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Day: July 14, 2017

Now and then: Barchus fulfills D-I dream

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

A broken hand cost Jordan Barchus a season at Lower Columbia College but it did not derail his dream of playing Division-I baseball.

The 2014 McNary graduate has signed a commitment letter with the University of San Francisco.

“That’s been my goal growing up, to play Division-I baseball,” Barchus said. “It’s amazing to see how far I have come, just how much better a person and how much better at baseball I’ve gotten. Especially the last three years, I did a lot of growing up and made me ready for Division-I baseball.”

After playing sparingly as a role player his freshman season, Barchus broke his hamate bone swinging a bat early in his second year and red-shirted.

Barchus spent last summer playing with the Gresham GreyWolves to prepare for his final season at Lower Columbia, a two-year community college in Longview, Wash.

“There’s a lot of Division-I baseball guys playing in the summer league so I get to face all of that competition to get me prepared to head to the next level,” Barchus said.

Jordan Barchus spent the last three years at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash. after graduating from McNary High School in 2014. (submitted)

Batting cleanup and playing third base, Barchus returned for the 2017 season and led Lower Columbia with 44 RBIs along with 24 runs, seven doubles, two triples and two home runs while hitting .317.

On May 29, the Red Devils won their second Northwest Athletic Conference in three seasons. Barchus was voted to the all-tournament team as well as First Team All-NWAC during the regular season.

“It’s a dream come true to be part of a college championship team,” Barchus said. “You see the fruit of your labor from all of the hard work that you put in at the beginning of September, all the way until the end of May. It’s just unbelievable to see how much you grow, your team grows and it’s just a lot of fun.”

Part of Barchus’ growth was getting bigger, faster and stronger. Barchus weighed 150-155 pounds when he arrived at Lower Columbia three years ago but will leave at 175.

“There’s a lot of extra conditioning at Lower Columbia that we do that pushes you to become a better baseball player,” Barchus said. “It makes you tougher.”

With his future in doubt, Barchus didn’t hear from San Francisco until about a week before the NWAC tournament.

“I’m pretty sure I was the last one from my team to sign or commit somewhere so it was a little frustrating for the type of season I was having,” Barchus said. “These are my best friends so I was extremely happy for them but I was just personally frustrated.  I just kept playing the game. It was out of my control. I just dealt with the things I could control and play really good baseball.

“I was going to keep playing, didn’t know if it was going to be Division-I level but I was going to keep playing no matter what.”

In mid-June, he received a second offer from High Point University in North Carolina, before deciding to sign with San Francisco the first week of July.

“I just felt like I had the best opportunity and the best chance for that team to go to the NCAA playoffs and especially for me to grow as a human being even further,” Barchus said. “I felt like it was a really good fit program wise.”

Barchus plans to major in the human physiology field. He wants to be a surgeon or chiropractor.

But signing with a Division-I program also gets Barchus closer to another dream.

“The childhood dream is to play pro baseball and I’m just a step closer to that reality,” he said. “I’ve just got to work harder. Only the 1 percent of the 1 percent will get that opportunity to get paid to play baseball. Now, I’ve got to make new goals and that’s definitely one of them.”

Once-in-a-lifetime event or Apoc-eclipse?

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

About this time one year ago, everyone was told to get excited about the total solar eclipse that will pass over Keizer on Aug. 21 and travel a path across the lower United States.

As the celestial event looms, messages from public officials have started sounding like residents should be preparing for a doomsday event with encouragements to stock up on gas and basic supplies.

The reality? It’s probably somewhere in between.

KEIZERTIMES/Andrew Jackson

“There’s nothing really definitive because we don’t have locked down numbers yet,” said Lt. Andrew Copeland of the Keizer Police Department.

Regional public safety officials are expected to meet in a closed-door session on July 18, but estimates regarding the number of visitors the Salem-Keizer area can expect to see have ranged from 100,000 to a half million. Copeland said it’s likely to be on the lower end of that spectrum, but nothing is set.

State officials expect about 1 million people to travel to Oregon to take part in the planned and spontaneous activities, but many will likely peel away from Interstate 5 to areas where ambient lights are less likely to interfere with the viewing.

