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Month: September 2017

With big second half, Celtics run past McKay

Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—McNary senior Hakam Nagra could not remain silent as the Celtics went into halftime trailing at McKay.

“When I saw the potential that we had, we weren’t living up to it, it just lit something in me,” Nagra told the Keizertimes after the game. “I just let it all out, everything I had to say. I had to motivate my team. I had to get them going. I saw that they were a little flat. This football team, I’ve never had better chemistry with. We’re all a bunch of brothers. We go to each other for everything. If somebody is down, we pick them back up. That chemistry I just didn’t see on the field. That’s what ignited me.”

The speech was just what McNary needed as it came from behind to defeat the Scots 21-7 on Friday, Sept. 22.

Jose Solorio was one of the player’s that took Nagra’s words to heart.

Down 7-0 to open the second half, Solorio and quarterback Erik Barker connected for a 41-yard touchdown on third-and-long to tie the game with 10:24 remaining in the third quarter.

“We just played to our competition level,” Solorio said. “It took a half to wake us up.”

Junior Walling started the scoring drive with runs of 23 and 34 yards.

“We had to do exactly what Sprague did to us, be mean, mad, show McKay that we’re not soft and we can compete with the teams all around,” Walling said.

McKay answered with a long drive but on the 10th play ended with a fumble that McNary junior Jacob Jackson recovered at the Celtic 4-yard line.

McNary then drove back into McKay territory but Kyle McCallister dropped a pass on fourth down.

The Scots looked to strike quickly on a reverse pass but a wide open streaking receiver dropped the ball.

Jackson then intercepted a McKay pass to give the ball back to the Celtics, who went 65 yards on 10 plays to take a 14-7 lead with 10:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. Walling capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Barker added a 1-yard touchdown run with 37 seconds left to play to seal the victory.

Struggling in the passing game, McNary had to do most of its damage on the ground without its leading rusher as senior Lucas Garvey left in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and didn’t return.

Walling took the load of the work, finishing with 171 yards on 29 carries. Senior Freddy Jimna added 31 yards on eight attempts. Robert Benson, who had mostly played junior varsity this season, picked up 37 yards on nine carries as the Celtics finished with 281 yards on the ground.

“You take one of your best players on both sides of the ball and take him out of the picture,” McNary head coach Jeff Auvinen said of losing Lucas Garvey. “We had three other running backs go in there and play like they were possessed and really got every inch they could. I was pleased with all three running backs. It’s something we had to do. We weren’t executing throwing the football so we went mostly run with a little bit of play-action. The kids did real well with that.”

Devyn Schurr, a junior varsity cornerback, took Garvey’s place on defense.

Penalties, eight for 70 yards, killed the Celtics in the first half.

McKay scored its only touchdown on a short field. Starting from the McNary 35-yard line, the Scots were aided by two defensive offsides penalties. On offense, the Celtics were constantly facing second and third-and-longs.

Barker threw two interceptions in the first half, including one in the end zone, trying to get the ball to McCallister.

“We’re playing with a lot of guts and a lot of heart but we’re not playing with our mind much,” Auvinen said of the first half. “I thought we battled. We just made a ton of mistakes throughout the game. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot, penalties and missed assignments, especially on offense.”

Solorio had two interceptions, one in each half, as McNary was plus-3 in turnover margin.

Keizer Station Hop Jacks will open next spring

Of the Keizertimes

Keizerites will have a new option for burgers and brew come spring 2018.

Hop Jacks, a Washington-based chain specializing in American comfort food, is currently building one of its newest locations on the corner of Ulali Drive North and Keizer Station Boulevard.

“We selected Keizer because of its general proximity to I-5 and the mix of businesses in the center,” said founder Mark Eggen. “We have signed a lease in the Sherwood neighborhood, and are actively pursuing several opportunities throughout the Portland and Willamette Valley areas.”

The Keizer location will be the business’s second in Oregon, the other opened in Happy Valley in 2016. The Hop Jacks menu includes a wide range of sandwiches, burgers, salads, tacos and three types of mac and cheese.

“Signature items include hand-formed 100-percent Angus beef burgers, icy fruit drinks served in a glass made of ice and beer served from taps of ice and poured at 34 degrees,” Eggen said.

