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Month: April 2015

Losing slide snapped by tie in boys tennis

Celt Roman Kuklicka chases down a volley in the West Salem match-up. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Celt Roman Kuklicka chases down a volley in the West Salem match-up. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School boys varsity tennis team has had a rough go of it in recent weeks. After three consecutive 8-0 losses, the team managed to tie West Salem High School 4-4.

It’s becoming one of the dreaded rebuilding years.

“Matches have been a struggle, but a lot of our players are new to the sport. They all have different reasons for being out there, and we’re trying to put everyone on the same page,” said Lisa Reid, McNary head coach.

McNary tied the Titans with one default each in singles and doubles. Roman Kuklicka picked up a win in singles going three sets with West’s Michael Magnello. Set scores were 4-6,6-2 and 7-5.

Sam Farr and Pedro Reyes picked up a doubles win in consecutive sets of 6-2.

The season can still be a success even if it doesn’t translate to wins on the court.

“If they just want to learn to enjoy it for the rest of their lives, that’s a success,” Reid said.

“They are good to each other as teammates and they are good sportsmen.”

Regulations for vet clinics clarified


Of the Keizertimes

Veterinarian regulations in Keizer have been clarified.

Members of the Keizer Planning Commission approved the revised regulations during their April 8 meeting. The regulations are being sent to the Keizer City Council for final approval.

After an hour of discussion – in addition to time spent on the issue in February – commissioners unanimously adopted the following wording for veterinarians: “All operations shall be conducted within completely enclosed and soundproof buildings and any overnight stays be limited to short-term care that is incidental to the practice of veterinary medicine.”

Commissioners also decided a subsection B to city code 2.414 (Veterinary Services) be left alone, while a proposed new subsection C was cut, with most of that wording being added to the first subsection. Outside runs can only be operated from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The decision came in response to a request from Dr. Leanne West Eggert, owner of Creekside Veterinary Clinic and husband Jonathan Eggert, the practice manager. The Eggerts purchased the clinic at 5456 River Road North in 2011 and have seen the business grow.

Due to the growth, the Eggerts are looking for a bigger facility. They found four potential sites, all located in the Mixed Use (MU) zone, which as written now doesn’t allow the boarding of animals. As such, the Eggerts requested an update to regulations to allow their service to be in a MU setting.

Sam Litke, senior planner for Keizer, noted it was a “pretty straightforward” request.

“The applicants want to keep boarding of animals for care,” Litke said. “These amendments would allow the use.”

Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, emphasized a restriction.

“The only way we are suggesting to you that overnight boarding can occur is in conjunction with vet use,” Brown said.

Leanne Eggert liked the proposed amendments.

“We are very much in support of this text amendment,” she said. “It looks good to us. On our part, we will not be having any outdoor kennel at all. For us it won’t be an issue.”

One of the key points of discussion was what “short-term care” meant exactly, as in what time limit should be specified.

“I don’t know how you want to phrase short-term stay,” Eggert said. “We rarely have animals for more than a week, usually two or three days. Sometimes we’ll have an ill animal whose owner is going out of town. So far that has only been for geckos and rabbits. They are very quiet.”

Commissioner Jim Jacks noted the ambiguity with the term.

“There was some question about short-term, if that meant a week or if it was two to three months,” Jacks said.

Commissioner Hersch Sangster suggested staying away from a limit on the number of days.

“I’m for limited short-term care,” Sangster said. “I’m fearful of limiting it to a number of days, since then we’re jumping into animal science.”

Brown emphasized boarding for non-veterinary purposes would be a different discussion.

“That is a separate use,” he said. “That would have to be in a zone that allows veterinary and boarding. MU only allows for veterinarian use. If you want to board dogs and also do veterinarian service, it would have to be in a zone that allows for both boarding and veterinarian, which is not MU.”

Lady Celts get big wins in tennis


Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School’s girls varsity tennis team lost a match with McMinnville High School 6-2, but the two matches the team won were important ones.

