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Month: January 2018

Government can work

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Episodes of congressional disarray feed an ideologically loaded narrative that government is hopelessly incompetent and can never be counted on to do much that is useful.

Even if President Trump and the Republicans ultimately come to bear the burden for Washington’s disarray, episodes of this sort bolster the standard conservative view of government as a lumbering beast whose “meddling” only fouls things up. The private sector is cast as virtuously efficient and best left alone.

The power of this anti-government bias is enhanced by our failure to revisit government’s successes. We don’t often call out those who wrongly predict that activist politicians and bureaucrats will bring on nothing but catastrophe.

This is why conservatives would rather lock up the government rescue of General Motors and Chrysler under President Obama in a memory hole. In the end, taxpayers invested some $80 billion in the rescue and recouped all but approximately $10 billion of that. And that figure does not take into account the taxes paid by workers who might otherwise have been unemployed.

Remember that when this was debated, critics insisted that the federal government could not possibly understand a complicated business and that it would turn the auto companies into some kind of patronage dumping ground.

If the bailout happened, Mitt Romney famously wrote, “you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.” Rush Limbaugh accused Obama of trying to “take over” the American auto companies in order to turn them into “another industry doing his bidding.” Former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said the bailout would amount to throwing good money after bad. “Just giving them $25 billion doesn’t change anything,” he said in November 2008, citing the estimated upfront cost at the time of saving the companies. “It just puts off for six months or so the day of reckoning.”

In fact, in the most capitalist of terms, the initiative worked spectacularly well. Auto sales rose for seven straight years starting in 2010, before finally taking a small dip in 2017. On May 29, 2009, GM stock cratered to 75 cents a share—yes, 75 cents. The restructured company went public again in 2010 at $33 a share, and it was trading at around $43 a share last week. Fiat Chrysler, the merged company that came out of the government-led restructuring, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange at $9 a share in October 2014 and is now trading in the range of $24 a share.

Although Obama organized the details of the rescue and took the heat for it, former President George W. Bush deserves some credit here. While he was initially reluctant to do so, Bush responded to Obama’s desire to keep the future of the companies open. He eventually fronted GM and Chrysler some $25 billion from the funds set aside for the bank bailouts after the economic implosion.

Bush said in December 2008, “If we were to allow the free market to take its course now, it would almost certainly lead to disorderly bankruptcy.” For such a staunch capitalist, it was a candid—one might say courageous—admission that the market, operating on its own, would create chaos.

And this bedlam would have taken a severe human and social toll, since the job losses from that “disorderly bankruptcy” would have hit not only the auto companies themselves but also their suppliers and other enterprises, large and small, that served them.

Instead, Michigan, along with other parts of the region, has staged an impressive comeback. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate peaked at 14.9 percent in June 2009, fell to 5.1 percent by December 2016, and has continued to drop, to 4.6 percent last November. In Detroit itself, unemployment declined from 28.4 percent in June 2009 to 7.8 percent in November 2017.

Wages, it should be said, have not fully recovered from the Great Recession. The real median household income in Michigan stood at $57,910 in 2006, sank through 2010, when it hit $50,943, and was at $57,091 in 2016. So there’s still work to do. But imagine what the trends would look like if government had made the irreversible choice of letting GM and Chrysler go under.

The price of our collective amnesia about the moments when public action kept capitalism from flying off the rails is very high. Once a crisis is over, extreme forms of deregulation return to fashion and our political discourse falls lazily back into cheap government bashing. That Trump and Congress sometimes make this easy is no excuse for forgetting why government is there.

(Washington Post Writers Group)


Elitism is the stick in the spokes of democracy

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Elitism. It is a powerful word.  Recently that word has been brought up in a nationally-syndicated opinion column with disparaging comment that it should be drummed out of Americans and all things American.  Defined, it refers to a group that is considered superior to the remaining members of the group in terms of ability and qualities, and is also used to identify those in the group having the greatest power and influence within a society due to their wealth and privilege.

