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.

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.”

Grandview: For the empty nester

November 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Grandview: For the empty nester

IMG_5341 (2)By Nancy Jennings

A new 55+ community housing development is coming to Mount Angel. Under construction since August 2016, “Grandview in Mount Angel” plans to complete 56 single-story homes. Built on just under eight acres, the project is slated for completion in four years.

Mount Angel landowner and Chief Executive Officer Alan Kraemer is excited to offer free-standing homes to rent to the 55+ age group.

“We want to finish the project and fill every house. We hope it will be well received and people will love it,” he said. Renters will have the option of month-to- month, or exercise a one-year lease.

New construction: Subdivision designed for ‘aging population’

November 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on New construction: Subdivision designed for ‘aging population’

fullsizeoutput_4dc1Eight new, energy-efficient homes were recently completed in a rejuvenated portion of Silverton’s Milltown neighborhood.

Castlebrook Estates, built by Dale’s Remodeling of Salem, is designed to meet the needs of an aging population. The homes feature lots of light, larger doorways with little or no steps, large outdoor living spaces, RV parking and the use of low maintenance products such as easy-care windows, designer granite, laminate countertops and flooring, and Hardie plank siding.

“The current lack of housing in Oregon puts new home builds in great demand,” said Patty Bolstad of HomeSmart Realty Group. “Communities like Silverton are becoming more and more popular and the re-urbanization of the older Milltown area in Silverton has created a very desirable place to live.”

It’s a go: City to purchase Eugene Field site

November 2017 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on It’s a go: City to purchase Eugene Field site

efield-1 (2)By James Day

The city of Silverton plans to purchase the Eugene Field School site to develop a new civic center that will include a police station, City Hall and new council chambers.

The City Council voted 7-0 at a special meeting Oct. 23 to go forward with the purchase agreement with the Silver Falls School District, City Manager Christy Wurster told Our Town.

“The City Council directed staff to proceed with issuance of a suitability notice indicating the city’s intent to proceed with acquisition of the property,” Wurster said. “The City Council also authorized staff to proceed with the purchase of the property if all conditions precedent to closing in the purchase and sale agreement are met.”

Broccoli & cheddar: A cozy soup for a cold day

October 2017 Posted in Food & Drink | Comments Off on Broccoli & cheddar: A cozy soup for a cold day

Broccoli Cheese soup (2)By Melissa Wagoner

This soup is perfect for a cold winter’s day. It will warm up the kitchen and your stomach. Although not a cream-based soup, the potatoes add a silky texture that is heavenly.

For Soup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium saucepan heat oil, add onion, garlic, broccoli stems and potatoes. Cook until just softening, about 4 minutes. Add two cups water and season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add half the broccoli florets to the soup and simmer 10 minutes more. Add cheddar cheese. Transfer soup to a blender (or use an immersion blender). Puree until smooth. Add vinegar and season with Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 11.42.28 AMmore salt and pepper if necessary.

Silverton’s proposed $.02 gas tax

November 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Silverton’s proposed $.02 gas tax

Our streets desperately need your help!

For decades, our 30-plus miles of roadway in Silverton have slowly deteriorated and our traffic congestion problems have increased. Why has this happened? The City of Silverton has been unable to generate sufficient funds to fix these problems.

For the past several years the City has spent approximately $175,000 per year on roadway preventative maintenance which includes crack seals, slurry seals and overlays. A pavement management report done for the City of Silverton in 2012 showed that in order to obtain an optimum level of pavement condition, we need to be spending $550,000 per year on street maintenance and repairs. The City has fallen way short of this amount and our streets have continued to deteriorate.

China adventure: Journey to the Palace of Weddings in China

November 2017 Posted in Arts, Culture & History | Comments Off on China adventure: Journey to the Palace of Weddings in China

By Tom Ewingcropped IMG_0253

My middle son Ross (now 32) attended all three schools in Mount Angel, graduating from Kennedy High School in 2003 and then from the University of Oregon four years later. After that, he left for China to teach English as a second language.

He became fluent in Chinese. He met a beautiful woman, Tian Huijun (“Donna” is her American name), serendipitously, in a clothing store. They married two years later in 2017. There was no wedding ceremony. Rather, they went to a government office, signed some papers, and it was done. Two months ago, they came to Mount Angel, Donna’s second visit. We held a small wedding for them in our backyard, Andy Otte, Mayor of Mount Angel, officiating. Thanks, Andy.

Sidewalk Shindig: Capturing a musical guide to community

November 2017 Posted in Community, Music & Band | Comments Off on Sidewalk Shindig: Capturing a musical guide to community


Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 11.09.55 AMBy Michael Turner

Oct. 7, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
I got off work and walked across the bridge over Silver Creek into downtown Silverton, where the Sidewalk Shindig was already in full swing. Crowds had descended for the sixth year of Silverton’s homegrown eclectic music festival, and I made my way to the info booth to talk with one of the organizers, Gregg Sheesley.

A gentleman’s art: Tales of a young man’s pipe dreams

November 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on A gentleman’s art: Tales of a young man’s pipe dreams

The Old CurmudgeonIn my hometown of Bozeman, Mont., there was a pool hall that dabbled in fine English tobaccos. These came in neat little tins because they were cured under pressure allowing the juices of one type of tobacco to blend with the others. These tobaccos were sold with such names as “Capstan,” “Three Nuns” (Ain’t had none. Don’t want none. Ain’t gonna get none.), “Parson’s Pleasure,” “Baby’s Bottom” (Nothing Smoother Than) and an Irish tobacco called “Erin More.”

Time for playoffs: Teams angle for postseason slots

November 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Sports | Comments Off on Time for playoffs: Teams angle for postseason slots

James DayPlayoff season and district competition are approaching for area high schools. Here is a look at how the races and matchups are shaping up:

Football: Silverton (5-3 overall, 3-3 in the Mid-Willamette Conference) has clinched a playoff spot heading into the Foxes’ nonleague season-finale at Woodburn. Because Silverton is ranked seventh in Class 5A the squad still has a shot at a home game when the playoffs start Friday, Nov. 3.

Make a bid: The perfect place for Amazon’s new headquarters

November 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Make a bid: The perfect place for Amazon’s new headquarters

carl-sampsonI hear Amazon is looking for a place to build its new “second” headquarters. Seattle is a pain in the you-know-what to drive around, so chief Amazonian Jeff Bezos figures he’ll dangle the possibility of a new headquarters out and see what cities around the nation offer him.

Atlanta, Boston and a half-dozen other cities are said to be in the running. Even Detroit – new motto: “We’re not broke, just thrifty” – is making a pitch.

That’s all well and good. Some of those cities are OK, and some are, well, just variations of Seattle.

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.