Day: June 18, 2010

No home town bias for this announcer

By LANCE MASTERSON Of the Keizertimes Though Matt Pedersen acknowledges his style is still evolving, the new voice of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes knows one thing: He isn’t a ‘homer.’ “I try to be as descriptive as possible, fair, but I’m not going to be a homer and celebrate a home run as if it’s the best thing ever,” said Pedersen. This same sense of fairness holds true if a man in red gives less than 100 percent effort on the field. “I’ll definitely be for the Volcanoes. But if it’s a lazy play or something obviously bush league, I’ll feel comfortable pointing that out. I’m not going to be one-sided,” he said. And don’t expect Pedersen to sound like something he’s not. “I’d say that I’m just myself,” he said of his on-air persona. “Some broadcasters will have an on-air voice where they’ll sound completely different than what they sound like during the day. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that; I’m just saying it’s not me.” Pedersen grew up in the Bay Area and followed the Giants. He’s a big fan of Jon Miller, the team’s long-time broadcaster who also works for ESPN. Miller was recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. “I just remember growing up and listening to (Miller) in the car. I really liked him. And I said, wow, you get to watch...

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Military’s loss is baseball’s gain

By LANCE MASTERSON Of the Keizertimes Jerry Howard stayed true to his passion. And the end result is a baseball career that is closing in on 60 years. “I’ve always enjoyed it. I needed to find some niche in life that I could do,” said Howard of his career choice. The young Howard – who is now the senior marketing executive for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes – didn’t have it easy as a youngster. While not exactly in foster care, he wasn’t far from it; as he lived with several different families as a youngster. “Going to school and athletics was something I could hang my hat on,” he said. “It drove me. I didn’t really want to go home because I didn’t have a true home. So I always wanted to be at school, or at the football field, or the gymnasium, or the baseball field, or somewhere.” The Cottage Grove High School graduate also ran track and played summer baseball. But that all changed when he joined the U.S. Air Force out of high school. Howard went through basic training in San Antonio, Texas. He was then stationed 80 miles north of San Antonio on former president Lyndon B. Johnson’s ranch. Howard remained stationed at the ranch for the five years he spent in the military. “My first two years, from ‘61 to ‘63, (Johnson) was actually vice...

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Let the negotiations begin… Board sets price limit on fire truck

By LANCE MASTERSON Of the Keizertimes It could be out with the old and in with the newer for the Keizer Fire District. During its Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting, the board of directors authorized Fire Chief Jeff Cowan to negotiate the purchase of a 17-year-old ladder truck from Salem Fire. The 1993 Pierce truck comes equipped with a 102-foot ladder reach, a fully enclosed cab and lifts up to 2,000 pounds in its basket, Cowan told the board. Any purchase was capped at $70,000 by the board. This figure does not include an estimated $5,000 in related costs that would be incurred by KFD after delivery. Though the truck will be striped with Keizer Fire District decals, it will remain red as an exterior paint job was deemed too expensive. A 3-1 vote provided Cowan with the authority he needed to negotiate on the district’s behalf. Directors Joe Van Meter, Greg Ego and Mike Kurtz voted in favor of the motion while Greg Frank, a former Keizer fire chief, voted against it. Frank requested the vote be delayed at least a month because he wanted to see a 10-year budget forecast before making a decision. Frank wanted to know what kind of impact the purchase would have on staffing numbers. Van Meter acknowledged Frank’s concern, but said district residents will be better served with the new ladder truck. The...

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Summer makeover comes to Whiteaker

By LANCE MASTERSON Of the Keizertimes Whiteaker Middle School will be closed during the summer for major repairs and renovations. “We have major work getting done on the whole building, inside and out,” said Laura Perez, the school’s principal. Construction crews will: •  Replace the roof, windows, floor coverings, siding, water supply lines and damaged ceiling tiles; • Install solid partition walls in eight classrooms; • Repair and/or replace heating and ventilation units; and, • Seal the building’s exterior. Funding for this extensive to-do list mainly comes from the $242 million construction bond that gained voter approval in November 2008. The work is so extensive that the school building will be considered a construction zone and all public access will be blocked to ensure a safe environment. Perez and her summer staff will be based at Gubser Elementary School. They can still be reached by calling the Whiteaker number, 503-399-3224. Moving begins in force Monday, with most items temporarily stored in the gym. Lile Moving & Storage will handle the bulk of the heavy lifting, though district tech staff is in charge of the computers. “Teachers have actually been cleaning their rooms for months,” said Perez. “We asked them to go one shelf at a time beginning the first of the year. If they haven’t used something for three or four years, it’s probably time to let it go.”...

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