arc roughly set in a ten-year period of one woman’s rather unremarkable life. Granted, not everybody does what author Alice Hoffman lets her character do, but what happened to Shelby , happens to others.

And yet, this story is singular. And it’s impossible to stop reading.

There’s a crispness in this novel that doesn’t become too harsh; instead, it’s comfortable, like an old yearbook. After a few pages, in fact, it’s almost as if we went to school with Shelby , or avoided her on the playground. We know her – and when Hoffman puts her in unique (yet not outlandish) situations, Shelby ’s actions are satisfyingly right.

Come to think of it, so is this whole book.

Mark it down; it should be your next Book Group pick. It should be on your bedside table. If you love novels, “Faithful” may be your best book this year.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin

Agenda for Keizer city Council meeting

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

CITY OF KEIZER MISSION STATEMENT

KEEP CITY GOVERNMENT COSTS AND SERVICES TO A MINIMUM BY PROVIDING CITY SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY IN A COORDINATED, EFFICIENT, AND LEAST COST FASHION

AGENDA

KEIZER CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR SESSION

Monday, November 21, 2016

7:00 p.m.

Robert L. Simon Council Chambers

Keizer, Oregon

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. FLAG SALUTE

4. SPECIAL ORDERS OF BUSINESS

5. COMMITTEE REPORTS

6. PUBLIC TESTIMONY

This time is provided for citizens to address the Council on any matters other than those on the agenda scheduled for public hearing.

7. PUBLIC HEARINGS

8. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

a. RESOLUTION – Authorizing Temporary Use and Mobile Food Vendors Subject to Conditions for Keizer Holiday Light Parade (2016)

b. RESOLUTION – Authorizing Mayor to Send Letter of Support for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program

c. Parks Funding Citizen Education and Survey

d. ORDINANCE – Amending the Keizer Comprehensive Plan and Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) to Allow Salem River Crossing Project to Move Forward; Amending Ordinance No. 87-077

e. RESOLUTION – Authorizing City Manager to Sign Traffic Improvements Cost Sharing Intergovernmental Agreement with Salem Area Mass Transit District

9. CONSENT CALENDAR

COUNCIL LIAISON REPORTS

10.OTHER BUSINESS

This time is provided to allow the Mayor, City Council members, or staff an opportunity to bring new or old matters before the Council that are not on tonight’s agenda.

11.WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS

To inform the Council of significant written communications.

12.AGENDA INPUT

December 5, 2016 – 7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session

December 12, 2016 – 5:45 p.m. – City Council Work Session

Flood Plain Changes

December 19, 2016 – 7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session

13.ADJOURNMENT

Upon request, auxiliary aids and/or special services will be provided. To request services, please contact us at (503)390-3700 or through Oregon Relay at 1-800-735-2900 at least two working days (48 hours) in advance.