Still, Copeland said Keizer police are doing all they can to prepare.

“We will try to have reserves and cadets at Keizer Rapids Park during the concerts planned for that event and we will have two overtime officers on duty throughout the weekend,” Copeland said.

On the day of the eclipse, Copeland said the department will have every officer they can in uniform and on the streets to deal with expected traffic.

“It might come down to manning intersections to try to get people to I-5, but we’re not sure how backed up the highway will be either,” Copeland said.

The largest potential concern from Copeland’s perspective is that each local agency is going to need to be self-reliant in the run-up to and aftermath of the eclipse. Assisting other agencies might be a logistic impossibility.

“I don’t anticipate any problems because we don’t expect disruptive behavior,” Copeland said. “Otherwise, fill up about a week before the eclipse, get together with your family and call it history.”

Oregon Department of Transportations officials said to expect crowding on highways throughout the state. Drivers should plan to arrive early and stay late to help ease the traffic burden and the stress of travel.

Drivers should also be aware that normal travel paths may change, ODOT construction zones and non-emergency maintenance will halt between Aug. 18 and 22; truck scales will be closed and hundreds of extra roadside readerboards are expected to be deployed on the state’s highways.

While many businesses are planning their own activities, other interruptions can be expected. Deliveries may be delayed due to traffic and power and utility complications may arise.

Businesses and residents have been encouraged to stock up on necessities like medications, water, toiletries and a food in case visitors deplete local stocks.

Oregon’s SAIF Corporation, which supplies workers’ compensation insurance and other services, is encouraging business owners talk with employees about what plans are for the day of the eclipse and encourage telecommuting. SAIF officials also suggest purchasing eclipse glasses for employees and customers for safe viewing during the eclipse.

Inclusivity talks will continue

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A Keizer City Council work session on how to make the city more inclusive generated a lot of talk, but little in the way of actionable ideas Monday, July 10.

The end result was a pledge to keep the conversation going.

Earlier this year, the Keizer City Council set a goal of doing a better job of reaching out to city residents and, within a month, a group of concerned citizens brought forth a proposal for an inclusivity resolution.

What an equity lens looks like – One of the possible outcomes of a Keizer City work session on inclusivity Monday, July 10, was developing an equity lens for councilors to use while making a decision. The illustration to the right is only hypothetical, but an example of how an equity lens could be used in
decision-making at the city level.

The hoped-for resolution would be a statement from the city declaring that anyone is welcome within its limits and resolving to fight racism, religious discrimination, sexism, homophobia and violence or bullying in schools and neighborhoods. It could also address fears old, new or simply renewed among the local immigrant community, which drew the detraction from one city councilor.

“We are trying to reaffirm current practices and our proposal would not change any practices, but it would send a stern message of acceptance,” said Levi Herrera-Lopez, director of Salem’s Mano a Mano, which has a mission of helping local families becoming self-sufficient and empowered.

Mayor Cathy Clark said the city already planned to dedicate resources toward the issue “you just brought us a vehicle we didn’t anticipate when we established that goal.”

While no formal language has been established for the resolution, the recurring theme of the discussion fell on immigration and fears among the immigrant community as federal authorities have taken a harder line against undocumented immigrants. On average nationwide, 108 immigrants have been arrested per day since the beginning of the Donald Trump presidency, an increase of 150 percent over the same period last year.

A resolution “sends a strong message to immigrant communities that if you are contributing and building a family in this community you are not a target,” Herrera-Lopez said.

Knowing the city has their back is a meaningful step in encouraging members of the immigrant community – documented or undocumented – to step up and use their voice, said Cristina Marquez, advocacy and civic engagement coordinator for Causa, an immigrant rights organization.

“For people to come and access (things like) city committees they need to know their city stands with them,” Marquez said.

The current feeling among the immigrant community is one of fear of going into government buildings and sometimes even opening the front door, Marquez said.

That message struck a chord with City Councilor Laura Reid, who is also a teacher at McNary High School.

“There is a lot of anxiety over our students’ legal status and affects our work,” Reid said, adding that the message of a resolution would need to be communicated with such families.

Clark added that fear has other consequences.

“Fear keeps people silent when something needs to be dealt with,” Clark said.

