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Day: May 19, 2017

Hello Iris Festival!

Parade is Saturday


Of the Keizertimes

Months of planning on the part of volunteers with the Keizer Chamber of Commerce come to fruition this weekend with the annual Keizer Iris Festival.

The festival brings a slew of live music, numerous smaller-scale events and, of course, the Valey Credit Service Iris Festival Parade. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, the parade travels from Lockhaven Drive North south on River Road to Glynbrook Drive North.

“We have about 80 entries right now and I expect about 10 more to roll in by the end of the week,” said Cari Buchholz, co-chair of the parade with Steve Pfaff.

Buchholz said many of the entries are well-known to regular parade spectators, but there are a few notable new additions.

The Medford High School band is traveling all the way up Interstate 5 to take part in the parade. The band director is a McNary alum.

Other bands include the McNary High School band alongside players from Claggett Creek and Whiteaker middle schools, the Clackamas High School band, and The Beat Goes On, an all-adult band out of Portland.

Other new entries include the 2017 International Junior Miss Queen of the Pacific Northwest and the Native American Cross-Cultural Association.

Buchholz was just as excited about the things outside of her control this year.

“Right now, the forecast is for good weather. I’m very happy that it’s going to be sunny,” she said.

Buchholz also coordinates the Festival Of Lights Parade for the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, and said that while the parades tend to draw different types of participants, there is an enthusiasm that unites them all.

“They are all there for the community and create a great parade for kids and community,” Buchholz said.

Above all, Buchholz asked for patience on the part of drivers in the area of River Road Saturday morning. Even after the parade is on its way down River Road, some drivers attempts to traverse Lockhaven Drive while volunteers are still cleaning up the area after sending the parade on it’s way.

“CERT and Keizer police do a great job of supporting us and they are adding extra people in that area while we clean up,” she said.

Aside from the parade, the Iris Festival features a number of associated events:

• Live music at the Keizerfest tent from 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

• The Mayor’s Pet Parade at 9 .m. in the Creekside Shopping Center.

• A poker run for motorcycle enthusiasts.

• The Keizer Community Library’s spring book sale at the Keizer Civic Center.

• A Keizer Little League baseball and softball tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

For a full list of events and times, check out the Keizertimes’ Iris Festival Guide or visit,

Road closures

Lockhaven Drive North will be closed at 6 a.m. to all traffic between River Road North and McClure Street Norht to establish the parade staging area. Those needing to get to the staging area must take Chemawa Road North to Windsor Island Road North then proceed eastbound on Lockhaven Drive to their designated staging points.

River Road North will be closed to all north and southbound traffic starting at 9 a.m. from Plymouth Drive Northeast to Lockhaven Drive North.  Northbound River Road traffic from Salem will be diverted to Cherry Avenue Northeast via Plymouth Drive Northeast.

Prior to the parade and other events beginning, traffic will be allowed to periodically cross River Road at Chemawa Roadd.  Vehicles will not be allowed to travel north or south on River Road during this time.

It is expected that River Road will begin to re-open around 12.30 p.m.

DeMello coming home

Of the Keizertimes

With its third volleyball coach in three years, McNary athletic director Scott Gragg wanted someone who was committed long term.

In Crystal DeMello, who grew up in Keizer and played for the Lady Celts, he found that coach.

“The last question I asked her: ‘Why do you want to coach at McNary’ and she said ‘these girls deserve the commitment of a coach that’s going to spend the time and energy in building this program,’” Gragg told the McNary volleyball team after school on Tuesday, May 16. “She remembers this program when it was special and she knows what it takes to get it to there. She’s committed to doing that and she wants to see this thing through.”

DeMello played three years of varsity volleyball for McNary under Dan Borresen. The Lady Celts placed fifth in the state her senior year.

“Crystal defined McNary volleyball at its finest,” Borresen said. “She grew up in McNary’s gym coming to camps and practices with her older sister. As a high school player, she worked tirelessly to become one of the best players on one of McNary’s greatest teams. A team that went undefeated in league—never losing a single game—and continued on to bring home McNary’s first state tournament trophy.

“She truly loves the game and all the lessons sports provides for participants. I’m looking forward to watching her lead McNary volleyball. Her passion and tremendous work ethic will be contagious.”

