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Month: February 2018

Lady Celts one and done at Oregon City

Of the Keizertimes

OREGON CITY—McNary got Oregon City out of its full-court press early but the Lady Celts couldn’t make enough shots to pull off the upset, falling to the Pioneers 51-41 on Tuesday, Feb. 27 in the first round of the 6A girls basketball state playoffs.

“We knew that one of the keys to winning was beating their press,” McNary senior Kailey Doutt said. “We watched film on it and they destroyed teams with the press. They got their hands everywhere. They jump the ball a lot and get a lot of turnovers out of it.”

In a game that featured 10 guards on the floor for much of it, the Lady Celts kept up with Oregon City’s fast and aggressive play in the first half.

After the Pioneers went on a 8-0 run at the end of the first period, McNary senior Paige Downer knocked down a jump shot at the top of the key and then a 3-pointer from the corner to get the Lady Celts within 14-13 with 6:27 remaining in the first half.

When Oregon City immediately answered with a three-point play, Abbie Hawley made a 3 and Sabella Alfaro hit two free throws to tie the game at 18-18 with 2:55 remaining.

Alfaro, who led the Lady Celts with 11 points, including eight in the first half, tied the game again at 20-20 on a layup with 1:53 left to play.

Oregon City answered with a 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining and went into halftime leading 23-20.

Kailey Doutt, who was voted Greater Valley Conference Player of the Year, made her first basket with 5:12 remaining in the third period to get the Lady Celts within 27-26.

“There was a lot of help if Kailey was attacking the basket to force it out of her hands,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said.

The Pioneers went on an 8-0 run to stretch their lead to 37-28 but Alfaro made a three-point play and Doutt found Mackenzie Proctor, who knocked down an open jump shot to get McNary within 38-34 heading to the final period.

Oregon City went on another 6-0 run in the fourth to finish off the Lady Celts.

“A couple of times on their dribble drive, we were trying to switch it and there was just some miscommunication and they were getting to the basket on us,” Doran said.

McNary made just two field goals in the fourth period, a basket in the paint by Kailey Doutt with 7:19 remaining and a 3 from Leah Doutt with 36 seconds to go.

“Second half, offensively, we needed to be a little bit more aggressive,” Doran said.

Oregon City went 12-for-21 from the free throw line. The Lady Celts were 7-for-12.

“They’re just a little bit more physical than us on the inside,” Doran said. “They are finishing in to us instead of we were more finesse on the finishes, which is tough to draw fouls and get to the free throw line.”

Hawley and Leah Doutt each finished with nine points. Kailey Doutt was held to five.

“I think we showed that we deserved to be here and deserved to play teams of that caliber,” Doran said. “On a given night, I think it could have gone either way. It slipped away from us there at the end there in the fourth quarter.”

The Lady Celts finished the season 17-8.

“I had a great group to coach,” Doran said. “They were a joy to coach. They bought into what I was saying. They played really hard for me and they are great girls to be around.”

Reitz plays the anthem

Of the Keizertimes

McNary senior Beau Reitz was nervous the first time he played the national anthem on the violin before a Lady Celts volleyball game.

“My heart was pounding,” Reitz said. “It’s really scary because kind of how you’re afraid if you’re singing it to mess up the lyrics, in the same way if you mess up people are shocked so you don’t want to do that. There’s more pressure and more enthusiasm about the piece itself. It’s definitely hard to do but thankfully it’s an easier piece to play on the violin.”

Reitz has since played the anthem four more times, before wrestling duals and basketball games.

He first picked up the violin in the fourth grade when Bruce Purdy, then the orchestra director at Claggett Creek Middle school, came to his elementary school and played all of the different instruments.

“I just really loved the song he played on the violin and had to play it,” Reitz said.

Reitz began taking private lessons in the sixth grade with Evan Roth in Salem. He now plays in the chamber ensemble and advanced symphony at McNary.