My reading of the U.S. Constitution, its companion document, the Bill of Rights, and our nation’s laws and related applications, is that there has been an effort from the beginning to drive a stake through the heart of elitism even though those persons responsible for getting the United States underway in the late 18th century could be viewed as the elites in Colonial America, those who led the Revolutionary War and the ultimate break from England’s rule. Incidentally, in every person’s inimitable way he’s an elitist: it’s the human nature in all of us that’s inclined to judge other persons as below us or inferior.

Recorded history of the world could be described as people—back to the Egyptians—and even earlier, surrendering their lives to elites by permitting themselves to be ruled by the elites. These would have been the pharaohs, the emperors, the czars, the kings and queens and the rulers back to the birth of civilizations. In fact, world history suggests that the human species has items in its DNA, resulting in surrender of freedom, and the right of every member to protect himself in return for control by the most wealthy and powerful in their midst.

In North America and throughout the world of yesteryear, humans struck out on their own to escape control as one can learn by reading about those who ventured away from civilizations east of Polynesia and settled the Pacific Ocean, the tribes that used the once-solid bridge of land between Asia and what is now Alaska, and the pilgrims of Europe, England, and the Netherlands, that sailed away to religious freedom in what became colonial America. People, virtually forever, have wanted freedom but sooner or later have surrendered to controls by the elites in their societies, those richest in goods and greatest in power.

We bring our loss of freedom and self-determination on ourselves because we want a measure of safety and security we are not able to provide for ourselves.  If we do as we please and, in doing so, break the law then we face the consequence of fine or imprisonment. If we set out into hinterlands to establish our own little fiefdom, we soon are held responsible for what we do by a force more powerful than ourselves that comes to us because all of America, deep in the woods and out in deserts, is owned or controlled by the most wealthy and powerful among us.

We cannot therefore avoid or escape elitism. These elitists dictate whether we like it or not because these are the people among us who have managed—by inheritance, hard work, mental ability—to accumulate the most wealth and power.  Although we argue we are a nation of laws, not men, we end up in daily life by subtle or direct control, or simply surrender, to those, we choose by voting in America, often with the most wealth and power.   Reminder: We recognize, too, it is in the nature of most all of us to view virtually everyone else as, by subjective judgment, lesser than ourselves.

The average American can do little about his plight of powerlessness except by pen, voice and vote. If I’d been granted what’s required to stand tall among those with wealth and power, I might have had more power and privilege other than effort at persuasion by columns. I am not wealthy and thereby not powerful but appreciate the fact that I can openly express my ideas in a nation that generally respects its Constitution enough to allow me to do it.  Elsewhere, I could be incarcerated or murdered, although the level of intolerance for expressions “too contrary” or “blasphemous” can get a person “in deep trouble” here.

Elitism is here and here to stay and has been since the “beginning of time.”  There’s no way in modern times to rid ourselves of it because our planet has been “civilized” from stem to stern.  And there’s no way to escape, not even by death, as the authorities will do with my body as law dictates.  But not to despair!  As is true of all Americans, the nationally syndicated writer who disparages those he views as elitists has the freedom to criticize “them,” as do we all. Meanwhile and always, the American freedom of speech is preciously powerful and must be protected at all cost from those who would demagogue or dictate.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)


Doutt, Lady Celts topple North Salem

Of the Keizertimes

The bye week did McNary good.

In their first game in seven days, the Lady Celts (13-4, 7-2) dominated North Salem 67-34 on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Eight different players scored, including four in double figures.

“We focused on us a lot and trying to share the basketball and work to get the best team shot that we can get,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “I thought we really shared the ball well tonight.”

Senior Kailey Doutt led the Lady Celts with 19 points, four rebounds and four steals in three quarters.

“I was excited to play again,” Doutt said. “I don’t like having breaks so I think we were all excited for this game, to come back. I think we moved the ball pretty well and we shot the ball pretty well from the outside.”