The restaurant also serves breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition to adding new variety to the mix of options in Keizer Station, Hop Jacks also places an emphasis on being members of the communities where they open.

“We are a huge believer in supporting local needs. We do local fundraising nights, donate 50 cents from each kids meal sold to our Kids Feeding Kids program and donate 25 cents from every Hop Jack’s beer sold to our Good Neighbor Fund,” Eggen said.

The Good Neighbor Fund dedicates a portion of its receipts to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Relay for Life and The Avery Huffman Foundation, but Eggen said the restaurant looks for local charities as well.

The business currently has about 700 employees between Oregon and Washington with three other locations set to open in Washington before the Keizer Station location comes online.

For more information about the restaurant and the full menu, visit

Claggett begins season with road win

SALEM—Claggett Creek started its middle school football season with a 20-6 win at Judson on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Rudy Garcia ran for two touchdowns in the victory.

On fourth-and-long, quarterback Nathan Allen threw a touchdown to Alex Estrada .

Judson scored its only touchdown on a kickoff return in the third quarter.

“It was a good game for the most part,” CCMS head coach Aaron Carr said. “We have some work to do and we now have a good idea on what we need to focus on.”


Whiteaker’s varsity football team dropped its opener 30-6 to Houck on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Head coach Tom Larimer cited a lack of experience and lack of ball security.

“We have real good size and athleticism, but almost none of these kids have ever played before,” Larimer said. “We came out with too much emotion and not enough discipline.  That was my fault, and we will improve in that area.  In the first half we dropped the ball all over the field, and didn’t contain Houck’s QB, and before we knew it we were down big.”

Whiteaker moved the ball, but lost four first half fumbles and went into halftime down 24-0.

The Wolverines were victimized by three long touchdown runs by Houck’s quarterback, all followed by successful two point conversions.

“We won’t play against a faster or better runner all year—at least we got that kid out of the way in Week 1,” Larimer said.

Whiteaker settled down after halftime, playing Houck’s starters to a 6-6 second half.

The offense was led by Carson Long, who had 11 catches for 138 yards, and quarterback Porter Vaughn, who completed 12 of 20 for 145 yards and no interceptions.

“Porter did a great job in his first game ever at QB,” offensive coordinator Marcus Larimer said. “We moved the ball well through the air, and our O-Line gave him a comfortable pocket. Ball security in the open field was our main issue and we will fix it. Carson had a huge game and rose up as a weapon. We did some things well that we can build on.”

Bo Bielby led the Wolverines on the ground with 21 yards on seven carries.

Although Whiteaker struggled to run the ball, Tom praised the offensive line (Spencer Millis, Isaiah McGrath, Lazaro Chavez, Ethan Fisler, Carlos Saldana, Roberto Ibarra, and Zander Rhoades) for not allowing a single sack.

Long and Vaughn led the defense with 13 and six tackles, respectively, and linebacker Wyatt Paul chipped in four. Corners Jacob Moore and Adrian Cotton held Houck’s passing game in check all game.

“It’s hard to start from scratch with 20 kids this age who are so new to the game,” Tom said. “But I absolutely love this group of kids; they work hard, they never talk back, and they want to get better every day. I can’t wait for practice tomorrow.”

Rollover attributed to ‘mutual road rage’

A rollover crash on Keizer Station Boulevard involving a 17-year-old Keizer Police Department (KPD) cadet and a 29-year-old man is being attributed to road rage after an investigation by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

About 6:50 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, Keizer police and the Keizer Fire District were dispatched to a crash involving two vehicles near the intersection of Lockhaven Drive Northeast and Keizer Station Boulevard Northeast. One of the vehicles flipped and came to a rest on its top on the roadway while the other involved vehicle left the scene immediately after the crash occurred.

Responding officers recognized the 1985 Ford Bronco that was resting on its roof as belonging to an off-duty KPD cadet. He has been with the department since May 2016.

Because of the possible conflict of interest, MCSO deputies were called in to investigate. Their investigation determined both drivers were mutually involved in a road rage incident. Both drivers were allegedly speeding and driving recklessly just prior to the crash. Deputies believe the other involved driver, 29-year-old Juan C. Vazquez of Keizer, cut off the 17-year-old and slammed on his brakes causing the cadet to turn his vehicle in an effort to avoid a collision. Doing so caused his vehicle to leave the roadway and flip as it traveled up an embankment.