Reitz primarily plays classical musical and is working on Chaconee in G Minor by Tomaso Vitali for the Oregon Music Education Association District 4 competition on March 10 at McNary. He’ll also use the piece to earn scholarship money.

Reitz has been accepted to Georgetown University, University of San Francisco and Seattle University. He’s learning towards Georgetown, where he would double major in music and political science.

Reitz’s interest in politics started last year when he took AP government during the presidential election.

“That was just a really good time to be in that class and I just got really interested,” said Reitz, who has no interest in running for office himself but might be interested in working on a campaign or going to law school.

At McNary, Reitz is also a member of FBLA and president of National Honor Society.

Eight lives to go: cat finds new leash on life

Of the Keizertimes

Some animals and humans seem destined for each other.

Malibu gave Ryan Laudon two chances just in case he didn’t get the message the first time around. The first time the pair met, Malibu was just a stray in Laudon’s south Salem neighborhood.

“I heard him crying outside and I went out and he’d gotten tangled in my kids’ soccer net. He’d gotten the net wrapped around his neck five times when he struggled, and one of his paws was wrapped up twice,” Laudon said.

Laudon freed the then-kitten with a serrated knife, but Malibu knew he’d found a friend. He kept returning to Laudon’s home for free meals and companionship.

Last week, Malibu turned up at the Laudon’s home with a badly broken hind leg and in more pain than Laudon himself could bear. Laudon suspects he was hit by a passing car.

“He’s such a cool cat, a beautiful cat, and you could tell he was in pain, but I swear he was purring the whole time,” Laudon said.

Laudon’s rescuing instincts kicked into overdrive. Unfortunately, Laudon only had $240 to his name and he knew the medical treatment Malibu needed could be wallet-draining.

A series of phone calls to friends and animal rescue organizations – the Willamette Humane Society was closed the day Malibu turned up injured – led Laudon to a Salem veterinarian who he heard worked with low-income families.

He visited the following day, but all he could get out of the vet on duty was a write-up of what would need to be done. The exam alone was going to cost all of what Laudon had on hand, and he would need to find someone to loan him $50 to cover that.

Ryan Laudon with Malibu who lost a leg to amputation after being struck by a vehicle. The benevolence of a Willamette Valley Animal Hospital vet gave Malibu a shot at recovery. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

“I was really upset at the time because I felt like I was going to have to bring him home and put him down,” Laudon said. “I could have paid it, but I still would have had a broken cat.”

In retrospect, he thinks that the staff at the clinic might have suspected he was the one to cause the injury and understands more their wariness.

Fortunately, Laudon had another option and his next stop – Keizer’s Willamette Valley Animal Hospital (WVAH). Laudon had called WVAH as well because he’s taken other pets to the veterinarians there when he was a Keizer resident.

“I opened up the door and they asked, “Are you Ryan?” Laudon said.

Malibu ended up in the care of Dr. Sydney Lee at WVAH. Keizertimes reached out to Lee to talk about what happened next, but we were unable to connect by press time. Regardless, the damage was even worse than Laudon suspected.

Malibu had his right rear leg and part of his hip amputated – an operation Laudon suspects would have cost easily four figures – and the clinic charged only $165, and included a full round of shots, neutering and pain medication to take home.

In the days after the operation, Malibu was groggy but resting at the Laudon home where he’s already learned to use a litter pan despite his injury.

“He’s just really started getting to the point where he will lay on that side, but I told the vet he’s never going outside again. He’s been the best thing ever,” Laudon said.

Malibu is confined to a corner right now in a makeshift corral, but he probably doesn’t feel like moving much at any rate. He’ll have limited space to explore for two weeks, but is expected to make a full recovery even though he’ll have to figure out how to manage with only three legs.

“He is going to be treated like royalty around here, but (Dr. Lee) was so great to us. (The clinic) took a chance and let me contribute what I could without looking down on me. There isn’t a rating system that goes high enough for what (Lee) did,” Laudon said.