In No. 1 singles, Celtic freshman Hannah Childress took down Grizzly senior Caitlan Baker, one of the better players in the league, in three sets.

“I kind of changed up my game when she became more consistent. When she did that I started to come up to the net and volley,” Childress said.

Childress, making her second appearance in varsity singles, lost the first set 1-6, came back to win the second set 6-4 and took the third set 7-5.

“She was scared to death after the first set, but then she went out and executed,” said Lisa Reid, McNary head coach.

At No. 1 doubles, Ariana Neads and Sami Trowbridge pulled off a similar feat against a top-ranked opponent. They beat McMinnville’s Samantha Purdy and Shay Bristow with set scores of 2-6, 6-4 and 6-2.

“We had a lot of movement. They would get balls past us, we focused the more tired we got,” Neads said. “After the first set, we were down on ourselves, but in the second set we decided to make them earn the win. In the third one, everyone was really tired, but we had more heart.”

After the big win, Trowbridge was grateful for a slightly easier schedule this week.

“This week we won’t have the tougher matches, but I think improvement is the main thing. If we keep seeing that it will help against the tougher teams,” she said.

Earlier in the week, the Lady Celts beat McKay High School 6-2 Tuesday, April 14. Sandy and Hannah Childress won in singles competition. Both had consecutive 6-0 sets. Katherine Patterson won in sets of 6-0 and 6-3. Krissy Kelly won her singles match with scores of 6-1 and 7-5.

In doubles, Neads and Trowbridge won in sets of 6-1 and 6-3; Cambria Rushton and Hannah Kannier won in sets 6-1 and 6-2; and Mireille Martinez and Maria Munguia Ortiz took a win in three sets, 6-2, 1-6, and 6-2.

On Thursday, April 16, the Keizer girls were swept by the West Salem High School Titans in singles competition, but took three wins in doubles.

The Childress sisters won in sets of 6-1 and 6-3, Neads and Trowbridge won with the same set scores in their match, and Tayler Rains and Blanca Tepeque won their match at No. 4 doubles.

Reid said each of the girls is coming along in their own way this season.

“A lot of it is up to them and the ones who work hard are seeing the improvement,” she said.    

Candidates spar for a sparse crowd


Of the Keizertimes

No matter audience size, candidates take advantage of candidate forums.

Such was the case April 16 as eight candidates for various races came to the Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association meeting. The number of candidates dwarfed the audience size.

Richard Stevenson and Colleen Busch are competing for the Salem-Keizer Transit Board subdistrict No. 2 seat currently held by Brad Coy.

Incumbent Chuck Lee and challenger Tim Moles, running for the Salem-Keizer School Board Zone 6 seat, met. Betty Hart and Jim Taylor, running for Keizer Fire District Position 5, were both present as were Chet Patterson and James Mulhern, who are competing for Position 3 on the KFD board.

Mulhern has been with the Marion County Fire District for 21 years.

“I’m running because I saw the disconnect with the MCFD and the KFD,” Mulhern said. “I was there when we shared personnel, co-existed and worked together to keep the community safe. Since then problems have arose and lines were drawn. This year we have a new (MCFD) chief, a couple of new board members and an opportunity to come together for the citizens and save money.”

Patterson has been involved with the KFD since retiring as an accountant.

“I have 25 years of strategic planning and financial planning,” Patterson said. “Getting involved goes back to my first time in the city council and then again in the 1990s. I was on the citizens advisory committee (for the KFD). I helped put together plans for the levy election that passed last year.

“The most critical thing is what to do with fire equipment,” he added. “They are an aging fleet that needs a lot of attention. There’s a tremendous amount of work for the next board members to take care of the needs. My financial background brings a lot to the board. We have mutual aid agreements with MCFD. I think the relationship is working, but maybe there is work to be done.”

Betty Hart’s husband was on the KFD board for years until health issues led him to retire.

“I helped hire the fire chief,” Hart said of KFD chief Jeff Cowan. “I have a background in management. I have good background and experience in listening to people and getting collaborative efforts.”

