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Month: December 2018

Buford and the Willamette Sturgeon

By G.I. WILSON

Buford is prepared to give another one of his fishing presentations at the Crossroads Merc and Feeds.

A crowd has gathered to experience another of Buford’s breathtaking fishing adventures. These events are well publicized and always attract a crowd.

Buford has the means–a modern day Jed Clampett–to take trips they can only dream of. He has traveled all over the world on exciting fishing trips. He is a master story teller. He has that captivating ability to keep a group mesmerized.

Tillie, owner/manager, has mopped and polished the well-worn hardwood floors. Decks of playing cards and boxes of dominos have all been put away for the occasion.

Every available bench, apple crate, five-gallon bucket, and bale of hay have been taken.

The pungent aromas of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and freshly ground coffee fill the air.

An old belt-driven ceiling fan struggles to keep the hot, humid air moving.

Tillie has filled a #3 wash tub with ice and RC Colas, and opened a fresh box of salted Planters peanuts. No treat, on a humid southwestern afternoon, quite so satisfying as salted Planters peanuts dumped into a bottle of cold RC.

Buford takes his place on his favorite stool. All conversation stops.

He clears his throat. “As ya’ll know, I”ve been on another trip. Always wanted to catch one of them monster white sturgeon. Did my research, best place, O-re-gon’s Willa-mette River.

“They say their words different than we do down here. But I say them like Curt Dowdy did, on the Wide World of Sports years ago. Good enough for old Curt, good enough for me.

“They don’t even say salmon like we do. They say ‘samen.’

“Told ‘em I wanted to hire best captain on the river. And I did. Captain Don. He knows sturgeon. I think with his fancy e-lec-tronicks, he can dang near read a sturgeon’s mind.”

“Well we cruised around with him showing me all these fish on the screen. He pointed out smaller ones. Some were moving upriver.  Showed me schools of four-to-six footers, then big ones, seven-to-nine feet, holding behind boulders the size of a Volkswagen.

“Then, he pointed out ‘the car.’ Said, ‘Hook a big one, have to keep him away from that car. They get in there and break off.’

“I thought maybe he was pulling my leg, you know, a guide joke.

“Time to anchor up and fish. Captain has an anchor looks big enough to hold the Titanic. Then I begin to see how powerful this river is. I have never seen a river this powerful and swift.”

“How swift was it?” Billy asks weakly, as afraid to interrupt.

“Well, we were anchored under a high bridge. The current would grab the shadow of the bridge and take it downriver 20-30 feet before turning it loose.”

Dead silence. A peanut bounces off the wooden floor, sounds like a golf ball.

Tillie giggles.

A group exhale sends Planters wrappers flying across the room.

Buford has sucked them in again.

After the laughter subsides, Buford continues with new vigor.

“About that powerful current, we had to use 16 oz of lead to get our bait to the bottom and, it is only 20 feet deep.

“Talk about real bait. Captain opens up a cooler and pulls out a two-pound shad and uses the whole darned thing. Uses a 13/0 hook. Looks like a hay hook. He winds up that bait with all kind of hitches and weaves the hook through it.

“Captain casts the bait 25-30 yards downriver. ‘You need a lot of line out so they can’t detect any movement when you pick up the rod.’

“He explains how these are huge fish but very picky biters. ‘They may fool around with the bait 5-10 minutes before they take it. Key is patience. Let them pull off 10-15 feet of line, swim away with it, then set the hook, hard.’

“It’s my lucky day. Haven’t finished my cup of coffee when the tip of that heavy rod begins to slowly dip down.

“I can see line slowly coming off the big reel. Soon the rod starts loading up and line buzzing off.

“Captain walks me through, ‘Gently pick up the rod. We want him to take 20-25 yards of line. Flip the switch and engage the drive. Set the hook as hard as you can. Fish on.’

“Tell you boys, I’m hooked to a runaway missile. Line is smoking off that reel, and I’m hanging on with all my might.”

‘He’s coming up. He’s coming up,’ Captain yells.’ 

“Hundred yards out this beautiful, historic monster blasts out of the water like a missile from a nuclear sub. Must have created a minor tsunami for the immediate area.”

“Well, he takes off like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof. Captain breaks loose from the anchor. We cover over a mile without slowing down, then makes a U-turn and head back upriver into that heavy current.

“I gain yards, he takes them back. We make it back to where we hooked up.

