Month: December 2011

Building a career note by note

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Jesus Gomez doesn’t hear a song like the the rest of us. If we’re lucky, we might latch onto a lyric, a bit of perfect harmony, a melody that gets stuck in our brains for hours, or worse, days. Gomez, a McNary High School senior and music composer, hears all of those. But, more importantly, he hears the places where he can break a song down, parcel it out and insert his own vision. “I listen for message, but it’s the message I want to portray. It’s also the workability of the song I’m trying to find,” Gomez said. He offers up Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack as a song that doesn’t quite work for reinterpretation, “There’s no real melody or harmony, it’s just kind of there, but there are some dance clubs songs where you can explode the musical content.” Gomez certainly isn’t alone in his ability to plumb new depths of a song, but just a few minutes inside the McNary choir room will show any visitor what sets him apart. He regularly directs the choir through its warm-ups and sometimes during class itself closing his eyes tightly and listening intensely for imperfections and areas of improvement. He’s unafraid to stop them mid-note and have them start over if he’s not hearing the choir sing to their potential. More astonishing is that...

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Fitness club members wonder where gym went

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes  A Keizer gym’s abrupt closure has left members wondering what happened to the membership dues they paid. What has some Platinum Sports and Fitness members especially upset is that the gym apparently sold new memberships nearly right up until its closure. One man said he bought one a week before a note was posted on the door saying the gym would be closing at 1 p.m. Thursday, December 22. The owner said he was selling memberships until he made the decision to close that same day. And at least one member said his bank account was charged for monthly membership dues on December 27, several days after the gym had closed. Another said she had been contacted and told it may be reopening in some form or fashion. Platinum Sports and Fitness owner Corey Ahrens said memberships will be transferred to another gym, but declined to say which. Ahrens added there will be no refunds. Platinum Fitness is individually owned and is not part of a chain, and its billing is administered by a third-party firm. “The reason I closed was how horrible the public was about rumors and false information,” Ahrens wrote in an email to the Keizertimes. “Just like now and your story will just feed that fire.” Ahrens said a firm called All State Financial owns the memberships. He said...

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“Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don’t Have in Search of Happiness We Can’t Buy” by James A. Roberts

“Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don’t Have in Search of Happiness We Can’t Buy” by James A. Roberts c.2011, HarperOne $25.99 / $28.99 Canada 353 pages, includes index   By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Your financial goals for the next year are set. On the list are things like “pay off credit cards” and “save for retirement.” You’ll be putting some money away for your business or for emergencies. There will be little splurges, sure, but cautiously. Nothing on the list indicates that you would like to default on your mortgage. There is no “run up credit cards” entry, and you don’t intend to buy something big that you can’t really afford. But can you stick with your goals? What kind of a spender are you, anyhow?  Find out that and more in the new book “Shiny Objects” by James A. Roberts. Money does some strange things. Research shows that an overabundance of it makes people less altruistic. It can cause depression and alter relationships. It obviously puts us in debt – not to buy happiness but to buy stuff, and lots of it. Roberts says we really do live in a material world and we’re “a nation in love with shiny objects.”  That doesn’t make us content: wealthy Americans are, on a happiness scale, virtually equal with Maasai villagers in Africa. Furthermore, we never have enough. When we...

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St. Edward to build new $5.5M church

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Plans are underway to build a large new church for the St. Edward Catholic faithful. Parishioners got a glimpse Sunday at plans for the 11,700 square foot proposed facility. And there’s a massive capital campaign to go along with it: The church hopes to garner $5.5 million in pledges by Easter. “It is ambitious, but we want to keep the monentum going,” said Debbi McCune, who is the capital campaign manager. The church hopes for a 2013 opening, with groundbreaking by fall in 2012. The new building will be on its current campus. The existing building, which has housed the church’ since it opened, will be renovated into meeting space and classrooms. “It was always intended to be a gym,” church business manager Bonnie Henny said of the current facility. “We’ve never built a true church building.” She said the church was spun off of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Salem, when a need was identified for a Catholic church in Keizer. The current building was constructed in anticipation of a school that was never formed. McCune said having a Catholic school in Keizer was not in the cards as of now. In a time when churches nationwide are losing members, the Catholic faith both locally and nationally is buoyed by an influx of immigrants, particularly Latinos, who are predominately Catholic....

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