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Day: December 2, 2016

New signal intersection headed to Keizer Station

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Changes are in the works for the main route into Keizer Station, and the hope is that they help pave the way for more efficient bus routes and a potential movie theater.

At its meeting Monday, Nov. 21, the Keizer City Council approved the city’s portion of funding for a signalized intersection on Keizer Station Boulevard Northeast at the entrance/exit of the Keizer Transit Center.

The council approved nearly $462,000 for the project, but the actual cost is expected to be significantly less. Salem-Keizer Transit will lead the effort and an engineering firm, Kittelson and Associates, is already working on a design package that will be put out for bid in the coming months.

When the Keizer Transit Center was originally envisioned, a signalized intersection was planned, but as costs mounted Transit District officials opted for a right-in, right-out driveway to cut expenses.

“It didn’t look like we were going to have enough money for it, but we had some funds left over from federal grants that will pay for the construction,” said Steve Dickey, director of transportation development for Salem-Keizer Transit.

While starting dates will depend on the completion of the engineering package, Dickey hoped to see construction begin as early as next spring and be completed by the end of 2017 or early 2018.

“We will reconfigure the median for left-in and left-out traffic and the sidewalks, which will have pedestrian signals,” Dickey said.

The proposal is likely to include a second left turn lane onto eastbound Chemawa Road North to handle the increased capacity.

Bill Lawyer, Keizer’s public works director, said some lanes may be closed during construction, but Keizer Station Boulevard would remain open to traffic.

The final design will also incorporate a driveway and curbs for the property on the north side of Keizer Station Boulevard across the street from the Keizer Transit Center.

In October, the city council approved a plan to work toward a lease on that property. If everything comes together, a medium-sized, first-run movie theater with beer, wine, liquor and food sales might end up calling the space home.

There is still a long road to walk before construction could begin on the theater, but the inclusion of the driveway in plans for the signalized intersection is a step worth noting.

Once the intersection is complete, Dickey said it will improve bus service.

“Right now, every route that goes through the Keizer Transit Center takes an extra three to five minutes to get out of Keizer Station. The signalized intersection will give us more flexibility and maybe a bit more capacity,” Dickey said.

The project is expected to cost about $1.2 million. Keizer will reimburse Salem-Keizer Transit for 20 percent of the actual costs. The first payment will be due after the district certifies project costs and second will be due at the onset of the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Lady Celts cruise in season opener

McNary senior Sydney Hunter, surrounded by three Barlow defenders, finished with 14 points despite playing limited minutes due to foul trouble.
McNary senior Sydney Hunter, surrounded by three Barlow defenders, finished with 14 points despite playing limited minutes due to foul trouble. KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

With the graduation of three of its top four scorers, McNary is looking for girls to step up and put the ball in the basket.

For game one, it was Jaylene Montano and Kailey Doutt, who combined for 27 points as the Lady Celts rolled past Barlow 58-23 at home on Thursday.

Montano, a senior point guard, knocked down two three-pointers in the first 1:05 to give McNary a quick 6-0 lead.

“Coach (Derick Handley) has been telling me to shoot more and said I’m taking a new role this year and just be confident with it so I kind of took that on,” Montano said. “He said miss or make, keep shooting. I was just following what he was saying.”

Doutt, a junior, finished with 12 points, including six in the first half as the Lady Celts went into intermission with a commanding 26-7 lead.

Montano’s hot shooting continued in the second half as she made three more 3-pointers in the third quarter to finish the game with 15 points by going a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc.

With McNary up 47-15, Montano didn’t play in the fourth quarter.

“Her (Montano) and Kailey Doutt are two girls that we’ve talked a lot to the last couple of days,” Handley said. “For us to be successful we need them to have confidence in the outside shot and for Jaylene I think the first one falling kind of got her going for the rest of the day. I’m hoping that it can be consistent. It’s not one of those she needs to make the first one to keep it going but she is such a steady player for us.