Taylor pointed to his 12 years on the Keizer City Council and would like to see a change.

“We work better with the Marion County Fire District now, but it was a root canal,” Taylor said of the battle between the two districts several years ago. “We got MCFD more involved in the city. I would like to see the Keizer Fire District get along better with Marion County. There’s still some stuff on our end that needs to stop.”

Lee is running for a third school board term.

“I love to represent Keizer,” Lee said. “For eight years we’ve done some great things. Graduation rates have improved, test scores have improved yet we still cut $140 million out of the budget. We laid off 500 teachers, yet we have more kids now. We have the second largest school district in the state, with 60 percent of our kids in poverty. This is the year we’re being mandated to start full-day kindergarten.”

Moles gave kudos to Lee for the work he’s doing to start the new Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) this fall.

“I believe that the community provides their treasure and their blood to the schools, to return them tenfold,” Moles said. “That has not been met. That gap can be filled by teaching basic principles of how to get a job. When I taught high school auto shop, I taught them how to get jobs. Kids today can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Our state’s last in education. There’s nothing to be proud of for any of us.”

Busch noted her husband, Bob, has been a volunteer with the KFD for 25 years.

“I bring listening and problem solving skills,” Busch said. “I see transit in our area as being important to bring people to businesses and events and schools. The transit district is working on Moving Forward phase 2 with weekend and evening service coming back and asking how we want to pay for it, property tax or payroll tax. I’m in favor of a property tax.”

Stevenson previously did public service in New Jersey.

“I got involved after the cutting of the Saturday service,” Stevenson said. “That piqued my interest, plus the Courthouse Square mess. It’s my business to study. I was appointed to an advisory committee in 2012 with the sole purpose of bringing back Saturday service. I think it’s doable. The payroll tax is the way to go. It’s more equitable and a lower tax rate per person. If you do the property levy, five years from now you’ll have to ask again. A payroll tax is permanent, so you’ll never have to worry about it not being there again.”

Hart noted following an ambulance one day and seeing smoke come out of it.

“All of the equipment is aging,” she said. “Some of the newest equipment is 10 years old. There is a plan for bringing new equipment online. You have to replace the most critical pieces first. They have done a good job with that.”

Patterson noted there’s a 20-year plan to replace equipment.

“You can’t do it all on Day 1,” he said. “At least one aid car will start at the KFD office, but can’t get started again on the site (of an incident). There’s a great plan in place.”

Taylor disagrees with firefighters going to medical calls.

“Why take the expensive equipment?” he asked. “Get an SUV so you leave someone at the station. The trucks are $500,000; there’s no reason to put the extra miles on them.”

Mulhern said now is a great time to get new equipment.

“It’s good to have a plan with scheduled apparatus replacement,” he said. “Now is a good time to do the bond levy. Keizer has a good format with what they have.”

Softball team struggles with errors

Lady Celt Emma Kinler was all smiles rounding third base after sending a home run over the center field fence in the game with McKay High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Lady Celt Emma Kinler was all smiles rounding third base after sending a home run over the center field fence in the game with McKay High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School’s girls varsity softball team couldn’t overcome errors in the early going of a game with Forest Grove High School Friday, April 17.

“We came out flat. It may have been having a whole week off but, in the first three innings, we kicked the ball around and went down 6-0,” said Kevin Wise, McNary head coach. “If we played like we did in the last part of the game, it might have been a different story.”

The Keizer team left eight runners on base in the 6-3 loss.

McNary put one run across the plate in the fourth inning and two in the seventh, but it was too little too late.

Kelsi Christenson had the best day at the dish going 2-for-3. Kimi Ito, Madison Oliver and Hannah Carr notched the RBIs.

The Lady Celts bounced back the next day to win 14-0 over the McKay Royal Scots.

“We were still off after the loss, but they came back and had a better approach at the plate being aggressive,” Wise said. “Their pitcher – to her credit – did a good job, but we were patient at the plate.”

