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Day: November 24, 2017

Swim team participation, focus up

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By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s swim team keeps growing.

After being late to the first week of practice for taking two trips from the high school to the Kroc Center, Celtics head coach Casey Lewin had to go to McNary athletic director Scott Gragg and get a bigger bus.

“It’s a good problem to have,” said Lewin, who enters his fourth year as head coach. “I started out with about 35 my first year and each year add on some. It’s good. I’m excited.”

McNary will enter the season with at least 60 swimmers, including 20 freshmen, which is twice as many as the Celtics normally have.

“I would love to be at 70,” Lewin said. “That would be awesome. My goal was like 55 this year and we’ve already gone past that so I’m pleased.”

Lewin was also impressed by the focus he’s seen from the team since practice began on Monday, Nov. 13.

“We were a super focused group last year and that carried over,” Lewin said. “Our first practice on Monday was probably the best first practice I’ve had and this will be my eighth year of high school coaching. Everybody was on top of it, listening well, focusing hard. It’s a very coachable group, which makes our job super easy.”

Two of McNary’s top girl swimmers are already out for the entire season.

Senior Marissa Kuch, the 2016 Female Greater Valley Conference Swimmer of the Year as a sophomore, is still dealing with the same back pain that caused her to miss the end of her junior campaign.

Senior Sarah Eckert, who led the Celtics at the GVC Championships last season, finishing fifth in the 500-yard freestyle and eighth in the 100 butterfly, tore her ACL.

Returning for the Lady Celts is senior Haley Debban, a three-sport (volleyball, swimming, track) athlete at McNary who placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke at the district meet last season.

Emily Alger and Alyssa Garvey, who along with Debban and Eckert, finished fourth in the GVC in the 200 free relay, are also back.

Lizzie Bryant, Emma Garland and Kylie McCarty, who swam on the sixth place 400 free relay team with Alger, return as well. Bryant also tied for seventh in the 100 backstroke last season.

Lewin also expects twins Bella and Alex Beard, who are both strong club swimmers, to make a splash as freshmen.

Senior Grant Biondi leads a McNary’s boys team that should be much improved.

“It’s great watching my team throughout the years grow,” Biondi said.

“I think we can really set the standard high this year by pushing hard and continuing to practice really hard.”

Sophomore Kyle Hooper, who finished sixth in the GVC in the 500 free as a freshman, returns. Brock Wyer and Harrison Vaughn, who swam on the fifth place 200 medley relay with Biondi are also back, as are Jabez Rhoades and Wyatt Sherwood, who were on the sixth place 200 free relay team.  Sherwood, Vaughn and Hooper also swam on the 400 free relay squad that took seventh.

“The boys will be much stronger than last year,” Lewin said. “We have a handful who hadn’t swam club before but after last season, they started to swim club. They saw what it takes to get to that next level where they want to be. We’ll have a lot more depth than in the past.”

McNary opens the season on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m. in the Kroc Center against Forest Grove.

“I’m just excited to see how we’re going to swim in the first meet,” Lewin said. “I’m just really excited to see where we’re at.”

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Celtics flying under the radar

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary graduated all five starters off of last season’s basketball team that reached the sweet sixteen for the third year in a row.

Luckily for head coach Ryan Kirch, the Celtics return two players who would have probably started on most teams in seniors Chandler Cavell and Lucas Garvey.

Kirch also liked what he saw from the new crop of players this summer, when five different guys scored over 20 points in a game.

“We felt really good with where we’re at,” Kirch said. “We played and beat some pretty good teams. We’ll look a little different this year because of our size. There’s some differential between players where as last year guys were very similar. I like our group. I think we’ve got some aggressiveness, we’ve got some rebounding, we’ve got some guys that can shoot it a little bit.”

McNary’s size comes from two 6-5 juniors—Noah Hudkins and Boston Smith. The Celtics have also added Riccardo Gardelli, a 6-5 senior exchange student from Italy.

“We’ll see where he fits in the mix as far as getting defensive rotations and those sorts of things but he’s certainly a capable scorer,” Kirch said of Gardelli. “He’s a good athlete with a thick, strong body who can jump and shoot it a little bit and dunk in transition. It’s just a different style of game for him. He’s been great. He wants to learn. He’s excited to be here. We’re excited to have him.”

Senior Andrew Jones, who has put on muscle in the offseason, played varsity last year and will be counted on more this season.

