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Month: April 2017

Gilbert Martinez

G. Martinez

November 4, 1960 – April 21, 2017

Gilbert Martinez passed away on April 21 in Temecula, Calif.

Martinez was born in Orange County, Calif. but spent most of his childhood in Keizer.

He graduated from McNary High School in 1979. He moved back to California where he loved riding his Harley Davidson Fatboy in the sunshine and lived life in the moment. He was passionate for his family and dog named Harley. He succumbed from pancreatic cancer and will be missed by many special friends and family.

Martinez is survived by four brothers, two sisters and his mother.

Claire J. Reed, 1930 – 2017

C. Reed

Known for her cheerful disposition and positive attitude, Claire was often looked up to for her guidance, support, and love for friends in need experiencing difficulties in life. Her firm belief in a personal God, and a curiosity which took her to new experiences throughout the world, well showed that she lived the life she had to the fullest, in spite of many disappointments and setbacks.

Born in 1930 during the Depression, of Russian immigrant parents, Timothy and Stenia Ejov, she spent her early years in Englewood, N.J. She proved herself an outstanding student, and subsequently graduated magna cum laude from Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y. Her liberal arts degree well prepared her for the years to come, which took her through an early divorce and the unexpected responsibility of assuming full financial support of her family.

Initially working in the Customer’s Security Dept. of the Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Co. dealing with stocks and bonds, she subsequently became sales office manager for Franklin Electronics Corp, a private firm, which in conjunction with Jet Propulsion Labs, manufactured the high-speed digital printers used to track the first space shuttle flight in stations around the world. Thereafter, she moved on to Temple University as program administrator for the psychiatry department, which had just received an unexpected $3 million grant establishing the first Community Mental Health Center in the country. Upon successfully carrying out her duties there she was appointed the first Grants Management Officer for the newly created Temple University Health Sciences Center, breaking the existing “glass ceiling” for women. During this time, in addition to her in-house responsibilities and government/faculty interactions, she developed a computer program for grants administration, which was recognized nationally, became a key player in the formation of the “National Society of Research Administrators”, which included university, industrial and pharmaceutical administrators, all dealing with massive Federal funding; was invited to join the NIH as an ad hoc consultant in evaluating very large program/project grants in universities throughout the country for both the Neurological Diseases and Stroke, and Heart and Lung institutes. After many years in this position, she did a short stint with the Michigan Cancer Foundation as Research Administrator, and was the model for the American Cancer Society’s poster, “How to stop Worrying about Breast Cancer”. She finished her career at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pa. as Assistant Director of the Office of Research, after serving many years as Program Administrator, negotiating grants and contracts for the various Engineering departments, including an experiment on the space shuttle Columbia. She authored a Research Manual on the “Conduct of Research at Lehigh University,” assured compliance of the small animal facility, and wrote a brochure on “Solid State Studies at Lehigh University.”

Over her lifetime Claire has traveled the world, having visited over 50 countries, always curious of other cultures and their history, sharing this with others via travel presentations. Upon retiring in 1989, she met and married the love of her life, Robert P. Reed, a mining engineer at Bethlehem Steel, who predeceased her in 2009. During their 20-year marriage, they traveled extensively both here and abroad, entertained friends at home, where their hospitality was always enjoyed. Both were deacons at the First Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem, Pa. for many years, and without doubt, their Christian faith gave them both, strength throughout their lives. In 1998 they moved to Tucson, Ariz., and in 2004 to Keizer, Ore., to be near family due to Bob’s increasing disability with Lewy Body disease.

Nevertheless, life did not end with Bob’s passing on. True to form, life began again. Realizing at 80 that life was now playing out, Claire fulfilled a life long dream of owning a sport convertible and hence purchased a Mazda Miata M-5, which indeed, has given her a “new” life. Joining the local Miata club she enjoyed rallying with the boys, giving older friends rides, which they claim made them feel young again, and simply having fun. She continued to travel as much as possible until her death, knowing that such stimulation provided much needed social interaction and good conversation. She will be well missed.

