Day: May 29, 2014

Poison oak found near KLL Park

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Poison oak has been found on property next to part of the Keizer Little League Park complex. City Manager Chris Eppley and Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, both said city officials learned of the issue Thursday morning, May 29. “We were informed this morning that there was an issue with some poison oak near the northwest corner of the Little League complex,” Lawyer said Thursday afternoon. “Parks staff investigated the issue right away and determined there is some poison oak from a neighboring property hanging over onto the park property. Parks staff installed temporary construction fencing to keep people out of the area.” Eppley said the tree is next to the t-ball field at KLL Park. “The property owner (the Epping Group) has been contacted and requested to remedy the situation right away,” Eppley said. “We can’t spray chemicals or trim trees that aren’t on public property and trimming the limbs that overhang the park wouldn’t solve the issue.” Word spread Thursday on Facebook, prompting at least two Portland TV stations to come to KLL Park for a story. “We took action on what we could do,” Lawyer said. “This is a neighbor’s responsibility. Poison oak is not easy to get rid of.” Stephanie Bojorquez, president of the Keizer Little League organization that recently took over management of the park, said...

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MHS alum building community around Royal Scot hoops

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Some days, Matt Espinoza is still trying to figure out just how the McNary High School varsity basketball team went on a 23-4 tear through the ranks of the OSAA in his senior year, 2002-03.. “We started the season 1-2, we weren’t the most athletic team, we had a couple of tall guys but nothing over 6-foot-4. We had just enough talent to do something special, but it was mostly because everybody bought into what we were doing,” he said. The team’s something special included tying for the longest winning streak of the year, 16 games, and finishing the season with the best overall record in the state. Espinoza graduated from McNary and headed to Southern Oregon University where he set a couple of school records. Most notably, the highest ever three-point percentage for the season. After finishing his degree, he returned to McNary as an assistant coach, and later served as head coach for, the Celtics. He resigned when teaching positions failed to open up. Since then, he’s found work as a trainer at Beaverton’s Shoot 360 and continues to coach in the Central Valley Conference as an assistant in the varsity program at McKay High School. “Getting involved in the community around McKay really opened up my eyes,” Espinoza said. “I had lived in this area before moving to Keizer,...

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WMS students plan movie night

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The current crop of leadership students at Whiteaker Middle School wasn’t content with leaving next year’s students in a financial lurch. Instead, they’re hosting an end-of-the-school-year movie night Friday, May 30, to give next year’s class a funding cushion. “We liked the idea of movie night and bringing the whole community together. They can come and relax, watch a movie and help us raise money for next year’s leadership program,” said Wolverine Ryan Wagner. Doors will open at the school at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. showing of Frozen. Tickets are $3 per person or $10 for a family of four. Additional tickets for families larger than four are $2 per person. Attendance is limited to friends and family of Whiteaker students. “A family of four can spend up to $55 on a movie night and here it’s only $10,” said student Jessica Grimmer. Leadership team members will act as hosts and run a concession stand. A raffle for a basket of movie-viewing supplies will cap the night. The leadership students had to not only plan the night, but sell the school’s administration on the idea. “Mostly, they just wanted to know who was going to run everything and how we were going to get enough volunteers to cover everything that had to be done,” said Haley...

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