Day: January 1, 2016

2015: A year in Keizer sports

2015 was filled with ups and down for many McNary High School teams, but along the way a few rose to new peaks and a number of individual athletes made waves with top finishes in their sports of choice. Here is a round-up of some of the biggest stories of the year. New turf at MHS After months of work by volunteers and contractors alike, McNary High School unveiled its new turf field during the annual Blue Day celebration in August. The process of installing the turf involved a three-month timetable that included excavating the old field, upgrading drainage systems, filling in with new foundation material, leveling it off, laying down new turf, stitching it together with a sewing gun, clipping out sections for logos and numbers, gluing the pre-made numerals and letters down, adding sand and plastic infill, and laying down asphalt on the areas the turf didn’t cover. Three large I-beams were also added to reposition the old scoreboard. The project was paid for through about $500,000 in in-kind donations and another $500,000 in cash. The McNary Athletic Booster Club is still raising money to help cover expenses. The new artificial turf field is expected to be able to handle tenfold the amount of traffic the old natural grass field could. Boys ignite on hardwood When it came to team sports at Keizer’s only high school there...

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Keizer’s top stories of 2015

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes When a city keeps getting new housing developments, apartments and senior living centers, it may seem logical to assume more core services would follow. Such was not the case in Keizer in 2015. As recently as mid-2012, Keizer had three grocery stores. Then Roth’s closed that year. Albertsons closed this year, replaced by a Haggen. A few months later, Haggen closed as well, leaving just Safeway. The stark contrast between Keizer being down to one grocery store and the new growth highlights the top stories of 2015. Grocery store saga The initial plan seemed ambitious. It proved to be an epic disaster. In 2014, grocery store giants Safeway and Albertsons announced a merger. Both companies had a store in Keizer. As part of the merger agreement, the newly merged company had to sell off a number of stores. Late in 2014, Washington-based retailer Haggen took advantage of the situation and went from 18 stores to 164 stores practically overnight. The ambitious plan for the regional chain included converting stores quickly – in 72 hours or less. Such was the case with the former Albertsons in Keizer, which became a Haggen in late April. From the start, things didn’t go well. There were complaints that prices at Haggen stores – in Keizer and elsewhere – were higher than in other stores. There were grumbles...

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Marketplace will decide wages

Increasing the minimum wage and income inequality will continue to dominate the news in 2016. It is expected that income inequality will take center stage during the presidential nominating and general election campaigns. Income inequality is not something that will be corrected by protests in the street; it would take systemic changes in tax laws, lobbying rules and reforms of campaign finance laws. Increasing the minimum wage can be accomplished at the ballot box. Voters sympathetic to workers’ demands for a higher wage are not necessarily the people who would benefit. Oregon has one of the highest minimum wages at $9.25 (the federal minimum is $7.25); a measure in the 2016 general election would call for an increase in our state’s minimum to $15 by 2019 and annual increases after that. Businesses say that an increase will force them to raise prices; some businesses say a wage increase will cause them to cut jobs. An increase in payroll also increases a businesses’ tax bill as well as increased contributions to Medicare and Social Security. Business has always passed on its increased expenses to its customers, a wage increase would be no different. Reasonable people would not begrudge a fellow citizen from earning a life-sustaining wage. The debate will come down to what a living wage is. A post-high school teenager earning $9.25 an hour might be quite satisifed with...

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Paint part of the mural

To the Editor: The Keizer  Mural, located on the long exterior wall of Town and Country Lanes,  is developing with great community input and involvement.  A number of local people are designing the individual images and will soon create a collage with the  numerous elements of the Keizer Iris Parade. Keizer Public  Arts  Commission (KPAC) and Keizer Arts Association(KAA) will soon be sending out a ‘call to artists,’ asking for submissions of  portrait  portfolio work. This’ heads up’ is an opportunity to develop a few representative  pieces of portrait  work for the  paid commissioned  faces that will be a part of the mural. Details will  be explained in the actual call to artist announcement.   Final selections will be done by the KAA board.   If anyone is interested in joining the community mural effort, please attend the next meeting, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at the Keizer Civic Center.  At this meeting Barbara Hunter, a local artist,  will offer  a short presentation on  impressionistic techniques that will be used in the making of the  mural. There will be several mural-related presentations over the next few months. Experience or none, professional or amateur, young or old, all are welcome and we will have  jobs and tasks for  most  everyone. Please, come join the effort,  contribute and be a part of the growing expressions of Keizer  art. We have a number of  images just waiting to be claimed and developed. Come to...

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