Day: May 2, 2014

Turf field to MHS in 2015?

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes If everything goes according to plan, McNary High School athletic teams may be playing on a synthetic turf, multipurpose field come fall 2015. That mouthful is what organizers would prefer everyone call the field likely to replace the currently grass football field. Success will depend on school and community leaders coming up with the half-million in cash and half-million in in-kind donations of services to install it next summer. John Honey, McNary principal, said discussions for a new synthetic turf heated up as conversations about the Big Toy build in Keizer Rapids Park gained steam. “They are two valuable projects that serve kids. As supportive as Keizer is, there probably isn’t $4 million out there for the projects and while the Big Toy serves kids during the summer, a new field could serve the community year-round,” Honey said. Currently groups seeking to use the field are rejected almost out of pocket, Honey said. “We spend most of the time trying to keep people off the field for the times that football, soccer and track teams use it,” he said. With a synthetic surface, the school could begin hosting club sports like lacrosse and community efforts like American Cancer Society walk-a-thons. The band would also be able to practice on the field more than once a week beginning at 9 p.m. “One of...

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Fire claims arbovitae, fence

Keizer firefighters responded to a house fire at 2393 Northtree Court N.E., at 3:44 a.m. Friday. Upon arrival, firefighters found arborvitae and a fence burning between two houses. Residents of the home woke to the sound of the fire burning. Upon seeing flames between their house and the neighbor’s, they evacuated their home and called 9-1-1. The residents then notified their neighbors of the fire. Damage was limited to the exterior of the homes, a fence and the arborvitae. Residents were able to return to their homes. Estimated damages were approximately $5,000 and the fire is under investigation. No injuries were reported in the incident. Two engines, 14 firefighters and a duty responded to the...

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REI ready for opening

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes From the start, things are done differently at REI. The Salem-Keizer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) has its grand opening this weekend at 6035 Ulali Drive NE in Keizer Station. Doors open at 10 a.m. Friday with a ribbon cutting. Except it’s not any ordinary grand opening at the former Circuit City building. Washington-based REI has been an outdoor gear retailer for 75 years, so a standard ribbon cutting just wouldn’t do. “We are having a webbing cutting with a knife,” store manager Juan Quintero said while giving the Keizertimes a tour of the 22,165 square foot building on Monday. The first 200 people through the door each of the first three days will receive a water bottle with an REI promotional card inside, with values ranging from $10 to $100. Those joining the co-op during the opening weekend will get an REI t-shirt, while those applying for an REI Visa card will get a $20 REI gift card. There will also be live music and a free continental breakfast each day at 9 a.m. Even before entering the store, patrons will notice a difference. Instead of normal door handles, the doors are opened by grabbing ice axes. The ice axes date back to Lloyd and Mary Anderson’s formation of REI in 1938. Lloyd was a climber looking for an ice ax to use...

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Even playing field

The proposed installation of artificil turf on Flesher Field at McNary High School is picking up steam. The long-delayed project is moving forward as supporters amass donations and seek financial grants. They hope that the fall 2015 football team will play on the new turf. The project, once billed at about $2 million, is to keep up to date with other area high school football fields. The thought seems to be if other teams play on artificial turf at their home fields it is only natural that McNary has it, too. John Honey, McNary High School principal, adds that artificial turf would allow the school to host other events such as local lacrosse teams and walk-a-thons. He says the field would be usable all year long regardless of weather—no worries of a muddy, rutted field. However, the school district has been notoriously skimpy when it comes to allowing outside groups to use their property. The McNary Athletic Boosters Club (ABC) is leading the charge on this project and already has more than $100,000 in its coffers for the project. The club will rely on grants and advertising sales to raise what it needs. The club faces a delicate balancing act. Some observers say that the expense of artificial turf is not worth it. Others in the public may wonder why ‘the school district’ is spending hundreds of thousands of...

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