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.

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.

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.

Trail to recovery: Rare eye disease provides lessons in perseverance, faith

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Trail to recovery: Rare eye disease provides lessons in perseverance, faith

By Kristine Thomas 

Elsie Guenther and her horse, Remy. Silver Dream Photography

Elsie Guenther and her horse, Remy. Silver Dream Photography

It would have been understandable if Elsie Guenther had lost her faith in God. Or if she had given up on maintaining her 4.0 GPA or competing on Silverton High School’s equestrian team. Given everything that happened to her during her senior year, it would be almost expected her grades would suffer and she couldn’t compete. Except as her mother, Christine, has said, “This is Elsie we are talking about.”

Elsie is not a quitter. Her faith, determination, a bit of stubbornness and sheer willpower allowed her to move forward, despite the loss of eyesight in her left eye.

Lifestyle changes: Kris Mitchell followed her bliss into business

January 2017 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Lifestyle changes: Kris Mitchell followed her bliss into business
kris-mitchell-at-the-farm-stand-portion-of-eastview-garden-share-2

Kris Mitchell;s passion for gardening lead to a real labor of love.

By Melissa Wagoner

Kris Mitchell knew she was in trouble when she began contemplating gaining another 10 pounds in order to qualify for the bariatric surgery that would help her lose weight.

“I didn’t qualify for insurance because I didn’t have health problems yet,” she explained.

Around that time, Mitchell came across a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, about a man striving to become healthier while on a 60-day juice cleanse. That’s when she decided against gaining more weight in favor of going on her own 40-day juice fast. She lost 40 pounds and has never looked back.

Attitude adjustments: Advice on setting realistic resolutions

January 2017 Posted in Other | Comments Off on Attitude adjustments: Advice on setting realistic resolutions

By Nancy Jennings

Out with the old, bad habits and in with the new, healthy habits. Thr thought is common every year as we make New Year’s resolutions.

This year will be different, we promise ourselves. This will be the year I drop 25 pounds, quit smoking and begin exercising … or any of the other items on the long lists of promises we intend to keep to make us happier and healthier. But will it really?

Silverton Clinical Psychologist Beverly Nicholson said this annual practice of wishful thinking comes down to “the way we are wired.”

College check-in: Rebuilding year for Silverton boys basketball

January 2017 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on College check-in: Rebuilding year for Silverton boys basketball

James DayHere is a look at how athletes with Silverton High ties fared in college this fall season:
Sheyenne Brusven had a strong junior year as goalie for the Corban University women’s soccer team. Brusven had an 11-6-1 record for the Warriors, who advanced to the Cascade Collegiate Conference quarterfinals before falling on penalty kicks to Rocky Mountain College.

Brusven ended the season with five shutouts and 57 saves and was second on the squad in minutes played with 1,672. She is eighth on the Corban all-time list in shutouts with seven and is 10th at the school in goals allowed average (1.40 per game).

Trump’s turn: How the new president and Congress can fix health care

January 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Trump’s turn: How the new president and Congress can fix health care

carl-sampsonA few years ago, I invented a new health care system that would be far superior to Obamacare, Medicare and all the other forms of care we taxpayers are now forced to finance. With Donald Trump’s election as the next president, I naively decided to send a synopsis of Carlcare to several members of Congress and others in an attempt start a conversation about how best to care for the health of 319 million Americans.

The response: crickets. Not one person wrote back saying, “Thanks,” or “You’re crazy.”

Mutual Respect: No reports of post-election tension in Mt. Angel Schools

November 2016 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on Mutual Respect: No reports of post-election tension in Mt. Angel Schools

By Steve Ritchie

Post-election tension and conflicts have crept into schools in many places around the country, but school administrators and students in the Mount Angel School District say there have been no school-related issues to Republican President-elect Donald Trump’s election victory Nov. 8. Students in Mount Angel’s three public schools are more than 50 percent Latino. Some children and families could be in jeopardy, if Trump follows through on his campaign promises to deport undocumented immigrants. Middle school principal Jennifer McCallum believes some of her students are concerned about the future.

Setting Limits: Parents speak out against bullying at school board meeting

November 2016 Posted in Community, School | Comments Off on Setting Limits: Parents speak out against bullying at school board meeting

By Kristine Thomas

A clearer line needs to be drawn to define what is harassment. Students need to know when the line has been crossed and what consequences they will face for crossing it.

That, along with what defines appropriate conduct for a school board member communicating using social media, were the two messages shared by several people who attended the Silver Falls School board meeting Nov. 14.

“There needs to be a fine line drawn in the sand so students know what is acceptable. Both sides are getting picked on,” parent Enez Bradford said. “This is a teachable moment but we can’t gloss it over. It needs to be dealt with.”

Be good: All ages share advice on how to get on Santa’s good list

November 2016 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Be good: All ages share advice on how to get on Santa’s good list

By Nancy Jennings and Kristine Thomas

He’s not jolly and so upset that he’s refusing to eat warm chocolate chip cookies and frothy, cold milk.

In fact, according to Elf Eliza Doolittle, he’s a bit mystified at how rudely some people are behaving, especially with Christmas around the corner. The things people are posting on social media sites and saying to one another have him crossing off names on the good list and adding them to the bad list.

