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Day: January 21, 2015

Holiday card contest is being worked on

Beth Melendy (left), shown here with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host Ty Pennington, is heading up a holiday card contest through the Keizer Arts Commission. (Submitted photo)
Beth Melendy (left), shown here with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host Ty Pennington, is heading up a holiday card contest through the Keizer Arts Commission. (Submitted photo)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

It was just a couple of nights before Christmas and details over the annual Christmas cards were being fussed over.

Not in the normal sense, however.

For one, this was the Keizer Arts Commission meeting at city hall on Dec. 23.

For another, the card in question is one for the 2015 holiday season.

KAC member Beth Melendy has been working on a 2015 holiday card contest. As part of that, artists are being sought to submit artwork expressing the holiday season in Keizer. The selected art will be used as the city’s 2015 holiday greeting card.

The winning entrant will earn a $25 gift card to Michael’s Arts and Crafts.

When Melendy originally brought up the idea last fall, the scramble was on to quickly get the contest together for the fast approaching holiday season. However, it was decided to wait until this coming year.

Since then, one of the main points of discussion has been when the deadline should be. Former Mayor Lore Christopher, who chairs the KAC, had pushed for deadlines to be moved up so commission members would have time to make a decision.

“I only changed some dates,” Melendy said when presenting the updated proposal. “The first proposal was (a deadline of) Friday, Oct. 16. Lore wanted it earlier. Now it will be Friday, Sept. 18.”

Melendy has compiled a two-sided contest form. One side explains the guidelines, rules and conditions; the other side is the entry form.

Submissions must be received at Keizer Civic Center by 4 p.m. on Sept. 18, accompanied by a signed entry form. The original artwork must be at least four inches by six inches but no bigger than eight inches by 10 inches. Entries must be one dimensional for scanning and recreating purposes and can be a painting, drawing or photograph.

Up to two entries may be submitted per person, with the artist’s signature appearing somewhere on the artwork. The art must be suitable for use as a holiday card and should depict a local scene or an event with a holiday theme.

One of the rules deals with religion.

“Items that are specifically tied to one religion may be excluded,” one of the rules states. “Examples include Santa Claus, angels, menorahs and other religious-based images.”

Entries will be judged at the Sept. 22 KAC meeting, with the winning artist being notified by Sept. 25.

While the dates were easily agreed upon, the main question that came up was restrictions related to KAC members.

“Will we say our family members are not allowed to submit?” Melendy asked.

Jill Hagen said they should be able to.

“They can submit, but then you can’t be on the selection committee,” Hagen said.

Rick Day had a suggestion.

“Maybe you’d just recuse yourself on that one selection,” Day said.

Nate Brown, director of Community Development, brought up the issue of fairness.

“I want to make sure we have the appearance of fairness,” Brown said.

Big Toy group aiming to avoid the big swell

0516-NEWS-KEIZER-big-toy-LOGO

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The general area is known for the Big Toy.

However, the exact placement of the play structure scheduled to be built by community volunteers in June at Keizer Rapids Park was still up for discussion last week.

Mark Caillier, general coordinator for the Big Toy, gave an update during the Jan. 6 Community Build Task Force meeting.

“I want to talk about the Big Toy location,” Caillier said. “I thought we would have something to look at, but you have to picture it in your mind.”

As approved by the Keizer City Council in December, the Big Toy will be going in south of two softball fields, in part of the current orchard area.

“The apex of the circle is 600 feet of softball fields,” Caillier said. “We’ve got to have space in between the fields. The Big Toy is at that apex. What we found is if you look at the dog park parking (to the west) and extend that east, where we want to put our parking, you work your way east and by doing that we take a swat out of the orchard. You cut the orchard in half. We need to make sure there’s enough space so farm machinery can get through the orchards.”

Caillier said with the parking moved over, that would create about a 100-yard walk to the Big Toy.

“We want to make it closer,” he said. “We looked at moving the Big Toy west from the apex, which also makes the softball fields bigger. That puts the Big Toy somewhat into the orchard. We would remove 183 trees. That puts us on flatter ground and puts us in a space to allow for a bigger softball complex.”

Richard Walsh, co-chair of the task force’s fundraising committee, wondered if moving the Big Toy in the other direction would be better.

“I guess I’m thinking long-term with the park,” Walsh said. “That means this backdrop will be blocking all the space behind it. We’re creating this big no-man’s land. You would have to go around the play structure to get into the parking lot. I wonder if it wouldn’t be as easy to bring it to the east instead of the west.”

Caillier said there’s an obstacle in that direction.

“If you move the Big Toy toy east you run into a swell, which is right through the field where a burn pile is,” Caillier said. “It goes from the southwest to the northeast. As you move over (to the east), you move more into the swell. If you go straight east, you go right into it. It has a bigger grade than we thought, about a seven-foot drop.”

Marlene Quinn, chair of the task force, noted Caillier and others made the recommendation after going to the site and mapping things out.

“The swell is pretty bad out there,” Quinn said. “I’m not sure we have the time and money to extend the parking lot out there.”

Walsh encouraged everyone to think about long-term use of the land.

“I want the designer to get to work on the final touches,” he said. “We need to get going with it. As far as the exact placement, you can go out and walk it. If it’s feasible without raising the cost, I want us to think long-term and at least explore moving to that east side. If it’s not possible, I’m fine. I don’t want to give up the project.”

Caillier said that idea had been explored.

“We looked at it and we don’t believe it’s possible,” he told Walsh. “I would be glad to go out and show it. Clint (Holland) is waiting for us to make a decision so we can get moving.”

A motion was made to approve the siting, at which point Quinn mentioned how long until the five-day community build is scheduled to start on June 11.

“We have 154 days until the start of the build,” Quinn said. “We can get going now.”