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Month: May 2014

She’s got… The Voice

Keizer's Angie Brown is hoping to make it onto NBC's show  "The Voice" this time around. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Keizer’s Angie Brown is hoping to make it onto NBC’s show
“The Voice” this time around. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Next month, Keizer resident Angie Brown hopes to become a finalist on the NBC singing competition show “The Voice.”

Two years ago, she was homeless.

Brown fell on hard times after losing a job.

“This was when the economy was really bad,” she recalled. “For two years we were homeless.”

Both Brown and her partner got paper routes three years ago and earned enough money to get a house for them and their daughter, now 11. Last year they adopted a son, now 15. Four months ago Brown started working at Birdie’s Bistro.

In the interim, there was the audition for “The Voice.”

“I applied two years ago, but I didn’t hear back for a while,” Brown said. “It was almost a year before I heard back. I had totally given up.”

Brown was one of 240 to audition. When she got the call, she went to Los Angeles as the field was narrowed to 60 applicants. On May 15, Brown got another call that she is part of a group of 10 finalists. She is flying to Cleveland, Ohio June 14 and needs to raise $1,000 to cover her flight, hotel and rental car costs. Donation jars are at Birdie’s Bistro, Town and Country Lanes and Southside Speakeasy.

“This time it will be smaller groups,” Brown said. “These are the people they liked last time. Who they pick is based on the genre. Usher and Shakira were the judges last year. This year they are changing judges. I’m going to stick to what I do, which is blues and rock. I’ll stick to being myself.”

In Cleveland, Brown will be singing and going through an interview process for two days. If she makes it through, she will next spend two more weeks in Cleveland, followed by two weeks a month later in Los Angeles and then six weeks starting in September for the finale.

Brown has been through the show’s interview process once.

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“This time it’s a lot more nerve-racking, because I know something is on the line,” Brown said. “This time it will be smaller groups, with the people they liked last time. I’m anxious, nervous and excited. I’m so excited. I’m doing a lot of praying and hoping things work out.”

Singing has long been a part of life for Brown.

“I’ve been singing since I was real young,” she said. “I used to sing myself to sleep as a kid. My mom’s been telling me since I was little, ‘People need to hear you. You need to do a CD.’”

Brown really got into singing in fourth grade. When the family moved to Keizer the following year she sang at Keizer Elementary, followed by Whiteaker Middle School and then McNary High School, where she graduated in 2000. Brown was part of a Christian rock band in Portland for four years and then was in a classic rock band for two years.

Shana Schmidt, owner at Birdie’s Bistro, heard Brown sing for the first time recently.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, she is good!’” Schmidt said. “Plus she’s a great person. She’s always upbeat. She’s awesome to be around. She makes everyone’s day brighter. It’s super awesome she has this chance. We’re pulling for her to win.”

So is Brown.

“It would be life-changing,” she said of winning. “It would be a huge dream come true. I have always wanted to do this.”

Softball coach takes cues from her time as a Celtic

Lucy Shaw, a 2000 graduate of McNary High School, returned to the school 10 years ago as an assistant coach. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Lucy Shaw, a 2000 graduate of McNary High School, returned to the school 10 years ago as an assistant coach. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Lucy Shaw’s McNary High School volleyball and softball teams did quite well for themselves in her senior year, but don’t ask her for the number of wins and losses.

“I remember what happened on the bus trip to the state tournament or what happened at the hotel, not how many games we won. I’m still really close with all of  my volleyball and softball teammates. The biggest thing was the relationships,” Shaw said.

On the volleyball team, Shaw played under Dan Borreson, who still teaches at the school, but is no longer a coach. She played under Jeff Auvinen in softball and tries hard to create the same chemistry she saw her teams develop.

“Borreson has this amazing ability to see the best in every athlete and student, and pull it out of them. I’ve never worked as hard in my life as I did for him. Auvinen was always working just as hard right alongside us,” she said.

Both coaches are large influences on how she interacts with the girls as an assistant coach in the varsity softball program today.

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“Mike Maghan told me once that for a team to succeed it has to have talent, a lot of luck and chemistry. Talent and luck aren’t things we can control, but chemistry is something I can contribute to,” she said.

Shaw started as an assistant coach in the volleyball and softball programs a decade ago, but her own family – a third son is on the way next month  – limits how much time she has to spare and Shaw focuses it on softball.

