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Month: September 2013

Fall Book Sale this weekend

Books-tall-stack

The Keizer Community LIbrary will hold its Fall Book Sale this weekend, Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5.  The sale will be held in the lobby of the Keizer Civic Center at 930 Chemawa Rd. N.E.

Thousands of books, audio books, puzzles and more will be on sale.  Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. on Saturday.

Bargain time will be from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. A grocery bag full of books will be $4, a box of books will be $5, but you must bring your own bag or box (fruit box or smaller).

For information visit keizerlibrary.org. 503-390-2370.

A diamond in the alfalfa

 

Brothers Steve (far left) and Jeff (far right) Boucher bracket parents Louise and Ray Boucher. Louise and Ray opened Boucher Jewelers in 1953 and sold it to their sons in 1991. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Brothers Steve (far left) and Jeff (far right) Boucher bracket parents Louise and Ray Boucher. Louise and Ray opened Boucher Jewelers in 1953 and sold it to their sons in 1991. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Boucher Jewelers just doesn’t have that good ol’ alfalfa smell anymore.

Not that anyone minds.

From Oct. 1 to 15, the longtime Keizer jewelery store at 4965 River Road North will be celebrating its 60th anniversary. Brothers Jeff and Steve bought the business from their parents, Ray and Louise Boucher, in 1991 and moved the store to its current location in 1994.

Needless to say, things are a bit different at the store compared to 60 years ago, when Ray and Louise – married the year before – came to Keizer from Springfield, where Ray had been at a jewelery store with his brother-in-law.

“It was in an alfalfa store across the street from here,” Ray said of the original store location. “You could climb over the wall and go into the alfalfa store. It was just a little room branched off from the store. In the summer my store smelled like a feed store. The dust would waft into my store.”

To put it nicely, times were tight.

“At the time, nothing was out here,” Ray said. “There were just some orchards and a service station on the corner. We had no inventory. I did clock and watch repair. I was doing it for what few customers we had, plus for other stores. That kept us going the first few years. It was terrible. It was sometimes one or two customers per day. We had no idea how tough it was going to be. Many, many times we thought we’d better get out. Even after 10 years it was still tough. Repair work is what sustained us.”

Opening Boucher Jewelers in 1953 was only one of many things keeping the couple busy that decade. Sons Ron (1955), Jeff (1957) and Steve (1958) came, plus there was the initial foray into horse racing in 1956.

“You’ll never know how stressful it was,” Ray said of the financial pressure. “Even a few dollars for curing the illness of the boys was tough. There was no income. It was tough. But for some reason we persevered.”

All the while, Ray and Louise tried to grow their business. Ray was one of seven charter members of the Keizer Merchants Association, one of several examples of his community involvement.

“He’d be chair of all these events,” Jeff said. “He was involved in most of the events in town. When you’re the son of that, you see he’s put on a big event. That puts it on your mind to be involved in the community.”


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the September 27 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Roundabout being slowed

A roundabout, similar to the one shown here, was scheduled to be constructed at Verda Lane and Chemawa Road Northeast next summer. The project has been delayed until 2015. (Courtesy of American Public Works Association)
A roundabout, similar to the one shown here, was scheduled to be constructed at Verda Lane and Chemawa Road Northeast next summer. The project has been delayed until 2015. (Courtesy of American Public Works Association)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Evening congestion will continue a bit longer at a busy intersection in Keizer.

The Oregon Department of Transportation was scheduled to build a $2 million roundabout (including design, right-of-way acquisition and construction) at the intersection of Chemawa Road NE and Verda Lane next summer, with bidding set to take place in January.

Bill Lawyer, Keizer Public Works director, confirmed last week the project is being pushed back.

“Now it’s set up to go to bid in November 2014, with the start of construction in the spring of 2015,” Lawyer said.

Lawyer emphasized the delay does not indicate a lack of support for the project.

“One of the concerns from ODOT folks was there was a huge amount of work being bid on in January,” Lawyer said. “With so much work being bid on, it might drive prices up due to sheer volume. They basically said we’ll let those get bid, wait a little while and probably get lower bids. There was just a backlog of projects all coming on at the same time.”