Councilor Amy Ryan expressed discomfort with addressing issues of undocumented immigration in an inclusivity resolution.

“I don’t think it’s our position as councilors to create a sense of false reassurance for the immigrant community,” said Ryan. She was also concerned about expending city staff time and resources on the issue.

Anna Siqueira da Silva, another member of the group requesting the resolution, countered that immigration was only one piece of the proposal that includes ethnic, religious, sexual and ability diversity.

“(The resolution) is inclusive of lots of different groups that are consistently excluded. There are many different types of diversity and we want them to be included,” Siqueira da Silva said.

The one idea that gained some traction during the meeting was the possibility of the city adopting an equity and empowerment lens for decision making. An equity and empowerment lens is a decision-making tool that serves as a reminder to policy-setters to consider the impacts of decisions on frequently underrepresented groups (see illustration Page A1).

“It helps remind us to ask the right questions,” said Clark. “There are other levels of government that have done it and it’s not changing policies or practices at this time, but an opportunity to take it to the next level.”

Councilor Bruce Anderson said that idea sat well with him, “I kind of like that (equity lens) and not reinventing the wheel.I think what I like is that it will serve as a guidepost to the city staff and put into action what we are contemplating.”

While the meeting ended without plotting specific next steps, Councilor Roland Herrera said he was hopeful.

“I really believe that something tangible and actionable will come out of this. The goal is to include everybody and they deserve to be included,” Herrera said.

Leroy Young

L. Young

January 9, 1928 – May 27, 2017

Leroy passed on May 27, 2017.

He was a World War II veteran, serving in the Navy.

Leroy lived in Salem for twenty years and recently moved to Keizer.

He is survived by his son Dan Peterson, of Keizer.

He was laid to rest at Willamette Memorial Cemetery in Portland on Thursday, July 13.

Meet the neighbors

This year’s National Night Out is Tuesday, August 1. The country-wide event offers neighbors to connect, socialize and discuss neighborhood issues.

An off-shoot of such programs as Neighborhood Watch, Night Out was designed to encourage residents to get to know each other in a common desire to assure safe neighborhoods.

Keizer residents have embraced National Night Out over the years. Some neighborhoods hold elaborate block parties with bounce houses, music, games and more. Other neighborhoods are more low-key—a potluck, a few lawn chairs and good conversation.

Families move in and out of Keizer all the time. Chances are high that every neighborhood has had at least one new household move in since last year’s event. That is why holding a National Night Out function is important.

Keizer is generous with its welcoming attitude; new residents will be greeted and given the 4-1-1 on the community. National Night Out is another vehicle to introduce new residents to their new neighbors.

Familiarity and communication between neighbors has been found to be key in establishing safe communities in which people take ownership of their neighborhood and watch over it.

If Family A knows that Family B is out of town yet they see a person lurking about Family B’s home, they know to be suspicious and contact the police. Better to be safe than sorry.

National Night Out has generally been an event for homeowners. We think that apartment complexes and their management should become more involved. Though apartment dwellers tend to be more transient than homeowners, they have a big need to know their neighbors. Apartment building managers and owners have a huge stake in promoting an event that can only benefit their complex.

Keizer’s leaders, including the police department and the Keizer Fire District is very much invested in National Night Out. The mayor, city councilors, the police chief and officers spread out in Keizer; just about every neighborhood gathering is visited. The lucky ones get a visit by a fire district truck, turning kids into junior firefighters for a few moments.

National Night Out, aside from promoting good communication among neighbors, is a opportunity for residents to speak one-on-one with their elected representatives.

The gatherings are also a good platform for positive conversations with  members of the police department. This is good, especially where there is a suspicion and fear of authority figures. National Night Out should be viewed for what it is: just folks getting together, grilling a hot dog or two and discussing issues of the neighborhood.

The city council, police and fire personnel visit as many gatherings as they can, but they need to know about them. Keizer residents can register their National Night Out gathering at keizer.org/nno-2017. For information call Community Service Officer Dorothy Diehl at 503-856-3472 or via email at [email protected]

  —LAZ

Newberg Dr. issues remain

To the Editor:

It is very obvious that the City of Keizer is more into developing new property then performing badly needed upgrades to Keizer’s established streets that are being inappropriately used beyond their intended purpose.

