Champion, advocate, mentor: Remembering Jason Franz

October 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Champion, advocate, mentor: Remembering Jason Franz

A few years ago, a man named Larry Platt auditioned for American Idol with an original hit (that later sold millions), “Pants on the Ground”, which made fun of young men and boys who wore their pants halfway down their bottoms with their underwear exposed. Many of us have done the same, shaking our heads.

Jason Franz and the High Mascot in Fall Line. Photo by Kristine Thomas.

Jason Franz likely said, “My people.” He liked everyone, but had a special affinity for those on the margins – disenfranchised youth who were scolded for riding their skateboards on the sidewalk or risked weaving in and out of traffic because there was nowhere else to ride.

New playmaker: McCarty starring for Foxes at QB

October 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, School, Sports | Comments Off on New playmaker: McCarty starring for Foxes at QB

James DaySilverton had a huge hole to fill at quarterback this season. Levi Nielsen had started four years in the position, leading the squad to the playoffs all four seasons.

But as the Foxes, 5-0, headed into a critical Special District 3 game against 4-1 Dallas that took place after Our Town’s presstime the QB slot is in good hands.

Jordan McCarty James Day

Sophomore Jordan McCarty, who split time with junior Aaron Rieskamp in week one, started in week two against South Albany and has caused all sorts of problems for defenses with his speed and his ability to throw on the run.

Bridging the Opportunity Gap

October 2019 Posted in Community, People, School | Comments Off on Bridging the Opportunity Gap

At its best, America is a nation where every individual has opportunities to get an education, find work, support oneself and their family, and be a contributing member of this great democratic society.

By many measures, Oregon’s economy is booming. The unemployment rate in Oregon is low, more Oregonians are working, wages are up and so are household incomes.

But these gains are not spread equitably in this growing economy. The neighborhood where a person is born, their family’s economic circumstances, and their race or ethnicity are the most reliable indicators of future success or failure.

Jar of Awesome: An easy way to capture your family’s best memories

October 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Other, People | Comments Off on Jar of Awesome: An easy way to capture your family’s best memories

“Enjoy this time because it’ll be over before you know it,” is possibly the single most cruel sentence one can utter to a new parent, yet the compulsion to say it is hard to resist.

I’ve said it – many times – and even as it leaves my mouth I wish I could take it back. Because, what could be more unkind than telling someone who is struggling to make it on very little sleep while doing the hardest job with the highest stakes, “I hope you are really taking all that in because those sweet little snuggles you get between bouts crying that never seems to end and diapers that always need to be changed – those snuggles will soon be long gone, replaced by a sulky teenager who wants nothing to do with you – in what feels like five minutes?”

Hanson introduces Poets’ Lament

October 2019 Posted in Food & Drink | Comments Off on Hanson introduces Poets’ Lament

It’s not just what’s inside the bottle that makes this wine special.  Hanson Vineyards has commissioned a poem
for its inaugural edition of Poets’ Lament, an orange wine made from Pinot Blanc.

Award-winning Oregon playwright E.M. Lewis was commissioned to write a poem for the 2018 vintage, and each new vintage of this wine will have a new poem written by an Oregon writer.

When winemaker Jason Hanson decided last fall to make an orange wine, “I was reminded of the old saying that ‘nothing rhymes with orange.’”

Up another notch: Ratchet Brewery now open in Silverton

October 2019 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Up another notch: Ratchet Brewery now open in Silverton

By Melissa Wagoner

Dan Miletta can’t wait to get back to doing what he loves, brewing beer, a pastime he has mostly put aside for the last six months while he and business partner William Mary refurbished the space that previously housed Seven
Brides Brewing.

“We’re slowly getting back to where we can just focus on brewing,” Miletta said, looking around the space that now houses Ratchet Brewery. “Then we can just focus on making and selling beer.”

Making beer is something that Miletta knows a bit about, having been a home brewer for 15 years prior to the opening of the Ratchet Brewery taproom in Salem in 2017.

