Day: June 4, 2010

Celts baseball coach is going, going, gone

          By LANCE MASTERSON Of the Keizertimes Simply shocking. “It’s kind of a shock for me. It’s kind of a shock for everyone I’ve told so far,” said Craig Nicholas as he explained how his inner circle reacted when he told them he was stepping down as head coach of the McNary baseball program. Nicholas’s coaching career spans 28 years. He joined former McNary coach Vic Backlund’s staff as junior varsity coach in 1985. He became the Celts’ head coach in 1999 when Backlund won a seat in the state legislature. “Craig was a very...

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City budget up for approval

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes The city of Keizer and urban renewal budgets will be up for approval at the Monday, June 7 Keizer City Council meeting. A combination of utility rate and fee increases, along with pay freezes for non-represented employees, will help to balance this year’s budget without layoffs or furloughs. Ongoing cuts to police overtime, along with travel and training, are helping to fill gaps created by lower-than-expected revenues, along with cuts to the Keizer Community Library, parks and public art. A proposed water rate increase was shot down at the Budget Committee, but new fees and increased rates will add about $26 per year to the average household utility bill, city officials said. The increases will be part of a package that adds a stormwater license fee, and increases stormwater rates and the sewer license fee. Police – who had been slated for a layoff – won’t see a position cut, but they are taking steps to cut back spending. The department is cutting back its Community Response Unit – which targets areas with chronic problems, particularly drug sales – reducing the unit from four officers to two. Police Chief Marc Adams also said the department is removing an officer from the Drug Enforcement Agency Task...

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Rain delays work on Lockhaven, Wheatland

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Rainy weather has delayed the start of road work in north Keizer. Crews will be resurfacing Lockhaven Drive NE from Trail Avenue to 14th Avenue, and Lockhaven Drive N. from Windsor Island Road to River Road. [MAP: 6] They’ll also be working on Wheatland Road N., from just south of 2nd Avenue all the way to the north city limits. Drivers should expect the roads to be down to one lane while work is happening. Detours such as Chemawa Road and River Road are recommended. It’s about a $900,000 project, but it’s being funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, also known as federal stimulus dollars. “This project was put together in the necessary timeframes to meet the federal rules,” said Public Works Director Rob Kissler. “These projects need to be finished by June 30, 2010.” The expected start date depends on whether weather cooperates, Kissler said. Work on Lockhaven Drive NE – that’s the portion east of River Road – will be between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The other work will be done during the daytime. Contractor is Knife River Construction. The Wheatland Road and Lockhaven Drive N. projects will add a one-inch leveling lift and two-inch overlay across the entire street. On Lockhaven Drive NE, the center lane doesn’t need repairs and won’t be resurfaced, Kissler said, but both...

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New principal ‘excited’ about coming to McNary High School

By HERB SWETT and LANCE MASTERSON For the Keizertimes “It’s not a job I was looking for, but it’s a job I’m excited about.” That is what John Honey, soon to be principal of McNary High School, told a small group of students and parents at an evening meeting held Thursday, May 27, at the school. Honey is involved in a three-way move of Salem-Keizer Public Schools principals, having been principal at North Salem High School for seven years. He will succeed Ken Parshall, who will become principal of McKay High School.  Cynthia Richardson, principal at McKay, will take the same position at North Salem. Honey told visitors that his main concern is learning the culture of the Keizer community, not making any particular changes at McNary. “The big thing you can do for me,” he told students, “is to go to your friends and say, ‘That Honey guy is really interested about coming here.’” He said the only other administrative change McNary is about to have is a change in athletic directors, because Mike Maghan is retiring. Succeeding him will be Ron Richards, now athletic director at McKay and a former University of Montana head football coach. Asked whether he planned to start a Junior Army ROTC program at McNary, he said he has not been planning on it but will see how much local interest there is....

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