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Day: June 1, 2018

Blanchet student defies challenges, aces PSAT

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Nikhil Namburi, a junior at Blanchet, had a “pounding” headache the day he aced the PSAT.

“I did not think I did well at all in the PSAT,” Namburi said. “I just wanted to go home and take a nap.”

Overcoming headaches and fatigue has become a way of life for Namburi.

At age 4, he had emergency brain surgery to drain a cyst, which Namburi says was about the size of a baseball. Namburi’s doctors thought he might suffer from a learning disability.

“I think most people with the condition I have tend to have learning disabilities, especially the size of my cyst,” Namburi said. “I don’t think it hindered my learning abilities particularly but it definitely makes it harder to work hard. The symptoms compound the more and more I work. There’s a certain limit I have to set for myself and I can’t work beyond that or else it’s just going to end up hurting me more than it helps me.”

The symptoms also depend on Namburi’s sleep schedule and diet. He has to stay away from excess sugars and fast food.

“The way that I maintain my lifestyle makes a huge impact on the symptoms that I have,” Namburi said. “It’s more of just knowing my limits and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for both short term and long term benefits.”

Namburi, who also scored perfectly on the ACT and earned 1570 of 1600 possible points on the SAT, said he doesn’t enjoy school more than any other student. He just thinks differently.

“I have more of an analytical mind so tests are definitely easier for me,” Namburi said. “I still work decently hard and it’s not just that certain things come easy to me and I don’t put in any effort. I’ve always been good at test taking in school.”

Namburi, who lives with his family in Keizer, went to elementary school at Sonshine before transferring to Blanchet in middle school.

“At Sonshine, they were very careful making sure I wasn’t pushing myself too hard,” Namburi said.

“They were willing to work with me. They were flexible, especially since it was very soon after my surgery. My entire time there they were really nice about taking care of me basically like I was their own son and when I made the transition to Blanchet from Sonshine, I think Blanchet just picked that up because it’s such a small school, it is like a family atmosphere, both of them, and they understand where I have my limitations and they’ve been willing to work with them.”

Namburi is inspired by his older brother Aneesh, a senior at Blachet.

Basketball, golf, DECA, Science Olympiad, whatever Aneesh does, Nikhil follows.

“Aneesh is my best friend in the entire world. Nikhil said. “He literally wakes me up every single morning. He makes me breakfast because I am not a morning person at all. He’s great about getting me on time to school and stuff like that. He’s been a role model for me. I think a lot of his success, he’s always been a very hard working individual and seeing that it became easier for me to understand what it take to be successful because he’s done a great job of it.”

Nikhil has qualified for the DECA International Career Development Conference each of the past three years.

He served as chapter vice president this year. Aneesh was president.

Running for state office, Nikhil was elected by his peers to be the 2018-19 Oregon DECA Student Marketing Association President.

“I think DECA has done a great job in preparing me for business environments and professional environments in general,” Nikhil said. “Even if you’re not planning to pursue business it’s a great place to hone those skills.”

Nikhil and Aneesh served as co-presidents of the Students for Change club, started in 2016.

“We started organizing events together and fundraising and it generated a lot of interest and a lot of  the credit just goes to the students for just picking it up and running with it,” Nikhil said.

“Our mission statement is to promote positive change in the community. We wanted to make it really broad so that it was something that didn’t have any limitations because the entire point was for students to develop a passion for community service in their own little way.”

The club’s service projects have included donating sack lunches to the homeless, 1,000 Soles Shoe Battle and working at Marion-Polk Food Share.

With his senior year and then college decision approaching, Nikhil is interested in computer science but isn’t positive what his next steps will be.

“I like to be open minded,” Nikhill said. “That’s the one thing that I’ve always prided myself on is I never close myself off to opportunities.

“I’d definitely be willing to move into different sorts of fields based on what interests me, especially in college because that’s a great place to learn what I really like.”

Service calls up 15% at KFD

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Keizer Fire District responded to 15.7 percent more calls in 2017 and the 2018-19 proposed budget with an increase of $581,900 or 8.3 percent accounts for that.

