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.

Free range: Silverton’s workplace nomads see many advantages in trend

January 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Free range: Silverton’s workplace nomads see many advantages in trend
Nomadic writers John Pattison and Lisa Gerlits meeting at Gear Up in Silverton. Melissa Wagoner

Nomadic writers John Pattison and Lisa Gerlits meeting at Gear Up in Silverton. M. Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

A quick scan around today’s coffee shops reveals tables of patrons tapping away on laptops, scribbling in notebooks and talking on cellphones. Sometimes referred to as workplace nomads, these people are often working remotely from their office away from the office. In Silverton one of the most commonly sighted of these wanderers might just be the familiar face of writer John Pattison.

‘BOLD’ innovation: Grant aids Mount Angel’s hands-on school programs

January 2018 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on ‘BOLD’ innovation: Grant aids Mount Angel’s hands-on school programs

By Mary Owen

Mt. Angel School District joined 203 Oregon middle and high schools in securing a part of $10.3 million in grant funds to expand career readiness programs.

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization Grant funds serve Oregon communities with hands-on learning programs focused on advanced manufacturing, agricultural science, aviation, robotics, forestry, home construction/renovation, engineering, and biomedical/health sciences. In total, 32 grants will leverage additional funds and resources from 582 local business and community partners, according to the Oregon Department of Education.

State of the art: New app puts Silverton murals and their history online

January 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on State of the art: New app puts Silverton murals and their history online

By Melissa WagonerVince Till beside his favorite seasonal mural (7)

Vince Till has one of the most recognizable faces in Silverton. Portrayed with his beloved dog FeBee on a mural in the parking lot of 203 East Main St., his signature overalls and his ability to tell a story make him a beloved part of the landscape.

Till began cultivating the stories he tells and caring for the murals he loves when he moved to Silverton from his home on Crooked Finger Road in 1993. Already 65 and newly retired, his wife Babs wouldn’t allow him to settle into a boring life.

Another frame of mind: New community, new career for new owners

January 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on Another frame of mind: New community, new career for new owners
Molly Moreland and Scott Bruno, new owners of Silverton Art and Frame (4) (1)

Molly Moreland and Scott Bruno of Silverton Art & Frame. M. Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

Molly Moreland believes in providence – and she has more than one incidence in her story to back that up.

“I’m a believer in ‘meant to be’,” she explained. “When you’re on the right path the universe has a magical way of bringing all the pieces into place.”

One of those pieces is Moreland’s life partner Scott Bruno.

“We met at Santa Clara University in the early ‘90s in a Calculus class – he was my tutor,” she laughed.

Building bridges: Couple foster culteral understanding in Middle East, USA

January 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Building bridges: Couple foster culteral understanding in Middle East, USA
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Elmarie and Scott Parker

By Nancy Jennings

The Middle East conjures images of endless violence and bloodshed. Certain parts of this region are not safe, especially if you’re an American. But if you ask married Reverends Scott and Elmarie Parker – who live there – they see inspiration all around them.

“Our Lord loves the people of the Middle East and is at work there,” Elmarie said.

Honoring the Fennimores: Scotts Mills celebration set for Jan. 14

January 2018 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Honoring the Fennimores: Scotts Mills celebration set for Jan. 14

Fennimore, Esther & Dave's 60th(3) PHOTO BY KELSI KENFIELDBy Nancy Jennings

Dedicated. Considerate. Loving.
Caring. Friendly. Energetic. Thoughtful. Forgiving. Amazing. Easygoing. Memorable.

These are the words uttered from grateful friends to describe Scotts Mills’ Dave and Esther Fennimore.

On Sunday, Jan. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m.,
the entire community will be honoring them at a party held at the Scotts Mills Grange Hall, 299 4th St. Everybody is welcome to attend.

Over desserts and coffee, guests are invited to share stories of their association with the Fennimores. Their invaluable and numerous contributions made over the years to their community have made a heartfelt impact on the small town of 355.

Chandler shines for PLU: QB leads alumni report

January 2018 Posted in Community, School, Sports | Comments Off on Chandler shines for PLU: QB leads alumni report
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Former Silverton quarterback Cole Chandler passed for more than 1,000 yards for the Lutes in his junior section. Courtesy of Pacific Lutheran University

James DayFormer Silverton High standout Cole Chandler had a strong junior season at quarterback for Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash.

