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Month: March 2018

Women’s teams make bball thrilling

Negative comments can follow statements where a writer who initiates them has been judged to overglorify his subject.  Nevertheless, this writer risks the negative reactions to write about a sports phenomenon that did not come to his attention through the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The matter shines a spotlight on women in college basketball, competing throughout their various college regional conferences as well as seeking national title fame.

The writer could have—but did not—get more interested in college women’s play until the 2017-2018 season mainly because the two Oregon basketball men’s teams previously followed most closely, Oregon State and University of Oregon, have not done as well as in some years past. So, while competition-level successes wax and wane from one year to the next and, as the basketball bounced in courts at OSU and UO this year, it’s the women who’ve far and away done better than the guys.

Several generally apparent conditions of play with the women in their games make them quite appealing.  Play is almost exclusively conducted without dunks and, from this observer’s vantage, also without trash talk, the first, a show-off practice that breeds arrogance and disgust, while the second simply fosters anger, resentment and a focus on retaliatory language rather than playing a skill-based game.  Mostly, college women play basketball with a grace and style reminiscent of how it was played back when there were regular displays of sportsmanship (now “sportswomanship”) and Good Samaritan-like caring for each other.

Meanwhile, one of America’s items of unfinished business is race relations.  Young Americans are our future and—as certain as certain can be—it is the young people of our nation who will finally take us to that place of inter-racial relationships where we can declare indisputable greatness. What’s seen with these college women playing together as teammates and in competition with other college team players is a mix of all our races, creeds and sub-cultures.  Across the U.S. there are players from many an overseas origin, affording international flavors for everyone involved. These young women—and the young men—who play in competition break all the old barriers and will ultimately form a more perfect union.

There’s another angle to college basketball and all sports: the corruption due to excessive profit-hungry business entities that have crept into college men’s sports at present, most poignantly displayed in the ranks of college basketball teams.  Big money thrown around by the nation’s major sport shoe and clothing makers is being used to recruit individuals down into high school levels with huge payoffs to agents, coaches, and the youth and their family members. Articles in the press throughout the country reveal and decry these highly illegal, corrupt practices. Such activities must cease.  Although Adidas, Nike and Under Armor do not appear interested in cleaning up and too often deny their unlawful business dealings, the NCAA is purportedly on the job while it’s hoped that the NCAA will continue to work aggressively to return basketball and all college sports to true amateur status.

We need to recapture our integrity, our honesty and our very souls in the world of amateur sports for their worth in building character and constitution.  As things therein stand now amateur sports are under attack not only by sports leaders and the sports industry but also by the bad examples of far too many American leaders at the federal level. It is sincerely hoped that what’s underway by nefarious conduct in men’s basketball will not infect women’s basketball, although will if walls are not built to prevent it.  Such downgrades in conduct place the U.S. in ever lower esteem at home and abroad and introduce foul play and making money as the only important value and consideration.

A final thought has to do with guiding our children and youth to find things to do with their spare hours that lead to healthy developmental outcomes.  The example best known to this writer was a couple of sisters, who, from their earliest ages, were involved in competitive swimming and singing/piano music programs. It was by and through these activities that their focus was on doing well in extracurricular activities while that attention in turn positively influenced efforts for higher grades efforts in their school studies.  They’re grown now: One is an industrial/manufacturing engineer with a Fortune 500 company while the other is a high school teacher who instructs in business courses and career-building school-learning functions.  Sustained parental guidance and support for them paid off in life successes that can serve as a template for other families.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)

The hope-mongers’ march

By E.J. DIONNE JR.

For several hours on Saturday, cynicism was banned from the streets of what on many days seems to be the most cynical city in the world.

Throngs estimated to number up to 800,000, and perhaps more, gathered because a group of determined, organized, eloquent and extremely shrewd high school students asked them to come, and because too many Americans have been killed by guns.

Suddenly, hope-mongers were stalking the nation’s capital. They believed, against so much past evidence, that the National Rifle Association could be routed.

