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

Day: April 13, 2018

Regional transit planning includes Wheatland redux

Of the Keizertimes

A proposed revamp of Wheatland Road North is among the top projects on the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments’ (MWVCOG) Regional Transportation System Plan.

MWVCOG helps coordinate funding for projects with regional as well as local impacts. Bundling projects that effect numerous areas bolsters chances of receiving state and federal funding and takes the burden off local taxing districts. The Regional Transportation System Plan is currently being updated and area residents can complete a survey on the plan goals at through Monday, April 16. Comments can also be submitted via email to Karen Odenthal, [email protected].

The project is high on the priority list for Mayor Cathy Clark who is seeking a third term. During an interview announcing her candidacy in February, Clark, who is chair of the Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study Policy Committee, had high hopes for what a redesign can accomplish.

“We have to take a deeper look at the design of Wheatland for safe and sustainable use,” Clark said. While some area residents have championed the idea of reducing the speed limit on Wheatland as a catch-all solution, Clark has a bumper sticker-worthy response, “Design works better than signs.”

Developing a plan for the Wheatland corridor that includes multimodal transportation such as cycling and pedestrian routes – with enhanced crossing options – is among seven other items on the MWVCOG to-do list in the immediate future. The redesign will include the entire stretch of Wheatland from River Road North to Clear Lake Road Northeast

In a January meeting of the policy committee, Clark noted that Wheatland Road serves a diverse cross section of the community. In addition to single-family residences, multi-family residences, and two nearby schools, the road serves two churches, a large retirement community, a Marion County Fire District No. 1 station and as a freight route for agriculture coming in from north of Keizer. Accommodating water treatment issues, turning movements and additional crossings will also factor into the redesign.

The design portion of the rework is expected to cost about $213,000 with Keizer chipping in about $22,000 and federal grants paying for the remainder. If the overall grant package, which will need to be vetted by the Oregon Department of Transportation is approved, it could bring in about $9.3 million worth of improvements to the Salem-Keizer area. Work on the Wheatland redesign would commence in 2020.

The Wheatland redesign is the only Keizer project being submitted for funding this time around but several other Keizer projects remain on the larger list of improvement opportunities including: additional east- and west-bound turning lanes onto the Interstate 5 southbound ramp; reconfiguring the intersection of Chemawa Road Northeast and Lockhaven Drive Northeast; and realigning the intersection of River Road North with Manzanita Street Northeast.

Celtics place second on home golf course

Of the Keizertimes

With punched greens due to all the rain, Matt Langenwalter and Joel Dutcher knew McNary Golf Course would be more difficult than usual.

But the McNary golfers made the most of it. Playing on their home course, Langenwalter shot 75. Dutcher followed with a 78.

“I got some weird breaks with the putting but I hit the ball very well,” Langenwalter said.

“It was around one of my better rounds here.”

After parring the first three holes, Langenwalter nearly hit a hole-in-one on four. But then after missing a close putt, he had to settle for par.

Langenwalter’s round, a 38 on the front nine and 37 on the back, included 12 pars. His only birdie came on 18, a par 5.

Dutcher birdied the first hole but then ran into trouble on the second, finishing with a bogey. He shot 39 on both the front and back nine. He birdied 15, a par 3.

“It’s a challenging course when they punch the greens,” Dutcher said. “It poured all weekend. No one was excited for this, except maybe me and Matthew.”

As a team, McNary had its best score of the season, 360, to finish second behind only West Salem’s 319.

Zach Roth carded a 95 and Nathan Young shot 112 for the Celtics.

“We’re making some really good progress so I’m happy,” McNary head coach Rick Ward said. “It’s encouraging. It’s steady improvement.”

Firehouse Subs is on the scene

Of the Keizertimes

Brandon Ensley has been watching potential customers drive past his new business, Firehouse Subs in Keizer Station, for the better part of a month.

“We had a sign up in the window announcing we were opening April 9 and people would drive up, take a look and drive away. I think they all came back today,” Brandon said of the first day with customers streaming through the doors.