Lawyer said such a rush of projects isn’t expected next fall.

“They don’t anticipate that,” Lawyer said of ODOT officials. “That backlog wouldn’t be there in November 2014.”

SPECIAL SECTION: 2013 Best of Your Times (for Seniors)

Vandals hit stand again

 

(KEIZERTIMES/File photo)
(KEIZERTIMES/File photo)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

It may be a new school year, but a nagging old problem has resurfaced at McNary High School.

The concession stand at the football field was broken into sometime last weekend. The stand was used during the Sept. 19 JV football game – won by McNary 44-27 – and then closed up for the night. When Keizer Rotary member Ron Hudkins checked on the stand around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, he saw it had been broken into.

“I said, ‘Oh great, not again,’” Hudkins said.

When the concession stand was broken into after a track meet last spring, it was noted that was the fourth such incident in just a year.

Now, once again, volunteers with the McNary Booster Club will have to use funds intended for helping students to instead replace stolen items. The booster club runs the concession stand along with Keizer Rotary.

“It’s just a concession stand burglary on the surface, but it has an impact on those trying to raise some money,” said Capt. Jeff Kuhns with the Keizer Police Department, a longtime Keizer Rotary leader. “It is happening too much. Just once is too much.”

Hudkins saw the pried open window as he approached the stand last Sunday.

“When I came through the main door coming in, I noticed the serving window was open,” he said. “I noticed stuff was strewn around inside. I was trying to not get all excited. I was thinking, ‘What are we going to do here?’ It looked like someone pried open the serving window. It’s not much fun.”

Based on an inventory from booster club treasurer Scott Kaiser, McNary Booster Club president Rhonda Brattain said most of the items taken belonged to her group.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the September 27 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Neighbors vent about transit buses in Gubser

Some neighbors on Stone Hedge Drive are concerned buses have caused cracks in the road in the past and will again in the near future. (Photo courtesy Melinda Oliver)
Some neighbors on Stone Hedge Drive are concerned buses have caused cracks in the road in the past and will again in the near future. (Photo courtesy Melinda Oliver)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The Salem-Keizer Transit bus doesn’t stop on Stone Hedge Drive.

But residents in the Gubser neighborhood are still upset at how the situation unfolded, airing grievances during the Sept. 19 Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association meeting at Gubser Elementary School.

About three dozen neighbors – a far bigger attendance than usual – came to the meeting, many asking questions about the bus service that was added back to the Gubser area earlier this month for the first time since 2009.

GGNA president Brad Coy, who recently joined the Salem-Keizer Transit Board, noted he was appointed to the board a week after the issue arose.

“It is an ongoing process,” said Coy, who encouraged constructive comments. “Feedback from tonight will be put into consideration.”

Residents offered plenty of feedback.

Sharon Marsoun was among those noting how busy Stone Hedge often is.

“My concern is safety,” she said. “The buses are going down the street with the most foot and vehicular traffic. It’s very congested. You’re putting the most people at the most risk at the worst time.”

Melinda Oliver was among those making a similar point.

“There are better routes than Stone Hedge, because of the overusage with the school,” she said. “Maybe the bus could continue down McLeod and do a loop?”

Though transit officials spoke at a Gubser meeting in the spring, only a handful of people attended that meeting. One of the most common complaints from residents was not knowing about the change.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the September 27 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Tourney may signal turnaround for v-ball

Madi Hingston digs deep to send the ball to McNary’s front line in the Lady Celts’ match with McKay High School Sept. 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Madi Hingston digs deep to send the ball to McNary’s front line in the Lady Celts’ match with McKay High School Sept. 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity volleyball team found success in another weekend tournament, but the team is still looking for its first win in a regulation match-up.

The Lady Celts traveled to the Rogue Valley Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, and came away from the event with four  wins.

In pool play, the Celts won a match and split another before sweeping bracket matches. First up was North Medford High School, who the Celts handed a 2-1 loss with set scores of 23-25, 25-17 and 15-10. McNary also beat Crater and Grants Pass high schools in straight sets of 25-19 and 25-22, and 17-17 and 25-22, respectively.