After the crash, Vazquez left the scene, but he was later found at his residence where he was taken into custody for reckless driving and six counts of recklessly endangering another person.

The 17-year-old was taken to the Salem Hospital for evaluation and treatment of minor injuries that were caused by the crash.  He will be referred to the Marion County Juvenile Department for the same charges. He was the only one of the Bronco’s four occupants that was injured.

McNary continues strong defensive play in 1-0 loss

Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s young defense has stepped up to every challenge this season.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, the Lady Celts held Forest Grove, a team that had scored 19 goals in seven matches, to just one on a deflection in the 70th minute.

But missing two of their top offensive weapons, Izzy Haselip and Natalia Gonzalez, with injuries, one was too many as McNary fell 1-0 at home.

“This is the best offense we’ve played this year and the best possession team,” McNary head coach A.J. Nash said of Forest Grove. “I felt pretty comfortable for most of the game. West was good, too. They’re a little bit faster and a little bit stronger but this team they’re a little bit more skilled. Their forward and the way that they played with the tandem up top is going to give us some great film that exposed our lack of playing together more today than it ever has. It’s going to give us a great opportunity to use film and get their mind used to seeing a different formation and a different style of play.”

The Vikings didn’t produce many dangerous opportunities. A shot off a cross hit a McNary defender and deflected into the corner of the goal for the only score of the game.

“Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way,” Nash said.

The goal was only the second McNary’s defense, led by goalkeeper Sydney Snapp and sweeper Samantha Alfano, has allowed in seven games.

“Sydney has been our vocal leadership and Sam is one of the best defenders in the conference, even as a sophomore,” Nash said. “We shut down their attack in large part. I was very proud of what we did.”

Sophomore Maya Luscomb and freshmen Audrey Williams and Ashlyn Lyda have also stepped up.

“Ultimately, we’ve got a lot of depth,” Nash said. “I didn’t know what I was getting in their first year as players on the varsity level but from a talent prospective their growth has been exponential throughout the season.”

But with such a young group, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

“I’m really proud of their process but we’ve still got a lot to clean up before October,” Nash said.

Abigail Hawley, another of the Lady Celts goal scorers, tried to play through an injury but had to leave the game early. Haselip and Gonzalez are both expected back by October and could return as early as next week.

“I’d be excited to play these guys (Forest Grove) in the playoffs,” Nash said. “I think we match up real well against them with our offense back and our midfield back.”

Celtics look to get back on track after blowout

Of the Keizertimes

After a blowout loss to Sprague, McNary head coach Jeff Auvinen is simply looking for improvement as the Celtics (2-1) travel to McKay (1-2) on Friday, Sept. 22.

“We need to get back to getting better,” Auvinen said. “We did not get better last week. We got better every previous week from our first week of practice to Blue Day to our jamboree to our first game to our second game. Last week we took two steps back.”

Auvinen wants his players to learn from the 62-6 loss to Sprague but also forget about it.

“This week we’re going to try to take a step forward again and erase that from our mind if we can and move on because we can’t do anything about it now,” he said. “Learn from it but flush it.”

McNary’s playoff goals haven’t changed.

“These guys have lofty goals regarding the playoffs but if we’re going to play like that against a playoff team (Sprague), those goals will not be reached,” Auvinen said. “I think they realized that.”

McKay is coming off its first win of the season—35-14 at Forest Grove. The Scots opened with 20-point losses to West Salem and McMinnville.

“They will play hard,” Auvinen said of McKay. “They played West hard. They played McMinnville hard. They played Forest Grove hard. They’re well coached. They’re going to get after it and play well.”

The Scots gave McNary a scare last season as the Celtics were able to hold on for a 46-41 victory on homecoming.

McKay has a new quarterback as Noah Tavera, who passed for 350 yards and three touchdowns in the game, graduated.

“Their quarterback doesn’t have the mobility,” Auvinen said. “That’s what gave us fits last year. He’s not as athletic and not as accurate as the kid last year.”

The Scots also scored 14 points on defense, twice returning interceptions for touchdowns.

“We played hard but made a lot of mistakes,” Auvinen said of last season’s game.

Auvinen expects another tough game.