“I talked a lot about trying to stay level emotionally, she’s the prime example of it. She’ll never get too frustrated. She never gets too excited, even today she hits her 3-pointers and she comes into the locker room and she’s embarrassed about it. She’s going to have a really good year and she’s a girl that will surprise a lot of people.”

Senior Sydney Hunter got into foul trouble, picking up her third on a charge three minutes into the second quarter, but still managed a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

In her absence, sophomores Abigail Hawley and Anita Lao got more playing time.

Hawley finished with three points, five assists and four rebounds. Lao added five points, two assists and three rebounds.

“Sydney coming out, I think it was frustrating for her, but honestly for the team it might not be the worst thing in the world,” Handley said. “It made a lot of other girls step up. I knew they (Hawley and Lao) were both going to play a lot for us but the fact that we could put both of them in at the same time with our back up post (Kelsey Koenig), between those three to make a run like they did to end the half, ultimately it’s going to be better for our team, just help us with a little bit of depth. I know it was frustrating for Sydney. It was her first game of her senior year but hopefully she’s going to have 28 more opportunities and we’ll work on keeping her in there.”

Koenig finished with four points and three rebounds off the bench.

Committing fouls was a problem for the Lady Celts in the first half. Barlow was in the double bonus midway through the second quarter but went just 3-for-10 from the free throw line in the first half. The Lady Bruins were also held to just two field goals, one in each quarter.

“Our game plan, we’ve been talking about it for the past week, that we need to play with our feet and we go out there and I think the emotions had a lot to do with it, play with our hands,” Handley said. “I thought in the first half we played way too emotional, a lot of nerves, start of the year so you never know what you’re going to get. It’s also the first time in six months that we’ve played somebody other than ourselves. I thought it took us a good quarter and a half to settle but once we did, we slowed things down and I thought execution got a lot better.”

The competition will get much tougher for the Lady Celts on Saturday as McNary hosts Tualatin, who it’s lost to the past two seasons. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

McNary senior leads The Snowman’s Dance

McNary senior Sydney Martindale, left, playing The Snowman, enjoys a rehersal of The Snowman’s Dance at City Dance Theatre with Delaney Rothmeyer, who plays the Little Girl. The show is Saturday, Dec. 3 at noon and 3 p.m. at McNary High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)
McNary senior Sydney Martindale, left, playing The Snowman, enjoys a rehersal of The Snowman’s Dance at City Dance Theatre with Delaney Rothmeyer, who plays the Little Girl. The show is Saturday, Dec. 3 at noon and 3 p.m. at McNary High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

It’s not Christmas at City Dance Theatre until the studio’s annual performances of The Snowman’s Dance.

“As much as Nutcracker is a tradition in the ballet world, this has become a tradition for our families,” director Zoe-Lisa Banton said. “My kids know nothing happens in my house until after Snowman’s over and then we do the tree and everyone’s ready.”

McNary senior Sydney Martindale, who has been in the show all 10 years, agrees.

“We always get our Christmas tree the day after Snowman,” she said. “It gets us ready.”

The 11th annual performances will take place Saturday, Dec. 3 at noon and 3 p.m. in McNary High School’s Ken Collins Theater.

Tickets are available for $10 in advance at the studio or the door but the 3 p.m. show is nearly sold out.

Martindale started at City Dance Theater in the first grade, was a snow bunny in the inaugural performance of The Snowman’s Dance and has worked her way up to playing the lead Snowman.

When she’s not a snowman, Martindale has spent the past two summers working at Enchanted Forest as a princess and volunteering at Clear Lake Elementary.

She’s also been in two musicals with the McNary drama department—Legally Blonde and Beauty and the Beast.

The Snowman’s Dance features 165 kids, ages 2-18, from all over Salem-Keizer playing everything from tapping reindeer to hip hopping Santas to little baby snowflakes.

“I always say it’s a magic journey of friendship of a snowman and a little girl and they get to explore each other’s worlds and all the different characters come to life,” Banton said. “ We have people that see it ever year and cry. It’s a fun holiday message of friendship and magic and imagination.”