Keizer Chamber hosting community conversation

Of the Keizertimes

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce is hoping for a big turnout at it’s first-ever Community Conversation on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

The Chamber is inviting all Keizer residents and business owners to join in the talks that will help to create a vision for the future of River Road North. For Jonathan Thompson, chair of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, that means showing up even if you don’t plan on saying anything.

“You might not have a specific idea you want to talk about, but somebody else might say something that triggers a response or your own idea for what we should do. We want to hear all of that as we decide what to do going forward,” Thompson said.

The talks begin at 6 p.m. at the Keizer Civic Center.

The idea for this particular conversation sprouted from the city’s attempt to enact a 1 percent fee on new construction and redeveloped areas to be used for the creation of public amenities and/or public art.

They received a nuanced discussion at the Planning Commission, which approved the idea and forwarded it to the Keizer City Council, but the council balked after lengthy testimony from members of the Keizer Chamber and other parties. Aside from discontent over adding fees, some councilors took issue with the lack of specificity in what the fee would be used for.

In discussing the future of River Road and the possibility of a 1 percent fee during an interview with the Keizertimes two weeks ago, Mayor Cathy Clark said, “We had the how, but not the what.”

Thompson said the fee proposal “snuck up” on members of the Keizer Chamber, but that members have made more concerted efforts in the intervening months to keep up with changes and open lines of communication. The Community Conversation will include information from the city on what has been done in the past, but there will be an emphasis on “open mic” time for attendees to offer ideas.

Thomspon said that even within the Chamber there is a wide range of ideas regarding what to do about River Road.

“It runs the spectrum from some who want pedestrian malls to others who are willing to accept it as it is now,” Thompson said. “The thing that folks seemed to gel around was facade and landscape improvements.”

As recently as a decade ago, Keizer doled out matching grants for businesses along River Road to make such improvements using funds from a now-defunct urban renewal district. Urban renewal districts are special taxing districts funded by incremental taxes. When a district is established property values within the boundary are frozen by the county assessor when the district starts. As property values increase,  the difference between the frozen value and the new value goes to the district rather than the city or county.

The prior Keizer urban renewal district, which was used to fund dramatic improvements along Cherry Avenue Northeast and put utility infrastructure underground along River Road North, fell victim to the Great Recession and later was used to bail out a developer at Keizer Station who defaulted on city-backed loans.

Thompson said the idea of a new Urban Renewal District was not out of the question in regard to a new River Road vision, but that it was important to have a vision in place before figuring out how to fund it.

“We’re pretty early in this process, but the relationship between the city and chamber is strengthening already. After the Community Conversation, we want to partner with city staff and figure out exactly what we hope to do and how to do it,” Thompson said.

City kicking off new River Road vision study

Of the Keizertimes

Over the next year or so, the City of Keizer is embarking on a revitalization study including large portions of River Road North and Cherry Avenue Northeast.

That means if residents and business owners want to have a say on what becomes of Keizer’s “Main Street,” it’s time to get involved.

While the parameters of the study are still somewhat loosely defined, the specific areas included are likely to be from Weeks Drive to River Road North on Cherry Avenue Northeast; Weeks Drive to Greenwood Drive on River Road North; Linda Avenue to Rose Park Lane on River Road North; and Lockhaven Drive to McNary Estates Drive North on River Road North.

Keizer Senior Planner Shane Witham said the study is an attempt to update and bring into alignment previous development plans covering those areas.

“It might be a single plan for all three areas or a different plan for each one, but I’m expecting that we will end up with a package of text that changes how we implement regulations in the identified areas,” Witham said.

Depending on how residents want the areas developed, it might mean substantial changes to how new developments are constructed  – with residences on top of commercial spaces – to aesthetic changes like a wider palette of color options or increased attention to landscaping.

One key aspect of the study will be how the changes tie into the area’s transportation systems. The study is being funded through an Oregon Transportation and Growth Management (TGM) grant.

