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Day: November 2, 2012

Keizer Station plan to get hearing

KEIZERTIMES/File Photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

A familiar project with a revamped look will be discussed at Keizer City Hall once again next week.

A public hearing is scheduled during Monday’s 7 p.m. Keizer City Council meeting to discuss Keizer Station Area C.

The hearing comes in light of a new version of Area C submitted by developers in September altering one of the most controversial parts of the original 2011 proposal. Instead of the original plan for a 116,000 square foot large format store, the new plan calls for a 72,000 square foot building with two retail spaces and 83 additional units of multi-family development.

The plan was submitted by Chuck Sides of E Village, LLC. The council’s April 2011 decision was appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) for the city to do more review and modification regarding the traffic engineer’s analysis as well as the timing of a condition of approval requiring concurrency. Those two subjects are what councilors will be looking at Monday.

Sides indicated Tuesday he has plans for either possible outcome.

“If they don’t approve, they are out new revenue for the city and we’ll keep plugging along,” Sides said. “If the majority of the councilors don’t like it, we will ask what they don’t like.

“If it is approved, we would go out in the marketplace and try to find tenants that wish to come in,” Sides added later. “There is no timeline. Tenants have two questions: they want to know when can I move in and how much will it cost. It is a bad economy. Everyone is trying to survive. To get people to make a significant investment in a down market takes a lot of research on their part. It’s just a cycle you go through.”

Nate Brown, Community Development director for Keizer, chuckled when asked if he expected a healthy amount of public comment Monday.

“Oh I do,” said Brown, noting he has been keeping the Keep Keizer Livable “If they approve, there is an appeal period of 20 days,” Brown said. “After that, (the developers will) go about meeting conditions and figure out how to do what their master plan requires.”

And if there is no approval?

“They can vote to not accept changes and say why not,” Brown said. “But they have already said that is consistent with the neighborhood and now the impact is less. They could also continue the hearing. The remand has a statutory timeline of 90 days, which I believe expires Dec. 20.

“The timeline is there to keep a tight rope on the process,” Brown added. “We can’t start over. That’s not the deal.”

Alan Roodhouse, co-developer for the project, said there is “no way of predicting” how people opposed to the original plan will react to the new plan. Roodhouse does, however, have a prediction for how councilors will act.

“I would guess the city council would be pleased with the changes made,” he said. “They want to see Area C developed just as we do.”

Roodhouse noted plans were altered due to the topics being addressed Monday.

“LUBA remanded it on two issues they didn’t feel the city did the right job on,” he said. “The changes in the plan and the material subjected are in response to those two issues. We’re correcting the plan to be consistent with what LUB A wanted.”

Kevin Hohnbaum, co-founder of Keep Keizer Livable, noted the reduced size of the plan means past issues are no longer relevant. However, he still has high concerns about traffic impact.

“It’s not just the increased traffic,” Hohnbaum said. “If you look at plan, the amount of the stacking allowed, it only allows for eight cars which makes no sense with 190 apartment units and the retail stores. It’s ludicrous to believe only eight cars will try to turn in at one time. It’s already a backloaded intersection and this will only make it worse.”

Boat ramp to open Monday

Mayor Lore Christopher helps cut the ribbon at the new boat ramp Monday at Keizer Rapids Park. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

By LYNDON A. ZAITZ
Of the Keizertimes

Under threating skies Mayor Lore Christopher was joined by dignitaries from     Keizer, Marion County and several state agenices to inaugurate the new boat ramp at Keizer Rapids Park on Monday, Oct. 29.

Slated to open to the public on Monday, Nov. 5, the single-lane boat ramp was completed with a combination of grants from various state agencies as well and financing from the City of Keizer.

Former city councilor Richard Walsh, who has been a proponent of Keizer Rapids Park and its amenities such as the new boat ramp, spoke for several minutes about the project that dates back to 2000.  That year the Keizer City Council issued a proclamation that said the city needed to figure out a way to connect back with the river.

“It began here,” said Walsh. “Thomas Dove Keizur and John Keizur owned this land right here. It began with the crossing of the Willamette River at this point.”

He said the new boat ramp will connect Keizer to 200 miles of park land.  “We have finally joined the community of riverfront communities. We are now connected,” he said.

Joining the celebration were Brian Carroll, a member of the Oregon State Marine Board, Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson, Paul Haydu of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Michele Scalise, of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

The Oregon Marine Board committed $50,000 in state boater funds. Brian Carroll said that the Keizer boat ramp was a rare opportunity for the agency to come out and open a brand-new project.

