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.

Uncertain times: Somos Hispanas Unidas helps immigrants cope

February 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Uncertain times: Somos Hispanas Unidas helps immigrants cope
Fernando and Susannah Ghio and their assistant Remedios Ortiz

Fernando and Susannah Ghio and their assistant Remedios Ortiz

By Steve Ritchie

The uncertainty about U.S. immigration and deportation policies has Fernando and Susannah Ghio working overtime to provide legal assistance to their clients at Somos Hispanas Unidas, 512 N. First St., Silverton.

The Ghios work with local residents and families who need help with their immigration status.

When asked how many people receive help at Somos Hispanas Unidas, the couple looked at each other and chuckled, as if they couldn’t believe the answer.

Rates go up: July 1 increase approved for street fees, water bills

February 2017 Posted in Community, News | Comments Off on Rates go up: July 1 increase approved for street fees, water bills

By Kristine Thomas

Silverton Public Works Director Christian Saxe had concerns about asking the council to raise utility rates.

“As a public servant, you want to avoid raising rates whenever possible,” he said.

However, he faced a choice – raise street, stormwater and water rates or watch those utilities continue to decline. When preparing the 2017-18 budget, Saxe knew increases were needed to meet the demand for infrastructure projects.

“The city’s stormwater, streets and water treatment facility have degraded or aged to a level where major work needs to occur,” Saxe said.

For the joy: Silverton Unified Basketball brings amazing spirit to the court

February 2017 Posted in Community, Sports | Comments Off on For the joy: Silverton Unified Basketball brings amazing spirit to the court
Above: The 2017 Unified Foxes Basketball team. SHS Unified Foxes players in action: left, Mehey Kraskov; right, Jhonathan Shackelford; and far right, Marco Garcia-Ramirez.

The 2017 Unified Foxes Basketball team. SHS Unified Foxes players in action: left, Mehey Kraskov; right, Jhonathan Shackelford; and far right, Marco Garcia-Ramirez.

By Kristine Thomas

The score doesn’t begin to tell the story of Silverton High School’s Unified Foxes basketball team’s first game.

If points were given for smiles, enthusiasm, sportsmanship, hive fives, hugs and the pure joy of being on the court, it would have been impossible to tally the scores for both Unified teams, which are a division of the Special Olympics.

‘Wurst’ time: Mount Angel Festhalle becomes celebration central Feb. 24-25

February 2017 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on ‘Wurst’ time: Mount Angel Festhalle becomes celebration central Feb. 24-25

The ninth annual Mount Angel Wurstfest is a last chance to eat, drink and be merry before Ash Wednesday, March 1, which for Christians is the start of the austere and holy season of Lent.

This year’s Wurstfest Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25 is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Mount Angel Festhalle, 500 S. Wilco Hwy., Mount Angel.

“Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce and the Wurstfest committee are excited to welcome our many visitors to Mount Angel to enjoy another outstanding Wurstfest and all the family-focused fun on offer,” Wurstfest committee chair Kathy Wall shared.

The man about town: Change is in the air

February 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on The man about town: Change is in the air

Man About TownIf your New Year’s resolutions included (besides losing 25 lbs. you gained since resolving to lose 25 lbs. last year) more reading, then the Silver Falls Library has you covered. Oh sure, you can always walk in and take a book home with you but that is soooo 2016….. Savvy page perusers go to silverfallslibrary.org, click on the “Library 2 Go” button, load one of the 1,000 titles onto your “device”and boom, you’re off and reading. When your time is done, the book will magically vanish, leaving you with no hard copy to find under that ever-growing mountain of  fastfood wrappers, no trip back to return it, and best of all, none of those pesky late fees you usually end up owing.

Swimming for glory: High turnout, energy, pay dividends for Foxes

February 2017 Posted in Community, School, Sports | Comments Off on Swimming for glory: High turnout, energy, pay dividends for Foxes

James DayOn a Tuesday night in February, the Silverton Community Pool was so full of kids one would think it was a family night in July.

About 80 athletes were pounding through the water as the Silverton High teams prepared for district competition.

There is a new surge of momentum for Foxes swimming program.