Yes, Silverton and Mount Angel, Santa Claus is disappointed at how some people are acting, especially before and after the election.

Holiday Tradition: Silver Falls stages 39th Annual Park festival

November 2016 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Holiday Tradition: Silver Falls stages 39th Annual Park festival
The SFSP event has crafts, such as gingerbread house building, above, and cuddles with Santa are part of the

The SFSP event has crafts, such as gingerbread house building, above, and cuddles with Santa

The elves at Silver Falls State Park are getting ready for the 39th Annual Christmas Festival!  This holiday tradition has a change this year. The event will be one day only. It will be on Saturday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the South Falls Historic District.
Rangers, hosts, and volunteers transform the park’s Historic District into a Christmas wonderland featuring decorated trees and thousands of lights. The sounds of the holidays are provided by local musicians and choral groups.

Bird is the word: Honestly grateful

November 2016 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on Bird is the word: Honestly grateful

Kali-MartinI’ve got to be honest with you. It’s been a hard year.

From riding the highest highs of becoming a mother to the lowest lows as I held my brother’s hand as his marriage broke apart.

From navigating the sleepless early days of parenthood, healing from birth and dealing with the various joys that come postpartum, to watching as our country was torn apart by an ugly and divisive presidential election.

From financial woes, to poor berry prices, the long, lonesome harvest season and an unbelievably rainy fall. And the list goes on.

New Venue: Farmers find a warm place to meet

November 2016 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on New Venue: Farmers find a warm place to meet

14681885_1237115636338503_886443373606861734_nBy Melissa Wagoner

Silver Falls Bread Co., 432 McClaine St., Silverton hosts the Late Season Saturday Market, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m

Silver Falls Bread Co., 432 McClaine St., Silverton hosts the Late Season Saturday Market, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m

Customers greeted each other with hugs and handshakes in the warmth of Silver Falls Bread Co. in Silverton Nov. 19 during the Late Season Saturday Market.

“The idea was, as far as I can tell, Stacy Higby’s,” Dan Lliteras, owner of Silver Falls Bread Co. explained.

“Years past, a handful of local producers continued to meet informally in the parking lot where the Farmer’s Market is held. Stacy was interested in finding an indoor space so everyone could stay warm and dry. I was very happy to offer up the bakery.”

Adventure with wine: Minimalist winemaker seeks authentic tastes

November 2016 Posted in Food & Drink, People | Comments Off on Adventure with wine: Minimalist winemaker seeks authentic tastes
Franchere Wine Co. owner and winemaker Mike Hinds

Franchere Wine Co. owner and winemaker Mike Hinds

By Kristine Thomas

It wasn’t in Oregon, where he grew up, where it happened. Or California, where he went to college. Both states well-known for their wineries and vineyards. Instead, it was Chicago where Mike Hinds tumbled down what he describes as the “wine rabbit hole.” Working as a website developer for the University of Illinois, Chicago’s School of Public Health, Hinds recalled the night he went into a wine store and purchase a bottle of wine to go with some Humboldt Fog cheese that he was taking to a gathering.

Keeping it local: Co-op brings growers downtown to sell a dream

November 2016 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on Keeping it local: Co-op brings growers downtown to sell a dream

By Melissa Wagoner

Megan Wellman & Jason Codner

Megan Wellman & Jason Codner

Colorful, locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh baked pies and breads, handmade soaps and lotions, local flour and more lined shelves and filled baskets in the Main Street Bistro and Coffee during the fall weekend marking the beginning of the Pop-Up Co-op season. Presented by the Silverton Food Co-op, a group working toward opening a storefront food cooperative in Silverton, the pop-ups are a sneak peek of what organizers hope will someday soon be permanent fixture of downtown Silverton.

“We’re selling a wish,” council member Hilary Dumitrescu explained. “We’re selling a dream for this town.”

Magical Season: Silverton High Girls soccer team takes second in state

November 2016 Posted in Community, Sports | Comments Off on Magical Season: Silverton High Girls soccer team takes second in state
silv-paige

SHS freshman Paige Alexander, #3, broke a pair of school records with 33 goals and 10 assists.


By James Day

Deeds usually trump words… but words about deeds can sometimes help tell a deeper story, a more complete one. Take the Silverton High girls soccer team.
Deed-wise the Foxes were an amazing story, advancing to their first state championship game while knocking off three top-six teams to get there.

But the words about the deeds… those were just as amazing.

Trojan’s Great run: Football team makes it to 2A Semifinals

November 2016 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off on Trojan’s Great run: Football team makes it to 2A Semifinals

James DayKennedy High continues to prove its mettle in Class 2A football. The Trojans, who advanced to the championship game a year ago, made it to the semifinals this season before falling 32-13 to Stanfield on Nov. 19.

The game was a rematch of last year’s semifinal, which the Trojans won 34-20.

“Stanfield was more physical upfront this year,” said Kennedy coach Joe Panuke. “It was tough for us to get any movement. Stanfield was able to convert some key third downs in the second half that kept the chains moving in their favor, and we had a tough time running the ball.”