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Day: February 17, 2012

Lady Celts take second in CVC play

Lady Celt Averi Wing darts around a McKay defender. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School girls varsity basketball team narrowly avoided a third place finish in the Central Valley Conference with a two-point win over South Salem High School last week.

However, by defeating the Saxons 43-41 in the last game of league play, the Lady Celts earned themselves a bye in the first round of the CVC tournament that determines seeding headed into the state playoffs.

The game came down to the wire with the Lady Celts taking control of the ball with six seconds left on the clock and a 41-41 tie game.

McNary’s Teresa Peterson’s put the ball into play with a pass to sophomore Baili Keeton. Keeton raced it down the far edge of the court ducking four Saxon defenders and putting up a shot that kissed off the backboard. Peterson grabbed it in the air and put it back into the basket at the buzzer.

“Baili did an incredible job of getting through their defense. I just happened to be in the right spot,” Peterson said.

While it was a thrilling finish to a tough game, Celt Stacey Titchenal said the team might have put itself in a better position leading up to the end.

“We could have done a little better on defense and getting out quicker. I don’t feel like were talking as much as we could have or running all the way through our plays, but we were hustling a good bit,” she said.

McNary Head Coach Molly Gehley was most impressed with the way the team handled the Saxon pressure.

Deven Hunter led the Celts with 20 points against South, Baili Keeton put up 10 points, including two three-pointers, Peterson and Jessica Darras added six points each. Titchenal hit one from the foul line.

The win put the team in a unusual position. After earning a bye in the first round of the CVC tournament, they were set to face South again in the second round on Thursday, Feb. 16, and it’s often said that it’s hard to beat a team three times. However, if the Celts prove the exception to the rule with South, who McNary has beaten twice, they’ll have to hope it holds true in a rematch with West Salem High School, who have two wins over the Celtics this season.

Gehley didn’t have much use for old adages.

“I’m feeling good that we’ll be in a good spot and it will come down to the wire again against South,” she said.

McNary had an easier 68-20 victory over McKay High School earlier last week.

“We started playing sloppy defense and got some sloppy fouls, but it was good practice for working on those things that we need to work on,” Titchenal said.

Hunter had 20 points, Titchenal added 10 points, Caitlin Tartak and Peterson put in nine, Averi Wing had seven points, Darras chipped in five points, Madison Rohl, Lauren Hudgins and Aerial Rice had four points apiece, and Jasmine Ernest sunk a penalty shot.

Boys relay teams headed to state

Ben Johnson, Alex Fox, Perry Groves, Seth Miller and Kevin Groves will compete in the 200 and 400 free relays at the state tournament this weekend. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

On the whole, their goals are modest – make it to the second day. A top six finish would be icing on the cake.

But Alex Fox, Kevin and Perry Groves, Ben Johnson and Seth Miller, the contingent of Celtics who earned berths at the state swimming meet, are shooting for something less tangible than medals or trophies.

“We’re going to be swimming for Kim,” said Johnson, acknowledging the efforts and time of coach Kim Phillips.

“And make sure she’s smiling the whole time,” Fox added.

The five swimmers comprise the two relay teams, 200- and 400-yards, that will hit the pool this weekend. Perry also earned a slot in the 50 free in individual races.

“It’s nice to go as a relay team because it means we know we have people cheering for us,” Miller said. “It’s a good stimulant.”

Perry said making it to the final level of state competition was the tangible result of months of hard work.

“It’s paid off and we’ve come together to get better as a team,” he said.

It was never more evident than when the team seemed to already be settling for making it to the second day. The moment they started to get complacent, Kevin piped up, “Top six is what I’m shooting for in both races.”

Less than a second later, each member of the team changed their tune.

In the overall standings at the regional tournament last weekend, the boys took third place in the district meet with 225 points, behind South Salem with 251 points and West Salem with 248 points.

