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Month: May 2012

Ted H. Thomas

T. Thomas

Ted Thomas of Keizer, Oregon passed away on May 26 after a one-year battle with a rare and aggressive cancer. He was 65. Ted leaves behind his loving wife of 42 years, Kathy, his son, Matthew, and Matt’s wife, Bethany. He is preceded in death by his oldest son, Jason, who died in 2001. He was a devoted grandfather to his four grandchildren, Aubrey, Morgan, Quinn and Cy. Other surviving family members include four sisters, his step-mother and all his nieces and nephews and their children.

Ted was born in Missoula, Montana and moved to Oregon during his high school years, graduating from Eagle Point High School in 1966. He went on to graduate from Oregon College of Education in 1971 and earned a Master of Arts in teaching at Lewis and Clark College in 1978. He taught at several Marion County schools and was principal at North Howell and Eldridge Elementary Schools. He left teaching to open a sports memorabilia shop in Salem. After eight years, he returned to teaching at William Lord High School at MacLaren and retired as Vice Principal in 2003.

Ted was a strong family man. His commitment to his wife and children directed his life. He spent countless hours coaching his sons’ sports teams and driving them to and from their various activities. He knew the importance of a college education and did everything he could to help Jason and Matt make it through. He loved all manner of sports including NASCAR (Go Jimmy!), football (Go Ducks!) and golf (Go Anyone-But-Tiger!). He was an avid reader and loved to travel. His wife Kathy was his true love and best friend, and they enjoyed many cruises, trips abroad and drives all over the country together. He was one of the good ones. He will be missed.

Services are open to all: graveside service at Restlawn Cemetery on Friday, June 1st at 2:00, Memorial afterward, 3:00 at the Keizer Renaissance Inn. In lieu of flowers, Ted requested donations be made to a local charity benefiting children. Please send donations to the Community Action Network/HOME Youth & Resource Center, at 625 Union St NE Salem, OR 97301, and mention Ted Thomas with your donation.

MHS AVID program graduates first students


Of the Keizertimes

In June, 13 McNary High School accepting their diplomas will have a special reason to celebrate. They’re all headed to college and that may not have happened had it not been for the Celtic AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program.

“They’re all students who have the right skills to go on, but they are typically the first ones in their family to attend college. They need the extra support to get there,” said Elisabeth Sonis, McNary’s AVID coordinator.

AVID students receive special training on taking notes and are pushed to enroll in honors and advanced placement courses throughout their high school careers; some start in the program as early as middle school. In GPA averages alone, the program has paid significant dividends. The average GPA for a McNary student is 2.66, while AVID students boast an average GPA of 3.1.

In addition, they are given time to meet when they can bring in nagging questions about school work or life and discuss the issues as a group.

“As much as the teachers support them, the kids really support each other and that is a key component. The kids are what make the program great,” Sonis said.

This year’s crop of AVID students are the first to graduate from McNary, but the program has grown by leaps and bounds; 59 freshmen entered McNary in the AVID program this year and two of them, Khawter Hussein and Carolina Altamirano-Syler, were recently awarded $1,000 scholarships via an essay contest through First Tech Credit Union.

The graduating AVID students, all who are continuing their education in college next year are: Ashley Brown, Lianuan Cummings-Rogers, Mariah Cunningham, Cathleen Estrada, Fernando Gracida, Brittany Hemry, Magaly Martinez-Reyes, Davida McCauley, Jessica Montoya-Lopez, Magaly Ortiz, Claudia Rios, Angela Roman, Christian Serrano, and Corey White.

AVID students recently wrote essays about their time in the AVID program and the Keizertimes staff was asked to judge the entries for publication in the paper.

