Month: March 2014

Big grant application for The Big Toy project is nearly completed

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The amount on the grant application is $100,000. At least $100,000. Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, has been working with Jeanne Bond-Esser on the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Local Government Grant for The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park project. The grant has been pointed to since early last year as the main one to pursue for the community build play structure project, which is being built Sept. 17 to 21. The application is due next Friday, April 4. Project leaders will learn in July if they get the grant or not. “The application is done, it’s just being fine tuned,” Brown said this week. “Letters of support are being gathered. Jeanne Bond-Esser has done a lion’s share of the writing.” From the start, the talk has been of applying for $100,000. In recent weeks, there has been talk of increasing that. “It’s a minimum of $100,000,” Brown said. “We are exploring asking for more.” Bond-Esser, treasurer of the Keizer Parks Foundation, met with Brown and Public Works director Bill Lawyer on Wednesday morning. “The applications are submitted online now, so we will probably not hit ‘send’ until near the deadline,” Bond-Esser said. “The grants are quite competitive, with far more requests than funding, of course.” The issue – including the idea of upping the amount – was brought...

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Debate grows over Big Toy site

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The grumbling has been increasing regarding the placement of The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park project. As previously mentioned in the Keizertimes, for months it appeared certain the community build play structure would be built between the amphitheater and the boat ramp area of KRP. In late January, however, mayor Lore Christopher opined filbert space at the front of the park, along Chemawa Road, would be a better site. That site is not within Keizer’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), necessitating coordination with several local jurisdictions in order to use the land. Earlier this month the Keizer Rotary Foundation Board unanimously approved a motion to give $30,000 to the project – but only if it’s built in the original location. “It was not just one thing,” board president Greg Frank said of the decision. “It was the UGB process, tearing down the filberts, the grounds, moving it from where it was originally, the parking lot. There were so many reasons why it should be left where it was.” A development last week, however, could change that. “Evidently the Keizer Parks Foundation has opted not to accept any donations with any conditions,” Frank said. “So next Wednesday we will discuss this again. At our last meeting we talked about it for 20 minutes. We talked about the pros and cons. It was a unanimous decisions...

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Blazing bats put Celts over Foxes

  By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes If the McNary High School varsity softball team set out to make a statement in its season opener, Silverton High School heard it loud and clear. The Lady Celts had 22 hits in the 22-0 win March 18, behind a one-hitter from junior pitcher Megan Ulrey. Ulrey also had eight strikeouts. “The score didn’t reflect it, but Silverton is a good team with five seniors, but you could see them deflate around the fifth inning,” said Kevin Wise, McNary head coach. McNary’s line-up strung together enough hits for a 10-run third inning and eight in the fifth. Mercy rules ended the game after only five innings. Highlights abounded for the Keizer team. In addition to her performance in the circle, Ulrey made waves at the plate going 3 for 4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and four runs scored. Freshman Nicole Duran went 4 for 5 with two doubles, two RBIs and four runs scored. Senior Dani Saunders went 3 for 4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. Kimi Ito led the team in RBIs with four. By the end of the game, all 10 players on the McNary roster had at least one hit. “The energy and chemistry on this team this year is amazing,” Wise said. “It’s a great thing to have and we...

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Medical marijuana dispensary task force gets going in Keizer

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The city’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force has been established. Just don’t expect many meetings for the group. The task force held its first meeting last Wednesday, March 19, at Keizer Civic Center. City councilor Dennis Koho, who chaired the initial meeting, passed around a calendar and had the seven task force members indicate what days would not work for a meeting. “Looking at the calendar, not many dates line up,” Koho said towards the end of the meeting. “It looks like Tuesday (April) 22 and maybe the 29th of April.” As such, April 22 at 7 p.m. was set as the date for a public hearing on the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries in Keizer. The topic has been a hot one throughout Oregon recently due to new state laws allowing for the formation of dispensaries. Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, gave a rundown of rules regarding dispensaries at the city, county and state level. House Bill 3460 and Senate Bill 1531 both went into affect earlier this month. “When the implementation of this rule started March 1, there was a lot of activity that occurred,” Brown said. “A lot of cities moved to ban dispensaries outright. The rest of us struggled with what the appropriate response would be. It takes time to go through the process. We established...

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