The only event the Celts won was the 200 free relay with a time of 1:32.04, a full three seconds ahead of their closest competition. P. Groves, Miller, Johnson, and K. Groves comprised the winning team. The team of Miller, Fox, K. Groves and Johnson took second in the 400 free relay. P. Groves took second in the 50 free relay with a time of 22.64, just eight-tenths of a second behind the leader. Johnson took second in the 100 free posting a time of 50.09 and third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.16. Miller took third in the 500 free relay with a time of 5:11.57, which was ahead of his hoped for 5:14, but not enough to overtake Redmond High School’s Matthew Carpenter who blew the competition out of the water with a time of 4:49.75. Fox took fourth in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:17 and fifth in the 100 breast in 1:08.97. K. Groves took fourth in the 100 breast posting a time of 1:07.58.

In girls’ races, the 200 free relay team of Jade Boyd, Annie Fox, Rachel Hittner and Laura Donaldson had the best finish, third, in the 200 free relay with a t time of 1:48.71. Donaldson took fourth in the 50 free with a time of  26.18 and the 100 free in 58.02. Hittner had fifth place finishes in the 200 free, 2:07.87, and the 100 free, 59.65. Boyd took sixth in the 500 free with a time of 6:01.37 and Monica Howard finished sixth in the 100 breast with a time of 1:20.35.

Reign of three

Celtic wrestler Devin Reynolds claimed the regional title at the tournament held last weekend at Sprague High School. Anthony Flores, and Tyler Brown also earned regional titles. (Photos by Heather Sweigart)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

In qualifying 13 wrestlers for the state tournament and threepeating as district/regional champs the McNary High School varsity wrestling team made history twice in regional tournament last weekend.

Along the way, the team also crowned three new regional champions: Tyler Brown, Anthony Flores and Devin Reynolds.

Brown, who won the regional title at 195 pounds in a 12-2 decision, had wrestled and beaten most of his challengers throughout the season, but his goal wasn’t merely wins, he wanted pins.

“By pinning them, I had a better shot at good seeding in the state tournament,” Brown said. “The Newberg guy had gotten better in the few weeks since I pinned him, but I still wanted it more.”

Looking ahead to the widened field of wrestlers he’ll face at the state tournament next week, Brown was most eager to get on the mat with Jacob Turek of Hillsboro.

“I wrestled him last year at the state tournament and he got me again this year, but I was just coming back from mono, so I was pretty weak and not at full strength,” he said.

After winning the regional title at 220 pounds, Flores has only one wrestling goal left unattained – placing at the state level.

“I’ve had a a few matches against some of the guys who I’ll be seeing in the state tournament. I lost to them by a couple of points each time, but I’m going to be trying to turn those around and make them go the opposite way by taking it to them,” Flores said.

Flores won the title by defeating teammate Mason Ross in a 5-2 decision.

“It was difficult,” Flores said. “We’ve been practicing with each other for the last month and there’s no doubt in my that Mason is a good wrestler and we pushed each other to get better.”

Reynolds was driven to reverse the tide of history this year, he’s come up just short of regional titles as both a freshman and a sophomore, but achieved his goal this year with a second-round pin over Sprague’s Zach Zehner.

“Before the tournament, I wanted to pin everyone through the finals. When I took Zehner to his back, I knew it wasn’t going to be me just saying that, though,” Reynolds said.

Headed into the state tournament, Reynolds was riding high and happy that he’d been able to wrestle his match through most of the competition he’s seen this season. While there will be some new faces across from him at the state tournament, his approach isn’t changing.

“There’s a freshman from Barlow that I’m excited to see and then [Braden] Krellwitz out of West Linn, but I’ll take each one of them seriously and hope to pin them all,” Reynolds said.

McNary wrestlers rose to the top ranks in all but the lightest weight classes in the regional meet.