Here are the winning entries:


Second Opportunity

By Idaiana Valladares

As my hands reached toward the metallic coolness of the door handle I began to shake and become covered with drops of sweat. I pulled the handle towards my body and before I knew it my feet were above the plastic silky marble floor of the George Fox University. This building seemed like a fancy, into the future, type of tree house. It had enormous trees surrounding the building and it had plants inside filling the walls with an earthy aroma. It had thousands of rooms; rooms that, to me, would seem like they wanted me to explore what lay behind the wooden portals. As intimidating as this may seem, it did not feel that way at all. On the contrary, I would feel a sweet, belonging emotion. Never would I have thought I could experience such a feeling. But because of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) I have experienced many similar moments and they have changed my life.

Field trips are an aspect of AVID that encourage students to become involved with their community and to explore the campuses of different universities. I have never voluntarily signed up to perform community service on my own time, but since AVID is pushing me to persist and attend college community service became a requirement. This requirement motivated me to interact with community and go above and beyond. For example, as a junior, we had a field trip to Salem’s Northgate Community Garden where we helped beautify and improve Northgate’s garden. This community does not have the best, safe reputation. Residents of Northgate have suffered a lot. They have to live in fear. Imagine not feeling safe in our own home and neighborhood. When I found this out, I knew that being able to be part of the improvement, the garden, some citizens have wanted to create in Northgate was an incredible honor. After the field trip, I knew AVID was more than just a program, it has a purpose. I came to conclude that AVID will help you see with your heart and not let your eyes deceive you.

The field trips are entertaining and enjoyable, but AVID has these trips as rewards for meeting our and the program’s high expectations, which are equally as important. As soon as my plastic smooth pen touched the thin paper and the ink began to make out my name I realized I had just committed myself to AVID and its expectations. One of their expectations is that each of their students has to take honor classes and also maintain a grade percentage average (GPA) of 3.5 and higher. I have only been in the program for two years, but I have learned so much. For example, how to have leadership skills and being a worker as well. Because to be a leader, one has to learn how to start from the bottom and reach the top. AVID has many challenges; one of them is the academic scores they push us to stay on task to go above the average student. That push we receive later automatically turns into motivation, inspiration and determination. As a junior this year,  I am required to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). During class we take time to prepare for this exam. If I did not have AVID to guide me through the process I would be completely lost. My parents have never taken this type of exam, which is a factor of me being accepted in a university of my choice, so I would be on my own. AVID is my guide to college.

Lastly, throughout these two years I’ve come to grow fond of my AVID teachers and trust in them giving me the right materials to help me pursue my dream of going to college! I have a close relationship with my teachers and classmates. I also see the same classmates every year so we became more than just AVID classmates. We became a family. Since we all take higher level classes and we most likely end up in the same class period during study days, we help each other understand and clarify the material we previously learned. Also several Latino students, including myself, in the program have the same or similar case scenarios. The most common one is being the first one in their family to attend or attempt college. We motivate each other because we feel understood and we don’t allow each other to say, “l can’t do it. No one understands me!” because we do we are all going through the same situation. No one is left behind. We all work as a team to make sure all of us are in the same boat and on the same track.

AVID to me is a road of hope that comes along once in a lifetime. Offering field trips to gain a feel of what college like, high expectations, and a close bond between teacher and student. I am thankful for my science teacher for recommending me for AVID. I am, to this day, gaining new and better understandings of the world around me. This program has really inspired me, therefore I have and commit to coming up with new ideas of how to have an impact on the world and people’s life. AVID is like a second opportunity, so take it.


By Erica Nixon

I’ve been in AVID for four years now, and I’ve experienced all it has to give. This program is more than most would imagine. It’s not just a study hall. This class pushed individuals to find it within themselves to do better – in school and out. As a junior at McNary High School, I can easily say that this year is probably the toughest, but through the training and habits AVID has provided me throughout the years I am getting through it. Advancement Via Individual Determination has shown me that I can be more than I thought I could.

