Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Month: April 2018

German students get American experience

Of the Keizertimes

A group of 20 German high school students only spent three weeks in Keizer but they saw and did more than some McNary students who have lived here their entire lives.

“I talked to a girl here who had been here her whole life and never been to Mt. Hood,” said Sarah Horsch, a German student who had traveled to New York, Switzerland and England before coming to Oregon.

As a group, the German students went to Portland, which included going to a museum, Multnomah Falls and a Trail Blazers game.

They went whale watching in Lincoln City and toured Willamette University and the state capitol in Salem.

What else they were able to do depended on the host family.

“Some of us have the jackpot host family and some of us not,” said Niklas Weise, who along with Isabel Zhou, got to take a weekend trip to Seattle.

“Seattle was something I really wanted to do so I asked my host family,” Weise said. “I wanted to experience as much as I can. It was the America we expected.”

In Seattle, they saw the Space Needle, Gum Wall and Pike Place Market.

“It’s pretty but I imagined it bigger,” Zhou said of the Space Needle.

While most of the students were at the Trail Blazers game, Zhou went to a Camilla Cabello concert with her host family.

“It was really spectacular for me,” she said.

Some students went to Silver Falls State Park.

While shopping at Cabela’s and Walmart, they saw guns, which aren’t so accessible in Germany.

“In Germany, it’s illegal to have a gun,” Paul Burger said. “You need a license and to get the license it’s very difficult, so really nobody has it.

“They (Cabela’s) had pink guns that you could give to their smaller children. They see it as more of a toy and a funny thing but for us in Germany it’s a weapon, not something funny.”

“It’s so normal for everyone here to just take a gun out and for us it’s very exciting to just touch it or just look at them,” Weise said. “It made me a bit afraid.”

The food was better than they expected.

“I’ve changed my opinion on American food,” said Weise, whose favorite was Chipotle. “Before I came here, I thought it was just fast food and I will definitely get fat.”

“We only had McDonalds and Burger King (in Germany), that’s not the good fast food,” said Horsch, who preferred Wendy’s and Jack in the Box.

“The Mexican food is way better than we have it,” Burger said.

The students also enjoyed their meal at Cracker Barrel in Tualatin.

At McNary, they got to make their own food in culinary arts class, cooking shrimp and soup.

“That was so delicious,” Weise said.

The students also read lines and learned sword fighting in a theatre class.

They watched lacrosse and baseball games.

“I really like baseball because it’s different,” Zhou said. “We don’t really have it in Germany.”

The German kids found the entire American school experience more relaxed.

They don’t have WiFi in their German school and aren’t allowed to use cell phones.

“The school is very different, like in the High School Musical films,” Weise said. “The teachers are friends with the children.”

Burger even witnessed a teacher high five a student.

“You couldn’t imagine that in Germany,” he said. “You’re not scared of your teachers but it’s very respectful.”

Since the German students go to a bilingual school, they take biology, history and geography in English, a language they begin learning in the first grade. The students also speak French and have the choice to learn Russian.

They left Keizer on Thursday, April 19.


Ryan to seek 2nd term on Council

Of the Keizertimes

City Councilor Amy Ryan has announced she will be seeking a second term on the Keizer City Council.

Ryan was elected to Position 5 on the council in 2014, but said some of the goals she set out to accomplish are still lingering.

“I really prayed about this decision for a long time. There are reasons to do it and not to do it, but I want to be effective and make a difference,” Ryan said. “We’ve done more as a council in four years than I ever imagined possible, but there is still more work to do.”

Approving service fees to create stable funding for parks and police topped the list of accomplishments for Ryan.

“Whether they shared our view or not, people had the information. The transparency of that process is something I’m proud of,” she said.

Ryan was a constant supporter of both fees and took on a leadership role in the effort to get information about the parks fee into residents’ hands, even as it received less vocal support than the one for police services.

The most Herculean task she undertook in her first four years was trying to get a handle on the municipal budget, but she said she feels more comfortable than ever in being a strong voice in budget discussions.

“I had to spend a lot of time with it to really understand everything that is going on. It’s such an opportunity to learn about how everything works together, and I feel like I have a better grasp now than I did when I started,” Ryan said.

Aside from the accomplishments, Ryan said there are other issues she wants to bring to the forefront of the public conscience. First among those is finding a way to incorporate a domestic violence advocate into the Keizer Police Department. Ryan said she has been working closely with Sgt. Andrew Copeland on the matter and took part in ride-alongs with KPD officers twice a year to get a better handle on the need.

