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Month: February 2015

Big check for Marion-Polk Food Share at GGNA meeting [with Video]

Rick Gaupo (far left) of Marion-Polk Food Share accepts a check for $21,837 on Feb. 19 from Jorie Skipper, Caleb Skipper, Molly Eisele and Gavin Eisele. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Rick Gaupo (far left) of Marion-Polk Food Share accepts a check for $21,837 on Feb. 19 from Jorie Skipper, Caleb Skipper, Molly Eisele and Gavin Eisele. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The check was so big, Rick Gaupo needed help holding it.

Fortunately for the president and CEO of Marion-Polk Food Share, he had several hands.

Gaupo was at the Feb. 19 Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association meeting to accept a check for money raised during December’s Keizer Miracle of Christmas fundraiser.

“We’re here to present a very large check of $21,837,” said Brigett Eisele, who chaired the annual three-week event which also collected 24,899 pounds of food from Dec. 5 to 26. “It was the largest monetary donation we’ve had, by $3,000. It was the second largest poundage donation. We missed that record by 300 pounds, so we were really close.”

Eisele herself didn’t hand the check over to Gaupo. She instead left that task to daughter Molly and son Gavin, who were ably assisted by friends Caleb and Jorie Skipper. She also had each of the children share what their favorite part of the food drive was.

“People coming in, donating all the money and food,” Gavin said.

Molly showed she got swept into the holiday spirit.

“Mine is to dress up in my elf costume and go on the buses with Santa,” Molly said.

The Skipper siblings also shared their favorite parts.

“My favorite part is giving candy canes to kids and seeing how joyful they are,” Jorie said.

Caleb seemed to enjoy many aspects.

“My favorite part is seeing how much money (people) donate and doing it with my family, friends and neighbors,” he said.

Brigett Eisele was impressed with this year’s participation level.

“Overall, we had so much more participation from neighbors,” Eisele said. “People who had only put up a strand or two (of lights) before, we noticed had more in the yard. We had more people coming through the neighborhood. We actually had to turn volunteers away this year. We’re usually scrambling to fill a few spots. It’s just bringing the community together. From having people donate wood for the bonfire to people dropping off banana crates for hauling food, having people just wanting to help out all the time is fantastic.”

Gaupo was impressed by the amount on the check, as well as the report of what Gubser neighbors did.

“To the kids, parents and the community, this is amazing,” Gaupo said, noting how the drive ends up benefitting organizations like Keizer Community Food Bank. “We only do it through community support.

“Here’s something I think you guys did right: I am so impressed with how you can build community and how building the community can feed the hungry,” he added. “For the most part, food banks have said let’s feed the hungry and hope the community comes. You guys are doing exactly the opposite and I’m so intrigued by it, which is let’s build the community and, because we have a healthy community, of course we’re going to feed the hungry in our community.”

Gaupo feels the way the event is sold is a big part of its success.

“If you said let’s have a food drive for the hungry, you would never raise $21,000,” he said. “If you said let’s create a community and do something the community can get excited and impassioned about and participate in, you’re at the point where you are turning away volunteers. Because you created a community, you’re feeding the poor. You’re feeding the hungry in our community and I love that. Thank you so much.”

Gaupo said the average meal size is 1.2 pounds, meaning the pounds raised by the food drive equaled about 20,000 meals. With around $1.50 producing that size of meal, Gaupo said cash donations roughly equaled another 20,000 meals, meaning 40,000 meals total.

The money raised will pay for programs such as Fresh Alliance, a program in which a driver goes to a store and gets food that would otherwise be thrown out. The money is also used to acquire extra produce from farms. As one example, Gaupo said the food share picked approximately 20,000 pounds of broccoli from the Zielinski farm.

In short, Gaupo said money raised is multiplied by being used to acquire additional goods.

“There are all those ways we can leverage the money, more so than if we went out and bought the food,” he said.

First time since 2009: GVC Champs

Tregg Peterson makes the first cuts to a net as the Celtics celebrated their co-GVC championship Tuesday, Feb. 24. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Tregg Peterson makes the first cuts to a net as the Celtics celebrated their co-GVC championship Tuesday, Feb. 24. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School boys varsity basketball players are league champs.

