Food fight: School staff asks board to reconsider food services contract

May 2015 Posted in News, School | Comments Off

By Kristine Thomas

More than 25 classified employees attended Silver Falls School District board meeting May 11 to express their disappointment in the current food services program provided by Sodexo.

Wearing buttons reading “Local kid. Local food. Local control,” members shared stories about the quality of the food and the increase in work load since Sodexo was given a contract six-months ago.

Robert Frost Elementary School assistant cook Ross Bryant said the district’s kitchen staff was told there would not be too many changes with the Sodexo contract.

“That’s not the case,” Bryant said. “Our work load has increased but our hours are the same.”

Silverton boys basketball team serves as Grand Marshal for Pet Parade

May 2015 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off
Silverton Pet Parade. Photo by Jim Kinghorn.

Silverton Pet Parade. Photo by Jim Kinghorn.

Every year, Silverton residents look forward to the 80-plus year tradition of the May Pet Parade.

Pets – of all varieties – are encouraged to bring their owners to the Saturday, May 16 event.

The Silverton High School State Champion boys basketball team has been named Grand Marshal for this year’s parade.

“The Foxes Boys Basketball Grand Marshal offers an inspiring opportunity to honor the students, faculty, and administration of Silverton High School for their comtmitment to emphasize academics in the classroom, and skill and respect for their opponents on the court or in the field,” Kiwanis Pet Parade Chairman Randal Thomas said.

Sex trafficking: Closer, more threatening, misunderstood

May 2015 Posted in Community, News | Comments Off
Help is available
There is confidential support
regarding any kind of interpersonal
violence – sexual assault,
domestic violence or child abuse:

Ester Craig
County Line Safety Compass
503-400-2801 (confidential voicemail)
or see Facebook page.

Kirstin Heydel
Center for Hope and Safety
24-Hour hotline: 503-399-7722

By Kristine Thomas

It’s not like in the movies. Prostitutes are not glamorous like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Those buying sex –  the “johns” – are not polite like actor Richard Gere.  The pimps – exploiting others sexually for financial gain – don’t all wear fedoras with pink feathers and chunky gold necklaces. And sex trafficking is not like the movie Taken.

Ready to launch: JFK adopts AVID college, career program

May 2015 Posted in School | Comments Off

By Vince Teresi

It’s a milestone in a teenagers’ life when they receive a high school diploma on graduation day, confident they are prepared for the next challenge of succeeding in college and career goals.

Helping to provide that confidence, Mt. Angel School District announced Kennedy High School will introduce a “readiness system” in the 2015-2016 school year curriculum to beter prepare students for on-going life-goals.

The school will partner with AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a global non-profit organization dedicated to closing the achievement-gap by preparing all students for college and other opportunities following their high school graduation.  AVID today impacts more than 800,000 students in 44 states and 16 other countries/territories.

Not for the squeamish: Youngsters job shadow in animal clinic

May 2015 Posted in People | Comments Off
Silver Creek Animal Clinic veterinarian Jenny Bate, left, explains a surgery to Brynn Walker.

Silver Creek Animal Clinic veterinarian Jenny Bate, left, explains a surgery to Brynn Walker.

By Brenna Wiegand

Pressing into the operating table at Silver Creek Animal Clinic, 11-year-old Brynn Walker’s eyes are fastened on the incision veterinarian Jenny Bate is making in the belly of an out-cold dog. Now on tiptoe, she’s riveted as the vet produces the patient’s uterus and ovaries. Brynn listens intently to the veterinarian’s warm and generous instruction.

Usually such time and attention is reserved for high school students, clinic director/animal dentist Kyle Palmer said. However, both Brynn, a student at Silverton’s Community Roots Charter School, and her friend Chloe Nealon, sixth grader at Abiqua Academy in Salem, have proven they’ve got what it takes.