Resources have increased by $1,193,748 over the previous budget. While the majority of the increase is due to higher than anticipated project carryover, property taxes and ambulance billing revenue are projected to increase by more than $600,000.

The budget allows for the continuation of all current programs and services while also increasing staffing by one firefighter/paramedic. But the number of full time equivalent remains at 35.5 due to the deletion of the volunteer coordinator position that was unsuccessful during the grant process.

Nearly all increases in the proposed budget are related to personnel services, including a 4 percent cost of living adjustment in salaries, 13.9 percent increase in health insurance and 25.6 percent increase in workers compensation insurance, along with the addition of a firefighter/paramedic.

Materials and services have increased by 3.2 percent, with the greatest increase coming from the addition of $25,000 in a radio maintenance line for an annual fee for a radio system that is under construction.

Since most equipment has been purchased through the bond, capital outlay needs have decreased by $15,000. The proposed budget includes the final year of the five-year local option level of $0.59 per thousand. The district will be on the ballot for a renewal of the levy in November.

Reserves and contingencies have increased by $20,000.

The district will continue to have three funds—the general fund, which consists of four organizational units—administration ($1,665,885, fire ($335,854), EMS ($2,095,780) and training ($398,901) the capital projects fund ($250,000) and the bond fund ($318,073).

Administration sees an increase of 11.3 percent and EMS 10.2 percent.

The budget committee approved the budget on Wednesday, May 16 and sent it to the Keizer Fire Board of Directors for adoption during its regular meeting on June 19 at 7 p.m.

A copy of the document may be obtained at the station, 661 Chemawa Rd. NE from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Doutt signs with George Fox

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

After playing basketball and running track at McNary for four years, Kailey Doutt couldn’t pick a favorite.

At George Fox University, she won’t have to, as Doutt has signed to play both sports.

“I definitely didn’t want to give up one or the other,” Doutt said. “I decided to look into basketball and track and George Fox is perfect for that and I’m super excited about it. It played a big role in my decision.  It wasn’t the only reason I chose to go there. I love the coaches and both of the programs are super good and the academics are great there.”

Doutt knows George Fox well after watching her older brother Johnathan play basketball there over the past four years.

“I knew he had a really good experience there and we know that he got a good education and he really liked the school and the program and the coaches kind of knew me through him so that kind of helped initiate contact,” Doutt said. “I was familiar with the campus. I actually went with him when he went on his freshman orientation. I’ve watched him play multiple times so I know the facilities.”

Basketball is in the Doutt’s blood.

“My grandpa coached my mom in high school and she won state championships and my dad also won a state championship so it’s been in the family forever,” Kailey said. “My grandpa was a really good basketball player and then my brother growing up, I watched him play so that got me into it.”

But Kailey wasn’t always sure it was her game.

“I actually did gymnastics and dance and was a super big girly girl when I was younger and my parents didn’t think I was going to play,” Doutt said. “They were very worried about it but that didn’t happen.”

Doutt’s parents began coaching her in the third grade in the Keizer Youth Basketball Association.

“They coached me through eighth grade and then they also coached my sister (Leah) fifth through eighth grade,” Doutt said. “They coached two teams at one point at one time. They’re super into it and they want to continue coaching so we’ll see if that happens. It’s a big part of my family. Everyday there’s something basketball, either my brother’s games, our games, practice.”

As a sophomore at McNary, Doutt was voted Greater Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 as the Lady Celts finished fourth at the state tournament.

Doutt was then selected Girls Basketball Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 18.4 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Lady Celts.

Doutt said, “It was one of my big goals in the back of my mind all season and I was super excited when I got it. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and my coaches throughout the years. I’m super thankful for my parents for supporting me throughout the years and coaching me and both of the coaches (Derick Handley and Elizabeth Doran) I had in high school did a lot to help me to get to where I was and I definitely wouldn’t be the athlete that I am without them. It showed that all the work that I put into basketball paid off and I was super excited that other people noticed.”

The highlight of the season came when Doutt hit a jump shot at the buzzer to win 30-29 at Forest Grove.