After graduation, DeMello accepted a Division-II scholarship to the University of Charleston in West Virginia. She was a starter at middle and right side for two years before transferring and finishing her playing career at Willamette University.

DeMello was an assistant coach at St. Mary’s Academy from 2007-2012 and has since coached on various club teams. She became the director of Southside Volleyball Club in Salem in 2015.

“I felt like I wasn’t done yet with the sport,” DeMello said of getting into coaching. “The sport had given me a lot and I wanted to give back so when the opportunity presented itself and someone who I was playing with asked me to coach, I fell in love with it.”

DeMello, who has a full-time job as a payroll tax analyst, has been waiting to get back into high school coaching and her alma mater was the perfect fit.

“I’ve been waiting to come back to this school,” DeMello said. “I’ve been waiting for the opportunity. Now that I was back in Salem, this is the school I wanted. It’s a great program and it’s a great community. I grew up in the community and they were always very involved. It just made sense, for a program that’s had a couple of coaches in a couple years, it was time and I knew that the community would support the growth of the program.”

While St. Mary’s played at McNary in the state tournament when DeMello was an assistant, she hadn’t been through the front door of the school since she was a student.

“The day I interviewed was the first time I had walked back in the front of the school and that was a rush,” DeMello said. “I’m really excited for my volleyball career to come full circle and bring me back home. This program gave me so many memories and life lessons. I want this team and all the teams that follows to have the same positive experience.”

DeMello said the Lady Celts will play “technically clean and disciplined volleyball.”

“When we execute a play offensively, defensively, it’s going to look clean,” she said. “That’s how I design a playbook and we’ll take it one step at a time.”

DeMello replaces Bruce Myers, who left McNary after one season to take the same job at West Salem.

The Lady Celts finished fifth in the Greater Valley Conference last season with a 7-9 record and were 13-14 overall, losing in the first round of the state tournament.

Samantha Van Voorhis, a incoming senior who returns at setter next season, was impressed by DeMello, especially her philosophy of developing the entire student athlete to be successful in the classroom and on the court.

“I like that she focuses not just on the volleyball aspect of everything, how she wants us to do other sports and be successful in the classroom and wants to prepare us for life because that’s the way it was here when she played,” Van Voorhis said. “I think it’s really cool that she’s trying to bring it back.”

Are we there yet?

Movement is slow on numerous new businesses in Keizer

Of the Keizertimes

A number of sites throughout Keizer are being eyed by businesses small and large, not the least of which is a second grocery store.

While news on some of the projects is minimal at this point, the Keizertimes receives regular requests for updates on where the projects stand. Here are some of the highlights of what is known about the current situations at each location.

Winco Foods

In October 2016, Winco announced it would open a smaller-scale store, Waremart by Winco, at the location formerly occupied by Albertson’s and then Haggen, 5450 River Road N.

There is still no set opening date despite rumors otherwise.

In March, permits were approved for a $5 million renovation to the property. Construction is set to begin early this summer, said a company spokesperson.

Jersey Mike's Subs

Jersey Mike’s, a sub sandwich shop at 5001 River Road N., opened for business Wednesday, May 17.

The franchisers, Joseph and Cathleen Karcher, are partnering with local schools for a fundraiser through Sunday, May 21. Coupons are circulating offering a free regular sub sandwich for a minimum contribution of $2 to the McNary High School Choir, Clear Lake Elementary School and Keizer Elementary School. Customers must have the coupon to be eligible.

“The Keizer community is a great fit for what we do at Jersey Mike’s. For the first five days that we are open we are raising money for the local schools. Our goal is to make a positive impact on the community by supporting local student programs and activities,” said Joe Karcher in a press release.

The restaurant’s hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.  The phone number is 503-967-6576.

Jersey Mike’s is a fast casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 1,500 locations open and under development nationwide.

The Human Bean

In the same building, on the side with the drive-thru, a Human Bean coffee shop is slated for sometime in the near future.

Permits to renovate the inside of the site were submitted to Marion County last week and call for $130,000 in improvements.


A Mexican restaurant will take up the site between Jersey Mike’s and Human Bean, but there is no name besides the property owner in permit requests sent to Marion County.

