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.

Downsizing: Living big in small spaces

November 2018 Posted in Community, Other, People | Comments Off on Downsizing: Living big in small spaces
Becky Gilliam-Madge and Sam Madge in front of their small home in Silverton

Becky Gilliam-Madge and Sam Madge in front of their small home in Silverton.

By Melissa Wagoner

Tamara Swanson likes to say she lives big – just in a small space.“It’s very elegant and it doesn’t seem small at all,” she said.

Measuring just 690 square feet, Tamara and her husband Richard Orr created their petite space – an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in Silverton – six years ago after their children left home.

“We had added to our house when the kids were growing up and it was a bigger house than we wanted to clean,” she laughed. “Where we had added the 700 square feet we worked with a contractor to put the wall back.”

Goin’ nuts together: Mount Angel, Silverton partner on festival, shop hop

November 2018 Posted in Community, Food & Drink, Other, People | Comments Off on Goin’ nuts together: Mount Angel, Silverton partner on festival, shop hop

By Melissa WagonerScreen Shot 2018-10-30 at 10.30.02 AM

After seven years, Mount Angel’s annual Hazelnut Festival was hanging in limbo due to the recent passing of its co-founder Maureen Ernst.

“There was some talk about, ‘I don’t know if this is going to happen this year,’” Executive Director of the Silverton Chamber of Commerce Stacy Palmer said.

“But Maureen’s family really wanted it to continue,” Pete Wall, President of
the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce added.

That is when the idea of reinventing the festival as a collaboration between Mount Angel and Silverton was voiced and both cities were eagerly onboard.

The right note: Silverton Friends of Music develops new children’s choir

November 2018 Posted in Community, Music & Band | Comments Off on The right note: Silverton Friends of Music develops new children’s choir

By Melissa Wagoner

In August Sophia Wood posted on Facebook asking Silvertonians if they were interested in the creation of an elementary age children’s choir – and the results blew her away.

“I was in choir when I was a kid and I just thought it would be something to do,” she said. “A lot of people were interested.”

One of the multitudes who read the post was Sarah Weitzman – President of the non-profit group Silverton Friends of Music (SFOM) – who was also stunned by what she saw.

Gone fishin’: Veterans thanked, treated to a little relaxation and fishing

November 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Gone fishin’: Veterans thanked, treated to a little relaxation and fishing
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Silverton resident Bernie Hoene is president of Take a Soldier Fishing, providing thanks to veterans in the form of fishing trips.

By Nancy Jennings

For Bernie Hoene, showing gratitude to our veterans is as easy as baiting a hook and taking a fishing trip.

Each year on the second week in July, the Silverton resident does just that. Now in his fourth year as a volunteer with the non-profit organization, “Take a Soldier Fishing,” Bernie, 61, excitedly shares his 40 years of fishing experience with veterans… for free.

Silverton growth predates current council: Guest Opinion

November 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Silverton growth predates current council: Guest Opinion

Watching social media conversations about our Mayoral and City Council elections is interesting. I hear many Stu (Rasmussen) supporters claim voting for him is about controlling the growth in Silverton.

Our current mayor and council were not in office when it was all approved. It is NOT on them. It is on past mayors and council. Actually it is on codes because LEGALLY the Planning Commission,  Council and Mayor cannot deny a building application simply because they don’t like it. We won’t even get into LUBA’s* role in the appeal process.

Don’t give up on Eugene Field: Guest Opinion

November 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Don’t give up on Eugene Field: Guest Opinion

Please consider this “Chapter 2,” following my letter in the [Oct. 1] issue of Our Town, in which I stated that I would be still and listen, and
also that I was convinced that our
elected representatives were listening.  Well, neither is true now.

I wish there had been more people in attendance at last night’s (Oct. 11) get-together with Stu Rasmussen, in order to learn more about issues concerning Silverton. Thanks to The Home Place for the space. I listened, and learned a lot from this very knowledgeable individual – but it’s just not in me to be still.

House District 18 needs a change: Guest Opinion

November 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on House District 18 needs a change: Guest Opinion

As a House District 18 resident, I encourage folks from Aurora to Silverton to vote for Barry Shapiro,“for a change!”

Don’t get me wrong. I like the incumbent, Rep. Rick Lewis. I have met with him on several occasions. He is thoughtful, intelligent and a good listener. But the problem is, he gets it wrong on too many votes!

He voted no on the Cover All Kids bill, which his predecessor, Rep. Vic Gilliam, co-sponsored, in a bipartisan effort to guarantee healthcare to all of Oregon’s children. He voted no on HB 2391 which would make sure Oregon Health Plan recipients continue to get the coverage they need. He voted no on HB 4145 and SB 719, bills to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers and suicidal individuals. And the list goes on!