I started AVID in eighth grade. At the time, new hormones were raging and home life was difficult; I was having a very hard time focusing on school. What middle school student doesn’t? I still believe I had a very lucky life, honestly. Apart from the issues at that time, my family was very supportive and loving, I had all the essentials, but it still seemed everything was falling apart. I could hardly stay focused in school and my grades were dropping more and more every day. I had no goals, no future planned. I was terrified of what life had in store and was left without a map. The looming high school was waiting for me that next year and I felt in no way prepared for it. Then along came AVID, with its Cornell notes, guest speakers, and college field trips; that first class became like a second family to me. I wasn’t very good with making friends, I’ve always been a pretty awkward person, but we all bonded so much that we often spent time sharing our dreams and aspirations (even those which we wouldn’t dare to speak before). No one would judge, only support, and AVID had become a sort of safe haven for all the students. But it was not all games and bonding all the time. AVID really pushed each and everyone of us to do our best in all our classes. Before, I hadn’t focused in school. My grades would drop extremely low and I would manage to scoop them up to a minimum pass at the last minute, sometimes it wouldn’t quite make it to a pass. With AVID, however, although I still had the bad habit of letting things slip sometimes I mostly was able to keep them up. And even if they did slip it wouldn’t be as bad as before. I became a better student and the future didn’t quite scare me as much. In fact, it was starting to come into view. I found something I really enjoyed doing; drawing. I realized my dream of becoming an artist someday. I was so happy to be able to escape into this world; I could make anything I wanted! And sometimes that ended up being my downfall. Becoming distracted with this in class proved to be another problem, but AVID helped me through that and I stayed on track. I was happy with where I was going and how my future was forming. Once it had been darkness, but now I was starting to see the shapes and colors of where I will go in life. That eighth grade year was big for me. That first AVID class is what really changed me.

The next few years were good too. Some students left, some new ones joined, we were all mixed together and I had to make a whole new family. I admit that we weren’t quite as close, but we were all pretty good friends. I stayed focused and worked hard throughout freshman year. The habits AVID taught me had stuck and I continued to use them. The same goes for sophomore year. This year has proved to be much more difficult. Although I am having a bit of a difficult time at the moment, I’m sure that with the help of AVID, I will pull through. In all, Advancement Via Individual Determination proved to be an important step in my life to finding myself and success. With AVID, I can see my future more clearly and I am on my way to making it happen.

Longtime public works supt. is its new director

Bill Lawyer found out late last week that he is the new public works director for the City of Keizer. He’s been the department’s superintendent since 1998. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Of the Keizertimes

It shouldn’t take too long for new Public Works Director Bill Lawyer to acclimate to his new role.

The lifelong area resident joined the city’s public works department in 1989 and was most recently the interim director after Rob Kissler’s retirement. Since 1998 he’s been the public works superintendent.
The two positions might sound similar, but Lawyer said the director is responsible for taking a big-picture approach with long-term planning, while the superintendent supervises day-to-day operations. The city will be looking soon for a superintendent.

“The number one priority is to continue to foster the trust and responsibility we have earned during my career with the city,” Lawyer said. “The public works department does have a high level of trust and I want to make sure that continues.”

Lawyer, 50, grew up in northeast Salem, attending Whiteaker Middle School and McNary High School before becoming part of McKay High’s first graduating class. He worked in the heating and air conditioning field before taking a leap and managing a sheep ranch in Dundee.

“It was something brand new that I’d never done,” Lawyer said. “I wasn’t a farm kid, so I learned a lot about … that part of life, and how to be isolated. We didn’t know anybody. It really helped develop my relationship with my wife.”

He joined the city in 1989 as a water works operator, leaving his post in facility maintenance at Willamette

Celtics hosting boys b-ball camp in June

(KEIZERTIMES File Graphic)

The McNary High School boys basketball program is hosting summer camps for grades three through eight in June.

Camps will run June 18-21. Students in grades three-five will meet from 9 a.m. to noon and those in grade six-eight will meet from 1-4 p.m. Cost is $45 and includes a camp T-shirt.

Camps will focus on fundamentals like footwork, shooting technique, passing and catching, individual and team defense, dribbling and rebounding.