Chandler, who compiled a 33-4 record as QB of the Foxes, helped lead the Lutes to a 4-4 mark and a 4-3 record in the Northwest Conference.

The 6-2, 190-pound Chandler completed 77 of 141 passes for 1,009 yards and seven touchdowns with just three interceptions. In addition, Chandler rushed for an additional 121 yards and three scores.

(Not) The End of the World: Finding the fantastic

January 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on (Not) The End of the World: Finding the fantastic

carl-sampsonI know it’s popular to fret about stuff. Politics especially seem to get folks excited and upset. You’d think it was the end of the world. Again.

I’ve been running loose on the planet now for more than six decades, and the end of the world has been a popular theme. Some examples: the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, Watergate and the resignation of President Nixon, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. the 444-day Iranian hostage crisis, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the attempted assassinations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the 1987 stock market crash, the President Clinton scandal, the 9/11 attacks, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the 2008 economic meltdown and the recession that followed and various tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters that have killed thousands of people.

Beyond brick and mortar: Online sales can be key to keeping small town businesses viable

December 2017 Posted in Business, Community | Comments Off on Beyond brick and mortar: Online sales can be key to keeping small town businesses viable

Glenn Klecker and Amanda DeDona in the shipping area of Klecker Knives (3)By Melissa Wagoner

Many small businesses rely both on brick and mortar storefronts and online marketing to stay viable. Klecker Knives in Silverton is no exception.

“Small businesses in a small town have to diversify to make their sales,” Amanda DeDona, chief operations officer for Klecker Knives in Silverton explained. “You can’t just rely on foot traffic alone to make your sales.”

Glenn Klecker, who has been designing knives and tools for 20 years, moved from his basement workshop to a storefront on Oak Street two years ago to gain more space and to interact more with his community.

Poetry in motion: Silverton teen studies ballet at East Coast conservatory

December 2017 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on Poetry in motion: Silverton teen studies ballet at East Coast conservatory

By Nancy JenningsIMG_0023 (1)

A Silverton teen is on the brink of realizing her dream – becoming a classically trained ballet dancer. Jinjutha (“Jin”) Cheepluesak, 16, daughter of Thai Dish restaurant owners, Manus Jantarasri and Oratai Cheepluesak, can’t imagine living a day without dancing.

In September, she bid farewell to Silverton and flew to the East Coast to study ballet at the prestigious Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts – a boarding school – in Torrington, Conn. She has a holiday visit back home planned for Dec. 21.

Last summer, Jin completed the highly esteemed Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Moscow Six-Week Summer Intensive Program in New York City.

Sharing the spirit: Free community Christmas dinner at Silverton Senior Center

December 2017 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Sharing the spirit: Free community Christmas dinner at Silverton Senior Center

IMG_0082By Nancy Jennings

Christmas is all about togetherness. But not everybody is able to be with their family or relatives during the holidays.

Silverton’s Senior Center and Harry and Karrie Douglas found a solution to introduce neighbors to each other: Team up and host a community Christmas Dinner. Donations from various sources are helping support this family-friendly event.

“We’ve had grants from Judy’s Party, the Homer Davenport Festival and numerous residents and friends,” Harry said. Opening its doors on Christmas Day from 1 to 4 p.m., the center invites all to enjoy a free non-denominational traditional dinner.

Civic center: Project continues to fuel interest

December 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Civic center: Project continues to fuel interest

By James DayDSC_0176

The city of Silverton is hosting a town hall meeting at
6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18 at Silverton High School.

Mayor Kyle Palmer, City Council members and other city officials will be on hand to answer questions about city issues.

Palmer will give his “state of the city” address, with topics likely to include council goals, the Civic Center project, urban renewal, the Pettit property, a possible parks and recreation district formation, a ballot measure update and possible prohibitions involving polystyrene foam, plastic bags and smoking.

Compassion: From the backseat

December 2017 Posted in Other | Comments Off on Compassion: From the backseat

Elyse 201 BWDuring a shopping trip to Salem, my seven-year-old was sitting in the backseat and made a discovery. At seven, most kids are really developing their reading and writing skills and as a side effect, becoming more aware of signs. She had seen a woman next to the stop sign with a sign indicating she needed money and was homeless.