‘He’s headed for the car,’ Captain Don hisses. ‘You’re gonna lose ‘em.’

“Well, I dig in, bury the butt of the rod in my gut. That heavy rod buckles down almost to the water, vibrating and making a buzzing sound. Figure it could explode any minute.”

“Danged monster keeps taking line as Captain Don maneuvers the boat trying to pull away from the car.”

By now Buford has totally immersed himself into the action, leaning forward and coming up in rod pumping motions, eyes bugged out, veins in his neck bulging, sweat dripping from his handsome stash.

His actions are so vivid, half the group is swaying back and forth with him.

“Feel him wiggle into that old car,” Buford whispers, almost out of breath. “I feel the braided line sawing on metal.

“I wasn’t going to give up that easy,” Buford almost blasts out, with a firm grip on the imaginary rod.

“I dig my heels into the side of the boat, bury the butt of that rod in my crotch, and keep reefing.

“He will saw the line on metal and break it,’ Captain says, but I dig in that much harder. I gain two feet, then lose three.”

Suddenly, Buford stops. Relaxes. Picks up his RC Cola, dumps in some peanuts, and takes a healthy swig.

“You know, boys, I still think I could have got him out of that car, but he rolled up the danged window.”

Fire district will consider additional construction fees

By MATT RAWLINGS
Of the Keizertimes

The Keizer Fire District held their monthly board meeting on Dec. 18 with the main topic of discussion being the amendment of fees for fire plan reviews.

It was announced that in November, the district received $135,350 in ambulance payments, which ended up being under budget.

The district was also over budget when it came to overtime hours for the fire staff — in large part due to the fact that many firefighters were sent down south to help with the wildfires in California. 

To try and help fix the minor budget issues, Jeff Cowan, the Keizer Fire Chief, brought a proposal before the board that would require anyone that applies for a permit for a new building to pay a six percent fire and life safety fee — the city, state and count currently charge a 12 percent fee. The script that he read from was created by the fire district’s legal council.

Right now, there is only a $90 fee for anyone that applies for a new building permit — the six percent fee would be tacked on to that. 

Part of the reason Cowan believes this will be good for the city of Keizer is that the money won’t be coming from the taxpayer’s wallet.

“With our current policy, fire district taxes would pay for our inspection fees. But our costs are going up and we don’t want to put anymore cost on the back of the taxpayer,” Cowan said about the proposal. 

According to Cowan, the majority of new buildings that are going up in the city are commercial buildings where the owners don’t live in Keizer.  

Although the proposal was initially passed, it was later determined during the meeting that it would be in the best interest of the city to hold a public comment period.

Nate Brown, the Community Development Department director for the city of Keizer, has his reservations about the fee proposal.

“I’m really struggling to see how important (the proposal) is because it’s not going to raise a lot of money for them,” Brown said. “It just seems like nickle and diming people for not very much (money).”

According to Brown, the Marion County finance department estimated that the city collects about $30,000 per year in building permit fees, meaning that the six percent fee would roughly bring in just $1,800.

There will be a public comment period addressing this issue at the next board meeting, which will take place on Jan. 15. 

In other business:

• Keizer Fire District office manager Vickey Dosier is retiring at the end of the month. She will be replaced by Lyn Komp — who is coming from the Mount Angel Fire Department — in January.

• The board unanimously passed a renewal of the Accident and Sickness program, which gives benefits to volunteer firefighters.

• The board also unanimously passed a renewal of their property and liability coverage.

• The district has received 95 percent of tax revenue for the year — they have until May to collect all the revenue.

• Cowan addressed the fire that occurred at the Santa Breakfast on Dec. 9 at the station, which was apparently caused by a malfunction with the stove. The fire caused only minor damage, but the stove needed a $500 repair.

McNary swim teams hit century mark in dual win

By MATT RAWLINGS

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School swim program entered into the holiday break beaming with confidence after their dominating overall performance against McKay in their last dual meet on Thursday, Dec. 20

The Celtic boys won their side of things by a score of 135-29. The McNary girls also had a high-quality showing with a 105-48 victory.

This was the third straight dual victory for both the boys and girls teams.

Alex Beard and Paris Boyd were the two multi-event winners on the day for the Celtic girls. Beard was victorious in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:27.05 and also took home the win in the 100-breaststroke (1:18.84).