The permit is for a sit-down restaurant with a bar area and secluded lottery area.

Café Yumm!

Eugene-based Cafe Yumm! is coming to Keizer Station in the near future.

Cafe Yumm!, a fast casual restaurant, serves up Yumm! Bowls, wraps, soups, salads, and sandwiches with a focus on natural chicken and turkey breast and plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Franchisees Sean and Anna Zorn are expanding their operation from Salem to Keizer. Marne Dunder, marketing manager for Cafe Yumm!, said the Zorns were the first franchisees to bring drive-thru service to the chain and make it fit the concept’s dining style.

“Everything we make is prepared fresh to order, so restaurant concepts like ours usually do not offer a drive-through service, but (the Zorns) worked with the chain to develop the service. Drive-up orders as well as call-ahead with pick up at the window have been very popular at the (south Salem) Cafe Yumm!. Two restaurants opened since have been built to include a drive-through,” Dunder said.

Cafe Yumm! has 21 restaurants, and ten were opened in the past five years (the Salem location opened in 2014).

Dunder said the opening date cannot be predicted this early in the process.


Negotiations for a possible movie theater, Cinemagic, at a Keizer Station are continuing at the city level.

In October 2016, owner Chuck Nakvasil announced he hoped to build a medium-sized, first-run theater across from the Salem-Keizer Transit Center. The process is moving slowly because, rather than purchasing the property outright, Nakvasil would like to lease the city-owned land.

This could be a first for the city, which would then have an annual income stream from the property. In the past, Keizer city councilors have declined to retain ownership of property, but selling parcels off gives the city revenues a one-time shot in the arm while leases create a continuing source of revenue.

Talks currently are between city staff and Nakvasil. When necessary, city councilors have been weighing in on the proceedings during executive sessions.

Nakvasil owns six other theaters in Oregon and Washington, but the Keizer theater appears to be the first further south than Canby.

The Old Roth's
The Roth’s lettering was removed from the building in June of 2012. (KEIZERTIMES/File photo)

Earlier this year there were rumors, and an actual Facebook announcement, of a skating rink taking the space once occupied by Roth’s IGA on River Road.

Those plans have yet to materialize and several attempts to connect with the group proposing the idea fell through.

As yet, no official announcements have been made for the space.

Matching goods to needs

At a time of expected cuts in social service spending by governments on every level due to budgetary constraints, the public—in some cases—can find quicker and more efficient results by turning to each other.

That is what the Community Resource Network is doing in Marion County. The network is part of the county’s Community Services Department. It is a web-based network that connects resources to unmet needs through information sharing. It is not a bureaucracy, it is people helping people.

An example cited by Tamra Goettsch, director of the Community Services Department, is about a goat. A young girl in the county, in a family of limited means, wanted to join 4H. She chose raising a goat as  her project. In her situation, purchasing a goat was not possible. The word went out on the Community Resource Network and within a few days the girl had a goat for her project. There was little muss, little fuss; a girl needed a goat, the word went out, someone had a goat and a goat went to the girl for her project.

Not all needs are as easily met as matching a young girl with a goat for a 4H project. Not every connection needs to be earth-shattering. Businesses and non-profit organizations licensed to do business in Oregon can join the network. On the network members announce their surplus resources—coats, beds, bedding, toiletries, books, backpacks—items that most of us take for granted but are at times out of reach of the less fortunate in our community.

Though the county department oversees the network, it operates mostly with the input of its members. There are hundreds of good reasons join the network, the most important being that it helps others in our community in the most basic way—person to person.

The Community Resource Network can be especially powerful to help the most vulnerable—children in need. Membership gains access to the information about need, it does not beholden a member to a long-term commitment and certainly no financial commitment. As summer begins, there may be businesses and individuals who have quality, gently used jackets and coats that can be matched now for use by kids next fall and winter. Those coats and jackets may be the only goods shared by that organization, but at the time it means the world to the recepient.

We are always big supporters of people helping each other with the least amount of government involvement. The Community Resource Network is the vehicle that should be supported by businesses, non-profits and indiviuals alike.


Nothing eclipses festival

Keizer’s biggest community event kicks off Thursday night at the Keizerfest tent at the Lions Club on Cherry Avenue.

