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Day: April 7, 2017

Home Depot helps local veteran

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Thanks to the Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America and volunteers from Home Depot, Terry Lowell of Keizer can now do something most people take for granted—take a shower.

Lowell, who served in the military for 22 years, beginning with the Marine Corps and then the Army Reserves before retiring as a master sergeant in the Air Force, had knee replacement surgery in 2010.

However, the new knee didn’t last and Lowell had to go back under the knife in 2014.

Due to a staph infection, Lowell’s had three more surgeries just since August and hadn’t been able to get over the lip in the shower in those eight months.

That’s where PVA and Home Depot came in, installing a shower with a lower lip and bench.

“It means an awful lot to me to have a little bit of comfort,” Lowell said. “My bath so far has just been wash cloth and towel, trying to keep yourself clean, but it’s not the same as a real shower, just that feeling of being clean. You can only do so much with a towel and wash cloth.”

Terry’s wife Sherry contacted Home Depot to check on the program, which through a group of employees volunteering their time helps veterans all over the country.

Along with the bathroom, the volunteers also put down bark and planted flowers in the yard.

“They came out right away and checked it out and told us what they could do,” Terry said. “They just make you feel good about the whole process, which made me feel good because I didn’t want to feel like I was getting a handout either. But they don’t make you feel that way.”

Name about any summit in Oregon, Washington and California, and Terry has probably climbed it, including Mt. Hood 21 times. But doctors don’t believe the climbing or military service are the cause of his knee problems but instead the 40 years working on concrete as a fabricator.

Not being able to leave the house very often, Terry is giving back by making shadowboxes for veterans who are at the end of their life in hospice. He takes all their medals and pictures and mounts them in a shadowbox for the family.

“They’ve turned out very beautiful and they are keeping him occupied,” Sherry said.

Lots of questions, few answers at state rep.’s Keizer town hall

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Rep. Bill Post has had a rough go of it in the early weeks of the 2017 legislature.

“As of yesterday, all my 13 bills are dead. They didn’t make it out of committee,” Post said.

Post spoke with about three dozen area residents at a town hall meeting Friday, March 31, at the Keizer Fire District station.

Post had submitted a number of bills prior to the legislative session, but said most hope for what he called the “Sudafed bill,” which would have allowed Oregonians to purchase pseudoephedrine products over the counter again.

“That was my No. 1 priority and it got killed yesterday,” Post said.

Later on in the evening, Post walked back on the claim that all his bills had died. He did manage to get one cosponsored bill passed – but all it did was officially recognize Newberg as Oregon’s “Camelia City.”

Post and his support staff put up a poll on social media in the days leading up to the event asking what issues constituents would like him to address during the meeting. However, the ones that received the most attention in the poll – like the state budget, transportation package and funding for veterans – were not ones Post has a hand in crafting.

He lamented his lack of a voice in the legislative fiscal committees saying, “It’s kinda bad, but kinda good because I’m not responsible for what happens.”

Post spoke to some high points in recent budget assessment from the Legislative Revenue Office, and summed it up saying, “The revenue is going up, but the spending is going up slightly more rapidly.”

He added that when the state was more flush with revenue, he and other colleagues had supported socking money away in a rainy day fund, but that did not come to pass.

Post had even more difficulty talking about a transportation package. While one big project could affect St. Paul, part of his district, talks about what will be included have remained under wraps.

“It is a very secretive thing. I’m not even sure who is on that committee. They are trying to negotiate and they are keeping it close to the vest,” Post said.

He said he was similarly in the dark regarding budget proposals for public schools, and said he supported decoupling the K-12 budget from the rest of the budget to get it moving.

Between anxieties over the general budget, the school budget and the transportation package, Post said legislators are in a “weird detente because no one wants to tick off the other side.

“The transportation package is using up all the bandwidth. It’s like a clogged up toilet. With no agreement on transportation, everything is backing up behind it.”

He also voiced frustration over the money being proposed for allocation to projects without a statewide impact, and cited $990,000 being allocated to the Portland Japanese Gardens as one example.

Post told attendees that if they have concerns about a specific issue, then the best course of action is to become their own lobbyist. Search the Oregon Legislative Information Sysem (olis.leg.state.or.us), find out what is being proposed and visit legislators on those committees or travel to the Capitol building and offer public testimony.

“If my constituents are in the hallway, the lobbyists are out of the room. Find the bill or groups of bills that interest you and then come down and testify or knock on our doors,” Post said.

Vandals strike at heart of MHS lacrosse

An act of vandalism left the McNary High School lacrosse programs without nets last week, but the incident has turned into a wellspring of support for the teams.

