Month: December 2010

Students’ awe inspires Crystal Apple winner

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes As a student teacher, recent Crystal Apple Award winner Michele Nowlin followed one of her young charges out of the classroom to recess one day. He was the last one out of the classroom and bundled up for cold weather. As he hit the top of the stairs leading down to the playground, he threw up his arms and shouted, “I’m fwee, fwee as a bird.” “That joy is what a kindergartner is.,” said Nowlin, a kindergarten teacher at Gubser Elementary School. “There is an awe in a five-year-old who is in school for the first time. They still enjoy being here, it’s all fun and new to them.” Her approach to the job earned her the admiration of her colleagues with the presentation of a Salem-Keizer Education Foundation Crystal Apple, the award recognizes local educators who provide students with educational options, go beyond their regular job duties to benefit students, and demonstrate best practices. Nominations come from community members, students and parents. Nowlin was nominated for the award, in part, by her classroom assistant Becky Peloquin, who was nominated for a Crystal Apple last year. Nowlin has taught at Gubser for 11 years. However, kindergarten wasn’t her first choice when she began her career. When she went to a school in Independence as a college student looking for a class to...

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Miracle of Christmas returns to Gubser

Lights go on Dec. 3 in Gubser The miracle is coming once again. The Keizer Miracle of Christmas lighting display will again have the Gubser neighborhood awash in the glow of holiday cheer – and, of course, lots and lots of lights. The tradition, which raises money and food for the Marion Polk Food Share, draws eyes from around the region. The display begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and cars will be roaming the neighborhood from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. through Dec. 26. It’s expected that nearly 20,000 vehicles will pass through the neighborhood. There’s no admission fee, but as the event is a fundraiser for hungry families in the mid-Willamette Valley, donations are always welcome. Cans and non-perishable food donations along with cash are welcomed. Last year, the event netted more than 21,000 pounds of food and $16,200 in donations to the Marion-Polk Food Share. Organizers remind attendees that there are no public restrooms available, and visitors should keep their headlights on at all times while driving through. It is a residential neighborhood, so please be aware and courteous to pedestrians and residents trying to get in and out of driveways. The display is also walkable, with sidewalks throughout the Gubser neighborhood. If you choose to walk it, please park at either Whiteaker Middle School, 1605 Lockhaven Drive NE, or at Gubser Elementary School, 6610...

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Welcoming business among top priorities for city councilors

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Encouraging a business-friendly environment tops the priority list of Keizer’s unopposed council candidates elected earlier this month. Lore Christopher won her sixth two-year term as mayor. Councilor Jim Taylor won his third term to Position No. 4, and Councilor Cathy Clark won her second term in Position No. 5. Joe Egli, current president of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce and a local insurance agent, won his first electoral bid in Position No. 5. Christopher wants to encourage more daytime employment, particularly near Exit 260. And while she didn’t express much hope of an urban growth boundary expansion in the next two years she hopes to lay down the map. “We don’t have the map today,” she said. She said she isn’t interested in taking in high-value farmland, “but there are a lot of places with low-grade farmland.” She, like Clark, are fond of the idea of a corporate business park within the city limits. And Christopher thinks more daytime employees working in Keizer will encourage more sit-down restaurants to locate here. “It would be an ideal jumping off point for medical offices working with Portland and Salem,” Christopher said. “We have a terrific location.” The mayor said zoning will need to be in place to encourage businesses to locate here. “Businesses want to come to cities who want them,” she said. “… We...

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