Our Town: The future of Silverton

January 2017 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Our Town: The future of Silverton

Our Town, the new documentary web series, is produced by Real Light Films in cooperation with Mt. Angel Publishing, Inc./ Our Town, with support from the Marion Cultural Development Corporation and local sponsors. New episodes will premiere seasonally. For information on upcoming projects or on sponsorship opportunities, contact ourtown@mtangelpub.com or silverfallsfilm@gmail.com.

By Michael Turner
I met writer John Pattison at his office in downtown Silverton to talk with him about a video project I’d had in mind. John greeted me at the door in a T-shirt and scruffy red beard with friendly eyes that crinkled when he smiled.  A huge yellow street sign hung on the wall that said, “SLOW.” John told me it was in reference to the “Slow Movement” that is catching on in communities around the world.

Cultural divide: St. Paul’s wrestles with serving a diverse congregation

March 2017 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Cultural divide: St. Paul’s wrestles with serving a diverse congregation

By Steve Ritchie

The absence of a long-time parish employee, fears of losing Spanish-language religious education classes, and a change in venue for Spanish-language Sunday mass have rocked Silverton’s St. Paul Catholic Church community.

Recent tensions escalated into accusations of racism, discrimination and unfair treatment and led to a Feb. 28 meeting that filled the parish hall basement with concerned Hispanic parishioners.

Members of St. Paul’s Pastoral Council and Fr. Basil Lawrence, OSB, pastor of St. Paul Parish, met with approximately 300 parishioners seeking answers about why Sr. Rocio Moreno Soto, OSB, is no longer serving as the parish’s Hispanic Ministry Coordinator.

Junior First: Noe Jines

March 2017 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on Junior First: Noe Jines
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Noe Jines

By Kristine Thomas

All it took was some encouragement for Noe Jines to begin taking small steps leading to larger steps to become more involved in his school and community.

A Kennedy High School senior, Jines credits his older brother, Leo, for advising him to participate wherever he could. Following his brother’s advice, Jines’ resume includes being a mentor for “My Future, My Choice” at Mount Angel Middle School and being the JFK High School student body president. His work ethic and dedication to his school and community led Jines to be chosen as the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce’s Junior First Citizen.

People first: Columbia Bank

March 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on People first: Columbia Bank
ColumbiaBankStaff-OT edit

Columbia Bank Staff

By Dixon Bledsoe

Melanie Dressel would have been so proud.

“Columbia Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Melanie Dressel, is the reason why our culture is personable and is built to put people first”, said Kristi Brackinreed, Mount Angel Branch Manager of Columbia Bank which was recently selected 2016 Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.

Sadly, Dressel – the dynamic leader and creator of the firm’s culture of personal and community service – passed away recently. She was planning to attend the First Citizen’s Banquet, scheduled for Monday, March 20 at the Festhalle.

Distinguished Service: Kathy Wall, Randy Wavra honored

March 2017 Posted in Community, Other, People | Comments Off on Distinguished Service: Kathy Wall, Randy Wavra honored
Kathy Edit

Kathy Wall

By Nancy Jennings

When she isn’t volunteering around town, Kathy Wall loves to travel. She is known to hit the open road in her camper van with her devoted dog, Mara, a copper-colored Vizsla. “Once I drove 8,700 miles on a trip,” she said. The Mount Angel resident also enjoys golfing, walking, hiking and jogging.

Having recently wrapped up the ninth annual Wurstfest, Wall, 71, has been a mainstay volunteer there since the second festival. As chairperson she has had a hand in planning, organizing and promoting the event.

Volunteer of the Year: Ryan Kleinschmidt

March 2017 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Volunteer of the Year: Ryan Kleinschmidt
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Ryan Kleinschmidt

By Steve Ritchie

The town of Mount Angel is legendary for its strong volunteer ethic.

From Oktoberfest to youth sports to city government to the fire department to a host of non-profit and religious organizations, Mount Angel runs on the energy and commitment of its many dedicated volunteers.

Even in Mount Angel, though, someone like Ryan Kleinschmidt stands out.

Kleinschmidt, 40, is heavily involved in many different volunteer activities around the town he grew up in. He joined the Mount Angel Fire Department right out of high school in 1994 and, after moving up through the ranks over the past 23 years, he currently serves as Division Chief. Kleinschmidt is also in his third term on the Mount Angel Planning Commission, and serves as chair.