The crowd seemed to expect it would require an election to usher in the reforms they seek. “Vote them out!” was one of the day’s dominant chants. All along the march route, clipboard-wielding volunteers sought to entice the faithful to register so they could cast ballots to achieve that end.

Cameron Kasky, one of the heroes of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mobilization, drew raucous cheers when he began his speech with the words, “Welcome to the revolution.” He was not imagining the storming of the Bastille or the revolt in Petrograd. His promise was peaceable and refreshingly practical.

“The voters are coming,” he declared.

Cynicism, of course, was quickly restored to its normal place in the nation’s discourse. Tired complaints were hauled out to discount the “March for Our Lives” visionaries who hit the pavements in locales across red and blue America on Saturday. Big demonstrations were nice but meant little. The NRA had crushed opponents before and would do so again. Teens and twenty-somethings lacked the discipline to stay with what would inevitably be a long fight. Republican politicians wouldn’t break an alliance with the gun lobby that has served them so well.

But there are tough-minded reasons to believe that the cynics are wrong, even if the fight ahead will be as hard as they say. To begin with, Saturday’s marches achieved something that has never been accomplished before. Guns have long been a voting issue for those who insist that any and every restriction on firearms is a danger to freedom. These marches finally established guns as a voting issue for those who (as the signs carried by demonstrators declared in various ways) place the desire to save innocent lives ahead of preserving unlimited access to weapons.

The Stoneman Douglas activists, including their able debaters and theater students, understood that their task was to alter the terms of the nation’s quarrel over guns and to take on the NRA’s shibboleths, right down to the basics. “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” So goes the old NRA slogan. “Actually, guns do kill people,” read a placard at the D.C. march.

And the new revolutionaries have been making the essential argument: that our current approach to firearms undercuts the rights of the unarmed far more than any restriction would ever impinge on the rights of gun owners. The NRA imagines a nation of universal gun-toting, an idea brilliantly mocked by Alex Wind, a student speaker who asked: “Are they going to arm the person wearing the Mickey Mouse costume at Disney?”

The unmistakably political character of this movement is another change. No phony bipartisanship. No pretending that everyone approaches this issue with good will. Thus the importance of “Vote them out.” Thus the imperative of casting the NRA as the adversary and all who welcome its money and support as complicit.

And the short-term agenda is very clear, as is the price of resisting it. Here is Kasky: “The people demand a law banning the sale of assault weapons, the people demand we prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines, the people demand universal background checks. Stand for us or beware.”

Finally, this march established the gun safety alliance as multi-racial and intersectional, reaching far beyond its traditional base among suburban white liberals. Few voices echoing from the platform were more powerful than 11-year-old Naomi Wadler’s. She declared that young African-American women who were victims of gun violence would no longer be seen as “simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.”

In 1960, the nation’s attention was captured by young civil rights activists who sat in to integrate lunch counters in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is not romanticizing the young to say that at times in our history, only those not beaten down by the defeats of the past could find the courage and the strategic initiative to win old fights in new ways. On a crisp and beautiful spring day we witnessed a new dawn in the struggle to end gun violence.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

Parks fee paying for staff, equipment, redo

A $4-per-month parks fee is already shifting things in the parks department of Keizer Public Works.

In recent months, the department has purchased new trucks, new mowers and hired two additional full-time employees who are already trained and working in the field.

“I’m looking forward to how much additional work we can accomplish,” Robert Johnson, Keizer parks supervisor, told the members of the Keizer Parks Advisory Board at a meeting Tuesday, March 13.

Johnson added that he recently sent off the list of hoped-for improvements at Meadows Park to a designer. In December, the city hosted an info gathering session and invited users of the park to pitch their ideas for improvements.

“We hope to include most of them, and the construction will begin in May and go through September,” Johnson said.

The revamped play area will have two sections, one for kids ages 2-5 and another for ages 5-12. It will include increasing the number of swings from four to six, with a disability-accessible swing, and a spiderweb climbing feature. Paths through the park will be repaved and widened after the play structure is built out.

