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Month: February 2017

Food bank thanks Keizer

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Keizer Community Food Bank I want to thank the Keizer community for their continued support of the food bank during the 2016 year.

Special thanks to Uptown Music, Tony’s Kingdom of Comics, Keizer Elks (both men and ladies), Habitat for Humanity Recycle Store, Safeway, 7-11, and you, the community.

We are continually grateful for the ongoing support of our food ministry program. In most cases, for every dollar we receive, we can buy three dollars’ worth of food. Core foods that we like to keep on our pantry shelves that offer basic nutrition are peanut butter, tuna fish, macaroni and cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, canned fruits and vegetables, soups and cold cereal.

Donation barrels can be found at Uptown Music and Tony’s Kingdom of Comics.

For more information call Curt at 503-871-9100.

Curt McCormack, director
Keizer Community Food Bank

America’s sacred fire must not be doused


“Well, I preach the Church without Christ,” says a vivid Flannery O’Connor character named Hazel Motes. “I’m member and preacher to that church where the blind don’t see and the lame don’t walk and what’s dead stays that way.”

At the heart of Donald Trump’s public rhetoric is a similar emptiness. He is a president who preaches America without exceptionalism. He is the leader of the free world who seldom mentions freedom. He belongs to a political faith in which America’s political miracle is only for us, and dissidents and democratic activists are on their own, and those who are oppressed stay that way.

Trump’s rhetorical rejection of internationalism is an aberration from America’s bipartisan, post-World War II foreign policy consensus. It is also a culmination of recent trends.

During the Barack Obama years, America retreated from internationalism in practice. At first, this may have been a reaction against George W. Bush’s foreign policy. But Obama’s tendency became a habit, and the habit hardened into a conviction. He put consistent emphasis on the risks of action and the limits of American power. In the revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, following the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, as Russian influence returned to the Middle East, America inaction was taken as accommodation. “The fear of making things worse has paralyzed the United States from trying to make things better,” said Russian dissident Garry Kasparov in recent congressional testimony.

This geostrategic retreat is consistent with a broader political trend. Summarizing recent survey data, researchers Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk conclude: “Citizens in a number of supposedly consolidated democracies in North America and Western Europe have not only grown more critical of their political leaders. Rather, they have also become more cynical about the value of democracy as a political system, less hopeful that anything they do might influence public policy, and more willing to express support for authoritarian alternatives.”

This is a sobering development —the deconsolidation of support for liberal democracy itself. Both America and Europe are seeing the rise of leaders who have chosen to ride this trend rather than buck it. Trump’s version of strongman democracy and his abandonment of the language of liberal democracy are only imaginable in this environment.

This shift has outward-facing consequences. Dissidents and democratic activists—often driven by a stubborn, defiant passion—are not going to give up because America loses its ideological nerve. But regimes tempted to crack down on them have greater confidence in impunity. America is now less likely to criticize their “way of life,” even when these regimes evangelize with the gallows.

This shift also has inward-facing consequences. A nation that ceases to speak for human rights may become less confident in civil rights. This type of relativism—this neutrality between freedom and authoritarianism—is easily imported across the border.

But we are not there yet. And the Trump administration itself is divided on these matters. Stephen Bannon certainly has the president’s ear and control of the speechwriting shop, which is strategic high ground. His ethno-nationalists are anxious to get a running start on the road that would take America toward dishonor and failure. But the Defense and State Departments are headed by committed internationalists who understand that the growth of freedom and the spread of prosperity are essential to long-term global stability and American security.

The tools of internationalism—a strong military, strong alliances, strong international institutions, strong support for global development and democracy promotion—have a considerable cost. “Such investment,” said Kasparov, “is far more moral and far cheaper than the cycle of terror, war, refugees and military intervention that results when America leaves a vacuum of power.”

In assuming this calling of leadership, it is not ethnicity that grips the American imagination and justifies sacrifice; it is the animating ideals of the country. And it is a national advantage that our deepest beliefs are in accord with the durable hopes of humanity.

We will not find security, only darkness, by dousing America’s sacred fire.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

One agreement is first step to a functioning country

February 20 was President’s Day.  On this day in 1792 the Postal Service Act was signed into law by George Washington.  It was felt that a universal and affordable delivery service would help to include everyone in participatory democracy.

Universal delivery was mandated with the specific idea of all citizens having equal access to news and information regardless of income level. Getting information about current affairs through the US Postal Service seems quaint in the smartphone age but the idea of everyone sharing in the cost of having an informed citizenry seems more important than ever.