The Itch: Call of the great outdoors

March 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community | Comments Off on The Itch: Call of the great outdoors

Kali-MartinIt’s the beginning of March. It’s been cold. Usually wet. We’ve seen our share of rain. Even snow this year. The sky is dark and gray, gray, gray, and the days have been short. It’s the time of year best suited for curling up in front of the fire with a good book, making comfort food and hunkering down. Which means of course, that all I can think about is getting outside.

Victory gardens: A revival

March 2017 Posted in Community, Garden | Comments Off on Victory gardens: A revival

By Melissa WagonerHeather Desmarteau-Fast inspecting plants in the garden.

“Uncle Sam says – garden to cut food costs,” proclaimed a victory garden advertisement printed by the US Department of Agriculture in 1917. Used to take pressure off of the food supply during World War I and II, these home and public gardens are a trend that is fashionable once again, but for somewhat different reasons.

“Grow vitamins at your kitchen door,” said another poster by the Stecher-Traung Lithograph Corp., a proclamation echoed today by gardeners searching for a way to combat the industrial food landscape.

A team with GRIT: Scappy Foxes reach second straight state title game

March 2017 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on A team with GRIT: Scappy Foxes reach second straight state title game

James DaySilverton girls coach Tal Wold told me on the court after the defending Class 5A champion Foxes lost to La Salle 42-28 on March 10 in this year’s final that the color of the trophy didn’t really matter.

It all made sense, actually. Last year’s Foxes team featured Alia Parsons, a transcendent high school player who earned a Division I scholarship. This year’s squad was more of a blue-collar group, thriving on good old-fashioned GRIT, which was stenciled on the back of their warmups.

Fox freshman wrestler takes state title

March 2017 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on Fox freshman wrestler takes state title

By James Daysilv-kuenzi-solo (2)

Coming into high school Silverton High freshman Kaden Kuenzi, who has been wrestling competitively since he was 6, had a goal of winning a state title. He just didn’t think that it would happen so soon.

Feb. 25 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland turned in a historic performance for the Foxes. The No. 4 seed at 106 pounds, Kuenzi took down top-seeded and defending Class 5A champion Zeth Brewer of Crater in the semifinals and pinned No. 6 Landon Robinson of Redmond in the final.

The Tune Squad: OSU training

March 2017 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on The Tune Squad: OSU training
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Preston Kirk, left, and Trevor Bledsoe, helped the OSU women’s basketball team prepare for March Madness.

By James Day

The Oregon State University women’s basketball team heads into March Madness with a 29-4 record. The Beavers, who played in last season’s Final Four, have won or shared three consecutive Pac-12 championships.

And a couple of Silverton kids have helped toughen up OSU for the hard work ahead.

Trevor Bledsoe and Preston Kirk, who helped lead the Foxes to third place in the 2013 Class 5A state tournament, are members of the Tune Squad, male intramural players at OSU who practice three times a week against the women’s team. It’s a common approach used by college women’s coaches.

Mr. Lewis goes to Salem: Rick Lewis appointed to serve District 18

March 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Mr. Lewis goes to Salem: Rick Lewis appointed to serve District 18
Rick Lewis received many congratulations after being chosen to serve House District 18 in the Oregon Legislature.

Rick Lewis received many congratulations after being chosen to serve House District 18 in the Oregon Legislature.

By Kristine Thomas

While Rick Lewis’ title has changed from Silverton mayor to Oregon House District 18 state representative, his commitment to serve others remains steadfast.

“Throughout my public service career, I have always strived to maintain a healthy respect for all viewpoints, collaborate and compromise when possible, and put the interests of the public above all else,” Lewis said. “I pledge to continue to abide by these principles as I begin my legislative career today.”

Eager to lend a hand: Lori Pavlicek, Mount Angel First Citizen for 2016

March 2017 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Eager to lend a hand: Lori Pavlicek, Mount Angel First Citizen for 2016

By Kristine Thomas

Lori Butsch Pavlicek Mount Angel 2016 First Citizen.

Lori Butsch Pavlicek Mount Angel 2016 First Citizen.

It wasn’t until she saw it written down on paper that Lori Butsch Pavlicek became fully aware of all her volunteer work.

And that realization occurred only after she received some unexpected but surprisingly good news.

As Pavlicek was driving to the Portland Airport with her 16-year-old daughter, Olivia, to go to a volleyball tournament in Arizona, she received the phone call that she had been chosen as the 2016 Mount Angel First Citizen.

