Day: February 13, 2015

Group still looking to redo skate park

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Plans to renovate the Carlson Skate Park at Chalmers Jones Park behind Keizer Civic Center are one step closer. That doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed, however. In November, Keizer’s Joe Bazan teamed up with the owners of Lincoln City-based Dreamland Skateparks and came to a Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting with a request for help in renovating the skate park, opened in July 1999 but maintained little since then. The original request at the time was for $12,000 of the Parks Board’s matching grant program funding to help pay for the project. Then-chair Brandon Smith called for a decision to be postponed at the time. In the time since that November meeting, Bazan has worked with former Parks Board member Jason Bruster to revise the request. Thus, Bazan attended Tuesday’s Parks Board meeting and requested $5,000 in matching grant funds. That would be in addition to $25,000 Bazan hopes to raise in private cash or material donations, plus an estimated $2,800 in labor. “We’re asking the Parks Board for $5,000,” Bazan said. “Jason Bruster explained it all to me how it would work.” Parks Board member Richard Walsh wanted to make sure he understood the request. “You’re asking, in summary, for $5,000,” Walsh said. “You’re representing that you will match with $25,000 in cash, materials and sponsorships. You’ll also have work...

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At district, Swimmers on the bubble

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School swimming teams will have a fairly tough row to hoe when they head to the district meet Friday, Feb. 13, in McMinnville. It only proves what a difference a year can make. “In last year’s league I would be certain we had a number of kids headed to the state meet, but with the additions of McMinnville, Forest Grove and West Albany, we have a lot more swimmers on the bubble,” said Casey Lewin, McNary head coach. There is one advantage theatMcNary will have, the Celts had their last meet in McMinnville and got the chance to swim in the same pool where district titles will be up for grabs. “The walls of the pool were a bit different and it was hard to adjust in the meet, but now we know what that will be like,” said sophomore Abby McCoy. Lewin was thankful that the swimmers will have fewer “excuses” should they perform less than they expect of themselves. Both teams lost to the Grizzlies in the meet Tuesday, Feb. 10, but McMinnville brought a stacked roster of more than 70 student-athletes to the contest. Outside the pool was also a different experience, said senior Anjelica Glassey. “It’s a lot smaller and it’s going to feel smaller with all the teams crammed into it,” she said. Tanner...

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Swift reaction to governor’s resignation

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes There was a flurry of action and words this week as many in Oregon – particularly around the capitol building in Salem – waited to see if or when Governor John Kitzhaber would resign. Following months of controversy surrounding fiance’ Cylvia Hayes and the contracts she secured, pressure steadily mounted for the governor to step down. Kitzhaber finally caved in Friday, releasing a statement shortly past noon of his intentions to resign effective Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. Secretary of State Kate Brown will take over as governor. “I have always had the deepest respect for the remarkable institution that is the Oregon Legislature; and for the office of the governor,” Kitzhaber’s statement read in part. “And I cannot in good conscience continue to be the element that undermines it. I have always tried to do the right thing and now the right thing to do is to step aside.” Reaction from Oregon leaders was swift and supportive on Friday, while also emphasizing the need to move forward. “Governor John Kitzhaber has accomplished much for Oregonians in his 35 years of public service to our state,” said House Speaker Tina Kotek, who on Thursday had publicly called for the governor to resign. “As a physician, as a legislator and as our governor, he has been a distinguished leader. I support his decision...

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Kitzhaber to resign

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Gov. John Kitzhaber won’t finish the fourth term he just started. Kitzhaber, who defeated Dennis Richardson in last fall’s election but has come under heavy fire since then for allegations centering around his fiancee Cylvia Hayes, announced on Friday he is resigning as Oregon’s governor. Kitzhaber’s resignation is effective at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18. Secretary of State Kate Brown will take over as governor. Friday’s announcement by the embattled governor caps off a whirlwind week of rumors and speculations around the state capitol building in Salem. On more than one occasion, there was talk Kitzhaber would resign, only to have a change of mind. By Thursday, even some of Kitzhaber’s closest allies were calling for him to resign. “It is with deep sadness that I ask Governor John Kitzhaber to resign his position as Governor of Oregon,” state treasurer Ted Wheeler said on Thursday. “He has accomplished many great things during his long career, and history will be kinder to him than current events suggest. Unfortunately, the current situation has become untenable, and I cannot imagine any scenario by which things improve. Oregon deserves a Governor who is fully focused on the duties of state. I hope the governor will do the right thing for Oregon and its citizens.” Other prominent officials such as House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter...

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Roundabout coming in July

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Another road project involving Chemawa Road and the state has been pushed back. In this case, however, the delay is relatively minor. While delays pushed back the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Chemawa Road reconstruction project a couple of years – it was finally completed late last year – a new roundabout at Chemawa and Verda Lane is still on track to be done this year. Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, said Monday bids for the estimated $2 million project will be opened on May 21, with construction starting a few weeks later. “The opening day for the bids will be May 21, with the first of July for the start of construction,” Lawyer said. “They are looking at September or early October for the project to be complete.” The project timeline had called for bids to be opened in January 2014, with the project being done last summer. In the fall of 2013, the dates got moved back to November 2014 for bid opening, with construction this spring. Last fall, a revised timeline called for bids to be opened in March, with a June start time for the construction. The project received renewed attention in light of a date change brought to the Keizer City Council last month. The city had entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for right of way services...

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