Mount Angel postmaster sworn in

November 2018 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Mount Angel postmaster sworn in
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Postmaster Mellody Wilkins Submitted Photo

Mount Angel’s new Postmaster, Mellody Wilkins, was officially sworn into office on Sept. 25 in the village  gazebo.

Jami Goodpaster, Manager of Post Office Operations, performed the ceremony. Wilkins was appointed to the position on May 26. She is the 12th postmaster to serve the City of Mount Angel.

Wilkins oversees both the post offices of Mount Angel and Saint Benedict.

‘MADA’: Strangers gather to talk over dinner and find common ground

November 2018 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on ‘MADA’: Strangers gather to talk over dinner and find common ground

Diners at the first MADA event at St. Edward’s Episcopal Church in Silverton. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

Nine strangers were recently asked to find two things they all shared. Gathered at a Make America Dinner Again (MADA) event held at St. Edward’s Episcopal Church in Silverton, the group suggested one item after another – all were rejected.

“We all have children,” someone sang out.

“No.”

“We all have pets.”

“No.”

“Surely, we all have hiked at Silver Falls State Park and visited the Oregon Garden.”

Karla Zeis Uselman July 30, 1958 – Oct. 7, 2018

October 2018 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on Karla Zeis Uselman July 30, 1958 – Oct. 7, 2018

It is with great sadness and sorrow that the family of Karla Zeis Uselman announces her passing, after an admirably fought year-long battle with cancer. Karla passed on the morning of Oct. 7, 2018 at the age of 60.

She was born July 30, 1958 and grew up in Mount Angel. She graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1976 before going on to receive an Associate’s Degree from Merrit Davis Business College. At 21 she started her career as an accountant at Clackamas Education Service District where she worked until she retired in 2017 as their senior accountant.

Multigenerations: Grandparents help solve childcare problems

November 2018 Posted in Community, People, Your Health | Comments Off on Multigenerations: Grandparents help solve childcare problems
Joyce Beck with grandsons Gavin and Ethan

Joyce Beck with grandsons Gavin and Ethan

By Melissa Wagoner

Childcare can be difficult for parents whose work schedule falls outside of regular business hours but many parents are finding the answer to their problem in the guise of an old-fashioned solution – multigenerational housing.

“My husband and I are both physicians and we had our first child at the same time we started our intern year of residency,” Silverton resident Leslie Drapiza said. “We tried to make it work by using daycare, but no daycare opens at 4:30 a.m. when we needed to be at the hospital to start rounding on patients.”

‘Massegon’: Cross country runners build new bonds of cross-continental friendship

November 2018 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on ‘Massegon’: Cross country runners build new bonds of cross-continental friendship
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JFK sisters, Alejandra and Whitney Lopez, with Massegon co-founder, Coach Steve McChesney. Steve Ritchie

By Steve Ritchie

The Kennedy High School Cross Country Team
has been known for incorporating opportunities for learning and new experiences when traveling to compete in meets.

The past two seasons, for example, the team has traveled to Ashland to compete in a race and take in plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Summer running camps at places like Mt. Hood and Lake Tahoe have included training in map and compass reading, wilderness etiquette and trail maintenance.

Showdown win: Next: Foxes face Parkrose

November 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Sports | Comments Off on Showdown win: Next: Foxes face Parkrose

James DayBy James Day

ALBANY –  The Silverton High football ran up a 17-0 first-half lead Friday night against West Albany, then used grit and determination to hold on for a 17-14 Special District 3 win amid light to moderate rain at Memorial Stadium.

The win by the Foxes, No. 7 in Class 5A, lifted them into a tie for the Special District 3 championship with the third-ranked Bulldogs, who came into the game undefeated. Silverton, 8-1, earned the top OSAA ranking from the district and will open the playoffs Nov. 2 against visiting Parkrose at McGinnis Field.

Cross country stars: JFK’s Lopez, Foxes’ Stutzman run to district titles

November 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Sports | Comments Off on Cross country stars: JFK’s Lopez, Foxes’ Stutzman run to district titles

James DayKennedy High senior Alejandra Lopez won the Special District 2 girls cross country championship Oct. 25 at Cheadle Lake Park in Lebanon.

Lopez ran the 5,000 meters in 18:52.3, 17 kenn lopezseconds ahead of runner-up Jessica Neal of Central Linn.

The Trojans also received great performances from the rest of the squad and took home the team title, finishing three points ahead of Neah-Kah-Nie.

Freshman Aleksandra Eyles was 10th in 21:2.48, with sophomore Cassie Traeger (17th, 22:16.4), senior Clarissa Traeger (22nd, 22:47.0) and junior Whitney Lopez (29th, 23:10.4) also scoring.

The best holiday: Family, friends… and wine!