“I didn’t realize everything I have done until I read the nomination form,” she said, laughing.

Moonlight Masquerade: Daddy – daughter dance set for March 11

March 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Moonlight Masquerade: Daddy – daughter dance set for March 11

DSC_0018By Kristine Thomas

Four-year-old Leah Martin reminded her dad, Andrew, about the dance in December. Three-year-old Avery Satern has mentioned the dance more than a few times to her parents, Brent and Kelly Satern.

Megan Wavra, 5, and Brittyn Wavra, 4, eyes lit-up with excitement when their dad, Eric Wavra, told them he had bought tickets for this year.

After having a blast at the first dance, all four girls and their dads are looking forward to the second annual Silverton Rotary Daddy-Daughter Dance Saturday, March 11, 6 to 9 p.m. at Silverton High School.

Time capsule treasure: St. Paul’s renovation reveals pieces of history

March 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Time capsule treasure: St. Paul’s renovation reveals pieces of history

By Kristine Thomas

What started as instructions to carefully remove the cornerstone dated 1947 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Silverton, turned into an unexpected historical discovery with a family connection.

In January, a team began working on constructing a new narthex at the church. Bryan Pfeifer, a superintendent with Dalke Construction of Salem, recalled asking a co-worker to be careful when removing the cornerstone, as the plan is to use it when the construction is completed at the end of June.

Inked in: Tattoo artist throws party

March 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Inked in: Tattoo artist throws party

IMG_4102By Nancy Jennings

Got ink?  If not, and you want some, Tattoo Artist Luke Sims would find it an honor to create permanent art on your body. Sims, 40, is the owner of The Silverton Tattoo Co., which he opened March 1, 2016 at 201 Oak St. 

“If somebody walks in here and I have the opportunity to make him or her happy and change their life, that’s what I want to do,” he said.

Sims will celebrate his one-year anniversary on March 4 beginning at 9 p.m. at Mac’s Place, 201 N. Water St. In addition to free T-shirts, he’ll be giving away $1,000 worth of tattoos. There will be live band karaoke with the Flextones.

Wait ‘til next year: Foxes swim team riding high

March 2017 Posted in Community, Sports | Comments Off on Wait ‘til next year: Foxes swim team riding high

James Day“Could be a big year next year,” Silverton High swim coach Lucky Rogers said.

You can’t blame Rogers for looking ahead to next season because this one was pretty special for the Foxes. Silverton’s boys and girls squads both lost just one dual meet and the two teams both finished second in the Mid-Willamette Conference district meet.

The Foxes sent five relay teams and two individuals to the Feb. 17-18 OSAA Class 5A state championships and everybody involved finished 10th or better, led by the boys 200 medley relay squad, which took fifth. It was the first relay medal for the Foxes in school history.

Sliderules: The tool of the titans… some called them nerds

March 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Sliderules: The tool of the titans… some called them nerds

carl-sampsonI was cleaning out my desk drawers at home the other day, and ran across one of the most powerful computers ever invented. It was an Acu-Math No. 500, also known as a slide rule. I showed it to my 20-year-old son. He looked at it as though it has fallen from the sky, an artifact of a past civilization.

In a sense, he was right. The people who used slide rules are gone, most of them. And the only ones who even recognize them are the remnants of a generation of nerds that once ruled the Earth.

Uncertain times: Somos Hispanas Unidas helps immigrants cope

February 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Uncertain times: Somos Hispanas Unidas helps immigrants cope
Fernando and Susannah Ghio and their assistant Remedios Ortiz

Fernando and Susannah Ghio and their assistant Remedios Ortiz

By Steve Ritchie

The uncertainty about U.S. immigration and deportation policies has Fernando and Susannah Ghio working overtime to provide legal assistance to their clients at Somos Hispanas Unidas, 512 N. First St., Silverton.

The Ghios work with local residents and families who need help with their immigration status.

When asked how many people receive help at Somos Hispanas Unidas, the couple looked at each other and chuckled, as if they couldn’t believe the answer.

Rates go up: July 1 increase approved for street fees, water bills

February 2017 Posted in Community, News | Comments Off on Rates go up: July 1 increase approved for street fees, water bills

By Kristine Thomas

Silverton Public Works Director Christian Saxe had concerns about asking the council to raise utility rates.

“As a public servant, you want to avoid raising rates whenever possible,” he said.

However, he faced a choice – raise street, stormwater and water rates or watch those utilities continue to decline. When preparing the 2017-18 budget, Saxe knew increases were needed to meet the demand for infrastructure projects.

