A group of about 60 Keizer students rose to a challenge that would cause many adults to cower Saturday, Oct. 27.
The group, representing, McNary High School and Claggett Creek and Whiteaker middle schools, removed about 50 yards of wood chips from a play structure, repainted a picnic shelter and generally cleaned up Country Glen Park in north Keizer.
“I love how we bring the community together in our schools and get a bunch of work done to make parks better and more presentable,” said McNary’s Miranda Coleman.
Coleman and Whiteaker students Kyler Carmichael and Tristyn Campbell were making repeat appearances at community service efforts organized through the schools.
“We have a lot of garbage laying around and it’s good to get out and pick it up,” said Kyler.
“I just like doing it and it’s a good workout,” added Tristyn.
Some of the chips removed from the play structure were spread around the trees in the park for weed control, the rest were hauled away. City staff planned to replace the old wood chips with relatively new ones taken out of the Keizer Rapids Big Toy last year.
Robert Johnson, Keizer’s parks supervisor, was grateful for the assistance, but he had larger goals in mind as well.
“This is a park where we’ve had some graffiti and vandalism and, if we get these kids involved in the community, then when they see someone doing something wrong they can speak up and talk about how they helped make it a better place,” Johnson said. “There’s about 60 kids here right now and that’s a lot of ownership happening.”
Aside from that, the students allowed Johnson to direct parks employees’ efforts elsewhere.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done in parks and help like this is crucial. For my guys to come in here, three or four of them, it would take a week just to remove the wood chips. We are going to, I hope, have it done in half a day. The kids will repaint the entire shelter in a few hours and that would take one of our employees a day or more.”
Matt Lawyer, a member of the Keizer Parks Advisory Board, was helping lead the volunteer effort alongside Johnson. The parks board was a driving force behind getting a parks services fee instituted to bolster maintenance and improvement efforts, but there is a long backlog of parks-related work to chip away at. It means volunteers are still needed to make the most of available resources.
“This project, specifically, speaks to the pride, spirit and volunteerism. We got the parks fee put in place, but these are the type of volunteer activities that we want to encourage people to do. Especially students at McNary,Whiteaker and Claggett Creek,” Lawyer said. “I think it’s still a very important part of why Keizer is awesome and the fee is a mechanism to continue doing these sorts of projects because now the parks department can pay to sponsor them.”
While students represented all corners of the three schools, McNary’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and Latino Club made concerted efforts to bring out their groups’ members.
McNary won its first league championship since 2005 last Friday.
The Celtics reward?
A road first round playoff game against one of the best teams in the state.
While the OSAA power rankings have never been exactly accurate, this season’s schedule, which featured five non-league and four league games, has shown a brighter light on its imperfections.
McNary finished seven spots behind West Salem, a team it beat handily just two weeks ago. The Titans have one more win and are benefiting from playing games against No. 1 Lake Oswego and No. 3 Sheldon. But neither of those contests was close and overall the Celtics played the tougher non-league schedule as two of West Salem’s wins came against No. 29 Grant and No. 23 Bend.
Of course, McNary also defeated Bend, in a league game.
North Medford didn’t do the Celtics any favors. After blowing out McNary to open the season, the Black Tornado lost six of their final seven games to finish No. 32 and barely make the postseason.
But the Celtics other non-league games came against No. 6 West Linn, No. 9 Tualatin, No. 13 South Medford and Tumwater, who finished 8-1 in Washington.
The Bend schools also have to be scratching their heads as Bend finished one spot ahead of Mountain View even though the latter just won 24-7 last Friday. Even more ridiculous, Sprague, who missed the playoffs after finishing No. 36, trounced No. 23 Mountain View 34-6 on Oct. 19.
The Olympians, who played an even tougher schedule than McNary, could not overcome a one-point loss to South Salem on Sept. 21.
How did McNary and West Salem’s non-league schedules prepare them for the playoffs?