“Since it’s a TGM-funded program, transportation is a piece of it as well as some traffic engineering, and we’re hoping that can achieve a little greater density or development that could accommodate the growth needs the city has,” Witham said. “We’re not trying to meet all the (growth) needs, but we can look at creative design and capitalize on redevelopment that accommodate residences on top (of commercial development).”

While Witham and Community Development Director Nate Brown are just beginning a series of weekly meetings with Portland-based Otak consultants to come up with specific dates, two groups need to be assembled. One is a group of about 10 Keizer stakeholders who will advise on the overall scope of the study, the second is a handful of community members who will form a Community Advisory Committee and review the output of the study and make the final recommendation to the Keizer City Council to accept it.

In addition to those, group time is being set aside for public meeting to gather additional input, but the dates are not yet certain. For those who are shy about speaking in public, other outlets are being planned as well.

“We also expect that we will be rolling out a project website to solicit comment,” Witham said.

Given a city budget that is silo-ed and spoken for long before it ever reaches the dais of the city council, Witham is also hoping the visioning process includes talk about funding.

“I’m hoping there will be a candid conversation about how the needle gets moved financially and we discuss the tools and implementation strategies that are possible,” Witham said.

The last substantial funding Keizer had available for economic development came from an urban renewal district that has since been disbanded. Still, the idea of creating a vision for River Road is hardly new.

“There is a lot of work that has gone into River Road over the past 20 years and it took a lot to get it to this point, against a lot of opposition in some ways,” Brown said.

The last major effort took place just after the turn of the millennium. It was known as River Road Renaissance and while the project made some strides in revitalizing River Road, the few lasting impacts were incorporating ideas like meandering sidewalks and stamped sidewalks across driveways into the development code. Other ideas like creating defined districts along River Road struggled to get off the ground and didn’t stick after The Great Recession gutted the urban renewal budget.

Brown stressed that while the substance of the conversation will deal with the sometimes dull language of Keizer’s development code, the changes made will come from communal vision.

“For this to have any meaning, people have to participate. The reality is that we intend to change the way Keizer does business along River Road,” Brown said. “For that we have to have the community involvement.”

Wentworth signs with Grays Harbor

Of the Keizertimes

McNary senior Collin Wentworth had dreamed of this day ever since he was 5 years old.

On Feb. 7, in front of his family and teammates, Wentworth celebrated his baseball signing with Grays Harbor Community College.

“I’ve always wanted to play college baseball, ever since I was a little kid, and it’s just unreal right now,” said Wentworth, who began playing at Keizer Little League when he was 5. “It’s (baseball) meant the world to me. It’s kind of like my backbone for everything. I love it.”

After emailing several schools and also considering Southwestern Oregon and Linfield, Wentworth toured the Grays Harbor campus, located in Aberdeen, Wash., in October.

His visit included dinner with Grays Harbor head baseball coach Mike Brunner.

“We liked what we saw with Collin physically and what his abilities were and we loved what we learned about Collin on his visit and what kind of person he was, how he communicated and you could tell he was excited and passionate about baseball and his future,” said Brunner, who travelled more than 370 miles roundtrip to be at Wentworth’s signing ceremony. “You can’t help to be excited about a young man’s future if he is. We knew he was a good fit for us and we’re extremely happy that he’s going to be a Choker.”

Wentworth’s current head coach, Larry Keeker, at McNary, remembers the first time he saw Collin play. He was in the eighth grade, playing on a youth team at McNary.

“I got a chance to just watch him play a little bit and he caught my attention right away,” Keeker said. “His dad had been able to teach him a certain skill set, even at that age.”

After Wentworth’s freshman year, Keeker invited him to play on McNary’s Division I team, made up of mostly returning varsity players, in the summer.

“I loved his attitude at that point in time, very business-like, very mature,” Keeker said. “He was not afraid to jump in with the older guys and play and just do his job. He caught my attention as the varsity coach at an early age.”

As a sophomore, Wentworth split time between the junior varsity and varsity teams. He was then promoted to the starting varsity shortstop last season as a junior.