Registration forms are available at the McNary High School main office and may be sent to with payment to: McNary Boy’s Basketball Club,  McNary High School, c/o Boys Basketball, 595 Chemawa Rd. N., Keizer, OR 97303.

For more information, contact Head Coach Ryan Kirch 541-908-1609 or [email protected]

Positive attitude keeps singer in the game

Kyle Kuhns kicked off his musical training here in the choir room at McNary High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Of the Keizertimes

A few months ago, Kyle Kuhns got to meet some of music’s top stars.

As soon as you hear the names Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith fame), Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson you know this was no ordinary meet-and-greet.

Kuhns, a 2011 graduate of McNary High School, was one step away from going to Los Angeles as an American Idol contestant. He had outshined nearly 7,000 other Hollywood hopefuls, and was on his third audition when he sang before the Idol judges you’re used to seeing on TV. He’d spent time telling his life story to a camera for the FOX show’s producers.

But it wasn’t to be. They kindly told him, not this time. Tyler suggested he join a band and get more experience.

“After Idol, part of me had shut down that and said that’s not really an option for me,” said Kuhns, 18. “It’s going to be rough for me to make it to try to make it in a cut-throat place like Hollywood.”

It almost goes without saying that the glitz, glamour and traffic of Los Angeles is a far cry from his background, growing up here with a Keizer cop for a father and a mother in the financial services industry. His talent has been obvious from an early age: He was one of 10 freshmen chosen to be part of McNary High School’s concert choir and spent three years in the Highlanders Jazz and Highlanders Classics choirs.

You could call him the consummate choir boy. He was its president, after all. Not bad considering some 500 kids sing for director Jim Taylor’s various groups.

“I think having his direction really, really helped me, especially in the small jazz ensemble,” Kuhns said. “We had the freedom to do whatever music was in at the time – pop music and things like that – he allowed us to learn recording and engineering.”

His talent and training landed him a music scholarship at Willamette University, where he’s a freshman studying music performance. Just before the semester started, he and a few thousand would-be Idols went to Portland’s Rose Garden arena, singing over one another in small booths on the arena floor, hoping to get a chance.

Kyle was one of 200 or so that made it through to the second auditions in September of last year. He could sense this time was a little different.

“They’ve picked the good [singers] already,” Kuhns said. “It’s really about what they want and who has good stories that can boost ratings, which makes complete sense.”

Well, mostly good singers anyway.

“During the second round I got to sit next to someone who was very aware that she was not good, but was playing up every aspect of her weirdness and her voice,” Kuhns said. “She was trying to get on TV because she had been an Idol fanatic for quite a while.”

Day 3 was in October. Before that, the most famous people he’d met were stars on the Disney Channel. He walked into the audition room “all smiles” and told them about growing up as a policeman’s son in a sleepy Oregon suburb.

He sang “Sunday Morning,” the Maroon 5 hit that had taken him this far.

You know by now how this particular chapter ends. Kuhns was a little bummed, but didn’t take it too personally.

“They had nothing bad to say about my voice … they were very nice and I have nothing against them,’ Kuhns said. “I just don’t think I was what they were looking for this year.”

He walked away impressed with the level of detail and the long hours producers and singers alike put in to the process. But he wasn’t necessarily ready to do it again until a family friend posted a link to a Fox 12 contest. A few winners would have their airfare paid to San Francisco, the nearest site for X Factor tryouts.

A little gun shy from his Idol experience but realizing he had nothing to lose, he made a video in his kitchen at 1 in the morning. He was one of the lucky winners who got free airfare to the auditions. His grandfather helped him with the other costs.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to go [but] it still is my dream, and I don’t know why I told myself it wasn’t,” Kuhns said.

A few details aside, the formats were almost exactly the same. He also stuck with Maroon 5.

“It had worked for me so well on American Idol and this kinda confirmed this was a good song for me to audition with,” Kuhns said. “A lot of people have one song they audition with.”

The trip to San Francisco was last month. He made it to the second day, where he again learned that his nice, stable background with supportive parents in a fairly ordinary American town could be a liability.

