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Day: October 1, 2010

Fast and furious

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Inacia Arpin’s gnarliest BMX racing crash began with a bribe.

“It was at the State Fair this year, there was this backpack I really wanted and my dad told me he would buy it if I won the moto,” Arpin said. Races in the BMX world are tagged motos.

Arpin, racing against a group of boys, looked to be in prime position to claim the new bag as she went up the first hill of the Capitol City BMX track.

“As I went up over the hill, one of the boys jumped the hill and ended up in front of me. I went down and one rider ran over me and two others ran over my bike,” Arpin, 14, said.

Arpin is one of eight Keizer kids that are regulars at the track, and she is among the top riders in the area. There are too few girls competing for her to be officially labeled an expert rider, but she’s easily the equivalent.

In a sport where speed is essential, Keizer’s BMX riders each embody a spark of fearlessness and have become something like a family.

“I’m here right now and I’m not even riding,” said Nate Martin.

Martin recently crashed in his driveway while attempting a barspin and landed on the tip of his thumb breaking it in two places.

“It’ll be four weeks before I can ride again if I can’t get a cast. If I get a cast, I’m going to try riding with it,” Martin said.

Gubser Elementary School fifth grader Kory Pagels, 10, is one of the younger regulars at the track, but he hasn’t been immune to the bumps and bruises of competitive bike racing.

“There was one time I did too big a wheelie at the top of the of one of the hills and I fell over backward,” Pagels said. “I had to lay down in the back of the car for a bit on the way home. “

While things can go wrong in any sport, rider Justin Hurt said that most of the riders try to be mindful of their co-competitors.

“Most of the people are pretty good about it and there’s not a lot of cutting off,” Hurt said.

Even without the the threat of crashing, the sport can be intense, said Tom Hurt, Justin’s father.

“One day, I rode Justin’s bike out of the gate and I only got as far as the first tabletop before getting off the bike and walking it back,” he said.

Motos are divided somewhat along age lines, but more often according to talent. Whereas Arpin is considered an expert, Hurt and Martin are both competing at the intermediate level, before advancing to higher ranks, all three were novices.

“It takes takes eight wins to move to intermediate level and 25 wins to move to expert,” Hurt said.

Hurt advanced to the intermediate level while competing at the High Desert BMX national competition in Redmond earlier this year. Competing against a much larger field of riders made the moment extra rad. On a good day at the Capitol City track there might be enough riders for 15 motos, there were more than 200 motos in Redmond.

“It was a in a big stadium and a lot of fun,” Hurt said.

Pagels said the most difficult aspect of learning the sport was negotiating the rhythm section – an area with several hills of varying heights in a short distance – of the track, but for Martin, the mental game has proven to be the most challenging.

“If there’s someone in front of you, you’ve got to figure out another way to get in front of them if you can’t beat them on the flats,” Martin said.

The group of riders and their families often gather early for the races that take place on Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons and take time to reconnect over shared meals, which isn’t to say there aren’t moments of conflict.

As with many girls her age, parents can be a source of frustration for Arpin, but she’s found a healthy outlet.

“When I’m mad, I  take it out on the track,” she said. “There have been a few races I’ve won because I let out so much anger.”

For more information about BMX racing at the Capitol City BMX track, visit www.capitolcitybmx.com. Other Keizer riders include Zachary Slauson, Emmett Reeb, Tina Brubaker and Evan Kennedy

Freshmen offense tops 400 yards

McNary High School’s freshman football team entered league competition undefeated (4-0) this week and in the wake of a 34-12 win over Barlow High School Thursday, Sept. 23.

The Celts clashed with North Salem High School Thursday past press time.

Brett Hildebrand opened the scoring in the first quarter of the Barlow game with a six-yard touchdown run. Hayden McCowan added the point after kick for a 7-0 lead. Garrett Hittner followed with two first quarter touchdown catches, a 29-yarder from Andrew Lawrence and a 58-yarder from Quinton Boyd. McCowan converted one of two kicks for a 20-0 lead.

The Bruins ran back a kickoff for a touchdown to open the second quarter, but  Hildebrand answered with a 20-yard touchdown run and McCowan added the point after for a 27-6 lead ending the half.

D.J. Wilson padded the Celtic lead with a 19-yard run for a touchdown in the third quarter. McCowan added the point after to make it 34-6. Barlow scored later in the quarter closing the score to 34-12.

