Day: February 3, 2017

KFD honors excellence with annual awards

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Keizer firefighter Matt Dryden pinches himself all the time. “I always wanted to work at Keizer Fire District,” Dryden said. “I’m ecstatic to be here. I was tripping over myself to get my application in. It is truly a huge gift to me, just to work here.” That enthusiasm is just one reason Dryden was voted both Keizer Fire’s 2016 Rookie and Employee of the Year by the district’s captains and chief officers. “Matt is always very happy and cheerful and smiling,” KFD Public Education Specialist Anne-Marie Storms said. Dryden also has a strong work ethic. “You ask him to do something, he’s going to see it to the very end,” Captain Aaron Pittis said. “You never have to worry about any issues whatsoever. Say it once and it’s done.” Dryden, who grew up on a farm between Monitor and Woodburn, moved to Keizer in 2001. He started at KFD as a volunteer in 2005 as a way to meet people and get involved in the community. “I had no envision of making it a career,” Dryden said. “I caught the bug and after a year or so thought I would really like to make this a career. It’s a great way to make a difference in people’s lives.” Dryden remained a volunteer firefighter for five years and began taking classes at Chemeketa...

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Celtics hold on, win first dual

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes With McNary holding on to a four-point lead entering the final match of the night, all Noah Gatchet had to do was not get pinned. But the Celtic freshman decided to do his team one better, picking up a 11-6 decision over Kelton Bollier as McNary defeated South Salem 43-36 on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Gatchet trailed 4-0 before earning 10 straight points in the second period and holding on for the victory. “I can’t think of another kid with a bigger heart on our team and he knew his job when he stepped out on that mat,” McNary head coach Jason Ebbs said. “Instead of being satisfied with not getting pinned, he stayed in good position, he scored points, put the guy on his heels and won that match. Hands down one of the most savvy and intelligent wrestling freshmen I’ve seen come through this program in a while. That’s having the right mindset, not being satisfied with a mediocre job but seeking a higher job and a higher purpose and going after it. I will always promote our kids, win, lose, or draw, always wrestle to win and you’ll find yourself in a good place.” While the Celtics celebrated Gatchet’s performance, even picking up the 106-pounder on their shoulders and chanting, “Noah, Noah,” Ebbs noted the dual victory, McNary’s first of the...

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Divergent paths

Sixty is the new forty.  Sixty-eight is not.  It’s just old.  I am still younger than our newly elected President.  It is a time for introspection. How is it that Donald Trump became a self-professed billionaire president instead of me? It is petty of me to point out that he had a several million dollar head start.  As last born of my parents’ four children they had without complaint taken on three jobs between them by the time I was judged old enough not to do dangerously stupid things, left unsupervised.  That enabled us to enjoy a princely lower...

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Protect Medicare Advantage

To the Editor: I am writing to you as an Oregonian and senior. I am one of over 348,000 Oregonians that benefit from having a Medicare Advantage health care plan. While many people have heard of Medicare and Medicaid, not as many people have heard about Medicare Advantage or know just how beneficial it is for seniors. For myself and every senior on Medicare Advantage, the health plan provides many more options to live a healthy lifestyle, including preventative screenings, routine checkups, the Silver & Fit and Silver & Strong fitness programs, and a gym membership among others. These aspects, which are not often available under traditional Medicare, truly have been a tremendous blessing for me. The program further helps encourage an active lifestyle, leading to a better overall quality of life. Despite this, almost every year Congress proposes new cuts to Medicare Advantage, threatening the very programs that help take care of and promote healthy lifestyles for 348,000 Oregon seniors. More and more seniors are relying on the program, yet it continues to face possible budget cuts at the hands of our legislators. I am so grateful for the support Reps. Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader and Earl Blumenauer, who have already voiced for the program and sincerely urge Oregon’s other members of Congress, and the other seniors relying on Medicare Advantage, to stand up to Congress, let them...

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