Day: August 3, 2012

Natural disasters land students trip to U.S.

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Fifteen students from the areas in Japan affected by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 arrived in Keizer last week for a brief respite and learning experience away from their homeland. A group of 60 students were selected from more than 900 applicants to participate in the Tomodachi Initiative program, which offers students in the earthquake- and tsunami-affected areas a chance to study in the U.S. The other 45 students are staying in California, Washington and Pennsylvania. “Each morning they’ll be studying English working on their language skills and each afternoon for the next two weeks we’ll have cultural outings,” said Kim Salas, the local coordinator. The latter included bowling and a pizza party at Keizer’s Town & Country Lanes last Friday. This week the group is visiting Portland State University and heading to the Oregon coast where they will tour the dock from the tsunami area that washed up on Agate Beach area last month. Sixteen-year-old Shiho Namioka was eager to explore the differences between American and Japanese culture. “I want to be a nurse and I want to know the difference between America and Japan,” she said. Her hometown was not among the hardest hit, but power to the area was cut off by the resulting damage. Katsuya Kato’s hometown took a beating, a boat ended up destroying his home...

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Tougher than you: Lady Celt snags nat’l wrestling title

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Look Samantha “Sam” Urban in the face and you’ll see the all-American girl: chestnut hair, blue eyes, freckles and a smile, when she chooses to deploy it, that is sure to break a heart or two. Stare into her soul and you’ll find that sugar and spice and everything nice coats something tougher: a national champion wrestler. Sam captured a national title at 172 pounds in the USAW Junior Women`s Freestyle Nationals two weeks ago making her the second of two McNary High School Celtics to achieve such lofty heights in the sport this year. The three-time state champion tore through two preliminary matches and overcame a loss in the second round of the finals to win the title, but overcoming doubts-those of others and her own–has become a way of life for the 18-year-old. “With every coach, I had to prove myself,” she said. “They didn’t immediately take to me because I was  the only girl on the team.” As far as she’s concerned the worst, or perhaps the best, thing anyone can tell her is that she can’t do something. “You’re going to be proven wrong,” she said. “Sam has always been a great student and her success earned respect among her peers,” said Kelly Hafer, wrestling coach at Whiteaker Middle School where Urban got her start in the sport. Sam...

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Volcanoes can’t overcome fifth inning onslaught

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes The Volcanoes never recovered from a five-run blowout in the Eugene half of the first inning Saturday and lost the second game of their home series 11-6. Despite outhitting the Emeralds 13-12 and showing life in the ninth inning, the Volcanoes failed to get rallies going at other times and showed the crowd of 2,827 uncharacteristic weaknesses. Eugene’s starting pitcher, Brandon Alger, allowed one hit and no runs in his three innings. Teammate Maxx Tissenbaum hit two home runs. Raymundo Montero, who has been Salem-Keizer’s most effective starting pitcher this season, hit a batter, walked two and allowed two hits including a home run in the first inning, running his win-loss record to 3-4. His batterymate, Dashenko Ricardo, normally strong defensively, made two errors for the game. The game featured San Francisco Giants jerseys and caps to honor the Volcanoes’ parent club. In most cases, the uniform numbers were different from those of the regular uniforms. In the Eugene first, a pitch hit Jonathan Roof with one out, and Dane Phillips and Jeremy Baltz walked. Tissenbaum singled to right field, driving in Roof and Phillips and moving Baltz to third base. Goose Kallunki hit an infield single, scoring Baltz, and a missed-catch error by Ricardo put Tissenbaum on third. A double steal followed, with Tissenbaum scoring and Kalunki reaching second. Kallunki tried to...

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