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.

Contested seats: Silver Falls incumbents face challengers in board race

April 2017 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on Contested seats: Silver Falls incumbents face challengers in board race

By Steve Ritchie

With a host of significant financial, facility and educational challenges looming for Silver Falls School District, the May school board election has become something of a referendum on the district’s leadership and direction. The election pits three incumbent school board members against four challengers in three zones.

School board elections in Silverton are organized around geographical zones. Each of the seven members on the school district board must live within the zone they represent; however, all voters in the district get the opportunity to vote for candidates in each zone. Three seats are up for election this year. The other four seats will be contested in 2019. All board members are elected to four-year terms.

Starting over: Silverton renews search for city hall, police department site

April 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Starting over: Silverton renews search for city hall, police department site

DSC_0062By James Day

It’s back to the drawing board in the lengthy search for the city of Silverton to find a location for a new city hall and police department building.

The City Council, as part of the consent agenda at its April 3 meeting, approved a resolution terminating its contract to purchase land from Stumptown Properties that would have been used for the municipal complex.

The 3.1-acre site near the corner of C and North Water streets, had emerged as the top candidate in the fall of 2015 after councilors eliminated a green field site on Westfield Street near the Silverton Senior Center and the Potter Automotive site at First and Lewis streets.

The band plays on: Area musicians stage April 29 festival

April 2017 Posted in Community, Music & Band | Comments Off on The band plays on: Area musicians stage April 29 festival

IMG_4456 (2)By Nancy Jennings

The air will be filled with music at the eighth annual
Mid-Willamette Adult Band Festival on Saturday, April 29, in the Silverton High School Auditorium. The Silverton-based Marion County Citizen’s Band will join three other participating bands: Keizer Community Band, Portland Metro Community Band and Clackamas Community Band. Starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m., the free event promises a feast for the ears – and perhaps even a bit of nostalgia. The public is welcome to attend.

Answering the call: Grandmother, seamstress takes up African mission

April 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Answering the call: Grandmother, seamstress takes up African mission

IMG_4397 (2)By Nancy Jennings

A passion for teaching has always been a part of Judy Stokes’s life purpose. Answering a phone call in January, set the course in motion for her second missionary trip to Africa. She departed on April 2 for a one-year position facilitated through the Rafiki Foundation.

The foundation’s mission is to “help Africans know God and raise their standard of living with excellence and integrity.” Rafiki means “friend” in Swahili.

OSAA spells change: Big overhaul proposed for classification system

April 2017 Posted in Community, School, Sports | Comments Off on OSAA spells change: Big overhaul proposed for classification system

James DayMost adjustments that the Oregon School Activities Association makes in its quadrennial classification and districting work tend to be minor.

The body made a big leap forward for the 2006-7 school year by expanding from four classes to six. Schools had competed in a four-class system since 1974.

And it’s looking like there will be a bit of an earthquake this time, too, with the OSAA committee leaning toward a five-class system for the four-year cycle beginning in the fall of 2018.

Nurturing types: Stories about caring for the young and not-so-young

April 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community | Comments Off on Nurturing types: Stories about caring for the young and not-so-young

dixon2016Miss Becky is leaving the building.
Mic drop.

After 12 years of hugging, loving, and teaching three and four year old little darlings, Becky Detherage is hanging up her pre-school hat. Becky started James Street Christian Preschool at the Assembly of God Church, where husband Rich was the pastor. It was an instant success because this woman was made for working with children. It then moved to Immanuel Lutheran Church, the home of Noah’s Ark Preschool. After two other moves the preschool found its roots at Immanuel Lutheran again.becky (2)

NASA partners: Total eclipse experiment preparation begins at Silverton High

April 2017 Posted in School | Comments Off on NASA partners: Total eclipse experiment preparation begins at Silverton High

DSC_0348By Kristine Thomas

Rubber bands, masking tape, gadgets that cut strings, a helium balloon, a parachute, a tiny camera and a satellite are a few of items Silverton High School students are using to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Teacher Creighton Helms said 35 students are participating on the SHS NASA High Altitude Balloon Project. There are seven high schools nationwide participating in the NASA science experiment, including four in Oregon.