Tho show is loosely based on the children’s picture book by Raymond Briggs, turned animated television special—The Snowman.

“It’s kind of a dream for me because when I was 15 and starting to get into teaching and was training as a dancer, this was when The Snowman was huge in England where I grew up,” Banton said. “The music was so inspiring to me as a dancer at that time and I kept saying to my mom and dad one day I’m going to make this into a show. Eleven years ago it was the right group of kids.”

Banton’s The Snowman’s Dance has music from The Snowman but also Harry Potter and The Firm. Ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary dance are all represented.

“We cover everything that we teach,” Banton said. “Those classes are all represented.”

While the story remains the same, characters change ever year.

“This year we are bringing in wooden soldiers,” Banton said. “It’s kind of a Rockette number with some of my older kids and we’ve never done that before. Last year we brought in an owl to our forest scene. We add different things each year to jazz it up.”

The show lasts about an hour and 15 minutes.

“We just kind of hit them in the face with everything and they walk out crying and ready for Christmas,” Banton said. “My in-laws are Jewish and they come every year and love it.”

Why virtual in a land of amazing beauty?

Oregon provides the most lovely settings and beautiful landscapes for enjoying life in the whole natural world. Most of America is a feast for the eyes of those fortunate enough to live here.

What causes me considerable wonder is why so many Oregonians, and other Americans throughout our land, find it necessary to alter their consciousness through use of drugs, some legal like alcohol and marijuana, and others still illegal, like cocaine and heroin. Most Americans got along very well without those drugs in former times and, without them, were not risking their health and very own lives, and the lives of others who “get in their way,” because reality’s too much or not enough for them.

One concludes that the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs, its disappointments from time to time, appears to have encouraged a loss of courage to face trials and errors among so many of us. Why do they not dig in to the free public education available to them, grades one through 12?  What is it that along the way stops them from seeking work of most any kind, including volunteer work to get started by trying this and that, so that they can learn how to work and thereby acquire a measure of self-respect and self-confidence: conditions of mind growth and development to serve them through the hard times rather than mind-warping drugs followed by thievery, homelessness or prison confinement, loss of self-respect, hope and the throwing away of life’s possibilities.

Another means of avoiding reality —and the true beauty of that which abounds around us—is the ever more availability of augmented-reality devices. Since the evolution of our species, humankind has looked about his and her environment in wonder and awe, the earliest of our species blessed by a beautiful planet. More and more now, Americans find it necessary to strap on a helmet with viewing glasses to see things that are not there but can be seen by the eye-to-brain to believe they are real, providing what’s fiction as though fact.

It’s hard to fathom that my fellow humans want a machine to drive their car or truck!  The freedom of the open road and the thrill of driving a car that a human can control has been among the most rewarding of life experiences for me. It comes across as so mindless that someone would want to give up negotiating a machine with a steering wheel and the ability to maneuver it when sober. Instead, they’d rather just sit there and most likely play games incessantly with their cell phone, iPad, etc., for the purpose of mindless satisfactions without enduring value or reward

Obviously, Americans in large numbers send their brains nowadays into dizzy daydreaming by drugs while surrendering their lives and the real world around them to a space of pretend life.

Instead of doing things with their hands and whole bodies that keep them physically fit and mentally healthy, they choose instead the latest drug or technological device ultimately delivering members of our species to empty vessels.  Go out in public anywhere now and view an anesthetized world: A collection of wires, plug-ins and plastic hand-held devices devoid of humanity.

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

Local election is over

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. And now it’s over.

Laura Reid was officially declared the winner in her race for Keizer City Council Position 1 over Allen Barker this week by the Marion County elections divison. She won by 109 votes out of a total of more than 12,300 cast. There’s a lesson here for everybody: every vote counts.

The race between Reid and Barker was not acrimonious, it was hardly even in the public eye. It was a race between two people who care about the place they call home and wanted to do their part to keep it the livable city it is.