McNary shot 47 percent from the field. Paige Downer went 4-for-4 from 3 to finish with 12 points. Sabella Alfaro added 10 points and six rebounds. Mackenzie Proctor provided 10 points off the bench.

The Lady Celts were a perfect 13-for-13 from the free throw line.

“We’ve been working on the amount of times we get to the line and increasing our free throw percentage, so that was good to see,” Doran said.

McNary led from start to finish as Downer made her first 3-pointer less than a minute into the game. The Lady Celts led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter and 33-15 at halftime.

Leading 49-19, Alfaro and four freshmen started the fourth quarter. With four points by Alfaro, six from Proctor, four by Kennedy Buss and two each from Leah Doutt and Annie-Leigh Besa, the Lady Celts outscored North Salem in the period 18-15.

Two players, Dana Romero and Aaliyah Fitzke scored all of North Salem’s points. Romero led all scorers with 24 points and Fitzke added 10.

McNary’s boys (13-4, 8-1) also won big on Tuesday, defeating the Vikings 85-51.

The Celtics led just 35-29 at intermission before outscoring North Salem 50-22 in the second half.

Chandler Cavell finished with 18 points and six rebounds. Andrew Jones had 12 points. Boston Smith added 11 points and six rebounds.

McNary hosts Sprague on Friday, Jan. 26 beginning with the girls game at 5:45 p.m.

The Sprague boys are 14-2 overall, 9-0 in league play and No. 1 in the OSAA power rankings. The Celtics are ranked fifth. The Olympians defeated McNary at Sprague 70-62 on Dec. 15.

“Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL” by Dr. Jen Welter with Stephanie Krikorian

“Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL” by Dr. Jen Welter with Stephanie Krikorian

c.2017, Seal Press
$26.00 / $34.00 Canada
266 pages

That was the lousiest call, ever.

Obviously, the ref wasn’t paying attention. He was looking the other way, he dropped the flag by accident, he must be wearing a blindfold. The ref was wrong, but in the new book “Play Big” by Dr. Jen Welter (with Stephanie Krikorian), the game is right.

At first, it was tennis.

When little Jen Welter’s mother suggested that her daughters pick just one after-school activity, Welter chose tennis and became obsessed with it. She practiced non-stop and ultimately beat players much older than she, but a coach’s dismissive words caused her to give up the game.

Rugby stole her heart in college and that led to a try-out for the Massachusetts Mutiny, a women’s pro football team. Though Welter was “small,” she used it to her advantage; once on the team, she knew football was her destiny.

It wasn’t going to make her rich, though: she was paid a dollar a game her first season, though the situation got better after she gained a championship ring for the “women’s football Super Bowl” and she moved to Dallas to play with the Diamonds. Later, she played in the IFAF Women’s World Championship. She’d already received her second Team USA gold medal when she made history by joining the Texas Revolution, an Indoor Football League team, for training camp. When the next life-changing phone call came shortly thereafter, Welter again made history with the Arizona Cardinals by becoming the NFL’s first female coach.

That, her doctorate degree in psychology, and two other college degrees have given Welter a unique viewpoint on leadership…

Always be authentic, she says; “Heart can’t be quantified.” Don’t rush to commit to your dream, if the timing isn’t exactly right. Look for a mentor and be one. Don’t “confuse money with security, and comfort with progress.” Cultivate a feel for when it’s risk-taking time. Know the character of the people in your life. And finally, harness “the power of teamwork.” Together, your team can do great things.

In many ways, “Play Big” is a book looking for its niche.

Is it a biography?  Yes, mostly.  Is it a sports book?  Absolutely, it is.  Is it a business book? That, too, and while it may seem like a mish-mash of subjects, it works here. Author and speaker Dr. Jen Welter (with Stephanie Krikorian) rolls multiple expertises into a narrative that can tiresomely brag but, moreover, entertains and instructs in a tone that pulls rather than pushes. In her book, Welter wrestles with that style of leadership now and then, but she explains how it works for her. It works for readers, too, as she speaks to businesspeople and their teams, both on and off the field, and to women, with a personal story that’s timely and powerfully unforgettable.