She is survived by her daughters, Diane Morris, Salem, Ore., and Robin Dittmer of Ivins, UT, as well as son-in-law Tom Morris; grandchildren, Kenneth, Casey and Amie Rose, her husband Mike and great grandson; and Nathan, his spouse April and two great granddaughters, Jason with great-grandson and Kassandra Dittmer. Claire was also much loved by her step children, Robert Reed III and his wife, Patricia, Amy Reed Link and her spouse, Don, Christina Reed Williams, and her spouse Don, as well as their eight grandchildren. Throughout her life God has been a comfort and blessing without whom she could not have “made” it, in her words. She will be missed by the many friends and lives she has touched throughout her lifetime, as well as her dinners, for which she is well known.

At her request, no services will be held. Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service, Salem, Ore.

Officer shortage delays home intrusion arrest

Jamie Reyes

Of the Keizertimes

An intruder caused a Keizer family to flee their home and a shortage of officers on the Keizer Police Department’s (KPD) night shift delayed an arrest by almost an hour.

About 4:30 a.m.,  on Saturday, April 15, Officer Eric Jefferson was dispatched to a report of a burglary-in-progress in the 1100 block of Lockhaven Drive Northeast. A 9-1-1 caller reported an unknown male was banging on the door of his home and ringing the doorbell.

While en route to the call, Jefferson was informed that the caller had armed himself with a gun and the suspect was breaking a window to gain entry.

After the man gained entry, the man, his wife and two dogs fled the home into the backyard. The caller reported he could see the suspect walking down a hallway.

Jefferson and K-9 Buster arrived moments later and identified the point of entry, but because of the size of the home and the lot, additional support was needed to contain the suspect if he decided to flee.

“We simply do not have enough night shift officers to properly contain crime scenes and establish a good perimeter around such crime scenes,” said Deputy Chief Jeff Kuhns. “Not only were more officers needed to contain the area and set a perimeter, we needed to evacuate the victims and their two dogs from the immediate area for their own personal safety.”

Jefferson and Officer Andrew McCowan waited nearly 40 minutes for back-up, in the form of four Salem Police Department officers, to arrive. At 5:20 a.m. officers entered the home and found the suspect asleep on a couch. He was taken into custody and found to be intoxicated.

Jamie Reyes, 23, was arrested and told police he believed he had broken into his own house, a house he was buying from his cousin. He is charged with criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

During the course of questioning, Reyes also told Jefferson that his brother, Darius Adams, had dropped him off at the home after a night of partying at Tequila on River Road North. Jefferson had arrested Adams on suspicion of driving under the

Jaxon Matthew Maghan

Jaxon Matthew Maghan

Jason and Holly Maghan, along with their parents Mike and Jan Maghan, and Ron Smith are saddened to announce the death of their beloved son and grandson Jaxon Maghan, who passed away suddenly at 22 months old.

Jaxon was a happy, beautiful child, full of spunk, who won the hearts of many people especially the heart of his brother Bailey. He is now resting in the arms if his loving family members in heaven that have passed before him.

Public funeral services will be held at Church on the Hill, 2707 Marantha Court S.E., in Turner, on Saturday April 29, 2017 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, well-wishers are welcome to join the family at Applebee’s in Keizer for a breakfast fundraiser on Sunday, April 30 from 8-10 am.

Principal to committee: We need sidewalks

Of the Keizertimes

The principal at Cummings elementary school had a message for the Keizer Traffic Safety Bikeways and Pedestrian Committee Thursday, April 13: prioritize pedestrian access around her school.

“I have severe concerns about pedestrian traffic around the school,” said Martina Mangan, Cummings principal. “With no sidewalks and heavy traffic during drop-off and pick up times we have students walking around traffic jams.”

Mangan brought an ally with her to the meeting, Carol Doerfler, a member of the West Keizer Neighborhood Association Board  and crossing guard at the school. Doerfler didn’t mince words.

“When I am there watching the kids run back and forth along the edge of the street, it is enough to give you heart failure,” Doerfler said.

Currently, the only available sidewalk around Cummings, on Delight Street N., end at the building itself. There are no sidewalks on the opposite side of Delight and none along Cummings Lane North.

The project has been on the city’s wish list for at least a decade, but finding funding for it has been more of a challenge.