The city of Keizer is a winner here, too. As we said in this space before, by electing Reid we get a new voice on the council and Barker’s business expertise remains on the budget committee. If only all elections had a beneficial outcome like this one.

We expect good things from Councilor-elect Reid. There will be important issues she will have to become familiar with. And fast.

  —LAZ

What kind of Christmas?

By LYNDON ZAITZ

People celebrate Christmas in many ways and for different reasons. Some celebrate the birth of Christ, some celebrate children, some celebrate Santa Claus. Others mark the season with a mix of reasons.

It can be argued that the Christmas season is the favorite time of year for most, even with the frustrations, disappointments and feuds that arise when family gets together. The need to buy a present for absolutely everyone—immediate, extended and blended families, not to mention friends and co-workers. Money—out-of-pocket cash or credit—is always a sticking point during the holidays.

That’s why I cherish the Christmases I spent with friends when none of us had much disposable income. I guess it is akin to those who remember fondly the holidays they marked in the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s when people had to use their imagination and being with family was more important than a present.

My circle of friends and I lived in Seattle, which was a pretty good setting for Christmas. It didn’t cost a cent to see the window and in-store displays at The Bon Marche, and the flagship Nordstrom and Frederick & Nelson stores. In those days visual merchandising was still a big thing and one couldn’t but help be in the holiday mood.

It is interesting how creative a group of people can be when the lack of money is common among them. But, like our Great Depression brethren, we didn’t mope, or get depressed. We embraced the season and the fact that we were all in the same boat. We all had restaurant jobs—it seemed all our friends worked in the food industry in one way or the other.

The rental house my friends shared was Christmas Central; it was the gathering place for all the ‘orphans’ we knew who did not have family near by. There were many years I did not have a tree; the one at Christmas Central worked for me.

What do young people do when Christmas rolls around and they want to give gifts? They use their talents. At the time I was intensely into color pencil art, I cranked out art piece after art piece, trying to perfect my shading and perspective. I put that skill to use and went to work.

Starting with a large blank, white sheet of art paper, I started what has become my masterpiece: a sullen harlequin jester sitting in a chair with his scepter carelessly tossed aside. I was proud of the way I figured out how to draw and shade fabric folds and details of the chair’s upholstery.

I knew I had finally nailed it. This gift for my best friend deserved a frame that matched the subject.  Luckily, I found a baroque style frame for a few dollars and it fit my art perfectly.

On Christmas morning I waited with anticipation as my friend opened that gift. The reaction was as  I hoped it would be; he was dumbfounded. He loved it. It was probably the best gift I ever gave and it made feel good that my hands created something that brought joy to someone else.

Christmas mornings during those slight years are memorable because we didn’t rely on expensive gadgets to show our love for one another. One of us was an amazing cook and prepared Rockwellian brunches and holiday dinners that we enjoyed with many of our friends who gravitated to Christmas Central.

At other times in my younger adult years, when money and I were not well known to each other, friends would receive an original Lyndon Zaitz poem or short story. One year I wrote my sister a sci-fi story that I packaged with my own handcrafted  book cover. That story is long lost to history, but I do remember it wasn’t very good. My sister was good sport about it, though.

With time circumstances changed. I and other friends moved out of Seattle to different parts of the globe; better jobs and careers brought economic security for my circle. The tight group of friends who marked the holidays at Christmas Central have not been together since those glory days of camaraderie, delicious meals, cheap decorations and heartfelt gifts. It was a time and a place that one can never go back to, nor should we want to. To a person, each of us, always look forward to what the future may bring. We hope for the future but treasure the past.

Sometimes memories are the best Christmas present of all.

(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes.)

The Third Reich isn’t on the way

By BERNARD GOLDBERG

Perhaps you’ve noticed that some of the most illiberal people in America these days … are liberals.

Liberals are the ones who pride themselves on being open-minded. But who are the ones on college campuses stifling speech they don’t like? It’s not conservative students. In 1944, college-age men were storming the beach at Normandy. Today, more than a few liberal cupcakes on campus are demanding “safe spaces” and “cry rooms” to protect them from the bogeyman we just elected president—and from any ideas that don’t conform to their own.