Overall, this book is a nice surprise and will appeal to readers of several genres, including those who have no interest whatsoever in football. If you’re looking for something that enhances your life and career, “Play Big” is a good call.

*          *          *

For football fans, there’s more: look for “My First Coach” by Gary Myers, a book by NFL quarterbacks, about the inspiration they’ve gotten from their Dads. Hint: makes a great gift for your Dear Old Pops.


Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin

Congressmen pack house at CCMS

Of the Keizertimes

A town hall hosted by Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Kurt Schrader drew a crowd of more than 400 people to Claggett Creek Middle School Saturday, Jan. 13.

The congressmen took questions from the standing-room-only attendees and gave updates on their recent work in the halls of the U.S. Congress.

Keizertimes and the Statesman Journal got a chance to speak with both men before the town hall (see related story, Page A1). Keizertimes is presenting the town hall in a question-and-answer format to preserve as much of the legislators’ intent as possible.

Question from Tressen Keller, CCMS eighth grader: How should college debt affect college dreams?

Schrader: The debt students incur these days is criminal. We have worked to at least finance some of the debt. Only 3 percent of federal dollars go to education and that’s in stark contrast to our state where over 50 percent are used for education. If you step up after and work in an area in need of expertise, then your loan should be forgiven. We are working to make sure that your college is a heckuva lot more affordable than it is right now.

Merkley: I will add that we need to do a lot more to fund Pell grants to keep pace with rising tuition. When our students borrow, they should be able to borrow at the same rate the big banks get.

Question: What are the chances of drilling for oil off the Oregon Coast:

Merkley: The answer is none. You probably heard that as soon as it was announced, the Florida governor protested and (Sec. Ryan) Zinke said we’ll let Florida off the hook because he’s Republican. How about we let every state off the hook where the governor protests?

Schrader: The West Coast coalition has been pretty united in that it is a no-go for us.

Question from Richard Walsh, attorney and former Keizer city councilor: How many Democrats are onboard for the Medicare for All plan and why isn’t it part of the (Democratic) platform?

Merkley: Our system is so complicated and we have six different systems overlapping in different ways. Wouldn’t it be great to have a simple, seamless system whereby simply by living in America you have affordable, quality healthcare.

On the Senate side, a lot of senators have stepped up to talk about it and there are those who want to talk about the steps leading to a simpler system down the road. I think it’s important to see how much shift has occurred. There is a tremendous support for that shift. The conversation is going toward that direction and we have to keep pushing.

Schrader: The conversation has shifted dramatically. Healthcare for everybody is where we need to be going. We have to show the Affordable Care Act is working and that more expansion can work.

Question from Judith Mansfield, teacher: I have a lot of concerns for my DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students and tuition for students, and I believe healthcare is a human right. Is there enough will and compassion to counteract and balance what has been going on in the past year and cut it short?

Merkley: Is there enough humanity address what is going on? I hope so. I hope the citizens of this country convey to their senators and representatives just how divisive the hate-mongering has been. Life is short, let’s take our energy and put it into making things better. The Dream Act is something symbolic of that.

It’s totally unfair to be stressing out families who are worried about their kids becoming stateless individuals. Let’s make them full members of our community as they have been for most of their lives.

Schrader: If you would put a clean DACA bill on the floor of the house it would pass. Why is it not happening? It’s bad leadership. Leaders bring people together. There is a lot of compassion in this Congress. Many of them are from the last Congress and they solved a longterm problem to make sure seniors could receive the healthcare they need, helped write a bill that put in place industry standards  to prevent toxins, and they made sure parents and teachers and states had their own say in how kids were educated. It’s not happening because of bad leadership, and hopefully this coming election cycle we will see some changes.