Haydu, acting divison chief for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Federal Assistance Programs, was introduced by Mayor Christopher as “…the guy with the cash.” His department committed $700,000 to the project, the bulk of the overall cost.

Before cutting the blue ribbon at the top of the ramp the mayor said the facility was ‘legacy-building stuff.’ “Fifty years from now folks will still be using this boat ramp,” she said.

The City of Keizer contributed $250,000 in matching funds from the general fund and from park system development fees in addition to $85,000 for in-kind funds for the construction.

Overseeing the project for the city, Director of Community Development Nate Brown thanked all the partners in the project and cited the work of Ray Lanham, an engineer with the Marine Board.

After the speeches and ribbon cutting, city councilor Jim Taylor along with his dog, Buddy, backed his fishing boat down the ramp and into the Willamette River.

27 years in the making

Submitted by Bill Donaldson

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

It’s difficult to overstate just how much the boys varsity cross country team accomplished at the Central Valley Conference district meet last week.

In a sport that garners more individual acclaim, the Celts took second in the league with the top finisher on the team claiming ninth place. It’s the first time since 1985 McNary has sent more than a few individuals on to the state meet. That was also the first year the school sent any women, two of them, to the state meet and the girls replicated that feat as well.

“We started fast and didn’t quit. Usually we start out with slower workouts early in the season and then build on them. This year we started out with tough runs,” said junior Tristan Briggs, who ran in the junior varsity meet taking 10th with a time of 19:38.

“From the beginning of the season, we knew this was something we wanted and, when it came to the district meet, we gave it our all,” added junior Adrian Fernandez, who took 15th in the varsity race with a time of 18:11.

It helped that most the Celtic boys and girls, 22 of 26, competing in the meet claimed personal records. For the girls, Courtney Repp took third in the district meet with a time of 20:16 and she’s hoping to get sub-20:00 at the state meet. For the boys, senior Tony Goemaere was the top finisher claiming ninth place with a personal best of 17:34, but his goal for the state meet is cracking 17:00.

“The boys drove me insane this season, but they came to race on the day of the meet. Tony and Evan [Rummerfield] started way out front and just had everyone chasing them,” said Rick Fordney, McNary head coach. “Courtney races really well and she’s relentless, she just couldn’t break South Salem’s Vivian Hawkinson.”

Repp said the race was her best 5K ever, but it helped to have inspiration from the boys.

“It was awesome to see what they did and then be able to have Laura [Donaldson] come to the state meet with me,” Repp said. It’s Repp’s second trip to the state meet in as many years.

Donaldson trailed Repp in fourth place at the meet with a time of 20:43.

“For me, the district meet was only the third 5K I’d ever finished, but I’ve managed to PR every time,” Donaldson said. “Having Courtney to pace off of during practices and meets was a real motivator.”

The key to the boys’ success was the team’s willingness to work as a team instead of individuals, said junior Dalton Lyndsey, who finished in 18th place with a time of 18:21.

“Our top guy was ninth. That’s basically a statement that we are more of a team than individuals,” he said.

While they set out with the intention of going as a team there were moments throughout the season when they had to persevere through the doubts of others and themselves, Tony Goemaere said.

“A lot of people doubted us and that we would be able to make it to state, even me. At some points, I started thinking, ‘Well, maybe I will make it as an individual,’ but we were all dedicated to each other and came through together,” he said.

Additional qualifiers for the state meet were: Rummerfield, a junior who took 10th with a time of 17:38; Taylor Russell, a junior who placed 27th with a time of 18:56; and Angel Goemaere, a freshman who took 31st with a time of 19:06.

Cavemen stand in way of Celtic playoff berth

Celt Cody Bond sprints for the sideline and heads for the end zone in the Celtics game with Gresham High School last week. (Photo courtesy J&H Photo)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

It’s going to feel like déjà vu for some players on both sides of the football field when the McNary High School Celtics and the Grants Pass High School Cavemen clash in a state tournament play-in game.

McNary hosts the game kicking off at 7 p.m.

The two teams met last year with a playoff berth on the line and the Cavemen ground down the Celtics in a 40-21 win.

For McNary, the test will be whether it can improve on its strongest showing of the season against the West Salem High School Titans last week. McNary lost 24-20, but held its own against the 11th-ranked team in the state.

“Last week, we learned how to compete. This week, we have to learn how to win, how to drive the dagger in and twist it,” said Celt quarterback Hayden Gosling.