Boyd, Lawrence and Jonathan Doutt combined for 13 completions on 27 attempts and 285 yards passing. Wilson carried the ball six times for 101 yards to lead a rushing attack that netted 186 yards.

Boyd caught five passes for 102 yards with Hittner adding 87 and Brandon Lao put in 70 yards.

Offensive Coordinator Josh Riddell was pleased with the balance on offense and Kyle Ward, line coach, cited Frank and Paul Rios for excellent line play.

Cody Ratliff recorded 11 tackles with Lawrence adding 10 to lead the Celtic defense. Daniel Brattain wrapped up nine tackles with Hittner and Adam Snegirev adding eight each. Ratliff averaged 45 yards on six kickoffs to lead the special teams play.

Seeing grand design requires an eagle eye

It’s harder to tell at ground level, but from above the design of the Town and Country Lanes sidewalk makes it abundantly clear. The idea to shape it as a bowling pin came from the architect. (Submitted)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

It’s hard to see what’s so special about the new look at Town and Country Lanes at ground level.

The hot air balloon group that took the photo with this story got a better idea – when viewed from above, the new sidewalk in front of the bowling alley takes on an obvious shape.

“They said they were going to recommend that flight path to everyone because of the bowling pin,” said Mardi Smith, marketing and programs director for the bowling center. [MAP: 1]

The design came from an architect at Carlson Veit Architects of Salem.

“Most people walking by don’t notice it,” said Don Lebold, owner of Town and Country Lanes.

The facelift – at least the part by the street – was funded with urban renewal dollars to the tune of just less than $120,000. It includes a rain garden, which has improved on-site drainage,” Lebold said.

“It’s working perfectly,” said Lebold, who noted the parking lot was notorious for high water during the rainy months.

The center self-funded new siding and painting to the building’s front.

“People say, man, it looks like you have a new bowling lane,” Lebold said.

Smith thinks the upgrades have improved drive-by traffic, “and I think it looks neater,” she said.

Council rejects community library’s request to restore funding stipend

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Councilors denied a request last week from Art Burr for $1,700 to assist the Keizer Community Library, an all-volunteer operation. Keizer has no public library.

“The library has serious need for more space,” Burr told councilors at the Monday, Sept. 20 Keizer City Council meeting. “We have room to display only a fraction of the available resources we have; we’re putting a growing number of our books in storage all the time … and only one single public-use computer so there’s people standing in line almost all the time to use it.”

Councilor David McKane asked how that sum would create more space inside the Keizer Heritage Center, which houses the library.

“That itself won’t do much,” Burr acknowledged. “But we’re looking at all kinds of other opportunities,” including renting a vacant storefront to house the library.”

Christopher recommended Burr bring a dollars-and-cents plan to the council should he ask for funding again. The city’s budget committee opted to cut the library’s stipend in the current budget, along with funds for a number of goodwill and charitable programs.

“While I’m a library supporter I would be much more interested in you coming to us and saying, here’s the plan, we need this much,” Christopher said. “Here’s so many of those value-added programs we cut. We cut them all … It’s like Solomon’s wisdom, having to choose between some of those programs. We supported all of them or none of them.”

Burr came to council in part because of a report of $11,300 in additional revenue coming to the city due to its franchise agreement with Clear Wireless, which provides internet service.

Council approved staff’s recommendation to purchase a carpet cleaner for the civic center; volunteer donations collected $925, and city funds were sought to pay about $700 toward the cost.

Councilors also approved spending $284.20 to cover the remainder of breakfast for visitors for the Good Vibrations motorcycle rally. Donations paid $1,200 to Keizer Renaissance Inn’s restaurant for the bill; the city opted to pick up the remainder.

They also spent $5,000 to pay for an adequacy review pertaining to the city’s Economic Opportunities Analysis.

We’re Number One!

Keizer Police Officer Tyler Wampler pours a bag of pills into a disposal bin as part of the nationwide prescription drug turn-in day Saturday, Sept. 25, at Roth’s Fresh Markets. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Local authorities are calling a nationwide drug take-back event a success.

Keizer’s site at Roth’s Fresh Markets netted the most in the Salem area, taking in 361 pounds from 201 households. The second-closest was the south Salem drop off site which garnered 228 pounds from 117 households. Keizer Police Sgt. Lance Inman said the most unusual item they received was a bag of old prescription drugs from an elderly lady; the oldest expired in 1955.

Overall, more than 1,000 pounds of drugs were collected for disposal. The effort included local law enforcement agencies, the Community Action Drug Prevention Network and the Drug Enforcement Administration.