“I’ve taken the time to try to understand the department and we occasionally use services provided by Salem Police Department, but I want to see someone working alongside our officers,” she said.

In some ways, her attempts to create space for a domestic violence advocate took a back seat to the larger issues of funding – and now hiring – additional officers, but she can see opportunity on the horizon.

“It could be a volunteer position or there are grants we can apply for,” Ryan said.

Sticking with the public safety theme, Ryan said finding a way to round up more volunteers and stable funding for KPD’s annual BLAST camp  is another priority.

The other major issue Ryan hopes to tackle is bringing the city’s various youth athletic organizations together for a Kumbaya session.

“I want to put all the athletics leaders in the same room with Cathy (Clark’s) support to bring people together and make unity happen,” Ryan said. “We have a lot of organizations and not everyone is communicating.

“And I will always be a voice for businesses in Keizer. That was one of the main issues I ran on, but I feel like I’ve become a strong voice for the community overall,” she said.

Voters will determine if Ryan gets another term on the council in November.

Police search for shooter in south Keizer incident

Of the Keizertimes

Ryan Joel Carrera is wanted in connection with a shooting in south Keizer.

The man being sought by police in connection with a shooting that occurred in south Keizer has a history of violent offenses.

Ryan Joel Carrera is wanted in connection with a shooting that left a victim with non-life-threatening injuries and abandoned in a car at a Salem motel.

Carerra was charged with possession of prohibited weapons or a silencer and assault in 2008, but not convicted. In 2012, Carrera was found guilty of fourth-degree assault and sentenced to 18 months probation. In 2016, Carrera was sentenced to 30 days in jail for resisting arrest. Carrera also has a state-wide felony warrant issued from charges related to drug possession.

Law enforcement authorities now believe Carrera has fled the area after the shooting in Keizer around midnight on Sunday, April 22.

Patrol officers from the Keizer Police Department were dispatched to a report of a shooting in the 3600 block of Brooks Avenue NE. The caller told dispatchers that a friend had been shot and was being taken to the Salem Hospital by private vehicle.

Responding officers later learned the individual who said they were transporting the shooting victim to the Salem Hospital actually drove to the Roadway Inn at 3340 Astoria Way N.E. in Salem. Officers from the Salem Police Department found the 26-year-old male victim in a car at the motel after being tipped off by another call to 9-1-1. The man was then transported to Salem Hospital for treatment of his injury.

Investigators identified Carrera as the suspect in the shooting and are looking for him. In the immediate aftermath, police were also searching for a rental car Carrera fled the scene in, but it was recovered Monday, April 23. It was found northeast of Salem by officers from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. KPD Deputy Chief Jeff Kuhns said police think Carrera may be headed to Washington, specifically the Tacoma area.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Carrera is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately. Carrera is believed to be armed with a handgun.

Anyone having information about the incident in Keizer is asked to contact Det. Andrew Phelps at 503-390-3713, ext. 3497.

Lady Celts shut out at home

Of the Keizertimes

McNary had no answer for McMinnville junior Payton Hudson.

In the circle, Hudson allowed just three hits as the Lady Celts fell 1-0 on Thursday, April 26.

“She’s a really good pitcher,” McNary head coach Kevin Wise said. “We tried bunting. We brought out the arsenal. They’re a solid team, good defense, good pitching. We had a couple of hits that they made good plays on, if those go half an inch or an inch the other way, maybe we get something rolling but we just couldn’t today.”

Hudson also got McNary at the plate, hitting a solo home run off the scoreboard in the top of the fourth to score the only run of the game.

“She just missed one,” Wise said of McNary pitcher Faith Danner, who allowed seven hits over seven innings. “Payton’s a good hitter. You can’t miss one to her or she’ll do that to you.”

After not threatening to score in the first three innings, McNary put two runners on in the bottom of the fourth as Taylor Ebbs reached on an error and Haley Bingenheimer walked. But Hudson got a ground ball to shortstop to get out of the inning.

After McNary shortstop Nadia Witt gunned down a runner at home to end the fifth inning, McMinnville had another chance to add to its lead in the top of the sixth.

With runners at first and second and one out, McNary chose to intentionally walk Hudson and load the bases. The decision paid off as Danner got a ground ball to shortstop for a force out at home and then another ground ball to third to get out of the jam.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Haley Ebner walked to put the tying run on base. But the Lady Celts lined out to second to end the game.