My thirty years in the postal service made me believe it is a microcosm of America. Postal employees are mainly a hard-working, decent bunch of men and women trying to provide timely and accurate service.  There are conservatives and liberals.  There are religious beliefs of every stripe and some without. There are lots of outstanding employees and some that drain on the performance.  There are cheerful employees and crabby. All that is set aside toward the common cause of getting the mail delivered.

The recent presidential election showed all that we, as a nation, have lost in sharing a common cause.  Though we have been willing to form up sides and despise each other I doubt there is much difference in what a “liberal” and a “conservative” want for their families and future.  What is it that has put us at each other’s throats?

First and most important is the realization that Congress has abandoned us. Since we’ve let stand the idea that money is free speech it is money that is heard in Washington, DC, not speech. If money is speech then without money you are speechless. If Congress is influenced by the voices with money then legislation will always be crafted to protect and increase wealth of the one percent.

President Trump was elected as angry reaction to the abandonment of middle class America by Congress.  Hillary Clinton was rightly perceived as ensuring more of the same.  There is no explanation for voters’ belief that a billionaire would somehow be the champion of the working man.  The appointment of a full deck of Wall Street tycoons and billionaires to Cabinet positions does not bode well for increasing the fortunes of working class America.

During the course of the recent election it seemed like wishful thinking that simply choosing the right president could fix things.  The President has a lot of influence but it is Congress that has brought consensus government to a grinding halt in fealty to their largest donors.  The President can bluster and name names but legislators seem unaffected as long as campaign donations keep rolling in.

It’s hard to see how we might regain the attention of our legislators short of storming the walls with pitchforks and torches. As long as we are paralyzed by our divisions so will Congress be. Are there some things that we all agree would make America remain great? We’ll never know unless we talk to each other as equal partners. That is the definition of participatory democracy. That means we must trust a shared source of information.  That is no longer delivered by the Postal Service.  There is no longer a universally trusted source of national news. That is pulling us apart.

(Don Vowell gets  on his soapbox regularly in the Keizertimes.)

No field improvements for eclipse event

Of the Keizertimes

As city officials and volunteers plan for an event to mark the passage of a total solar eclipse over Keizer in August, an emphasis has been placed on putting the city’s best foot forward.

Plans included leveling and re-seeding a 7.5-acre field in the southwest corner of Keizer Rapids Park to make it welcoming for visitors who pay to camp there in the days preceding the solar event.

That won’t be happening.

Keizer Parks Supervisor Robert Johnson told members of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board that a combination of permitting and aftercare maintenance requirements were halting the plan.

“We’re required to have a (Department of Environmental Quality) permit when disturbing more than an acre of soil near the river. The permitting process would cost $1,800 we don’t have, and take about five weeks,” Johnson said.

The five-week wait would mean a start date past the prime time for seeding, Johnson added.

“The other side of it is that if you develop that land, it’s going to create an expectation. Right now, we mow it once or twice a year to keep fire risk down, but we would have to be out there mowing every week. We don’t have the equipment, we don’t have the manpower,” Johnson continued.

Clint Holland, a member of the parks advisory board and a major force behind park amenities like the amphitheater, said he was planning to wrangle a group of volunteers to supply the re-seeding work with the hope of installing irrigation at a future date.

Johnson suggested that adding irrigation would only further complicate the issue. There are only two full-time parks employees and 3-4 additional seasonal employees hired for the busy season, March to October.

When Keizer City Councilor Bruce Anderson, who was acting liaison for the Keizer City Council at the meeting, asked whether the permit process could go ahead if the $1,800 “magically appeared,” Johnson reasserted his assessment of the plan.

“We are in no condition to take care of 7.5 acres of additional irrigated turf,” Johnson said.

Parks board member Matt Lawyer said the shortage of funding for the permit and maintenance was another reason the city needs a stable funding mechanism for parks. In addition to the KRP field, a shortage of funds is keeping the city from maintaining its existing parks.

“I would be a hard ‘no’ vote (on moving forward with the permit) given the issues already needing to be addressed,” Lawyer said.

The parks board is currently collecting data from a survey asking residents whether they would support a fee creating a dedicated fund for parks maintenance and improvements. Keizer residents have received the survey with their water bills during the past two billing cycles, but it is also available at, click on the scrolling banner at the top of the home page.

Lady Celts come up short in home finale

Of the Keizertimes

Sydney Hunter, Jaylene Montano, Gabby Schmit and Kelsey Koenig’s final home game at McNary wasn’t one they’ll likely want to remember as the Lady Celts lost to West Salem 55-44 on Friday, Feb. 17.

