Day: April 22, 2011

The Easter Exposé: Down the rabbit hole with Peter Cottontail

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The nameplate on the desk reads “P. Cottontail” in gold gothic lettering. It and the royal blue faberge egg with white gold scalloping trim are the only extravagances in the otherwise spartan warren. He opens the egg and offers a jellybean. His fur bristles under a blue sportcoat when asked what he does when not prepping for the one day a year when he has to work. “People think we spend all year buttoned up in some hole in the ground waiting for for Easter to roll around. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth,” he says. He slips a paw under his desk and the bookcase on the wall behind him slides to the left with a whoosh, the air pressure in the room slips causing ears to pop. “Follow me,” says the bunny, a glint in his eye. The first stop is a cavernous coop. The hens seem happy and well-tended atop their nests. “The average hen lays about 250 eggs a year and there’s 2.2 billion children in the world. It takes 8 million chickens to make sure we have enough. We feed them only the premium, organic stuff. Happy hens make the best eggs,” he says. A large counter on the wall ticks off a few dozen numbers every second as eggs slide down...

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Breakfast supports refuge for child abuse victims

A benefit breakfast set for April 26 helps a Salem-area child abuse assessment center. The 7 a.m. event at the Keizer Civic Center benefits Liberty House, a non-profit organization providing a place for children to go when possibly harmed by abuse or neglect. Speakers include Jeramy Williams, the 2010 Keizer First Citizen, and Rick Day, 2010 Keizer Merchant of the Year. Services at the center include a kid-friendly interview center and medical check-ups. It’s the only center like it in Marion County. It opened in April 1999. It serves infants all the way up to 18-year-olds. Services are voluntary and free. It also provides support for non-offending caregivers. The breakfast is free, but reservations are required by calling Brenda Kidder at 503-540-0288 ext. 318, emailing her at bkidder@libertyhousecenter.org, or signing up at libertyhousecenter.org. Day, who himself spent time in the foster care system as a child, called Liberty House “a fantastic resource for law enforcement agencies, as they are experts at professionally interviewing kids and making the case as well as being a resource for the child and family. “The abuse of children is still a huge issue, more acute with drugs, unemployment or history of abuse,” Day added. “When I was in the foster system I would say over one-fourth of the boys and one-half of the girls I talked to had suffered from some sort of abuse,...

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Lady Celts blanked by Saxons, beat Titans

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Staring down the barrel of a four-game week, Jordyn Hanson, McNary’s starting softball pitcher, boiled down her strategy to a single word: ice. But she offered the following, too: “We need to stay focused all week, we can’t underestimate any opponent. We have to play them all to our ability and not theirs.” The Lady Celts entered the gauntlet coming off a week that included one win, a 3-0 victory over West Salem High School, and a loss, 11-0 to South Salem High School. In addition to frequent ice packs, Hanson hoped to bottle up the nerves that got the best of her in the game with the Saxons. “I think it was just that team being as good as they are, it made us all nervous and everything that could go wrong went wrong,” she said. The Saxons racked up 10 runs in the first inning with Hanson on the mound, but McNary head coach Jeff Auvinen, said it wasn’t a result of a single breakdown. “Every contact point they made it was finding a hole somewhere. They hit some balls hard, but most of the time they just found the right spots and had a couple of great bunts and we weren’t overly aggressive on defense,” Auvinen said. After the 10th run, Tiffany Kottek stepped out to the mound taking...

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Chasing Usain: Dissecting sprinters’ need for speed

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Sprinting is one of the oft-overlooked aspect’s of track and field precisely because it goes by so fast, but for Amadi Amaitsa that’s also the allure. “You feel like Usain Bolt,” he said. Bolt is the current Olympic champion in sprinting and the fastest man in the world. “It’s a big adrenaline rush and you just want to keep going and not stop,” added Bruce Waldner. Other advantages compared to some track and field events are obvious, but less-frequently given voice for fear of enraging teammates. “The most you do is one lap around the track and you don’t have pace yourself,” said Laura Donaldson. But that doesn’t mean there’s less work to be done in preparation for their events. “We run 300’s all the time. A lot of people think we have the easy workout because we have tiny intervals, but you’re going all out to hit a certain time,” said James Lowells. Workouts also include plenty of resistance training with large rubber bands to hone fast-twitch muscles for generating short bursts of strength and speed, Amaitsa added. One of the primary differences between sprint and distance runners is their reliance on fast-twitch muscles. Fast-twitch muscles fire more rapidly, while slow-twitch muscles release energy slowly giving distance runners endurance at the expense of speed, and sprinting is a sport where time...

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McNary splits games with West, South

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary boys varsity baseball team added a win and a loss to their record last week, but offense wasn’t a problem in either game. “We were offensively good enough to win both games, the problem was our defense wasn’t good and, as a result, West Salem scored every single inning,” said Larry Keeker, McNary head coach. The Titans put 11 runners across home plate on 14 hits en route to an 11-6 win. “Our errors killed us and I think if we hadn’t made as many we could have taken them,” said junior Justin Burgess. McNary had three runs in both the first and sixth innings. McNary went churned through four pitchers, Travis Marks, Justin Lowe, Ryan Herberger and DJ Harriman trying extinguish West Salem’s fire at the plate. Spencer Rice was one for four with a double. Ty Wyatt was two for three with a home run and four RBIs. Marks was two for three with a home run and two RBIs. “We gave West a lot of runs and our bats just sort of died later in the game,” said Celt Kyle Knight. “The good news was that we saw adversity in our first two games of the conference play and it showed us what we needed to get better at.” The Celts followed up the loss with a...

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