And hasn’t it been liberals who say they don’t want to be lectured about morality, especially if it’s by a bunch of smug conservatives? But it was smug liberals who rudely lectured the vice president-elect from a Broadway stage recently about how he and Donald Trump should behave when they take office.

And it was liberals who warned us that undemocratic right-wingers would never accept the election results if Trump lost. But it’s undemocratic left-wingers who took to the streets to protest Trump’s election, sometimes violently. And it’s desperate liberals who are trying to overturn the election results by demanding useless recounts in several states Trump won. And it’s liberals who are trying to convince Electoral College electors to reject Trump—even if that’s who voters in their states picked—and vote for Hillary Clinton instead. They’re willing to do anything, including reportedly issuing death threats against electors, to deny him the presidency.

Liberals claim to abhor anything even vaguely resembling a violation of human rights. But it’s liberals this week, not all, of course, but more than a few prominent ones, who are shedding tears over the death of that great man, Fidel Castro, who, like all dictators, didn’t tolerate freedom of speech or the press, whose autocratic regime wouldn’t allow even peaceful protests, and who tortured and murdered many of those who wouldn’t fall into line.

“In many ways, after 1959 (when Castro took power), the oppressed the world over joined Castro’s cause of fighting for freedom and liberation—he changed the world, RIP.”

Thank you, Jesse Jackson.

At least that wasn’t as bad as the liberal prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, who said he had “deep sorrow” for “the loss of this remarkable leader … who served his people for almost half a century.”

The real problem with liberal elites is that they don’t think America is good enough—for them. I recently spoke to a liberal news reporter who, I got the impression, couldn’t so much as conceive of the idea that millions of good, decent people voted for Donald Trump. This journalist wanted to talk about all the bigots Trump had in his corner.

He certainly had some, I acknowledged, but I wanted to know what percentage of Trump’s vote did he think came from “deplorables”—was it more or less than Clinton’s 50 percent? He wouldn’t commit to a number, but I got the impression it was more, a lot more.

He was also appalled that Trump supporters wanted the president-elect to fulfill his campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexican border. I told him the reason was both simple and benign: They were against illegal immigrants sneaking into this country. He had a different theory: Trump supporters didn’t want people here who don’t look (white) like them.

It’s interesting that liberals are the ones who tell us they care about the little guy. But a lot of little guys in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Don’t those little guys count as far as the sophisticated liberal elite is concerned?

The problem is that too many liberals have forgotten how to be liberal, the essence of which is to keep an open mind, to consider what the other side is saying before you cavalierly label them as bigots.

Instead, they’re too busy warning us that the Third Reich is coming.

William F. Buckley got it right most of the time, including when he said, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

A little humility wouldn’t hurt right about now. I was never a fan of Donald Trump (or Hillary Clinton), but I’m willing to see what kind of president he will be. Illiberal liberals might want to take a break from their nonstop disgust with the president-elect, and from their holier-than-thou umbrage that never seems to end, and instead close their mouths, open their ears and try to understand why he won.

(Creators Syndicate)

Reid defeats Barker

Laura Reid will be Keizer's next city councilor. She will be sworn in next month. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Laura Reid will be Keizer’s next city councilor. She will be sworn in next month. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The election counts are finally complete and McNary High School teacher Laura Reid will be Keizer’s next city councilor.

According to the final cumulative totals, Reid edged out Allen Barker by 109 votes, 50.44 percent to 49.56 percent. Nearly 12,400 votes were cast for the two candidates in the only contested city council race.

“I’m thrilled that I’m able to get to know Keizer from this perspective. I’ve lived in Keizer for 15 years and gotten involved in other ways, but this is entirely new,” said Reid. “I really appreciate the votes of confidence.”