“It feels great. It’s taken a while, but it’s awesome to start as the last teams in the state and end up here ranked in the top 10,” said Celt senior Devon Dunagan.

A 63-51 win over McKay High School Tuesday, Feb. 24, sealed up co-champion status for McNary.

The one footnote to what was a celebratory evening was sharing the Greater Valley Conference title with South Salem High School. McNary will enter the state playoffs ranked 10th. The Saxons will begin ranked No. 5 based on the strength of their schedule.

“It feels like everything I hoped it would, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a league title and here we are,” said senior Tregg Peterson. “This is where we wanted to be.”

To their credit, McKay never gave up in the match Tuesday. Outsized in every way imaginable, the scrappy Royal Scot team cut McNary’s lead to single digits in the last minute.

“When we put the seniors back in at the end of the fourth quarter, we were just sort of goofing around instead of locking down,” Peterson said.

Knocking down shots from the foul line and a pair of shots in transitions put the game away. Dunagan laid in the final bucket as the last buzzer of league play sounded.

McNary is likely to host its first playoff game Tuesday, March 3.

“From now on, every single play, every single quarter matters. Every single game we need to come out in the first quarter a little better and then finish strong,” Dunagan said.

“We’ve got to finish every game, if we’re up 20, we have to keep going and get up 30 points.We can’t slow down in the middle of it,” Peterson said.

Prior to the McKay game, the Celtics squared off against Sprague High School Friday, Feb. 20. McNary won 63-51.

Throughout the first quarter, the teams traded the lead. With about two minutes left, a bucket from Cade Goff knotted the game at 11-11, but the Olys hit a three-pointer to jump ahead on the next possession.

Another basket by Goff and a trey by VanCleave finally gave the Celts a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Cole Thomas came up with a big block at the end of the first period that prevented another possible three-pointer by Sprague. The next period started 16-14.

“We played okay defensively. We had some miscommunication on our switches, and they scored 14 while we try to hold them to eight in the first period,” said Kirch. “On the other hand, we outscored them 10-2 in the second quarter and got into a rhythm as the game settled down.”

With league play in the rearview, McNary is now in a one-and-done situation. They’ll have until Tuesday to prepare for the first-round state playoff game, but they won’t likely know who their opponent is until Friday, Feb. 27.

“From here on out, competition is going to be difficult, but we’ve played all season to hold on to first place. Our kids have shown their mental toughness in a long season and now there’s just a little bit left,” Kirch said.

Lee makes dance debut Feb. 27

Krina Lee
Krina Lee

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Amid her preparation for Dancing with the Salem Stars Friday, Feb. 27, Krina Lee said part of the fun has been fashion talk.

“There was a lot of discussion about what shoes we’re going to wear, but then we found out one of the male contestants is getting a cape. We want to know why we all don’t get one,” Lee said.

Lee and six other local “celebs” will be cutting a rug with professional dancers from the Utah Dance Company troupe in the Histroic Elsinore Theatre’s annual fundraiser. Tickets range between $30 and $50 depending on location and are available at the Elsinore box office, 170 High Street S.E., in Salem.

“The six contestants will perform first and then be reviewed by celebrity judges. During intermission, the audience votes and then the Utah Dance Company will put on a show before the results are announced,” Lee said.

Lee was cajoled into the performance through several different channels, but said the experience has been a memorable one, even if it’s meant striking a difficult balance.

“There’s the part of me that wants to have fun doing it and supporting the Elsinore, and then there’s the inner ‘ohmigosh’  that I’m going to be out there in front of a whole theatre of people,” she said. “Mostly I want people to know that I’ve taken this seriously and show that on stage.”

Lee will dance the rumba, but said she’s been sworn to secrecy as far as song selection.

Agenda for Keizer City Council

480x270-Keizer-City-Council-06

CITY OF KEIZER MISSION STATEMENT

KEEP CITY GOVERNMENT COSTS AND SERVICES TO A MINIMUM BY PROVIDING CITY SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY IN A COORDINATED, EFFICIENT, AND LEAST COST FASHION

AGENDA

KEIZER CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR SESSION

Monday, March 2, 2015

7:00 p.m.