She took a page from Borreson’s book when looking for tools to help the team find allies in each other. Shaw has each member of the roster keep a journal of daily and weekly happenings and responds to them in private trying to impart life, as well as softball, lessons.

“Borreson used it the same way, but the journal work we do also builds a lot of trust among the team,” she said.

For example, earlier this season, the Lady Celts faced a road game where few things were going their way. Everything from parking to the weather to their own performances seemed to benefit the opposing team.

“I used it as an opportunity to get them writing about the obstacles they face and how we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react and how we treat other people,” Shaw said.

Flag poles dedicated at Ryan J. Hill Memorial Park

Matthew Price, Ret. U.S. Army Korean Veteran and Chaplain with the American Legion Riders, salutes the flag as members of the McNary Air Force JROTC presents the colors during a Memorial Day ceremony at Pfc. Ryan J. Hill Memorial Park. For the story, see pg. 3. (Dee Moore/ For the KEIZERTIMES)
Matthew Price, Ret. U.S. Army Korean Veteran and Chaplain with the American Legion Riders, salutes the flag as members of the McNary Air Force JROTC presents the colors during a Memorial Day ceremony at Pfc. Ryan J. Hill Memorial Park. For the story, see pg. 3. (Dee Moore/ For the KEIZERTIMES)

 

By DEE MOORE
For the Keizertimes

The sun slid behind the gathering clouds as the small, solemn crowd congregated on Memorial Day to honor Pfc. Ryan Hill and dedicate the new flag poles recently added to the park named after the Keizer Army war hero who fell in 2007.

The grey sky – which only moments before had bathed the spectators in brilliant sunlight – lent the event an air of mourning. Though the crowd had gathered to honor Hill, they also came to honor their loved ones.

The ceremony was simple. Rev. Matthew Price stepped in front of the crowd and thanked them for coming out for Pfc. Hill and the dedication.

This was followed by the McNary Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard. They marched onto the small square leading into the park, carrying the U.S. and Oregon flags. Price and well-known Keizer vet Jesus “Monty” Montes recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Price stepped in front of the crowd again and told the story of how the flag poles came to be in the park.

A veteran, chaplain and American Legion member, it was Price’s idea to add flags to the park. The idea came to Price last year when the park was named for Hill and dedicated. According to Price, he turned to Keizer mayor Lore Christopher and said, “Lore, something is missing.”

That missing piece was a flag pole and a flag. One pole became two and one flag soon became four. And Price had a quest.

“The civic minded honorable people you have put into office said we will do this,” Price told the gathering.

He steamrolled the idea of putting flag poles in the park through the community and Keizer City Council. He had little difficulty getting it done; everyone he approached thought it was a great idea.

“I kicked the ball, got it rolling and brought it all the way here,” Price said.

The next step was funding. Flag poles, according to the chaplain, are costly.

In stepped American Legion Riders Chapter 21 out of McMinnville, a group that was instrumental to that process. These motorcycle riding vets made donations and helped raise awareness about the project. Funds trickled in from chapters around the state.

According to Gale Sears, director of the McMinnville chapter, more than 80 percent of American Legion Riders in the state contributed in one way of another.

“We stand here today because Ryan Hill stood in the gap. Today we will stand in his honor and thank him for his service,” Price said.

The flags were then raised. A prayer was said. The crowd dispersed. For those attending the event, there was no need for long speeches and grandiose gestures; it was rather a time of shared grief, comfort and hope.

“I hope because of all the traffic that returning vets will see the flags and they will know there are people who care,” Price said.

The park is nestled among the shops and restaurants in Keizer Station. A quiet, green space, the area is a constant hubbub of activity, for which Price is grateful.

The flag raising and dedication ceremony was also an opportunity for many veterans to reach out to others and offer the benefit of their experience.

Price and Sears feel it is important area vets know there is someone waiting at home who understands what they’ve been through, someone who can relate and who can listen without comment or judgment.

Many of the veterans attending the ceremony served in Vietnam. This is part of their healing process. They give the acceptance and understanding they were denied when they served.

Rider Jim Connelly of McMinnville feels the flag poles and efforts made by Price and others is more than symbolic.

“It means we are supporting our vets,” Connelly said while standing next to his large cruiser motorcycle.

“I feel …,” he pauses, straining to control the emotions conjured up by memories of returning home from Vietnam. He changes the subject.