Southridge at West Salem
Neither of these teams enter the playoffs with a lot of momentum. While the Titans did blow out Sprague last week, they are just two weeks removed from falling at home to McNary. The Skyhawks ended the regular season with a 30-14 loss at home to Aloha. On paper, West Salem and Southridge have similar resumes. Both defeated Mountain View. The Titans lost at Beaverton by two points while the Skyhawks won at Beaverton by five. Southridge hasn’t won a playoff game since 2014 when it then lost by 42 points to West Salem in the second round. I’ll take the team coming off a win and playing at home.
Pick: Titans 38, Skyhawks 28
McNary at Lakeridge
Before Tom Smythe ever won a state championship at McNary, the legendary head coach won the title at Lakeridge in 1987. Smythe went a remarkable 157-32 in his first stint as head coach of the Pacers. But Lakeridge hasn’t had the same success as of late, posting a 7-20 record over the previous three years before finishing 6-3 this season. The Pacers, who last won a playoff game in 2014, were riding a four-game winning streak this season, before falling to No. 1 Lake Oswego 30-14 last Friday. That stretch included a 48-38 victory at No. 5 Tigard. Like McNary, Lakeridge also has wins over Sprague and Bend and lost at West Linn. This game will definitely test just how much the Celtics have improved after 28 and 44-point losses at West Linn and Tualatin in September. McNary is riding high after going 4-0 in league play. But the Celtics still haven’t played their best game.
Pick: Celtics 44, Pacers 40
Derek Wiley is the associate editor of the Keizertimes.
Whiteaker’s varsity football team didn’t get its storybook ending, falling to Parrish 20-6 on Thursday, Nov. 1 in the Salem-Keizer Middle School Championship game.
“We came out flat,” Whiteaker head coach Tom Larimer said. “I think the kids were super nervous. We didn’t block well in the first quarter. We started to play better in the second quarter. We got close a number of times and just didn’t execute when we had to execute.”
The Wolverines tied the game at 6-6 when quarterback Braiden Copeland scored a 4-yard rushing touchdown with 55 seconds remaining in the first half.
Whiteaker then recovered an on-side kick and Copeland connected with Johan Singh-Sanchez for a 34-yard gain to get inside the Parrish 5-yard line. However, three players later, Copeland was tackled at the 2-yard line as time expired.
Parrish running back Josiah Davis then broke free for a 53-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter to give the North Salem feeder the lead for good.
The Wolverine offense again drove inside the Parrish 10-yard line but weren’t able to score any points after a holding penalty set up a fourth-and-long at the 21.
Whiteaker’s defense then produced a turnover when linebacker Hunter Ruberto blitzed through the Parrish line and intercepted a handoff from Pioneers quarterback Nevin Zeller.
But even starting at the Parrish 14-yard line, the Wolverines failed to add any points.
“It was tough to run the ball against them,” Larimer said. “They’re big. They’re strong. They were putting eight or nine guys in the box and they were making it tough to run. They have some really good athletes up front.”
Micah Richter added an 88-yard touchdown run for Parrish with 6:52 remaining in the game.
Copeland got Whiteaker back into the red zone on a 59-yard run but the drive ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down at the 13.
Copeland finished with 99 yards rushing and 144 passing.
The Wolverines entered the game 7-0.
“I love these kids,” Larimer said. “They try so hard and I told them win or lose I feel exactly the same about them. I love these kids. They’re like my own kids now. I just feel grateful to be involved and to have this kind of interaction with these kids. Parrish has a bunch of good athletes and when they needed to make plays they made plays and they deserved to win that game.”
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As the wife of retired Keizer volunteer firefighter, Bob Busch, who served for 25 years, I have had a front row seat as to how important the Keizer Fire District is to our community. Our family gave up our firefigher every sixth day for his shift and got used to him leaving at the sound of the pager on other days.
We made many life-long friends through the years and participated in events put on by the Volunteer Firefighters Association, designed to thank and encourage them in their work. We witnessed the beginning of the ambulance service, watched the ground breaking ceremony for the new station, knocked on doors for levies, helped put on holiday parties for firefighter families and arranged tours of the station for our home school groups. All the while the number of calls for service kept rising.