Robert L. Simon Council Chambers

Keizer, Oregon

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. FLAG SALUTE

4. SPECIAL ORDERS OF BUSINESS

5. COMMITTEE REPORTS

a. City Committee Appointments (Keizer Arts Commission, Budget Committee, Keizer Festivals and Events Services Team, Keizer Points of Interest Committee, Willamette Water Trail Partnership, Storm Water Advisory Committee, and Traffic Safety/Bikeways, Pedestrian Committee

6. PUBLIC TESTIMONY

This time is provided for citizens to address the Council on any matters other than those on the agenda scheduled for public hearing.

7. PUBLIC HEARINGS

8. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

a. RESOLUTION – Adoption of 2015-2017 City Council Goals

b. RESOLUTION – Approval of Field Usage Rates for the 2015 Season at Keizer Little League City Park

9. CONSENT CALENDAR

a. RESOLUTION – Authorizing City Manager to Enter Into Community Center Use Agreement and Addendum with Lakepoint Community Church

b. RESOLUTION – Authorizing the City Manager to Award and Enter Into an Agreement with Valley Credit Service Inc. for Collection Service for the City of Keizer

c. RESOLUTION – Authorizing Sole-Source Procurement Purchase of Goods from Darquest for Big Toy Play Structure at Keizer Rapids Park

d. RESOLUTION – Authorizing the City Manager to Apply for a Local Government Grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for the Community Build Playground Project at Keizer Rapids Park

e. Approval of February 2, 2015 Regular Session Minutes

f. Approval of February 9, 2015 Work Session Minutes

10. COUNCIL LIAISON REPORTS

11. OTHER BUSINESS

This time is provided to allow the Mayor, City Council members, or staff an opportunity to bring new or old matters before the Council that are not on tonight’s agenda.

12. WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS

To inform the Council of significant written communications.

13. AGENDA INPUT

March 9, 2015

5:45 p.m. – City Council Work Session

March 16, 2015

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session

14. ADJOURNMENT

Upon request, auxiliary aids and/or special services will be provided. To request services, please contact us at (503)390-3700 or through Oregon Relay at 1-800-735-2900 at least two working days (48 hours) in advance.

Dislocated shoulder doesn’t stop wrestler

McNary senior Alvarro Venegas decides to let his opponent in the quarterfinals of the district tournament escape and go for another takedown. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary senior Alvarro Venegas decides to let his opponent in the quarterfinals of the district tournament escape and go for another takedown. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

SPRAGUE — Thirty seconds into his finals match at the district wrestling tournament, Alvarro Venegas, a McNary High School senior, dislocated his shoulder.

“The best we can figure it, he had an underhook on me and when I tried to pry down it just popped out,” said Venegas.

The match was stopped immediately and a trainer was able to pop his shoulder back into place. Venegas passed some quick strength tests and was talking with head coach Jason Ebbs about whether to continue.

“He told me it was my choice, that wrestling isn’t everything, but this is something I’ve wanted since freshman year,” Venegas said. “It was scary, but I wanted it so badly.”

Venegas rode out the next 5:30 of the match to take the district championship in a 5-2 decision.

“It feels amazing, I was in the same match last year and lost. After it was over, I cried and hugged all my coaches,” he said.

On Monday afternoon, Venegas – the top ranked wrestler at 195 pounds in the state with only one loss this season – was back on the mat preparing for the state tournament slated for Feb. 27-28 in Portland. He’s also running before and after school.

Venegas is one of seven wrestlers representing the school at the state tournament after placing third or better in the district tournament.

In addition to the top placers – more on them in a moment – Gage Mance took fourth place after losing to teammate Taran Purkey in the third place match-up. William Smith also took fourth. Riley Repp landed in fifth place, and Carlos Vincent, Ryan Edsall and Isaiah Putnam placed sixth.

Putnam pulled off one of the most monumental feats in the Celtic ranks. After Purkey dropped to 170 pounds for the tournament, there was an opening at 182. Putnam was wrestling up 16 pounds and still managed to place.

Overall, McNary placed third as a team.