“It’s validation and collective support. Vietnam was a learning experience,” he said.

What the country learned was no matter how people feel about politics, politicians or the conflicts American soldiers are sent to fight in, it’s important for the troops to know they will have our support, he said.

“We’ve brought our children up to respect vets,” Connelly said.

Celtics top No. 7 Jesuit in playoffs, fall to Lake Oswego

McNary’s Jacob Wood is tagged out trying to steal second in a non-league game with Madison High School Thursday, May 22. The 11-inning game ended in a 4-4 stalemate. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Jacob Wood is tagged out trying to steal second in a non-league game with Madison High School Thursday, May 22. The 11-inning game ended in a 4-4 stalemate. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

It was a game Jesuit High School players and coaches likely expected to win, but the McNary High School varsity baseball team had other plans.

On Monday, May 26, the Celtics, ranked 28th in the state, toppled the seventh-ranked Crusaders 7-2. A two-hit performance by the Central Valley Conference’s newly-named Pitcher of the Year Mickey Walker bought the Celts enough time to stage a seventh-inning come-from-behind win. It was the team’s first win on the road since April 3.

“We just got it going in our favor. We took advantage of that, but even before we had some good at bats against a tough pitcher,” said Larry Keeker, McNary head coach.

Walker struck out 10 batters, threw 15 first-pitch strikes and had no errors in the complete game effort. Jesuit put two runs on the board with walks in the bottom of the first inning, but Walker silenced Jesuit sticks all but once the rest of the game.

“I knew that I needed to calm down and trust myself. I was a little nervous for the game and I was trying to overthrow a little bit,” Walker said.

Keeker said it was an admirable showing for the junior.

“He was under duress early and you could see by his body language that he was frustrated, but he got himself out of the inning and he was able to settle in,” Keeker said.

McNary was still down 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning when the team strung together the offense it had been sorely missing in contests away from Vic Backlund Field.

Connor Goff started things off by reaching base on an error in the first at-bat of the inning. He was replaced on the base by Ben Cummings as a courtesy runner.

“I had been struggling and I wanted to put the ball in play. I did it and started running,” Goff said.

Connor Suing drew a walk advancing Cummings to second and both runners moved over a base on a passed ball.

A single by Tim Hays scored Cummings, and Brent Vasas came in to run for Hays. Senior Travis Klampe grounded out, but moved Vasas to second. Then Matt Aguilar plated the tying run on a squeeze bunt single. A double by Jacob Wood scored Suing and Aguilar to put the Keizer team up 4-2. After a Walker single, Wood scored on an error by Jesuit’s catcher and McNary had a 5-2 lead.

Hayden Gosling doubled to drive in Walker from third and Goff capped off the run he started with a double that plated Gosling. Goff was caught out trying to turn the hit into a triple.

Jesuit got one man on base in the bottom of the frame on a walk, but left him there on a fly out that ended the game.

Jordan Barchus went 2 for 4 on the day. Wood and Gosling made the most of their one hit each with doubles.

With the win, the Celtics advanced to the second round of the playoff tournament with a game against Lake Oswego High School Wednesday, May 28, past press time.

“We need the energy we brought in that seventh inning (Monday), and the attitude we had going into that game,” said Goff.

With another win, the Celtics would face a third-round opponent Friday, May 30.

“We’ve had some success with (Lake Oswego) in the past, but there is a lot of new blood on both teams. We’re more worried about ourselves. We’re not going to change what we do,” said Keeker.


Varsity baseball falls to Lake Oswego

The McNary High School varsity baseball team had the early lead in its second-round playoff game, but it couldn’t hold on for the win.

The Celts faced Lake Oswego High School on the road Wednesday, May 28, and lost 4-2. The loss closes the shutters on another season for the team.

McNary’s Tim Hays came through in a big way for the team in the top of the fourth inning. Hays smashed a line drive to centerfield scoring Hayden Gosling and Connor Goff, but the Lakers answered with one of their own in the bottom of the frame.

Lake Oswego put its final runs on the board in the fifth inning.

The Celts outhit the Lakers 5-3, but the Lakers’ arrived at the right time. Goff went 1 for 3 with a run scored. Hays went 1 for 3 with two RBIs.

Travis Klampe pitched four innings with three hits and two runs allowed. Jordan Barchus closed out the game.