Brandon and Stephanie Ensley are the co-franchisers behind the new Firehouse Subs that opened Monday, April 9, in Keizer Station. (KEIZERTIMES/
Eric A. Howald)

Brandon and his wife, Stephanie, are co-franchisers with Firehouse Subs and the Keizer Station location is the fourth one they’ve opened in the greater Portland area. Their first location opened on Cedar Hills Boulevard in Portland, near Beaverton, a little more than four years ago.

“We ate at one of the franchises in Denver on the advice of one of my wife’s co-workers and that started the whole thing,” Brandon said.

After working in one of the shops in the Mile High City, Brandon and Stephanie ventured west to embark on a franchise ownership of their own and be closer to family in Vancouver, Wash. Portland, at the time, had a wide open market.

Firehouse Subs separates itself from competitors by steaming meats and cheeses and toasting all the bread.

“Our specialty is all hot sandwiches,” Brandon said. The top seller is the Hook & Ladder with smoked turkey breast and Virginia honey ham smothered with Monterey Jack cheese.

Part of what attracted the Ensleys to Firehouse Subs was the larger mission. Founded by former firefighting brothers, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation in 2004 with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Since then, the foundation has awarded more than $33 million in grants in 46 states. Each restaurant recycles leftover, five-gallon pickle buckets, available to guests for a $2 donation to the Foundation. Donation canisters on register counters explain the nonprofit’s mission and collect spare change, while the Round Up Program allows guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar for the fund.

Brandon said local fire districts and departments around his other locations have already benefited from the grant program.

“We don’t partner directly with the local fire departments, but I’m sure to tell them about the grant availability whenever we see them come in,” Brandon said.

Firehouse also partners with local organizations, like sports teams and clubs, to raise money for community efforts.

“We will set up a date or group of dates with a sports team and we’ll print up fliers for them to hand out. Then we’ll donate 20 percent of any purchase from people who come in with the flier,” Brandon said.

In addition to partnering in community efforts, the restaurant itself has a touch of Keizer-inspired flair. It boasts a custom, hand-painted mural by artist Joe Puskas depicting the Keizer Station steam locomotive, which is now on permanent display at Keizer Station, across from the Keizer Fire District Fire Engine 355, with a firefighter in full turnout gear carrying a fire hose over his right shoulder and an axe in his left hand. Walking alongside the fireman is the local McNary High School mascot, Cedric the Celtic, carrying a double headed battle axe over his right shoulder and a caber in his left hand. Painted in the background, the picturesque flowering iris fields with the different stages of a solar eclipse in the sky. Since the opening of the first Firehouse Subs in 1994, Puskas and his team have painted more than 1,125 murals from his studio in Jacksonville, Fla.

After four years and just as many locations, Brandon said he can’t imagine doing anything else.

“It’s the energy in the restaurant. It’s fun, bright, friendly and clean. When I leave, I’m in a great mood because everyone is having  a good time,” he said.

Firehouse Subs is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Hearing set on two new subdivisions

Of the Keizertimes


[UPDATED 4/20/2018: The print version of this article said the date of the hearing was April 26, the correct date is April 24.]

A pair of public hearings regarding new subdivisions in Keizer will be held Tuesday, April 24, at the Keizer Civic Center.

One of the hearings involves three properties on the west side of 15th Avenue North at Jodelle Court North. The other involves property on the south side of Claggett Street North and east of Kensington Court N.

Both properties would be turned into single-family subdivisions. The hearings begin at 6 p.m. The applicant is Salem-based Trademark Enterprises. A land use hearings officer will determine whether the subdivisions are allowed based on the proposal and relevant testimony submitted before or during the hearing.

The 15th Avenue property includes one previously developed parcel with the address 4881 15th Avenue and adjacent properties on both sides. The 2.5-acre space would be divided into 15 lots ranging in size from 5,000 square feet to 12,114 square feet if the application is approved. The new subdivision would be known as Sterling Meadow.

The 1.64-acre property off Claggett would be subdivided into 10 lots ranging in size from 5,094 square feet to 7,340 square feet. The new subdivision would be known at Snook Grove.