“This is a team that’s very comparable to us,” he said. “If you’re looking at playoffs or no playoffs, this is a game that you need to win if at all possible. We’re going to go over there and try out their new turf and hopefully have a little more fun this week than we did last week.”

Gunfire chases visitors out of park, neighbors out of homes

Of the Keizertimes

A hail of gunfire drove visitors out of Sunset Park and neighbors out of their homes along the Willamette River Sunday, Sept. 10.

The incident resulted in a throng of area residents turning out at the Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Sept. 18, to demand action on the part of the city. For now, it seems the only action to be taken is a sternly-worded letter to the owner of a quarry across the river who allows family, friends and even the Salem Police Department to use part of his property as a shooting range.

“I’ve been here 25 years and we’ve had complaints about the noise, but this is the first time it has ever risen to this level,” said Sgt. Greg Barber, the Keizer police officer who responded to reports of the shots.

Barber was unable to find any bullets in the park, but doesn’t doubt witnesses who fled from the riverbank who said bullets were whizzing overhead.

“I think there probably were bullets and it is a legitimate concern,” Barber said.

When the incident began residents told city councilors it was unlike anything experienced up to this point.

“I felt immediately that this was way different. Much louder and much more present,” Marilee Moore told the council. “I went over to our gate and people were literally running out of the park and down the road, and coming out of their houses in fear. People were very frightened.”

Lt. Andrew Copeland, of the Keizer Police Department, said Polk County had a boat in the water and arrived on the scene shortly after the first 9-1-1 calls.

“They anchored on the other side of the river and contacted five or six people who, at that point, were shooting shotguns with target load in it. That isn’t a problem and those shots wouldn’t travel across the river. When asked if they had been shooting an AR-15 (a semiautomatic rifle), the group led the Polk County officers to a car with an AR-15 inside,” Copeland said.

Officers could not prove the AR-15 had been fired or who had done so, but they suspect someone was using it to shoot at clay targets tossed into the air.

Copeland contacted the owner of the Northwest Rock, Lance Davis, who said he was unaware of the incident but pledged to talk with users of the shooting site about it. KPD Chief John Teague said, during the city council meeting, Davis was also open to re-orienting the range to face north instead of east across the river.

That solution didn’t sit well with Keizer resident Judy Schnurbusch who said she and her daughter were walking near the river several years ago when bullets came from the other side.

“When I reported it at that time, we were told that the owner was very cooperative,” Schnurbusch said.

Riverfront resident Darrell Richardson said another barrage of bullets happened just a few years ago.

“Once is a mistake. Twice is really bad news. If the city of Keizer can’t do something about it, I don’t know what to do,” Richardson said.

When Richardson asked whether a permit was need for such activity, Teague responded that it was not required.

“What I’m most concerned about is the fact that someone is going to get killed if something doesn’t get done. When the powers that be tell us no one would admit to using the gun, if someone had been killed would that be how this was handled?” asked Marge Smith.

Teague responded that if injury had occurred forensic testing would have been performed on the rifle and the group of shooters.

“What happened is you had a handful of guys shooting trap with shotguns and somebody had the harebrained idea to try it with a rifle,” Teague said.

Residents implored the council to send a letter to the owner of the quarry, but Keizer has no authority to do much else. Still, City Attorney Shannon Johnson said he wanted to act on the matter before the next city council meeting in October.

“I’m not a gun person, but it’s a pretty simple rule to know what is behind what you are shooting at,” Johnson said. “We will be moving quickly on this to the degree we can.”

Mayor Cathy Clark said the letter should address the issue of liability.

“There is a liability for that owner. I would think it’s important to drive that point home,” Clark said. “If the city of Salem is using that facility, they need to know that people using it have been irresponsible then they need to know they are being affiliated with such usage.”

McNary fighting through injuries

Of the Keizertimes

An injury ended McNary’s run in the first volleyball tournament of the season prematurely.

After defeating Mountain View 2-0 (25-23, 25-22) and Churchill 2-0 (25-23, 25-22) in pool play of the Rogue Valley Classic in Medford on Saturday, Sept. 16, the Lady Celts had to play the rest of the day without senior Valerie Diede.

McNary split its next pool play match, 25-17, 22-25, against Willamette and then lost its first bracket game of the single elimination tournament 2-0 (19-25, 20-25) to Cascade Christian, a 3A school in Medford that finished second in the 16-team tournament, falling to Bend 2-1 in the championship game.