“MOM!!! That sign says she is homeless! Does she really not have a home?….” She exclaimed.

And then the tears came. Big rolling tears and she kept looking back at the intersection where the lady was standing.

Swimming in polka dots: Foxes honor Downey with new swim caps

December 2017 Posted in Community, Sports | Comments Off on Swimming in polka dots: Foxes honor Downey with new swim caps

James DayThe Silverton High swim team opened its home season in style Dec. 5, donning new headgear at a meet dedicated to the memory of long-time Silverton-area swim coach and booster Dennis Downey.

“Really this man was the reason why Silverton High had a swim team,” Foxes coach Lucky Rogers told a standing-room-only crowd at the Silverton Community Pool. “I’m so thankful that so many alumni and others came for this.”

Dozens of family and friends of Downey were on hand applauding. The former contractor passed away in September at the age of 71.

An appeal for the season: Peace, courage and respite

December 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on An appeal for the season: Peace, courage and respite

Dixon CMYK 2016I love Christmas in Silverton. The new lights decorating the downtown trees are beautiful, the tree lighting on First Friday was wonderful as were the smiles on a few thousand celebrants, and there is a crispness in the air that suggests winter and the holidays are here.

It is too easy to speak ill or dejectedly of what is happening in the world today – locally with potential outside smoking bans and the impact of growth; statewide with the proposed reduction of “monuments’  in our gorgeous forests and another “perpetual” election cycle looming; nationally with politics, sexual misconduct, and partisanship in its worst shape ever; and internationally with North Korea posturing as if they are a global and military power and a proposal to move the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Benedictine Brewery: Community supports heritage-driven project

December 2017 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Benedictine Brewery: Community supports heritage-driven project
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The brewery is being built on the west side of the Abbey hill on Humpert Lane. Brenna Wiegand

By Brenna Wiegand

One hundred volunteers – the majority monks and seminarians – gathered Nov. 11 on a gentle slope below Mount Angel Abbey to raise the frame for the Abbey’s new brewery and tap room.

Benedictine Brewery is expected to bring a much-needed revenue stream and a way to share Abbey life with others. It also restores a 1,500-year-old monastic tradition of beer brewing rarely seen in the States.

Be prepared: Kennedy teens CERT trained and ready to help

December 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Be prepared: Kennedy teens CERT trained and ready to help
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CERT coordinator Crystal Williams, with Mount Angel CERT teens Whitney Lopez, Draiven Follis, Melanie Lopez and Officer Charlie Hall. Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

Mount Angel can boast a unique accomplishment – one that would make any community, or parent, proud. The small city in Marion County is the only one, to date, to have three teens join its Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT).

The trio — Melanie Lopez (15), Whitney Lopez (15) and Draiven Follis (16) – were recognized and received their completion certificates on Aug. 7 at Mount Angel’s City Council meeting. The teens were formally introduced to the council by their CERT Instructor/Coordinator Crystal Williams, whose daughter, Anna, 18, has been a CERT instructor for two years.

Rock’n Latte: Adding a shot of fun for customers

December 2017 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Rock’n Latte: Adding a shot of fun for customers
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Ash Davidson, Cheryl Baurer and Abby Hartt of Rock’n Latte.

By Nancy Jennings

Would you like biscuits and gravy to go with your morning latte? Just look for the giant red-and-white guitar perched up inside of a coffee cup on top of the small bright-red building in Mount Angel – and place your order.

Opened in April, Rock’n Latte coffee drive-through has brought new energy and passion to the Berchtold Industrial Park. Owner and Mount Angel resident, Cheryl Baurer, 42, wants to inspire and be a good example to her five children.

Holly days: Busy, busy time for couple juggling three businesses

December 2017 Posted in Business, Community, Garden, Other | Comments Off on Holly days: Busy, busy time for couple juggling three businesses

By Nancy JenningsIMG_5535

If you are picking up your mail or shipping a package at Silverton’s Postal Connections, there’s a good chance you will be greeted by Don Harteloo. Ask how he is doing on any given day and he will cheerfully reply, “Unbelievable, here.”