November 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on The best holiday: Family, friends… and wine!

carl-sampsonI like Thanksgiving a lot, because it coincides with the best holiday of the year. For want of a better name, I’ll call it Winotopia.

The day after Thanksgiving, we rent a big van and load up any leftover relatives, friends, enemies and random people who happen to be hanging around the house and head for the wineries. I don’t know how many wineries there are in the Willamette Valley, but there are a lot. In the 10 years or so we’ve been doing this – I lost count – we’ve gone to a lot of them. Some years we target a certain area and go to the specific wineries that are on our radar.

Food for America: Silverton FFA shares ‘Ag’ lessons with youngsters

October 2018 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on Food for America: Silverton FFA shares ‘Ag’ lessons with youngsters
Students attending Food For America at Silverton High School (53)

Elementary students on a hay ride at the Food for America event at Silverton High School. Mellisa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

Kili Kato remembers attending the Silverton High School FFA’s annual Food for America event when she was in elementary school. “It was my favorite part of the year because I got to see all the animals,”
she smiled.

Now in her sophomore year of high school, Kato herself is a member of the FFA as well as of the leadership class that organizes the Food for America event.

The next step: Silverton Grange experiments with new training program

October 2018 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on The next step: Silverton Grange experiments with new training program
Silverton Grange's Nonviolent Communication event (2)

Silverton Grange members Rose Hope, Dorothy Ramig, Cayla Catino and Lennie Martin are among those seeking to keep the local grange vibrant and relevant to the needs of the community. Brenna Wiegand

By Brenna Wiegand

The local grange as a farmers’ organization has gone the way of the buggy whip and communities across the country are scrambling to find ways to keep local precincts alive while upholding its original tenets of supporting community, agriculture and education.

Silverton Grange Hall No. 748, founded in 1932, is no exception, and a core group of passionate people have been hammering out a plan to preserve their post and the building in which it is housed while honoring its agrarian roots.

Decluttering: Change in season offers opportunity to organize

October 2018 Posted in Community, People, Your Health | Comments Off on Decluttering: Change in season offers opportunity to organize

By Melissa Wagoner

“Whenever the seasons change is a good time to de-clutter,” Elyse McGowan-Kidd, owner of Kidd De-Clutter in Silverton said. “We are wired for change during the shift of the seasons. Each season has its own theme and therefore its own focus.”

Although McGowan-Kidd has been a professional organizer for only two years, she has been helping family and friends for much longer.

“I grew up with a grandma that made it through a war and had pretty strong hoarding tendencies,” she explained. “When she passed away, I remember going through her house and the sort of strain and stress it put on my mom and aunt.”

Briefs for October 15, 2018

October 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Briefs for October 15, 2018

Queen of Angels benefit dinner set for Oct. 28

The Founder’s Day Dinner is a special night benifiting the Queen of Angels monastic community. The event will take place in historic Agatha Hall at Queen of Angels Monastery in Mount Angel, on Sunday, Oct. 28.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for a hosted reception, followed by a German-themed dinner at 6 p.m. Complimentary beer and wine will also be served, along with two very special items.

First, dessert for the evening will be Sister Immaculata’s famous buttermilk coffee cakes, but with a special addition – hazelnuts! Guests will be the first to try this delicious flavor of coffee cakes.

Pioneer trees: GeerCrest orchard receives heritage status

October 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community, Garden | Comments Off on Pioneer trees: GeerCrest orchard receives heritage status
Geercrest Historic Orchard (1)

Jim Toler, fifth-generation family owner of GeerCrest Farm, in the farm’s fruit orchard dating back to the 1850s. The grove was recently given Heritage Tree designation by the Oregon Travel Information Council. Brenna Wiegand

By Brenna Wiegand

A couple years ago Jim Toler of GeerCrest Farm outside of Silverton approached Oregon Travel Information Council about adding the farm’s historic fruit orchard to its list of Heritage Trees.

Oregon Travel Information Council is a semi-independent state agency whose projects include the blue highway logo signs directing motorists to gas, food and other services at exits and providing onsite supervision of the state’s rest areas.

Kuenzi to rescue: Deep Foxes keep up winning ways

October 2018 Posted in Community, School, Sports | Comments Off on Kuenzi to rescue: Deep Foxes keep up winning ways

James Day“I was just trying to fill in for Hayden Roth and do as good a job as he did,” Nathan Kuenzi said. “I really enjoyed it. That was the most fun game I’ve
ever played.” The Silverton High running back was talking Sept. 28 after the Foxes’ 40-22 Special District 3 football victory against Corvallis. Kuenzi, starting for the injured Roth, rushed for three touchdowns and uncorked a 58-yard run on Silverton’s first possession of the third quarter. Kuenzi scored twice during a 20-0 Foxes blitz in the period that turned the tide.

silv-nkuenzi

Silverton running back Nathan Kuenzi

Smith has history of community service

October 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community | Comments Off on Smith has history of community service

To the Editor: With elections for the City of Silverton fast approaching, I write in support of  the re-election of Dana Smith. During her past years in office, Dana has served the city of Silverton and its citizens admirably, effectively handling diverse issues that have arisen in our town while maintaining the quality of life that we all enjoy here.