“In the afternoon we just lost a little bit of momentum,” McNary head coach Crystal DeMello said. “We had a great experience. We had the overnight stay in Medford, which is always fantastic for team bonding. We like doing that at the beginning of the season.

“That’s the first time that we’ve had to play that many games in a row. It was good for the girls to find out how well they can maintain a level of play. We ran a couple of different offenses and we ran four different lineups in those. It was a good mix and a great opportunity to move girls around and see what fits and might be best against other opponents.”

The Rogue Valley Classic was the first of four Saturday tournaments the Lady Celts will play in this season, the South Albany State Preview on Sept. 23, the Westview Tournament on Sept. 30 and the West Linn Tournament on Oct. 14.

McNary was also shorthanded in its league match at West Albany on Thursday, Sept. 14 as setter Samantha Van Voorhis was out with an illness. Sophia Salinas, a senior libero, stepped up in her place.

“We didn’t know that Sam wouldn’t be able to play until after warmups,” DeMello said. “Sophia was ready to go and that’s a characteristic you love in a setter. She did great. But that’s still a tough change when you have someone that’s used to being there six times on the court.”

The Lady Celts won the first two games 27-25 and 25-18. However, West Albany grabbed the momentum in the third set and never let it go, winning three straight, 25-10, 25-16, 15-10, to take the match.

“It’s tough to get that momentum back when it’s gone,” DeMello said. “We made some defensive adjustments and it just wasn’t quick enough. We’re excited to see them again.”

Cap amenity fee at $25,000

A plan to enact a fee on commercial deveopment to fund public amenities in Keizer is going to get a second, deeper look by the city council.

The council was scheduled to act on the amendment to the development code at this week’s meeting. The issue has been continued to the first council meeting in October. The public hearing on the matter will also be re-opened.

The public amenities will include landscaping that is up to code for new development and also a contribution to Keizer’s public art program equal to 1 percent of the project’s total worth.

Many cities, counties and states have such a provision. In many cities in America a visitor can see lots of public art that is paid for with a required 1 percent contribution.  Keizer’s public art program has become anemic and has yet to live up to its potential. Establishing a contribution program from commercial development is a good way to assure that the public art program is well-funded and continues to add pieces and events to our city.

A sticking point that arose at this week’s council meeting was the cost to a developer. The value of a new dental office being built in Keizer Station could be up to $8 million; one percent is $80,000—a large contribution for public amenties in Keizer. Some say there should be more parity amongst differing developments. As it was pointed out at Monday’s council meeting, a dental office is a specialized building that has much higher cost and value than a standard office.

When the council takes up this issue again next month it should consider a cap on contributions. For example, a 1 percent contribution for art, with a cap of $25,000. If there were only two new commercial developments a year (it is very unlikely there would be that few), the public art program would get a $50,000 shot in the arm. That’s much more than it has ever gotten in any one year period.

There are costs to doing business. The costs from the city of Keizer are low. Marion County is the body that issues permits for construction and they set the cost for such permits. It is relatively inexpensive to do business in and with the city of Keizer. When many individuals and companies endeavor to ‘give back’ to the community, a contribution of 1 percent of a project’s worth, capped at $25,000, is an investment benefits the whole community.

Several councilors that have stated that they are not artists and do not feel competent to assess art submissions. There is a mechanicism in place for that purpose:  the Keizer Public Arts Commission, which should remain the final word on acceptable art.

Funding public art willy nilly doesn’t work. The council should push forward and make required contributions easy  for developers to swallow so the city can be a showcase of art for now and into the future.


A representative for all?

To the Editor:

Seriously?  Our state representative, Bill Post, is back on the air and this time on the crazy station—opening act for the likes of Hair Club model Sean Hannity and Alex Jones.

I get it; I understand the allure of minor celebrity—been there, done that (for 25 years), but legislators are supposed to be serious people who represent the whole of the district, not just the easily fooled fringes.

If Mr. Post wants a career in fake news, fine, it’s a free country and I don’t have to listen to him.  But I hear he’s also filed for reelection and that is troubling.  I suggest he either rein in his ego and look for a grown up job or abandon the reelection bid.  There are serious people out there in both parties who would be happy to vie for the Post post.

Martin Doerfler