“Inconsistent effort” and “inconsistent execution” were the reasons head coach Derick Handley gave for the loss, McNary’s third in a row.

“We’re still looking for leadership, someone on the floor who isn’t just emotional every time something good or something bad happens,” he said. “We’re not consistent with our attitudes. We’re not consistent with our effort on a play to play basis. If things go well, we’re a good team. If things don’t go well, we tend to fold quite a bit earlier than we should.”

The Lady Celts fell behind 16-6 as West Salem knocked down a 3-pointer just before the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter.

McNary opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run with a Schmit basket in the paint, a Montano 3-pointer, followed by a Kailey Doutt 3-point play to get within 16-13 with 4:20 remaining.

However, West Salem was able to stretch its lead back out to 30-17 at halftime.

Doutt, who finished with a team-high 16 points, kept the Lady Celts in the game with 10 points in the third quarter but McNary couldn’t get any closer than nine points of West Salem.

A Doutt jumper made it 35-26 with 3:49 remaining and then Abigail Hawley banked in a jump shot at the 1:33 mark to get the Lady Celts within 39-30. But the Titans answered with the next eight points to extend their lead to 47-30 early in the fourth quarter.

McNary closed the game on an 8-2 run but it wasn’t enough.

“We’re having really good practices,” Handley said. “The frustrating part as a coaching staff is what we’re putting in the game plans, we’re doing in practice and it’s looking really good and we’re able to do it for stretches in the game. Sometimes the moment is getting too big. I don’t know what it is at this point but these are games that we need. We need to do our job. We need to be better at this point.”

Hawley was the only other Lady Celt to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

Hunter had seven points and seven rebounds in her final home game. Montano added three points. Schmit finished with two points and four rebounds. Koenig chipped in with a rebound.

“They’re different but all four of them are incredibly vital to what McNary has meant over the last four years to the program,” Handley said of the seniors. “Sydney is one of the better players in the state and is going to play Division I next year but you have three others girls who are the best teammates you’ll ever find.

“Obviously, Jaylene’s played more this year but for girls like Gabby and Kelsey, they’re just committed to their teammates. They’re here everyday. They work their tales off for us. They never know when their number is going to be called but they’re always ready. Incredibly important, all four of them. We’re obviously going to miss them as people because ultimately they’re honestly better people than they are players and that’s pretty special.”

Eckert paces Celtics at GVC meet

McNary junior Sarah Eckert placed fifth in the 500-yard free style and eighth in the 100 butterfly at the district meet. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

Of the Keizertimes

McNary junior Sarah Eckert led the Celtics at the Greater Valley Conference Championships, finishing fifth in the 500-yard free in 5:42.21 and eighth in the 100 butterfly in 1:06.70.

Swimming on Feb. 10-11 at the McMinnville Aquatic Center, Eckert also helped the McNary girls 200 free relay with Emily Alger, Alyssa Garvey and Haley Debban place fourth in 1:48.39.

Debban advanced to A Finals in the 100 breaststroke as well, where she took eighth in 1:19.32.

Lizzie Bryant tied for seventh in the 100 backstroke, finishing in 1:09.07. Bryant, Alger, Emma Garland and Kyle McCarty also placed sixth in the 400 free relay in 4:12.85.

The Lady Celts, who finished seventh in the GVC with 143.5 points, were without reigning district champion and Female Swimmer of the Year Marissa Kuch, who missed the meet with an injury.

The McNary boys also placed seventh in the district with 150 points.

Individually, freshman Kyle Hooper took sixth in the 500 free in 5:15.52.

The Celtics also had three relays finish in the top eight in the district.

Brock Wyer, Harrison Vaughn, Jake Wyer and Grant Biondi placed fifth in the 200 medley relay in 1:53.41. Biondi, Wyatt Sherwood, Jabez Rhoades and Jake Wyer took sixth in the 200 free relay in 1:37.37.

In the final event of the meet, Sherwood, Vaughn, Hooper and Parker Dean then finished seventh in the 400 free relay in 3:44.21.

West Salem was the girls GVC champion. McMinnville won the boys.

A fond farewell: Celtics blow out West Salem

Of the Keizertimes

When Matthew Ismay and Cade Goff cracked the McNary varsity lineup as freshmen four years ago, the Celtics were coming off two of the worst seasons of any basketball team in the state.

