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Day: May 13, 2014

McNary splits series with every CVC team

McNary senior Jordan Barchus winds up for a pitch in McNary’s game with South Salem High School Monday, May 5. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary senior Jordan Barchus winds up for a pitch in McNary’s game with South Salem High School Monday, May 5. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

It might be cold consolation given the McNary High School varsity baseball team’s losses to McKay and South Salem high schools last week, but the Keizer team has dealt blows to the top two teams in the league in as many weeks.

After getting a win over the Central Valley Conference-leading West Salem High School the last full week of April, the Celtics beat second-place North Salem High School 8-4 Thursday, May 1.

The Vikings and Celts were tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the fourth inning when McNary uncorked a four-run offensive stand.

“To be honest, we were ready for a win after taking three losses,” said Celt Tristin Mistkawi. “We’re doing this thing where we lose all the away games and win all the ones at home.”

Celt Connor Goff got the team started with a double on the first pitch, Mistkawi singled to left field, putting runners at first and second. A single by Travis Klampe singled to score Goff, but Mistkawi drew a forced out at third fielder’s choice single by Matt Aguilar. Jacob Wood loaded the bases on a single and Klampe scored on a single by Mickey Walker. A single by Jordan Barchus scored Aguilar and Wood. A ground out to second base by Hayden Gosling ended the inning for McNary, but the the Celts had a 5-1 lead.

Cole Thomas scored on a single by Walker with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Wood scored on a fielding error and a sacrifice fly by Barchus plated Walker. The Vikings mustered two runs in the top of the seventh, but Klampe and Gosling combined to get an out at home plate. Walker struck out his final batter looking.

“That win meant we split every series so far,” said Goff, a junior. “If we can just win out the rest of the season we’re definitely not going to be in last place.”

Walker pitched a complete game with four hits, four walks and eight strikeouts.

Klampe went 3 for 3 with an RBI and run scored. Barchus went 2 for 3 with three RBIs.

McNary’s four-game week started with a 7-5 loss to Sprague High School Monday, April 28. The following day, McNary outhit McKay High School 13-8, but the Royal Scots plated more runs in a 5-1 win. Only one of the four Celtic runners to make it to third base finished his loop. Walker scored after tagging up on a fly out by Goff in the top of the fifth.

“We were hitting the ball, but we weren’t doing it in a timely way,” Goff said. “We’d get two hits at a time and nobody would score.”

Walker went 3 for 4 at the dish. Tim Hays went 2 for 3 with a double. Barchus pitched a complete game with five runs on eight hits.

The Celtics started out with a four-run bang in a game with South Salem High School Wednesday, April 30. Wood reached first base on a fielding error, Walker reached on an error by the centerfielder, and Barchus flied out but gave Wood time to reach third. Gosling drew a walk to load the bases. Tim Hays plated Wood and Walker on a single and fielding error. A Mistkawi double brought Gosling home for  4-0 lead.

Unfortunately for McNary, South answered with five runs of its own in the bottom of the frame. The Saxons paired that inning with a five-run third and never looked back en route to a 12-7 loss for McNary.

Goff blasted a shot over the left field fence in the seventh.

“I wasn’t hitting very well that day. It was questionable off the bat, but I saw it go over the fence as I rounded first,” Goff said.

Prior to the start of McNary’s week, Head Coach Larry Keeker hoped the team would put some distance between itself and some of the teams lower on the CVC ladder, but three losses only embroiled the team further in the endlessly-fluctuating standings. McNary was tied for second in the league with North Salem after beating South Salem Monday, May 5, but a single game separated the two teams tied for second and the two teams tied for fourth in the league.

Path cleared for mural art in Keizer

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo


By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

When it comes to city government, “easy” can be a foreign word.

On Monday, Keizer City Councilors unanimously agreed to establish a Keizer Arts Commission as well as a Public Art program, which covers guidelines and rules for both public murals and art to be put on display at the Keizer Community Center.

The process began last summer when Mayor Lore Christopher worked with the Keizer Arts Association to get a mural up on the west wall of Keizer Florist, located at 631 Chemawa Road NE.

KAA members established a timeline for the project, with plans for the mural to be done this August. An artist was selected last year. A tea party fundraiser for the mural is taking place this Saturday, May 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the KAA classroom in the Keizer Heritage Center at 980 Chemawa Road NE. Tickets are $15 each, with mural artist Colleen Goodwin Chronister the guest speaker.