The run was the first McNary had allowed all week, after shutting out Forest Grove and South Salem, Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Our defense is playing really well,” Wise said. “Nothing to complain about.”

The Lady Celts offense had also been hot, scoring 10 runs at Forest Grove and 14 at South Salem.

“We probably used all our hits up the last couple of games,” Wise said.

Senior Emma Kinler missed all three games after suffering a concussion diving for a ball at Monday’s practice. Ebner, sat out against South Salem with a sprained wrist, but returned against McMinnville.

The loss dropped McNary to 7-3 in league play, tied with McMinnville.

“We’ve just got to keep fighting,” Wise said. “We’re still in the thick of the battle.”

The Lady Celts host West Albany, 9-1 in the GVC, Friday, May 4 at 4:30 p.m. The Bulldogs took the first game 10-0 on April 13.

“We’ve just got to play our game and not get caught up in what they’re doing and we’ll be fine,” Wise said.

Bond is ‘food fight’ for elementary students

Of the Keizertimes

Gubser Elementary School principal Dave Bertholf is looking forward to the day when his students won’t be served lunch in a hallway.

If the $619.7 million construction bond passes on May 15, Bertholf will soon get his wish, as Gubser would use a large chunk of its $5.5 to $6.5 million on a new cafeteria and kitchen.

Gubser, which was built in 1976 without a cafeteria or full-sized kitchen, currently has four different lunch periods, beginning with kindergarteners at 11:10 a.m. The last students are fed at 12:45. Each group packs into a space that was once used as a classroom.

Since there’s not enough room for everyone, some students eat in pods in another part of the building.

“It’s too small,” Bertholf said. “Half the kids that could be in there are eating somewhere else, which spreads out the supervision need. Kids aren’t able to eat with their friends. There’s a social impact as well.”

Melissa Frank, a fourth grade teacher at Gubser for 12 years, spends the early part of one of the busiest lunch periods telling students to scoot over so more kids can sit down.

“If we don’t do that, then there’s no room for kids and they are standing with their food,” Frank said. “There’s a lot more behaviors. We’re putting out fires the whole time, getting into things that weren’t ever an issue before. It’s harder when there’s this many kids and there’s no room.”

At Keizer Elementary, which would also use part of its $9.3 to $10.3 million on a cafeteria and kitchen, food is also served in hallways and students eat in classrooms.

Students pack into a space meant to be a classroom for lunch at Gubser Elementary. If the construction bond passes on May 15, Gubser would get a new 3,450 square foot cafeteria.

The busiest lunch takes place at noon with nine classes of first and fourth graders.

“It’s a coordinated mess,” Keizer principal Christine Bowlby said. “It’s hard because you have first graders who have 30 minutes and they’re having to get their lunch and they’re having to wait. We have kids who won’t even get back to the room after 15 minutes so then they’re ending up with 10 minutes to eat. It makes it a real challenge.”

The Salem-Keizer School District estimates that the lost instruction time for elementary schools that do not have a cafeteria is about nine days over the course of a school year.

Since Keizer Elementary doesn’t have a dishwasher, trays and silverware are boxed up and shipped off everyday to be cleaned and then returned the next day.

Both Keizer and Gubser are growing at rates so fast that they’ve already passed projections by Portland State University’s Population Research Center.

While Gubser was projected to have 568 students in a building designed for 467 by 2035, the school is already at 605 students and Bertholf is planning for 620 kids next school year.

While Gubser would be one of the first schools to be renovated under the bond, with construction possibly beginning as early as fall of 2018 and finishing the following September, a portable with two classrooms will be installed next school year since classrooms are already at 31-34 students.

“We can’t wait,” Bertholf said.

Along with a new cafeteria and kitchen, Gubser would get three new classrooms, a relocated covered play area and improvements to its gym and HVAC system through the bond.

Keizer, the largest elementary school in the city, was projected to have 736 students by 2035 but has already surpassed 740.

With construction scheduled to begin in 2022, Keizer would get four new classrooms, a multipurpose fitness room, additional parking and reoriented drop-off lanes. The school would also see improvements to its plumbing, increase visibility of main entry from the office and library improvements.

Both schools would also get partition walls replaced, intercom and card access system upgrades and expanded wireless capacity.

Gubser was scheduled for construction before Keizer because of a rapid increase in enrollment this school year which led to a lack of classrooms. Keizer also experienced growth and while overcrowded, has been able to accommodate the student body for the time being.