Silverton’s boys and girls teams took third in the Mid-Willamette Conference last season and second-year head Coach Lucky Rogers thinks the teams have a shot at taking second this year.silv-swim-rogers

How I see it: Please, don’t make excuses for bad behavior

February 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on How I see it: Please, don’t make excuses for bad behavior

DixonThis is a hard column to write because it represents things I care deeply about. Some people will agree with me, some won’t. Let me politely say, “I don’t care.”

God bless Vic Gilliam and his family. Red or blue, conservative or liberal, passionate or stoic, rural or urban. He is a good person who represented his House district and the majority of his constituents well. He is suffering greatly and holds his head up high. He ran for re-election in November, won, then resigned his seat because of the debilitating nature of his medical condition. He is a good man who does his best, listens well, works with all parties effectively, and is fair. Let’s say, “Thanks, Vic,” “Best Wishes,” and “Godspeed.”

A display of democracy: Women’s March participants share stories

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on A display of democracy: Women’s March participants share stories
Silverton resident Ann Altman and her sister, Eileen, attended the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

Silverton resident Ann Altman and her sister, Eileen, attended the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

By Kristine Thomas

Christine Chorazy joined the Women’s March in Portland to show her daughters and son that sometimes it is necessary to “go outside your comfort zone to stand up, and try and change something you cannot tolerate.”

Ann Altman traveled to the Women’s March in Washington D.C. to vocalize with others to the new president and his administration that an atmosphere of fear and hatred is not acceptable.

United in respect: Silverton High students visit D.C., attend inauguration

January 2017 Posted in School | Comments Off on United in respect: Silverton High students visit D.C., attend inauguration

By Kristine Thomas

Teacher Kirsten Barnes organized a trip to Washington D.C. for Silverton High students. They were able to attend the inauguration and visit historical sights. The students are standing before the inaugural stage in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Teacher Kirsten Barnes organized a trip to Washington D.C. for Silverton High students. They were able to attend the inauguration and visit historical sights. The students are standing before the inaugural stage in front of the U.S. Capitol.

They could easily have been divided by political parties, or political preferences, or by peer groups are at school.

Instead the 15 Silverton High School students who spent a week in Washington D.C. touring historical sights and attending the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump were united in celebrating “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” and seeing firsthand the history of their country.

Love life? Protect your heart

January 2017 Posted in Your Health | Comments Off on Love life? Protect your heart

By Kristine Thomas

Lisa Lyver and Jessica Keudell have heard too many stories of women who ignored the warning signs of a heart attack.

Lyver, a registered nurse, and Keudell, an exercise physiologist, both work for Legacy Silverton Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program in Woodburn.

Heart disease is preventable for both men and women, especially if they take some simple steps. February is American Heart Month with Feb. 3 being National Wear Red Day, to raise heart disease awareness.

Lyver said there are signs and symptoms people should pay attention to and then trust their instincts enough to seek help.

Live Local: Marketplace to feature locally made food, items in downtown location

January 2017 Posted in Community, Food & Drink, Other | Comments Off on Live Local: Marketplace to feature locally made food, items in downtown location

15055607_322414231478290_114395840589876793_nBy Melissa Wagoner

When asked where they are from, Josh and Elisha Nightingale look at each other and laugh. The couple has lived in many different places over the years but they agree that Silverton is finally home. Owners of Silver Creek Coffee House in downtown Silverton, Josh recently left his full-time career as a manager for Safeway to open another venture, Live Local Marketplace, in the empty retail space right next door to the coffee house. The Nightingales had recently joined the Silverton Food Co-op and that got them to thinking.

“How can we bring everything together and at the same time get something here locally,” Josh said.

Give your best: SHS senior Megan Mannion selected Future First Citizen

January 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, School | Comments Off on Give your best: SHS senior Megan Mannion selected Future First Citizen

IMG_5442By Kristine Thomas

Silverton High School senior Megan Mannion clearly followed the advice given to her by her parents, John and Inga Mannion.