“It was a stack play and I was actually supposed to go more towards the basket,” Doutt said. “People were supposed to set screens but I read the play and I went to the opposite side of the hoop because no one was over there and my teammate set a really good screen and the girl wasn’t able to get around it at all. I got a really quick shot off and luckily it went in. I thought it was going to be short when I released it and I was freaking out but everyone screamed and jumped up and it was crazy. The adrenaline rush was crazy. I was in shock for forever and I couldn’t stop smiling.”

Doutt’s sister, Leah, a freshman on the team, threw the inbounds pass on the play.

“My family was super excited because we’re a really big basketball family and my parents were super happy for us and me and my sister were screaming in the car afterwards and listening to music really loud,” Doutt said. “We were really pumped up. It was super exciting.”

Doutt then played in the Northwest Shootout, an all-star game of Oregon versus Washington’s best seniors.

“I made a lot of new friends and they were all very fun and easy to get along with,” Doutt said. “It was a really good weekend. And it was great to play against some really good competition. I got to guard some really good players. It was a really fun experience to see what I could do and play against some really good players.”

On the track, Doutt finished second in the 800-meter run at the Greater Valley Conference Championships as both a freshman and sophomore. Her best finish at state was 13th.

After a stress fracture shortened her junior track season, Doutt returned to place third in the 800 at the district meet as a senior.

Treat the cause, not the symptom

Here’s a challenge: think of a pressing social problem that is being solved rather than having its symptoms treated by groups both public and private. A person would be hard pressed to think of any social problem whose origins are addressed and attacked frontally.

In America we collectively pat ourselves on the back for doing ‘something’ about domestic violence, about homlessness, about opiod use. But that ‘something’ is generally treating only the symptoms. Both the public and the private sectors should identify people with vision and leadership who will lead campaigns to address the underlying causes of our social ills. It is fine to set up a non-profit organization and establish shelters and programs, but the cycle will continue ad infinitum until the root causes of opiod abuse, homeless, domestic violence and others are addressed.

The challenge with the homeless issue is that there are as many reasons for homelessness as there are homeless persons. We must be clear about the difference between a person who is homeless and a person who is shelterless. Everyone should have a permanent home, the critical issue is those who sleep in vehicles, parks and doorways—the extremely vulnerable homeless population.

Among the many things that fuel our homeless population, mental health issues and financial insecurity are major. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25 percent of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness. In comparison, only 6 percent  of Americans are severely mentally ill.

When combined with inadequate hygiene due to homelessness, this may lead to physical problems. Half of the mentally ill homeless population in the United States also suffer from substance abuse and dependence.

This combination of mental illness, substance abuse, and poor physical health makes it difficult for people to obtain employment and residential stability.

Better coordination with mental health service providers is one of the top three items needed to combat homelessness. Many homeless people with severe mental illnesses are willing to accept treatment and services. Outreach programs are more successful when workers establish a trusting relationship through continued contact with the people they are trying to help.

Homeless people with mental illnesses are more likely to recover and achieve residential stability if they have access to supported housing programs.

We don’t want to make people more comfortable in their homelessness, we want these people to find sustainable, permanent housing.

Though experts say the American economy is humming along nicely there is still a large number of citizens who are underemployed or earning less than what is needed to properly house and feed themselves Many times, through no fault of their own, people may find themselves without a roof over their head. Today’s tight housing market makes it difficult for those wanting to enter the world of renting. A tight market means that rents are soaring ever higher.

New apartments are being built in the region but few of those are truly low-income (there is little incentive for a developer to build apartments in that category). There needs to be ‘can’t pass up’ financial incentives offered by the city, the county and the state, for developers to create low-income housing. For every 10,000 square feet of market value housing built, there should be a huge tax and permit discount offered if a developer also built 2,500 square feet of low-income housing  (think tiny houses) in the metropolitan area.

Oregon’s annual budget is almost $38 billion. The kicker is expected to return more than half a billion to taxpayers. That $500 million would go a long way to alleviate homeless in Oregon’s cities. A leader would stand up and say that money is needed to help solve a problem people complain about.