Spraying the hose at the open houses,crawling low in smoke and checking our smoke alarm regularly are a few lessons we never tired of practicing, because we knew our Keizer firefighters were always practicing, too.
We know that the people of Keizer enjoyed Mother’s Day and Christmas pancake breakfasts with Santa; red, white and blue water at Homecoming, Engine 1 at the KeizerFEST Parades and Santa’s arrival at Keizer’s Tree Lighting.
The faces you saw at these events were always ready to be at your emergency at a moments’ notice. Although most of these items began with the volunteers, Keizer now has many paid firefighter EMTs and they all work together to serve you.
The levy, when passed, will keep the ambulances staffed and arriving at your emergency in six minutes or less 93 percent of the time. I appreciated the effeciency, care and teamwork of the crew (paid and volunteer) when they responded to our emergencies and I know that will still happen, even though the number of calls has risen through the years.
I have chosen to continue to support the Keizer Fire Distrcit and I ask you to join me in supporting them also with a yes vote on Measure 24-432 on Nov. 6, keeping the current cost for this excellent fire and emergency medical service. Thank and encourage our firefighters for all they do for us.
On behalf of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors I ask that you vote yes on the renewal of the Keizer Fire District levy.
It is important to note this is a renewal of the levy, not an increase. Your property taxes will not go up.
Since the last time the levy was renewed call volume for the district has increased by 45 percent. Even with the increased call volume, the department is arriving at calls in less than six minutes 93 percent of the time. The levy represents 25 percent of the fire district’s budget.
Based on the excellent performance of the fire district, that they have proven to be good stewards of taxpayer money and the fact the public safety is an important part of a vibrant business community, we ask that you vote yes for Keizer Fire.
Shawn Lapof, Director Keizer Chamber of Commerce Board
Critics often accuse President Donald Trump of using dog-whistles to gin up his conservative base. But really, Trump’s most effective trick is to get TV journalists to attack on demand—as you can see in cable news coverage on the caravan of Central Americans headed toward the U.S. border.
Perhaps the biggest sucker for Trump’s caravan play is Joe Scarborough, the former GOP congressman who hosts MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Scarborough led last Friday’s show with a lecture to Americans concerned about the caravan.
Voters should be concerned about the GOP tax cut that benefited the rich, and the prospect of Republicans fiddling with Social Security and health care, not the caravan, Scarborough schooled his viewers. “That’s what’s happening in your life. And they don’t want you to know that.”
Scarborough pooh-poohed the notion that some voters might have concerns about criminal elements sneaking in among refugees looking for a better life—as happened during the Mariel boatlift from Cuba in 1980—by dismissing such fears as simple racism against “brown people.”
As for those politicians who see the caravan as an issue, the MSNBC don concluded, “They think that you are stupid”—showing that Scarborough thinks you are stupid.
Another Trump trick is to make claims he must know are false, which means fact-checkers are sure to issue banal refutations of his dubious claims.
Turn on your TV and you can learn Democrats really aren’t giving Rolls Royces to asylum-seekers as they cross the border with Mexico, as Trump said in Arizona this month. Oh, and Democrats aren’t bankrolling the immigrant caravan and aren’t passing out voter registration forms to new arrivals—two other Trump claims.
“I don’t agree with him that Democrats are paying for it,” former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg told the Review-Journal. At the same time, Nunberg added, “You know where they (Democrats) stand. They want to abolish ICE. They want sanctuary cities. They are out of the mainstream.”
In short, Nunberg argued, Trump may be wrong on the details, but he’s right on the spirit. Trump doesn’t spout “complicated, esoteric legalistic” rhetoric on immigration law, Nunberg added; his bluster is “straight talk.”
Is it lying? Sure, Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s White House communications director for 11 days, told CNN Tuesday. “I think he likes it actually.”
Scaramucci described Trump’s untruths as entertainment for base voters who like Trump’s act and think, “We finally have a president who is my advocate.”
Is that right? No, it is not right, but it is the way the country works right now. To the Trump base, Trump’s lies equalize “fake news,” so the smart play is to understand where news outlets can improve.
Trump’s decision to call himself a “nationalist” in Houston Monday was instructive.