Don, along with his wife, Sue, own and manage two Postal Connections stores. He runs the Silverton location, opened in 2013, and she oversees Stayton’s, opened in 2003. Since 1988, they have been operating Mill Creek Holly Farms, too.

Carrying on tradition: Belgian Underground explores its roots

December 2017 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Carrying on tradition: Belgian Underground explores its roots
Dale Coleman and Sheldon Lesire in Belgium

Dale Coleman and Sheldon Lesire in Belgium.

By Melissa Wagoner

Verzetsbir is ode aan grootvader,” read a recent headline in the Belgian newspaper “Het Belang Van Limburg.” Translated it reads, “Resistance beer is ode to grandfather.”

The beer in question was created by Silverton’s own Belgian Underground brewmasters, Sheldon Lesire and Dale Coleman who, on a recent trip brought along 24 bottles of their finest brews to share.

“The reporter said, ‘This tastes exactly like a Belgian beer,’” Lesire recalled.

Patagone: Adventurer shares her pack through Patagonia

December 2017 Posted in People, Travel | Comments Off on Patagone: Adventurer shares her pack through Patagonia
Stevie Anna and Crew2

Stevie Anna Plummer assembles her crew for the 1,000-mile journey through Patagonia

By Brenna Wiegand

Though her party consists of herself, her dog and two horses, Stevie Anna Plummer is taking the whole world along on her 1,000-mile trek through Patagonian back country. Plummer will remain live on social media throughout her journey through this vast, mostly uninhabited region.

Plummer, 29, grew up outdoors, a young rodeo rider with a great love for horses and dogs.

Football flashback: Foxes, Trojans make playoff runs

December 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, School, Sports | Comments Off on Football flashback: Foxes, Trojans make playoff runs

James DaySilverton High turned in a 7-4 football season under first-year coach Josh Craig and came within 57 seconds of advancing to the Class 5A semifinals.

“We’re very proud of these guys,” Craig told Our Town. “We couldn’t ask for a better group of guys.”

Silverton turned in a stirring 24-0 second-half domination of Thurston in a 31-14 round of 16 win before falling 46-42 at Mountain View of Bend in the quarterfinals.

“Just a couple of plays kept us from going to the semifinals,” said Craig, who turns 27 this month. “We were very close.”

Dear Parrot Heads: Concert etiquette and homework for old duffers

December 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Dear Parrot Heads: Concert etiquette and homework for old duffers

carl-sampsonTwo events occurred nearly simultaneously this fall. They both got me to thinking.

The first was when I went to a Jimmy Buffett concert. I know, what a cliche. An old duffer (me) going to listen to an older duffer (Jimmy).

I was a bit wary of going at first, because most concerts don’t live up to the anticipation. I went to one a few years ago that was terrible. The singer, who shall remain nameless, acted as though she was bored with the whole thing and only talked about her kids, which made me bored, too.

Call of duty: Those who served cite love of country, friendship, sacrifice

November 2017 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Call of duty: Those who served cite love of country, friendship, sacrifice

Veteran's-day-pic-2By Nancy Jennings

Jim Kosel, 75, has been married to Martha for 50 years. Both veterans, the Mount Angel residents have three children, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Their son, Darren, served as a Navy Air Traffic Controller during the Operation Desert Storm era.

“I served in the Air Force from 1963-67 in the missile systems communications in Moses Lake, Wash., and at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, Calif. We went to the missile sites from the command center and out to the various parts like the silos where the missiles were stored. We did the repairs needed in the communication systems and telephone system maintenance. I believe in our country and the freedoms that we have. My role was defending those to make sure we still have them today,” Kosel said.

Points Beyond: Building an ‘intentional community’ in Silverton

November 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Points Beyond: Building an ‘intentional community’ in Silverton

By Melissa WagonerSite plan

Something new is going on at the top of Danger Hill.

“We’ve heard people talk about us being a commune or a bunch of hippies,” laughed Victor Madge, architect of the project. “We’re not a commune.”

Instead, they are a group of friends, some for over 20 years, who are building what they are referring to as an intentional community of small houses.

“It’s a more traditional way of life,” Dana Smith, engineer, project manager, and Madge’s wife explained. “We weren’t always living in 25,000 sq. ft. It’s a very inefficient use of space.”