The students, Helms said, are given the task to build, launch and recover a high altitude balloon that will gather information and capture the eclipse for NASA. The balloon will reach 90,000 to 100,000 feet – higher than a commercial airplane flies – to record the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

South Water: Bike lanes, sidewalks, planter strips all part of improvement plan

April 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on South Water: Bike lanes, sidewalks, planter strips all part of improvement plan

Residents observe the South Water Street plans. Sheldon Traver

By Sheldon Traver

With the surge in community growth, South Water Street in Silverton has seen a significant increase in automotive, bike and pedestrian traffic during the past two decades.

Those who have trudged through the mud or found themselves biking too close to cars will see major improvements in 2020 as the Oregon Department of Transportation makes needed changes. On March 22, Melissa Sutkowski, a project manager with ODOT, and Christian Saxe, Silverton’s public works director, held a community open house to show residents the preliminary plan and answer questions.

Mr. SHS: Fox fundraisers under way

April 2017 Posted in Other | Comments Off on Mr. SHS: Fox fundraisers under way

Mr. SHS 01 (from school)By Sheldon Traver

When Dakota Parmley looked up at a replica of a 25-foot tsunami wave at Medical Teams International headquarters on March 1, he was awed at its size and capacity for destruction.

When he learned the 2011 earthquake near Japan created a tsunami that was an estimated 90-feet high in some areas and destroyed entire cities, he knew why he had to raise as much money as he could so the non-profit could fulfill its mission.

Music lessons: Sharing a passion

April 2017 Posted in Community, Music & Band | Comments Off on Music lessons: Sharing a passion
Nick Champeau and Corey Christensen jamming in the Soundstream studio. (8)

Instructor Nick Champeau and owner Corey Christensen of Soundstream.

By Melissa Wagoner

It’s never too late to learn a musical instrument, according to Nick Champeau, an instructor with Soundstream in Silverton.“I think that any time is a good time to start,” Champeau said. “Whether they’re six or 60, no matter what level, there’s always something you can start with.”

Champeau, along with fellow instructor Grant Burleigh and owner Corey Christensen, make up the Soundstream team. Offering guitar, drum, ukulele, banjo, piano and mandolin, Soundstream is a hub for everyone from beginners to those who have been playing a while.

Drop in: Daycare options expand

April 2017 Posted in Community, Other | Comments Off on Drop in: Daycare options expand

By Melissa Wagoner

“Finding a balance of what works best for each child and remembering each child is an individual,” is the goal at Circle of Friends Daycare according to Marcus Clark who, together with wife Jennifer Clark, owns and runs the business.

The Clarks opened Circle of Friends in 2008 when they had their third child.

“We decided to make a change,” Jennifer explained. “Previously we were commuters to Portland.”

Circle of Friends, which started out with just 10 children, has expanded twice in the past nine years. Recently it has grown again and taken up residence across the street from the Silver Falls Library, quadrupling the square footage and adding a preschool program weekday mornings.

SACA: Sarah DeSantis steps up to lead

April 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on SACA: Sarah DeSantis steps up to lead
SACA’s new executive director Sarah DeSantis.

SACA’s new executive director Sarah DeSantis.

By Sheldon Traver

Silverton resident Sarah DeSantis has personally seen what living in poverty means for many Silverton area residents.

She started volunteering for Silverton Area Community Aid two years ago and was on the front lines of helping people get the food they needed. Last year she was appointed to its board of directors. On April 5, she will begin work as the executive director of the non-profit.

DeSantis has a background in social services. She previously served as a child case worker for the Oregon Department of Human Services. She also worked as an advocate for a non-profit helping survivors of sexual assault.

Silver Falls State Park: Many opportunities for volunteers

April 2017 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Silver Falls State Park: Many opportunities for volunteers
Earl; portrait (2)

Earl McCollum is a long-time volunteer at Sikver Falls State Park

By Mary Owen

When visiting the South Falls Nature Store at Silver Falls State Park, be sure to stop and smell the flowers.

Placed on the table by the front entrance, the ever-changing, fresh bouquets of spring flowers come from the backyard of Earl McCollum, who has been volunteering at the store since 2005.