“Guys like Andrew and Chandler and Lucas have been around long enough that I think they understand the expectation and they’ll do a good job leading,” Kirch said.

Junior guards Alfredo Villareal and Griffin Oliveira, two swing players last season between JV and varsity, have also impressed Kirch.

“Villarreal is a little lefty guard who can really get after it and defend and run an offense,” Kirch said. “Griffin Oliveira really surprised us during the summer with his competitiveness and plays a lot bigger than he is.”

Senior Daniel Zwemke and junior Jacob Jackson will also be counted on.

Defense and sharing the ball will again be staples for the Celtics.

“We like to dictate our offense by our defense,” Kirch said. “When kids buy into that you give them a little freedom to play out in transition and that’s fun for them. We certainly maintain that and giving up a good shot for a great shot and being unselfish.”

Kirch expects the Greater Valley Conference to be just as tough as it was last season. Sprague returns four starters, including Teagan Quitoriano, co-GVC Player of the Year and a first team all-state selection. West Salem senior Kyle Greeley, the other GVC Player of the Year, is also back along with two other starters.

“We’re kind of under the radar, which is fine by us,” Kirch said. “I think we’ll surprise some people. I think our kids have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder, 61 wins in the last three years, some people may think it’s over and done with but our kids feel challenged to maintain that reputation of being a very difficult team to play.”

McNary opens the season Thursday, Nov. 30 at home against Grants Pass at 7 p.m.

Donald Eugene Denlinger

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August 28, 1931 – November 15, 2017

Donald Eugene Denlinger passed away Nov. 15. He was 86.

D. Denlinger

Denlingler was born August 28, 1931. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Tyrene; daughters Debbie (Scott), Rebecca (Jerry), Sarah (Tom), and Michal (Mike); stepchildren Troy (Karla), Trinisha (Rod), and Tregg (Shanna); 17 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by his first wife, Marilyn, mother of his daughters; his sisters, Janet and Jean.  He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Joy.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m. at Keizer Community Church

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For my holiday tradition I’ll say Christmas

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By LYNDON ZAITZ

We’re in that traditional transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas and other December holidays. On the fourth Thursday of November, many of us gather around a dinner table and solemnly say what  we are personally thankful for: good health, a job, a family, the new Taylor Swift CD and so forth.

Then, on the day after, Black Friday and onward through Dec. 24, the focus is on what we want, not what we have. Wish lists are written and rewritten. Our Christmas would be great if only someone would give us the newest widget or the shiniest whatsat.

How fast we move from thankfulness to gimme. But that’s how the holidays work. We can hold a number of different thoughts at the same time, it’s emotional potpourri. We’re giddy, we’re happy, we’re depressed, we’re blue, we’re envious, we’re romantic. In short, the holidays bring out everything that makes us  humans.

What we accept in children (holding an endless list of presents they want from Santa Claus) we might find a bit unseemly in adults. Christmas loses its element of surprise when we tell what we want for a present. As many say, better to receive something you want than something you have to return.

I have never returned a gift I have been given, except to exchange for a correct size. I don’t view a gift as a commodity, to be traded for something else. When someone offers me a gift I accept it in the spirit in which it was given. I fit that gift into my life and that’s that.

Christmas and I have had a complicated relationship for years. No one loves the traditions of the season more than I. Caroling through a neighborhood (sans figgy puddy)? Check? See a performance of Handel’s Messiah? Absolutely. Enjoy the bustle of the crowds? Sure.

It is the tradition of gifts that is complicated for me. Why am I receiving a gift? What have I done to deserve a gift? Religions, tribes and nationalities exchange gifts to celebrate, be it the birth of Jesus Christ, a good harvest or the sun.  By not having a religious upbringing, I have no connection to Christmas Mass or other church services.

The funny thing is, I enjoy nothing so much as spending a day shopping for friends and family. Each year I decide on a wrapping theme and each gift I give is wrapped similiarly.

In the past I was diligent about sending Christmas cards. I would find the box of cards that reflected me perfectly, I’d write a personal note in each and mail them off. It’s a tradition that is fading as many use social media rather than cards. Time marches on; things can’t always remain the same. But assuring some things stay the same is called tradition. The traditions that we maintain in our lives are generally those we lived with as children. What happened in our homes when we are kids become the traditions as adults.