Daunting details: Teachers’ union, district, continue discussions

October 2019 Posted in Community, People, School | Comments Off on Daunting details: Teachers’ union, district, continue discussions

By Brenna Wiegand

Contract negotiations between Silver Falls School District and the Silver Falls Education Association resumed Sept. 24 after the union, frustrated, walked out of the Aug. 5 bargaining session.

More than 100 educators and community members turned out in red to support the teachers’ union Sept. 24.

Negotiations officially began May 15; the last contract expired in July. Negotiations can go on long as both sides feel progress is being made. After 150 days, either side can request mediation.

Another meeting was scheduled for Oct. 9, after press deadline for this edition of Our Town.

Being present: Silverton Grange hosts Nonviolent workshop

October 2019 Posted in Briefs, Community, People | Comments Off on Being present: Silverton Grange hosts Nonviolent workshop

By Brenna Wiegand

A general stress pervades our society – something nobody talks about.

People consider so many subjects “out of bounds” and the fear of conflict or stress or awkwardness is preventing them from sharing their opinions.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC), an upcoming course at Silverton Grange, is a tool to build confidence about the possible good outcome, says instructor Tim Buckley.

Based on Marshall Rosenberg’s book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, the course entails 12 weekly sessions aimed at taking the scare out of authentic give and take.

Into the forest: Camp LEAD – an out of classroom learning experience

October 2019 Posted in Community, People, Your Health | Comments Off on Into the forest: Camp LEAD – an out of classroom learning experience

A Camp LEAD group working at Silver Falls State Park. Amy Johnson

By Melissa Wagoner

The importance of getting kids out of the classroom and involved in the natural world is something Special Education teacher Mike Johnson viewed as essential. 

“He started doing outdoor programs like Outward Bound stuff,” Mike’s daughter, Amy, remembered. “And he quickly realized how important it was for them – how many other skills were part of that.”

Small towns… Big hearts

October 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, People | Comments Off on Small towns… Big hearts

I love small towns. I’ve lived in several – in Oregon, Minnesota and Alaska. Unless I was forced to, I’d never live in a big city.

But I’ve been at a loss to explain to other people just why I like small towns. It’s not just the Fourth of July fireworks or the street festivals. There’s more to it. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Then something happened a few weeks ago that brought my thoughts into clearer focus.

A little help…The fine art of the delegation

October 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on A little help…The fine art of the delegation

Delegation. Not my strong suit. Many years ago when I worked as assistant manager for a retail clothing store it was the number one critique on my yearly review time and again. I just felt I could get things done faster and better if I did them myself. I still do.

Fast forward any number of years and now I have three people working directly under me – or not working as the case may be. Sure they are only three, eight and ten but – as my husband often helpfully points out – they are more than capable of doing any number of the chores that I complain about not having the time to do on a daily basis.

Consider a neighborhood association

October 2019 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Consider a neighborhood association

Did you get the notice about the workshop for disaster planning? Did you hear about the changes the City of Silverton is making in its zoning codes? Did you hear about the planned development right next to you? If your answer is no, then read on.

While Silverton is a small town, it is still easy to miss important issues that arise. The solution? How about a neighborhood association? On Sept. 9 the City of Silverton adopted a neighborhood association policy. In 2010, there were several studies conducted about the idea of creating neighborhood associations. This issue was revised by a small group of citizens and proposed to the city this summer. The city is willing to have a link on its website to these associations so that they can easily be informed of issues that arise that might concern them. The associations in turn would inform their members.

The right note: Silvertones choir director brings national experiences home

October 2019 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on The right note: Silvertones choir director brings national experiences home

Debra Huddleston (center) with co,e of the Silvertones during a recent rehearsal. Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

She has performed at the White House, attended college in Austria, and held positions as an adjunct faculty member at Linfield College and George Fox University. Now, Debra Huddleston, choir director of the Silvertones for the past five years, is happy assisting locals find their voice.

“Whenever you’re in a choir, you become a family,” she said. In addition to putting on concerts for free during “First Friday” evenings, the choir regularly performs at local events and assisted-living communities.

