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.

Life with purpose: Mom writes book about raising special needs daughter

October 2017 Posted in Community, Other, People | Comments Off on Life with purpose: Mom writes book about raising special needs daughter

DSC_0002By Kristine Thomas

Silverton resident Lindsey Atwell refers to her mother’s book about her life as “the good, the bad and the ugly.”

“The ugly is my ex-boyfriends, the bad is what happened with my marriage and my ex-boyfriends,” Lindsey said, “and the good is my family. My mom and my dad do so much to take care of me and they are very helpful. I don’t say it enough but I appreciate everything they do. I just sometimes show it in a different way.”

Hearing those words brings joy to Silverton author Linda Atwell. It’s another moment to celebrate and cherish amongst the other times of worry and concern.

Opportunity: Transition program seeks volunteers

October 2017 Posted in Community, Other, School | Comments Off on Opportunity: Transition program seeks volunteers

By Melissa Wagoner

Michiel Nankman knows what it’s like to struggle in social situations. Originally from the Netherlands, the shift to life in the United States has often felt overwhelming.

“When I came to the US I was like, ‘I don’t know how to do any of these things,’” he remembered. “I still feel that way sometimes. I go to a restaurant and I’m still overwhelmed by the choices.”

These struggles, although difficult, have helped Nankman relate to the students he teaches in Silverton High School’s Transition Program, a branch of the special education department. These students are unique in that they range in age from 18 to 21 and have already graduated with an individualized education plan (IEP) and something other than a general diploma.

Engelberg greetings: Swiss Abbot makes history at Oktoberfest

October 2017 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on Engelberg greetings: Swiss Abbot makes history at Oktoberfest

DSC_8452By Steve Ritchie

A moment of history was made at the 2017 Mount Angel Oktoberfest.

It took place at a few minutes past
7 p.m. on Saturday, in a very lively Weingarten that was packed to the rafters. Oktoberfest President Chris Bischoff introduced Abbot Christian Meyer, OSB, from Kloster Engelberg, a Benedictine monastery in Switzerland, to an appreciative audience.

It was the first time in the 52-year history of Oktoberfest that the festival was graced with a visit from the leader of the nearly 900-year-old Swiss religious community which founded Mount Angel Abbey through the efforts of Fr. Adelheim Odermatt, and inspired the city’s name change from Fillmore to Mount Angel.

Sweet Tea Restorations: Creativity flows freely in family business

October 2017 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Business | Comments Off on Sweet Tea Restorations: Creativity flows freely in family business

By Nancy JenningsIMG_5349 (2)

Nikki and Caytlan McIntire make in-law relationships look easy. The mother-in-law / daughter-in-law duo started “Sweet Tea Restorations,” their home-based business in 2016.

Nikki, 48, first met Caytlan, 24, working in the attendance office at Silverton High School. Caytlan was a student there. Now she has been married for over one year to Mitchell, one of Nikki and Jim McIntire’s three sons – who was a year ahead of her at SHS.

Specializing in vintage-style furniture and knick knacks, Nikki credits HGTV’s Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines as a creative influence. The name of their business came easily. “We were working in the garage one day and the name just popped up. I love sweet tea,” Nikki said.

One size fits all: Shoeboxes full of supplies benefit children around the world

October 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on One size fits all: Shoeboxes full of supplies benefit children around the world

IMG_5379By Nancy Jennings

Instead of receiving gifts to celebrate her milestone 50th birthday last year, Christine Schneider wanted to give gifts to the less fortunate. The Silverton resident, along with her husband Carl and four children, planned a party with family and friends to fulfill her wish.

Thirty guests arrived bearing items to donate to a cause close to her heart – the Samaritan’s Purse. The National Christian Foundation, founded in 1970 by Rev. Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, helps impoverished children from different countries receive gift-wrapped shoeboxes filled with school and personal hygiene supplies. The Schneiders and their children have been involved in the project for seven years.

Focusing on moms’ needs: Fitness instructor, online nutrition coach customizes programs

October 2017 Posted in Business, Community, Food & Drink, Your Health | Comments Off on Focusing on moms’ needs: Fitness instructor, online nutrition coach customizes programs

bootybarreBy Melissa Wagoner

“If there was the perfect way to eat there would be one book,” nutrition and exercise coach Rita Horter said.

Instead there is an entire industry devoted to the subject which, she admits, can be confusing to those looking to eat better and become healthier.

Horter, who grew up in Silverton, said she is a lifelong sugar addict and fitness enthusiast but in 2014 she realized even her daily exercise regimen wasn’t keeping her healthy.

“You can’t out-exercise a poor diet,” she explained. “I was basically trying to out exercise my fork.”