Early results had shown Barker holding a thin lead over Reid, which led to Keizertimes erroneously calling the race for him, but Reid took control of the race as more votes were counted in the days after the election.

Reid, a language arts teacher at McNary, will be sworn into office in January. She replaces Councilor Mark Callier, who was appointed to Position 1 on the city council earlier this year after Councilor Dennis Koho resigned due to health considerations.

In preparation for the job, and even when she was still just a candidate, Reid began attending the council’s regular meetings and discovered that the meetings were just the “tip of the iceberg.”

“There’s a lot of work done behind-the-scenes that goes into every council decision,” she said.

One of the more eye-opening discussions revolved around the rezoning of the “cow pasture” property along Verda Lane North. She was surprised to see councilors approve the rezoning despite being unhappy with the decision.

“They were respecting their quasi-judicial role, which I didn’t understand before,” Reid said. “They did what was right, even though it wasn’t necessarily what they wanted. That was really enlightening as far as the process.”

A recent discussion about a proposed bridge across the Willamette River was also eye-popping. Councilors were given a 500-page briefing on all the work that led up to expanding the urban growth boundary.

“Matt Lawyer gave me a crash course in land use actions and everything that goes into them,” Reid said. “A lot went into that discussion, and it’s one of the reasons the discussions have gone on for 40 years.”

As she prepares to take on a role in city government, Reid said the parks and police funding are the two topics at the forefront of her mind. As a candidate, Reid said she might give preference to parks over police, but she’s learned more during her process of discovery.

“I learned just how much the police department is doing and with how little. I see the need more clearly now,” Reid said.

Currently, Keizer’s general fund, which pays for parks and police, is strapped and the city council is discussing the options for attaching a fee to utility bills to maintain and enhance services. The city cannot increase property taxes due to ballot measures passed in the mid-1990s.

She said those measures, which sounded good at the time, have a heavy impact on what the city can do now.

“We didn’t understand the long-term ramifications when we voted for that,” Reid said. “It makes the public education piece for getting a fee approved that much more important.”

Given her role in educating the future voters of Keizer, Reid is also getting a new perspective on her old job’s importance.

“It starts here at the school, and students understanding the difference they can make,” she said. “There’s a big push at McNary to get every student involved with a club or activity and we can turn those efforts toward the community itself.”

Garnet Six

Garnet Six
Garnet Six

Longtime resident of Salem, Garnet Marion Six, was born July 10, 1914 in Stettler, Alberta, to James and Emma (Kulp) Six, joining big sister Muriel.

When Garnet was small the family moved from Canada. First to Puyallup, Wash., then Compton, Calif  and Santa Clara, Ore. before settling in Salem in 1934. A lifelong Nazarene,  Garnet was a faithful Christian and supportive member of  the local Nazarene Church, singing in the choir and  involved in the life of his church.

Garnet married Marjory Spitler in 1937 and they raised four loving children. Garnet’s first job in Salem was in a box factory. He was fond of relating that one day he took off  his coveralls and the next day put on a suit and tie for work in the county clerk’s office. His last employment was with Salem Title Insurance where he worked for over 30 years before retiring in 1976. In retirement he kept active working on his rentals, golfing, gardening, watching sports, especially the Oregon Ducks. Music was a big part of his life and he enjoyed playing his 1926 banjo as a member of the Northwest Banjo Band.

He and Marjory also traveled some, but truly enjoyed their home where their expanded family and friends were always welcome for seasonal celebrations and special memories.

Marjory preceded him in death in 1999.

In 2012, Garnet joined friends at Lancaster Village which continued as his residence until he died peacefully on Friday, November 11, 2016, at the age of 102. He is survived by his children, Roy (Okhie) Six, Gordon (Cheryl) Six, Roberta (George) Fletcher, all of Salem, and Joyce (Stephen) Fleischmann, of Vancouver, Wash.; seven grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

A memorial is planned for Garnet on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. at First Church of the Nazarene, 1550 Market Street NE, Salem, OR. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Salem First Nazarene or Union Gospel Mission.