Despite the loss, the Royal Scot team was showing much improvement over past seasons on defense.

Lady Celt Emma Kinler sent a shot over the centerfield fence to kick off the second inning for McNary. Carr and Kiana Villarreal had doubles.

Wise said the team needs to get out of the mindset that they can”turn it on and turn it off.”

“They need to focus from the first pitch to the last. We need it this week because it’s a busy week with no downtime.”

The Celtics had games in the works against South Salem, McMinnville, both past press time, and Sprague High School Friday, April 24. The first pitch is slated for McNary at 5 p.m.

“One of the advantages we have is that everybody in the conference has at least one loss so no one is unbeatable,” Wise said.

Area C developers being reimbursed

Of the Keizertimes

A reimbursement ordinance has been amended, paving the way for development in the Area C portion of Keizer Station.

Keizer City Councilors unanimously approved amended language calling for the formation of a public improvement reimbursement district on Monday night. The approval came after revisions suggested by proponents for a new 154-unit retirement center and a 180-unit apartment complex.

In February, councilors gave final approval to a joint proposal by Mountain West Investment and Bonaventure Senior Living. A master plan and lot line adjustment were also approved at that time. Representatives from the two companies first met with city officials last September, after previous plans for Area C development – at one point including a 116,000 square foot Walmart – fell through.

In previous plans, commercial development came first with residential to follow. In this case, however, the residential comes first with proponents hoping for commercial development to follow.

That’s in part because Bonaventure and Mountain West are paying for infrastructure upgrades that future tenants will be able to utilize. The companies thus asked for a reimbursement ordinance to be revised.

“We redid things with a new ordinance in 2003, but pretty much stopped,” city attorney Shannon Johnson said. “The builders in Area C asked us to review the ordinance.”

Dana Krawczuk from Portland law firm Perkins Coie spoke to councilors on Monday and explained the request.

“The developer looks forward to beginning construction on the recently approved Keizer Station Area C master plan,” Krawczuk wrote. “Before construction can begin, the developer needs assurance that it will be proportionally reimbursed for the $3.5 million worth of infrastructure they are building; infrastructure that will benefit all of Area C and the surrounding area.”

Krawczuk’s letter indicated the assurance would be provided by amending the reimbursement ordinance as requested and approving a reimbursement district for Area C.

File Artwork
File Artwork

Ultimately that’s what councilors did. An ordinance covering 19 sections was discussed, with key issues including the right of reimbursement being established as a 20-year term, up from 10 years in the previous ordinance.

Much of the discussion centered on the amount of reimbursement. Costs to be reimbursed are limited to the cost of construction engineering, construction and permit fees. The developer may be reimbursed for all or a portion of land costs for dedicated right-of-way land if appropriate based on proportionality and the equitable cost, impact and function at the discretion of city councilors.

Construction engineering will include surveying and inspection costs but will not exceed 10 percent – up from the previous 7.5 percent – of eligible public improvement construction costs.

Johnson noted the ordinance is for reimbursement as a whole in Keizer, not just Area C specifically. He further pointed out there have reimbursement districts before in Keizer, but with smaller amounts.

City Manager Chris Eppley made up a scenario to help explain the process.

“Multiple owners will develop pieces over time,” Eppley said. “It made sense if this group is responsible for building roads for 1,000 trips and they only have 250 trips, it makes sense for them to be able to apply for reimbursement for the other 750 trips. In this case, it will be developed time and the cost will be shared.”

Councilor Brandon Smith wondered why the topic was coming up months after the project was approved.

“This (ordinance) seems to be imperative to move forward on this development,” Smith said. “Why wasn’t this brought up months ago?”

Johnson said it was felt it wouldn’t be appropriate to have the discussion during an open public hearing, plus the changes weren’t suggested until later.

Krawczuk noted a reason for such an ordinance.

“It helps take out the risk up front,” she said Monday. “The developer is taking a $3.5 million risk. That’s why we care about this ordinance. We’ve asked for a 20-year term. That makes it an acceptable risk to take.”