Boyd, on the other hand, won the 100-butterfly (1:10.85) and the 100-backstroke (1:09.83).

After falling behind early, Bella Beard won a thrilling the 500-freestyle race with a time of 5:37.69, touching the wall 0.12 seconds before McKay’s Lidiia Buiko.

Kaylynn Villalobos rounded out the individual wins for the Celtic girls with her victory in the 100-free (101.45).

For the second straight week, the McNary boys won 10 out of their 11 varsity races — their only defeat came in the 200-free.

Harrison Vaughn and Kyle Hooper led the charge for the Celtic boys. Vaughn won the 100-fly (1:05.40) and the 200-free (2:03.60) while Hooper was victorious in the 50-free (24.27) and the 100-back (1:04.76). 

The Celtics also got some great performances from unexpected sources. Nikita Martushev won the 100-free (59.47) and Tyshin Nguyen was victorious in the 100-breast (1:23.29). 

Ethan Whalen also picked up an individual victory in the 200-IM (2:39.43). 

McNary returns to the pool on Jan. 17 at the Kroc Center for their dual meet with South Salem at 7 p.m. 

Both Celtic teams lost their only dual meet of the season against South Salem on Nov. 29.

School response inconsistent with policy in wake of threat, bullying at Cummings

By MATT RAWLINGS

Of the Keizertimes

On Nov. 28, during a lunch recess at Cummings Elementary School, a third-grade girl pulled a knife on one of her female classmates and threatened to kill her according to a Dec. 19 article from the Statesman Journal. 

The article also stated that, after the knife was taken away by a member of the staff, a male student choked the victim for “snitching.”

Lillian Govus, director of community relations and communications with Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS), acknowledged that an incident between three students did occur, but said she could not confirm details regarding what happened or comment on the version of events in the Statesman Journal story.

When situations like this happen, it is the school’s job to engage the threat assessment team, which  consists of law enforcement, school leadership, counselors, behavior specialists and teachers.

According to school officials, the threat assessment team was engaged, and the two students who were the aggressors in the incident had their parents called immediately to discuss disciplinary action. 

“We always do our best to call parents first so they can hear from trusted adults who have all the facts,” Govus said.

However, the victim’s parents were not called or notified of the situation and did not find out about what had happened until the victim’s father picked her up from school later that afternoon.

Even though the school was able to contact the parents of the two kids who were the aggressors in this incident, Govus claimed that the school didn’t call the victim’s parents because the situation “happened toward the end of the day.”

The victim did not attend school on Thursday, Nov. 29 or Friday, Nov. 30. Contact between the two sides was made on Nov. 29 via phone call, but the parents of the victim didn’t meet with Cummings Principal Magda Romero until the following week. All three students were back in class on Monday, Dec. 3. 

When a student brings a weapon to school, district policy states officials will generally:

• Confiscate the item.

• Contact the parent.

• Refer to law enforcement.

• Issue suspension with recommendation for expulsion.

In the case where a student assaults another person, they will not return to the classroom until his/her assigned consequence has been completed. The policy states that they may be reassigned to another class or school. 

In the event of an assault, school district policy calls for making referrals to law enforcement and to consider options such as: a 10-day suspension, restitution, expulsion, and mental health evaluations of counseling, in addition to the consequences for bringing a weapon to school. 

When students are found to have been bullying or threatening other students, possible consequences include: conflict management meetings, in-school or out-of-school suspension, referrals to law enforcement, conferences with parents prior to return to school, possible continued suspension leading to expulsion and evaluation of a student’s mental health. 

Romero believes that she did everything in her power to follow district policy despite all three students returning to class on the same day, only five days after the alleged threats and assault. 

“It’s my job to make sure we’re following what that handbook says for discipline,” Romero told the Statesman. “That’s why the student was able to reach her parents before I could. I have never put parents off to come meet with me. I have an open door policy, they can come in whenever.” 

Govus echoed the sentiments offered by Romero. 

“Principal Romero did the right thing by engaging the threat assessment team and immediately investigating so disciplinary consequences could be administered,” Govus said. “Dealing with situations like these are not easy, and she moved quickly to ensure her students were safe.”

However, Govus did acknowledge that the situation could have been handled in a more timely matter.

“The process took a little more time than it should have,” Govus said. 