Case in point: if you look on Chemawa Road near that new round-about heading toward Keizer Station you will see a long stretch of new sidewalks going in right now. Then, during the school year if you go to Newberg Drive you will often see students walking three abreast in the middle of the busy road. Plus, many other dangers with the mix of excess school traffic, pedestrians, and parking with no sidewalks, curbs, marked crosswalks, or any sort of traffic control.

It is obvious that McNary High School and the city have joined efforts (the city will not admit it, so they are hiding the fact—I wonder why) so they have directed student traffic and parking to the Newberg Drive neighborhood putting this neighborhood in harm’s way with many damages to our property and disruption of our lives. That is just wrong. St. Edward Catholic Church has said that they will sell an adjacent property to the school that would solve the traffic and parking problems that McNary has created in the last two school years. Could it be that investing in a parking lot that would solve traffic and parking issues for the school is not profitable for the developers? Do I smell a rat? Follow the money.  Time will tell, along with some research which is underway.

Charles Anderson
Keizer

Trump takes us to unexplored territory

By MICHAEL GERSON

It is sometimes argued that the media should spend less time on President Trump’s transgressive tweets in order to devote more attention to real issues such as North Korea. In fact, it is necessary to focus on Trump’s tweets precisely because they shed light on the mind that is doing the deciding on North Korea. It is a distasteful exercise. But we cannot look away. We need to know the state of mind we’re dealing with.

Trump’s tweets reveal a leader who is compulsive, abusive and easily triggered. Trump describes all this as “modern day presidential.” Lincoln had his Gettysburg Address. Franklin Roosevelt had his Four Freedoms. But modern schoolchildren will learn the Mika bloody facelift tweet.

What we are witnessing is not a new age in presidential communications. It is an ongoing, public breakdown. And the question naturally arises: Is this the result of mental dysfunction?

Most psychiatrists are (understandably) uncomfortable with diagnosis from a distance. And the particular diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder requires significant impairment—which is a hard case to make of a figure at the pinnacle of American politics.

And yet. There are judgments that must be made about the fitness of the leaders. Citizens are under no ethical obligation to be silent when they see serious dysfunction. The challenge here is not merely the trashing of political norms. The main problem is the possibility that America has an unbalanced president during a period of high-stakes global testing. This is not a clinical diagnosis. It is a civic and political judgment, made necessary by the president’s own words and acts. Trump holds a job that requires, above all else, the ability to unite and steady the nation in a time of crisis. There is no reason to believe he can play that role.

Much of the prudence and courage required to confront this problem will need to come from Republicans and conservatives. Where to start? How about refusing to downplay revolting lunacy?

It is not merely an “occasional ad hominem” for a president to employ the tremendous power of his office to target individual American citizens who oppose him. It is an abuse of power.

It is not merely “uncouth” for a president to tolerate, even to hint support for, violence against political opponents (“I’d like to punch him in the face”). It creates an atmosphere of intimidation.

It is not merely “exaggeration” for a president to issue a series of eye-stretching lies, including that his predecessor spied on him and that a popular vote victory was denied to him by widespread electoral fraud. It indicates either a deep cynicism or a tenuous connection to reality.

It is not being “coarse” for a president to engage in consistent misogyny. It is a sign of a disturbing and deep-seated dehumanization of women.

Many conservatives would respond to this critique by saying, “At least he fights!” The question is: For what? Trump evinces no strong or consistent policy views. He fights for himself—for admiration and adulation—which is the only cause his extreme narcissism allows.

Many conservatives would also respond by saying, “At least he does conservative things!” But if health care is any indication, Trump lacks conviction, knowledge and the ability to persuade. Other than that, he is Ronald Reagan incarnate.

Trump’s conservative defenders are attempting something extraordinary: to politically normalize abnormal psychology. Their sycophancy enables a sickness.

What next? Applying the 25th Amendment (containing the procedure to remove an unfit president from office) is a practical impossibility, since it involves the Cabinet turning against the president. But House and Senate Republicans should be prepared to aggressively challenge unbalanced or unhinged presidential language and decisions, rather than trying to dismiss them as simply a “distraction.”