Joey Kibbey (106 pounds, second place)

Junior Joey Kibbey dropped weight to wrestle at 106 pounds in the tournament, and had a spot in the semifinals by mid-afternoon the first day.

He ended up losing in the finals to McMinnville High School’s Alvaro Flores.

“I wrestled him freshman year and he beat me pretty badly, but this was only one point that gave him the title. I was really happy with the match despite that,” Kibbey said.

He hopes to get his hands on Flores again in the state tournament.

Brayden Ebbs (120 pounds, second place)

Freshman Brayden Ebbs was the No. 1 seed headed into the tournament and won his first two matches with a pin in 15 seconds and a major decision.

He drew Forest Grove’s Christian Guerra in the finals.

“It was 2-2 all the way through the third round,” Ebbs said. “Then it went into overtime. I shot in, got a leg and was close to taking him down. I flipped my hips, turned around and missed a half-nelson. He flipped his hips and got around on top of me.”

That single move gave Guerra the district title.

Jonathon Phelps (126 pounds, second place)

Jonathan Phelps was disappointed he didn’t take first in the tourney, but his final opponent was Matthew Johnson of Forest Grove, a longtime rival.

“It was a best two out of three this season, I beat him the first time and the second time he won 11-3,” Phelps said. “This time, he just kept getting his takedowns.”

Johnson won it in a 7-2 decision.

Michael Phelps (132 pounds, second place)

Senior Michael Phelps turned in his best-ever performance at the district tournament, but ended up forfeiting the finals match due to a lingering knee injury.

“After the first day, it was hurting pretty bad and I decided I wanted to save it for the state tournament,” Phelps said.

He said his semifinal match-up gave him the biggest scare of the tournament.

“It was 0-0 the whole time and he locked up a cradle on me, but I got out of it and scored on the reversal,” he said.

Wyatt Kessler (145 pounds, third place)

Sophomore Wyatt Kessler had the toughest route of McNary’s top placers. Two wins took him to the semifinals, but a loss there meant he had to wrestle twice more to get back in the mix, Both opponents were from Sprague. He won both.

“It meant that much more because it was beating them at their own house,” Kessler said. “It also meant a lot because I had to sit out last season after knee surgery.”

His first match of the tournament, Kessler beat the No. 3 seed in a major decision. He entered the tournament seeded sixth.

Taran Purkey (170 pounds, third place)

While excited to be going to the state tournament for the second time, senior Taran Purkey was disappointed that his road to placing at state will be one of the tougher ones.

“The first match at districts was actually the toughest one. He was a good wrestler, I was just better,” Purkey said.

Purkey dropped 12 pounds to wrestle at 170 in the tournament and said it’s both an exciting and nerve-wracking situation.

“The nice thing is none of them will know what I bring to the match, but I won’t know much about them either,” Purkey said.

Can you spare a mural?

Jill Hagen, Lore Christopher and Don Lebold discuss plans for a new public mural on the north wall of Lebold's Town and Country Lanes, seen in the background. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Jill Hagen, Lore Christopher and Don Lebold discuss plans for a new public mural on the north wall of Lebold’s Town and Country Lanes, seen in the background. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Town and Country Lanes already has the coolest looking sidewalk in town.

So hey, why not have a large mural painted on the long north wall?

That’s what is expected to happen this summer, as longtime owner Don Lebold gave his blessings to a plan proposed by former mayor Lore Christopher and Jill Hagen on Feb. 20.

If the idea sounds a little crazy, well, Lebold said that’s only fitting because he’s been crazy enough to own a bowling alley for 48 years.

Lebold couldn’t believe the fortuitous timing, since Christopher’s proposal came shortly after he’d talked with manager Mardi Smith about such a thing.

“I was thinking two weeks ago we need some kids to do a public mural,” Lebold said, motioning to the north wall of his business, located at 3500 River Road North. “I mentioned it to Mardi. I said we need to have some high school kids paint a mural on the north wall.”

Just like that, Christopher proposed exactly such an idea, which would be Keizer’s second public mural following the one dedicated last October at Keizer Florist.