Cummings Elementary, which is just under its capacity at 430-plus students, would get its existing cafeteria expanded as part of its $1.8 to $2.8 million. With construction beginning in 2020, Cummings would also see sidewalk additions on Delight Street, heating and ventilation improvements, seismic improvements and increase visibility of the main entry from the office.

Clear Lake would receive $175,000 to $225,000 for music room and site drainage improvements as well as removal or replacement of end-of-life portable classrooms.

Weddle would get $850,000 to $1.6 million to replace its roof and to improve its music room.

Forest Ridge, the newest of the Keizer schools, built in 2002, would receive $75,000 to $125,000 for improvements to its HVAC system. All schools will get intercom and card access system upgrades as well as expanded wireless capacity.

Ballots were mailed out Wednesday, April 25.

If passed, the $619.7 million proposed bond would increase the current property tax levy rate by an estimated $1.24 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Donald McMillian Paterson, Jr.

August 26, 1957 – April 16, 2018

Donald McMillian Paterson Jr passed suddenly on April 16, 2018, at the age of 60. Don passed while vacationing with his wife and best friend of 40 years Linda Paterson. They were together as always in a land they love visiting, Mexico.

D. Paterson

Don was born in Torrance, Calif. It was there where he met and fell in love with Linda. They moved to Salem, Ore., to build their lives together and start their family. Don attended Chemeketa Community College for nursing and worked at Salem Hospital. This would not be his true calling, his career transitioned into real estate. He loved to help make peoples’ dreams come true. He was a successful real estate broker for over 30 years.

Don was the perfect family man, said family members, he was a devoted husband and father. He was an avid fisherman, golfer, BBQ connoisseur, and best friend to many. He will forever be remembered for his love of life, great smile, and his sense of humor.

He leaves behind his wife Linda, three daughters Stephanie, Angela and Rebecca, his sister, Donna Dugan ,and the pride and joy of his life his grandson Josiah Wolfe Paterson, as well as many friends. His wife and family invite you to a Celebration of Don’s Life, Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m., at the Keizer Elks Lodge located at 4250 Cherry Avenue N.E. in Keizer. Tropical attire is requested.

James E. Hugill

January 2, 1934 – April 21, 2018

J. Hugill

Jim was born in Woodburn and graduated from Woodburn High School. He served in the U.S. Army, and was a firefighter/first responder with the City of Salem Fire Department for 26 years.

Jim is survived by his loving wife Nancy, daughter Lisa, son John, son and daughter-in-law Bob and Toni, and four grandchildren: Sam, Mac, Parker and Carson.

Memorial services will be held at Keizer Funeral Chapel on Saturday, April 28, at 1 p.m.

Mary Ann Johnson 

April 2, 1924 – Feb. 9, 2018 

Mary Ann Johnson passed away Feb. 9, 2018, at the age of 93.

Mary Ann was born on April 2, 1924 to William and Hazel Langan in Midway, Neb. She was the second of thirteen children.

M. Johnson

In Omaha, Neb., on March 12, 1947 she married the love of her life: Lloyd Johnson. Afterwards, they moved to Spencer, Nebraska to own and operate a dairy farm. Amidst their farming life, they raised their six children.

In 1964, she moved with her family to Salem, Oregon. Once they arrived, Mary started working for the school district, a job that she loved and kept up until her retirement. After retirement, she was able to take on the role that she loved the most: caring for her grandchildren as the matriarch of the family.

Mary loved camping and traveling with Lloyd and her family. Along with her love for her family, she was devoted to church. Since their arrival in Salem in 1964, she had been a parishioner at St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church.

Mary is preceded in death by her husband Lloyd; sons Ron and Tom Johnson; and daughter Diane Huber.

She is survived by her son Ken Johnson; daughters Janet (Dick) Duerksen, and Joan O’Shea; along with six grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church on Friday April 27, 2018, at 11 a.m. with a burial to follow at Belcrest Memorial Park.

Bite the bullet

The final amount of the Salem-Keizer School District’s Bond Measure was not grabbed out of thin air. It was not decided on in a vacuum. School bonds are serious business; members of the committee that established the amount needed and the members of the school bond take their duties very seriously. They all know they will hear from the public if they are being reckless with the public’s money.

