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Day: September 22, 2017

Rollover attributed to ‘mutual road rage’

A rollover crash on Keizer Station Boulevard involving a 17-year-old Keizer Police Department (KPD) cadet and a 29-year-old man is being attributed to road rage after an investigation by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

About 6:50 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, Keizer police and the Keizer Fire District were dispatched to a crash involving two vehicles near the intersection of Lockhaven Drive Northeast and Keizer Station Boulevard Northeast. One of the vehicles flipped and came to a rest on its top on the roadway while the other involved vehicle left the scene immediately after the crash occurred.

Responding officers recognized the 1985 Ford Bronco that was resting on its roof as belonging to an off-duty KPD cadet. He has been with the department since May 2016.

Because of the possible conflict of interest, MCSO deputies were called in to investigate. Their investigation determined both drivers were mutually involved in a road rage incident. Both drivers were allegedly speeding and driving recklessly just prior to the crash. Deputies believe the other involved driver, 29-year-old Juan C. Vazquez of Keizer, cut off the 17-year-old and slammed on his brakes causing the cadet to turn his vehicle in an effort to avoid a collision. Doing so caused his vehicle to leave the roadway and flip as it traveled up an embankment.

After the crash, Vazquez left the scene, but he was later found at his residence where he was taken into custody for reckless driving and six counts of recklessly endangering another person.

The 17-year-old was taken to the Salem Hospital for evaluation and treatment of minor injuries that were caused by the crash.  He will be referred to the Marion County Juvenile Department for the same charges. He was the only one of the Bronco’s four occupants that was injured.

McNary continues strong defensive play in 1-0 loss

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s young defense has stepped up to every challenge this season.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, the Lady Celts held Forest Grove, a team that had scored 19 goals in seven matches, to just one on a deflection in the 70th minute.

But missing two of their top offensive weapons, Izzy Haselip and Natalia Gonzalez, with injuries, one was too many as McNary fell 1-0 at home.

“This is the best offense we’ve played this year and the best possession team,” McNary head coach A.J. Nash said of Forest Grove. “I felt pretty comfortable for most of the game. West was good, too. They’re a little bit faster and a little bit stronger but this team they’re a little bit more skilled. Their forward and the way that they played with the tandem up top is going to give us some great film that exposed our lack of playing together more today than it ever has. It’s going to give us a great opportunity to use film and get their mind used to seeing a different formation and a different style of play.”

The Vikings didn’t produce many dangerous opportunities. A shot off a cross hit a McNary defender and deflected into the corner of the goal for the only score of the game.

“Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way,” Nash said.

The goal was only the second McNary’s defense, led by goalkeeper Sydney Snapp and sweeper Samantha Alfano, has allowed in seven games.

“Sydney has been our vocal leadership and Sam is one of the best defenders in the conference, even as a sophomore,” Nash said. “We shut down their attack in large part. I was very proud of what we did.”

Sophomore Maya Luscomb and freshmen Audrey Williams and Ashlyn Lyda have also stepped up.

“Ultimately, we’ve got a lot of depth,” Nash said. “I didn’t know what I was getting in their first year as players on the varsity level but from a talent prospective their growth has been exponential throughout the season.”

But with such a young group, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

“I’m really proud of their process but we’ve still got a lot to clean up before October,” Nash said.

Abigail Hawley, another of the Lady Celts goal scorers, tried to play through an injury but had to leave the game early. Haselip and Gonzalez are both expected back by October and could return as early as next week.

“I’d be excited to play these guys (Forest Grove) in the playoffs,” Nash said. “I think we match up real well against them with our offense back and our midfield back.”

Celtics look to get back on track after blowout

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

After a blowout loss to Sprague, McNary head coach Jeff Auvinen is simply looking for improvement as the Celtics (2-1) travel to McKay (1-2) on Friday, Sept. 22.

“We need to get back to getting better,” Auvinen said. “We did not get better last week. We got better every previous week from our first week of practice to Blue Day to our jamboree to our first game to our second game. Last week we took two steps back.”