Board members asked whether the improvements will include a gate at the park entrance along River Road North. Johnson responded he isn’t certain what changes, if any, are forthcoming.

“No decision has been made. One of the issues is that the fence running along River Road makes it look like a private park when we want everyone to use it. A gate would only add to that,” Johnson said.

Keizer students ask: When is enough enough?

Paris Boyd (left) looks on as Alyssa Hodges, speaks to students gathered for a walkout memorializing the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland Florida. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
and DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

UPDATED 3/29/2018 3:09 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect new information. Keizertimes is not divulging the scope of the change because it involves a minor.

For students at Whiteaker Middle School, the events that led to student walkouts – a shooting at Marjory Stoenman Douglas High School in Florida – at schools across the country echoed in their own lives.

“To me this was a big deal because not only did 17 people lose their lives, their families were impacted,” said Alyssa Hodges, a Whiteaker Middle School eighth grader. “I wanted to bring out that this is something that could have been prevented.”

Students at both Keizer middle schools and McNary High School participated in student-led walkouts March 14 meant to memorialize the victims of the latest mass shooting at an American high school and advocate for change to make schools safer.

Hodges joined three fellow student leaders in memorializing the victims over in the parking lot at Whiteaker. In addition to telling the participating students – maybe a third of the student body at the school – about her cousin, Hodges called on everyone at the school to do what they could to change the circumstances for students who feel lonely and alienated.

The victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida:

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, student

Scott Beigel, 35, staff

Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, student

Nicholas Dworet, 17, student

Aaron Feis, 37, staff

Jaime Guttenberg, 14, student

Chris Hixon, 49, staff

Luke Hoyer, 15, student

Cara Loughran, 14, student

Gina Montalto, 14, student

Joaquin Oliver, 17, student

Alaina Petty, 14, student

Meadow Pollack, 18, student

Helena Ramsay, 17, student

Alex Schachter, 14, student

Carmen Schentrup, 16, student

Peter Wang, 15, student

“Think about what would have happened if people had been nice to him (the shooter). It might never have happened if people had listened to him when he needed it most,” Hodges said.

Paris Boyd, another eighth grader at Whiteaker, led students out of the building and was the first to speak to the crowd over the megaphone. Boyd and the other organizers read obituaries and scoured social media to compile brief biographies for each victim of the shooting. After reading each name, the Boyd, Hodges and others described the interests and work of those who were killed.

“People who were innocent died for no particular reason and I wanted other students to acknowledge what a big deal it was and that it was horrific and terrible,” Boyd said. “I’m afraid that people are going to forget about it, and the people who were killed, in a month or two. I don’t want people to think ‘Oh, well, it’s happened again.’ It’s not some thing that should be happening.”

Asked whether they feel safe within Whiteaker itself, both responded they did, but with differing reasons.

“As a student, I feel as safe as possible because we have great security and we have a teacher who served in the military. I feel safe here because of the people we have here,” Hodges said.

“I feel like Whiteaker is a very safe school. My mom was worried because she heard some people were saying they were going to shoot kids during the walkouts. That made me worried, but I feel safe here and I want other kids to feel safe in their schools,” Boyd said.

Hodges said she wanted the students who participated in the walkout to feel empowered after it was over.

Students at Whiteaker Middle School listen as organizers of a walkout read the names and brief biographies of those killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

“I hope that they realize that it’s not only high schoolers. Some of us think we can’t say something because we are only in middle school, but I wanted them to realize that they can still have an opinion and a voice on these things,” Boyd said.

More than 200 students walked out at McNary High School. They stood in silence for 17 minutes in front of the school.

Faith Danner, a junior, who organized the walk out, made 17 numerical signs, one for every victim in the school shooting at Parkland. Other signs read “Fear has no place in our school” and “#Never Again.”

“There was a lot more people than I was expecting,” Danner said. “I was really impressed. I was really happy. I think a lot of it was by example. I think a lot of people became leaders today.”

Danner walked out to show her support of Parkland and because she no longer feels safe at school.

