Month: October 2015

Crafting a tale as old as time

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes When a hauling trailer arrived at McNary High School packed with the dresses and vests and even wolf heads for the upcoming production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, costumers Beth Murphy and Lexie Simpson spent the next few hours reveling in their work. “The costumes are just crazy in their detail. We spent hours just going through and matching the pieces. The whole time we were asking each other if we had seen some new piece that had just been unwrapped,” said Murphy. Then the girls had to set to work. “Everything has to be hand-stitched and it has to be able to come out. Sometimes it’s just pinning things up or repairing rips, but we’ve had to take in the shoulders and waistlines for a lot of the main characters,” said Simpson. Performances begin Thursday, Nov. 12, and, for the first time, tickets are being sold online. Visit mcnarytheatre.weebly.com for show dates, times and tickets. While the costumes arrived in bulk from Westview High School, the McNary theatre tech students have spent weeks building everything else. That’s meant creating or repurposing set pieces and painting fly panels to recreate the feel of a proper Disney animated movie. “It feels a lot like we’ve been living in a fairy tale the whole time we’ve been working,” Simpson said. Student Taylor Long...

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Ring site not rock solid

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Are there different ways to interpret the word no? Apparently so. That was on display Tuesday night at the Keizer Public Arts Commission meeting when the topic of art sculptures along River Road was brought up. Earlier this year, Keizer Public Works employees installed several sculptures along the busy thoroughfare. The one receiving the most attention was the large Boucher Jewelers ring, Creative Memories. Former Mayor Lore Christopher, chair of KPAC, had championed the idea of having the ring in front of the jewelry store at 4965 River Road North. Ultimately, however, city attorney Shannon Johnson decreed the ring could be interpreted as advertising for the business and thus in violation of city sign code ordinances. Thus, the ring sculpture built for this year’s Iris Festival Parade was placed in front of Sonic Drive-In at 3775 River Road N. Christopher still didn’t agree with Johnson’s point of view and made it known on Tuesday. She brought it up as Nate Brown, director for Community Development, mentioned a location needing to be approved for the new Ric Smith American flag sculpture. “I would like permission from KPAC to talk to the Bouchers about moving the ring,” Christopher said. “You had talked about taking down the sign; in its place would be the ring.” Brown said that had been proposed at one point. “But we...

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Transit, KFD vote ends on Tuesday

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes On the national picture, the big election takes place a year from Tuesday. But locally, two big issues will be decided this coming Tuesday. The one that’s been most talked about is Ballot Measure 24-388, the proposed 0.21 percent business payroll tax to pay for increased local transit service. Officials with the Salem-Keizer Transit District have estimated the new tax, which will be collected starting in 2017, will bring in about $5 million in new revenue a year. Anyone reading the Keizertimes lately – or driving by busy intersections on certain days – knows opposition has been strong. Both the Keizer and Salem Area Chambers of Commerce have led organized efforts to protest the payroll tax as being unfair. In addition to the sign waving, the chambers have also produced ads against the payroll tax and spoken out in other forums such as luncheons. While the opposition has been vocal, proponents of the tax have been far quieter. Transit board members have spoken at several Keizer meetings this month, but the small crowds at each means a total of about 25 people heard the message. Discussion of the funding during the Oct. 12 Keizer City Council work session drew a strong rebuke from councilor Amy Ryan, who asserted it wasn’t fair for transit officials to campaign for the tax since opponents hadn’t been...

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Gridders to face Olys

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The good news for the McNary High School varsity football team is that it is virtually assured a spot in the playoffs regardless of whether it wins or loses a game with Sprague High School at home Friday, Oct. 30. “We’re pretty much locked into fourth, but it would be nice to get that win for our own state of mind. On paper, Sprague’s got a good record, but I think we match up with them pretty well. It should be a good game,” said Jeff Auvinen, McNary head coach. The Olympians enter the contest with a Greater Valley Conference record of 6-1, and an overall record of 6-2. The Olys’ largest threat on offense is senior running back Anthony Nunn. The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder has racked up big yards already this season and is likely to be the linchpin of Sprague’s offensive package against McNary. “We’ll be focusing on the run. They have a young quarterback who can throw the ball, but we feel like if we stop the run, we should do okay,” said Celt Matt Aguilar. Sprague’s quarterback is 6-foot-2 junior Justin Culpepper who has come through in several clutch situations this year and continues to grow. Despite the threats Sprague brings to the game, the Celtic’s largest obstacle will likely be flushing a 56-12 loss to South Salem High School...

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Cop: addicts aren’t bad people

Chasing Dark is an ongoing series looking at heroin and other types of drug abuse in Keizer. By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Over the course of nine years, Chris Nelson learned a lot about drugs in the area. Nelson was a member of the Keizer Police Department’s Community Response Unit for two years, mainly focused on drugs, before joining a Drug Enforcement Agency task force for seven years. Two years ago, police chief John Teague brought Nelson back from the DEA. Nelson is now a detective working regular cases with the KPD. Many of those cases, however, are directly linked to substance abuse. Even with his current duties, Nelson keeps close tabs on the local drug scene and has seen the impact of drugs like heroin. One of the main things Nelson learned is the stereotype of drug users being terrible people simply isn’t true. “Many individuals who are addicted aren’t bad people, they just have an addiction to an illicit drug,” Nelson said. “The young addicts were once thriving in school and the older ones were once contributing to society – the addiction has temporarily poisoned their ability to thrive.” As mentioned last week in the Keizertimes, drug addicts see others die of the habit but don’t feel it will happen to them – even after it does happen to people like former Keizer resident Brandon Crist, who...

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