Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, July 03, 2015, Image 4

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Cooling stations for Keizer
This summer promises to be a hot
season here in the Willamette Valley.
We’ve already seen a hotter June than
normal and we expect to see high
temperatures in the coming months.
How are those residents without ben-
efi t of air conditioning to fare during
85, 90, 95 or 100 degree days?
People who have option of hun-
kering down in their cooled houses or
driving off to the beach or other wa-
ter playgrounds will do fi ne. Keizeri-
tes who live in houses and apartments
without air conditioning will do the
best they can. Those who can get to
the Keizer Splash Fountain at the civic
center can fi nd heat relief there.
The city leaders must link up with
local churches and Keizer Fire and
Marion County Fire Districts to de-
vise a system of cooling stations for
summer days that are hotter than nor-
mal. The city has a large conference
center, the fi re district’s fi re stations in
Keizer also have large spaces. They can
be opened to those seeking relief from
the heat.
It is not enough to just have a cool
space.There would be need for water
and perhaps cots for the young and
elderly to rest on. Bottled water and
cots can be donated by local churches
in a mission of community service.
Large cities, including Portland,
Seattle and many in the Sunbelt, have
a history of providing cooling sta-
tions durng excessive heatwaves. It is
second nature to those cities in the
southeast and southwest. It is not a
habit here in the Pacifi c Northwest.
To protect and serve the public a part-
nership between governments and the
faith community would allow people
to face hot weather with less dread.
Much like the schedule for Keizer’s
Splash Fountain, opening of cooling
stations could be triggered by reports
of excessive temperatures longer than
one day.
Some people thrive in very hot
weather, some people fl ag in the same
conditions. For those who can’t fend
for themselves we should give them
relief at very little cost but with a big
dividend of an appreciative public.
Eight hands, two shovels, one pool
When the Zaitz family
moved from Keizer to the
Los Angeles area in early
1973 it moved into a house
in Redondo Beach; it had
partial views of downtown
LA and if you craned your
neck just right you could see
the ocean.
It sat on a corner in a nice, quiet
neighborhood. When dad told the
family that the house he and mom
bought had a pool, there was cheer-
ing around the dining room table.
The four of us kids who would make
the move had our fi ngers crossed for
weeks hoping we’d hear this exact
We were moving to sunny Cali-
fornia. And we’d have our own pool.
Things couldn’t get any better. And
then the other shoe dropped.
With a chuckle dad said the pool
was fi lled. With dirt. Apparently the
previous owner enjoyed gardening
more than swimming.
The late January morning our fam-
ily fi rst drove up to our new house all
us kids ran to the postage stamp-sized
backyard to see our pool. Who could
care about our new rooms when there
was a pool just steps from the back
Dad said from the beginning that if
we kids would shovel out all the dirt
out of the pool he would have it re-
surfaced and made operable. He said
we could be swimming by June.
Our fi rst task was to rip out all the
plants in the pool, then the work real-
ly began. We had shovels. We had one
wheelbarrow. We started shoveling.
I don’t remember thinking about
how much dirt was actually in that
pool, it was certainly not Olympic size
but you could swim laps in it, not that
that’s what us kids wanted to do with
the pool.
It became clear quite quickly that
we did not have nearly enough space
on our corner lot to dump the dirt.
We added a lot to the fl ower beds
around the house, but that was only
a dozen or so wheelbarrow loads. We
started dumping the dirt in a pile at
the driveway and stuck in a ‘free dirt’
sign. Of course that sign would come
weeks after we started digging out the
We three boys and our sister, Janet,
made that project our
full time job. After school
we’d dig and wheel dirt
out to the street. There
was no play for us kids on
those weekends—it was
dig, shovel and wheel.
Over and over.
It seemed we were
making no progress; we’d dig and dig
and didn’t seem to get anywhere. The
pool was still fi lled with dirt.
After many weeks and thousands
of loads of dirt we hit the bottom of
the pool. Our determination kicked
in and we worked harder and longer.
We would be swimming by summer,
we excitedly told ourselves.