All-State honors: Dance duo

May 2015 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, People, Sports | Comments Off
Silverton High School seniors Jena Hendrix and Nicole Finch

Silverton High School seniors Jena Hendrix and Nicole Finch

By Brenna Wiegand

Silverton High School seniors Nicole Finch and Jena Hendrix were named to the All-State dance team at the OSAA tournament in March.

Coached by Paula Magee, the SHS team placed second in its division.

“The final day the all-state team performed; that was an honor,” Jena said. “We also helped out at the junior state championships and performed there.”

Jena was the only 5A dancer to receive the $800 scholarship and next fall she’ll attend Dean College in Franklin, Mass., on a dance scholarship.

Headed to districts: Spring athletes in the final stretch of the season

May 2015 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off

James DayBy James Day

Kennedy and Silverton participated in district track and field competition this week, with the Trojans hosting their meet Thursday and Friday at their newly remodeled facility and the Foxes competing Wednesday and Thursday at Western Oregon University.

Heading into districts Kennedy athletes led the Tri-River in six events, including Taylor Brown (long jump and triple jump), Loghan Sprauer (400), David Wright (discus), Bishop Mitchell (100 and Alyssa Eklund (pole vault). In addition, 10 other Kennedy athletes were ranked second in their respective events.

New twists: Former gymnast turns into diving star

May 2015 Posted in Other | Comments Off
Madison Cock will compete in diving for Unversity of Utah

Madison Cock will compete in diving for Unversity of Utah

By James Day

Gymnastics’ loss proved to be diving’s gain in the case of Silverton’s Madison Cock.

A former level 9 gymnast for the Athletic Edge in Salem who had to give up the sport for health reasons, Madison switched to diving just over a year ago and has made a big splash in the new sport.

In her first year, she was a state tower and springboard champion and the Silverton High School senior has signed to compete for the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Letters to the editor

May 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

Candidates of character 

I am a resident of Silverton and have grandchildren that attend or have attended Eugene Field School. I have known Jennifer Hannan for over 15 years.  Jennifer Hannan is a person of impeccable character. I believe that she loves her school and her students.

I totally agree with her statement “To expect me and my staff to be excluded from a conversation that impacts all of our students and our ability to do our jobs because some have chosen to make this a political issue is, in my opinion, unreasonable.  It is my responsibility as a principal to advocate for the safety and the educational needs of my students and staff.”

People Out Loud: Never shy…

May 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

DixonBy Dixon Bledsoe

Everyone needs a go-to person in their life. Someone you just know has your back.

A person that will tell you the white camping-tent size polo shirt makes you look heavier than the black one with its slimming effect. A friend who will make sure you get home after your Spaten-Optimator birthday party at the subdued September 2001 Oktoberfest just two days after 9-11.

Contested races: Eugene Field School fate still looms in Silver Falls election

May 2015 Posted in News, School | Comments Off
Candidate Profiles
Silver Falls School District
candidate answers to the following
questions are available
at by clicking here:

• Why are you running
• What are your top three goals?
• Would you uphold the closure of Eugene Field School?
• What four words describe your leadership style?
• What changes do you want to bring to the school board?

By Kristine Thomas

Fred Vandecoevering has his reasons for supporting the five candidates he does in the May 19 Silver Falls School Board election.

Jessica Veith supports five different candidates.

Meet the candidates: Silver Falls School Board

May 2015 Posted in News, School | Comments Off

Voters in the Silver Falls School District can vote for one candidate in each zone or write-in a candidate. The candidates were asked the same questions. Each candidate was given 300 words to respond.

The questions were:

1. WHY: Why they are running for the school board?

2. GOALS: If elected what are their top three goals?

3. EUGENE FIELD: If elected, would you stay with the decision to close Eugene Field or revisit the issue?

4.LEADERSHIP: What four words would you use to describe your leadership style?

Under investigation: Election complaint filed over school correspondence

May 2015 Posted in News | Comments Off
By Kristine Thomas

After receiving a complaint from Silver Falls District patron Fred Vandecoevering on April 9, the Secretary of State is looking into possible election law violation by Eugene Field Elementary School Principal Jennifer Hannan, Eugene Field special needs assistant and write-in school board candidate DaNette Wernette and Silver Falls Education Association President and teacher Marie Traeger.