“I’m telling you, God is on our side,” Christopher exclaimed. “McNary High School kids will do the background. Everyone will have a chance to do it. We’ll have handprints, for something like $5 per hand. Then we’ll use that money for the next project. We’ve got the money for this project. The Oregon Community Foundation gave us $2,500. This will be super fun. We will be doing it this summer.”

As Christopher and Hagen showed him a rendering of what the mural would look like, Lebold’s grin widened.

“This is a super vision,” he said. “I love it, I love it. This is an answer to what I was envisioning.”

Christopher feels the large wall is a perfect canvas.

“I drive down by here every day,” said Christopher, who like Hagen is involved with the Keizer Art Association and the Keizer Arts Commission. “This wall really stands out and says, ‘Paint me.’ We had the $2,500 for a mural. We were looking for the perfect spot and this is it. I wanted it on the south side of Keizer, since they sometimes feel left out. And I wanted to support Town and Country.”

That’s only fitting, considering how much the business has supported the community over the years, including events like the Turn Around Achievement Awards started by Lebold 20 years ago.

Hagen noted the north wall at Town and Country is larger than the one at Keizer Florist.

“This one will be larger, so it may take a month to do it,” Hagen said.

As envisioned by Hagen, the mural will include pictures of grapes, filberts, trees, snowflakes, fish, cherries, peaches, hops, strawberries and irises. A river would go through the center of the mural. Children will be able to do handprints directly on the wall, with older children helping with the rest of the painting. A professional artist would be called upon to do up-close inserts of the various items.

Christopher said it could range from one artist doing all the inserts to artists doing one each. Those interested are asked to attend a meeting in council chambers at Keizer Civic Center on March 31 at 6 p.m. After that meeting, those interested will have 30 days to submit their designs. By that time, a compensation amount should be known.

“We want it to be a community project,” Hagen said. “We will be asking for some money to do this, but if someone can’t pay that won’t prevent them from participating. We want to try to include everyone, of all ages. The handprints will be one of the first things and will be done directly on the wall. The number depends on how much space we end up having. Older kids could do other parts.”

Much of the painting would be done by high school students, as envisioned by Hagen and Christopher.

“We will do a call to artists for the up-close inserts,” Hagen said. “The professionals would do only the inserts.”

Hagen noted her original design will have to be altered somewhat since the wall is so long.

“It’s a very long, narrow space we’re talking about,” she said. “The design was not made for a long, narrow space. It will have to be stretched out.”

Cake icon goes with ganache

Jerry Frank, owner of Salem’s Konditorei, awarded Joanne Dibble with first place in a cake contest at Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community Feb. 11. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)
Jerry Frank, owner of Salem’s Konditorei, awarded Joanne Dibble with first place in a cake contest at Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community Feb. 11. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

Oregon’s chocolate cake expert Gerry Frank kept a poker face as he tasted and scored the 15 entries in the Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community’s Taste of Home Chocolate Cake Contest Feb. 11.

Frank, who judges the state fairground chocolate cake contest each year, was invited by Willamette Lutheran’s marketing director Kay Hayes to judge their contest. Aside from being a judge of cakes he owns Konditorei, Salem’s premier cake cafe.

The contest was open to residents as well as the public. The display table was laden with 15 cakes of various sizes,  heights and color (one used white chocolate frosting to approximate an igloo).

Frank started with the first entry and made his way down the table, carefully tasting each entry. In between bites he recalled stories of past state fair cake judging and giving tips about making a good cake.

“It should be fresh and moist. Start with the best ingredients,” he said.

The cake he deemed the winner was baked by Joanne Dibble of Salem whose cake featured ganache and large strawberries. She won a trophy and a gift certificate.

After the contest all the cakes (with a tiny slice missing) were moved into Willamette Lutheran’s lobby for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Councilors set short-term, long-term goals in session

Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark (far left) speaks as Keizer City Councilors Dennis Koho and Marlene Quinn listen during a work session on Feb. 9.
Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark (far left) speaks as Keizer City Councilors Dennis Koho and Marlene Quinn listen during a work session on Feb. 9.

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Keizer City Councilors can see where they are going.

Councilors spent their work session on Feb. 9 fine tuning goals they hope to accomplish in the next two years, as well as long-term goals.