Anyone who wants to speak in support or opposition to the proposed changes can do so during the public hearing. Written comments can be submitted to the Keizer Community Development Department, 930 Chemawa Road N.E., by 4 p.m. the day of the hearing.

Staff reports and recommendations can be viewed at Navigate to the Community Development>Current Projects>Land Use Actions & Decisions to find them.

Dave Adams

May 4, 1937 – March 31, 2018

Dave Adams passed into the arms of his Heavenly Father on March 31, 2018.

Born on May 4, 1937.  The first son of Hugh and Evelyn Adams of Keizer, Oregon.  Dave attended Keizer Elementary, Parrish Junior High, and graduated from North Salem High in 1955.  He then attended Multnomah School of the Bible focusing on his passion for mission work.

In 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Joanne Lowery.  Two years later, they welcomed their first son, Mark, and as planned two years later second son, Rick, completed the family.

D. Adams

In high school, Dave was an Eagle Scout and was influenced by a group of young men who started a Young Life club at North High.  Dave led that Young Life club and expanded its ministry to the surrounding area high schools.  He soon became Salem’s first Area Director for Young Life.

Wanting to reach as many as possible with the gospel, Dave began a college ministry at Willamette and O.C.E. In the late 1960s, Dave traveled to the Philippines and began the Young Life ministry there which thrives today.

In 1973, he temporarily moved his family to Pasadena so he could study at Fuller Theological Seminary.  Nine months later, they were back in Salem where Dave responded to a need of local college students and opened his first Rainbow West Christian Supply store in downtown Salem.  The bookstore ministry still operates today run by his son, Rick, and his wife, Dennette.

Seeing a need to minister to inmates at the state prison, Dave began many local programs helping inmates transition successfully back into society.  In 1974, Dave was one of a few men in the U.S.A. chosen to attend Billy Graham’s World Conference on Evangelism in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dave is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Joanne; their two sons and spouses, Mark and Lisa Adams and Rick and Dennette Adams; three grandsons Jase, Evan and Drew Adams; two granddaughters, Jessica Harris and Jordan Day; one great-grandson Mason, one great-granddaughter, Emma; and two brothers Doug Adams and Dan Adams.

In lieu of flowers, donations for Dave’s heart of missions may be made to Outreach, Inc., 871 Evans Street N, Keizer, OR, 97303.

He left the world a better place

To the Editor:

Our Keizer and Salem communities lost a wonderful gentleman on Easter Sunday, April 1. John Jenkins died peacefully at his home in Keizer at age 94, with his wife Regina at his side.

John and Regina met and attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and both are proud graduates. He was one of the “Greatest Generation,” having served in World War II. He and Regina moved to Oregon to raise their family. John and Regina both had long careers with the State of Oregon. John was an engineer with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

John was a 47-year member of Keizer Rotary Club, joining in 1971. He was an early board member, Paul Harris Fellow, and enjoyed perfect attendance for many years. He was active in every community service project and fundraiser for Rotary. He was a long and loyal supporter of Rotary’s international high school student exchange program.

Other passions of his were John Knox Presbyterian Church, where he was very active in their community food bank charity. He was also an early volunteer supporter of the Keizer Heritage Center. In recognition of his decades of volunteer service to our community, he was named Keizer’s First Citizen in 1994.

John was a quiet and unassuming gentleman. He epitomized the Rotary principle of “service above self.” John left our community and world better than he found it.

John Doneth

ISIS getting foothold in Sahel

To the Editor:

There is talk about ISIS making a comeback in Syria, and President Trump’s talk of simply walking away from the place certainly doesn’t help matters; but, a case can be made that it’s in the African Sahel that the Islamist terror threat is now the globe’s worst such vexation. This area of hundreds of thousand of square miles of absolute poverty and misery is an absolutely perfect target for ISIS propaganda. In a region where people ordinarily die at the age of 35 or 40, it is safe to say, the militants’ promise of “paradise” for martyrs has a very favorable resonance. Common folk in Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso are so miserable that they feel uplifted by the tenor of ISIS discourse. Sickness and hunger have a way of doing that.

