Brave flights: ‘Flying Tiger’ pilot turns 100, folks rewarded for passions

February 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community | Comments Off on Brave flights: ‘Flying Tiger’ pilot turns 100, folks rewarded for passions

“It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced.”

– Tom Brokaw, author, The Greatest Generation

Mr. Brokaw, meet Captain Art Gregg. Really. You need to meet him. He turns 100 on Feb. 16. You will like him. You could write a book about him.

Captain Art Gregg

Like so many members of the “Greatest Generation,” he is quiet, does not brag about his accomplishments, and feels he served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II because it was the right thing to do.

Aqua Foxes shine: Silverton sends record group to state swim meet

February 2019 Posted in Community, Sports | Comments Off on Aqua Foxes shine: Silverton sends record group to state swim meet

James DayThe Silverton High swimming squads turned in a record-shattering performance at the Mid-Willamette Conference district meet Feb. 8 at Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis.

The Aqua Foxes finished second in the boys competition and third in the girls and will be sending the largest contingent to the state meet in school history.

Silverton advanced all six of its relay squads and individuals in nine events to the OSAA meet, which is Feb. 15-16 at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton. In addition, the team set school records in five relays and one individual event.

Comfort food: Chef Raul Santana

February 2019 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Comfort food: Chef Raul Santana

Raul Santana opened Magnolia Grill in Mount Angel in December. Brenna Wiegand

By Brenna Wiegand

Raul Santana first found work in the berry fields after migrating to the U.S. in 2000. The 16-year-old, brought by an uncle, taught himself English and completed his GED in pursuit of The American Dream. It was his love of learning that got him there.

“The rest of my family is still in Mexico City and I go back and forth,” Santana said. “Moving away was hard and is hard still.”

Volksfest: New name, fresh look

February 2019 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Volksfest: New name, fresh look

Photo by Jim Kinghorn

By Melissa Wagoner

Volksfest – or a festival of the people in German – is an apt name for the annual wintertime sausage-themed extravaganza that takes place in Mount Angel.

“There’s a plethora of entertainment and food,” Jim Hoke – owner of Mt. Angel Sausage Company, a festival sponsor – said. “Every little kid and every grandparent feels comfortable in the crowd.”

Action-adventure: SHS Thespians set sail with Peter Pan prequel

February 2019 Posted in People, School | Comments Off on Action-adventure: SHS Thespians set sail with Peter Pan prequel

The cast of Peter and the Starcatcher rehearsing on the Silverton High stage. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

“We don’t do good shows, we do great shows,” is the motto of the Silverton High School Theater Department.

“The reputation of the program has been one of high quality and entertainment,” instructor and director Doug Ousterhout, explained. “We have high expectations and strive to make our shows the best they can be.”

Avast! Youth perform at Brush Creek

February 2019 Posted in Other | Comments Off on Avast! Youth perform at Brush Creek

Brush Creek kicks off the 2019 season with this year’s children and youth performance. The Pirate Paradise: Legend of Libertalia opens its three-weekend run on Friday, Feb, 22, with evening performances at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The show is directed by Linda Zellner, assisted by Emily Wood. It is based on a script by Emily Wood and Michael Wood.

This twist on the typical swashbuckling tale finds an orchid-hunter from Victorian England shipwrecked on an island where he finds a lost world from the great Age of Piracy – a “pirate paradise” – where democracy and equal rights for all hold sway in the midst of the usual thieving, gambling and piracy.

February Briefs

February 2019 Posted in Other | Comments Off on February Briefs

Conservation district holds native plant sale

The 17th annual Marion Soil and Water Conservation District Native Plant Sale and Scholarship Fundraiser will be held Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bauman’s Farm and Garden, 12989 Howell Prairie Road, Gervais.

Profits from the sale fund the Stan Vistica Memorial Scholarship which is awarded yearly to two students from Marion County who are studying natural resources or agriculture at an Oregon college or university.

‘Flavor of unity’: Poetry Festival features Kim Stafford, other free events

February 2019 Posted in Other | Comments Off on ‘Flavor of unity’: Poetry Festival features Kim Stafford, other free events

Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford is the featured poet at this year’s Silverton Poetry Festival, seen here at a recent, packed poetry event in Mount Angel. Submitted Photos

By Brenna Wiegand

The Silverton Poetry Festival has grown in scope and popularity over the past two decades, a reflection of the growth of the art form throughout the region.

“If they’re not in the scene, people don’t realize how much poetry is happening in the area,” Silverton poet and festival co-founder Steve Slemenda said. “The Willamette Valley is rich with poetry; it’s going on all over the place all the time.”

May I have the definition? Grown-up Spelling Bee benefits Dolly Parton Literacy Program book giveaway

February 2019 Posted in Business, Community | Comments Off on May I have the definition? Grown-up Spelling Bee benefits Dolly Parton Literacy Program book giveaway

Silverton Kiwanis Bee Committee Co-Chairs, Lisa Santana and Christy Davis. Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

What does Dolly Parton and a spelling bee have in common? For the answer, look no further than Silverton’s Kiwanis Club – which will host the inaugural Great Grown-up Spelling Bee & Wine and Dessert Auction on Friday, March 8 at Silverton’s First Christian Church. The silent wine/dessert auction (and “heavy hors d’oeuvres”) will begin at 6 p.m., with the spelling bee portion starting at 7 p.m. Catering will be provided by the Wooden Nickel. A no-host bar will be available. Sponsors, so far, include Citizen’s Bank, Ticor Title, and Bledsoe Santana Team Realty.

