Day: December 9, 2011

Nerves get best of Celtics in games with Forest Grove, Newberg

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes It was a bumpy start for the McNary High School boys varsity basketball team last week. After a 63-50 loss to Forest Grove High School, Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Celtics got rolled 80-43 by the Newberg High School Tigers. “We were rushing things and shooting after two or three passes,” said Ryan Kirch, who made his debut as McNary’s new head coach. “Defensively, we have to be a little bit better about reacting instead of standing and watching the ball. We were also out of position quite a bit, which put us in foul trouble and gave the other teams some easy baskets.” The visiting Vikings outshot the Celts 22-12 in the first period and never looked back. McNary’s best offensive effort came in a 17-point fourth quarter. Senior Dylan McHugh paced the Celtics with 12 points, Garren Robinett put in 10, Isaiah Montano put up nine points, Brandon Lao had eight points, Justin Burgess had five, and Nick McDonald, Grant Fletchall and Tiburcio Blanton had two points each. “It took us a while to come together as a team and in the second half we picked it up on defense, passed the ball more,” Montano, a sophomore, said. Kirch praised Montano for running the offense well in both games and credited McDonald with solid performances. “Nick does a lot of things...

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Stop, drop and wait

It is time for the Keizer Fire District and Marion County Fire District #1 to stop their bickering, take a breather and plan for a future that few want to acknowledge. The back and forth between the two fire districts, especially in front of the Keizer City Council, has long passed the point of being embarrassing for Keizer. For every point one side makes, the other side refutes it. What are Keizer residents, especially those who live in the Clear Lake area to think? Keizer residents of both fire districts seem to be satisfied with the service they receive. With mutual aid agreements no one’s house will be allowed to burn due to petulant territorial claims; no one will die of a heart attack because there’s disagreement on which district should respond to the emergency call. The two districts (along with the other fire fighting organizations in our region) have a long and proud history of coming to the aid of their brethren. Both the Keizer Fire District and Marion County Fire District #1 are rightly proud of the service they provide their constituents and communities. But that is what we have grown up believing that firefighters do—provide excellent service in times of emergency and tragedy. So the issue of the Clear Lake annexation is more than just about levels of service.  It is about revenue and the sustainability...

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When holidays are not so jolly

By JAN DuPONT, LCSW “Happy holidays!”  You hear it everywhere around you.  Christmas lights, Christmas music, and holiday shoppers fill your senses.  For some the season is “merry and bright,” but for those that are grieving, the holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries may be some of the most difficult times. How do people manage to make sense and meaning of life during days filled with pain and memories of what used to be? Even those that aren’t grieving often feel the pressure of trying to meet holiday deadlines and attend holiday gatherings.  People that are in the midst of grief often feel overwhelmed at these times, which can intensify their sadness. Three tips can help ease these difficult times: plan ahead, accept the pain and grief that exist, and find new ways to celebrate. Sometimes, simple changes in routines can reduce stress and help make the holidays easier after the loss of a loved one. Phil McBrien, a Spiritual Counselor at Willamette Valley Hospice, suggests to plan ahead by making a list of questions to address the holidays, which can help make difficult days more meaningful: What do you want to do during the holidays? What don’t you want to do? What haven’t you tried before? It’s important to think about the emotional roller coaster that may accompany holidays and events such as birthdays and anniversaries. Some experts suggest that...

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Gingrich and his box of matches

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS As a Republican congressman, Newt Gingrich filed ethics charges that led Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright to resign in 1989. Later, the House elected Gingrich speaker. Then, in 1998, Gingrich resigned after his own close encounter with an ethics probe. Wright said he didn’t want to gloat, but he did compare Gingrich to “an arsonist who sets fire to his building without stopping to realize the flames are going to consume his own apartment.” Gingrich truly is, to use one of his favorite phrases, a “transformational figure.” He has this unsettling history of morphing into the very thing he once denounced. Gingrich was right to challenge Wright for skirting ethics rules by peddling copies of his self-published book, “Reflections of a Public Man,” to get around a House cap on members’ speaking fees. So what did Gingrich do as he rose up the leadership ladder? Instead of a book, Gingrich developed a college course — “Renewing American Civilization” — that later became the title of a book. Gingrich defenders have argued that unlike Wright’s book, the course was not about lining personal pockets. OK. But then Newt’s supersize ego led him astray. Course notes extolled the then-GOP whip’s role in creating an “American movement” with a GOP majority as an “advocate of civilization,” a “definer of civilization,” a “teacher of the rules of civilization” and...

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Guide misses reason for holiday

To the Editor:  I received the Keizertimes 2011 Holiday Gift and Event Guide recently in the mail. In spite of a wide variety of events for young and old, the Holiday Guide was missing something key. There were teas and photos with Santa, holiday bazaars, Polar Express IMAX 3D showings, Nutcracker ballet performances, and presentations of It’s a Wonderful Life. There were Christmas festivals, craft fairs, tree lightings, choral concerts, even pet photographs with Santa! Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I thought the “holiday” (Holy Day) we’re celebrating was the birth of Christ. Rather sad and somewhat telling that there was no specific reference to the supposed object of the season—Jesus. While not everyone ascribes to Christian belief, most, if not all, celebrate the Christmas season in some fashion. That said, it appears most of the holiday emphasis is now on food, fun, and gifts. In other words, the emphasis is on us. That’s ironic in light of Jesus’ professed goal of coming to earth as one of us. Namely that was to give his life on a cross as a payment for mankind’s sin. Has the “reason for the season,” the Babe of Bethlehem, been pushed to a small unassuming religious table at the back of the store? So it seems. Mark Manthey...

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