Back in December, city attorney Shannon Johnson recalled an earlier conversation about the mural issue.

“The mayor asked me, ‘It would be no problem, right?’ Actually, it is,” Johnson said at the time.

After several months of work, the problem has finally been resolved. Johnson said the new Keizer Arts Commission would look at public art and mural requests. The commission would have the authority to make requests comply with city rules.

As proposed, art on display at city hall would be covered up to $25,000, with the city having a $1,000 deductible per occurrence and a premium of about $300 a year. Placement of art at city hall would be a five-step process, starting with the artist submitting a letter of request and ending with arrangements being made for the return of the artwork.

Placement of a mural in the city would also be a five-step process, also starting with a letter of request being submitted by the owner or tenant of the building where the mural would be displayed. Once an art easement is obtained from the property owner, the commission would manage the creation of the mural to ensure it complies with the approval.

Johnson noted the trust being instilled in the KAC.

“You don’t have to be art critics,” he said. “But we’re putting a lot of faith in the commission.”

Johnson said art could be on display up to 60 days, a limit Christopher sought flexibility for.

“Can we put in 60 to 90 days?” the mayor asked. “We’re starting to get attention. With 90 days, it’s four times a year. As we get more demand in the future, we may want to limit displays to 60 days, but 90 days for now.”

Johnson noted the commission would get going quicker if councilors appoint the initial six members.

“I’m appointing me to this committee,” Christopher said. “Between the six of you, I need (five) additional names.”

Council tackles UGB issue at KRP

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Progress is being made towards expanding Keizer’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) at Keizer Rapids Park.

During Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting, councilors unanimously directed city staff to prepare an ordinance to adopt findings with revisions proposed last month by the Keizer Planning Commission.

Planning Commission members had, by a 5-1 vote, recommended the KRP master plan from 2006 be amended to include 58 additional acres into the park. Of that land, 38 acres are already in city limits but not in the UGB.

A key addition made by Planning Commission members was that the filbert trees in the new acreage remain until the revised master plan is developed.

Nate Brown, the director of Community Development for Keizer, acknowledged having land in city limits not within the UGB wasn’t common.

“It was unusual, but it was allowed for in our case,” Brown said.

The UGB expansion process has been discussed quite a bit this year, since the 28 acres at the front of the park has been mentioned as a possible site for the Big Toy playground. However, work can’t be done on that land until it is within the city’s UGB. The land includes a filbert orchard.

Concern aplenty had been expressed in recent months about the ability to get the UGB process taken care of before the scheduled Sept. 17 to 21 playground build date. In turn, that led to discussion of the build date being pushed back.

Councilor Marlene Quinn, chair of the Community Build Task Force, had said on April 21 a decision on whether or not to push back the project would come at Monday’s meeting. However, the topic was not on the agenda and was not discussed at all during the meeting.

Afterwards, Quinn admitted she misspoke about the process and noted mayor Lore Christopher had the item removed from the agenda.

“It’s got to go to the task force,” Quinn said. “Then the task force makes a recommendation to the Parks Board, then the Parks Board makes the recommendation to here (on May 19). I didn’t realize that, so I misspoke. Lore reminded me that’s the process.”

Brown noted the UGB topic wasn’t being worked on solely because of the project.

“The need for annexation and UGB is driven by several things,” he said. “You’ve heard about the Big Toy. It’s simply not the only driver for what we’re doing tonight. It was certainly part of discussion. But we’re here to justify what we have to go through to move an UGB. We have to demonstrate our needs and do a site analysis.”

The analysis also ties in with the city’s Housing Needs Analysis from last year, which showed the city needs to acquire more park land over the next 20 years.

“One master plan objective long in play was the need to acquire more parcels,” Brown said. “The proposed findings show this is the more logical extension of meeting that service.”

Councilor Jim Taylor wanted to ensure the action wouldn’t lead to something.

“Just to be very clear, what we’re proposing has nothing to do with building houses, correct?” Taylor asked.

City attorney Shannon Johnson confirmed that.

“Look at the zoning for the property, which would be public,” he said. “Housing is not allowed in that zoning.”

As has been previously mentioned, three other jurisdictions – Salem, Marion County and Polk County – would have to also change their master plans to accommodate the altered UGB for Keizer. Brown said progress is being made in that regard.

“Everybody has been extremely positive,” he said. “All three of those jurisdictions are working very hard. The cooperation we’ve gotten from all three has been very positive and uplifting.”