Put your life in order: Make a list, cross it off

January 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Put your life in order: Make a list, cross it off

I like big lists and I cannot lie.

Or something like that. With apologies to rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot, I really do like keeping lists, reading lists, and following lists. I’m one of those guys who will sit down with the new telephone book – a really big list – and go through it to see how many names I recognize.

But I especially use lists. Lists, it turns out, keep me out of trouble.

Silverton wins bronze in ‘Bike Friendly’

January 2019 Posted in Other | Comments Off on Silverton wins bronze in ‘Bike Friendly’

Silverton has earned the prestigious Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community award from The League of American Bicyclists, a national organization based in Washington D.C.

Silverton joins 464 communities across the United States that are recognized for transforming the American landscape by embracing bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities. It is one of only ten Bike Friendly Communities in Oregon.

The Bronze Bike Friendly City award recognizes Silverton’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in cycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-cycling policies.

Foxes in first: Both Silverton hoop squads riding high

January 2019 Posted in Other | Comments Off on Foxes in first: Both Silverton hoop squads riding high

James DayThe Silverton boys and girls basketball team have hit the halfway point in the league season with identical 7-1 records.

The girls squad is ranked second in Class 5A and shares the Mid-Willamette Conference league lead with Lebanon. The Foxes’ boys team is ranked fourth in the state and is alone in first place, one game ahead of South Albany and Corvallis.

The Silverton girls scored a big win Jan. 22, using a 12-4 run down the stretch to win 55-48 at Crescent Valley, dropping the Raiders to 6-2 in league play. Ellie Schmitz led the Foxes with 21 points.

Silvertowne: Adding to the story

January 2019 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Silvertowne: Adding to the story

I read the article about Silvertowne with great interest because that is my home. I would like to thank Our Town for shining a light on our situation here. While it did touch on some of the concerns, there is more to the story and I feel compelled to present a broader picture.

We do feel fortunate to have such lovely apartments. Most of the apartments are subsidized by Marion County Housing and by Rural Development/USDA. The company that owns the complex is Integrated Services Living, ( I.S. Living), in Salem who also owns and manages other apartments for elderly and disabled people.

Future First Citizen: Alyssa Khieu seeks to serve a global community

January 2019 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Future First Citizen: Alyssa Khieu seeks to serve a global community

Alyssa Khieu, 2018 Future First Citizen Submitted Photo

“Her commitment to quietly helping others was obvious,” Mayor Kyle Palmer said in announcing Alyssa Khieu as the Future First Citizen for 2018 from Silverton High School. He went on to praise the “amazing group of students” nominated this year.

As Future First Citizen Alyssa will receive the Jack Berger Memorial Scholarship.

The daughter of Van and Lydia Khieu, she  came to Silverton in time to attend Robert Frost for one year, then Mark Twain Middle School, and in June will graduate from Silverton High.

Business of the Year: Bledsoe Santana Team Realty builds relationships

January 2019 Posted in Business, Community, People | Comments Off on Business of the Year: Bledsoe Santana Team Realty builds relationships

Dixon Bledsoe and Lisa Santana, founders of Bledsoe Santana Team Realty. Jim Kinghorn

By Brenna Wiegand

Being Realtors provides Dixon Bledsoe and Lisa Santana a unique approach to community service that enables them to not only join forces with existing projects but to blaze their own paths in that arena.

Distinguished service: Sarah White sees those served as brothers, sisters

January 2019 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Distinguished service: Sarah White sees those served as brothers, sisters

Sarah White, Executive Director & Case Manager, Silverton Sheltering Services.
Brenna Wiegand

By Brenna Wiegand

Though greatly honored, Sarah White is a little embarrassed at receiving Silverton’s Distinguished Service award for 2018.

“I’m really grateful; I feel it is a collective work and a collective award and I just happen to be the person whose name is on it,” White said.

White was part of a core group that formed Silverton Sheltering Services last April. The nonprofit collaborates with other agencies in a concerted effort to address Silverton’s growing homeless issue.

Lifetime Achievement: Elmer Valkenaar has played many roles

January 2019 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Lifetime Achievement: Elmer Valkenaar has played many roles

Elmer ‘St. Elmo’ Valkenaar is the recipient of the Judy Schmidt Lifetime Achievement award.
Jim Kinghorn

By Steve Ritchie

Every town could use a dedicated civic leader and tireless volunteer like the late Judy Schmidt. Or like Elmer Valkenaar.

Known as “Elmo” or “St. Elmo” to the community, Valkenaar will receive the Judy Schmidt Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 at the Silverton Chamber of Commerce First Citizen Banquet Feb. 16.