In the two seniors final regular season home game, McNary suffocated the No. 4 ranked team in the OSAA power rankings, West Salem, 61-47, on Friday, Feb. 17.

“This senior group has changed my six years here from where the program was, where we were the worst team in the state,” Celtics head coach Ryan Kirch said. “I told them before the game, 15 years doing this, this is my favorite group I’ve coached. I’m just so happy for them. It was an awesome night.”

The evening started with a recognition of McNary’s six seniors, which along with Ismay and Goff, includes Adam Harvey, Easton Neitzel, Alex Martin and Kevin Martin.

“I was sitting in the locker room before the game and it’s crazy how fast four years actually goes by,” Ismay said. “It was great tonight. We had a lot of fans, a great atmosphere. It was a good game to end on.”

With 2:30 remaining in the first quarter, Chandler Cavell broke a 4-4 tie. Alex Martin then knocked down a 3-pointer and the Celtics rolled from there as Harvey scored five straight points to extend McNary’s lead to 14-4. Cavell closed the first quarter with five more points as the Celtics led 19-7 at the end of the first quarter, which grew to 33-14 by halftime.

“Our kids are tough,” Kirch said. “Instead of worrying too much about game planning, we decided we’re just going to get down and try to make somebody beat us. We simplified it a little bit and our guys just did a great job. Just toughed up, got in a stance and guarded them.”

McNary extended its lead to 45-23 heading into the fourth quarter. With a minute remaining, West Salem got within 55-44 as the Celtics got sloppy with the ball.

McNary scored the final four points of the game on a fast break dunk by Goff and a layup from Martin.

“This is probably, with the exception of the last four minutes of the game, as good as we’ve played all year,” Kirch said. “We came out right from the get go and we think we’re a top 10 team in the state, and we just really put it on West and I just couldn’t be more proud of them and just happy for them on senior night like this at home.”

Ismay led the Celtics with 19 points. Harvey finished with 12. Cavell had 10, all in the first half off the bench, and Goff added nine.

McNary closes the regular season Tuesday, Feb. 21 at McMinnville. The first round of the state tournament is the following Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Vincent wins district championship

Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—When McNary sophomore Enrique Vincent’s knee swelled up early in the wrestling season, he didn’t know if he’d be able to recover in time to compete for a district championship.

After finally getting cleared, Vincent ran twice a day, in the morning before school and then after practice, to cut 12 pounds so he could get back down to 120 and wrestle in the Celtics final two duals of the regular season on Feb. 8 and 9.

The hard work paid off as Vincent defeated West Albany junior Wyatt French 11-5 in the finals of the OSAA 6A Special District 5 tournament on Saturday, Feb. 18 at West Salem High School.

McNary sophomore Enrique Vincent gets his hand raised after winning the 120-pound district title. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

Vincent thanked his coaches, Jason Ebbs and assistant Devin Reynolds, for pushing him.

“They knew my limits. They knew I would do anything for this spot right here,” Vincent said. “It feels great. It makes up for all the days and weeks I’ve missed.”

Vincent started the district tournament with two pins on Friday. After defeating Sprague sophomore Luke Merzenich 8-5 in the semifinals, Vincent led French from the beginning, scoring a quick two points on a takedown in the opening seconds.

“He (Vincent) loves to wrestle and when you’ve got a kid out there who wants to be out there, great things can happen, Ebbs said.

Vincent said the key to winning the finals match was controlling his opponent’s wrist.

“I knew he was a big scrambler and I’m a big scrambler, too. I love scrambles,” Vincent said.

Vincent was one of eight McNary wrestlers to place in the top four in the district and qualify for state: Sean Burrows (second, 132), Brayden Ebbs (third, 145), Jerry Martinez (fourth, 126), Killian Dato (fourth, 138), Carlos Vincent (fourth, 152), Isaiah Putnam (fourth, 170) and Blake Norton (fourth, 285).

For much more from the district wrestling tournament, pick up the Feb. 24 edition of the Keizertimes.

“Boomer’s Bucket List” by Sue Pethick

Boomer’s Bucket List” by Sue Pethick

c.2017, Kensington
$9.95 / $10.95 Canada
256 pages


You always wanted to jump from an airplane.

It’s something you dreamed about doing, just as you’ve always dreamed of walking the Appalachian Trail, seeing the Great Pyramids, and visiting China. So will you take the leap and fulfill your lifelong wishes someday or, as in “Boomer’s Bucket List” by Sue Pethick, will time and patience run out first?

She didn’t choose him. It was the other way around.