Whether it’s competing on the volleyball court or softball field, organizing an event for the Associated Student Body, studying to keep a 4.0 grade point average or working at Roth’s Grocery Store, Megan said her parents taught her that she is a reflection of everything she does.

“They told all four of us kids that whatever we do, we need to do to the best of our ability. I pride myself on giving my best to everything I do,” Megan said.

Tournament standouts: Fox wrestlers go 4-1 in event

January 2017 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on Tournament standouts: Fox wrestlers go 4-1 in event

James DayThe Silverton High wrestling team turned in a strong performance Jan. 21 at the Colton Holly Memorial Tournament in Wilsonville. The Foxes finished with a 4-1 record and took third place. The win total includes victories against two Class 6A schools, No. 11 Cleveland and Beaverton.

“The wrestlers are really starting to come together as a team,” Coach Keegan Davis said. “Although we are giving up a few forfeits at the upper weights, our strength in the lower weights and through the tenacity of the guys stepping on the mat we have been able to compete.”

Body maintenance: My car gets a checkup, so why shouldn’t I?

January 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Body maintenance: My car gets a checkup, so why shouldn’t I?

carl-sampsonI try to take good care of my car. Every 3,000 miles or so I have the oil changed. I used to do it myself, but I find crawling under a car is less inviting as a I slip past the cool side of 60-something.

So I take the car and my wife’s to the dealer, whose experts change the oil and scout other oddities that need fixing. Taking good care of our cars has paid off in a big way. Nearly every car we’ve owned since we got married has lasted 200,000 or more miles. A couple lasted more than 300,000 miles and are still rolling.

Cindy Jones: Silverton’s first citizen for 2016

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Cindy Jones: Silverton’s first citizen for 2016
Cindy Jones

Cindy Jones

By Kristine Thomas

If you want to know something about Silverton resident Cindy Jones, the best bet is to ask her anyone but her. Or you could attend an event such as Homer Davenport Days, a Rotary event or the ASAP concert to witness her eagerly lending a hand.
Laughing, Cindy admits she doesn’t like to talk about herself. Luckily, a few of her many friends are more than happy to share why Cindy Jones was named the 2016 Silverton Chamber of Commerce First Citizen.

Norm English: Silverton’s distinguished service award winner

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Norm English: Silverton’s distinguished service award winner
Norm English

Norm English

By Nancy Jennings

Norm English likes wearing different hats during his strolls in town. One can say he has been hanging his hats on many community projects over the years. Born and raised in Silverton, English, 72, is delighted to receive this year’s “Distinguished Service Award.”

His volunteer community service projects include eight years at SACA, three years as Congregational President at Trinity Lutheran Church and four years as president of the Silverton Mural Society. He was appointed by the mayor to be a member of Silverton’s Historic Landmarks Commission and served nearly three years. He was a member of Silverton’s Tourism Promotion Committee for nearly three years and helped disperse grants to various organizations. He was president at the Silverton Country Historical Society (SCHS) for four years.

Mason Branstetter: Judy Schmidt lifetime achievement award

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Mason Branstetter: Judy Schmidt lifetime achievement award
Mason Branstetter

Mason Branstetter

By Steve Ritchie

In 1996, the Silverton High School Alumni Association decided to award its first scholarship. Association founder and longtime secretary Mason Branstetter, SHS ‘63, recalled it was a quite humble beginning.

“Given the fact that we only had $900, we thought that we could only give out $50,” Branstetter said.  “We established a policy of putting our emphasis on growing the principal and giving out only earnings as scholarships. I was embarrassed with the $50 amount, so I added a matching donation so that our first scholarship in 1996 was $100.”

Harcourts NW Oregon Realty Group: Business of the year

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Harcourts NW Oregon Realty Group: Business of the year
Harcoarts Realty Group

Harcoarts NW Oregon Realty Group

By Kristine Thomas

For Connie Hinsdale, it’s all about how you treat people.
And if you treat them with respect, kindness and support, they in turn will do the same.

While the name on the outside of the business may have changed a few times over the years, Hinsdale’s dedication to having her agents work as a team, giving back to the community and being leaders in their industry has remained constant.