First Citizens: Stacy and Kevin Palmer team up, help out

January 2019 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on First Citizens: Stacy and Kevin Palmer team up, help out

Kevin and Stacy Palmer 2018 First Citizens award recipients. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

This time of year, Stacy Palmer – Executive Director of the Silverton Chamber of Commerce – can often be found, balloons in hand, making her way around town, congratulating the winners of the annual First Citizen Awards. But this year when Stacy made her customary call to Mayor Kyle Palmer asking who would be the lucky recipients, she received an unusual answer.

Manner your mind: Let’s start the year off with some perspective

January 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Manner your mind: Let’s start the year off with some perspective

Traditional column. New year. New goals. New resolutions. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cut down on sweets. Uh, huh. That’s history with the five pieces of Moonstruck Chocolate I sucked down last night like a hungry Dyson vacuum cleaner. Lose 30 pounds? Toast – see previous chocolate malady. Quit engaging others on politics? Oh, my. That went out the door Jan. 1, at 12:01 a.m. I gave some sage advice to a friend – “If you tell someone water is wet and they disagree, run. Really fast.” Don’t engage. Talking politics with a goal of converting them to your style of thinking is like trying to teach a pig to sing, according to Robert Heinlein. “It will waste your time, and it annoys the pig.”

I, robotics: Students earn awards

January 2019 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on I, robotics: Students earn awards

Mt. Angel Middle School VEX IQ Robotics at the recent competition. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

Robotics isn’t just a fun, extracurricular activity for kids; it also prepares them for a career in the growing tech industry, according to Stacy Boost, a head coach of Mt. Angel Middle School’s VEX IQ Robotics program.

“There is such a push for our tech jobs, businesses and corporations to have the employee base to reflect the community base,” Boost explained. “We are in need of a more diverse group of people in such great positions. We are raising just that here at Mt. Angel Middle School.”

Wrestling standouts: Foxes have strong core, tough competition

January 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Wrestling standouts: Foxes have strong core, tough competition

James DayThe Silverton High wrestling team features some solid veterans who likely will be major players during district and state competition.

“We have some upperclassman who have been stepping up and consistently winning,” coach Keegan Davis told Our Town. “Matthew Guenther has been having a great deal of success on the mat and in the practice room. Nathan Kuenzi has also been having a lot of success in competitions, demonstrating to the team what hard work can accomplish. Kaden Kuenzi recently won two major tournaments, Rose City and the Gut Check beating a 3-time national champ in the finals.”

Public workshop on Eugene Field site scheduled for Jan. 31

January 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Public workshop on Eugene Field site scheduled for Jan. 31

The City of Silverton is conducting an outreach and planning effort to determine the potential future uses of the Eugene Field site in downtown Silverton.

Consultants plan to lead an interactive community discussion, eliciting community input on such topics as community values, existing physical conditions, redevelopment issues and future vision for the Eugene Field site and design.

Everyone interested is welcome to attend the next workshop, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31,  6 p.m. at Silverton High School in the cafeteria, 1456 Pine St.

Ready, set, pickleball! Multi-generational sport free through Jan. 31

January 2019 Posted in Community, Sports, Your Health | Comments Off on Ready, set, pickleball! Multi-generational sport free through Jan. 31

Poppy and David Shell initiated the pickleball games at the Silverton Community Center.
Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

A fun way to beat the winter doldrums can be found at Silverton’s YMCA. “Pickleball,” a sport with an odd name and originating from the Pacific Northwest, has found its way from larger cities to Oregon’s Garden City.

Think of it as a kinder, gentler tennis game. Introduced on Dec. 27 at the Community Center, the paddle sport combines elements of tennis, ping pong and badminton – and uses a badminton-sized court and modified tennis net.

Good marks: Silver Falls, Mt. Angel rank high in Best School District results

January 2019 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Good marks: Silver Falls, Mt. Angel rank high in Best School District results

Kindergartner Silas Kuenzi, left, and first grader Kyler Nuttman of Evergreen School dissect a squid in their science studies last fall.
Courtesy Silver Falls School District

By Brenna Wiegand

Neighboring Silver Falls and Mt. Angel school districts received exceptional rankings in Niche.com’s 2019 Best School Districts in Oregon.

Out of 198 school districts in Oregon, Silver Falls ranked 7th and Mt. Angel 19th by the Pittsburgh-based data, ranking and review site for K-12 schools, colleges and neighborhoods around the country.

Shelaswau Bushnell Crier to give keynote at King observance

January 2019 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Shelaswau Bushnell Crier to give keynote at King observance

Shelaswau Bushnell Crier will give the keynote address following a community potluck in celebration of Dr, Martin Luther King Day at the Silverton Grange on Monday, Jan. 21.

Co-sponsored by Silverton People For Peace and the Silverton Grange, the event is open to all. Doors open 5:30 p.m., potluck at 6, S201 S. Division, off of S. Water.

Lawyer, former law professor and middle school math teacher, and community activist, Crier has always been passionate about education. That passion took her to Rice University and to Yale Law School. At Yale, Crier says, the students were more about “How can we change the world?” Crier serves as vice-president of the Salem-Keizer NCAAP, and on state advisory committees.