“You have to have a story as well,” Kuhns said. “Sadly, I think that’s one of my biggest downfalls in these competitions. I’m a good kid and I haven’t had a rough life.”

Scotty McCreery, last year’s American Idol winner and country crooner who released his first album last year, has a similarly bucolic background – one that gives Kuhns hope he can seek a similar path.

He walked in confident, looking into the camera lenses and the producers eyes. But if you ever go yourself, don’t expect to see much from the staff.

“They’re kinda giving you a poker face – even when you get to the celebrity judges,” Kuhns said. “They don’t want you to know if they think you’re good or not.”

At least for this season, Kuhns’ X Factor journey ended there. But he’s undeterred. Just recently he was asked by producers of Portland Teen Idol to be a featured performer. And he took Tyler’s advice and joined an a cappella group at Willamette.

He sees himself as musically versatile, and can pull off any pop song despite rather eclectic personal taste, as a fan of artists like Bon Iver and James Blake. Ultimately he sees himself going into contemporary Christian music.

“I’m definitely going to keep pursuing opportunities like this when they come my way, and maybe even harder than I have been,” Kuhns said.

New Celtic volleyball coach hopes to make netters a powerhouse

Kellie Scholl, seen above with members of the Aloha High School team in 2011, was named the new head volleyball coach at McNary High School last week. (Photo courtesy of Miles Vance and The Beaverton Valley Times)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School volleyball program has a new head coach. Kellie Scholl has been hired to take the reins of the Celtic netter program.

Scholl was most recently head coach of Aloha High School program where she held the post for about seven years. She resigned from the position earlier this year after moving to Keizer.

“My plan was to take a year or two off and hang out with my four kids, but I realized pretty quickly that I enjoyed it too much,” Scholl said. “I enjoy having my kids around the program and seeing the athletes who are role models for them.”

From 1999 until 2004, she was an assistant coach at the University of Portland. The existing strength of the McNary program, which has contended for Central Valley Conference titles for the past several years, will be something of a change for Scholl.

“Up to this point,  I’ve started in programs that hadn’t had much success and that definitely isn’t the case with McNary,” she said. “I want to be able to continue the success in the district and see them become more of a perennial powerhouse in the state year-in and year-out.”

Scholl is a former high school and college volleyball player who finished her career as a middle blocker for University of Illinois. She will try to instill in the girls the same values she learned in years as an athlete, she said. She is also a strong advocate for students competing in multiple sports throughout the year.

“Volleyball is a team sport where you have a group of people working together to achieve the same goal, when we’re on the court, it’s very much a family atmosphere where we are playing to make our teammates better.,” Scholl said. “I run a fast-paced practice and I push the girls pretty hard, but it’s very positive in the gym. The main goal is to have fun. If you are working hard and having fun, you are going to get the win.”

Cowan gets good evaluation from Keizer Fire directors

Jeff Cowan (File Photo)

For the Keizertimes

Fire Chief Jeff Cowan of the Keizer Fire District received a B-plus rating from the board of directors Tuesday after an executive session evaluating his performance.

The board also renewed his contract, under which his annual salary will be $110,328. In other personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of Karen Bracken as office manager. She will move July 1 to Fairbanks, Alaska, where her husband, Fire Capt. Frank Bracken, will take a fire department position.

The board voted to hold a work session, open to the public, on the district’s financial work plan at 5 p.m. June 12. Van Meter said that service level options need to be discussed.

“I would like to see the public in attendance as we work through these issues,” director Mike Kurtz said.

An amendment to the 2011-12 budget, decreasing the general fund by $119,173 because of several unanticipated expenses, was approved by a 4-1 vote. President Joe Van Meter cast the negative vote, saying he thought there was enough money in the budget to cover those expenses.

The board voted to apply for a $12,210.39 Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which the district would use to buy three LIFEPAK 15 defibrillation units, a bariatric stretcher and winch-ramps.