Do something, do anything, damn the consequences. Appropriate enough state and local monies to fund 24 hour health services where the homeless gather. The homeless issue needs something much different than an 8 to 5, Monday to Friday solution. Let’s get serious and solve this issue.

  —LAZ

It’s a spending problem

From the Capitol
By BILL POST

As I write this, the Legislative Revenue Office has released its report on the forecast of Oregon’s tax revenues.  The new forecast shows a far better picture than an estimate released in March.

Between personal income taxes and corporate taxes, the forecast suggests revenues in the current biennium coming in at $833 million higher than the earlier prediction. Thus as I’ve said in these pages and elsewhere for as long as I’ve been in office: Oregon doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.  Last month, Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 1528, which blocked a tax cut for some Oregon businesses. The change meant an estimated $245 million would reach state coffers this biennium—money not accounted for in the March forecast. This bill also infuriated my fellow Republicans and caused friction amongst the majority Democratic legislators when Gov. Brown called a special session earlier this week to pass a far smaller tax break. The state’s latest revenue forecast, released recently, shows personal income tax revenues for the 2017-19 biennium stand to come in $555 million above initial forecasts. That’s more than enough to trigger Oregon’s unique “kicker” provision, which doles money back to taxpayers when taxes come in at more than 2 percent above estimates. Paying out a kicker has becoming something of a tradition in Oregon, as tax revenues continually outpace state economist’s projections.

In 2015, the state announced a $402 million kicker. In 2017, it was $464 million. Taxpayers might be in for a far larger refund next year. The new forecast also suggests Oregon might be on pace to have a record amount of budgetary reserves on hand, nearly $1.8 billion between the state’s Rainy Day Fund, Education Stability Fund and other unspent money. House Republican Leader Rep. Mike McLane of Powell Butte said: “In their haste to pass SB 1528 earlier this year, Governor Brown and legislative Democrats apparently failed to recognize that by requiring small business to pay $245 million more in state income taxes, their actions could trigger the income tax kicker,” McLane wrote. “That scenario now appears more likely than not. If current projections hold, Oregonians are in line to receive $555 million of their money back from their state government. The irony escapes no one.” Indeed it is ironic.

As we ended the quarterly “Legislative Days” we were also informed that Gov. Brown and others in her party are looking to “fix” the property tax “inequality” in Oregon. If the majority party were to gain one seat in the House they could overturn Measures 5 and 50 which have held property taxes in check for 20 some years. What this state needs is real leadership from real leaders that understand how to budget properly.  Our kids, schools, veterans and homeless all need to be properly cared for and that is not happening even with record amounts of revenue. Oregon can do better. As always, I am honored to serve as your State Representative in House District 25 and look forward to hearing from you anytime.

(Bill Post represents House Dis- trict 25. He can be reached at 503- 986-1425 or via email at rep. bil- [email protected] oregonlegislature.gov.)

Commencement season 2018

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

In 2014, commencement season stood out for the list of high-profile speakers pushed off the graduation stage at top-tier universities.

At the peak of academia’s podium purges, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice backed out of her planned commencement address at Rutgers University amid protests over her support of the Iraq War. The free-speech Foundation for Individual Rights in Education took to calling the annual rituals the “disinvitation season.”

Universities have gotten savvier since then. They’ve learned not to invite controversial conservatives so they can spare themselves the shame of graduates flaunting their intolerance in the name of diversity—blissfully unaware of how authoritarian they appear.

There’s less mess in 2018. Academics smile and present their predictable politics in benevolent style, as your humble correspondent saw first hand last weekend when a university dean used an occasion meant to celebrate student achievement to criticize President Donald Trump’s decision to downsize the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

The worst part: He got his facts wrong. The dean attributed the Bears Ears downsizing to Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency—when it was the Department of Interior that recommended the change.

For the sake of family harmony, I shall not divulge the identity of the relative who walked away with an advanced degree or the name of the university. But I will quote one of his statements: “Democracy depends on educated citizens.”

That’s right, the dean who warned students about the risk of unschooled boobs ruining sound public policy didn’t get his facts straight.