“I hope that we make an impact,” she said. “We have enough people that I know someone will see it and hopefully the legislatures will see it and want to make a difference and see that we want a difference and we have a voice.”

Students at Claggett Creek Middle School also filed out of the building at 10 a.m. and stood in silence for 17 minutes.

Committee looking deep into safety around Kennedy

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The Keizer Traffic Safety, Bikeways and Pedestrian (TBP) Committee continued its efforts to find a project to throw its weight behind at a meeting Thursday, March 8.

Committee members are looking for a suitable project to enter into the running for improvement funds provided by the Oregon Legislature’s Keep Oregon Moving program, a massive transportation package approved in 2017. Some of the money provided through the package will be disbursed in grants for projects with enough political will behind them.

The TPB committee is hoping to whittle down a list of potential projects and forward one to the city council as a prime candidate for grant funding. Some of the potential improvement projects committee members are investigating are: sidewalks in the neighborhoods around Cummings and Kennedy elementary schools; a lighted pedestrian crossing on south River Road North or near the Lockhaven Drive entrance to McNary High School.

Committee member David Dempster has been tasked with helping come up with a plan around Kennedy Elementary School. While the school itself has some sidewalks along the campus, Dempster labeled the roads leading to Kennedy “a black hole.”

“There are next to no sidewalks between Verda (Lane) and the school,” Dempster said. Kennedy might be a more appealing projects in some grant processes because of the school’s Title 1 designation, but there is a groundswell of support for adding sidewalks to the areas surrounding Cummings. In addition, sidewalks will be added to the Cummings’ school campus if voters approve a bond measure for capital improvements in May.

Dempster also lamented the lack of connectivity between the streets around Kennedy and the bike trail that runs along the west side Salem-Keizer Parkway.

Members of the committee noted that when the property known as “the cow pasture” is redeveloped into apartments, students who live there will need to get across Verda and to Kennedy. The same property is also the site of two Cherriots bus stops.

“We could prioritize a path that goes from the bus stops to the school. We have to make some call about the level of importance (within that area) and that could be one way to do it,” said Pat Fisher, a member of the committee.

Naturals: Salmhofer, Lyda win first match

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s boys tennis team won’t be the most experienced bunch in the Greater Valley Conference.

But the Celtics are already proving to be quick learners.

Brayden Lyda, a basketball player, and Emil Salmhofer, a soccer player from Austria, didn’t pick up a tennis racket for the first time until two weeks before the season.

But Lyda and Salmhofer won their first match, 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles on Thursday, March 15 against Aloha.

“We practiced pretty hard these last two weeks and it paid off,” Lyda said with a giant grin.

“I feel like we just have good chemistry out on the court. We’re friends obviously and I think that’s a big part of it.”

“We thought it would be fun to play, and we’re actually pretty good,” Salmhofer added. “We had fun playing. We made no mistakes. Usually we make a couple of mistakes.”

Lyda had watched Alfredo Villarreal, a basketball teammate, play tennis last season and thought it looked like fun.

“They’re pretty good athletes,” McNary head coach Marc McAvoy said. “It’s amazing how fast they picked it up. It really is.”

McAvoy, a long-time tennis coach in the district at McKay and North Salem, is back for his second stint at McNary.

“I just missed coaching,” said McAvoy, behavioral specialist at Claggett Creek Middle School and freshman basketball coach at McNary. “It’s kind of my thing. I love doing it. McNary always puts out  really good quality character kids and it’s a lot of fun to work with a kid like that. It’s a really good group. There’s a lot to learn, a long ways to go but really, really good kids.”

The Celtics have 15 boys on the team this season from four different countries. McNary has three exchange students—Salmhofer (Austria), Pong Sae-ku (Thailand) and Zamour Sieben (Germany).

“People are going to accuse me of traveling the world to recruit but it just landed in my lap,” McAvoy joked.

Two returning players, Adam Graneto and Villarreal, both juniors, opened the season at No. 1 and 2 singles for the Celtics. Sieben is playing 3 singles and Luke Skipper, a freshman, is at 4 singles.