“I think the girls finally started to play to win and without a fear of making mistakes,” said Kellie Scholl, McNary’s head coach. “Our block continued to be strong, and our defense picked up especially in our last two matches where we were playing against two very strong offensive teams. Offensively, our hitters did a great job, making far less errors and our serving improved.”

The news was less spectacular in McNary’s opening Central Valley Conference match-ups.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the September 27 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Lady Celts start CVC 2-1

Madeline Smith boots the ball into North Salem territory at the teams’ contest last week. McNary beat the Viking 9-1. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Madeline Smith boots the ball into North Salem territory at the teams’ contest last week. McNary beat the Viking 9-1. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

For a brief moment, the McNary High School girls varsity was off to the best start in the Central Valley Conference, but Miguel Camarena, Celtic head coach, had his sights set on a home match with Sprague High School Friday, Sept. 27.

“South Salem and West Salem (high schools) are probably the best two teams in the league, which means it will be Sprague standing in our way of getting into the top three,” Camarena said. “We’ll know where we really stand after that match.”

The teams kick off at 7 p.m.

The Lady Celts’ first week of the league play was something of a rollercoaster.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the September 27 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Second-half rebound leads to Celtic win

0927-SPO-defense

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity football team proved to be the comeback kids with a 26-25 win over Bend’s Mountain View High School on the road Friday, Sept. 20.

McNary overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Cougars by a a single point with just under six minutes left in the game. McNary’s secondary quarterback, Drew McHugh, connected with Tim Hays for the go-ahead touchdown at 5:52 remaining.

“It’s was a short route we don’t hit very often,” said Hays. “Drew got a bit of pressure at the edge and started to roll out, that’s when he saw me and made the pass.”

The team psyched themselves out in the first half worrying about outcomes rather than taking it one play at a time, said Isaac Parker, McNary head coach.

“Momentarily, we didn’t believe in ourselves and it hurt us at times. We still competed decently, like holding them to a field goal on the goal line three times and Kyle Torres making a heads up play on a blocked punt that caused us to give up a safety rather than a touchdown. All those little things kept us in the game,” Parker said.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the September 27 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

Where art thou art?

The Keizer Chamber Foundation has held two fundraisers so far this year and received a generous $5,000 donation from Outback Steakhouse. The foundation funnels money to the Keizer Network of Women’s (KNOW) primary project, the Christmas Basket Program that delivers food and toys to underprivileged families and children in Keizer.

The foundation also funds and oversees the Keizer Public Art project that has installed art along River Road. The Christmas Basket program is going strong. The public art project? Not so much.  The art program has become anemic; no new art has been installed since 2011. No new art sites have been announced.

A city’s public art communicates to visitors and residents alike that it is not insular; it is part of the world at large. Art, whether hanging on a wall at the civic center, or standing along River Road, should elicit conversation and discussion. All art pieces don’t need to promote debate, but it should look good and enhance its surroundings.

Public art in Keizer has financial backing from the Chamber Foundation, it only needs a facilitator. We hope that the Keizer Art Association would look beyond its classroom and gallery and help choose sites and jury art to be added to the program.

In existence for more than 35 years, the Keizer Art Association has, in some ways, been the cultural center of the city. Its gallery hosts monthly exhibits including the Black, White and Gray Show and the Colored Pencil Society Show. The association’s leadership has ebbed and flowed; but by committing to be a major part of the public art program, it can take its rightful place as a pillar of Keizer life.

Though Keizer is a conservative city its public art can be bold, provocative and daring so as to induce discussion. That doesn’t mean installing art a person would be ashamed to have their grandmother see. Beauty is in the eye of the holder and you’ll never have total agreement on the aesthetic value of any one piece, that’s the, ahem, beauty of art. It evokes positive or negative emotions and it promotes—one hopes—lively debate. Anything that gets people talking, especially kids, is not a bad thing.

The Chamber Foundation needs to keep its commitment about public art. It has raised the money. Now it’s time to find a person or organization that can seriously take Keizer Public Art to the next level, add more pieces and make River Road an art gallery from one end to the other. Some people may not like the art, but at the very least, everyone will notice and everyone will have something to say.

—LAZ