When I emailed the good dean about his error, he responded, “Thanks so much for this important correction. Yes, it was the Interior Department. Still my main point is valid, I believe, namely that the federal government is supposed to protect public lands and other public goods.”

Get it? Even when he’s factually wrong, he’s so right it doesn’t matter.

And yet, facts do matter. President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears a national monument in December 2016. It was the sort of out-the-door move politicians love because there is no risk at the ballot box.

It’s also the sort of Washington-knows-best thinking that Westerners have come to expect from beltway bureaucrats, who have no problem with locals having less say in how land in fly-over country is used.

“The larger overview is that this isn’t a problem for most Easterners because the federal government owns very small fractions of the land in the East and most of the Midwest,” noted Todd Gaziano, executive director of the pro-property rights Pacific Legal Foundation.

In both Nevada and Utah, however, the federal government owns more than half the states’ acreage. Obama’s Bears Ears consumed 1.35 million acres, which is bigger than the size of Rhode Island.

Trump’s downsized Bears Ears spans 201,876 acres—which makes for a pretty big spread, but not big enough for the dean.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that Bears Ears be downsized in keeping with the Antiquities Act of 1906. The act called for monuments to be “confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management” of land based on its value as an historic landmark, prehistoric structure or for its scientific interest. It makes sense to limit how much land can be put off limits by executive fiat.

Monument status, Gaziano noted, can mean less land for cattle grazing, mining and roads—endeavors that create jobs.

“What I don’t think he understands,” said Gaziano of the dean, “is the impact of legal monument designation on the individuals who aren’t employed in Ivory Tower universities.”

The only benefit Gaziano sees in monuments that consume more than one million acres is “environmental use for granola-crunching backpackers.”

The dean’s remarks were reminiscent of the opposition campaign to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a cause dear to many who never have or never will set foot in the refuge. They throw out words like “public good” without seeming to weigh how their good intentions could shortchange people who actually live off the land. They mean well, and that’s all that matters.

(Creators Syndicate)

Marie Halbeisen Sullivan

June 9, 1925 – May 12, 2018

Marie Halbeisen Sullivan, long time Oregon resident, died on May 12, 2018 in Keizer.  Friends and family will gather on June 9, 11 a.m. to celebrate Marie’s life and 93rd birthday at Restlawn Funeral Home, 201 Oak Grove Rd. NW, Salem.

Marie Manitsas was born to parents Margaret Crews and Peter Manitsas on June 9, 1925.  She was the third of eight children born in Wilmington, NC.

During World War II, Marie married her sweetheart William Branton King.  Their children William, Nancy and Susan King were born in NC.  Upon her husband’s accidental death, a young widowed Marie relocated to Salem/Keizer Oregon. This tenacious Tarheel grew webfeet and dropped her southern accent, but not the tradition of Southern hospitality.

Marie married Lyle Halbeisen in Salem and son Steven was born.  They were members of the Keizer Volunteer Fire and Auxillary, business owners of Lyle’s Furnace Service and the Flower Boutique.  Keizer was their home where they raised Bill, Nancy, Sue and Steve.

In 1996, Lyle passed, but widowhood was short-lived when Marie and Thomas Sullivan married.  Together they enjoyed blending their families and hosting innumerable card games.

Marie was a beloved mother, friend, aunt, sister and grandmother.  She was a domestic goddess always sharing her beautiful home and scrumptious goodies.  She was preceded in death by husbands; William King, Lyle Halbeisen, and Thomas Sullivan, son, Steven Halbeisen, and grandsons Jefferson and Morgan Taylor.  She is survived by her children, Bill (Pha) King, Nancy King Taylor, Susan (Jerry) King Koontz; daughter-in-law Debra Halbeisen; step-children Jerry and Barbara Miner, Gary and Alan Sullivan; grandsons Matt Koontz, Jerry and Bill King, Brice and Alex Halbeisen, brother John Manitsas, and great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests that you donate to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

What’s in a team’s name? Plenty

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 name has been quite difficult for some to give up.  It’s 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 Oregon, 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 real natives who settled in North America—long before European explorers 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 High somehow decided that would be a better mascot name that, 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 to choose 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.)