The Celts will need to keep their running game moving against a burly Caveman defensive line, many of whom return with more experience. Running back Brett Hildebrand ran for more than 200 yards in two of the Celtics’ last three games and pounded out a 178-yard night against the Titans last week.

“If we do what we did this last game, we can win. If we just keep up our consistency, we’ll be in good shape,” Hildebrand said.

When the Celts take to the air, expect Gosling to look for Cody Bond and junior Garrett Hittner, both of whom have come on strong of late. Gosling completed 11-of-15 last week for 196 yards. Bond led receiving with six catches for 114 yards.

The Cavemen (3-6 overall and 3-4 in the Southern Conference) took three wins midseason, but the team has been on a

Titans barely edge Celts in 24-40 win

McNary quarterback Hayden Gosling hands off the ball to Brett Hildebrand in the game with the West Salem Titans Friday, Oct. 26. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

BY ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The annals of history will show the McNary High School varsity football team lost its final game of the 2012 Central Valley Conference season 24-20 with West Salem High School taking the win.

But anyone who watched the game likely knows the Celts were the biggest winners on the field.

Two clutch plays, both going against the Celtics, finalized the Titan victory, but McNary showed the most composure and patience in any game so far this season.

“We have been talking about effort, focus, and attitude all year long, and our boys have been doing an incredible job of finding something to focus on, put forth the effort to work hard on it, and have a great attitude about improving,” said Isaac Parker., McNary head coach “We are starting to play some consistently good football and for me, that’s exciting. I believe that eventually, consistent good football will be commonplace in our program, but to see how much our kids have grown from week one to week nine is encouraging.”

“Everything clicked and we played our best game of the season,” added Celt Zac Fegles, a senior.

McNary’s 10-play first drive fizzled despite first downs on a completion from quarterback Hayden Gosling to Garrett Hittner and two on rushes by Brett Hildebrand. Still, it planted a seed of confidence, Hildebrand said.

“It was really key. We actually drove for the first time on the first drive and we built on that confidence throughout the game,” he said.

The Titans were kept at bay with important stops by Mason Ross and Andrew Lawrence on their opening drive.

Penalties and miscommunications got the best of the Celts on the subsequent drive and the Titans took control near mid-field. Celts Paul Rios and Lawrence slowed the Titans’ progress, but it was pass coverage by Daniel Brattain and Fegles that forced West Salem to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Spencer Baker picked up the ball on the Titan kickoff, but struggled to control it as he turned for the McNary’s sideline. The ball popped free near the three-yard line and the Titans recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead at 8:45 in the second quarter.

McNary’s second chance at a return drive was a seven-minute, 14-play march to West’s two-yard line. McNary drew a penalty on the third play of the drive that left them at third down and seven yards to go. Gosling handed off the ball to Hildebrand who got caught short of the down, but a huge push from the offensive line forced him over.

Gosling completed a long pass to Cody Bond and the play took the Celts to the Titan 26-yard line. McNary got another break on fourth down when the Titans were called for pass interference on a ball meant for Hittner. The drive reset at West’s 10-yard line and Hildebrand moved it to the two-yard line, but McNary couldn’t close it out.

Celt Grant Taylor got two tackles and reeled in an interception in McNary’s end zone, while taking a helmet to the stomach, to change the momentum of the game as the horn signaled the end of the half.

The teams hit the field after halftime with McNary taking the kickoff and Gosling connected with Bond on a swing route that he traveled all the way to the Titan end zone, skipping over two attempted tackles. The touchdown closed the gap to 10-7 with the Titans hanging on to the lead.

West’s next drive ended on a blown snap that was recovered by Celt Kelly Cowan. On third-and-long, Gosling tucked the ball under his arm and raced up midfield for a first down, putting the Celtics at the Titan 15-yard line. Hildebrand ran for a touchdown two plays later and McNary led 13-10. The point-after attempt was blocked.

The Titans rebounded quick and scored on their next drive to retake the lead 17-13.

It took four plays after the kickoff return for Gosling to connect with Hittner from midfield and the go-ahead touchdown. With a successful point-after by Gosling, McNary led 20-17.

“We played harder than we ever had before and we were consistent. We were consistent in the second half and scored on the first three drives over and over. Now we can grow in that,” Hildebrand said

Both teams punted away their next attempt and the Titans took over the control with 7:37 left on the game clock.

Titan back-up quarterback Riley Newman struggled to connect with his receivers, and tackles by Perry Groves, Devon Dunagan, including a momentum killer by Lawrence, left West at fourth-and-six-to-go. The Titans decided to go for it and Newman connected with Ambrose Soh on a screen pass and Soh took it to the end zone for the 24-20 lead.

