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Day: December 9, 2016

Celtics torch Grants Pass, Oregon City

McNary senior Adam Harvey had 17 points against Oregon City on Tuesday, Dec. 6. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)
McNary senior Adam Harvey had 17 points against Oregon City on Tuesday, Dec. 6. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Before the season, McNary boys basketball coach Ryan Kirch said, “Scoring won’t be an issue for us.”

That wasn’t just coach speak.

After blowing out Grants Pass 81-34 on the road Friday, Dec. 2, the Celtics throttled Oregon City 85-54  at home on Tuesday, Dec. 6 to start the season 2-0.

“A lot of our guys can really shoot the ball so we’re tough to guard,” Kirch said. “When we give up a good pass knowing it may not be my night, I may get two (points) tonight and 18 tomorrow, that’s just so difficult to guard and prepare for. Buying into that and understanding it’s for the good of the group, and our guys have done that. A lot of that is attribute to their leadership, a bunch of veteran guys who have been around a little bit and they want to enjoy the heck out of their senior year.”

Easton Neitzel was the star Friday night. The senior went 5-for-8 from behind the 3-point arc to finish with 26 points along with eight rebounds.

Alex Martin went 5-for-5 from the floor to add 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. Cade Goff had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.

As a team, McNary shot 33-for-45 from the field, made six of nine 3-pointers and was 11-for-12 from the free throw line.

“We’re very skilled individually and the guys are very unselfish,” Kirch said. “Guys are making extra passes. Our shooting percentage is pretty high because we’re taking good, fundamentally sound, balanced shots.”

The Celtics never trailed Tuesday. After winning the tip, Matthew Ismay threw a perfect bounce pass to Neitzel who laid it up to give McNary a quick 2-0 lead.

The Celtics led 11-1 before Oregon City answered with a pair of 3-pointers to get within 12-10. The Pioneers knocked down another 3-pointer to tie the game at 16-16.

Leading just 25-24 early in the second quarter, McNary closed the first half on a 16-5 run to enter halftime up 41-29.

“We called the timeout and had a real spirited one-way conversation that kind of lit a fire under the guys a little bit,” Kirch said. “With guys like this that’s about all it takes for them to get back engaged and check right back in to where they needed to be and I thought we played very selfless offensively.”

With 18 points, Ismay led the scoring effort as the Celtics continued to stretch their lead in the second half up to 62-44 heading to the fourth quarter.

“We had a good start and we were ready and we lost energy a little bit,” Ismay said. “We were up 11-1 and we have to not let them back in the game when we get a lead like that because I think we just lost energy and thought it might be an easy game or something but we need to play harder.”

Cade Goff and Adam Harvey each had 17 points. Chandler Cavell added 16 off the bench.

Through two games, McNary is averaging 83 points. To compare, the Celtics only scored 80 or more points once last season in a 102-70 win over McKay.

“We have more guys that can score all over the court,” Ismay said. “We’re a lot more veteran overall this year. Today, we got a ton of points in the paint.”

As happy as Kirch is with McNary’s offense, the team has work to do on defense.

“The win part is great. For us, I think we’re more concerned with the process of how we get there,” Kirch said. “We’ve got a veteran group here and they’ll tell you right now we certainly didn’t play to the best of our ability tonight. We didn’t defend or rebound nearly the way we wanted to. Defensively wasn’t championship level, not playing the scoreboard but playing possession, I didn’t think our communication was as good as it could’ve been and our awareness of who was shooting the ball.”

The Celtics open league play Friday, Dec. 9 at West Albany. McNary swept the Bulldogs last season, winning by a combined score of 129-80.

“Watching them on film the other day, they look a little more athletic than they’ve been in the past,” Kirch said. “I anticipate they’re going to give us a fight. Any time you go on the road, it’s a difficult place to play. The crowd creates a lot of energy. We’ll need to come out and control the game from the get-go.”

Council changes mind, absorbs some parade fees

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

In its previous meeting, the Keizer City Council turned down a request by the Keizer Chamber to waive public works fees for the upcoming Holiday Lights Parade.

On Monday, Dec. 5, the city council reversed course and voted 6-1 to absorb $1,300 for barricades and staff time by the Keizer Public Works Department to put them up.

Marlene Parsons, who was one of two councilors to change their vote along with Kim Freeman as well as Mayor Cathy Clark, brought up the issue to the council.

