Month: June 2016

“This is Your Brain on Parasites” by Kathleen McAuliffe

“This is Your Brain on Parasites” by Kathleen McAuliffe c.2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $27.00 / $39.00 Canada 288 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER You didn’t get much sleep last night.  You were too busy checking windows. The blame for that lies squarely on that creepy show you’ve been watching on TV; all you could think about was what it would be like to be eaten by zombies. But read the new book “This is Your Brain on Parasites” by Kathleen McAuliffe, and you’ll see that the real danger isn’t outside your window. It’s inside your skin. As an adult human being, you are in control of your life. You’re rational, decisive, and interpretive – or are you? Could it be possible that your decisions, food choices, sex life, and personality are driven by something you picked up from your last vacation, your local grocery store, or your cat? Yes, says science writer McAuliffe, it’s not only possible – it’s probable. Parasites, which include viruses and bacteria, have been around for about as long as humans have, and some of them are beneficial: you literally could not live without the flora in your gut, for instance. As for the nasty ones, McAuliffe says, “virtually every aspect of the human body’s design bears witness” to their presence and to the “age-old struggle” to thwart what those parasites can do. By...

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Hopkins retires from Keizer Elementary

At the end of every school year, Gay Hopkins gets out her magic wand and turns all her Keizer Elementary second graders into third graders. It’s a ritual that has meant so much to students that one recently asked Hopkins to bring the wand to her graduation at Linfield College to turn her into a nurse. But Hopkins did her magic for the final time last week. After 34 years, 31 in the Salem-Keizer School District, including 18 at Keizer Elementary, she is retiring. Hopkins has wanted the same thing for all of her students—a great life and an invite to their graduation. “I hope my enthusiasm for learning really makes a difference for all of my students,” she said. “I want them to feel positive that they can do it. I want them to appreciate and enjoy what they’ve got.” While her mom was a teacher, it was once the last thing Hopkins wanted to be when she grew up. “In middle school, I was absolutely not going to be a teacher,” she said. “I think it was rebellious. I’m not going to be like my parents.” But in high school she changed her mind and enrolled at Western Oregon University. After graduation, Hopkins accepted a position in South America, teaching English to kindergarteners in Colombia. “I always wanted to go overseas and be a foreign exchange student...

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Business move revived south River Road offices

By ERICA. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes When Valerie and Geoff White signed a lease to move their property management and construction businesses to Keizer in July 2014, it was something of a watershed moment. “There hadn’t been an office lease signed in Keizer in the previous nine months,” said Valerie. Their businesses, Encompass Management & Consulting (EMC) and Central Valley Construction Group, were truly only about a year old at the time. But, since setting down stakes at 132 Glynbrook Street N., EMC has grown from nine employees to 32 and helped revitalize two suites of office space on the site. It led to the Whites purchasing both buildings two months ago. “We were terrified because the businesses were so young,” Geoff said. “But it was the right time for each step we took and nothing felt forced.” Since leasing a space on the property, which had been vacant for almost six years after a local attorney moved to a new location, the number of other tenants has also grown to include an in-home care administration office, a hearing device office, a flooring company, a training center for a knife company, a bookkeeping firm and an excavation company. “We still have space available and I would love to add some retail business. We could easily accommodate something like a nail salon,” said Valerie. Geoff and Valerie set up EMC...

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