Question: We have three state highways that go through downtown (Salem) and all east-west traffic goes across one point. We need another bridge. We have idling traffic that sits for hours and pollutes like crazy. Will you be able to give us some help to fund this kind of a bridge for us?

Schrader: It’s undeniable that the congestion is horrible. Some accommodation has to be had. We are looking for solid direction from this community and a plan that works its way up through the state transportation process and it becomes a priority. The last transportation bill we passed we made I-205 a national priority and we could make this a project of national significance. That gives access to some funding and grant streams that we wouldn’t normally have.

Question from Michael Hampton, of Keizer: I am concerned about the destruction of environmental regulations under Scott Pruitt. How can we maintain what we had?

Merkley: The administration proposed Michael Dourson (as the EPA’s chief chemical safety nominee). Dourson and his team have spent his entire career saying that, when science says a specific amount (of a chemical) is dangerous, 10 times or 100 times more is not something to worry about. The administration pulled his nomination after the response from citizens. Pruitt is a big challenge because he’s undoing so much from the inside.

Schrader: Elections have consequences and you get the government you vote in. Everyone needs to step up and be present and active in the next cycle. We saw a bunch of Congressional Review Act (votes used to undo regulations promulgated) by the Obama Administration. That might be a way we can make sure the protections we have stay in place.

Question from Anita Navarro, Claggett eighth grader: What does a woman-safe workplace mean to you?

Merkley: It’s a workplace that doesn’t involve leadership by a whole number of individuals that we have heard about in the last few months or people who practice any sort of harassment in the workplace. Women and men deserve a workplace where your participation and your advocacy and salary is completely dependent on your contributions and professional work. That is a message we are hearing a lot and it’s one we need to keep sending until every workplace is free of harassment.

Schrader: Frankly, it’s a conversation that we should have started long ago.

McNary honors senior wrestlers

Of the Keizertimes

McNary rolled on Thursday, Jan. 18, defeating McKay 51-12 and West Salem 55-15.

But the Celtics couldn’t carry that momentum over to senior night, falling to North Salem 42-30 on Friday, Jan. 19.

“We wrestled way better yesterday than we did tonight and I’m not talking effort,” McNary head coach Jason Ebbs said. “I’m talking about technique. There’s certain mistakes that we made tonight that we simply did not make last night and they were fatal mistakes.”

Senior Brayden Ebbs (170) opened Friday’s home dual, his final at McNary, with a pin in the first period. After North Salem won the next two matches by major decision and pin fall to go ahead 10-6, senior Blake Norton (220) earned a pin in the second period to put the Celtics on top 12-10.

But North Salem won the next four matches, including a forfeit at 106 pounds, to grab the lead and never let it go.

At 126 pounds, McNary junior Enrique Vincent pinned his opponent in 30 seconds. Senior Jerry Martinez then earned a pin in the second period at 132 pounds. The Celtics final six points came on a forfeit at 145 pounds.

Senior Josiah Christensen led his match 2-0 at 152 pounds before getting pinned in the second period.

“That’s one of those matches, if those guys wrestle 10 times, it goes 5-5,” coach Ebbs said. “Those are two guys that are probably equally matched.”

The Celtics lost two matches, 285 and 138, by 3-0 and 4-3 decisions.

“The most important thing that needs to matter right now is they need to know what those mistakes are and we need to fix them and we need to turn that into consistent behavior and we do that in two weeks (at districts) and we’ll come back after this team,” coach Ebbs said. “They’ll know we’re coming.”

Grady Burrows (106) and Tony Castaneda (113) were out with injuries.

We’ve got people who could make us a little bit tougher but I’m very happy to have the lineup we had with us tonight based on everything we’re dealing with,” coach Ebbs said.

McNary honored all eight of its seniors before the dual: Ebbs, Martinez, Norton, Christensen, Joe Collins, Noah Grunberg, Alex Harrison and Isaiah Putnam.