“The city’s stormwater, streets and water treatment facility have degraded or aged to a level where major work needs to occur,” Saxe said.

For the joy: Silverton Unified Basketball brings amazing spirit to the court

February 2017 Posted in Community, Sports | Comments Off on For the joy: Silverton Unified Basketball brings amazing spirit to the court
Above: The 2017 Unified Foxes Basketball team. SHS Unified Foxes players in action: left, Mehey Kraskov; right, Jhonathan Shackelford; and far right, Marco Garcia-Ramirez.

The 2017 Unified Foxes Basketball team. SHS Unified Foxes players in action: left, Mehey Kraskov; right, Jhonathan Shackelford; and far right, Marco Garcia-Ramirez.

By Kristine Thomas

The score doesn’t begin to tell the story of Silverton High School’s Unified Foxes basketball team’s first game.

If points were given for smiles, enthusiasm, sportsmanship, hive fives, hugs and the pure joy of being on the court, it would have been impossible to tally the scores for both Unified teams, which are a division of the Special Olympics.

‘Wurst’ time: Mount Angel Festhalle becomes celebration central Feb. 24-25

February 2017 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on ‘Wurst’ time: Mount Angel Festhalle becomes celebration central Feb. 24-25

The ninth annual Mount Angel Wurstfest is a last chance to eat, drink and be merry before Ash Wednesday, March 1, which for Christians is the start of the austere and holy season of Lent.

This year’s Wurstfest Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25 is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Mount Angel Festhalle, 500 S. Wilco Hwy., Mount Angel.

“Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce and the Wurstfest committee are excited to welcome our many visitors to Mount Angel to enjoy another outstanding Wurstfest and all the family-focused fun on offer,” Wurstfest committee chair Kathy Wall shared.

The man about town: Change is in the air

February 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on The man about town: Change is in the air

Man About TownIf your New Year’s resolutions included (besides losing 25 lbs. you gained since resolving to lose 25 lbs. last year) more reading, then the Silver Falls Library has you covered. Oh sure, you can always walk in and take a book home with you but that is soooo 2016….. Savvy page perusers go to silverfallslibrary.org, click on the “Library 2 Go” button, load one of the 1,000 titles onto your “device”and boom, you’re off and reading. When your time is done, the book will magically vanish, leaving you with no hard copy to find under that ever-growing mountain of  fastfood wrappers, no trip back to return it, and best of all, none of those pesky late fees you usually end up owing.

Swimming for glory: High turnout, energy, pay dividends for Foxes

February 2017 Posted in Community, School, Sports | Comments Off on Swimming for glory: High turnout, energy, pay dividends for Foxes

James DayOn a Tuesday night in February, the Silverton Community Pool was so full of kids one would think it was a family night in July.

About 80 athletes were pounding through the water as the Silverton High teams prepared for district competition.

There is a new surge of momentum for Foxes swimming program.

Silverton’s boys and girls teams took third in the Mid-Willamette Conference last season and second-year head Coach Lucky Rogers thinks the teams have a shot at taking second this year.silv-swim-rogers

How I see it: Please, don’t make excuses for bad behavior

February 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on How I see it: Please, don’t make excuses for bad behavior

DixonThis is a hard column to write because it represents things I care deeply about. Some people will agree with me, some won’t. Let me politely say, “I don’t care.”

God bless Vic Gilliam and his family. Red or blue, conservative or liberal, passionate or stoic, rural or urban. He is a good person who represented his House district and the majority of his constituents well. He is suffering greatly and holds his head up high. He ran for re-election in November, won, then resigned his seat because of the debilitating nature of his medical condition. He is a good man who does his best, listens well, works with all parties effectively, and is fair. Let’s say, “Thanks, Vic,” “Best Wishes,” and “Godspeed.”

A display of democracy: Women’s March participants share stories

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on A display of democracy: Women’s March participants share stories
Silverton resident Ann Altman and her sister, Eileen, attended the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

Silverton resident Ann Altman and her sister, Eileen, attended the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

By Kristine Thomas

Christine Chorazy joined the Women’s March in Portland to show her daughters and son that sometimes it is necessary to “go outside your comfort zone to stand up, and try and change something you cannot tolerate.”

Ann Altman traveled to the Women’s March in Washington D.C. to vocalize with others to the new president and his administration that an atmosphere of fear and hatred is not acceptable.