All three cited more time to research the issue and the fact that the $1,300 would come out of public works and not the general fund, as reasons for changing their minds.

“This doesn’t impact our general fund,” Freeman said. “Just with some more research I changed my mind. We’ve done it in the past with the other venue that did the parade before. We waived those fees. We really want this event here so if we can help them. I know they decided to do this at the last minute.”

After more thought, Clark determined the parade was a correct use of public works funds.

“I wanted to be absolutely certain that was going to be appropriate use and needed some time to go back and think about it,” she said. “I want to be very careful how all of those funds are expended and make sure they are done in a way that is equitable for all groups concerned so that we would offer the same thing to other organizations should they come and ask us.”

Councilor Amy Ryan delivered the dissenting vote, noting she didn’t receive any additional information from staff or the Chamber to change her mind.

The Chamber also requested $4,000 for police staffing but was unanimously denied at the Nov. 21 meeting. That money would come out of the general fund. The city council did waive $180 to cover the costs of parade coverage on Keizer’s public access cable channel, Keizer 23.

The parade is Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

Parade returns Saturday

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The Keizer Holiday Lights Parade, for the first time being run by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, comes to Keizer at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.

“I think there was some uncertainty as to whether we’d be able to pull it off, but I feel like it’s already a success,” said Danielle Bethell, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. “Our whole board of directors became very invested in the parade and took of different aspects of it. The fact that it’s happening makes it a success.”

This year’s parade will feature 56 entries, about double the number that were included in the 2015 parade. The volunteer coordinators of the previous parade opted to retire in early 2016 and were unable to find replacements at the time. The Keizer Chamber stepped up in September to take on the mantle.

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

Bethell said she’s eagerly anticipating a Grinch-themed float being put together by Keizer’s Encompass Management & Consulting and a commode-themed entry sponsored by Ace Septic and Chemical Toilet.

“We are also putting a big focus on the sponsor banners. This year the banners will be lit up as well as the floats and I don’t think that’s happened in the past,” Bethell said.

The Keizer Holiday Lights Parade is sponsored by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, the City of Keizer and Bonaventure of Keizer Station.

In addition to the parade itself, Bethell and members of the Chamber are enlisting local businesses to add to the festivities.

Lakepoint Community Church will have four hot cocoa and candy cane locations; El Patron Mexican Grill will set up shop in the northwest corner of the Keizer Village parking lot; Willamette Valley Bank will be hosting a hot cocoa station in the bank and closed parking lot for parade spectators to set up chairs; a youth group from St. Edward Catholic Church will be serving up warm treats; and Tony’s Kingdom of Comics is hosting a toy drive at the shop, 3856 River Road N. Starbucks will stay open until 11 p.m.

“We are also partnering with the Salem Food Truck Association to have food trucks set up along the route,” Bethell said.

Care is being taken to find food trucks that would not compete with nearby Keizer businesses, she added.

Staging for the parade begins at 3:30 p.m. on Lockhaven Drive North between McClure Street N. and River Road.

The parade will start at the intersection of Lockhaven and River Road at 7 p.m. and travel south ending at Glynbrook Street North.

Bethell urged spectators to find spots north of Glynbrook for best viewing.

“As soon as the parade hits Glynbrook, we are going to be pulling floats off the route and we want everyone to get the full experience,” she said.

River Road will close at 6 p.m. to make way for the Chamber’s annual Jingle Dash, a 5K fun run, which begins at 6:15 p.m.

The run will begin at Town & Country Lanes.

Cost is $17 to $25 for youth, depending on the day of registration, and $27 to $37 for adults.

Registration can be complete online at keizerchamber.com.

Run participants are encouraged to dress up and compete for the best costume award. Cinnamon rolls, hot cocoa, and coffee will be waiting at the finish line.

Make them prove it

America has been a tabloid kind of nation for a while now. Tabloid-style news gets attention over in-depth news that reports what is actually happening.

In the past, news racks were full of periodicals with come-on cover stories such as  “I Married an Alien.” Sure, they were fun to read but most people took those stories with a huge grain of salt.

These days tabloid stories embrace our celebrity culture—those types of magazines herald breathless headlines that ramp up our curiosity about this or that A-, B-, C- and D-List names. We are never so engaged as when we are faced with a story about our favorite famous person.

Tabloid-type news invaded mainstream media and any number of Websites. The First Amendment allows anyone to write and publish any thing they wish, regardless of how incredulous it is.