Govus also added that “Principal Romero is a first-year principal, and she’s still developing her own communication style. As a district, we’re still adjusting our communications procedure as a whole.”

The specific details of the disciplinary action that Cummings took will not be released, Govus said. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects all student information from public records, including academic records and disciplinary records.

“We know children are going to have conflicts. However, if they are in a professional environment with trained behavior specialists and guidance counselors to support them, they have a much better chance of learning from that conflict, understanding what resolution looks like, realizing the consequences and actively making better choices in the future,” Govus said.

On the morning of Dec. 17, almost three weeks after the Nov. 28 incident, Romero sent out an email to the parents of Cummings regarding safety. Although she did not specifically address the altercation, she did talk about how the school is proactively working to support the children.

“I’m proud of our Cummings community, and my promise to you and your child is that our school will remain a safe place for all students to learn and grow,” Romero said in the email. She also directed parents to an anti-bullying website and an anonymous tip website for the Oregon Department of Education. 

Later that day, in a case of terrible timing, a knife was found in one of the classrooms. According to Romero, the safety of the school was not compromised and there is no connection between the two incidents.

Romero sent out another email at 3:45 p.m. on Dec. 17 to notify the parents of Cummings about the second incident. 

“As you know, safety is our most important priority. “Honesty and transparency play critical roles in safety, which is why I’m sharing this message with you,” Romero said in the email.

There will be a Safety Town Hall Meeting at Cummings on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. 

The SKPS Office of Safety, Security and Risk Management, SKPS Office of Behavioral Learning, SafeOregon and the Keizer Police will all be attendance to share ways to work together to keep children safe.

Shorthanded Celtics fall in tourney championship

By MATT RAWLINGS

Of the Keizertimes

Even though they weren’t at full strength, the McNary boys hoops team put together a valiant effort against Newberg on Saturday night. But the Celtics couldn’t climb back into the game after falling behind by 21 in the fourth quarter and eventually lost 67-57 in the Newberg Boys Basketball Tournament Championship game.

“I’m disappointed that we lost, but I’m encouraged at some of the things we showed with our toughness and competitiveness,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said. “Sometimes shots don’t fall and you come out on the losing end…Being down a couple of bodies made it really challenging for us at times.”

McNary was without two of their best players in Junior Walling and Griffin Oliveira. Walling has missed the last few contests due to injury, while Oliveira was not present due to “family stuff and prior engagements” according to Kirch.

David Boston and Nate Meithof each had 23 points to carry the Celtics offensively, but in the end, McNary didn’t get enough help from the rest of their supporting cast.

“We have a lot of leaders who lead in different ways and Griff is a guy that a lot of guys look to,” Kirch said. “You can’t replace him and you can’t replace Junior’s strength and his rebounding ability on the inside.”

“It did give some opportunity for some other guys to get minutes and I thought they did some good things and competed well. We just fell a little short.”

Smith got things going in the opening period with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field as the Celtics trailed just 14-12 at the end of the quarter.

However, it appeared that McNary couldn’t buy a bucket in the second quarter. The Celtics settled for several contested jumpers and couldn’t get out in transition, which led to them only scoring four points in the period, causing them to fall behind 26-16 at half. 

Meithof had the only field goal of the second quarter on a put-back layup with 2:50 left in the half.

“We weren’t on top of things offensively,” Meithof said. “We moved the ball well, but we weren’t getting to the hoop.”

Kirch also added: “We were getting back on our heels in the first half and running our offense 35 feet from the basket.”

Things went from bad to worse for the Celtics as the game looked to be getting out of hand in the second half. After McNary ended the third quarter trailing 47-32, Newberg center Kyle Kruse knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to start the final period, giving his team the largest lead of the game.

It would have been easy for the Celtics to give up at this point. But they weren’t quite ready to throw in the towel. 

McNary put on a devastating full-court press on Newberg, defending with an intensity that wasn’t present for most of the game.

The suffocating defense helped create turnovers into offensive opportunities as the Celtics went on a 12-0 run thanks to a pair of triples by Meithof and a floater by Devyn Schurr. 

“We just competed hard in our press and didn’t worry about the score,” Kirch said. “A lot of them were gassed, but they didn’t stop.”

“We talked about how, at the end, we were playing as the aggressor in that situation and that mindset is what we need from the get-go.”

The 12-0 scamper by the Celtics got the lead down to single-digits at 53-44 with 3:48 left and forced Newberg head coach Mark Brown to call a timeout. 