Auvinen wants his players to learn from the 62-6 loss to Sprague but also forget about it.

“This week we’re going to try to take a step forward again and erase that from our mind if we can and move on because we can’t do anything about it now,” he said. “Learn from it but flush it.”

McNary’s playoff goals haven’t changed.

“These guys have lofty goals regarding the playoffs but if we’re going to play like that against a playoff team (Sprague), those goals will not be reached,” Auvinen said. “I think they realized that.”

McKay is coming off its first win of the season—35-14 at Forest Grove. The Scots opened with 20-point losses to West Salem and McMinnville.

“They will play hard,” Auvinen said of McKay. “They played West hard. They played McMinnville hard. They played Forest Grove hard. They’re well coached. They’re going to get after it and play well.”

The Scots gave McNary a scare last season as the Celtics were able to hold on for a 46-41 victory on homecoming.

McKay has a new quarterback as Noah Tavera, who passed for 350 yards and three touchdowns in the game, graduated.

“Their quarterback doesn’t have the mobility,” Auvinen said. “That’s what gave us fits last year. He’s not as athletic and not as accurate as the kid last year.”

The Scots also scored 14 points on defense, twice returning interceptions for touchdowns.

“We played hard but made a lot of mistakes,” Auvinen said of last season’s game.

Auvinen expects another tough game.

“This is a team that’s very comparable to us,” he said. “If you’re looking at playoffs or no playoffs, this is a game that you need to win if at all possible. We’re going to go over there and try out their new turf and hopefully have a little more fun this week than we did last week.”

Gunfire chases visitors out of park, neighbors out of homes

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A hail of gunfire drove visitors out of Sunset Park and neighbors out of their homes along the Willamette River Sunday, Sept. 10.

The incident resulted in a throng of area residents turning out at the Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Sept. 18, to demand action on the part of the city. For now, it seems the only action to be taken is a sternly-worded letter to the owner of a quarry across the river who allows family, friends and even the Salem Police Department to use part of his property as a shooting range.

“I’ve been here 25 years and we’ve had complaints about the noise, but this is the first time it has ever risen to this level,” said Sgt. Greg Barber, the Keizer police officer who responded to reports of the shots.

Barber was unable to find any bullets in the park, but doesn’t doubt witnesses who fled from the riverbank who said bullets were whizzing overhead.

“I think there probably were bullets and it is a legitimate concern,” Barber said.

When the incident began residents told city councilors it was unlike anything experienced up to this point.

“I felt immediately that this was way different. Much louder and much more present,” Marilee Moore told the council. “I went over to our gate and people were literally running out of the park and down the road, and coming out of their houses in fear. People were very frightened.”

Lt. Andrew Copeland, of the Keizer Police Department, said Polk County had a boat in the water and arrived on the scene shortly after the first 9-1-1 calls.

“They anchored on the other side of the river and contacted five or six people who, at that point, were shooting shotguns with target load in it. That isn’t a problem and those shots wouldn’t travel across the river. When asked if they had been shooting an AR-15 (a semiautomatic rifle), the group led the Polk County officers to a car with an AR-15 inside,” Copeland said.

Officers could not prove the AR-15 had been fired or who had done so, but they suspect someone was using it to shoot at clay targets tossed into the air.

Copeland contacted the owner of the Northwest Rock, Lance Davis, who said he was unaware of the incident but pledged to talk with users of the shooting site about it. KPD Chief John Teague said, during the city council meeting, Davis was also open to re-orienting the range to face north instead of east across the river.

That solution didn’t sit well with Keizer resident Judy Schnurbusch who said she and her daughter were walking near the river several years ago when bullets came from the other side.

“When I reported it at that time, we were told that the owner was very cooperative,” Schnurbusch said.

Riverfront resident Darrell Richardson said another barrage of bullets happened just a few years ago.

“Once is a mistake. Twice is really bad news. If the city of Keizer can’t do something about it, I don’t know what to do,” Richardson said.