The work session built upon goals talked about in a similar meeting back in December. The goals are expected to be formally adopted during one of the regular council meetings in March, most likely the March 2 meeting.

One of the main new short-term goals is Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) expansion, which was previously listed as a long-term goal.

“Is there a consensus to move that to short-term?” Mayor Cathy Clark asked councilors.

City Manager Chris Eppley noted progress being made towards that.

“It’s almost impossible for that goal not to occur,” Eppley said. “There is additional work to accomplish before that, like we have to do transportation planning outside the UGB area in the area the UGB will likely be added. We are applying for grants to do that. It’s expensive work. The state keeps promising us grants to do it, but we keep missing it by one of two. We’ve applied three or four times now. We’re hoping fifth time is the charm.”

In regards to a timing question from councilor Brandon Smith, Eppley said UGB is an expansion.

“We’re ready to start on it,” Eppley said. “We’ll budget for it regardless. We will be ready to move forward regardless (of grants).”

Once it’s time to actually work on UGB expansion, Eppley noted there will be community discussion and city leaders will seek direction.

“We will ultimately need direction in terms of low, medium or high growth and things like the type of industrial or commercial land to develop a realistic land supply need,” said Eppley, who noted other entities such as the city of Salem would have to give their support.

Councilor Marlene Quinn brought up the goal of adding a full-time parks employee, while Smith augmented that with coming up with a stable funding mechanism for parks. Smith was chair of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in 2013 when that board spent much of the year going over ideas for stable funding, only to be told late in the year to put plans on hold in order to focus on the Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park.

“That’s a good discussion for the Parks Board and the community to have,” Clark said. “I want to make sure people don’t think we will be hiring someone tomorrow.”

Clark brought up the idea of increased community engagement.

“The purpose is to better understand what people need and connect them with volunteer opportunities,” she said. “We have heard many times we need a volunteer coordinator and we need to be more inclusive with all sectors of the community. I know there are areas we can improve.”

Councilor Roland Herrera agreed, especially in terms of reaching the Latino community.

“I think the process is something overdue,” Herrera said. “(Police) Chief John Teague has been instrumental in reaching out. Fire Chief Jeff Cowan is a champion in reaching out. I would like to be able to help out with that.”

Clark suggested having a communications person and coordinator to help identify needs. Eppley noted government typically is not good at such communications.

“We need to be getting out to the community and getting our message out,” Eppley said. “We need a person taking on an active role of using social media to get us engaged with the part of the community that uses it. There are a lot of uses for this kind of position for telling our story. I like the idea, maybe as a long-range goal because that helps us make sure we have a stable funding source. We’d want to take a very deliberate approach. Staff is expensive, so we’d want to sustain what we can do.”

Youth councilor Ryan Edsall noted he’s been working on a youth page program.

“You would have a shadow attend meetings,” Edsall said. “The page would follow that councilor, maybe take that information and put it to use on a youth council.”

Eppley noted a lead youth could coordinate the efforts, which would be a good thing on a resume.

“It’s a great thing to have,” Eppley said.

Clark is eager to see the idea expanded upon.

“This is a concept we need to flush out with logistics,” she said. “We would want it as open as possible for Keizer youth to participate in the program.”

Clark has been key in getting youth involved with the council and has expressed a desire to expand the outreach.

“It’s something I’ve been passionate about,” she said. “It irritates the cookies out of me to see the (youth council) seat vacant. To have two people this year, I’m thrilled. Not only to have you learn from us, but I’m learning from you. There is a lot of support to move forward with this. I think it’s a brilliant idea.”

Clem not prepared for the President’s Award

Dan Clem walks to the stage to accept the President’s Award on Jan. 31 at the Keizer First Citizen Banquet. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Dan Clem walks to the stage to accept the President’s Award on Jan. 31 at the Keizer First Citizen Banquet. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Having recently stepped down from public office, Dan Clem figured there was no reason to dress up for the Keizer First Citizen Awards Banquet on Jan. 31.

Besides, the former Salem City Councilor didn’t anticipate winning anything so a sweater, jeans and tennis shoes seemed to be safe enough.

But Audrey Butler, president of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, had a different plan.

Butler surprised Clem with the President’s Award.