This week millions of Americans dined at two or more homes for Thanksgiving—more for those with large blended families. That’s a lot of eating and a lot of traveling, but it’s tradition. The Thanksgivings I have enjoyed included the traditional dinner at home with the whole family, then dinner with friends and eventually dinner at a restaurant. My traditions are a little more fluid than most.

The best thing is that in America people can do what they want. They can shop in stores or on line, they can decorate their homes in October for Christmas, they can travel to many different houses for holiday meals. People can celebrate in their own way according to their beliefs and traditions. They can call the holiday Christmas or they can be sensitive and just call it the holidays. The best tradition would be of tolerance, respect and dignity. Not everybody celebrates Christmas, but that is no reason for anybody to stop others from saying and celebrating the day.  Forcing others to take Christmas out of the holiday is not political correctness, it is domestic shaming and it should not be tolerated. December 25 is Christmas; it can’t be changed anymore than Tuesday can be changed to Ewokday.

Forcing anyone to celebrate what they culturally do not celebrate is just as frustrating and useless. The holidays, in all their glory, mean many things to many peoples and cultures. The enjoyment and the marking of our holidays should never be changed or altered due to the beliefs of others. Tolerance and respect should always be part of our traditions in regards to others.

I am ready to transition to the holidays and all that it offers: crowds, carols, cooking and Champagne.

(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher and editor of the Keizertimes.)

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No victory dance yet on tax bill

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By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

When the GOP House voted to repeal Obamacare in May, President Donald Trump invited supporters to the Rose Garden to celebrate with him and to pat themselves on the back for making history in record time.

In the fall of his first year in office, Trump has come to understand that passing the halfway mark is no guarantee you’ll cross the finish line.

Yet it took only three dissenting Republicans—Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona—to announce their opposition to a Senate bill before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided not to bring it to the floor in September.

This go round, Trump is wiser to the ways of the swamp.

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” Trump marveled in February—to the delight of his entrenched critics. On tax policy, on the other hand, Trump pretty much refrained from oddball assessments. When it comes to matters of the wallet, Trump has a long personal history.

Another difference: Mark Harkins, senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, noted that Trump has refrained from lashing out at reluctant Republicans as he did on health care.

Already Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has let his dissatisfaction with the current Senate tax bill be known. As Harkins sees it, that means Trump probably cannot afford to lose the votes of the two Senate Republicans whom he has savaged most mercilessly—McCain and Bob Corker of Tennessee.

“If you’re a member of Congress, the last time you went to the White House to celebrate a bill signing, a week later your bill was being pilloried by the president,” Harkins recalled. Trump did not help himself on Capitol Hill when shortly after the House passed its Obamacare makeover bill, the president called it “mean.” Who wants to go out on a limb with that guy?

The Trump White House worked harder to promote tax reform and did a better job reaching out to like-minded stakeholders. Linda McMahon, administrator of the Small Business Administration, spoke to state and local officials Thursday about how the measure can help small businesses in their jurisdictions. That followed trips she made across the country to listen to what entrepreneurs say they need most.

In a meeting with reporters Tuesday, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said he thinks the tax bill will pass both the House and Senate because “folks want to get a deal done, and many of the basic principles have been established.”

Probably the most useful principle is that Republicans aren’t even trying to pay the whole freight for the cuts, and instead are adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt over a decade.

“For those who care about deficits, you should vote no because this bill increases deficits by over $1.5 trillion, likely more,” warned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Any deficit hawk should be against such an increase.”

To that, Republicans can respond that Schumer and other Democrats weren’t worried about adding to the national debt when it rose from $10.7 trillion in December 2008 to almost $20 trillion at the end of President Barack Obama’s tenure. At least the GOP plan is designed to grow the private economy.

As Mulvaney sees it, the only way to “get a truly healthy economy” is to attain 3 percent sustained economic growth, and that requires reforms that encourage investment.

Another factor in the tax reform effort is absence. Harkins isn’t sure the House would have passed this bill if not for the president’s 12-day Asian tour.

“I think another thing that assisted this time is the fact that he was out of pocket for almost two weeks,” said Harkins. That absence made it easier for the leadership to do what needed to be done to keep House Republicans on the team.

As Harkins put it, rather diplomatically, “It seems that it’s easier for Congress to move these large, difficult bills when they have less guidance from the executive branch.”

