Month: December 2014

Christmas concert at city hall Dec. 17

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes There are plenty of events around the Keizer area to get one into the Christmas spirit. Tops on that list would be the annual Christmas tree lighting next Tuesday, Dec. 2 at Walery Plaza as well as the Dec. 13 Festival of Lights Holiday Parade. Looking for an event that’s inside, in case the weather outside turns frightful? In that case, come to the Keizer Civic Center at 930 Chemawa Road NE on Wednesday, Dec. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. for the Keizer Community Band’s Christmas Concert. Michael Koenig, KCB director since 2003, appeared at the Nov. 17 Keizer City Council meeting to request a waiver of rental fees for a room at city hall for the free concert. Councilor Marlene Quinn made a motion to waive all fees except for a refundable deposit of $380. “This is a free concert,” Quinn said. “Unlike some other functions, they are not charging a fee and there’s no food or alcohol.” Councilors unanimously approved the motion. Mayor Lore Christopher turned to Koenig following the approval. “Let’s have a Christmas concert, Mr. Koenig,” Christopher said. The band is made up of about 50 community members and a crowd of 50 people is expected for the event, which will be held in the Iris B room. Since being formed in 1998 by Roy Shelton at the...

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Boys hoops standing tall headed into first week

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Last year, the McNary High School boys varsity basketball team turned a corner. Even though the team endured its fair share of strife in the win-loss column, it was always fun to watch. While it has Head Coach Ryan Kirch’s hopes high for the coming season, he said it’s going to require a different type of commitment from the Celtics. “We’ve talked a lot about winning league titles and that, but the big step is how committed are we to improving our fundamentals. If we want to play the big teams in the state, we have to be committed to doing all the little things right to make it happen,” he said. McNary finished third in the Central Valley Conference last season, but the lay of the land is quite a bit different this time around with three teams – Forest Grove, McMinnville and West Albany high schools – added to the new Greater Valley Conference. “The depth of talent in the league gets stronger and all three teams have had some success and that will push everyone to do better,” Kirch said. “We also play our first league game before the winter break which means we have to maximize our time in practice.” Last season, McMinnville made it to the second round of the playoffs before being ousted, Forest Grove lost...

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New mayor, councilors give visions at Gubser meeting

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes New Mayor Cathy Clark and members of the Keizer City Council will be setting goals early in the new year. A preview of the process was given during the Nov. 20 Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association (GGNA) meeting. “What an honor,” Clark said of being the next mayor. “It’s such an opportunity to work with a team of neighbors who are willing to put in the time it takes to help our community. Now we have a chance to take a deeper look at where we’ll be the next 10 to 20 years. We can engage in a meaningful process of what community development will look like, for ourselves and, even more, for the generations behind us.” Councilors-elect Roland Herrera (currently a GGNA board member) and Amy Ripp also shared their visions for the future. “I’ve always felt there’s an untapped pool of volunteers,” said Herrera, who formerly worked for the city for 19 years. “It’s always the same people. I was told I could be the one to bring in the young people. There’s a group of people that’s never been engaged. I want to get the young people engaged in city government.” Ripp, who grew up in Keizer and returned in 1997 to raise her sons here, noted she owns two small businesses. “I felt small businesses need a voice at the...

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Douglas nets Athlete of Year Award

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club honored Lady Celt Megan Douglas with its Senior Athlete of the Year Award Friday, Nov. 14. Douglas, the McNary High School varsity volleyball team’s libero, was instrumental in the Celtics’ stellar season that ended in Oregon’s Elite 8 at the state tournament. From the start of the season, Douglas set her goals high. “I wanted to make first team all-league and I wanted to become a leader on the team. It meant I had to come out of my shell,” Douglas said. “Beyond that I just wanted to be the best passer I could.” She was named to the first team all-league and her stats tell much of the rest of the story. Douglas played in 16 matches and 62 sets averaging 4.35 digs per set with 270 digs total. She boasted a 96 percent serving average with 39 aces and only 12 errors on 284 attempts. Perhaps the most important statistic was her passing average, which was 2.08 on 347 attempts. Passing average rates the quality of a pass. A perfect pass (rated a 3) would allow the setters their complete range of offensive options, Douglas’ number means the Celtic setters had at least two offensive options almost every time. “Megan would dig balls you wouldn’t think it was possible to dig,” said Kellie Scholl,...

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Demand growing for KFD

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Keizer Fire District had its busiest October ever last month. District crews ran on 391 calls, an increase of 12 percent over the same month last year, and KFD officials expect to reach 4,000 calls by the end of the year. It will be the first time the district has run on that many calls in a single year. Overall, the district has run on 3,745 calls so far in 2014, a 6.6 percent increase over the same time frame in 2013. While it might be cause for consternation, Chief Jeff Cowan said the upswing in demand is right in line with projections made a year ago. “With modified staffing, we’ve been able to put the second ambulance into 24-hour service using volunteers and students putting in time toward their degrees,” Cowan said. With a federal grant and a voter-approved levy, KFD has also been able to hire four additional firefighters that will further alleviate any strain. “I see the demand growing, but we’ll be able to handle the increase,” Cowan said. “Everything is coming together the way we planned it and the the predictions we made have now borne out.” Of the 391 calls in October, 300 were calls for medical assistance. Cowan expects those numbers to grow even more when Kaiser Permanente opens its Keizer Station location and additional senior...

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