Matt Dice and Noah Kuhl make up McNary’s No. 1 doubles team.

McAvoy convinced three of his freshmen basketball players to try tennis—Tristan Proctor, Ben Roth and Kyle Martin. Roth and Martin opened the season at 3 doubles.

McNary lost its first match 5-1 to Aloha but Skipper led 6-4, 1-0 when his match was called due to rain. Sieben was also unable to finish after losing the first set 4-6 but winning the second 6-2.

The Celtics are back home Tuesday, April 3 for a league match against McKay at 4 p.m.

Student newspaper going online

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Located on a wall in journalism teacher Ryan Somerville’s classroom are all 68 issues of The Piper he’s advised since coming to McNary High School in 2007.

McNary students have begun planning the final edition of its student newspaper as The Piper is moving online.

The change came out of a conversation Somerville had with Principal Erik Jespersen on how to make the student newspaper world class.

“This isn’t a bad thing,” Somerville said. “We want to take the newspaper into the 21st century and get it online and become timely again.”

Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, McNary will offer a media productions class, taught by Somerville and Jason Heimerdinger, where students can work on online news but also produce videos and podcasts.

“I’ll be in charge of content and he’ll (Heimerdinger) be in charge of technology,” Somerville said. “My kids can have all of the technology stuff taken off of their plate and focus on the news and making it more timely.”

Somerville currently teaches two journalism classes during one period, with 12 students working on The Piper and another 18 in Fundamentals of Journalism.

Somerville started the fundamentals class two years ago out of the same conversation with Jespersen.

“I wanted to do that so the kids could enter the publication class having already learned the fundamentals,” Somerville. “It gives me the time to really prep them.”

The Piper staff has already started posting stories online. When Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) visited the school last month, McNary had a photo on its Website before he left campus.

Reporter Lauren Murphy wrote a short story after school and then a longer one over the weekend that was on the site Monday.

In the past, the story might not be in The Piper paper edition for another month.

“Right now we’re not timely at all,” Somerville. “I stopped fighting that battle a long time ago. I’d rather put out quality and teach the kids how to do real journalism.”

McNary spends about $3,000 a year printing 2,000 copies of each of its eight issues. But The Piper isn’t going online to save money.

“Whatever we do it has to be spending neutral,” Somerville said. “I haven’t been told that the budget is being cut.”

Somerville would like to do a magazine each semester so students can learn InDesign and still see their writing in print.

The Piper is currently posting its stories online at mcnary.salkeiz.k12.or.us under announcements but Somerville would like to see a separate space for The Piper on McNary’s site. Each story is promoted on the Celtic Territory Twitter and Facebook page.

“Going online, my sense is our readership is going to be wider but thinner,” Somerville said. “On paper, every kid in the school has the opportunity to read it. It’s handed out in class. When they have the option to look at it on their phone, less kids in the building will read it but more people out in the world will read it.

“Our challenge is going to be marketing it here in the building, making sure every kid in the classroom likes the page and shares it, making sure teachers are liking it and sharing it. And then put out timely material that’s good and build the readership that way.”

While Somerville believes going online is best for The Piper, the former Ohio newspaper man who has put out student newspapers for the past 21 years as an advisor will miss seeing the physical paper each month.

“It’s been difficult for me to let go. I plan to keep those up for a while just to show kids how it used to be done and hopefully I’ll grow it there with the magazine,” he said looking at the wall of past issues. “There’s a lot of history up there. I think the goal of the newspaper is to tell the rough draft of history at McNary High School and we’ve done that.”

Meth blamed in naked arrest

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A 41-year-old Keizer man told police he used methamphetamine and was looking for his clothes at the time of his arrest for peeping in windows in west Keizer.

Keizer police arrested Martin Allen McCord in his bithday suit after watching him – while waiting for back-up – pleasuring himself and peeping in at least one window. It was the second time in roughly five hours that police had been called about suspicious activity in the area.

Police were summoned to the 4900 block of Elizabeth Street North about 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, but were unable to find a prowler reportedly on the caller’s back porch.