Post lashes out at rules, voters

Twitter screen captures A day after winning the Republican primary race for the House District 25 battle, local radio personality expressed anger on his Twitter account about the low voter turnout and about electoral rules costing him his job at KYKN 1340.
Twitter screen captures
A day after winning the Republican primary race for the House District 25 battle, local radio personality Bill Post expressed anger on his Twitter account about the low voter turnout and about electoral rules costing him his job at KYKN 1340.

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Less than 24 hours after winning the Republican nomination for Oregon House District 25, Bill Post took to Twitter May 21 to air frustrations over electoral rules and voters.

Using his radio show’s Twitter account, @bpradioshow, Post sent out two “provocative tweets.” The first, at 9:20 p.m., read: “32.8 percent voter turnout in Oregon that is so disgusting I can hardly breathe, worthless lazy Americans get what they deserve.”

Half-an-hour later, Post returned to add: “‘Fairness’ cost me my job. What’s ‘fair’ about taking someone out of their job just to lose by 55%? I shall return to the air.”

Both have since been deleted.

In a phone interview, Post confirmed he controlled the account.

The second tweet referenced Post being let go by Keizer’s KYKN radio station. Post, who was a programming manager and on-air personality until his show was suspended in mid-March, planned to return to the airwaves the day after the primary, May 21, but said station management declined his attempt to return. Post suspended his show after a letter asserting Federal Communications Commission violations under the equal-time rules for political campaigns. The letter was sent by attorneys representing his primary opponent Barbara Jensen.

“It was a tweet of frustration. I was flat out ticked off because we didn’t sit down and negotiate,” said Post, when asked about the reason for the tweet. “I don’t have a job just because I was on the radio.”

Under the equal-time rules, U.S. radio and television stations must provide equal time to opposing candidates who request it. Post continued hosting his show after declaring his candidacy in January, but said he never used it to talk about his campaign.

“Once I became a candidate, I didn’t talk about my race. I talked about all the other issues out there,” Post said.

Post said he would have chosen another route to address the issue.

“I would have walked into that radio station and asked if there was some kind of deal we could make, that’s what should have been done from day one. If somebody would have sat down and negotiated this, I may not be out of the job,” Post said.

Post said he expects his opponent for the District 25 seat in the election, independent Chuck Lee, is the type of person he thinks would have taken alternative steps.

“I think Chuck is the kind of guy who would have sat down with me. I would have said, ‘Be a guest every day and we’ll do a segment together,’” Post said. Post is working on new plans to return to the air.

The earlier tweet addressing voter turnout, Post said, was meant in the spirit of his radio show personality.

“Bill Post the Radio Guy is passionate about this country, and the radio guy is saying to people: ‘Holy cow, folks, you not only have the right but the duty to go out and vote.’ We’ve made it very convenient to submit a ballot in Oregon. What I’m addressing in that tweet is the conservatives who are sitting around complaining about this country, and Obama and the NSA,” Post said.

Asked what he might do to increase voter turnout as a candidate and potential office holder, Post declined immediate comment, but said his radio show was well-positioned to help with that aspect of democracy.

“On my show every day for months, I encouraged independent listeners to register as one of the two parties to have a say in the primary, and then go back and re-register as an independent after the election,” he said. “I had 20 or 30 listeners get in touch and say they’d done it.”

Reached for comment about the tweets, Lee responded.

“I certainly would like people to vote and I will work hard through November to encourage them to do so,” Lee said. “I believe that all Oregonians deserve a good representative whether they choose to vote or not.”

Trevor John Fowler

T. Fowler
T. Fowler

On Friday, May 16, 2014 in Mt. Angel, Trevor Fowler, a father, son, brother, uncle and friend, died at the age of 35 years.

Trevor will be remembered by his daughters Makinzie and Hailie Seward, his parents Debbie and Mike Hansen (mother and stepfather), John and Lori Fowler (father and stepmother), Cheryl Fowler (stepmother), his sisters and their families Amber and Jon Reeves, Hilarie Fowler and Nate Follett, Stefani and Tom Cardiff, Marci and Matt Ruettgers, and Lisa Seward (mother of Makinzie and Hailie).

Trevor will also be affectionately remembered by his numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Dean and Shirley Fowler and Bill and Betty Anton.

