Month: January 2016

Guitar class will keep hopes alive for solo artists

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes At Salem-Keizer schools, studying music is a progression, with gaps some students find themselves tumbling into. Local students are lucky in that they have the opportunity to start exploring music in elementary school. Beginning in middle school, those students become part of an ensemble. Some discover other interests and some discover being part of a group isn’t their forte. By the time they reach high school, the emphasis is on competitive, group performances. “At that point we start losing people left and right,” said Jim Taylor, director of McNary choirs. To counteract forces that pull students in other directions, Taylor spearheaded an effort to create a piano lab. It began three years ago and is now at full capacity (96 students), with a lengthy waiting list. He sees a new guitar class as filling a similar niche at MHS. “We have a lot of students who tried music when they were younger and never really found ‘their thing.’ The guitar class gives them another chance,” Taylor said. That sort of experience is precisely why student Ryan Cowan picked up a guitar. “What I love about it is seeing other people playing something intricate and beautiful than thinking, ‘Wow, I could do that.’ I won’t stop until I figure it out but, when I do, the feeling is amazing,” said Cowan. Cowan is going...

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Boys roll near-perfect game en route to title

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School boys varsity bowling team not only won a district title Sunday, Jan. 24, they bowled a near-perfect game. “The energy in the entire building changed once they started striking. There were spectators high-fiving each other,” said Scott Miller, the team’s assistant coach. The event was hosted by Linn Lanes in Lebanon. Perfect games are a rare enough occurrence, they require a bowler to deliver 12 consecutive strikes that total 300 points when all is said and done. Competitive high school bowling adds another twist. Five-person teams bowl baker-style meaning the first bowler will bowl frames one and six. The second bowler will bowl frames two and seven with the fifth bowler bowling frames five and 10. With Celtics Jerome Ricks, Bailey Lee, Tim Kiser, Donny Grubough and Nick Blythe on the lane, McNary posted a game for the record books. “We started several games with two or three strikes, but as the streak got longer and longer more and more people were paying attention,” said Dan Kaplan, McNary head coach. In a single game of the semifinals, the Celtics had accumulated 11 strikes plus eight pins on the final ball for a grand total of 298. “I was jumping up and down after every strike,” said Grubough. “Everybody in the place stopped to watch us,” said Kiser. “It...

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Mark Caillier named Keizer’s First Citizen

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Two of the biggest projects completed in Keizer last year were the Big Toy play structure at Keizer Rapids Park and the new turf field at McNary High School. Mark Caillier managed the Big Toy project, while Danielle Bethell was the key person – along with Bob Zielinski – for the turf field project. Fast forward to last Saturday night’s First Citizen Awards banquet, put on by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce at the Keizer Quality Suites. Keizer’s First Citizen for 2015? Caillier. And who did Zielinski, the current chamber president, bestow with the President’s Award? None other than Bethell. There were more MHS connections. John Honey, the former MHS principal who opened the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) on Portland Road along with Chuck Lee last fall, was presented the Service to Education Award by Chuck and Krina Lee. Scott White, the Keizer Big Town Hero owner who has donated to MHS and various other community organizations for years, was honored with the Merchant of the Year award. While none of the recipients were big surprises, Caillier was probably the least surprising of all. In addition to being a former Salem Police Department officer and a former Keizer City Councilor, Caillier is current president of the Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association and also heads up the Claggett Creek Watershed Council. A longtime...

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Large crowd discusses grocery issues

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes City leaders and a state representative admitted there wasn’t much they could do to persuade a grocery store to come to Keizer during a town hall meeting Tuesday evening at the Keizer Fire Hall. State Rep. Bill Post (R-Keizer) organized the hour-long meeting to allow citizens a chance to ask questions, offer ideas or to just rant. The meeting, which attracted a standing room-only crowd of about 70 people, included ideas from those highly familiar with the process grocery chains and realtors go through when deciding where to open a new location. The topic of grocery stores in Keizer has been a hot issue for months, especially since the former Albertsons/Haggen store closed late last September, leaving Safeway as the only grocery store in town. One audience member noted Tuesday some Safeway employees are weary from the increased workload associated with the uptick in business. In recent months, there have been various efforts to woo potential new stores, with much of the talk focused on trying to attract WinCo, which has a distribution center in Woodburn. A “Keizer Wants WinCo” page on Facebook has nearly 800 members. “I remember when there was four, three, two and then one grocery store in town,” Post said. “My wife and I liked to run to Albertsons for these four things, Roth’s for these seven things and Safeway...

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Four stars of volunteerism

The closest thing Keizer  has to an Oscars-style evening is the annual First Citizen and Awards Banquet staged by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. Recepients of the 2015 awards were announced Saturday night and the committee that made the choices got it just right. Mark Caillier was named Keizer’s First Citizen to roaring applause and approval by the audience, comprised of Keizer’s volunteer, business, community and civic leaders. Presenter Lore Christopher (last year’s First Citizen) read off a list of Caillier’s many accomplishments—his most recent project was as construction coordinator for the Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park in June. That is just one of the things that make Caillier a true first citizen of Keizer. If he had been honored for his work on the Big Toy, that would have been enough but Caillier has had a hand in many parts of the city, from his service on various city committees, service on the city council and his volunteer work on the Keizer Community Library and Keizer Art Association’s computer needs. As Christopher said, Caillier is man who loves his community and is hard pressed to say no when asked for his advice, experience or muscle. The average resident may be unaware of Caillier’s contribution to every facet of the city, but they continue to benefit from his unselfish volunteerism and advocacy over the years and will into...

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