Day: March 17, 2014

MHS actors will take you to Almost, Maine

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Who do you call to heal a broken heart? Is it possible to recapture lost love? Do opposites actually attract? What happens when any of those scenarios play out? Those are a few of the questions pondered in Almost, Maine. The McNary High School drama department is staging a three-night production of the award-winning play March 20-22. Curtain time is 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are $5 at the door. The play is a series of vignettes connected by the theme of love and all the joy and ache it bestows upon those who fall in. Each of the students who landed roles in the production is taking on two separate characters in different vignettes. Senior Maddie Valish was first exposed to the play when she went to see a production at West Salem High School. “I fell in love with it. When it was announced we would be doing it, I wanted to be involved,” Valish said. In one vignette, Valish plays Gayle, a long-term girlfriend who begins to wonder if her lengthy courtship will ever be anything more. She makes a 180-degree turn for the second part. “I play Hope, who is going to respond to a marriage proposal that she didn’t answer years before,” Valish said. In one of the more gut-wrenching scenes, Where It Went, Emma LeDuc plays...

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Softball team preps for more even keeled season

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School varsity softball team had a roller coaster 2013 season. After a blistering start that had the team in second place in the Central Valley Conference, the team hit a losing skid that dropped them to fourth. They peaked again at the end of the season to make it to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, but the 4-3 loss that ousted them from the tournament still stings. “For all of us, the last game was a heartbreaker. It was good that we got so far despite being young, but it lingered over us. We want to erase that and go farther,” said Kevin Wise, McNary head coach in his second year as the program’s leading man. The varsity roster will include a number of new faces, but Wise felt the team was stronger in almost all areas. “From one to nine, I think we’re stronger on offense than we were last year,” he said. “We had to move some people around to fill in the gaps our seniors left, but I think it might even make us stronger defensively.” The program graduated two players last June, Jordyn Hanson on the mound and Paige Bouska at shortstop. Megan Ulrey, who’s seen a fair amount of time pitching since her freshman year, will step into the circle. Madison Oliver will...

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Parks board funding varies

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes There was $20,000 to start. That figure was cut to $10,000, causing some disappointment Tuesday night. By the end, the figure had risen to $33,000 so all was good again. Last month, members of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board discussed what to do with the approximately $20,000 they would have to spend for the upcoming fiscal year. The decision was made to use the funds as matching grant money, in essence doubling the money by partnering with community projects in need of more funding. That changed during Tuesday’s meeting as Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, presented the proposed overall parks budget for next year. With $7,400 being spent on fall protection – wood chips – in several parks, plus another $3,500 to match Keizer Rotary for park benches, the amount dropped to about $10,000. “I’m comfortable that there is $10,000 available for the grant program,” Lawyer said. “If your pilot program is not successful, the funding can be used for something else.” A couple of board members expressed concern about the drop. “So for the pilot grant program it’s $10,000, not $20,000?” board member Roland Herrera asked. Lawyer felt that was a safe bet. “I’m comfortable with it being at $10,000,” Lawyer said. “I don’t see it going down.” Board chair Brandon Smith wasn’t as comfortable. “That’s disappointing that...

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