Butler called Clem, who serves as chair of the chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, the “iron link” between her and legislation impacting Keizer.

“He’s the man who has elevated the chamber to a new level,” Butler said.

Clem joined the chamber last June.

“I am truly humbled to be welcomed into Keizer in such a wonderful fashion,” said Clem, who recognized wife Debbie for her support. “The public deserves our best and I hope to continue to give my best. I’m always reminded by Audrey’s caring heart and her sense of volunteerism. That’s the great thing about this community, you just volunteer so much. Audrey says it and it’s absolutely true. She lives it and the community lives it.

“We vote once or twice a year, but when we volunteer we vote daily about the kind of community we want to live in,” he added. “I’m very proud to be part of Keizer, thank you.”

Butler, who as chamber president had the sole call on who got the award, outlined why she chose Clem.

“The last six months have been more than I anticipated,” Butler said. “I can’t wait to see the flourish in growth we will have in the next six months. As I began the journey of your chamber president six months ago, I knew I was going to find a few avenues I would struggle in. Like they say, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. When you identify the weak points in you, you can only improve them. Those weak points can only be made stronger.”

After returning to his seat, Clem still couldn’t believe he was leaving the event with a new clock.

“I’m shocked,” he said. “Keizer is such a wonderful place because of the people. I’m deeply humbled and honored by this award.”

Debbie noted she didn’t know about the award beforehand, but she didn’t sound terribly surprised based on what her husband does.

“This is nobody who loves their community more than Dan does,” Debbie said. “He thinks of the whole area as his community. He does a lot of good stuff.”

Clem took the good natured ribbing about his somewhat casual attire in stride and pointed to a valid reason.

“I didn’t wear a suit and tie because I’m out of office,” Clem said.

Celts show their mettle against Titans, Grizzlies

McNary’s Emma Jones dishes the ball to a teammate in the game against McMinnville. The Celtics won 62-28. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Emma Jones dishes the ball to a teammate in the game against McMinnville. The Celtics won 62-28. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A 62-28 win over McMinnville High School Friday, Feb. 13, was a display of just how much the McNary High School girls varsity basketball team has grown in recent weeks.

When the two teams met a little more than three weeks ago, the Grizzlies gave the Celts a run for their money that ended in a 47-30 final score. This time around, after the opening minutes, the Lady Celts clamped down defensively to create long runs leaving McMinnville in the dust.

“It shows in the games that everyone has been playing at a higher level,” said Madi Hingston, a McNary junior. “We’ve been working hard on our game plans in practice and knowing who the shooters are and getting to them.”

McNary’s Kaelie Flores kept McNary afloat, scoring a tying basket and the go-head one in the third minute of the game. A three-pointer by Madi Hingston, her first of four for the night, stretched the McNary lead to four and the Grizzles only threatened once more.

Hingston has strung together several outstanding nights on offense in recent weeks. She said the change was a result of personal and collective efforts.

“I realized that I needed to start being more aggressive, but it also has a lot to do with team and everyone pushing each other,” she said.

Midway through the first quarter, McMinnville went up 8-7, but then the Lady Celts went on an 18-point unanswered run that spanned the first and second periods. By the halftime buzzer, McNary was up 36-11.

The Celtic dominance continued the rest of the game, and the team emptied its bench with three minutes left to play en route to the 62-28 final score.

Hingston led the team with 16 points and six assists. Flores and Sydney Hunter had 13 points apiece; Kailey Doutt put up six; Jaylene Montano had five; Paige Downer drained a trey less than 30 seconds after hitting the court; Jasmine Ernest, Emma Jones and Lauren Hudgins had two points each.

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, the Celtics doled out a 59-36 loss to West Salem High School. The Titans jumped out to a 5-1 start, but McNary took the lead 13-7 by the end of the first frame.

The Titans only managed to outscore the Celts in the third period, but McNary already had a runaway lead.

“With both teams and we knew we had to come out strong,” Hingston said.

Hingston led all scoring with 15 points; Hunter had 13; Vanessa Hayes put in 12; Kailey Doutt had seven; Flores and Ernest had four each; and Montano and Hudgins each drained one from the paint.