Fox football No. 1 in state: Enters toughest part of season 4-0

October 2017 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on Fox football No. 1 in state: Enters toughest part of season 4-0

James DaySilverton won its first two Mid-Willamette Conference football games and has moved to No. 1 in Class 5A in the OSAA’s rankings.

The Foxes still have a long way to go with a stiff challenge at No. 3 Crescent Valley taking place after Our Town’s presstime (see the Our Town Facebook page for a report on the game).

On Sept. 22 the Foxes scored an improbable 31-30 win against defending state champion Lebanon. Silverton jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but the Warriors rallied for 22 consecutive points to lead 22-17. Lebanon led 30-25 in the fourth quarter and appeared to be on the verge of another TD when Foxes defensive back Colton Meyer intercepted a pass near the goal line and ran it back to the 45.

Human kindness: Something special is in our genes

October 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Human kindness: Something special is in our genes

carl-sampsonIt was 16 cents, but what it meant to me was worth a lot more.

I was at the convenience store the other day, buying a pint – of 2 percent milk, that is. I buy milk almost every day to have with lunch.

When the cashier asked for $1.39 I came up short. I was sure I had the exact change but when I pawed through my pockets I came up 16 cents short.

Before I could reach into my wallet to grab out a dollar bill, a man standing behind me reached forward with his own dollar. “Take it out of this,” he said.

Renovated, ready: Volunteers improve Scotts Mills Community Center

May 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Renovated, ready: Volunteers improve Scotts Mills Community Center

IMG_4563 (2)By Nancy Jennings

Thanks to a Marion County Grant of nearly $23,000 and over a dozen community volunteers, the Scotts Mills Community Center has been renovated. The original paint and wallpaper shop, which was modified into a house in the mid-80s and then converted to the community center, was officially completed and reopened on April 4.

A variety of players were responsible for this effort coming together. Silverton Architect Michael Wellman donated his professional assistance at the drafting table. Withers Lumber, Lone Pine Septic, Republic Services and Abiqua Roofing supplied the needed building materials through donations or by generously reducing prices.

TeleBaby: New technology provides a life-saving link to neonatal experts

May 2017 Posted in Community, Your Health | Comments Off on TeleBaby: New technology provides a life-saving link to neonatal experts

By Kristine Thomas

Lori Neufeld and Erica Young both said things might have turned out dramatically different after their delivery of their children if it weren’t for a machine that was recently installed at the Family Birth Center at Legacy Silverton Medical Center.

Lori and Erica are grateful for TeleBaby along with the medical staff at the Family Birth Center at Legacy Silverton Medical Center. Calling TeleBaby a lifesaver, they believe it made a huge difference helping things go right when things were going frightfully wrong.

New leadership

May 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on New leadership

Sister Joella Kidwell and Sister Jane Hibbard.Sister Jane Hibbard was installed as the Pastoral Administrator of Queen of Angels Monastery, in Mount Angel, on March 31. Sister Joella Kidwell, President of the Federation of St. Gertrude, presided at the blessing and installation. The Federation of St. Gertrude is a congregation of 12 monasteries across the United States and Canada. Queen of Angels Monastery has been a member of the federation since 1952.

Sister Jane is a Sister of the Holy Names, with years of administration in elementary schools and religious community leadership. Her appointment is continuing the reorganization of the Benedictine Sisters’ monastery, to meet the current and future needs of the Sisters. Sister Jane will particularly assist the community in the areas of the sisters’ health care and daily living needs.

Women’s care expands

May 2017 Posted in Community, Your Health | Comments Off on Women’s care expands

The newest member of the obstetrical and gynecological care at Legacy Medical Group is Dr. Rachael Rayburn, D.O.

The practice has grown to include four OB-GYN physicians, one gynecologist, one nurse practitioner, and six certified nurse midwives seeing patients in Silverton, Salem and Woodburn.

The OB-GYN’s are all surgeons and have expertise in fertility, gynecological procedures, tubal ligation, hysterectomies, and more.

The nurse practitioner is a certified midwife as well, but has changed her focus to women’s health.

The midwife-attended deliveries support the natural process of labor and are ideally for healthy, low-risk pregnancies.

All stars: A newspaper lovers’ guide to columnists

May 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on All stars: A newspaper lovers’ guide to columnists

Carl Sampson

God, I love newspapers. Not the faint whispers of journalism you see stumbling along these days, but real, robust newspapers packed full of insightful and important things that I need to know. I’m talking about The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The best, I think, is The Wall Street Journal.

It gives me a broad view of what’s going on not only in the U.S. but around the world. Its reporting is, by my lights, fair and comprehensive. You will not find “fake” news – whatever that is – in it.

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.