Day: November 9, 2012

Eddie Van Halen’s got nothing on this kid

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes If you were to watch the video of Michael Atalig on YouTube playing a ukulele cover of George Harrison’s My Guitar Gently Weeps, you would be forgiven for thinking he was a high schooler. The video was recorded a couple of weeks ago inside the choir room at McNary High School and, while Michael stands just taller than the piano in the room, it’s nearly impossible to conceive of someone younger than 14 being able to maneuver his fingers along the fret and perform the precise picking the song requires. The problem is you would be wrong. Michael, a fifth grader at Keizer Elementary School and son of Jason and Joan Atalig, is all of 10 years old and budding virtuoso on the ukulele. “It’s a very simple instrument and, when you think of it, you don’t think of it as a hard instrument to play,” Michael said. He started picking at the ukulele at age seven, but didn’t begin practicing in earnest until his family moved from their home on the island of Saipan northeast of Guam last year. Jason, who plays guitar, introduced his son to the ukulele because it was easier to lug to beach barbecues in Saipan. Still, he marvels at his son’s ability. “I can’t even pick as well as he can,” Jason said. When Michael found videos...

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He’s mean, green, but they make him bad

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes  One of the central players in McNary High School’s Little Shop of Horrors isn’t even a real person, but it takes a team to bring him to life. The role of the blood-thirsty plant puppet, Audrey II, is handled by three puppeteers, Carina Myrand, Jade Rayner and Marisa Thomas, and voiced by Dylan Bunten. The play opened Thursday night at the Ken Collins theater and continues its run Nov. 9 to 10 and 15 to 17. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. with 1 p.m. matinee shows on Nov. 10 and 17. “I knew we needed to have character with the plant, but I didn’t actually think about how much you have to put into the plant to make it a character and not just a puppet,” Rayner said. Finding ways to express human traits through several pounds of felt and metal has been educational, to say the least. “Everything that we would do as actors has to come out through the plant. I’m sitting in there and tilting my head and moving my lips to the line while I’m in the puppet,” Myrand said. The script requires Audrey II to grow over the course of the play and three different sized puppets are used in each showing. He starts out as a hand puppet given life by Rayner, who sits inside...

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Team faces no. 1 Lake Oswego in first round

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School varsity football team ended a state playoff absence extending all the way back to 2008 last week, but figuring out how to make it farther is going to be even more of a challenge. The Celts drew the No. 1 team in the state, Lake Oswego High School, as their first-round opponents. The Lakers, 9-0 this season, haven’t lost a league match-up since 2004, but their postseason performance has been slightly less even-keeled. “Two weeks ago, we weren’t able to do what we needed to do to win. Last week, we were. That was encouraging growth and evidence that our kids were learning how to win and not just compete well,” said Isaac Parker, McNary head coach. McNary travels to meet Lake Oswego Friday, Nov. 9. Kickoff is 7 p.m. The Celts may not be expecting miracles in the game with Lake Oswego, but the team is no less determined to walk out with its heads held high. “You sort of have to change your perspective,” said McNary senior Kelly Cowan. “We can’t do any more than play our best. After the game is over, if we’ve done our best–win, lose, or draw–we’ll have to be satisfied with that.” McNary’s defense will have to have its strongest showing yet up against the Lakers’ senior quarterback Justen Ruppe. He’s...

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No decision made at Area C public hearing

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes There was confusion aplenty about what could be talked about during the Nov. 5 Keizer City Council meeting. The topic bringing nearly 50 people to council chambers was a public hearing for the Keizer Station Area C master plan remand. However, only two specific issues — a traffic flow study and about concurrency of buildings being constructed — were under consideration. Opponents were left questioning which comments were applicable. Councilors made no decision, voting unanimously to close the hearing but keep the record open until Nov. 13. A council decision from April 2011 on the plan submitted by Chuck Sides of E Village, LLC was appealed to the Lane Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). The city was asked to do more review and modification regarding the traffic engineer’s analysis as well as the timing of a condition of approval requiring concurrency. In September, Sides submitted a revised plan, with the proposed 116,000 square foot store being changed to a 72,000 square foot building with two retail spaces and 83 additional units of multi-family development. That help cause confusion, as several didn’t know if they could comment on the changes to the proposal or not. Nate Brown, Community Development director for Keizer, attempted to narrow the comments. “Based on comments from the public, there is misinformation about tonight’s hearing,” Brown said. “Some believe this...

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Celts end playoff drought with 13-6 win

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes With less than a minute left in the game, Grants Pass High School varsity football team took over possession of the ball in its state tournament play-in game last Friday with the McNary High School Celtics. Four plays later, at fourth-and-14, the Cavemen blew a snap and the ball was kicked around between its own players’ legs before Celt Mason Ross swept in, scooped up the ball and raised it over his head in celebration. The play ended a four-year playoff drought for McNary and sealed a 13-6 win. “It felt pretty amazing,” Ross said. The win earned the Celtics a berth in the state playoff tournament and they will travel to face the No. 1 team in the state, Lake Oswego High School, Friday, Nov. 9. The Celtic game with the Cavemen started off on a worrying first drive by Grants Pass. “They came out in an offense that we didn’t see on film, so our defense scrambled a little bit and struggled on that first drive,” said Isaac Parker, McNary head coach. Stops by Brian Kostenko, Grant Taylor, Devon Dunagan and Frank Rios slowed the Cavemen, but the team marched from its own 35-yard line to McNary’s five-yard when Caveman Ben Dean punched through the first touchdown of the night on a rushing attack. McNary lost its chance to answer...

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