While the pool got emptier, the
dirt pile got bigger. Our mountain
of dirt attracted attention, a patrol car
stopped by one time and said we had
to get our dirt pile off the street. Cars
and pickups would stop and take as
much of the dirt as they wanted.
The fi nal shovelfuls of dirt were
excavated. We swept the empty pool,
washed it down and waited for the
contractors to arrive to sandblast and
refi nish it; dad built a new facade
around the pumphouse. A new pump
and fi lter were installed. The digging
and restoring project was done.
Just as we had no idea how much
dirt it takes to fi ll up a swimming pool
we had no idea how long it would
take for one garden hose to fi ll it again
with water. It was the most torturous
week we kids had ever experienced.
Each morning we’d awake and run
out back to see how much progress
the garden hose had made. Slowly,
inch by inch, water crept to the top.
The inaugural plunge took place
about three months after we fi rst
starting digging. All that hard paid off.
There was a six foot wall on one side
and a detached garage on another,
both were perfect places from which
to jump into the pool. The Zaitz kids
lived in that pool all the summer and
successive years.
We worked hard for something
we wanted and were rewarded hand-
somely with the best toy a kid Oregon
could have: a pool just steps outside
the backdoor.
All it took was four kids and a cou-
ple of shovels.
on my
(Lyndon Zaitz is editor and pub-
lisher of the Keizertimes.)
Wheatland Publishing Corp. • 142 Chemawa Road N. • Keizer, Oregon 97303
phone: 503.390.1051 • web: • email:
Lyndon A. Zaitz, Editor & Publisher
One year: $25 in Marion
County, $33 outside Marion
County, $45 outside Oregon
Publication No: USPS 679-430
Send address changes to:
Keizertimes Circulation
142 Chemawa Road N.
Keizer, OR 97303
Periodical postage paid at
Salem, Oregon
The responsibilities of liberty
A wise editor once advised me not
to respond to the inevitable criticisms.
Martin Doerfl er’s able and concise
response to the most recent backlash
relieves me of that need.
But since that original piece we’ve
had another sickeningly stupid shoot-
ing. A young man entered a church
and shot nine worshipers dead. So I
ask, was it Dylann Roof ’s inviolable
right to own that murderously effi -
cient weapon?
The founding fathers, noting the
need for a well-regulated militia,
ended the Second Amendment with
“the right to keep and bear arms shall
not be infringed.” As Doerfl er notes,
there are a host of restrictions, or in-
fringements, on private ownership of
weapons. Of the staggering variety
of weapons manufactured within U.S.
borders only the tiniest fraction can
legally be owned by private citizens.
Would I welcome restrictions to
the First Amendment—being tested
and vetted before publicly express-
ing my opinions? In fact nothing of
mine has ever made it onto this page
without being examined and edited
by qualifi ed professional journal-
ists. There are many restrictions on
published works, most of which I am
aware and glad of. I do not feel re-
The main objection to the origi-
nal piece was
my failure to
separate rights
from privileg-
es. If we ac-
cept Thomas
Jefferson as a
authority then the self-evident truth
is that “all men are created equal, en-
dowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these
are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of
Happiness.” The Constitution did not
“grant” those rights, but was created
to protect them.
Privileges come from a great many
places outside of government. I had
the privilege of shopping at Costco
this afternoon because I grudgingly
fork over $55 a year. Tonight I might
sit and stare at a television program,
a privilege I am granted simply by
sending a check to Comcast each
Another Jefferson quote was not-
ed in a letter to the editor in today’s
Oregonian. “I am not an advocate for
frequent changes in laws and consti-
tutions, But laws and institutions must
go hand in hand with the progress of
the human mind. As that becomes
more developed, more enlightened, as
new discoveries are made, new truths
discovered and manners and opinions
change, with the change of circum-
Today’s high schools are relics of
an age when the teacher was the pos-
sessor of knowledge and wisdom that
was imparted to assemblies of students.
Sitting in uncomfortable desks and not
allowed to slouch, they were expected
to say nothing unless a question was
asked and an invitation to show the
ability to answer was allowed by hands
raised. Thereby, one eager learner
was chosen among the throng to at-
tempt an answer that the teacher, and
only the teacher, would acknowledge
as correct...or not.