John Eld from Bonaventure had the same view.

“I support the language Shannon (Johnson) brought forward,” Eld said. “We want to protect ourselves. We’re making a $3.5 million investment into Keizer. We want to make sure we’re covered and are protecting ourselves. That 10-year time period becomes small.”

In response to a question from councilor Amy Ripp, Eld assured the city would not be responsible for costs of future tenants coming in.

“The city is not on the hook for any part, just future developers,” Eld said.

Eld estimated his completion in late summer 2016.

Smith thanked the proponents and Johnson for explaining the process.

“Thank you for the investment for getting the project going, which we all want to happen,” Smith said.

Boys suffer first loss

McNary’s Kyle Ismay tags out a runner trying to steal second base in the Forest Grove game. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Kyle Ismay tags out a runner trying to steal second base in the Forest Grove game. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

An 11-3 loss to South Salem High School means the McNary varsity baseball team is tied for first place in the Greater Valley Conference.

The Saxons had a 2-0 lead when McNary went ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning. But an eight-run fifth inning for South sealed McNary’s fate.

Until that game Tuesday, April 21, the Celts were still undefeated in the GVC after a win over Forest Grove High School Friday, April 17.

Head Coach Larry Keeker attributed the team’s recent successes to rededication in game preparation.

“Early in the season, we were going through the motions of preparing,” he said. “Now, it’s really good. We learned our lesson and we can’t show up, walk around and play well. We do well when we get ourselves prepared on fundamentals and hold each other accountable.”

McNary took a lead early in the game, and managed to avoid the middle-game drought that was becoming characteristic of the team. Pitcher Mickey Walker gave the team a good start with nine strikeouts.

“We spread out the runs and had a good game offensively,” Keeker said.

After edging the McKay Royal Scots on Monday, April 20, the Celtics still had a big week ahead with games on tap against McMinnville and Sprague high schools.

While Keeker is trying to keep the focus on one game at a time, he expected the Grizzlies to be the game of the week. They were one game behind McNary at press time.

“Sprague is certainly a capable team, but McMinnville is toughest in term of talent and record,” he said.

By keeping the team focused on preparing for each game, Keeker said they won’t have any regrets.

“There will be no one looking back and saying, ‘Boy, I wish we’d gotten ready to play,” he said.

Three-wheeled warrior ends run with crash, fire

This Chevrolet Silverado hit several vehicles early Monday before crashing into a barrier at Windsor Island Road and catching fire. At some point the truck's left front tire came off. (Submitted)
This Chevrolet Silverado hit several vehicles early Monday before crashing into a barrier at Windsor Island Road and catching fire. At some point the truck’s left front tire came off. (Submitted)

Of the Keizertimes

A Salem man was arrested early Monday after crashing his Chevrolet Silverado into a barrier at Windsor Island Road North and Lockaven Drive N.

The truck had lost a tire somewhere between south Salem and Keizer, but investigators were still not sure how long the driver had been without the wheel.

The incident began with the report of a hit-and-run in the Winco parking lot at 1240 Lancaster Drive S.E.

“At that time the suspect vehicle sideswiped another vehicle in the parking lot.  The damage did not appear to be severe, and the suspect left the lot without exchanging information with the other drive,” said Lt. Dave Okada of Salem Police Department.

The truck was next encountered at 4:27 a.m., crashed into a sound barrier in Keizer. Keizer Police and Keizer Fire District both responded to the scene.

“Firefighters arrived to find a white Chevy pickup on fire with no occupants inside.The truck had left the roadway, crashed into the concrete barrier on Lockhaven and then caught on fire,” said Anne-Marie Storms, spokesperson for the KFD.

Two additional vehicles were hit on or near Juniper Street North in Keizer, said Jeff Kuhns, deputy chief of Keizer Police.

Artemio Alonzo Mendez was arrested at the scene of the crash. He is charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants and hit-and-run property damage.