Andy Downer took third at 126-pounds beating his final opponent in a 14-12 decision. Reynolds won the title at 132 pounds with a second-round pin. Edgar Jimenez took fourth at 138 pounds. Jeremy Lowe took second when lost his finals match in a 3-2 decision at 145 pounds. Justin Lowe took second at 152 pounds when he lost his final match in a 7-2 decision. Rob Phelps took fourth at 152 after losing his last match 2-0. Ajay Urban took sixth at 160 pounds after losing his last match in a second-round pin. Grant Gerstner took third at 170 pounds with a second-round pin. Cody Ratliff clinched third place at 182 pounds with an 8-0 decision. Joel Hunter took third at 285 pounds with a first-round pin.

Visitor center now open every day

Keizer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christine Dieker, Marketing Director Stephan Wurzburg and board member Erick Peterson at their new office. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

An information center on local businesses and attractions is now open on weekends at Keizer Station.

The Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s new office and visitors center at 6075 Ulali Drive NE, Ste 102 will be open seven days a week, said Executive Director Christine Dieker. Existing staff will man the facility, which doubles as the chamber’s office, during normal business hours. Volunteers will direct visitors on weekends.

“We want this place to be our interpretative center for the Keizer area and the greater Willamette Valley,” Dieker said.

It gives the chamber plenty of room to spread out as it looks to enhance visitor services: The new space is 1,800 square feet, more than double the space in their former digs inside the Keizer Heritage Center on Chemawa Road.

Dieker said the move to Keizer Station makes sense as a way to funnel and direct potential customers into the core Keizer business community, she said.

“We’re trying to be a gateway into all that’s special in the Keizer area,” she said.

A conference room is available for members to reserve and use. And a back area will be used for wine tastings and product sampling.

“Hops, irises, hazelnuts – all those wonderful products we have out there,” Dieker said.

Area agriculture will be highlighted with a mural, Dieker added. Other murals will point out local historical landmarks and people, like Thomas Dove Keizur “blazing the Oregon trail,” she said. The Kalapuya tribe of Native Americans will be the subject of another mural, Dieker said.

“Our direction at first is to highlight Keizer’s historic presence and … how much Keizer is part of Oregon’s history,” Dieker said.

Debuting next month will be an electronic kiosk that’s part of the iRIS: Information Referral Internet System. It will be used to direct people to area events and businesses. An app for iPhone and Android is forthcoming, said chamber marketing director Stephan Wurzburg.

Stage is being set for Keizer community theatre

There will be an open house on February 24 to introduce Keizer Homegrown Theatre, a new local community theatre

Persons interested in acting, building sets, sewing costumes, lighting, and all the arts of the theatre are invited to attend and discuss ways in which they can become involved in the new venture. The event includes a meet and greet session and an opportunity for questions and answers with the group’s artistic directors, Linda Baker and Evan Christopher.

Baker was the theatre teacher at McNary High School for 15 years, during which time she was responsible for the creation of more than 40 theatrical productions.  Christopher is a performing arts graduate of McNary and holds a degree from Western Oregon University.

“We’ve thought about doing this and made some plans for a long time.  Keizer has a lot of talented, dynamic people.  I’m excited about getting started,” Baker said.

Christopher echoes that excitement:  “Keizer is definitely ready for a theatre like this, and we are proud and honored to facilitate that.”

The meeting will be held at the Keizer Civic Center from  7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.  There will be light refreshments.

For more information, contact the organizers at [email protected]

Politics is not entertainment

A Box of Soap
By DON VOWELL

Did you see the Super Bowl half-time show?  Never was so much production wasted on so little content.  It was much like the Republican primary race.  (It is not likely that a Democratic primary race would be any different, but there isn’t one this year.)

Madonna’s contribution to music as great art is equal to Mitt Romney’s contribution to lasting statesmanship.  If Madonna had sneezed or fallen off the stage it would not have changed the pre-packaged performance in any way, save for adding some needed humor.  Most comments the next day were about the stunning effects of the stage, props, and lighting.  Nobody said, “Wow, that Madonna can really sing.”

At least when The Who and Paul McCartney played their respective Super Bowl halftime shows they were legitimate has-beens.  They recalled bygone days when they wrote unforgettable songs and played them with sound and fury.   Madonna is a never-was.