Students cross Cummings Lane North after school. Cummings principal implored members of the Keizer Traffic Safety Committee to prioritize pedestrian upgrades around the school. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

The city applied for federal funds to install sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements around 2008, but the project was scored so low by grant administrators that the city hasn’t even attempted it again.

“Arterials and collectors get most of the federal funding and (Delight) is a local road,” said Bill Lawyer, Keizer Public Works director.

While the city’s street fund is one of the more solvent funds in the city’s budget, Lawyer said previous commitments have a priority in the immediate future. This summer, the city is replacing the bridge on Dearborn Avenue Northeast. After that, the city is on the hook for a portion of the funding to install a new traffic signal at the transit center in Keizer station.

“Realistically, the soonest we can get to it would be during the 2018-19 fiscal year,” Lawyer said.

He’s hoping to have a clearer picture in the next six months as the plans at the transit center are fleshed out.

In the interim, Mangan has asked the Salem-Keizer School District to help alleviate the situation. Mangan said the school district plans to have a gravel path installed inside the fence around the field to the north of the school. She hopes it will keep students within the fence and not walking around cars that park outside of it.

“At least with that, students can be safe until they reach Evans (Street North),” Mangan said.

Cummings has about 440 students and only 50 take a bus to and from school. Mangan said she encourages families that live within a mile of the campus to walk, but there are a significant number that are brought to and from school in personal cars. If parents drive their students, the school encourages them to pick-up and drop-off behind the school building, but compliance is not mandatory.

Acknowledging that the project has been long-considered at the city level, Kathy Lincoln, a member of the traffic safety committee, said the involvement of the school district could be beneficial.

“If we can get some cooperation and investment from the school district, it might help the process along,” Lincoln said.

Van Voorhis gets full ride to DePaul

Of the Keizertimes

With top three times in the 100, 200 and 400 meter races, Brendan Van Voorhis was already all over the McNary track and field record book.

Last week he continued to make his mark, becoming the first Celtic runner to sign with a Division-I program in 15 years.

Van Voorhis signed with DePaul University on Friday, April 14 in the McNary library.

“My coaches always talk about the kid that holds the record,” Van Voorhis said. “It would be cool if I could take that spot of the person they talk so highly of.”

He chose DePaul, a private school in Chicago, over similar opportunities at the University of San Francisco, Boston University and the United States Military Academy in West Point.

Van Voorhis visited all four schools and while San Francisco was equally enticing, DePaul ultimately gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse—a full scholarship: 70 percent athletic and 30 percent academic.

“I pretty much liked them equally and San Francisco is closer. DePaul gave me more money,” Van Voorhis said. “I like the feel of Chicago. DePaul is right by Lake Michigan so it’s super nice houses. I liked the kids. My host was really cool. The whole atmosphere was nice and it really made me want to be a part of their program.”

Van Voorhis began making his mark on the McNary program as a freshmen. Running with Brett Hildrebrand, Anthony Nguyen and Kyle Torres, the 4×400 relay team finished second at the state meet in 2014.

The following year, Van Voorhis, Torres, Austin Brown and Riley Moore placed third in the state in the 4×100. Van Voorhis, Brown, Nguyen and Levi Timmons then took third in the 4×400 in 2016.

“I’ve been lucky with the kids that I’ve had on the track team with me since I’ve been a freshman,” Van Voorhis said. “I’ve had good influences. It’s been a good time here at McNary and the track program here.”

Individually, Van Voorhis has placed sixth in the 400 at the state meet the past two seasons.

“He’s so talented so it makes it (my job) easy,” McNary head track and field coach Franklin Gauntz said. “He’s willing to try new things. He’s really coachable. He’s just a great kid and a wonderful talent. He just wants to be the best and you can’t ask for anything more.”

Van Voorhis originally wanted to play football in college but switched his Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) online recruiting profile to track and field during his junior year.

“Ultimately, it came down to my body,” Van Voorhis said. “In football, you get hit and beat up. In track I don’t get beat up at all.”

Van Voorhis was able to use his track speed on the football field, catching 32 passes for 943 years and 14 touchdowns last season, despite missing one game while on his visit to West Point.

“It’s kind of unreal honestly because I didn’t think that I was going to be D-I for track,” Van Voorhis said.