One more thing: After failing to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republicans in Congress know that 2018 is right around the corner — and if voters think they can’t get things done, some of them will be political toast.

(Creators Syndicate)

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Today’s safe cars: thank an activist

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By GENE H. McINTYRE

My cable service includes the Velocity channel. It is all about cars, how various models are manufactured, how they’re rebuilt when rusted and generally used up but can be made to look like new again, engine types and kinds, safety features and anything else auto-related.

The car was not invented in America but we’ve made it ours. Technical innovations, vehicle mass production, the electric starter—Americans added these features.  As the world has turned, Europeans can claim just as many automotive achievements, including unibody construction, disc brakes, and front-wheel drive. Yet, nowhere else in the world can any other group of nationals compete with what we’ve given to the meaning of cars along with our insatiable American appetite for their dream fulfillment.

Cars became important to me at an early age when I owned and drove several grossly-used versions, such as a 1956 Chevy Bel-Air, until I was able, during my first teaching job, to buy my first new one, a Chevy Corvair.  Some readers will remember the Corvair as a poor man’s sports car, rear-engined, air-cooled “space-age” compact.   Ralph Nader was primarily responsible for doing away with the Corvair by his first book, Unsafe at Any Speed.

It was only later, as I learned more about how cars made in the 1950s and ‘60s, that I considered myself, and most every other young person I ever knew, fortunate to have escaped the use of them and still kicking.  Unpadded metal surfaces, blunt knobs and rods, steering columns that could impale in a crash, while seatbelts could not be purchased or even installed as options on those cars.

Hoping not to cause cold sweats among those who were driving around in Chevys and other brands way back when we look at such features then as A-Pillars, that looked attractive in wraparound windshield designs, but left the roof supported only by thin pillars of sheet metal ready to collapse underneath a car’s weight if a rollover occurred.  Collapsible steering columns were invented in the 1930s but General Motors (Chevy’s parent company) did not use them until 1967. Steering wheels included a bullet-nose cap that in a crash almost guaranteed forehead and sternum-wrecking injuries. Meanwhile, the dashboards had no cushioned material, the hood ornament could fillet a person in a pedestrian altercation, and door latches jammed in a crash while the doors thereafter wouldn’t open.

The facts about the young lives of my wife’s and mine, regarding safety, is that we had been, as babies, small children, adolescents and young adults, riding around in unsafe cars.  My mom and dad owned an aged Chrysler from the late 1930s they used to take me home from the hospital without seat belts or any other safety feature and used thereafter during my growing-up years.  Whenever we went anywhere we kids were in the back seat fighting with each other and for the most part using the area as a wrestling mat and boxing ring.  My wife’s growing up years were similar with several siblings to make every trip somewhat like being aboard a scary carnival ride.

Modern day car-driving protections, in the U.S. at least, can be attributed in large measure to the work of Ralph Nader and his team of young Nader’s Raiders. One of his earliest safety calls resulted in those goofy automatic seatbelts while his supercilious manner sometimes discouraged some Americans from enthusiasm for his safety appeals. Nevertheless, against the mighty General Motors, and its car-manufacturing competitors like Chrysler and Ford, and other car companies, Nader began his campaign by going after the Corvair.

Nader turned the nation’s attention to some dangerous negligences that the auto industry had overlooked in production of cars for decades.  His work resulted in the enactment of car impact, safety, and passenger-protection regulations.  He promoted and lobbied successfully for the impactful National Traffic and Motor Safety Act. Further, if you appreciate clean tap water, safe operating equipment at your job, protections against predatory banks, private universities, insurance companies, drug companies, electrical and telecommunications utilities, government transparency and accountability, to the extent you do, you have Nader to thank.

Specialty car shops across the country can make old cars look new again.  Those cars are still old cars without most or any modern safety features; therefore they remain inherently unsafe but are fun to look at for nostalgic satisfactions.  They should be seen at summer fairs and festivals but not out in traffic competing for space with the current models. If your life has been saved by an air bag, anti-lock braking, crash-worthy frames and the like then you may want to keep your new or near-new car for the length of the Trump administration as The Donald wants, as his inimitable contribution to America, to do away with all federal regulations and those include the ones that have made our cars so much safer.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)

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Lockdown follows day of threats at MHS

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By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Miscommunication in the front office at McNary High School resulted in a Condition 2 lockdown on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 16.

The incident started when a person went into the office and said they were just in the parking lot and heard gunshots.