The Republicans now hoping to become the presidential nominee strike me as a never-was bunch.

Mitt Romney’s performances are the same as Madonna’s – rigidly scripted and devoid of content, with nothing left to chance.  They could be lip synched.   It’s almost embarrassing to watch him pretending to be conservative for the Tea Party wing, and then switching back to his Wall Street persona the next day.  There is no way to tell what he might do as president, because he hasn’t found it necessary to tell us.  Or, rather, it appears he will say whatever he needs to for the audience of the day. Do you know what he stands for?

To carry this tortured Super Bowl analogy a little further, Mitt Romney seems like an NFL team owner.  Rich as Croesus, his millions are made from the labor of others.  Like team owners who extort tax breaks by threatening to move the team, he seems willing to do most anything to increase his margin.  His guiding light is more the legally permissible than the ethical.

Republicans recognize all this.  At a time when there is a great need for principled opposition to the incumbent president, they have only Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich from which to choose.  Their difficulty in picking a favorite is understandable.

Aside from savaging each other, the candidates’ only unity is in naming Barack Obama the Antichrist.  There seems no special regard for truth in their assertions of damage done, but it is hard to run from the facts.  The stimulus package did in fact create jobs.  Bureaucrats will not take over your health care decisions, and the Obamacare plan is actually creating jobs.  There was no Obama “apology tour.”

We cannot choose a candidate by judging which one despises President Obama with the most rhetorical flourish.  It would be best if we could choose from fully realized options in dealing with the state of the union.  If there is to be a real contender, one of these men will have to step forward and explain how he would put Americans to work, reduce the crushing health care and retirement entitlements, and begin paying our debts.  The Republican sideshow has so far been just as splashy and utterly choreographed as Madonna’s halftime show.  That’s all been entertaining, but a presidential election is not entertainment, it is how we manage the next four years.

Don Vowell lives in Keizer.

Annexation is a big gamble

By DEBRA WELTER

The upcoming special election will give the residents of Keizer the chance to gamble for the services provided to them by the choice they make at the ballot box.  The possible payoff for the residents of Clear Lake is to save a few dollars on your taxes.  The payoff for the rest of Keizer is nothing.  Keizer Fire District (KFD) has already stated that their assumption is that all of the Clear Lake taxes will go to pay for the Clear Lake station staffing and that it is net neutral for the rest of Keizer.  What happens if the gamble is wrong?  Less service for all of Keizer and with possibly higher taxes for the rest of Keizer if Keizer Fire District’s financial assumptions don’t line up.

Keizerites currently enjoy the protection of two fire districts serving our community.  We now have “auto response” coverage from Chemawa north to the city limits.  This means if a fire call comes in from this geographic area both districts will dispatch units to the call.  Each fire district backs each other up.  All fire districts use this model and it’s a good example of service.  Now KFD is saying that this service entitles them to the tax revenue from this area.  MCFD #1 routinely provides backup service into KFD’s territory, without receiving tax revenue from KFD.  In fact any fire response by MCFD#1 from Parkmeadow south results in unreimbursed expenditure for them.

Keizer Fire District (KFD) states they will staff the station at Clear Lake.  KFD has disclosed they will hire three full time fire personnel to staff the Clear Lake station.  The Clear Lake station currently has 20 personnel.  KFD states the volunteers will stay however no voluteers have stated their intentions.  MCFD#1’s professional volunteers were called “scabs” by a KFD career firefighter…would you stay?  Are we willing to gamble on this?