“You look at all of these programs like Oregon and Florida that are crazy kids and times. If the DePaul coaches think I’m capable of doing that, I’m going to take their word for it.”

DePaul has a strong track and field program of its own. The men’s team was crowned 2017 Big East Indoor Champions in February.

Van Voorhis saw a glimpse of that on his visit to Chicago when he came across the DePaul record boards.

“I thought this is the next level,” Van Voorhis said. “That’s where I want to be is competing in college and running crazy fast times like that.”

Van Voorhis, who has maintained a 3.8 GPA at McNary, plans to major in biology or chemistry and enter the medical field.

Ore. Treasury wants employees to have better plan than hope

Of the Keizertimes

The Oregon State Treasury (OST) is trying to make it easier for employees to start saving for retirement – without employers incurring additional costs.

Last week, Joel Metlen, a retirement analyst with the Oregon State Treasury, stopped by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon on Tuesday, April 11, to tell members about the coming changes.

“The Oregon Retirement Savings program is an attempt at a solution to a large and growing program. People are living longer and not saving enough,” said Metlen.

The retirement program, dubbed Oregon Saves and spearheaded by OST, will attempt to make it easier for employees to establish and grow retirement savings. Metlen said movement away from employer-based savings programs to privately-held ones, like 401(k)s, has left a gap for employees where there aren’t work-based plans.

“It matters because people are 15 times more likely to save with an employer-based program,” Metlen said.

Oregon Saves is a public-private partnership, but once the program is fully rolled out all Oregon employers that do not currently offer retirement savings plans will be required to offer it to employees. It was created with the passage of HB 2960 during the 2015 legislative session.

Employers who don’t offer savings plans will need to provide employee data to to the state so that accounts can be set up, pass along information to employees, maintain payroll deductions and keep track of contributions.

Employees will be able to opt out of the program and adjust their contributions. Without action on the part of the account holders, an automatic 5 percent will be deducted from each paycheck. That amount will increase by one percent each year until it maxes out at 10 percent. Savings will be placed into a Roth Individual Retirement Account and managed by professionals. A 1 percent fee of employee assets under the plan will be taken to cover the management cost. There is no employer fee.

Metlen said one of the most frequently asked questions is what the state is getting out of the deal.

“There is a huge self-interest for the state. Social safety nets are strained and without employees saving on their own, it will create greater strain on state budget,” he said. “Every employer will have to do something whether it’s facilitating the Oregon Saves program or establishing their own retirement plan through private provider.”

A secondary goal of the effort is to encourage more innovation in employer-provided plans, he added.

Metlen said a test group of businesses will begin offering the savings account this summer and a larger group will start this fall. Metlen already has a number of businesses set for the second phase, but is accepting additional businesses willing to join the pilot program. Metlen can be contacted at [email protected]

Larger-scale roll-outs will begin in 2018 with the goal of complete coverage by 2020.

Shelter gets parks grant amid dissent

Of the Keizertimes

Keizer Rapids Park is on the path to getting it’s first picnic shelter thanks to the narrow approval of a matching grant request by the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Tuesday, April 11.

The grant for $8,300 – all of the remaining funds in the matching grant budget for the fiscal year – will help cover the cost of a 16-foot by 24-foot covered picnic shelter near the sand volleyball courts on the northwest side of the park. The total cost of the project is estimated at $26,300.

Hans Schneider, the driving force behind the upgrade to the sand volleyball courts a few years ago, was the grant applicant. He and his wife are committing $10,000 to the project.

Schneider also runs a youth volleyball program on the courts during the summer.

“When we ran our sand volleyball program last summer, we needed a place for the kids to place their things or cool down or if we get some rain,” Schneider said.

While the parks board approved the grant request, it was not without dissent.

“The current state of Keizer parks is not great, I would be more inclined to support current projects than new ones because of the status quo budget,” said Matt Lawyer, a member of the parks board.

Lawyer cited the results of the recent parks survey as one reason for his eventual “no” vote. The survey results showed residents heavily favored maintaining and upgrading existing facilities and services over building new ones.

Even as Lawyer took a stand against approving the grant, he apologized to Schneider for doing so.