Academic standout: Foxes lineman earns national honor

October 2019 Posted in Community, School, Sports | Comments Off on Academic standout: Foxes lineman earns national honor

James DaySilverton High senior Spencer Von Flue finished in the 97th percentile among those students nationwide who took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Qualifying Test.

Silverton football’s starting center Spencer Von Flue. James Day

He is the senior class president, a member of the Key Club and a participant in the school’s National Honor Society chapter. And his class schedule is riddled with Advance Placement Classes.

Von Flue’s performance in the PSAT earned him a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Von Flue was the lone Silverton High student to receive
such an honor.

October Briefs

October 2019 Posted in Briefs, Community | Comments Off on October Briefs

Join in a meal, bid on a bowl

The public is invited Sunday, Oct. 29, 4 – 6 p.m. to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 303 N. Church St., Silverton for Share the Harvest. At this event, you can have a meal of soup and bread, listen to live music and take part in a silent auction featuring hand-turned pottery – all to help local children fight food insecurity.

There are no tickets required, but a donation at the door is requested. All funds raised will be shared with ARK (At Risk Kids) and the Silverton United Methodist Church’s SACA Snack Sacks.

A global message: Silverton takes part in world-wide ‘Climate Strike’

October 2019 Posted in Community, Your Health | Comments Off on A global message: Silverton takes part in world-wide ‘Climate Strike’

Activists singing at Silverton’s Climate Strike. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

An estimated 200 activists gathered in Silverton’s Town Square Park on Friday, Sept. 20 for what they hope will be the first of many Climate Strike Protests.

“This is a global event, with strikes occurring in Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, and many other towns throughout Oregon and throughout the world,” 43 year-old mother of two Elyce Brown said prior to the event.

Les Aubrey: Dec. 24, 1943 – Feb. 2, 2019

September 2019 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on Les Aubrey: Dec. 24, 1943 – Feb. 2, 2019

Leslie (“Les”) Roy Aubrey, loving husband and father, passed away on
Feb. 2, 2019, at the age of 75 at his home in Silverton due to complications following surgery.

He was born on Dec. 24, 1943, to Roy Ray and Mina Leslie (Pedigo) Aubrey of Central Howell. Les married Carol Ann Johnson of Dayton, Oregon, on Sept. 7, 1963, at Fort Myer, Virginia where they were both serving with the United
States Army.

They raised two sons, Leslie Scott and Clayton Roy. Les served in the Army from 1962-1982, serving three tours of duty in Viet Nam. After retiring from the Army, Les worked as a civilian computer security specialist for the United States Navy from 1983-2004.

The village gives back: Considering the quiet hands behind O’fest

September 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on The village gives back: Considering the quiet hands behind O’fest

By the time this column is published, the Oktoberfest will be winding down on Sunday. So many memories, such good times, and the intake of about
4.2 billion calories. But fall is upon us, and soon the holidays, with events every weekend.

We all have our “Bavarian” rituals, from German Sausage on a bun with ‘kraut to that spectacular apple butter cake at the Butte Creek School booth. The hand-dipped-in-chocolate hazelnut ice cream bars from the Drake’s Crossing Fire Department are “manna from heaven,” and the Spaten “Optimator” is a veritable “nectar of the Gods.”

September Passages

September 2019 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on September Passages

Barbara Lou Crawford LeDoux  
Dec. 11, 1925 – Aug. 12, 2019

Born Dece. 11, 1925 in Carthage, Missouri, Barbara Lou was the second of five children of Sidney and Isabell Crawford. The family moved to a farm in Mansfield, Ohio and during the next 15 years Barbara floated on the river and learned to shoot. She also read everything she could find and earned the top score in a state high school exam. The family returned to Missouri in 1941 where Barbara graduated from Crane High School at age 16. She was in the first class of the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corp at Drury College.

Runners get going: Cross country previews for Kennedy, Silverton

September 2019 Posted in Sports | Comments Off on Runners get going: Cross country previews for Kennedy, Silverton

James DayKennedy and Silverton both should have strong cross country programs this year after a 2018 season in which three of the four squads placed at state.

Kennedy’s boys were sixth at the Class 2A-1A meet a year ago, with the girls seventh in the Class 3A-2A-1A meet. Silverton’s boys were eighth in Class 5A.