Sometime between 5 p.m. on March 30 and 3 p.m. on March 31 someone cut the nets off of eight lacrosse goals. The goals were stored next to sheds near the football field. The nets were valued at about $175 each. Seven of the eight nets were new. At press time, the Keizer Police did not have any suspects, but was continuing to look into the incident along with school officials.

“Originally, after seeing the photos, I was too sick to even go look at them. It just made me feel sick to my stomach, thinking about how someone could do that. We were able to repair a couple of our actual game goals. It was our more practice goals, our cheaper ones that just completely got destroyed” said Ryan Bowlby, head coach of the boys lacrosse team. Both the boys and girls teams use the nets that were vandalized.

In the wake of the vandalism, a You Care crowdfunding site was created, bit.ly/2oXsefJ, which has already met its goal of $1,275. The club teams also received new nets from some of the lacrosse clubs in Portland as well as Awestruck Lacrosse. Many of the local high schools have offered their back up nets as well.

“The biggest impact I saw was how all the community came together really, really quick to help either get us new nets or help provide us funds to be able to replace them,” Bowlby said.

School officials are also giving the lacrosse team an indoor, locked space to store the nets and prevent repeat incidents.

“Maybe, even in the long run this is going to be better for our program because having the goals out in the weather – 24-7, all-year long – deteriorates them and we end up having to replace them sooner. Now that they’re potentially going to be inside one of the buildings. That’s going to just better their life(span). It’s hard to look at it this way, but I think it may be a good thing that they did get cut. We’re getting a lot of positive things out of it. It was just sickening that someone went out and did that,” Bowlby said.

Next boys home game is Friday, April 7, against Thurston.


Monday, March 27

• 2 a.m. – Criminal mischief and vandalism on 1300 block Angie Way N.E.

• 5:37 p.m. – Traffic accident with injury on 1600 block Lockhaven Drive N.E.

Tuesday, March 28

• 12 a.m. – Theft from motor vehicle on 4500 block 18th Court N.E.

• 11:38 a.m. – Theft on 300 block Marino Drive N.

• 2:34 p.m. – Assault on 600 block Lockhaven Drive N.E.

• 4:46 p.m. – Theft on 600 block Cummings Lane N.

• 9:29 p.m. – Arrest for driving while suspended and traffic accident with injury on 600 block Chemawa Road N.E.

Wednesday, March 29

• 1 a.m. – Theft from motor vehicle on 100 block Homewood Court N.

• 4:16 p.m. – Shoplifting on 6300 block Ulali Drive N.E.

• 4:37 p.m. – Arrest for shoplifting on 6300 block Ulali Drive N.E.

• 4:38 p.m. – Traffic accident on Chemawa Road North and River Road North.

• 9:53 p.m. – Unlawful possession of marijuana on 6300 block Ulali Drive N.E.

• 10:53 p.m. – Arrest for driving while suspended on Bever Drive Northeast and Cherry Avenue Northeast.

Thursday, March 30

• 3:20 a.m. – Theft from motor vehicle on 700 block Moneda Court N.

• 7:19 a.m. – Arrest for bench warrant on 5400 block River Road N.

• 10:45 a.m. – Criminal mischief and vandalism on 1700 block Lockhaven Drive N.E.

• 1:07 p.m. – Arrest for warrant on 1100 block Clearview Avenue N.E.

• 1 p.m. – Arrest for warrant and criminal trespass on 1900 block Chemawa Road N.

• 7 p.m. – Criminal mischief and vandalism on 500 block Chemawa Road N.

• 7:44 p.m. – Arrest for warrant on 800 block Chemawa Road N.E.

• 8 p.m. – Theft on 4900 River Road N.

Friday, March 31

• 1:04 a.m. – Arrest for warrant on River Road North and Maine Avenue Northeast.

• 9:30 a.m. – Arrest for warrant and criminal trespass on 300 block Appleblossom Avenue N.

• 11:33 a.m. – Traffic accident on Dearborn Avenue Northeast and Bailey Road Northeast.

• 2:58 p.m. – Criminal trespass on 6400 block Keizer Station Boulevard N.E.

• 3 p.m. – Theft from motor vehicle, unlawful entry of vehicle, and intent to commit theft on 1400 block Bright Court N.E.

• 3:15 p.m. – Graffiti on Chemawa Road North and Delight Street North.

• 3:30 p.m. – Failure to perform duties of driver when property is damaged on 6700 block Field of Dreams Way N.E.

• 5:12 p.m. – Arrest for criminal mischief, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespass on 4900 block River Road N.