Holding the line in the Sahel for the West is France and a variety of African militaries and constabularies, prominently including the human rights-violating military of Mali. Amnesty International recently slammed the French-trained Malians for killing just about all the ISIS prisoners they take. Gruesome are the tactics of ISIS, to be sure but, the region’s counter-insurgency forces are as bad or worse. French “advice” to indigenous army troops and cops is to take no prisoners. No one in this brutal fight talks about “hearts and minds.” Backed by Washington D.C., Paris and its subordinate African regimes are taking a “scorched earth” approach to the Sahel’s problems.

These ISIS-infiltrated countries are horribly poor, horribly sick and horribly hungry. Their predominantly Muslim populations see in ISIS discourse an all-encompassing answer for their misery. What can well-fed army troops and cops say to wretchedly threadbare peasants and herdsmen that can convince them of a given central government’s “good intentions”? What can the swaggering men in uniform say to a father whose children are starving to death? The people in such circumstances will almost certainly listen to ISIS propaganda. It is remarkable that Washington D.C. and Paris are pursuing such a losing strategy in the Sahel.

Frank W. Goheen

Can moderation get up off the mat?


In the world of progressive politics, all eyes are turned to Great Britain. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, represents progressivism in its most uncompromising form. He and his party are proposing massive increases in social spending, tax hikes on businesses and the wealthy, rent control in major cities, a ban on fracking, a boost in the minimum wage and the re-nationalization of railroads and water companies. Corbyn himself has advocated unilateral disarmament, has urged the United Kingdom to leave NATO and has seldom found a socialist revolutionary he didn’t admire (including Hugo Chavez).

And according to a recent YouGov/Times poll, Corbyn’s Labour Party is 1 point behind the Conservatives in voting intention.

There is no immediate election on the horizon in the United Kingdom. And the disturbing ties between British leftism and anti-Semitism are emerging as a serious scandal. But there is little doubt that Corbyn’s forces have consolidated their hold on the Labour Party, that the party did better than expected in the 2017 election and that Corbyn is no longer unthinkable as a future prime minister.

Whatever else Corbyn’s ascendance might mean, it is the death of Blairism — former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s attempt to define a center-left alternative to the Labour Party’s hard left. No more political trimming and tacking. Corbyn supporters regard themselves as part of a people-powered social movement — dedicated to economic equality and environmental protection, opposed to militarism and in revolt against a compromised establishment.

There is no exact political equivalent to Corbyn himself in America, at least outside the faculty lounge. But a similar spirit could be seen in Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign — the romance of ideological purity. Sanders’ supporters were as opposed to (Bill) Clintonism as Corbyn’s are to Blairism, and for the same reasons. Many on the left have lost patience with centrism. They feel part of a progressive wave, a movement. They see no need to compromise, just to organize.

In America, this tendency on the left is reinforced by Donald Trump’s consolidation of power in the Republican Party. Trump’s extremism — his combination of plutocracy, misogyny and nativism — has encouraged ideological ambition in his opponents. His vulnerability is taken — not as an opportunity to build a broad political coalition against Trumpism — but as a chance to win without compromise. A chance to bury conservatism itself.

Compared with Great Britain, this is a big and diverse country. So this trend on the left is not found everywhere equally. But consider recent events in California. In February, the state Democratic Party refused to endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein for re-election. Though a liberal by almost any standard, Feinstein was not liberal enough for delegates at the party convention. Her challenger, state Sen. Kevin de Leon, attacked her support for school vouchers, for anti-terrorist surveillance, for “a criminal justice system propped up by institutional racism,” and for the Iraq and Afghan wars. “The days of Democrats biding our time, biding our talk, are over,” de Leon told cheering delegates. “Leadership comes from human audacity, not congressional seniority. … We demand passion, not patience.”