“We know we can trust you, but at some point the city would have to be responsible for the maintenance of the picnic structure,” said Donna Bradley, parks board member. “I think it’s important that we look at that even though you are an exemplary volunteer.”

Keizer Parks Supervisor Robert Johnson did not voice an opinion on the project, but said that a concrete and steel structure, like the one proposed, is one of the easiest amenities to maintain.

“It basically lasts forever and it’s hard to vandalize. Even if Hans did go away, we wouldn’t be putting in hundreds of additional hours,” Johnson said.

Schneider said he and his family would pledge to take care of the structure for however long the city requested the service.

The board also discussed offsetting some of the money requested in the grant with system development charges, but Schneider already hoped to pursue those funds separately. System development charges are levied against new residential construction to pay for improvements in parks, but can only pay for 13.6 percent of any new project.

The two most vocal supporters of the project were board members Dylan Juran and Clint Holland.

“Our budget and the city says that if we don’t spend this (matching grant) money we lose it. And we have a project that Hans is saying he will give us almost three times the value of the matching funds. It’s not spending it to spend it, it’s getting a return on investment,” Juran said.

Holland called to mind recent discussions about improving a large field at Keizer Rapids park this summer. Despite having donated materials and labor lined up, the board nixed the project because it would have resulted in substantial time and resources to maintain once it was complete.

“When we turn things down when someone who is helping out, I can’t even comprehend it. If we don’t have the staff, go get some volunteers to do it,” Holland said. “I would hate to see him not come back to here. Take the $8,300 total out of the grant fund for this because we are going to get a lot in return,” Holland said.

Lawyer, Bradley and Cat Gaynor voted against the grant approval.

Schneider hopes to have the pad for the shelter poured in early June and the installation completed by the end of June.

Up in the air

McNary girls finish 1-2 in long jump

Of the Keizertimes

A friendly rivalry between two young gymnasts has moved to track and field and McNary High School is reaping the benefits.

When senior Alyssa Looney watched her teammate Courtney Giessinger long jump 17-00.05 at Oregon City on Saturday, April 15, she was not going to be outdone.

McNary senior Alyssa Looney went 17-02.75 to finish first in the high jump at the Willamette Falls Invitational on Saturday, April 15 in Oregon City. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

Looney went 17-02.75 to get within a quarter of an inch of the school record and win the Willamette Falls Invitational.

Ankle injuries kept Looney from jumping last season so it had been nearly two years since she went more than even 16 feet.

Her previous PR was 17-00.05 and her best this season was 15-07.5.

“It was a lot of motivation because my teammate (Giessinger) started jumping,” Looney said. “We’ve had friendly competition our entire lives and it really motivates both of us. She’s one of my really good friends. I think it helps. I just smiled and laughed. My only goal was to get 16 and when I jumped 17 I just couldn’t stop smiling.”

Giessinger, also a senior, is new to long jumping and has gotten better with each meet but her PR was 15-02.25, set on Wednesday, April 12 at West Albany.

“I don’t really know how I did it,” Giessinger said. “The coaches were telling me how to finish my jumps because I wasn’t doing that at first so that helped a lot. I was really shocked because my last jump at the last meet was 15 so to go to 17 was a lot. It was a big jump.”

Giessinger is also enjoying both competing against and learning from Looney, who started long jumping at the end of her freshman year.

“We used to go back and forth in gymnastics together, first and second, so us doing it together brought back the good old days.”

McNary head track and field coach Franklin Gauntz noted the program hasn’t had two girls go over 17 feet in the long jump in his tenure.

“Two girls going over 17 feet in the long jump is awesome,” he said.

“That’s really cool to have that deep of a group. For Looney to win the long jump, that was a little bit unexpected, I’m not going to lie, but it was wonderful. I knew she was capable of doing that. Courtney coming out and doing that was a real surprise. We were trying to get her up in the air and it finally clicked. She was able to get in the air and pull off three really good jumps. She had a good series.”

Senior Alex Sharabarin had another PR in the pole vault, clearing 12 feet to place second at Oregon City. It didn’t come easy.

“He was on his third attempt at 11 and really mentally grinded down and got that 11 foot,” Gauntz said.  “I’m super excited for Alex. He’s put a lot of time in.”