At 4:27 a.m. on Sunday, March 18, police received a report of a prowler in the 400 block of Janet Street North. When an officer arrived on the scene, he spotted the suspect lying on a porch in the 4900 block of Filmore Street North.

While waiting for back-up officers, the officer already on the scene saw the man look in a window on Filmore and lay down in the grass where he continued to masturbate.

Once police back-up arrived, the man was taken into custody without incident. Officers also learned McCord had a public indecency conviction in 2010 and was a registered sex offender.

Martin has a criminal record dating back to at least 1997. Convictions include: assault, burglary, theft and multiple counts of driving infractions and possession of controlled substances.

He was first convicted of private indecency in 2006. Convictions for public indecency followed in 2010 and 2012. Details on the previous incidents were unavailable through court records online.

McCord was transported to Marion County Correctional Facility where he was charged with first- and second-degree criminal trespass (Peeping Tom), public indecency, and third degree criminal mischief.

About 9 a.m. Sunday, a third caller reported finding the suspect’s clothing in the backyard of residence on Wolf Street north.

No substitute for experience

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

A lack of senior leadership shouldn’t be a problem for McNary’s lacrosse teams this spring.

The boys bring back 10 seniors while the Lady Celts have eight on their roster.

“We only lost one senior last year so we have a really good set of returners, who were also able to get our freshmen to start practicing earlier and our other newbies to start practicing earlier so the standard of play is higher at the beginning of the season, which is awesome,” McNary head girls coach Rebecca LaFramboise said.

The Lady Celts return leading scorers Carly Levario, Jessica Grimmer, Ashley Setzer and Katelyn Martinez. Grimmer and Martinez each scored four goals on Tuesday, March 13 as McNary opened the season with an 11-7 win over Thurston.

Kylee Daulton and Payton Wirt are also back at goalie.

“I expect us to have more movement of the ball and more possession,” LaFramboise said.

“The game of lacrosse is a lot about possession. If you have possession you will score. I’ve been talking with the girls about that a lot.”

McNary has 18 girls in the program, which is in its second year as a varsity team.

McNary’s boys return two First Team all-league selections from last season in leading scorer Jonathan Williams and goalie Marcus McCoy. Both, along with Chad Pinney, who was second on the team in goals scored last season, and Kory Pagels, are seniors and have played on the varsity squad since they were freshmen.

“It’s a very large senior class and they want to run all day so we try to keep them together,” Celtics head coach Michael Hochspeier said.

Jack O’Connor, Second Team all-league last season, is also back.

With so much experience, McNary has set a goal to win the league and get a home playoff game. The Celtics finished third behind West Salem and Sprague last year.

“I think that’s very accomplishable for this team this year,” Hochspeier said. “Expectations are up there but I guess every team has that.”

McNary opened the season with an 8-6 loss to Newberg on Wednesday, March 14.

The Celtics next home game is Wednesday, April 4 at 5:45 p.m. against Chiawana, Wash.

The Lady Celts host Corvallis on Thursday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Ryan Donald Chapman

March 2, 1992 – March 14, 2018

Ryan Chapman passed away on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at 26 years old.

Ryan, son of Vicki Chapman, was born on March 2, 1992 in Portland, Ore. He attended schools in Keizer and graduated from McNary High School in June of 2010. Ryan as a child loved to partake in basketball and baseball.

Beginning in high school, Ryan found the love of paintball. He was a part of many traveling tournament paintball teams. The memories of his paintballing experiences were his fondest memories.

He is survived by his mother, Vicki Chapman, sister, Megan Banks, grandmother, Luella Porter along with many aunts, uncle and cousins.

Ryan was known for his infectious smile, big bear hugs, one of a kind laugh, loving eyes, and the deepest heart for everyone that he held near and dear. He will be greatly missed and is deeply loved.

A memorial paintball tournament is being planned, details and date will be posted to Ryan’s Facebook page by a family member. The tournament will be taking donations to help the family with costs. Donations can be made to Vicki Chapman.