When Richardson asked whether a permit was need for such activity, Teague responded that it was not required.

“What I’m most concerned about is the fact that someone is going to get killed if something doesn’t get done. When the powers that be tell us no one would admit to using the gun, if someone had been killed would that be how this was handled?” asked Marge Smith.

Teague responded that if injury had occurred forensic testing would have been performed on the rifle and the group of shooters.

“What happened is you had a handful of guys shooting trap with shotguns and somebody had the harebrained idea to try it with a rifle,” Teague said.

Residents implored the council to send a letter to the owner of the quarry, but Keizer has no authority to do much else. Still, City Attorney Shannon Johnson said he wanted to act on the matter before the next city council meeting in October.

“I’m not a gun person, but it’s a pretty simple rule to know what is behind what you are shooting at,” Johnson said. “We will be moving quickly on this to the degree we can.”

Mayor Cathy Clark said the letter should address the issue of liability.

“There is a liability for that owner. I would think it’s important to drive that point home,” Clark said. “If the city of Salem is using that facility, they need to know that people using it have been irresponsible then they need to know they are being affiliated with such usage.”

McNary fighting through injuries

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

An injury ended McNary’s run in the first volleyball tournament of the season prematurely.

After defeating Mountain View 2-0 (25-23, 25-22) and Churchill 2-0 (25-23, 25-22) in pool play of the Rogue Valley Classic in Medford on Saturday, Sept. 16, the Lady Celts had to play the rest of the day without senior Valerie Diede.

McNary split its next pool play match, 25-17, 22-25, against Willamette and then lost its first bracket game of the single elimination tournament 2-0 (19-25, 20-25) to Cascade Christian, a 3A school in Medford that finished second in the 16-team tournament, falling to Bend 2-1 in the championship game.

“In the afternoon we just lost a little bit of momentum,” McNary head coach Crystal DeMello said. “We had a great experience. We had the overnight stay in Medford, which is always fantastic for team bonding. We like doing that at the beginning of the season.

“That’s the first time that we’ve had to play that many games in a row. It was good for the girls to find out how well they can maintain a level of play. We ran a couple of different offenses and we ran four different lineups in those. It was a good mix and a great opportunity to move girls around and see what fits and might be best against other opponents.”

The Rogue Valley Classic was the first of four Saturday tournaments the Lady Celts will play in this season, the South Albany State Preview on Sept. 23, the Westview Tournament on Sept. 30 and the West Linn Tournament on Oct. 14.

McNary was also shorthanded in its league match at West Albany on Thursday, Sept. 14 as setter Samantha Van Voorhis was out with an illness. Sophia Salinas, a senior libero, stepped up in her place.

“We didn’t know that Sam wouldn’t be able to play until after warmups,” DeMello said. “Sophia was ready to go and that’s a characteristic you love in a setter. She did great. But that’s still a tough change when you have someone that’s used to being there six times on the court.”

The Lady Celts won the first two games 27-25 and 25-18. However, West Albany grabbed the momentum in the third set and never let it go, winning three straight, 25-10, 25-16, 15-10, to take the match.

“It’s tough to get that momentum back when it’s gone,” DeMello said. “We made some defensive adjustments and it just wasn’t quick enough. We’re excited to see them again.”

Cap amenity fee at $25,000

A plan to enact a fee on commercial deveopment to fund public amenities in Keizer is going to get a second, deeper look by the city council.

The council was scheduled to act on the amendment to the development code at this week’s meeting. The issue has been continued to the first council meeting in October. The public hearing on the matter will also be re-opened.

The public amenities will include landscaping that is up to code for new development and also a contribution to Keizer’s public art program equal to 1 percent of the project’s total worth.

Many cities, counties and states have such a provision. In many cities in America a visitor can see lots of public art that is paid for with a required 1 percent contribution.  Keizer’s public art program has become anemic and has yet to live up to its potential. Establishing a contribution program from commercial development is a good way to assure that the public art program is well-funded and continues to add pieces and events to our city.

