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.

To be counted: Silverton Homeless Connect event reaches out

February 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on To be counted: Silverton Homeless Connect event reaches out

Volunteer Karolle Hughes engages with an attendee at Silverton Homeless Connect. Peggy Savage

By Peggy Savage

For years, homeless advocate Karolle Hughes has set aside Jan. 31 as a day to count homeless residents in the rural areas around Silverton. It’s called a one-day point-in-time count, part of a nationwide effort to find out how many people in the area are experiencing homelessness.

“When you get into the rural communities, the homeless are invisible,” she said. “In the larger cities, you can see the homeless everywhere, but you don’t in small towns.”

Green Acres: Farm as sanctuary

February 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Green Acres: Farm as sanctuary
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Tina Crow brushes a very pampered Cupcake. Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

Buford was the first of his kind to set his hooves onto Green Acres Farm Sanctuary. The abandoned white goat arrived at the 28-acre Silverton sanctuary before it officially opened in June 2011.

“His owners sold their house and moved away. The new owners came and didn’t bargain for a goat,” President/Co-Founder Tina Crow explained.

“A lot of farm animals are left behind in that way – or dumped to fend for themselves.” Now a “senior,” Buford is living out his golden years in peace with a menagerie of other animals, including chickens, turkeys, ducks, cows, horses, one goose, sheep and one donkey.

HeartLight: Finding who you are

February 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on HeartLight: Finding who you are
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Author Amy Gigena. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

Author Amy Gigena did not set out to write an inspirational book on living an authentic life but through a happy accident that is exactly what she did.

“I think the private side of me kind of busted out and into the world,” she said.

A certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Gigena was working on a healthy eating guide for busy parents when she unintentionally sent the wrong file to her editor.

Natural continuity: Oak Street Church founder hands reins to successor

February 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Natural continuity: Oak Street Church founder hands reins to successor
Breck Wilson retires (1)

John Friedrick, left, has taken over the role of pastor at Oak Street Church from its founder, Breck Wilson. Brenna Wiegand

By Brenna Wiegand

Breck Wilson, Silverton’s longest-running pastor, retired Jan. 1 after shepherding Oak Street Church for 40 years. John Friedrick is the church’s new pastor.

Wilson made his way from Northern California to Alaska, part of the Evangelical Christian ‘Jesus Movement’ of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“At that time there were a lot of people hitchhiking and wandering; welcoming them was largely what our early days were about,” Wilson said.

An Oregon original: Silverton Poetry Festival brings words to life

February 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on An Oregon original: Silverton Poetry Festival brings words to life
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18th Annual Silverton Poetry Festival Feb. 23-25, 2018 Sponsored by Silverton Poetry Association. All events are free unless otherwise noted in Schedule of Events. For info: www.silvertonpoetry.net email: spa.poetry@gmail.com call: 503-269-7895

By Brenna Wiegand

Steve Slemenda’s love of poetry reached a fever pitch 18 years ago when he traveled to the East Coast for the Dodge Poetry Festival. He was on Sabbatical from his job teaching English at Chemeketa Community College in Salem.

“I went back to this wonderful, big poetry festival held every two years in New Jersey,” Slemenda said. “It was everybody – the big names, the little people and everything in between; a festival of poetry.

Kennedy girls dominate: Take 24 -1 record, top ranking into playoffs

February 2018 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on Kennedy girls dominate: Take 24 -1 record, top ranking into playoffs

James DayThe Kennedy High girls basketball is riding a 19-game winning streak into the playoffs. The 24-1 Trojans finished a perfect 12-0 in the Tri-River Conference and are ranked No. 1 in Class 2A,
with their lone loss against Class 3A power Dayton.

Kennedy co-coach Peter Hall told Our Town that the run has been fueled by a combination of work in the paint, work on defense and work on outside shooting.

“We have been very dominant on points in the paint, rebounding and controlling our possessions by limiting turnovers,” he said. “Our defense is tenacious. We go 100 percent and try to play clean and fast, challenging teams at every pass.”

