Author: Derek Wiley

Keizer author’s second novel out July 26

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes The Hidden Letters of Velta B., written by Keizer author Gina Ochsner, will be released Tuesday but the journey to writing her second novel began 11 years ago with a story in the Boston Review. Ochsner was reading Regeneration by Latvian author Pauls Toutonghi. “His use of language, his lyric register, how he was describing what happened to Latvians during World War II and the occupations, was so unique, so unlike other narratives we hear about World War II, that I thought I have to find out more,” Ochsner said. “I literally ran to my car and got there [Jackson’s Books] as fast as I could.” Working the counter that day was a Latvian woman, Dace Berzins, and the two started a friendship. “She brought all of her family books and albums and shared with me some really central and important things about Latvian culture, the songs, music, poetry, just Latvian take on life and how they look at things,” Ochsner said. “That continued to fuel that initial curiosity.” Then Berzins told Ochsner she must visit Latvia, and in particular the capital city, Riga, and the River Daugava. Berzins asked Ochsner to bring her back some river mud. “It was like this test, how truly interested in Latvia are you?” Ochsner said. “That was the first test and then there were many other...

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Keizer swimmers breaking records

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Keizer swim clubs Holiday and Northwood defeated Salem teams Cambridge and Jan Ree, respectively, Thursday, July 14, while Northview Terrace came up just short against Madrona. Kian Gonzales and Kameron Splonski paced the Holiday boys who edged Cambridge 108-91. Gonzales won the 13-14-year-old butterfly, backstroke and freestyle while Splonski finished first in the 9-10 individual medley, backstroke and freestyle. The two also joined Tony Gonzales and Jack McCarty to set new club records in the 13-14 free (1:38.22) and medley (1:55.81) relays. McCarty won the 13-14 IM and Tony Gonzales touched the wall first in the breaststroke. Vinny Arnold had the fastest times in the 7-8 IM, fly and breaststroke. He also swam with Jared Toland, Cole Steele and Brody Hollis to win the free relay. Xavier Grantham won the 9-10 breaststroke and Carter Hollis placed first in the 11-12 IM. The two also joined Jackson Collyer and Ryan Bethers to have the fastest time in the 11-12 free relay. Holiday’s girls had an easier time with Cambridge, outscoring their opponent 143-23. Bella Beard placed first in the 13-14 IM, back and free. She also swam on the winning 15-18 free and medley relays with Alex Beard, Kylie McCarty and Antonia Gonzales. Alex had the fastest time in the IM and Antonia in the butterfly. Bella Grantham, Hannah Williams, Kassy Winters and Jayla...

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Keizer swimmers learning to fly

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes The summer swim season began Thursday, June 30 with two Keizer teams going head-to-head as defending league champion, Northwood, outscored Holiday 367-236. Northwood’s boys, who accumulated 186 points, won 20 events. Jake Wyer won five events—15-18-year-old butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle relay and medley relay with teammates Jabez Rhoades, Miller Baumann and Lucas Garvey. Baumann won the individual medley and Rhoades the freestyle. Carter Hawley touched the wall first in three swims—the 9-10 freestyle, medley relay with Roman Pack, Caleb Skipper and Grant Schaffer, and the free relay with Schaffer, Tate Woodward and Elijah Clendening. In the 8-and-under division, Ben Diede also won three events—free, back and breaststroke. Hudson Hughes took first in the butterfly. Jackson Alt won the 11-12 individual medley and butterfly and also swam on the winning medley relay team with Pierce Walker, Connor Roop and Carson Biondi. Roop and Biondi swam on the first place free relay as well with Olen Cogar and Zach Harrington. Jacob Paton and Riley Mahoney won the 11-12 back and breaststroke, respectively. Swimming for the Northwood girls, who recorded 186 points and won 20 events, Alyssa Garvey touched the wall first in three individual events—13-14 breaststroke, butterfly and free. Avery Buss also received three first place ribbons after winning the 9-10 IM and swimming on the 9-10 medley relay with Bentley Pack, Rosella Cogar and...

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McNary presents Class of 2016

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Kacey McCallister and Serena Dufour challenged McNary’s Class of 2016 to try new things because failure is inevitable. “What good is life if you never try to do something remarkable?” asked McCallister, a 2004 graduate who delivered the keynote speech. “Get out there and be successful.” McCallister used his own examples of failing in cross country and wrestling at McNary before learning from his mistakes and winning district titles in both sports. “Congratulations on the completion of a journey,” said Dufour, who was one of two student speakers.  “One chapter closes and the next one opens and whether you are an attorney or the one that bags my groceries, my one wish for you is to enjoy life, to fail and mess up and try again, so that when another opportunity knocks, you open the door. Try things you’ve never tried before.” Dufour added that the mistakes and accomplishments made in high school do not define who one will become. We are still the future generation,” she said. “We are still young. We will grow and change and expand and experience failure and success.” The other senior speaker, Malcolm Salazar, compared high school to a movie and graduation marked the ending. “This day is the beginning of our ending,” he said. “Because of this many of us are worried about our next movie—the...

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