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Day: February 24, 2015

Egli continues tradition as Keizer’s Merchant of Year

Joe Egli, an agent with R. Bauer Insurance, took home Keizer’s Merchant of the Year Award on Jan. 31. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Joe Egli, an agent with R. Bauer Insurance, took home Keizer’s Merchant of the Year Award on Jan. 31. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

It only looked like Joe Egli was practicing scenes from “Rocky.”

In reality, Egli was just a tad nervous while delivering a short speech Jan. 31 after being named 2014 Merchant of the Year at the Keizer First Citizen and Awards Banquet.

Shortly after his name was called by 2013 award recipient Rob Miller, a surprised Egli was on stage, trying to make it through his speech when he remembered some advice from wife Shelly and started raising his arms in the air.

“My wife taught me to do this if I’m nervous,” Egli explained as laughter filled the room at Keizer Quality Suites.

Egli then looked towards his wife at the back of the room.

“Did you know about this?” he asked, regarding the award. “No? OK, good.”

At that point, Miller joked that wasn’t the case.

“Are you lying to me?” Egli called out to Shelly. “You’re not getting any tonight. That just slipped out, I’m sorry.”

Egli, an agent at R. Bauer Insurance, recently stepped down after four years on the Keizer City Council. He is currently chair of the Iris Festival and has helped out with various Keizer Rotary and chamber projects. In 2013, he redid the letters at Newton-McGee Plaza.

Before naming the winner of this year’s award, Miller gave a few clues to the identity.

“He’s a person who has his hand in everything,” Miller said. “To quote from a meeting with Bob Zielinski, ‘He’s like s— in the barn because he’s always there.’ This candidate knows all about Keizer’ just ask him. He’s always the life of the party with his wife. They are so much fun to be with. He’s always there if you need him and he cares about you, from public issues to damages.”

Other nominees were Scott and daughter Kalynn White of Big Town Hero, Shelly Paddock of Shelly’s Kids Preschool and Daycare, Keizertimes publisher Lyndon Zaitz and Larry Jackson of Jackson Auto Body.

Egli gave credit to his fellow nominees.

“Those people I really admire and look up to,” Egli said. “I’m very honored to be mentioned with them. I love each of you guys and all of the people I’ve worked with in the chamber.”

Afterwards, Egli admitted he was shocked to win.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “There was the (Zielinski) reference to the barn. I really thought he was talking about Scott White. I felt Scott and Kalynn were the obvious choices. So I was really sure I was off the hook. Then the camera zoomed in on me and I thought, ‘That’s not good.’ Then Rob started talking about the Iris Festival and I knew I was in trouble. I wasn’t prepared at all for the speech. “I’ve never really been that speechless before.”

As an agent at R. Bauer Insurance, Egli adds to the company’s reputation. Ralph Bauer was Merchant of the Year in 1965 and 1971 and thus established a trend for his sons; Dick Bauer won the award in 1980 and Tom Bauer did so in 1984. Ralph Bauer was also the 1978 First Citizen, an award also won by Dick in 1983, by Dave Bauer in 1995, by Tom in 1997 and daughter Mary Opra in 2002.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Egli said of adding to the company’s total. “There’s been five First Citizens in our office. I’m pretty honored. It’s a family firm. It doesn’t seem like volunteering, it seems like something you’re just supposed to do. You take care of the community that takes care of you.”

Egli could recall his first experience with Keizer.

“I started coming to Keizer in 1976,” he said. “My dad would drive down here from Aurora. We’d get off the freeway in Brooks and take the back roads to the Fortune Cookie, which is now All Stars. I thought it was the best Chinese food around, but it turns out it was Diners Club two-for-one on Tuesday nights. I fell in love with Keizer a long time ago and I still love it. I love the people of Keizer.”

Egli noted a number of businesses were in Keizer before the city became incorporated in 1982.

“Our Keizer businesses are our heartbeat,” he said. “There are some Keizer businesses that have been around 50-plus years, while Keizer has only been around about 30 years.”

Egli’s co-worker Nathan Bauer, emcee of the event and son of Tom, loved the Zielinski comment and told attendees not to ask for Egli by name in the office.

“I told Joe we were going to start calling him 2014 Merchant of the Year at the office,” Bauer said.

Lessons in Celt video production courses carry students far beyond the classroom

Jedidiah Hunter and Gloria White record segments for the Celtic News Network.
Jedidiah Hunter and Gloria White record segments for the Celtic News Network.

Of the Keizertimes

Despite taking video production classes for all her four years at McNary High School, Liv Pond isn’t planning to study film in college.

That doesn’t mean what she’s gleaned from her time in teacher Jason Heimerdinger’s studio room will be going to waste.

“I want to travel the world and teach. These classes taught me how to learn, because there’s always one more new thing, and they’ve taught me how to teach others and work with people,” said Pond.

Because of her time in video production classes she’s performed almost every task there is to do, including helping produce video announcements and the Celtics’ new news segments dubbed CNN (Celtic News Network).

“There’s not one part I like the most, I like it all. But one of the things you can do here is take all this knowledge and apply it to everything,” she said.

Senior Nick Wolfert is no stranger to the camera. He’s directed his own short films in his spare time, but his duties as a line producer for CNN are quite a bit different.

McNary’s annual Knight of Arts is slated Saturday, March 7. The event features student work and a play alongside silent and oral auctions. Proceeds cover costs not covered in school budgets and scholarships for arts students. Tickets are $10 and on sale at the McNary main office. Check-in for the auctions begins at 5:30 p.m., the event begins at 6 p.m.