A click-bait world: You won’t believe what happens next

February 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on A click-bait world: You won’t believe what happens next

Dixon CMYK 2016These are different times.
Depending upon whom we ask, social media is a God-send or the root of all evil. Good news and bad news, and even “fake news” can spread like wild-fire. My preference is “good news.”  I can handle bad news and readily identify “fake news” as easily as a 2-mph curve ball coming at me in the batter’s box.

World of involvement: Silverton 2017 First Citizen Award goes to Andy Bellando

January 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on World of involvement: Silverton 2017 First Citizen Award goes to Andy Bellando

Andy Bellando-First Citizen 2017By Brenna Wiegand

Andy Bellando will be recognized as Silverton’s 2017 First Citizen at Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce’s 47th Annual First Citizen Banquet Feb. 3.

The Chamber of Commerce hosts the banquet as a time to recognize citizens and businesses working to make Silverton a better place. Bellando has been singled out for his contributions to Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce, Silverton Rotary Club and Silverton Area Community Aid (SACA).

“It’s a great honor; I’m very surprised,” Bellando said.

Bellando is Superintendent of Silver Falls School District. He and Rhonda have three grown children; Amanda, Jeron and Tyler, and a granddaughter, Elizabeth, three-years-old.

Mentoring youth: Sue Roessler receives Distinguished Service Award

January 2018 Posted in Other | Comments Off on Mentoring youth: Sue Roessler receives Distinguished Service Award
Sue Roessler, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award (3)

2017 Distinguished Service Award recipient Sue Roessler.

By Melissa Wagoner

Thirty three years ago Sue Roessler wasn’t too sure about moving from her hometown of Salem to tiny Silverton, but her husband Craig, who was principal of Silverton High School at the time, managed to convince her. She has never looked back.

“I remember him saying, ‘We need to live in the community. Principals live in the community,’” Roessler said. “I’m a Salem girl and there were 5,200 people here. Now I love Silverton.”

Bowling us over: Bob Holowati to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

January 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Bowling us over: Bob Holowati to receive Lifetime Achievement Award
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Bob Holowati Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

By Nancy Jennings

If you’re a bowler, you will want Bob Holowati on your team. His love for the sport began when he was a freshman in high school. The Silverton resident has bowled three perfect 300 games during his league nights – so far. The  recipient of the 2017 “Judy Schmidt Lifetime Achievement” award from the Silverton Chamber of Commerce, Holowati is soft spoken about his nomination.

“I was surprised. It’s an honor,” he said. Silverton’s 47th Annual First Citizens Banquet will take place Sat., Feb. 3, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Oregon Garden Pavilion.

Stellar service: Silverton 2017 Business of the Year, Les Schwab Tire Center

January 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Stellar service: Silverton 2017 Business of the Year, Les Schwab Tire Center

Silverton Les Schwab Tire Center crew (4)By Melissa Wagoner
Watching the team at Les Schwab Tire Center in Silverton greet customers, often as soon as they exit their vehicle in the parking lot, it is easy to see why they are the recipients of the 2017 Business of the Year Award presented by the Silverton Chamber of Commerce.

“I’d say it’s our belief in world-class customer service – every day, every customer – going above and beyond,” Store Manager Jeremy McCart said.

Although the level of customer service definitely sets Les Schwab Tire Center apart, it is their dedication to the community that has made the biggest impact.

Building on a good thing: New director joins Silver Falls Library

January 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Building on a good thing: New director joins Silver Falls Library
Christy Davis, the new director of the Silver Falls Library (4)

Silver Falls Library Director Christy Davis

By Melissa Wagoner

Once she set her sights on moving to Silverton everything just fell into place for Christy Davis, the new Silver Falls Library Director.

“I hesitate to use the word magical – but it was pretty great,” she said.

Davis, who has nurtured a love for libraries since her childhood days in Bloomington, Indiana., had been working for the Klamath County Library for 22 years.