McNary’s last shot started at 4:47 in the fourth quarter. A Gosling pass to Bond earned the team a first down. Hildebrand found an open route on the run and looked to be going for the end one when he stumbled near the sideline. McNary got as far as the Titan 33-yard line and Gosling aired out a pass intended for Bond. Titan Riley Rediger was covering and got the better jump to reel in the interception, ending McNary’s chances at the win.

“Brett obviously ran hard, Perry and Mason played great on defense, and our defensive backs made some plays on balls this week that we have lacked in the past. I was also extremely happy to see Cody finally have a breakout game,” Parker said.

With the loss, McNary finishes fourth in the CVC and a record of 2-3. They’ll host Grants Pass High School in a play-in game Friday, Nov. 2.

While Parker was pleased with the effort, he’s ready to see the team turn another corner.

“We have learned how to compete well, and what I’d like to see now is learn how to win. I’m honestly getting tired of the moral victories and I believe we are ready to start winning games. We now have to fine tune our competitiveness, and we are going to talk about some of those key moments in the game that changed the outcome,” he said.

Lady Celts earn playoff bid with win over Tigers

McNary’s Ariana Neads digs deep for a pass to the McNary front row in the Celts’ game with Newberg High School Saturday, Oct. 27. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity volleyball team drew Newberg High School for its play-in opponent and walked off the court with a 3-1 win and a state tournament berth.

The two teams clashed Saturday, Oct. 27, at McNary.

“We matched up well with them because we are both very young teams, meaning we have moments of playing very well, but also moments of very inconsistent play,” said Kellie Scholl, McNary head coach.

She added that the game went the Lady Celts way because of fewer inconsistencies on the night.

“We played together as a team and it felt felt good, like everyone was there for the same goal,” said McNary’s Allison McGregor.

McNary built up a quick 3-0 lead in the first set, but the Tigers tied it up just as quickly. The Celts had their biggest leads on serves by Lexi Price and Baili Keeton and had a 19-13 game on their hands when Newberg edged back into it.

A few volleys later, an ace by Lauren Hudgins put McNary back in control 22-17. A kill behind the Tiger back line by Gracie Rueda put McNary at 23-20, but Newberg got the ball back on a serve that landed out of bounds.

Freshman Reina Strand notched a kill to bring up game point and then reached over the net to knock down Newberg’s long forward pass on a Ariana Neads’ serve to win the set 25-21.

The girls’ second set was even more tumultuous. McNary pulled ahead 16-10 on strong service by Price and then traded traded points for the next several volleys. Newberg tied up the game on a kill and took a 21-20 lead before Strand spiked the tying point.

Allison McGregor put the team back in control at 22-21 and two timely blocks by Strand brought up game point. McGregor aced the serves to win the second set.

Newberg rebounded to dominate a 25-15 third set win, but the Celts scratched their way back to a 25-22 win in the fourth set for the match win.

Price had 20 digs for the night, Keeton and McGregor added 10 each and Meagan Douglas put up nine digs.  Hudgins came up with six blocks and five kills. Strand had two blocks and seven kills and Alyssa Andretta had one block and six kills.

“Bri Nay set very well moving the ball around to all our hitters,” Scholl said.

The game also highlighted a new formation for the team on the court.

“We have been playing around with the line-up trying to create more offense and improve on the consistency of our defense. I think with the Newberg match, all our girls really stepped up and performed very well in their roles on the court. The new lineup has allowed us to add Meagan Douglas which helps on our defense, and lets our front row focus on offense. McKenzie Evers has also been able to come in on the right side and put up a big block for us,” Scholl said. “We have been working a lot on our offensive game, we don’t have the big hitters that can put the ball away, so we need to work on placing the ball in the open holes on the court, and cutting down on our errors.”

McNary ended league play last week in what Scholl termed an “ugly” match with Sprague High School. The Olys swept the contest with scores of 25-14, 25-17 and 25-17. Price led the team with eight digs and Andretta put up six. The team only had 27 digs for the night.

McNary traveled to square off with Lakeridge High School in the first round of the playoffs Wednesday, Oct. 31, past press time.

“We just need to come out and play super strong and take it from there,” McGregor said.

Lessons from the campaign

On Monday, November 5, the city council will have a chance to demonstrate if they’ve been hearing the public during Keizer’s election campaign.