Total Eclipse of the Heart, the 2017 Keizer Iris Festival is officially held all month long in May, but the big events started last weekend and continue through Sunday, May 21.

This year’s theme was chosen to mark the total solar eclipse that will be visible in Keizer on Aug. 21.

The public is invited to many festival activities, and there is something for everyone. The kick-off party is Thursday in the Keizerfest tent starting at 5 p.m. Cost is $8 for a barbecue dinner prepared by Adam’s Rib Smoke House. Local favorites The FlexTones will entertain from the main stage from 7 to 10 p.m.

All the carnival rides, the Midway and vendors along with beer and wine will be open on Friday, May 19. That day, the Iris Festival Golf Tournament takes place at McNary Golf Club. The Senior Talent Showcase will take place on the main stage starting at noon; there will be a $5 lunch buffet.

Runners and parade fans get their rewards on Saturday. Pre-parade 5K and 3K runs will take a route up and down River Road. The Valley Credit Service Iris Festival Parade will start at 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, May 20, is also Lemonade Day in Keizer-Salem. The national event is designed to teach kids about business by planning and running their own lemonade stand. There will be many lemonade stands throughout Keizer that day including a pod of them at the entrance to the Keizerfest tent; the stands will operate from about 10 a.m. to mid-afternoon.

Live music will fill Keizerfest Friday and Saturday.

A marathon, a half-marathon and a 10K run are all on the bill for Sunday morning.

While all that is going on Schreiner’s Iris Gardens on Quinaby Road, just north of Keizer, will be fully abloom. The gardens attract iris lovers as well as photographers and artists. Weather forecasts for festival weekend are good which should make for a wonderful Iris Festival once again in the Iris Capital of the World.


No respect

To the Editor:

It appears the Keizer City Council has no respect for the judgement of the voters in Keizer. Judging by the results of the special meeting on imposing a fee for city parks, the council will—in all likelihood—impose a $4 per month per household on our water bills.

In spite of the city’s own survey which showed our citizens ranked parks well below public safety, the council will probably go ahead with a fee without a vote of the people.

The fact is the parks now receive $336,000 a year for maintenance and that will go to $1 million per year with the fee. You can bet a fee for public safety will be on the agenda shortly. The only way to stop the process is for tax payers to let the city council know they are acting badly.

Let’s take care of public safety first and let us vote on fees.

Bill Quinn

Which story are we sticking to?


President Donald Trump did himself no favor last week when he went on NBC News and essentially refuted the reason his team had given the press for why he fired FBI Director James Comey.

Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt, “I was going to fire Comey” regardless of what the Department of Justice recommended, which conflicted with the White House’s sketchy version of events.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the decision to can Comey came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “It was all him,” Spicer told reporters. “No one from the White House. That was a DOJ decision.” Wrong.

Then, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Trump asked Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for their recommendation “based on the conversation they had. He asked them to put that recommendation in writing. But they came to him on his own.” Wrong.

That day Vice President Mike Pence also framed Trump’s decision to fire Comey as the result of Rosenstein’s and Sessions’ input. Not true.

The White House does not look good. David Axelrod, former guru to President Barack Obama, summed up the problem when he told The New York Times, “The most hazardous duty in Washington these days is that of a Trump surrogate. … You wind up looking like a liar or a fool.”

Anonymous staffers began leaking stories about how various individuals were blindsided—which only highlighted the chaos in the West Wing.

Trump tweeted that Friday morning, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

Later Spicer had to go out and face the White House press corps. When a reporter asked if Trump had recorded conversations with Comey, the press secretary replied, “I’ve talked to the president. The president has nothing further to add on that.” In this atmosphere, it’s better for spokespersons to signal they are out of the loop.

According to press reports, Pence was aware that Trump wanted to fire Comey the week before it happened. Now, no vice president is going to reveal the content of conversations with the president, not if he wants the commander in chief to confide in him. But in the future, Pence could see reason to backpedal his rhetoric in order to safeguard his reputation as a straight shooter.

Worst of all, Trump’s NBC interview made clear that he has so much contempt for his own spin that he freely stepped on it.