New skills: Kennedy students hope to sell garden shed at Wurstfest

January 2018 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on New skills: Kennedy students hope to sell garden shed at Wurstfest
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JFK students building their first garden shed, which they hope will be sold during the Mount Angel Wurstfest Feb. 9-10 at the Festehalle in Mount Angel. Proceeds will be used for materials for their next project. Steve Ritchie

By Steve Ritchie

In a time when some industries are having challenges recruiting workers, Kennedy High School is taking steps to help its students gain practical skills and get an introduction to a variety of career areas.

Finding ‘the one’: Couples recount their online dating experiences

January 2018 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Finding ‘the one’: Couples recount their online dating experiences

By Melissa WagonerChloe DeVito and husband Keegan McGarva who met online. (5)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air – or on the computer screen – as more couples find each other online.

“I think generally it is becoming more popular,” Chloe DeVito, who met her husband Keegan McGarva on the site OkCupid, said. “Possibly because people’s friends have had success or are trying it out and they want to as well.”

Meeting “the one” can be difficult for anyone but DeVito found it especially difficult in her hometown of Silverton.

Hoops dynamos: Both Foxes squads, JFK girls, unbeaten in league

January 2018 Posted in Community, School, Sports | Comments Off on Hoops dynamos: Both Foxes squads, JFK girls, unbeaten in league

James DayAs the Mid-Willamette Conference basketball season heads toward the midway mark both Silverton squads have roared to 5-0 starts in dominating fashion.

The boys squad, in its first year under coach Jamie McCarty, is outscoring league opponents by an average of 72-46 per game. The boys were 13-1 and ranked No. 1 in Class 5A by the OSAA at Our Town’s presstime. The lone loss was to San Diego area power Mater Dei in the semifinals of the Capitol City Classic at Willamette University in Salem.

A playwright’s odyssey

January 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on A playwright’s odyssey

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 3.36.05 PMBy James Day

Sometimes the long and winding road leads back home. And a poem posted by a fourth-grader on a bulletin board in a Monitor School classroom can lead to a world premiere play in Portland.

That’s the journey E.M. Lewis has been on – and continues to take.

Lewis moved back to Monitor three years ago after spending most of the previous decade in Los Angeles… and New York and New Jersey and Kansas and Illinois and Ashland. That can be the life of a playwright as well as other theater artists. A fellowship here. A residency there. Training in New York City. And always writing, always writing.

Master jugglers: Family owns two downtown Silverton business favorites

January 2018 Posted in Business, Community, People | Comments Off on Master jugglers: Family owns two downtown Silverton business favorites
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Kim Knox and her daughter, Audrie. Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

February is looking to be a busy month for Kim Knox

The owner of Whimsy Etc. since November 2017, the former instructional assistant in Special Education for the Molalla River School District, is excited for its “Grand Re-Opening” on Feb. 2.

She is looking forward to greeting customers on Silverton’s February First Friday and having them check out the sale items and notice the changes in merchandise.

“We just got back from a tradeshow and we have lots of new stuff coming in,” she said, including a mix-and-match clothing line and a year-round Christmas decoration corner.

Ode to YouTube…or should that be ‘owed’?

January 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Ode to YouTube…or should that be ‘owed’?

carl-sampsonReaders of this column will recall that I believe the internet will destroy civilization as we know it. It draws out the dark side of people and provides a voice for every wing nut in the universe, including those that we have elected to public office. In the not-so-distant future, the internet will turn society into a “Hunger Games” of snarky comments and uninformed “opinions.”

Well, I was wrong. There is an exception to the nonsense powered by Facebook, Instagram and all of the other anti-social media.

Cyber censure: School board asks White to resign over social media comments

January 2018 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on Cyber censure: School board asks White to resign over social media comments

By Paula Mabry

It’s a common axiom in the United States that everyone has a right to their own opinion. It’s even a given one has the right to express their opinion. But where, and how, there’s the rub.

For Silver Falls School District Board Member Todd White the where has been through social media channels. It’s the how that has – once again – gotten him into a position of public rebuke.

White, who was officially censured by the school board for his social media commentary in December 2016, was the focus of a new complaint in December 2017. There was a packed district conference room Jan. 8 to follow the complaint review to its resolution.

