Day: February 7, 2014

Taylor a student favorite

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes What happens when teaching transcends the boundaries of reading, writing and arithmetic? When teaching goes beyond the simple definitions of teacher and student? When the teacher is an educator, to be sure, but meets his students as a fellow traveler? For the answers, look no further than the students of McNary High School’s Jim Taylor, who was honored for his work with students and in the community with the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Award Saturday, Jan. 25. It was an unprecedented second President’s Award in a ceremony where only one is traditionally given. Taylor is McNary’s choir director and under his wing, the program’s reputation has spread far, wide and up. It was deemed the best in the state a few years ago and regularly elicits the favor of competition judges. Start with the everyday that isn’t. Walk into his choir room at the beginning of class and you won’t always find Taylor there at the front. Student leaders often take on the job of getting voices tuned up and preparing for the rest of the lesson. Taylor is adept at singling out the ones who can command fellow students’ respect for their talents and couple it with a get-it-done work ethic. It’s a partnership that often starts early. Taylor first learned of sophomore Lily Tipton’s middle school struggles when she...

Read More

After first CVC win Celts falter

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes This is how a game disintegrates. Start with the McNary High School boys varsity basketball team squaring off with South Salem High School Friday, Jan. 31. McNary keeps pace with the Saxons in the first frame, pulling away in the final minute on a three-point shot by Johnathan Doutt. It’s a lead the Keizer team will keep for the next three minutes before the Saxons tie it 18-18 on a lay-in. Another three-pointer will put McNary up 23-20 less than 30 seconds later and the teams start a back-and-forth battle that will knot the game at 35-35 with less than a minute to go in the half. A Celtic loose ball rolls nearly two-thirds of the way back to the Celts’ side of the court with seconds remaining. A Saxon player grabs it and hits one from the paint to take a 37-35 lead. “We came out and executed our gameplan pretty well. Our defense wasn’t what it needed to be, but we competed and hit our shots,” said Ryan Kirch, McNary head coach. This close score is no small feat against the third-best team in the state according to the latest rankings, but it’s also not a huge surprise. The last time the teams met, the Celts surprised South with a much closer score than any would have anticipated. The team...

Read More

City fights back in Rawlins case

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes With the possibility of state laws restricting Local Improvement Districts (LID), Keizer officials are fighting back. City Attorney Shannon Johnson and City Manager Chris Eppley have been meeting with legislators and released documents regarding the Rawlins property in Keizer Station, which is at the heart of the potential state law changes in House Bill 4017. Johnson said Tuesday morning he and Eppley met with state representatives Brian Clem and Kevin Cameron last week, then met with John Davis on Monday. “We have requested meetings with the other members of the Rural Communities Committee, but nothing is scheduled yet,” Johnson said. “The intent of the meetings is to point out the problems with the portion of HB 4017 that attempts to void the city’s LID lien against the Rawlins property.” Though the ongoing saga between the city and the Rawlins family dates back to 2005, the issue became more heated last year when the Rawlins family went to state lawmakers to protest LID charges on their Keizer Station property, which sat undeveloped while surrounding parcels were built on. A letter addressed to city leaders last June from state Sen. Tim Knopp and Rep. Gene Whisnant called into question the $6.7 million LID on the property. “The Rawlins are a family of modest means, and we have been told that the amount of the LID...

Read More

Dietrich pleads guilty; avoids jail time

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Michael Wayne Dietrich, the Keizer Department of Revenue manager accused of producing counterfeit currency in his Keizer home and then tampering with evidence after police secured the location, pled guilty to several charges Tuesday afternoon. Dietrich, 30, is on probation for three years but will not serve additional jail time. He had served some jail time since his arrest last October. Dietrich, represented by attorney Paul Ferder, appeared in front of Judge Thomas Hart in Marion County Circuit Court. Ferder painted a picture of a longtime, steadily employed young man letting curiosity get the best of him. “It’s an unfortunate situation,” Ferder said. “Mr. Dietrich had a fascination with currency and whether or not it could be replicated. He took it upon himself to do that. He wanted to see if he could produce bills that could pass the muster. There were others in this endeavor. Some have been arrested, some have not.” Much of the short hearing consisted of Hart reading statements about the case, then asking Dietrich to confirm or deny the statements. Most of Dietrich’s responses were brief and soft spoken. One of the exceptions was when Hart asked Dietrich if he was pleading guilty because he was indeed guilty. “I unlawfully possessed methamphetamine and in my residence I possessed forged instruments,” Dietrich responded. According to detectives with the Keizer...

Read More

Go back to original toy plan

Those who are leading the planning for the Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park should go back to the consultant’s original site and be done with it. Mayor Lore Christopher threw a wrench into the works several weeks aago when she publicly announced she didn’t like any of the three sites for the large playground suggested by Leathers and Associates, the east coast consultant hired at the rate of $32,000 to help the city plan and build the toy. The mayor gave several reasons why she preferred a site in the northern part of Keizer Rapids Park, abutting Chemawa Road—including the fact that it would be more visible than sites deep in the park. One of the problems is that the area the mayor prefers is filled with hazelnut trees.  Another problem is that the site, though in Keizer city limits, is not within Keizer’s Urban Growth Boundary. The mayor and some councilors are pushing Community Development Director Nate Brown to complete the arduous task of working with three other governments to get approval for expansion of the urban growth boundary by this summer so the original September schedule of construction of playground can be met. That is a tall order. As he pointed out at this week’s council session,  Brown told the council that there are a number of important projects his department is working on, some of...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2