“That stuff is always special,” coach Ebbs said. “That stuffs more important than who won the senior night dual. Some of those guys are first-year wrestlers, some of those guys are four-year wrestlers. Some have been wrestling for half their life and I’ve known them for half their life. The bonds that we form here are a little different than most teams. That makes our senior night pretty special.”

The Celtics earned five pins against McKay on Thursday: Vincent (126), Castaneda (106), Norton (220), Randal Nordberg (182)and Garrett Wampler (170).

Martinez won by a 16-6 major decision and Grunberg added a 15-0 technical fall.

McNary won four matches by points. Christensen won 12-7 at 152 pounds and Ebbs edged his opponent 6-4 at 160. Collins earned a 3-2 victory at 285 and Rigoberto Hernandez won 13-9 at 113.

Wampler, Norton, Hernandez and Jaydin Gomez all had pins against West Salem. Grunberg won a 16-4 major decision. Martinez and Nick Hernandez each won by one point, 7-6 and 9-8. Castaneda added a 10-3 victory in the rout.

The Celtics travel to West Albany on Thursday, Jan. 25 for their final league dual of the season. The district meet is Feb. 2-3 at McKay.

Cinema greenlit at Keizer Station

Of the Keizertimes

Keizer is getting a movie theater.

At its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 16, the Keizer City Council authorized City Manager Chris Eppley to sign a lease for a site in Keizer Station with the owner of Keizer Cinema 9 LLC, Charles Nakvasil.

The site is located across from the Transit Center on Keizer Station Boulevard Northeast and the lease will net the city nearly $150,000 annually over at least the next 50 years. The cinema will have the option to extend the lease for up to 99 years.

Construction is expected to begin soon with an opening in the fall or winter. Keizer Cinema 9 will be a first-run theater with nine screens offering beer, liquor, wine and food.

In October 2016, Nakvasil approached the city about leasing the land through a broker, Pate Retail Properties. In July 2017, Keizer made adjustments to the master plan at Keizer Station allowing for the new building. In November 2017, the proposed design was unveiled at a meeting of the Keizer Planning Commission and waivers were approved for fewer windows than would otherwise have been required.

The city will begin collecting rent on the property – $12,260 per month, or $142,120 annually – 90 days after the theater opens or beginning March 1, 2019.

Rent will increase two percent per year with a “look back” every 10 years to adjust up or down based on the Consumer Price Index.

Construction of the theater will require a new, signaled intersection on Keizer Station Boulevard, that project was already in the works as part of a deal with the Salem-Keizer Transit District but will likely be fast-tracked now that the theater is imminent.

The intersection will allow for left-hand turns into the cinema parking lot and for buses to turn left leaving the transit center.

The city’s obligations for improvements installing curb cut entries, driveways from the street through the sidewalk, realigning sidewalks, constructing a deceleration lane on Lockhaven Drive Northeast, and constructing a sound wall on the north side of the property to provide screening to the adjacent neighborhood.

Keizer Cinema 9 will be responsible for everything beyond the sidewalk. As far as when construction might begin, Keizer Community Development Director Nate Brown said Nakvasil hoped to apply for a foundation permit as soon as the end of this week.

“A lot that has been happening quietly, but moving forward steadily,” Brown said.

Pate Retail Properties will receive a 3 percent commission on the rent for the first 20 years of the lease.

“It’s going to be cool,” said Eppley.

Lady Celts win at the buzzer

McNary junior Abbie Hawley made a shot at the buzzer as the Lady Celts defeated Greater Valley Conferce rival South Salem 39-38 on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Hawley led McNary with 13 points and four rebounds.

Senior Kailey Doutt added 11 points and seven rebounds in the victory.

The Lady Celts hadn’t defeated South Salem since assistant coach Deven Hunter’s senior year (2012).

McNary rebounded from a 58-39 loss at McMinnville on Friday, Jan. 12.

Doutt had 21 points and nine rebounds.

Hawley and Paige Downer each added seven points.

