Month: July 2014

McNary student helping redefine ‘pageant girl’

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes At 17, Brandi Urban has achieved something a lot of people spend much of their lives seeking: self-confidence. Being named Oregon’s National American Miss in May was just part of the journey. “I had a queen from another pageant take me under her wing the first time I competed. That helped me through the first year, and it was a big part of the reason I had so much fun. Now I get to do that for other girls,” Urban said. Urban has competed in the National American Miss (NAM) pageant since her sixth grade year and won the crown and the title for the first time this year. She also scooped up awards for Cover Girl, Most Volunteer Service, Best Thank You Letter, Most Recommendations, Most Ticket Sales, Portfolio Award, Spirit of America and Outstanding Participation. The volunteer service award is one she’s particularly proud of given her high level of involvement with Eagles Auxiliary 2255 fundraisers and charity drives, as a counselor for Outdoor School, and as official team photographer for the Salem Spartan rugby team. “It was a surprise to learn that they were actually awarding it based off volunteer service during the prior three years, but I’d always used one year’s worth of service and still won it,” Urban said. As the youngest of five siblings, Urban spent...

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Welcome home, Officer Ricketts

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Seeing an officer at school during lunch this coming year isn’t necessarily a negative. Especially not if it’s Keizer Police Department officer Travis Ricketts with his two children – Allison, 9 and Cole, 6. Ricketts, a former KPD reserve officer, was hired by the KPD on June 18 and started riding solo July 17, following four weeks of training with officer James Young. A 1995 McNary High School graduate and Keizer native, Ricketts was a mechanic for 13 years before switching to law enforcement. After being a reserve officer for a year-and-a-half, Ricketts took a job as a full-time officer with the Beaverton Police Department. He commuted from Keizer each day. Now, Ricketts has come back home. Once he saw the opening at KPD, he talked about it extensively with wife Sara, who also hails from the area originally. “This is where I wanted to be,” Ricketts said. “I’ve always lived here and been a part of the community. It was hard to leave Beaverton, but it was an easy decision to come back. There were tons of emotions. “I’m relieved because the process is over. I’m happy and ecstatic because I got the job offer. But it’s sad because I had to leave my friends in Beaverton. I’m excited to be working close to home.” Ricketts isn’t the only one liking the...

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“North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both” by Cea Sunrise Person

“North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both” by Cea Sunrise Person c.2014, Harper $25.99 / $32.99 Canada 339 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER You stopped in the store the other day, and stopped short. In all its electric-colored glory, tie-dye is back. Or maybe it never left, just passed down by Baby Boomers like you who also loved groovy music, an everybody-helps-everybody mentality, and how wonderfully carefree that felt. Ah, the good ol’ days… or were they?  For author Cea Sunrise Person, the answer was “no” for years, but in her new memoir “North of Normal,” she explains how she made peace with it. Cea Sunrise Person’s grandfather was more at home in nature than he was anywhere else. He’d always wanted to live in the outdoors and so, shortly after he came home from Korea, he took his new bride to live in the wilderness. In about the mid-60s, the family (including three girls and a boy) moved to Wyoming, then to California where they fit in perfectly: they’d already embraced the emerging counter-culture, so “pot smoking, nude cookouts, and philosophical discussions” were easy additions. Their home soon became known as a clothing-optional place to hang out and score drugs, and “the parents were always totally groovy with it all.” Not-so-groovy: Person’s mother was sixteen when she...

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Candidates spar in governor debate

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Dennis Richardson kept attacking. For the most part, Gov. John Kitzhaber steered clear of the attacks. The two candidates for governor sparred during their first debate last Friday, July 18 at the Salem Convention Center, as part of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual summer conference. A number of media outlets, including the Keizertimes, streamed the 90-minute debate live online. Kitzhaber, a Democrat, is seeking a fourth term while Richardson, a Republican, has been a state legislator since 2003. “What we’ve done together over the past four years is to create a political operational center that used to be the hallmark of our state,” Kitzhaber said. “It allows us to work as a community. Together, we’ve taken on these difficult challenges and together we’ve succeeded. Leaders from both parties have put people back to work and we’ve closed the budget gap.” Richardson, meanwhile, immediately went on the attack. “Governor Kitzhaber must explain his third term failures,” Richardson said, referencing Cover Oregon and the Columbia River Crossing projects. “I believe being governor is a full-time job. For three years the governor has been missing in action. It’s important for the governor to show up. The governor is not tuned into governing. He’s not paying attention and his list of failures proves it.” Richardson said the most important job he’s held was that of parent....

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Keizer woman recalls the echoes of WWII

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Keizerite Joy Bebee’s lasting impression of war is its sounds. “There is never any quiet. The bombs get bigger and bigger. We had anti-aircraft guns stationed in a nearby park, there were planes in the sky, a railway track several hundred feet away carried rocket guns back and forth. Once the windows were blown out in our home, they were replaced with linen held in place with strips of wood and the wind would blow and you could hear the linen moving,” Beebe said. Even the silences were marked by a peculiar lack of noise. “When Dunkirk fell, things got quiet, very quiet. We all knew what was coming then. They told us that there would be peace in our time, but the enemy only had one more step before entering Britain. We sort of braced ourselves for it at that point,” said Bebee, who still speaks with a mild British accent despite 57 years on American soil. Bebee was 14 years old and living with her family south of London when the British entered World War II alongside France, Australia and New Zealand. Her father, a veteran of World War I, was chronically ill after being gassed twice in that conflict and Bebee’s mother kept the family together. The area where Bebee’s family lived was 22 miles from the coastline in...

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