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Day: May 18, 2018

Voters say ‘Yes’ to school bond

Of the Keizertimes

Let construction begin.

Keizer and Salem voters approved a $619.7 million bond measure by the Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS).

The bond will address overcrowding, add space for career-technical education and vocational programs, add science classrooms, improve safety and security, improve seismic safety and expand access to technology.

All schools in the district will see improvements under the 2018 bond program.

McNary High School, along with Gubser Elementary, is one of the first five schools scheduled to begin construction in 2019.

“It’s a good day. It’s going to be great for our kids and for our schools and our community,” McNary principal Erik Jespersen said. “It’s an opportunity to plan for the future. As the population of Keizer continues to grow, we’re going to have enough classroom space for our kids.”

Construction on the first five projects is expected to be finished by fall of 2020. Renovations at Claggett Creek Middle School and Cummings Elementary are scheduled to begin in 2020 and at Keizer Elementary in 2022. Construction of all projects in the 2018 bond program are planned to be finished in about five years.

With 22,746 total votes cast, the bond measure passed 52.78 to 47.22 percent.

“I am very pleased that the citizens of Salem and Keizer continue to support the schools and trust the district to use the money wisely and as promised,” School Board Chair Paul Kyllo said.

Property owners will see am estimated increase of $1.24 per $1,000 of assessed property value, or about $248 per year on a home valued at $200,000.

“We’re extremely grateful to our community for their support of our schools and the bond measure,” SKPS Superintendent Christy Perry said before a gathering of supporters. “We understand that shepherding the bond funds is a responsibility and a privilege. Tonight we renew our commitment to sound financial management. As a community, we’ve made a promise to our kids, and we look forward to delivering healthy educational spaces.”

In other ballot races, Rep. Kurt Schrader will face off against Republican challenger Mark Callahan. State Rep. Knute Buehler will take in incumbent Gov. Kate Brown in the governor’s race, Buehler edged out several competitors with about 38 percent of the vote.

Willamette University’s professor Paul Diller, a Democrat, appeared to have squeaked out a win (50.79 percent of the vote) in a tight race to face state Sen. Kim Thatcher for the seat representing the 13th District.

Democrat Dave McCall, a Keizer resident, ran unopposed to challenge for the state representative seat currently held by Rep. Bill Post.

Shelaswau Crier, a Democrat will face incumbent Repulican Kevin Cameron in the race for Marion County Commission Position 1. Sitting Marion County Clerk Bill Burgess won a three-way race for the Democratic nomination for Marion County Commissioner Position 2, Colm Willis defeated Salem City Councilor Brad Nanke for the Republican nomination.

Val Hoyle won the race to become Oregon’s next Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries. Hoyle beat out two challengers for the title with almost 45 percent of the vote. She is also the first woman to hold the seat in its more than 100 year history.

Meagan Flynn defeated challenger Van Pounds with 69 percent of the vote for position 3 on the Oregon Supreme Court. Oregon Court of Appeals Judge Rex Armstrong fended off challenger Kyle Krohn. Paige Clarkson will succeed Walt Beglau at Marion County’s District Attorney.

Slightly more than 23 percent of Marion County’s registered voters cast ballots in the election.

Celebrate Keizer

Each year the month of May gets busier and more packed with events locally and regionally.

We are smack in the middle of KeizerFEST 2018. KeizerFEST? The Keizer Iris Festival is not dead but it has a new moniker. So many people still call our community’s biggest event by a name it carried when it was a fundraiser for St. Edward Catholic Church—complete with a Keizerfest tent that sold beer and had live entertainment. After the church decided to move away from selling alcohol in such a brash fashion, the Keizer Chamber of Commerce folded it in what was Keizer Days and…poof…the Keizer Iris Festival was born.

The first festival was in the late 1980s after it was decided to market the city as the Iris Capital of the World due to the world-reknown Schreiner’s Iris Gardens just north of the city and Cooley’s Gardens near Silverton (it has been shuttered for a number of years now).

Regardless of the attempts to make the Iris Festival a regional powerhouse, many still called it KeizerFEST and it remained a local, community event.

In the scheme of things, none of that mattters—the residents of Keizer line up for the parade, go to the big white tent with its variety of live entertainment. Some take part in the runs, others visit the iris fields.

The festival is Keizer’s opportunity to put its best foot forward. All the components are there including a recent addition of Lemonade Day on Saturday, May 19.

Lemonade Day, overseen by Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, is a national one-day event designed to teach grade- and middle-school aged children how to be entrepeneurs. There will be a number of lemonade stands sited in front of select River Road businesses.

We are in the middle of the festival which is officially the entire month of May. So far we have had the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, named co-winners for the title of Keizer’s Distinguished Young Woman and honored moms at the annual Keizer  Volunteer Firefighters pancake breakfast.