For some in Keizer the main issue in this election is about the council listening with respect to its citizens during public hearings. On Monday a public hearing will be held regarding the re-submitted application for a master plan and subdivsion in Area C of Keizer Station. The original master plan was appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals and remanded back to the city.

The original plan was remanded back to the city due to what LUBA called a flawed traffic study and a concurrency rule that it said contradicts the city’s own code.

At public hearings held last year regarding the master plan for Area C, the council heard from witnesses, many from Keep Keizer Livable, a grassroots group that was formed to fight a big box store in Area C. Many felt then that the council did not truly listen to the concerns of some citizens. They felt vindicated after the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld LUBA’s ruling.

The new master plan submission doesn’t address the traffic study, but it scales back the single, large retail building from 116,000 square feet to one with 72,000 that would contain two retail tenants. The new plan also calls for 83 additional residential units.

No one expected that development in Area C would be swift or easy. The city might get to a point where it thinks it has all its ducks in a row, but groups such as Keep Keizer Livable could still choose to appeal the new plan if its concerns are not addressed.Members of the city council may want to get the project moving, but it should not rush to decisions without hearing from its citizens. If so many people appear to speak on Monday, the council needs to be ready to do the right thing and continue the hearing until the next council meeting. We’ve come this far, let’s not rush it.

Decisions on the new master plan may not please everyone. Everyone wants their view to prevail, but reality dictates that won’t happen. We live within a system where the majority rules, but everyone needs to feel confident that their views have been respectfully heard, whether they win or not.

—LAZ

It comes to an end

Since Oregon is not a battleground state in the national election we have been spared a constant barrage of presidential campaign advertising. But by Tuesday night it all comes to an end as America votes.

It seems the presidential campaign has been going on for years. We may not have been subjected to endless campaign advertising here, but it’s filled our homes nonetheless—24/7 news channels, late night talk shows.  You had to really try hard to avoid politics this election season.

Unforuntately, it probably won’t end with Tuesday night’s results. We’ve reached the point of constant campaigning in this coutnry. Regardless of who wins the White House this year, seeds for the 2016 campaign will be planted as early as January.

Politicians of every stripe across the country should give the American people at least a year before talking about the next campaign. We’re all politically exhausted, we’re glad this campagin season is coming to an end.

—LAZ

Innate goodness in people

To the Editor:

I experienced a much-needed reminder today, of how thoughtful and caring people can be. We turn on the evening news, hear 15-20 minutes of all the rape, murder and mayhem taking place daily. It becomes easy to grow callous to all the evil deeds in our world, as long as it doesn’t directly effect us.

Today, I took my usual walk in Keizer. I have followed the same route for years. Working at recovering from surgery, I have the need to stop for a break. Those green electrical covers make good places for a brief respite.

My first rest is at the corner of Rafael and Shoreline. A lady comes jogging up the opposite side of Rafael. She comes to an abrupt stop. “Are you OK? Do you need help?” I explain my situation, and add, “Don’t get old. You’re stuck with it.”

She laughs, “My dad used to tell me, ‘You’ll get old if you live long enough.”  We share a laugh, and she’s gone. All of a sudden, breathing seems to become easier.

My next “rest” is going west on Moneda. For years I never realized this is uphill. The big green cover is a welcome stop.

A lady–a senior citizen–comes out to the sidewalk, “Are you OK? Do you need help?”

These are people I have never seen before in my 35 years in Keizer. People in my neighborhood, folks I have never seen before, and they came to offer assistance if needed. I thank them for reminding me of all the truly good people we have around us.

G.I. Wilson
Keizer

For mayor: Christopher

To the Editor:

For over 12 years Keizer has been moving forward because of Lore Christopher’s ability, support, leadership and dedication.

I have had the opportunity to work with her on many occasions. Some of them include Keizer Little League, Keizer Rapids Park, Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre, and Keizer Dog Park.

When I was president of the Keizer Little League, Lore was responsible for helping over 100 teams get sponsors. Her ability to accomplish this task has never been done before or since.

Keizer Rapids Park was a dream Lore made happen. Her support helped build a park used and loved by many. Under her leadership many activities have been developed for all of us.

My vision and that of others for the Keizer Rotary Amphitheater would not have been possible without Lore’s leadership in city council. Lore made it happen.

Lore is a dog lover and supports pet activities in the community. Under her guidance we were able to build the best dog park in Oregon.

Under her leadership much has been accomplished. She has proven her ability, support, leadership and dedication to keep Keizer a great place to live now and in the future.

Re-elect Lore Christopher for mayor.

Clint Holland
Keizer