Veteran Kennedy coach Steve Ritchie reports one of his better turnouts, 11 girls and nine boys, with Nick Riedman, Korbin Wedding (who is out with an injury for the early part of the season) and Jose Salazar the top returning boys. Aleks Eyles, Cassie Traeger, Whitney Lopez and Mikayla Schaecher return for the girls squad.

You gotta pay attention…Or you might miss something

September 2019 Posted in Community | Comments Off on You gotta pay attention…Or you might miss something

Under the header of  “answers to questions nobody asked”, The Taco Bell Hotel recently opened in, where else, Southern California. “The Bell” opened to great fanfare and promised “just like our most sought after food innovation, this hotel brings something entirely new for lucky fans to experience and enjoy”….Oooo-kay…. The Man did find it odd that a picture in the marketing materials shows one of those Do Not Disturb door hangers on what appears to be the bathroom door…..hmmmm. Don’t go makin’ your plane reservations to this “tacoasis.” “The Bell”, much like the “Nacho Fries Bellgrande”, was available for a very limited time (although, thank God, that Taco Bell themed wedding in Las Vegas you’ve dreamt about is still available)…

Time lost counts: Schools get help tackling student chronic absenteeism

September 2019 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on Time lost counts: Schools get help tackling student chronic absenteeism

Educators from 29 regional schools participated in a two-day training program. Courtesy Sean Aker

By Steve Ritchie

Former JFK principal Sean Aker has a simple message to convey in his new job:  Every Day Matters.

It sounds like it could be a catchy slogan to sell Gatorade or Nike workout gear, but it’s a far more important message directed to students from kindergarten through high school and their parents.

Aker now works at the Willamette Educational Service District as a Regional Coordinator for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in area schools. His mission, which he pursues with an evangelical fervor, is to increase awareness of the importance of regular, consistent school attendance and help schools build capacity and develop effective strategies to combat chronic absenteeism.

Moral fiction: Silverton author explores her own worlds of wonder

September 2019 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community, People | Comments Off on Moral fiction: Silverton author explores her own worlds of wonder

Lisa Lowell

By Nancy Jennings

Silverton is known for its majestic waterfalls and extensive artistic community. Among those artists is author Lisa Lowell. She was raised in a large family of creative, imaginative types. Her maternal grandmother wrote for a newspaper and her paternal grandmother wrote poems.

Lowell, 51, found her love of writing instilled by both grandmothers when she was the tender age of five. She recalls pounding out the “sticking keys” of one grandmother’s vintage pre-electric typewriter to write a poem. Raised with four siblings, and several foster siblings, the creative flow in their house knew no bounds.

Gut reaction: Nutritional therapist puts digestion at center of good health

September 2019 Posted in Business, Community, Your Health | Comments Off on Gut reaction: Nutritional therapist puts digestion at center of good health

Megan Templeman Submitted Photo

By Nancy Jennings

Along with the popularity of consuming more probiotics in our diets, the quest to get and maintain a “healthy gut” can be a challenging feat. Sublimity resident Megan Templeman wants to help clients succeed and achieve ongoing optimal health.

Templeman, 34, a certified functional and holistic nutritional therapist for women, specializes in chronic health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fatigue, headaches, bloating, constipation, skin conditions and autoimmune issues. With client sessions conducted online or via the phone, she targets various digestive issues and food sensitivities to help reduce stress and inflammation in the body.

History beyond the textbook: Research, creativity prove fun

September 2019 Posted in School | Comments Off on History beyond the textbook: Research, creativity prove fun

Butte Creek students with their project presentation for last year’s Oregon History Day. Courtesy Emily Allen

By Melissa Wagoner

History class can be a lot more fun than just reading from a textbook – according to Emily Allen, the fifth through eighth grade Social Studies instructor at Butte Creek Elementary. It can be exciting, interactive and above all, interesting, especially if it is taught with the help of Oregon History Day, a program developed by the Oregon Historical Society.

“Essentially it’s like a science fair but it’s for history,” Allen explained.