There are a lot of reasons to celebrate Keizer as a wonderful place to live. KeizerFEST weekend gives people of all ages plenty to enjoy, especially when the weather cooperates.

Whether you mark KeizerFEST by running, smelling, eating, listening or marching, you will be part of a tradition that dates back to the 1940s and the very first parade in the Manbrin Gardens neighborhood of Keizer.


Women’s group offended by Rep. Post

To the Editor:

I am appalled and disappointed by the behavior of my state representative for District 25, Bill Post.

I belong to one of the state’s largest conservative women’s groups —Oregon Women for Trump (OWFT)—who proudly endorsed Sam Carpenter for Oregon governor.

Because of this endorsement, Mr. Post has recently taken to social-media airways to bash this group of more than 900 members with horrible statements.

Oregon Women for Trump is very active in Oregon. They are doing good, recruiting Republican precinct committee persons (PCPs), holding political events, raising funds, and campaigning hard for their chosen candidates.

OWFT recently held a public gubernatorial debate where more than 200 people attended. Members were called “cult-like” and “idol worshippers” because they supported Sam Carpenter, not Rep. Post’s candidate.

Rep. Post has put down (in a now deleted post) a cancer survivor by referring to her as “a cancer to our cause.”

He also said “if any PCP does not support the Republican nominee for governor, they should be drummed out of the party and stripped of their rights to vote.”

We interpret that to mean if your religious beliefs are to vote for life instead of abortion, you should not be allowed to participate as a PCP.

This is a bullying tactic and should never have been said by an elected official. I have called on the Oregon Republican Party to look into this despicable behavior. It’s wrong, and Bill Post needs to be held accountable.

Carol Leek

A thank you to teachers and coaches


We are a privileged group—those of us who grew up in Keizer. Our city and state provided 13 years of education designed to prepare us for success in ways we often rejected or tried to ignore in our youthful demeanors.

We often complained about the ancient buildings, the packed classrooms that were always too hot or too cold, and of course about homework (or any kind of work for that matter).

In some ways our concerns had some merit—our system is imperfect and needs the support of society, but as my classmates and I neared the end of our public school experience at McNary in 2014 we were starting to realize the most impactful part of our education had not been in the infrastructure or official curricula opportunities—this honored place was held by our teachers and coaches.

Being four years detached and about to graduate college, my respect for the quality of our teachers has only grown. Despite every obstacle in their paths for doing so from logistics to bureaucracy to funding to even some downright mean students, they came to work every single day to give everything of themselves to push us to the greatest success possible. They gave of themselves not only in academic rigor, but in the greater lessons of life that are taught by that vehicle—the value of maximum effort, living a life in service to others, and the respect for each other and our society that is so important to every part of American life.

I will forever remember Coach Hafer running lines with us for what felt like hours to teach our 8th grade football team respect and brotherhood, the Big Four of junior year (Borresen’s Honors American Literature, Tiller’s Pre-Calculus, Hanson’s Honors Chemisr., and, of course,  Litchfield’s AP US History) each pushing us past our intellectual limits to set a foundation for us to achieve academic success based in thoughtful values, Master Sergeant Ellis and his wife serving the human needs of students in ways a normal classroom never could while pushing us all to respect and support each other as an AFJROTC family.

Mrs. Bell loving her students as if her own children and supporting all of us in our individual growth, Coach Fordney and those dreaded Verda Lane 400s and the mental grit they instilled in us, the stories could go on forever as the mosaic of growth that all of us students went through to become who we are today.

As I prepare to enter the career of my dreams straight out of college, I will forever stand on this base that our Keizer teachers and coaches helped to mold for me. For this, I and all Keizer students are forever in their debt.

A special thank you to many of the teachers and coaches who had an impact on my life from the beginning all the way back in 2001 to now from Clear Lake, Whiteaker, and McNary:

Mrs. Zahradnik, Mrs. Stai, Mrs. McFadden, Mrs. Percy, Mrs. DeVos, Mrs. Tipelin, Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Biamont, Mr. Hein, Mr. Staley, Mrs. Erickson, Mr. Earl, Mrs. McNulty, Mr. Hunter, Mrs. Sweeney, Mrs. Mahi, Mrs. Coe, Coach Hafer, Mr. Coburn, Mrs. Ambert, Mr. Mulligan, Mrs. Keeker, Mr. Crockett, Mrs. Woods, Mrs. Bowers, Mrs. Sheridan, Mrs. Bushey, Mrs. Tavares, Mrs. Roberson, Mr. Ward, Mrs. Cramer, Sra. Jensen, Mrs. Bell, Mr. Parker, Mrs. Graham, Mr. Melting, Mr. Myers, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Stefani, Mrs. Bello, Maj Garcia, MSgt Ellis, Mama Ellis, Mama Hawaii, Mr. Borresen, Mr. Tiller, Mr. Hanson, Mr. Litchfield, Mr. Looney, Mr. Heimerdinger, Mr. Nicholas, Mrs. Olson, Mr. Freeman, Coach Gauntz, Coach Fordney, Coach Anagnos, Coach Auvinen, Coach Walker et al.