Junior Lucas Garvey, in his first year on the track and field team, set a new PR of 5-08 in the high jump.

On the track, junior Casey Toavs and freshman Caitlyn Kiefiuk Yates also had personal records of 17.47 and 17.42 in the 110 and 100 meter hurdles.

Brendan Van Voorhis finished third in the 100 in 11.19.

Next up, the Celts will compete in the Wilsonville Invitational on Saturday, April 22.

Slater retires from KFD after 22 years

Of the Keizertimes

After working 43 of the last 44 Keizer Fire District breakfasts, Dale Slater won’t be there on Mother’s Day this year, greeting guests at the door.

But do not be alarmed. He’ll be back.

Slater, a volunteer at KFD since December of 1994, retired last month to spend time with his new grandchild, born March 30 in New York.

“I think we’re going to be in New York for the Mother’s Day breakfast but I will be coming back for those,” Slater confirmed. “Just because I’m not an active volunteer, there are many former volunteers that come back to work those. If I can come and flip pancakes or work the desk or the door, they’re happy to have the extra set of hands.”

Inspired by the movie Backdraft and looking to make a career change, Slater moved from southern Oregon to the Willamette Valley to begin taking paramedic classes at Chemeketa Community College in Salem. After running into Deputy Fire Marshal Rod Conway, Slater decided to interview at KFD.

Slater remembers his first fire as a pumper operator. The call came in at 2 a.m. and as they turned down  Cherry Avenue and on to Candlewood Drive, Slater saw a row of arborvitaes engulfed in flames.

“You could see the light in the sky coming up Cherry Avenue and you knew it was a real fire,” Slater said. “(I was) terrified and excited at the same time. It was a lot of arborvitae and it burns hot so it took a 1,000 gallons of water to put it out.”

Two more calls, both more than 10 years ago, immediately come to mind when Slater looks back at his 22-year career as a volunteer firefighter.

The first was a report of an overturned canoe in the Willamette River by Spongs Landing. KFD teamed up with Polk County Police to rescue a mom, dad and their young child.

The other was a hot air balloon crash in a field behind Dayspring Fellowship.

“We heard there’s a balloon coming down really low on Saundra Lee (Way),” Slater said. “The bucket hit right between two houses and dragged on the empty field behind the church. Everybody was OK.”

Keizer volunteer firefighters work either one 12 hour shift during the week or 24 hours on the weekend every six days. For Slater, it didn’t matter if his shift winded up on Christmas, New Year’s Eve or any other holiday. He only ever asked off for his wife’s birthday.

“It’s a good clean hobby and it’s a good way to give back to my community,” Slater said. “Some people are Rotarians and some people are Elks and some people go to church or work at food banks. I gave my time at the fire station and utilized the education that I had. It was very rewarding. I know a lot of people in town and they know me.”

Slater knows so many people in Keizer that he once responded to a three-car wreck on River Road where he knew all three drivers. When Slater left his post at the pancake breakfast, even for a few minutes, he was certain to hear about it.

“All I do is stand at the door just to control traffic and if I’m not there for five minutes, people complain, ‘Where were you?’” Slater said. “Sadly, I’ve become known for being a door stop but it’s fun. Mother’s Day and Christmas breakfast, it’s about the kids. You teach the kids and have a little fun with them.”

Technology has changed the job. Instead of flipping through an old paper map, the firefighters have apps on their smartphones with GPS. But firefighters are also much busier than they used to be.

“It’s a harder job than it used to be and it’s busier than when I started 22 years ago,” Slater said. “Sometimes I’d be on a 24 hour shift and not go on a single call, nobody called 911, now it’s 19 or 20 a day. I was on shift on Jan. 1 of this year during the winter storm and we had 29 calls that day.”

When Slater first started, KFD didn’t have dorms for its volunteers either. That changed in February of 1997 with the new station.

“You can respond at home but most everyone stays at the station because it’s just more efficient,” Slater said. “You don’t have to wake up your spouse when the tone goes off at two o’clock in the morning, garage door opens and closes. You get there and aren’t needed after all.”

While serving as a volunteer firefighter, Slater worked in the food service industry at the old Porter’s Pub in Kezier. He’s now a technology project manager for the Department of Justice.