Day: March 14, 2014

Celtic seniors: Focus on process, wins will come

  By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School baseball program is taking a new approach to its 2014 season, one that’s going to involve more face time between players on the varsity, junior varsity and freshman rosters. “We are breaking all the fundamentals down, like playing catch, and then breaking them into positions to provide them with tools that will allow them to be successful,” said Larry Keeker, McNary head coach. Keeker said the decision arose from conversations with the seniors on the team a few weeks ago. “One of the things that rose to the top was that it is about the process as much as winning games. They wanted us to focus on how we go about doing things,” Keeker said. Senior Connor Suing said it was the 2013 summer ball season that left a lasting impression on the players finishing their high school careers this year. “The team chemistry came out last summer playing summer ball. We’ve got a lot of good guys who like to have fun,” Suing said. Keeker said there will be a lot riding on the chemistry between players this season as the program seeks to rebound from a less-than-stellar 2013. “There’s a natural support system within the group this year that allows you to deal with bumps in the road. When you have a team where players...

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City signs deal with Rawlins

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The Rawlins properties in Keizer Station are formally foreclosed upon. The Keizer City Council held a special hearing last Thursday, March 6 on the issue. City councilors had approved a settlement agreement at their March 3 regular meeting, but city attorney Shannon Johnson said state statute required the city to hold a public hearing prior to agreeing to enter into an option to sell publicly-owned ground. “We will move forward as quickly as we can with the foreclosure process,” Johnson said. “We will save substantial costs if we move quickly.” Johnson said the two properties have Local Improvement District (LID) assessments of $7.1 million against them, while the real market value for the properties combined is $2.2 million. Johnson called it “extremely likely” the city will be the high bidder in the sheriff’s sale for the properties. If indeed the city is the high bidder, the Rawlinses will have the opportunity to purchase the properties from the city at least 13 months after the sheriff’s sale goes through. The purchase price would be $3 million after 13 to 16 months, jumping up at $500,000 increments until topping out at $5 million after 50 to 60 months. Attempts to reach the Rawlinses were unsuccessful. City officials make bond calls for improvements at Keizer Station, with the next call believed to be due in May....

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“The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning” by Julene Bair

“The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning” by Julene Bair c.2014, Viking $26.95 / $28.50 Canada 288 pages   BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Tap, tap, tap. That’s all you’re thinking when you’re thirsty. A chilly glass, sparkly ice, and a fresh tap that requires little more than a turn for relief. It’s a simple thing, really, but imagine how much your great-grandma would’ve appreciated it. Now imagine what your own great-grandkids might do without readily available water. And then read “The Ogallala Road” by Julene Bair. Four thousand feet above sea level, the High Plains in western Kansas sometimes feel as though they touch the sun. That’s the area where Julene Bair’s family had farmed for a century – and before them, it’s where the Cheyenne traveled the Ladder of Rivers, and fought for the land. It’s where the Ogallala Aquifer has nurtured the Earth for thousands of years. As the only girl in the family, Bair was discouraged to work on the farm, but she knew its contours, its springs, sands, and the taste of water from a well. As a child, she was also distantly aware that the aquifer wouldn’t last forever. Her father knew it, too but, figuring that the government was keeping watch, he tapped it to irrigate his corn crops. Time passed and, like many farm kids, Bair left the farm...

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Second annual Pinot for the Parks fundraiser set for Friday

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Drink wine, support the playground. That’s the general idea behind the Keizer Parks Foundation’s second annual Pinot for the Parks fundraiser, taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 14. The event will be at Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road NE. City councilor Marlene Quinn, a foundation member helping to put on the event, noted tickets will be available at the door for $25 each. “It looks like there will be a good turnout,” Quinn said. “We needed a larger space this year. We are using the whole ballroom, so there is room.” Last year’s event raised $5,000 for the foundation. Organizers are hoping to double that amount this year. All proceeds will go to The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park project. Quinn is co-chair of the task force for that project, which will be constructed Sept. 17 to 21. Quinn noted last week cash had already been collected for 100 tickets and response to the cause has been favorable. “Everyone thinks that’s great,” Quinn said of proceeds being used for the community build project. “Everything going to one cause instead of three like last year makes it easier.” The event will feature wine, food and a silent auction. Seven wineries will be featured at this year’s event including Scenic Valley Winery, Sineann Winery, Eola Hills Wine Cellars, Mia Sonatina...

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