In an email, Vandecoevering told Secretary of State Investigations and Legal Specialist Alana Cox that Hannan sent an email to her staff about a staff meeting.

Mount Angel candidates unopposed

May 2015 Posted in News, School | Comments Off

All three candidates in the Mount Angel School District school board election are running unopposed.

They are: Position 1: Daniel Zene Crowe,
Position 3: Shari Bochsler Riedman,
Position 4: Raymond Frey.

All three are graduates of Kennedy High School. Crowe is running to replace Dick Hoffer, whose term expires June 30. Riedman and Frey are incumbents.

Below are Crowe and Riedman’s responses to a set of questions. Frey did not respond by Our Town‘s press date.



Education:  JFK High School, Mt Angel, BA from Oregon State University.

Occupation:  Clackamas County Human Resource / Disability Analyst.

Fire district bond: One bond retires, no tax increase anticipated

May 2015 Posted in Community, News | Comments Off
Measure’s details
If the $4.3 million
Silverton Fire District bond
is approved, the money
would be used to:
• Purchase and equip firefighting
apparatus and firefighting
and rescue equipment.• Refurbish three existing
pumpers to improve
reliability and safety.

• Upgrade and make safety
improvements to existing
fire apparatus and equipment.

• Replace self-contained
breathing apparatus.

• Repair and safety upgrades
to the training tower
and burn room.

• Improve and repair the
five district fire stations.

or 503-873-5328

By Brenna Wiegand

Silverton Fire District is placing a $4.3 million bond measure before voters on May 19.

Calling all birders: Free bird, wildflower walks at Silver Falls

May 2015 Posted in Community | Comments Off
For the $5 cost of materials park visitors can work with Audubon  Society volunteers to build a bird house to take home

For the $5 cost of materials park visitors can work with Audubon Society volunteers to build a bird house to take home

With the early spring weather, the birds and wildflowers are ready for the 37 annual Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival at Silver Falls State Park. The Festival will run Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the South Falls Historic District.

Visitors can choose from variety of guided wildflower walks, ranging from a ½-mile walk to a more intensive two-mile, two-hour “Walk through the Mist Zone.” No pets are allowed on these walks.

Foxes and Vikings: Schools develop new ‘fun’raisers

May 2015 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off

School fundraisers

The Great Fox Hunt
Saturday, May 15 at 2 p.m.
Cost: $50 a team.
Visit to sign-up

Run for the Hills
Saturday, May 30 at
Victor Point Elementary School,
1175 Victor Point Road., SE. Visit Facebook,
search Race for the Hills or go to

Whether you are eager to get in touch with your “inner Viking” or explore your sleuthing skills searching for secret foxes, you are bound to either discover the beauty of the Victor Point area or solve the secrets of Silverton by participating in two new community events.

Nut allergies: Schools grapple with potentially life-threatening situations

May 2015 Posted in School, Your Health | Comments Off
Lunch is a favorite time for many kids, but for those with nut allergies it can pose real and dangerous challenges.

Lunch is a favorite time for many kids, but for those with nut allergies it can pose real and dangerous challenges.

By Brenna Wiegand

Teagen Cain hates to miss school.

“He’ll cry because he missed math or something,” his mom Lydia Cain said.

Missing school happens more often than they’d like.

A second grader at Eugene Field Elementary, Teagen has the severest, most sensitive nut allergy in the school district. More than once, classroom time has been interrupted by an acute, whole-body reaction – anaphylaxis. He’s been administered epinephrine injections via “EpiPen” and taken from school by ambulance.

Chandler chooses PLU: Silverton and Kennedy softball first in league

May 2015 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off

James DayBy James Day

For Cole Chandler it came down to familiarity – and a bit of an educational pull. The Silverton High School quarterback, who led the Foxes to a 32-4 record in three years as a starter, plans to play college football at Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma, Wash.