Last week the president-elect, without evidence, said that there were 3 million illegal votes cast in last month’s presidential election. Some may think that if he said it,  it must be true. The problem with that is that every news outlet reported his statement; to be fair, most of those outlets added that it was an unfounded and unverified allegation. But that won’t matter to a large portion of the citizenry.

A reasonable person can read an outlandish story in a supermarket tabloid, roll their eyes and move on. But when outlandish stories are spread by government leaders and media outlets, many reasonable people would give that story some credence.

It is human nature to believe what one reads or hears on the news. An old saw says “You can’t believe everything you read.” That adage seems to have lost some of its power in our current climate.

The antidote to fake news is education. It is important for our schools to prepare our high school students for college and a career. That calls for instruction in skills. We must not, ever, lose sight of the fact that education must continue—or return—an element of developing critical thinking. Some of us learn that if an offer is too good to be true, it probably is. The flip side is that if something sounds too outrageous, it, too, is probably false.

In math and science classes students are asked to show their work to prove  how they came to the answer.

We should expect nothing less from our leaders—political, media or otherwise. If they make a statement that seems too far out, we should ask them to show us their work—prove it.

  —LAZ

Fake news vs. junk news

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

The big “fake news” stories of 2016 were the polls. Most showed Donald Trump losing big in November, thus cable news ran countless renditions of the many ways Trump could not possibly win the necessary Electoral College vote. Getting the story utterly wrong should result in hand-wringing, hair-pulling and painful introspection in my profession; instead many in the news business have turned their hungry eyes on “fake news” disseminated on Facebook and Google.

That’s right. After a year of getting the story consistently wrong, journalism gurus are pointing to phony stories not produced by the mainstream media. After the election, The New York Times ran a piece about Election Day titled “The Hoaxes, Fake News and Misinformation We Saw on Election Day.” An example from the piece: A GOP mayor in Georgia tweeted that Republicans vote on Tuesday, 11/8, but Democrats vote on Wednesday, 11/9. Hello, Gray Lady; it was a joke. How desperate do you have to be to include that tweet as an example of misinformation?

“Fake stories and memes that crop up during live news events have been a problem on social media for years, but a wild election season has highlighted the news media’s slow response to them,” the Times’ story began. Slow response? Au contraire, the media have been too quick to seize upon every little speck of dirt one can find surfing social media. Back in the day, TV news looked to newspapers for good stories; now producers troll Twitter for what they call “content.”

Trump could spin out days’ worth of free TV time from a single tweet—two days on the tweet itself followed by two days on Trump’s failure to react appropriately. (“We wouldn’t even be discussing this,” some droll expert would assert, if Trump had walked back his original offense.) Journalists always have been overly concerned with what people say as opposed to what they do. Trump understood how to exploit that preoccupation by mining the public’s contempt for the media.

Yes, I know that there are real “fake news’ stories—such as the one about the armed man, who fired off a round or two before he was arrested, who went to a D.C. pizzeria to investigate a bogus story about Hillary Clinton. Kudos to the good reporting that took apart the bogus “pizzagate” story. Thing is, for days before that incident, cable news was buzzing about “fake news” and the election — as if hard-to-swallow conspiracy theories swayed those voters who had not decided between Clinton and Trump.

Methinks “fake news” would not be a ubiquitous story if Clinton had won the White House. It certainly wasn’t news when Donald Trump won the GOP primary. “Fake news” got big when voters acted in a way that did not confirm the mainstream media’s preconceptions.

There seems to be a cautionary tale in these “fake news” stories, as in: If only voters had heeded “real” news, then Trump would not be president-elect. But really, journalists have only themselves to blame for handing the reins of reportage to amateurs. If a candidate’s remarks on social media confirmed the biases of most of the journalism class, then it was a cable news story. 2016 was the year of empty-calorie reportage. Fake news, bad. Junk news, our bad.

(Creators Syndicate)

What Donald Trump should read

By MICHAEL GERSON

Whatever his other considerable achievements, our president-elect is not known for his broad reading in American history. But Donald Trump is about to enter that history. And in the spirit of new beginnings, he might view this as an opportunity to accumulate some inspiration, both for his inaugural address and his manner of governing.

If you were to recommend three American texts for our president-elect to read and ponder before taking the oath of office, what would they be?