Wentworth prides himself on his defense.

“He spends a lot of time working on his defense, his hands, his feet, his exchanges,” Keeker said. “He has a passion that any kid that’s going to play baseball in college or any other sport, that he has instilled already that he has a desire to get better. That’s one of the qualities that’s really going to help Collin as he progresses through this season and then in college as well.”

He’s also been a leader for the Celtics.

“We’re super excited that Collin is to continue his baseball career in college,” Keeker added. “Collin is a quality young man. He represents our program in a positive way.”

Wentworth enjoyed manning the middle of McNary’s infield with second baseman Josh Benson, who graduated last June.

“He’s just one of my best friends,” Wentworth said. “I love playing with that kid and just rolling double plays with him is fun.”

At the encouragement of another teammate, catcher Tyler Covalt, Wentworth has shown off his athleticism this winter, joining the McNary swim team.

“It’s been different and a lot harder than I thought it was going to be,” Wentworth said. “It’s just a fun experience.”

After two years at Grays Harbor, Wentworth hopes to continue his baseball career at a four-year university and get his degree in physical therapy.

SKPS board okays bond for ballot

Of the Keizertimes

Salem-Keizer School Board approval for a proposed general obligation bond estimated at $619.7 million to go on the ballot became official Tuesday.

District residents will decide May 15 on the bond measure proposal, which focuses on making district buildings seismically safe and large enough for anticipated enrollment growth.

The proposed bond measure would add space at 22 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and six high schools. It would build a new Auburn Elementary School, improve science laboratories at the middle and high schools, improve vocational and technical programs at high schools, upgrade technology, make seismic improvements, and make safety and security improvements districtwide.

More specifically, the proposal is intended to:

*Construct enough space to alleviate crowding and increase capacity for vocational, technical, and science programs.

*Make seismic upgrades and related measures to improve safety.

*Build gymnasiums, libraries, theaters, and cafeterias at elementary, middle, and high schools.

*Make safety and security upgrades such as electronic badge access systems, entrances, parking and sidewalk improvements, and access for people who have disabilities.

*Upgrade facilities by painting and sealing walls, replacing various systems, and addressing other maintenance issues.

*Upgrade infrastructure; relocate the data center, fields, and tennis courts; and make related improvements.

*Pay bond issuance costs; purchase land, portable classrooms, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment; and pay demolition and other related site and building costs.

An $8 million state grant has been awarded provided the bonds are approved.

The estimated tax rate increase is $1.24 per $1,000 assessed value.

Several audience members urged reinstatement of health positions in elementary schools. One was Alyson Budde of Silverton, office manager at Forest Ridge Elementary School.

In other business, the board approved 13 grants, including eight from the Oregon Department of Education. ODE has provided $197,413 for behavioral learning, $144,925 for English language learning, $76,944 for migrant programs, $39,326 for special education data collection, $28,253 for excess costs of special education and related services, $17,583 to support training for statewide assessment of students with disabilities, $8,405 for services for neglected and delinquent youth, and $5,022 for food service equipment and outreach materials.

The Oregon Business Development Department provided $900,000 for career and technical education. Early Learning Hub has given $168,530 for Chapman Hill Elementary School’s Preschool Promise and $12,166 for families with emergent needs. The Northwest Health Foundation has given the district $1,500 for equipment at Keizer Elementary School and $1,500 for equipment at Richmond Elementary School.

The student safety issue, especially bullying, took up much of the meeting. John Van Dreal, district director of safety and risk management services, presented a flow chart on dealing with the problems. A few parents in the audience spoke to the board about their children’s experiences with bullying.

Personnel actions approved by the board included the following in the McNary High School attendance area:

*Less than half-time status for Deborah Elde at Whiteaker Middle School and Charles Kuebris at McNary.

*Temporary part-time status for Corie McPursifull at McNary and South Salem high schools and Annamarie Miller at Claggett Creek Middle School.