Chandler had considered Linfield, but picked PLU because his favorite target with the Foxes, wide receiver Logan Munson, is headed to PLU akong with his twin sister, McKenna. Munson is looking at a pre-med educational path at PLU. Chandler, who earned two first-team and one-second team mention on the Class 5A all-state teams, passed for 1,923 yards and 18 touchdowns in his senior year. Munson, a first-team all-state player in his junior and senior years, caught 69 passes for 1,054 yards and 10 TDs in his senior year.

Lace’em up: And get out the door

May 2015 Posted in Sports | Comments Off
Fun runs on the schedule:
Register at
unless otherwise noted.
May 9: Silverton Health Fun Run
May 30: Run for the Hills
June 6: Silver Falls Challenge,
June 27: Pajama Rama
Aug. 9: Homer’s Classic
Sept. 19: Oktoberfest Road Race

By Steve Ritchie

As the days get longer, many of us feel a stronger urge to exercise outside.

Walking, cycling, running, backpacking, swimming, kayaking, golfing – the list of activities for warm months is long and the choices good. But, for a “go-to” exercise on a regular basis, I prefer running.

Shiny gold buttons: And other priceless gifts from mom

May 2015 Posted in Other | Comments Off

Kali-MartinBy Kali Ramey Martin

“Close your eyes,” my mom said from around the corner as I covered my face with my hands. “On the count of three…one…two…THREE!”

It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Long, emerald colored velvet with a nipped in waist. Soft, supple sleeves which ended in pin-tucks and the most delicate lace. A matching peter pan collar. Shiny gold buttons in a line down the front, and a gorgeous, flowing sash.

“Oh Mom! It’s beeeeeautiful!” I gasped, fingering the hem with my 8-year old hands.

Barbara Muller: Feb. 7, 1947 – April 17, 2015

May 2015 Posted in People | Comments Off

Barbara Elizabeth (Walker) Muller was born to Earl and Mary Loughead Walker on Feb. 2, 1947 in Philadelphia, Pa. She died April 17, 2015 at Drakes Crossing, Ore. due to an auto accident. She was 68.

When she was a child, her family moved to East Pittsburg, Pa. where Earl was the pastor of the Lutheran church. She played the organ for services and was active in her high school marching band. Barbara earned her bachelor of arts degree at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. where she met Wayne Muller. They married in 1969.

Letters to the Editor

May 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

Elks’ scholarship winners

Silverton High School senior William Ward received the Most Valuable Student for the Boys and Valencia Vazquez-Trejo, also from Silverton High School, received the Most Valuable Student for the girls at the local Elks Scholarship contest. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship and the right to advance to the district contest. There also were eight scholarships of $700 awarded for a total of $7,600.

There were 50 applications entered from five local schools: Silverton, Kennedy, Stayton, Regis and Santiam High schools.

At the district level, William again won first place for the boys, receiving a $1,800 scholarship and Valencia won second place for the girls $1,600.

A Grin at the End: Future’s not all as promised asromised

May 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

By Carl Sampson

I feel cheated.

When I was a kid in the 1950s and 1960s, the future was going to be awesome beyond words.

I remember reading books about how we’d all work four days a week, and fly in our personal helicopters to work on those few days when we had to show up.

Life was going to be a combination of The Jetsons and Buck Rogers.

The U.S. space program was pointed toward the moon and beyond. As a nation and as an international community, we were going to lead the way in discovering and understanding where we came from and where we as a species are headed.

Sleuth: Silverton mom’s night job is as a private investigator

April 2015 Posted in Business, People | Comments Off
Lori Grimmer

Lori Grimmer

By Kristine Thomas

Silverton resident Lori Grimmer was in plain sight, sitting in her car as she watched a man put up the Christmas lights on his home.

The man even looked her way and waved, perhaps assuming she was just a local mom chatting on her phone.

Little did he know she was hired to film him.

“I was working with an attorney on a personal injury case and the man was supposed to be so injured that he was bed ridden,” she said.