Some progressives talk of California — with its political argument between left and lefter — as a model for the nation. A recent (and much tweeted) article by Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira concludes that bipartisanship is dead because the GOP is no longer a functioning partner. Describing our politics as a new civil war, they argue: “At some point, one side or the other must win — and win big. … Now the entire Republican Party, and the entire conservative movement that has controlled it for the past four decades, is fully positioned for the final takedown that will cast them out for a long period of time in the political wilderness. They deserve it.”

In the GOP, fanaticism seems to have all the passion and energy. On the left, the same is increasingly true. But there are problems when politics ceases to be the realm of partial agreement and becomes a conflict of social movements. The virtues essential to self-government — civility, compromise and moderation of temperament — are devalued. The incremental reforms necessary to solve public problems become impossible. Opponents are dehumanized and viewed as enemies. The cruel and intemperate come to dominate our political life.

Simply put: If the response to Trump is a general radicalization of American politics, the damage will last generations. Somehow, in the midst of so much fanaticism, moderation must find a passion of its own.

(Washington Post Writers Group)

Success in college sports

When the last whistle blew, the final foul called, and the men’s and women’s champions decided, March Madness 2018 came to its close last month. With the winners determined, there were ecstatic folks at Notre Dame and Villanova while at other universities across the country, those that also sought notoriety through the NCAA brackets, were left to mutter, “Well, there’s always next year.”

The University of Oregon and the Oregon State University women’s teams came close to glory as both won their games to the Elite Eight.  The Oregon men were invited to the National Invitational Tournament, and lost in its second game while Oregon State’s men were not invited to post-season play at all.

In comparing student numbers at just four universities in the women’s national contest, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Notre Dame: UO has an enrollment of about 24,000; OSU counts around 30,000; and winner, Notre Dame, numbers just over 12,000.  The number of men at UO and OSU, of course, are the same as the women while winner Villanova enrollment counts only 11,000 students. With contrasting numbers so high and player selection so broad how can they miss grabbing the big trophy?

One sports writer argued that to win on the national stage what was needed, for example, at the University of Oregon was for Coach Dana Altman to persuade three upperclassmen to give up millions in earning power, after their Final Four appearance last year, to return for at least one more college season with the prophetic chance to win it all in 2018.The writer also wrote that a colleague of his contacted Dillon Brooks of season 2016-2017 UO fame, now with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, to inquire about his early departure.  His answer could have been predicted: “I’ve got a lot more money.”

However, I’d argue that players coming from other states and even other countries look for the best deal in scholarship details while the specific university is a lower level concern unless the individual seeks a specific degree and thereby makes his choice of school. Relative to this matter, NCAA rules do not now allow any school to pay salaries. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of cash the shoe makers “invest” in one form or another to outstanding high school athletes, their families, coaches and school shoes and clothing to persuade through formal deals and informal arrangements for use of Adidas, Nike or Under Armor gear followed by contractual arrangements at the college they attend.

So, how is it that public and private universities with much smaller enrollments are more and more often nowadays taking home the grand prize?   The difference is that while public university players quite often are recruited from families of limited means, the private school recruit quite often comes from families of greater financial means where the money consideration is not nearly as important as it is to those from families of limited means.  Also, specifically relative to the private schools are the religious and association factors that have to do with one’s faith and membership therein, two conditions that often mean little to poorer black or Hispanic kids or youth from many European countries.

A kid from a impoverished background without strong church or community ties generally could care less whether some college team in Oregon, Michigan or California gets its name on a bronze plaque or brings home a big trophy. He wants to make it into the professional athlete world where earnings exceed a million dollars. Furthermore, he can pass on getting a free education because he dreams of the opportunity to make the big bucks, leading to early retirement with no need for a college degree as money will buy everything important to his ego and material needs.

A  matter that deserves considerable attention is the dominating influence of money in competitive sports at every level of public and private education and the professional ranks. Many among us have making money as their top priority and highest value in living the American life.  And that’s why so much of the negative has crept into competitive sports with corrupt and even criminal practices until greed prevails as it does now.  Hence, the excessive importance of money ultimately allows evil to take over with all things once beautiful gone ugly.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)