Out of the timeout, McNary set up their press and looked they were about to get a steal before a reach-in foul was called on Schurr. 

Schurr let his emotions get the best of him after the call and was immediately whistled for a technical foul. Newberg was awarded two free throws for the personal foul, two more for the technical and was given back possession of the ball. 

It ended up being a five-point trip for Newberg, which was too much for McNary to come back from. 

McNary is currently competing in the Arby’s Holiday Classic in South Medford. They return home on Friday Jan. 4 to take on Forest Grove at 7:15 p.m. in their final non-league matchup.

Turning the page

By Lyndon Zaitz

For all intents and purposes 2018 is finished. All that is left to do is to declare our resolutions and ring in the new year. 

Some would say that 2018 was a less than stellar year, both nationally and internationally. But 2018 was a great year for those who married, became parents, graduated from school, received a huge promotion and raise or moved into a new house. 

There is nothing so promising as a new year, A clean slate awaits us to write our plans, dreams and wishes upon. The gloom of winter really can’t compare to the optimism we can bring with each new day.  Though some animals hibernate during winter, we humans can’t stay in a warm, cozy bed for two or three months. Whether we like it or not, life comes at us every morning. Obligations, duties and responsibilities await us. Many animals hibernate in winter, but we humans cannot stay in a warm, cozy bed for two or three months and wait for warm spring days. 

I have found changing one’s nest is a very good cure-all for winter blues. When I  need a change, a rearranging of furniture and a purging of storage goes a long way to give me a new perspective.

When we find ourselves in a day to day routine that seems more arduous because of the gray, cold winter weather, a change will do the pysche good. It’s too wet and cold to do any major gardening this time of year. Look inward. Make changes just for sake of change—rearrange the photos on your walls, switch the sofa around, move the television to a different room. The best thing? You don’t need anyone’s permission to do that.

If your home, however, is practically perfect in every way, there may be other changes during winter. For those with the means to get a taste of the tropics during winter, good for you. For those without the means, there are volunteer opportunities abounding in the community.

Barring a change of scene, the winter months are prime time for improvement. Simple chores such as washing all the interior windows will pay off when spring’s first rays of sun start streaming through. Or, go into the den and update your resume, go through files and discard what is not needed.

Spring is a new of renewal but getting the process started early in mid-winter is very cathartic. And you’ll face 2019 with courage and optimism. After all, the future belongs to those who plan for it.

(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes)

‘Drained’ federal agencies are swampier than ever

Throughout his campaign for president, Donald J. Trump promised time and again that he would drain the “swamp.”  The swamp Trump referenced was the imagined one in Washington, D.C., where all the old freeloaders and deadbeats lived off the public purse but produced nothing but large guts and bad ideas.

Trump said he’d do something about the malingers by appointing really good people to his administration’s cabinet posts and other senior positions.  So, they were one by one given the top jobs in the White House but soon enough were recognized as not only among the poor examples they replaced from previous administrations but were found to be even worse than their predecessors from as far back as any living Americans could remember.

Two of the worst violators and among those early-on to be pointed to the nearest exit were Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price and Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has remained in his job but will soon follow his former associates.  Zinke, a former Montana congressman, has borne a remarkable resemblance to Pruitt in his approach to established policy standards: fit for them to break.

Zinke has become notorious in a mere two years at accumulating about a dozen inquiries into his manipulation of public resources for private use.  By dismantling rules that have protected the nation’s wilderness and wildlife, he had led the way for others who seek to rape by his guidance and encouragement all that environmentalists and naturalists have worked for the past 100 years to establish and protect.

According to the Center for Western Priorities, there have been many investigations by the Interior Department’s inspector general and other environmental groups.  Several of Zinke’s GOP predecessors, who sought to privatize through personal business interests the country’s many wildlife refuges, parks, monuments, and public lands, never came anywhere near the list of Zinke’s achieved turnovers.

Recently, the inspector general opened another investigation into Zinke’s role in a Montana land deal involving the chairman of Halliburton.  The oil services company also stands to benefit from such policies as what have been Zinke’s apparent disregard for state interests in preservation through his efforts to expand offshore drilling, including Oregon’s border to the Pacific Ocean.