“A volunteer at the Nature Store talked to me about how great it was to volunteer there,” said McCollum, who trained as an agriculture teacher and worked at a community college for 22 years.

Judy’s Party: Nonprofits get grants

April 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Judy’s Party: Nonprofits get grants

Judy’s Party is a party with a purpose: make projects possible for nonprofits in Silverton and Mount Angel.

Started three years ago as a way to honor the late Judy Schmidt for her dedication to her community, Judy’s Party is staged by the Silverton Chamber of Commerce and other nonprofit organizations. An advocate for many nonprofit organizations and the director of volunteer and community services for Silverton Health, Judy passed away on Oct. 1, 2014.

To honor her memory and to inspire others to volunteer, her friends and family started the annual event. Last year guests spent an evening of dancing, enjoying tasty local food and bidding on auction items, raising $12,320 to donate to local nonprofits.

A warm thank you: Gregg’s service honored

April 2017 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on A warm thank you: Gregg’s service honored
IMG_4367 (2)

Art Gregg is flanked by step-son, Jim Ewers, and daughter, Ann Snelling, at his “Quilts of Valor Foundation” presentation ceremony.

By Nancy Jennings

Silverton resident and WWII veteran, Art Gregg, 98, received a one-of-a-kind “thank you” gift on a recent drizzly March afternoon. A quilt. But it wasn’t just any quilt. The Oregon Chapter of the Quilts of Valor (QOV) Foundation awarded him a handmade quilt to recognize and honor his military service.

The mission statement of the QOV Foundation is to “cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts.”

Smile wide: Pediatric dentist focuses on giving patients a good start

April 2017 Posted in Business, Community | Comments Off on Smile wide: Pediatric dentist focuses on giving patients a good start

Doctor Tim Richardson looking after patient Lily Hakett, 6.By Melissa Wagoner

Tim Richardson didn’t set out to be a dentist.
“I thought mouths were disgusting,” he laughed.

All of that changed when, as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University, he took a friend’s advice and shadowed a dentist.“Seeing it from a dentist’s perspective totally changed my view,” he said.

Later, in the school of dentistry at the University of Washington, another job shadow, this time with a pediatric dentist, changed his course again.

“I get to goof off all day,” he explained.

This “goofing off” is part of what makes pediatric dentistry different.

Gear Up: Silverton natives serve up traditional treats, new favorites

April 2017 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Gear Up: Silverton natives serve up traditional treats, new favorites

Annie n Dan SchacherBy Nancy Jennings

There is something to be said for the tried and true. Grandma’s preserves. Hot dogs at baseball games. Movie theater popcorn. One can add Joy Hoge’s cinnamon buns at Gear Up Espresso to the list.

Her fresh-baked cinnamon buns have the distinction of being the centerpiece pastry at Gear Up for years.

“I knew we had to bring Joy’s cinnamon buns back,” new owner Dan Schächer said.

“Joy founded ‘Gear Up’ in 2003. You would basically rush down here on Saturday mornings in order to get one,” Dan recalled.

College update: Gengler finishes strong at PSU

April 2017 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on College update: Gengler finishes strong at PSU

James DayFormer Silverton High standout Zach Gengler played his way into the record books during his four-year career at Portland State.

Gengler, a 6-2, 175-pound senior, played 114 games for the Vikings, third on the all-time list. His steals mark of 120 also is third all time and he finished fifth in free throw percentage at 83.1 percent. Amazingly, he committed just 96 turnovers in those 114 games.

In his senior season Gengler started all 31 games and averaged a career-high 8.9 points for the 15-16 Vikings. He led the squad in steals (52) and free-throw percentage (85.7 percent), finishing seventh in the Big Sky Conference in steals.

A life changer: Sweet, sweet music memories

April 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Music & Band | Comments Off on A life changer: Sweet, sweet music memories

I remember the day that changed my life. carl-sampson

I was in ninth grade and a friend and I got tickets to a concert. It wasn’t just any concert. Gladys Knight and the Pips and the Temptations were the featured acts. By the time they got through their playlists – think of most of the greatest Motown songs of all time – it was as though a switch in my head had been turned on.

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
DSC_0464

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
DSC01231

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.