To the Trump base, nationalism and “America First” are born out of patriotism. Why does the base love it when Trump uses words that make New York anchors cringe? GOP strategist and CNN contributor Alice Stewart believes, “Donald Trump makes these voters feel like they’re 10 feet tall and bulletproof and no one’s ever made them feel that way before.”
This opinion writer has found it impossible to know everything. Therefore, asking questions while seeking answers has greatly helped in a continuous quest for insights and understandings.
It is reported that Trump party followers find horror in the prospect of any move toward socializing medicine as well as its companion, Medicare-for-all. Why do we not want our fellow Americans to have insurance coverage like other American citizens, citizen Trump and all members of his family being just one poignant example? Wouldn’t health insurance enable those having it to get the medical attention they need so whatever’s wrong can be addressed before everyone gets it? Then, too, wouldn’t anyone who’s really needed an emergency room know that if the one hundred folks in line ahead of him had medical insurance they would more likely have gone to a primary care doctor for their bad cold?
Then there’s the matter of new Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh about whom my concerns include a record overflowing with hostility towards affordable health care, women’s health rights, individual liberties, and the environment. He’s also shown again and again that he will side with Big Brother and Big Business over the rights of individual Americans. Plus there are the withheld Kavanaugh records while he worked in the George W. Bush White House preventing full disclosure, while his alleged sexual assaults against women were not fully investigated. Should Kavanaugh, a man apparently absent of character and judgment, be sitting on the highest court in the land?
Is there any truth to Trump’s wild and crazy charges that those persons in the so-called “caravan” from Central America, now alleged headed to the U.S. border, include huge numbers of gang members, violent criminals and “unknown Middle Easterners” bent on taking jobs and otherwise destroying us? To the contrary, these people are smaller in number than Trump administration exaggerations (about 300,000 were stopped at our border last year) and, aside from misleading exaggerations to garner votes from his base, are actually persons escaping certain death in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Aren’t they actually legitimate asylum seekers at our border to save themselves and their children?
One of the chief concerns on this writer’s list is whether Trump wants to convert our democratic republic into a dictatorship with exclusive authoritarian controls under his supervision. How does an American like me reach this conclusion?
Well, the facts add up: Trump praises dictators, including the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Recep Erdogan of Turkey, and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. He says he loves Kim Jung-un of North Korea. He also emulates them by appointing family members to our government’s highest positions, glorifies violence at his rallies, views a free press as an enemy of the people, makes personal financial gain his highest objective, and desires missile parades. Then, too,there the divisive tactics of fear and loathing used daily by him. How is it that any American can support what he wants to make of us?
A number of Americans nowadays see things for them as a raw deal and believe they can get back at those responsible by blowing up the U.S. Constitution and terminating our way of life…but where does that view get us? We know Trump now; so, do we want leadership in this country such as Trump’s, sending us deeper and deeper into dark places where laws are abandoned and violence encouraged? Is that what we want for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and future generations?
(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion frequently in the Keizertimes.)
Joyce Graham passed away peacefully on Oct. 19, 2018, in Keizer, Ore.
Joyce was born to John Graham and Mary Jeanette Graham on Feb. 15, 1936, in Milwaukee, Wis. Her family relocated to Pocatello, Idaho, where she graduated high school. She married Wallace Llamar Jensen in April 1959. They were later divorced. Joyce relocated to Oregon where she lived the rest of her days.
Joyce is survived by her brother, John Robert Graham; sons, Jerry (Deanna) Jensen and Scott Graham; daughter, Mary (Jeff) Wakley as well as grandchildren Mandy Popejoy, Lonnie Jensen, Randi (Kevin) Neilson, Karly Vreeland, Chris Edwards, Cody (Alain) Edwards and Cierra Graham and great-grandchildren Talise, Skyler, Dezirae, Tyler, Rayse, Leighton, Summer, Nikya, Kevin, Leena, and Morgan.
She was preceded in death by her father, mother and brother, Joseph “Pete” Graham.
She was laid to rest on Oct. 25, 2018, at Claggett Cemetery in Keizer, OR.