KFD states the residents of Clear Lake within the city have purchased the equipment and station in the current MCFD#1 bond.  They claim this will come at zero cost to KFD.  In fact the entire district of MCFD#1 has paid for the station and equipment at Clear Lake not just the residents of  Clear Lake within the City of Keizer.  If this measures passes the station and equipment division would be decided by the courts.  The assumption is flawed that the equipment and station will automatically transfer ownership at zero cost.  The taxpayers of all of MCFD#1 deserve to be compensated for their assets being transferred to KFD, especially as they are still obligated for that bond.  KFD has been asked repeatedly to provide the taxpayers a business plan for the acquisition and operation of the Clear Lake Station.  To date they have not provided it.  Are we willing to gamble that all of KFD’s assumptions, including those that they will not disclose, are correct?

If any of KFD’s financial assumptions are incorrect, this will put their projected operating budget even more into the red.  Their last five year projection showed a clear deficit in year four and five and it was made with the assumption of Clear Lake annexation taxes.  If the station were to come to them at anything less than no cost, KFD will have to either raise revenue or lower expenditures or both.  Keizer Fire District is not part of the City of Keizer and cannot tap into their budget.  If KFD decided to raise revenue it could mean an increase in taxes or fees.  What would lowering expenditures mean to the residents of Clear Lake?  It could result in the closure of that station or possibly less firefighters.  Remember that KFD is the district that already claimed that there would be “less boots on the ground” if the attempted 911 tax failed.

What is also unclear is if the City of Keizer even has the authority to take from one district and give to another.  If the City of Keizer actually had a fire department then they would have the authority to do so but the way they are attempting to interpret state law has never been done before.  The person who wrote that law Representative Clem has even questioned the City of Keizer’s interpretation of that law and is trying to get it clarified with an amendment.  Are we willing to gamble that the City Council is absolutely correct in their interpretation?

Are we willing to gamble with slower response times, fewer firefighters, and possible higher taxes?  I AM NOT!  Please keep the good service we now have and join me in voting NO!

Debra Welter lives in Keizer.

Clear Lake would suffer without MCFD

To the Editor:

I’ve been around long enough to remember why Keizer wanted Marion County Fire District #1 (MCFD#1) to build a station at Clear Lake. The next closest station is Brooks and there’s a train track between that station and Keizer.

Think about it…if Keizer Fire wins and MCFD#1 is forced to move from the Clear Lake station with their 20 firefighters and six medics, service to you and your family may have to come from farther away—and maybe have to stop for a train to pass!

A fire doubles in size every five minutes. Please don’t add that time to a needed response. Join me in voting no.

Wayne Miller
Keizer 

Don’t fix what is not broken

To the Editor:

It seems that almost every week we hear the pros and cons of Keizer Fire District taking over what Marion County Fire District does in the Clear Lake area. The answer is simple “If it ain’t  broke don’t fix it.”

If you have ever gone out that far on Wheatland Road you will see a pretty new building and equipment. If some thing sounds too good to be true it’s not!

Peter DeBeck
Keizer

Larger tax base for Keizer

To the Editor:

Neither Keizer Fire District (KFD) nor Marion County Fire District No. 1 (MCFD) are part of the city of Keizer.  Both are entities separate from the city.  Therefore, it would make more sense that MCFD has the responsibility for the coverage of all Keizer and not just Clear Lake.  They would bring a larger tax base to Keizer than KFD, plus newer and better equipment.  They could take over the Keizer Fire Station without question, as citizens of Keizer already pay taxes for that station and equipment.  This would eliminate the argument of who gets what that is at issue about the Clear Lake station.  All of MCFD residents have paid for the Clear Lake station, and it would be ignorant to think that KFD could walk in and take over that station and equipment without having to pay for at least most of it out of Keizer resident’s pockets.  That means more tax dollars from the citizens of Keizer.  KFD has already said they are short of money and need the Clear Lake station to help balance their budget.  This is at the expense of the Clear Lake residents who are happy with the service provided by MCFD, as well as the service they currently provide to all of Keizer.

Let’s table this issue by voting NO on the election ballot.  This would stop the dispute and drain of money from the taxpayers, and give the city council time to consider whether it is in the best interest of the citizens of Keizer to have their fire safety covered by Keizer Fire District or Marion County Fire District No.1.

Dan Zahn
Keizer