Day: May 14, 2012

Blaze in building behind east Keizer home

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Fire crews responded to a shop blaze behind a home at 1685 Dixon Street NE Monday afternoon. Cause of the fire is not yet known. The homeowner, Richard DeVilliers, was making a salad in his kitchen when he caught a glimpse of smoke out his window. He discovered more smoke billowing from a detached building behind the house, and saw a few flames from its carport. “I ran out there with a big fire extinguisher and I started fighting it and it got over my head, so I got out,” he said. “I ran around and got the hose, but I just couldn’t fight it.” Neighbors reported smoke in the area at 2:28 p.m. and called in with a fire two minutes later. Three engines, a ladder truck and medic units from Keizer Fire District responded. A Marion County Fire District No. 1 engine also came to the...

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“In One Person” by John Irving

“In One Person” by John Irving c.2012, Simon & Schuster $28.00 / $34.95 Canada 429 pages   By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER When you look back over your life, you notice things that make you say, “Yes. That makes sense.” You always wondered why you love certain foods, adore cozy smells, or have a way with words – until you learn that your mother loved those foods, your grandfather wore that scent, and your father was a writer once. Billy Abbott sometimes wondered why he was drawn to certain people and not to others. But in the new novel “In One Person” by John Irving, everything falls into place when he discovers truths about his family. It was almost fitting, really, that Billy’s stepfather, Richard, introduced Billy to Miss Frost, the librarian. Richard thought he was ushering Billy into the riches of the library in First Sister, Vermont. Richard thought he was doing something positive for the 13-year-old but the well-meaning introduction was inadvertently apt: Billy had had a mad crush on Richard and upon meeting Miss Frost, he crushed on her, too. They were his first two “crushes on the wrong people.” Billy wasn’t sure why, but his aunt and grandmother sneered when they spoke of Miss Frost. Grandpa Harry seemed to like her; maybe it was because he had an eye for the feminine. He was, after all, First...

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Keizer teacher interim coach for Bearcats

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Gubser Elementary School physical education teacher and volunteer McNary High School coach Wally Wing was recently named the interim head coach of the Willamette University womens basketball team. Wing will be the interim head coach until the search for a new head coach is completed. His primary duties will be to follow up with Willamette’s recruits for the upcoming season, finalize details regarding the 2012-13 schedule and be available as a resource for the current players. “I really had the feeling that the girls on the team were a little bit lost after losing their last coach, so my role is to be the person they can talk to, be somebody they can come to with questions,” Wing said. “I’m helping to give them a positive finish academically, helping square away summer jobs and give them some workouts and a calendar of what to do to keep moving forward.” As the primary assistant coach for the Willamette men’s basketball team, Wing spent 22 seasons working under Head Coach Gordie James from 1987-2009. Wing made significant contributions to the team and helped coach the Bearcats to the NAIA National Championship in 1992-93 when Willamette achieved a 29-4 record. Since taking the position he’s met with the girls as a team and individually setting goals for the offseason as the team preps for a...

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School board gives nod to $578M budget

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes The 2012-13 Salem-Keizer School District budget of $578,990,853 was approved by the board of directors Tuesday. Budget funds are a $343,423,734 general fund, a $48,060,322 debt service fund, $87,940,665 for capital projects, $16,773,133 for food services, a $4,732,503 asset replacement fund, $37,229,314 for grant programs, $15,518,613 for fee-based programs, a $980,587 special revenue energy conservation program fund, a risk management fund of $13,155,850, a services fund of $5,181,414, $41,887 for internal services energy conservation, a $5,181,414 services fund, $3,735,863 for charter school services, a $480,000 enterprise fund and a $38,300 trust fund. Approval was by a 6-1 vote. Jeff Faville voted against it, saying that he did not consider it a sustainable budget and that sustainability was one of the criteria of a budget. The board was required to vote on certain budget matters separately. After overall budget approval came the vote on appropriations by fund. All seven directors voted for it. Also approved unanimously were a tax rate of $4.521 per $1,000 assessed value and confirmation of the enterprise fund, which was created to track fees and sales. The ending fund balance, reduced from 5 percent of the current budget to 3 percent because of economic conditions, for application to the 2013-14 budget, passed 6-1 with Faville in opposition. Later in the meeting, Tim Farness of Salem spoke from the floor, urging...

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Cutting workload on committee work subject of Monday meeting

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes A handful of city committees could be consolidated as part of a move to cut costs and improve efficiency at city hall. Recommendations will be discussed at a 5:45 p.m. work session on Monday, May 14 at the Keizer Civic Center. Some 14 committees, task forces, boards and commissions address everything from urban planning to budgeting, parks and tourism, not including a handful of work groups consisting of a few city councilors. Councilor Joe Egli said some may not be necessary. “We just seem to keep adding committees,” Egli said, “and technically every two years we’re supposed to look at these, according to our charter, and ask if we’re operating as efficiently as we can.” The work group tasked with eyeing the city’s committees, boards and task force is doing so in part because of budget considerations: Either the city recorder or her deputy is at each and every meeting, almost all of which are after business hours. “Because we’ve reduced positions in the city hall side, we have to reduce the workload,” said Councilor Cathy Clark. “Committees are made of volunteers but staff time is involved to ensure proper record keeping and if there’s projects that involve staff, they need to get those done.” And for as-yet-unexplained reasons, the city appears to be having trouble filling some of its committees. Recently-advertised vacancies...

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