A sticking point that arose at this week’s council meeting was the cost to a developer. The value of a new dental office being built in Keizer Station could be up to $8 million; one percent is $80,000—a large contribution for public amenties in Keizer. Some say there should be more parity amongst differing developments. As it was pointed out at Monday’s council meeting, a dental office is a specialized building that has much higher cost and value than a standard office.

When the council takes up this issue again next month it should consider a cap on contributions. For example, a 1 percent contribution for art, with a cap of $25,000. If there were only two new commercial developments a year (it is very unlikely there would be that few), the public art program would get a $50,000 shot in the arm. That’s much more than it has ever gotten in any one year period.

There are costs to doing business. The costs from the city of Keizer are low. Marion County is the body that issues permits for construction and they set the cost for such permits. It is relatively inexpensive to do business in and with the city of Keizer. When many individuals and companies endeavor to ‘give back’ to the community, a contribution of 1 percent of a project’s worth, capped at $25,000, is an investment benefits the whole community.

Several councilors that have stated that they are not artists and do not feel competent to assess art submissions. There is a mechanicism in place for that purpose:  the Keizer Public Arts Commission, which should remain the final word on acceptable art.

Funding public art willy nilly doesn’t work. The council should push forward and make required contributions easy  for developers to swallow so the city can be a showcase of art for now and into the future.

—LAZ

A representative for all?

To the Editor:

Seriously?  Our state representative, Bill Post, is back on the air and this time on the crazy station—opening act for the likes of Hair Club model Sean Hannity and Alex Jones.

I get it; I understand the allure of minor celebrity—been there, done that (for 25 years), but legislators are supposed to be serious people who represent the whole of the district, not just the easily fooled fringes.

If Mr. Post wants a career in fake news, fine, it’s a free country and I don’t have to listen to him.  But I hear he’s also filed for reelection and that is troubling.  I suggest he either rein in his ego and look for a grown up job or abandon the reelection bid.  There are serious people out there in both parties who would be happy to vie for the Post post.

Martin Doerfler
Keizer

Ask legislators to help opioid crisis

To the Editor:

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the leading cause of accidental death in 2015 was drug overdose. The life toll from the drug epidemic has been consistently growing over the past couple of years with opiate addiction and overdose being one of the lead causes.

 Each year, more people use drugs for the first time and wind up addicted. Right now, the highest number of opiate overdoses are in the Northeast. The problem originally started with heroin as the main contributor however newer drugs have begun to escalate the problem. Fentanyl has begun to be mixed into heroin with devastating consequences. This combination is so potent there have been fatal overdoses of non-users who merely got the substance on their skin.

 Now more than ever, those in our country who are struggling with substance abuse need help getting into a heroin addiction rehab. According to the Center for Disease Control or CDC, drug overdose deaths have increased more than 2.5 times compared to what they were in 1999. In fact, according to a study by experts at 10 universities, the problem can get much worse. At this point, the best-case scenario would be overdose deaths peaking in 2020 before going down and that would require government support.

 Please write your local officials and senators to begin taking action to combat the opiate epidemic and steer us away from the disaster course we are on.  There are many different approaches to the challenge of how to address the opiate epidemic. For more information visit: www.narcononnewliferetreat.org/blog/the-horrifying-future-of-the-heroin-epidemic.html.

Aaron Olson
Narconon New Life Retreat

Crossing the Columbia River

To the Editor:

Presently, there isn’t enough money available to replace the aging Interstate 5 bridge in the manner currently envisioned. But there still might be a way to build the badly needed replacement by constructing a new crossing in stages.

Phase one:  Build a northbound span.  Include an emergency access lane.

Phase two:  Open the new northbound span and convert the existing steel bridge to southbound only traffic. This change will immediately cut the traffic flow over the old bridge by one half which will greatly extend the life of the bridge. Provide for emergency access.