Sabella Alfaro scored the only four other points in the road loss.

The Lady Celts, 11-4 overall and 5-2 in league play, are back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at home against North Salem at 6:45 p.m.

Keizer kid mastering Rubik’s cube

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Of the Keizertimes

Keizer 7-year-old, Wyatt Isom, learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube the only way a boy his age in this day could—watching YouTube.

It took him less than four hours, on a Saturday over Thanksgiving break.

“I just saw it on YouTube and I really wanted to be able to solve it,” Wyatt said.

The Rubik’s cube wasn’t his first puzzle.

“His mind has always been interested in puzzles and trying to figure them out,” Wyatt’s mom Kaysha said. “From a very young age, he’s always had the determination and dedication to sit there to solve the puzzle. When he sets his mind to something, he’s going to figure it out that day.”

After mastering the standard 3×3, which he can now solve in under a minute, Wyatt began trying other size and shape Rubik’s cubes. He has six and can solve all of them.  The easiest is the 2×2.

“The funny thing is everyone says they can solve this (2×2) and they just end up not solving it,” said Wyatt, who has impressed his classmates at Clear Lake Elementary, where he is in the second grade.  “Everyone brings them to school to solve. There’s one kid that wants to have a lesson.”

Wyatt has learned how to solve them by watching YouTube. But none of them have been as difficult as the first.

“It was a lot easier because I already knew how to solve a normal one,” he said. “It was just really easy.”

Wyatt plays video games like a lot of kids but he’d rather work on his Rubik’s cubes.

“He takes it to school with him. He takes it everywhere with him,” Kaysha said. “He just wants to keep challenging himself. He’d rather pick up his cube than play a game. I’m okay with that.”

Wyatt solves each cube by memorizing different sets of algorithms. He plans on going to his first competition either as a team in Eugene or individually in Corvallis on Feb. 24.

He’d also like to go to national and international competitions.

“There’s some in Japan that I really want to go to,” Wyatt said. “I want to get the world record (4.73 seconds).”

“It just blows my mind that he can do it so fast,” Kaysha added.


Homegrown Theatre finds home

Of the Keizertimes

Keizer Homegrown Theatre will have its own home for its 2018 season.

The theatre, which did three of its 2017 shows in Salem at Chemeketa Community College and the Kroc Center, is moving into the events space at the Keizer Heritage Center.

“It’s nice to have a real address,” said Linda Baker, the company’s founder. “It’s easier for them to find us. It’s easier for them to connect with us. When we are in the middle of Keizer, our Keizer audiences are much larger than when we’re out wondering around in the outermost parts.”

KHT has scheduled an open house for Saturday, Feb. 17 from 12-3 p.m. with snacks, coffee, tea and juice to welcome the community to the new home, which seats an audience of 75.

The company performed Love Letters in the space last year.

“It’s going to be wonderful,” Baker said. “There’s a lot of opportunity. There’s a wonderful synergy that we get to create, too, with our art association right next door and all kinds of really neat things can happen. We’ll be able to do more sophisticated sets and lighting because we’ll be able to put that in place and leave it in place.”

KHT will have auditions for its entire 2018 season at its new space, 980 Chemawa Rd. NE, on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 27 from 12-3 p.m.

The company is opening the season with The Brother’s Grim Spectaculathon, a one-act readers theatre in which two narrators attempt to recreate all 209 of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm in a wild, fast-paced extravaganza. To make it more difficult, they combine them into one gigantic fable using Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and other more obscure stories like Lean Lisa and The Devil’s Grandmother.

“It’s insanely funny. It really is,” Baker said. “If people really want to do something truly absurd and ridiculous. That’s what the Spectaculathon is. It is very tongue-in-cheek, very irreverent.”

The Brother’s Grim Spectaculathon will open at the Cherry Blossom Theatre Festival on March 10 at the World Beat Gallery in downtown Salem and then move to the new Keizer space the following two weekends, March 16-18 and 23-25.