He has dismissed the recreational value of protected lands and done was he could to exploit them for his wealthy pals.  Examples include logging in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument on the California-Oregon border.  Then, too, Zinke has worked to terminate endangered species protections.

Zinke has labored to turn over public lands and formerly protected areas to use by mining, golf course, hunting, oil and gas exploration interests and any other way persons of wealth and corporations can take down trees, fill the lakes and streams by leveling the surrounding hills and mountains, and kill the wildlife.  Wish it were possible for this writer to report faith in the replacements for Price, Pruitt and Zinke bringing security to the many features of America we appreciate.  Likely unsettling to some Americans, “rescues” may have a chance only with new leadership at the top and a real draining of the “swamp.”

(Gene H. McIntyre shares his
opinion frequently in the Keizertimes)

If convictions equal success

By LARRY ELDER

President Donald Trump-haters salivated over special counsel Robert Mueller’s recent filings on ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump former lawyer/”fixer” Michael Cohen. In both cases, Mueller recommends lengthy sentences, having accused them of committing crimes, including, in the case of Cohen, that Trump directed him to violate campaign finance laws in paying off porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

If true, is an impeachable offense? 

In 2013, the Federal Election Commission leveled a $375,000 fine against President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign for failing to properly report almost $2 million in 2008 campaign contributions, along with other violations. No criminal prosecutions. Nobody went to jail.

In the case of President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who pled guilty to lying to the FBI, the special counsel recommends no jail time. Flynn, according to the filing, gave the probe “substantial assistance.” The filing described Flynn as “one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight” into Mueller’s investigation. But did Flynn give evidence of a Trump “collusion” or conspiracy with Russia to win the election—the purpose the Mueller investigation? So far, the investigation has resulted in the convictions of several Trump associates. Not one of the convictions, however, has had anything to do with a Trump-Russian “collusion.” 

If the definition of a successful special counsel or special prosecutor is the number of convictions he or she obtains, then the Whitewater investigation into an allegedly crooked Arkansas real-estate deal and a crooked Little Rock bank was an unmitigated success. True, that probe’s big targets, Bill and Hillary Clinton, were not charged, but the investigation resulted in 14 convictions, including the then-governor of Arkansas.

Webster Hubbell, Hillary Clinton’s former law partner at Little Rock’s Rose Law Firm, was convicted. Hubbell, at the beginning of the probe, held the No. 3 position in the Justice Department. He admitted to stealing from clients and partners of his law firm and pled guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison. He was later indicted on an additional 18 charges after resigning from the DOJ. The New York Times reported: “Some money Hubbell received in 1994, for which the prosecutor said he did ‘little or no work,’ might have been given to discourage him from being more candid with investigators. … Much of the income Hubbell received in 1994 came from contracts arranged by close friends and supporters of the Clintons, suggesting to investigators that Hubbell may have been given money to discourage him from cooperating with the Whitewater independent counsel’s office.”

James McDougal, Clinton friend and Whitewater business partner, operated Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, the bank under investigation. Madison failed in 1989, costing taxpayers $60 million. McDougal was convicted of 18 felony counts related to bad loans made by his bank. After his conviction, McDougal agreed to cooperate with the special prosecutor. 

Susan McDougal, James McDougal’s former wife, was a partner in the Whitewater land deal and in Madison Guaranty. She was convicted of four felony fraud counts, but refused to cooperate with the Whitewater prosecutors. McDougal was sentenced to 18 months in jail on a civil contempt charge, but still has refused to answer questions before a grand jury. She was later charged with criminal contempt and obstruction of justice. President Clinton gave her a full pardon in the final hours of his presidency.

Hillary Clinton called her husband a victim of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Bill Clinton adviser Paul Begala called independent counsel Ken Starr “corrupt” and his investigation a “witch hunt” and “a scuzzy investigation” based on “leaks and lies and manufactured evidence.” Clinton senior strategist Rahm Emanuel complained of the “partisan pursuit of the president.” The difference is that the Whitewater convictions, as opposed to the Mueller probe convictions at this point, specifically related to the purpose of the probe. 

Clearly, some Trump associates broke laws, and real-estate developer Trump perhaps made misleading statements about a proposed deal for a real-estate project in Russia. But since virtually every political pundit predicted Trump’s landslide defeat in 2016, why the surprise that Trump was simultaneously working on his next act? As for the accusation that Trump directed Cohen to make payments to prevent his relationships with Daniels and McDougal from coming to light during the campaign, what happened to the Bill Clinton defense —“Everybody lies about sex”? Trump critics simultaneously called him an idiot and the conductor of a scheme intended to break campaign finance laws by using his own money to pay off mistresses. 

