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Day: October 5, 2018

Council: ‘No’ on Measure 105

By ERIC A. HOWALD

Of the Keizertimes

Following an outpouring of testimony asking the Keizer City Council to urge city residents to vote “No” on Measure 105, the members of the council decided to meet the supporters halfway.

With a 6-1 vote on Monday, Oct. 1, and a modification to the text, the council took a stand against Measure 105, which would repeal a state statute prohibiting use of local law enforcement officers to investigate and apprehend individuals whose only violation of the law is they are undocumented. Statutes of its ilk are more commonly called “sanctuary” laws.

“We are protecting those people whose only violation of the law was that they are here undocumented. I think it is important that we as a city take a stand based on the values of the people who elected us,” said City Councilor Roland Herrera.

Herrera, Councilor Marlene Parsons and Mayor Cathy Clark joined forces to put the issue on the council’s agenda, something of a rare occurrence in recent years. The original resolution called on all Keizer voters to vote “No” on the measure, but a change to merely opposing the measure – suggested by Councilor Bruce Anderson – likely garnered additional votes from Anderson himself and Councilor Kim Freeman.

Before voting on the resolution, members of the council had to determine whether they could act at all. In 2003, members of the then-council passed a resolution stipulating that future councils could only take a position on state and federal matters when “they affect the City of Keizer residents or city operations, including, but not limited to operations and duties in the areas of land use planning, utility service, law enforcement, local policy and budgetary roles.”

The only member of the audience to speak on that specific aspect of the discussion was Keizer resident Richard Walsh, himself a former city councilor. He contended Measure 105 fell squarely within the narrow parameters in which the council is allowed to take a position.

“We have been trying to get the Hispanic community to engage with the city, to report when they are victims and when they witness crime. I spend a great deal of time as an attorney trying to help clients understand that they can’t be deported in Oregon if their only violation is being undocumented. 105 will take that protection away and it will set us back decades,” Walsh said.

Councilor Laura Reid said the numerous residents who offered testimony supporting the resolution made it clear that 105 would affect the city.

“We’ve heard very clearly tonight that this does affect our residents and 105 addresses whether the city’s law enforcement officers should be in the business of enforcing immigration law,” Reid said.

Freeman and Councilor Amy Ryan both opposed taking up the resolution when it came to a vote.

“When we assert ourselves as a body it should represent all residents and we need to trust our citizens to vote according to their opinions and values. I don’t think we should move forward because it’s divisive,” Ryan said.

A motion to take up the resolution passed in a 5-2 vote, Freeman and Ryan voted no.

When it came to deliberations, Councilor Marlene Parsons said she’d spent many of her waking moments pondering her stance even though she was one of the councilors to bring the issue forward.

“I was on the bubble, but this will affect all citizens and especially the undocumented residents. We have to protect our residents. Thank you for coming tonight because you helped me figure this out,” she told the large audience in attendance.

Prior to making the change from urging residents to vote “no” to simply opposing Measure 105, Freeman appeared to be leaning against the resolution.

“I don’t believe it’s my role to tell people how to vote. I think it’s a bigger conversation and should include more than just the residents here tonight,” Freeman said.

Reid said opposing 105 created a space for a larger conversation for all Keizer residents.

“I believe that this is the beginning of the conversation, and if we don’t stand up to protect our citizens we can’t have that conversation. This ensures that both sides will have a place in that conversation,” she said.

“Over many months, many years, we’ve seen a need to engage in this conversation and [this discussion] has opened the first step in affirming that we want to have it, and to be clear that we value and respect every resident of this city,” Clark added.

Ryan suggested that there was a lot of misinformation in the testimony provided to the council, but did not call out specifics.

“Measure 105 is [on the ballot] because 109,000 Oregonians said it should be there. A conversation has two sides and goes both ways, but this is not a balanced conversation,” she said, referencing the lack of testimony opposing the resolution. Only one person spoke against the council taking a stance on the issue.

Whalen twins pace McNary cross country team

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Ethan and Brennan Whalen, twin brothers, spent the summer competing in regional and national track meets in Bend, Los Angeles and Reno, Nev.

That experience is now paying off in their sophomore high school cross country season.

Running for McNary, the Whalen brothers have shattered their best times as freshmen.

Ethan, who entered the season with a PR of 18:37, finished the Meriwether National Cross Country Classic in Hillsboro in 17:50 on Sept. 21.

“I just stayed in shape and got better,” Ethan said. “I came back stronger than last year.”

Finishing just eight seconds behind Ethan was Brennan, whose freshman PR was 18:59.

“That was my goal for the season, said Brennan of breaking 18 minutes. “I’m still working hard. I’m making a new one.”

Both Brennan and Ethan, who started cross country as sixth graders at Whiteaker Middle School, credited the SOVAH Track Club, run by Jon Terrazas, for improving their mechanics.

“I feel like I’m getting less sore,” Brennan said. “Last year I felt like everything was hurting and this year I’m not hurting.”

Brennan and Ethan have also learned how to kick at the end of races.

“I never kicked in my races because I was too tired,” Brennan said. “If I hadn’t (kicked), I wouldn’t have gotten under 18 (minutes).”

The brothers also push each other.

“He starts out a little quicker than I do but by the first mile I can see him and I just try to keep with him,” Brennan said of Ethan. “If he starts slowing down I’ll obviously go faster but that hasn’t happened this season. The goal is to beat him but that’s going to be hard.”

Ethan backed up his 17:50 by finishing the Nike Portland XC in 17:55.

“Those are two guys that show up everyday to get better, whether their body is not feeling good or it’s their best day, they show up and push each other and push the other varsity guys,” McNary head coach David Holcomb said. “I think from two sophomores that’s really exciting.”

McNary senior David Allen was the second Celtic to cross the finish line at the Nike Portland XC, finishing in 18:03. Sophomores Andrew Goemaere and Gavin Gasperini were next in 18:28 and 18:30.

Francisco Orta finished in 18:33 and Brennan Whalen clocked in at 18:55. Caleb McCoy was right behind him in 19 minutes.

Sabella Alfaro led McNary’s girls, finishing with a PR of 22:43. Cielo Hermenejildo Chavez clocked in at 22:55 and Reyna Terrazas finished in 23:22.