And responsible officials in the executive branch—particularly at the State Department, Department of Defense, Justice Department and in the various intelligence services—may also need to provide an internal check on foolish, precipitous orders. The option here is to refuse, to defy, to resign (or be fired) and then to publicly provide the reasons.

No one really knows how to deal with this situation, which still feels more like an unnerving political novel than our political reality. Trump has led our country into unexplored territory. If this is “modern day presidential,” all progress moves toward the past.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

U.S. relations with Russia and Putin

By GENE H. McINTYRE

Russia has been on the map of the world for hundreds of years.  For 300 of those years it was led by a totalitarian monarchy whose despotic Romanov family kept the Russian people totally repressed and servile.  In comparing histories, no two nations, Russia and the US, have different founding principles

Shortly before World War II, under megalomaniac Stalin, the USSR signed a non-aggression pact with Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany that lasted long enough for those two nations to invade and carve up Poland.  Two years later, Germany invaded the Soviet Union and they went at killing each other until WW II ended in 1945. Thereafter, the Cold War emerged in 1947 as the Eastern Bloc (mainly the USSR) confronted the Western states (mainly the USA) under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO, formed in 1949.

Thereafter for decades, Russians and Americans nail-bitingly feared nuclear war until, with considerable wait-and-see, USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev, in the 1960s, liberalized things a bit, and later, in the 1980s, when the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies called “glasnost” and “perestroika.”  The Cold War ended during Gorbachev’s tenure wherein the Eastern Bloc totally fell apart with its satellite nations going their separate ways and the Russian people embracing a few freedoms, along with a new economy outside of building war machines.

After the USSR disappeared, Russia has mostly stood alone in eastern Europe with, more recently, Vladimir Putin as its leader, he having moved through the ranks in the former USSR secret police, the brutal and murderous KGB, to become President of Russia. He was also Russia’s prime minister and held the office of president of Russia once before his present tenure, 2000 to 2008.

It’s a well-known fact that President Putin was totally opposed to the USSR breaking up and has been mightily chafing under its emasculated consequences ever since: The loss of its world standing and empire-sized power juxtapositioned it against the USA, making them equal in the minds of many people.  Whatever the case, one could argue that the USSR lost the Cold War and the USA won it while not only Putin, but his former comrades, “burn” with a score to settle.

So, Putin, a man who grew up and became a highly successful Communist Party apparatchik in an authoritarian USSR, and one who notoriously, then and now, disposed and disposes of anyone in his way, has set out, putting his power and authority to making Russia great again while dedicating himself to the demise of the USA.  He has already achieved a huge victory as he and his henchmen had a hand in the outcome of the 2016 presidential election while are dedicated to repeat their mischief in the immediate future, attempting to delegitimize our political institutions through cyberspace attacks by taking advantage of our political and social divisions.

Why are he and President Trump believed buddies, with Trump supporting him?  Because he knows that Trump is a self-centered, egotistical American who cares mainly about himself and his family and scoffs at America’s freedoms, focusing now on the first amendment’s freedom of the press. Putin grew up in a totalitarian world as did Trump who was led to believe he must win what he undertakes by any means possible, even if those means will bring an end to a Constitutionally-established society that has afforded him the freedom to practice his creed of self-aggrandizement, lawful or not.

President Trump has fought every step of the way to stop the investigative efforts intended to find out how the Russian interventions took place and what the USA must do to prevent more destruction by the Russians. Trump in his private dealings with Putin and Russian oligarchs has a sword of Damocles hanging over his head due to his suspected actions in Russia, possibly criminal in nature, but would bring considerable damage if revealed.

The future of every American alive today has a stake in this matter.  Many Americans have indicated indifference. Getting behind the federal agency investigations, but threatened by Trump, should be in every American’s interest because they threaten us. Then, too, keep in mind a couple of interesting facts: Putin hates the press and Trump proves daily he does, too; Putin’s big deal for the Russian economy is oil, its profitable sale and ubiquitous uses and therefore is against the  Paris Accord which promotes clean energy while Trump has officially ended the US role in it; and, both Putin and Trump seek greatness, Putin for his country and Trump for himself and his family.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)