The original White House story always lacked credibility. In July, Trump accused Comey of going too easy on Hillary Clinton when the FBI director announced the agency would not file charges against her for using a home-brew server for her classified communications as secretary of state. In October, when Comey temporarily reopened the investigation, Trump praised the FBI chief for doing the right thing.

Rosenstein’s memo, on the other hand, hit Comey for being unfair to Clinton by speaking to the press in July and broadcasting the FBI’s decision to reopen the investigation in October. Also, his memo did not explicitly recommend that Trump fire the FBI chief. That is, there is no way the Rosenstein memo was the catalyst for Comey’s dismissal.

Trump himself could not stick to that fantastic story.

In a sit-down with Fox News, Trump insinuated that he is thinking of shaking up his communications staff—even taking over the press briefings himself. If Trump thinks he does a better job defending himself, he might consider that’s because he would not make the very bogus arguments that his team was tasked with making.

Over time these antics, if they continue, only can serve to isolate Trump. Who, after all, wants to be the next press secretary or deputy to be left out on the loneliest of limbs? If Donald Trump keeps this up, professionals who value their reputations will find excuses to stay away, and sycophants alone will remain.

(Creators Syndicate)

Worried about the state of our leadership


Every American is free to accept and reject societal values. It is only when the expression of those values does harm to other Americans that the line of what’s lawful is crossed.  This aspect of human interaction is the difference between chaos and order.  Then, too, a society’s core values are what provides its youth  a means of emulating traditions, carrying them from one generation to the next, sustaining the Constitution that established America’s foundational values.

It was this very matter of values that alarmed this voter about candidate Donald J. Trump. During the 2016 campaign season we learned that Trump viewed most Mexicans as “rapists and drug dealers.”  He commented on John McCain as “not a war hero.” He said of Megyn Kelly’s questions during the first GOP debate that they resulted from a menstrual period. He said he witnessed 9/11 celebrations on the part of Muslims in America. He mocked a disabled reporter using wild gestures and guttural sounds. He owned a Trump University that took money from would-be students and pocketed that money without delivering any educational programs.  Then there was that despicable Access Hollywood tape where groping and objectifying women was glorified by Trump as his way of treating the opposite sex.

After Trump’s election, there have been a virtual avalanche of lies and exaggerations proven time after time to be untrue. One of the first lies had to do with the number of persons who watched his inauguration in Washington, D.C.  Then there was the lie about the number of persons behind the Electoral College count versus the actual number of votes for him and Hillary Clinton.Then there was the ongoing lie about the Trump-imagined number of illegal voters that have been determined by research to be about 30.  Then there was the proven-false wiretap accusation.  More recently the firing of the former FBI Director James Comey has resulted in contradictory explanations for the firing from Trump versus his spokespersons.  And this, that and the other go on and on and on.

Yet, according to polls, no matter what President Trump says or does, something between 35 to 40 percent of those Americans asked about him, still support him as apparently do most GOP members of Congress.   This leaves one to ask whether our nation is into a crisis in values where lying and exaggerating has become for many the standard for all interactions within and outside the nation.  Sadly, after the way firing Comey was handled, it appears we are on the verge of losing our way as a democracy with the Constitution trashed and the horrors of authoritarian rule by strong man dictatorship replacing it.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)

Mervin Riley Halbeisen

Dec. 3, 1935 – May 7, 2017

M. Halbeisen

Mervin Riley Halbeisen, age 81, passed away at home with his wife, Betsy, by his side on May 5, 2017.  Mervin was born on December 3, 1935 in Lincoln, NE.  He is survived by his wife Betsy; two sons, Randy and David; daughter Connie Franklin (Alan); three step-children Randy,  Russell and Brigetta Hoch; eight grandchildren; and six great grandchildren.  He was preceeded in death by his first wife Donna.

Halbeisen served the country as a paratrooper in the US Army.  He owned the Santiam Depot Restaurant & Lounge in Stayton.  He also was owner/operator of Merv’s Trucking Company in Salem.

He was active in both the Keizer Elks and Eagles and also the Lincoln City Eagles.

Services will be held at the Keizer Elks Lodge, 4250 Cherry Avenue, on June 3, 2017, at 2 p.m. Donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.