A bloomin’ gift: County offers plan to forgive Oregon Garden debt

January 2018 Posted in Other | Comments Off on A bloomin’ gift: County offers plan to forgive Oregon Garden debt

By Paula Mabry

The Oregon Garden Foundation and the City of Silverton have been offered a fiscal bouquet of debt forgiveness by Marion County. Think of it as a retroactive $6.1 million tourism grant out of  Oregon Lottery funds.

The proposal, if accepted by all parties, would free the foundation of indebtedness to the county, advance the city’s recovery of invested sewer fund dollars by decades, and remove the county from future obligations and responsibilities for the Oregon Garden.

Marion County Commissioner Sam Brentano, in presenting the proposal to the city council Jan. 8,  said those looking back on the history of Silverton will point to Jan. 8 as “a special night.”

Mini-opera debuts: Silverton composer’s Love Is Strong as Death at Abbey

January 2018 Posted in Community, Music & Band | Comments Off on Mini-opera debuts: Silverton composer’s Love Is Strong as Death at Abbey

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 9.31.45 AMBy James Day

Silverton composer Christopher Wicks will debut a new mini-opera with a pair of matinee performances next month at the Mount Angel Abbey.

Love Is Strong As Death was inspired by an English folk ballad, The Unquiet Grave. It performs at 2 p.m. Feb. 3 and Feb. 10.

“The action is mostly internal,” Wicks said, “a dream-like meditation on some difficult themes, with a closing impression of great fortitude and hope.”

Two sopranos, Aimee Amend and Alison Seeber, and baritone Bennett Bailey will perform the three-character piece, accompanied by pianist Debra Huddleston.

Awards announced: Andy Bellando named 2017 First Citizen

January 2018 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Awards announced: Andy Bellando named 2017 First Citizen

The Silverton Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2017 award winners.bellando first citizen

Silver Falls School District Superintendent Andy Bellando has been selected as 2017 Silverton First Citizen. He is being honored for his volunteer service to the chamber, as a member of Silverton Rotary, as a board member for Silverton Area Community Aid, and on city committees.

Bob Holowati will received the Judy Schmidt Lifetime Achievement award for his work with Kiwanis, Relay for Life, and volunteer support of the community’s festivals.

Sue Roessler will receive the Distinguished Service Award for her work on the After School Activities Program serving middle school youth.

Write on: Molalla author hosts writer’s workshop at Silverton Senior Center

January 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on Write on: Molalla author hosts writer’s workshop at Silverton Senior Center

IMG_0143By Nancy Jennings

Calling all aspiring writers age 50+,
mark your calendars!

Thursday, Jan. 18, kicks off a fun and detailed Writer’s Workshop at Silverton’s Senior Center. Free to members and $2 per class to non-members, the workshop will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. each third Thursday of the month. Presenter L. Lee Shaw is the recent winner of the Library Journal’s 2017 Indie E-book Award for her book, Aging Out.

Move along: Nothing to see here

January 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Move along: Nothing to see here

Man About TownNow that the City of Silverton has re-purchased the Pettit property south of town, you will soon have the opportunity to rent the house for your very own. Just be aware that the decor is a little “dated”…. Which will be perfect for when you’re on the deck overlooking the lake blastin’ disco hits from the ‘70s…

Alles Gute zum Gebertstag to the King and Queen
of Bavaria, Jerry and Connie Lauzon… may we all be as spry and effervescent when we reach achtzig….

Wrestling update: Foxes have star power, JFK starts from scratch

January 2018 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on Wrestling update: Foxes have star power, JFK starts from scratch

James DayAs the new year begins and the competition gets stiffer the Silverton High wrestling team seems locked and loaded for a strong season.

The Foxes feature returning state champion
Kaden Kuenzi, who is just a sophomore, senior silv-kuenzi-mug
Jacob Whitehead, a state runner-up a year ago and sophomore Matthew Guenther who placed sixth at state in 2017. The Foxes also return junior Madison Shockley, who took third at 113 pounds in the state girls competition.

Kuenzi, Whitehead and Guenther all took first in their weight classes at the Dec. 30 Carey Larson Memorial Tournament at Sandy High.