For it’s contributions to the community, Harcourts NW Oregon Realty Group was chosen as Silverton Business of the Year for 2016 by the Silverton Chamber of Commerce.

School closure impacts: Boards review plans to make-up lost days

January 2017 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on School closure impacts: Boards review plans to make-up lost days

By Kristine Thomas

If Mother Nature decides to cooperate and quit having cold flashes that bring below freezing temperatures, snow and ice, the last day of school for the students in the Silver Falls School District still will be June 14. For students in the Mount Angel School District it looks like it will be June 15.

With four days of school closures due to winter weather, both districts have made plans for how to compensate for lost school days.

Pacific Northwest champs: Pop Warner football team takes title

January 2017 Posted in Community, Sports | Comments Off on Pacific Northwest champs: Pop Warner football team takes title

James DayFor the first time in its eight-year history, the Silverton Pop Warner football program has produced a regional champion. The Future Foxes’ pee wee squad, which consists mainly of sixth- and seventh-graders, traveled to Washington state to beat the Spokane Highlanders, 26-13, in the Nov. 13 regional semifinals, then thumped the South Valley Grizzlies of San Jose, Calif., 25-6 in the Pacific Northwest championship on Nov. 20.

The squad had an opportunity to move on to Florida for further competition, but the fundraising challenge of arranging for a traveling party of 30 players and coaches and 10 cheerleaders proved too great.pwarner-2

Time is now: Budget crisis loom

January 2017 Posted in Community, Other | Comments Off on Time is now: Budget crisis loom

Is the Ways & Means Legislative Committee responsible for using honest methods for balanced budgeting?

Or is it finding “ways” to avoid our impending tsunami wave of debt by making someone else pay the bill through “mean” political skulduggery? I’ve observed both in the Oregon Legislature but never served on “Ways & Means” until now.

I confess, I was a high-school “math avoider.” This allowed academic credits plus a paycheck as a Sears clerk, thus avoiding classes like algebra.

A few thoughts: Good work, hard work and a new baby

January 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on A few thoughts: Good work, hard work and a new baby

DixonIt does my heart good to see anybody but especially young people step out of their comfort zone to help others, selflessly, compassionately and without the need for accolades.  

Ismael Caudle, Mateo Miller and Rieve Randall are three Silverton Cub Scout Troup 113 Webelo 2 pack boys who saw a need to help kids less fortunate through a wonderful program called “Lydia’s Love,” a nonprofit that celebrated its fifth anniversary at the Carousal at River Front Park in Salem. Lydia’s Love is a program inspired by two children who passed away much too soon and provides birthday celebrations for homeless and underprivileged children. They do parties every two months at a shelter, and shortly before each event, post the ages of the birthday children, what their interests are, and a few things on their wish list.

Out of the cold:Volunteers open warming center for homeless in Silverton

January 2017 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Out of the cold:Volunteers open warming center for homeless in Silverton

By Kristine Thomas

Weather forecasts predicting below freezing temperatures for a week sparked a conversation on Saturday. Further discussions took place Sunday. A meeting and a request for assistance took place on Monday. By Tuesday, a warming shelter opened for homeless people in Silverton.

“It’s been a scrabble to pull it together but we did it because the need is there,” Sarah White said.

Determined and spurred by an obligation to serve the homeless, Silverton residents Jaime Fuhrman, Sarah White, Jennifer Ohren and Anne Haviland opened a warming shelter Dec. 13 to 18 at Oak Street Church. There they and other volunteers helped 16 people.

Eager to serve: New Silverton city manager has background in public works

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Eager to serve: New Silverton city manager has background in public works
Incoming Silverton City Manager Christy Wurster

Incoming Silverton City Manager
Christy Wurster

By Kristine Thomas 

Don’t expect to always find Christy Wurster sitting behind her desk.

The in-coming city manager of Silverton plans to be out and about as much as possible.

“I manage by wandering around,” she said, laughing. “You can really learn a lot by being in the community and talking to your employees and residents.”

Believing the best way to lead is by understanding, Wurster said if an employee shares a problem at the water plant or at a park, she will want to go and see the situation for a better understanding of how to help resolve it.