Month: June 2014

“Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift the Lid” by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra

“Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift the Lid” by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra c.2014, Citadel Press $15.95 / $17.95 Canada 256 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER The End. It comes after the walking-into-the-sunset shot in old movies, usually in florid script. You see it in books for children, more than for adults. It’s at the tail of short stories, tongue-in-cheek advertisements, sarcastic social media postings… and life. And then what? What happens to your mortal remains when that’s all that remains?  Take a peek at “Over Our Dead Bodies” by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra, and you’ll get a general idea. In your job, you basically know what to expect from day to day. Not so, if you’re an undertaker. When you care for the dead and their families, anything can happen – and McKenzie and Harra prove that well. But first – a little history. Take the label “undertaker,” for example. It initially had to do with the undertaking of proper burial but some 130 years ago, the National Funeral Directors Association officially changed the title to “funeral director.” Back then, funeral directors and cabinet makers went hand-in-hand; someone had to make the coffins, so why not someone with woodworking skills? The business was then passed down through the family, with many an undertaker getting his (or her) start as a child, sweeping the parking lot,...

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Celt track and field brings home medals from Eugene

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School boys relay teams, a hurdler and one Lady Celt sprinter brought home medals for their performances in events at the state track and field meet last weekend. The boys 4×400 relay team of Brendan Van Voorhis, Brett Hildebrand, Anthony Nguyen and Kyle Torres came home from Eugene with second-place medals. The Celtics finished less than half a second (3:21.48) behind the winning team from Jesuit High School (3:21). “It’s been going well all season. In those big meets, things tend to go really wrong or come together just perfectly. Everyone was right on time with handoffs,” said Torres, a junior. McNary’s Daniel Brattain took second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.54. Brattain’s time put him about a quarter of a second behind the race winner from Clackamas High School. The boys 4×100 relay team of Austin Brown, Torres, Nguyen and Garrett Hittner took third in their event with a time of 42.02. Less than a second separated the first- and third-place teams. For the girls, Daysha Simms-Garcia finished third in 400-meter sprint with a time of 58.12. The race winner from Central Catholic High School shaved nearly a second off her previous best to win the state title in 56.19. A large number of the athletes McNary sent to the event endured through preliminary rounds...

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Budget coming to council next week

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Like numbers? If so, set aside some time Monday, June 2. On that evening there will be not one but two budget hearings. At 6:45 p.m. Keizer City Councilors will don their Urban Renewal Agency hats to discuss the URA proposed budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year. A public budget hearing for the Keizer 2014-15 proposed budget takes place during the regular council meeting at 7. There are two other hearings that evening during the regular meeting regarding money: a public hearing about assessments totaling $457,782.90 and a hearing on the city’s proposed use of approximately $300,000 in State Revenue Sharing Funds. At three meetings earlier this month, members of the Keizer Budget Committee – which includes all city councilors – went over the proposed city budget. The total city budget as proposed is $36,534,600. That includes $5,217,300 in capital spending and $4,061,300 in debt service payments. The tax rate remains at $2.0838 per $1,000 of assessed value, while property tax revenue is expected to increase 2.7 percent in the fiscal year ahead, which starts on July 1. That increase is attributed to a 2 percent rise in assessed values and a .7 percent increase in growth. Some of the more notable numbers in the proposed budget deal with employees. The proposed budget calls for three new positions, as reported in the May...

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