• 7:50 p.m. – Unlawful entry to vehicle with intent to commit theft and theft from motor vehicle on 5000 block River Road N.

• 11 p.m. – Theft, criminal mischief, and crime damage on 5400 block River Road N.

Saturday, April 1

• 12:14 a.m. – Arrest for driving under the influence of intoxicants on River Road North and Hollyhock Place North.

• 2:35 a.m. – Arrest for driving while suspended and under the influence of intoxicants on River Road North and Sam Orcutt Way N.E.

• 7:49 p.m. – Theft on 5400 block River Road N.

• 10:39 p.m. – Criminal trespass on 3500 block River Road N.

Sunday, April 2

• 9 a.m. – Initiate false report on Cherry Avenue Northeast and Candlewood Drive Northeast.

• 5:20 p.m. – Arrest for strangulation and assault on Keizer Road Northeast and Hasbrook Avenue Northeast.

All share burden to get college-bound students scholarship info

This time of year high school seniors are rushing to fill out and submit applications for college scholarships. Each June McNary High School releases the names of all the students who have received scholarships.

It is overwhelming to see the number of scholarships that are awarded each year. Some students are recipients of more than one scholarship, and good for them, they worked to maintain the grades needed to get a scholarship, plus they or someone they know were aware of where to look for scholarship money.

There is always more money on the table to ask for. Some organizations are not very vocal about their scholarship programs, others have a hard time getting enough applicants to make the awarding process competitive.

There  has to be a more efficient way for the school district in general and McNary High School in particular to spread the message far and wide within the school community of the scholarship money that is available. That should start with an understanding of the requirements of each scholarship—some require certain grade point averages or certain extracurricular activities. Others are awarded on financial need, while others are awarded on little more than an essay by the applicant.

Every student who has a desire to continue their education into college should be given access to all the information about what is available in the way of financial assistance other than federal or private loans.

If there are students who believe they can never be eligible for a scholarship, then they are being ill-served. There are any number of scholarships that are awarded more on the basis of character of the student than their GPA or activities.

The school should not bear the burden alone of getting scholarship applications into the hands of students. Students and their parents/guardians should educate themselves on what scholarships are available and not take themselves out of the running before knowing if it is viable option for them.

The width and breath of scholarship offerings are staggering and there is something for everybody. Time is running short for students and their parents alike to research and apply. Every student can be eligible for a scholarship, they have to find the right one.

  —LAZ

Neil Gorsuch must be a bad man

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

A favorite truism in Washington these days is: “Be careful what you wish for; you may get it.” It tells the cautionary tale of how Republicans who wanted to run Washington got what they wanted and now must govern.

I offer my own quote for the swamp: “Be careful what you scorn; you may someday become it.”

It has been a favorite pastime of elected Democrats to poke fun at the House Freedom Caucus because the rump is ideologically extreme and frequently self-destructive. Senate Democrats now seem poised to overtake the Freedom Caucus in the race away from moderation and in the ability to shoot one’s party in the foot. To wit, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is primed to block the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Gorsuch is the one choice President Donald Trump made and executed flawlessly. In September 2016, Trump released a list of 21 judges from which he pledged to pick a Supreme Court nominee. Gorsuch, 49, was on the list.

Gorsuch has such solid credentials that the American Bar Association unanimously rated him “well qualified” to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court—its highest rating. In other words, Trump did not pick a flamethrower.

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, who is no Trump fan, argues that Gorsuch is a smart choice because of the Coloradan’s intellect. In USA Today, Turley wrote that he does not expect Gorsuch to change his “deep and well-established jurisprudential views,” which are conservative. “However, I expect he will go wherever his conscience takes him regardless of whether it proves a track to the left or the right.”

As Gorsuch told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings, “It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives. A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge.”

In 2006 the Senate confirmed Gorsuch’s appointment to the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals by unanimous consent. Schumer was in the Senate at the time. So how could Schumer tell The Washington Post on Thursday that it is “virtually impossible” to expect him and a majority of the Senate’s 47 other Democrats not to filibuster Gorsuch and deny him a simple up-or-down vote?

In the new Democratic order, Gorsuch must be extreme because he is conservative and thus by definition lacks empathy. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., captured that view in a statement in which she expressed concern “that his narrow view of the law will hurt the most vulnerable amongst us.”

Masto continued: “I am not confident that Judge Gorsuch understands how his decisions will impact workers, immigrants, women’s health and economic security, disabled Americans, and the everyday Nevadans that I am here fighting for.”

During his confirmation hearings, Gorsuch took on Democrats who suggested that he should rule based on who might get hurt, not on the law itself. “If the law can change so easily as that,” Gorsuch said, “where’s the due process to the individual, the person who doesn’t have an army of lawyers?” That is, Gorsuch made compelling arguments for judicial restraint.

