Month: January 2012

Cobbler’s elves got nothing on Celtic sandbaggers

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The Brothers Grimm once wrote of an old fairy tale in which an elderly shoemaker get unexpected help from a group of elves that finish his work while he sleeps. On Friday, Jan. 20, a group of McNary High School students brought the tale to life. Local residents stopping at Keizer’s Carlson Skate Park expecting to fill sandbags to combat rising waters got an unexpected surprise – prefilled sacks. Keizerites Gabby Harryman and Lisa Nguyen put out the call on Facebook Thursday, Jan. 19, after Harryman spent the evening filling sandbags at Swegle Elementary School. Throughout the day friends and classmates joined them at the park to fill and load sandbags. “I knew I couldn’t just sit at home knowing what was going to be going on,” Harryman said. “We just started texting friends and it grew out of that,” said Nguyen. “We had a very different group this morning.” Harryman and Nguyen started bagging sand at 8:30 a.m. and thought they had filled close to 2,000 bags by 3:30 p.m. Their third load of sand was beginning to dwindle. “We had a mom come with her two kids and one was about three years old in a car seat, they were just going to fill bags with the kid in the car, but we got them taken care of,” said Jenna...

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School board backs urban renewal plan

By HERB SWETT Of the Keizertimes A reimbursement agreement between the Salem-Keizer School District and the city of Keizer was approved Tuesday at a special School Board meeting. The agreement, already approved by Marion County and several other taxing districts that include Keizer, is aimed at making up for defaults by owners of five parcels in the Keizer Station for local improvement district assessments. The defaults put the city in potential financial jeopardy. The maximum amount of forgone revenue to the school district, subject to verification by the Marion County tax assessor, is $1,810,116.88. The city will reimburse the district annually for up to 10 years, starting Dec. 12 of this year, for the amount the district does not receive because of the agreement. Approval of the agreement had been recommended by school district staff. Superintendent Sandy Husk told the board, “There is no financial advantage to our not approving Director Chuck Lee, whose zone includes Keizer, introduced the motion for approval. He recalled that Keizer had helped the district in 2008 when local leaders worked hard for passage of a $242 million bond issue. Board chair Rick Kimball spoke against the motion, arguing that “we need to look for every penny in our budget.” Director Nancy MacMorris-Adix asked how other taxing entities in the area had voted. Paul Dakopolos, attorney for the district, said that nearly all of...

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Celts helping disburse $5K to local charities

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes A McNary High School leadership class is once again doling out some $5,000 to worthy causes. The class is still seeking recipients through the end of February. The Community 101 program was funded by State Farm and promoted by the Oregon Community Foundation. Each year students survey their peers and find out the issues they feel are most worthy of the funds. Though the student body has gone through virtually 100 percent turnover in the five years the class has been asking questions, answers come back the same: Suicide, teen pregnancy and drug and alcohol abuse rise to the top. “We had about 35 things – homelessness, voter turnout, a wide list,” said Jason Heimerdinger, a McNary teacher who leads the class. “We’ve had the same results every year – teens turning to the issues that are closest to them.” They develop a mission statement. This year’s addressed not only the issues identified in the survey but also boosting “positive after-school activities for students.” Senior Kate Pedersen said activities like the science club and Powderpuff football, both of which have received money in the past from Community 101, benefit students in a variety of ways. “Participating more, they’re less likely to get in trouble out of school, and it gets them more excited to go to school because they have something to look...

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