That scene could have been wit-
nessed 100-, 50-, 25-years ago and it
can still be witnessed most every day
schools are in session. That continues
to be true, even though today’s high
school age youth bring their respective
knowledge, experience and know-
how outside the classroom, some-
times superior to the teacher, that was
not available to them before modern-
day technology.
The conditions of the typical high
school too often place a damper on
creativity and destroy inventiveness
and unique ability that could have
contributed to something worthwhile
if it had not been repressed and de-
stroyed in a high school. Some will lie
and say they liked it, those are usually
the prized athletes and students who
played the game for A grades. Per-
sonally, discussing high school with
friends over the years of my life, I
never met anyone who confessed to
liking his years there.
Inspiration to write about this sub-
ject came from an opinion piece in
The Oregonian by OHSU’s President
Joe Robertson, Marylhurst’s Mel-
ody Rose, and PSU’s Wim Wiewel.
The three of them were invited to
help Portland’s St. Mary’s Academy
plan for a major expansion of their
high school campus and could infl u-
ence makeovers of Portland’s public
high schools, too.
The three want educators to keep
in mind that “more and more learning
will be self-directed and will draw on
sources of information and knowledge
far beyond the
teacher and the
school.” They
reader that stu-
dents no longer
come to school
heads ready for teachers to fi ll while
principals hold every kid for robotic
obedience in a Full Nelson. Teach-
ers nowadays, they argue, should be
guides who help youth to explore
their paths of interest and develop
their interests and skills.
They also borrow a thought or two
from John Dewey, yesteryear educa-
tion leader, when he wisely advised
that youth learn best by doing. In the
reimagined high school, some will do
best in collaborative study, others by
individual assistance, some can best
develop abroad and then there are
other innovative means used in a cre-
ative atmosphere.
The reforms that should be under-
way cannot be expected to come from
teachers or, even less likely, school ad-
ministrators. These folks are more of-
ten among the most conservative, tra-
dition-bound Americans. They keep
their jobs by doing reasonably well at
a box
stances, institutions must advance also
to keep pace with the times. We might
as well require a man to wear still the
coat which fi tted him when a boy as
civilized society to remain ever under
the regiment of their barbarous an-
cestors.” That such a profound mind
was joined to such profound humil-
ity shows he expected much of us.
Thomas Jefferson hoped an informed
and responsible citizenry would react
to their own times, would grow and
govern themselves. He, more than
anyone, knew that the Constitution
didn’t arrive from the mount, etched
onto stone tablets.
I wonder who on the board of the
NRA could conjure up any plausible
connection between Dylann Roof
and a “well-regulated militia.” Any
honest discussion of gun rights going
forward will have to include what was
intended by that phrase’s inclusion in
the Second Amendment.
If you can afford a car and meet all
requirements necessary for ownership
you are free to do it. If you can af-
ford a gun and meet all requirements
necessary for ownership you are free
to do that. One is a right, one is a
privilege—neither seems unalienable,
both are subject to restriction. The
responsibility is ours.
(Don Vowell gets on his soapbox
regularly in the Keizertimes.)
Can we make education engaging?
gene h.
what’s always been done while school
administrators and their “leaders,” su-
perintendents of schools, are so busy
trying to keep a lid on what’s always
been done for the coveted FTEs, that
they’re afraid to implement a new idea,
much less to try different approaches
that address modern day challenges.
Badly needed changes will most
likely never come from those who
keep the torches lit for the “tried and
true” which is what I’ve personally
observed here in the Salem-Keizer
area, where we have a new superin-
tendent who won’t answer emails
from district taxpayers. Eventually,
under the weight of more and more
disillusioned youth and their parents,
those who fi nd the high school less
and less applicable and relevant, the
institution will ultimately crumble
from old age and from the inter-
nal rot already in advanced form. As
long as we continue to hire people to
“lead” in our schools who are rigid
and fi xed in their faith of past practic-
es, nothing will change beyond higher
salaries for superintendents who prove
their worth by standing fi rm in hide-
bound traditions.
(Gene H. McIntyre’s column ap-
pears weekly in the Keizertimes.)