Trevor was born March 20, 1979, a native Oregonian who grew up in Keizer and attended McNary High School. He loved storm watching, scary movies, hunting with his dad, family and friends, road trips with his mom, camping and fishing (anything outdoors), playing baseball, listening to music and four-wheeling, but most of all he loved spending time with his daughters.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, June 21 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Salem Elks Lodge #336, 2336 Turner Rd SE, Salem. Friends and relatives are invited to attend.

Poison oak found near KLL Park

KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald
KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Poison oak has been found on property next to part of the Keizer Little League Park complex.

City Manager Chris Eppley and Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, both said city officials learned of the issue Thursday morning, May 29.

“We were informed this morning that there was an issue with some poison oak near the northwest corner of the Little League complex,” Lawyer said Thursday afternoon. “Parks staff investigated the issue right away and determined there is some poison oak from a neighboring property hanging over onto the park property. Parks staff installed temporary construction fencing to keep people out of the area.”

Eppley said the tree is next to the t-ball field at KLL Park.

“The property owner (the Epping Group) has been contacted and requested to remedy the situation right away,” Eppley said. “We can’t spray chemicals or trim trees that aren’t on public property and trimming the limbs that overhang the park wouldn’t solve the issue.”

Word spread Thursday on Facebook, prompting at least two Portland TV stations to come to KLL Park for a story.

“We took action on what we could do,” Lawyer said. “This is a neighbor’s responsibility. Poison oak is not easy to get rid of.”

Stephanie Bojorquez, president of the Keizer Little League organization that recently took over management of the park, said an angry coach who refused to give his name asked her why the issue hadn’t been dealt with. In turn, Bojorquez contacted the city overnight. She noted Robert Johnson, parks supervisor for the city, had the temporary fence up around 9 a.m. Thursday.

“Robert told me the tree is huge,” Bojorquez said. “It’s not a bush anymore, it’s a tree so you wouldn’t think it was poison oak. It was hanging over. It’s too big.”

Bojorquez, who has been exposed to the poison oak twice in recent weeks herself, is looking at moving players to avoid the problem.

“It’s growing like mad,” she said. “Bill and Robert told me we shouldn’t have to move anyone. But I feel like I want to move them, just to be safe.”

MHS alum building community around Royal Scot hoops

McNary alum Matt Espinoza works with a budding athlete as part of the Salem Hoops Project, a program that offers free basketball clinics at McKay High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary alum Matt Espinoza works with a budding athlete as part of the Salem Hoops Project, a program that offers free basketball clinics at McKay High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Some days, Matt Espinoza is still trying to figure out just how the McNary High School varsity basketball team went on a 23-4 tear through the ranks of the OSAA in his senior year, 2002-03..

“We started the season 1-2, we weren’t the most athletic team, we had a couple of tall guys but nothing over 6-foot-4. We had just enough talent to do something special, but it was mostly because everybody bought into what we were doing,” he said.

The team’s something special included tying for the longest winning streak of the year, 16 games, and finishing the season with the best overall record in the state.

Espinoza graduated from McNary and headed to Southern Oregon University where he set a couple of school records. Most notably, the highest ever three-point percentage for the season.

After finishing his degree, he returned to McNary as an assistant coach, and later served as head coach for, the Celtics. He resigned when teaching positions failed to open up.

Since then, he’s found work as a trainer at Beaverton’s Shoot 360 and continues to coach in the Central Valley Conference as an assistant in the varsity program at McKay High School.

“Getting involved in the community around McKay really opened up my eyes,” Espinoza said. “I had lived in this area before moving to Keizer, but there are things you don’t notice as a kid, like the number of families that just can’t afford athletic programs for their kids. The money is a hurdle, and a place like The Hoop can be a long drive for these families.”

Espinoza knows first-hand the advantages of starting early. When he was a kid, his mother would bend wire hangers into the shape of basketball hoops and hang them from the doorknobs around the house.

Last spring, he began offering free clinics for kindergarten and elementary school-aged kids at the McKay gym in the early evenings. This spring, he started offering similar trainings for middle schoolers. He dubbed it the Salem Hoops Project and the clinics draw anywhere from 20 to 30 budding athletes each week. More than 150 have passed through the doors in just over a year.

“Most of it is geared toward fundamentals. We’d do more shooting if we could get the baskets lower,” Espinoza said.

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“Coach Noza” is a natural with his young charges. He greets as many of them as he can at the door, and usually by name.

“It’s all part of building up the community here,” he said. “We have current players and a few alums who come back and help out with the clinics every week.”