That’s what Jennifer Westbrook always recalled about the day she saw the squirming litter of Golden-Labs for sale. Each of the puppies was adorable, and choosing was impossible but when the seller suggested patience, Boomer picked Jennifer.

He was her best friend, her roommate, and she adored him, so when Jennifer learned that five-year-old Boomer had a fatal illness and that he had just a month to live, she was heartsick. She instantly knew that she needed to make every moment count for her dog, so she told her boss that she was taking a month-long vacation.

Jennifer was taking Boomer on a road trip.

Once upon a time, Nathan Koslow was Chicago ’s most-read newspaper columnist. That was before budget cuts and downsizing, before Nate lost his beat, and before he’d take any job his editor tossed his way. Desperate for an assignment, in fact, he agreed to fold a brotherly favor into a feature story on U.S. Route 66 and, along the journey, Nate met Jennifer.

He liked her instantly, but he always said the wrong things and she was prickly. Boomer seemed to love Nate, but Nate wasn’t sure about Jennifer…

When the favor for his brother fell apart, Nate was surprised, then, that Jennifer invited him along on Boomer’s road trip. Both were surprised that strangers were so very helpful; people everywhere went out of their way to pet and talk to Boomer, which didn’t make sense.

And then Jennifer learned about a website, and a contest, expensive prizes, and her PR firm all over it. She was angry – how dare they benefit from her private pain? – and it got worse when she learned that Nate was somehow involved.

Jennifer wanted to finish the trip without Nate – but what would Boomer want?

I spent a lot of time heavy-sighing at the opening chapters of “Boomer’s Bucket List.” Beautiful woman, check. Handsome stranger, check. Accidental meeting, Golden-Lab dog, romance, major misunderstanding, check, check, check, annnnnd check. Yawn.

Ah, but then a side-story that author Sue Pethick throws in – the one that seemed out-of-place at first – changes everything: the whole tale’s tone, its pace, and even the path it seemed to be on. That side-story perfectly tosses the predictability aside which makes this entire book a lot more fun to read, even though we sense that happily-ever-after will contain a very sad note.

If you want something squeaky-clean to share with any teen or adult you know, this is it. No profanity, no steamy scenes, no problems – just a nice romance with a few curves. That’s “Boomer’s Bucket List,” so jump on it.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin

Farr signs with Linfield

McNary senior Sam Farr, accompanied by Celtics head coach Jeff Auvinen, signed with Linfield College on Wednesday, Feb. 1. (Submitted)

Of the Keizertimes

McNary senior Sam Farr only had to look 28 miles northwest to McMinnville to fulfill his goal of playing college football.

The offensive lineman signed with Linfield College on Wednesday, Feb. 1 in the McNary library.

“It was definitely a goal of mine and has been ever since I started playing football,” Farr said. “It felt like all the hard work that I’d put in ever since I started playing football started to pay off. It’s really humbling and I’m so excited as well. It’s a huge opportunity and a huge compliment to me.”

Farr first heard from Linfield the spring after his junior football season when the Wildcats Offensive Line and Associate Head Coach Doug Hire visited McNary. The two met in the library.

“We ended up talking about everything, what my senior year was going to look like, how the recruiting process was going to go and he just kind of introduced me to the entire football program as well as the school,” said Farr, who then went to a skills clinic at Linfield over the summer, followed by the Wildcats first home game of the season, a 27-10 win over Pacific Lutheran on Nov. 12.

Farr also spent his summer going to clinics at Willamette University and George Fox, Division-III programs that also play in the Northwest Conference and suffered crushing losses to Linfield as the Wildcats went 9-2 in their 61st consecutive winning season and eighth straight conference title.

While Farr is looking forward to joining a successful football program, he also felt comfortable on campus.

“On all my visits there I just felt at home,” Farr said. “It felt like a place that I could really fit into. I love the coaching staff. I met a couple of the teachers there and they seemed pretty cool. My uncle went there and he had nothing but good things to say.”

Farr, who started at guard his junior season at McNary and then split time between center and guard as a senior, said he should also have a shot at early playing time as the Wildcats graduated 22 seniors.

“They have more of a need,” Farr said. “They haven’t had a lot of depth on the offensive line.”

Farr also believes Linfield will help him continue to build character and make himself a better person.

“The whole program is about developing young men into successful people and that’s why their program is so good,” he said.

With the motto, “The Power of a Small College,” Linfield’s main campus has just 1,700 students and an 11 to 1 student to faculty ratio, which also interested Farr, who plans to major in forensic psychology.