The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, in 2000, wrote, “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.” The recourse is impeachment and then removal from office, following a trial in the Senate. Unless the Mueller report contains a lot more than what we know, so far, neither is likely.

(Creators Syndicate)

2019 Legislature convenes in 3 weeks

from the capitol
By BILL POST

Well Happy New Year! I hope your holidays have been full of peace and harmony. I’m taking the time to enjoy the season and embrace a little quiet before the new year comes. The 2019 legislative session starts on January 14. This is the earliest the legislature has ever begun as the new constitutional end of session date is June 30. This is a nice and welcome change so that members can enjoy Independence Day with their families. 

Even with being in the super-minority, I’m looking forward to serving in the 80th legislature as I just found out I will be serving on the House Committee on Judiciary and the House Committee on Agriculture and Land Use as vice chair. All committee assignments are made by Speaker of the House Tina Kotek. The Committee on Agriculture and Land Use is a new committee formed by the Speaker. I’m excited to serve on this committee so that I can better advocate for my agriculture friends. Seven members have been assigned to this committee, four Democrats and three Republicans. It really should be a fun group and I trust we will do good work for rural communities.  As you know, House District 25 (Keizer to St. Paul to Newberg) is very much a heavy agricultural district with farms between and around each of those communities. From my first term to now I have always promised to look out for and defend our farmers as they are under more and more pressures that can significantly change their livelihoods and eventually change how we as citizens live and thrive in Oregon. I am very much anticipating much good will be done via this committee for the farmers, ranchers and dairies in our district.

This will be my third term serving on the House Committee on Judiciary. This is one of the toughest committees to sit on as the majority of the bills goes through this committee and issues are very complex. I thoroughly enjoy being on this committee as I ask the simple questions in the room that no one else wants to ask, but everyone is thinking. Basically, I make sure everyone who is watching knows what is actually being discussed. Eleven members have been assigned to this committee, seven democrats and four republicans. It should be an interesting session, as many controversial topics are expected to come to the Judiciary Committee. I hope to be your voice on that committee, expressing the values that House District 25 believes in and the reason why you elected me to represent you.

As always, please feel free to stop by my office during session any time. I love welcoming constituents to the Capitol. Have a great rest of your holiday season!

(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.)

Katherine Fraser Jackmond

May 11, 1933 – December 17, 2018

On December 17, with family holding her hand, Katherine Fraser Jackmond, a beloved Mom and Grannie, passed away. 

K. Jackmond

Katherine was born and raised in Portland, Ore.,  by parents Bill and Peggy Miller. A graduate of Grant High School and Oregon State University, she was active in Alpha Phi and yearbook with her smiling face in a group photo on the back of the 1952 Beaver. 

In 1955, she married Bryant Jackmond and lived in various cities around the state while Bryant was working his way up in Oregon Department of Transportation. They were married for 61 years and had three children, Chris (Debralee), Patti, and Sandy. She is survived by son Chris and daughter Patti, grandchildren Andrea (her first prize), Westin, Lee, Alex and Alyssa, great-grandchildren Cheyanne, Aidan, Liam, Lilly and Chloe. She is predeceased by her parents, brother Bill, and daughter Sandy. 

Katherine was a recycler before there was the word and was Salem’s Recycler of the Year in 2012. A Master Gardener, devoted bridge player, and singer (Sweet Adelines and church choir) she was also a lifelong learner instilling her passion for nature (4-H Entomology leader) and literature onto her children and grandchildren. She could hear a phrase and break into song. She enjoyed reciting poetry with her animated voice. We all recall The Walrus and the Carpenter. She and Bryant attended plays at the Shakespeare Festival for more than 50 years. She was a volunteer at Salem Hospital and Bush House Auxiliary for more than 20 years and an active member of American Association of University Women.

A trusting and innocent soul with a beautiful smile and kind heart. She loved and was loved by so many nieces, nephews and great friends. 

A celebration of life will be on Saturday, January 5 at 11:00 at Keizer Clear Lake United Methodist Church, 7920 Wheatland Rd., Keizer.. 

 In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Church or Union Gospel Mission.