Author: Eric Howald

Teddy Bear Express conductor hands out smiles, food boxes

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Almost every Thursday the Keizer Community Food Bank opens it’s doors to those in need, Laura Ayres is there with something extra for every kid. Sometimes it’s large, sometimes it’s small, every once in a while it’s nearly life-size, but it’s always stuffed and fluffy. “Four years ago, I was at a garage sale where they had some beautiful stuffed animals on display and it hit me that they would make great gifts for the children who come to the food bank,” Ayres said. She asked the proprietor what their plans were for the animals after the sale was over and then asked if they would be willing to donate their leftover stock for the effort Ayres would later dub “The Teddy Bear Express.” They took her number and called after the close of business. “I brought home about a dozen stuffed animals that day and then I started asking at every sale I went to after that,” Ayres said. “Close to 75 percent of the people I ask simply tell me to take [the stuffed animals] with me on the spot.” In the past four years, she estimates she’s given out more than 2,000 stuffed pals. She has a running inventory of about 900 on hand. She’s even had complete strangers drop them off at her house once they heard what...

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Boys soccer team will have depth, determination

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Things will be different for the McNary High School boys varsity soccer team this season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean worse, according to several of the players. “We have some new faces, but they’ll do what they do. They’ll fill the spots just fine,” said senior Nevin McLain. McNary could still be the team to beat in the Central Valley Conference, said senior Jake Paulson. “We lost some players, but we’ve still got depth,” Paulson said. The Celtics lost four powerhouses, with 12 years of varsity experience between them, to graduation in June. “We still have a pretty good team, but we’ll have to play different,” said Luis Garibay, a senior. “We could play more calmly last year. This year we’ll have to step it up and move the ball around more.” Miguel Camarena, Celtic head coach, knows that the team will have to work hard to achieve their goals this season, but he was eagerly anticipating McNary’s preseason match-ups. “It’s going to help us to have good teams to play in the preseason like Jesuit, CV, and Woodburn,” Camarena said. While a number of players bring varsity experience to the table, Celtics strengths in 2010 are likely to be speed and versatility. “They’re all eager to learn and they’re getting better every day,” he said. Returning sophomore Mychael Thomas moved from...

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Newberg’s ‘big, physical’ team will be test for Celtic defense

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes McNary High School’s varsity football team couldn’t make much happen on offense last week, but the Celts’ head coach will be putting his faith in his “speedy and skilled” players – again. McNary hosts Newberg High School Friday, Sept. 10. Game time is 7 p.m. “They’re a big, physical team, which doesn’t sound good for us right now, but our speed and athleticism is going to give them some problems,” said Rick Ward, McNary head coach. “They have some big guys but we’re not certain they can cover ours.” The Tigers run an “old school I-back veer” that might be a test for the Celtic defense, “but our defense is up to that test,” Ward said. Newberg (1-0) won its opening game against Reynolds High School in the final seconds. Tiger linebacker Matt Dunkle forced and recovered a fumble after a blitz as the team trailed 27-26. After the turnover, Newberg quarterback Darnell Adams hit Nate Hyatt for 24-yard touchdown pass. Adams laid out 99 passing yards and two touchdowns in the game. Mistakes plagued McNary’s opening game vs. Crater High School that ended in a 36-14 loss, but the team can work harder, said Alex Willeford, a McNary senior linebacker. “I think we have a lot of potential. We’re not there yet, but we can get there,” he said. Laziness on...

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Renovations revealed at WMS

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes While many of the changes to Whiteaker Middle School are visible, the biggest one will be felt more than seen, said Laura Perez, Whiteaker principal. It’s repairs to the school’s heating and ventilation system. “We had one classroom where it would be almost 90 degrees and the room next door was 60 degrees,” said Perez. “Orchestra students were cutting the finger tips off their gloves to play inside the school. We’d adjust the temperature and it would get too hot the instruments would fall out of tune.” The school underwent a major facelift during the summer to repair several maintenance and  usability issues. Teachers were allowed into the school for the first time Tuesday, Aug. 31. Other repairs completed included: • Replacing the roof, windows, floor coverings, siding, water supply lines and damaged ceiling tiles; • Installing solid partition walls in eight classrooms; • New lighting throughout the school; • Sealing the building’s exterior. Funding for makeover came primarily from the $242 million construction bond that gained voter approval in November 2008. Funds for new lighting came from a grant. The installation of the solid walls in some classrooms will be a major improvement for the teachers and students using them. “We used to have accordion walls that could be pushed back to make two smaller classrooms one large space, but the...

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