He still takes cues from his former coaches at McNary when working with his kids in the clinic. Because the one thing he does know about that fateful season more than a decade ago is that it came not from star players, but above average players who respected the process.

“With a lot of coaches I see, the emphasis is on the end result, and not the process. More important than making a certain number of baskets is are you doing it the correct way, is your footwork right or are you trying to just rush your way to a result?” he said.

Perhaps more importantly, he’s figured out that the approach is something that can be taught.

“The thing that made that team great was we were taught discipline and accountability by Larry Gahr and Jim Litchfield. We all had jobs to do and some of us came off the bench to do only that job, but it worked and something special happened as a result,” Espinoza said.

While the academic year is winding up, any student in the Salem area is invited to the Salem Hoops Project clinics. For more information, contact Espinoza at www.coachnoza.com He’ll add your name to an e-mail list to announce when the clinics resume this fall.

WMS students plan movie night

Whiteaker Middle School students Haley Debban, Ryan Wagner and Jessica Grimmer are part of a group of students planning a movie night at the school Friday, May 30. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Whiteaker Middle School students Haley Debban, Ryan Wagner and Jessica Grimmer are part of a group of students planning a movie night at the school Friday, May 30. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The current crop of leadership students at Whiteaker Middle School wasn’t content with leaving next year’s students in a financial lurch.

Instead, they’re hosting an end-of-the-school-year movie night Friday, May 30, to give next year’s class a funding cushion.

“We liked the idea of movie night and bringing the whole community together. They can come and relax, watch a movie and help us raise money for next year’s leadership program,” said Wolverine Ryan Wagner.

Doors will open at the school at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. showing of Frozen. Tickets are $3 per person or $10 for a family of four. Additional tickets for families larger than four are $2 per person. Attendance is limited to friends and family of Whiteaker students.

“A family of four can spend up to $55 on a movie night and here it’s only $10,” said student Jessica Grimmer.

Leadership team members will act as hosts and run a concession stand. A raffle for a basket of movie-viewing supplies will cap the night.

The leadership students had to not only plan the night, but sell the school’s administration on the idea.

“Mostly, they just wanted to know who was going to run everything and how we were going to get enough volunteers to cover everything that had to be done,” said Haley Debban.

Budget committee holds line on money for HS swimming

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By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

The Salem-Keizer School District’s 2014-15 budget proposal, representing the first projected revenue gain in five years, received budget committee recommendation Tuesday.

The budget committee met Monday and Tuesday for comments from the audience before recommending the $616,356,557 proposal, which the School Board is expected to adopt June 10.

Receiving the most attention in the budget discussions were the swimming program and the career technical education proposal.

Four people spoke from the floor Monday, all on the status of swimming. All wanted financial support for the sport restored to the budget. The argument was that the reasons for unfunding swimming were gone, because the fees swimmers paid were enough to support the sport.

Michael Wolfe, chief operating officer of the district, said that funding of swimming, which had never been eliminated, had been coming out of the general fund.

“Lately,” he added, “there has been less time and effort put into it.”

Betty Pataccoli, budget committee chair, noted that other sports have been reduced and eliminated at the middle school level. Questions were raised about funding comparisons of swimming and sports for which no one spoke from the audience Monday. Paula Radich, interim superintendent, said more information on sports funding would be ready Tuesday.

The Salem-Keizer Swim Boosters gave Radich a financial projection Tuesday that concluded that restoring swimming to its previous level could be budget-neutral for five years. Radich, noting that the budget proposal was built on the two criteria of classroom and infrastructure, recommended that swimming be left where it is for one year, at which time the district could look at what funding is available.

No budget change was recommended for swimming.

Tuesday, when no one spoke from the audience, the CTE proposal was the main topic. Rick Kimball, a board member of the committee, sought to transfer the $429,000 for the project to the contingency fund. He said that, although he supported the CTE concept, he thought the district should work first at recovering reductions.

Chris Brantley, also a board member, argued that the CTE program would keep students from dropping out. He noted that a large donation expected from Mountain West Corp., which would work with the district to organize CTE, might not be available later if the project were transferred.

Chuck Lee, a board member who is president of Mountain West and was to abstain from voting on the motion for that reason, said there was a possibility of further donations from Mountain West if the project were approved. It will be on the agenda of the board’s June 10 meeting. The committee voted to leave the $429,000 where it is.