Phase three:  Construct a new southbound span when future funding becomes available.  Include an emergency access lane.

Phase four:  In time, dismantle and remove the existing and worn steel bridge.  Or adapt it to accommodate light rail to create an experimental light rail link between Portland and Vancouver.

By building the new crossing in stages it may be easier to align existing and new roadways and lanes which will minimize the need for right-of-way purchases.

Designers and planners will argue that there is no project engineering economy by having to mobilize for construction more than once and in an ideal situation this would be correct. But realistically, there may be no alternative to constructing the project in phases. There simply isn’t enough money available to build a complete replacement all in one step.

Jim Parr
Keizer

Divisons in our united state

By GENE H. McINTYRE

What is most challenging is to keep our country united when we are so divided. Nevertheless, it’s not at all like this is a modern day phenomenon. Really, our divisions go back to American beginnings as any study of those times past does not reveal an integrated, interdependent and unified America. To believe the contrary is to ignore and misread our history.

What is referenced is the polarization and philosophical and political differences among those various states and regions of this country as there are the red states and blue states, the coastal states and the heartland states, the big states and little ones. Pondering life in our time means to ask the most salient question: Is the American democracy at risk because of the deep divisions and separations throughout the country?

Our nation’s founding had what would become the United States by way of the Articles of Confederation which created a weak form of central government with no power to Congress.  This loose condition of togetherness with all its difficulties got our forebearers to the 1787 Continental Convention “to devise such further provisions as shall appear to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the union.”

Those fits and starts were no piece of cake as the convention of 55 delegates from 12 states (opposing it without debate, Rhode Island, sent no one) was convened in Philadelphia in May, 1787 where, after many proposals through September, 39 of the 55 delegates voted to adopt the Constitution.  Among its provisions: it restricted Congress from regulating the slave trade for 20 years, counted slaves as three-fifths of a person, but did lastingly decided that representatives would be based on population with two senators from each state.

Getting it adopted in Philadelphia was the easy part as ratification required further compromises and amendments. The most compelling concern, and the biggest bugaboo ever since, was the concern about too much power given to the central government; after all, the American patriots, those who didn’t flee to Canada, had just fought a six-year war to rid themselves of the British and the much-loathed King of England.

Ultimately, what was demanded by those with a voice became the Bill of Rights with, at the time, and to the present day, the Tenth Amendment that reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.”

Other amendments to the U.S. Constitution have what are called pivot points in our history. However, the tensions between states rights and federal rights have determined whether our “united” states have come closer or fallen apart.  Some examples of these issues have been the Civil War, the 14th Amendment, Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Right Act of 1964 and Roe v. Wade.

Some among us would argue that states rights has got us to where we are today.  Yet, the dysfunctional Congress, ignorant and gullible citizens, political polarization, economic inequality, the changing nature of work in America, culture clashes between society’s segments here, negative attitudes regarding our institutions, globalization of corporations, fear of Muslim immigrants are viewed as more destructive than, for just two examples, whether the disparate populations of Rhode Island and California should each send two senators to D.C. and the Electoral College.

What weighs most heavily on this column writer’s outlook for a viable U.S. future or the end of a great experiment in self rule is the number of legislators and other elected officials in my state, and the other states, so many office holders, and those we send to the nation’s capital.  Rather, it’s those who are there due to the money they collect to win elections.  Yet, in our entire history as a nation there’s been no time that exceeded ours in what looks most often like a virtual stampede to make money and use it to power one’s way to influence the nation’s direction to new laws and the interpretation of old ones.

No matter what issue is reviewed, among them, corporate and the wealthy tax breaks, medical insurance, Muslim immigration, voting rights, justice equality, Russian meddling in our elections, et cetera, all things come down to who’s got enough money to power his way with promises made to donors and the beholden that result in things getting done or not, too often by those with the most money.  When moolah  is the main, monopolizing, most important value in our country then we end with a place that’s mainly amoral, unethical and undesirable to those within and outside with far too many having have no stake in its future.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)