An incredible list of mentors and educators if I ever saw one.

(Tristan Briggs graduated from McNary High School in 2014 and will graduate from the United States Air Force Academy this year.)

Opposition to mascots not a trivial matter

In this day and age of a threatened nuclear war delivered by ICBMs, another president’s impeachment, huge homeless numbers, impending  infrastructure failures, global warming and weather catastrophes, substantive tax relief only for the nation’s wealthiest citizens, “hush money” payments, the corruptions of “pay-to-play” by national office holders, gasoline price increases, illegal immigrants, etc., there are .  .  .  the mascot crises.

Taking what may be argued as the most easy to denounce because it was inherently wrong in the first place, news out of Albany recently announced that South Albany High School has decided to surrender its Rebels nickname for something more acceptable, even though the old nickname has been quite difficult for some to give up.  It has been used at South Albany for years while its origin was the Confederacy, adopted as a battle cry in fighting the North, the objective being to preserve, protect and perpetuate the enslavement of their fellow African-American citizens.

Such a time from our past cannot be labeled anything other than grossly inhumane since it’s indisputably known that African-Americans are just as human as all the other homo sapiens: the difference solely skin color with all other body parts identical. Nevertheless, a war was fought by Americans against other Americans, resulting in 1.5 million casualties.  So, how many modern day Americans feel right about attending sports events where participants and spectators cheer for the Rebels?

Meanwhile, although the matter is not brand new to Portland, a few moons ago one of its secondary schools, Cleveland High School, argued long and hard, with many a bitter feeling aroused, to preserve their Indians mascot.  Now, we, the informed among us, know how the American Indians, and original dwellers of what became known as North America, were treated.  The real American Indians, those same natives who settled in North America—long before Europeans arrived—having their name taken to celebrate victory or defeat in sports events.  Incidentally, at Cleveland High in Portland, Indians has been replaced by Warriors.

Never wanting the dust to get entirely settled in mascot land, there now brews in Portland another mascot donnybrook. This time it’s over Quakers as a mascot name for Franklin High School.  Never mind that early and famous American patriot Benjamin Franklin was never a Quaker, the founders of Franklin somehow decided that would be a better mascot name than, say, for arguments sake, lightening, as old Ben had something to do with enlightening humankind vis-a-vis the fundamentals of electrical conduction.

A formal complaint was made with the Portland Public Schools Education Board over the use of Quakers at Franklin High and the complaint resulted in the PPS board devoting a year’s time to choosing a new name.  The complaint was explained as Quakers is the name of an organized religion and, as such, is “inappropriate, offensive, and unconstitutional” for use as a school’s mascot name.  Incidentally, the board, after receiving the complaint, has decided to review all its district naming policies and make changes accordingly.

Whether an issue is viewed as great or small often depends upon the beholder.  The mascot debates are probably considered by many Americans as “small’ issues.   Nevertheless, no matter the degree of importance, these debates are symbolic of the American spirit since colonial times to try to serve the needs and concerns of all citizens rather than what’s narrowly self-serving and self-centered, biased and prejudicial.  It is the belief of this writer that we Americans should do everything possible to pull together: A prevailing condition of cooperation and sensitivity for all, hopefully enabling our nation to reunite as in some former times where every American sees this as a place to call home.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)

KeizerFEST rolls back into town

KeizerFEST, formerly the Iris Festival, returns to the city this weekend with a jam-packed 72-hour schedule.

The fun kicked off Thursday, May 17, and live music scheduled throughout the day and night Friday, May 18. Saturday, May 19, is when most of the activity really gets rolling.

River Road North will close at 9 a.m. to make way for 3K, 5K, 10K and half-marathon runs sponsored by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. The Valley Credit Service Iris Festival Parade takes off at 10:30 a.m. and travels south two miles along River Road through Keizer before ending at Glynbrook Drive.

This year, one Keizer business is building a float spectators can win.

Remodeling by Classic Homes will be pulling a 9-by-8-foot playhouse/shed to advertise its services, but the structure will be raffled off after the parade.

“I’ve wanted to build a float for a while, but I could never figure out what I would do with it after,” said Kyle Juran, owner of Remodeling by Classic Homes.

Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and will be sold at the KeizerFEST information booth near the entrance to the Lion’s Club property on Cherry Avenue Northeast.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Keizer Network of Women Giving Basket program this winter.

This year’s theme is The Keizer Way. Keizer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Danielle Bethell said chamber employees have fielded many calls asking precisely what that means.

“We’ve been telling them that it’s whatever you think about when they think of Keizer,” Bethell said. “I’m hoping that means we have a lot of interpretations of people’s heartfelt thoughts on Keizer.”

Cherry Avenue will be closed between Manbrin Avenue and Alder Drive until Sunday evening to make space for ADA parking and pedestrian access to the KeizerFEST tent.

There’s also lots of buzz circulating around Sunday’s line-up at the tent. More than $2,000 will be up for grabs at the KeizerFEST Teen Talent Showcase on Sunday, May 20.

“We’re looking for musical talent, not just singing but instrumental, too, any style, any size ensemble, it’s all good.” said McNary High School choir director Joshua Rist, who is one of four judges. “We’re hoping to get a good turnout from the community. We just want kids in middle school and high school in the Salem-Keizer School District to have an outlet to show off their talents.”

Judges selected contestants from video submissions to compete in the talent show. Round 1 is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., the final round at 3 p.m. and then a winner presentation at 4:15.

First prize is $1,000, second is $700 and third receives $400. The showcase is hosted by Keizer Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Uptown Music.

Other festival-related events include:

• Dayspring Church, 1755 Lockhaven Drive N.E., is hosting a block party from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 19. The event includes carnival games, a bounce house, free hot dog lunch and music.

• The Keizer Elks Car Show runs from Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 4250 Cherry Avenue.

Celtics lose play-in game, ending season

Of the Keizertimes

Errors plagued McNary’s baseball team all season.

On Tuesday, May 15, errors ended it, as the Celtics committed nine errors in a 15-11 loss to Centennial in a state playoff play-in game.

After a clean first inning, a single, infield error and hit batter loaded the bases with zero outs for the Eagles. Carl Rumbaugh then walked in the first run of the game.

But McNary had chances to get out of the inning without giving up more runs. Rumbaugh got a ground ball to first base but Ryan Thompson’s throw home hit the Centennial runner in the helmet.

Rumbaugh then got a fly ball to left field but Robert Benson couldn’t catch it in foul territory, extending the inning.

The Eagles took advantage, scoring seven runs to put McNary in an early hole.

“We haven’t been a great fielding team all year so it kind of showed up again tonight,” McNary head coach Larry Keeker said. “We’ve made some improvements in fielding but tonight obviously our defense was subpar. When you’re giving up that seven spot in the second, it’s an uphill battle from there.”

But the Celtics fought back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second. After Noah Bach walked and Dave Alfaro singled, Benson tripled to get McNary on the board. Thompson, who reached on a fielder’s choice, then scored on a Centennial error.

The Celtics added two more runs in the bottom of the third to get within 7-5.

But the wheels continued to fall off in the top of the fourth.

With runners at second and third after a base hit and another error, Rumbaugh struck out back-to-back hitters. But Centennial answered with a RBI single and double to stretch its lead to 9-5.

Pitching in relief, Kyle McCallister got a fly ball to the mound but misplayed it, allowing two more runs to score.

The Eagles continued to give McNary chances, committing seven errors of their own.

“We had a ton of opportunities,” Keeker said. “Really quite frankly it wasn’t a very good baseball game. It just really wasn’t. Neither team played well defensively. Offensively, I guess you’ve got to give our guys some credit because I thought we had some really good swings. We had some balls that were hit hard right at people. The bottom line is we also left some guys on base.”

After Jacob Jackson reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the fourth, Lance Becktel drove him home with a triple. Ty Covalt then delivered a sacrifice fly to get the Celtics within 11-7.

But McNary had three more errors in the top of the fifth, including failing to turn a double play and catching a ball at home plate, that accounted for two more runs.

Alfaro and Collin Wentworth delivered RBI hits in the bottom of the sixth as the Celtics scored three runs to get within 13-11.

But Centennial scored two more runs in the top of the seventh on another error and Covalt grounded into a double play in the bottom of the inning, ending McNary’s season.

“The good news is the kids kept battling and we gave it a shot,” Keeker said. “We just couldn’t stop them. They scored 15 runs. It’s hard to win when you give the opponent 15 runs.”

Alfaro was 3-for-4 with a RBI.

Covalt and Wentworth were both 2-for-4 with a RBI. Benson was 1-for-3 with three RBIs.

McNary finished the season 12-15.

“I’m proud of the seniors. We’ll miss those guys,” Keeker said. “Now we’ll take a couple weeks off and on to summer ball and start to get ready for next year.”