Celt baseball team ignites in first round playoff win

Celt Garren Robinett is welcomed by teammates after slapping a three-run homer that gave McNary a one-run lead en route to an 11-7 victory over Tualatin High School. (Photo courtesy of J&H Photo)

Of the Keizertimes

If the McNary High School varsity baseball team was holding back the good stuff during its run through the Central Valley Conference, it surely picked the right time to deploy it.

The Celtics squared off with Tualatin High School Monday, May 21, and emerged with a 11-7 win in the first round of the state playoffs.

“We’ve been in close situations like that all year and we knew that pitcher, Travis Johnson, was going to be tough, but we kind of kept our heads up,” said senior D.J. Harryman. “It was kind of a vibe where we knew we were going to be all right.”

That vibe carried the team through a harrowing first inning that saw two of the Timberwolves knock two hits over the fence and take a 3-0 lead.

“When the other team hits two balls out of the park in the bottom of the first, there’s some concern, but, to the kids’ credit, they didn’t panic,” said Larry Keeker, McNary head coach.

The McNary team battled back in the second on a two-out, RBI-hit by Chris Burger that closed the gap to 3-1. Pitcher Jon Stong held Tualatin at bay on the mound in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the third, Celt Garren Robinett belted a three-run homer that put the Celts up 4-1.

Asked whether he knew it was out of the park on contact, Robinett said, “Right away, it was an off-speed pitch on the outer corner and I took it the other way.

“It was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had because it gave us the lead.”

Stong continued to quiet Tualatin bats and McNary got on another scoring tear in the fourth inning racking up a 8-3 lead. The Celts notched another three runs in the top of the seventh and then Tualatin stepped up to the dish for the last chance to save its season.

“We thought we’d give Jon a chance for a complete game, and we ran him out in the seventh. He had full count on the first guy and ended up walking him and after that it was another full count on the second batter with another walk and we knew that was it,” Keeker said.

Ben Johnson stepped in for relief walking another batter and hitting the second one, but he managed to notch the first out of the inning on a come-back hit that he threw to first for the out.

“They’re fighting for their lives and we just want to get another out,” Keeker said.

Timberwolves batters managed to notch four runs before McNary skated out with the win. Harryman hit a double, a triple and had two RBIs in the outing. Connor Goff and Cody Bond chipped in doubles and Stong struck out five batters allowing three hits.

“We made plays and got the hits we needed. We’re going to ride the wave as long as we can,” Keeker said.

Given the tumultuous season the Celts led up to the playoffs, taking the win over a Tualatin team that was 16-1 in conference and against an undefeated pitcher puts wind in the sails.

“We had a rough year, but we knew we could play with anyone. Finally beating a good team gives us all the confidence we need,” Harryman said.

“I think it’s going to be hard to stop us because once we get our confidence going, it’s a totally different team,” Robinett added.

McNary played Oregon City High School past press time Wednesday, May 23, in the second round of the playoffs.

Celt track athletes are statebound

Clockwise from top left: Dylan McHugh leads the pack in the 800-meter; Daniel Brattain glides over the hurdles; Amadi Amaitsa hands off the baton to Brett Hildebrand; and Daysha Simms-Garcia takes off from the blocks in the 400-meter. (Photos by Bill Donaldson and Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity track and field teams re-crowned one district champion and a pair of Celtic sophomores captured their first district titles in competition last week.

McNary senior Dylan McHugh captured his second district title in the 800-meter with a time of 1:57.25 in the event.

“It was a nice day with no wind, and the feeling afterward … you just can’t duplicate it,” McHugh said.

Sophomore Daysha Simms-Garcia won the 400-meter sprint in 57.78 claiming her first district title, and finished second in the 200-meter with a time of 26.19.

“My coaches got me to believe in myself, which had been something of a problem until this year, but then it was just being prepared and ready for the meet,” Simms-Garcia said.

Sophomore Daniel Brattain topped the podium in both hurdling events with times of 14.69 in the 110 and 39.73 in the 300.

