Month: November 2011

Lady Celts stack roster with talented returners

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School girls varsity basketball team will, for the most part, be picking up where it left off last season. “We’re starting off where we finished, we can build on that and keep getting better,” said Deven Hunter, a McNary senior. The Celtics return six starters from their last season: Hunter, Teresa Peterson, Stacey Titchenal, Jessica Darras, Averi Win and Baili Keeton. The biggest change among that core group is Hunter signing to play for the Oregon State University Beavers two weeks ago. Hunter, the tallest player in the Central Valley Conference, averaged 18 points a game last season mostly on the inside, but she’ll be transitioning to a three guard role at OSU, so fans should expect her to spend a noticeable amount of time in the three-point range. “She’s developing her outside game we want to help her develop that,” said Molly Gehley, McNary head coach. “I think it gives us a lot of confidence as a team.” Gehley expects Hunter to be pivotal as the Celts progress through the season, but doesn’t want her to become a crutch. “We don’t want to rely too much on her and Deven is very committed to that, too. She gives up passes we tell her not to give up. We have some great tools, we just have to make sure...

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Colleagues seek to have new school named for Keizer educator, coach

Staff and administrators at Bush Elementary School are working hard to have a new south Salem elementary school named after a former Keizer man, educator and coach. Salvador Reyes taught physical education for more than 23 years at Bush Elementary School and lost a battle with stomach cancer earlier last May, but he left an indelible mark on students and colleagues at Bush. Those same colleagues have now proposed naming an under-construction south Salem elementary school after Reyes. “[Sal] taught us all that, ‘Your friend is more important than the game!’ For many years, as a Site Director for the Migrant Summer School Program, he led dedicated groups of teachers in educating students, while preserving the language and culture of his native homeland,” supporters at Bush wrote in a nomination form. Anyone can propose new names for the school that will open in 2012, and Bush staff are hoping others will join in their pursuit in honoring their fallen friend. Nomination forms are due by Wednesday, Nov. 30, are available at www.salkeiz.k12.or.us and the Salem-Keizer School Board will announce the new school name in March...

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Business concerns nix Jingle Bell Run

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Plans for a foot race before the Festival of Lights parade were denied by the city council after several local businesspeople said it would hurt sales. While the parade will still happen as scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, the planned 5K, a fundraiser for the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, will not. Several representatives of local businesses protested it would close them down for too long in a busy shopping season – the planned route was along River Road just before the parade. The city council voted 4-3 to deny the permit. “It’s going to shut our businesses down for an extra hour a half or two hours,” said John Sandstrom, who owns Quickie’s. “I’m not in favor of this at all.” Representing Town and Country Lanes, Mardi Smith said closing the street earlier in the day cuts both into their league and open play times. And Nora Nelson, an agent at the nearby liquor store, said she’d miss out on high evening sales in one of the year’s busiest days. More protestations came from the Keizer Renaissance Inn. Sales Manager Sherrie Gottfried said scheduled holiday parties would be difficult to coordinate if the city’s main arterial were closed for some four hours on a Saturday night. “I am urging you to think long and hard about considering an additional event that...

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Parade is good for Keizer

In a little more than two weeks the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade will make its way down River Road. It’s very few cities that get to call themselves home to two distinct, large parades. The organizers recognized Keizer as the perfect location to bring their parade after a one year hiatus. It is up to all of us to confirm their choice was the correct one. Sure, thousands of Keizer residents will undoubtedly line River Road on Saturday, Dec. 10, to watch the largest lighted parade west of the Mississippi.  But just as important will be how the businesses along Keizer’s main thoroughfare help themselves to take advantage of the thousands of people that will be right outside their respective front doors. Parade organizers would be thrilled to see the River Road lined with thousands of spectators coming from throughout the region. The Festival of Lights Holiday Parade has a history of bringing people out even in the worst kind of weather. It would thrill the organizers and other community boosters to see businesses along the route embrace the parade’s presence but also use it as a marketing opportunity. Social media has changed the marketing landscape for many businesses over the past decade, but nothing beats retail, person-to-person marketing. The owner of a non-retail business which normally closes at 5 p.m. or doesn’t even operate on a Saturday...

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Reyes was the kind of person schools should be named for

When Keizerite Salvador Reyes learned he would have to undergo chemotherapy for stomach cancer he began scheduling his appointments at dawn. The Bush Elementary School physical education teacher wanted to make certain the appointments didn’t interfere with the time he got to spend with his students. In private, he shared with his colleagues his hope that some future day one of those students would become a doctor and find a cure for cancer. Unfortunately, Reyes’ time ran out May 21, 2011, when he succumbed to the disease. Only time will tell if Reyes’ dream is realized, but his colleagues at Bush are seeking to honor him for all the sacrifices he made to help his students realize their dreams. They are campaigning to have a new south Salem elementary school named after Reyes and the district would be hard-pressed to find a more fitting honoree. In addition to his duties in the classroom, Reyes was Bush’s site director for the Migrant Summer School Program. An immigrant himself, he knew well the challenges facing the new generation of migrant students. Reyes also volunteered his time as a soccer coach in youth leagues and at McNary High School. The involvement allowed continue contributing to a sport that had been a passion since his time as star player at South Salem High School and Willamette University. The district’s criteria for nominees is...

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