Month: September 2016

Keizer Chamber seeking to reignite holiday parade

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The Keizer Chamber of Commerce is picking up the torch of the holiday lights parade. “The chamber has gotten a lot of calls since it was announced that the holiday parade was ending and we sat down with the board a couple of weeks ago and had a long discussion about whether or not we wanted to take it on. In the end, we decided to do it,” said Scott White, president of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce board of directors. The Keizer Holiday Lights Parade sponsored by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce and the City of Keizer already has a date – Saturday, Dec. 10 – but organizers are now scrambling to bring everything else into alignment. At the top of the list for the event is engaging businesses along River Road North. White said several local business owners are already planning to use their parking lots to reach out to customers, but more are welcome. “We are assembling a team to blanket River Road businesses to try and get them engaged in what is happening. We want the focus to be on small business, and that may mean a food stand or something else, but we are welcoming even non-Chamber members to participate,” White said. Prices for entry into the parade are the same as those for the Iris Festival parade: $35...

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McNary drama ‘reaching for more’

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes From going to space to The Addams Family to a twist on Shakespeare, the McNary drama department is “reaching for more” in its 30th season inside the Ken Collins Theater. The first show, Defying Gravity, Nov. 2-5, centers around the 1986 Challenger explosion and focuses primarily on the teacher, who lost her life, and her daughter. “It’s 20 years later and the daughter is reminiscing about her mother and how absent she was in that year she was getting ready,” said Dallas Myers, McNary drama director. “Now as an adult, she’s wrestling with it and the times she didn’t have her mom, all the time that her mom was literally reaching for more. The daughter essentially sounds like and feels like she’s talking to a therapist, like the audience is her therapist.” Also in the play are a NASA mechanic, a bartender, an Oregon couple driving across the country to see the launch and the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, who has his own artistic quest. Myers believes the play will be good for his students who weren’t alive when the Challenger exploded. “I love this play,” Myers said. “I think there’s some really touching moments in it. I remember what it was like. Everybody waiting for the teacher and then how tragic it was.” On Friday, Nov. 18, Myers is inviting all...

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Keizer Oral History Project needs a new anchor

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes When Anita Zahniser volunteered for the Keizer Points of Interest Committee, she hadn’t even heard of the Keizer Oral History Project, but she became the driving force behind it for the last year and a half. In more ways than one, Zahniser has molded the Oral History Project into something different than what she inherited. In early episodes, most of which are available to view on, the time was dedicated to capturing stories from the city founders and their memories of establishing Keizer as its own city. After taking on the role as host and interviewer, Zahniser turned the camera’s attention to what came before that time period and the people who weren’t civic leaders. She talked with city founder Jerry McGee “in disguise” as Thomas Dove Keizur, she interviewed a number of the earliest students to attend the first Keizer school and then started talking with residents of Avamere Court about their experiences living in the area for extended periods of time. The next one to be released is an interview with Joy Beebe, who moved to the area from England as a war bride after World War II.  Her final interview, for now, is with Lynn Woolfe whose dad built a fallout shelter during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Despite all that, she thinks she’s barely scratched the surface. “I...

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