Day: February 21, 2014

‘Hammer’ repeats as regional champ

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes It may not have been the dominating performance of last year at the regional wrestling tournament, but the McNary High School wrestling program will be sending a small battalion of wrestlers on to the state tournament. “We’re getting back to a little of what we’re known for. Last year was an extraordinary year and normally we’re used to spattering the podium across the board,” said Jason Ebbs, McNary head coach. “It was just a tough tournament.” The Celts crowned one regional champ, senior Zach Hammerschmith, who also won the title last year. Junior Alvarro Venegas improved his fourth place performance last year to second in the region this time around, and senior Louis Palos captured a third place finish. Palos is a returning state placer. In addition to those standouts, a number of Celts ended up in fourth place and will finish their season in the state tournament. Tanner Purkey, Caleb Conner, Jonathon Phelps and Michael Phelps all finished fourth. Celts Sean Burrows and Joseph Delgado claimed spots as first alternates. Hammerschmith said he was proud of the repeat title as regional champ, but it wasn’t as satisfying as it was when he was a junior. “I’m still hungry for more. I want to place at state and get on the wall of fame,” Hammerschmith said. Hammerschmith, who was sporting a pair...

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Egli leaning towards running for mayor; McKane not sure

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes So far, we know for sure of one person running to be Keizer’s mayor. That’s not longtime incumbent Lore Christopher. As has been reported in the Keizertimes in recent weeks, Christopher announced last month she will indeed not be running for an eighth time this fall. Christopher, Keizer’s first female mayor, has held the position since being elected in 2000. In 2012, Christopher faced competition for the first time in a decade, in the form of councilor David McKane. Fellow councilors Cathy Clark and Joe Egli had also filed paperwork to run for mayor, but both ultimately decided to retain their council seats. Two years later, Clark has come out and declared she is indeed running for mayor this year, making her the first official candidate. The Keizertimes asked both Egli and McKane recently if they intend to run for mayor. The 2012 battle between McKane and Christopher was contentious and McKane’s brief comments when asked about this year’s plans seemed to indicate wounds remain. “I’m happy Lore Christopher is not going to be mayor next year,” McKane said on Tuesday. “As far as me, it’s only February 18.” Egli, meanwhile, indicated a desire to run for the top seat. “I’ve had a lot of encouraging comments about running for mayor,” the current council president said last week. “I’m not yet decided. I...

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Medical marijuana permits eyed in Keizer

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Not many licenses are needed in Keizer. An exception expected to come soon: a permit for those planning to have a medical marijuana facility in the city. On Tuesday, Keizer City Councilors directed city staff to move forward with the Keizer Planning Commission’s recommendation from last week to create a Medical Marijuana Facility Permit in the city. Additionally, the requirements for the permit will be hashed out by a new task force. The issue will then be brought back to councilors at their next meeting, on March 3. By then, new state laws House Bill 3460 and Senate Bill 1531 will have been in effect for two days. The bills, signed into law last summer, allow for medical marijuana dispensaries within certain guidelines, such as nothing within 1,000 feet of a school or within 1,000 feet of each other. There has been discussion at the city and county level throughout the state in the past few months about how to handle the situation. Marion County leaders have been looking at stricter regulations and hosted a medical marijuana forum in Keizer last week. Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, noted a concern for city staff including city attorney Shannon Johnson, who was out of town Tuesday, was the relative newness of the issue. “Part of the reason we have concern is there’s...

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One complex, two projects

  By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Danielle Bethell knew she’d be working on her project at Keizer Little League Park on Monday. What she didn’t know was it ended up being an unofficial Spruce Up KLL Park Day of sorts. Bethell and her helpers Joe Miller and James Willwert from Dalke Construction, as well as Mark Caillier, were at the facility at 8 a.m. Monday as Stephanie Bojorquez, KLL president, opened the gates to let them in and fix damage at Field 6 caused by vandals last fall. The crew tore down the field’s two damaged dugouts and score box. Later in the morning, the crew was surprised to see more vehicles come into the parking lot along Ridge Drive. Taylor Russell, a 17-year-old member of Scout Troop 67, had come with a crew to work on his Eagle Scout project. The project: putting new roofs on the damaged dugouts on Field 3. “At about 9:30 I saw the other trucks pull up,” Bethell said. “It was serendipitous it wound up working like that. It’s awesome. This baseball field is all about the kids.” Bethell’s Keizer Rotary Pioneer project got additional assistance from Fredinburg Masonry and Dale’s Remodeling. “After the damage, I was talking with some friends,” said Bethell, who spearheaded last year’s efforts to raise money for a new retaining wall at KLL Park. “Larry Dalke said...

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Empty spaces

It has been suggested that, once formed, members of the proposed Keizer Economic Development Commission (KEDC) get on a bus and take an inventory of vacant office and retail spaces in the city, as one of their duties. In our view a bus nor a commission is needed to see what office and retail spaces are available in Keizer, especially along the main commercial thoroughfare, River Road. A five minute drive from one end of River Road to the other will reveal the inventory of empty spaces as noted by the for lease signs. Generating an inventory is as easy as telephoning the leasing agents and getting needed information. What information will be compiled?  The commission should end up with a list of commercial spaces that would, in part, include square footage amenities, parking, the rate lessor is seeking and location. The most important information would be the impedimets to leasing an empty space. If a space has been empty for more than a few months, the commission needs to hear from the leasing agent why that is so. What should the commission do with the information it gathers? It would be too easy to let it languish on a shelf.  Though the city staff is stretched with a number of active projects, the Community Development Department will have to oversee the commission and assure that doesn’t end up...

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