In Dana’s 20 years as a resident of Silverton, she has served our beloved city continuously and has been involved in almost every facet of community life – Silver Falls School District board member and budget committee member, the Park Planning Committee, the Silverton Fine Arts Festival Committee, and as a construction supervisor for Habitat
for Humanity.

Secret praise: A shout-out to Silverton Sheltering Services duo

October 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Secret praise: A shout-out to Silverton Sheltering Services duo

Dixon CMYK 2016It’s time to focus on the positive things going on in the area, after the ugliness of last week’s uber partisan politics at the national level and the plethora of attack ads here in Oregon.

Brent Jacobsen and Sarah White are doers. They walk the walk, walk the talk, deliver the goods, and look to the next area of need. They are genuine, kind, and have a “bias for action.”

Ancestral methods: Local foodie offers homemade tortillas – and more

September 2018 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Ancestral methods: Local foodie offers homemade tortillas – and more
Elizabeth Voth displaying tacos made from her blue corn tortillas

Elizabeth Voth displaying tacos made from her blue corn tortillas. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

When Elizabeth Voth cooks she focuses not just on taste but on making sure the nutrients in her food are both present and utilized – but that doesn’t mean her dishes aren’t fun.“I have adapted every one of my childhood favorite foods to feature traditionally prepared ingredients, including cornbread, pasta, marshmallows, sandwich loaves and dinner rolls, pancakes and crêpes, scones and dumplings,” she listed. “My signature recipe is Black Cacao Brownie, a powerhouse of sourdough and sprouted lentils (because they are so high in antioxidants).”

Another round: Silverton council tweaks transitional housing code changes

September 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Another round: Silverton council tweaks transitional housing code changes

By Paula Mabry
Silverton’s third city council round of public testimony on the proposed code changes to permit transitional housing closed at 7:54 p.m. Sept. 10.
Then it was the councilors’ turn to waded into the discussion.
And while it was clear that the mayor and councilors were in favor of permitting some sort of shelter for area residents without roof or address, the proposal’s who and how and when would all be tweaked before the meeting adjourned at midnight.
Ultimately, several amendments were made to the planning commission’s recommendations. So many, in fact, that the city attorney advised the council to send the matter back to staff for formal revision before a vote to change the code.
The council agreed. The issue will return to the agenda Oct. 1.
Mayor Kyle Palmer repeatedly stressed the need to be sensitive to those worried about – or objecting to – changes to permit transitional housing. He urged the council build in “an assurance that – in a public way – we will be back here” reviewing the matter in a year.
Sunsetting the changes was briefly considered, but finally mandating council review of the code 18 months after the opening of the first facility won 5-2 support, with Councilors Matt Plummer and Laurie Carter dissenting.
The mandated council review does not preclude nor replace the Conditional Use process applicants must go through at six month and one year junctures.
Other changes to the proposal include:
• Limiting potential transitional housing sites to property currently occupied by religious institutions.
• Reducing the maximum number of units at a facility from 10 to 4.
If the project proves successful “we can up the density later, but that’s a tough one to come back from” if 10 are approved, Councilor Plummer said.
• Limiting occupancy to a single person.
The council heard “a lot of passionate pleas on both sides. It’s our responsibility not to ignore that level of concern,” Council Dana Smith said.
In other development news
The Silverton Council directed staff to ask contractors bidding on the deconstruction and demolition of the former Eugene Field School to submit cost estimates for salvaging items for re-purposing. Items cited included the gym floor, roof timbers and specific lighting fixtures. Bidders were to tour the building Sept. 13. The Mt. Angel Planning Commission has approved the Wachter Meadows subdivision plan, with home construction likely to begin by late next year or early 2020. Commissioners added staff-recommended minor adjustments to the conditions of approval before OKing the application, said City Manager Amber Mathiesen.
The Stafford Land Company is planning to build 63 homes on 20 acres of land between West Marquam Street and West Church Street.
Mathiesen said next steps will be for the applicant to submit their engineering plans for the public improvements (water, sewer, storm, and streets) the project will require.
Wachter Meadows will be one of the largest developments in Mt. Angel in recent years, according to  Mathiesen. The Maryhill Park project, approved in 2005, includes a total of 99 units, with the final phase still in progress. The Grandview 55-and-over community, which features 56 units, was approved in 2015 and remains under construction.
— Jame Day contributed to this report