Compelling arguments don’t cut it in this toxic partisan atmosphere. During Barack Obama’s presidency, Democrats on Capitol Hill frequently bemoaned the obstructionism of the right. Now they try to block whatever Trump wants and call it “resistance”—with a smart, well-respected moderate conservative, in this case, as their target.

The worst part is, they know that this maneuver is not good for liberalism or the country. Nonetheless, they are prodding Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to extend the “nuclear option” introduced by his Democratic predecessor, Harry Reid, to block a filibuster and allow an up-or-down vote.

They seem not to care that ending the filibuster would enable Trump to name a much less moderate conservative for the next Supreme Court vacancy.

At a recent fundraiser, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., warned about the dangers of ending the filibuster. “I’m very uncomfortable being part of a strategy that’s going to open up the Supreme Court to a complete change,” she said. But by Friday, McCaskill announced that she would vote against Gorsuch and support a filibuster to stop him.

Democrats share something with the far-right GOP base of 2016: Their elected officials are more afraid of the party base than of voters.

(Creators Syndicate)

Sexism still lurks in the workplace

By MICHAEL GERSON

Reading the accumulated sexual harassment accusations against Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and former network executive Roger Ailes is like a quick dip in a sewage treatment pond. After even a brief exposure, the stench stays with you for days.

If the accusations of dozens of women over two decades are correct—and it is hard to dismiss them, as the accused have done, as unbalanced, dishonest or disgruntled—then Fox News is the focus of hypocrisy in the modern world. While preaching traditional values, it has operated, according to former Fox anchor Andrea Tantaros, “like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.”    

A recent New York Times story detailing $13 million in payouts to women accusing O’Reilly of harassment depicts a corporate atmosphere of predation and enablement. Stories on Ailes present a similar (and even worse) picture of women treated as sex objects and employment benefits.

All this could be a grand, elaborate calumny. But the culture described by the women coming forward rings true. A culture in which powerful, older men exploit, sully and destroy the hopes and ambitions of young women for the benefit of their own appetites. Then, over cigars and whiskey, they say things like: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” This statement made by Donald Trump describes not the pleasures of the flesh, but the pleasures of the bully. Not just ridiculous-looking lechery, but genuine cruelty.

What emerges in these cases is more than just the violation of standards by an individual; it is a systemic problem, a systemic failure. An institution is defined by what it accomplishes, but also by what it tolerates. According to these reports, Fox News has tolerated a pattern of procurement and exploitation. Loyalty has been twisted into complicity. Shameful things have not been treated as shameful. Disqualifying things have not been disqualifying.

This should matter in any setting, but it matters particularly in the news business. The ethos of a newspaper, cable network or website influences the final product. At The Washington Post the new motto is “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” At Fox, this ethos has involved, according to The New Yorker’s Margaret Talbot, “the fetishization of hot female news presenters.” And this, it seems, has doubled as a kind of conveyor belt for bright new faces. Can it really be a coincidence that feminism is often dismissed on Fox News as so much political correctness? Can a news organization deal adequately with women’s issues when you would never allow your own daughter to work there?

It is worth pausing here to admit that my criticism of Fox has been too comprehensive. Any network that includes Bret Baier, Dana Perino and Chris Wallace is often worth watching. Fox has been an alternative to leftward-slanting media, and a place where the worst sorts of political correctness have been exposed. And the parent company of Fox News is instituting some changes, including sensitivity training.

But I bet that Fox would not feature my next argument: Sometimes conservatives need liberals. (Sometimes liberals need conservatives as well, which is the topic for another day.) For more than 40 years, liberals have talked about sexual harassment and the need for equal treatment in the workplace. They have organized, argued and sued. And they were exactly right. The routine sexism of a previous generation was wrong and oppressive. And it persists.

A certain kind of Fox viewer will never find this persuasive. They think that boys will be boys, and men should be manly, and opponents are snowflakes, and women should just learn to lump it or leave. But it is hard for me to imagine how Christian conservatives—a major Fox demographic—could avoid choking on such rotted values. The way that women are treated in the workplace —or at home, or anywhere else—should reflect a belief in human equality and a commitment to human dignity. And the proper reaction when reading about the cases of O’Reilly and Ailes is revulsion.

     We like to think that this kind of America is behind us — that only the crusty leftovers of workplace sexism remain. But we are a nation that tolerated misogyny in the election of our current president. And when you are a Fox star, evidently, you can still do anything. You can do anything.

(Washington Post

Writers Group)