“With this, everybody is doing their own thing. It’s so much more a collaborative effort,” Wolfert said. “I also get to use a lot of high-end equipment, like a tricaster which allows me to switch between cameras on the fly.”

Heimerdinger hopes to expand the scope of what students do within the program with a successful Knight of Arts fundraiser Saturday, March 7.

“We’d like to be able to install a closed-circuit camera system in the auditorium, which will allow us to film productions from multiple angles and direct the filming as happens,” Heimerdinger said.

Students in the video production classes also take part in community projects. When the district was looking for someone to produce a kindergarten orientation video, they turned to McNary students.

“It’s not just about getting things done on time, but about doing them well,” said Courtney Lutz. “What the courses have really taught me is time management. We don’t just stand around trying to figure out what we want to do. We have a plan before we even start shooting.”

Like Pond, Lutz can handle most of the operations that revolve around CNN productions.

Since graduating from McNary last year, alum Zach Cushman – one of Heimerdinger’s most promising recent students – has been tapped to come back and help out with the filming of theatre projects.

“Before I started taking classes, I had worked filming my own things, but it was pretty sloppy,” Cushman said. “I learned how to use more expensive cameras and how to make things look good.”

That was one of the reasons he was called back to direct the filming of McNary’s recent musical, Legally Blonde.

For some students who tend to fly under the radar for any number of reasons, Pond said the classes help bring them out of their shells.

“At first, I was really shy and I wouldn’t talk to anybody, so I had to learn to talk with people to get things done. I learned how to ask other people for help.”

Exceeding Expectations

McNary senior Tregg Peterson slams a ball home on an alley-oop. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary senior Tregg Peterson slams a ball home on an alley-oop. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

With his thick red hair and 6-foot-3 frame, McNary High School senior Tregg Peterson stands out on the basketball court for his physical appearance alone. After the tip off, he stands out even more.

Peterson has been a backbone of the Celtic boys basketball team all season long. He’s averaging 16 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. His most points in a single game this season is 34. As soon as he gets close to the net, there is a collective intake of breath on the Celtic side of any gym. That’s because there’s a better-than-average chance he’ll slam one home. If he does, what follows is most like a roar.

“It’s really the best feeling you can get. When you have everyone there – friends and family – and they explode, it gets your adrenalin going and gets you excited,” said Peterson.

Peterson’s path to becoming a star on the court likely began playing basketball with his father and sister, Teresa.

He laughs and smiles shyly at the mention of her name.

“She used to beat me pretty handily, but she was my push factor. She was good when she played and, coming in, I wanted to be better than she ever was. I’ve tried to surpass her and my dad who played in high school and college,” Peterson said.

After playing on a three-time state champion soccer team through middle school, Peterson turned his focus to basketball his freshman year. In some ways, it was the best and worst time to join the program. The Celtics had been struggling for a couple of seasons already, but it continued for the next two years under a new head coach, Ryan Kirch.

“You could tell there was a lot of confusion and a lot of player issues. There were egos and attitudes, and a lot of them,” Peterson said. “But you still learn to love the people you play with.”

While the teams struggled, Peterson turned to what what he could contribute and began hitting the gym, focusing on weights and building strength in his legs.

“Tregg puts a lot of time in during the off season, specifically in the weight room,” Kirch said. “Between his sophomore and junior season he went from being an average looking player to a physically dominant perimeter player. His vertical leap improved by nearly 10 inches, and he became a very physical presence on the floor.”

Kirch said Peterson came into his own two years ago during a summer league team in a tournament at University of Oregon.

“Johnathan (Doutt) missed a couple of games for a family event and we were in a position where we were looking for someone to step up.  We began to run plays to isolate Tregg and he scored at will,” Kirch said.

As a junior, Peterson  was a first team all-league selection, an honor he wasn’t planning to gun for until his senior year.

“My goal was just to start and be a good player for our team, but I exceeded my own expectations and everyone else’s,” he said.

While Peterson has risen to the forefront of his team, he’s also aware that it’s taken progress from everyone on the roster to reach the heights it has in the Greater Valley Conference. The Celts’ record is 13-1 in league.

“We have all these other weapons and when someone is on fire, we start feeding them the ball. On any night, it could be anybody’s big game,” Peterson said. “It’s nice to be relied upon, and I want to be the guy with the ball at the end of the game. It’s a lot of pressure, but I enjoy it.”

He’s getting looks from several Division II schools and is planning to visit a couple of them during spring break. With a 3.98 grade point average, it’s likely he’ll have a couple of choices. In addition to being able to play, he’s looking for a school with a good engineering program – either chemical or bioengineering. Science has been his favorite subject for a while.

Peterson’s accolades on the court are getting him most of the attention, but he’s equally reliable off the court. When longtime friend Payton Williams was diagnosed with cancer last summer, Peterson filled Williams’s room with about 100 balloons he’d blown up himself.

“I got a little light-headed and I was tired after, but it was life-altering. When someone gets a diagnosis like that, you realize how quickly life can change,” Peterson said. While basketball has drawn much of his time since November, he and Williams remain in constant contact via text messaging.

His reliability is what makes Peterson a leader on the court, Kirch said.

“I think he’s come to realize that the responsibilities of being a great player continue off the court. It includes in class, in the hallways and in the community. I know that our youth kids idolize him,” Kirch said. “Tregg is also a funny kid, compassionate towards others and loves the color purple … we are working on his fashion sense.”

Wherever he ends up next year, Peterson will take with him more than just his talent on the court. He will take the lessons the game has taught him.

“Basketball isn’t just about competing, it teaches leadership, accountability and a lot of other lessons. When you fail you have to get up and keep going. You learn the lessons that will stick with you the rest of your life,” he said.