“In finals, I was focused on what I wanted and I was saying the times in my head over and over again and I got those times,” Brattain said.

Brattian’s time in the 110-meter set new records at McNary and district-wide.

McHugh and Simms-Garcia will also run relay legs at the state meet as part of teams that claimed second in district competition.

McHugh was part of the 4×400 relay team that included Amadi Amaitsa, Brett Hildebrand and Garrett Hittner. They clocked in at 3:26.64. Aerial Rice, Averi Wing, Deven Hunter and Simms-Garcia took second in the 4×100 in 4:07.19.

“Our hand-offs were really good and we all poured it on,” Rice said. “We would like to break the school record at state because we were .01 seconds away from at the district competition.”

Rice earned a berth at the state meet in the 100-meter race after one of the top finishers scratched.

Perry Groves took second in high jump. Although he cleared the winning height, 6-02, he had more misses than champ Joshua Benton.

“All the hard work I put in really paid off by the end of the season, I got to rest up the past couple of weeks and it was really good,” Groves said.

Austin Hejny nabbed second in the district discus with a heave of 152-07.

“I was having troubles with the wind, but I was able to squeak in a relatively good throw so I’ll spend the week practicing trying to figure out what I did wrong in my form and release, hopefully,” he said.

Celts also headed to state competition are: Hittner, who took second in the 200-meter sprint with a time of 22.58; Stacey Titchenal, who took second in the javelin with a toss of 123-02; and Hunter, who took second in the high jump clearing 5-02.

Other finishes of note for the Celtics were: Jake Herndon, who took third in the pole vault clearing 12-00; Amadi Amaista, who took third in the 400 with a time of 52.09; and the 4×400 relay team of Simm-Garcia, Wing, Laura Donaldson and Hunter who finished third in 4:07.19.

The state competition kicks off Friday, May 25, at University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.

Keizer’s history preserved

Anyone who thinks Keizer doesn’t have a history isn’t looking in the right place. But it is not hard to see that the area in which we live is filled with history that dates back 200 years. Many of the stories about the past two centuries of what is now known as Keizer can be found at the Keizer Heritage Museum.

A person could be forgiven for, after looking around Keizer, to think we are a relatively new settlement. Our city does not have a downtown filled with buildings dating to the 19th century like other Oregon cities. We do have two buildings in the downtown core that date back to the early 1900s: the Frank Evans house (where Mommy and Maddi’s is located) near the corner of River Road and Dearborn Avenue; and the old Keizer School which found new life as the Keizer Heritage Center (at the civic center campus on Chemawa Road).

The first Americans are said to have set up a fur trading post on a bluff overlooking the Willamette River in what is now southeast Keizer.  That was in 1812.

After the house/fort/trading post was abandoned there was little activity in our corner of the world until Thomas Dove Keizur and his party rode into the Willamette Valley and settled down where Shari’s Restaurant now sits. Our city’s name comes from our earliest settlers.

The  Heritage Museum, on the ground floor of the Heritage Center, tells the story of Keizer and should be a stop for any resident who wonders how Keizer came to be and how it grew, and most importantly, who were the people who grew Keizer from a farming community into the proud city it is today.

The Keizer Heritage Foundation has operated the museum since its inception. A group of volunteers have tirelessly worked over the years to assure that the institution tells the story of Keizer’s past and its present. Evelyn Melson Franz and Sue Miletta, along with Al Rasmus, have built the museum into the attraction it is today. The Keizer community is asked to help maintain and grow the museum.

The Heritage Foundation is not only seeking new members but also to add volunteers staff members in the museum to host tours, to man the front desk and to help curate the thousands of items.

The museum recently expanded its space within the Heritage Center at the urging of Mayor Lore Christopher. Today the museum is easier to navigate and more items are on display. There is always room for more historical items. There is a monthly themed exhibition that tells a small story of our city.

As Keizer moves into the future and our city changes and grows, the Heritage Museum is a constant reminder of where we’ve been. That is certainly worthy of the community’s help.