Month: February 2015

Egli continues tradition as Keizer’s Merchant of Year

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes It only looked like Joe Egli was practicing scenes from “Rocky.” In reality, Egli was just a tad nervous while delivering a short speech Jan. 31 after being named 2014 Merchant of the Year at the Keizer First Citizen and Awards Banquet. Shortly after his name was called by 2013 award recipient Rob Miller, a surprised Egli was on stage, trying to make it through his speech when he remembered some advice from wife Shelly and started raising his arms in the air. “My wife taught me to do this if I’m nervous,” Egli explained as laughter filled the room at Keizer Quality Suites. Egli then looked towards his wife at the back of the room. “Did you know about this?” he asked, regarding the award. “No? OK, good.” At that point, Miller joked that wasn’t the case. “Are you lying to me?” Egli called out to Shelly. “You’re not getting any tonight. That just slipped out, I’m sorry.” Egli, an agent at R. Bauer Insurance, recently stepped down after four years on the Keizer City Council. He is currently chair of the Iris Festival and has helped out with various Keizer Rotary and chamber projects. In 2013, he redid the letters at Newton-McGee Plaza. Before naming the winner of this year’s award, Miller gave a few clues to the identity. “He’s a...

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Lessons in Celt video production courses carry students far beyond the classroom

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Despite taking video production classes for all her four years at McNary High School, Liv Pond isn’t planning to study film in college. That doesn’t mean what she’s gleaned from her time in teacher Jason Heimerdinger’s studio room will be going to waste. “I want to travel the world and teach. These classes taught me how to learn, because there’s always one more new thing, and they’ve taught me how to teach others and work with people,” said Pond. Because of her time in video production classes she’s performed almost every task there is to do, including helping produce video announcements and the Celtics’ new news segments dubbed CNN (Celtic News Network). “There’s not one part I like the most, I like it all. But one of the things you can do here is take all this knowledge and apply it to everything,” she said. Senior Nick Wolfert is no stranger to the camera. He’s directed his own short films in his spare time, but his duties as a line producer for CNN are quite a bit different. McNary’s annual Knight of Arts is slated Saturday, March 7. The event features student work and a play alongside silent and oral auctions. Proceeds cover costs not covered in school budgets and scholarships for arts students. Tickets are $10 and on sale at the...

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Abbas a merit finalist

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Of all the high school students in the country, McNary High School senior Zach Abbas has an honor few others can claim: National Merit Finalist. “I wasn’t expecting to be a semifinalist. I was completely blown away. Then hearing that I was a finalist … it was just crazy,” Abbas said. Abbas qualified as a semifinalist based on his PSAT scores as a junior, then submitted an application and essay to achieve his finalist status. He’s one of 15,000 finalists in the U.S. – the only one from McNary – and about half of those will receive scholarships. “Zack is not only very intelligent, he is one of the kindest, most compassionate, hardworking young mn I have ever worked with,” said Stephanie Hanson, Abbas’s counselor at McNary. Abbas has a 3.78 grade point average and balances that with working at Walgreens part time and other extracurricular activities. Teacher Dan Borresen said writing has always been a strong suit for Abbas. One testament to that was his inclusion in the annual anthology of student creative writing produced by McNary’s Write Club. “Zach has the ability to view concepts and reading activities from varying perspectives. This unique skill allows him to connect to ideas and the claims of authors in a thorough and scholarly manner, making his insights and analyses incredibly thoughtful and perceptive....

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Keizer Florist set to reopen March 2

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Car after car pulled into the parking lot of the flower shop both Feb. 13 and 14, with regular customers getting out to buy flowers for Valentine’s Day. Except there were no flowers to be bought at Keizer Florist. Lisa Vasquez and her husband Rich bought the business from Julie Wallace earlier this year, with the sale closing on Feb. 4. Lisa is busy getting things up and running for a reopening on March 2. The store closed shortly before Christmas. The new opening date means Keizer Florist was closed for Valentine’s Day – traditionally the busiest day for a flower shop. “It was torture,” Lisa said of not having flowers to sell. “For so many of the people, for years they pull up and pick up flowers for Valentine’s Day. I lost count of how many people came up and saw the store was closed.” With the sale closing shortly before the big day, Lisa said there wasn’t time to get things like taxes, flower accounts and a myriad of other details arranged in time. “We didn’t want to open when we weren’t ready,” said Lisa, who noted she has hired three of the store’s former employees. “All of these things have to happen before you can start. Last Friday was the worst. It was the same on Saturday. People didn’t see...

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