The school bond comes in at $619.7 million, that is $1.24 per $1,000 of assessed property value, or about $248 per year for a home valued at $200,000. That may seem like a lot especially since voters approved a $250 million bond ten years ago—that bond was for improvements and new schools.

Voters in the Salem-Keizer School District should bite the bullet and vote for the bond measure on the ballot that begin arriving in voter’s mailboxes this week.

The $619.7 amount was discussed by the bond committee at various open houses and hearings. The school board held hearings before moving forward to putting the measure on the May ballot. The Salem-Keizer School District has a strong history of communicating with the public about its budgetary needs. Using the web, email, Facebook, newspapers and more, the district leaves no stone unturned when it comes to explaining to tax payers why this, or any other bond measure, is important to the education of our kids.

The cost of education is not just for instruction, it also includes extracurrilar activities and infrastructure. Where students learn is as important as what they learn. First, there should be enough space for the students. Second, the space should be sufficient and efficient for its task. Third, the space should be safe from both natural and man-made disasters.

Those things are what the $619.7 million will pay for. While it does not fund salaries, the money will create an environment for learning that will benefit teachers and students alike.

Every two years the Oregon legislature makes decisions that affect every school district in the state. With a biennial budget of almost $80 billion, educators must fight for every scrap of its 11 percent of the budget. This is no way to serve our children. Educating our kids is a paramount duty—it is a duty we, the people, assigned our public school systems. Unless the people decide that there should be no public schools, only private, we have the education system we have and we fund it the way we have for decades.

The reality is that a million dollars isn’t what it used to be. Economics has devalued the worth of a million dollars—these days $1 billion is used like $1 million was 20 years ago. Everything is relative.

Modern life is not inexpensive. It takes real money to operate the things that comprise a good quality of life and that includes good schools. Just as we desire pothole-free streets, we also desire quality institutions of learning that are not crowded, that meet the needs of all those who attend there.

Until we the people and they the legislators demand a better, consistent source of money for K-12 education in Oregon, we will have to take matters in our own hands and tax ourselves to have the schools we deserve.

That’s why voters should bite the bullet and say yes to Measure 24-429, the $619.7 million Salem-Keizer School District bond.


Vote YES for our schools


Stop someone from Keizer on the street and ask them what they love about their town and you will hear things like “small town feel” and “spirit of volunteerism.”  You will also hear Keizerites talk about how much they love our schools. From the largest elementary school in the Keizer-Salem School District to the many “Go Celts” signs which pop up during various sports seasons—in Keizer, we love our schools!

On May 15 we will be asked to support our schools with a new bond measure. At the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, we are asking you to vote “yes” on the bond. We don’t come to this position lightly.  This bond is expensive.  However, for three reasons, we think this bond is an important investment in our schools.

First, the money raised in this bond will help needed capacity at many of our local schools. Rather than build another high school in the district which would send some Keizer kids to high school in Salem, this bond adds capacity to McNary, keeping Keizer kids in Keizer.

Keizer is home to the largest elementary school in the Keizer-Salem School District. Keizer Elementary was built during a time when schools did not have cafeterias. Without a cafeteria, students rotate through a kitchen to get lunch and then take it back to their classrooms. With the number of kids at the school, in order to get everyone through the lunch line, the first group of kids starts lunch at 11 a.m.  That makes for a long “afternoon.”  With passage of this bond, Keizer Elementary gets a cafeteria.

Second, the Keizer Chamber supports this bond because it invests in Career Technical Education (CTE).  These are the programs which teach our high school kids trades like carpentry, culinary arts and auto shop.  These programs teach students a skill they can use to get a job right out of high school.  They turn today’s students into tomorrow’s employees.

Finally, anyone who has tried to travel down Lockhaven or Chemawa between 7 and 7:30 a.m. knows the traffic around McNary High School can be bad. With the passage of this bond, parking lots and traffic patterns will be added and improved.

For more information about what is happening at your school, please visit

To put this bond together, the school district assembled a group of citizens from all over the district to make recommendations. Those recommendations formed the basis for what we are being asked to approve.  We appreciate the school district engaging community members and then listening to them.

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce asks you take a look at what passage of this bond will mean for our kids in Keizer. We hope you will support it, but either way this is an important election.  No matter how you feel about the bond, please make sure you study the issue, vote and return your ballot.

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce is made up of over 400 local businesses.  For more information please visit

(Jonathan Thompson is a member of the board of directors at the Keizer Chamber of Commerce and serves as chairman of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee.)