*Temporary full-time status for Kira Chuprov at Gubser Elementary School, Keista McCrae at Claggett Creek, Natalie Peton at McNary, and Hailee Young at Keizer Elementary.

*Resignations of Robbi Ellis and Robert James from McNary.

The Spotlight on Success portion of the meeting honored Cameron Vandecoevering, fifth-grader at Forest Ridge, and Jasmine Miller, fifth-grader at Optimum Learning Environment Charter School, for their videos at the Kid Governor competition. Both their videos were ranked in the top eight.

Lend Me a Tenor opens at McNary Feb. 23-24

Of the Keizertimes

McNary senior Jon Taylor can relate to Max in Lend Me a Tenor, an assistant to the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company who is thrust to take center stage after a series of unfortunate events strike a world-famous tenor.

Since moving to Keizer from Maryland, Taylor has spent the past two years off stage working on the technical side of McNary’s productions, building sets and programming lights.

Taylor’s only unfortunate event was missing the stage manager meeting.

Instead, he decided to audition for McNary’s One Act Festival.

But to his surprise, Taylor was called back for Lend Me a Tenor.

“I was pretty terrified because this is the biggest thing I’ve ever done and I’m still pretty nervous,” Taylor said. “I’m much more confident now than I was like two months ago.”

Lend Me a Tenor opens in the Ken Collins Theater on Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. Additional shows are Feb. 24, March 1-3 at 7 p.m. and March 3 at 2 p.m.

General admission tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $7 for adults and available at the door or in advance at

As Max, Taylor spends the first act of the play running around looking for Tito Merelli, the greatest tenor of his generation.

After accidentally giving Tito a double dose of tranquilizers in an attempt to calm the singer down, Max is persuaded to get into Tito’s costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s the tenor.

“I really like the character,” Taylor said. “I can kind of relate to the first act Max. It’s a whole lot of fun to play Max.”

Taylor wasn’t the only cast member of Lend Me a Tenor who though they were auditioning for one acts.

Freshman Elise Myers, who plays Maggie, the daughter of Saunders, the general manager of the opera company, who is Max’s girlfriend but also infatuated with Tito, was also surprised to get called back.

“That really surprised me but I was really happy,” said Myers, who was in the ensemble for The Wizard of Oz at McNary and the cabaret as a student at Whiteaker Middle School.

“It’s a big change from ensemble but at least there’s no dancing and singing. That makes it a little easier.”

“I try to cast on based who I think is right for the roles and just something about her really fit the role and the qualities I was looking for,” McNary drama director Tom Cavanaugh said.

“It was also nice that she was younger because we need the audience to buy into the fact that another high schooler is her dad. That’s not why I cast her but it definitely helps with the story telling a little bit, too.”

McNary senior Matthew Albright plays her dad—Saunders.

The rest of the cast includes Steven Cummings as Tito, Sydnie Gould as Tito’s wife—Maria, Bella Fox as a seductive opera singer named Diana, AB Feinauer as chairwoman of the Cleveland Opera Build—Julia and Rachel Herriges as a bellhop who’s also an obnoxious opera fan.

The play takes place in 1934 in a hotel suite in Cleveland, Ohio.

The set includes a bedroom and living room, with a wall dividing each room and door leading from one to the other. Throughout the play, the audience can see what is happening in both rooms at the same time.

Lend Me a Tenor is written by Ken Ludwig and received nine Tony Award nominations when it premiered on Broadway in 1989.

The play is rated PG-13.

“We’re doing a straightforward interpretation of what the script says,” Cavanaugh said.

“I picked it because I liked the script so much. I think it’s a really well written farce. It’s also an opportunity for eight very different characters to be on stage. There’s eight very distinctive different personalities. One of the things we spent a lot of time talking about in this play is what their characters want and using that to drive the humor so there was a lot of good acting conversations we could have around the play.”