Keizerite honored as lifesaver

Katie Capon holds her Bob Wickman Award plaque at Tuesday’s Keizer Fire Board meeting. She won it for saving Richard Russell’s life in January. From left are Greg Ego, board president; Capon; Russell and Wickman. (KEIZERTIMES/HERB SWETT)
Katie Capon holds her Bob Wickman Award plaque at Tuesday’s Keizer Fire Board meeting. She won it for saving Richard Russell’s life in January. From left are Greg Ego, board president; Capon; Russell and Wickman. (KEIZERTIMES/HERB SWETT)

For the Keizertimes

A recent lifesaving act made Tuesday’s meeting of the Keizer Fire Board interesting.

Directors and Fire Chief Jeff Cowan admitted that there was little else on the agenda, but it was the night Katie Capon, a former paramedic for the Fire Department, received a plaque for reviving longtime Keizer resident Richard Russell, who had collapsed with a heart attack.

The only other thing of note at the meeting was Cowan’s announcement that the district budget committee would meet May 13.

Russell, a Keizer resident since 1980, had been working out at Courthouse Fitness Center when he dropped to the floor Jan. 9. Capon, now an employee of the fitness club, administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until an automatic external defibrillator could be placed on Russell. Paramedics then took him to Salem Hospital.

At the hospital, Russell underwent triple bypass surgery Jan. 14 and was released Jan. 18. He resumed exercising the next day, walking half a mile, and soon resumed his three-times-weekly workouts at the fitness center Jan. 19, having been told not to lift more than eight pounds until then.

Capon received the Bob Wickman Lifesaving Award, named for the district’s first emergency medical technician. Wickman attended the presentation, as he has ever since the award has been given.

After six years as a paramedic, both for the department and a private ambulance company, Capon stopped in 2007. She said she quit CPR after breaking her back lifting a heavy person.

Russell was self-employed selling microwave ovens until 2000. He and his wife, Erlene Russell, who was with him when he had the attack and attended the board meeting, then operated the Alternative Health Center until they turned it over to their daughter-in-law in 2014.

Cowan noted before the meeting that the fitness center has been prepared for emergencies by having lifesaving equipment on hand.

“If the citizens are prepared,” he said, “the opportunity to save lives is much, much better.”

McNary drama takes on Bard’s less known play


Of the Keizertimes

An unplanned pregnancy, deception and the questions of mortality and mercy are at the heart of McNary High School’s production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.

“Shakespeare is a master of language, but, despite that, he makes lots of immature jokes. It’s beautiful and funny all at the same time,” said Osvaldo Torres, who plays Lucio. Torres described the character as “an enjoyable, terrible person.”

The play began its run Thursday, April 23, and continues Friday, April 24. Additional performances are slated April 30 and May 1 and 2. Curtain time is 7 p.m. for all shows. Tickets are $5.

Lucio finds himself trying to find a way to save his best friend Claudio, who has gotten his girlfriend pregnant out of wedlock and is facing death.

Jaida Watson plays Claudio’s sister, Isabella, a nun-to-be. Upon hearing of her brother’s sentence, she goes to a judge to plead for Claudio’s life. He agrees, but it will cost her the vow of celibacy.

“That’s when she starts to plan with a friar to free her brother without losing (her virginity),” Watson said.

Skyla Cauthon plays a woman once promised to Angelo, the judge, who takes part in the plot.

“She agrees to sleep with the judge in place of Isabella,” Cauthon said.

Torres said the play presents layer upon layer as more and more characters get involved.

“It’s a gift to be a part of it. Through the tough times and the fun times, you have to remind yourself that you want to be here and it’s a privilege to be here,” Torres said. “It’s also been a chance to prove I can handle the workload.”

Watson said the best reason to see it is because it defies expectations for the Bard.

“It’s so unlike the romances and the tragedies he is known for,” she said.

Despite being first performed in 1604, Cauthon found the lessons pertinent even today.

“The story takes place in a different time period, but the choices the characters have to make are still relevant,” she said.