There are, of course, so many possibilities that any proposed list is almost entirely subjective. In a casual survey of friends, I got strong options by Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

But since I get to choose, here are my selections:

First, Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Written in 1963 from solitary confinement, it was a response to local white clergymen who had condemned protests and accused King of being an outside agitator.

For King, no one is an outsider when it comes to confronting injustice because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” King based a vision of human dignity on moral law, which takes precedence over unjust human laws. And King urges—actually demands—that white America see events from a different perspective. “When you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will … when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters … then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.”

The lessons here? The limits of “law and order,” set at the boundaries of conscience; the importance of protest in a free society; the need for empathy as the basis for justice.

Second, I’d propose Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech to Congress in 1941. America had not yet been attacked at Pearl Harbor. But Roosevelt knew that the country would eventually be engulfed by the disorders of the world. So he set out to overcome isolationist sentiment and build public support for military aid to a beleaguered Britain.

In his view, America opposes “any attempt to lock us in behind an ancient Chinese wall.” Instead, “the future and the safety of our country and of our democracy are overwhelmingly involved in events far beyond our borders.” The engagement and sacrifice of Americans, he realized, had to be rooted in an “unshakable belief in the manner of life which they are defending.” And so he set out the goals of “freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world … freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world … freedom from want … freedom from fear.”    

That theory of America’s global role has been embraced by Democratic and Republican presidents since World War II, helping defend the American people from grave dangers and stabilizing large portions of the world.

It is the great power of historical texts that they speak to us differently, in different times. We read certain speeches and documents again and again. But then, in a new light, they speak across the years, as close as a voice over your shoulder.

This is true of my third choice: George Washington’s “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island.” Washington was responding to a letter of thanks from representatives of the largest Jewish community in colonial America.

“It is now no more that toleration is spoken of,” replied Washington, “as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens.”

Washington continued: “May the Children of the Stock of Abraham who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

This is the proper response to anger and division. We are not a nation that grants tolerance; we are a nation that recognizes inherent rights, held equally by all the Children of Abraham, and everyone else. And when we come back to our deepest values, as we always do, there shall be none to make them afraid.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

We should be taking care of us first

Listening to any apostle of the refugees flooding our country, one learns that they want every American to invite these folks into their homes as guests for however long it takes for them to get settled here and find a job. The refugees, they argue, should be first in line to take any available jobs no matter the consequences to U.S. citizens or those who arrived by lawful immigration procedures.  There’s a whole lot more, too, that we’re expected to give so that these folks feel welcome and warm here.

Now, these folks are refugees for a reason; in the example of Aleppo, came apart and their government turned on them because their menfolk were shooting at an entrenched dictator, trying to overthrow the government. Why they did not make an effort to stop the madness of attacking a madman before it began is explained usually by “enshallah” (God’s will) then waiting for us to save them.

These days they want a safe haven and the best place for that is Canada, Western Europe or the U.S.  Point in fact is they really do not want to be anywhere but home in that part of the Middle East, Pakistan or from wherever they have fled.  It can be predicted that they most likely will not seek to integrate with we heathens here, will not work at learning our language, will not adopt our customs or live by our sectarian laws.

The war-torn among them will most often keep their heads down and make an effort to keep from getting deported due to bad behaviors.  However, what’s become more and more common, in the places where they’ve relocated, is that the small children brought with them and those born here are far too often radicalized by Muslim terrorists, mainly ISIS and al-Qaeda leadership, after which they buy guns and make bombs to settle imaginary wrongs on innocent Americans.

Almost every day in the American media there is an article by one of the bleeding heart refugees’ apostles.  It tells of how the refugees in their homes are so wonderful that you, Mr. and Ms. America, just must open your doors and embrace them.  They never say that when those who’ve invited them in or brought them here from afar, and tire of their different ways of doing things and foreign-minded demands, sooner or later to rise, that these folks will be turned loose on the rest of us to pay the price of supporting them after their sponsors walk away.

Meanwhile, how is it that more of us are not doing anything about the huge and growing number of Americans with children who are without employment, any means of self-support and homeless? These are the American people inside our borders for whom help and sustenance should first be directed. In any kind of a moral universe, our own must be assisted before we go running around the planet to relocate those persons who really don’t want to be here and are a danger to the all the rest of us. Finally here, and perhaps most telling, our state and national coffers are nearly empty, the people refuse more taxes, the U.S. Congress only supports warring overseas, and America’s corporations get a free ride with no social responsibility.

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