“The way it was translated was there are gunshots in the parking lot,” said McNary principal Erik Jespersen, who was in an administration meeting at the time. “There was something lost in translation.”

Given the miscommunication, the threatening graffiti in several Keizer neighborhoods the day before, and “chatter” on the radio between campus monitors, Jespersen said McNary went under a brief lockdown “in an abundance of caution.”

The lockdown lasted 15 minutes, but Jespersen and school resource officer David Zavala knew there was no threat much sooner.

“Within just a few minutes we realized there’s not an imminent threat,” Jespersen said. “Our protocol is we have to call the district office and we talk to either Ray Byrd or John VanDreal, of Safety and Risk Management Services, they have to release us from lockdown because we may not be aware that something is going on down the street. They have to check to make sure it is indeed safe and then we let them out, so instead of a lockdown for 3-4 minutes, it turned into 15 minutes.”

Within 30 minutes, Jespersen sent an auto-dialer to all McNary families informing them of the lockdown. He then sent an email to the McNary staff, telling them to communicate with their students why the school went into lockdown.

“We want to communicate with our families as fast as possible,” Jespersen said. “Once things were done, I needed to get a very quick debrief with everyone involved. I got my facts straight. I had someone from the communications office write this for me, and then we went from there. We tried to get it out as fast as we possibly could in a responsible and clear way.”

Exactly where the gunfire sound came from is unknown.

Area residents went to the Keizer City Council in the past to demand action regarding a private shooting range across the Willamette River from Sunset Park.

McNary golf course has an air cannon they use to scare off geese. However, Alex Kantner, assistant golf shop pro, confirmed the cannon wasn’t shot on Thursday morning.

A cannon fire sound can also be heard across the river from Keizer Rapids Park.

The Salem-Keizer School District has three levels of lockdowns—Condition 1, 2 and 3.

Condition 1 occurs when there is danger away from campus. Teaching continues but everyone is out of the hallways, doors are locked and kids can’t leave the room.

In Condition 2, the threat is not currently in the building but is on its way. Instruction then stops, doors, windows and blinds are closed and locked, the lights are turned off and everyone moves to a pre-designated safe area away from windows.

Condition 3 is when a threat is in the building. Doors are barricaded.

“We have formal drills a few times a year. Our students and staff are very aware of what a Condition 1, 2, and 3 are,” Jespersen said. “The kids and the staff were amazing. They responded in probably 15-20 seconds. We had 2,000 students that were where they needed to be.”


Graffiti threats hit Keizer homes

Graffiti threatening violence at McKay High School and “everywhere” was discovered at multiple homes in Keizer Wednesday, Nov. 15.

While nothing came of the threats, Salem-Keizer School District had extra security in place at McKay and McNary high schools in response to the vandalism. The Keizer Police Department continues to investigate the incident and is looking for leads. Anyone with information can contact 503-390-3713 or email [email protected], reference Keizer Police Department Incident #17-4776

The first graffiti, with the message “school shooting today @McKay,” was discovered by Keizer patrol officers about 3:40 a.m. on Horizon Ridge Drive Northeast. While the patrol officers were in the neighborhood investigating the initial report of graffiti, officers discovered at least three additional residences had been vandalized with similar threatening graffiti.  Two of the residences were also in the 1400 block of Horizon Ridge Drive NE, while the other residence is located in the 6800 block of Jakewood Court NE.  Garage doors were targeted at the homes on Horizon Ridge, while a fence was targeted at the home on Jakewood Court.

Additional messages included: “29+ dead today bombs everywhere;” “school shooting today;” and “Sandyhook2” among others.

In addition to those instances of vandalism, a stop sign at the intersection of Jakewood Court Northeast and Horizon Ridge Drive Northeast had the word “go” painted on it, and a City of Keizer Parks Regulation sign at Country Glen Park had “Sh school shoot” painted on it.

Salem-Keizer School District Superintendent Christy Perry released the following statement: “Overnight, some houses in our community were tagged with graffiti communicating a threat of violence that has impacted multiple schools. Your child’s safety is our highest priority and we are working on closely with all of our law enforcement partners which includes additional security across the district. We will continue to update you as we gather more information. Classes are continuing as usual. If you have any information regarding the graffiti, please contact your local law enforcement. Thank you for trusting us with your children. We take this responsibility seriously.”

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