Mary (Sturgus-Ridings) Main

July 4, 1945 – January 22, 2018

Mary (Sturgis – Ridings) Main, an angel to those privileged to know her, passed away suddenly on Jan. 22 at the young age of 72.

Mary was born on July 4, 1945, in Portland, OR to Harry and Erma Sturgis. She grew up in the Brooks-Gervais area and attended Gervais High School. There she met her first husband, Nolan Ridings, the father of her two children, Rob and Stephanie.

Mary Main
Mary Main
Mary Main
Mary Main

Loving mother and grandmother, devoted wife and cherished friend, Mary is survived by husband Steve Main of Keizer, whom she shared 34 loving years with; children Rob Ridings and wife Carol of Kent, Wash., and Stephanie Eakin and husband Chris of Keizer, Ore.; grandchildren Courtney Castronovo, Derek Ridings, Tyler Ridings and Connor Ridings; sister Vivian Arima and husband Bob of Idaho; several nieces and nephews; and of course, her adored cat Duke. Mary was preceded in death by her parents and brother Jerry Sturgis.

Her early career Included jobs with the State of Oregon Executive Department, Oregon Department of Police Safety Standards and Training, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. She later worked in various positions for the Oregon Department of Justice, eventually retiring from the position she was most passionate about, a Program Representative for Teen Pregnancy Prevention.

Mary was a cherished and highly active member of the Salem-Keizer community. She co-founded the Capitol Mustang Club, volunteered in support of youth sports, the Keizer Elks and the Keizer Cruisers, and was a member of the “Gathering Goddesses” lady’s group, to name but a few of her activities.

She was quick to befriend any souls who crossed her path and always made time for others.  She is well-known to many throughout the community for meal deliveries, talks, and themed blankets she gave to anyone she suspected of needing comfort.  She loved animals with similar passion, often taking in or finding homes for horses, dogs and cats in need of rescue.

A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, March 10 at the Keizer Elks, 3-5 p.m. followed by a reception. The family welcomes anyone wishing to join in honoring her life to attend.

The children shall lead them

After the massacre of 17 students and adults at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, an affluent suburb of Miami, survivors and students wasted no time in calling for action. The students demanded action from Congress and the president to stop senseless mass killing sby gun.

The call for action has swept the nation like a prairie fire. Douglas High School student activists have called on their peers around the nation to also demand action from state and federal legislators.

So far two events have been planned: the National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14, and the March of Our Lives on Saturday, March 24.

As some are pointing out, the shooting in Parkland may prove a turning point in the gun control debate. Why? The survivors of Sandy Hook in Connecticut were too young to even conceive of a protest. The survivors of the Las Vegas massacre were varied and not part of a homogenous group that could communicate something like a protest.

The survivors in Parkland have something in common: they are all students at the same high school. It is easier to rally with and share a message with one’s peers.

The students in Parkland (and across the nation) are saavy enough to use the megaphone in front of them. The students who spoke on newscasts the day of the shooting proved to be articulate, knowledgeable and passionate. Our children have learned well.

We should cheer the students in Parkland and elsewhere who are taking a stand and protesting for changes in gun laws. When you see your friend or teacher shot down in cold blood, you have credibility when you demand action on guns. Some are saying the student activists are being riled up and led by outside groups. You know that is not true when you see interviews with students who had no time to get any coaching from outsiders before talking to news reporters.

The United States has a proud tradition of civil protest and civil disobidience. When our high school students take this route it is a teaching moment for us adults: our children have been watching and listening all the time.

What do these students want to accomplish? None are advocating an outright ban of guns. They want to see actions that are supported by a majority of Americans: background checks on any purchase, limiting or banning assault gun weapons, banning of bump stocks. None of those actions, if enacted, would take a gun away from an owner.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is a tragedy and we shouldn’t have to go through something like that again. The student’s rallying cry is “Enough is enough.” It’s a cry that should be taken up by those who represent us on the local and federal level. If adults won’t lead on this issue, then  we may not have a choice but to let the children lead us.